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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 476 | Ratings: 956
Photo of berebrando
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a white head dissipates quickly, leaving a simple lacing, and a small ring of foam where the glass meets the beer. The smell is boozy, bananas, candy, belgian yeast and stone fruit. The phightin phils (ugh) just took a 1-nuthin' lead over the gints. The beer is lightly puckering with notes of apple, bananas, something subtly sour and spicy. She, who must be obeyed, and is also a wine aficionado, claims that the grapes in this beer are all used in white wine - and you can taste it - and she says that Muscat, in particular, is a very sweet wine. Aw, mouthfeel - yes, it feels good in my mouth. Drinkable - yes, or I would've left a more critical critique. Good beer, it's a good year. Cheers.

 696 characters

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

Pours a golden honey with a soap bubble head. Smell is strong yeast and cloves, some banana, hops and malt buried behind. Taste follows smell, slightly more noticeable hops and lots of yeasty tastes. More like a triple then a Belgian pale ale. I cant seem to pick up any of the grapes or chamomile. Maybe a slight white wine grape flavor in the finish, but it is mild. Mouthfeel is super dry and a slight bit tart, the carbonation is soft. Drinkability is ok, but for the price i may not revisit this one with so many better Belgians around.

 541 characters

Photo of JoePat
4.34/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden straw color with a slight haze and a thick white head.

The aroma is amazing I get a little bready malt deep under the white wine and bubble gum aromas. If there ever was a white wine bubble gum I can imagine this smells like it would taste.

This beer gets most of its flavors from the yeast. I made a homebrew using some must and a belgian yeast and this has some very similar flavors. This also has some white wine flavor in the after taste.

Very smooth and syrupy texture on the tongue. The alcohol doesn't come through and for a 9.5% beer this is pretty drinkable but definately not something I want tor drink alot of.

 650 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in an MJ tasting glass.

Pours a deep golden color with egg white head (two fingers at first) that does not last. Leaves a whisp of foam on top with some nice lacing.

Aromas are focused around a winey base. No malt, no hops. "White wine" aroma dominates.

First sip is a belgian pale (some malt with lots of yeasty character), with a touch of white wine. Reminds me of a "stimulo" from Witkap. Alcohol is barely noticable.

Mouthfeel is very dry. Almost to the point of puckering. Not a sour pucker, but a dry, almost astringent, pucker. Like a highly oaked dry white wine.

Very drinkable, very refreshing, for such a high gravity beer.

 645 characters

Photo of Norfawkers
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Relatively clear, golden-orange with yeast and minimal head.

Smell: Belgian, herbal.

Taste: Sweet-sour grapes and Belgian yeast with some spices and funk... It's different.

Mouthfeel: It's smooth enough with a lingering finish.

Drinkability: I don't know. If you like Belgians it's good, and the grapes give it a unique sweet and sour funk, but I wouldn't be able to drink this year round.

 405 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light golden color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Pepper, some fruits, chamomille

T: Plenty of flavor and pop upfront. Pepper, spice, chamomille with a hint of bubble gum and white grapes

M: Good feel, well carbonated, nice amount of booze

D: Not one of the best VE's

 299 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stone was my gateway brewer. I got into beer because of their Stone IPA and eventually Ruination. I have an affinity for them, and I love their brewery, the gardens, their attitude, the whole nine yards.

I did not, however, love this beer.

Appearance: Pours like a Chardonnay, a yellow-ish pale hued brew with hardly any carbonation. Seemed way too flat. Having tried two bottles, I can honestly say this wasn't just a bum bottle, it's just a very low carbed brew. All Lost Abbey jokes aside, perhaps that was what they were going for? Although I can't imagine why. Hardly any lacing and bubbles seem hard to come by.

Smell: Pretty nice, actually. The muscat grapes are the first to peak through, followed shortly thereafter by the herbal chamomile. The hebalness combined with the grapes would instantly make me think wine before I'd ever get to beer. The only real indicator of the beer quality is the Belgian yeast, which becomes more apparent as it warms.

Taste: To be honest, I thought this bland. The smell yields similar tastes, but they are all very thin on the tongue and rapidly dissipate. The grapes are pleasant while they are there, and the herbal qualities are there too, but they are gone as soon as the came, and the palate is left wondering where all the flavors went. It reminds me of a flat champagne to be honest. I made a joke how this was like a Cantillon experiment that never would have left the brewery. Everyone kind of laughed, but it's true: Cantillon does release beers much like this one: they just would have done a few more batches or tossed some wild yeast in there first before it ever would have hit the market.

Mouthfeel: Again, the lack of carbonation really kills this beer. No effervescence at all, making the flavors feel still and slightly off. I don't know if in the next two years the yeast will continue its carbonation adventure, but all we can do is hope.

Drinkability: Alcohol isn't huge. I'd have guessed 7%, only for it to be considerably higher. Outside of that, the drinkability feels a little weak. The flavors aren't assertive enough to really make you want to pick up the glass. I kept putting my pours away, hoping as it warmed it would yield more. It just never did.

I hope I don't seem to harsh, but I was hoping for a lot more here. The flavors are good, they're just thin and fade quickly. I hope over the next two years they can round into something altogether more flavorful, and who knows? Grapes can yield themselves to again. However, I'd say as of right now, the 09.09.09 and the 08.08.08 are both significantly better. I applaud the creativity, I just was left hoping for more across the board.

 2,670 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: A very vinous aroma, with hints of malt and hops.

T: As it is with the smell, the taste has a dominant vinous character. Also has traces of hops, malt, and wheat making for an interesting flavor. Not in keeping with most BSPAs, but is still tasty.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An unusual, but drinkable beer.

 501 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

typical color for the style, a glowing golden copper with a very, very, very slight haze. a generous head (though still a bit small for the style) is almost pure white. it sticks around at one-fingered height and leaves some decent lacing.

yeasty aroma with a touch of funkiness likened to a saison, but with some light biscuit malts and plenty of floral characteristics from both the hops and i assume from the hibiscus as well. a bit of fruits and some clove reminiscent of a witbier and some lighter fruitiness maybe coming from the grape additions, though I wouldn't have picked that out without it being labeled on the bottle.

yeasty in the flavor as well. typical belgian pale ale flavors strike first with some belgian tripel fruitiness and booziness coming in next. some green apple sours it up and there is a discernible funk in there too. grapes impart a dry finish, but never come to the forefront of the flavor which seems to be quite a mashup of tons of belgian flavors that don't quite come together. Maybe with some age.

pretty standard for the style, but a bit prickly carbonation on a light/medium body.

drinks ok. boozy and all over the place with too many things going on in the flavor. I like complex beers, and I like stone (a lot), but things just don't completely come together for me. I will still buy another to age to see how things round out, but I'm kind of confused as to what to make of this now.

 1,431 characters

Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Honestly I wasn't sure what I was getting into with Vertical Epic...mostly because the label at Bevmo described the 09.09.09 edition which thoroughly threw me off.

Nevertheless the beer (poured from a 22oz bomber) was pale golden with a modest head and decent lacing. The aroma of plantains and mild citrus, and a bit of soapiness came through. Still pleasant.

Meanwhile the flavor was light surprisingly thin. It's definitely way less aggressive than anything Stone normally puts out. There is an interesting herbal hint coming from the chamomile, the banana comes through, and mild grapes.

Overall a little surprising, worth a taste but not the best entry I've had from Stone to date.

 691 characters

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

Clear golden beer with a medium sized white head.

Smells malty with a fruity wine aroma. Little bit of coriander and honeysuckle. There is a white wine smell here; mostly I am picking up peach and roses from it.

Starts out sweet with a strong wine flavor and hop bitterness in the finish. There is a distinct sourness to this beer, nothing like an enamel stripping chardonnay but there nonetheless. Sweet then sour then bitter describes the sensation. Mostly this is grape and lemon flavored but the mix of beer and wine flavors is weird.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not sure I like this. The mix of wine and beer elements confuses my mouth and brain a bit. This is without a doubt a unique beer flavor. This is a beer you just have to taste and decide for yourself if you like it.

 774 characters

Photo of MrDanno96
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright golden yellow color with a couple of fingers of frothy white head. The head dissipated fairly quickly and left a decent amount of sticky lacing.

S: A good amount of floral and herbal aroma, with that traditionally ester like Belgian yeast in the background.

T: The flavor was really complex and enjoyable. Some notes of a traditional BPA up front with a good amount of citrus. For me, the grapes really came through in the mid palate as the flavor turned pleasantly sour with notes of green apple as well. The finish was slightly bitter.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Amazingly drinkable for 9.6%. Now I know why I didn't feel so great this morning after drinking a few of these! Another great Stone beer.

 755 characters

Photo of irishking1977
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dull golden hue with a minor head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Lots of herbal notes, also lemon and citrus aroma as well. Belgian yeast noticeable as well.

T: This is a pretty good interpretation of a Belgian pale ale, with a twist that only Stone can provide. Aside from typical BPA characteristics, there is some hits of grape and a floral herbal quality, not unlike heather ales such as Fraoch.

M: Carbonation is decent, but could be slightly bumped up a notch. Finishes with a mild floral or hoppy note.

D: Not bad; I like it. Undoubtedly, there are better BPA's out there, made by those who are known for them. However, this could stand toe to toe with any of them, and still hold it's own.

 708 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 1st review on BA.

Bottle poured into a oversized wine glass.

App- Golden color, a bit hazy and shimmery in the glass, small 1 finger little off white head, dissapted quickly. Very nice dissaptaing lacing down the glass.

Smell- Very floral and lemony to me. Smell took a while to develop. Could have been a bit too cold when poured.

Taste- Has the taste that I love in a beer. That undeniable beligan loveliness. Not as much herbs as I would have thought and def had a taste of a more potent white wine with the grape coming through at the end for me.

Mouthfeel- Clean, crisp, exactly what I was expecting to find in the 10. Had a bit of sediment on the lip after 3 or 4 sips

Drink- Was very smooth on the tounge and the palate. Would easily have a second bottle while enjoying with friends if any of my friends could put down the BL or Coronas long enough to try good beer. Give it 4/5.

 895 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy gold color, with a nice white head.

Aromas are very nice. Reminds me a bit of a Tripel or a Wild Ale. Hints of sourness, funk, grass, vinegar, oak, and grapes. I am digging sniffing this one.

Taste is very good, interesting, and quite unique. Starts with a very full and thick creaminess. Beer then settles into some crisp green apple and white wine like flavors. Finish is nice and crisp, dry, with some tart lemon zest.

Mouthfeel is superb. Almost perfect, well rounded, full, with a snappy finish.

Drinkability is good. I am impressed. I think this will definitely be a love/hate type of beer, but please put me in the love camp. I really like the uniqueness of this one, and I think this is a perfect candidate for cellaring, might have to grab a couple more to age beyond 12.12.12.

 803 characters

Photo of unseenbyyou
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of drinking the vertical epic on tap at lucky baldwin's in pasadena last night. My wife took a sip from the goblet and enjoyed it as is from memory so it may not be as precise

Appearance: Good Belgian head that disapated as the beer sat. Has a good golden color, but I was expecting sediment...maybe when I buy the bottles.

smell: a bit fruity...but smell difficult to discern in a pub that smells like good beer everywhere! NOticed a hint of hops, not typical of stone who usually is not so subtle

taste: seems like the flavors are there for something special. Some fruits at the beginning anf bit hoppy at the end. It tastes like a german made a belgian beer...but this beer was designed for a wait, so I think the taste will definitely improve with age

M: a bit sweetness...little carbonation..a smooth easy drinking beer

D: again...very easy to drink, may not be the best version of strong ale...but it has the beginnings of something special...i could easily drink 2 or 3...

 1,026 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a pale gold, slightly chill-hazed, with a fluffy one-finger head of pure white that quickly fades to a filmy top layer that grips the sides with gusto in horizontal lines of lace.

Smell: strange mustiness in the back, akin to lager yeast. White wine, sour green apples, swedish fish, light lemon zest, floral lavender, chamomile.

Taste: the mustiness appears in the flavor as well. It's akin to a skunked lager. Chamomile, roses, light fruitiness of pears and green apples. Very dry finish.

Feel: medium, tingly carbonation. Nicely smooth, but the medium-light body becomes lighter as it moves about the mouth.

Drink: For all the "left turns" the label boasts the beer taking, this tastes pretty similar to Vertical Epic 08, though I'd place that beer above this one on a Best Of list. Not the best of the series.

 839 characters

Photo of artcurtis
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Great Divide Tulip.
A - Pours a really nice coppery golden color. Crystal clear. Very little head that dissipates almost immediately. Quite a nice looking beer.
S - Wow. Great nose on this. Smells strongly of tripel/Golden ale. Definitely getting that classic tripel yeast smell. Also definitely some booze. There is a bit of sweet grape, or maybe some sugary sweetness there as well.
T - Definitely a tripel. Definitely grapes added as well. Given the addition of grapes (especially muscat) and Belgian candy sugars, I was worried that this was going to be a sugar bomb. I was worried it would have a quad type sweetness in a golden ale. I needn't have worried. The grape/sweetness is nice and balanced. The tripel comes through strong first, this has a bit of funk to it, but not much. Then the grapes and booze come in and give a nice wine like sweetness, with some complimentary wine booze notes. This really blurs the line between beer and wine for me.
M - Very clean and crisp. A little bit of resin remains on my lips. Quite interesting.
D - The booze in this really shows up. But other than that, this is super drinkable. I don't know if I'd really like a second bottle, but I'd be willing to try. At the very least, one goes down smooth.
This is my first experience with the Vertical Epic. Too bad I missed the previous incarnations. Hopefully I can find a generous soul on 12/12/12.

 1,411 characters

Photo of chumba526
4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This ale appears a light golden color with a small white head.

.It smells slightly of a sweet white wine. The grapes are quite noticeable in the smell. There is a sweet sugary smell as well to the beer. As well as some floral notes. It smells quite complex.

It tastes slightly like a white wine. There is an acidity and earthy flavor that I associate with white wine. There is a very floral and herbal flavor going on in the beer as well. I also get a bit of a honey flavor to the beer as well. There is also a bit of alcohol heat to this beer, but it blends nicely with the other flavors. The taste ends with a slight bitterness. A nice floral flavor lingers on the palate.

The carbonation seems natural. The carbonation is moderate low. It complements the beer perfectly.

The drinkability is pretty good for being high in alcohol. Though all I can drink is one 22 ounce bottle of it.

Overall an amazing, creative, complex beer that pushes the boundaries. It seems to be a fusion between a semi-sweet white wine and a tripel. I can see why many don't like this beer as the flavor is quite unlike most beers. i think this is a beer your either going to love or hate. I am going to pick up a few more of these.

 1,214 characters

Photo of ism
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having waited excitedly for this year's version, restrained myself by pouring controlled into a pint glass. Body is hazy gold orange with a 1-finger off-white head, spotty lacing. Spice and yeast plentiful in the nose, with a subtle floral-herbal note. Medium-light mouthfeel with tingly carbonation, slight butter slickness on the tongue. The palette is hard to pin down - sweetness coming from multiple sources, a slight tang, rather subdued. Standard cast of characters, though: coriander, cloves, lemon peel. It shifts as it warms, towards the sweet end. A grape tartness emerges more fully in the finish, not unlike wine. Hides the alcohol fairly well.

Gonna get another bottle but not drinking it anytime soon. Should be much nicer after it develops some.

 762 characters

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.

 587 characters

Photo of KeithStolte
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured from 22oz to pint glass. Clear, Head at first from pour; however, it dissipates very quickly.
S - Can definitely smell the muscat and blend of grapes. Aroma of chamomile.
T - Slightly sour from the Sauvignon Blanc but also sweet. Very complex. I do wonder how it will age though.
M - Lingers a bit on the palate. Decent amount of carbonation.
D - Very Drinkable but i think it only would do well by itself. Can't really match a flavor to it in particular.

 467 characters

Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Light amber with almost no head. Light, soapy lacing.

S-Pale malts,grape sweetness, a bit floral. Some light booziness.

T/M-Disappointing. The addition of grapes adds a faint sweetness, but no vinous qualities. The chamomile comes through just a bit, adding an interesting, if underdone herbacious quality to an otherwise unremarkable Belgian pale ale. The finish is soft and bready. Medium bodied, with low to medium carbonation.


 441 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stone Vertical Epic 10.10.10 on tap at Bob's Bar in Columbus, Ohio. Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: A totally transparent honey-orange color. Thin white head that disappears quickly. No lacing.

Smell: Malts, some sour fruit. Infusion/tea aromas too.

Taste: Sour! Maltiness, acidity. Booze around.

Mouthfeel: A little thin for a beer this strong. Alright carbonation, not great. Medium body.

Drinkability: OK. Easy, but not a very attractive beer. I've had much better strong Belgian ales/Belgian IPA's, and certainly much better Stone Vertical years!

It is disappointing to see how all those complex ingredients listed above don't get to make a great beer. Aging would improve it, I assume.

 708 characters

Photo of vertigelt1
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica during their Stone night at the end of LA Beer Week 2010.

A: poured a thick mandarin orange into a short stemmed goblet. About two fingers of beach sand head. Opaque glow when held up to light. Light sticky lacing.

S: I have a cold, so unfortunately I can't smell well. I smell light spices, corriander, citrus faintly.

T: bright flavor. Not strong on the Belgian yeast. Nice tangy aftertaste with very light hop bitterness. The grape juices do give it a slight acidic bite and a dry finish that is faintly reminiscent of the wines they produce. Some caramelized candi sugars, tilting the bubblegum often found in Belgians closer to orange-flavored cotton candy.

M: perfect carbonation from the cask conditioning. Creamy mouthfeel perhaps undermines the dry finish from the grapes. Aj, but it's on cask!!

D: pretty drinkable. It feels more like a Belgian Wit than a Tripel or "Belgian Strong". Alcohol is defnitely felt towards the bottom of the glass, so it's not seasonable but it's a tasty brew for easy quaffing nonetheles

Overall, I think this beer is confused as to what it is. But it's enjoyable all the same.

 1,167 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.