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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 618   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Ernest (6746) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 26, 2010
Bottle. Head is initially small, frothy/fizzy, white, mostly diminishing. Body is medium yellow. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain), lightly hoppy (flowers), lightly to moderately yeasty (basement), with a strong note of lavender, other notes of gum, pepper, lemon zest. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter, slightly unclean. Medium body, watery/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic. I have two major gripes with this: first, the addition of flowers is overdone, and second, the fruit juice sourness is unpleasant (as if there’s a big squeeze of grapefruit juice in every glass). This is one of those cases where "throwing too much stuff" into the pot ruined the beer. Without the lavender or chamomile or whatever, and presumably without the grape juice, this might have been a pretty decent beer...mentally erasing those aspects is hard to do, but what remains at least ^seems^ like it would have been quite solid. Oh well.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
argo0 (12284) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 10, 2010
22oz bottle. Small off-white head atop clear apple juice body. Aroma is moderately sweet, Belgian yeast/dusky/spicy, cotton candy/bubblegum, some grape, faint ethanol. Taste is moderately sweet, vinous/grape, spicy, cotton candy, some alcohol, alcohol astringency. Medium body, some stickiness.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
StinkBall (157) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 16, 2010
Lots of banana esters. Aroma is subtle and disappears quickly. Nice bitter hop finish. Pretty dry and drinkable. Ok but not great

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
Beerman6686 (5381) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 15, 2011
This poured a cloudy dark yellow with a white head. Aroma was of belgian candy sugar, yeast, and perfume/potpouri. Flavor was very over the top sweet, lots of candy and perfumey notes and just hard to finish a whole bottle. Definitely the worst of all the ones i’ve had.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - APR 13, 2011
oured into a tulip. Reviewed from notes. Pours golden with a bit of haze. Slight white head and a moderate amount of lacing. The initial nose is quite weird. Some strange spicing and a bit of grape and mild fruits. The taste is a bit of an improvement, but as of right now this thing is really just a mess. The spicing, grapes, and base beer really don’t go together very well. Feel is a bit spicy. Hopefully this mellows out over the next two years, as this is not the best addition to the series, especially after a really nice offering in 09.09.09. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 11-03-2010

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 27, 2012
In short: A lifeless fruity/juicy and floral/scented golden ale. Very boring
How: Bottle 22oz. Consumed almost exactly one year after the beer release
The look: Clear golden body topped by a quickly dissipating head
In long: Nose of cereals, wild flowers, stale water and a mixture of pineapples and apricot juice. Taste is grainy cereals, cooking oil, apricots juice, flower petals, camomile, breakfast grape juice, breakfast apple juice, sparse carbonation, lifeless mouthfeel. Thankfully not very powerful flavour-wise. What a boring beer this was, what a letdown coming from Stone. I did not finish my bomber, something that rarely happens with a Stone bomber. A beer to celebrate the date 10-10-10, a date that only happens once in a lifetime, but then again every dates happen only once in a lifetime, this is how time works people.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
DYCSoccer17 (3498) - Woodland, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
12 ounce sample on tap at The Davis Graduate. Aroma is estery with bananas, cloves, and sweet hints. Very Belgian, and not much else going on in the nose. Transparent golden-copper body with a small, off-white head. Starts estery with bananas and clove yeast flavors. Becomes herbal, lightly tart, and astringent in the middle. Finishes floral and herbal. Not enjoyable at all.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
Savvy1982 (1705) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 31, 2012
Bottle at home, from my Minneapolis Town Hall glass. Pours clear golden, with a light pinkish hue. Thin white head, poor lacing to none. Nose is apple juice, very light tea, maybe some straw/hay. Flavours of chamomile, apple juice, some pears or something deep down, but overall this one is dead simple. Maybe this was better fresh, but isn’t the point of a vertical tasting to see how a beer changes with time? A real disappointment.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
raphael (1022) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 7, 2010
There’s that chemically, Belgian/malt liquor smell. powdered sugar, something spicy ala cardamon. flavor starts with sweet but quickly gets toward the sour, yes like wine, and chamomile—the parts don’t quite come together. fruity aromas in my mouth. hearty yellow color with a tinge of green but the head’s barely there.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
Braudog (6024) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - NOV 25, 2010
Bottle. Poured exceptionally light with virtually no foam. The aroma is incredibly sweet. Right from the first sip, my overall impression of this is summed up in this: In a blind taste, I’d say this was a dry German white wine. Think they overemphasized that aspect of this beer. The first VE and probably Stone offering of any kind in which I’ve been disappointed. (#4021, Thanksgiving 2010)

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