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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic AleStone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale
Very Good
957 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 957 |  Reviews: 476
Photo of cokes
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear honey colored with a rapidly dying white froth that eventually clings to the edge of the glass in large bubbles.
Chamomile- and powdered sugar- laced aromas, which blanket the underlying apricot, guava, and candied lemons. The grape/wine qualities arise as it warms, but carry similar fruitiness, just with an emphasis that they are grape-derived. The belgian yeast adds some stony, granite and ginger/allspice spiciness. Hops bring traces of earthy hay.
The taste closely follows the nose. Honey and powdered sugar upfront and throughout. Chamomile all over everything. The middle is full of tropical fruits (though hazier than the nose indicated), grapes further the grippy sweetness, and present as lemon and kiwi and grapefruit. Yeast is a bit chalky, adding concrete mix, ginger, and clove. Hops are hard to find, drowned out by the flailing chamomile florality.
The major flaw here is it's carbonation (which subsequently affects the taste). There's a bit of CO2 charge upfront, then it fizzles out, leaving a thickish syrup of wine and chamomile infused liquid. It's a curious mix, and seems to work to a degree, but it clots up and becomes a bit of a chore to drink. So many US-Belgian-styled beers fall into this overthick, undercarbed trap.
If this was bottle conditioned, I'd be considerably excited to lay this down and try again in a year and 11 months or so. Being that it isn't, I don't really see it improving much, as all of its flaws are carbonation-related. Though since I have another bottle, I do hope the chamomile gets less rambunctious.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours yellow with zero head and a pretty much no lacing, no visible carbonation.

smell is nice very wine like - perfume, honeysuckle, and reisling wine - interesting, with a nice fruit yeast backbone.

taste is really dissapoiting, lagery harshness, orange peel + off sour homebrew hop profile with a dry, kind of medicinal sticky harshness, a little warmth from the alcohol...pretty nasty for a tripel

mouthfeel is ok - needed secondary champagne fermentation in the bottle, having it 'on lees' would have made this a bit better.

overall this is one of the most dissapointing beers i've had from stone, i dont feel like aging this will make it any better either.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got to try this in a 5oz sample at D's.

A - Golden straw yellow with a mild bit of foam that clears rather quickly leaving no lace.

S - Smells like a typical Belgium strong ale. Notes of mild caked yeast and a bit of citrus. Very little hops.

T - Taste pretty balanced. The yeast isn't as overbearing as some Belgium's giving way to a citrus zest, mild apple and pear. Not bad.

M - I drank it pretty slow. Was the odd beer out left to be drank last in the sampler.

D - I got to hand it to stone they sure can make a Belgium beer tolerable. I actually got more flavors than most natural Belgium's but the yeast was still pretty strong in this one. Wouldn't seek out again but glad to try for 2 bucks.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden straw and very bubbly. A nice foamy and big bubbled head.

Smells spicy and sweet with a lot of lemon citrus. Yeasty and sparkling cider/wine tingle.

Tastes lightly malty and sweet with some champagne grape notes. Pretty spicy/zesty. Fruity apple and pear coming through the middle. Finishes with the zesty yeast kick.

Crispy and refreshing like an ice cold lemonade on a hot day but nothing I would want to drink a bunch of.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light golden color with a thin white foam that fades to nothing.

S- Lots of spice and a bit of a funky sour aroma. The grapes that were used definitely show themselves in the nose. Interesting...

T- Very tart upfront with some vinous and barnyard flavors coming forth. Plenty of Belgian yeast and spice in the finish with a good dose of alcohol. Not noticing much in the way of hops.

M- Medium/light bodied with low carbonation.

D- A decent brew but quite strange to say the least. Not what I was expecting.

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Photo of sommersb
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Capped 22oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Golden color, with a small white head and lots of bubbles. The first pour was very clear, but the second pour was cloudy due to bottle conditioning. Very little lacing.

S: Very aromatic, with a typical Belgian yeast smell that reminded me of a tripel. Crisp and funky with a flowery, sweet, earthy aroma. Did not smell much in the way of malts or hops.

T: Seemed very much like a semi-dry sparking wine with the grapes added, combined with the Belgian taste of a strong golden pale ale or tripel. I tasted tart fruitiness like apple mixed with a sweet quality. Very complex and interesting.

M: High level of carbonation on a crisp, medium body. Smooth with a dry aftertaste.

D: I liked this beer and found it very intriguing with all of the different smells and tastes. Not something I would purchase on a regular basis but fun to try. I may want to pick up another one of these and try it after 12-2012 as Stone recommends.

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

A: Moderate pour yields 1/2 finger of white fizzy head. Crystal clear apple juice colored liquid looks very similar to apple juice! More head please.
S: Apple cider (from the chamomile?), tart grape juice, modest breadiness. Pleasing. Only slightly earthy hop.
T: Interesting, it takes some concentration for me to parse out the flavors. A great sweet start from the malt. The finish is all tart sauvignon blanc. The late finish is hops, but not much. Belgian funk in the midst. Unique. Almost like a Belgian Berlinerweisse. It tastes best with the yeast from teh bottle poured into the glass.
M: Starts and ends flat. The middle is all over the place with tartness and sweetness and funkiness. Fairly good with yeast.
D: Tasty, but a tad chaotic for drinking more than a modest amount. I won't buy again but I would maybe order a second glass.

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Photo of pburland23
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into my Great Divide Brussels glass.

Pours an orangey amber with about a finger of thick, fluffy white head that makes a leisurely retreat to some outstanding lacing.

Smell is highlighted by a delightful Belgian yeast aroma and some ambient fruitiness (apples and pears). The taste of this beer is certainly unique. It begins like your standard BSPA...biscuity malts and yeastiness and then the grapes make their appearance and this is where 101010 goes off track in my opinion. The grapes come on strong and are overly tart and they seem incongruous to the rest of the beer.

101010 is a medium bodied and well carbonated ale. As for drinkability, I can't see myself reaching for this again one any time soon unless I decided to lay it down for a little while and see if the aggressiveness of the grapes subside.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear gold into my pint glass with a little over a finger of head, retention is minimal and some spotty lacing.

S - Sweet grains and malts, biscuit, some citrus and fruit - apple and pear. Nutmeg, clove and chamomile.

T - Much like the nose, grain, biscuit, apple, pear, slight metallic tartness, nutmeg and clove and just a bit of spice and bitterness.

M - Crisp and refreshing, carbonation is a little on the bright side.

D - Overall, a nice beer and I am glad I tried it, very drinkable.

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

A: Pours a copper golden color with a slight white head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Major grape scent is present with some grassy, earthy hops and some citrus smells as well.

T: There is a definite wine presence in this brew, which makes sense because of the wine grapes added to the beer. There is also a Belgium essence to it, a bit of a yeast flavor and some citrus as well.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation, leaves a bit of a tart taste in the palate,

D: For 9.5%, this beer goes down smooth. There is practically no trace of alcohol, but that doesn't mean I can drink it all day. I probably couldn't have more than a glass of this, the tart/sourness left in the palate is not my cup of tea. This is a decent beer, but not Stone's best.

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Photo of plaid75
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a wine grapes, a champagne yeast elect and some esters.

The taste consisted of bright sharp esters and a crisp noble hop. Some residual sugars apparent as well.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a decent ale. Better ones out there though.

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

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Another bottle I have had for a while but am just now getting around to cracking it. Pours a lively opaque yellow. Good carbonation but little head. Smells like a Bavarian hefeweizen. Banana and coriander and some extra sweetness. There is a sugary, floral quality I can't place but is probably chamomile. Medium bodied and well rounded mouthfeel. Lots going on on the palate. I get guava up front and then banana and orange peel. The gapes definitely make this one unique. I wasn't sure what the outcome would be but this is quite good. There is a drier quality with this one than you find in most beers. Must be the grape tannins. There is also a very different sweetness to it. Lighter and grassy which has to come from the grapes. I like it. Stone is definitely on to something with this one. I predict more than one imitator.

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Photo of bruachan
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

handsome brew, this is: brilliant, light amber hue with a neat film and little bird-eye head ringlets

as the bottle intimates, the nectar inside smells tripel-y and whitewine-y and chamomile-y. highly graped aroma

flavors are mild and delicate, certainly by stone's standards. some acidity, some sweetness, some spice...all make a tasty brew

i agree with the previous poster that this beverage is in the sweet side. i can see it being a hangover guarantee

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a bright golden-orange color, with no head. The nose is reminiscent of most of the wines used in the brewing process. You definitely get a smell of the Gewurzt, as well as an overly sweet smell, likely from the Muscat. There is an almost sour tinge to the nose because it is so sweet. The taste is an interesting blend of the wines, as well as a flavor similar to sour mash. Despite all the sweetness in the flavors and the robustness of the beer, there is a rather smooth finish. The beer kind of melts in your mouth as it goes down, very sweet. There is a lingering note of sour in the aftertaste, which is very mild and pleasant. The beer is pretty sweet, which might make it a limited drinking brew.

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

A clear brass colored brew, an off-white head that settles slowly, leaving a little lacing. Good curtains.

The smell is full of fresh fruits, pine-apple, apples, pears, some yeast strains as well.

Upfront a refreshing sweetnes, dextrose, sour fruity flavors, peach, apples, bitter lemon zest and a hint of wasabi.

Low carbonation, very small bubbles, a heavy body, yet rather refreshing, a long smooth dryness.

Lighter and more refreshing than expected, esp considering the ABV.

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Photo of MatthewPatthew
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty clear with a golden-straw color. Crisp.

Great Belgian aroma. The Cabernet grapes really come through in the taste.

Overall a very refreshing and drinkable beer.

Apparently - according to my tour guide at stone - the grape flavor has rapidly dissipated in the few short months since it was bottled. As is in late December, this is one of its strongest characteristics.

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: a little bit of tight white head (1/8th") sits on a golden colored slightly opaque body

s: sour with strong oily oak and sweet vanilla; sweet grapes on the back with some sugar candy; some dry rye

t: first is a dry white wine taste; finishes with that sort of acidic winey finish; some dry grain; very dry and acidic and not amazingly flavorful

m: lightly syrupy light to medium mouthfeel with tight carbonation

d: dry and and a little disappointing

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Photo of TheDTrain
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was very excited to try this years installment of Stone's Vertical Epic. Thanks to BeerFM's own Andy for sharing this limited edition. This Belgian strong ale pours a golden sun orange with moderate lace. Uplifting nose of camomile and grapes. Taste was a bit off-putting at first with the heavy spice, but got better with each drink. The grapes and camomile give an unusual sweet white wine-like mouthfeel.

This one got better as I drank it. For a limited release, this one didn't quite live up to the 'vertical epic' hype.

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

A: This poured a clear gold with a bit of white head.
S: It smelled like strong metallic hops and acidic white grapes, with a bit of spices.
T: It tasted like metallic hops and white grapes, with a little floral tea and sour lager malt. It had a bitter and little sour aftertaste that was pretty clean.
M: It was oily with moderate carbonation. Pretty nice body.
D: This was an interesting experimental beer, just like other recent Stones. It had a clean scent and taste with good body, and the alcohol was well hidden. So it was easy to drink, but didn't really grab me. It didn't seem like a good candidate for aging either. Nice to try once, but that's it.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellowish amber with a decent, fluffy white head that leaves a fair amount of lacing. Aroma is yeasty and earthy with floral and butterscotch hints. Flavor is yeasty and fruity, rather like a hefeweissen, but with a firm malty underpinning and hints of hops, butterscotch and citrus. Texture is fairly fizzy, and the alcohol bite is firm and sharp but not vicious or overwhelming.

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

Saw it on tap, debated between a few belgians, but knew they all could afford to wait a few days.

This beer was poured into a 5oz tulip with a dense, white head of about one inch. The beer was a golden yellow with light brushes of orange against the midday sun. It's a well carbonated beverage, but the beer's head still disappeared as soon as the grease from my lips hit the rim.

I am surprised by this beer at this point because I thought it was going to be a typical Stone strong IPA, but it was instead a Belgian! WIN. I would recognize that distinct funk anywhere. Aside from the yeast, I noticed nice notes of fruity sweetness accompanied by a little spice.

The taste is that of a Belgian strong ale, if you're experimenting with this beer as your first of its class, try the real thing because although Stone did a nice job, it's still no Chimey or Saison Dupont (although...I don't think there is a pale ale to come from Belgium yet...).
Looking at the website I am noticing that there were 3 different grape varieties added along with chamomile, it would help to explain the beers capacity for complexity. I wouldn't mind trying the beer again now knowing that the sweetness comes partially from this tri-grape infusion. Little of the chamomile came through, but I felt quite relaxed after drinking!

Dense, mysterious, yet bubbly, and summery like all Belgians seem to do. I wasn't getting bitter as much as I was the sweet or funk. The beer went down smooth, light, and refreshing. I was forced to sip (given the generous abv and weak man's glass size), but easily could have gulped this beer down.

Excellent beer to drink mid winter, heavy and complex, yet light like a summer's treat. It broke up the porter-trippel-stout loop that I'd been in. I'm definitely glad I went out on a limb in trying it, I would definitely get again knowing that it's also bottled. For the price ($7.50 at the blue tusk in syr, ny) it's steep and there are other beers I'd probably get instead (ie. the same size ye' olde barley wine by dfh on tap for $5.50). However, I would definitely try this beer bottled, possibly let one sit until summer rolls around.


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

Thanks to Shawn for this one - its always a pleasure to try the Vertical Epic series.

Pours a bright and hazy light gold with a finger of foamy white head that does leave a few lace spots on the glass. Lightly fruity nose overlays what to all intentions seems like a tripel. Definitely a lot of dry grain in there, as well as some steely noble hops. I really struggle to find the grapes in the flavour, which is a disappointment, but that'snot to say that this beer is a let-down. While it struggles to live up to the high expectations set by the previous entries in the series, it still has the characteristics of a decent Belgian Strong Pale or tripel. Dry grain, warm alcohol, peppery,grassy hopping and a light hint of fruit make for a pleasing quaff. The medium body occassionaly feels sticky, which I think is fine in a beer of this ABV.

Overall, its not as stellar as other epics, but that's a high bar to tackle. I think a more prominent grape character would have made this ofmore interest to me, but as it stands, a decent beer.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
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 Daniellobo
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Intriguing take on a trippel with a marked fusion of white grapes.

Presentation: 22 Oz bottle. Vertical label design and narrative highlighting the year batch of the brew 2010 and as in these series reminds that each bottle is released one year, one moth, and one day from the preceding edition so 10.10.10. Narrative on the side, noting intent, main ingredients, and style. Shows Alc. by Vol (9.5%). Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Progressively and lightly hazy pale golden pour. Good initial head, medium to low retention with a fair surface memory and some lacing.

S - Nose is fair with a marked trippel start, yeasty, dash of spice, and a final emergence of the grapes and chamomile can be noticed.

T - Yeasty trippel with a bitter grape sense, intense, dash of spice, muscat, and the boozy, fruity, finally emerging hefty vinous sense over the malt.

M - Medium body, with medium/low carbonation but an adequate tingly undercurrent. Long finish with a dry touch.

D - A bit too astringent in the finish and with a weighty sense that piles on you as the brew progresses not helping it make its drinkability outstanding. Maybe the aging will make it coalesce in a more exciting manner.

Notes: Good take for the Vertical Epic Series, albeit as it is this is really not my thing, but I'm eager to see how it behaves over time. As a "raw" brew I'd say that, while not related in style, the preceding Epic offering was more stimulating.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering pours a dark straw color, with an immediately dissipating half finger head of white bubbles. The beer looks to have light carbonation, and has yeasty particulates floating about it. As you get to the bottom of the bottle the glass becomes significantly more hazy, as the last drops of sediment whirl into the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of a Belgian tripel, and appropriately so, as this was the base. It does, however, have a bit more sweetness and yeastiness. The wine grapes are certainly palpable, and likely contribute to this, but more so just add their own element. Honey and floral herbs also hit the nose. The malts address the palate up front, with a heavy bittersweet wine characteristic. Through the middle there is a nice clovey, phenolic blend, with sweet grapes and lemon rind nipping eagerly at their heels. The finish is clean, with malts, yeast, and faint hops mixing for the balance. A nice estery sweetness comes, too, into play. The end is also a bit boozy, creating that peppery sensation on the back of the palate. The aftertaste is more of the same, and breathes quite similarly to a sweeter white wine. Both the body and carbonation are medium. The mouth is left a bit puckered, but coolly coated, and only semidry. The abv is appropriate, and the drinkability, helped along by the winey sweetness, is up there.

Overall, what we liked best about this brew was how unique it was. Obviously, how predominant the grapes were in the aroma and the taste gave, what would have otherwise been a fairly classic tripel, an interesting twist.

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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 957 ratings
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