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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 625   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 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Second miss in a row for me and the Stone VE series. Pours clearish straw yellow with a medium white head, leaves decent lace. Smells not very good. Very metallic smelling with the standard bread and yeast of a belgian tripel. Grapes in there as well. Eh. Tastes bready and malty yeasty with big, sweet grape flavors. Grapes donít add much. Metallic sweetness. Eh. Mediumíish body, slick and coating, good carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
tjthresh (1867) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - OCT 16, 2010
Pours clear amber with a bit of soap bubble white head. Thereís quite a bit of grape character here, and I donít care for it. Its giving me a bit of a headache. Some Belgian yeast in the nose. Medium, oily body. Just to much like wine for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - OCT 27, 2010
Bomber from Samís, Durham. Very handsome pour, a deep burnished gold getting close to the copper end of the spectrum. Crisp carbonation, thinnish head, but that seems appropriate for the style. Digging the nose, which suggests a dry-hopped beer with some substantial candi malts and floral additions. The grapes are faintly present in the nose, and the subtlety is appreciated. Problem is, it tastes like a wreck. Muscat grapes clash mightily with the hops and flowers, rendered dank by the sweet malts. I sincerely hope that ageing does this beer some good, but I wonder.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
egajdzis (6075) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 7, 2010
Clear orange color with a small, white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of honey, citrus, grass, grapes, spicy phenols, and alcohol. Taste of strong grape, honey, citrus, tart grapes, light apple, and alcohol.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
ekstedt (6492) - GŲteborg, SWEDEN - DEC 15, 2010
Bottle (65 cl) from Systembolaget. Clear amber, tiny white head. Malty almond paste aroma with spices and grapes, and some alcohol. Medium bodied and a bit flat. Dry, a bit acidic, medium bitterness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 25, 2011

Date: November 12, 2010
Mode: Draft
Source: Taco Mac, The Fred
Appearance: clear orange, fine off white head
Aroma: sweet and spicy aroma, citrus aroma, candy sweetness
Flavor: sweet fruity flavor, lots of spicyness, touch of clove, light bitterness
Overall: all spice and no nice, boozy and spicy
Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 11/20
Rating: 2.9/5.0
Drinkability: 6/10
Score: ** /4

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
SimpsonsFan714 (3) - - DEC 10, 2012 does not count
Poured from 22 oz. bottle, in Stone Russian Imperial Stout snifter. This bottle has been aged at room temperature since it was purchased in early 2010. **Appearance**: Orange in color and cloudy. It has a few slow-rising bubbles. Not much of a head, and it disappeared quickly leaving no laces. **Nose**: Grapes, white wine and a slight vinegar briefly. Honey and citrus fruits like orange and tangerine. Maybe a tiny hint of pumpkin/yam. **Mouthfeel**: Thin and dry. Thereís some bite at at the end, which may be the carbonation. **Taste**: Spices and pumpkin/yam-like flavors. A lot of wine grapes (which taste similar to pumpkin/yam to me) and not much else. **Overall**: Definitely my least favorite so far. Itís not horrible, and I can tell that itís a well made beer, itís just not to my preferred style. I ended up dumping about a third of the bottle because I just wasnít interested in drinking it any more. **Room temp vs. cellar temp**: I aged this at room temperature and I didnít notice anything that would seem to be ill effects from the temp. I donít have a cellar-temp aged bottle to which to compare this one, so I canít say how it would have differed, but I see no reason to think it would be any different than this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
tcane7 (1670) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2012
Draft at Stone. Pours cloudy gold with thin white head. Boozy, honey, some nots of wine.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Huhzubendah (3443) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 12, 2013
Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing. The beer is golden hued with a thin white head. The aroma brings citrus, malt, light spice, oranges. The flavor offers candied oranges, malt, sweet, syrupy orange juice. Medium to light in body with fairly low carbonation. Ok.

   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 Iím not going to like this. Itís 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 doesnít 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 youíd expect from what others like to call a "world-class brewery"...but itís something I have fully come to expect when Stone tries anything belgian-influenced...It just doesnít 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, itís not much of a surprise...who comes up with these recipes anyway? really?

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