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 kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: no head really on a golden body with orange hue. Boring overall.

S: citrus including tangerine, orange dominate with some belgian yeast, breads, chardonnay.

T: oramge, green apple, belgian yeast, herbal notes, light peppercorn.

M: chewy, medium to thick body with light to moderate carbonation. oily, coating the palate with semi dry finish.

Overall: very fruity and easy to drink. Nice sweet and tart balance. Has maintained very well over the years. One of the better of these I have tried.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy light honey orange-yellow with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to and oily cap. Random spots and rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of Belgian yeast, spices, and a grape-like fruitiness. Taste is of Belgian yeast, spices, malt, and light grape flavors. There is a pretty sharp bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer for the style but nothing too special on this one.

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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 BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The beer pours a clear honey color with a very tight head; the retention is decent and a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Vinous, with the white wine grapes shouldering the burden of the aromatic profile; a little bready underneath, but the base tripel is really struggling to make its presence felt

Taste: Unlike the aroma, the wine grapes do not dominate the flavor profile, but they do have a dramatic impact; bready, at the outset, but the tart white wine grape elements quickly arrive to balance out the sweet malts; in the aftertaste, the camomile adds an herbal sharpness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very interesting experiment but, at least in this case, wine is wine and beer is beer and never the twain shall meet

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 1-30-11 along with 08 and 09 VEs.

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It had okay retention and left some soap-like residue on the glass.

S - Picked up quite a bit of grape aroma with some Belgian yeast characteristics. Hints of caramel in the background.

T - It had a spicy yeast bite with some nice bitterness. The grapes were noticeable with some sweet caramel and grains.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty good ale. The use of grapes makes it very unique.

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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 nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Oours with a small head of white foam on top of a hazy, golden body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves no lace.

S - A spicy aroma of coriander, lemongrass, pepper, and pineapple.

T - Thick malt and fruity yeast up front. Some spicy notes of pepper, coriander, and chamomile in the middle and a finish full of fruit juice.

M - Medium thick body, average carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Pungent and fruity this seems like it is as fresh as the day it was made. It anything, time has brought the fruity character more to the front. Nicely done.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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 superspak
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, obvious bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a small fairly dense off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lacing that eventually reduces to nothing. Slight spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of apple, pear, grape, floral, herbal, honey, bread, candi sugar, earth, chamomile, and light yeast spiciness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of grape, pear, apple, honey, floral, earth, bread, chamomile, candi sugar, herbal, and light yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, honey, candi sugar, floral, earth, chamomile, bread, and light yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Solid flavor balance and complexity; with some light cloying sweetness present on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good Belgian strong pale ale. A bit too cloyingly sweet, but has some solid balance and complexity; and is very smooth to sip on. A fairly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light creamy head fades quickly over hazy ale orange wheat color.

Nose of some farmhouse yeast, a slight dry funky musty aroma, with light grape smells and musty grapes, golden Belgian malts, sweetness, orange peel, saison like spices and malts, and a very light vanilla.

The taste is crisp, with Belgian golden saison or tripel like malts. Somewhat sweet malty flavor, little juicy fruits, orange peel, some light grape flavor with a musty grape especially. Semi dry farmhouse flavor with a touch of subtle chamomile, touch of vanilla, smooth and thick, lightly syrupy. Finishes a little drier, still little sweet, lingering orange peel and spices, a little bitter, light saison and lingering Belgian malts. The chamomile comes out quite a bit on the burps actually. A touch of warming booze.

The mouth is medium to lighter body with light warming booze and decent carbonation.

Drinkability is decent with a lingering bitterness and orange peel, semi sweet with a dry finish, and touch of warming booze.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep golden body beneath a frothy head of white. Good retention and lacing, but both should be better.

Smell: Fruity and wheat-like, floral and slightly herbal, phenols from the Belgian yeast.

Taste: Balanced; tartish but not acidic. Fruity with some grape. Sweetish, but not sweet. A hint spicy. Floral. Herbal dryness with mild bitterness in the finish. I'm reminded of cedar or light wood but I can't really pinpoint where that might be coming from. It's smooth and round without much transition from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a median carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite possibly my favorite of all of the Epic series so far. It doesn't offer the bigger, more malty or hoppy components of some of the others. Nor is it particularly complex. But it is quite interesting, and remarkably drinkable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains spices, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, fruit and spices. Then a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast breadiness comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid strong Belgian-style pale ale to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured into a pint glass, a clear honey color with a small, dense, white head that retained as a thin layer of bubbles. Floral aroma infused with sweet grapes; slightly phenolic. Taste of fruit salad and white wine, with grapes coming in more sweet and less sour. Sweet, smooth, malty base. A bit of herb and spice in the finish, taking some of the edge of the overall fruitiness, and leaves an aftertaste that isn't quite dry. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable, though not overly extraordinary.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not sure exactly what this was like fresh, but with time it seems to have lost carbonation (based on reports) and turned into something fascinatingly vinous. The Belgian yeast notes fade into the background and the chamomile and grapes take center stage. Really nice ... and having consumed a few wine based wilds / lambics recently (Vig, The Lucy by De Garde, Blancs by Side Project, etc) this was an excellent example of how you can do interesting things with grapes in non-wild beers.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a lightly hazy deep golden yellow to copper in color with some moderate orange + lemon yellow highlights, moderate amounts of visible carbonation, and just a touch of visible yeast sediment in the bottom of the glass. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of lemon citrus along with light aromas of spicy yeast, some spices, and just a hint of tartness.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of pale malts with distinctive Belgian yeast and spices (clove and black pepper). There is a moderate amount of tartness with some light vinous notes almost like it had been aged in white wine barrels.

M: Heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Significant amounts of dryness.

O: Having tried this when it first came out, I think it improved quite a bit with age and was pretty excited to find it on tap (since I was not writing reviews when it came out initially). I found it easy to drink and thought that the tartness really improved this one.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an ever-so-slightly hazy, golden body with a frothed, white head that settles to a ring, but never quite fades away.

Smell: Aroma featuring sweet and sour aspects leaning more heavily towards the pulverized grapes, chamomile, and fresh spices backed by lighter hints of fruits and citrus juice.

Taste: Initial impression of brioche brushed with a bit of sweet treacle. Then, a gulp of sparkling white wines as the grapes roll in, taking hold of the flavor, at least until the strong, unique taste of chamomile makes itself known, reminiscent of beer blended with wine blended with Sleepytime herbal tea. Now and again, a sensation of lime juice. Small pinch of hop bitterness. Growing clove and raw ginger as it warms a tad. Tangy, tartish finish with lingering, tongue and belly warming wine.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall, it's pleasant and as tasty and interesting as a strong Belgian Pale Ale dosed with wine grape juices and cut with chamomile can be. Could've used a bit less chamomile, but it's still nice.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, 11/13/10.

A: Pours a hazy golden/amber color with a one finger head that dissipated within a few minutes. Not a lot of lacing either.

S: Lots of wheat and on the floral side. Get grapes for sure and a little bit of spice as well. Also some apple.

T: I get a lot of belgian yeast and sweet grapes. White grapes and apple are very present and a little bit of grainy malts to finish it. There is a little spiciness throughout.

M/D: Medium bodied with a good bit of carbonation. Has a dry finish, alcohol hidden well. Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed. My first in the series, maybe 2011 will be better for my palate.

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Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours apricot with a pinky of cream colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Pears, funk, white grapes

T: Pears, white grapes, s touch of juicyfruit & dryness up front. Some muscadine sweetness as this warms, dirty funkyness mixes in as well, a little bit of leafy & lemony hops as well, a bit of booze warmth. Finishes with much fruittyness, a touch of pineapple & more juicy fruit gum

MF: Medium bodied, semi-firm carbonation, decent balance

This was an alright/interesting take on the style, but nothing special

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last night of tastings. Sad really, now I will have to wait an entire month before I get to indulge in such things again. But what can you do, figured I would go out with a bang and hit up these new ones and get them off the list and out of the fridge. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, these were consumed on 11/18/2010.

I had heard mixed things about this one so I was anxious to try it on for myself. The pour was an ice light and cloudy amber color with a decent amount of haze to it and a nice three inches of head that came up and over the top, settling down and leaving a good amount of lacing. Aroma of light spice, peach, pear and a hint of herbal flower notes that seem to come across quite nicely, though a touch light. Nice light body and clean finish has all the touches of a nice strong Belgian pale. Light yeast, smooth and even flavors mingled together quite nicely I have to say. Light dry finish with a touch of grape and pear was just about dead on.

Overall not bad at all, nothing overwhelming but I think it works quite nicely in the scheme of things.

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

Hazy gold color. Moderate head that leaves a coating of lace.

Belgian yeast aroma along with pale Belgian malt. Notes of nutmeg, corriander and orange peel. Light alcohol smell.

Very Belgian in the flavor, like a pale tripel. Strong alcohol presence. Lots of citrus tartness. Creamy body with a high level of carbonation. The swallow has elements of lemon and cream.

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Photo of Jason
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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 womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Naja's

A: The pour is a clear golden yellow color with a white head that dissipates quickly.

S: The grapes provide a strong fruity component to this beer, but they're quite sweet; really reminiscent of a sweeter white wine like some Rieslings or Muscats. Candi sugar and spice/herb notes (chamomile and coriander) coming through. A bit dry and some further fruit notes like pears, bananas, and sweet apples.

T: A very sweet beer, again, a lot of this comes from the grapes. The candi sugar provides further sweetness and the fruit esters are present, too. Luckily the flavorings are not overpowering, which is something I was worried about. Very minimal floral hop character, but at least it provides some sort of bitterness.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation.

D: I was quite skeptical about this installation of the VE series. I still think this wasn't exactly the best idea, but at least it tastes okay.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a transparent dark golden color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate to high carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of spices, wine, grapes, yeast, light citrus, and some floral notes.

t - Tastes of wine and grapes, spices, pepper, yeast, fruity malts, and tart apple.

m - Medium body and high carbonation that stings the tongue.

d - A decent beer but not one of the better Vertical Epics. The smell and taste was very wine like, and it was too carbonated. Have another bottle I'll hold until 2012.

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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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