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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,487 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,487
Reviews: 476
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 41
Gots: 438 | 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:
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: 1,487 | Reviews: 476 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TubaDan
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

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

Photo of standardcherry
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of leroybrown10
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of BostonHops
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
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 Pahn
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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 dcloeren
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
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 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 Giggy
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Kromes
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
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 BlurryVisi0n
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass. Vintage 2011 bottle served 12/28/2012.

Appearance: A deep amber, heavy bubbles on the body when you place it against the light. Orange tinted white head about a notch under a finger's length settling just a bit with even lacing.

Smell: At first sniff you will think this beer deserves more than a four in actuality because of how quick it let's go it basically average. A light yeast/bread scent. I like beers to have deep smell and this one lacks it. Light malts and yeast, VERY light.

Taste: This brew what it lacks in scent it truly makes up for it in taste. Drinking it and then I had realize via website that it is a BSPA is a conflict. It is something special in it's own way. Part IPA, part stout part BPA. It has yeast-chocolate paired with strong bitterness.

Mouth: Though not the smoothest it is well defined. It has a stickiness to it that you will not forget. Medium maybe light carbonation unique bitterness in the end that is priceless.

Overall: Very good...not because I say but because it is. I was fortunate to find a 2011 batch at my local distributor. Thank you Neal and Mike at Superstar Beverage, as this beer is coming to an end; blessing in a glass. Salud!

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 jsurfs82
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Gosox8787
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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

Poured into my tulip glass. This beer pours a hazy, cloudy, deep amber mahogany brownish red color with a nice fluffy slightly tan colored head about an inch thick when poured. Settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass and pretty good lacing. Aromas of spices such as cinnamon, grains of paradise and clove among others, dark fruits such as apple, a hint of plum, grape, banana, and a bit of hops. Interesting and complex, flavor, especially as the beer warms. It starts out with a slightly sweet and slightly roasted caramel malt flavor that immediately gives way to the aforementioned fruits and spices, that is rounded out with a touch of citrus hop bitterness. There is also a slight hint of salt and vinegar. This beer certainly does, in at least some degree, have a nice Merlot red wine like quality to it too. A very unique beer indeed. Has a crisp, medium to full bodied, dry mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. A slow sipper to be sure. To quote my friend Erich Lasher, who is one of the owners and bartenders at a favorite local bar of mine called La Cave Du Vin, "This beer...its weird!" Yes it is Erich, yes it is! In a good way too. I am quite curious to see what some agine does to the bottle I have in by cellar.

Eric

Photo of patm1986
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of alamode
5/5  rDev +33%

Photo of samie85
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Photo of Pecan
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of Murrhey
3.34/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of korguy123
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
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

Photo of kevanb
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a nice dark amber color, more like burgundy as there are lots of brown hues in this beer. It has a nice finger of off white head that’s somewhat foamy but more softer and more cloudlike than soapy. It smells really great, strong roasted peppers with a nice blend of both cinnamon and some darker fruits like cherries or plums that are more tart than sweet as the sweetness definitely comes from the cinnamon. The Anaheim pepper flavors smack your mouth before the beer even gets to your tongue, definitely enjoyed breathing the flavor in. The peppers are definitely the dominant flavor but the cinnamon is done really well, it’s subtle and compliments the peppers but more importantly it adds another layer of depth as it brings forward some sweeter flavors that remind me of spiced banana bread. The most impressive aspect of the beer is how long the roasted pepper flavor lingers on your tongue, it’s a really nice smokey and spicy element that I found highly enjoyable. The body is really great, nice and big without being too full and chewy.

Verdict: This is a really impressive beer. Most chili pepper beers or spicy beers I’ve tried like the Rogue Chipotle Ale are very one dimensional and more of a gimmick beer. This is a really well crafted Belgian style that utilizes some bold and unique flavors, a Stone hallmark.

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,487 ratings.