Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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.

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Ratings: 957 |  Reviews: 476
Photo of farrago
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weak half finger head, loose and watery, bleached white in color, gone swiftly with minuscule lacing left behind. Clear golden colored liquid with a coppery tinge, very few, if any, bubbles visible. Sour, vinous nose of white grape, pear, apple, apricot fruit, close to high quality vinegar at moments, gives you sharper baking spices, tart lemon to blood orange citrus and angular yeastiness, not much "soft" going on, but wait for the pepper and grass to catch on, not especially longlasting but does cleanse your nostrils well. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is not light per se, just tight and angry. However, this isn't enough to fight off the heaviness, tends to lack movement if not insanely full-bodied. Floral with more of that grape, pear, green apple, apricot, peach fruit, skin and pit accents. Peppery with unprocessed grains more than green grass, something like chicory. Clove and mint. Puckering lemon, white grapefruit, tangerine citrus. Not as estery as one might expect. More yeast than even raw dough. The sourness is not so much of an issue as is the way it fatigues the palate. A bomber is too much for a single sitting.

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Photo of dfernandez77
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not one of my normal reviews as I'm thinking back 2 days to when I tried it...

Though I may be branded as a heretic - here's my take on it from a second tasting this last Friday.

I tried one with a couple friends about 2 months ago. It was boozy, a little hot, and wandering around somewhere between trying to be a light pale ale and cidery/vinous goings on. The general impression was - interesting, but too young.

Two months later the unfocused characters have merged really well. It is very crisp, light in body, very refreshing in flavor. The mouthfeel is more like a gueze lambic (not sweet) - light, bright and energetic. But, without sourness, or wild funk in the flavor or aroma. Just clean and refreshing.

Now for the heresy. Buy it now - drink it in the next 2 months. It just doesn't seem to have the backbone - in maltiness, wild funk, or body - to last until 12-12-12.

For me (just my opinion), buying the 10-10-10 to save would be like buying Beaujolais Nouveau to put aside in a cellar for a few years - it's just wrong. But it is immensely drinkable right now - seriously enjoyable.

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

Golden colored, slight haze, a little lively carbonation. Thin white head that dissipated quickly. Bready malt aromas with an even mix of vinous notes. Slightly fruity and yeasty as well. Taste as well is an interesting mix of malt notes with vinous qualities. The grapes provide a light, fruity sweetness but the beer is not particularly sweet overall. The malts are note terribbly complex, but rather augment the wine flavors. Mouthfeel is light and airy, sweet without being at all cloying. This beer seems confused as to whether it is supposed to be a wine or a beer. While the flavors don't clash, it seems the malt profile doesn't mesh as well as it could with the grapes.

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

Poured into my snifter, this beer is a cloudy gold/bright copper color. White head is about an inch poured, settling to a medium sized white ring lining the inside of the glass about 10 minutes after being poured. Nice lacing. Aromas of sweet malt, as well as the smell of the grapes that were used in this fine beer, are present and are followed with a faint hop aroma. The sweet malt flavor hit my tongue upfront along with some Belgian candy like sweetness, followed by a distinct hop bitterness unlike the ones found in most other beers I have had (and I have had a lot of them), and is rounded out with the flavors of the aforementioned grapes, which is not something I am used to in beer but I like the use of it here. This certainly is a unique beer, and I expect nothing less from Stone. The high alcohol is well masked and the flavors really blend together well as the beer starts to warm up. Has a crisp and smooth , full bodied mouth feel with moderate carbonation. Drinkability increases as the beer warms. Not a beer I'd drink everyday, but another great effort by Stone!


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Photo of CHickman
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy gold with a 1 finger creamy off white head that faded quickly, with decent lacing that slid down fast; a lot of bubbles racing up the beer (that kind of look like a sperm video since the bubbles are flying all over the place).

Smells of sweet malt, fruit like apple, pear, grapes and/or grapefruit, herbs, very light caramel, faint grains and some floral hops; a very tame nose for a Stone beer, the aroma was soft and sweet.

Tastes of sweet malt, apple, pear, grapes, grapefruit, hay, herbs, light caramel, faint grains, floral hops, brown sugar, coriander, citrus hops, light spices like pepper and yeast; the funky yeast taste is light and metallic, yet the grapes give a nice tart wine-like flavor. The more I drank this beer the more I liked it; it has a white wine quality mixed with the traits of a nice Belgian ale. Initially I was disappointed by the appearance and aroma, but the flavor got better with each sip as the fruit and floral tastes brought out more intricacies.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and soft on the tongue, with a tart fruity taste which leaves a bitter pucker, a light body with champagne like carbonation and a sweet finish like a white wine.

Highly drinkable and packed with flavor, this to me could be a great session beer and definitely one to enjoy with a meal like fish. This beer hides the 9.5% ABV very well and maintains good balance and great taste. I plan on buying another bomber to age until 12.12.12 and perhaps another one to share with my wife, as this is really good stuff. Bravo Stone, way to keep things interesting and delicious. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden peach color with a tight white head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of pale malts and fruit.

Tastes of a big fruit component rounded out with spices. Pale malts make an appearance towards the front, but fruitiness dominates after that. Notes of pear and apple as well as some white wine notes. Very bright with not much sweetness. Alcohol is noticeable, but not to the point where it forces sipping. Some clove and peppery spice makes an appearance. Chamomile notes come through as well and blends with the fruit. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of papabogen
1.74/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Who poured wine in my beer? I used to consider myself some what stone-fan boy still love their beer and was happy to get my hands on some lucky bastard a week or so ago but this was not for me. I did not find any enjoyment in drinking this brew. If I wasn't in college I would have not finished this and just poured it down the drain.

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

Thanks goes out to warriorsoul for this brew.

Pour into a chalice a nice cloudy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice yeast notes, grapes, pears, green apples, and some spices. The taste is malty, a nice sweetness, yeasty, with some nice tangy fruits. Medium body. Very Drinkable, this is a fine brew.

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Photo of WesWes
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is outstanding. It has a wonderful tripel scent; pale malts fruity yeast esters. It's exceptionally fruity with chamomile flowers and muscat grapes. It's mildly tart/fruity with a solid pale malt sweetness. The taste is great as well. It's smooth with a sweet pale malt flavor that's complimented with an array of grape character and chamomile flower notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good beer. It's quite complex, yet easy drinking, even at 9.5% abv..

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Photo of steve8robin
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good beer bud brought this brew. Glad to try. 22oz bottle, 2010 vintage...

A: Medium honey color with a tiny 1/2 inch white head that fades on the brew and just leaves tiny white strips on the top of the brew. Good.

S: A heavy bready rye upfront with some faint hints of a sour tinge. Some cherries in the middle with some bologna scent on the backend. Decent.

T: Bready, bologna rye upfront blended with some faint candi sugars. A sort of black licorice type of taste. Some banana and faint bubble gum on the backend. Decent.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation feel. A sticky finish. Good.

D: Goes down decent.

All in all, this has an ok blend of flavors. Not amazing but, ok. I have not been a fan of the Vertical Epic series. I tried the '09 and now the '10, and it does not impress me. It's very Belgian-esqu, and I'm not a fan of that. If you are, this might be for you.

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Photo of Liverpool08
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale orange, no real head. Good carbonation a lot of bubbles thruout. Smell is ok nothing special. Aroma is a little like a German reisling. Taste is very similar. Its like a sweet white wine. Except it still has that twinge of Belgian funk. Its a very interesting brew. Its obviously very much like a tripel, but you can certainly taste the grape influences in this beer. I like it, its very easy to drink. But you wouldn't want to drink several. Its till very sweet and with the high ABV, its a one bottle sipper.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had two 22oz bombers of this. Still trying to figure out if I like it or not.

Appearance (from what I remember) is a light orange, with minimal head and a little lacing.

Smell is of white wine and light beer/ale. You definitely smell the sweet grapes and the alcohol. Besides that, it didn't strike me as extremely complex.

Taste from the first bottle, refrigerator cold, was Blue Boar and grapes. I know, crazy. It tasted like an ale with grape juice. Nothing impressive. Second pour when it warmed up a little, I started to enjoy it more. The cask and and wine characteristics started to become more prevalent over the sweet-beer flavor. The complexities of different grapes, floral tones and sweetgrass began to emerge. Taste was not too bad at about 60+ degrees. No real malt presence, maybe some light hops with the earthy/floral characteristics. A touch spicy.

Mouthfeel was good, light to medium-light body.

Drinkability was ok. It seemed like a dessert beer to me even though it is probably too sweet to pair with a lot of sweet deserts. Something tart maybe?

Marketed as a bottle-conditioned ale, I'm looking forward to trying my bottle on hand in a few years.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Slightly unfiltered with a thin head and a medium-orange color. Light cascading carbonation coming off the pint glass.

S - Typical Belgian aroma from the Stone Vertical Epic series with a faint grape smell and chamomile tea.

T - Sort of a sour flavor from the yeast and the grapes add a juiciness and slight sweetness to the palate. Spices are light and semi-dry/bittering. A little too much on the sour side for my liking of Belgian strong pale ales.

M/D - Has a medium body with good carbonation, and so-so use of ingredients. Sour funk IMO makes it difficult to drink. Mouthfeel is standard with use of carbonation and alcohol isn't present. Just would like to see more candied sugar/sweetness in this brew.

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Photo of adamette
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the bomber that I bought at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio last week. I did not keep track of the price. Poured into my Poured into my gold rimmed Brewery Ommegang Westveteren style goblet.

A Very brief white bubbly (not creamy) head over a crystal clear body with golden hues. Obvious yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle before opening too. The look is a little "meh" but the style does not call for an outstanding looking beer. I believe that the high set ABV (9.5% I believe) makes the head dissipate quickly. I will say that it looks even better than it should in my Belgian goblet! 3.0

S Really nice grainy Belgian yeast smell with some sweet malt. I also detect some alcohol but it is not dominate or anything. It reminds me of some of the classic Belgian beers that I have had within this style. It is inviting and interesting. 4.0

T Oh yes, this is a well crafted beer! What strikes me first is the significantly more taste than the smell suggested. The smell was a bit distant and thin. The taste is not. Earthy, organic Belgian yeast is there but the sweet nectar barley malt is very tasty. It carries with it a bit of citrus bite but the sweetness predominates. The alcohol is also much more obvious in the taste than the smell suggested. I really like how this all works and it works in the classic way that the style is intended. 4.0

M As mentioned, syrupy nectar of the sweet malt and a warmth of alcohol thicken up the feel of this beer. 3.5

D This is certainly a sipper. 9.5% ABV, relative bigness of the nectar sweetness mean for me that the bomber will be quite enough, thank you. I do not think, by the way, that it is supposed to be particularly "drinkable" via the style. 3.0

Notes: Another good one in the Stone Vertical Epic Series, a good example of the style. This might be the most "Belgian" that I have tasted from Stone!

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

On tap at Spinnerstown. Served in a wine type glass. Overall this is a a solid Trippel like beer. I think the grapes give it a softer sweeter finish. The big alcohol content is not obvious at all. Definitely the same as last year but overall a relly good job.

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

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

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

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Photo of merlin48
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dispenses a hazy golden body with a medium sized ivory head that retains well before dropping into patch and sheet lacing.

Quite a unique aroma. Floral chamomile, fruity esters that impart a note of overripe pears, crushed white grapes, and an overall perfumey incense character.

Medium full body has a low medium carbonation. A bit syrupy at times.

Taste has white grapeskins, Belgian candy sugar, some wine acidity, oaky vanilla, charred fragrant wood, and herbal chamomile. Alcohol is hidden very well. Complex and enjoyable.

Certainly the most challenging of the VE series I can recall. Almost like drinking liquid incense. A good candidate for aging.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear medium golden colored brew. Half an inch of white froth faded rapidly. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles rising. Just a few spots of lace left on glass.

A strong combination of fruit and yeast scents dominate the nose. Fruit has a predominance towards grapes and finishes with a very faint scent of banana.

A bit of a sour taste to the initial mouthful. Grapes can definitely be detected and bring with them a bit of a crisp finish. Candi sugar also adds an intertwined sweetness to the full taste.

Feeling on the tongue is average for the style. Little carbonation tingles on all surfaces.

An average brew. Good to accompany light appetizers before a meal. A different take on the style works out to a interesting brew. Anyone curious in the combination of grape juice and brew should try it.

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Photo of cdunlop
2.06/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Do not purchase this beer. Tastes like someone mixed white wine and a tripel together, shook it up, and bottled it. I couldn't even drink, the flavor was so bad.

I did not know what to expect, and was very let down. Overall I was very disappointed.

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

$8.99/22oz bottle. 9.5% ABV per the bottle. "Fermented with the legendary Ardennes strain of Belgian yeast, 10.10.10 is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (the bottle says a triple) brewed with pale malt, (Belgian amber candi sugar)and triticale (a cross of wheat and rye), hopped with German Perle hops, and steeped with (dried) chamomile (flowers) during the whirlpool stage. In secondary fermentation, we added a juice blend of Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties (from South Coast Winery)."

Pours out to a sparkingly clear dark golden with orange accents, forming a small white head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is a little on the mild side. The aroma is of a fine triple, with plenty of fruity esters (pineapple, banana) and spicy phenols. The chamomile addition is subtle in the nose, and I don't really pick up on the grape juice. Cleanly fermented. The grapes are subtle in the taste as well, adding a light body and a subtle perfumy flavor and tartness. The mouthfeel is slick, syrupy and lightly cloying. Finishes sweet with a mild bitterness.

I definitely get more beer flavor here than grape (wine) flavor. The yeast seems to add the most prominent flavor notes above all. This is an interesting well-made brew, but not something that stands out as unique as the ingredients would have me believe. I won't be buying another bottle of this, but as always, I like trying the Vertical Epic series from those master brewers over @ Stone.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into AVBC snifter.

A: Pours a light golden wit orange highlights under about a finger of bright white head that quickly faded into a thin film that left a few streaks of soapy lace down the glass. I poured this beer pretty rough and I didn't yield nearly as large of a head as I would have expected for a BSPA.
S: Very vinous smelling with big notes of white grapes. The nose is also full of white pepper, light yeast and subtle vapors of alcohol.
T: Sweet notes of white wine, pepper and herbal earthy hops. Finish is sweet and pretty dry. Not really picking up the chamomile, but a lot more of the grainy "pale ale" flavors are coming through. Aftertaste is lightly bitter yet sweet at the same time. Alcohol has a presence.
M: Medium-full body with a viscous yet dry mouthfeel from the alcohol. Soft enough carbonation. This beer goes down smooth.
D: Perhaps the grapes dominate a little too much, but I actually really liked this beer. This one is a hard one to describe as it is fairly complex and well done. Much better than last year's vertical epic in my opinion.

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

22oz bomber shared with a friend. Pours a clear yellow with a bone white head that doesn't retain very well. In the aroma, sweet and champagne like. This also pulls through in the taste, with grapes, belgian yeast and a kiss of hops. The finish is dry and clean. 10.10.10 hides its strength fairly well, but honestly I am looking forward to what this will do with some time in the cellar, as it was slightly hot. A decent beer as it is now, and one that should age gracefully.

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

22 oz bottle.

Pours an ultra clear gold. The head soon recedes into a ring of microfoam. First smell is white wine (duh) and Belgian yeasts. Almost candy-like, or like a brut champagne. Taste is remarkably circular, with an oaked quality about it. The grassy quality of the Gewurztraminer really comes through. Feel is thick and viscous. Finishes sticky and oaky dry. Some bitter finishing hops on this wield it back into beer territory, but basically this is a wine beer. It tastes good tho, and is easy to drink.

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Photo of scootny
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice follow up to last years sensational beer. A very clear honey amber with an off white head. Retention is so so and lacing is spotty as well but there is enough to look like a Belgian ale and thats good. Smell is pale malt and light grapes. Some Belgian Funk. A sweet sugary fruitiness and yeasty dough. Taste is like a good tripel with a very dry white wine finish. Good sweet malt front with an apple and grape fruitiness. Nice funkiness before the somewhat sharper than normal hops kick in to bitter it up a touch. Then the wine. The finish is long and dry with a tannic sourness blended with lightly citrused hoppiness. Feel is light and crisp with good carbonation to break up what is actually a relatively thick beer. Drinkability is excellent as the alcohol never flexes and the overall experience is refreshing and restorative. A super dinner beer and one I will be getting a few more bottles of.

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

A- Poured into a PALM snifter... Starts with a 2 finger thick pillowy head that leaves behind some lacing. Beer is light amber colored with a bit of sediment and activity

S- Very citrusy... orange peel, lemon zest, corriander, bit of belgian candied sugar on top of a mild bitter backbone

T- Nice. Sweet citrus flavor blends well with a mild hop bitterness very well. No booziness despite the 9.5% abv

M- Light bodied with light carbonation

D- Very tasty and easy to drink, though I'm a bit disappointed... especially for the price. Got an 090909 yet. Hopefully its better


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