Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,451 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
1.7/5 rDev -54.8%
Bottle: Poured a cloudy dark orangey color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of Anaheim peppers and bready yeast is intriguing with notes of cinnamon and caramel malt also easily noticeable. Taste is a mix between some solid caramel malt with a sweet edge and some cinnamon which unfortunately needs with too many spicy notes and therefore this beer ends ups as a major mess. Body is full with limited filtration and huge malt backbone with good carbonation. No alcohol notes or if there was any there were hidden by the peppers notes. I could barely bring myself to drink ¼ of the bottle before it hit the drain. Not sure where all those high rates are coming from.
01-30-2012 17:58:34 | More by Phyl21ca
3.95/5 rDev +5.1%
Stone just can't leave "well enough" alone; pushing the strongest of strong Belgian Pale Ales past 9% abv. and challenging the natural yeasty spice with both chili peppers and cinnamon.
Vertical Epic 11 delivers with a sturdy bronze or deep copper pour that exceeds amber hues and with the added visual weight of moderate yeast haze. Well headed, the lightly tanned foam caps the beer with a thick blanket of creamy foam that retains and laces reasonably well, even for Belgian standards. A heavy looking, but appetizing beer to the eye.
Fruity esters and spicy phenols, both from yeast relese a balanced scent of apples and mulled berries with the tinge of peppercorn, all aside from the obvious scent of chili peppers and cinnamon. Somewhat supple and muted, the fruity/peppery blend plays more delicately on the olfactory sense than expected. Underlying caramel, nut, light toast, and toffee sweet aromas provide support for the yeast character and spicy additions with minimal influence over the nose.
Flavors however, favor malty sweetness garnered from highly kilned caramel malts, light toast, toffee, and nutty grains. A delicate balance of fruity apples and berries provide a tart taste to offset sweetness, as well do the peppery and tannic drynesss of alcohol and phenols. Additions of chili peppers and cinnamon provide complexity and variety of flavor but are very careful not to dominate the flavor profile or to throw the already well balanced beer out of whack. Yeast character however are mild and lack the pungent earthy and fully characterful flavor of many authentic Belgian Strong Ales. Though somewhat cleaner in stature, it's just more simplified than most.
Full bodied from caramel malt sweetness and early creaminess, but the full texture is aided in dryness by growing alcoholic heat, developing spice (both from natural yeast flavor and pepper additions), and fleeting malt sweetness. Finishing malty-dry and semi-sweet, the beer carries a long linger of malt and spice deep into aftertaste.
VE 11 is an inquisitive ale that breaks the norm of traditional Belgian brewing flavors but does so with an aggressive American brewing attitude with recipe formulation and recipe. Designed for the long haul, I'm excited to see how this beer develops in the cellar- but for now its simple and muddled combination of ingredients leave it limited.
12-07-2011 16:02:12 | More by BEERchitect
3.88/5 rDev +3.2%
A: minimal head on a cloudy, deep auburn body. decent lacing.
S: mint, candy sugar, peppers, nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel.
T: cinnamon, chilis, caramel, fairly malty, brown sugar, spices, citrus.
M: chewy, medium body and light to moderate carbonation.
Overall: the chilis are very well applied. Enough to add flavor but not over done to hurt drinkablity or be considered a chili beer. Nice sweetness to heat balance. So far the tasting of 07- to 11 has been very interesting and well planned.
01-04-2013 03:27:36 | More by kylehay2004
3.18/5 rDev -15.4%
22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Appearance: Pours a deep indian red hue with a frothy, off-white head, creamyish head. A thin spray of lace on the descent.
Smell: Fragrant wafts of cinnamon, clove, and chiles preserved in alcohol. Yeasty dough quality, but also bready-scented malts.
Taste: Bready malts layered with brown sugar, a bit of caramel, and a fair helping of cinnamon. Low sweetness. Slight green chile flavor, minimal heat, aided, somewhat, from the phenolic yeast and cinnamon (the 'heat' itself aided also by the peppery booze). Faint untoasted, unroasted nut character. Remote acidity present. A drop or two of strawberry soda, then some spiced banana. Drying, spicy finish that culminates into a slight sourish bent.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation. Fairly creamy on the tongue.
Overall: Kind of a dud, for me. I nobly stuck it out the entire bomber, and, though I honestly hoped for them to, the flavors never really came together, leaving it a bit of a jumble for me.
01-04-2012 20:26:40 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.1/5 rDev +9%
This poured out as a clear looking amber color with a white soapy looking head on top. The smell of the beer was malty and a little sweet smelling with some caramel on the nose. The taste was interesting, it seemed a little herbal to me or like some Christmasy spices were added to this one. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, moderate carbonation and smooth. Overall this beer was pretty interesting I think. I wasn't really able to get much of the Belgian qualities out of it. Regardless a good brew.
01-10-2012 23:37:33 | More by Knapp85
3.78/5 rDev +0.5%
Poured into a large tulip glass a slightly hazed maber with sticky1/2 finger off white head,cinnamon and earthy chili's in the nose,light phenols poke thru as the beer warms a little.Belgian yeast flavors at the onset,phenolic and spiced to go along with light cinnamon flavors,again the chili flavors are more earthy lending a little warming on the way down.Not bad,Iam not a huge Belgian yeast fan but the subtle chili,and cinnamon flavors are nice.
12-01-2011 21:22:28 | More by oberon
3.63/5 rDev -3.5%
Served in a Duvel tulip glass.
Review #2000! Before this, I'd never heard of anaheim chillies. Yeah, really. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear dark ruby topped by a finger of dark off-white foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, green pepper flesh, cilantro, Belgian candi sugar, and sweet caramel. The peppers lend a bit of heat to the cinnamon, as though the latter were really made for breath-cleansing chewing gum. The taste holds notes of caramel, light cinnamon, very light dank greens, light toasted biscuit, clove, and, in the back, a mild bit of pepper flesh and even milder bit o' heat. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Things sorta dry out near the end. Overall, this combination had potential, but the peppers, instead of providing a complimentary bit of heat, sorta drown things out with their dankness as events progress across the tongue. It's not bad in any appreciable manner, but rather a decently-flavored brew that doesn't fully impress.
11-18-2011 05:45:05 | More by TMoney2591
4.13/5 rDev +9.8%
A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a two-finger, off-white head of bubbly, thick foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.
S - It smelled of Anaheim peppers with a touch of heat. There was a nice malty aroma, too.
T - It had a nice spicy taste with a mild taste of hot peppers. It had a nice biscuity malt flavor with a touch of fruitiness
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.
O - This is yet another great Vertical Epic beer. Love the peppery twist on a Belgian-styled ale.
12-17-2011 02:19:16 | More by zeff80
3.65/5 rDev -2.9%
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.
05-09-2012 05:58:23 | More by RblWthACoz
4/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
07-10-2012 03:24:14 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.4/5 rDev -9.6%
A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a hazy, reddish brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.
S - Deep caramel, chocolate, and spicy notes of pepper, smoke, and clove.
T - Dark sugar, clove, and coriander up front. Some slightly harsh phenolics in the middle and a finish of brown sugar, chocolate, and dull spices.
M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.
D - I enjoyed this quite a bit last year when I had it fresh on tap, but it is not as enjoyable now as it once was. The aroma is quite nice, but the flavor is flabby and dull with a cloying meatiness that sits heavily on the palate.
01-04-2013 03:33:08 | More by nickfl
4.13/5 rDev +9.8%
Showed up at my local last week, not as bad as I was thinking considering the cinnamon and Anaheim chilies additions. Not very pale, more of a deep russet ruby like color going on with tan head forming thick, body slightly clouded with minimal yeast suspension floating. Head forms nice full intricate layered lacing levels. Really nice beer poured into my Stone RIS chalice that has somehow survived almost ten years of beer drinking. The cap reads a malt advocate magazine quote..."Stone Brewing defines the American craft brewing spirit", I'll agree with this since they have been one of the early trendsetters and continue to release things that break trends like their West Coast mild. I'm amazed that the Anaheim chilies don't flame me out either in my nares or the palate. Aroma has a great spectrum of fruit layers (apple/raisins) heavily ripened with natural sugars, like an earthy dubbel glazed with cinnamon spice and a full peppery finish. The first sip provides a wave of juicy caramelized malts and ripened fruit (prunes/dates/cherry)...with some spicy/hatch chilie pepper/spicy cinnamon stick ground bitterness in the finish. Not much heat as I mention spicy it really is well blended and doesn't kill the palate. A bit of astringency creeps in as a nutty/earthiness possibly from the yeast or the pepper seeds that really sets the smooth malt ride off it's path of glory. Complex interesting ale with sturdy smooth creamy carbonation and medium bodied ale with enough texture and dry finish to make it approachable with each sip. Overall Stone continues to make a more balanced chilie beer than I've tasted thus far, that's comparing a handful of experiences from Left Hand, Wynkoop, Rogue, Crazy Ed, and Great divide.
12-07-2011 19:13:01 | More by WVbeergeek
4.22/5 rDev +12.2%
22oz brown bomber with an obvious vintage date.
LOOK: Garnet amber color, healthy looking head.
SMELL: Cinnamon stick, Anaheim chilies, golden raisins, candied fruit, toasted grain, boozy alcohol.
TASTE: Cinnamon, mild chili pepper, toasted bread, dusty powdered clove, banana taffy, medicinal phenols, clean alcohol, hop bitterness, treacle, chaotic finish.
Nearly a palate overload, thankfully I prepared for this beer and I guess I am a pro more or less so I can roll with the punches. Flavors come in waves, cinnamon and chili then the Belgo-yeast character and of course the generous handful of hops all surrounded by a well balanced malt backbone. The heat, its from the alcohol ... not the chili. Possibly the most enjoyable Vertical Epic from Stone I have had that was not cellared.
11-10-2011 03:14:34 | More by Jason
3.88/5 rDev +3.2%
Ours crimson with 3 fingers of tan head. Great head retention with nice lacing
S: Orchard fruit, some pineapple
T: Green apples, dark candi sugar, a touch of cinnamon & grapefruit up front. Figgy notes as this warms, plus grapefruit & pineapple, dryness, a kiss of caramel as well, pepper spicyness sneaks into the party as well. Finishes with a grapefruitty hop flourish, a kiss of pineapple & just a smidge of green apple skin& some ancho chile spice & green banana that all blend together fairly well
MF: Medium bodied, creamy fairly nice balance
MF: Medium bodied, slick, good balance
Nice Americanized take on the style with twists. It says to wait until 12/12 to drink this. My doomsday calendar dictates otherwise:P
Perhaps if I come across another bottle I will save up. I think it's drinking fairly well as it is
12-21-2011 04:10:33 | More by russpowell
3.55/5 rDev -5.6%
Another bottle shared by Chris (spycow). Served in a tulip.
A - White foam settles to a thick collar, wisps, and a few specks of lace. Transparent amber body.
S - Extremely vegetal - you can smell the chiles alright. Hint of cinnamon, and some sweet caramel malt. Not much Belgian character - Stone's yeast strain seems pretty mild in the phenol department.
T - The taste has more brown sugar and caramel malt flavor, with less of the chile and cinnamon I noticed in the aroma. Some unexpected citrus notes, perhaps from the yeast? Odd bitterness in the finish, not sure if it's from the chiles or some residual hops.
M - Smooth texture, medium-full body, well-hidden alcohol. Lower carbonation, and some chile heat the grows over time.
D - I'm not convinced the Belgian yeast and the chiles work quite well together. Might have been more interested fresh, but I'd skip it at this point. A disappointment seeing how much I like chile beers.
03-09-2013 02:55:31 | More by MasterSki
3.88/5 rDev +3.2%
At the time of this review, this is the #5 top Chile Beer on the beeradvocate.com best of style lists. Served from a 22 ounce bottle into a Vertical Epic glass because I am one sick badass. I pity you, just so you know.
Beer is light brown, light a burnt amber, clear, big bubble carbonation, thin head, low retention, no lacing. Looks OK.
Aroma is mostly sweet mildly, semi-spicy, mild pepper flavor.
Beer is medium in body, really sweet, interesting like a dubbel with a chili chilli chile flavor to the back ground. It finishes nicely and tastes really good. I would and will have it again next year.
11-18-2011 03:44:21 | More by drabmuh
4.22/5 rDev +12.2%
I picked this up at Mt Rose Quick 6, enjoyed from a Duvel tulip chilled.
The color is deep bronze with light haze and thick medium tan cap with nice lace ringing the glass. Crimson when held to the light and bead is small. Smell is peppery with a chili pepper earthy scent and slight hint of chocolate malt with light cinnamon woody odor with light toasted grain accent. The feel is very good with dry bready and slight spicy blend with a hint of warmth from the peppers. The mild bitterness works with gentle carbonation that gives a creamy texture along with the mild oily element from the chilies. There is a toasty tinge in the body with semi-dry spiced finish but moderately low alcohol impact in general.
The flavor has a dry toasted malt taste followed by a spice flavor from the chilies with a light nutty woody cinnamon coming in last. There is a nice supporting hop flavor which adds to the peppery and woody notes. The chilies give a mild heat and vegetal taste to the buds with subtle yeast coming in low in the flavor threshold. I like the malt which supports well, but never really comes forward in the taste, just dry and toasty. The date like sweet accent is ther in the back with earthiness and mild alcohol beginning to become more evident in the last sips. The warmth is there near the end of the glass with tinge of fruitiness from the chilies and yeast brings out more spice in the fairly dry final taste.
Overall I really liked this compared to what I expected it to taste like. A good beer that would go well with a meal possibly a roast. I like the chili which is not that strong but does add a little heat which is pleasant. The subtle spicing is enough to makes this a very drinkable beer to me and I feel it is a well made brew. I enjoyed the chance to try this.
01-03-2012 15:08:17 | More by Slatetank
3.95/5 rDev +5.1%
Nice creamy big head fades semi slowly with nice lacing, clear but small sediment ruby reddish brown color.
Nose light booze and esters, reddish malts, quite malty, sweet candy and caramel, toffee, lots of sweetness, hint of a chili and cinnamon like spice, and a definite pepper.
Taste a light pepper comes out first, light heat with chili pepper, sweet malts, lots of reddish malts, caramel, candy syrup, fairly sweet which balances the light spice well. Light cinnamon in there as well. Light esters and fruit with a hint of booze. Later towards the finish is a slight earthy herbal like hop kick with some light bitterness. Finishes with a bit more light heat and touch spicy pepper flavor, touch of heat on the back of the throat, quite sticky and bit sweet, more caramel and light cinnamon all linger.
Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lower but decent enough carb, bit syrupy.
Overall very interesting, they hit the heat level almost right with maybe just a touch more of a kick would make it perfect, not a huge pepper bomb, and nice sweet balance with touch of hops. Lots of interesting flavors, and fairly drinkable. The only qualms I have are that its a bit syrupy and a bit light on carb.
11-22-2011 12:53:52 | More by jlindros
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,451 ratings.