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 pmarlowe
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tulip glass.

A: Pours an opaque straw color with a little fizzy white head which almost completely disappears pretty quickly. No retention or lacing to speak of.

S: White wine layered over chamomile, orange, and pale malt. Something in the savory-ness of the wine clashes with the malt, and isn't quite working. There's almost a ketchup flavor here. Yep, it's ketchup.

T: Floral notes dominate at first, transitioning into some malt, with the grapes lending mouthwatering acidity at the end. The long finish features malt again. Pretty dry.

M: The grapes lend body to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body and medium-light carbonation.

O: Once I got the smell of ketchup, it was hard to let it go. It tasted fine, and was otherwise a pretty interesting interpretation.

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Photo of aranheaney
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Here it goes review #100-

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber that has been cellared since October 2010 into a 3 Heads Brewing pint glass, wanted to do something big and noteworthy for this one...

A-Hazy honey orange with a bit of head and no lace

S-apricots, sweetness and a hint of wine

T-super sweet, almost like grape juice or wicked sweet wine

M-carbonated well, not much else to say

O-first stone product that has not delivered, can I get a mulligan for #100?

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Later this year I plan to vertical 09 through 12. I wish I got on this train earlier. I only just found out about the annual Stone offering in 2009.

I used a snifter to savor this beer. I can get more of the belgian yeast and wine-like presence off the top. It smells really good. I like the various white grapes that have a very nice presence. The belgian yeast creates a very good sour presence.

The taste is equal to the very good bouquet. I really enjoy the balance of venous quality, the belgian flavor, and I even get some chamomille. This is a great mix of complex flavors... are you really shocked that Stone would make a complex beer?

The aging has provided a very easily drinkable experience. There is a little bit of heat from the alcohol. It was very easy to drink.

This was a great beer. You should pick up a bottle, or not. This has no longer been brewed, but maybe Stone will re-brew this in 2013 after the end of the Vertical Epic series.

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Photo of Vec2267
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

To be fair to the beer and brewery, I do not have the facilities to properly store beers for the long term. This beer was stored in a box in a closet at 75-80 degrees.

A - pale orange, a vigorous poor gives a 1 inch head that dissolves quickly

S - sweet, floral, fruity, slight spice

T - grapes front and center, a sweet/sour tango adds complexity, very little in the way of hops or malt - more grapes/wine than beer

M - the tartness of the grapes makes it crisp

O - certainly an experience, I like it more as a whole than as any one component, but still, this is way out there - there is nothing bad or offensive about this beer - but nothing compelling either

If I did not know that this was a Stone beer, I would have guessed this came from Dogfish. It has that strange blend of tastes that struggle to work. It is a finely crafted beer, but not something I would care to repeat.

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

Poured aggressively from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. It's a 10.10.10, so no other dates needed - it's about a year and a half old, purchased yesterday.

A: Cloudy golden, nearly opaque, probably 5% opacity. About 2 fingers of white head, average retention, not great, no lacing to speak of.

S: I pick up a light grape juice scent - white grapes, and some booze, but this is a pretty high ABV so it's not surprising.

T: Tastes a lot like white wine, very much like white grapes, no depth or complexity at all. Hits you first with a lot of sour grape and bitterness, very in-your-face with the sour grape. Starts and finishes about the same with that fermented white grape, but it does start sour and finish sweeter. The booze isn't very well hidden in this one, it's very alcoholic, and tastes more like carbonated white wine than anything else. Not bad, not great, but I rated it above average because it's unique and has character.

M: Lighter bodied mouthfeel, quite watery, very dry on the finish. Kind of feels like drinking sparking grape juice or champagne. Starts with a prickly carbonation that quickly tames to very light.

D: Definitely drinkable, goes down pretty easy, but the alcohol is prevalent.

O: Eh. Stone makes some very fine brews, but they can be very hit or miss. This is certainly different for the style, and an interesting change from the norm, but I'm going to go ahead and call it a miss. It's not great, nor is it bad. There isn't anything that's really offensive about it, so the drinkability is up there, but it has zero depth and reminds me of sparkling grape juice and vodka. Doesn't live up to the "epic" name IMO. Overall, it's just above average because of it's uniqueness.

Probably wouldn't pick up another VE for the price, but I also don't regret buying it. I'd drink it again if it were cheaper, or if someone offered me one free.

Recommended? Don't pay $6 - $8 a bomber to try it, but do try it if you can get it cheaper and/or you like white wine, or if vodka flavored sparking sour white grape juice sounds appealing to you.

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Photo of warnerry
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy golden brown with very little head and no pacing to speak of. Some sediment in the glass.

S - White grape aroma with big floral chamomile notes. Some lemon and Belgian yeast, with a faint funk.

T - Starts with a bit of tart grape, followed by chamomile, lemon, Belgian yeast that adds a slight funk, and some faint sweet notes.

M - Medium mouthfeel is pretty crisp and finishes with a nice earthy funk.

O - Definitely not something I would want every day, but I enjoyed this more than I thought I might after reading the description. The taste didn't live up to the aroma, however.

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

Repost of review from hacked account "jmkratt" :(

A - Poured from brown bomber to NBB Globe glass. The beer pours a hazy golden color with little head. A bit of sediment towards the end of the bottle. Some lacing.

S - A unique nose that is dominated by the light and crisp grape tone. The chamomile played second fiddle to the fruity character of citrus and the earthen hop character.

T - Reminds me a lot of wine in character and flavor, which struck me a bit as odd. Just like the nose the grape character dominates. The fruity flavors meld well with the chamomile and earthy, almost spicey, hop character. The yeast provides a further dynamic that reminds me I'm drinking a Belgian Strong rather than white wine and rounds the palette out well. Hides the alcohol fairly well though it comes through as it warms.

M - Surprisingly light bodied with good carbonation. A light mouthfeel.

O - Good beer. I'd like to pick up another if possible to cellar and enjoy in a couple years.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 07-07-2011 21:20:55

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Photo of negroobserver
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with hues of pink and orange. Pours with about a quarter inch of white head. Smells of wheat, fruit and prominentt sour notes.

Tastes of wheat mostly. Light sour taste at the back end with a bit of hoppy bitterness. Slight residue on the tongue, but it's flavorless.

Nicely carbonated. Could be a cleaner finish. A bit of the alcohol comes through. Not overwhelming, but noticeable.

Overall a nice and easy to drink brew, but it's not the best in class.

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

A: Pours a hazy gold with a thin wisp of white mousse that quickly disappears.

S: Strong, fruity aromas reminiscent of wine grapes are present on the nose. As the beer settles and warms, aromas of spicy yeast, candy sugar, chamomile, and grain emerge.

T: A crisp entry is immediately chased by notes of candy sugar, herbs, lemon, chamomile, grain, wine grapes, and spicy, pungent Belgian yeast. The finish is extremely clipped, crisp, and dry with flavors reminiscent of a white wine.

M: Medium to full in body, though a bit closer to the former than to the latter. Carbonation is crisp and prickly. Very dry and very drinkable for the style.

O: This is a decent Belgian-style ale that does not quite pull everything together. Though every aspect of this beer is interesting, it still comes off as being a bit out of whack. I'm happy to see Stone experiment like this, though.

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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 kawilliams81
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip.

A- dark gold with 2 finger white head, no lacing.

S- lemon and citrus, vinous aroma, slight funkiness in there.

T- lemons, spices, almost some sour white grape juice to.

M- medium body, slight acidity, little thin.

O- forgot to review this last year, but I don't remember this having the acidity. Interested to see if this beer gets funkier in a year or so.

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Photo of atr2605
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a slight hazy golden color with a sift white head with average retention
S-white grapes, little green olive aroma, honey, slight hop bitterness
T-white grapes, apple, yeasty and green olive in the finish. Sounds weird but is still really good
M-light-medium, quite a bit of carbonation but very thin bubbles
O-Very interesting beer. Lots of unique flavor. Worth a try

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4.73/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft serving into a tulip for $6. Sampled 10/26/10.

A: Pours with a finger and a half of foamy off-white head with decent retention. The body is light orange - about 90% transparent - with cranberry tints which disappear when backlit. A few active streamers keep the thin film alive. No lacing.

S: Light lactic qualities on the tip of the nose, followed by a heavily spicy component. Herbal (suggestions of rosemary and parsley) leading into the fresh scent of lemon. Alcohol has a presence but, in the form of white wine, its not offensive. Instead it comes off as a favorable quality.

T: This is a bold brew with a wide spectrum of flavors that work EXTREMELY well together. Alcohol is noticeable but not to the detriment of the beer. Light bitterness and moderate sweetness. The chamomile inclusion is understated but noticeable; the blend of white wines is sublime.

M: Appearance aside, the mouthfeel appears to be the only drawback of 10.10.10. It comes across a touch thin, perhaps due to a less-than-perfect level of carbonation. My opinion changed after the first sip from my second glass, however, as each aspect of the mouthfeel not only improved, but also began to make sense to the beer as a whole. The body gets fuller and the effervescence becomes prickly. Now there is almost nothing to complain about here.

D: [DRINKABILITY] The next sip is always an anticipation. As I've said above, I ordered a second glass as soon as I finished the first. I almost never do that. The ABV is the only thing keeping the drinkability rating from being a '5'.

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

The vertical epic continues… Tasted this after a year and change. Wish I had notes to compare it to as it would be interesting to see how and in what ways it developed.

This is a Belgian-style ale, light and golden in the glass with a pleasing floral estery aroma. Quite a bit of spice on it—I definitely picked up on coriander, at the expense of some of the other flavors at work here. Was there coriander in the recipe? Did a year’s age change this? Maybe it’s just my sense of smell and taste at work here.

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Photo of socon67
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours golden into a chalice glass. Lots of carboantion visible. Some lacing. Impressive foam in the pour that settles quickly. Clear.

S - Smells sweet, with noticeable fruit. The grapes do add to the aroma.

T - Initial taste is sweet. There is a spicy vibe to it. Has a dessert wine qulaity; the sugary flavor is throughout. I like the mix of this and the belgian yeast flavors.

M - Decent feel, light bodied. But with the carbonation and the sweetness I don't know if more than one will be nearly as great.

O - Really interesting and I might regret not getting the other verticals. Certianly one I was glad to crack open.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Vertical Epic glass because that's how I roll.

Beer is yellow / amber and mostly clear with a white head low retention, no lacing, moderate carbonation, looks fine.

Aroma at first is really yeasty, almost skunky, but then the sweetness, and the esters come through. It is a mildly spicy Belgian ale.

Beer is quite thin, a little dry on the finish, pretty sweet throughout though. It is quite strong in flavor, carbonation sharp on the palate, decent but a little boozy still. I'll have it again at a VE party.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Cloudy orange. Very little bubbles. No head, instead a white ring of foam...

S - Some huge Chardonnay notes, lots of white/greens grapes. unique. Some faint vanilla.

T - The taste has improved ten fold since last year, but it still tastes like a glass of white wine... There's nothing overly Belgian about this brew. Almost a sour.

M - A very bitter and twangy brew. This one is overly unique. Some heat. Carbonation is moderate, good for the style.

O - A vast improvement now that it has some age... But it still lacks body and depth. Grape is overwhelming. Worth splitting with a friend.

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

22 oz bottle. It was $7.25.

Appearance: Clear orange with a soft white head. Very little head retention and just spots of lacing.

Smell: Typical Belgian light fruit esters with apple, pear, and white grape. In this case, the white grape is obviously dominant due to the added grape juice. It smells very sweet and perfumey, and there's some clove in there too. Swirling brings up a soft musty yeastiness.

Taste: The flavor is --surprise-- white wine mixed with a BSPA. Wine notes are sweet, slightly tart, a little buttery, and a little bitter at the end. The underlying Belgian flavors are again clovey and yeasty, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel: I think it lacks some carbonation. Needs a little more spritz to it. As it is, it finishes a little syrupy, sticky.

Overall: These vertical epic beers aren't all that great, but this one is interesting, tasty, drinkable.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.17/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a golden yellow color with some ambery hues. Thin off-white head fades out leaving little lacing or retention.

Interesting nose with a mix between white wine and grape skin mixed with a splash of sweetness and belgian yeast. Light warmth and cloves too.

Somewhat sweet up front with a swirling cocktail of wine and grape character. Intermittent herbal notes from the chamomile with a decent amount of sweetness. Slight acidity from white wine and grape skin. Soft belgian yeast and funk with some spice and clove. Finishes a little warm and sweet.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, a little sticky and lingering on the tongue. I've tried this one a few times but really can't get that into it. It might be the muscat grapes, but I don't really like the sweet white wine character I find here.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled a year after bottling, the beer appeared amber in color, and had a relatively small head and a moderate carbonation. The aroma was floral, earthy, and had a touch of funk in it, reminding me of some the better Saisons I have sampled in the past. The taste was not quite as complex as the smell suggested, but it was a delicately balanced one. I could detect some woody and herbal notes, and a tart overtone, followed by a floral finish. The body was medium dense, and the alcohol was very well hidden. There was almost no indication of this beer being nearly a double digit ABV. A nice and smooth drink, but not an overly memorable one.

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Photo of rmcnealy
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an awesome light golden amber, almost orange in color. A small off white lace vanished to almost nothing but a nearly unnoticeable ring around the glass. First aromas are of slight citrus and floral with light hop. The yeast is noticeable along with citruses of grapefruit and lemon and a malt undertone. Finishes off with a bittery zest. This was a good looking beer. Tasted great. Not syrupy or boozy. Overall and excellent beer. Can't wait to try one next year!


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

After one year of aging, let's see how this has held up. I remember being fairly impressed with it a year ago. Hopefully it's still delightful. Poured into a Bruery tulip

Smell at first is that of white wine. Fruitiness. But there is something else there...some bread perhaps because of the yeast? Some of the sweeter notes seem to have faded. Appearance is a cloudy golden yellow orange

The taste has definitely changed. Whereas a year ago it was like drinking a cider, the yeast has definitely changed the flavor character of this beer. It almost tastes more like a Belgian pale ale at this point. Very interesting development.

Mouthfeel is decent. Still some good mild carbonation.

Overall, the beer has definitely changed. It's still a decent beer in its recent incarnation, but it isn't anything overly remarkable. It's good.

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

Poured a year late.

Pours a very golden yellow color. Very good carbonation accompanies about a quarter inch head.

Smells yeasty, with a huge emphasis on the fruity side. I get hints of citrus. The grapes hide somewhere in the background.

A complex taste for sure. Bready yeast floats around, and the grapes make it as smooth as a euro lager. The grapes really contribute just a bit to the flavor; I really like them.

Feels dry and crisp. Normally, I would knock crispness, but I like it. Its crisp on the back end, leaving a dry finish.

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Photo of yesferro
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flying Saucer in Cordova TN, on 11.12.11

Poured a beautiful gold color, fizzy, barely any head, didn't last long. Hard to judge on the head since I didn't pour it myself and have no idea how the taps are set. Every single beer other then the nitro beers I saw being tapped last night had no head.

Smells great, crispy belgian yeast smell, small hint of lemon.

Tastes like a dry triple, that's the easiest way to explain it, the added wine grapes come through real subtle, very intersting. I'm glad we have a bottle of this left to age some more. Really wish this wasn't a special release!

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

Really glad I waited until 11/11/11 to try this one! Bomber -> tulip.

A - A nice gold/pale amber, 1/2 finger of head that dissipates quickly with little lacing. Nice carbonation though.

S - A little Belgian funk/coriander/spice up front, grassy/earthy/herbal hops and lemony citrus. Alcohol is a little too evident for my taste.

T - Slight sweetness from candi sugar is cut by grassy hops & some lemony flavors from chamomile. Wine grapes add a nice depth & sweetness but also give a nice clean & dry finish. Hard to pinpoint but some flavors clash a bit, almost too many things going on. Alcohol gets a little more prevalent as it warms but drinks at its ABV.

M - Nice and slightly creamy, the dry finish is a really nice touch. Carbonation is good but nothing special overall.

O - A well done interpretation of a BSPA mixed with an IPA. Could really be something special with a bit more work, I could see this being a year round beer a la NB Belgo.

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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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