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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 626   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
This ninth edition of our Stone Vertical Epic Ale series takes two interesting left turns. A Belgian-style golden triple is the starting point of this beer, but the first left turn is nearly immediate with the addition of dried chamomile flowers, triticale, and Belgian amber candi sugar. The second, and rather unusual left turn takes us half an hour up the road from Stone to Temecula courtesy of the addition of just-pressed Muscat, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from our friends at South Coast Winery. As the Stone Vertical Epic Ale series has moved through the calendar, we found that the brewing schedule for a 10.10.10 release coincided nicely with the grape harvest, neatly providing an interesting twist in this epic ale.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jake65 (3444) - Meridian, Idaho, USA - MAR 5, 2011
Bottle: Pours a translucent, very light golden color with a thin sandy head. Nose is fruity Belgian yeast and the depicted grapes. The taste I’m getting is mostly the Belgian yeast, a bit fruity, and some dry florals. Seemingly the least impressive of the VE’s I had to date.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jb43 (1650) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - SEP 9, 2011
(bomber 10/31/10). Cloudy golden orange color. Medium off white head. Light yeast aroma, with light alcohol. Flavor of the same. Long duration. Very dry finish. Slick texture. Moderate carbonation. Spare lacing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 12, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 9/16/2011. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Out of the bottle this pours a full golden color, transparent except for a few yeast particles, with light straw color edges. An off-white head bubbles, foams,and fades without leaving too much lace on the glass. Bready malt is overshadowed by a strong white grape presence. Alcohol phenols are noticeable, and an understated spicy yeast is noticeable as well. The flavor is strong and mostly sweet. The malt takes on a dry biscuity or crackery quality, with sweet white grapes coming on really strong. A light lemon zest adds a soft tartness, and there is a light peppery quality. There is not much hop presence, just a herbal bite to go along with the alcohol toward the end. Maybe this is from the chamomile. Maybe I am just too accustomed to Duvel for this style, but the mouthfeel is a little bit off from what I expect. The body lacks the cutting dryness that thins the body out. This is still dry, but the body has more of a medium feel, with softly crisp carbonation. Given the amount of chatter about this beer series, it can be tough to examine this beer on its own merits. I enjoyed it, although it was a bit sweeter than I would prefer, and it would be nearly impossible to top Duvel in this style.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 14, 2012
Draft at Hopleaf. Pours a bright gold with a fluffy white head. Nose is woody, strong oak aromatics, though I was told this is NOT the oak-aged version. Faint grape notes and citrus. Clove comes through. On tasting, has a tannic structure that could be from the grapes but seems more woody than that. More of the strong yeast character. This one doesn’t come together at all and is a bit puzzling.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DalzAle (2026) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - AUG 17, 2013
Bottle. Dark golden pour, decent amount of carbonation and an aroma of herbs. Flavor was a little bit of white grapes, a bit grassy and sweet on the finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kathouse (1642) - Nevada, USA - OCT 10, 2013
Dark and foreboding with a thin head. Dark brown sugar and candy aromas. High alcohol and more candies sugars dominate the finish. Hot and sweet finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - OCT 7, 2010
They are not kidding with the wine. This is a very grape addition to the VE series and probably one that will not age as well. Pours a light yellow. Heavy to drink. Sweet with a touch of sour at the end. Lots of fruit in here.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
patrickfannon (1241) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 17, 2010
Bottle. 24.5 oz. Pours a sandy peach orange with a thin, foamy white head. Aroma of honey, grapes, dry spices, slight pine hops, sweet tea, and some slight barley. Medium to full bodied with an overtly sweet, yet still loose and crisp mouthfeel. Very sweet in the finish, with a bit of alchol warmth and taste following through to the chest. I expected much better from Stone. Average.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
daknole (10883) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - OCT 18, 2010
Clear gold pour. Yeast, white wine(sav blanc), dirty water, yeast. Flavor is grapey, lightly hoppy, lots of yeast, lightly tart. Meh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
robertjm (853) - Albany, California, USA - OCT 25, 2010
Very small soapy head. Huge amount of carbonation, which looks like a soda pop. Dark yellow color. Crystal clear. Aroma of peaches and white grapes. Perhaps a slight amount of rubber. Flavor reminds me of a Tej (mead w/hops) than a Belgian Strong Ale. I think that perhaps the chamomile had something to do with that. Mouthfeel is actually a bit on the watery side. Not much of an aftertaste. Just not feeling it for this one.

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