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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

939 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 939
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 22
Gots: 422 | FT: 20
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:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 10-02-2010

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 939 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up 22oz bomber at ABC Liquor in Ocean Beach for $8.99 and poured it into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: Pours a super clean golden straw like color with a thin head that dissipates instantly leaving small amounts of lace.

S: Strong yeast, spices, sweet dried fruit, grainy, slightly herbal and hoppy with some woody funkiness in there too.

T: Sweet and dry, malty and a little boozy; some bitter hop that is balanced perfectly with the chamomile that really comes through in the flavor. Overall a classic Stone ale with a unique take on a Belgian Strong Pale Ale that comes across tasting traditional at the same time, especially for a brewery located over 5,000 miles from Belgium.

M: Medium bodied but pretty thin at the same time - I really wish it had a little more to it or at least a bit more carbonation - this is definitely its weakest aspect.

D: Very drinkable, especially for the high ABV. I picked one up after work tonight and really wished I had another. A bit pricey at $8.99, but the high ABV makes it a little less painful.

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light creamy head fades quickly over hazy ale orange wheat color.

Nose of some farmhouse yeast, a slight dry funky musty aroma, with light grape smells and musty grapes, golden Belgian malts, sweetness, orange peel, saison like spices and malts, and a very light vanilla.

The taste is crisp, with Belgian golden saison or tripel like malts. Somewhat sweet malty flavor, little juicy fruits, orange peel, some light grape flavor with a musty grape especially. Semi dry farmhouse flavor with a touch of subtle chamomile, touch of vanilla, smooth and thick, lightly syrupy. Finishes a little drier, still little sweet, lingering orange peel and spices, a little bitter, light saison and lingering Belgian malts. The chamomile comes out quite a bit on the burps actually. A touch of warming booze.

The mouth is medium to lighter body with light warming booze and decent carbonation.

Drinkability is decent with a lingering bitterness and orange peel, semi sweet with a dry finish, and touch of warming booze.

Photo of scottyshades
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pale straw color with absolutely no head. Real disappointing...

S: Belgian yeast, esters, bubblegum, spearmint and cloves. No complexity at all, such a letdown compared to 09 VE

T: Same as above, no complexity to speak of. Metallic note to it as well. Not much else to say

MF/D: Thin feel, alcohol is well hidden. Belgian yeast finish

Notes: Real letdown, especially for almost $10 a bomber. 09 was sooo much better. Worst Stone offering to date...although it got a b-

Mobile Review

Photo of JamisonM
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: very clear rich golden color with a bright white head head did not stick around a bit of lacing

S: smells a bit like duvel with some grape smell in there a bit of a light flowery smell as well.

T: much more grapes in the taste then the smell. getting the yeast along with a zing from the grapes should be interesting to age.

M: med mouth med carbonation

D: not very drinkable for me the grapes bugged me.

Overall: interesting brew glad I tried it I am not going to want to drink another for a long time.

Photo of jwinship83
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a translucent golden orange colored body with a full finger of bright white head. the head lasts for a while before falling, and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i get from this is a strong floral aroma that is faintly perfumey. theres also some sweet pale malts and some grassy hops. the grapes its brewed with come through a little bit at the end.

T- this starts out with some light bready malts that are somewhat crackery. after that i get some white wine like notes. then comes some herbal and floral notes. a little bit of the alcohol comes through, but for the most part its very well hidden.

M- medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. there is also mild heat from the alcohol.

D- meh, this one isnt for me. ive been a fan of the previous vertical epics ive had, but i think they took a big step back with this one. of well, ill check back in on it in another couple of years.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with decent white head, a pretty beer for sure. Smell is largely spices from the yeast, a bit of light malt, some grapes in there, and some almost phenolic notes. The taste is similar, rich flavor with some nice BSPA base flavors underneath the grapes. The grapes don't add a wine-like character to the beer in my opinion, more of a honey/sweet/meady quality. Again, phenols are noted slightly. MF is pretty good, well-carbonated, pillowy. Not super smooth, however. Good drinkability, a bit hampered by the 9.5%. Overall, a good beer, my first experience with this series. Nothing mind-blowing, however. Bought it at a bar, which jacked up the price a bit, not worth it at the price I paid, and I would probably opt for something else if I had $11 to spend at my bottle shop.

Photo of kzoobrew
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours how any good belgian pale should, pale yellow-orange clear body. Plenty of of carbonation noted. Two finger boner white head recedes quickly leaving a slim cap atop. A decent amount of lacing left gripping the side of the glass.

Grapes and spice are prevalent in the nose, once again a bit more traditional belgian than I anticipated. The grapes up front transition to a heavy clove aroma. Just behind is set a bready cracker malt and a bit of pepper.

Just like all the VE beers before, 10.10.10 is designed to age until 12.12.12. I do have a bottle tucked away to open with my mini vertical (a vertical less epic?). Regardless of how long this is designed to age, this bottle is being opened now. As of 10.23.10, the flavor is a bit one dimensional. Grape juice opens up on the palate before transitioning immediately to a strong clove flavor. The back of the palate reveals a bit of a bready malt though the previous flavor slightly muddle things. I do have high hopes for this beer down the road but at this times the flavor is less than spectacular.

Medium bodied beer with appropriately moderate carbonation. The beer rolls across the tongue smoothly and is slightly creamy until the very end of the palate where the tingly carbonation finally hits. The sweet and strong yeast flavor dig in to make for a long finish.

Enjoyable beer though I feel the fresh verison will only be a shadow of what it will become. This beer has the attributes of one which can withstand some age. I will add on to this review and adjust as necessary as I sample in the future. As it sits now, the beer is enjoyable to a point but not something I would order multiple servings.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a light amber with a mild wispy white head. No lace, fair head retention.

S: Perfumy nose (Muscat?) with grapes and chamomile flowers, pungent, with hints of honeysuckle.

T: There is a Belgian yeasty estery upfront which is nice. After that the grapes really come out, particularly the Gewurztraminer which I'm a fan of since I love Alsatian whites. Lychee fruit is the classic flavour with some orange melon (cantaloupe) and Santa Claus melon. Quite an interesting flavour, very fruity but not too sweet, the hops come in on the back end and give a very drying effect.

M: Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated but frothy, quite smooth, fruity aftertaste.

D: I really like the French white wine grape introduction here. Gewurztraminer was upfront, the Muscat was also clear but not as dominant. The Sauvignon Blanc I'm still trying to find. But anyways, it's a fun beer to delve into, tasty for sure. A marriage of Northern French wine and Belgian beer, it makes perfect sense. It will be intriguing to see how this beer is in 2012; I really have no idea how it will age, but I'm looking forward to it.

December 2012 Edit - A markedly different beer here than fresh. This has gotten very flowery on the nose with the essence of Muscat. Still a bit too much sugar/cloying flavour; I'd like to age this a little bit longer. In the end I like what we have here, it's certainly more balanced than fresh, all the distinct flavours have integrated. The overt grape flavours have certainly died down.

Photo of Gmann
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear honey color with a very small and quick lived head that settles into a barely there ring. The aroma has a lovely belgian yeast phenol thing going on. Some nice clove, banana, light perfumey herb and sour fruitiness. The taste is of a clovey belgian yeast strain, candi sugar, a little earthy and spicy hop bitterness and a solid dose of the grapes. The grapes add a fruity yet sour/tart flavor. The grapes add a nice balance to the sweetness of the brew plus the yeasty phenols. I do pick up a perfumey note which I imagine is from the chamomile. The feel is fairly light with tingly carbonation; has a softness to it. Overall the brew drinks sweet but does have the sour grape balance to it. I think this is a very tasty brew, the 9.5abv is well hidden. The grapes add a tasty balance to the BSPA. Very solid belgian style beer; actually tastes like it was made in Belgium.

Photo of telecomz
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No head whatsoever.

Nose of Belgian yeast and white grape. There is a slight fruity chamomile aroma but fleeting and hard to discern.

Light malt and heavy on white grape. Much too sweet.

Thin mouthfeel and little carbonation.

Given the ABV they did a great job covering the alcohol. Not hot at all. I will age this for another year before I try the next one.

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass

I was pleasntly suprised by the complexity of this beer. Pours a nice straw blonde color with a with white foamy head. Aromas of wheat, rye with subtle notes of light citrus and herbs. The palate was loaded with complex layers of flavor. At first sip I found it to be loaded with sweet malt flavors with some subtle spice notes, but as it warmed up the fruity flavors from the wine grape juice really started to come through. I swear no 2 sips were alike.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Michael Shea's shaker pint glass.

The other main DocumentaryFest beer. It pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises ginger, coriander, rye bread, clove, banana, lemon zest, and Belgian yeast. The taste falls along very similar lines, with the addition of mandarin oranges and white grapes. The body is a light-ish medium, with a more-fizzy-than-light-but-less-so-than-light-moderate carbonation (that's right, baby) and a full, fluid feel (I really hope that makes sense to someone else). Overall, a rather tasty brew, one of my favorites of the Epic series.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this beer, my first of the Verticals.

This beer pours a clear orange with not much to say in the realm of head retention, but still a solid looking BSPA. The aroma is intriguing, mostly a melange of clove, orange, and some pepper covering what seems to be a base of sweet white grapes. The flavor is rather similar involving the white grapes, pepper and orange, but with an added element of sour oak and green apple to the mixture. In my humble opinion this beer is undercabonated, but not syrupy. It just seems flat to me. This is not a bad drinking beer once you can get past the oddity. It just seems that it was a hard task for me to achieve, since there is a serious amount of astringency here. It could use a touch of aging for the 2 years remaining on the Verticals. However this beer still remains a serious recommendation for you white wine drinkers out there.

Photo of d0ggnate
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours to my tulip glass a slightly hazy peachy amber, golden color with a thin layer of white head. This amply carbonated head layer fades in less than a minute or two, to just a patch in the middle of the glass.

Nose is at first whiff reminiscent of Belgian yeast and pale malt. Once more closely examined, I hint at some floral aromas, but not hop-like. I want to say there is some rye character in the nose, as well.

Taste at first description reminds me of a sweet Belgian pale. Almost too sweet. That same (nearly pesky) floral character is back and more strong here than in the nose. Desired malt characteristics are no where to be found, by me at least.

Mouthfeel is adequate, but the lingering taste is a bit distracting from this quality. Good carbonation hangs around throughout the tasting.

This is a tough one for drinkability. I'll comment on the series being geared for aging to a certain year. With that in mind, I would think this one could mature into something better than I tasted today. Having said that, I wouldn't think it will evolve into a masterpiece or even a favorite of mine, but only time will tell. I'll grab one or two more of these and stash them away. Probably won't drink another for some time to come.

Photo of Bendurgin
2.85/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this one into a tulip. The body is a light clear golden yellow with only a thin layer of head and an obscene amount of visible carbonation. Based on the description of this one, I had expected a bit more from the aroma, however, I can only faintly smell white grape juice, Belgian yeasts, grainy wheat aromas and a bit of bitter hops. On second thought, there really is a lot going on in this, but almost too much. The taste is dry and reminds me of white wine more than beer. I can certainly taste the grapes and it seems this is a little tart. The finish is kind of spicy and peppery. The mouthfeel is pretty intense actually, it's hot a prickly. The carbonation actually seems to be a bit much and the spiciness kind of dominates the pallet. Not my favorite offering from Stone. This beer is hot and kind of confusing.

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.62/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Bodega on 10/20/10.

A- Served in one of Bodega's 10oz glasses. These things never do much for head retention, appearance or aroma for beers. It came to me with barely any head at all, just some floating film of bubbles. It quickly dispersed and left me with a pretty flat looking beer with no lacing. The beer is a cloudy golden white.

S- Strange smell. White grapes are strong as is a Belgian tripel type of spice. Acidic, vinous and sharp grapes. A chalky, earthy, estery yeast aroma lies underneath.

T- Pretty bizarre, especially on the first few sips. Acidic, nearly tart, dry white grapes. The white wine characteristics are layered on top of a more traditional tripel style of flavors. Peppery spice, dry earthiness, apples and pears.

D- Ive never really thought any of the Vertical Epics have been stellar beers, this one if my least favorite of them all.

Photo of benyerd
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought 2 bottles and figured I would have one now and save the other for 12-12-12.

(A) Burnt orange in color, nice white head with mild head retention and mild carbonation. It left a slight lace along the glass. Best part about the appearance though was the clarity.

(S) Overall was lacking in the nose but still could pick up a semi-sweet aroma with hints or floral hops and almost came across as sour.

(T) Sweet, with hints of grapes and earthy undertones. Also picked up on the candi sugar. Think this will have more flavor in about 2 years.

(M) A little lighter then medium mouthfeel. I was actually expecting a little thicker but i think this fits this ale well.

(D) Decent drinkability overall. but with the higher ABV, and intense sweet flavor, might want to limit to 1 or 2.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

A: Golden body under a small white head. No lace, no retention.

S: Good dose of malt, some earthy yeast, bit of pine slightly herbal hop, vinous.

T: Malty, pine hop, sweet, hint of grape, mint, slight hint of apple, maybe some bubble gum (very faint hefe characteristic to me). Mild bitterness in an otherwise sweet finish. Alcohol slightly apparent.

M/D: Light bodied, carbonation is high. Drinkability is good. A good beer, which should do well with a little age.

Photo of jfmorey
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a stemware glass.

The bubbly head disappeared quickly. The color is on the yellow side of orange, clear.

The smell is tart and faintly spicy.

The taste is also crisp, pleasant but neither wine-like nor beer-like; somewhere in between. The mouthfeel is more like a wine, a bit light in spite of the carbonation. I expect more complexity in the style, and it is not as good as the others in the series that I have had.

Certainly above average, but I will have no problem keeping the second bottle purchased to find out how well it ages.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 2/1/2013
(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer pours a deep orange body with a wall of microbubbles and a thin cloud of snow white head swirling around. The second pour turned the beer very hazy.

S- The clean yeasty aroma had some mead qualities with a white grape hint and some triple hints in the yeast and sugar hints when it opened up.

T- This beer has a dry bitey white grape skin flavor with a dry finish and a tangy aftertaste. There is a fruit Muscat grape flavor that never grows as big as I would like but is present, and some floral yeast hints come through aswell. There is an odd tomato quality to the grape skins flavor that grows as it opens.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer comes together more as it opens up but the flavor is muted and never really becomes what I hoped. The Muscat grapes in a Triple sounds delicious and there are hints of greatness in there, but it remains a bit of an under achiever.

---
Drank 10/20/2010
(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer has a slightly hazy orange body with a sea of tiny bubbles swirling to the surface. There is a bubbly white head that last for a few sips and then fades to a thick ring of bubbles.
S- The white grapes and yeasty aroma has a soft phenolic spice to it. As the beer warms the grapes take on more of a white wine flavor that is very dry and more of the s. blanc grapes than the others. The wine tannins really dry out the aroma.
T- There is a tartness and pungent green hop flavor that turns more green grapefruit rind as it opens up. The dry finish has a light fruity hint and lots of white wine tannins but it is soon covered by fizz.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a big scrubbing fizz in the finish.
D- This beer is pretty clean if flavor and aroma and the fizz covers up more of it. There are some nice tripel qualities but the grapes really dry it out to much. I didn't get much from the Muscat and Gewurztraminer grapes but I have only tasted them in desert wines and candy so I was expecting them to be a bit sweeter. The tannin flavor makes it almost sulfury in the dryness. I will be interested to see how this one ages?

Photo of grittybrews
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured light gold with an orange tinge into a Duvel tulip with a thin slick of white head. Initial aroma of slightly funky and spicy Belgian yeast, with sweeter grape notes emerging and a hint of chamomile.

Slightly high carbonation and a light, dry mouthfeel. Sweet grape, banana, and malty honey up front followed by an abrupt shift to slightly bitter chamomile, spicy pepper, banana, and leather on the finish (which has just a bit of alcohol warmth).

I appreciate that despite the grape element, this beer doesn't come across too sweet. While I wouldn't exactly call it balanced, there are definitely lots of big flavors butting heads and it makes for a fun experience. I'll be interested to see how this brew develops over the next couple years.

01/2012 update: Mouthfeel was a little thin/flat, but the grape notes in the aroma and flavor were more dominant and the yeasty spice had faded somewhat. Quite a bit more balanced than I recalled.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very characterful Strong Pale but the flavor and aroma spread of the beer is a little bit of "everywhere at once".

A bright golden appearance brings only the slightest of haze. Abundance of carbonation brings a spritzy (almost fizzy) appearance to the beer that I am unaccustomed to, from Stone. Loosely knit bubbles are slight fit for foamstance but slight on retention or lacing.

High perfume/floral/fruity aromas give a spicy tickle to the nose. Peppery phenolics play nicely on the olfactories while a wet/raw-grain scent offers a slight detraction

Flavors of soft pilsner malt gives a cracker-like crispness to a light grainy-sweet taste. Bright fruits of green apples, pears, lemons, and appricots leap off of the malt base with a lot of freshness and assertiveness. Balance not only by the peppery phenols, but also by the earthy/lemony hops. Alcohol flavor causes an abrupt bitter/acetone taste that interrupts the taste after mid palate and heading toward the finish.

Expansive and airy, the initial sip seems to explode in the mouth. But the beer's heat and effervesence grows into fusal (hot) feel that dispells the dry, digestible nature of the beer form becomming appreciated.

A decent beer with some good attributes. But in true VE fashion, I hope this one ages well, but it doesn't fare as well young as did many other in the VE series.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a thin off-white head that retains OK. The aroma is impressively unique with a ton of white grape notes, along with some green apple and chamomile, a little honey and candi sugar, belgian yeast, wheat, a little funk and some alcohol...very unique and intriguing. The flavor has a winey edge upfront with white grape and green apple notes, along with some white pepper and chamomile, honey and candi sugar, funky yeast and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is a bit sharp, and drinkability is very good considering the ABV. A unique twist on a tripel, certainly out of the box but still very tasty.

Photo of sweemzander
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a clear golden orange color that produced a good white head that dissipated quickly to bubbles.

(S)- A floral tripel character. Chamomile obviously present with a lightly tart and sweet white grape in front of an earthy clay/lemon/banana profile.

(T)- Very similar to the smell only backwards. An earthy bite up front with lemon peel citrus. Some bitter floral aspects. Finishes with a lightly tart white grape flavor.

(M)- A good carbonation level to it. Fruity and mildly tart and sweet. Has a bizarre bitter floral kick to it that I am not sure I like, but it does keep it interesting.

(D)- An interesting take on the style for sure, but this either needs serious age time or something. I love Stone, but I am not sure how I feel about this one.

Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While I've always been intrigued by the Vertical Epic releases, and admire the creativity endowed in each, none of the releases so far have really hit it out of the park for me - until now - this 10/10/10 version is one impressive beer. Not sure that I can grasp all the brewing elements, but the grapes are clearly evident. Interestingly, they lend a fruityness without imparting a noticeable wine aspect. Lively without being fizzy and a nice bit of spicyness to the beer. There is a touch of a raw edge that I'm curious to see if a little age might smooth it down a bit. Normally, I put back one of each of these for the eventual vertical, but I think a few more of this year's edition will find a home in the cellar.

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.