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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.

477 Reviews

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Reviews: 477
Hads: 1,504
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 41
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: 477 | Hads: 1,504
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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Photo of hardy008
2.69/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper color with a two finger foamy light tan head with good retention and lacing. the aroma has cinnamon, chili peppers, pale malt, Belgian yeast, bananas, and cloves. Interesting combination. If this beer tastes like it smells, I'm not sure if this combination of ingredients is going to work well together. Only one way to find out.

It's different, that's for sure. It tastes like it smells. Cinnamon, chili peppers, pale malt, Belgian yeast, bananas and cloves all in the same beer. The main problem is the chili peppers are too strong, and overpower most of the other ingredients. I can tell the other ingredients are present, but the chili peppers should not have been so dominant. They are not to hot or spicy, but you can definitely tell they are in the beer.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. The aftertaste is mostly cinnamon and chili peppers. I think if Cinnamon and chili peppers are going to be added to beer, it should be added to an imperial stout, and taste like Hunahpu's. This isn't bad, but not as good as it should be. I do applaud Stone for continuing to experiment, but I don't think this beer is entirely successful.

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Photo of divineaudio
2.78/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

bomber split with my gf. tulip glass.

a - deep copper in color with a finger of tan, sudsy head that calms slowly to a film. leaves a bunch of sticky lace in the glass.

s - clove, banana, toasted bread, faint astringent alcohol.

t - unfortunately the belgian yeast dominates the flavor. massive clove and cinnamon notes, but i'm not picking up any of the anaheim chilies. faint sourdough bread. a dirty, funky bitterness comes in at the end and lingers longer than it should. an absolute mess imo.

m - lighter in body with a lot of carbonation.

o - a f*ing weird beer. not bad per se, just not well put together. i actually wound up dumping the last 1/4 of my glass because i couldn't finish it. might improve with age, but i'm not keeping one around to find out.

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Photo of akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bomber bottle. Game on.

A: The ale is hardly pale, more of a lighter dubbel with rich wooden brown hues amongst ruddy red ones. The result is opaque; no head to be seen though. All I have is a thin band, lacing limited to a mere sliver above the beer.

S: Candi sugar sweetness has an unusual partner here, a fresh-chopped chile pepper zest. The heat isn't overpowering but that vegetal aspect can't be denied. Spices and dark fruits (raisins and brown sugar) mute the heat, a yeasty gift.

T: The peppers come through in force, the scovilles noticeable but not mouth-scalding. The heat pairs nicely with the Belgian spice profile, melding into and absorbing the heat. Cinnamon and candi sugars are there, running smack into the heat. Reflecting on this one is tough, the bell pepper with some heat scenario is, to put it mildly, unpleasant. Stone's recent Belgo-experimentation just hasn't been working for me.

M: Half a bomber, no more. I just can't handle it.

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Photo of Beerlover
2.81/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

reviewed from notes

Pours dark amber - medium brown in color, unfiltered. smells slightly spicy sweet, more cinnamon on the nose than peppers. Taste very different and unique just like most stone beers. chili peppers not apparent to me really, I'd say low on the scale of hot pepper spice, much more tame than "Rogues" chipotle ale. The cinnamon is very subtle which is fine by me because I hate cinnamon. This also has a very belgiany, the Belgian "qualities" in the beer are very apparent, high carbonation.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.84/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - pours a fairly clear orange/amber. Some light mocha coverage takes a while to fall back, leaving some nice lacy waves behind.

Aroma - not much going on at first. Slowly, some doughy, Belgian/Flanders yeast elements appear along with a note of anise and/or cola. Levels remain delicate and understated.

Taste - lightly sweet grain to start. Modest input of clove and just a hint of the Anaheim chili at mid-palate. The Flanders yeast chimes in and takes this beer into Funksville. The chilis mnake another appearance on the swallow, imparting a slow burn on the back of the throat, but the yeast dominates from here on out. Really nice level on those chilies though. Notes of licorice and cola-like flavor. Little if any hint of the 9.4%. Reasonably well done for a style I tend to avoid (Flanders), but tonight will be more about exposing the palate than just enjoying a beer. So be it.

Mouthfeel - some decent weight to the body, masks the carbonation a bit until a few good belches rip. I like the smoothness, a proper fit for a beer this size.

Drinkability - probably a cool twist on the style for lovers of the Flanders style. I may let my other bottle rest until 2013 or 2014 before I get the pluck to open it.

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Photo of Stunner97
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- dark brown with tan color on head and some carbonation

smell- alot of cinnamon and spice on the nose

taste- this beer was extremely spiced and spicey, really to me was out of wack, not sure of the chilli peppers made it so spicey or spicing but wasnt balanced for me in anyway,

Mouthfeel- medium bodied and smooth

Drinkability/overall- overall this beer just didnt do it for me it was to spiced and just to much for me, i know its a unique style but just wasnt for me, had no problem finishing it but not my thing at all

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Photo of pwoods
2.87/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bottle poured into a Stone Levitation tulip.

A: Pours a very pretty ruby copper color. 2+ fingers of light tan head forms and has pretty good retention. Decent lacing.

S: Firm chili and chili powder aroma. Subtle caramel malts and yeast but dominated by the chili. A bit veggy from the chili's as well.

T/M: Odd mix from the malts and chili. The cinnamon comes through but in an odd way... doesn't really scream cinnamon but it's definitely there. Nice yeasty character with plenty of fruity esters. Body is medium with nice carbonation and a semi dry finish.

D: I think this would be a really good beer without the chili's and cinnamon... just doesn't seem to mix real well here.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Count me as one that didn't enjoy this beer. Mild peppers? For me, the chili peppers just dominate this beer, and it's not so much that I don't like peppers in beer, since I've had several I like, but I think it's the type of pepper used. That green, spicy pepper flavor clashes with the other notes here and dominates them completely. The peppers are too bright and fruity to allow the other flavors to develop. I prefer either a smokier, more brooding pepper, which works particularly well with darker beers, or something subtler. I did have a siracha mild once that was delicious, but other flavors were at work there aside from just the heat and green vegetal qualities of the peppers. An interesting idea, but I think this should have been saved for a draught one-off, rather than made the 11/11/11. Oh well, not for me.

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Photo of PicoPapa
2.92/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a translucent dark brownish ruby color with a little bit of head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is of chiles, green peppers, and maybe a tiny amount of smoke. Taste is more of the chiles. Some malt, green peppers and cinnamon . Honestly this beer tastes more like bell peppers than spicy chile peppers. Has some spice to it but not alot of heat. Odd aftertaste. Think its the cinnamon. This beer tastes weird and kind of medicinal. Overall, I don't like this very much and may not buy one to age.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear orangey copper brew. Head dwindles rather quickly, with heavy legs and reasonably lasting lace. Aroma is dominated by cinnamon.

Taste is sweet to start, the middle finds the cinnamon and pepper balancing nicely, but the close is just the alcohol and cinnamon. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is okay for what it is. The flavors don't work much for me at all.

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