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
85
very good

1,504 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,504
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 42
Gots: 444 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,504 | Reviews: 479
Photo of steelerguy
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Clear brown, with ruby highlights. Big frothy light tan head, that stay around for awhile with moderate carbonation.

S - Spicy, the cinnamon can be picked out but the yeast seems to be adding more spicy aromas like clove.

T - Lots going on here, the malt is almost overwhelmed by cinnamon and cloves and I guess what might be the peppers but just comes across as a strange medicinal flavor. The medicinal flavor then turns into an astringent aftertaste made bitter by the hops.

M - Nicely attenuated, warming quality, with a bit of sparkle from the carbonation and alcohol.

O - This beer looks great, smells good, and feels good but where it counts most...taste...it just isn't very good. I have only had the last few Vertical Epic Ales but this is easily the worst.

Photo of TruePerception
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11: ale brewed with Anaheim chilies and cinnamon; 9.4% ABV; Appearance: mid amber; Smell: pale ale-y; Taste/Mouthfeel: subtle spice, no burn, bitter; bitterness mellowed by spicy food; decent/pretty good

Poured into a pint glass.

Photo of iadler
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled while in line for the FFF Anniversary party.

A- Pours a translucent amber with a nice two finger head that dissipates into a thin cap.

S- Vegetal at first with notes of bell peppers and light chili peppers followed by some spices with cinnamon and pepper. Burnt sugar and caramel malt are in the background

T- Very sweet and vegetal with a good amount of caramel malt, cinnamon, bell peppers, mild green chilies, clove and under ripe banana.

M- Medium carbonation and body. Finishes a bit sweet with the spices lingering.

O- Meh, didn't really like this too much. Too sweet and vegetal as well as the flavors seeming to clash with each-other. Not sure if aging this beer would help at all to tone down the sweetness.

Photo of samie85
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a garnet color with a finger and a half of off-white head.

S-A bit of bubblegum and clove esters with some cinnamon and smoky peppers on the finish.

T-Dry, clove-y notes with some caramel, cinnamon, and very light spicy pepper notes.

M-A little cloying at first but it dries out quite a bit at the finish from the cinnamon and yeast esters; full side of medium bodied with low carbonation.

D-Not a bad beer by any means, but I don't think I'd try this one again.

Photo of flagmantho
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Photo of Fadefury
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - 1 1/2 to 2 inch head with a amber/dark brown body

Smell - Very fruity, with hints of cinnamon(I think?)

Taste - The taste is nothing like the smell. Not even close. I had this beer with spicy/hot wings, and I'd imagine it truly helped with this beer. Very strong and I could not taste any of what I thought I could smell, i.e. the banana and cinnamon spice.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation, and very thin

Overall - Would only drink with the right meal in front of me. No way would I drink this by itself again. Too strong, and far to bitter for my taste. The beer smelled and looked great, but ended up being nothing spectacular after that.

Serving type: on-tap

Photo of cosmicevan
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Pours a nice transparent amber w a thin head. Nose and flavor ate stale cardboard chocolate chili. Stone hints of cinnamon as well not bad, not amazing. Definitely tame in the hat and cinnamon.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Cinnamon and and peppers are well faded, more cinnamon and caramel malt than anything.
Very faint cinnamon in the nose with very little pepper. Medium body, slick mouthfeel.

Uneventful and I should have opened this right after I bought it a few years ago.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer is pretty clear, appearing amber hued with a thin, tan collar. The aroma brings citrus, spice, malt. Interesting flavor, with some limes and tart citrus amidst a sturdy malt profile. Chiles emerge more as the beer is allowed to warm. Interesting. Spicy aftertaste with some medium to full bodied malt character. Decent.

Photo of magictacosinus
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap for the VE tasting (beers 07.07.07-12.12.12) at Pacific Coast Brewing Co. during SF Beer Week. All reviews are from my notes.

Pours a reddish-brown melded color, complete with a little ring at the top of the glass. Not dark enough to appear opaque, although it doesn't look to cloudy overall, nor does it have too many bubbles. I definitely can tell the alcohol is present on this one, with the the legs dangling all around and a strong thick consistency as I swirled the glass. Murky, sort of messy, but definitely different.

At the nose, rather than get pelted with chili peppers, there are tons of surprising medicinal notes going on, including a caramelized brown sugar backdrop. There are some peppery notes that linger about, but there's a zest/spice combo going on here that I can't put my finger on. The Flanders yeast definitely trimmed the spices to a sourish edge, but it's not as strong as you may think. Getting herbs such as basil, rosemary, dill, and a hint of clove, all topped with black pepper and slight zest/muted tart. Very strange, kind of intimidating, but interesting.

The best way to describe a beer this crazy is that the first taste immediately reminded me of spiced paprika jalapeño rye bread soaked in huge sugared notes. Now, I actually love that as much as any fan of peppers, but don't think the flavor stops there. The finish immediately melds into a light bouquet of chili peppers, combined with cinnamon burnt notes, and lots of rosemary and clove. The astringency produced by the peppers and cinnamon is not very welcoming, and the other spices do try to balance it out. It doesn't seem to improve as it warms up either, as it gets even more ridiculously astringent and acidic, malty as hell, and then resembling herbal medication such as echinacea.

Surprisingly, to this palate at least, this isn't a complete trainwreck despite all of its counter-productive spices. The more I see it as an herbal beer in the same way that Benedictine is a herbal liqueur, the more I appreciate what it's trying to do. Kind of reminds me of a long dose of propolis with peppers, for better or for worst. Too bad the Belgian yeast or alcohol didn't do too much to balance this out, but for fans of strange herbal beers, this may be up your alley.

Photo of JayQue
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one didn't do it for me. Poured into my Chimay goblet a clear orange/copper color with a small off white, fast fading head. No lacing.

Smell is cinnamon, spices (pepper) and sweet malt/caramel malt. Not bad.

Didn't care for the taste. The combination of chiles and cinnamon resulted in a strong medicinal taste, kind of like a mild version of Alvinne Balthazar (which I really dislike). Before the beer warms up, the medicinal taste and sweetness are really too strong. As the beer warms up, the cinnamon is more pronounce than the chiles and the medicinal taste is greatly reduced as is the sweetness, Still a little bitter medicin-y stab

Mouthfeel is rich enough. There is a little warming alcohol presence but it is not too much.

Overall there are muich better Strong Pale Ales out there. This is unusual but not that great a drinking experience.

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking beer-
with a long lived fluffy head-
A ruby ampber body

a curious almost chemical nose.

Flavor- I'm torn between declaring a wonderful lip smacking tongue rolling exceptional flavor and a rather cheek pursing, revolting chemical brew. What a wild dichotomy!

On one hand, the chillies and the cinammon work together, augmenting the hops and ale character.. on the other hand the chillie and cinammon and whatever brewing technique Stone used make for an odd ball "grow on you" flavor- maybe some sort of cleaning fluid.

Mouthfeel is well, great- the long lasting finish had me mulling over my opionon about the flavor for a half hour.

Overall-- this beer is something other than the main-streem even for its brew genre. I've downgraded it because the part of me that dislikes "adjuncts" in the brew-- but on the otherhand.. maybe I'm too hard on what is likely an exceptional beer. You decide!

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.31/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this the other night at Bier Thirty... This review is from a bottle. Poured into my Delerium goblet... 2 finger tan head... the brew is clear deep amber... nice lacing.

Big spiciness in the nose... too much for my liking.. the cinnamon and clove phenols run a bit high... banana and hints of bubblegum are also too big. Not getting much chili.

The chilis are more discernible on the palate... a very mild but building heat with a distinctive vegetable flavor.. still, the cinnamon is sooo far out of place that I just don't appreciate this one. The "yeasty Belgian flavors" would be much better off without additional spices... decent malt profile that mainly acts as a spice delivery device... Mehhh.

This is probably my least favorite VE yet... and I doubt it will get any better for my palate.. the cinnamon is only going to grow as the other flavors lessen...

Sorry... I just don't dig it.

4/3/3.5/3.5/3

Photo of tjkinate
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not one of the best from Stone.

A: Single fingered short lived head topped this rust brown brew and displayed no lacing.

S: Belgian fruit yeast is backed by just a hint of spice. Was really hoping for more earth and pepper notes.

T: Very similar to the smell, just a little bland.

M: Under carbonated for a belgian style brew.

O: Could have been so much more.

Photo of FosterJM
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

942nd Review on BA
Bottle to Stone Pint
22oz

Purchased 11/10 and consumed 11/11/11

App- A bit of a caramel brown with some amber and reds. A mid 1 finger head to a a small bit of bubbles on the top of the beer. A small bit of cling but not much.

Smell- So this is labeled as a Chili beer but the aromatics are clearly of the Belgian origin. More yeast with a small bit of banana and clove. The chili just seems lost.

Taste- It's a tasty beer. This has a good pocket of flavor but I feel they should've stuck with the base beer. I get some nice flavors but clearly the chili is a secondary flavor. I really don't get the cinnamon on this one. More of a Belgian Pale but just different color.

Mouth- This was a medium body with a medium carbonation level. The redsidual flavors are of a Belgian beer but just a tad bit of chili.

Drink- The series is coming to a close and I feel that Stone is pushing the boundaries now. This was flavorful and subdued. I liked the base flavors and the layering. Needed more of the yeast and base flavors.

Photo of dlello2
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark dark cherry/chestnut color. Good milky head and carbonation.

S - Subtle spiciness. Alcohol, chili, hops hit next. Good smell, relatively fresh!

T - Hmmm. Mouthfeel is biting! Getting maltiness/thickness/spice (pepper?) at the beginning. Alcohol in the middle. Chili and bitter hops to finish. Not unpleasant, not perfect. Cinnamon/bitterness stick around for a while.

O - Thanks to SmallBar for pouring too many glasses and giving us one to try! A decent brew. Wouldn't try to get it in a bottle as balance is unimpressive and it doesn't come together all that well. Wish it had identified itself more, but I guess that's the point with the vertical epic series!

Photo of Reagan1984
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good looking beer. A couple fingers of creamy substantial head form and stay for a bit. The beer is a bright/deep rust/amber color. Perfect clarity, no visible carbonation. Just a touch of lace.

Aroma is fairly bold and a blend of spice, sweet malt notes and some yeast notably clove. Cinnamon is there, but not pronounced.

The first sip is almost overwhelming. What a thick flavor. Deep sweet malt meets cinnamon and clove. Almost more clove than the cinnamon. The Belgian yeast provides a lot of depth here. The chilis provide a touch of warmth and a slight almost smokey pepper flavor. As I worked through the glass this grew on me a bit. A bit not a lot. The sweetness with the clove wasn’t my favorite.

Fairly bold mouth feel & a bit slick.

I will look forward to trying this again in a year. Will be interesting to see what a little age will do to this beer. I think I would have preferred to drink this with some food. On it’s own, I’m not sure it’s a beer I would seek to drink.

Photo of MDDMD
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-deep amber color with an off-white head and minimal lacing

T-caramel malt, cinnamon, pepper, coriander, slight yeasty funk, minimal bitterness in the finish. The flavors just don't seem to blend well and not well-balanced.

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-awkward flavor profile, not my favorite in this series so far

Photo of Pencible
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy mahogany with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted barley and nutty malt and bready yeast, with lots of chili pepper, and a little clove and banana and cinnamon.
T: It tasted like banana nut bread and roasted barley, with lots of chili pepper, and a little cinnamon and banana and clove. It had a spicy and bittersweet aftertaste that wasn't very clean.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was an interesting concept that only yielded mediocre results. The scent had a lot of complexity, but none of the elements meshed well. It had a nice flavor with the perfect amount of spiciness, but the aftertaste was harsh and unpleasant. The alcohol was pretty well hidden, but it was still tough to drink due to the poor finish. Probably wouldn't improve with age, but it wouldn't hurt to try since it's not very good fresh.

Photo of Murrhey
3.34/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two finger off-white head. Deep mahogany color. Ok carbonation. Looks nice, although retention and lacing are fairly weak.

S- Hoppy, floral smells. Strange sort of meatiness to it.

T- Hoppy mouthful. Strange flavor but not at all unpleasant.

M- Full bodied, well carbonated. Bitter linger.

O- Weird beer. Tasty in a strange way.

Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice foam-up on an amber brew. Spices are flavorful but don't shout out what they are. Very sharp flavor with the tang of alcohol. Acidic fruit flavors on top of a rich maltiness. Very fragrant. After a few sips tastes slightly hot on the tongue; more like ginger than peppers to my palate. Ends with black pepper and pencil shavings and a long winey flavor. Aftertaste has quite a bitter, medicinal taste.

They seem to have struck a balance between assertiveness and intrigue. More thought-provoking than the typical Stone powerhouse beers.

Photo of GregSVT
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a hazy red shade of brown with a nice off-white head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is a nice combo of cherries, belgian yeast, cinnamon, and a hint of chili in the background.

T: The taste is an odd combo of an earthy chili flavor and a sweet belgian strong ale which consists of cherries, belgian yeast esters, and some candied malt. The hops show themselves as well with a bitter pine flavor on the finish.

M: The feel is medium bodied and a bit creamy.

O: The nose was great but the flavors just didn't work well together. The hop presence on the finish really doesn't play well with the other flavors.

Photo of blackie
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

draft at Rustico Ballston around the time of release...

a: a totally gorgeous beer served from draft to tulip, a cloudy ruby-amber in color, floating a thick, meringue-thick head, off-white in color, with superb retention and heavy lace

s: the nose starts things off in intriguing fashion - a sweet toasted malt underpinning holds big medicinal phenols - band-aid and clove, cinnamon spice, yeasty esters, and hatch chiles that provide both fruity and spicy notes, lots happening here - certainly challenging, but not offensive, the combination of chile and spice does totally dominate the nose

m: smooth, creamy, lively carbonation on the medium bodied beer

t: first sip was a classic "wtf" moment - never expected the mess of flavor found, even though the nose might have hinted at it - the phenols, spice, and pepper that intrigued on the nose combine here to create a shocking disaster of a palate - reminiscent of cheap perfume, incense, and sandalwood soap, an apparently generous hop addition brings a bitterness to the finish that just doesn't match up, no chile heat noted, sure - I'm not totally down on it - the base beer seems nice and the moments of isolated hatch chile are enjoyable - but there's just way too much clashing here, for the first 1/3 of the glass I wanted to dump it in a shrub, the second 1/3 was just a chore (soldiered on, can't say I didn't give it a fair shot), and the last 1/3 not so terrible - either deadened tastebuds or an alcoholic numbness to the rescue

o: a beer that's initially inventive and interesting on the nose turns scary on the tongue - some good and bad to this one, overshooting tasteful boundaries, gonna take more than a year to mellow this baby out

5/4/4/25/35

Photo of argock
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Cinnamon hue with tall 2-3 fingers of uniformly bubbled, oatmeal colored head with good retention and spots of lacing.

S: Heavily spiced with cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves, and then more cloves. The chiles are not perceptible. The maltiness is burnt toffee and candi sugar.

T: The spices are over the top and too forceful -- they dominate instead of accentuate. The brown sugar and rye toast maltiness and candi sugar is lost with all of the clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors that add up to phenol overload. I never picked up a chile or banana flavors which I am glad about. The hops are very background with earthy, herbal tones.

M: The body is medium-full with active carbonation and but a slightly lacquered feel due to all the spices.

O: Tried it, didn't like it, glad I only bought one. I was hoping some time would mellow the spices more. It is a very intense, overdone phenolic beer. If you like cloves, you will really like this beer. If you don't, avoid.

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,504 ratings.