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: 957
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into white wine glass

A - Almost clear golden orange, much more orange than I expected, almost no head, even at 9.5% I expected more initial foaming from the carbonation

S - Just like white wine, sharp fruity grapes, a hint of wood and sour,it's really interesting

T - Similar to aroma, starts as like a strong blonde ale, then morphs into almost a Belgian IPA,hops seem aggressive on combination with carb sting butyl low with tasting, that fades into that white wine flavor again, this time really just alcohol and grape, no sour, however the spice is more evident, finishes with lingering bitterness, not all that pleasant, the malty sweetness doesn't work with bitterness and alcohol

M - Dry like a white wine, mouthfeel is ok for wine but wired with malt and bitterness

O - A beer you'd like to sample but you better have 3 friends to drink a bottle. This is two years old so luckily the alcohol has definitely mellowed, however it's too much going on.

 983 characters

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

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Clear golden body with active carbonation.

S: Clean, banana, bubblegum, floral, subtle spices, cirtus and white grapes.

T/M: Citrus hops, apricots, white grapes, acidic, zesty lime and lemon and yeast. Dry wine feel syrupy stickiness and tart puckering finish.

O: Similar to white wine with tart grapes and dry finish. Really nice and clean.

 407 characters

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

Now on to 2010, aged for two years, and served on-tap at Tustin Brewing. On to the beer:

Dark amber with solid lace that splashes at a few point in the glass. The nose is very sweet, a contrast to 08.08.08. Very fruity, and there's a strong scent of fresh apples. Good aroma, but there's something that's missing from the picture. Caramel would pair well with apples...and that's exactly what comes into play in the taste. Caramel apples galore! To compliment are hints of cocoa and figs. Not cloying, thank goodness. Medium-full bodied with the alcohol hidden well.

As many have said in the past, " a good one".

 615 characters

Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- golden orange, zero head

S- apple cider, orange, pear, grapes, wine, tart, spicey belgian yeast tickles the nose

T- follows the nose except the orange has more of a raw peel earthy taste

M- medium, crisp carbonation, wine like heat

O- Reminds me of La Fin Du Monde or Don De Dieu. Full of fruity flavors, apple cider, and spices.

 369 characters

Photo of Johnnyhitch
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden hue very light remnants of lace.

S - Very musty, big notes of soured almost lactic white grapes, lambic like.

T - Deff better as it warms but starts out really bright on the muscat grapes, fades into boozy darker fruit figs prunes, slightly sour not to puckering just some funk also get some popcorn on the backend. Slight oxidation on the finish

M - Not to overly carbed more on the low side if anything. Nice body little slick but very lingering palate, slightly more carbonation would of done this wonders....might be the age showing also.

O - This bottle definitely did not get stored well. Was really surprised seeing it on the shelf still im a big wine geek also. Was looking for more of a floral peak to match the belgian ester. I feel like they get lost behind all the funk and tart going on.

 816 characters

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

This offering is a nice yellow color with some white head. The both laces as it recedes into the beer and sticks around for long enough to be noted. 4

We're getting pretty late in the night, so my senses aren't quite top notch, but I mostly smell grapes and must. There's some remnants of old hops and sweet Belgian yeast. 4

The grapes come out strong on the taste as well. The must comes back, which I can't tell if I like or not, along with some banana. All of those flavors try to cover up the booze, and do a good job of it, but I still note a little bit sneaking through. 4

The body is light and carbonated very well. I found the various fruit flavors made this a very drinkable beer. 4

I'd say this is aging very well, but wouldn't recommend holding onto it for too much longer. It's a good beer that's currently balanced, but I got the sense it's heading south in terms of booziness and holding onto its flavor. 4

 924 characters

Photo of ikantspel
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

found this in a seedy liquor store in town. for all i know its been sittin there for 2 years

served into a duvel tulip

pours a golden color with a small head that leaves minimal lacing

typical bspa in the nose, citruses, spices, belgian yeast

lemon first, then peppery notes hit, followed by a semi sweet clove after taste

light mouthfeel. exceeded my expectations. very good BSPA although i didnt hit any chamomile notes

 426 characters

Photo of mocktm
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Popped my '09 a couple nights ago...on to the next.

Golden and opaque honey hue, very little head and barely any carbonation throughout. Looks kinda flat.

I remember trying this at a Stone tasting a couple summers ago when it was first released and recall it being much more lively than what sits in front of me. Aromas are faint, but detectable. Sweet with fragrances of flowers and Muscat wine grapes. Reminds me a bit of DFH Midas Touch.

Whole lotta grape...almost like cheap wine. I don't think time really did this one any favors. I know honey wasn't used in the recipe, but it still tastes very prevalent, probably can attribute that to the Belgian sugar used.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit sticky. I almost wish it was lighter to be honest...This beer just feels confused.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this. After the stellar '09 I can't help but feel let down by this offering.

 906 characters

Photo of jaasen64
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Lord Hobo for their Vertical Epic event on 12/12/12. Part of Flight "C" (09, 10, 11, 12). 5oz serving in a flight glass.

A- Translucent light orangish yellow with a decent white head that fades at an average pace. Not overly carbonated.

S- White grapes that provide a sauvignon blanc presence to the beer, definitely a mixture of floral notes and some spices that accentuate it. About average aroma strength.

T- Grapes, sauvignon, light spices, and a light floral presence. Grapes definitely dominate the most giving a very sauvignon wine presence that's balanced with a light floral spice presence.

M- Light, easy drinking, decent carbonation.

O- This was a nice beer that was very easy to drink but wasn't anything special. If you like sauvignon blanc wine then I would definitely recommend trying this beer out. This was very similar to the barrel-aged version except maybe a little bit less flavor.

 917 characters

Photo of ncfranklin
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber in a tulip. 2 years on this beauty. For the 12th.

A: Beautiful gold translucent. Light carbonation bubbles. Minimal white head fades to nothing.

S: Nose has gone feint, likely a byproduct of the carbonation loss. Light grape, spice and bread. Not much more.

T: This is where this one shines. It's smoothed over the edges, and the flavors have developed into a sweet honey along with the tangy grape and light biscuit. Easy drinking too. The wine influence from the grapes is elevant.

M: Carbonation almost gone. Not much left here.

O: I'm not sure the age has benefited this one as much as change it. The grapes come full circle and everything mellows.

 668 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean deep golden pour with a very light amount of head which quickly diminished. Smells of grapes, grass, Belgian yeast.. Has a funk to it.
The taste is very much like the scents, however more present. A funky sweet taste of grapes, a spicy pepper flavor, and a saison style yeast is present in the finish. For being 2 years old the carbonation held up well, drinks easy for a medium body beer.

Not a huge fan of wine, but I like the twist on this ale.

 456 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours a cloudy shade of light yellow with a half finger offwhite head that fades quickly. Eh, whatever

S- the grapes come through mainly in the forefront with some hints of the chamomile slipping in near the back. Solid enough, not overly vinous

T- there is a definite sweetness from the grapes in the finish. The chamomile opens very subtlely, and I feel that the beer is rather dry as well. Comparing to to Dogfish's Noble Rot, I prefer DFH's take on a vinous beer

M- for a 9.5% beer, the body on this one is really light, and it's very drinkable as well

O- this isn't bad by any means, but I can definitely see why people wouldn't like it. Personally, I do enjoy when beers are made with grapes in the style of a wine, and this one is no exception

 802 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear deep golden color with a huge fluffy white head that slowly recedes but leaves a fair amount of sticky lace on the sides on the way down. The aroma is filled with light brown sugar, sweet candy sugar and malts along with prunes, grapes, raisins, and a non descript floral smell. The flavor is much like the aroma promised. Sweet malts and dark sugars alongside dark pitted fruit. The flavor is quite vinous, but the caramel from the malt counters that quite nicely. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet light syrupy mouthfeel. This is the second time I've tried this beer, and honestly when fresh I really didn't like it, it was too winey for my tastes. That being said, age seems to have done wonders for this brew and all of the ingredients seem to have melded quite nicely.

 822 characters

Photo of BuckyFresh
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to TCHopCraver for supplying this treat!

Appearance: Poured from a 22oz bomber into a large tulip glass. Color is a slightly hazy straw yellow with a white one-finger head. The head itself is big-bubbled and has decent staying power. Lacing is good as well. Little carbonation is visible in the glass, but there are some little floaties making their way about the glass.

Smell: The aroma is grassy, with some citrus and a Belgian mineral/yeasty influence. Also present is an undercurrent of white wine aroma.

Taste: Not really what I expected. Taste like a semi-dry white wine. Very minerally and not much bite. After taste is like that of a white wine, but maybe a bit sweeter. That presence lingers on quite a while after swallowing as well.

Mouthfeel: A little on the full side of medium-bodied and sweet. Aftertaste has staying power and is like that of a sweet white wine.

Overall: A unique beer, but a bit one-dimensional. It really tastes more like a glass of wine than a beer.

 1,017 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Original review from 2010: Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber. Thin head and minimal lacing. Sweet malt spice and citrus aroma. Vinous. Sweet malt, sweet wine. Odd spicy and sour finish. Probably the chamomile Light to medium bodied. Not too tasty right now. My least favorite of the Vertical Epics so far.
Rereviewed with a properly cellared bottle in 2012:
Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium golden amber. Very active half finger white head on pouring dissipated instantly to a thin ring around the glass; carbonated like a soda. Mild aroma of fresh apple juice with a hint of Belgian spicing and white wine. Flavor of sweet malt, apple and grape juice, finishes with light hops and chamomile, which leaves a slightly earthy, herbal bitterness. Light to medium bodied. Flavors have developed nicely over two years and this tastes much more like a classic tripel with chamomile replacing the coriander for sharp spicing. Interesting that the vinous quality has changed to a distinct apple quality. I liked this quite a bit and clearly better than I did in the original review.
Original rating: 3.5,3,3,3.5,3.5
Replaced with my current rating.
The appearance got a lower rating because it was boring and lack a head in the glass. Flavor and overall rating were raised. I think this is a fair assessment of improvement in aging, but I have also become more in tune with the tripel style, which I like a lot better than I did several years ago.

 1,489 characters

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

20 month old bottle, poured into a Belgian tulip glass.

You can definitely smell the white wine tones in there. Lemons, grapes, orange zest and various fresh citrus scents. Grassy, herbal tea notes wind throughout. I feel like I'm picking up some vanilla in there too. Overall, it smells fantastic. Bitter, slightly boozey grape, lemon and tart tangerine flavors up front. The chamomile comes in and tones down the acidic flavors, smoothing it out a bit. Its very effervescent and a bit boozey. The heat, although it gets smoothed out a bit, definitely sticks around and warms you up a lot inside. When this one first came out I wasn't a fan and most of my friends didn't like it much either. Either my tastes have changed or it has just matured to a great point. I can't wait for my 07-12 vertical later this year.

 816 characters

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

Poured into a Stone Old Guardian glass
20 month old bottle

A- Pours a nice hazy golden with a one finger white head. The head dissipated quickly. A classic looking beer.

S- Smells like lemons, oranges and grapefruits. Some dark fruit and sugary light caramel smells. Some spices and a Belgian yeastyness. A very pleasing citrus smelling beer.

T- Odd is my first impression, though that's not a bad thing. A lot of lemon zest and grassy notes. A bit of peppery spice. Belgian yeast and grassy floral notes. A mix between a tripel and a pale ale in my opinion.

M- This beer is slightly warming. It has a nice bolt aftertase just like the taste of this beer. Goes down pretty easily, a nice body, well carbonated.

O- I think this is a bit better then 11.11.11 but not quite up to most of other stones in my opinion. An interesting beer for sure.

 849 characters

Photo of BostonHops
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber (22oz) served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a clear, bright golden tone with a quickly receding finger of off-white head; spotty lacing. great color but docked points on the lack of head retention.

nose is a nice and interesting potpourri of white grapes, a big florally presence, spices, and some belgian yeast.

hmm, unique and rather tasty flavor profile. vinous with grapes leading the way, accompanied by clove, chamomile, a very subtle note of funk, and a sweet, candied sugar presence. a touch of warming alcohol in the finish... enjoying this quite a bit.

medium-bodied/carbed mouthfeel and for my money very drinkable.

originally reviewed: 10-26-2010

 673 characters

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.

 579 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip. The beer is crystal clear and dark gold in color with nice effervescence and a small fluffy white head. The nose has a champagne-like floweriness and some apple and pear notes.

Interesting flavor. Kind of like Duvel, except not nearly as dry. There is a fruity sweetness up front with flavors of grapes, apples, and pears. At mid-palate, a slight dryness kicks in. The finish is nice and lingering, leaving flavors of appleskins in the mouth. The beer is medium-bodied, but a bit undercarbonated in my opinion. It's very wine-like and drinks like a German Riesling. It becomes drier as it warms.

This is a very interesting take on a Belgian Tripel. It strikes a nice balance between sweet, dry, and acidic. I'm not sure if other beer drinkers will appreciate this interpretation, but I really enjoyed it.

 847 characters

Photo of psuKinger
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber, shared with my buddy Matt, poured into a couple of Stone RIS tulips.

A: Pours a bright orange color with a thin bone-white head that didn't stick around for long.

S: Lots of lemon zest, a moderate amount of banana, and hint of clove. Yeastiness shines through from the background.

T: Taste follows the nose. Lots of bright lemon. Some citrus spice that I didn't notice in the nose. Banana present but underlying. Almost as if someone squeezed an orange into a tall glass of lemonade and then pureed in just a bit of breadiness.

The lemon just explodes out of the glass here. It's strong and full of flavor, but not balanced, either.

M: Carbonation is low. Not surprising, considering this was brewed on 10.10.10 and today is 3.16.12. But lots of sticky lemon flavors on the back end, and a good dry finish.

D/O: The lack of balance with this beer made it somewhat undrinkable. I look forward to trying this again as part of the "big flight" when the epic series concludes, but I don't feel much desire to have another one today.

 1,051 characters

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.

 520 characters

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

22 oz. bottle.

Pours a mostly clear honey orange. Finger of moderately thick, off-white head. Some lacing. Honeyed fruits, pear, fruit cocktail, grape juice, and light spice and yeast on the nose.

Toasted malts up front. Herbal bitterness follows. Floral, fruity, sweetish malts fill in, while the herbal bitterness becomes a little more vegetal and stays in the background. Definite wine presence here (I especially get some Sauvignon Blanc tart fruitiness and grassy, almost cat-pee notes). Throughout it all there is a slightly detracting herbal spice note (chamomile?). Finish dries out a little, with hints of yeast funk. Lingering fruit juice and wine flavors. Medium-full body with gentle carbonation. Not bad.

 720 characters

Photo of TaySuth
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A glowing light amber in color. Large white bubbles make up a two finger head that slowly recedes into a ring. Nice lacing.

Smell: Grapes hit the nose first followed by belgian yeast aroma. Hops add a hint of citrus and there is a distinct flower scent as well.

Taste: Lots of wine flavor from the grapes. Nice bitterness. Nice twist from those belgian yeast. Citrusy hops hit strong on the finish. This is a great tasting beer. Very balanced on the palate. I feel that the extra six months of aging has paid off.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body is slightly on the heavy side but in a great way. Great carbonation. Very good mouthfeel overall.

Overall: Stone just doesn't seem to put out a bad beer. I am very stoked that I found this bottle of 10.10.10 in 3.1.12. Can't wait to see what 11.11.11. has in store for my tastebuds.

 840 characters

Photo of engagechad
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH snifter

Pourse a golden yellow, good clarity with decent head and not much lacing.

Smells very much of grapes, good winey aromas going on, very nice.

Taste follows, booze isn't too prevalent. Great body, the grapeyness is there and it's really interesting.

Overall this was a great beer, great idea. I had 666 777 888 999 101010 and 111 at a tasting and this stood out to me with 777 as the better ones.

 425 characters

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.75 out of 5 based on 957 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.