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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 613   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.51   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 12, 2010
From the nose I can already tell I’m not going to like this. It’s got an obnoxiously powdery, floral yeasty nose in the same vein as the yeasts used in past vertical epics, undertones of citrus, alcohol, and belgian yeast phenol spice with a malt-liquoresque quality to it as well. The beer itself is completely clear and bronze with little to no head formation and reminds me of lagunitas. Flavors are strange, the body is cloyingly thick and syrupy carrying with it some clearly non-complimenting hop bitterness, a grapey twang around the edges, and flavors from that floral, powdery yeast strain. The alcohol here doesn’t help either, making it kind of quesy-feeling to drink...and the underlying sweetness just makes it all the more cumbersome. The grape influence is juicy and takes an already awkward tasting beer and makes it somewhat awkwardly childish in the finish. Strange mess of a beer and certainly not one you’d expect from what others like to call a "world-class brewery"...but it’s something I have fully come to expect when Stone tries anything belgian-influenced...It just doesn’t seem well thought out at all and certainly a "F-You" for all those that hype up the yearly epic releases, though, again..to me, it’s not much of a surprise...who comes up with these recipes anyway? really?

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
gorditoabd (624) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Bottle. Pours a fey golden hue with minimal fizzy, fast-fading white head. Aroma is practically null, except for maybe a hint of white grape. Taste is malt and hay, followed by a semi-sweet white wine turn, but it’s all wildly understated. A second sip reveals a touch more sweetness, but overall this brew is pretty bland. Hopefully, it’s just immature and needs to bottle age.

2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2010
Bomber, fairly fresh. Pours a crystal clear, standard golden color. A small, smooth, off-white head fades away quickly, leaving just a thin surface ring. There’s virtually no hard lacing to speak of. The aroma is very much like a Belgian tripel, based in blonde candy sugar and cereal grain malt, hinting at lemon, and showing a strong influence of spicy, floral yeast. Chamomile is distinct, though that is not the only herbal element. The sweet grape juice varietals, while not individually identifiable, lend even further sweetness to the tripel base. Flavors follow suit, showing a blend of candy sugar, sweet grain, and white grapes as the base. The grape elements aren’t particularly vinous, but rather, sweet and juicy, with a moderate, acidic edge. Floral spicing is ample and fresh, yet a bit overbearing for my tastes, chamomile leading the charge. Fruity Belgian yeast is unmistakable, sweet and doughy in nature. The palate sports abundant sugar content, coming across syrupy and rather lifeless. Bitter floral hops come out of nowhere to concentrate on the finish. As my reviews will show, I’m not a big tripel fan. This particular brew takes a boring, mundane, overly sweet style and pushes it even further into the realm of a hyper-spiced, doughy, candy-sweet tripel. Not my thing at all.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
17thfloor (2434) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 19, 2010
Bottle. Not much a fan of this. Smells almost like a Heineken. Flavor is too sweet, too much residual sweetness, not a fan of the super doughy yeast either, big grassy stinky hops, the grapes definitely seem to add a sour quality that is off-putting. Not for me.

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Papsoe (25079) - Lyserødovre, DENMARK - DEC 19, 2010
Bottle 65 cl. Courtesy of joergen. Pours hazy golden with a white head. Sweet fruits and yeast in the nose with a whiff of tartness. Medium-bodied, sweet fruit, fairly spicy with a distinct tart and yeasty edge. A very strange and inharmonious beer. 141210

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 7/20
SirLimpsalot (2399) - SWEDEN - JAN 12, 2011
Smell: Very diskreet but some citrus in there. Taste: Very fresh, spices, a bit strong on the alcohol. Belgian style shines through. A bit too much after a while

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
nick76 (4278) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 28, 2011
The aroma is very sour and yeasty with fruit and malted barley. The appearance is orange gold with a thin head. The taste is like the aroma with a sour corn finish. The palate is smooth but average. Overall not one of my favorites but then again I don’t really dig the sour beer thing. However it does get better as it warms.

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Benzai (9140) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - SEP 18, 2011
Draught at Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas during the three day Stone Event, 16-18 september 2011. Clear yellow color, average sized vast whie head. Smell a bit sour and also some berries. Taste some sourness as well. Average mouthfeel, medium body.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Koelschtrinker (11151) - Köln (Cologne), GERMANY - OCT 10, 2011
Süßer Kaufummiantrunk zu dem später Fruchtnoten hinzukommen. Minimale Säure, weiterhin, wenn nun auch geringer, Kaugummi. Zu süß, zu künstlich. 9/8/8/8//8

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
jrgratz (113) - New York, USA - JAN 31, 2013
Tap at Rattle n’ Hum. Pours a cloudy golden orange color with very little head. Scent is Belgian yeast with sweetness evident. Some grapes, light fruit on the nose. Taste is semi sour, oak, slight bitterness, light fruit. Flat. Drinkable.


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