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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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very good
477 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: 477 | Ratings: 956
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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Photo of Schmittymack
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into trusy shaker glass. Pourd an orangeish color with very little head and no lacing. Aromas of malt and citrus; taste was banana and clove with no hop bitterness whatsover. I'm glad I'm not doing the whole veritical as this one is quite depressing.

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Photo of psycle
2.89/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is like a golden orange and not much head at all. Smells a bit fruity like the wine grapes they used for this brew. Tastes pretty much the way it smells. Perhaps a little too sweet. Also a spicy character on the finish. Thin mouthfeel with less than average carbonation.

An interesting beer but I would definitely wait til 2012 to try again. Hopefully this will get better with age.

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Photo of jsh420
2.92/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours cloudy golden orange (lots of sediment) 1 finger fizzy white head that left no lacing

smell - i get those grapes and then i get the earthy spicy yeast notes

taste - again the grapes hit my tongue first followed by the yeast with a finish/aftertaste of cereal grains

mouthfeel - not what i was expecting and i am not a fan - it was very juice like with a little bet of carbonation

overall - was not a big fan of the flavor and was not a fan of the mouthfeel - yet another stone beer back to back where i could not finish my half of the bomber

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear gold with a pristine white head that is quick to fade. Smells like ginger ale that's been sitting out for awhile. Tastes pretty much the same. As it warms I get some white grape and golden pear.

We did a blind VE tasting and so didn't know what ingredients where put in to any of the beers. Odd that chamomile, triticale, and grapes comes across as ginger ale after 3 years.

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Photo of SawDog505
2.96/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into 13 oz tulip. Pours a yellow orange, with a half inch of tiny white head, doesn't hang around long. Smel is musty, banana, and clove. Taste is all that with some powerful grape in the finish. The body is OK, enough carbonation, and very easy to drink for the abv. Really wish it was better, picked up three bottles for my daughter's due date last year, today is her birthday. Still not my bag after a year.

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Photo of telecomz
3/5  rDev -20%
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.

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Photo of d0ggnate
3/5  rDev -20%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tulip glass.

A: Pours an opaque straw color with a little fizzy white head which almost completely disappears pretty quickly. No retention or lacing to speak of.

S: White wine layered over chamomile, orange, and pale malt. Something in the savory-ness of the wine clashes with the malt, and isn't quite working. There's almost a ketchup flavor here. Yep, it's ketchup.

T: Floral notes dominate at first, transitioning into some malt, with the grapes lending mouthwatering acidity at the end. The long finish features malt again. Pretty dry.

M: The grapes lend body to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body and medium-light carbonation.

O: Once I got the smell of ketchup, it was hard to let it go. It tasted fine, and was otherwise a pretty interesting interpretation.

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Photo of aranheaney
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Here it goes review #100-

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber that has been cellared since October 2010 into a 3 Heads Brewing pint glass, wanted to do something big and noteworthy for this one...

A-Hazy honey orange with a bit of head and no lace

S-apricots, sweetness and a hint of wine

T-super sweet, almost like grape juice or wicked sweet wine

M-carbonated well, not much else to say

O-first stone product that has not delivered, can I get a mulligan for #100?

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a clear orange with a head that dissipates almost instantly. Zero lacing. Strong aroma of spices. This beer smells a lot like wine. Floral aromas as well. Taste is more of that wine flavor. Also a lot of spices and floral flavors. I know the Vertical Epic Series is made for aging so I hope this one tastes better with some age on it because right now it's a flowery, winey mess. If you buy 1 throw it in the cellar because fresh is not worth your time.

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Photo of harrymel
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to NB globe during tasting of 06-10 VE's.

A: golden apple juice ale. Little head production. Evident carb from the base.

S: Grape and grain. Light hints of chamomile as it warms. Otherwise the entirety is accented by the belgian yeast.

T: Grapes, belgian yeast. Too much fruit for me in this one. Maybe tone down in a year or two.

M: High carbonation, light body for this kind of ABV. Dries the mouth.

D: Too sweet at this time. One and done for me on this one.

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Photo of Bfarr
3.04/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright orange witha very thin white foam with no retention or lacing. Spicy Belgian sweetness and some grape aroma. Salty Chamomile up front settles to Belgian yeast and sweetness with a dry, lightly alcoholic finish. A nice vinous linger. There is a certain balance between the trippel and vinous flavors. A lightly effervescent and somewhat thin feel.

It pains me to say it, but this is a sorely diasppointing brew. Unique for sure and certainly nothing to avoid, I think it was done for novelty purposes. Granted it states it is brewed to be cellared for over 2 years but if it's not hugely interesting now it's hard to buy more. First of all, I think the chamomile was completely unnecessary. Mostly because it comes through before the grapes do and continues to overshadow them most of the time. And that's another thing, the pretentiousness of using 3 different grapes seems overkill. Perhaps with time in a cellar, the chamomile will mellow and the grapes will have time to come to maturity. On the plus side, it was strong enough to make watching Prince of Persia a slightly enjoyable esperience (that's pretty strong!).

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Photo of 100floods
3.04/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy pale yellow. Wonderful, classic belgian yeast aromas. I'm thinking green apples and something else. Interesting flavors. I taste the familiarities of a belgian pale ale. but the after taste reminds me of something sour and grain, not in a good way. This flavors stays in my mouth and ruins the experience. It almost taste like sour dark fruit. It makes my taste buds think that whatever is being left, I'm not supposed to taste. It kinda reminds me of a bad white wine (definitely hints of grapes in the mix, not my thing). Did I get a bad bottle? Perhaps if there was more carbonation this beer could be saved. The finish to this beer is what really throws me off. I was not expecting this.... Upon reading this 'liner notes' to this beer some of my notions weren't too far fetched. This just seems like an odd blend to put in a beer.

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Photo of Spider889
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Bodega.

After all the hype, the speculation threads, the iso threads, and complaints that some can't find this beer in their local store, I was very disappointed. Though the moment I heard they were using white wine grapes I suspected the flavor wasn't going to be all that impressive. There's just simply too much going on in this beer and none of it seems to impact the flavor enough to make that particular ingredient necessary.

Nice golden orange color, slightly hazy. Thin, small head of white bubbles that didn't wait around for long.

Smelled sweet and of Belgian yeast. Golden raisins and tart apples.

The flavor was similar to the smell. The grapes had a very sour/greenness to them. Slightly sweet, mostly tart. Not nearly as complex as I was hoping, and I got none of the chamomile (which I was looking forward to). A little hot and a sipper for that reason. Not really hoppy at all despite the style category.

Super carbonated and very dry. I found this to not be very drinkable. I'd be curious to try this with some age on it since it's supposedly meant to age well. Though so far I don't see it getting much better any time soon.

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Photo of mattsdenney
3.09/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber gold color w/ thin head that dissipates quickly. No lacing or retention.

Smell: Strong grape smell w/ a light whiff of licorice and fruit.

Taste: Sweet muscadine flavor with a touch of malty rye. Light hops and lingering taste of white wine.

Mouthfeel: Light, bubbly, and dry (like wine I suppose).

Drinkability: I don't prefer sweet wine so it stands to reason that I wouldn't prefer beer with the same characteristic. That being said, this beer is complex and flavorful. Would be interested to taste after it was cellared for a few years.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden yellow with a billowy head.

Smells of chamomile, candied malts,

The first few sips are amazing. Wine notes, grapes, floral, excellent beer.

but then... dry chalky aftertaste leads to the beer just falling apart.

Too bad, this beer started off strong and fell apart into something you wouldnt want to drink very much of at all.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this despite the negative press that it's got.

Pouring a clear, golden orange, this is almost like a Dortmunder. There's a thin, white head that falls off quite fast, leaving no real lacing. Decent

The nose is interesting. Right off the bat, the grapes are apparent, along with some spice and alcohol. There's a little clove, some ginger, and a malt sweetness isn't particularly noticeable apart from some sugar that's present. I'm torn on this, it isn't particularly attractive, but it isn't repulsive either. Overly simple while having a moderately noticeable yeasty spiciness, this is decent.

The palate opens with a little grape juice, alcohol and c love. This really is pushing the boundaries, it almost is some hybrid between a mixed drink with cheap vodka and malt liquor. As harsh as that might sound, this beer isn't terrible. Again, a little ginger appears, on the mid-palate. The grapes are definitely noticeable, both early on and on the finish, with a moderate level of flavor present. However, there are no tannins whatsoever here, I wonder if they used juice instead of whole grapes? The bottle mentions chamomile, I can't say I get much of it here. Mildly sweet on the finish, there's a spicy, alcoholic character as well. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, it's mild creamy. Decent, I can't really imagine what benefit age would have on this.

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Photo of xraided81
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle at my neighboorhood liquor store in early september, thanks for them cellaring this properly for almost a year, i bout the last two bottles.

A. Poured into a tulip glass, pours a bright medium gold, with a slight haze, likely do to it swishing around my cooler. Minimal head retention , dissipated quicly , leaving no lacing at all, i thought it could have been the glass poured into a new clean glass, and same result. after 60 seconds was completely still.

S: First impression is an agressive belgian yeast producing the bready notes and esters reminiscent of tart green fruits; think green apples, pears, a hint of lime rind, grapes. The aroma also reminds me of a chardonay or white table wine. the esters dominate the nose, and the malt aroma is barely present, in the background.
T: the tastes is reminiscent of the aroma, im getting crisp green apples, pears, and grapes. experience a bitter taste in the back of the palate, could be phenolics that are produced by the belgian strain of yeast. a bit sweet initially and then has a dry aftertaste.
M: although the appearance is dead flat, surprisingly as im drinking the carbonation in this beer picks up. this beer has a very light body/
O: I had not sampled this beer since the week it was released. it hasnt changed much from my mental notes, however i do remember it having a more lively appearance. i am glad stone does not specialize in brewing belgian beers, these VE are a a nice change of pace, but they should stick to brewing the big aggresively hopped beers they are known for.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Slightly cloudy tangerine in color. A big pour yields a .5 finger head that fades fast, leaving a minor white collar and no lacing.

S: Dandelion and honey comb.

T: The Gew├╝rztraminer has overwhelmed the rest of the beer. It's a juicy, off-dry wine-like bomb. Lots of honey, sugar and lees.

M: Nice carbonation, yet not enough density.

O: I preferred this better fresh. 10.10.10 isn't bad, it's just a bit one note at the moment. Here's to hoping eight more months will aide in adding balance, but I doubt it.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of brystmar
3.14/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: pours a copper hue; minimal white head with poor retention and faint lace.

S: holy grapes, Batman! Fruity grapes (chardonnay, muscat), sweet malts, champagne-like yeast scent too.

T: all over the place here; lots of different fruity, sweet, and semi-dry flavors all compete for my attention. Stone would do better by choosing one or two flavors to highlight instead of throwing it all together like this.

M: medium-bodied, almost completely flat, and 100% boring.

O: I enjoy trying these beer/wine hybrids but won't be buying this one again anytime soon.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.15/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of JamisonM
3.15/5  rDev -16%
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.

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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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