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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,466 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,466
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 40
Gots: 431 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,466 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Gosox8787, Nov 21, 2011
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

dcloeren, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

DrFunkenstein, Apr 22, 2012
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.

Pahn, Dec 02, 2011
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.

ksimons, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of taospowder
3/5  rDev -20.2%

taospowder, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of samie85
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

samie85, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of chefduff2
2/5  rDev -46.8%

chefduff2, Jan 05, 2013
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)

BostonHops, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two finger off-white head. Deep mahogany color. Ok carbonation. Looks nice, although retention and lacing are fairly weak.

S- Hoppy, floral smells. Strange sort of meatiness to it.

T- Hoppy mouthful. Strange flavor but not at all unpleasant.

M- Full bodied, well carbonated. Bitter linger.

O- Weird beer. Tasty in a strange way.

Murrhey, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of korguy123
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into tulip

A- Slightly hazy brownish/red pour with a three plus finger off white head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Right off the bat you get the peppers; not spicy but a real solid oomph of that pepper goodness. Definite cinnamon afterwords that really compliments the peppers. Candied sugar and a nice yeast spiciness.

T- The peppers add an vegetable earthiness while the cinnamon and candied sugar subdue them. There is the slightest hint of heat from the peppers and not the alcohol. There is a floral finish that coats your tongue momentarily.

M- Medium bodied, nice chew with a quick finish.

O- I honestly think this is probably my favorite of the VE series I've had (07,08,09,10,11) It's the most inventive one as well and it just seems to work well. Going to grab another one of these to enjoy with the 12.12.12

korguy123, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Horbar
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Horbar, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of Buebie
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Plans fell through, liquor stores are closed, this looks tasty.

Poured from the bomber into a pub glass, semi rigorously, producing a billowing head. Head is thick, cakey, leaving a 1 finger dallop of white froth and thick clingy globs of lace.
Color on the brew is pretty red, more so then expected, it looks like a red ale and not a belgo strong.

Aroma is pulling strongly to pumpkin beer, more cinnamon then desired off aroma, but peppers are pulling up alongside, making for an odd aroma combo. Also some good bready caramel aroma too. Hops are blocked out.

Taste starts out sweet and malt driven, heating slowly with peppers and providing an interesting flavor profile. Malt, buttered rolls, cardamom like, and at the swallow is an overwhelming amount of cinnamon that pulls me down into pumpkin beer land.
Mouthfeel is slick, hop oil slick, medium carbonation, great feel overall.

I cant get past the cinnamon, its nagging and excessive and just ruins this beer for me.
Everything else is really good. The peers are terrific and they slowly sneak back up on you after the swallow.
Glad I tried it, but one was enough.

Buebie, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Pecan
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Pecan, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of Budinetz
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Budinetz, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of craftbeerasian
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

craftbeerasian, May 30, 2013
Photo of Lanstrum
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Lanstrum, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of sparx1100
4/5  rDev +6.4%

sparx1100, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of stealth
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad belgian. Dark reddish-orange appearance. Apparently there are chiles in this brew, but I did not pick them up at all, and that disappointed me a bit. Overall, it seemed a bit rough around the edges, but it was an pleasant drink none-the-less. Wish I could have experienced the chile-factor.

stealth, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of therica
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= medium mahogany or deep amber, almost no head, modest rimming.

S= massive; okay big malts, hops, liquor, a lot of other things-- I shut my eyes and focused on nasal impression for a few seconds-- bubblegum?!?!?! Massive bubblegum! Okay try to sort that out into reality-- banana, strawberry, dark cherry, some hops florals, it's a bit confusing but it's a great bouquet. I suppose the bubblegum-type nose I'm getting is from the Belgian yeast.

T= nicely done for a beer in its style, a bit too dark-fruit bland in its balance for my preferences. Some hops bitters, a bit unbalanced for my preferences but again correct for the style. Some banana-strawberry with some rather raw fruit flavors (ie like green fruit stems).

M= A bit on the green and sour side. Slightly bitter in the Belgian style, some malt and fruit notes.

O= I guess I'm not as excited about this Belgian Strong Ale as some are, which surprises me because I do love a great Belgian ale when I'm in the mood.

therica, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of curlybird
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

curlybird, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of Blanco
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Blanco, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of moonknight31
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

moonknight31, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of Roguer
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%

Tons of caramel, cinnamon, toffee, a bit of chile. Really delicious.

Roguer, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of VncentLIFE
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
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).

VncentLIFE, Nov 27, 2011
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,466 ratings.