Stone Brewing Co.’s "10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale"
As aCraft Beer Drinker, I especially enjoy being thrown curve balls. I mean it is nice to pick up a certain style of beer and have it taste just like it should, but I equally enjoy when a brewery takes the time to brew a style of beer and raise it to a new level, or give it a dramatic twist. The beer is still within style, but it is almost a whole new animal at the same time! It just goes to show that there is no limit to what can be done with beer or food in general. Especially when those crafting it know what they are doing, care about what they are doing, and stay imaginatively passionate about their product! I love a good curve ball beer, something to make me take a step back and think about it a little.
Stone Brewing Co. has such a beer. It is their 9th release of their “Vertical Epic ale”, 10.10.10 Belgian Strong Ale. Sadly I have only tried 10.10.10, so I have no frame of reference for past years. However, I’d like to think by now I know good beer and this is it! Having read the description on Stone’s Blog, I knew that there would be a lot going on in this beer. *”Fermented with the legendary Ardennes strain of Belgian yeast, 10.10.10 is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed with pale malt and triticale (a cross of wheat and rye), hopped with German Perle hops, and steeped with chamomile during the whirlpool stage. In secondary fermentation, we added a juice blend of Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties.”
10.10.10 poured a vibrant golden orange with a thin white head. The aroma is incredibly floral (most likely due to the addition of dried chamomile flowers), there was also the smell of Fresh Bread, Citrus, Spicy, White Grapes, Caramel. The taste just as jam packed as the aroma! The flavors almost seemed endless, it was Spicy and Bready with a light honey sweetness and a hint of Orange peel. The Alcohol was a very functional layer, and the White Grape flavor came out in the slightly dry finish. Over the course of time and tempurature change layers of flavor kept revealing themselves. This is a Fun Beer that keeps your palate interested the whole time. A Sipping beer at 9.5%. I am jealous of those who were smart enough, and have had enough patience to hold onto past years to be able to do a vertical tasting of all the Verticle Releases in 2012! Here’s to Good Beers!