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: 15.28%
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 kojevergas
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are relatively high; Stone can disappoint but on average they tend to brew interesting beers.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream lacing, great thickness, and fantastic retention considering the relatively high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent copper.

Sm: Aroma is surprisingly yeasty, with a fair amount of floral notes, bittering hops, and spice - maybe even pumpkin. Aroma is moderate in strength.

T: The bittering hops and spice clash quite a bit, I have to say. I don't know that aging would resolve this issue. Lots of weird notes are in there, including misplaced spices and bad caramel. The balance is completely off and the build is pretty badly considered. At least the alcohol doesn't come through. This is the worst possible outcome given the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Entirely too thick, however. It sort of complements the flavours.

Dr: Hard to drink on account of its low quality and bad balance. I hope that aging resolves its issues, and that I'm just guilty of opening it too early. I wouldn't buy it again, but I guess I'd try it aged. It's certainly experimental, which I applaud, but this is unfortunately a failure. (1,326 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,734 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

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. (945 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Full off white head. This settles to single layer but it leaves some streaky lace. The color is deep, dark amber.

Rich caramel aroma with some cinnamon, all spice and cardamom. Belgian yeast Plenty of warming alcohol as well.

Spicy, almost peppery, with a strong kick of alcohol in the swallow. The body is on the thin side. The carbonation is also a little low. The flavor is of dark malts and orange zest. Good hop presence in the aftertaste. (448 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 11/15/11 notes. Had on tap at Fireworks in Arlington, VA at their Stone steal the pint night event. Poured in a 10 oz. tulip.

a - Pours a dark amber color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of cinnamon, bready malts, nutmeg, Belgian yeast, spices, bananas, and cloves. Quite Belgian-ale like, with cinnamon at the forefront. Pretty nice, no chiles to be had here though.

t - Tastes of chili peppers, spices, cinnamon, bready malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, and light fruit. Peppers are definitely present in the taste and aftertaste. I didn't think it was bad at all, though a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Doesn't feel like 9.4$ ABV, though a sipper due to the chili and spices in the aftertaste.

o - Overall an interesting beer. I didn't think it was bad at all, though a 10 oz. glass was enough for me, so couldn't see putting down a bomber of this. Nose is very Belgian ale like fused with cinnamon, while the taste has the chile peppers, so guess they got what they were going for. I'll pick one up for the vertical. (1,134 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (606 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
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. (1,553 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky dark reddish amber in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation and some garnet red + copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy beige head that quickly reduces to a medium patch of very thin film with a medium thick ring of larger bubbles around the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet malts with some notes of fruits (apple) and candi sugar. There are light to moderate notes of spices - cinnamon, spicy black pepper, chili peppers, and clove. Light hints of booze.

T: Similar to the smell, upfront there are moderate flavors of sweet pale malts with caramel, brown sugar, candi sugar, and toffee notes. There are light to moderate flavors of spices - cinnamon, black pepper, chili pepper, and cloves. Also, a light amount of pine/resin hops are present in the finish. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which fade rather quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with just a light hint of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer seems to have become a little more barleywine like than it was when it was fresh (gotten a little sweeter and a little more boozy) while retaining many of the interesting spice flavors. Enjoyable but not my favorite of the vertical epic series.

Note: Originally had this beer fresh on-tap at Mug's Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY (Belgium 2 Brooklyn Festival). (1,412 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty excited to try this one.

A: Pours a deep ruby color with a small, just off-white head on top. Not much retention and spotty lacing. Small bubbles released from the bottom.

S: Certainly get some cinnamon, a little bit of spice, cloves and nutmeg, as well as a little bit of dark fruit. I do get a little bit of chile at the end. The chili aroma intensifies as the beer warms.

T: Bready malt, cinnamon, cloves, and a little bit of chili, but not really as spicy as I was hoping.

M: Medium body and moderate carbonation, surprised it is 9.4%, does not feel that high at all.

O: Pretty decent. Had the chili been a little spicier in the flavor profile I think it would be a real winner for me. Cinnamon was prominent throughout. (740 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Square Burger in McKinney.

The beer pours a clear amber color with a large white head. The aroma has quite a bit of caramel and toffee, as well as a lot of green peppers and some assorted spices such as nutmeg.

The flavor is has a lot of cinnamon, peppers, toffee and Belgian yeast. All of the spices and peppers surprisingly work well together and make the beer enjoyable. There is also a touch of alcohol, but not as much as I expected.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (495 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle finally made its way to my area. Grabbed one to review fresh and one for the cellar. Poured into multiple tulip glasses.

A: Brownish-red colored body with an initially nice off-white head, but it dissipated rapidly. A thin retention ring and barely any lace on the glass. The bubbles are tiny and tight, not thick or creamy.

S: Lots of banana and yeast notes up front. The cinnamon definitely comes in with subsequent sniffs, as well as some actual pepper flesh nothing spicy or stinging. Clove, pale and caramel malts with a small dash of bitter hops towards the end. Not overly aromatic to say the least, sort of boring. You definitely get a Belgian spin.

T: First sip brings the Belgian-centric nature of this beer, lots of clove, banana and spicy yeast notes. The cinnamon barely shows up in the taste save for a certain dry grittiness I'm trying to attribute to it. Chiles/peppers? Maybe, but it's that raw, sliced flesh. There's no heat or spiciness from them. Malty in the backbone and into the finish. I don't know, this isn't terrible but it's not delicious.

M: Highly active carbonation, very bubbly and fizzy on the palate. It's cleansing but doesn't help give this beer any body. I'm pretty indifferent here.

Well, this isn't mind-blowing nor anything I'd consider a great beer. It has a lot of interesting elements to it, but I feel the flavors labeled that I would think would give it a different flavor profile failed to show up in the taste. OK, but I don't need this one again. (1,512 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled November 2011
A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a three finger thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer isa a dark, concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry tinged, amber hue when held up to the light. The beer smells of caramelized cotton candy, bubblegum, lots of clove and ample pear and apple like fruit notes. This is backed by some toasted, whole grain, a touch of sweet tea like character (but only just a touch) . The beer is a bit unbalanced towards bubblegum, fruitiness and clove notes from the Belgian yeast, though not so much so that this is bad. Hmm, there it is in the far finish, the green chile comes through with a distinct vegetal, green chile like note as well as a some spiciness that smells of green and pepper.

The beer tastes extremely sweet, but most of this is perceived sweetness due to huge fruit, bubblegum and clove flavors that plays such a big role in the flavor. I don’t notice any of the green chile in my first sip. This definitely tastes a bit like bubblegum flavored cotton candy and there is a huge, slightly tongue numbing, phenolic clove note in the finish. There is an apple cider note (slightly oxidized cider tasting, though this is not actually oxidized), perhaps a touch of caramelized pear. The phenolic character contributes some cured plastic like notes that can be a bit much when combined with the clove character. The malt contributes a sharp, sort of roasted, spicy toasted, whole grain character. The green-chile character from the nose is a lot more subtle in the flavor; there is perhaps a hint of pepper in the finish, but this could almost be attributable to the spiciness from the yeast character. The chile, during a sip, is more noticeable as an oral nasal note rather than a flavor. The texture is not overly heavy, but it is definitely has a certain chewiness to it.

This really is just a bit too unbalanced; somehow the yeast character runs rampant in this beer in a bit of a simplistic manner with its focus on bubblegum, clove, plastic and too expressive fruit character. There is a chance that this will mellow out a bit, so if you have the patience I would recommend that you let this beer sit for 6 months or perhaps better a year. If the green chile character was a bit more prominent in the flavor and the yeast character was toned down just a bit this would be quite a bit better. (2,420 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoyt for splitting this bomber with me.

A - ruby amber; thin lacing of red/brown/white head

S - wine, alcohol, grapes, spices, faint peppers

T - caramel, Belgian yeast, clove, peppers, dark fruit, white grapes, alcohol

M - warm, smooth, medium bodied, good carbonation

This is a really solid beer. The flavor is intriguing and complex. I will definitely try to get another bottle of this while they're still around. (430 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark amber color with a short wispy head.

Smell: spicy yeast, cinnamon, and some malt sweetness comes through to the nose.

Taste: nice malty brew with loads of cinammon, a bit of spicy peppers, black pepper spice, belgian yeast, a hint of chocolate, and a decent bitterness. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crsip throughout. Aftertaste is long lasting.

Overall: easy to drink, but slow sipping with the spiciness of it all. Should be nice in a year from now when it mellows a bit. (537 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, the last Vertical Epic release before the big day, the last one to have any aging on it,

A: Pours a deep amber to red with a full off-white head, with good retention and lace.

S: Clear chile nose, reminds me of fajitas.

T: Nice malt flavour, noticable cinnamon, but the chiles come in early and take over. They work well with the base beer and allow some fruitiness to come in at the finish.

M: Full-bodied, creamy, nice long aftertaste with a bit of heat. Not the hottest beer I've had for sure, capsaicin-wise.

O: Another quality Vertical Epic, I will certainly be interested in seeing how much heat is left when I open this exactly 13 months to the day today.

December 2012 Edit - Still has a lot of chiles in the nose. Much more subtle overall in it's flavour. Very soft and delicate. A nice drink, but I believe it was better fresh. (858 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical Stone Epic bomber.

Pours medium murky auburn, under a dense darker tan head, that stays a while, before going to a film, collar and low lying sheeting and fine lace.

Cinnamon bounces out of the glass and upon the nostrils, with a hint of mild chili also making itself heard.

Bold and over the top flavorful and complex brew, more cinnamon, Belgian yeasty phenols glaring, chili present but remaining on the calm side. The expected Stone hop load unmistakable in the finish. Smooth on the tongue and coating the entire mouth. I enjoyed every sip especially as it warmed.

Definitely will be picking up more bottles, it will be interesting to see what some time in the bottle adds to the mix. (702 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle.

Pours a carbonated, hazed mahogany with a thin tan head. Spicy green pepper and lime on the nose with mild citrus sweetness. Interesting. Flavor is initially sweet and citrusy with a slight buttery malt touch before drying out to a pleasant hot chile and green pepper finish. A little too sweet and syrupy to drink much of, but I like the salsa like flavor hiding in here. (387 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

An off tan somewhat foamy three finger head is made off the pour, to rest on a dark red copper amber body that is clear and virtually free of any rising carbonation. There is some head retention here but not much, but there is a good bit of staying power also.

Nose is kind of small. A fairly small airy malt, but not much really else. Pleasant, but no hop or chile sense, so we move along. After some sips and drink the nose returns and opens up some brown dry spices (cinnamon, clove) become noticeable, but perhaps because the tasting cycle by now is all complete.

An interesting feel and body, and a slow lingering awakening palate. Body fills with a weak malt, but then subsides on the swallow. Afterfinish brings some almost dry spice sense, then the palate becomes a little dry also. Eventually there is a VERY slow chile burn and then mixes some good bitter hop in the mid palate. EXTREMELY... powdery. Mouthfeel is juicy, and full bodied and rich. Sweetness comes greater and brings a large cinnamon rush after many sips.

Overall the beer gets a little "spicy"-er after some subsequent sips, and brings out the nose more of the chile angle. Noticing the high abv on this it's rather tolerable which is quite impressive. This is not some boozy hot alcohol mess at all, it's very much under control. The most impressive thing with this beer is the more and more I consume it, the better it gets. Nice job. (1,464 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Kelly Korner Tavern in a shaker pint. On to the beer:

Looks brownish amber in color with a small white head which leaves spots of lacing around the glass. There are a lot of chili peppers in the nose, and just when you think it's one-dimensional, out comes a fruity Belgian yeast character that hits the spot.

I anticipated a really spicy beer, and while the spice is there, it doesn't kill your paalte. In fact, it's quite complimentary to the Belgian yeast characteristics. Dark fruits like plums and raisin, also some unsweetened chocolate. There's little (if any) sign of the alcohol, which at the time I suspected was just under 8%, not the listed 9.4%.

To my surprise, I liked this quite a bit. (715 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic 11/11/11

Appears a deep amber, with fine clarity and little head or lace.

Aroma much like Big Red Gum, with malt sweetness, cinnamon, and a touch of spice from the peppers.

In the taste, belgian yeast makes an appearance with a nice rounded fruityness, cinnamon and chile come through for a unique and enjoyable flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a small dry spice.

Overall: A nice take on a chile beer. The cinnamon, and ginger bread like malt compliment the chiles very well. (520 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 johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with garnet highlights when held to light, stingy beige head shows moderate retention and lace. Smells of sweet candy sugar, spicy yeast esters, coriander, some kind of pie spices like nutmeg or all spice, there's a hint of red pepper in the aroma, but I can't find the cinnamon. Taste is sweet fruity and sugary up front, then the yeast takes over a bit before slowly expressing some pomme fruits, a dry spice character, red pepper flavor with a hint of heat. Finishes a bit sweet with a lingering candy sugar sweetness and a touch of heat. Moderate to high level of carbonation, medium body with a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. Lots of stuff going on here. I would have liked a bit more pepper, but its just the same. (786 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (1,133 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Belgian Strong Pale Ale? This beer is BROWN. It is a stretch to call it a red colored ale but that is as close to pale it gets. Small yellowish colored head.

Smells strongly of Chile pepper! Cinnamon is in there and a small amount of coriander but not much. Not much more than that, a little cardamom would have gone great in this.

Starts out spicy with a strong Chile and cinnamon taste. Bitterness is in here, but this does taste really young. At the moment this tastes like a Chile Beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is really a little to young to drink. Bottle says enjoy after December 12, 2012. I will have to review again after this has aged a bit. (662 characters)

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