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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.

478 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 478
Hads: 1,508
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 29.41%
Wants: 42
Gots: 449 | 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: 478 | Hads: 1,508
Photo of Philousa
2.28/5  rDev -39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.75

Just cracked open this beer after aging it for over a year. It was kept in my fridge the whole time. May have been too cold to age, but I left it there more out of disinterest than anything else.

This pours a crystal clear cherry color, a dark red tending towards brown. Spots fo light tan head stick to the glass as you drink. Nose starts with lots of sweet caramel with allspice and some cinnamon. This smells like a spice cake. The sweetness is almost tangible. I get no peppers in the aroma. The flavor starts sweet too, with caramel, sweet bread, and rye. The candied sugar is heavy with this one. The flavors drift darker with some tobacco and very weak whisky. I can't tell what kind of hops are used, but they definitely are not the traditional West Coast varietals that Stone tends to favor. Most likely Saaz or another noble hop, as I get some nectar flavor and aroma. I also get some burnt Anaheim pepper taste, or maybe that's stale pepper heat? This beer finishes with severely burnt toast, and it lingers longer than it's welcome. The feel is slightly more watery than viscous, the finish dry.

I remember liking this on tap a year ago, but the heat is gone and something changed to give a burnt food flavor to it. Definitely not going to try again. I'm confused as to how I should rate it, though. The initial product was good, but aging it made it terrible. Keeping in mind that Stone advocated aging it, I decided not to hold back on the negativity in my rating. After all, this was confused at the get go. Is this a spiced beer, a traditional Belgian, or an American chili beer? Whatever Stone says it is, I say it's not very good.

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Photo of loving44
2.31/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured milk chocolate brown with a tan head.

S: The aroma is a strange combination of fruity Belgian yeast, banana, toast, and a light, earthy pepper aroma. Mixed together it's kind of weird.

T: unbalanced, chili pepper up front, with a syrupy cinnamon aftertaste. Didn't like it at all. I would assume that with some age the flavors would meld a little better, but who knows.

M: decent mouth feel, medium-heavy body.

Overall: didn't like it, and I don't want to go though the effort to age this.

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Photo of jds619
2.31/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark red that is unusual but interesting. The aroma is a slight cinnamon sweetness with belgian yeast and chiles. At this point it is intriguing.

However, the flavor is all chiles up front that finishes with a merging of belgian yeast, chiles and just the slightest cinnamon which is barely detectable. The merging of the flavors is really more of a crashing, as they do not blend well together at all. They create a harsh aftertaste that is not enjoyable. I have another that I will age, hopefully the flavors work themselves out over time.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

the pour is transparent burgundy red with little tan colored head. Nose is medicinal, cherry, light mint and overly sweet. Flavor is too sweet and medicinal with notes of cherry and mint with a bandaid finish. Body is syrupy and heavy with a low carb. ouch!

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Photo of Boto
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Draught @ Mikro: This one poured a hazy, dark amber color. There was a small tan head on it. I’m not to sure about the aroma. Peppers are predominate. They tend to mask much of anything else. There is a blended aroma besides the peppers, but it isn’t really compelling nor offensive. The taste is different. I get a Belgian yeasty, bready beer with some hops, but then the light peppery taste manages to overwhelm it, and not in a good way. Maybe the peppers will mellow over time, but right now this beer isn’t that good.

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Photo of RuckusDu
2.4/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Looks nice with 2 finger khaki head. Body is dark reddish amber.

S - It is sweet and sour. A lot of Juicy Fruit and some dark notes of sour cherries.

T - Goes terribly wrong here. A mix of Juicy Fruit, bell pepper, sour milk, and wheat. Not good. Hits you in the back of the mouth with sour bitterness.

M - Decent job here. Nice balance between carbonation and thickness.

O - I don't know what happened to this beer. Everything is good about it except for the taste. Just funky.

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Photo of thecheapies
2.42/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.11.11, a year and change later. In a pint glass.

Very cloudy and muddy brown. Looks like pond water with some afterwash foam scum.

Cardboard oxidation, overripe banana, caramel, and muddy malts.

Definitely didn't keep well. Papery and caramelized and turned. Cinnamon is still prevalent and the banana is just behind the accent. The heat is barely there. It's just not right, however. No distinguishable malt profile. Only what I remember from last year.

Drinks smooth, but with light carbonation. Alcohol levels are a little seeping.

Should have reviewed this last year. An otherwise okay beer turned bad. Time was not the answer. Sorry Stone. Drain pour.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.44/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

A deep auburn bordering on caramel brown with a thin light brown head.

The aroma is a strange combination of tangy Belgian yeast, caramel malts, a bit of banana, and a very mild, earthy chile presence. They don't seem to blend particularly well together, though on paper I know it doesn't sound all that bad. Maybe it's the cinnamon's fault?

The flavor is just as confused as the aroma. The Belgian yeast is dominant along with a sweet banana flavor, some cracked black pepper, and just a hint of chile warming lingers. On paper, it doesn't sound that bad, but it really wasn't at all enjoyable.

Medium to thick bodied with moderate carbonation.

A mess. I struggled through my 8oz. and didn't finish the glass.

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Photo of peabody
2.46/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a slightly couldy amber to ice tea color with one finger of off-white suds. Slight lacing here.
Smell is malty sugar and yeast. Buttered raisin bread with burbon on top. the 9.4% is way over the top. Not enough ingredients and too much booze. Terrible.
Taste is a boozy mess with some raisin bread alcohol pudding thrown in there for good measure. Gross.
Mouthfeel is a little sticky but mostly clean. The problem is you don't want these flavors in your mouth after the initial taste. Nasty.
Overall I am going to poop on this one just like Stone did to all of us expecting something special out of this Vertical Epic nighmare. Booo on Stone.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
2.48/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz into Deschutes pint glass.

A- Nice orangey amber on the pour, a sandy tan, almost eggnog head builds and leaves some rather nice lacing on the glass. Foam is dense.

S- The yeast in this one is crazy. Lots of bubblegum, bananas, and all around spicy yeast goodness. You get a nice whiff of the cinnamon and the faintest hint of the peppers.

T- Eh, Wow. I taste the banana-y yeast, it jumps out from the start. The cinnamon is muted, and the chiles provide a mild green note. Alcohol is very present... Spices intermingle, but not really to the benefit of anything. The spicy and the sweet flavors do not mesh, my tongue is confused.

M- What is that? I don't think it's the chile. Cinnamon? Something's leaving a weird feeling in my mouth. OK, the chile shows up in the end too, with a bit of heat. It's got to be the alcohol? I think this one's a bit too boozy for its own good.

O- Did not finish- not even my first glass. Really unappealing flavors. Sorry, Greg, I thought I was going to seriously groove on this one, but it's a head-scratcher.

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Photo of rodkin
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours pretty dark for a pale ale. Deep reddish, amber kind of color, with about a 2.5 finger head, which reduces but doesn't disappear entirely.

Smell is banana, clove, spice, a kind of bready character. Interesting and complex, but gets points more for being interesting than smelling good, necessarily.

Taste is pretty unpleasant. It's like the smell, but it seems off, somehow. It's got a pretty bizarre aftertaste of slightly bitter, overripe chili, which doesn't really go well with the banana spice character. Aftertaste is hard to put a name to, but it's pretty foul and it lingers. Kind of reminds me of cough medicine from when I was a kid.

Mouthfeel is okay, kind of thin and carbonated, but it coats the mouth a bit and leaves that taste just swirling around.

Didn't like this at all. Pretty disappointed, as all my experiences with chili in beer so far have been great, but this was definitely a miss.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are relatively high; Stone can disappoint but on average they tend to brew interesting beers.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream lacing, great thickness, and fantastic retention considering the relatively high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent copper.

Sm: Aroma is surprisingly yeasty, with a fair amount of floral notes, bittering hops, and spice - maybe even pumpkin. Aroma is moderate in strength.

T: The bittering hops and spice clash quite a bit, I have to say. I don't know that aging would resolve this issue. Lots of weird notes are in there, including misplaced spices and bad caramel. The balance is completely off and the build is pretty badly considered. At least the alcohol doesn't come through. This is the worst possible outcome given the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Entirely too thick, however. It sort of complements the flavours.

Dr: Hard to drink on account of its low quality and bad balance. I hope that aging resolves its issues, and that I'm just guilty of opening it too early. I wouldn't buy it again, but I guess I'd try it aged. It's certainly experimental, which I applaud, but this is unfortunately a failure.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Big. Builds fast and BIG. Nice spotty lacing. Brew is weird purple cinnamon color.

S - Weird. There's lots of pepper and spice. Not much other then pepper and spice. No Belgian resonance.

T - Kinda of bland for the interesting flavors it's brewed with. No heat (spice). No heat (abv). Almost sour... blah. Where's the spice??? This brew is a terrible mess.

M - Over carbonation. Moderate heat. Light and thin.

O - Unique, but missing a lot. Totally missed the Belgian style. For such a big release this one disappoints. Don't get me wrong this brew is exciting, but it has no direction... it's a mess. Not nearly as good as the previous years... Stone, where have you gone? I'll come brew for you :)

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Photo of danedelman
2.55/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Since I am no longer a huge hop head, I am wondering what a stone will taste like to me now.

A-a nice amber, reddish collor with a lite head with a nice lacing.

S-smell hops right in front, lots of piney hops too. Then a bit of a malt background.

T-ugh!! That was rough!! hops with a nutmeg flavor. ugh again, like tasting pine sol. nasty!! I drank a nice 4 year old barleywine before this so I am wondering if it is just not a good match. but ugh!! this stuff sucks. Lemony piney, f yeah!! Pine Sol is all I can think about.

m-can't get over the flavor to get the mouthfeel. dumping this crap down the drain now.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.56/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle picked up from Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a Stone Vertical Epic glass that can be described as stemless martini-like.

Pours a dark golden-copper color with a good white head and some lacing. The nose brings forward plenty of chilis plus a moderate amount of cinnamon and light malt. Taste is a bit odd at first, getting worse as it warms. As expected, the flavors don't come together at all. Terrible idea; bad execution. Not really looking forward to this again in 2012, but I suppose I must. Finish was grossly dry. Bad.

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Photo of ralree
2.56/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Extremely deep red, like a cherry soda. Weird. Reddish hued head, nice retention, good lacing.

S: Very Belgian. Dark fruit, cinnamon, apple, and a weird vanilla smell I can't quite place. Very spicy smelling for a Belgian.

T: Really really spicy - this thing has tons of flavor! Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves (that's one of the things I couldn't place in the smell), some fruit, hops come out stronger than I thought they would, and a bit of toasty malt. This is VERY different from any other beer I've ever tried. I think the spice flavors are a bit too strong - they overpower the hops and make this taste more like cold cinnamon and spice herbal tea than beer. It's not my thing, but I'm sure there's people out there that like this. I just read the bottle - indeed, they put in whole cinnamon sticks and a yeast with heavy clove overtones. They also added Anaheim peppers, which is probably the other flavor I can't place. Honestly, I don't get this.

M: A little oily, good carbonation. Medium body.

D: Not really drinkable - it tastes too weird for me. This is sad because if they hadn't gotten so carried away with adding every strong flavor possible, this could have been good.

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Photo of Overlord
2.56/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Fresh off a nice Steel Reserve 211 (I hear some folks score it as high as a 3.7!!!) I was curious to give this puppy a whirl. As always, I keep an open mind for the novel and new in the beer world.

Pours a burnished brown with some burnt orange highlights when held to a light. Long lasting off-white crust and some bubbling.

Smells like medicinal toasted herbal banana cloves, with more medicinal notes, alcohol solvent, more medicinal notes, and please Yog Sothoth ... please don't let that be roasted chili pepper laced with cinnamon. Oh, great Cthulhu, no. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

The smell had promise (at least, the promise of a solid base), but the flavor of this beer is ruined by an epic spice/adjunct overload that vertically sodomizes my tastebuds. The clove/banana/medicine has a lot of promise, but does not mesh well with other flavors. The solvent-y alcohol-y ness of this beer is surprising given it is only 9.6 abv. The chiles are unnecessary and distracting, and do not mesh with the belgian semi-sweet base. The yeast is swallowed up by competing and distracting flavors. It's like cats drenched in various spices are fighting for supremacy in my mouth, and no matter who wins, I lose.

It's a shame what they did to a beer that obviously started with promise. I mean ... this is one of the more solid Belgian bases that Stone has come up with in recent years, and the unnecessary detritus they heaped into it has really detracted from the overall appeal.

Mouthfeel does little enliven this brew.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.57/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a medium creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is dubbel like with banana and cloves and some sweet malt with some chilis and cinnamon thrown in.

The flavor is sweet bready malt with bananas and clove. Some spice from the chili and cinnamon comes out in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little watery.

Overall, I remember liking earlier samples more. This was just too much sweet malts and bananas. I remember less dubbel and more cinnamon and chili which was better.

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Photo of Nova_K
2.57/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bought at Keg Liquors in Clarksville, IN.
Drank from snifter glass.

A - Cloudy. Dark amber/brown color. Minimum carbonation with a lasting 1/2-1/4" head. Lacing is low to moderate.
S - Lots of DMS (canned corn) smell up front. Slight spiciness.
T - Tastes of DMS as well. Slight nuttiness. Jalapeño? finish.
M - Heavy body. Sticky and lasting.
O - I couldn't get past the DMS flavor and smell of this beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a taster. Thanks yet again Chris!

(A)- Pours a hazy mahogany color. Some minimal white froth and lacing.

(S)- An up front blast of chili pepper. Subtle bits of biscuit and raisin.

(T)- A brighter amber malt profile with plenty of the chili pepper from the smell.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Some subtle caramel sweetness in the background, but it seems to me that the chili pepper has sort of become the dominate spice in this.

(O)- The chili pepper is prevalent, but is at least somewhat balanced out by the underlying sweetness this still has. Overall, though, I think this might be my least favorite of the whole vertical despite it being one of the freshest. As a whole, it just feels like a mish mash of randomness.

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Photo of CasanovaCummins
2.6/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of the most beeyoutiful looking beverages I think I've ever seen. Deep Mahoganish brown. Amazing color.

Unfortunately for me, that is the best I can say about this particular pour. It has a slight whiff of Root Beer and RED HOTS. The taste is also RED HOTS with a bit of banana thrown in, maybe a bunch of cloves and a hint of cinnamon.

One very interesting aftertaste. Think Ancho chili smoke and again, RED HOTS. After awhile it gets a bit bitter and even smokier. Like a liquid, hot, candied smoke.

I think the hot edginess would only get amplified with time. And I'm not certain I will give this another try.

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Photo of Auracom
2.61/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Poor Phil's on November 22nd, 2011, served in a tulip.

A - Deep dark red coloring with brown tones around the edges of the glass. Poor retention and lacing of an offwhite head.

S - It's muted, but light cherry, strawberry, banana, clove, and some other spices. Really don't detect much chili here.

T - Initial light sugar and vanilla-like sweetness recedes into a ton (and I mean a ton) of spices/cinnamon. Backend is astringent cherry and light fruits with contrasting dark fruit sweetness and chili characters.

M - Huge carbonation at the front of the drink. Medium body.

D - A bit weird and underdeveloped. Chilis could have been integrated much better. Probably won't revisit this one... just can't imagine it improving with age.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.66/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark ruby almost brown color with a tan head, good retention and lacing down the glass.

Smells of candi sugar, cinnamon and booze.

Taste is all over the place. Sweet candi sugar and spicy Belgian yeast are present then the chili and cinnamon kick in along with some spicy hops. It's like flavors are just being randomly thrown at my tongue.

Medium mouthfeel with a slick oily finish. Medium-low carbonation. A bit of a burn from both chiles and alcohol makes this one difficult to drink and I split the bottle. A whole one would be too much.

Maybe I only like the even years of this series. This beer was a huge mess for me. Lots of flavors, but they seemed to clash and be out of whack. This beer seems to have an identity crisis. Maybe the flavors will mellow out in a year and there will be a wonderful cohesion, but right now it's bad.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Look: Pours a medium brown color with traces of red throughout. 1 inch tan head with good retention. Leaves behind a spot or two of lace

Smell: The nose carries a fair amount of cinnamon and banana which reminds me of a banana flavored laffy taffy and definitely some belgian yeast

Taste: The flavor is not very good at all. It's a combination of flavors that honeslty do not go together at all. The cinnamon is too sweet for the chili's and the banana just feels out of place and artificial. As the beer warms it becomes chalky. Not good

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium to high carbonation and a bit of a sting from the chilis

Overall: The flavor of this beer is a train wreck and ruins the beer.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured chilled in ale glass at friend's house. I was very excited to try this one out.

A: pomegranate-colored appearance; no head; no carbonation
S: sweet; vanilla, banana, bubble gum; quite promising
T: cinnamon is strong, but the chili pepper is not apparent; much like a pumpkin imperial; overly spiced

Sorry, but this felt like I was sucking an alcoholic cinnamon stick

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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 478 ratings.