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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BA SCORE
85
very good

1,479 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,479
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 41
Gots: 437 | FT: 21
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:
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 added by: JAramini on 11-10-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,479 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bizarre. I kinda wish I could leave the review at that but there's a character limit. There's something of a very tangy fruitcake going on here. The hop character is resinous. Piney cinnamon sticks comes to mind. Green chili flavor is easy to find in the chaos. Belgian yeast is another strong verse in this beer song. There's quite a bit of clanging and bashing going on in the tune but it's strangely compelling.
Not about to have a case of this while watching a football game but perhaps would suit to study an abstract painting.

Photo of chefduff2
2/5  rDev -46.8%

Photo of sansho
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of TubaDan
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of scootny
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love chilis. I love cinnamon. This beer is right up my alley. Nice thick dense head atop a dark for a BSPA fluid. Chestnut colored really. A bit of haze and bits if stuff in suspension. Smell has some lighter malt aromas mixed with some roastier notes and a hint of the chili pepper. A cinnamon undercurrent. Light yeast funk and and dark fruits along with mild toffee notes. Taste follows the nose with layers of sophisticated brewing flavors. Toffee malt front with light pearle malt and sweetness. Mild dark fruitiness. Cinnamon is well folded into the overall construct, acting like a flavor enhancer to both the malt and hops. Chilis also flow throughout and bring out lovely nuances. Finish is clean and dry with faint alcohol and a chili flourish in the back of the mouth. Chilis bring out an astringent hop bitterness that gives good pucker. Light bready malt lingering with dry hops and grainy notes. Feel is creamy and supple with a lovely medium weight that is so close to the next level up. This is just a great beer, super drinkable and delicious with a unique character that makes me want to stock up mass quantities. It has replaced the 090909 as my favorite VE. Great job Stone!

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of midlifec
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a tulip glass that left good lacing throughout. the body was a clear copper color. beautiful beer.
s - roast and chocolate with a hint of belgian yeast.
t - bready and chocolate with a slightly spicy finish.
m - big and chewy.
o - i remember enjoying this one at a VE tasting but being able to drink this much of it was great.

Photo of ksimons
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-a clear ruby chestnut color with two fingers worth of light tan head that sticks to the glass

S-rich malt, spicy chillies, fruity sweetness, and a bit of alcohol.

T-the taste has a bigger spice kick to it than the smell suggested. Here the cinnamon and chillies really come to play with the bready malts and sweet fruit. Things then finish with light bitter hops. Booze is there but not too overpowering. An odd combination that seems to work.

M-medium body, medium carbonation, slight dry finish

Overall this is definitely a different beer that probably isn't for everyone. I enjoyed the different flavor combination and thought it was pretty drinkable.

Photo of blabaer
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of standardcherry
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of curlybird
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of BostonHops
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a coppery, deep amber tone with ruby highlights while yielding a relatively short lived finger and a half beige head. the head leaves a little to be desired but still a beautiful looking beer. nice, aromatic nose offers clear notes of cinnamon and chiles along with a strong belgian yeast presence. secondary notes of banana and clove.

flavor is interesting. my first impulse is that i don't think it's for me, but after a few sips i seem to warm up to it more. more or less follows the aroma: chilies, cinnamon, banana, Belgian yeast... definitely a lot going on. a bit medicinal. medium-bodied on the palate with average carbonation.

overall i think it's a unique and relatively tasty beer. not out-of-this-world delicious but a nice change of pace.

(originally reviewed: 11-13-2011)

Photo of sparx1100
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Jadjunk
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Summits' Wayside Tavern Snellville. Reviewed from notes.

16 oz $7.99

(Appearance) Served with a light cream head of a thick cream foam. Retention is average. Color is a medium brown, with a lot of copper red accents. Appearance is lighter looking than I had expected but still decent. 3

(Smell) sweet aromatics, vanilla, caramel and a hint of chiles. Aroma certainly leans to the sweet side. Potency is a medium. the sweet aroma really overshadows much else this beer might have to offer. 3.5

(Taste) tart bitter spice and cinnamon malt flavors finishing with a sharp chile pepper taste. Pretty alarming in intensity overall, and most Flavors overdone throughout. There's a ton of confusion to this beer. sure, theres tons of flavor but without balance its nothing short of a muddled mess. Not really Stone's finest hour. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Slightly Prickly with medium carbonation. Low alcohol presence. Medium body. Decent pairing for what the taste goes for. 3.5

(Overall) Bizarre Flavors make for a really hit-or-miss beer. It finds such a niche market that I really don't feel iT is worth seeking out by most craft beer lovers. In the end I find it to be average at best and won't seek it out again. 3

Photo of jarrgal
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of litheum94
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Whole Foods.

Copper body with some darker edges. A tan head sits on top and settles out to a thin cover. Leaves some nice lacing.

Strong, pepperchini aromas, slightly briny. Some cinnamon spice and a little chocolate. Earthy Belgian yeast.

Lots of sweet chili, with some lemon tones. More salty, briny flavors. Light spicing. Earthy and sweet with some Belgian candi.

Very interesting, and not as vile as it sounds. A unique beer, and enjoyable.

Photo of Pahn
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch frothy offwhite head that dissipates steadily leaving a thick ring of dish-soap-bubbly lacing. Pours a semi-translucent dark ruby and leaves little subsequent lacing.

Smell: In the bottle, it smells like a generic Belgian golden ale. In the glass... ha, coffee cake. Straight coffee cake and nothing else at first. Cinnamon and sugar, what? Some sweet malt and bubblegum come out shortly.

Later, a strong chile note emerges. I love chiles.

Taste: First sip, very mild pepper heat, bland BSPA with bubblegum and Belgian yeast, leading to a sugary finish. Not great.

Second sip has a huge and distinct chile flavor, highlighted with cinnamon through to the malty, sugary, Belgian yeasty finish. Okay, I get it... it works. They were going for a blend of Mexican and Belgian flavors, and this is a clear success.

Further sips reinforce this impression. Great chili note (how did they get so much distinct pepper flavor into the beer? It's great), some cinnamon and sugar, then some Belgian yeast and mild malt.

The experiment is successful, with the great, dark, savory pepper flavor really working well with the spice and base beer... but it's hard to look past the relative blandness of the base beer. I've had a lot of BSPAs/Belgian golden ales in my time (there was a time when I was never without a bottle of La Chouffe on hand), and this is a really weak example. Sure, the chile is the star, but the BSPA is a tease.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Good carbonation (a bit high), overly sugary finish.

Overall: Given the high standard set by Stone's other "out there" beers and other Vertical Epics, this one is a miss. Yeah, the pepper tastes great, and it balances with the other elements, but Stone is the master of balancing bold against bold. A BSPA *should* be bold, at least in its complexity or the extent to which you taste the various ingredients. The base beer here is a far cry from that kind of boldness.

In other words, if not for the addition of chiles, this is around a C- to C beer. I want to grade it a bit higher than I am due to my love of chiles and how impressed I am that they could pack such a flavor into a beer... but I can't overlook the downsides--especially knowing that if anyone could get such a pronounced chili flavor and pair it with a brilliantly-brewed-in-its-own-right BSPA, it's Stone.

Still, an interesting and enjoyable beer.

Photo of Kromes
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy light brown with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: Belgian yeast,cinammon, and candi sugar, alcohol.

T: Sweet roasted malts are mixed with a cinammon and alcohol flavor. There is a Belgian funk and a grassy hop in the background. The finish is warm with a little spice from the pepper and alcohol.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Spice in the finish.

O: Flavors are a little strong right now. I would like to try this again when it mellows out a bit.

Photo of Horbar
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of mithrascruor
4.25/5  rDev +13%
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 dagubna
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of dcloeren
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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

Photo of Gosox8787
4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,479 ratings.