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
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: 477 | Hads: 1,504
Photo of dogfishandi
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into an ommegang goblet.

pours out a coppery red color with just the slightest bit of haze, actually pretty clear for a belgian. some decent light biege colored head, kept a thin patchy layer. some tiny spots of lace.

mostly lots of estery, phenolic belgian yeast. some bannana, clove, and flouride blends with a sweet fruity malt. the beer really has to warm up for the cinnamon and then finally the pepper aromas to show up, but the belgian aspect of the beer takes center stage.

very similar to the aroma. sweet malt, fruity, flouride like esters, phenolic and clove belgian yeast with a touch of bannana. some hops provide just enough of a backbone. just a touch of heat on the finish, almost not really enough to even notice. as it warms, cinnamon comes in then a touch of a lightly roasted pepper flavor as well.

medium bodied, no alcohol noticable besides a subtle warming effect after each sip. drinks pretty easily considering its ABV.

i was a little turned off at first, finding it hard to pick out any cinnamon or pepper. just enough comes out as it warms, but maybe not enough IMO. i was really looking forward to this (love chili beers!), but im a little let down, the recent past vertical epics were a little better. maybe if i caught this fresher i would have had more pepper and cinnamon? (1,347 characters)

Photo of chicagoanbeerone
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is full of charter thanks to the hops and cinnamon. The apperace is a nice favorable brown color. It taste great and can not taste the alcohol. It reminds me of a IPA with a slight cinniamon like taste to it and its a good heavy beer. the chillies add a nice spice during the beer taste and if they would have been more aggresive on the citrus beer hops this would have been a great beer

My expert advice: definity try it
would buy again (449 characters)

Photo of Heatwave33
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

Color: Murky amber with a tan head.

Smell: Banana and clove up front. Followed by roasted malts and cinnamon.

Taste: Banana and roasted malts followed with cinnamon, chilies and clove on the end.

Mouthfeel: F=Godd carbonation, medium coarse with a nice dryness on the palate.

Overall: Very complex and delicious brew. Great balance and a medium body. I was very impressed by this one. All the flavors blend very well together. Cheers. (501 characters)

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

A: Pours a bright red rusty color with a strong head later powdery dusting on the top and a white ring around the edges.

S: Smell of smokey chili peppers, fresh ground cinnamon, sweet malt and banana and clove esters from belgian yeast.

T: Clearly a belgian beer but flavored with some unconventional flavors. Smokey pepers first and foremost followed closely behind by a strong ground cinnamon flavor. Clove and banana esters are evident but overshadowed by the strong spicing and peppers.

M: Medium mouthfeel for a belgian with a light carbonation.

O: I think this works and it is a nice change. I would not want to drink a 6 pack of it, but it is a nice little interesting beer and I enjoyed it a lot more than 10.10.10 (729 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with a 1/2 inch head that isn't very prone to retaining before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a patch of bubbly surface foam. Above average lacing.

S- Smells very glassy and metallic with some ambiguous spice and malt in the back.

T- Ok, starting to understand now. The cinnamon plays a huge role in the flavor upfront as the capsaicin burn from the chilies follows shortly thereafter. The aftertaste is one of dark fruit and rich Belgian yeast. Quite a nice combination.

M- Soft and somewhat chalky from the cinnamon and yeast. Medium-low carbonation.

O- What a beer. Stone may always be radical but it can be hit-and-miss. This, however, is a hit. The aroma is somewhat lacking but the beer is quite good as a whole. (805 characters)

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

I didn't realize this was intended to be aged until after I had bought it. Damn. Totally makes sense though, but I wish I'd been using my common sense today... Nevertheless, I've got my fingers crossed that this one will be a winner...

A: The super dark amber color of this beer pushes the boundaries of what's considered "pale", but exhibits just enough clarity and shine when held up to the light to put my nitpicking to rest. A substantial tawny head rises very quickly, remains level for a good while, then just seems to bottom out. The lacing is drippy and copious, which is exactly what I wanted to see.

S: Typical Belgian yeasty fruitiness shines is most apparent, but is backed up by some juicy mild chilies and earthy spices. Only the faintest toasty malt character, and very little in the way of hop aroma, though I am getting a bit of a lemon/orange zest whiff. Intriguing to say the least, though somewhat lacking in harmony. I'm sure a little age would help take care of that though.

T/M: This is where things get really interesting. Juicy chilies start off, followed by a blend of roast and spices. The Belgian yeast makes a showing in the middle and carries the beer through the next few steps along with a gentle bitterness that tries to tame the overall sweetness a bit but is hopelessly outgunned. The finish tastes a little more familiar, with some toasted malt and faint fruit lingering after the beer is long gone. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth and already hides the alcohol very well, while the body is medium but just a bit on the big side, i.e. perfect. What I find particularly interesting is that the mild warmth of the finish (and I might just be imagining this) doesn't seem come exclusively from the alcohol. Instead, I feel a very slight burning/irritation on the tip of my tongue that suggests an actual spiciness. If my senses are right, then I can only say one thing: cool!

O: A very neat beer that definitely must get better with age. The chilies get more pronounced in both flavor and aroma as the beer warms, but are never offensive. A little bit of time will definitely help bring the varied elements of this brew together, and I know I'll find myself heading back to the store soon to pick up another bottle of this bad boy. (2,267 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a generally translucent reddish brown color, off-white head at about two inches, dissipates fairly rapidly but maintains as a lacing indefinitely. The lacing hugs the walls of the glass as you drink, leaving a webbing.

Smells of caramel, semi-sweet spiced chocolate, molasses, non-boozy bourbon elements, and maybe a bit of anise or licorice, but without any kind of bitterness. It's rich, but not overbearing.

The taste has a mild smoked flavor right off the bat, and there is just a whisper of cooked vegetable under it if you are really looking. The cinnamon becomes much more apparent here and the rich caramel malts are the centerpiece. Again, non-alcohol bourbon elements compliment follow. The licorice/anise flavor doesn't come through here, and what little bitterness there is seems to be from the chile element. There is some hoppiness in the aftertaste, but it's very smooth and floral.

The body is full, somewhat syrupy but not cloying. The carbonation is soft and lightly fizzy and hits most prominently on the tip of the tongue; otherwise you don't feel it. There is a bit of alcohol numbing in the mouth, and a bit of warmth going down, but you don't notice it until about half way through.

Overall, this is fantastic. I can't speak for the others in the series, but mixture of flavors here worked out perfectly. I can't imagine what effects more aging would have had on this mixture. But I can say if you are lucky enough to find a bottle or two of this still sitting around, don't hesitate. After all, they won't be making it like this ever again. (1,575 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (1,243 characters)

Photo of jedtheavenger
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A--deep reddish-tan with a quickly dissipating head. The color is a pretty accurate reflection of the cinnamon/pepper character of this beer.

S--yeasty and sweet, with muted cinnamon and malt. I was expecting a bit more of a peppery nose, but otherwise very pleasant.

T--Basically a vegetal, slightly spiced pale Belgian. I was pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to pick out the pepper flavor. I know it's not supposed to be spicy/hot, but I felt like the peppers made no contribution other than a bland plant taste.

M--Rich and a little sticky. It didn't have the carbonated perk of a lot of strong Belgian pales, so it quickly got boring.

Overall: interesting in theory, a little weak in execution. I really wanted to like this beer, but it just didn't have the unique profile I've come to expect from limited-edition beers (or Stone Brewing Co, for that matter). (874 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed February 17, 2012 at BoHo, Hollywood, CA.

Beer is a clear caramel brown with a modest, splotchy head that has the vaguest tint of yellow.

Aroma is sweet: cane sugar? Traces of wood and a fleeting glimpse of earthy pepper.

Flavor is agreeable enough; powdery Belgian yeast up front, followed by a modest sweetness. The fresh (as in not dried) peppery flavor is back with a trace of spice heat. Low bitterness on finish as pepper note fades away.

Moderately dry on the finish.

More drinkable than I had been led to believe by others who had tried it, but far from a classic. ABV not an issue in flavor, though it sneaked up on me for that very reason.
___

Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.

Beer pours a murky medium brown with close to zero carbonation.

Aroma is honey sweet, offset by a touch of spicy pepper.

Flavor is sweet malts. Chili flavor is notable, though not intense. A trace of heat and vanishingly bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel - medium-bodied and still.

Drinkability was lower than the fresh version; I guess the carbonation helped move the pepper along when it was fresh. (1,140 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (1,953 characters)

Photo of pBRale
4.53/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap multiple times served in Chimay goblets and tulip glasses.

Appearance: Deep amber-brown beer with amber highlights, a thin tan head. Leaves a fair bit of weak lacing down the glass. A very appealing beer.

Smell: The smell is of candi sugar, with some dark cherries, and a slight bit of pepper (perhaps jalepeno or cayenne). There is a sweet malt aroma as well.

Taste: The taste is difficult to describe because there are so many individual flavors that I could pick out, but the beer tastes nothing like ay one of them. The flavor is complex, deep, and rich, and it is exceptionally satisfying. I pick up on bits of the peppers, some fruity flavors, big rich sweet malts, and a strong vanilla flavor that blends beautifully with the peppers, evening them out a bit and giving great balance to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Simply exceptional. Full, thick , creamy and superb. Moderate carbonation for the style, but the feel is silky and the finish is smooth.

Overall: An outstanding beer that I would encourage everyone to try if the opportunity arises before this beer is gone. I was lucky enough to also get a bottle of the 2011 an 2010 (properly cellared) in a bottle shop, so I feel spoiled. Anyway, I hope you all get the chance to enjoy this beer for yourself. You won't be disappointed. (1,302 characters)

Photo of haazer
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy apricot brew with small bubbles continuously rising. Frothy cream colored head that lasts for a bit and leaves a nice ring. Lacing left down the sides.

S- Notes of spice, cinnamon and a bit of chile pepper. There's a candy caramel malt underneath with some candy sugar.

T- Sweet candy apple, and some dark fruit. A nice but of heat and chili flavor, rounding out with cinnamon. Not overly "spicy", by that I mean powders which is good for me. Chili blends well with the brew.

M- Smooth medium bodied brew with mid to high level carbonation. Little bit of heat in the throat more so from the chili then the abv.

O- Nice offering from stone and my first if the verticals. I got on this boat a tad late, but the series seems very interesting from my sole experience with 11. (785 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear mahogany with two fingers of beige head that fades into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Some Belgian spice, candy sugar, and bubblegum aromas at first followed by lots of chili pepper aromas. Cayenne and jalapenos come to mind.

T: Similar to the aroma, some Belgian spice and candy sugar notes at first followed by cayenne and jalapenos. The finish is dry and slightly yeasty.

M: Medium-lowish body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a little watery.

O: A unique and decent beer. The chile isn't overwhelming, but I'd like more presence from the Belgian aspects along with a lighter and crisper body. (628 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Mad Mex into a snifter glass. Looks clear ruby red with little head as served to me. Smells a bit too bubble gum like with some faint cinnamon, some residual sweetness, and a touch of the peppers. IMO, too much bubble gum in the nose. Flavor is more complex and favorable as the cinnamon, peppers, and malts play a nice dance nicely interweaving with one another. Feels rather light for 9.4 ABV, and the alcohol is barely noticeable. A nice effort. I would be curious to see what this one is like in another year or two. Glad to have tried it. (560 characters)

Photo of beer272
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - appearance was good. Nice carbonation that lasted with some lacing.

S - Hops smelled pretty good.

T - taste was nice. No alcohol taste, hops forward and malt somewhere else.

M - Good mouth feel.

O - I'll admit I am not a hop fan. Aging may have helped this beer better. (278 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 crossovert
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650ml bottle.

It pours a reddish brown with a huge slightly sandy head that leaves some nice lacing.

The smell is good but the Belgian yest is far too upfront. Underneath the huge blast of yeast is some nice spiciness from the chilies and cinnamon.

The flavor is better. Nice chili flavor though not a ton of spiciness which would have been nice. It tastes like a hot pepper candy with a hint of sugar and fruit. The yeast s a bit more dialed-down in the flavor but still plagues it.

They messed up with the yeast. (519 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +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. (481 characters)

Photo of akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -24.9%
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. (966 characters)

Photo of mjgarrett2
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

You really can smell and taste the Anaheim chilies up front with the cinnamon presence on the nose. Struggling to appreciate any cinnamon flavor, where I mostly taste the chillie and special yeasts.

An interesting and whimsical beer on the whole from a brewery who have the tradition of smacking you in the face with bold hopped up monsters. (343 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a reddish brown with an ample off whit head with decent retention
S: Smells sweet, fruity and phenolic with a bit of spices and some pepper
T: It starts off with some caramel sweetness, some pepper, a bit of spice and fruityness. Very smooth flavors but none of them are very pronounced. Pepper and spicy yeast character on the swallow. The pepper provides flavor and not heat which is nice.
M: smooth and creamy with slightly prickly carbonation
O: not a bad beer and fairly tasty. I think it smelled better than it tasted but still a solid beer. (556 characters)

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

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in mid-November for $5.99.

Beer poured a garnet color with an OK head.

Nose is light fruits and hints of cinammon.

Taste starts with classic belgian pale ale malt backbone, candied sugars ratchet up the booziness factor, light fruits, cinammon, and then the funky chilis. The cinammon plays well but the chilis that detract from what is a very solid beer.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and lively on the palate and smooth.

Overall this is an interesting beer but the chilis take away from a good beer. The Vertical Epic series has taken a turn towards the experimental in recent years and have not been as solid as in the past. But i give Stone credit for changing it up! (706 characters)

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

The brew pours a reddish, nut brown color. It holds a two finger head of tannish bubbles. This recedes at a medium pace leaving big creamy bubbles atop the glass, and a thick stripe of lacing. There is thick haze, but no sediment, and carbonation appears to rise at a medium pace in this somewhat syrupy brew. The aroma is very Belgian. There are wheaty grains, and wet caramel malts, with a bittering metallic yeast. Esters cool things down, with huge banana and vanilla. The cinnamon is dark on the back, hiding ominously. With warmth there is a definite booze, dusty florals, and a faint grassy, chemical hop. As we sip, the first thing we notice is cooling banana esters, with a sugary sweet pop. These are quickly washed by burnt caramel, and borderline porter malts. There is bite and souring from dry cinnamon and gingerbread. These mix with the esters giving a very bready, muffiny air. The middle shows fusel booze at the peak, with more solid malt activity throughout. We finish with drying, bittering booze, grain, wheat, hoppy lemon rind, and those steely chili peppers. The last gives a bit of heat, but gives more a fresh watery vegetable flavoring, like cucumber. The aftertaste breathes of dried cocoa powder, chili peppers, wheat, coin, and yeast. The body is on the fuller side, and carbonation is heavy. The mouth is coated and left bone dry with a film of chalk and nickel. There is nice slurp and froth to each sip, with great creaminess. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the flavoring. The malts were deep and built a great base for the array of spice and depth. What was surprising, actually, was how much this compared to a Belgian abbey dubble or quad. It was a malt bomb for sure, but if you poured this and told me it was from some random unheard of Belgian abbey I would believe you every time. The flavors were expertly blended, and the additions of the cinnamon and chilies added a nice boost to a good initial flavoring and aroma. (2,031 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a medium creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is dubbel like with banana and cloves and some sweet malt with some chilis and cinnamon thrown in.

The flavor is sweet bready malt with bananas and clove. Some spice from the chili and cinnamon comes out in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little watery.

Overall, I remember liking earlier samples more. This was just too much sweet malts and bananas. I remember less dubbel and more cinnamon and chili which was better. (559 characters)

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