Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic AleStone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

477 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 477
Hads: 1,504
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.28%
Wants: 41
Gots: 449 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JAramini on 11-10-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics and twists & turns as the adventure unfolds. These bottle-conditioned ales are specifically designed to be aged until sometime after December 12th, 2012. Provided you can wait that long. At that time, enjoy them in a "vertical" tasting. Each one unique to it's year of release. Each with its own "twist & turn" in the plotline. Each one released one year, one month and one day from the previous year's edition. To remind you, the remaining dates are: 12.12.12
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 477 | Hads: 1,504
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 Kranders
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (292 characters)

Photo of yesferro
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (823 characters)

Photo of paperbackfoster
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass.

A - A big, bold pour. Dark bronzed amber fills the glass with clouds of carbonation, storming up to a full three finger head that recedes to two fingers, then one, becoming more solid. Very little lingering body carbonation, but the head is solid and sticky.

S - It comes off like the usual big malt beer. Slight hints of caramel over heavy bread notes. The smell is full and round. As the scent deepens, it throws off the clove hints of a tripel as well as the yeasty touches of a sour brown.

T - First, I'll say that the aroma is not at all representative of the taste. It hits like a big, bready malt beer, yes, but the flavor is entirely different. The key players, as Stone admits, are anaheim chiles and cinnamon. The two are concurrently opposed and married. Chili notes are certainly more savory than they are heat, a noted difference from many chili beers. It plays off as a sweet yet dark bite. The cinnamon rides in with the malt to enhance the dark bread characteristics. The two combine into a sweet rye dynamic. It's a peppery, earthy character that may not be entirely balanced, but I like that you can pay attention to and evaluate either side. It's definitely the rare strong ale that could compliment a meal. I could see this going with a lot of red meat dishes, roasts, or even standing its own against comparable mole or other bitter spiced dishes.

M - For what it is, it's both too thick and too thin. The body carbonation doesn't balance out the fullness, but the flavor doesn't merit such thickness.

Overall - I think this one's worth a try, and I'd be interested in buying another 22oz to store until next year. The combination of notes from a chili beer, an amber, and a brown/warmer into a single brew is a unique idea that's not altogether a bad one. It's just a tough one to pull off. It's a complex flavor that may just have too many players competing at once. (1,944 characters)

Photo of madeofsteel
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one a few weeks ago, and it didn't seem right cracking it for no good reason, so why not Turkey Day?

A - Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip, the bottling date is readily apparent. Pours a deep, deep red, easily mistaken for some brown, but it's definitely dark ruby red. Two fingers of tan head dissipate quickly, leaving some lacing.

S - Sweet malts and cinnamon are up front, with just slight hoppiness in the back.

T - The hops are a lot more noticeable in the initial taste, more than the smell, but the malts are not to be ignored, with a definite caramel taste. Chilies are present, but not in the way you might think. More in the flavor than heat, and the cinnamon is just there enough to bring it all into focus. Pretty sweet for a chile style.

M - Sweet, dry finish with some noticeable alcohol burn. None of the stuff you'd expect from the chilies.

O - I expected a lot more heat from this beer, but it makes up for it with character and flavor. Certainly worth a turn of the head while it's still around. (1,037 characters)

Photo of jkanavel
4.84/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slight haze, orange with a touch of a brown. Soft pillowy head reminiscent of Duvel's.

S: Hops and more hops, spicy, citrusy, grassy, barnyardy, all kinds of hoppy aromas here. A good dose of fruity yeast as well.

T: GRAPEFRUIT BOMB! Amazing delicacy. Soft and sweet, hops on hops, but not bitter. I guess they really dry hopped this one, because the hops are almost all aroma hops.
There is a good back note of candy sugar sweetness and smooth malt.

M: Smooth, full bodied, effervescent, crisp.

O: This is just about perfect to me. That is all. (557 characters)

Photo of zep9865
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium snifter with 1/8 inch of white/tan foam head that leaves patchy lacing

Love that i can detect the chile on the nose of this beer. Smells like a fresh cut jalapeno along with brown sugar and cinnamon. Slightly figgish as well.

Beer is surprisingly sweet from the get-go with more carmelized sugar than i wanted. I was hoping for a sharp cinnamon sting to complement the chile. The pepper is presented, fortunetly. Tastes like the smell. Love the jalapeno feel.

The beer is so sweet up front that it doesn't allow you to enjoy the transition into the chile.

This beer had some good flavor, but the malt took over more than it should have. It would be better off having a lighter body and letting the chile take over (741 characters)

Photo of suncrust
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured to a tulip glass, sipped on 11.11.11.

A- Ruby strawberry and dark brown in color. Very light, toasted marshmallow head with medium carbonation.

S- Dominant belgian yeast with cinnamon buried beneath the bread-like belgian tones. Dried banana, and a slight sourness at first, some raisin and darker fruits.

T- Tasty dark belgian notes, with hints of dark fruits and dark breads. Rye and a slight spice on the tongue, maybe a little clove. Cinnamon is there just enough to balance the sweetness of the dark fruit characteristics. Almost has a light cinnamon toast sort of taste and texture as it gets warmer. Chilies are modestly blended back, but can be felt in the throat on the aftertaste, adding flavor and interesting drinkability. Very minimal heat, but a really nice balance to the other flavors overall.

MF- I get a spicy (cinnamon) bubblegum sort of mouthfeel and sweetness. Coats the mouth nicely with some activity on the tongue. At times, reminds me of a really sour piece of sourdough toast….

O- Enjoyable, with engaging complexities and an interesting flavor profile. Really just more of an intriguing beer that offers a lot to the palate with each sip and as the temperature changes. Stone did a nice job of balancing the ingredients to make this compelling. (1,298 characters)

Photo of loving44
2.31/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured milk chocolate brown with a tan head.

S: The aroma is a strange combination of fruity Belgian yeast, banana, toast, and a light, earthy pepper aroma. Mixed together it's kind of weird.

T: unbalanced, chili pepper up front, with a syrupy cinnamon aftertaste. Didn't like it at all. I would assume that with some age the flavors would meld a little better, but who knows.

M: decent mouth feel, medium-heavy body.

Overall: didn't like it, and I don't want to go though the effort to age this. (501 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 AdamMY
4.26/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is nice, with a thick tan head that does not lace much, but what is really interesting is while the primary color of the beer is brown, its got a rather interesting red hue to it.

Aroma is subdued, I have tried to let it warm up slightly, but what is there is very interesting, an abudnance of cinnamon, and a touch of the chili peppers. It sort of reminds me of a fresh baked bread with peppers mixed in, and the aroma is quite sweet.

Taste is spectacular, the cinnamon is very present coming accross as almost chocolately, the peppers are there but not really spicy, but adding a nice flavor profile. Taste is incredibly well defined and robust but mostly consists of those notes.

Mouth feel is nice, coats nicely.

Overall an incredibly enjoyable beer! (773 characters)

Photo of HopsYeast
4.57/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a-pours a cloudy copper color with no noticeable sediment. has a 1 finger almost milky coffee color head that retains well

s-sugary cinnamon and honey. very very subtle aroma of malt and hot peppers as well. vanilla, alcohol, has a fresh smell as well like being in a garden.

t-wow! initial flavor burst like you are eating a hot pepper but then the heat doesnt follow. subtle hints of honey, cinnamon, black pepper, alcohol warmth but not too much, some sticky maltiness that remains on tongue after ingesting it.

m-nice but the level of carbonation is the slightest bit too high for me to really say its perfect. med to med/heavy body goes well with the flavors.

o-this is another beer that fits into the "like nothing ive ever tried before" category. so unique and complex that i like it for that factor alone. but on top of that it is very tasty too makes it a delight. this is a perfect beer to pair with food. i mainly like it and rate it so high due to its uniqueness. stone pulled off a very interesting beer here that is enjoyable as well. (1,055 characters)

Photo of Mattys21
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really like this beer for what it was...haven't tried too many chili beers, but this was just enough that the chili didn't over power the beer.
There was a slight sweetness to the beer to that I thought complimented the spices nicely.
mouthfeel was a fairly nice coating of caramel notes and finish was sticky.

overall a solid beer and i'm glad I had it. (356 characters)

Photo of oN3xM
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown color that matches the bottle it came out of. A light head that dissipates quickly.
S - A very sweet aroma. Lots of fruity banana characteristics with a blend of clove. The cinnamon and spices hit the nose at the back of sniff.
T - Take the first sip and a sweet banana and clove mixture slams the palate. Following that is a spicy, dry flavor that settles during the aftertaste. Great taste.
M - Average amounts of carbonation. It was thicker than expected and really coats the throat after drinking. A little bit of an alcohol burn.
O - This was my first of the Stone Vertical Epic series, and I'm really impressed. I've read plenty of reviews that this edition didn't stand up to the others, and if that's true, then I can't wait to find/trade others in the series. It's sweetness and slight spicy characteristics make for a great pale ale. (858 characters)

Photo of JAramini
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle calls it a "non-sequitur" of a beer, and thus it was difficult to categorize. It's brewed with a Belgian Flanders ale yeast with cinnamon and Anaheim chilis. So is it a Belgian ale? A chile beer? A spiced beer? It's all of the above, and somehow all of those things actually work together.

The bottle says the yeast should present banana and clove favors, and it does. The cinnamon and chiles are also present.

Banana and chile are the two most dominant favors to my palate with banana up front and chile in the middle and finish. The chile is noticeable though not overly spicy.

Really, it seems like it should be a mess, but it's delicious,

It's a nice garnet color, thick frothy tan head that fades quickly, in the nose I pick up spice and alcohol, but the booziness doesn't carry over to the taste. Mouthfeel is rich but not heavy.

I really like this. One of the better entries in the Vertical Epic series. Serious credit for taking a bunch of favors that don't seem like they should go together and making them work harmoniously. I'll definitely be getting more while it's on shelves. (1,106 characters)

Photo of smerrell
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is mahogany with a long lasting head. The smell is malty and sweet.unlike many other chili beers that I have had before, the roasted flavors of the chili is what comes out, and (thankfully) not the heat. The Cinnamon is present and adds a nice dimension to this beer. I need to pick up a few more before they disappear - some for now, and some for next year.

EDIT 11/12/2012

served chilled in a snifter, after storing for a year in my fridge

A: a deep amber/mahogany with a slight yellow head

S: Very fragrant - floral and sweet smelling

T: I taste a lot of the fruitiness of the Anaheim chili, and strong cinnamon notes. The finish is bitter and dry.

M: this is well-carbonated, which helps the finish to dissipate quickly.

O: I enjoyed this beer fresh a year ago, and I like it now, however I wouldn't want to drink more than one in an evening. It's nice for something different, but I wouldn't want a ton of it. I find myself pleasantly surprised a the absence of chili heat, which has ruined other chili beers for me in the past. I am happy that I stored a few bottle s of this one, and I still recommend it. (1,134 characters)

Photo of ChadC12
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had it on tap in a tulip. At first sight it was a dark reddish tone, almost amber/carmel color.

There was almost no head that quickly disappeared.

I love the taste, the chile is more move a taste then the cinnamon but still caught just a hint of it.

It finished nicely, very easy to drink. I enjoyed every last drop! (321 characters)

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

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

S - Hops smelled pretty good.

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

M - Good mouth feel.

O - I'll admit I am not a hop fan. Aging may have helped this beer better. (278 characters)

Photo of PatriotsRule
4.79/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly an epic. This is not exaggeration.
A: Nice and cloudy, almost a blood red. Yellowish head, medium lacing with good carbonation
S: Chilies and cloves. Fruity bready hoppy roasted malt with a hint of smoke
T: Chilies and hops. Citrus and something bright...
M: Nice yeast activity, very smooth and flavorful with ample aftertaste. A tiny bit o' alcohol
O: For this to be 9.4% it is absolutely beyond drinkable. Super interesting flavors, I mean really uncommon tasting beverage for a beer. It is soothingly spicy, and, well, wowing. Hoping to pick up a bottle of the 12.12.12 fresh hop monster as soon as an east coaster possibly can! (642 characters)

Photo of 20ozmonkey
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone 15th anniversary glass. The distributor for San Francisco took a while to get this one and I'm glad that they were finally able to get it.

Colors is dark dark amber that is very clear and much more red when held up to light. The head is small and coarse.

I've been excited for this beer because I grew up in New Mexico and am fond of the green chiles that they used in this beer. You can smell definitely smell them in the beer and it mixes interesting with the apricot and clove smells of the belgian part of the beer. I smell only a bit of cinnamon.

Up front you get the taste of the chile with the cinnamon coming up right after. I'm glad the flavor of the cinnamon isn't more overpowering than the chile and it's more of a subtle flavor. There is a lasting bite from the chiles that is much more pleasant (I think) than other chile beers like the Rogue one.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonation and medium bodied.

Straight 4's across the board. I thought this would wind up being a "good idea, decent beer, but not great" kind of thing, but I was pleasantly surprised with it. Gonna have to get a couple more bottles to hold on to. (1,174 characters)

Photo of pleasewearpants
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (583 characters)

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

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

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

Photo of Fadefury
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - 1 1/2 to 2 inch head with a amber/dark brown body

Smell - Very fruity, with hints of cinnamon(I think?)

Taste - The taste is nothing like the smell. Not even close. I had this beer with spicy/hot wings, and I'd imagine it truly helped with this beer. Very strong and I could not taste any of what I thought I could smell, i.e. the banana and cinnamon spice.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation, and very thin

Overall - Would only drink with the right meal in front of me. No way would I drink this by itself again. Too strong, and far to bitter for my taste. The beer smelled and looked great, but ended up being nothing spectacular after that.

Serving type: on-tap (678 characters)

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

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

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

Photo of BerlinBomber
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have now had this on tap an in the bottle and regardless of how it is served I think it is a great beer

I love anything spicy the hotter the better so it only seemed natural to combine my love for spicy with my love for beer

This is certainly not a beer for the mainstream, but for those out there who like to try new things you certainly need to try this

Obviuosly not your standard Belgian Pale Ale so if that is what you crave have a Blue Moon otherwise sit back pop the top off a 22 oz. bomber of this and enjoy (520 characters)

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