1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic AleStone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

917 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 917
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 20
Gots: 419 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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.

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 10-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 917 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%

Bottle dispenses a hazy golden body with a medium sized ivory head that retains well before dropping into patch and sheet lacing.

Quite a unique aroma. Floral chamomile, fruity esters that impart a note of overripe pears, crushed white grapes, and an overall perfumey incense character.

Medium full body has a low medium carbonation. A bit syrupy at times.

Taste has white grapeskins, Belgian candy sugar, some wine acidity, oaky vanilla, charred fragrant wood, and herbal chamomile. Alcohol is hidden very well. Complex and enjoyable.

Certainly the most challenging of the VE series I can recall. Almost like drinking liquid incense. A good candidate for aging.

merlin48, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of RedChrome
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%

A clear medium golden colored brew. Half an inch of white froth faded rapidly. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles rising. Just a few spots of lace left on glass.

A strong combination of fruit and yeast scents dominate the nose. Fruit has a predominance towards grapes and finishes with a very faint scent of banana.

A bit of a sour taste to the initial mouthful. Grapes can definitely be detected and bring with them a bit of a crisp finish. Candi sugar also adds an intertwined sweetness to the full taste.

Feeling on the tongue is average for the style. Little carbonation tingles on all surfaces.

An average brew. Good to accompany light appetizers before a meal. A different take on the style works out to a interesting brew. Anyone curious in the combination of grape juice and brew should try it.

RedChrome, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of cdunlop
1.98/5  rDev -47.3%

Do not purchase this beer. Tastes like someone mixed white wine and a tripel together, shook it up, and bottled it. I couldn't even drink, the flavor was so bad.

I did not know what to expect, and was very let down. Overall I was very disappointed.

cdunlop, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Mitchster
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%

$8.99/22oz bottle. 9.5% ABV per the bottle. "Fermented with the legendary Ardennes strain of Belgian yeast, 10.10.10 is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (the bottle says a triple) brewed with pale malt, (Belgian amber candi sugar)and triticale (a cross of wheat and rye), hopped with German Perle hops, and steeped with (dried) chamomile (flowers) during the whirlpool stage. In secondary fermentation, we added a juice blend of Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties (from South Coast Winery)."

Pours out to a sparkingly clear dark golden with orange accents, forming a small white head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is a little on the mild side. The aroma is of a fine triple, with plenty of fruity esters (pineapple, banana) and spicy phenols. The chamomile addition is subtle in the nose, and I don't really pick up on the grape juice. Cleanly fermented. The grapes are subtle in the taste as well, adding a light body and a subtle perfumy flavor and tartness. The mouthfeel is slick, syrupy and lightly cloying. Finishes sweet with a mild bitterness.

I definitely get more beer flavor here than grape (wine) flavor. The yeast seems to add the most prominent flavor notes above all. This is an interesting well-made brew, but not something that stands out as unique as the ingredients would have me believe. I won't be buying another bottle of this, but as always, I like trying the Vertical Epic series from those master brewers over @ Stone.

Mitchster, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%

22oz bottle into AVBC snifter.

A: Pours a light golden wit orange highlights under about a finger of bright white head that quickly faded into a thin film that left a few streaks of soapy lace down the glass. I poured this beer pretty rough and I didn't yield nearly as large of a head as I would have expected for a BSPA.
S: Very vinous smelling with big notes of white grapes. The nose is also full of white pepper, light yeast and subtle vapors of alcohol.
T: Sweet notes of white wine, pepper and herbal earthy hops. Finish is sweet and pretty dry. Not really picking up the chamomile, but a lot more of the grainy "pale ale" flavors are coming through. Aftertaste is lightly bitter yet sweet at the same time. Alcohol has a presence.
M: Medium-full body with a viscous yet dry mouthfeel from the alcohol. Soft enough carbonation. This beer goes down smooth.
D: Perhaps the grapes dominate a little too much, but I actually really liked this beer. This one is a hard one to describe as it is fairly complex and well done. Much better than last year's vertical epic in my opinion.

scottfrie, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%

22oz bomber shared with a friend. Pours a clear yellow with a bone white head that doesn't retain very well. In the aroma, sweet and champagne like. This also pulls through in the taste, with grapes, belgian yeast and a kiss of hops. The finish is dry and clean. 10.10.10 hides its strength fairly well, but honestly I am looking forward to what this will do with some time in the cellar, as it was slightly hot. A decent beer as it is now, and one that should age gracefully.

Stinkypuss, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of sixerofelixir
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%

22 oz bottle.

Pours an ultra clear gold. The head soon recedes into a ring of microfoam. First smell is white wine (duh) and Belgian yeasts. Almost candy-like, or like a brut champagne. Taste is remarkably circular, with an oaked quality about it. The grassy quality of the Gewurztraminer really comes through. Feel is thick and viscous. Finishes sticky and oaky dry. Some bitter finishing hops on this wield it back into beer territory, but basically this is a wine beer. It tastes good tho, and is easy to drink.

sixerofelixir, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of scootny
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%

This is a nice follow up to last years sensational beer. A very clear honey amber with an off white head. Retention is so so and lacing is spotty as well but there is enough to look like a Belgian ale and thats good. Smell is pale malt and light grapes. Some Belgian Funk. A sweet sugary fruitiness and yeasty dough. Taste is like a good tripel with a very dry white wine finish. Good sweet malt front with an apple and grape fruitiness. Nice funkiness before the somewhat sharper than normal hops kick in to bitter it up a touch. Then the wine. The finish is long and dry with a tannic sourness blended with lightly citrused hoppiness. Feel is light and crisp with good carbonation to break up what is actually a relatively thick beer. Drinkability is excellent as the alcohol never flexes and the overall experience is refreshing and restorative. A super dinner beer and one I will be getting a few more bottles of.

scootny, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of bbeane
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%

A- Poured into a PALM snifter... Starts with a 2 finger thick pillowy head that leaves behind some lacing. Beer is light amber colored with a bit of sediment and activity

S- Very citrusy... orange peel, lemon zest, corriander, bit of belgian candied sugar on top of a mild bitter backbone

T- Nice. Sweet citrus flavor blends well with a mild hop bitterness very well. No booziness despite the 9.5% abv

M- Light bodied with light carbonation

D- Very tasty and easy to drink, though I'm a bit disappointed... especially for the price. Got an 090909 yet. Hopefully its better


bbeane, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%

Brilliant golden body, completely able to see through it, forms a bright off white head rising well above the rim of my La Fin du Monde chalice. Aroma has some nice earthy grape seed and tart hints of grape juice with the chammomile herbal grassiness to balance things out. If you focus on the tart vinous qualities these thing dries out much like a wine, with herbal and alcoholic edges swaying it back and forth. As it warms a bit the pineapple tropical fruit starts really kickin in the nose, a very nice effect if your patient and sip on this one. Very much a white wine experience going on here, with some buttery dryness finishing like a wine. These two worlds are unique when coming together but with all of the elements going on I'm not sure if harmony is ever found between them. Another element is the Belgian yeast strain producing some phenolic esters full of pineapple and mild citrus as well, definitely complex this is the type of beer that will impress your wine friends. Mouthfeel will weight on you this becomes a bear of a beer with 9.5% alcohol kicking nothing burns on the palate but I wouldn't say it's well hidden, definitely provides a warmth in your chest. The acidity level definitely reminds me of a wine versus a beer, overall drinkability wasn't as bad as the draft experience but I'm still on the fence of whether or not I could go for this beer again. I respect the creativitiy but sometimes the concept doesn't always work, you'll have to judge it for yourself.

WVbeergeek, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of YouSkeete
4.68/5  rDev +24.5%

A: opaque yellow/gold with an orange tint. Small white head, some lacing.

S: Belgian yeast upfront. Boozy citrus aroma, sweet malts and large handful of floral and herbal spices. White grapes and lemon zest take over the fruity characteristic.

T: Citrusy and tangy at first, as the taste rolls into a heavy fruit flavor with a bitter sweetness. Spices are more subtle than they were in the nose, which is a nice touch. Chamomile is clear and present, adds an amazing layer to this beer. Exceptionally malty. Aftertaste is extraordinary, boozy bittersweet finish.

M: Syrupy and milky. full body with medium carbonation.

D: Spectacular, in my opinion. One of the best Belgian ales I've had in a while.

YouSkeete, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours a hazed golden straw, cap of dense yet frothy white head, decent lacing. Scent is big on Belgian yeasts with underlying notes of tart and vinous fruit. Taste starts off with a strong yeasty profile and moves into a wine like presence very quickly. Medium bodied, slightly spritzy, dry finish. Interesting combination that doesn't do much wrong, but doesnt work fantastically together.

rfgetz, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of bum732
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%

S: Heavy belgian yeast spices, clove and cinnamon, even a slight smoky aspect, chamomile, herbal.

L: Slight hazy goldent yellow, not much head.

T: Sweet pilsner malt with a good belgian yeast flavor profile. Some vinious notes contribute to the sweetness. Wine slightly come through in the end. Solid pronounced bitterness leading to dryness. Winey sweetness without being sweet.

M: Medium-full bodied, slightly slick with medium to medium-high carbonation. Alcohol slightly present, warming.

An interesting beer. I didn't think the wines contributed too much, especially compared to Otter Creeks wine beer with was very vinous. Kind of messy and a little much, interesting but not sure i would try again.

bum732, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, light-golden hue with a bit of haze and a thin layer of white foam. Not bad, but not really all that exceptional.

Smell: light, malty aroma with subtle fruit characteristics. Pear and apple mingle with a light woodiness to create an interesting and appealing smell.

Taste: surprisingly dynamic and flavorful! Up front, the fruit hits you right away: especially the pear. As the sweetness subsides, a citrusy, nicely bitter finish pulls through and the beer reveals itself as remarkably balanced. I quite like it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation; this beer manages a good creaminess despite its lack of apparent effervescence.

Drinkability: I think this beer's particular flavor characteristics render it very drinkable indeed, especially for a beer of this ABV. A beer better than the sum of its parts.

flagmantho, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of kaitrin
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%

22oz. Bottle.

Smell: Right up front is strong belgian yeast with a dry but oaky white wine grape underneath, slight tangerine zest lays between the yeast and white wine grape. Alcohol is also very present on the nose.

Appearance: beautiful clear orange/gold/copper, pours with a one inch head, that dissipates quickly, to a slightly soapy head. The lacing is minimal to none, but the little that there is, is blotchy.

Taste: Initially, belgian yeast, followed by a strong oak flavor, a very alcohol forward chardonnay follows, with a back palate bitterness. the beer stays on the top palate, with very little lower palate feel. The finish is quick and very dry, with bitter aspects of an oaky chard, and the heat of alcohol comes last in the throat. I find there to be a residual oiliness, for mouthfeel.

kaitrin, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3/5  rDev -20.2%

A - One finger white head left no lacing on the sides. A cloudy, light golen color, pretty opaque. Solid looking.

S - Some light hops, strong belgian yeast, sour grapes. The chamomile is quite present.

T - Not a huge fan. Tastes a little sour, but more of a lactic sour than a good sour. Assuming it is kind of a grape sourness. A lot of camomile with some floral notes, and a big yeast presence.

M - Lighter bodied, decent carbonation bite.

D - Not particularly high on the drinkability scale. I am not a huge fan of this beer, sad as I was quite the fan of 09.09.09.

AgentZero, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of Gosox8787
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. Served slightly chilled and allowed to come to room temperature.

Appearance: Golden yellow in color and mostly clear. A little sediment forms at the bottom of my second pour. One finger white fizzy head that recedes pretty quickly.

Aroma: Some strong floral notes from the chamomile and the hops. A touch of sweetness detectable from the grapes in teh background. The hops and chamomile really overwhelm here though.

Taste: The first sip is all chamomile. Very floral, almost like scented soap. The hops also add to that but offer some nice bitterness. The grapes really shine more as I drink more. Nice white grape sweetness. The chamomile and hops keep it from being cloying. However, the chamomile really just plays too much of a role for my tastes and dominates the other notes.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light bodied with a slight dry finish.

Drinkability: I really thought that I wouldn't be able to finish the whole bottle after the first sip, but it got more drinkable as I went along. Even so, and with the alcohol really well hidden, I would still only call this average drinkability.

Overall, an interesting take on a belgian ale, but the chamomile really overpowered everything else for me. It became too floral and really overshadowed the grapes, which should have been the star. It really did drink smooth and I'm curious what aging will do to the balance of chamomile and grapes.

Gosox8787, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of thegodfather2701
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%

A-Pours golden with a fizzy, bright white head.

S-Lemon zest, Belgian yeast, white grape juice, musty, and somewhat metallic.

T-Belgian yeast really stands out, as well as white wine flavors, some mustiness, and a metallic flavor that for me was not pleasant. I could also detect some alcohol.

M-Seemed over carbonated.

D-Not that drinkable. I split a bomber with some friends and wouldn't care to drink more than my share due to the almost overwhelming metallic flavor.

Overall, this was a disappointing beer for me. I wouldn't drink it again.

thegodfather2701, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of lackenhauser
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%

A step or 2 darker then gloden. Sweet, honey like aroma with a mix of earthy yeast. Somewhat sweet, flowery flavors upfront. Almost a honey like quality to it. Mild spiciness. Lingering sticky sweetness. Could be a tad drier overall. Very smooth bodywise-I was expecting it to be a bit boozy. Dangerously drinkable. Might be a tad sweet in places overall but that really does not detract from the beer.

lackenhauser, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of hdofu
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%

Not sure what I expected with this one but it wasn't this, tastes good though Pours light honey color with an off white head. Smells grapish. Taste starts out grape and gets a malty finish that is pretty smooth. Its one that goes down very easily. I could sip on simillar beer all evening.

hdofu, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a hazy straw yellow, with just the thinnest cap of white head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma was (especially for Stone) surprisingly benign. A little grain, a bit of yeast, a touch of fruit and a trace of hops. Could Stone be discovering subtlety and balance? On the tongue, the wine/grape flavor hits the front while the grain and yeast coat the the back.

The body was very good, could have been a touch fuller though, for my preference. Drinkability was very good for a 10% brew, but one 22 at a time will be enough for me.

Overall, I liked this beer a lot better than the numerical score shows and perhaps if I try it on tap I'll adjust my score. This brew is certainly worth trying and may be one of the VE's worth saving a few of.

beertunes, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of Frosty80
4.43/5  rDev +17.8%

Color: pours golden straw. sits brilliantly clear liquid gold

Smell: Belgian yeast character. lots of fruit including white grapes and a little banana

Taste: the sharp, fermented grapes really come though strong. great Belgian yeast character. little chamomile of course. finish has a very light bitterness and dry yeast character. slight alcohol

Mouthfeel: heavy-light body with medium carbonation

Notes: very unique blend of the beer and wine worlds. suddenly Midas Touch isnt so unique

Frosty80, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +6.4%

22oz bottle.

Pours hazy gold with a half inch head of white. A solid skim coat and some minor lacing remain throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with clovey phenols, lemon pith, and tannic grapeskins. Pears, apple juice, and honey-drizzeled biscuits follow through.

On the light side of medium bodied with a crisp, slightly tacky mouthfeel.

Tart lemon with appleskins, clove, and juniper start the palate. A very wine-like vineousity follows through along with hints of honey, peppercorns, and pear juice.

Finishes with a slight lemony tartness, solid bitterness, and cracked grains.

I like the fact the Stone isn't playing it safe with the VE's and I think this one will come into it's own after a year or so in the cellar.

brewandbbq, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%

On-tap, served in an 8 oz wine glass

Pours a somewhat clear orange/bronze color with little to no head. Loads of bubbles forcing their way to the surface.

The nose is of white grapes, spice, herbs, flowers and even some pears. The bed of cracker-like pale malt allows all of these aromas to dance and play. The wine element seems to detract from this beer rather than enhance it.

Belgian spices are first and foremost with a hearty dose of biscuit/cracker-like malt. The fruits and flowery herbs come in through the middle before fading into a crisp, bitter, dry finish.

This guy has a light body and is highly carbonated, which works well with the style, but to me is a little too aggressive.

I found it to be drinkable considering the lighter nature of the beer as well as the pleasing fruity nature.

I honestly think the sample size was a little too small. I am looking forward to purchasing a bottle and taking my time with it at home. The 8oz glass at the bar didn't quite cut it for me.

ColForbinBC, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%

22oz bottle purchased somewhere local in MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" off-white head over the clear dusty golden brew. Head is promptly down to an uneven swirl, very leggy, with lasting lace. Aroma is spicy honey, with a crisp vinous tinge.

Taste follows the nose, with an almost syrupy sweet start, spicy fruitiness in the middle, and closes with a grape flavor that starts crisp but ends up lingering sweet, if that makes sense. Mouthfeel is soft, pretty smooth, and drinkability is alright. The grape that enticed in the nose just doesn't work for me in the taste. Maybe it'll meld together some over the next couple of years.

ppoitras, Nov 24, 2010
Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 917 ratings.