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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 UnderPressure
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark amber colored beer with a frothy head. Nice head retention. Some lacing.

Nice aroma. Definately a Belgain. You get plenty of the Belgian "funk" from the yeast. Heavy on the malt side of the fence.

Wow. Lots of complexity in the flavor. Belgain yeast. Slight alcohol (but not much). An overall raisin-like tart fruitiness. Significant hop bitterness. There are a few background flavors going on that are hard for me to articulate.

A nice, thick, heavy mouthfeel with a bitter, dry finish. Nice.

A really nice full flavored beer with a lot to offer. I wish this was a year-round brew. It would be great to drink on special occasions. I'll end this review now and relax with the rest of this bottle before the 9.4% ABV gets the best of me.

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Photo of pwoods
2.87/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bottle poured into a Stone Levitation tulip.

A: Pours a very pretty ruby copper color. 2+ fingers of light tan head forms and has pretty good retention. Decent lacing.

S: Firm chili and chili powder aroma. Subtle caramel malts and yeast but dominated by the chili. A bit veggy from the chili's as well.

T/M: Odd mix from the malts and chili. The cinnamon comes through but in an odd way... doesn't really scream cinnamon but it's definitely there. Nice yeasty character with plenty of fruity esters. Body is medium with nice carbonation and a semi dry finish.

D: I think this would be a really good beer without the chili's and cinnamon... just doesn't seem to mix real well here.

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Photo of babaracas
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mostly clear orange tinted red with one finger of creamy khaki foam. Settles quickly to a quarter inch, sparse lacing.

Smell: smells like a fruity BSPA/tripel, so I guess the color is for show only? Pale / pils sweetness, floral with a light spiciness, then fruity with unripe banana and a bubblegum note. Alcohol is present. Between the yeast and alcohol, the note of chilies could be imagined.

Taste: big mildly sweet pale malt flavors, red grape, spicy and fruity. Note of clove and a hit of cinnamon (red hots -esque). Otherwise the alcohol is the primary source of heat, but there is a mild green pepper flavor that coats the palate towards the end of the sip. Lots of sugars upfront. Dries out with some grittiness but still sugary at the finish. Sort of an oil and water feel in the finish, which is a bit odd.

Pulled in many directions, it's not particularly good at any of the things it tries to be, but still worth a try.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A Pours a clear dark amber color topped with a white head that dissipates quickly.

S The Belgian character of the beer comes through very strongly with a strong banana bubblegum with a hint of clove aroma. Can't really tell if there are chillies and cinnamon though.

T Pretty similar to the nose with lots of banana, bubblegum and clove with a hint of chillies coming through on the finish with some heat. Pretty sure the cinnamon is a lie though as I can't taste it anywhere which is disappointing because I love cinnamon and put it in most things.

M Medium bodied with pretty nice carbonation.

Overall a very disappointing beer as the all I taste is the mediocre base beer and not the chillies or the cinnamon. Not bad just very mediocre.

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Photo of TroopScoop
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: clear deep brown/dark red. The white head quickly fades & so much that none clings the glass. (No lacing!)

S: just great. Warm cinnamon and chile spice invites the palate.

T: Bummer! Cloves and yummy belgian qualities up front, some cinnamon/spice & bitter tones to finish. You really need to search for the chile.

M: carbonated, flavorful, & smooth to boot.

O: I've had the bottled, and it easily takes the cake. Weird, I was so excited to have it on tap. In the bottle, I easily could've given it 4's across the board. My bottle had very noticiable chile notes & made the beer very enjoyable.

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Photo of hosehead83
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet.
Dark brown/tea color, with a moderate head of bone-white foam.
Aroma-Subtle Belgian spicy yeast
Taste-Belgian spiciness,a bit fruity, subtle hop presence, candi sugar. Gently warming and complex. Reminds me more of a Belgian dubbel than a strong pale ale. Not the best of the lot of Vertical Epics, but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Don't know what to think of this one...Vertical Epic 11.11.11, split into pint glasses.

A: Pours a crystal clear coppery color, much darker than I anticipated it would be, with a huge light tan head & good lacing.

S: Huge Belgian yeast characters, banana and fruity esters, clove and other peppery spices...light cinnamon notes and possibly spiciness from the peppers. There are some definitely sweet bready notes from the malts.

T: Spicy Belgian character here, with the fruity yeast notes mixing with cinnamon and pepper notes...the peppers coat your lips and stick there for awhile, but its not an overwhelming spiciness at all.

MF: Prickly mouthfeel but soft and fluffy in a way...moderate medium body.

O: Well crafted take on things, though not my favorite style and not 'helped' much by the addition of peppers/cinnamon. Still, alcohol was undetectable and everything blends really well.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ales4baldo
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation-Bottle makes this beer look like its brewed only once thats for sure. Show plenty of the date. Has a cool little story in the back. Verticle Epic 11/11/11

Appearence-Didnt get much head on this one. Poured like a thick liquore. Has a nice mohogany dark brown with red mix.

Smell-This beer smells like something is baking in the oven. Definitely smell chilies in this bad boy. This smells almost like a freaken hot sauce. Small amounts of cinnamon. Belgian malts and maybe a little candy.

Taste-Does taste like a pale ale for sure. First sip has a strong chilly palate. Feels like i bit into a chilly. I get strong robust flavors of belgian candy. Cinnamon lingers in there but really doesnt settle anywhere in my mouth.

Mouthfeel-Some what of a thick beer. Definitely a mouthfull with all the chilly this beer has. A bit flat but does carry a little carbonation. Seems to have a bitter end while you finish.

Overall-Not something i would say is outstanding or amamzing. Different from what i usually drink. Maybe this beer will be better when it ages and opened after its recommendation date.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know i missed 11/11/11, but its worth a shot for only $7!

Pours reddish, orangish, brownish color. Not pale at all. not even close. I mean paler than a porter or stout. I would say Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but o well. decent off-white head. about an inch thick that reduces to a quarter inch.

Belgian yeast is everywhere, spicy clove and hints of coriander. Wisps of cinnamon and chilis. Very complex and smells smooth.

Hello chili peppers! Upfront chili peppers, but no heat whatsoever. Cinnamon comes next in the plethora of flavors. Those nice yeasty Belgian esters are there, but are overpowered by the chilis. Medium body, and the absence of chewy yeast is different than usual. The addition of chilis and cinnamon took that over.

Hm, I guess Stone has made mole (the mexican sauce).

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Photo of MarcatGSB
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from White's Party store in Marquette, MI for $8.99 a bomber. Poured from bottle into DFH Signature Glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper color with some hints of darker brown around edges. Thin, white head builds quickly with aggressive pour, only to dissipate even quicker, leaving a good amount of nice looking lacing, and bubbles around edge of glass.

Smell: Sweet candy, nice banana notes, some spicy clove. After it warms a bit, the chilis start to come out, but nothing that really stands out. I like the play of sweet Belgian yeast and spicy.

Taste: Once again, big hit of banana and clove followed by some sweetness, and a bit of fresh fruit. It's got some nice cinnamon coming through, but I'm not getting a whole lot of other spice honestly. Light caramel, and some yeasty bread notes come through. The Belgian yeast really shines, gives it some good sweet body. After this beer sits on my palate for a while, the heat comes through (although very mild) and I can feel the pepper enough.

Mouth: It's got a bright, prickly mouthfeel, with lots of carbonation. Kind of thin bodied, but easy drinking.

Drink and overall: Kind of an interesting beer. It's easy drinking enough. Is it fantastic? I'd so no, but it's definitely something different. I'm interested to see how this would be with a year on it...how much does that heat subside, and what starts to come through. I like it the way it is, none the less.

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Photo of Auracom
2.61/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Poor Phil's on November 22nd, 2011, served in a tulip.

A - Deep dark red coloring with brown tones around the edges of the glass. Poor retention and lacing of an offwhite head.

S - It's muted, but light cherry, strawberry, banana, clove, and some other spices. Really don't detect much chili here.

T - Initial light sugar and vanilla-like sweetness recedes into a ton (and I mean a ton) of spices/cinnamon. Backend is astringent cherry and light fruits with contrasting dark fruit sweetness and chili characters.

M - Huge carbonation at the front of the drink. Medium body.

D - A bit weird and underdeveloped. Chilis could have been integrated much better. Probably won't revisit this one... just can't imagine it improving with age.

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Photo of dlello2
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark dark cherry/chestnut color. Good milky head and carbonation.

S - Subtle spiciness. Alcohol, chili, hops hit next. Good smell, relatively fresh!

T - Hmmm. Mouthfeel is biting! Getting maltiness/thickness/spice (pepper?) at the beginning. Alcohol in the middle. Chili and bitter hops to finish. Not unpleasant, not perfect. Cinnamon/bitterness stick around for a while.

O - Thanks to SmallBar for pouring too many glasses and giving us one to try! A decent brew. Wouldn't try to get it in a bottle as balance is unimpressive and it doesn't come together all that well. Wish it had identified itself more, but I guess that's the point with the vertical epic series!

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Photo of Tucquan
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2011-11-25 in Pittsburgh, PA at Smokin' Joes

A - Fairly clear mahogany with a short head and light lacing.

S - Fruity/Belgian yeast, green chilies, rasin and cinnamon.

T - Similar to the smell with green chilies, sour cherry, banana, earthy cinnamon, roasted grain. There's just a touch of residual heat from alcohol and the chilies and a dollop of moderate bitterness. Quite a complex smorgasboard of tastes

M - Medium body and carbonation. Surprisingly smooth yet crisp.

O - Never had anything like this beer. I'm glad to have tried it but wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of obywan59
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Crystal clear (you can read through it) deep amber with a 3 1/2 finger tan head. It looks pretty awesome in my Duvel tulip.

Unmistakable chili pepper backed up by the cinnamon and Belgian yeast. Sometimes almost a smokey aroma, and coffee. The chili is potent enough to give the nose a light tickle.

Sweet malts and tart hops upfront, but the chili peppers soon take over. Strong bitternes: a combination of the hops and the pepper. It finishes on the dry/tart side.

Medium-bodied. Some light peppery heat in the mouth and more heat/heartburn in the throat, from both the pepper and the alcohol. Slightly drying on the tongue.

A great change of pace. I especially enjoyed the contrast with the 2 sqaures of the Lindt Intense Orange chocolate bar that I sampled.


This time a very hard pour yielded a 5 finger head that receded fairly quickly leaving some moderate lacing. I'm calling it deep amber to ruby now.

The aroma is pretty consistent with my previous review except I don't really get any coffee.

Again, the taste is like before, but this time, the bitterness seems to be all pepper.

Ditto on the mouthfeel.

Overall, this is pretty much the same as I remember it. Though the pepper is dominate, it meshes well with the other flavors. Well-rounded. I'm letting my precious rating stand.

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Photo of Ehrnstrom
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: coppery red, with a moderate amount of light-tan colored head and lacing.

smell: spicy notes throughout, clean and forceful. modest alcohol scent.

taste: literally spicy, after drinking half of it at least. full on ginger and cinnamon flavor. honestly, this beer is a grower, but it is a force for the taste buds.

mouthfeel: this beer is good, but I can see why it might not have universal appear. It is quite aggressive and the finish is strong. the flavors could be a bit more balanced.

overall: good, not great. worth trying because of the unique factor. has an almost whiskey like aspect to it at times because of the heat and higher alcohol (9.6%?).

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Photo of xnicknj
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a fairly clear amber color with some reddish hues. Thinner beige head fades out leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Some spicy notes in the nose with a light caramel sweetness. The chilies and cinnamon pretty much dominate here.

Somewhat sweet and spicy up front with a kick from the cinnamon. Light caramel and bready notes towards the middle with some yeasty funk. Finishes with some residual heat from the chilies.

Medium body, decent carbonation, warm on the tongue and throat from the chilies. This felt pretty one note to me. Yeah, I got the cinnamon and chilies, which was kind of cool, but not a whole lot else.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always stoked for a new Vertical Epic...like many others, I was skeptical but intrigued about this one.

Pours into my Portsmouth tulip a very dark amber, beige head starts at about a finger eventually turning to a ring and slight cap. A bit of lace left.

Nose is interesting, certainly big Belgian yeast, clove and banana, but peppers and some smoke are there and well-blended. Reminds me a bit of chili powder.

Taste is similar, delivers what the nose promises and more. Big Belgian yeast, candi sugar, banana and clove with a nice earthy pepper feel. Maybe a tiny bit spicy but it showcases the actual flavor of the peppers much more than the heat. Some dark fruit and caramel. Slightly medicinal. Cinnamon, maybe?, it doesn't stick out like the peppers.

Usual spot-on Stone mouthfeel, carbonation is medium-low, drinks smooth, booze is pretty well hidden. Like noted before it is a bit medicinal but it's not really a bother for me here.

Better than I expected, I can see why others may hate but I thought this was quite good, the peppers are integrated nicely without being over the top. A bomber solo is a bit of a haul, but it's quite drinkable considering.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Tulip-shaped pint glass

A - Beer has a dark amber color; pour forms a tan colored head, about one finger in size; reddish hue rings around the edge of the beer; good lacing formed

S - Brown sugar; chili peppers; faint smell of cinnamon; biscuit and bread malt scents

T - Slightly sour; malt biscuit taste followed up with a semi-sweet taste of cinnamon with a twist of chili; chili flavors are great and linger for quite a bit; chili residue sticks to the lining, gums and lips and gets "re-activated" every time you lick'em

M - Chili covered aftertaste; smooth medium body; slightly spicy

D - Acquired taste; might be a bit weird if you haven't tried this before; I expected more spice with the chili in there, but I will give the brewer props for making the cinnamon flavor just right; good taste and unique

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

bomber into tulip.

A: a deep/bright red body. relatively clear. reddish/white head has O.K. retention and lacing. not exactly a 'pale' body but i dont think this brew would have an exact category on any website.

S: right off the bat, you can definitely smell the cinnamon. not overbearing, but certainly there. maybe a little spicy-ness from the chilies but it also could just be from the cinnamon.

T: more of the belgian components come across on the palate. a floral yeast flavor brings out a banana and pear-like fruitiness. citrus too. not sure if it is from an american hopping or the yeast. you can taste the cinnamon as well. sort of a strong, subdued christmas ale. sweetness mixed with a little bit of heat lingers on the finish.

M: a relatively mild carbonation on a very full body.

D: the anaheim chilies are the largest stretch as far as nose and flavor are concerned. a little hard for me to smell and taste. otherwise a solid brew. excited to see how my cellared bottle develops over time. not sure if it will bring out any more chili flavor, but potentially.

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

Lovely dark amber color with slight beige head. Aroma is interesting - light chile kinda darts around a more present alcohol/caramel smell. Taste is really fun. Chile hits first but not at all in a spicy way. Vegetal and fresh. Backed by a nice caramel malt body yet never overpoweringly sweet. Transitions then to a bitter/cinnamon finish. Alcohol is concealed very well - really easy to drink. Prickly mouthfeel from bright carbonation. Really looking forward to 12-12-12 and the impending message board war about the guy selling his vertical collection for $10000. It's just beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Portsmouth tulip.

A: Pours a deep ruby brown with a large thick light tan head that slowly faded into a thick quarter inch layer leaving streaks of patchy lacing down the glass.
S: Light nose on this one. I get notes of golden fruits, Belgian yeast, pears and a bit lemon, earthy hops and raisins. The cinnamon comes through nicely and the chili is roasted smelling, tingly to my nose, and thankfully just barely detectable.
T: Sweeter than I expected. The Belgian yeast comes through prominently followed by fruity flavors of raisins and pears. The finish has flavorful cinnamon and hops, and the aftertaste is sugary and has a light ‘chili’ flavor. There isn’t really any spicy heat to this beer, but I do get a little bit of lingering tingling on my lips after each swallow.
M: Soft but ample carbonation, full mouthfeel from all the bubbly carb, and a thick and airy body.
O: I could see how this is a love it or hate it beer but I actually thought it was pretty good. Very creamy with good clean flavors. Say what you will but I thought this was well done.

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Photo of samie85
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a garnet color with a finger and a half of off-white head.

S-A bit of bubblegum and clove esters with some cinnamon and smoky peppers on the finish.

T-Dry, clove-y notes with some caramel, cinnamon, and very light spicy pepper notes.

M-A little cloying at first but it dries out quite a bit at the finish from the cinnamon and yeast esters; full side of medium bodied with low carbonation.

D-Not a bad beer by any means, but I don't think I'd try this one again.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pour clear brown with a light brown or dark tan head that laces a small amount.
S: first is a very obvious pepper flesh aroma, along with cinnamon, clove.
T: overall pepper flesh with malt sweetness and very little if any pepper heat. Cinnamon is an odd but nice touch, along with a yeasty clove.
M: not thick, but does linger around for awhile.
O: really good simple yet complex, wonder what a year of age will do.

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Photo of dtivp
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this brew at Stone's World Bistro on the release date, the review is from my notes.

Poured a hazy, murky amber brown with a one finger light beige head that faded quickly with light lacing.

Aroma of yeast, malt and some spice.

Taste started slightly sweet with caramel followed by clove and ending with some warmth from the chilli peppers.

Mouth Feel was medium body, medium carbonation, creamy smooth yet slightly sticky.

Overall chilli peppers work well with this beer, they were present yet not over whelming. This is a very nice pale ale.

I also had the opportunity to have a glass drawn from the cask, the chiles were more dominate, making it slightly warmer.

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