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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.

478 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 478
Hads: 1,508
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 29.41%
Wants: 42
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 478 | Hads: 1,508
Photo of sweemzander
2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a taster. Thanks yet again Chris!

(A)- Pours a hazy mahogany color. Some minimal white froth and lacing.

(S)- An up front blast of chili pepper. Subtle bits of biscuit and raisin.

(T)- A brighter amber malt profile with plenty of the chili pepper from the smell.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Some subtle caramel sweetness in the background, but it seems to me that the chili pepper has sort of become the dominate spice in this.

(O)- The chili pepper is prevalent, but is at least somewhat balanced out by the underlying sweetness this still has. Overall, though, I think this might be my least favorite of the whole vertical despite it being one of the freshest. As a whole, it just feels like a mish mash of randomness.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Well the latest reviews are a big let down that this beer hasn't aged well for the past two years. Still I managed to obtain a bottle for 7 bucks at the Beermuda in Lower Burrell.

A - Rocking 1/2 inch of opaque colored head means carbonation held up well. Beer is a dark murky amber brown.
S - Smell is very mild with pepper spice, cinnamon, fruity esters, and a touch of sweet malts.
T - Starts off innocently enough. Fruity flavors and mild cinnamon but then the peppers kick in. It's really not spicy but it doesn't clash with the dry Belgium yeast making it bitter and dry. The finish also hounds the hops which I assume have an impact of the bitter. The flavors do meld away so its not terrible just less than interesting.
M - Well the body is great very medium with just a touch of carbonation. Easily drinkable like other stone beers.

Overall sucks that the flavors in this really have gone down hill. Looking at the review it was never really great but now it's even less than that. Don't pick up a bottle if you see it. It's beyond it's prime.

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Photo of avalon07
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Very little lacing.

S: An interesting aroma of chilis, hops, malt, and some yeast.

T: Tasted of chilis, some yeast, hops, malt coriander, cinnamon, and some other spices. This beer was a bit on the thin side, especially in the finish. Definitely an uneven flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: I was not as much a fan of this beer as I was with the other Vertical Epics I've tried. It's a very uneven brew.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, split

appearance: served in hopleaf tulip - garnet body, dark cream head - wouldnt have pegged this as a BSPA

smell: spice, yeast, cinnamon, pepper, fruity esters

taste: the vertical series was once such an exciting concept - hell i'm sitting on every vintage from 2003 to 2011, but i'm not even sure why anymore. none of them have been particularly outstanding and December 2012 is shaping out to be a pretty bad month for beer drinking if i have to kill all these things. But i digress - i really dont have any issue with this beer, its just kind of boring. Beer brewed with anaheim chiles and lots of spice, shouldnt be boring, but it is. muddied belgian yeast flavors, cinnamon, spice from the pepper.

mouthfeel: medium, rich

overall: somewhere along the line, Stone became DFH 2.0, and unfortunately innovation doesnt always taste great.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
9.4% ABV, Limited Release, Age at cellar temp 55°F or below.

Thanks to Sweemzander for bringing two of these bottles up from the flatlands for me!

A - 11.11.11 pours a gorgeous rusty brown in color with stunning clarity and a bold, tall off-white head. Thick wispy lace remains caked to the glass in the pile's wake.

S - Cinnamon overtones pop out immediately and are followed by a pinch of the chili addition in the background. Spice notes aplenty, 11.11.11 has strong Belgian yeast characteristics coming through with a bit of grainy pale malt.

T - Strong cinnamon is in the foreground again, now followed by pale and amber malt, toasted biscuit, and a Belgian yeast finish full of robust spice esters. I find the chilies add little flavor but rather a nice, mellow heat to the finish.

M - Fully carbonated and medium-light in body, 11.11.11 is spicy from all angles here; cinnamon additions, Belgian yeast esters, and heat from the chilies. Not hot though, this one finishes just right.

O - A near perfect pairing with some day-old spicy chili, the two biggy-back off each other in a strangely complimentary way. One helluva unique brew, Stone's 11.11.11 Vertical Epic is different but not just different to be so. It works!

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Photo of xnicknj
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a fairly clear amber color with some reddish hues. Thinner beige head fades out leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Some spicy notes in the nose with a light caramel sweetness. The chilies and cinnamon pretty much dominate here.

Somewhat sweet and spicy up front with a kick from the cinnamon. Light caramel and bready notes towards the middle with some yeasty funk. Finishes with some residual heat from the chilies.

Medium body, decent carbonation, warm on the tongue and throat from the chilies. This felt pretty one note to me. Yeah, I got the cinnamon and chilies, which was kind of cool, but not a whole lot else.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a chalice

Pours a pretty mahogany with a firm ecru cap. Some lines and dots of lace here and there. The aroma is of chilies, cinnamon, candi sugar, booze and some raisins/figs. The flavor profile is similar to the nose. The flavors come in waves. Cinnamon and chilies up front, then sugary fruit and then some Stone belgo-yeast notes before booze and bittering earthy/piney hops take over on the finish. The feel is medium with mild carbonation. A little sugar and booze cut through the smoothness. I get more heat from the booze than the chilies. The latter being much more complimentary than I anticipated.

This is a nice BSPA. It does everything well.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

the pour is transparent burgundy red with little tan colored head. Nose is medicinal, cherry, light mint and overly sweet. Flavor is too sweet and medicinal with notes of cherry and mint with a bandaid finish. Body is syrupy and heavy with a low carb. ouch!

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Photo of champ103
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A two finger beige head forms with very good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: At first, kind of a slick and soapy hops aroma. That quickly fades to caramel, raisins, and peppery heat. Not bad, it just does not mesh well with me.
T: A large sweetness. Burnt caramel, plenty of raisins, and heat. Both from the peppers and alcohol. Hum...interesting to say the least. Just off and odd.
M/D: A medium to full body. Slick and oily. Fairly smooth as well. The heat and odd mesh of flavors makes this a little harder to drink than I would like. I probably will not finish the bottle.

Interesting, but I really don't care to drink very much of this. I would of much rather had about a 4-5 oz taste. A full bomber is just to much to enjoy.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours a clear crimson color with very little retention or lace on the tan foam.

Nose is both chipotle and green chile with a dose of caramel and green apples. Muy interesante...

Taste throws enough chiles out there to make it a definite chile beer but does not really have any heat to it. Tastes like a souped up amber with some various chili additions. ABV might be a bit higher necessary, but overall this was pretty tasty. Half a bomber was just about the right amount for me. Would not buy again, but was certainly worth a go. I dont think this will age well, however, for those who are saving the various vertical epics.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with a 1/2 inch head that isn't very prone to retaining before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a patch of bubbly surface foam. Above average lacing.

S- Smells very glassy and metallic with some ambiguous spice and malt in the back.

T- Ok, starting to understand now. The cinnamon plays a huge role in the flavor upfront as the capsaicin burn from the chilies follows shortly thereafter. The aftertaste is one of dark fruit and rich Belgian yeast. Quite a nice combination.

M- Soft and somewhat chalky from the cinnamon and yeast. Medium-low carbonation.

O- What a beer. Stone may always be radical but it can be hit-and-miss. This, however, is a hit. The aroma is somewhat lacking but the beer is quite good as a whole.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from the Stone event at The Attic last night...

This one's coming off the tap. The color is an amber-red with a tannish-red head that displays good retention trailing some nice lacing well down the glass.
This aroma offfers a bit of heat, some from aldohol and some from something else, with a bit of a (not oddly) vegetal element. There's a sweetness to it with some Belgian character, though it's not terribly obvious or outright. I shared this with someone who doesn't like Belgians and they didn't mind this. The candied sugars and light bubble gum are vaguely present but, again, not obvious. I had the smoked chipotle porter after I had this, but I swear there was a little bit of wood/smoke to it. Also, I know they're different styles, but my wife and I were sharing this one and a Double Bastard together and this beer, with a few distinctions, is almost DB Jr. They share characteristics (and, as I said, a few distinctions), but it's almost like Double Bastard is a more aromatic and flavorful version of this beer (which itself is very good).
Very similar can be said of the flavor, with a malts backbone supporting a light Belgian character and sweetness along with a bit of heat, some wood/smoke, and, of course, a healthy dose of hops that offer a gentle bitterness that balances well.
The body is medium with a moderate carbonation offering both a light crispness and a creamy smooth feel.

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy, ruddy amber with a thin, creamy off-white mousse.

S: Strong aromas of pungent yeast, banana, clove, dark bread, cinnamon, and chiles fill the nose.

T: Bready malt and spicy, pungent yeast notes fill the mouth upon entry. They are followed by flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, banana, caramel, bitter chocolate, and Anaheim chiles. The finish is spicy and rich with cinnamon and clove notes balanced by gentle heat from the chiles and a pungent yeast backbite.

M: Medium in body with a slick, oily texture. Other reviewers have found somewhat active carbonation, but I have yet to notice it. To me, the carbonation seems active upon entry, but comes off as otherwise restrained throughout. Not the most drinkable ale in the world.

O: This ale isn't great, but isn't horrible either. Like the other Vertical Epics, Stone was obviously trying to pack this beer with strong flavors, but went overboard here. As a result, they have ended up with a product that is too esoteric, too bombastic, and too unbalanced to be tremendously appealing. In the end, there are times when a brewery simply tries way too hard to impress its clientele, and that is exactly what Stone did here.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep orange color with a light brown head. In the aroma, spicy and earthy. In the taste, spicy, small dark chocolate and a candy sugar kind of taste. A spice bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice and candy sugar in the aftertaste. Nice representation of chili spice, quite different, but I like it.

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Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
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

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Photo of tavernjef
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark cinnamon brown with a muted glow capped smallishly to about a finger height with a bone white firm foam that slips off slowly leaving large trace amounts of patchy thin sheeting lace across the goblet.

Soft aroma of malty sweetness thats a bit of bright raisin and date, but dullly set, mixing with some duller bread notes. Lots of bell pepper spice shines through as it warms and brings in a bit of layering to its otherwise plainish malty fruity nose.

Taste brings in much more complexity then what the aroma tends to lead on with, as a much more, well defined peppery chili pepper and bell pepper sweet spicyness percolates the front end and slips off into a tender Belgain fruity breadyness of malty soothingness. Cookie spices of vanilla, molasses, cinnamon, and ginger all brim about the edge of some eager fruit bread laced with raisin, starfruit, apricot, and date. What I like most is how it all fits amoungst a firm yet dulled yeastyness that's both earthy dry yet sweetish. Quite a nice taster.

Bold medium body with a wholesome malt backbone promised by earthy dry yeastyness and lots of fun spices mixing about in its malty sweetness.

A wonderful treat of an Ale! Lots of potential for aging with its beefy 9+%. Will be interesting to see what developes as it sits even longer.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at When Pigs Fly in Kittery. In a pint glass the beer was a red/orange/brown color with a small tan head.

Sweet malt and spice aroma. Warming in my nose.

The tastes worked well together. Caramel malt and clove. Chile present, warm, pleasant.

I enjoyed this beer. Nothing over the top, just a nice melange.

Will drink this again.

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Photo of Pencible
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy mahogany with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted barley and nutty malt and bready yeast, with lots of chili pepper, and a little clove and banana and cinnamon.
T: It tasted like banana nut bread and roasted barley, with lots of chili pepper, and a little cinnamon and banana and clove. It had a spicy and bittersweet aftertaste that wasn't very clean.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was an interesting concept that only yielded mediocre results. The scent had a lot of complexity, but none of the elements meshed well. It had a nice flavor with the perfect amount of spiciness, but the aftertaste was harsh and unpleasant. The alcohol was pretty well hidden, but it was still tough to drink due to the poor finish. Probably wouldn't improve with age, but it wouldn't hurt to try since it's not very good fresh.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Pours a nice transparent amber w a thin head. Nose and flavor ate stale cardboard chocolate chili. Stone hints of cinnamon as well not bad, not amazing. Definitely tame in the hat and cinnamon.

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Photo of warnerry
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber with half a finger of light tan head. Head has decent retention before fading to a thin cap.

S - Cinnamon, banana and some candi sugar initially, followed by subtle green chili, a bit of booze and toasted malt.

T - Similar to smell, with quite a bit of clove and a more noticeable chili presence. Definitely not too spicy, but the peppers do add a subtle warmth. Interesting and pretty good overall. The peppers, cinnamon and clove are a bit of an odd combination, but certainly interesting.

M - Medium mouthfeel that is a bit sticky, but finishes dry and bitter.

O - Clearly not an everyday beer, but an interesting and mostly successful experiment.

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Photo of gtermi
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a nice dark amber with a very thick, probably 2-3 finger, head that lasts a long time.

S: There is a lot of clove, banana, some tropical fruit and a little spicy smell.

T: This beer is very tasty. I do get a lot of clove and a little chili on the back of the tongue. I am also getting a good amount of fruitiness.

M: It is very smooth and easy to drink. I love the slight bit of carbonation and has a low amount of crispness.

O: I think this beer would be better with age. It is so tasty and a little time, itll be great. I wish I could get all the other ones let them age till 12.12.12

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Cinnamon and and peppers are well faded, more cinnamon and caramel malt than anything.
Very faint cinnamon in the nose with very little pepper. Medium body, slick mouthfeel.

Uneventful and I should have opened this right after I bought it a few years ago.

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Photo of Gmann
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darkish amber color with a dense khaki colored head that settles into a light cap. Definitely does not look "pale".

The aroma has a sweet candi-sugar aroma. The yeast provide some clove like notes with some flowery perfume. The peppers provide a light vegetal aroma and there is a light hint of the cinnamon. Some metal notes as well.

The taste starts off with a sweet belgian base; candi sugar and clovey yeast, medicinal & perfumey. Some overripe fruit is coupled with a peppery flavor, both vegetal and spicy. Cinnamon come through towards the end. Some hoppy grassiness as well. Not sure if all of the flavors totally work together here. Not sure if it needs the cinnamon.

The feel is moderate with very fizzy carbonation. Zesty on the palate; sweet and spicy with light bitterness. A lot going on, probably too much.

A decent beer that tries to do too much. Needs to be scaled back a bit.

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Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a reddish tint. Two fingers of head forms and settles to a thin film. Large amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma mostly of cinnamon and chile. More subtle hints of pale fruit. The combination is sort of a woodsy, earthy smell.

The mild chiles comes through strongly. Then comes the cinnamon. Not sure it is a combination that really works. The Belgian nature of the beer comes in slowly and weakly. Alcohol is detectable but is not distracting.

On the fuller side of moderate. Nicely carbonated.

I understand these Vertical Epic beers are best to be aged. Not sure what aging would improve in this beer.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a 3/4 pint glass.

A: Clear, bright orange-russet body under a finger of creamy off-white head; ok retention, light lace. Nice.

S: Interesting. Piquant mixture of estery yeast and pepper. Nice and spicy, pleasantly fruity, and mildly alcoholic. Enjoyable.

T: Standardly Belgian-esque up front, with breadiness, apple/pear esters, and some mildly medicinal qualities leading up to a delightful chili finish. I love the spice, and wish it were more prevalent.

M: Solid medium body, moderate carbonation. Simple and pleasant.

O: I wasn't expecting much out of this one based on other reviews, and made a point to try a sample before ordering a glass. While it didn't really blow me away, I found it entirely pleasant. The pepper gave it some great spiciness, but never overpowered the standard Belgiany yeastiness. Enjoyable.


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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 478 ratings.