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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

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477 Reviews

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Reviews: 477
Hads: 1,504
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 16.58%
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 nrbw23
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a really dark ruby red color if not almost a brown color. Head is a tannish color and its fairly foamy. Has pretty solid retention and leaves some layered lacing.

S- First thing I'm picking up is the Beligan yeast. Followed by the cinnamon, a mild chili pepper, and herbal hops.

T- Bready malts, spices and yeast are what really jump out at me. A touch of pepper, and hops are here too. A bit of heat from the alcohol is also present. As this one warmed up I found it much easier to drink.

M- Medium in both body and carbonation.

O- This one is alright. I probably won't pick up another one. I supposed the next time I have this one is when I tackle the veritcal.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of jds619
2.31/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark red that is unusual but interesting. The aroma is a slight cinnamon sweetness with belgian yeast and chiles. At this point it is intriguing.

However, the flavor is all chiles up front that finishes with a merging of belgian yeast, chiles and just the slightest cinnamon which is barely detectable. The merging of the flavors is really more of a crashing, as they do not blend well together at all. They create a harsh aftertaste that is not enjoyable. I have another that I will age, hopefully the flavors work themselves out over time.

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

Poured into a tulip.

Deep reddish orange in color under a fluffy and frothy snow white head. No lacing, and clearly well-carbonated, this is obviously a pretty decent appearance for a Belgian-styled offering.

The aroma is caramel, hints of toffee, and lots of phenolic pepper and clove. There are undertones of Big Red gum (very subtle) and just a hint of chili spice. The flavor is similar, with the Belgian aspects of the beer dominating early on. The little bit of chili spice comes through as I roll the beer around my palate. Cinnamon is not present nearly at all. Heat lingers for a second or two, then goes. I would like to see this a bit more evident, since it is part of the marketing of the beer.

Nice alcohol and phenolic warmth mingle on the palate as a beer with lively carbonation tingles my tongue. Solid for the most part, I am hoping that the chilis and cinnamon come around with time, since I think that they really could add a lot to this beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice deep red/orange pour with great clarity and a half inch of bubbly white foam atop the brew. Looking good. Aromas start off with caramel, fruity tones and lots of yeast phenolic notes. Cinnamon and a touch of vegetal chili pepper, but it is rather mellow.

Sweet caramel mixing in with dark fruits. Big phenolic Belgian yeast with lots of clove, banana and spice. Cinnamon definitely makes it presence known along with a touch of chili pepper. Flows down with more sweetness and a slight hint of heat. Yeast lingers on after each sip.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a touch slick with good carbonation. Goes down pretty easy considering the ABV. Overall, it doesn't really all come together for me...the sweetness with the chili and forward yeast. Was hoping for a touch more heat / chili flavor as well.

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

A- Poured a nice dark ruby amber. Very little lacing on the glass.

S- BAM chilies right outta the gate. Smells a bit green but the cinnamon comes on the back making it rather pleasant.

T- Pretty good. The chili and cinnamon really play nicely together. Cloves are very evident on the palate, but finishes off with a boozy banana

M- Very effervescent. A bit bubbly but calms down after being the glass and warming a bit. The warmer it gets the boozier and more astringent but still tap dances across the tongue pressing you to drink just another sip to keep the beat going

Overall- This needs to sit about a year to mellow a bit and come together. Very good but a little astringent due to the age. Would be really good with something like ribs or beef.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bring out your glass sleepers, so this ruby colored ale can take you to the ball! Great lace on the side of the glass from very light brown and tightly bubbled head. Great nose that's not overpowering--smells citrus, lemon, anise, light cherry and pepper, plus floral notes all floating on top of a caramel, bready malt and subtle yeast. Slight sour note underneath that doesn't assert itself against a moderate hotness from the 9.4% ABV. Hops listed online are Warrior, Target, Perle and Pacific Jade. Complex nose that drew in my love of spice accented beers. Hop punch is distinct but not biting. Hop blended with continued anise and fruit rise above the lighter mouthfeel. Alcohol is apparent and pleasant as well. Falls nicely off the back of the tongue with a slight sour bitterness.

The very small print on the side of the bottle says that the beer was brewed with cinnamon sticks, Anaheim chilies and Belgian Flanders Golden Ale yeast. Guessing the peppers are accounting for the full and complex spice notes along with the cinnamon. Yeast is said to throw off banana and clove, which I can smell now that I'm paying attention to it specifically.

Good beer and worth the effort to go find. Buy an extra bottle or two to save for next year's vertical tasting.

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Photo of yankeej13
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had only one bottle left on the shelf is it was a must buy.

A- Pours out a nice light amber orange like color. Has a light or soft amount of carbonation that quickly fades. Almost caramel like color.

S- Sad to say I had a stuffy nose when I smelled it so didn't get its full potential. I got a mild hint of cinnamon and a good hint of the chilies.

T- It has a fantastic well balanced flavor between the chilies and the cinnamon. Each mouthful I got a different amount of each, once my tastebuds started to work. Had a nice sweet start that finished with a malty chili taste. Left your mouth a mystery cause there was a note of something that I couldn't really pick up on what it really was.

M- Had great drinkability, even though it was a higher alcohol content it was nice a smooth. Great balance, nothing was overwelming. Nice sweet finish.

Overall- I really really enjoyed it alot. I would of liked to have just a tad bit more chilies but other than that, it was a fantastic brew. Cheers!

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

Pours a dark amber with a reddish tint. Two fingers of head forms and settles to a thin film. Large amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma mostly of cinnamon and chile. More subtle hints of pale fruit. The combination is sort of a woodsy, earthy smell.

The mild chiles comes through strongly. Then comes the cinnamon. Not sure it is a combination that really works. The Belgian nature of the beer comes in slowly and weakly. Alcohol is detectable but is not distracting.

On the fuller side of moderate. Nicely carbonated.

I understand these Vertical Epic beers are best to be aged. Not sure what aging would improve in this beer.

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Photo of MrTopher
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served into Stone Vertical Epic tasting glasses.

A – Pours a rich bronze color, has a decent 1-2 finger light brown close to tan head, this has some pretty impressive lacing also.

S – The spices come forward first on this, get mostly heated spices and then a little sweet spices. Then the sweetness of some malt and a little yeast character dances on the edges of the whole experience.

T – Interesting beer to say the least; has a decent malt sweetness, a little spice characters come forward (heated and sweet) and then you get this rush of heat which isn’t similar to the spice character, lastly you get a little earth character from I would guess the yeast. The heat is mild but present, just layers this beer well. Its perfectly balanced and not overly done.

M – Very medium, which I find most all Stone beers to be and I don’t really complain about. The carbonation is present and isn’t overly aggressive or submissive.

O – Decently surprised by this, my favorite VE of the series I don’t think so, but interesting and will be nice to see how this develops between now and next year. Would like to experience this on draft to see if the peppers and cinnamon are more present.

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Photo of avalon07
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Very little lacing.

S: An interesting aroma of chilis, hops, malt, and some yeast.

T: Tasted of chilis, some yeast, hops, malt coriander, cinnamon, and some other spices. This beer was a bit on the thin side, especially in the finish. Definitely an uneven flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: I was not as much a fan of this beer as I was with the other Vertical Epics I've tried. It's a very uneven brew.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Read chilies on the label and knew i needed to try it.

Really vibrant red-orange with a thin beige head. It's crystal clear with no sediment. Very crisp and refreshing-looking beer.

Holy amazing chilies. This is the most pungent chili beer I've ever smelled, and it re-inspires me that it's possible to make a beer that showcases the pepper instead of trying to mask it. Complementing the pungent peppers is a spicy Belgian yeast and biting alcohol. Absolutely amazing.

This is an incredibly balanced beer. There are initial notes of chilies and sweetness followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste. I am assuming that part of the strong spice component to this beer is the cinnamon. It's like all the warmth of a mexican hot chocolate...without the chocolate.

This isn't a spicy beer, but there is still a strong spice component. Maybe I'm just very tolerant to spice since others say that there is a slight burning in the back of the throat.
The beer is approximately medium-bodied and loaded with alcohol. Terrific to pair with a chocolate dessert!

Well priced and widely available, what more could you ask for? I wasn't wowed by the 10.10.10, but this beer is phenomenal! I would love to try pairing this with some spicy mexican dishes and praise the muse that inspired Stone to produce this beer.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep amber color with a thick lightly tan head that leaves good lacing. Darker than I was expecting for a BSPA.

S- Has all the characteristic aromas for a BSPA with some clove, light fruits and spices. However, I can also pick out the peppers and cinnamon sweetness as well but I'm not sure I could if I didn't know they were used during the brewing process.

T- Wow, the chili peppers certainly show themselves right away. The peppers don't seem to show any appreciable heat but they definitely add a "green" vegetal like flavor that doesn't contrast too harshly with the base beer (although personally I would have left them out all together). Still has a nice sweet fruity finish with banana and caramel coming through with a touch of alcohol. Not picking up as much cinnamon in the flavor when compared to the nose.

M- Medium bodied and well carbonated. Drinks pretty easy for 9.4%

O- Overall a pretty solid beer. Chili peppers aren't really my thing but I don't think they took anything away from this beer. Not sure what age will do to this one, but I look forward to trying it again next year.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at The Petrol Station in Houston, review from notes.

Poured a hazy burnt amber with no head.

Cinnamon, bananas, clove and chiles make up the aroma. Very interesting. The chiles give it a certain Sex Panther quality... stings the nostrils (in a good way).

Taste follows the nose for the most part... Cinnamon, bananas and chiles dominate the palate. Cinnamon and bananas right of the back with the chiles making up the back end. This beer is complex as all hell. The flavors are all very distinct but they work extrememly well together. Very tasty.

Medium bodied with a copious amount of carbonation.

I will admist that this is the absolute worst sounding beer I've ever had... Cinnamon, bananas and chiles sound like a clusterfuck of a beer but this beer makes it work. Just like an onion, this beer has some serious layers and they are all delicious

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice creamy big head fades semi slowly with nice lacing, clear but small sediment ruby reddish brown color.

Nose light booze and esters, reddish malts, quite malty, sweet candy and caramel, toffee, lots of sweetness, hint of a chili and cinnamon like spice, and a definite pepper.

Taste a light pepper comes out first, light heat with chili pepper, sweet malts, lots of reddish malts, caramel, candy syrup, fairly sweet which balances the light spice well. Light cinnamon in there as well. Light esters and fruit with a hint of booze. Later towards the finish is a slight earthy herbal like hop kick with some light bitterness. Finishes with a bit more light heat and touch spicy pepper flavor, touch of heat on the back of the throat, quite sticky and bit sweet, more caramel and light cinnamon all linger.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lower but decent enough carb, bit syrupy.

Overall very interesting, they hit the heat level almost right with maybe just a touch more of a kick would make it perfect, not a huge pepper bomb, and nice sweet balance with touch of hops. Lots of interesting flavors, and fairly drinkable. The only qualms I have are that its a bit syrupy and a bit light on carb.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-ounce brown silk-screened glass bottle poured into a tulip glass. Served at refrigerator temperature and allowed to warm over the duration.

Pours a clear, dark amber-mahogany hue with a pillowy topping of beige foam that settles slowly to a thick crown, leaving behind beautiful rings of stained glass-like lacing on the walls of the glass as it drains away.

The nose is a one-two punch of cinnamon and what is reminiscent of chipotle peppers, and would lead me to believe that chipotles were the culprit here, though I know that Anaheim chilies are at work here rather than smoked jalepenos. Underneath is a faint whiff of clove, though the dominant aromas seem to overwhelm it. On a new pour, herbaceous hop notes emerge before being taken over as well.

Medium-bodied and mildly-to-moderately effervescent; the overwhelming palatial impression is chaotic and exciting. Spiciness is key here, with notes of cinnamon, chilies, clove, hops, nutmeg, basil -- a virtual plethora of spicy notes is apparent and it all melds with a warming alcoholic heat and sweet caramel and toast to suggest a beer aged on chilies which, while not exactly the case, isn't that far off either, and the impression is a lasting one. This is one hellish flavor combination, and in this case that's a good thing.

The overall impression is chilie-infused Belgian IPA, and the drinkability is perhaps even greater than a regular example of said style. This isn't the first time I've enjoyed a chile beer this good, but it is the first commercial example and it's probably a good thing that Stone decided to insert this in the Vertical Epic line-up so near to the end, as this is a beer best enjoyed fresh. A touch of age might show a more muted spiciness and perhaps a more balanced earthy character from the malt and hops, but there is no reason not to enjoy this bad boy right here and now.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Big. Builds fast and BIG. Nice spotty lacing. Brew is weird purple cinnamon color.

S - Weird. There's lots of pepper and spice. Not much other then pepper and spice. No Belgian resonance.

T - Kinda of bland for the interesting flavors it's brewed with. No heat (spice). No heat (abv). Almost sour... blah. Where's the spice??? This brew is a terrible mess.

M - Over carbonation. Moderate heat. Light and thin.

O - Unique, but missing a lot. Totally missed the Belgian style. For such a big release this one disappoints. Don't get me wrong this brew is exciting, but it has no direction... it's a mess. Not nearly as good as the previous years... Stone, where have you gone? I'll come brew for you :)

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a 1 inch puffy beige head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thick foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, Belgian yeast, spices, and a slight chili aroma. Taste is of malt, overpowering Belgian yeast, spices, banana, and a mild (not spicy) chili flavor. The aftertaste is very spice forward but quickly fades leaving a slight warming in the back of the throat which I assume is from the chilies. I am not getting any noticeable cinnamon aroma or flavor but the chili is definitely there. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is actually a good beer that I wasn't expecting much from. I never thought chili could mesh with this style but I think Stone got it right. With that being said, I really cannot detect any cinnamon addition to this beer.

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Photo of rmcnealy
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium/dark copper that is very filtered. Produced a small ivory head that faded to a mere ring around the glass. First aromas are of slight citrus, malt, slight clove, cranberry. I don't smell the cinnamon but faintly taste it. I also can't exactly distinguish the chilies, but the taste has an unsual bitter twang to it. By no means heat, but a slight chili zest. Just enough to let you know something is happening here. It is just slightly boozy and syrupy, expected at 9.4%. Not a bad beer, may need some slight aging to bring out the tastes.


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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at When Pigs Fly in Kittery. In a pint glass the beer was a red/orange/brown color with a small tan head.

Sweet malt and spice aroma. Warming in my nose.

The tastes worked well together. Caramel malt and clove. Chile present, warm, pleasant.

I enjoyed this beer. Nothing over the top, just a nice melange.

Will drink this again.

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Photo of keanex
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Deep hazy copper with a slightly orange tinged thin white head.

S: Rather bland, mostly a belgian yeast cloves smell with some heat from the peppers.

T: Pepper up front through to the finish with a clove spice to it, not as spicy as I imagined though.

A: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Rather bland beer to me, it was more spicy from the Belgian yeast than the peppers and the cinnamon wasn't noticeable.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this the other night at Bier Thirty... This review is from a bottle. Poured into my Delerium goblet... 2 finger tan head... the brew is clear deep amber... nice lacing.

Big spiciness in the nose... too much for my liking.. the cinnamon and clove phenols run a bit high... banana and hints of bubblegum are also too big. Not getting much chili.

The chilis are more discernible on the palate... a very mild but building heat with a distinctive vegetable flavor.. still, the cinnamon is sooo far out of place that I just don't appreciate this one. The "yeasty Belgian flavors" would be much better off without additional spices... decent malt profile that mainly acts as a spice delivery device... Mehhh.

This is probably my least favorite VE yet... and I doubt it will get any better for my palate.. the cinnamon is only going to grow as the other flavors lessen...

Sorry... I just don't dig it.


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Photo of bonkers
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bomber into a snifter, deep cooper pour, good white head, light lacing. The aroma is heavy on cloves and bannanas. The cloves domoinate the flavors, light cinamon, I could not taste the chillies. The body is medium, good carbonation, no discernable booze. Not my kind of beer, too much clove.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into my Allagash tulip. Chilled.

Appearance: Medium brown in color with a two finger beige head. A bit darker than the golden color mentioned on the label.

Aroma: The Anahesim chiles really stand out. It's a nice and mild heat. Hints of cinnamon and other spices. Bananna, clove and light citrus make for a nice base.

Taste: The chile notes are upfront here too. The mild nature of the peppers really allow there to be a strong pepper note without overwhelming heat. The cinnamon and other spices provide a nice backing. The base beer is also nice and balanced. The bananna and clove combine with the spices to compliment the chiles well. I also get a touch of hop bitterness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and nice carbonation.

Overall, a really nice belgian pale where the chile flavors work well in my opinion. The peppers provide good flavor and not too much heat. I really think this beer works. My favorite one off from Stone in a while. I'm glad I have one more to cellar.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. This is the first VE that I've had more than a couple ounces of.

3.5 A: Minimally hazed dark amber color. Almost three fingers of foamy/frothy beige head. Retention isn't that great, but that might be a function of the Anaheims in this and little lacing is left.

4.5 S: The yeast is running the show on this brew. Lots of banana esters, bubblegum, and to a lesser extent, clove and pepper in this. The cinnamon adds a moderate contribution, which works really well with the spicy yeastiness. A small plum and apple fruitiness from the malts. The Anaheims don't contribute a lot to the nose.

3.5 T: Unlike the nose, it doesn't take much effort to find the Anaheims in the taste. Their earthy/vegetal character is easily discernible. More clove and pepper than the nose with less banana and bubblegum. The cinnamon is a bit distracting, but tolerable enough. I like what the peppers bring, but I think there's just a little too much of them, especially in the aftertaste (which is a dry, vegetal bitterness).

4.0 M: Medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. Good creaminess.

4.0 D: Definitely an interesting experiment and I'm happy to have tried it. I think the ingredient combo is a good one, but that the proportions might be a tad off.

Here's my review from a late 2012 vertical of 03.03.03 - 12.12.12.

2.5 A: Murky light brown color. Not much head formed.

3.5 S: Holy piss have the peppers gained strength. Huge Anaheim aroma. The cinnamon is all but lost. Banana and light spice.

3.5 T: Again a ton of pepper flavor and a nice vegetal spiciness from that. More cinnamon in the taste. Banana, bubblegum.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess. Not bad.

3.5 D: Decent overall. I like how the peppers have opened up.

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