Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic AleStone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

932 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 932
Reviews: 471
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 21
Gots: 421 | FT: 18
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
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Ratings: 932 | Reviews: 471 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
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
4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
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
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
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
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
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
2.6/5  rDev -30.9%
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
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
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
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
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
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
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
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
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
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass a burnt orange tinged medium golden witha fluffy one finger white head atop that left no trace of lace behind as it settled.White grape aromas along with a bit of funk,and sweetish alcohol.The mouthfeel is a bit sharp in the back end,prickly going down.Again big white grape juice (not wine) flavors up front with a some residual toastiness,the funk is subdued,a ginger and clove flavor becomes more noticeable as I drink more.Its pretty good,I guess I might like it more but Iam not a huge fan of the style,still not a bad beer for the new VE.

Photo of mjaskula
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle for now and a bottle for 12.12.12, as I expect many did. Served in a tulip glass. The beer pours crystal clear golden with a bit of an orange hue. The head was moderately thick, white and soda like. The head falls and disappears completely leaving no lacing.

The aroma is very wine like, with strong grape and a floral hops and alcohol. Flavor is fairly complex and dry. The grape and alcohol flavors are mild, but present. Floral hops are still there too. The belgian yeast shows itself more as the beer warms and fits in nicer than I expected it to. Mouthfeel is dry and carbonation is moderate.

This feels to me like Stone trying play the Dogfish game. Overall I think they pulled it off. I wonder how this will change over the next two years.

Photo of abecall98
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoying this freshly purchased bomber with Little Luna.

A - pours a pale orange, with a nice offwhite head. The head is rather small, and the lacing is rather weak, but the beer looks clear and crisp, like a nice belgain pale ale.

S - Very sweet, like a glass of freshly peeled white grapes. A slight malt and alcohol noticed in the end of the wiff.

T - Rather good, the grapes take control of this beer from beginning to end though. As I coat my mouth, a slight hint of yeastiness is present. No noticeable hoppiness, and only a slight malt flavor at the end. This beer taste is very familiar to the nose, so what you smell is what you taste in a sense. The alcohol is very noticeable in the finish. Could use some age.

M - Carbonation is low for the style. Most Belgian styles I am used to have overcarbonation, and this beers lack of bubbles is completely noticeable right after the first taste. The flavor is very pleasing, and the beer is about even for wet mouthfeel with a dry finish. Wierd in that sense, but during the taste, the grape flavor is somewhat sticky in the mouth, but after you finish the drink, your left with a slight dryness. I haven't had much beers like this before.

D - This beer is not offputting with regards to flavor. Though, the heat could be toned down slightly, I found this beer to be relatively drinkable for it's given abv.

O - one of the better of the Stone Vertical Epics IMO, but could have been better. I will have to see how a couple of bottles will age, and if the heat can mellow out, I am sure we could see an A rating for this beer.

Photo of bonkers
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bomber into a snifter. It pours hazy straw yellow with a light, wispy 1 inch head. The aroma is sweet grapes, very vinous. The beer is very sweet and dominated by vinous characteristics, finishes crisp. The beer is light bodied, well carbonated, no hint of its high abv. It is an easy drinked, most wine drinkers would like it. Not the beer for me, if I want white wine I would buy white wine.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass

Poured a light yellow straw color with a small, white head. Had a little sediment in it which made for some cloudiness.

Smelled sweet and alcoholic. You can catch the hints of grapes and wine.

Tastes just like it smells. Has that wisp of wine grapes but not the immediate sour hit of wine. It's got a great combination of additives and the Belgian Triple. The major sweetness and heavy alcohol caused by the candi and fermentable sugars is offset by the chamomile and grapes and it evens out to a great tasting brew.

The mouthfeel is still a bit tart and the alcohol and carbonation plays a role here. It nips a little but its pretty smooth for a triple.

I could easily drink this all night long but would end up on the floor with the 9.5%. I have a wine tasting party coming up and I'm thinking about bringing along a bottle of the 10.10.10 to show the winos how we can do it in beer country.

Photo of Westsidebuddha
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Whole Foods Pasadena-Arroyo Pkwy,Calif.

Poured a light yellow color into Steinlager glass. Small 1/4" head with carbonation. The smell of grapes and Belgian ale is the first thing I noticed. The taste of grapes is noticable. Mouthfeel is good with a slighty dry back end. Good drinkability that it's not as strong tasting as I thought it would be. Okay, a couple of glasses in, I'm starting to feel the abv. Another good Epic.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife picked up a bottle of this for me.

Appearance- dark golden color, head dissipates quickly

Smell- wine grapes, spice

Taste- grapes, very interesting flavor

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, high carbonation

Drinkability- very good, I liked it a lot

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 932 ratings.