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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic AleStone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

477 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 477
Hads: 1,504
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.28%
Wants: 41
Gots: 447 | FT: 20
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:
Beer added by: JAramini on 11-10-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 477 | Hads: 1,504
Photo of flagmantho
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: well, I'm not certain I'd call this a "pale" ale. It has a rich, ruddy amber hue, with only the tiniest hint of haze to the body. Cap is a finger of nice ivory foam. Not bad.

Smell: mild aroma which has a lot of yeast character. There's spiciness, breadiness, biscuit and just a hint of band-aids. Not bad, but not really my cup o' tea.

Taste: nice earthy malt flavor provides a base for the chilies. These come through with a fresh peppery flavor right from the beginning. Heat is low, but I can feel it building slowly as I drink. I'm not, personally, sold on chili beers, and while I appreciate what they are trying to do here, I don't love this beer. Competent and well-made, but not really tasty.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a pretty decent carbonation and resulting creaminess. Sokay.

Overall: this beer doesn't really appeal to me, but if you like chili beers then it is definitely worth your time. (960 characters)

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Pours a dark copper with an off white head. Belgian spice and some green pepper in the aroma. Also a bit of sugar. Pepper flavor come through, but not a lot of heat. Belgian yeast flavor appears in the finish. Medium bodied. Alcohol is not apparent, even at 9.4% abv. This didn't do a whole lot for me. Pepper flavor didn't really work for me. Not really a beer that makes me want more. (425 characters)

Photo of jedtheavenger
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A--deep reddish-tan with a quickly dissipating head. The color is a pretty accurate reflection of the cinnamon/pepper character of this beer.

S--yeasty and sweet, with muted cinnamon and malt. I was expecting a bit more of a peppery nose, but otherwise very pleasant.

T--Basically a vegetal, slightly spiced pale Belgian. I was pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to pick out the pepper flavor. I know it's not supposed to be spicy/hot, but I felt like the peppers made no contribution other than a bland plant taste.

M--Rich and a little sticky. It didn't have the carbonated perk of a lot of strong Belgian pales, so it quickly got boring.

Overall: interesting in theory, a little weak in execution. I really wanted to like this beer, but it just didn't have the unique profile I've come to expect from limited-edition beers (or Stone Brewing Co, for that matter). (874 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a really dark ruby red color if not almost a brown color. Head is a tannish color and its fairly foamy. Has pretty solid retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- First thing I'm picking up is the Beligan yeast. Followed by the cinnamon, a mild chili pepper, and herbal hops.

T- Bready malts, spices and yeast are what really jump out at me. A touch of pepper, and hops are here too. A bit of heat from the alcohol is also present. As this one warmed up I found it much easier to drink.

M- Medium in both body and carbonation.

O- This one is alright. I probably won't pick up another one. I supposed the next time I have this one is when I tackle the veritcal. (677 characters)

Photo of BurpingtonDC
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. In small amounts it may be interesting, but 22 ounces is a bit brutal.

A - Reddish/Carmel color with an off-white small head.

S - Molasses, malt, vanilla, bananas, a touch of cinnamon and lots of green chillies.

T - I got a strong dose of green chili, some cinnamon, malt and alcohol. The chili is up front and a cinnamon and sweet malt finish

M - A balanced dryness/sweetness/carbonation mouth

O - Overall...this is a well made ale, but its flavor were a little off-putting to me. The chili was a little aggressive, but not in a good way. It seems oddly paired with the other flavors. Maybe an interesting brew to try once, but I'm not thinking of trying it again. (718 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a deep indian red hue with a frothy, off-white head, creamyish head. A thin spray of lace on the descent.

Smell: Fragrant wafts of cinnamon, clove, and chiles preserved in alcohol. Yeasty dough quality, but also bready-scented malts.

Taste: Bready malts layered with brown sugar, a bit of caramel, and a fair helping of cinnamon. Low sweetness. Slight green chile flavor, minimal heat, aided, somewhat, from the phenolic yeast and cinnamon (the 'heat' itself aided also by the peppery booze). Faint untoasted, unroasted nut character. Remote acidity present. A drop or two of strawberry soda, then some spiced banana. Drying, spicy finish that culminates into a slight sourish bent.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation. Fairly creamy on the tongue.

Overall: Kind of a dud, for me. I nobly stuck it out the entire bomber, and, though I honestly hoped for them to, the flavors never really came together, leaving it a bit of a jumble for me. (1,059 characters)

Photo of CruZnBrewZ
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First vertical epic series I've ever had.

Appearance: Pours a rich dark red color. heavy lacing that looks almost orange.

Smell: A very sweet aroma, but not to overpowering. no sense of chillies in the smell though. Odd?

Taste: Initial taste is sweet, then it transitions to flavors I've never tasted together like this before. I think the chili and the sweet have conflicting tastes in this style that aren't agreeing with me

Mouthfeel: decent body. lingering bittering flavors

Overall: overall I think I went in expecting one thing and got a completely different outcome. There is a lot going on with this beer. Some good, but most that doesn't agree with my pallet (673 characters)

Photo of HerculesRM
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: Poured from bottle into a chilled pint glass. I may have served it too cold.

A: Murky brown with a hint of amber, cloudy.

S: It has a very clean smell, but that's part of the problem. Not much fragrance to speak of.

T: Underwhelming. The chilis and cinnamon are weak, and I had to use my imagination to detect them at all, very slight spice. Slight alcohol taste. Decent malt profile.

M: Somewhat thick, appropriate for this gravity.

O: Overall a bit of a disappointment, though not a bad beer. It may have been better had I served it a bit warmer. I have a second bottle that I intend to cellar for a while, and I may update my review. (655 characters)

Photo of ikantspel
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served into a duvel tulip

pours a deep mahogany with a subtle head. not too much lacing going on

smells kinda fruity with some yeast in there. a tad peppery is the only hint of chile you get

first it kinda hits with a malty flavor. you can get some cinnamon in the middle but nothing way too overpowering. finishes pretty bitter. pretty much a cycle of sweet, spice, bitter.

somehow this works. after a few more sips the chile comes out more. dont know if i would get it again seems like a novelty beer (506 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bomber poured into a globe glass, the newest of the series promises to be interesting. Pours a clear amber with half an inch of off white foam. Retention follows the lead of other vertical epics, that being too brief especially for a bottle conditioned or partially bottle conditioned ale. Perhaps it never got any warm time. Keeps a ring nonetheless and offers up some fresh foam with a spin.

Steely aroma with interesting yeast notes arising with some warming. In the mean time lots of spice wrapped in some caramel and a subtle chili aroma. Pretty well integrated really with clove being dominant and with light chocolate and caramel rounding it out. Quite hoppy particularly with some agitation. Alcohol is apparent though not overly so. In the end the hop spice trumps any yeast notes, keeping them caged in the cellar.

Flavor is sweet and spicy with some caramel and cinnamon, touch of dark cherry in the middle and a flash of chili pepper on the finish. Further warming does indeed yield some sweet banana. Feel is lighter than the color might suggest, expanding a bit with warming and gathering a bit of spice texture as it does so. Overall an interesting brew and one I'll surely grab a few more of to stick in the cellar in hopes of things getting happier over time. (1,284 characters)

Photo of rand
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle to Delirium tulip glass

A: Dark amber, clear, fluffy, foamy 2-inch head. Small but thick patches of lacing.

S: Nice holiday bouquet as the festive spices accent the aromas. Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove smell lovely up against the sweet malts. The chiles are there but faint. Alcohol volatiles dance.

T: The layers of flavors are quite different from the nose. The chiles are much more prominent. Sludgy malt-sweetness seems to bury the spices, the cinnamon is barely detectable. Chili heat maintains throughout and the segue to the finish is far from seamless. Flavors contrast and repel each other. Finishes hot and sticky sweet.

M: Syrupy, sticky. Full bodied and your palate is laced with residue after each sip

Interesting attempt, but this is the worst of the Epic series by quite a margin. The flavors are completely disjointed and seemingly random. And the chili was just unnecessary - I'm a huge pepper geek, but I don't put cayenne in my pancakes or Chai latte. Hopefully the contrasting flavors will blend after a year of aging. (1,050 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Fish Bar in a mason jar.

Appearance: The beer has a medium brown color with amber and ruby edges. Quite a large eggshell head sits on top when the beer comes out. I suspect this may have been an overly aggressive pour. The head retains fairly well and leaves a bit of lace down the glass.

Smell: The aroma is kind of strange. I notice cinnamon first, with toasted bread, banana esters, and a fair amount of booze. From the aroma I don't even get a hint of chiles.

Taste: The flavor starts with slightly sweet toasted grains tinged with a bit of caramel. Then it starts to go a bit crazy. Cinnamon is really the dominating flavor here, but it somehow does not mix with the other spices. Cloves and banana notes clash with the malt and cinnamon flavors, and I only get a light sense of the chiles at the end, after the beer has turned into a medicinal ethyl alcohol bomb. I wonder if some time (like a year, a month, and a day?) would heal the distracted flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is the real victim of the brewing process. After seemingly half a sip, my tongue feels covered in some immutable oily coating that is fairly unpleasant. Like most other Stone beers, it is properly carbonated and has a heftiness to the body, which I appreciate. Just a very soft burn in the back of my throat from the chile.

Overall: This is the second beer from Stone I have had recently that has stunned me with how bad it is. I will continue to try everything they make, but I won't be coming back to this beer anytime soon. Overall this is just too much of a disjointed mess. (1,586 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle finally made its way to my area. Grabbed one to review fresh and one for the cellar. Poured into multiple tulip glasses.

A: Brownish-red colored body with an initially nice off-white head, but it dissipated rapidly. A thin retention ring and barely any lace on the glass. The bubbles are tiny and tight, not thick or creamy.

S: Lots of banana and yeast notes up front. The cinnamon definitely comes in with subsequent sniffs, as well as some actual pepper flesh nothing spicy or stinging. Clove, pale and caramel malts with a small dash of bitter hops towards the end. Not overly aromatic to say the least, sort of boring. You definitely get a Belgian spin.

T: First sip brings the Belgian-centric nature of this beer, lots of clove, banana and spicy yeast notes. The cinnamon barely shows up in the taste save for a certain dry grittiness I'm trying to attribute to it. Chiles/peppers? Maybe, but it's that raw, sliced flesh. There's no heat or spiciness from them. Malty in the backbone and into the finish. I don't know, this isn't terrible but it's not delicious.

M: Highly active carbonation, very bubbly and fizzy on the palate. It's cleansing but doesn't help give this beer any body. I'm pretty indifferent here.

Well, this isn't mind-blowing nor anything I'd consider a great beer. It has a lot of interesting elements to it, but I feel the flavors labeled that I would think would give it a different flavor profile failed to show up in the taste. OK, but I don't need this one again. (1,512 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a fairly clear amber color with some reddish hues. Thinner beige head fades out leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Some spicy notes in the nose with a light caramel sweetness. The chilies and cinnamon pretty much dominate here.

Somewhat sweet and spicy up front with a kick from the cinnamon. Light caramel and bready notes towards the middle with some yeasty funk. Finishes with some residual heat from the chilies.

Medium body, decent carbonation, warm on the tongue and throat from the chilies. This felt pretty one note to me. Yeah, I got the cinnamon and chilies, which was kind of cool, but not a whole lot else. (670 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.07/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured out a color that I usually don't associate with a pale ale of any nationality: auburn and brown? A little cloudy looking for a pale ale too. Nice offwhite head on the top, about 3/4" deep. Aroma had me going into the belgian wit place. We're already two qualities in, and neither one makes me think belgian pale ale. Coriander and cardamom have no place in any pale ale.

Taste has some spice flavors, toffee, caramel, cinnamon and a little booze with a hint of citrus throughout. I wasn't the biggest fan of it, but it was seemingly a tad complex. And I've had worse vertical epics to be sure. Couldn't really pick up any chile pepper addition.
Clove keeps coming out more and more as it warmed. Complex stuff, but not really up my alley.

Thanks to Sebastian for bringing this one to the March Madness bottle share. Unfortunately David Hurley, beverage peon at the El Dorado Casino decided to renege on the word of the El Dorado and shut down our bottle share a day early, because it offended his BMC reps that we were having a good time not drinking the $40 to drink all day Bud Light deal. Screw that guy and establishment that supposedly supports craft beer. But thanks to Sebastian for bringing this beer. (1,220 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy amber that has an intense red hue. There is a half finger of creamy off white head that fades quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt smacks you in the face. There are some fruity grape and cherry notes along with mild Belgian spice. I think I'm also getting some caramel.

Taste: Initially this tastes like it is going to be a total malt bomb, full of cherry, grape, and Belgian spice. There is a bitterness that shows up and cuts the sweetness a bit. The finish is slightly bitter with some Belgian yeast spice and then the chili peppers show up.

Mouthfeel: The body is syrupy with lots of foamy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer just didn't come together for me. Many of the flavors seem to distract from each other. I'm not sure that I would want another, but we'll see what age does when I open up all the VE's I have at the end of the year. (976 characters)

Photo of GlassHalfFull
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The 2011 Vertical doesn't stand up to offerings such as the 2009. Fiery amber color with a slight yellow tint. Great lacing and perfect foamy head. But, the nose is very banana-ish with an almost floral bite. I admit, I'm not a huge Belgian fan. This beer really reminds me of a lot of the attributes I don't like in Belgian beers. The banana notes give way to a strong chili taste with slight hints of cinnamon. One would think that so many different ingredients would provide a complex, interesting taste. Yet, the beer comes up short and unimpressive. Even the banana quickly fades to a thin, dull, starchy mouthfeel. The carbonation is also a bit much for this beer. I expected a lot after the previous offerings, but this one came up short. (745 characters)

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this fresh...let's see what a year has done.

Pours out a pretty deep amber with ruby hints and 2 fingers of khaki head.

The aroma has some cinnamon in it and roasted chile pepper skin, along with some Belgian yeast characteristics and some toffee/caramel malt notes. A little bit of coriander and orange peel, but it's pretty subtle.

The taste is also more subdued than when it was fresh. The cinnamon is subdued, but more up front than the more mellowed out chile notes. There are toffee and caramel malt notes along with some bready notes. Much sweeter than this initially was because of how the chile notes mellowed out. Fresh, this was much more balanced.

The body is medium and the mouthfeel is rich and smooth. No taste or smell of alcohol, but there is a slight warming as it goes down.

This was a pretty decent beer fresh, but this has not aged all that well. Not a bad beer, but nothing great either and probably not easy to come by at this point. (970 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Clean ruby in hue. A good, firm pour yields a one finger head. Decent lacing and collar follow.

S: Medicinal and off-putting. There's some ground clove and certainly a bit of cinnamon here, but it's just not really coming together to form a cohesive bouquet.

T: The heat's there, alright. It's not overdone, but there's a definite tingle in the back of my throat. Herbal - like I'm drinking a bottle of Thai food. And then the cinnamon comes on and it gets me thinking...what the hell? What's the point of all this? Just an odd beer.

M: Pretty thick and dense. Well done - easily the highlight of the beer.

O: An off-the-wall entry into the VE series. I get the feeling that Greg and Co. just decided to dump some random shit into the boil, and look!! - We got our next VE!

Not a terrible beer, just not something I'd want more then 4oz of at a time. (921 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A two finger beige head forms with very good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: At first, kind of a slick and soapy hops aroma. That quickly fades to caramel, raisins, and peppery heat. Not bad, it just does not mesh well with me.
T: A large sweetness. Burnt caramel, plenty of raisins, and heat. Both from the peppers and alcohol. Hum...interesting to say the least. Just off and odd.
M/D: A medium to full body. Slick and oily. Fairly smooth as well. The heat and odd mesh of flavors makes this a little harder to drink than I would like. I probably will not finish the bottle.

Interesting, but I really don't care to drink very much of this. I would of much rather had about a 4-5 oz taste. A full bomber is just to much to enjoy. (778 characters)

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A Pours a clear dark amber color topped with a white head that dissipates quickly.

S The Belgian character of the beer comes through very strongly with a strong banana bubblegum with a hint of clove aroma. Can't really tell if there are chillies and cinnamon though.

T Pretty similar to the nose with lots of banana, bubblegum and clove with a hint of chillies coming through on the finish with some heat. Pretty sure the cinnamon is a lie though as I can't taste it anywhere which is disappointing because I love cinnamon and put it in most things.

M Medium bodied with pretty nice carbonation.

Overall a very disappointing beer as the all I taste is the mediocre base beer and not the chillies or the cinnamon. Not bad just very mediocre. (785 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden brown color. Bubbly collar with a few wisps drifting in the middle of my glass. Smells like lemon Ricola. Caramel, citrus hard candy with an odd spice that seems familiar but can't place. Barleywine-esque but thinner.

This was one of my least favorites of the vertical. I didn't know it was a chili cinnamon beer - I guess that explains the odd spice character. (370 characters)

Photo of TrevorWGrover
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer a few times when it was very fresh. I rated it as one of my top beers on BA because it was absolutely delicious. I saved a couple bottles and opened them just recently (2014) and it was not good at all. This beer dropped off quite a bit, I would encourage BAs to steer away from this one if you see it again in the stores. Not a good one once it has some age on it. Too bad. (390 characters)

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
2.99/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Draft serving into a chalice for $3 during happy hour. Sampled 12/1/11.

A: Slow rising 1 finger head, light brown in color, foamy, very loosely compacted and quick to disappear. The body has a very attractive garnetty plum color. Very still looking with 85% opacity. Despite the beautiful hue, the appearance isn't that great overall. No lacing.

S: Up front, the nose brings in some smokiness and perceived heat from charred peppers and alcohol. Light fragrance of cinnamon. The background aroma is classic BSDA, albeit very much underlying.

T: The flavor echoes the nose. Ancho chile or chipotle-like heat and flavor mixes with the savoriness of cinnamon. Sweetness from the typical dark fruits usually associated with BSDAs. Raisins, sweet plum, dates and perhaps even a little cherry and strawberry provide the backdrop. Perhaps a dusting of cocoa powder as well.

M: Tight, crispy carbonation with the bubbles carrying through until the finish, keeping it relatively clean. Medium-light on the tongue. Sweet, yet the dryness increases throughout each individual sip.

O: Worth trying even though I didn't particularly like it. (1,134 characters)

Photo of Eriktheipaman
2.99/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish Belgian cooler.

The smell was the worst part of the beer. ALL I could pick up was a kind of green bell pepper smell which was a little off putting.

The taste was a little better. I didn't pick up any cinnamon but a good amount of pepper (no heat just flavor), slight spice, and some banana from the yeast.

This beer paired pretty damn well with the eggplant and potato pizzas I had with it so I will give it credit for having amazing pairing potential. But on it's own it didn't hit the spot for me. Maybe a year or two on it so the flavors can blend but I'm not sure I'll give it a second chance. (618 characters)

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 477 ratings.