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
85
very good

1,504 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,504
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 42
Gots: 444 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,504 | Reviews: 479
Photo of gatornation
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from a 22 0z bomber
a chile beer or and EPA/amber or a mix of the 2

A- pours a clear amber color with a 1 finger white head a nice amount of lacing

S was malts chilie,hops ,cinnamon a wet grass funk

T- was malts and hops with a a chile hot pepper taste mixed in with spice and cinnamon some belgian yeast its a cornucopia of styles tastes

M- was medium carbonation with a hot taste slightly dry and bitter that was tasty

O- i split this bomber, i think a whole one might of been a chore to drink, maybe 1 more bottle for me or if its on tap i will try again

Photo of HopSlap72
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to try a small glass of this during a society of beer tasters event at Elwood's Pub.

It comes off with a nice amber color with just a hint of head.

My initial smell didn't reveal the variety of ingredients that were brewed into the Vertical. After letting it sit for around five minutes i began to notice the chili smell as well as a heavy cinnamon.

It was a different different taste than i had ever tried in a beer. The cinnamon flavor i thought would be at the forefront was gone but replaced with this dried chili flavor. My first drink i was surprised, but by my second and third i was left wishing that there was more of this coming around.

Overall another great brew from Stone. If you can find a bottle of this, you really should try it. It really is one of a kind

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic 11/11/11

Appears a deep amber, with fine clarity and little head or lace.

Aroma much like Big Red Gum, with malt sweetness, cinnamon, and a touch of spice from the peppers.

In the taste, belgian yeast makes an appearance with a nice rounded fruityness, cinnamon and chile come through for a unique and enjoyable flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a small dry spice.

Overall: A nice take on a chile beer. The cinnamon, and ginger bread like malt compliment the chiles very well.

Photo of gregb13
2.22/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looked great in the glass; awesome color and head with moderate lacing. Smelled of Benadryl and bananas, with some metals. Taste: The chiles came in with a vengeance. The chile taste wasn't bad, except when it collided with the bananas, cinnamon, and metal it was not pleasant. I finished the bomber but it was a chore. Slightly better as it warmed, which is odd given the phenolic quality but whatever. Not a fan.

Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

An off tan somewhat foamy three finger head is made off the pour, to rest on a dark red copper amber body that is clear and virtually free of any rising carbonation. There is some head retention here but not much, but there is a good bit of staying power also.

Nose is kind of small. A fairly small airy malt, but not much really else. Pleasant, but no hop or chile sense, so we move along. After some sips and drink the nose returns and opens up some brown dry spices (cinnamon, clove) become noticeable, but perhaps because the tasting cycle by now is all complete.

An interesting feel and body, and a slow lingering awakening palate. Body fills with a weak malt, but then subsides on the swallow. Afterfinish brings some almost dry spice sense, then the palate becomes a little dry also. Eventually there is a VERY slow chile burn and then mixes some good bitter hop in the mid palate. EXTREMELY... powdery. Mouthfeel is juicy, and full bodied and rich. Sweetness comes greater and brings a large cinnamon rush after many sips.

Overall the beer gets a little "spicy"-er after some subsequent sips, and brings out the nose more of the chile angle. Noticing the high abv on this it's rather tolerable which is quite impressive. This is not some boozy hot alcohol mess at all, it's very much under control. The most impressive thing with this beer is the more and more I consume it, the better it gets. Nice job.

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 11/15/11 notes. Had on tap at Fireworks in Arlington, VA at their Stone steal the pint night event. Poured in a 10 oz. tulip.

a - Pours a dark amber color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of cinnamon, bready malts, nutmeg, Belgian yeast, spices, bananas, and cloves. Quite Belgian-ale like, with cinnamon at the forefront. Pretty nice, no chiles to be had here though.

t - Tastes of chili peppers, spices, cinnamon, bready malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, and light fruit. Peppers are definitely present in the taste and aftertaste. I didn't think it was bad at all, though a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Doesn't feel like 9.4$ ABV, though a sipper due to the chili and spices in the aftertaste.

o - Overall an interesting beer. I didn't think it was bad at all, though a 10 oz. glass was enough for me, so couldn't see putting down a bomber of this. Nose is very Belgian ale like fused with cinnamon, while the taste has the chile peppers, so guess they got what they were going for. I'll pick one up for the vertical.

Photo of RuckusDu
2.4/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Looks nice with 2 finger khaki head. Body is dark reddish amber.

S - It is sweet and sour. A lot of Juicy Fruit and some dark notes of sour cherries.

T - Goes terribly wrong here. A mix of Juicy Fruit, bell pepper, sour milk, and wheat. Not good. Hits you in the back of the mouth with sour bitterness.

M - Decent job here. Nice balance between carbonation and thickness.

O - I don't know what happened to this beer. Everything is good about it except for the taste. Just funky.

Photo of theboozecruise
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at Calandro's and poured into an imperial pint.

It's a ruby red color, clear with a finger or so of off white head. There isn't much lacing but some good looking pooling.

The smell is rather malty with some strong cinnamon notes. There's a little Belgian floral hop note in there as well. Pretty appetizing.

The taste is a lot more chile in there with a flavor that closely resembles a Belgian dubbel. I'm a big fan of the interaction.

Very easy to drink with a minimal alcohol note despite a good abv.

Another winner from Stone.

Photo of ehammond1
2.44/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

A deep auburn bordering on caramel brown with a thin light brown head.

The aroma is a strange combination of tangy Belgian yeast, caramel malts, a bit of banana, and a very mild, earthy chile presence. They don't seem to blend particularly well together, though on paper I know it doesn't sound all that bad. Maybe it's the cinnamon's fault?

The flavor is just as confused as the aroma. The Belgian yeast is dominant along with a sweet banana flavor, some cracked black pepper, and just a hint of chile warming lingers. On paper, it doesn't sound that bad, but it really wasn't at all enjoyable.

Medium to thick bodied with moderate carbonation.

A mess. I struggled through my 8oz. and didn't finish the glass.

Photo of Kranders
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has to be one of the best looking beers I've ever seen. Fantastically ruby and perfectly clear. Subtle hints of spice and cinnamon in the aroma that finds its way into the beer itself. Pretty subtle though with the cinnamon and chile, but there's still a bit of heat. Overall great beer.

Photo of LtCracker20
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear reddish body with a 2-finger off white head that shows good retention and some nice lace.

S- A slight buttery aroma up front, light a pale lager almost. Not too much going on here either way. There's a slight chili burn at the very back end of every whiff along with some banana and clove.

T- Also pretty bland. There's some cinnamon flavor, some banana, and a slight burn which I'm not sure is the ABV or the chilis.

MF- Only a moderate body on this one. Good amount of carbonation keeps it lively, though.

O- Not a bad beer, but not what I think Stone should be putting out. Glad I tried it, but won't again...

Photo of flannelman808
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright ruby copper colored beer and very clear. egg shell white/ light tan head with ok retention.

S: Dark fruit, very ripe raspberry, and a Jalepeno/ Poblano pepper suggestion.

T: Bing cherry comes to mind, then comes mild green chili pepper as well as a mild macerated dark fruit medley. Slightly tart fruit and slightly sweet molasses (albeit faintly flavored) merge. The finish is similar to the start, cherry and a slight hint of anaheim chili.

M: Prickly with a medium long finish.

O: Im enjoying this more as I sip on it and find it's subtleties rewarding. Very unlike stone to produce a beer with so much elegance (even with the chili peppers), perhaps their evolving. Anyway this is a good buy at a better value. -I don't see how this could age for any length of time but I think its worth experimenting.

Photo of grittybrews
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark ruby amber with excellent clarity and a finger of off-white head. Strong aroma of banana, clove, a hint of cinnamon, and a good dose of Hatch chiles.

Moderate carbonation and a smooth, somewhat light mouthfeel. Flavors of banana, caramel, and clove up front with a trace of cinnamon and a hint of chiles on the tail end. Just a touch of alcohol warmth that becomes more apparent as the beer warms.

I was excited by the aroma but the flavors don't seem to meld. The Belgian components are fairly standard and the chile/cinnamon is interesting but never really integrates. I'm a fan of beers with pepper but this one didn't blow my mind by any means. Worth trying, though.

Photo of ikantspel
3.16/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served into a duvel tulip

pours a deep mahogany with a subtle head. not too much lacing going on

smells kinda fruity with some yeast in there. a tad peppery is the only hint of chile you get

first it kinda hits with a malty flavor. you can get some cinnamon in the middle but nothing way too overpowering. finishes pretty bitter. pretty much a cycle of sweet, spice, bitter.

somehow this works. after a few more sips the chile comes out more. dont know if i would get it again seems like a novelty beer

Photo of Rhynes2
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought this brew today and it was the first beer I have ever had brewed with chilis. I was skeptical at first. On the nose its very wine like me and my buddy said it was almost like a Cabernet Sauvignon with some spice. The taste is caramel malts at first and it quickly fades to the chills. they are strong but well balanced. I'm so impressed with this brew and will be buying it again soon. Stone never lets me down

Photo of mithrascruor
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a clear, darker amber color, but is ruby through the light. Minimal filmy off-white head and very little visible carbonation.

Smell: Good malt aroma with some fruit-like sweetness, and a hint of yeast. I think I can get a slight whiff of the peppers.

Taste: Pleasant malt flavor (carramel) up front, which gradually gives way to some cinnamon and mild yeast flavors towards the finish. There's a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. It takes a few sips for the chilies to register, but they add a nice, additional dimension to the taste, and gives it a mildly spicy aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite smooth; very mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Strong ABV but little to no alcohol present in the taste.

I quite enjoyed this one - the yeast was quite mild, and the chilies were a nice touch.

Photo of SawDog505
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 20 oz Duvel tulip glass. Pours a wonderful ruby red, with a 3 inch off white head, not much lacing. Different color than I would have expected. Smell in banana, clove, coriander, a little spice from the peppers, and some carmel. Not a huge Belgian fan, but this is really nice. Taste has much more spice, than the smell would lead on. I feel like the nose and taste really match, except the burst of spice in the finish. Makes it seem a little hoppy. I like hot foods, so it doesn't bother me. The booze hides well. Body is on the larger side, but not giant. Good amount of life and approachable for it's abv. This is very interesting, so much tastier than 10/10/10, but just as unique. I expected very little because it isn't my favorite style, it delivered.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a fairly clean dark amber, slightly cherry hue with a good fluffy tan head that dissipates quickly leaving good amounts of lacing.

S: Sweet bready yeast, banana esters and grainy malt - very Belgian smelling, cinnamon sticks, light hop and just a hint of chile and booze.

T: Ah there's the chile - though detectable in the nose, I was hoping for more of a showcase in the flavor and I was not let down. Sweet toasted malt, the banana is there too, midway the booze is detectable but not at all offensive, then the chile lays on thick, balanced perfectly with a more earthy than spicy cinnamon (not at all what I expected when I read this one had cinnamon added) - very subtle and earthy and really compliments the chile well. These guys know what they're doing!

M: On the bigger side of medium-bodied, the carbonation is light and lends perfectly to the style and creaminess of this brew. Someone complained about an oily quality in the mouthfeel, and I agree on the lingering oiliness - which is from the chile, but I really like this aspect. Stone often accomplishes this with oiliness from the hop, but here they've achieved this quality with oil from the chiles added - super bomb!

Overall far from a session beer, but I don't think that was Stone's intention by any means, but as a quality sipper to enjoy from time to time, this one is up there with some of the best.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Fish Bar in a mason jar.

Appearance: The beer has a medium brown color with amber and ruby edges. Quite a large eggshell head sits on top when the beer comes out. I suspect this may have been an overly aggressive pour. The head retains fairly well and leaves a bit of lace down the glass.

Smell: The aroma is kind of strange. I notice cinnamon first, with toasted bread, banana esters, and a fair amount of booze. From the aroma I don't even get a hint of chiles.

Taste: The flavor starts with slightly sweet toasted grains tinged with a bit of caramel. Then it starts to go a bit crazy. Cinnamon is really the dominating flavor here, but it somehow does not mix with the other spices. Cloves and banana notes clash with the malt and cinnamon flavors, and I only get a light sense of the chiles at the end, after the beer has turned into a medicinal ethyl alcohol bomb. I wonder if some time (like a year, a month, and a day?) would heal the distracted flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is the real victim of the brewing process. After seemingly half a sip, my tongue feels covered in some immutable oily coating that is fairly unpleasant. Like most other Stone beers, it is properly carbonated and has a heftiness to the body, which I appreciate. Just a very soft burn in the back of my throat from the chile.

Overall: This is the second beer from Stone I have had recently that has stunned me with how bad it is. I will continue to try everything they make, but I won't be coming back to this beer anytime soon. Overall this is just too much of a disjointed mess.

Photo of ShogoKawada
2.48/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz into Deschutes pint glass.

A- Nice orangey amber on the pour, a sandy tan, almost eggnog head builds and leaves some rather nice lacing on the glass. Foam is dense.

S- The yeast in this one is crazy. Lots of bubblegum, bananas, and all around spicy yeast goodness. You get a nice whiff of the cinnamon and the faintest hint of the peppers.

T- Eh, Wow. I taste the banana-y yeast, it jumps out from the start. The cinnamon is muted, and the chiles provide a mild green note. Alcohol is very present... Spices intermingle, but not really to the benefit of anything. The spicy and the sweet flavors do not mesh, my tongue is confused.

M- What is that? I don't think it's the chile. Cinnamon? Something's leaving a weird feeling in my mouth. OK, the chile shows up in the end too, with a bit of heat. It's got to be the alcohol? I think this one's a bit too boozy for its own good.

O- Did not finish- not even my first glass. Really unappealing flavors. Sorry, Greg, I thought I was going to seriously groove on this one, but it's a head-scratcher.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured an amber color color with good carbonation and a nice white cap

S: Chili upfront with candy, cinnamon and allspice following

T: Cinnamon, allspice, Belgian yeast, a hint at candy, a little booze sting. The chile is light and only appears at the end

M: Medium body, well carbonated

O: Good for the style

Photo of yesferro
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap on 11.12.11 at Flying Saucer in Cordova TN

Poured with barely any head, might have been the way the taps were set up, other then the nitro brews I didn't see any beers with a head on them leaving the bar. Dark red/brown in color.
Smells spicy sweet, not overwhelming but very good.
First sip was awesome, banana and peppers, with a nice burn at the end. I really didn't get any hints of cinnamon at all but the pepper came through nicely. Sadly, I took my time with this brew and about halfway through the glass it became a drag, as it warms up, it loses the heat and becomes too yeasty sweet for me.

We hope to find a bottle of this to age, the store we stopped at was already sold out, I think this beer will age nicely, it's already nicely balanced but I'd love to see what happens when the peppers mellow out.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
2.99/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish Belgian cooler.

The smell was the worst part of the beer. ALL I could pick up was a kind of green bell pepper smell which was a little off putting.

The taste was a little better. I didn't pick up any cinnamon but a good amount of pepper (no heat just flavor), slight spice, and some banana from the yeast.

This beer paired pretty damn well with the eggplant and potato pizzas I had with it so I will give it credit for having amazing pairing potential. But on it's own it didn't hit the spot for me. Maybe a year or two on it so the flavors can blend but I'm not sure I'll give it a second chance.

Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Red ale poured into a pint glass. Small foamy white head forms but doesn't have great retention. Fine ring stays alive and some spots of lace form on the glass.

S- Unique aroma with a smoky, spicy, earthy cinnamon and hot pepper feel. Definitely a bit of caramelized sugar. Some Belgian spice and dark fruit.

T- Belgian yeast becomes way too strong here and gives off a medicinal dark fruit and spice feel. The peppers and cinnamon are very nice, earthy and flavorful.

MF- Creamy moderately thick body with nice smooth carbonation. Not all that spicy and somewhat warm and bitter.

Hard to drink a ton of this due to the extreme strong flavors. The Belgian yeast really hurts this one because the peppers are fresh and nicely done. Will re-review in another 1yr1mo1day.

UPDATE: 02/02/2013.

T- Chili pepper stands out nicely still, really like fresh cut vegetables. Herbal, spicy, dark fruit, cinnamon and some clove banana.

Scored: 3.75, 4, 4, 4, 4

Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, the last Vertical Epic release before the big day, the last one to have any aging on it,

A: Pours a deep amber to red with a full off-white head, with good retention and lace.

S: Clear chile nose, reminds me of fajitas.

T: Nice malt flavour, noticable cinnamon, but the chiles come in early and take over. They work well with the base beer and allow some fruitiness to come in at the finish.

M: Full-bodied, creamy, nice long aftertaste with a bit of heat. Not the hottest beer I've had for sure, capsaicin-wise.

O: Another quality Vertical Epic, I will certainly be interested in seeing how much heat is left when I open this exactly 13 months to the day today.

December 2012 Edit - Still has a lot of chiles in the nose. Much more subtle overall in it's flavour. Very soft and delicate. A nice drink, but I believe it was better fresh.

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,504 ratings.