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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: 8.58%
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
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Reviews: 477 | Hads: 1,504
Photo of ralree
2.56/5  rDev -31.4%
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. (1,186 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2.56/5  rDev -31.4%
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. (1,549 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
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. (559 characters)

Photo of Nova_K
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
2.58/5  rDev -30.8%
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. (753 characters)

Photo of CasanovaCummins
2.6/5  rDev -30.3%
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. (627 characters)

Photo of Auracom
2.61/5  rDev -30%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
2.66/5  rDev -28.7%
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. (851 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.68/5  rDev -28.2%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
2.68/5  rDev -28.2%
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 (375 characters)

Photo of hardy008
2.69/5  rDev -27.9%
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. (1,149 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
2.78/5  rDev -25.5%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -24.9%
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. (966 characters)

Photo of Beerlover
2.81/5  rDev -24.7%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.84/5  rDev -23.9%
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. (1,232 characters)

Photo of Stunner97
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
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 (537 characters)

Photo of pwoods
2.87/5  rDev -23.1%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
2.91/5  rDev -22%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
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. (513 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
2.94/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brewed with Pale, Crystal, Munich, CaraBohemian and Special B malts. Hopped with Warrior, Target, Perle and Pacific Jade.
9.4% ABV, 65 IBU, OG=20.5P, FG=2.5P. $8.99 for a 22oz bottle @ BevCo.

Pours out to a hazy medium amber, forming a nice soft smooth yellow head with superior retention and lacing. ~2.0 carbs. The nose is very peculiar...lots of banana followed by the unmistakeable nose of green chilis. This is not a subtle chili smell...it's like somebody dumped a shot of salsa verde in my beer, complete with the vinegar. The mouthfeel is soft a with mild carbonation and a medium-dense body, finishing dry. The taste is like the aroma...imagine a belgian dubbel with a shot of salsa verde. I'm not getting any cinnamon in here. Lingering pleasant but not overly firm bitterness nicely balances the sweet maltiness. Aftertaste of hop bitterness and leather. I'm not picking up any heat from the chilis at all.

Very peculiar beer. I'm glad that I've tried it, and it's brewed well, but it's not my thing. I wouldn't buy it again, and would only recommend it for the adventurous. This beer would be much better with black pepper or cayenne. (1,148 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: cherry red with a finger of transient yellow foam. Spotty lace.Excellent clarity.
S: cloves, bananas, chillies, cinnamon, just enough chili to make me interested.
T: tastes like a Belgian tripel with cinnamon and chili essence. Wrong yeast for this beer.
M: medium bodied with Smooth velvet carb.
O: meh. Cool idea. Want less yeast, more chili. (351 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
2.97/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Summits' Wayside Tavern Snellville. Reviewed from notes.

16 oz $7.99

(Appearance) Served with a light cream head of a thick cream foam. Retention is average. Color is a medium brown, with a lot of copper red accents. Appearance is lighter looking than I had expected but still decent. 3

(Smell) sweet aromatics, vanilla, caramel and a hint of chiles. Aroma certainly leans to the sweet side. Potency is a medium. the sweet aroma really overshadows much else this beer might have to offer. 3.5

(Taste) tart bitter spice and cinnamon malt flavors finishing with a sharp chile pepper taste. Pretty alarming in intensity overall, and most Flavors overdone throughout. There's a ton of confusion to this beer. sure, theres tons of flavor but without balance its nothing short of a muddled mess. Not really Stone's finest hour. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Slightly Prickly with medium carbonation. Low alcohol presence. Medium body. Decent pairing for what the taste goes for. 3.5

(Overall) Bizarre Flavors make for a really hit-or-miss beer. It finds such a niche market that I really don't feel iT is worth seeking out by most craft beer lovers. In the end I find it to be average at best and won't seek it out again. 3 (1,219 characters)

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a glass on 1/7/13

First let me say i feel a bit slighted that there were aged versions of this beer. I bet those where tasty.

Appearance- It pours a ruddy reddish orange with a light orange head. It dissipates eventually. Hardly any lacing

Aroma- Yeast, Banana, butter, cinnamon some vanilla and carmel on the back end.

Taste- Buttery, chili. reminiscent of a holiday tamale. A little corny, husky at the front, a big roasted chili flavor in the middle, and light cinnamon and piney hops round out the end. I am reminded of the few times I had Nopales, the mexican side dish made from cactus pads. It also becomes somewhat vinous as it warms.

Mouthfeel- slick almost greasy, low alcohol warmth.

Overall- having just tasted Telegraph's holiday Ale and the big smack of cinnamon that had, i have to say i somewhat enjoyed the subdued efforts of Stones 11/11/11 epic. I think by this time in the series the brewers were becoming bored or brash or both and just started throwing stuff in the beer. The Cinnamon was well played and the chilies worked okay, the whole thing played out a bit like a questionable "hole in the wall" mexican food joint. It doesn't look like much but it has it where it counts. The slick mouthfeel was a little off putting I thought of a greasy Chile Relleno. To me, if it was meant to be aged it would have a cork too...As one of the later releases in the epic series i imagine it was designed to not be cellared as long so it lacked some of the qualities i was expecting (slight oxidation, mellowed boozy warmth, hints of molasses plum and maybe some slight esthers or sourness) but, that's hardly the fault of the brewer. I wouldn't order another but this makes me wish I would have got in on the ground floor in the vertical epic series. (1,797 characters)

Photo of Buebie
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Plans fell through, liquor stores are closed, this looks tasty.

Poured from the bomber into a pub glass, semi rigorously, producing a billowing head. Head is thick, cakey, leaving a 1 finger dallop of white froth and thick clingy globs of lace.
Color on the brew is pretty red, more so then expected, it looks like a red ale and not a belgo strong.

Aroma is pulling strongly to pumpkin beer, more cinnamon then desired off aroma, but peppers are pulling up alongside, making for an odd aroma combo. Also some good bready caramel aroma too. Hops are blocked out.

Taste starts out sweet and malt driven, heating slowly with peppers and providing an interesting flavor profile. Malt, buttered rolls, cardamom like, and at the swallow is an overwhelming amount of cinnamon that pulls me down into pumpkin beer land.
Mouthfeel is slick, hop oil slick, medium carbonation, great feel overall.

I cant get past the cinnamon, its nagging and excessive and just ruins this beer for me.
Everything else is really good. The peers are terrific and they slowly sneak back up on you after the swallow.
Glad I tried it, but one was enough. (1,135 characters)

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