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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

Name – Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale
Country – United States
Type – Belgian Strong Pale Ale

On Friday night I got to partake in a vertical tasting of Three Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout from the years 2005 – 2010.  It is something I looked forward to since Phil from Dos Beerigos told me he was going to do it for his birthday.  To make a long story short I found most of them to have very little difference from year to year with the exception of the raisin taste in it becoming near gone by the time the oldest one is tasted.  Other than that it tasted pretty much the same through out the years.

I guess that is something you can come across with a vertical tasting of the same style of beer.  So I felt it only right to do a review of a beer that is part of a vertical of it’s own.

Stone’s Vertical Epic series started in 2002 with 02.02.02 and will go until December 2012 with 12.12.12.  Tonight I decided to pop open a bottle of the newest entry into the series, 10.10.10.

I poured the most clear orange brew into my Dogfish Head snifter where it accumulated a decent sized white head.  Unfortunately the head was gone rather quickly even with the help of the etched DFH logo on the bottom of the glass shooting bubbles up to the surface.

The aroma hits me with Muscat grapes right up front and follows up with a slight alcohol burning sensation in my nose.  I can’t help but feel like this smells incredibly like Dogfish Head Midas Touch considering they both use the same grapes.

The taste brings a lot more grapes including a lot of white grape taste.  I do also get some darker grape flavors that reminds me of Welch’s grape juice.  I get some chamomile in there to but I don’t know if it is just because I’m searching for it.  Being a big fan of chamomile tea and seeing on the bottle that it was used I really wanted to see if the taste comes out.  And I feel like I can pick it out.  There is also an ever so slight alcohol burn at the end but it becomes more prominent as the brew warms up.

As I mentioned before I find this to be a lot like Midas Touch from Dogfish Head because of the grapes.  This isn’t as sweet but they are still incredibly alike.  For that reason I don’t like as much as I probably would if I never had Midas Touch.  But as a beer overall I think it is quite good.  It is unique to all other Belgian styles.

I think what I get excited about in verticals are different styles in the series like Stone’s and the Bruery’s.  I think this is a smart choice for being later in the series as I don’t see it aging incredibly well.  Sure it’s 9.5% ABV but I think 2 years is probably it’s limit.

I have a second bottle to go with my 09.09.09 that I kept from last year and will hold on until they reach their end.  I will see how they are all together in 2012.

Grade – B

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