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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic AleStone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

1,399 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1399
Reviews: 461
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.49%


Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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. To remind you, the remaining dates are: 12.12.12

(Beer added by: JAramini on 11-10-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,399 | Reviews: 461 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
CA_Infidel2o9


4.93/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- ruby red, 1/2" quickly fading off white head

S- intense spicy peppers that tingle the nose, southwestern style sweet salsa

T- follows the nose, hint of belgian yeast

M- medium body, crisp carbonation, tingling spicy peppers at the back of the throat

O- the first beer i have ever aged and i'm extremely happy i did. I don't remember much from last year besides that the peppers were very subtle and really only showed as a spicey after taste and heat. With over a year on it, the peppers have dominated everything. The best description i can give is basically a beer with clamato in it (try it, it's awesome!) With a southwestern twist. It's spicy, its sweet, and earthy. I wish i would have aged more than one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 16:59:16 | More by CA_Infidel2o9
Photo of jkanavel
jkanavel

Texas

4.85/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slight haze, orange with a touch of a brown. Soft pillowy head reminiscent of Duvel's.

S: Hops and more hops, spicy, citrusy, grassy, barnyardy, all kinds of hoppy aromas here. A good dose of fruity yeast as well.

T: GRAPEFRUIT BOMB! Amazing delicacy. Soft and sweet, hops on hops, but not bitter. I guess they really dry hopped this one, because the hops are almost all aroma hops.
There is a good back note of candy sugar sweetness and smooth malt.

M: Smooth, full bodied, effervescent, crisp.

O: This is just about perfect to me. That is all.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2011 19:44:13 | More by jkanavel
Photo of AlejandroDodds
AlejandroDodds

Kentucky

4.85/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: Served from a 22oz. bomber into a Maudite tulip glass

Appearance: The beer begins with an off-white head that slowly dissipates. The color is auburn and date-like, similar to a strong dark Belgian ale.

Smell: Great smells here. I get a mix bag of a quick banana smell at the beginning, pears, and the green chili and alcohol mix to close the nose.

Taste: This ale starts with hints of pears and bananas. There is a copper tinge to the center of your tongue but this gives way to the green chili that becomes more noticeable as you drink the beer. A few minutes post drink the after-taste is slightly caramel-molasses-like.

Mouthfeel: The ale is a light mouthful, with a subtle biting syrup texture, and a light carbonation leaving my mouth with a slightly dry feeling.

Overall: Being from the Southwest I was very excited about this beer but nervous since I have already been subjected to so many bad chili beers. As usual Stone does not disappoint. I love the addition of green chilies which pair really well with this strong Belgian pale ale. I look forward to trying this ale with my brothers next year during our vertical tasting in El Paso.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 01:08:43 | More by AlejandroDodds
Photo of camiverson34
camiverson34

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Amber-red color minimal lacing, but retains slight carbonation throughout.

Smell - The Chili and cinnamon are sharp at the beginning with a hint sweet malts, brown sugar, and caramel that round out the spices.

Taste - Flavor of Anaheim Chile without the spicy burn that were present when it was young followed by a lingering sweetness with just a hint of cinnamon and caramel. Although the alcohol is present, it is well hidden by the spices.

Mouthfeel - Minimal carbonation. Coats the tongue with a syrupy texture that lasts for a minute or more, and has a slight burn at the end that one would expect from the spices.

Overall - I've had this beer a couple of times over the last year, and this is the best it's been. Previously the spiciness of the chili overpowered the subtleties of the sweetness of the beer. The cinnamon, although very mild, provides a unique spice counter to the heat of the chili. Good balance, and although it's ready to drink now, I think it will improve even more with time.

Well done Stone!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 03:41:21 | More by camiverson34
Photo of PatriotsRule
PatriotsRule

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly an epic. This is not exaggeration.
A: Nice and cloudy, almost a blood red. Yellowish head, medium lacing with good carbonation
S: Chilies and cloves. Fruity bready hoppy roasted malt with a hint of smoke
T: Chilies and hops. Citrus and something bright...
M: Nice yeast activity, very smooth and flavorful with ample aftertaste. A tiny bit o' alcohol
O: For this to be 9.4% it is absolutely beyond drinkable. Super interesting flavors, I mean really uncommon tasting beverage for a beer. It is soothingly spicy, and, well, wowing. Hoping to pick up a bottle of the 12.12.12 fresh hop monster as soon as an east coaster possibly can!

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 01:37:48 | More by PatriotsRule
Photo of IPA4LIFE
IPA4LIFE

United Kingdom (England)

4.78/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep mahogany red with a big, fluffy, two finger off-white head. The head offered moderate retention and a decent amount of lacing.

S- Complex as all hell. Some real belgian yeast characteristics; predominantly banana with some good clove notes as well. Behind that is some dark fruit, some brown sugar, and sweet malty notes.

T- Just as complex, if not more-so than the smell. Sweet caramel malt and dark fruit are predominate features up front. Brown sugar and cinnamon then show up with some flavors reminiscent of a cinnamon roll. Flavors are clean and light up front, and dark and heavy at the back. This is a really amazing transition from one part of the palate to the next. Truly awesome complexity.

M- Pretty good, but just a touch thin for the flavors, in my opinion.

O- Awesome. The vertical epic lives up to it's reputation. Masterfully crafted brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 00:14:36 | More by IPA4LIFE
Photo of movingtrain
movingtrain

Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle...got one to taste, and one to set back for a few years.

Pours amber in color, low head on top, but excellent, thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma has the wonderful Belgian funk up front...wet leaves, damp earth, wood, clove, cinnamon, some vanilla...this beer smells awesome.

Okay...so this is a Chile Beer, as per it's style listing. Up front are some fine flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa nibs, and light pungent white grapes. As the beer settles on the palate, the chilies become more apparent, but not too much in the forefront. There is some spice on the tongue, but it is not overwhelming...and, in fact, the minor amount of spice on the tongue actually adds to the Belgian dark candy sugar and spice flavor...they marry well.

The mouthfeel has a very chalky aspect to it...which is good in this sense. Chalky in the sense that it feels wild and funky. It has that hint of clove and banana (but not banana flavor--anything banana flavored is awful--this has a hint of banana from the yeast, I assume, which gives the beer some depth, as it is mixed with other spicy elements and earthy funk).

Overall, this beer is remarkable. The Belgian yeast really does the beer justice, and I doubt it would be the same without it. The chilies give a nice subtle spicy backbone to the beer, which helps to support some of the sweeter spice and yeasty funk in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 23:26:41 | More by movingtrain
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

4.68/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours pretty smooth and gives off a light and foamy tan head. the color is a deep brown ambery hue that is absolutely transparent. Leaves very little trace of lacing.

sweet and spicy best describes this beer. Lots of cinnamon and clove with a hint of wood, lots of sugar. a light touch of citrussy hops graces the finish. lots of bready yeast aroma as well.

all that in the taste as well.

mouthfeel is super prickly and medium bodied with a semi-dry finish.

super drinkable despite it being such a bruiser of both flavor and alcohol content.

This beer really hits it out of the park, I was a big fan of stone 090909 but this is really excellent as well. Brilliant.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 20:16:14 | More by ryanonline
Photo of jfmorey
jfmorey

Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle purchased when first released, in the cellar or 2+ years.
(I bought at least two of each Epic from 8/8 on, drank one and kept the other.)

Poured into a stem glass.

Very hazy amber, plenty of tan head.

Taste starts spicy, the chilies and cinnamon now in perfect balance. A small amount of acrid alcohol, not surprising in a beer of this style, not unpleasant. Nice Belgian funk in the aftertaste.

Very full in the mouth, plenty of carbonation.

Overall, worth the waiting.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 22:18:21 | More by jfmorey
Photo of HopsYeast
HopsYeast

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a-pours a cloudy copper color with no noticeable sediment. has a 1 finger almost milky coffee color head that retains well

s-sugary cinnamon and honey. very very subtle aroma of malt and hot peppers as well. vanilla, alcohol, has a fresh smell as well like being in a garden.

t-wow! initial flavor burst like you are eating a hot pepper but then the heat doesnt follow. subtle hints of honey, cinnamon, black pepper, alcohol warmth but not too much, some sticky maltiness that remains on tongue after ingesting it.

m-nice but the level of carbonation is the slightest bit too high for me to really say its perfect. med to med/heavy body goes well with the flavors.

o-this is another beer that fits into the "like nothing ive ever tried before" category. so unique and complex that i like it for that factor alone. but on top of that it is very tasty too makes it a delight. this is a perfect beer to pair with food. i mainly like it and rate it so high due to its uniqueness. stone pulled off a very interesting beer here that is enjoyable as well.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 23:59:57 | More by HopsYeast
Photo of Rhynes2
Rhynes2

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought this brew today and it was the first beer I have ever had brewed with chilis. I was skeptical at first. On the nose its very wine like me and my buddy said it was almost like a Cabernet Sauvignon with some spice. The taste is caramel malts at first and it quickly fades to the chills. they are strong but well balanced. I'm so impressed with this brew and will be buying it again soon. Stone never lets me down

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 03:16:24 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of madeofsteel
madeofsteel

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one a few weeks ago, and it didn't seem right cracking it for no good reason, so why not Turkey Day?

A - Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip, the bottling date is readily apparent. Pours a deep, deep red, easily mistaken for some brown, but it's definitely dark ruby red. Two fingers of tan head dissipate quickly, leaving some lacing.

S - Sweet malts and cinnamon are up front, with just slight hoppiness in the back.

T - The hops are a lot more noticeable in the initial taste, more than the smell, but the malts are not to be ignored, with a definite caramel taste. Chilies are present, but not in the way you might think. More in the flavor than heat, and the cinnamon is just there enough to bring it all into focus. Pretty sweet for a chile style.

M - Sweet, dry finish with some noticeable alcohol burn. None of the stuff you'd expect from the chilies.

O - I expected a lot more heat from this beer, but it makes up for it with character and flavor. Certainly worth a turn of the head while it's still around.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 20:55:55 | More by madeofsteel
Photo of chodinheaven
chodinheaven

Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy deep ruby red in color with dark pink highlights. Topped by a nice off-white head that sticks around for a long time and leaves a bit of sticky lacing as it goes. The smell is really interesting as the first aroma I pick up is cinnamon. Some other hot spices follow, very much like a freshly picked chilie pepper. Its got the sweet heat that you get out of chilies, which is a very cool smell to pick up in a beer. Actually reminds me of the Carribean jerk flavor. Backed by a bit of clove and sweet booze, the aroma is well-rounded and strangely pleasant.

The Carribean jerk flavor really does come through in the taste too, but not as prevelantly as it was on the nose. Cinnamon and clove tastes work together to bring a sweet and spicy kind of character to this beer, backing the chilies. The chilie pepper taste is not hot so much as it brings another dimension to the spicy, Belgian style. It actually competes with the clove to gain top spot in the spice character of the beer, edging clove out by a bit in the end. A very light taste of banana even manages to fit its way in to the flavor profile in the lingering aftertaste. This aftertaste also has a touch of most of the other flavors in the beer, most prevelantly the chilies and cinnamon. A gritty mouthfeel and bone dry finish round out the flavors perfectly, complementing everything exactly how it should. The amazing thing about this beer is how unique and different the flavors are, combined with the fact that it remains completely balanced throughout the taste.

This is a fantastic and unique beer and one that I am so glad I got my hands on. It saddens me that I didn't know about this series until this year (the fact that I was 14 when the series started doesn't help). I would love to do a vertical of them in 2012, but alas, will probably not get that chance. I will definitely have to see if I can get my hands on another one of these to at least do a vertical of the last two. Worth the buy for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 05:32:21 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of pBRale
pBRale

Iowa

4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap multiple times served in Chimay goblets and tulip glasses.

Appearance: Deep amber-brown beer with amber highlights, a thin tan head. Leaves a fair bit of weak lacing down the glass. A very appealing beer.

Smell: The smell is of candi sugar, with some dark cherries, and a slight bit of pepper (perhaps jalepeno or cayenne). There is a sweet malt aroma as well.

Taste: The taste is difficult to describe because there are so many individual flavors that I could pick out, but the beer tastes nothing like ay one of them. The flavor is complex, deep, and rich, and it is exceptionally satisfying. I pick up on bits of the peppers, some fruity flavors, big rich sweet malts, and a strong vanilla flavor that blends beautifully with the peppers, evening them out a bit and giving great balance to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Simply exceptional. Full, thick , creamy and superb. Moderate carbonation for the style, but the feel is silky and the finish is smooth.

Overall: An outstanding beer that I would encourage everyone to try if the opportunity arises before this beer is gone. I was lucky enough to also get a bottle of the 2011 an 2010 (properly cellared) in a bottle shop, so I feel spoiled. Anyway, I hope you all get the chance to enjoy this beer for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 00:52:36 | More by pBRale
Photo of EkimGram
EkimGram

New York

4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 22oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Colour is a deep garnet-hued brownish-amber. Head is small, less than a finger and fades to a thin film.

Smell: At first all I can smell is some lovely, spicy Belgian yeast all too common in this style. Following with a deeper whiff, I find the chiles and cinnamon. A wonderfully complex aroma.

Taste: So many flavours! Starts with a quick yeasty nip that immediately turns into a semi-sweet heat mixed with spices. Alcohol and a sort of bitter clove bring this home to a lingering aftertaste of cinnamon with a very slight hint of banana.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, decent amount of biting carbonation, sticky finish.

Overall: I would love to taste an aged bottle of this. It is beautiful, complex, interesting, and satisfying. I would certainly call this brew "epic."

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 06:08:27 | More by EkimGram
Photo of viaingo
viaingo

Maine

4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Brewing Company is truly an innovative brewery. Every year (and a month and a day) they decide to brew their 'Epic Vertical". This year Stone decided to brew this epic treat with cinnamon and Anaheim chilies from Hatch Valley in New Mexico. I could definitely taste something special with this beer.

Type: Strong Pale Ale
Color: Dark amber red, cloudy.
Body: Cloudy and slightly carbonated.
Head: Thick cream color. Lasts for some time.
Taste: Fruity taste with banana and critic notes. You can taste the subtle spiciness of the chilies in the alcohol.
Aroma: Lightly hoppy, fruity, and a bit spicy.

This is the penultimate edition of this masterpiece of brewing, so if you can find it in stores or pubs, try it.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 11:53:16 | More by viaingo
Photo of Intrinsic
Intrinsic

Germany

4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer by chance in the liquor store and boy am I ever glad I did. It`s absolutely gorgeous - a crimson reddish brown with an incredibly creamy head that lasts forever. Streams of carbonation run up the sides of my mug like an inverted waterfall.
The smell is very intense, giving you a hint of what`s to come in the taste - CHILIES. It`s such an unexpected smell in a beer that I have trouble smelling anything else but it`s absolutely amazing. The cinammon comes through in the flavour much more than in the smell. What an epic combination. Chilies and cinnamon. Unbelievable. Mouthfeel is a little oily but tolerable. I`m so disappointed that the Quebec government won`t let anyone import beer from the States, otherwise I`d be buying this again and again. Amazing.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 02:27:39 | More by Intrinsic
Photo of smerrell
smerrell

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is mahogany with a long lasting head. The smell is malty and sweet.unlike many other chili beers that I have had before, the roasted flavors of the chili is what comes out, and (thankfully) not the heat. The Cinnamon is present and adds a nice dimension to this beer. I need to pick up a few more before they disappear - some for now, and some for next year.

EDIT 11/12/2012

served chilled in a snifter, after storing for a year in my fridge

A: a deep amber/mahogany with a slight yellow head

S: Very fragrant - floral and sweet smelling

T: I taste a lot of the fruitiness of the Anaheim chili, and strong cinnamon notes. The finish is bitter and dry.

M: this is well-carbonated, which helps the finish to dissipate quickly.

O: I enjoyed this beer fresh a year ago, and I like it now, however I wouldn't want to drink more than one in an evening. It's nice for something different, but I wouldn't want a ton of it. I find myself pleasantly surprised a the absence of chili heat, which has ruined other chili beers for me in the past. I am happy that I stored a few bottle s of this one, and I still recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 22:27:30 | More by smerrell
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisited for my birthday on 11/11/2013.

This pours a ruddy raisiny-amber color with a thin layer of tan foam.

The aroma is full of stone fruits, like dried raisins and dates. There’s a subdued holiday spice to it, like one would find in a Belgian dark ale.

I thought of this as a cinnamon bomb—but it’s more akin to a Mexican chocolate, with cinnamon, some dark, bitter chocolate, and an overall mild sweetness. There’s a spicy kick to this beer. It’s understated, and it doesn’t emerge through the aroma but after a few sips its definitely noticeable. After sitting on this for two years I can say I’m glad for the experience, and I think time has mellowed out some of the rough edges (from what I remember).

This was my birthday beer. Not the beer I had on my birthday, but the beer for my birthday. (11/11, in case anyone wants to plan a surprise party for me next year.) I had delusions about getting a case of this before I moved and dialed back my ambitions but now that I’ve tried it I’d gladly take a supply for the (hypothetical) cellar.

Dated 11.11.11, drunk with hardly any aging on it.
From the bottle it pours a dark, ruddy amber color, reminiscent of leather or dried tobacco, with a generous topping of foam. There’s a curious aroma to this. I pick up some chile spicing, some cherry? Perhaps it’s cherrywood, not oaky but there’s a whiff of something woodsy along with the stone fruits to contrast the chiles.

The beer itself is both sweet and spicy, alternating and contrasting. The spicing isn’t overpowering but nicely balanced with a good malt backbone to hold up to it. Cinnamon nuances complement the chile zestiness and a touch of burnt caramel sweetness.

At one point the bitterness became extremely pronounced, only to mellow out like a nice malty dessert beer would. As it warmed it opened further. Complex, layered, dynamic brew with a fully-rounded flavor. It’s dangerously good—I picked up no hint of alcohol, even as it warmed—and while I shared this bottle I could easily finish one by myself without complaint. I’m curious to see how some age would develop this beer further.

250th review!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 09:24:58 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a generally translucent reddish brown color, off-white head at about two inches, dissipates fairly rapidly but maintains as a lacing indefinitely. The lacing hugs the walls of the glass as you drink, leaving a webbing.

Smells of caramel, semi-sweet spiced chocolate, molasses, non-boozy bourbon elements, and maybe a bit of anise or licorice, but without any kind of bitterness. It's rich, but not overbearing.

The taste has a mild smoked flavor right off the bat, and there is just a whisper of cooked vegetable under it if you are really looking. The cinnamon becomes much more apparent here and the rich caramel malts are the centerpiece. Again, non-alcohol bourbon elements compliment follow. The licorice/anise flavor doesn't come through here, and what little bitterness there is seems to be from the chile element. There is some hoppiness in the aftertaste, but it's very smooth and floral.

The body is full, somewhat syrupy but not cloying. The carbonation is soft and lightly fizzy and hits most prominently on the tip of the tongue; otherwise you don't feel it. There is a bit of alcohol numbing in the mouth, and a bit of warmth going down, but you don't notice it until about half way through.

Overall, this is fantastic. I can't speak for the others in the series, but mixture of flavors here worked out perfectly. I can't imagine what effects more aging would have had on this mixture. But I can say if you are lucky enough to find a bottle or two of this still sitting around, don't hesitate. After all, they won't be making it like this ever again.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 02:26:10 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Cream brown head. Tons of stick. Deep dark brown body.

Smell - Musky cardboard. Slight refried beans in nose. Wine. Solvent.

Taste - Refried beans. Musk. Malt.

Mouthfeel - Slight astringency. Pretty acidic. Becomes pungent after airating. Drink quickly!

Overall Drinkability - Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 05:12:22 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy

Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bring out your glass sleepers, so this ruby colored ale can take you to the ball! Great lace on the side of the glass from very light brown and tightly bubbled head. Great nose that's not overpowering--smells citrus, lemon, anise, light cherry and pepper, plus floral notes all floating on top of a caramel, bready malt and subtle yeast. Slight sour note underneath that doesn't assert itself against a moderate hotness from the 9.4% ABV. Hops listed online are Warrior, Target, Perle and Pacific Jade. Complex nose that drew in my love of spice accented beers. Hop punch is distinct but not biting. Hop blended with continued anise and fruit rise above the lighter mouthfeel. Alcohol is apparent and pleasant as well. Falls nicely off the back of the tongue with a slight sour bitterness.

The very small print on the side of the bottle says that the beer was brewed with cinnamon sticks, Anaheim chilies and Belgian Flanders Golden Ale yeast. Guessing the peppers are accounting for the full and complex spice notes along with the cinnamon. Yeast is said to throw off banana and clove, which I can smell now that I'm paying attention to it specifically.

Good beer and worth the effort to go find. Buy an extra bottle or two to save for next year's vertical tasting.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 01:25:42 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of UnderPressure
UnderPressure

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark amber colored beer with a frothy head. Nice head retention. Some lacing.

Nice aroma. Definately a Belgain. You get plenty of the Belgian "funk" from the yeast. Heavy on the malt side of the fence.

Wow. Lots of complexity in the flavor. Belgain yeast. Slight alcohol (but not much). An overall raisin-like tart fruitiness. Significant hop bitterness. There are a few background flavors going on that are hard for me to articulate.

A nice, thick, heavy mouthfeel with a bitter, dry finish. Nice.

A really nice full flavored beer with a lot to offer. I wish this was a year-round brew. It would be great to drink on special occasions. I'll end this review now and relax with the rest of this bottle before the 9.4% ABV gets the best of me.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 23:36:20 | More by UnderPressure
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, first review in quite a while. No better time to dip my reviewing toes back into the water.

A: Bit darker than I was expecting for a Belgian Strong Pale but it is beautiful nonetheless. A kind of mahogany/cherry brown topped with two-fingers worth of latte-foam head, that fades only slightly in density from the initial pour.

S: A bit boozy, very sweet and fruity, and very complex (maybe I'm saying that because I've been subsisting on Schlitz these past couple months) with notes of pineapple, mango, but also coupled with spicier notes of clove, ginger or nutmeg (you decide) which is all tied together in that traditional Belgian sugary yeastiness that is impossible for me to describe with any clarity. In short. Wonderful.

T/MF: Quite spicy and surprisingly bitter with a noticeable alcoholic heat, which is nice, but drowns out some of those fruit flavors in the aroma that I want to get at. Finish is quite bitter and creates quite an overall "picture" of the beer (ie. sweet upfront, developing boozines in the middle, long and lasting astringency in the finish).

D: I am impressed by this beer. You can tell that it truly was a labor of love getting this beer to where it is now. Certainly worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 03:59:45 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of TrappistJohnMD
TrappistJohnMD

Mississippi

4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium mahogany amber in a Vertical Epic glass. Little head retention. A ring of light tan bubbles around sides of glass.

Smell is very inviting. Lots of cinnamon. A bit of ripe fruit. Belgian yeast is present.

Taste follows the smell well for me. Lots of sweet malt, cinnamon and fruit. Mild bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Medium bodied. Not too much carbonation.

Overall this is one of my favorites from Stone. Will definitely try to get more of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 00:15:11 | More by TrappistJohnMD
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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,399 ratings.