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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: 29.41%
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
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Reviews: 477 | Hads: 1,504
Photo of PSU_Mike
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Age has worked beautifully for this one. Ugly, murky deep red and no head. Very little on the nose either. But the flavor was outstanding. You can taste a little chili and a little spiciness but no heat whatsoever. Heavy on the dark fruits and a little toffee-like sweetness. Full bodied but not overly thick.

If I didn't know any better, I would have thought this was an English Barleywine. Very nice beer.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged really well. Faintest hint of cardboard but otherwise excellent. Flavor of anaheim chilies is there, but heat is gone. Flavor is dominated by bananas and cinnamon, with dark fruit supporting.

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Photo of Jackolope
4.58/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I cellared one of these bad boys for a little more than 3 years and it was just as good as the one i enjoyed sometime after 12.12.12. I wish I could recall how good it was then, but I remember being stunned by the balance and complexity of flavor. You would be hard pressed to name Anaheim chiles as an ingredient without knowing it before hand. I haven't had many beers with chile as an ingredient but i have to say these guys knew what they were doing. I drank this beers with a handful of my friends and we all were impressed. It paired really well with the Mediterranean food we had just eaten and we all thought it was a standout amongst the beers we had recently been drinking. I definitely left this experience happy especially considering how long i held on to it!

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Photo of TylerKitchens
4.56/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared for over 3 years--review from notes on 12/13/14

Poured into a Chimay Chalice at cellar temp 55F

Belgian Bananas and Clove, Warming Sensation, Slight Cinnamon, Prunes, Plums, and other dark fruits, not a lot of chili heat left.

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Photo of devilben02
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I held onto this one for some time in the back of my fridge waiting for a good reason to open it. Monday night at home seems good enough of a reason. It pours with a dark amber color that is copped by a big, foamy head. At this point, I expected the aroma to be pretty muted, and it was save for some bread, caramel, and a little bit of the chile. There is still a good hit of spice still present in the flavor, however, which provides a little punch and a little added sweetness even. The additions raise this beer from a solid, malty amber ale without seeming gimmicky. Maybe some of the character has been lost with age, but I found this beer to be quite enjoyable.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

In 2011, the Vertical Epic series went all haywire and cooked up a chile beer. I've had this style once before at a local Denver brewery, but this one was a little better. Still plenty of spice, and you have to pair it with the right food to make it work, but it was worth searching for and sharing with friends.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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.

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Photo of Roguer
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tons of caramel, cinnamon, toffee, and bit of chile. I understand this brew was likely a touch too hot when fresh, but with four years of age on it, it's really a delicious brew.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a tulip glass that left good lacing throughout. the body was a clear copper color. beautiful beer.
s - roast and chocolate with a hint of belgian yeast.
t - bready and chocolate with a slightly spicy finish.
m - big and chewy.
o - i remember enjoying this one at a VE tasting but being able to drink this much of it was great.

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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 Treyliff
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

poured into Stone snifter

A- pours a deep ruby brown color with some sediment floating around, small foamy off-white head that reduces to a small ring around the edges

S- lots of similarities to a Flanders Red, tart apple & cherries, a hint of cinnamon with banana sweetness, a little bit of singing heat from the pepper

T- the Anaheim pepper flavor is pronounced up front, no heat but very peppery flavor. Slightly tart yeasty flavor gives notes of red apple and cherry, faint cinnamon and banana on the finish with a sweet finish

M-medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a syrupy & foamy mouthfeel and a sweet finish

O- the flavor of this reminded me of sweet pepper jelly, but was very good surprisingly.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My good friend decided it was time to crack the Epic from 11/11/11. The beer poured a cloudy amber with no head and no lacing. The scent carried a definite chili type spice and a faint cinnamon flare. The taste was very smooth but had big chilli at the end. The start was sweet. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall I am grateful to try this beer.

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Photo of TrevorWGrover
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of Gron10
1.48/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

One of the worst beers I've ever tried. It tasted like someone put some Anaheim chilies in a blender and poured copious amounts of the puree into an already unbalanced beer.

I've had some ok chili beers, but this one was literally undrinkable. Any other redeeming qualities it might have had (mouthfeel, appearance) were completely overshadowed by the putrid chili taste. I like Anaheim peppers, and I like beer, but this mix was wretched.

Split a 22oz with a friend, each took a couple sips, and we both poured it out on the lawn.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 10/2011. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, cinnamon, clove, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, chili pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, dark malt, and cinnamon/chile spice notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, fig, pear, cinnamon, clove, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, brown bread, clove, chile pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Light chile heat/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, cinnamon, clove, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, brown bread, chile pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, dark/bready malt, and cinnamon/chile spice flavors; with big robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding Belgian chile beer. All around fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, dark/bready malt, and cinnamon/chile spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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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 Geegmasta
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a large tulip glass
Aged about one year and two months

Appearance- Pours a deep ruby red with a large release of bubbles as the glass was turned upright. The bubble explosion created an anxious head that came on strong in size and slowly diffused back into the body. No lacing was perceived.

Smell- Very fruity, with a hint of apple? Almost smells like a wine, possibly hinting at the ABV content.

Taste- Comes on with a very subtle fruit and malt 1-2 jab which led to the knockout chocolate/chili hay-maker. Very smooth and the change was unexpected but greatly appreciated.

Mouthfeel- Smooth with very light carbonation. Medium body feel that coats the mouth and quickly recedes down to the palette towards the esophagus.

Overall- A very good brew. Like the bottles describes – it is definitely an epic journey with twists in the plot. Comes on fruity and malty with a sweetness of caramel that flips to a spicy cinnamon with a full flavor of the exotic chili and some chocolate. No real hint at the ABV, which is 9.4%. A great drink that I’d like to enjoy again. (Really pairs well as a chaser with dragon berry rum. May try adding some to the beer for a little extra kick)

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Photo of BeerEngineer
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

General: Got this from the Stone Beer Garden in downtown San Diego. I couldn't believe that they still had a couple of bottle of this so I picked up a couple. Poured it into my New Belgium tulip glass to enjoy tonight!

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby color with an off white head. The head disappears pretty quickly and doesn't have much lacing.

Aroma: There is an aroma of the red wine bottle that this was aged in, pretty nice. There is a touch of something spiced too. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than I would expect but still very nice. Carbonation is pretty mild

Taste: This is really strange. I'm not too sure about this flavor. There is a hint of the cinnamon and chills but the biggest flavor is the red wine barrel aging.

Overall: It's good, I enjoy it but it's not something that I will want all that often. It's unfortunate that this is retired because it's kind of weird and quirky and it would be fun every once in a while.

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Photo of blindtiger24
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Deep brown ruby color with slight head.

S: Apple cider / pie smell. A bit of heat from the chile in the nose, but really faint.

T: Apple, cinnamon taste with hints of clove spice.

M: Creamy mouthfeel and not overly sweet. Not much chile heat.

O: Good, but not great. Was left wanting more from the taste and smell, especially with the chiles. Aging might bring out more complexity.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisited for my birthday on 11/11/2013.

This pours a ruddy raisiny-amber color with a thin layer of tan foam.

The aroma is full of stone fruits, like dried raisins and dates. There’s a subdued holiday spice to it, like one would find in a Belgian dark ale.

I thought of this as a cinnamon bomb—but it’s more akin to a Mexican chocolate, with cinnamon, some dark, bitter chocolate, and an overall mild sweetness. There’s a spicy kick to this beer. It’s understated, and it doesn’t emerge through the aroma but after a few sips its definitely noticeable. After sitting on this for two years I can say I’m glad for the experience, and I think time has mellowed out some of the rough edges (from what I remember).

This was my birthday beer. Not the beer I had on my birthday, but the beer for my birthday. (11/11, in case anyone wants to plan a surprise party for me next year.) I had delusions about getting a case of this before I moved and dialed back my ambitions but now that I’ve tried it I’d gladly take a supply for the (hypothetical) cellar.

Dated 11.11.11, drunk with hardly any aging on it.
From the bottle it pours a dark, ruddy amber color, reminiscent of leather or dried tobacco, with a generous topping of foam. There’s a curious aroma to this. I pick up some chile spicing, some cherry? Perhaps it’s cherrywood, not oaky but there’s a whiff of something woodsy along with the stone fruits to contrast the chiles.

The beer itself is both sweet and spicy, alternating and contrasting. The spicing isn’t overpowering but nicely balanced with a good malt backbone to hold up to it. Cinnamon nuances complement the chile zestiness and a touch of burnt caramel sweetness.

At one point the bitterness became extremely pronounced, only to mellow out like a nice malty dessert beer would. As it warmed it opened further. Complex, layered, dynamic brew with a fully-rounded flavor. It’s dangerously good—I picked up no hint of alcohol, even as it warmed—and while I shared this bottle I could easily finish one by myself without complaint. I’m curious to see how some age would develop this beer further.

250th review!

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Photo of megahurts4
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11

Appearance: red, large head and some lacing.

Smell: strong malt, toffee, apple, and a slight hop.

Taste: apple, plum, a touch of cinnamon, and a chili pepper backbone.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy yet smooth and creamy.

This is an odd brew but is quite drinkable. The flavors are complex and well matched. The chili's fit in very well. This was opened on 2/17/13.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Cherry red with a thin off-white/creme colored head.

N: Cherry, iron, lavender, cinnamon, and wood. Chili peppers show up with a fruity and spicy aroma.

T: Very spicy due to the adjuncts. Good level of sweetness to balance this one out.

M: Moderately sticky and medium bodied.

O: My favorite of the series. The spice and malt are integrated together to make for an enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber served chilled into a goblet.

Vertical Epic 11.11.11 is a dark amber brown with thick, tight, off-white head. It settles slowly but leaves little lacing on the glass. The beer has poor clarity.

Aroma is malty, fruity, and slightly boozy with a nice Belgian yeast character. The cinnamon seems to come out here but I don't get a strong sense of chilies. That's a good thing in my book.

Flavor is not quite what I was expecting from the aroma but it's fair to say this is a well constructed beer. Layers of different flavors come forward. Some are expected like the green chilies and cinnamon, others not so expected like chocolate and a mild smokiness. There is also an earthy quality that mixes with the clove-rich Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Aging for the past two years seems to have done no harm but I never had it fresh to know just what it was like back then.

Overall I had some concerns about a beer made with chilies but, as it says on the bottle, they impart more flavor than heat. In the end, it's hardly my favorite beer but it's well made and I can appreciate the creativity.

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