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

1,503 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,503
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 42
Gots: 442 | 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: 1,503 | Reviews: 479
Photo of KajII
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a murky dark amber brown with a large (2-3 finger) light brown foamy head that reduced to a few puddles and a large collar with good sticky lacing.

The aroma was of roasted caramel malts and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, chili's, dried fruit (raisons and figs) and a mild alcohol tinge.

The taste was malty sweet and a bit acidic with a note of caramel and a touch of cinnamon and chocolate early on, and then progressed with a seriously bold maltiness that had hints of toffee, dried fruit and a light spicy alcohol finish. The flavor lasted for a good long while with a slightly spicy sweet warming sensation, which hit you right in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel was a solid medium in body and dry in texture with a somewhat mild carbonation.

Overall this was a very interesting brew, lots of complexity with the flavors in this one. That being said, they all seemed to work extremely well together, making this a very enjoyable drinking experience...

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Photo of WMEugene
2.99/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Orangish Brown color with a thin ring of slightly off-white head and a little lacing. A little thin looking.

S - Chiles, Cinnamon, Dark fruits, Raisins, and a little bit of booziness.

T - A lot like the nose: Chiles, Cinnamon, and a large bit of raisiny flavor. A bit of a caramel taste to it. Sort of a traditional, unexciting and rather average darker belgian ale after you get past the unique chile/cinnamon flavors.

M - A little on the thinnish side, ok carbonation. A little bit on the spicy side in the finish.

O - Maybe I should have waited to 12/12/12, I was rather unimpressed by this offering and thought it was rather bland. The chiles were an interesting idea, but the execution was rather eh. Not a bad beer, but I definitely struggled to finish the bomber.

Photo of vfgccp
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 month old bottle.

A - Nice light khaki head with a relatively loose bubble.  Nice lace and retention.  Beautiful maple amber body.

S - Bright booze highlights white raisin, banana, ancho chili, dry coffee, and a touch of cinnamon.

T - Sweet yellow raisins, caramel malt, and banana open for a stellar ancho chili, coffee, and cinnamon center.  Herbal and green pepper hops roll deep into the finish.

M - Smooth, medium body with a nice lazy lingering finish.

O - A surprising flavor profile that winds up working extremely well.

Photo of Josiah2729
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flying Saucer poured into goblet...

Appearance: Dark amber with 2 finger head. Decent lacing throughout.

Smell: Chiles and Cinnamon, dark malt and dark fruits.

Taste: Sweet malts with some spiciness from the chiles, cinnamon and dark fruits, some alcohol, belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, medium carbonation, nice alcohol burn.

Overall: A delicious beer. Will be interesting to see how this ages.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone 11.11.11 on tap at Amsterdam Ale House in Manhattan, New York. Enjoyed on 08.04.12.

Appearance: Served in a fishbowl snifter, still appearance, no head, no lacing, dead looking. Intriguing, though! Deep auburn, the color of Nicole Kidman's hair. Shiny and gold-flecked.

Smell: Raisin, brown butter, malt, grape juice, must. Mulled wine, cherry. Sweet-and-sour overtones.

Taste: Follows nose, with a more aromatic feel. Spice, lavender, honey. Also hops and tartness. Yeast, "that Belgian feel" all over. Clover. Caramel and some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Damn right! Well balanced all around, with full body, flavor and medium carbonation. Not dry, great spicy finish.

Overall: Drinkable (within measure), engaging, intriguing. Aging 9 months has done a lot of good to this brew!

Photo of AdamBear
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark cloudy amber with a nice cream colored head

S-some Belgian pale malts and some chili peppers. Some vanilla in it too.

T-comes in with a taste of bitter Belgian pale malts and just a hint of chili peppers. It's not a spicy taste at all. This is just okay. Matching after-taste

Medium carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-I had this on tap a year ago and I remember it being awesome. This here now is just blah. It's not terrible. Its just unique but not exactly easy drinking. I think it would've been better had they focused more on the pepper flavor than a belgianesque ale.

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass. We're close enough to 12.12.12, right?

A: Slow pour results in thick foamy 4 finger head which slowly subsides to moderate lacing and a cap. Beer is a brownish-crimson. 4

S: Just incredible. Sweet malts, lots of cinnamon and other spices, and chili peppers. 4.50

T: A lot of sweet malt, some spice, and the finish is all chili peppers. Can't feel alcohol heat despite high ABV or it is synced well with the peppers. Either way, it works. Complexity not terrifically evident with all the spices involved.

M: Definitely full-bodied, syrupy, and with heat, so while it's great for what it is, the drinkability is reduced. Keep that in mind, as finishing this in one sitting turns out to be a bit of a chore.

O: As this is the first of the series I've had, I'm drinking this without relation to the previous 9 offerings. I like it for what it is and recommend sharing rather than trying to go it alone.

I have another one aging, but don't expect it to be much different post 12.12.12 than it is now.

Postscript: 3/15/14 opened the aged 11.11.11

A: No change evident. Still produces large foamy head, maybe more lacing but I really can't recall. Color seems the same - about a cordovan. Changing to the 4.25 I think it should have had then.

S: Lost a little bit of the great nose during the aging (or maybe my nose is different). Changing to 4.25. Still quite good.

T: Seems about the same. Flavors seem to work a little bit better as a whole.

M: Oddly seems more drinkable now. Less full-bodied (does that make any sense or has my greater exposure re-aligned my perception?). Bumping up to 4.25.

O: So it's a little bit better now. Never really picked up the red wine notes a lot of others do. Has to be the best chili beer out there, for my money. Sad I probably will never run into another one.

Photo of adamette
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that I bought on 11 11 11 at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor for $8.99 into a clean, clear glass and cellared in the bottom of my fridge until now. I was trying to hold out until the recommended date of 11 11 12 but I wanted this review to be my number 1,111 for obvious reasons. Hmm…”Ale Brewed with Anaheim Chiles and Cinnamon” stamped on the side of the bottle. Sounds interesting! A special mention to my nephew Michael whose 22nd birthday was 11.11.11!

A Big, creamy and very “Stone” head that lingers satisfyingly for a while atop a dark amber or even red copper body that is translucent. Good look. 4.0

S Chiles are in the front for me. I get some cinnamon in the distance and no alcohol in the smell for me despite the healthy 9.4% ABV mentioned on the label. Nothing if not an interesting, uncommon smell to a beer. 4.0

T The chiles and cinnamon are there in the proportions that I smelled but then there is a significant wash of medium roast malt, sweet nectar goodness that washes over with every sip. This is an exceptionally good tasting beer with plenty going on to keep one’s interest up. 4.5

M Moderately thick with that syrupy malt goodness and the heat from the chiles. There may also be some “heat” from the alcohol but it is not obvious, eclipsed by the other strong tastes going on. This is an exceptional feel. 4.5

D/O Drinkability is not that good. I will finish the bomber but this is one big beer and I do not believe that I would want more in an evening. Overall this is an excellent beer, a real asset to the Vertical Epic Series and possibly one of my favorite. 4.0

Notes: Congratulations to Stone for producing yet another winner in the series of Vertical Epics and for allowing me to complete review number 1111!

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper-orange with a finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with some candi sugar, chilies, cinnamon, Belgian yeast, some other spices, a touch of citrus, and some booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet bready caramel malts with some candi syrup and some hot pepper. Through the middle, some cinnamon and Belgian yeast flavors come through with a bit of citrus. The finish is a mix of hot chili, cinnamon, candi syrup, Belgain yeast, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a hot, sweet, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balance of flavors with the chili heat providing a unique complexity to the BSPA style.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, Belgian yeast, cinnamon and chilies as advertised and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with the odd but complementary combination of the cinnamon and chilies with a mild sweetness. Then a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast breadiness comes in. the hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good variation of style, it’s a good beer to drink for a while if you’re looking for something different.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Van Ness BevMo in San Francisco.

Pours a very hazy brownish amber hue, with a bubbly, but fine and slightly filmy head of off-white. Body is loose and liquid, yet with a decent heft to it. Carbonation is fine. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is piquant, with a fresh, fruity and spicy chilli note giving a capisicain bite. It's as though this takes the place of the hops, giving the leavening, vegetative freshness to counterbalance the malt, which comes forward in brown waves. Interesting.

Taste is a little sharp and phenolic, but with far less chilli flavour or heat than I expected. That's a good thing: it cements this as a stylistically different beer. It comes across as a big, bitey Belgian, with the concomitant phenols, booze and spice, but with continuing tingles of fruity chilli just giving a tingle of interest around the edges.

Feel is piquant, with some fine carbonation that accentuates some of the chilli notes.

Very, very interesting brew, and one which has been made with considerable skill to keep everything in check. Perhaps one of the more interesting of the Vertical Epics I've sampled.

Photo of rodkin
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
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.

Photo of BostonHops
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a coppery, deep amber tone with ruby highlights while yielding a relatively short lived finger and a half beige head. the head leaves a little to be desired but still a beautiful looking beer. nice, aromatic nose offers clear notes of cinnamon and chiles along with a strong belgian yeast presence. secondary notes of banana and clove.

flavor is interesting. my first impulse is that i don't think it's for me, but after a few sips i seem to warm up to it more. more or less follows the aroma: chilies, cinnamon, banana, Belgian yeast... definitely a lot going on. a bit medicinal. medium-bodied on the palate with average carbonation.

overall i think it's a unique and relatively tasty beer. not out-of-this-world delicious but a nice change of pace.

(originally reviewed: 11-13-2011)

Photo of GlassHalfFull
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The 2011 Vertical doesn't stand up to offerings such as the 2009. Fiery amber color with a slight yellow tint. Great lacing and perfect foamy head. But, the nose is very banana-ish with an almost floral bite. I admit, I'm not a huge Belgian fan. This beer really reminds me of a lot of the attributes I don't like in Belgian beers. The banana notes give way to a strong chili taste with slight hints of cinnamon. One would think that so many different ingredients would provide a complex, interesting taste. Yet, the beer comes up short and unimpressive. Even the banana quickly fades to a thin, dull, starchy mouthfeel. The carbonation is also a bit much for this beer. I expected a lot after the previous offerings, but this one came up short.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vertical Epic 2011 poured a hazy rust color with a off-white head that demonstrated some lacing. The aroma was like walking into the produce section of the grocery store, very organic. I suspect this might be the result of all the strange ingredients tossed into his one. The first taste was a sour banana, almost candy-like. This is accompanied by the spice of the Anahiem chilies and cinnamon. These qualities give a interesting ripple to the Belgian yeasts. The aftertaste continues the sour banana with the spices fading. Because this is a little thin, the flavors do not last as long as I would like. Still, this is a very pleasant drink.

Photo of Intrinsic
4.52/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer by chance in the liquor store and boy am I ever glad I did. It`s absolutely gorgeous - a crimson reddish brown with an incredibly creamy head that lasts forever. Streams of carbonation run up the sides of my mug like an inverted waterfall.
The smell is very intense, giving you a hint of what`s to come in the taste - CHILIES. It`s such an unexpected smell in a beer that I have trouble smelling anything else but it`s absolutely amazing. The cinammon comes through in the flavour much more than in the smell. What an epic combination. Chilies and cinnamon. Unbelievable. Mouthfeel is a little oily but tolerable. I`m so disappointed that the Quebec government won`t let anyone import beer from the States, otherwise I`d be buying this again and again. Amazing.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Goose Island wine glass.

Ruby rust color underneath a quick head and no residual foam. Steady, column of bubbles.

Soft vegetal, roasty, smokey chile peppers. Add some well toasted malt and some cinnamon and you have what smells like.... A biscuit with some chopped, smoked chile bits and cinnamon powder.

Resiny palate from start to finish. Starts with smokey chiles. That melds with very syrupy toasty malt sweetness. Makes me think of biscuits or cake. Then the finish is a bit warm and cinnamon spicey. Overall a beer worth trying if you have an open mind and palate for weird beers. Glad I picked this beer up.

Photo of cbilek06
2.03/5  rDev -46%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Keep your Zantac handy...

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass.

Wonderful and rich copper color, decent head although not the tight bubbles you see on many Belgians.

Smell fruity, caramel, but I couldn't smell the chilies or cinnamon as others have described.

Taste. A disaster. I was hoping the chilies would be an interesting afterthought, something slightly spicy to add to the sweet malt. No, the chilies were too overwhelming from initial taste to finish.

Mouthfeel- medium body, medium carbonation, can feel the spicy chilies in the mouth.

Overall - Undrinkable, I drank half and poured the rest down the drain which I rarely do. Had to take a Zantac because the chilies gave me acid reflux. I would drink a Keystone Light before I have another one of these.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I moved to first pour this one, I resisted the temptation to check the bottle to see what all was put in the beer to see if I could figure out what was in here. But after trying it, the beer seems crazy muddled with too much going on to be able to pick out individual characteristics. It's a decent enough drinker, but it seems clogged. Some more finesse would have been nice. A lot more at that.

Photo of brentk56
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a darker shade of amber with an inch or so of foam; both the retention and the lacing were OK

Smell: Caramel and Anaheim peppers? You bet, with undertones of fruit (strawberry, banana) and clove

Taste: The caramel and clove flavors are in the forefront but it doesn't take long for the chile and fruit undertones to make an impression; after the swallow, it is sweet, hot and spicy, with warmth in the gullet, too

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: What is intersting on the nose creates chaos on the tastebuds; this beer diverges at the fork in the road and never, ever, finds its way home

Photo of warnerry
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber with half a finger of light tan head. Head has decent retention before fading to a thin cap.

S - Cinnamon, banana and some candi sugar initially, followed by subtle green chili, a bit of booze and toasted malt.

T - Similar to smell, with quite a bit of clove and a more noticeable chili presence. Definitely not too spicy, but the peppers do add a subtle warmth. Interesting and pretty good overall. The peppers, cinnamon and clove are a bit of an odd combination, but certainly interesting.

M - Medium mouthfeel that is a bit sticky, but finishes dry and bitter.

O - Clearly not an everyday beer, but an interesting and mostly successful experiment.

Photo of Mitchster
2.94/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Photo of philbe311
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one sounds like a real interesting brew...

A - Two fingers worth of fluffy slightly cascading cream colored froth with a bit of a rocky top... Retention is commendable... The color is a murky mix of red and brown... Streaks of moderate to quick paced carbonation can be sign rising along the sides of the glass...

S - Interesting aroma to say the least... Sweet overly ripened fruits... Belgian yeast... Perhaps some brown sugar as well... The green chiles are present but buried a bit beneath the surface...

T - The palette is a mirror image of the aroma... Grapes... A touch of fig... Brown sugar... Mild Belgian yeast... Perhaps some caramel and toffee... Some bready malts... The chiles rise on the finish and quite distinct and potent without being overpowering...

M - Medium bodied... Dense... Sleek... Lush... Smooth... The finish is a touch dry and a touch chalky...

D - Interesting to say the least... Would be a formidable 12oz offering, but a 22oz is a bit much or an individual in a single sitting (feel free to share)... One of a kind and veers far from style guidelines...

Photo of Jadjunk
2.97/5  rDev -21%
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

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 Oz straight glass.

This Belgian strong ale pours dark amber/ brown, very clear and with a little quickly dissipating head. The smell and taste really compliment each other, A lot of Belgian yeast, Wheat, grain, a slight fruitiness and a touch of alcohol. This beer also has a spicy taste and feel, almost like a little cinnamon or another spice put into it, sort of christmassy. The alcohol is warming but there's very little of it in the taste, I found this be be a surprisingly easy to get down Belgian strong pale. This is another good offering from stone but I always expect great from them, granted, this is far from my favorite style.

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,503 ratings.