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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.

478 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 478
Hads: 1,508
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 29.41%
Wants: 42
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
Reviews: 478 | Hads: 1,508
Photo of Zorro
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
2.21/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5


On tap at Stone.

A: Reddish brown with a finger of beige foam. Solid retention and a little lacing.

S: Pronounced clove and cinnamon. The pepper smells pretty nice. The yeast smells like cotton candy and bubblegum. I don't really like this yeast. I also get banana.

T: Strong clove-like phenols and banana with evident cinnamon. The chilis really don't go well with this Belgian yeast. It creates a medicinal harshness that makes me want to grab mouthwash. The chili is at odds with the clove-like phenols and bubblegum banana esters. Not a pleasant combination. The finish is the worst, and it really lingers.

M: Medium body with upper moderate carbonation.

Overall: One of the worst Stone beers I've had. 

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Was surprised to see I hadn't reviewed this previously. In any event, I had it on tap at Pacific Coast Brewing during their Vertical Epic event in 2/13.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is somewhat unusual, as I pick up honey, cinnamon, sandlewood and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this fairly sweet beer, with the cinnamon and vanilla seeming to dominate. There's a hint of bitterness and heat from the alcohol in the finish, which helps to counter the sweetness somewhat. The beer is otherwise medium bodied, with a fairly long, spice, heat and bitter infused finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overly so.

Definitely an interesting beer at this stage of its life.

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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 JohnGalt1
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
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.


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Photo of vfgccp
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured an amber color color with good carbonation and a nice white cap

S: Chili upfront with candy, cinnamon and allspice following

T: Cinnamon, allspice, Belgian yeast, a hint at candy, a little booze sting. The chile is light and only appears at the end

M: Medium body, well carbonated

O: Good for the style

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank 2/2/13
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a slightly dense dark caramel body with a sticky light tan head and a few random bubbles popping out of the body.

S- The rich caramel aroma has some dried chilies to follow with a soft chili vegetable note that lingered.

T- The nice chili flavor blends with a more full caramel flavor that has some woody cinnamon flavor that pokes through as the beer warms. There is gentle chili warmth that lingers. As the beer opens there is some green herbal chili flavor that comes through softly.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a gentle fizz in the finish

O- This beer has a nice caramel malt flavor that is supported by chili and cinnamon. It has just a touch of sweetness making it a nice barleywine with chili and cinnamon. I don’t get any yeast character that would be “Belgian inspired”.

Drank 2/12/2012
(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a deep slightly dense auburn hue with a bubbly creamy light tan head that last a good bit.

S- The aroma of abbey yeast esters and some dark toasted malt takes on a vegital aroma that turns into poblano chillies as it opens up. There are some nice dark candy notes in the finish that remind me of a nice Dubble.

T- The roasted poblano chilies has a soft warmth that mixes with dry cinnamon and some dark malt hints that are a touch on the sweet side. The finish has a hearty pepper heat and hops bitterness that linger gently after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a full fizz and a warm somewhat hided alcohol heat due to the chile heat.

O- The full chili flavor is more vegital with a soft capsican warmth and is very well balanced with a very soft cinnamon quality that I wouldn't have picked up on if it wasn't on the bottle. This beer has a lot of nice qualities of a Dubble with a chili warmth for support. It paired really nice with winter squash and pot roast. Good balance of flavors.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium dark red brown. One finger fine off-white head constantly renewed by carbonation. Looks nice. Aroma of Belgian yeast, banana and a hint of chile. Taste is interesting; banana Belgian flavor with a overtone of mild chile and cinnamon, finishes with a bitter chile cinnamon that clashes a bit with the beginning flavors. Nice medium creamy body An interesting experiment that almost works, but falls apart at the end. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of Tone
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of yeast, sweet malt, slight citrus, hint of hop, and a hint of spice (coriander?). Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with a low carbonation level. There is a heaviness associated with this beer. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of dry hop, slight yeast, spice (all spice, cardamon?), hint of dark citrus, and a hint of wheat. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and complexity. The blend is a little off; the spice dominates the finish.

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Photo of akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bomber bottle. Game on.

A: The ale is hardly pale, more of a lighter dubbel with rich wooden brown hues amongst ruddy red ones. The result is opaque; no head to be seen though. All I have is a thin band, lacing limited to a mere sliver above the beer.

S: Candi sugar sweetness has an unusual partner here, a fresh-chopped chile pepper zest. The heat isn't overpowering but that vegetal aspect can't be denied. Spices and dark fruits (raisins and brown sugar) mute the heat, a yeasty gift.

T: The peppers come through in force, the scovilles noticeable but not mouth-scalding. The heat pairs nicely with the Belgian spice profile, melding into and absorbing the heat. Cinnamon and candi sugars are there, running smack into the heat. Reflecting on this one is tough, the bell pepper with some heat scenario is, to put it mildly, unpleasant. Stone's recent Belgo-experimentation just hasn't been working for me.

M: Half a bomber, no more. I just can't handle it.

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Photo of aasher
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer just arrived today. It pours a light brown with severe ruby red highlights and a beige lacing around my glass. The aromas are of cinnamon, nutmeg, cherries, plums, Belgian yeasts, figs, chocolate, and tobacco with a moderate chile finish. It's solid, and just enough chile to keep me interested. The flavor begins with short lived sweet malts with some slightly sweet cherries before going into a really nice chile profile that gives you a nice amount of chile spice and a nice amount of chile heat. That said, it could be hotter but it's still keeping me interested. The chile picks up a little too as it warms. I'm surprisingly a fan. It drinks between light and medium in body and has nice flavor. If this kept the amount of chile that it has now I'd be willing to get a couple of these and have one every once in awhile. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. Overall this was a solid beer and I'm glad that Stone went with this approach.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Clean ruby in hue. A good, firm pour yields a one finger head. Decent lacing and collar follow.

S: Medicinal and off-putting. There's some ground clove and certainly a bit of cinnamon here, but it's just not really coming together to form a cohesive bouquet.

T: The heat's there, alright. It's not overdone, but there's a definite tingle in the back of my throat. Herbal - like I'm drinking a bottle of Thai food. And then the cinnamon comes on and it gets me thinking...what the hell? What's the point of all this? Just an odd beer.

M: Pretty thick and dense. Well done - easily the highlight of the beer.

O: An off-the-wall entry into the VE series. I get the feeling that Greg and Co. just decided to dump some random shit into the boil, and look!! - We got our next VE!

Not a terrible beer, just not something I'd want more then 4oz of at a time.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Fire brick orange pours appears a bright burgundy upon strong backlighting revealing a strong effervesce. A sturdy, bready, khaki colored head sits 2 fingers high with a stubborn rate of retention. Sticky lace coats well on the vessel.

S: The cinnamon sticks really come through on the aroma with sweet toasted malt. The chili not so much. Overall reminds me more of a pumpkin style.

T: Soft chili powder, dry toasted grains and dried apple skins with a subtle alcohol warming open up the flavor. Cinnamon toast, cardamon with a spicy woodsy nature of pine. An unusually combination but actually works well for its wide spectrum of flavors blending rather well.

M: Residual silty maltiness coats the tongue while a backing of active carbonation produces a frothy and creamy texture. A spicy bite of cinnamon and chili laced alcohol comes on the fade.

O: Feels like one part Christmas ale malt and spice wise mixed in with a little pumpkin. Additional heat from the chili will warm you up in a cold setting. A strange twist, but in the end nothing your are going to miss when gone. A try for the curious and notch on the belt for the unordinary beer seeker that has only a average drinkability factor and moderate interest afterwards.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear orangey copper brew. Head dwindles rather quickly, with heavy legs and reasonably lasting lace. Aroma is dominated by cinnamon.

Taste is sweet to start, the middle finds the cinnamon and pepper balancing nicely, but the close is just the alcohol and cinnamon. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is okay for what it is. The flavors don't work much for me at all.

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Photo of beertunes
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in bubble pint glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish mahogany color with just a thin cap of of off-white head that no retention or lacing.

The aroma was very spicy and yeasty with just a bit of underlying grain showing through. The taste was very similar, just a lot bigger and bolder. Grain was the base with that funky comb of spice and yeast dominating the tongue.

The body was good, somewhere less than full yet more than medium. Drinkability was good, if the distinct taste suits your palate, but I probably wouldn't have two in row. Overall, this beer is hard to describe, which explains why this review is so vague. This a must try when you see it, and maybe you'll be able to describe better than I can.

After looking at a few other reviews, I didn't pick up any of the chiles or cinnamon other reviewers mentioned. Certainly a unique beer, but I don't think it will age well, I suggest drinking it fresh.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle "rescued" from an out of the way bottle store in Western, Massachusetts USA on July 28, 2013. Last leftover in stock.

The pour is a handsome mahogany brown, rich amber color with a tannish head and consistent "up the middle of the glass" carbonation.

The aroma has a quick malty and cinnamon sweetness that is fervently replaced by pepper and other spices in short order. Delightful.

The body is medium to bold with a creamy quality to it.

The taste is much like the aroma with an upfront sweetness that is superseded rather quickly by the pepper and spices that linger long to the end. Slight alcohol burn but quite tolerable. It aged quite well.

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

Clear red with a frothy brown/beige cap. Good head retention with quite a bit of clumpy lacing. Nice aroma, banana fruitiness with some apple and clove, spicy and bready, mild alcohol and yeast. Sweet throughout, kind of sugary and fruity with caramel holding it all together. Bitterness up front, but this gave way to mild peppery heat towards the end, which was nicely balanced. Full bodied with moderate to low carbonation, a bit sticky with some alcohol warmth. Overall, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of rudzud
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a 07-12 vertical.

A - Poured into a palm tulip a nice dark woody hue with a nice half finger off white head that left a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of light vanilla and ancho chili's. Some nice Belgian esters as well.

T - Taste has lots of Belgian esters, vanilla and ancho chili's, especially on the finish. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is solid for the style, nice carbonation.

O - Overall a tasty beer, like what the vanilla and chili brings to they table.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing scarlet red body. Good clarity. Thin bubbly beige head leaves sparse lace. Wonderful aroma. Thick dubbel like aroma with a nice peppery touch. Nice bready yeastiness and brown sugar as well. The bready yeastiness and cakiness carries over to the palate nicely. The pepper presence is stronger on the tongue than the nose, but it's not too overbearing...to me anyway. Brings a nice little sting to the equation. Candied malt presence as well with just a hint of alchol. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. This pretty good. Quite unique and flavorful.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.07/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured out a color that I usually don't associate with a pale ale of any nationality: auburn and brown? A little cloudy looking for a pale ale too. Nice offwhite head on the top, about 3/4" deep. Aroma had me going into the belgian wit place. We're already two qualities in, and neither one makes me think belgian pale ale. Coriander and cardamom have no place in any pale ale.

Taste has some spice flavors, toffee, caramel, cinnamon and a little booze with a hint of citrus throughout. I wasn't the biggest fan of it, but it was seemingly a tad complex. And I've had worse vertical epics to be sure. Couldn't really pick up any chile pepper addition.
Clove keeps coming out more and more as it warmed. Complex stuff, but not really up my alley.

Thanks to Sebastian for bringing this one to the March Madness bottle share. Unfortunately David Hurley, beverage peon at the El Dorado Casino decided to renege on the word of the El Dorado and shut down our bottle share a day early, because it offended his BMC reps that we were having a good time not drinking the $40 to drink all day Bud Light deal. Screw that guy and establishment that supposedly supports craft beer. But thanks to Sebastian for bringing this beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a mug, the beer pours a somewhat hazy brownish/ruby red color with a half inch off-white head. The head doesn't stay around for long, and there's a small amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is sweet and spicy, the brew smells like cinnamon, cloves, peppers, and a bit of bananas. It tastes like cloves, cinnamon, spicy and sweet peppers, bready malt, bananas and a bit of dark fruit. The heat from the peppers isn't close to being hot, but the spiciness is noticeable. It's sweet, spicy and bitter all at the same time. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit oily and coating with moderate carbonation. It's also easy enough to drink. Overall I liked it, it'll be interesting to see how this one ages.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 478 ratings.