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 peacebone116
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into Stella Artois glass.

A: Hazy, cloudy honey orange. Quickly fading head with delicate lacing at the glass's edge.

N: Alcohol, banana, and grape jelly (almost a prune juice like scent).

T/M: Alcohol burn--very much like brandy or port--is immediately present. Orange peel and coriander with a noticeable flash of dry white wine, primarily on the finish. When I close my eyes and try to pick out the white wine flavor, it is hard to grasp; but, when it hits, I can get lost in the complexity of the flavors. The beer has an oily mouthfeel, but not too astringent. The beer's "wine notes" become more evident as it warms.

I can honestly say that this beer is nothing like I have ever had before; it is very interesting and complex and quite a nice venture from the norm. The Belgian flavorings are much more prominent on the nose than they are in the taste, where it takes on wine qualities. I am very interested in seeing how this beer ages; I anticipate that the wine notes will fade as the beer notes become more prominent over time, but we will just have to wait and see about that! Nice experiment, Stone!

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Photo of fourplayed
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured hazy golden orange color with thin off white head.

Smells mildly sweet vinuous, coriander and spice, some yeast.

Taste is corainder, spices and grapes up front then yeasts, some bread and lite sweetness.

Medium body, carbonation is med and fits well, some hop bite, dry finish.

An interesting brew, not masterful, but very enjoyable, alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of massshortage
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was really excited to try this one, and felt only slightly disappointed.

It looks nice poured into a glass. Clear and golden. Head faded quickly.

I was intrigued by the complex smell of the grapes mixed with the spices and the faint Belgian yeast aroma.

The taste left me a little conflicted. First I was hit with the obvious Belgian yeast character, followed immediately by tart grapes and flowery spices. The chamomile adds an interesting bitterness with a finishing dryness. Mouth feel is medium-full, with a bright crisp carbonation.

Definitely a pleasant and drinkable beer, but not epic, though it must be realized that this was specifically designed to be aged for a couple years. I came too late into the game to collect each year's offering, so I'm not going to have an epic tasting of them all in 2012.

I'm sure this beer's conflicting flavors will balance better with aging, but in the meantime, I'm not sure I'm interested enough to buy another.

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

Very clear yellow with a hint of brown, not amber, yellow with brown. A big white head that disappeared quickly, too quickly, I don't think it's a glass problem. The smell has fresh cut flowers, some orange peel, and a bit of sweet sugar?, something sweet, how do you smell sweet? The taste starts out sweet, like fresh grapes, and then the carbonation washes that away and a little bitterness is there with a bit of flowery sweetness. Oh, I just read the bottle there is fresh pressed gerwurztraminer, that is what I am tasting, it is good. I like the slightly sour followed by the sweetness.

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

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pour a Belgium gold with a fluffy white capped head that is way to quick to dissipate.

S: Belgium spice and floral notes. Fresh fruit and clove.

T: Wow, this one is great. Fresh fruit, grapes, grapefruit, a light European hop tinge, spiciness from the yeast, complete Belgium inspired goodness. This brew is very earthy, and almost drinks like a strong, pail Saison. Complex, tasty, earthy.

Mf: Mouthfeel is good, but not as full as a good Belgium...almost here though, smooth and carbonation is excellent.

D: Above average drinkability. I feel good drinking this at this time of night, but I definitely will sleep well.

Overall, what a good take on a Belgium style. Glad to age this out. Thanks Stone!

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Photo of hosehead83
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet.
Clear, deep gold in color, with a very short, quickly fading head of foam.
Aroma-Belgian spices, faint funk note.
Taste-Spicy, seemingly light-bodied for the considerable strength. Wine-like dryness and a bit Saison-like spicy, dry finish. Belgian qualities and flavor throughout, with a lot going on as far as a wide mix of flavors. Super easy to drink, but respect the rather high(9.5) ABV.

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

Served cold into a goblet, 10.10.10 is a golden copper color with great clarity and tight white head. Unfortunately, it doesn't linger long and there's little lace at all left behind.

Aroma is sweet and sour with more than a slight resemblance to the white wine grapes that were used in its making.

Flavor is intense and the grapes are very much at the forefront. It is almost a white wine / pale ale hybrid. Sweetness, citrus, sour, hops, floral notes, and herbs. There is a lot going on here but it's almost too much.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Of all the Vertical Epic beers I've had, this is the only one that really seems ideal to cellar. A little hot and flavors that haven't quite melded yet, I think this will be much better in a couple years.

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Photo of AdamGarcia
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in Duvel tulip.

A: Clear straw color with a fluffy white head. Looks at home in the Duvel tulip. Head shows a creamy texture and pretty good retention with some sticky lace.

S: Spicy, somewhat musty scent. Very saison-like. Grapes and chamomile lend a perfume-y aroma. Pleasant, but not especially appealing.

T: Bright flavors. Zesty hops and earthy, spicy yeast. Sweet white grape juice. Maybe a hint of spice from the Gewurtztraminer. Some black pepper. Slightly tart at the back of the tongue. Crackery malt in the background. White grapes again in the finish. There are some tremendous flavors going on here, but they don't all come together cohesively.

M: Smooth and creamy, with the right amount of prickly carbonation.

D: High marks. The flavors are all very interesting and keep me wanting another sip. 9.5% abv is nowhere to be found.

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

A - Poors a golden color with white head.

S - Light alcohol smell. Not overwhelming.

T - Sweet. Definitely taste the fruits, especially the grape

M - Medium bodied with carbonation.

D - Pretty good, but was hoping for more. It was a little too sweet for my preference.

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

Deep gold with a slight chill haze, plus a thin white cap of fine bubbles and a rocky collar. Spotty lace, good head stability. Spicy aroma, cloves and pepper, bananas and grape skins, sugary sweetness, bready, slight yeast, fruity, faintly floral. Sweet, fruity flavour, juicy towards the end, grapes and pears, apples and lemons. Spice character was more muted, but still present in the background. Alcohol flavour throughout, woody astringency towards the end along with faint pepperiness. Medium plus body with average carbonation. Overall, this worked for me. I liked the fruitiness quite a bit and thought the aroma was quite nice. Alcohol made its presence felt, but didn't overwhelm the palate.

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

Pours a nice gold in color with a thin white head.

Nice Belgian yeast aroma mixed with spices.

The flavor is a winner too. A hint of earthy dryness at the start that then makes way for sweetness and an alcoholic bite. It hits all the Belgian Strong Pale Ale notes, and hits them well. I may be able to detect the grapes and chamomile, which bring another layer of wine-like complexity to this beer.

The body has substance; it's not watery.

Overall a very nice Belgian beer. It doesn't have Stone's hallmark notes of hop bitterness or flavor, but that doesn't matter. Seek it out.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of weeare138
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at TJ's...
Appears a hazy orange toned gold with a small white head that quickly fades away. Mld spots of lace are left around the glass.
Smell is of Sauvignon blanc wine, white pepper, dandelions. sunflowers, chamomile, and a touch of cardamom.
Taste is of the aromas with a honey infused wheat beer with some bubblegum esters of the yeast pulling through.
Mouthfeel is slick, gummy, efervescent, and lip smacking.

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

Pours a clear amber with a thin head that quckly dissipates. Smells fruity and bitter with the white grapes and belgian yeast at the forefront. First taste is rather sour with a slight astringency and a strong white grape flavor. Although I was slightly shocked by the inittial impression it quckly yeilds to a more pleasant sweet fruity flavor, though still rather sour, much more like a fruit lambic than a trippel or belgain pale ale. Mouthfeel is good with a nice thickness relative to the style and very pleasant carbonation.

Being a big fan of the Stone Vertical Epic series, I have to say this one is a bit of a dissapointment. The fruit and yeast flavors, while good and moderately complex, are somewhat overpowering and diminish the great malt and hop flavors that initially drew me to stone brews. I commend stone for the creative effort and certainly respect this as a well crafted beer, but personally I feel that it is a bit too far from its claimed style, as well as being poorly suited to my personal taste.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
2.73/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold. Head is weak and quickly dissipates to nothing.

Smells lightly malty and winey. Kind of like a wine with malt.

Taste is grapey sour, sauvignon/muscat with malt.

Body is light and carbonation is minimal, very flat mouthfeel.

This is beer trying to be a wine and it doesn't work. Tastes are all over the place with no integration.

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

11/5/10 - poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bomber

a - golden amber color, a little murky. Slight head with minimal retention.

s - strong smell - citrus, chamomile, fruity, nice spicy smell like freshly brewed tea.

t - pretty standard, full-bodied belgian pale ale with interesting hint of chamomile, fruity, flowery tones.

m - a little light, but nicely carbonated and very substantial

d - surprisingly easy to sip on, not overwhelming despite the high ABV. Could drink a few glasses of this.

Overall was an excellent brew. Could see this aging very well - but was also great fresh. Went great with chevre and crackers, then lamb burger. Great bottle to split with dinner. Would definitely try this again.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice auburn pour with light beige lasting head. even before noticing aroma or tasete, I am gulping this beer thanks to the great Stone mouthfeel - very smooth. Head is short lived, as is any lacing. Aroma is slightly vegetal - not so good. Best not to linger on this aspect. Taste has sort of a rough hewn fortified wine, that is actually better cooler than as the beer warms. Consider yourself warned. This is actually one of the better Verticals for me, but it does become harsher and more...odd as the beer warms. I finished the bottle quickly and enjoyed it, but will not be having another.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A: On tap at Stone in a sad little 8oz glass. Golden, not unlike many Epics before it, with a small white head.

S: Belgian yeast, hay, candied sugar, floral and perfume notes, white grapes (Muscat?), pears, and spicy phenols. A strange mixture, but pretty good.

T: Lightly bitter with Belgian yeast character and some candied sugar notes. White grape flesh is evident. Clove-like phenols accompany white pepper. A little alcohol is evident. Malt is restrained, failing to impart much flavor. The finish is somewhat spicy and brings to mind pears, grapes, and Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with adequate draft carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy.

Overall: A tasty Belgian Strong Pale Ale. This wasn't particularly alcoholic on tap and I don't see the need to age this to mellow it out, like some have mentioned. It drinks like a 7.5% beer, with some alcohol flavor, but it's not offensive. Then again, I had my meager 8oz and will be forever satiated, I wouldn't want to tackle a bomber of this stuff, but it was enjoyable on tap on 10/10/10.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I always make sure to try the vertical epics because some have surprised me (09 was good and 06 was good after it aged a year or two). This one was just ok. I really couldn't detect the grapes in the smell or the flavor. I did get a perfume like quality from the aroma and the flavor was belgian pale ale, yeasty. I really got no grapes at all. Oh well, I'm just glad I'm not one of those people cellaring the whole vertical.

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

Pours a clear orange color with almost no head or lacing. Smell is the best part. Heavy duty Belgian yeast and fruit (grapes). A really great aroma

Taste is good...Belgian yeast, grapes and more than a touch of alcohol. Except for the alcohol, it seems more like a Tripel than something like Duval or Piraat.

Mouthfeel is rich but the alcohol presence interferes a bit.

Drinkability is good. This is a slow sipper but I could put a good bit of this down over a long evening.

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

Pours a golden yellow with 1 finger of head that fades to a ring with streaky lacing. The aroma reminds me of dry champagne with some sour and light malt notes mixing in. It begins with a big, tart smack leading into a interesting middle. This young beer can't quite decide what it is, with a dry, grape wine character mixing with a light, wheaty malt flavor. The finish is fairly fast, clean and mildly astringent. Body is medium and drinkability is good. I have a couple of more bottles of this in the cellar and it will be interesting to see how this one ages.

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden clear honey colored body with a small white head.

Nose is very distinct and strong Belgian Triple. Lots of strong yeast, wheat, fresh grain, banana, ripe fruit and some nice tea like smells but never touch upon a potpouri. Very sweet smelling.

Taste is medium bodied and very light on the tongue. Initial flavors are of a white wine/citric sour sort of wine like quality but then there's this huge underlying malt base. Not so much a triple, but just a contrast in malt against the wine flavors. It almost tastes like someone spilled a Sauvingnon Blanc into a budweiser but then kicked it up to 9% ABV. It's interesting in that the wine flavors almost counteract the Belgian triple leaving more of a pure malt flavor with only overtones of everything else. Lots of ripe sour and citric fruits and not really any herbal or strong tea like flavors you might find with some of the spice additions. Hop bitterness really starts to peak through more as it warms and almost seems a bit much(it should come down with age). Ends with a lingering bitterness and sour fruit touch.

What an interesting beer. As someone who's a huge fan of all the wine varietals in this beer it's almost confusing to the taste buds to have both those and a classic belgian triple in one. Overall a very cool beer. As I say with all the other years, can't wait to see what it'll be like in 2012.

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Photo of Brez07
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing from notes. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a clear golden color. There is a thin white layer of head. No lacing, but there is briefly an oily presence left as I swirl the glass

S: Floral notes, herb and light hops start this out. Also some wheat and candied sugar. The citrus kicks back in with an orangey presence

T: Smells like a triple. Or a saison. Maybe a hybrid? Underlying grape skin and herb flavors

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Has a soapy feeling. Dry finish, presumably from the grapes

D: An interesting beer, that's for sure. It's good now, but I question how this will hold up over the next 2+ years. Alcohol is hidden well, but it gets to you towards the end

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

A:Pours a super clear golden honey color. A little bit of white head. A decent amount of head retention.

S: The nose is all the grapes. A nice natural sweetness is there. A touch of the candi sugar. The yeast is fairly clean.

T: The grapes really take center stage. It has a nice natural sweetness but the yeast cuts into that quite a bit. It is on the sweet side but I think it works especially as a one off during the grape harvest.

M: Nice full body without being overwhelming. Low carbonation.

D: I enjoyed this beer. Not something I would go for every day but a nice sipper. Split the bomber which probably helps. This should be good to go in 2 years. Nice.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.81/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours golden with a bit of haze. Slight white head and a moderate amount of lacing. The initial nose is quite weird. Some strange spicing and a bit of grape and mild fruits. The taste is a bit of an improvement, but as of right now this thing is really just a mess. The spicing, grapes, and base beer really don't go together very well. Feel is a bit spicy. Hopefully this mellows out over the next two years, as this is not the best addition to the series, especially after a really nice offering in 09.09.09.

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