Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic AleStone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale
Liked This Beer
3.76 w/ 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 957 |  Reviews: 476
Photo of despainmakesbeer
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lighter, spicy notes. Not malt or hop aromas. Quickly disappearing head. Thin lacing around edge. Light Hazy brownish orange color with typcial Belgian "beer debris" in bottom of glass. Spicy beginning. Good high carbonation. Smooth spicy mouthfeel with sweet finish. Very drinkable Belgian, sweeter flavors come out as beer warms.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a tulip.

A: Very crisp and clear in appearance. Can see all the way through the glass as bubbles stream from the bottom of the glass quite consistently. The beer is a light orange, yellow with a pretty white head. The carbonation on this one appears quite high.

S: Smells of great Belgian yeast with a white wine twist. Grassy and vinous with some white grape skin. A bit of funkiness, but very muted. Very tart smelling, full of lemon and citrus rind.

T: Very nice floral notes on top of nice, crisp citrus tartness. Yeast is lending a sweet bready flavor with some banana sweetness. Surprising that this beer is nearing 10%, not any sign of alcohol at all really. Don't really get a big chamomile flavor here either.

M: For how much this beer was bubbling away after being poured, it lacks a good crisp carbonation. Just a bit thin.

D: This beer would be quite dangerous if the price tag weren't so high. Really having a hard time finding any alcohol on the nose or palate. Recommended for white wine fans for sure, this beer imparts flavors that are very unique and groundbreaking in my opinion to the beer world. Another beer that could rival a good white wine at a beer/wine dinner.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: lightly hazed yellow orange in color and topped with a rather white head. Poor head retention but nice lacing.

S: Spice and fruit on the nose. Coriander and white grapes. There is a light note of honey as well.

T: Spicy sort and sort of cider like. The vinous like quality does overpower a little bit and one questions a bit just what it is that they are drinking. Its kind of a cool beer though, and I must say I like that its pretty different and will go back to it again. Killer for the price as well a bomber is under 7 bucks!

M: prickly

D: quite high

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Photo of Plekto
4.83/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the third best beer that I have tasted to date. The first is a wheat beer from a small brewery in Oceanside, CA. The second was Stone's anniversary ale from last year.

A - it's nearly perfect when you consider that it's supposed to be a premium/super normal beer and not a super Belgian ale like their Russian Stout or similar. ie - it's sweet versus bitter and strong.

S - No major faults here. Almost perfect. The addition of a little wine makes it have none of the typical faults of most beers. I'm a fan of wine and mixed drinks, though, so hard-core beer fans might not like it nearly as much.

T - Honestly, this equals the best beers out there no matter what price and it's very inexpensive. A total shocker that shows what Stone can do when they set their mind to it. Alcohol is nearly a whopping 10% and you don't taste it at all. NOTE - this beer, having some wine in it, has to be drunk at a warmer temperature. It's one of the few beers that I've tasted that actually tastes better slightly warm. I think that the wine in it creates a temperature buffer that's not normally present in beers.

The biggest part, though, is that this is actually a beer/wine hybrid and I don't think anyone has done this as well before. It has the complexity of a good wine and the drinkability of a fine beer - a win-win for a beer with a nice meal or just for causal drinking.

M - it could be a bit better, but I think the wine in it tones down the head somewhat. Can't really fault it in any way though. The only reason it gets a 4.5 from me is that it's not as good as their Anniversary Ale from last year - that beat the Belgian ales by a large margin. As in crushed 10-20 dollar a bottle stuff for about $8. I *so* wish I'd bought several cases of that.

D - Awesome. Loads of alcohol and reminiscent of the beers that one would find in Europe. If you ever wanted to know what's missing from American Beers/is present in good German and Belgian beers in Europe, drink this.

In short, Stone needs to make this a normal offering. They really hit a home run with this one. I'd buy it consistently for parties and get-togethers.

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Photo of jjh19
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tiny bubbles, bright yellow color
Smell: A little spicy smell
Taste: Quite sour, some herbal notes
Mouthfeel: Fairly light mouthfeel, a little dry
Drinkability: It's a fine saison, nothing to win me completely over to the style, but worth trying.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a slightly hazy strong straw golden color with slight orange hints. Mostly golden yellow. There is a nice .25 inch head that is white and it recedes pretty quick.

S - Delicious clove hints and slight flower aroma. There is some delicious funk in the beer as well with some slight corn husk aromas. Great grain aroma and sweetness as well as some nice vinous grape sweetness and tart hints. Very near perfect aroma for me.

T & M - Wow what a nice and faithful to the style beer. Starts of with grainy earthy notes that have some good bready notes and slowly develop into some nice sweet clove hints. There is some great phenols and funk to this beer in this middle part of it. There is some slight tartness and vinous character to the beer especially on the trail end of the beer. There are some nice white wine hints as well as some slight granny smooth apple and pear. Very delicious beer. The body is a bit on the lighter side and doesnt feel as fluffy as other BSPA. Still very good.

D - Delicious and refreshing. The ABV is definitely there but its very well hidden. I enjoyed this more than the 09. Definitely a worthy repeat.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw yellow with almost no head. Smell of doughy belgian yeast, spices, and green grapes mixed with pilsner malt.

Taste very similar to the aroma, however the grape flavors are extremely strong. The belgian yeast is also pretty strong, but there is not that creamy belgian mouthfeel that I usually associate with a BSPA. This is nearly a hybrid between a Duvel type Belgian Strong pale ale and a chardonnay. The latter seems to be more prevalent with the mouthfeel as this was pretty thin overall. Candied sugar mixed with grapes and bready yeast. While not a bad beer - and I applaud the effort to make this a different beer for the Epic lineup, it is not one that I would really seek out for a second go around. preferably it would come in a 12 oz bottle so I wouldnt have to drink 22oz of it, but it is relatively drinkable with a low carbonation and a very light almost wine-like body.

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Photo of steelerguy
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden color, low carbonation, spare head with big bubbles...faded very rapidly leaving only light lace on top.

S - Spicy with Belgian phenols and a slight mustiness, almost like a farmhouse ale.

T - Clean light malt character, the spices come on strong but not overly so, floral hops with a smooth bitterness that finishes with some lemon at the end. This is a complex beer that is well balanced and I think could use a bit more aging to reach it's true potential. Regardless, I think it is quite excellent right now, and will only get better.

M - Nice and this like a Belgian pale should be, there is a definite warmth from the alcohol, a bit more carbonation would be nice to finish.

D - For being such a big beer, it is light bodied, complex but balanced, and quite smooth. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of jorg2619
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have waited a few weeks to drink my first bottle of 10.10.10. This Belgium triple pours super clean and pale into the tulip glass. There is a thin hyper bubbled head that leaves minimal lacing. The mouthfeel is thin yet coating which is nice. The taste is different, I taste busquity malt, the spicy yeast, some chamomile, along with some dry notes that must be the "wine" characteristics. A nice dry finish on this fresh beer. I like this beer and I look forward to it again in a few years

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Photo of nas5755
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear golden beer with amber hues, a small quickly disappearing head and some lacing. The nose has some chamomile and pale malts, with some grapes. The taste is full of chamomile, grapes, sweet honey, phenols, and a little spice with a big lemon chamomile finish . I think age will really help this beer out. The sweetness of this beer gives it a slight syrupy note which become a hindrance later on, but at the moment there are no negative consciences from texture. The carbonation is medium. Overall, I really enjoy this beer, the finish is amazing, although a tad hot, I love to drink a really intense glass of overly steeped loose leaf chamomile tea at times and this beer really reminds me of chamomile tea. I expect age to bring more of the grape flavors, dull out the chamomile a little, but improve the overall taste vastly.

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Photo of Foxtrot
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to give Stone credit for pushing the envelope for beer creativity. I like that a lot. Last years VE offering was good, and interesting, but lets see how this one fairs.

Pours from bomber a nice slightly hazy golden honey. Head was about one finger in height with slow receding pace. Light lacing, but good foam around the edges even after the head is gone.

Aroma is pretty nice with cloves and phenols being the most obvious to pick out. Yeast and ester's remind me of tripels and hefeweizens.

The aroma's point in a strong direction of being Belgian influenced. I wonder if they used a Belgian yeast or there house yeast. But it certainly can be found in the taste. Begins pretty crisp and tart up front, then mellows with grape and some acidity. Lively notes and crispness of sauvignon blanc with light touches of kiwi and some tannins. Loved that quality about this beer, yeasty and spice and slightly puckering at the same time. A bit hot, but I don't mind seeing as there was such a wide variety of grapes used, it was to be expected. Aging should most likely take that edge off.

Mouthfeel was surprisingly medium, the ABV seemed like it would be fuller, but not at all. The flavors clear out relatively easy and leave a nice lasting viscosity on the tongue.

Drinkability seems to be right on the mark. This beer was meant to sipped and enjoyed with a fine meal and could easily fit into a fine wine establishment. Incredibly enlightened and almost elegant due to the complexity.

EDIT: They did use a Belgian yeast!

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Photo of axeman9182
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip.

This year's entry into the Vertical Epic series pours an absolute crystal clear yellow orange. The creamy white crown rises up to about three fingers in height before falling away disappointingly quickly. There's not a trace of lacing to be found on the glass, The nose is decent. A vinous acidity is the predominant trait, but there's some clove/pepper making itself heard as well. While there wasn't any malt influence in the aroma, it makes itself known in the flavor. It's not overwhelming by any means, but there's a definite green apple/pear malt sweetness right up front. That same racy acidity that I can only assume comes from the grapes crashes the body and dominates the middle of the beer on my palate. The yeast spiciness comes in to close things out, and the flavors are so vibrant that I can't really find the chamomile anywhere. Body is a tad heavy and carbonation is slightly too low, and the result is a mouthfeel that's just a bit too rich/syrupy for this kind of beer. It doesn't miss the mark by a ton though. 10.10.10 Vertical Epic is a decent beer, but the impact of the grapes borders on overpowering at times. I think I'll enjoy this beer a little bit more with some age on it.

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Photo of adsomers
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: this review was made after nursing this beer for 4 hours. I strongly recommend spending a long time with this one, it's a very slow evolver.

A - Bright gold, clear. Constant bubbling from bottom of glass (even after 2 hours). Poured with medium vigorousness to reveal a fine head.

S - winey aroma and a *hint* of belgian funk. With time (3+ hours) aroma turns to a hot alcohol with grape juices totally exposed. Can't stop putting my nose in this one (4 hours in).

T - Taste is snappy, a tad sour, very complex as it lingers. Also turns a bit hot and evolves over time

M - A slight pucker, then a smooth dryness, then a lingering tingle and mild bitterness

D - This has your mouth feeling things you didn't expect. But after a long slow session with this beer, what you come to expect is constantly defied. This beer must be had very slowly to experience the many hidden layers.

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Photo of Beernf
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA. Part of a Stone archive event. Poured into a tulip glass.

I thought this was a decent Belgian, big wine smell like others have mentioned. No lacing from what i could see, very little head. I thought it tasted pretty earthy, almost herbacious at times. Has a kind of waxy flavor in there along with the sweetness of the grapes. Thought the alcohol finished hot and i mostly sipped this guy. Oddly i think i could drink a lot of this beer though. I wanted another when i was done.

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Photo of 100floods
3.04/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy pale yellow. Wonderful, classic belgian yeast aromas. I'm thinking green apples and something else. Interesting flavors. I taste the familiarities of a belgian pale ale. but the after taste reminds me of something sour and grain, not in a good way. This flavors stays in my mouth and ruins the experience. It almost taste like sour dark fruit. It makes my taste buds think that whatever is being left, I'm not supposed to taste. It kinda reminds me of a bad white wine (definitely hints of grapes in the mix, not my thing). Did I get a bad bottle? Perhaps if there was more carbonation this beer could be saved. The finish to this beer is what really throws me off. I was not expecting this.... Upon reading this 'liner notes' to this beer some of my notions weren't too far fetched. This just seems like an odd blend to put in a beer.

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Photo of cbutova
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Dan, entering my review for now but I will re-review it on the day of reckoning in 2 years. From notes.

A- Golden yellow with a creamy white head that has decent retention. A cloud and ring leave slight spotty lace.

S- Mostly Belgian Strong Pale Ale yeast with some grape behind it. A bit floral.

T- A good blend of Belgian Pale yeast with spice and bread. Floral hints and then a huge blast of grape in the finish. Some citrus zest, sweetness and grape vines.

MF- Moderate body with solid carbonation. Slight bitterness and alcohol warmth. Silky.

DB- Grape blasted Belgian Ale. Good flavor from the grape and spice combination. A redemption for the 14th Anniversary.

UPDATE: 02/02/2013

T- A lot of grape influence still but not killing the beer. Spicy feel like lemon zest and pepper. Oak is tasted and herbal floral hops. Gets to be VERY grape heavy with time and warmth.

Scored: 3.25, 3.0, 3.5, 3.5, 3.5

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle at 42* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours a clear and almost glowing orange color with no head.

S: The smell is eerily similar to Don de Dieu: strong Belgian yeast character, spicy earthiness, and some sweet, white wine.

T: It begins with spicy earthiness, lemon, and transitions to sweet grapes. It finishes dry with some breadiness and citrus rind.

M: It has an average but sticky body and isn't as carbonated as I imagined, given the freshness and style.

D: This is an interesting take on one of my favorite styles. It goes down way too easily as well.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden body, with little head. Decent looking, but nothing spectacular.

Smell is slightly grassy and tart. The savignon blanc grapes are really pronounced.

Thumbs up to Stone for thinking out of the box. This is a novel take on this style (which the bottle calls a tripel.) The grapes give it a crisp dryness, but there's also a low degree of sweetness to it. It's slightly grassy, presumably from the savignon blanc.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry, moderately high carbonation.

A very enjoyable beer. The alcohol does not show up as much as 9.5% would suggest.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, split and shared

very interesting description on this one

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, hazy bright copper-golden body, light white foam - no retention

smell: fruity and floral - sauv blanc grapes (can't really distinguish the other grapes used), yeast, fruity esters, pale malt

taste: i generally dig when belgian pales take on vinous traits - while this has flaws, its still something i enjoy. sauv blanc and other white grapes provide great depth, though the alcohol is a bit hot on the finish. Pale malts and light leafy german hops provide support. I'll sit my other bottle down till 2012 and see what happens.

mouthfeel: a little hot, medium-light, prickly

drinkability: good

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Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours an orange color with a short 1/2" head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: green grapes, grass, and fruity sweetness create a nice aroma. A hint of wine like scent arrives late.

Taste: nice malt profile with some pears, grapes, hearty bitterness, a bit of spiciness, and a little touch of alcohol. The flavors kind of hit a chardonnay note late in the swallow.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp and a bit dry late. Aftertaste is long.

Drinkability: this is another slow sipping beer from the vertical series freshly delivered and opened. I could see this dramatically improving with some age.

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Photo of Chico1985
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan (atremains) for sharing.

Translucent light orange with white head. Some flecks eventually settle to a small white blob at the bottom.

Tart scent, getting more sugar, spice and floral notes more than anything else, a tiny bit of booze.

Huge white grape tastes. Definitely reminiscent of a white wine. Candi sugar, floral notes. Sweet but not cloying. Very nice baked bread finish.

Mouthfeel is solid, a tad boozy but I thought it was pretty well-hidden.

I liked it way more than I thought I would. This is the beer that DFH Midas Touch SHOULD'VE been, definitely was more intrigued with this than the 08 or 09.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a foamy/whipped egg white head that shows some nice structure as it collapse. The beer is a bright clear brass color with some slowly rising carbonation making it's way to the surface. Some spider web lacing remains.

Aroma is mostly candied sugar with some yeast and a very slight floral note.

Ok, so I admit that I saw this is currently rated as a "B" My first thought after a few sips is, how the hell is this averaging a "B" It's pretty damn good. Pear, peach, candied sugar with a strong bitter/yeast like finish. Very herbaceous. Some white wine notes for sure. You can detect the higher abv here.

Finishes quite dry. Fairly light bodied. The sweetness comes out more as you continue to work through the bottle.

In the end this almost does drink more like a white wine. Pretty good. Will be interesting to see how this ages for a couple years.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at TJs in Paoli into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: A fairly clear medium golden color with almost no head to speak of. Lacing was full, but very quick to fade back down into the glass. No lingering lace at all.

S: Huge belgian yeast smell with a large floral boquet and some fruity notes to it.

T: Belgian yeast pops immediately with some musty tones to it. The floral onslaught comes next with some flavors of fruit mixed in. It's like putting your mouth into a bed of flowers and chewing on them. Some white grape and vinous characters mix in as well. While colder the finish is sugar sweet with some slight tartness. As the beer warms the hops really punch at the end with a nice herbal bitterness. Lots of stuff going on here.

M: Medium, coating, a bit prickly upon warming up, some slight alcohol lurking. Lacking carbonation.

D: Medium. I had one glass and enjoyed it, but not sure if I could go back for another.

Overall a very different VE. Not my favorite, but not bad by any means. I must seek a bottle of this to age as I think this will really begin to pop with some years on it. I like it, very different.

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Photo of JLeege
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying this fresh, have a few more bottles to age.

Appearance- pours a clear gold with a 1 finger bubbly white head, quickly disipating but leaves a ring around the top of the beer

Smell- belgian golden esters and yeast, there is definitly grape in there as well

Taste- sweet and very grapey. The chamomile is noticed. Has a lot of white wine characteristics. Getting some subtle wheat notes as well. Finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel- pretty light overall, the alcohol is not noticed at all

Overall- This is pretty good, different, reminds me of DFH Midas Touch, must be the muscat grapes. This is the first VE released in my area so definitly going to hold on to some to line up the 10,11,12 "not a true 'vertical', with every beer being different, Vertical".

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Photo of Axic10
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Light orangish with a finger of foam that settles down quickly to a thin layer on top.

Smell: Belgian yeast, some wine notes from the grapes, coriander, some warming spice.

Taste: Belgian yeast, coriander and spices, then the grapes give it a slightly dry, subdued aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated nicely.

Drinkability: I'm not a huge fan of this style (I'll drink it, but I often over look it) but this is a decent (yet interesting) example of it. I have another bottle that I'm saving for my mini vertical 08-12, so I'll definitely drink it again.

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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 60.4% out of 100 with 957 ratings
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