Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
476 Reviews
Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic AleStone 10.10.10 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.

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Reviews: 476 | Ratings: 956
Photo of papabogen
1.74/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Who poured wine in my beer? I used to consider myself some what stone-fan boy still love their beer and was happy to get my hands on some lucky bastard a week or so ago but this was not for me. I did not find any enjoyment in drinking this brew. If I wasn't in college I would have not finished this and just poured it down the drain.

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Photo of CaseyR22
1.86/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Look- Apple cider with spotty lacing.

Smell- White wine, sugar.

Taste- Sour grapes, alcohol. Maybe there are some beer-like tastes somewhere way in the back there. As someone else mentioned here, it tastes like wine and a tripel mixed together. (Mostly wine though)

Mouth- Feels like a mouth full of rubbing alcohol and cactus needles.

O/A- I'm disappointed. I'm hoping the remaining 10.10.10 VE in my fridge will do something magical between now and 12/12/12. I really think this would have been better fresh though, when the carbonation was a little more mild and maybe there were some beerish qualities to it.

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Photo of Brew33
1.9/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was very excited to try this beer, the description had my mouth watering. Drank this out of my Duvel tulip.

The color is a rich gold. Slightly carbonated apple juice. The aroma is odd to say the least. floral, a TON of Chamomile. Reminds me of GLBC Grassroots in the nose. Very herbal. Slight yeast aroma. Odd. The taste is a good reflection of the aroma. Odd herbaceousness. Off flavors. The grapes don't really make too much of a case for themselves. Completely out of whack. What I can say is the base beer seems too be okay, the additives ruin it. The one thing that is interesting is that you can taste each element individually. The integration of flavors is awful. This is a hot mess. You can taste ethyl alcohol. This is not a good beer.

Avoid. No reason to drink this, especially at the price. I usually really love Stone's pricing but the VE series has been pretty pricey.

Update/Edit: I drain poured this beer. It was truly awful.

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Photo of bierguru
2/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A -
clear copper medium to high carbonation pours with a thick white head fades really quick

S -
muscat grape sweet malts

T -
muscat grape sour sweet spice huge malt very slight hop
flavors to me felt mushed together no order

M -
fairly bubbly light on the tongue dries the mouth of a lot

D -
very disapointed with this brew didnt like it at all

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Photo of Overlord
2.03/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a pale yellow gold. A few inches of white bubbling foam quickly died down to nothing. Just perhaps the barest rim of bubbles. Barely any carbonation. Frankly, the appearance that came to mind is malt liquor. I poured some out for the homies that couldn't be here.

Smells like grainy yeast, a wisp of sickly, rotting grapes, and ... ugh. Solvent alcohol?

This is one nasty tasting brew. Just a kitchen sink mess. After having the sublime 06/06/06 (one of the best "Belgian" non-wilds I can recall) this is such a let down. The grapes add nothing but a weird rotting green grape undercurrent. The yeast has an unpleasant ... twang ... buzzing ... horrid aftertaste ... to it. There's some spices (cloves) and some banana and earthy bittering character trying to get through, but they don't meld with the weird overpowering sweet yeast backbone. The folks who are saying they didn't detect any alcohol ... advocate please. It's like a cleaning solution.

Zero carbonation is a problem, but I don't know if it would help this beer much. Maybe it will be better in a few years.

I would have thought it was already implied, but I guess it should be stated more clearly: this hot mess of a beer is for people that want a hot mess of a beer.

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Photo of cdunlop
2.06/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

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.

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Photo of cjoc83
2.16/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden straw color with a fingers worth of soapy head that quickly dissipates and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell is grass, typical slightly funky belgian yeast, grape and a hint of spice. Smells more like wine than beer to me. Can't smell any hops.

Tastes like carbonated white wine. Not at all what I look for in a beer. There is some nice belgian yeast, but it is completely over-shadowed by the grapes. There is the faintest hint of some hop notes, but again, it is completely swept under the rug by the grapes.

Mouthfeel is prickly and over-carbonated, dry finish.

I can appreciate the craftsmanship of this brew, but the flavors just do no agree with me at all. It was a struggle to finish the bomber I purchased. Some people may love this type of beer, but I am certainly no one of them.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.2/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle.

Pours a clear, flat golden color with a clear bubbly head. Aroma of watery grape juice, lemon and chamomile tea. Flavor is horrendous. Flat, watery grape juice with a teaspoon of sugar steeped on a day old tea bag. Syrupy and flat with a tingly finish. Why me?

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Photo of bobhits
2.35/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

This is a hard beer to review as I like to try and think about the style. Sadly I'm not sure what to think about a german hopped, Belgium yeast, and grapes in a beer.

Golden, an ok amount of bubbles given what I think the style is, and after a quick hint of head it's all gone. The bubbles put on a show when swirled I guess. Pretty boring by just about any standard you go by. As beer goes golden and bubbles isn't great. For belgiums it's under carbonated. So, yeah it's not impressive at all.

The beer doesn't give off much aroma. Served in a Stone Vertical Epic glass so the glass is what stone wanted it served in I have to assume. It's a really faint white grape juice with yeast and alcohol. A light hint of spices. Some earthy wheat and yeast tones I've never had words to describe as they only exist in some wheat and Belgium beers.

The taste is dominated by the grapes. A very light bodied malt, a slight bitter hop finish, and then alcohol and more grapes to end. Earthy hop flavor. A touch spicy but rather mild compared to say their 07.

The mouth is clean but not really dry. The grapes linger and stick to the back of your mouth. The carbonation is pretty solid for the style and for drinking./

I'd have finished this bottle in 10 minutes if I wasn't reviewing it. I'm not a fan here, but it's extremely thirst quenching, not overly flavorful, and extremely easy to drink. The 9.5 is all but non existent here.

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Photo of ATPete
2.41/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle

Pours a honey/orange/yellow color, viscous with a small white head. Smells...old, like stale old, a note in aromatics that would normally lead me to believe this ale is past its prime, a buttery note and a pleasant sweetness accompany it. This beer is tough to review. The sweetness initially is enjoyable, waves of an awkward tartness as well as a 'stem' quality found in some wines. Not vinous, not sour, the grapes IMO clash with the yeast and the hops are (surprisingly) almost unnoticable. This isnt horrible until the aftertaste...very off putting. I dont care for it.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.45/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a cloudy gold color with pretty much no head. Head is just a handful of bubbles and leaves on lacing.

S- Smell is pretty odd. I can clearly pick up the grape smell, a bit of spice and yeast.

T- Again this one is following the nose pretty well. Almost a tart taste, a bit of pepper and then an odd combo of apples and grapes. This is almost wine like.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and carbonaion.

D- I really struggled to get this one down. I got another one waiting in the basement for the end of this vertical. Of all of them that I've had this is my least favorite. I can only hope it gets better, but I doubt it.

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Photo of BeerT3ch
2.49/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My favorite Micro Brewery is Stone overall. I'm satisfied with most their beers and really love some, but this is one that dislike. You need to have a really aquired taste for this one. It almost taste like a barley wine, stout and IPA rolled into one. Sounds interesting, but not this one. Sorry

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Photo of claspada
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy deep golden color with a small frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving minimal lacing, but both should be better but I blame the fruit additions and age.

Aromas begin quite vinous with white grapes and pears. Then I get the malt which is quite wheaty. "Other" aromas include some musty, earthy, herbal notes with some Belgian yeast phenols.

The tastes directly follow the nose beginning with white wine centric flavors includes white grapes, herbal/earthy dryness, slight oaky/woody flavors and some indiscernible light fruitiness. It's tart but far far from being a sour or being too acidic. As it warms the wheat malts and candy sweetness further emerges; the spicy phenolic yeast follows suit. I wish the flavors started and stayed with the vinous flavors because the Belgian yeast is not jiving with the fruit additions in my opinion; also I hate clove and spice flavors from strong Abbey yeasts.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a median carbonation. Finish is dryish but still a little too full bodied and thick; borderline syrupy. This would be better if it was much less alcohol in my opinion.

This is by far the worst of any of the vertical series I have tasted. Flavors just conflict and contrast with each other as this beer just doesn't hit any flavor aspect particularly well. To be honest the entire vertical series has underwhelmed in my opinion except for a couple "good" offerings (5, 6 and 9). I def do not understand the hype behind saving/trading for all of these to have the "epic vertical", who cares, drink the beer while it is still fresh as most people don't store their beer well enough to last 5-9 years anyway, but I digress... did I mention this beer was bad...

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Photo of DNICE555
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at Eli's. I noticed it was a Belgian Strong Ale and I almost didn't order it but I love stone. A 12oz pour of a pretty clear orange body with some remnants of head by the time it got to me. Smell that funky Belgian Yeast. Gross. Smells like a big girl sitting around me has a yeast infection. Tastes just like it smells. I get some nice spices and the faint hint of some hops but as with most Belgians the yeast funk is overwhelming and make me wanna throw the glass at the bar. This is about as drinkable as a cup of apple juice with grain alcohol poured in it.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.62/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of MufflnMan
2.63/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a wine glass. Light chardonnay color. Nose is sweet and flowery, can definitely smell the grapes in there. Taste follows the nose which I find cloyingly sweet. Mouthfeel was thin but drinkable. Wanted to like the merging of wine and beer but felt there was a clash between the two going on here.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Just wasn't what I was hoping for. I expected it to be a bit hoppier or something but it just wasn't my favorite brew. Kind of disappointing to me. I knew it was gonna be Belgian and thats fine but it just seemed weak to me. Not sure why but I wasn't able to come up with anything epic about it.

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Photo of brewtus
2.71/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear orangish with a small quick fading head

Smells like apple, don't get too much else.

Tastes like Carmel apple, weird. Slightly sour, slightly malty, missing the hops.

Overall I liked the idea of drinking this, really disappointed in the beer, I love Belgian IPAs but I don't get the IPA favors at all, no hops, no pine, only a little bit of citrus. To be fair this may have been a storage issue since I picked it off shelves in December of 2012. I hate rating a stone so low, but this didn't do it for me.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.73/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale, clear, bubbly, with a light half finger of head that produces no lacing.

Aroma is sweet, with a hint of caramel, grapes and tart citrus.

Taste is slightly malty, slightly tart and sour, with a bit of funk to it. Hops are spicy, with a touch of zesty citrus.

Feel is crisp, and light, though upper light in body. High effervescent carbonation.

Fair drink. It's unique and I will finish my pour, but it is not my bag..not even close. Shouldn't be a problem holding onto my bottle for a few years; we'll see what happens.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
2.73/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold. Head is weak and quickly dissipates to nothing.

Smells lightly malty and winey. Kind of like a wine with malt.

Taste is grapey sour, sauvignon/muscat with malt.

Body is light and carbonation is minimal, very flat mouthfeel.

This is beer trying to be a wine and it doesn't work. Tastes are all over the place with no integration.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.76/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this one up yesterday afternoon, and as I have been somewhat underwhelmed by the majority of these Vertical Epic efforts, I expected nothing different here. Pours a clear medium golden color, with a diminishing white head that is gone within moments. On the nose I get some Welch's white grape juice, some fruity Belgian esters and white pepper. On the palate, the wine grapes are noticeable, and help lift up an otherwise pedestrian tripel. Lightly hoppy, with a long, lingering bitter finish. Decent, and certainly drinkable, but nothing epic, whatsoever.

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Photo of SDtastentune
2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, I usually don't drink such beers so light tasting & smelling... I'm a hop head and this certainly is no IPA.

A - Poured golden and pure, not much head or lacing. See through & sorta fizzy.

S - Not much going on here ,kinda sweet/wine smell.

T - Light & Belgian/Heineken/german/ minimal after taste.

M - Medium to light & fizzy, easy drinking faint wine/vine thing going on.

D - Easy drinking, light, no problem finishing this one Pt. Kinda tasty but I know its designed to be aged to December 12 2012. Very aggressive Belgian style if you like that... Me I'm more of a hop head that requires some sort of "bite" or cringe. I respect its made from grapes and has a high alcohol volume (9.5%). Good "different" beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.81/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured 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.

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Photo of Tilley4
2.81/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my Chimay goblet and this ones looking cloudy and yeasty.. A pale golden with a surprisingly small head...

Lots of yeast present in the aromas... Also a super strong vinous aspect... Almost like a wine mixed with a Belgian... Slight spiciness perhaps but mostly lots of wine aromas.. Pretty disappointing....

Lots of vinousness present in the tastes as well... Almost overpowering actually... There is some yeastiness and spiciness as well but they definitely take a backseat to the grapes used here....

I wasn't crazy about this one.... Perhaps with some time it will blend together better but as of now it just didn't do it for me...

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.85/5  rDev -24%
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.

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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.75 out of 5 based on 956 ratings.
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