10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale
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958 Ratings
10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 10-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 958 |  Reviews: 476
Reviews by techfed87:
Photo of techfed87
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a well-rounded head. Color is mild yellow. Smell is a bit fruity, very belgian. I can always tell Belgian ales apart from other ales by the very distinctive smell that they give off. This one has it in abundance.

First sip is a mix of traditional belgian flavor qualities with something a bit more sugary in nature. Overall, the flavor is quite mellow and mouthfeel is overall very well contained.

Sadly, I did not wait until 12.12.12 to try this bottle; however, as I've found it to be quite enjoyable, chances are that I'll come to own another one very soon.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden with brillant clarity. The white head dissipates fairly quickly but never doesn't completely go away leaving a thin film on top along with a ring of soapy bubbles around the outside of the glass.

S: The aroma is of grape and pepper with a bit of a wine-like note. Some of the moderately-light peppery aroma is coming from the Gewurztraminer grapes along with the balacne from the Belgian yeast. The fruitiness of the yeast is there but it blends with the light fruit aromas of the wine grapes.

T: The grapes a really showcased in the flavor year there is still a good malt presence and some hops bitterness. There is a moderate amount of spice. The balance is slightly towards the bitter but there is a light amount of sweetness that seems to be grape derived. The finish is moderately dry with a wine-like aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with moderately-strong carbonation and a bit crisp on the palate.

O: There beer taste about the way I had imagined the blend of a white wine and Belgian Strong would taste. It's drinking pretty well now and can age for several more years to come.

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Photo of steelerguy
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden color, low carbonation, spare head with big bubbles...faded very rapidly leaving only light lace on top.

S - Spicy with Belgian phenols and a slight mustiness, almost like a farmhouse ale.

T - Clean light malt character, the spices come on strong but not overly so, floral hops with a smooth bitterness that finishes with some lemon at the end. This is a complex beer that is well balanced and I think could use a bit more aging to reach it's true potential. Regardless, I think it is quite excellent right now, and will only get better.

M - Nice and this like a Belgian pale should be, there is a definite warmth from the alcohol, a bit more carbonation would be nice to finish.

D - For being such a big beer, it is light bodied, complex but balanced, and quite smooth. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer sat in my cellar for a few months because I wasn't that sure I wanted to drink it. The information on the bottle just didn't sound that enticing. Finally tried it, and very glad that I did.
In a tulip glass the beer was a gold color with a small white head. Very still, little carbonation.
Very fruity aroma, tea in the background.
Great taste: cotton candy, grapes (very much so), tea. On the tart side.
I liked how it progressed from sweet to tart in my mouth.
Would buy this again.

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Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of andyfrancis
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cloudy, pale color, almost white head settling and lacing nicely.

Smells like a funky, strong belgian. Hints of tart fruit, wet paper towel, faint spice.

Mild up front, then a blast of spice and clove followed by an astringent winey finish. The added grape juice really comes through at the end and lingers in the aftertaste.

If I had to guess the abv, I probably wouldn't have said quite as high as 9.5%, but I can believe it.

It's not terrible, but unless you've een making a tradition of trying every year, I wouldn't go out of your way for it.

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Photo of warnerry
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy golden brown with very little head and no pacing to speak of. Some sediment in the glass.

S - White grape aroma with big floral chamomile notes. Some lemon and Belgian yeast, with a faint funk.

T - Starts with a bit of tart grape, followed by chamomile, lemon, Belgian yeast that adds a slight funk, and some faint sweet notes.

M - Medium mouthfeel is pretty crisp and finishes with a nice earthy funk.

O - Definitely not something I would want every day, but I enjoyed this more than I thought I might after reading the description. The taste didn't live up to the aroma, however.

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Photo of Britton
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Twifiter
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Jason
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle with a vintage date on the label.

LOOK: Bright golden and clear, crackling froth leaves a decent lacing.

SMELL: Vinous, musk, bready, estery, earthy, tart fruit, mint, faint phenols, grape skin

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, warming esters, grape skin tannin, biscuity grain, spicy, sleepy time, walnuts, kiwi, star fruit, tart, herbal hop, mildly bitter, peppery

Complex is the least I can say. Deft hand with the grapes in this brew and a big brew at that. A solid VE, hoping to run into this one again.

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Photo of merlin48
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, $7.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

Pours slightly hazed medium ginger infused golden, delicate, off white and fine head, no big development nor retention, goes quickly to a minor collar, film and fine and again minor bits of lace.

On the nose, I'm picking up notes of tea, mint, earth, cloves and slight coriander.

Interesting and different to say the least. More mint, more tea, some ginger and yet even more strange spice.

First few sips I was wondering what the heck was going on with this one, after a few more I was seeing the light and enjoying this more and more. Getting some light wood notes as well as some wine like characteristics.

Complex, flavorful, interesting and intriguing. A must try for Belgian lovers, a must put away a few bottles for a few years for fans of Stone and their magical mystery vertical tour...

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Photo of codysjb
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Hoops4life511
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table in Dallas.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is a nice mix of white wine grapes, Belgian yeast, biscuit malt and a lot of sugary sweetness. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of notes that remind me of a tripel - candy sugar, citrus, biscuit malt and alcohol - along with a lot of white wine notes. There is a strong grape presence to the flavor which is expected in this beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of mikejonze
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Swedes21
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 2 finger head, head was white and fluffy, some decent lacing, golden ale colour, very hazy, some good carbonation levels.

Smell - banana, cloves, earthy tones, faint caramel and lemon zest.

taste - interesting, found there to be some banana, cloves, dry taste coming from metallic nodes, slight bitterness from the lemon zest.

mouthfeel - added carbonation makes the beer a little more dry and brings fwd the metallic nodes again.

drinkability - good beer shared with SpinRSX! He man'd up and decided to share this beer with me, thanks! Would stock again, wouldnt go hunting it down.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale (opened 17 March 2013), opens to a sweet Belgian nose, full of the typical banana and clove notes, but with additional layers of sweet flowers (think rose petal), honeysuckle, white pepper, rye bread, caramel, and an assortment of fruit esters, including orange, apricot, berry, cherry, and even a touch of pineapple. The sugars in here are very pronounced, the cherry and berry mixing especially well with the banana, forming hard candy aromas. Grains add an additional base layer of floury baguette, toast crust, and biscuit. Hops add a touch of lemon and sweet pink grapefruit, as well as a smidgen of pine. As a whole, the nose is excellent, full of flowers and sweet sugars, with just enough of a countering peppery bread and piney hop layer to keep the beer from being cloying. The result is a delicate, but surprisingly potent aroma that takes the natural Belgian notes and amplifies and catalyzes them into a delicious mélange that begs to be sipped.

On the tongue, the beer opens with, again the typical Belgian banana and clove notes, just a touch sour, but quickly adds to these a lovely layer of sugars, including orange, berry, cherry, and apricot fruit esters, as well as honeysuckle, candi sugar, and wildflower honey. There's also a strong touch of white grape juice and red grape skins, which add to the slight sourness. The grains bring in touches of white pepper and rye bread (from the triticale, I’d guess), as well as floury baguette, toast crust, and biscuit. Hops bring in a bit of lemon and sweet pink grapefruit, as well as pine. The profile is mainly geared toward the sweet end of the scale, but there’s a surprisingly strong peppery note in here that mixes well with everything, mingling nicely with the cloves and breads. The 9.5% ABV is very nicely masked, and it says much of the beer that subsequent sips do little to change the overall flavor. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main flavors, with a little more sourness and piney, lemony hops, and lingers on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, even after over two years of bottle aging.

Overall, this is a very nice beer, and a worthy addition to Stone’s Epic series, taking what would be, by itself, a very nice Belgian and ramping it up with a series of very nicely blended and well-balanced flavors. This is a beer that would find a welcome reception as an annual release, and, if you can find it, is well worth trying.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, straw color. Two-ginger white head is pretty puffy with slight retention and lacing.

Smells bready, yeasty, with some spice, citrus and banana.

The taste follows the aroma, delivering the common characteristics of the style. Reminiscent of Piraat, but slightly more mellow and creamy, a tad more rock candy stickiness, the alcohol buried slightly more.

Though the typical flavors are there, it seems to lack some complexity of other Belgian Pales. It was over-chilled by the carryout, but even upon warming, it seemed that the yeasty sweetness dominated other aspects of the profile.

Maybe it will work well in the 11 beer Vertical tasting progression, but is far from sensational on it's own.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber pulled from the fridge and allowed to warm up for roughly a half hour before opening. poured into a bulb style glass.

pours out a hazy golden orange color with about a one finger of soapy white head that faded to pretty much nothing within 5 minutes or so. poor retention and pretty much no lace. very beautiful looking color to the body of the beer however.

in the aroma there is bubblegum, flouride, and a bit of spice from the yeast, solvent alcohol, lots of crisp fruit, grapes primarily with bits of apple, and hints of pale malt and candied sugars. as the beer warms, the aroma becomes a little more focused towards alcohol.

lots of belgian flavors mingling with fruity grape flavors. very vinious and that seems to come out more as it warms and the carbonation dwindles. bubblegum, flouride like belgian yeast. crisp apple, pear, and lots of white grapes. pale malts, just a bit of alcohol noticable with a warming, slightly sweet wine like finish. light spice.

heavy bodied with ample carbonation at first that settles out towards the end of the glass. as far as mouthfeel goes, it feels like an authentic belgian. a very dry finish, most likely from the grape juice.

one glass would prolly be enough, but i didnt have too much of a problem finishing the bottle.

overall, out of the 3 epics ive had including this one, id have to say this is my least favorite. but like the last 3, i do have a second bottle to age and im interested to see how that goes. if your not into trying every one of them and aging them, i wouldnt suggest this one.

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Photo of sourdog
4/5  rDev +6.4%

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

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pour a Belgium gold with a fluffy white capped head that is way to quick to dissipate.

S: Belgium spice and floral notes. Fresh fruit and clove.

T: Wow, this one is great. Fresh fruit, grapes, grapefruit, a light European hop tinge, spiciness from the yeast, complete Belgium inspired goodness. This brew is very earthy, and almost drinks like a strong, pail Saison. Complex, tasty, earthy.

Mf: Mouthfeel is good, but not as full as a good Belgium...almost here though, smooth and carbonation is excellent.

D: Above average drinkability. I feel good drinking this at this time of night, but I definitely will sleep well.

Overall, what a good take on a Belgium style. Glad to age this out. Thanks Stone!

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Photo of ryser2k
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

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10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 958 ratings