Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stone – 10.10.10 Vertical Epic

When I think of sampling a product from Stone, I think – get ready for the hops and big beers.  I really like the big hoppy beers that Stone makes and I literally like everything I have tasted from Stone.  The next time I am in SoCal, I will stop by the bistro and enjoy some of the excellent beer and excellent food.  Stone has produced 9 beers in the Vertical Epic series starting with 02.02.02 through the current version of 10.10.10.  The final two will be released on 11.11.11 and 12.12.12.  I have cellared a few bottles of 10.10.10 for a vertical tasting with the other years.  10.10.10 was not what I expected from Stone and the closest comparison I could come up with is Midas Touch from Dogfish Head.  Stone describes 10.10.10 as an “Ale brewed with Muscat, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon grapes and chamomile.”  The Vertical Epic series is “As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics and twists & turns as the adventure unfolds. These bottle-conditioned ales are specifically designed to be aged until sometime after December 12th, 2012. Provided you can wait that long. At that time, enjoy them in a "vertical" tasting. Each one unique to it's year of release. Each with its own "twist & turn" in the plotline. Each one released one year, one month and one day from the previous year's edition.”  10.10.10 is a really nice beer and almost reminds me of Champaign based on the pour and initial aroma.  The taste is sweet and you can detect the use of grapes and it is an incredibly complex beer.  I plan to do future vertical tastings culminating in Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic.  I really appreciate the work that Stone has done and the Vertical Epic series is a great example of how great Craft Brewers continue to try new things and push the envelope.

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