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: 8.58%
Wants: 41
Gots: 448 | 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 Nova_K
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bought at Keg Liquors in Clarksville, IN.
Drank from snifter glass.

A - Cloudy. Dark amber/brown color. Minimum carbonation with a lasting 1/2-1/4" head. Lacing is low to moderate.
S - Lots of DMS (canned corn) smell up front. Slight spiciness.
T - Tastes of DMS as well. Slight nuttiness. Jalapeño? finish.
M - Heavy body. Sticky and lasting.
O - I couldn't get past the DMS flavor and smell of this beer. (408 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

poured into Stone snifter

A- pours a deep ruby brown color with some sediment floating around, small foamy off-white head that reduces to a small ring around the edges

S- lots of similarities to a Flanders Red, tart apple & cherries, a hint of cinnamon with banana sweetness, a little bit of singing heat from the pepper

T- the Anaheim pepper flavor is pronounced up front, no heat but very peppery flavor. Slightly tart yeasty flavor gives notes of red apple and cherry, faint cinnamon and banana on the finish with a sweet finish

M-medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a syrupy & foamy mouthfeel and a sweet finish

O- the flavor of this reminded me of sweet pepper jelly, but was very good surprisingly. (724 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of TrevorWGrover
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer a few times when it was very fresh. I rated it as one of my top beers on BA because it was absolutely delicious. I saved a couple bottles and opened them just recently (2014) and it was not good at all. This beer dropped off quite a bit, I would encourage BAs to steer away from this one if you see it again in the stores. Not a good one once it has some age on it. Too bad. (390 characters)

Photo of Gron10
1.48/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

One of the worst beers I've ever tried. It tasted like someone put some Anaheim chilies in a blender and poured copious amounts of the puree into an already unbalanced beer.

I've had some ok chili beers, but this one was literally undrinkable. Any other redeeming qualities it might have had (mouthfeel, appearance) were completely overshadowed by the putrid chili taste. I like Anaheim peppers, and I like beer, but this mix was wretched.

Split a 22oz with a friend, each took a couple sips, and we both poured it out on the lawn. (533 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 Beerlover
2.81/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

reviewed from notes

Pours dark amber - medium brown in color, unfiltered. smells slightly spicy sweet, more cinnamon on the nose than peppers. Taste very different and unique just like most stone beers. chili peppers not apparent to me really, I'd say low on the scale of hot pepper spice, much more tame than "Rogues" chipotle ale. The cinnamon is very subtle which is fine by me because I hate cinnamon. This also has a very belgiany, the Belgian "qualities" in the beer are very apparent, high carbonation. (510 characters)

Photo of Geegmasta
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a large tulip glass
Aged about one year and two months

Appearance- Pours a deep ruby red with a large release of bubbles as the glass was turned upright. The bubble explosion created an anxious head that came on strong in size and slowly diffused back into the body. No lacing was perceived.

Smell- Very fruity, with a hint of apple? Almost smells like a wine, possibly hinting at the ABV content.

Taste- Comes on with a very subtle fruit and malt 1-2 jab which led to the knockout chocolate/chili hay-maker. Very smooth and the change was unexpected but greatly appreciated.

Mouthfeel- Smooth with very light carbonation. Medium body feel that coats the mouth and quickly recedes down to the palette towards the esophagus.

Overall- A very good brew. Like the bottles describes – it is definitely an epic journey with twists in the plot. Comes on fruity and malty with a sweetness of caramel that flips to a spicy cinnamon with a full flavor of the exotic chili and some chocolate. No real hint at the ABV, which is 9.4%. A great drink that I’d like to enjoy again. (Really pairs well as a chaser with dragon berry rum. May try adding some to the beer for a little extra kick) (1,198 characters)

Photo of BeerEngineer
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

General: Got this from the Stone Beer Garden in downtown San Diego. I couldn't believe that they still had a couple of bottle of this so I picked up a couple. Poured it into my New Belgium tulip glass to enjoy tonight!

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby color with an off white head. The head disappears pretty quickly and doesn't have much lacing.

Aroma: There is an aroma of the red wine bottle that this was aged in, pretty nice. There is a touch of something spiced too. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than I would expect but still very nice. Carbonation is pretty mild

Taste: This is really strange. I'm not too sure about this flavor. There is a hint of the cinnamon and chills but the biggest flavor is the red wine barrel aging.

Overall: It's good, I enjoy it but it's not something that I will want all that often. It's unfortunate that this is retired because it's kind of weird and quirky and it would be fun every once in a while. (956 characters)

Photo of blindtiger24
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Deep brown ruby color with slight head.

S: Apple cider / pie smell. A bit of heat from the chile in the nose, but really faint.

T: Apple, cinnamon taste with hints of clove spice.

M: Creamy mouthfeel and not overly sweet. Not much chile heat.

O: Good, but not great. Was left wanting more from the taste and smell, especially with the chiles. Aging might bring out more complexity. (429 characters)

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

Revisited for my birthday on 11/11/2013.

This pours a ruddy raisiny-amber color with a thin layer of tan foam.

The aroma is full of stone fruits, like dried raisins and dates. There’s a subdued holiday spice to it, like one would find in a Belgian dark ale.

I thought of this as a cinnamon bomb—but it’s more akin to a Mexican chocolate, with cinnamon, some dark, bitter chocolate, and an overall mild sweetness. There’s a spicy kick to this beer. It’s understated, and it doesn’t emerge through the aroma but after a few sips its definitely noticeable. After sitting on this for two years I can say I’m glad for the experience, and I think time has mellowed out some of the rough edges (from what I remember).

This was my birthday beer. Not the beer I had on my birthday, but the beer for my birthday. (11/11, in case anyone wants to plan a surprise party for me next year.) I had delusions about getting a case of this before I moved and dialed back my ambitions but now that I’ve tried it I’d gladly take a supply for the (hypothetical) cellar.

Dated 11.11.11, drunk with hardly any aging on it.
From the bottle it pours a dark, ruddy amber color, reminiscent of leather or dried tobacco, with a generous topping of foam. There’s a curious aroma to this. I pick up some chile spicing, some cherry? Perhaps it’s cherrywood, not oaky but there’s a whiff of something woodsy along with the stone fruits to contrast the chiles.

The beer itself is both sweet and spicy, alternating and contrasting. The spicing isn’t overpowering but nicely balanced with a good malt backbone to hold up to it. Cinnamon nuances complement the chile zestiness and a touch of burnt caramel sweetness.

At one point the bitterness became extremely pronounced, only to mellow out like a nice malty dessert beer would. As it warmed it opened further. Complex, layered, dynamic brew with a fully-rounded flavor. It’s dangerously good—I picked up no hint of alcohol, even as it warmed—and while I shared this bottle I could easily finish one by myself without complaint. I’m curious to see how some age would develop this beer further.

250th review! (2,168 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11

Appearance: red, large head and some lacing.

Smell: strong malt, toffee, apple, and a slight hop.

Taste: apple, plum, a touch of cinnamon, and a chili pepper backbone.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy yet smooth and creamy.

Overall:
This is an odd brew but is quite drinkable. The flavors are complex and well matched. The chili's fit in very well. This was opened on 2/17/13. (405 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Cherry red with a thin off-white/creme colored head.

N: Cherry, iron, lavender, cinnamon, and wood. Chili peppers show up with a fruity and spicy aroma.

T: Very spicy due to the adjuncts. Good level of sweetness to balance this one out.

M: Moderately sticky and medium bodied.

O: My favorite of the series. The spice and malt are integrated together to make for an enjoyable sipper. (408 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11: ale brewed with Anaheim chilies and cinnamon; 9.4% ABV; Appearance: mid amber; Smell: pale ale-y; Taste/Mouthfeel: subtle spice, no burn, bitter; bitterness mellowed by spicy food; decent/pretty good

Poured into a pint glass. (306 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber served chilled into a goblet.

Vertical Epic 11.11.11 is a dark amber brown with thick, tight, off-white head. It settles slowly but leaves little lacing on the glass. The beer has poor clarity.

Aroma is malty, fruity, and slightly boozy with a nice Belgian yeast character. The cinnamon seems to come out here but I don't get a strong sense of chilies. That's a good thing in my book.

Flavor is not quite what I was expecting from the aroma but it's fair to say this is a well constructed beer. Layers of different flavors come forward. Some are expected like the green chilies and cinnamon, others not so expected like chocolate and a mild smokiness. There is also an earthy quality that mixes with the clove-rich Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Aging for the past two years seems to have done no harm but I never had it fresh to know just what it was like back then.

Overall I had some concerns about a beer made with chilies but, as it says on the bottle, they impart more flavor than heat. In the end, it's hardly my favorite beer but it's well made and I can appreciate the creativity. (1,135 characters)

Photo of caulfield
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy, murky amber/light brown
S: The cinnamon seems to be the overpowering smell
T: There is a nice spicy taste, but the cinnamon seems a little overpowering
M: Medium body, maybe a tad thicker
O: Overall, I'm a little disappointed by this beer, I wanted it to be better. The all spice is a little under done, the cinnamon is a little bit of overkill, I can't really taste the chilles. It's not a bad beer--Stone rarely makes bad beer--but its not great and I wouldn't buy this one again. (491 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
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. (679 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark ruby with a finger of off-white head.

Smell is peppers cinnamon spice, good flavors. Bit boozy and some dark fruits.

Taste is a bit spicy and boozy. A lot like a winter ale. Smooth drinking. Peppers are the dominating flavor, but not overpowering.

Good beer. (275 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the tap at Tops one year after its initial release, served in a tiny snifter. This is a Belgian-style amber ale brewed with cinnamon and Anaheim chilies from New Mexico’s legendary Hatch Valley.

Cloudy crimson. A thin, wispy head of light tan.

Surprisingly sweet nose. There's a big banana note that blends with heavy, sweet peaches. Green chiles meld in perfect proportion with the sugary fruit, making this almost seem like it was sour or spiked with some funkifying yeast strain.

Earthy peppers are more apparent in the flavor, though without heat. Kind of like voting into a green pepper, the same bite. Nice blend of pear and banana in the back, though banana is bigger here. Black pepper, red apples, a touch of honey. Complex and pretty damn tasty.

Medium light body, moderate massaging carbonation break the beer into a ton of fizz.

Much improved from its original form. I like this way more than I did when I had it last year. Nice use of peppers, good Belgian sweetness. (1,005 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Well the latest reviews are a big let down that this beer hasn't aged well for the past two years. Still I managed to obtain a bottle for 7 bucks at the Beermuda in Lower Burrell.

A - Rocking 1/2 inch of opaque colored head means carbonation held up well. Beer is a dark murky amber brown.
S - Smell is very mild with pepper spice, cinnamon, fruity esters, and a touch of sweet malts.
T - Starts off innocently enough. Fruity flavors and mild cinnamon but then the peppers kick in. It's really not spicy but it doesn't clash with the dry Belgium yeast making it bitter and dry. The finish also hounds the hops which I assume have an impact of the bitter. The flavors do meld away so its not terrible just less than interesting.
M - Well the body is great very medium with just a touch of carbonation. Easily drinkable like other stone beers.

Overall sucks that the flavors in this really have gone down hill. Looking at the review it was never really great but now it's even less than that. Don't pick up a bottle if you see it. It's beyond it's prime. (1,055 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden brown color. Bubbly collar with a few wisps drifting in the middle of my glass. Smells like lemon Ricola. Caramel, citrus hard candy with an odd spice that seems familiar but can't place. Barleywine-esque but thinner.

This was one of my least favorites of the vertical. I didn't know it was a chili cinnamon beer - I guess that explains the odd spice character. (370 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: A medium copper with fair amount of chill haze that fades as it warms and is totally expected with a older beer. The head is tan and made of fine bubbles with a decent retention span.

S: A medium aroma reminiscent of sun-dried chili peppers along with a low orange ester and a low malty complexity like that an Old Ale. There is a low alcohol aroma and a touch of spicy phenols. A bit of soy comes out as it warms up.

M: There is an initial orange-like fruitiness with some spice to start with the spice building a bit as you sip. The balance is somewhat sweet with a medium malt sweetness having a little caramel character against a low hops bitterness but the sweetness more countered by the spice and alcohol. The finish is medium-sweet and the aftertaste is spicy and a low fruitiness that reminds me of a Dubbel.

M: A medium bodied beer with a medium amount of carbonation. There is a linger light tingle from the spice but not detracting.

O: An unusual beer that I can appreciate for it's bold approach and balance. (1,028 characters)

Photo of DmouthCaliBrewz
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a FFF teku a hazy copper with a minimal few millimeters of foam that quickly recedes leaving a minimal amount of lacing - most likely from the wet glass

S: Spices - cinnamon and clove, some chile, tart red wine, and a bit of funk.

T: Tart fruits and red wine at first, immediately giving way to a subtle yet noticeable hint of chile spice and detectable funkiness. After a few moments, the Cinnamon starts to reveal itself, along with a definite peppery zing from the Belgian yeast, and more herbal notes. I also am detecting a buttery sweetness, which is an interesting companion to the tannicity from the red wine barrels. Finishes with a pleasant and crisp hop bitterness that emerges from the peppery and herbal spice, which nicely balances the buttery sweetness present in the middle. After exhaling I get more pepper, cinnamon, spice, andsome medicinal phenol.

M: Oddly buttery and sweet, considering the tart and tannic aspects from the yeast and red wine barrels.

O: A very unique and interesting beer that really pushes the limits of what yeast can do, without overdoing what many brewers chose to push too hard. Perfect level of funk, and I really was intrigued at how it could be so buttery, and yet also have a somewhat tannic as well as tart finish. Truly an interesting blend. Thats why time after time, Stone fails to disappoint…..but maybe thats just homerism (1,398 characters)

Photo of C20Percent
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Hazy bronze with a tan head of foam. Body is not clean. There is much complexity in the color.

S: Fall spices -- cinnamon. Biscuit malts. Bready. Chiles (I guess so). Tabasco. Oxidation.

T: Cinnamon is strong. Chiles. Tart. Bit sour. Bready. Kinda boozy.

M: Smooth and creamy. Nice carbonation. Buttery.

O: Very unique beer. They get points for that. My best judgement is the way this beer taste is the way it was intended to taste after that one year. Not something I could drink every day, but for something as experimental as this it was pretty good. (561 characters)

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

22 oz. bottle, with a more than obvious vintage date. This is my first beer in the series of Vertical Epic beers that Stone did, although I will review the Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale soon enough, to see how they compare.

Due to the lack of a snifter, I'm pouring this into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Aggressive pour manages to conjure a finger of tan off-white foamy head on top of a dark cherry / chestnut colored body. Some bubbles lazily floating to the top. Virtually no lacing on the glass. Second pour yields an entirely different, darker, hazier, dark orange / brown hybrid color, with massive amounts of dark and light sediment floating around.

S - At first, what is more apparent is the Belgian yeast and funk. As the head dissipates, herbal spice rack notes begin to emerge, not cinnamon, almost more like oregano or thyme. Very strange, it must be the chile smell. Also a sweetness buried in there, which could also be from the Anaheim chiles. Faint muted hops come through, as well. As the beer warms, dark fruit smells begin to emere; plum, fig, & raisin with some nutty wine-like characteristics.

T - Taste is very pleasing at first, thankfully not overly hot with chiles and spice. What little heat there is can be attributed to the alcohol. Taste is of caramelized malts and tea leaf like sweetness, with a fair amount of lively carbonation, and a warm finish, which I assume is from the chiles. Aftertaste is of brettanomyces. I am actually really enjoying this. Again, not really getting any distinct cinnamon out of this, though. As the beer warms, the bretty aftertaste fades, giving way to a sweet tea leaf finish & sticky hop presence, with a faint subtle warmth from the chiles.

M - Feel is sweet, lightly bitter, light hotness. Ends somewhat sticky & dry, beckoning the palate for another sip.

Overall, having no prior knowledge of any of the other beers in this series, I would say that this is a good worthy beer, considering this beer was aged for year and a half, and also considering I'm not the biggest fan of Belgian style ales. I would definitely be interested in seeing how others in this series have held up, and I will be getting myself a bottle of Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale soon, to see how that one fares as well. In the meantime, if you're holding down a bottle of this, I would recommend opening it now!

Stone 11.11.11. Vertical Epic Ale ---4/5. (2,412 characters)

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