1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,473 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,473
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 16.8%
Wants: 40
Gots: 434 | 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:
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 added by: JAramini on 11-10-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,473 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint glass

A: Burgundy with amber edges, some light carb, and a fluffy two-finger head with good retention. Some light sticky lacing.

S: A nice Belgian nose--some candied sugar, dark fruits, and spices (coriander, clove, and a little o' that cinnamon). I also get a nearly indiscernible veggie/hot sauce hint, which must be the chiles--I really like this twist on the typical Belgian nose.

T: The expected, but pleasant, fruity, banana undertones mingled with clove and some alcohol heat. There is really no heat from the chiles, which are much more front and center than I expected, but they are a welcomed twist on this traditional staple. There is a faint cinnamon hint on the backend as well. Well balanced overall and interesting.

M: On the lighter side. Could use a little more ummph, but not bad. Not much carb, and the alcohol hides.

An adventurous and palate-bending offering.

Heavenisbeer, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of afrokaze
4/5  rDev +6.7%

afrokaze, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
2.58/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark ruby almost brown color with a tan head, good retention and lacing down the glass.

Smells of candi sugar, cinnamon and booze.

Taste is all over the place. Sweet candi sugar and spicy Belgian yeast are present then the chili and cinnamon kick in along with some spicy hops. It's like flavors are just being randomly thrown at my tongue.

Medium mouthfeel with a slick oily finish. Medium-low carbonation. A bit of a burn from both chiles and alcohol makes this one difficult to drink and I split the bottle. A whole one would be too much.

Maybe I only like the even years of this series. This beer was a huge mess for me. Lots of flavors, but they seemed to clash and be out of whack. This beer seems to have an identity crisis. Maybe the flavors will mellow out in a year and there will be a wonderful cohesion, but right now it's bad.

jmarsh123, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Thedaver4220
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First vertical epic and first beer brewed with chili.

Pours a nice amber redish color with a 3/4 finger head. The smell, to me at least, was a hoppy almost spicy smell with a touch of cinnamon at the end. The taste I think is the highlight of this beer. I think a hoppy, spicy version of big red bubble gum when drinking it. The heat left on the palate was also a highlight. Being a fan of spicy food this was a pleasant way to finish a sip of this beer. Overall a very nice beer. If it's at your local store grab one.

Thedaver4220, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of dehjosh
4/5  rDev +6.7%

dehjosh, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of thakkar
4/5  rDev +6.7%

thakkar, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Casey10
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow interesting is all I can say. The bear pours a dark hazy color with a wispy head som lacing on the side.

Definately taste the Belgian influences here (candy sugar) but then this hits you with the heat cinamon and chile definately strong and you taste them (well at least now, not sure what again will do).

Overall not your typical brew, worth trying and hopefully wiil go well with the rest of the vertical epics next year.

Casey10, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of WYVYRN527
4/5  rDev +6.7%

WYVYRN527, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of kiki3drt292
4/5  rDev +6.7%

kiki3drt292, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +6.7%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Kromes
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy light brown with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: Belgian yeast,cinammon, and candi sugar, alcohol.

T: Sweet roasted malts are mixed with a cinammon and alcohol flavor. There is a Belgian funk and a grassy hop in the background. The finish is warm with a little spice from the pepper and alcohol.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Spice in the finish.

O: Flavors are a little strong right now. I would like to try this again when it mellows out a bit.

Kromes, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of a74gent
4/5  rDev +6.7%

a74gent, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from the Stone event at The Attic last night...

This one's coming off the tap. The color is an amber-red with a tannish-red head that displays good retention trailing some nice lacing well down the glass.
This aroma offfers a bit of heat, some from aldohol and some from something else, with a bit of a (not oddly) vegetal element. There's a sweetness to it with some Belgian character, though it's not terribly obvious or outright. I shared this with someone who doesn't like Belgians and they didn't mind this. The candied sugars and light bubble gum are vaguely present but, again, not obvious. I had the smoked chipotle porter after I had this, but I swear there was a little bit of wood/smoke to it. Also, I know they're different styles, but my wife and I were sharing this one and a Double Bastard together and this beer, with a few distinctions, is almost DB Jr. They share characteristics (and, as I said, a few distinctions), but it's almost like Double Bastard is a more aromatic and flavorful version of this beer (which itself is very good).
Very similar can be said of the flavor, with a malts backbone supporting a light Belgian character and sweetness along with a bit of heat, some wood/smoke, and, of course, a healthy dose of hops that offer a gentle bitterness that balances well.
The body is medium with a moderate carbonation offering both a light crispness and a creamy smooth feel.

Brenden, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of brealbg
4/5  rDev +6.7%

brealbg, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of JackieTH
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Rob for saving me two bottles.

Pours dark crimson with a finger of khaki foam that recedes slowly coating the sides of the glass with copious lace. Smell is cinnamon, cloves, candied pears, and faint chilies. Taste has cloves and bananas mated perfectly to cinnamon and a hint of chili spice that's melded with the mild bite of Stone's hops. Excellent. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-full. Finish is delicious. Thankfully I have another bottle, the 11.11.11 disappeared off the shelves quickly here in Minneapolis.

JackieTH, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark ruby red into my snifter with almost two fingers of off white head, moderate retention and lacing.

S - Caramel, hops, raisins, cinnamon, faint chili, candied sugar, yeast and a little bubblegum.

T - Sweet caramel, candied sugar, clove and cinnamon, hops stand out with a unique bitterness that really lingers along with faint spicy notes, yeasty and peppery.

M - Medium body and carbonation, nice balance, creamy yet lively on the palate.

O - Good beer and glad I tried it, I just want more of what's advertised on the label, more cinnamon and definitely more chili.

StoneBrewFanatic, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of champ103
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A two finger beige head forms with very good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: At first, kind of a slick and soapy hops aroma. That quickly fades to caramel, raisins, and peppery heat. Not bad, it just does not mesh well with me.
T: A large sweetness. Burnt caramel, plenty of raisins, and heat. Both from the peppers and alcohol. Hum...interesting to say the least. Just off and odd.
M/D: A medium to full body. Slick and oily. Fairly smooth as well. The heat and odd mesh of flavors makes this a little harder to drink than I would like. I probably will not finish the bottle.

Interesting, but I really don't care to drink very much of this. I would of much rather had about a 4-5 oz taste. A full bomber is just to much to enjoy.

champ103, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Billolick, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber color, half finger of head that settles to a nice frothy layer. Great bubbly action.

S - Chili pepers and brown sugar with a hint of cinnamon.

T - Almost a spicy sour taste. Start with some nice sweet notes with some cinnamon spice which leads nice into the chilis. and it finished with a with a boozy spice.

M - Smooth but spicy bite. Good carbonation.

D - Truely a unique beer. I really enjoyed this because it was so unique, it is hard to think of what to expect with the spice but I think they did a good job of mixing it in. Might be a bit boozy right now but any beer with 9.4% will be. I would love to try it again, hope there is still a bottle left.

OleJohnnieAle, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Pahn
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch frothy offwhite head that dissipates steadily leaving a thick ring of dish-soap-bubbly lacing. Pours a semi-translucent dark ruby and leaves little subsequent lacing.

Smell: In the bottle, it smells like a generic Belgian golden ale. In the glass... ha, coffee cake. Straight coffee cake and nothing else at first. Cinnamon and sugar, what? Some sweet malt and bubblegum come out shortly.

Later, a strong chile note emerges. I love chiles.

Taste: First sip, very mild pepper heat, bland BSPA with bubblegum and Belgian yeast, leading to a sugary finish. Not great.

Second sip has a huge and distinct chile flavor, highlighted with cinnamon through to the malty, sugary, Belgian yeasty finish. Okay, I get it... it works. They were going for a blend of Mexican and Belgian flavors, and this is a clear success.

Further sips reinforce this impression. Great chili note (how did they get so much distinct pepper flavor into the beer? It's great), some cinnamon and sugar, then some Belgian yeast and mild malt.

The experiment is successful, with the great, dark, savory pepper flavor really working well with the spice and base beer... but it's hard to look past the relative blandness of the base beer. I've had a lot of BSPAs/Belgian golden ales in my time (there was a time when I was never without a bottle of La Chouffe on hand), and this is a really weak example. Sure, the chile is the star, but the BSPA is a tease.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Good carbonation (a bit high), overly sugary finish.

Overall: Given the high standard set by Stone's other "out there" beers and other Vertical Epics, this one is a miss. Yeah, the pepper tastes great, and it balances with the other elements, but Stone is the master of balancing bold against bold. A BSPA *should* be bold, at least in its complexity or the extent to which you taste the various ingredients. The base beer here is a far cry from that kind of boldness.

In other words, if not for the addition of chiles, this is around a C- to C beer. I want to grade it a bit higher than I am due to my love of chiles and how impressed I am that they could pack such a flavor into a beer... but I can't overlook the downsides--especially knowing that if anyone could get such a pronounced chili flavor and pair it with a brilliantly-brewed-in-its-own-right BSPA, it's Stone.

Still, an interesting and enjoyable beer.

Pahn, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

oberon, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of jamescain
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep orange mahogany with an off white head about a finger thick that slowly fades to a patchy lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, clove, a touch of cinnamon (not as much as you would expect), yeast, and maybe a hint of pepper.

Taste: Sweet, clove, spices, very little heat from the pepper, almost unnoticeable with a slightly roasted character.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. There is no lingering spicy finish.

Overall: I enjoyed it even though I was skeptical at first when I heard about what they were planning.

jamescain, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of bluntedboywonder
4/5  rDev +6.7%

bluntedboywonder, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of draheim
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip w/ some trepidation; my first chile beer. (EDIT: just noticed this was re-categorized as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale since I posted my review - that's probably a more appropriate style.)

Pours a clear mahogany color w/ a 2-finger khaki head, sticky lacing.

Aroma is really hard to pin down. Cinnamon is evident, some soapy bubblegum too. Slight banana.

Taste roughly follows nose. Strong dark malt w/ some sugary sweetness and a slight earthy kick from the chiles, particularly on the finish. There's a soapy quality too, not sure where it's coming from. Bubblegum/banana also prevalent.

Overall this is not a beer I'd likely drink again. I might pick up another and stick it in the cellar, just to see what happens.

draheim, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Stunner97
2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- dark brown with tan color on head and some carbonation

smell- alot of cinnamon and spice on the nose

taste- this beer was extremely spiced and spicey, really to me was out of wack, not sure of the chilli peppers made it so spicey or spicing but wasnt balanced for me in anyway,

Mouthfeel- medium bodied and smooth

Drinkability/overall- overall this beer just didnt do it for me it was to spiced and just to much for me, i know its a unique style but just wasnt for me, had no problem finishing it but not my thing at all

Stunner97, Dec 01, 2011
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,473 ratings.