Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,451 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
4.04/5 rDev +7.4%
Was surprised to see I hadn't reviewed this previously. In any event, I had it on tap at Pacific Coast Brewing during their Vertical Epic event in 2/13.
The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is somewhat unusual, as I pick up honey, cinnamon, sandlewood and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this fairly sweet beer, with the cinnamon and vanilla seeming to dominate. There's a hint of bitterness and heat from the alcohol in the finish, which helps to counter the sweetness somewhat. The beer is otherwise medium bodied, with a fairly long, spice, heat and bitter infused finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overly so.
Definitely an interesting beer at this stage of its life.
03-15-2013 19:21:45 | More by John_M
3.78/5 rDev +0.5%
Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.
An off tan somewhat foamy three finger head is made off the pour, to rest on a dark red copper amber body that is clear and virtually free of any rising carbonation. There is some head retention here but not much, but there is a good bit of staying power also.
Nose is kind of small. A fairly small airy malt, but not much really else. Pleasant, but no hop or chile sense, so we move along. After some sips and drink the nose returns and opens up some brown dry spices (cinnamon, clove) become noticeable, but perhaps because the tasting cycle by now is all complete.
An interesting feel and body, and a slow lingering awakening palate. Body fills with a weak malt, but then subsides on the swallow. Afterfinish brings some almost dry spice sense, then the palate becomes a little dry also. Eventually there is a VERY slow chile burn and then mixes some good bitter hop in the mid palate. EXTREMELY... powdery. Mouthfeel is juicy, and full bodied and rich. Sweetness comes greater and brings a large cinnamon rush after many sips.
Overall the beer gets a little "spicy"-er after some subsequent sips, and brings out the nose more of the chile angle. Noticing the high abv on this it's rather tolerable which is quite impressive. This is not some boozy hot alcohol mess at all, it's very much under control. The most impressive thing with this beer is the more and more I consume it, the better it gets. Nice job.
11-17-2011 03:19:19 | More by smakawhat
3.43/5 rDev -8.8%
A: Fire brick orange pours appears a bright burgundy upon strong backlighting revealing a strong effervesce. A sturdy, bready, khaki colored head sits 2 fingers high with a stubborn rate of retention. Sticky lace coats well on the vessel.
S: The cinnamon sticks really come through on the aroma with sweet toasted malt. The chili not so much. Overall reminds me more of a pumpkin style.
T: Soft chili powder, dry toasted grains and dried apple skins with a subtle alcohol warming open up the flavor. Cinnamon toast, cardamon with a spicy woodsy nature of pine. An unusually combination but actually works well for its wide spectrum of flavors blending rather well.
M: Residual silty maltiness coats the tongue while a backing of active carbonation produces a frothy and creamy texture. A spicy bite of cinnamon and chili laced alcohol comes on the fade.
O: Feels like one part Christmas ale malt and spice wise mixed in with a little pumpkin. Additional heat from the chili will warm you up in a cold setting. A strange twist, but in the end nothing your are going to miss when gone. A try for the curious and notch on the belt for the unordinary beer seeker that has only a average drinkability factor and moderate interest afterwards.
02-24-2012 23:16:34 | More by beerthulhu
3.9/5 rDev +3.7%
Thanks to Hoyt for splitting this bomber with me.
A - ruby amber; thin lacing of red/brown/white head
S - wine, alcohol, grapes, spices, faint peppers
T - caramel, Belgian yeast, clove, peppers, dark fruit, white grapes, alcohol
M - warm, smooth, medium bodied, good carbonation
This is a really solid beer. The flavor is intriguing and complex. I will definitely try to get another bottle of this while they're still around.
04-22-2012 02:24:13 | More by tdm168
3.65/5 rDev -2.9%
Pretty excited to try this one.
A: Pours a deep ruby color with a small, just off-white head on top. Not much retention and spotty lacing. Small bubbles released from the bottom.
S: Certainly get some cinnamon, a little bit of spice, cloves and nutmeg, as well as a little bit of dark fruit. I do get a little bit of chile at the end. The chili aroma intensifies as the beer warms.
T: Bready malt, cinnamon, cloves, and a little bit of chili, but not really as spicy as I was hoping.
M: Medium body and moderate carbonation, surprised it is 9.4%, does not feel that high at all.
O: Pretty decent. Had the chili been a little spicier in the flavor profile I think it would be a real winner for me. Cinnamon was prominent throughout.
11-19-2011 01:41:07 | More by mdaschaf
4.33/5 rDev +15.2%
Glowing scarlet red body. Good clarity. Thin bubbly beige head leaves sparse lace. Wonderful aroma. Thick dubbel like aroma with a nice peppery touch. Nice bready yeastiness and brown sugar as well. The bready yeastiness and cakiness carries over to the palate nicely. The pepper presence is stronger on the tongue than the nose, but it's not too overbearing...to me anyway. Brings a nice little sting to the equation. Candied malt presence as well with just a hint of alchol. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. This pretty good. Quite unique and flavorful.
12-06-2011 05:50:45 | More by Bighuge
3.08/5 rDev -18.1%
Poured out a color that I usually don't associate with a pale ale of any nationality: auburn and brown? A little cloudy looking for a pale ale too. Nice offwhite head on the top, about 3/4" deep. Aroma had me going into the belgian wit place. We're already two qualities in, and neither one makes me think belgian pale ale. Coriander and cardamom have no place in any pale ale.
Taste has some spice flavors, toffee, caramel, cinnamon and a little booze with a hint of citrus throughout. I wasn't the biggest fan of it, but it was seemingly a tad complex. And I've had worse vertical epics to be sure. Couldn't really pick up any chile pepper addition.
Clove keeps coming out more and more as it warmed. Complex stuff, but not really up my alley.
Thanks to Sebastian for bringing this one to the March Madness bottle share. Unfortunately David Hurley, beverage peon at the El Dorado Casino decided to renege on the word of the El Dorado and shut down our bottle share a day early, because it offended his BMC reps that we were having a good time not drinking the $40 to drink all day Bud Light deal. Screw that guy and establishment that supposedly supports craft beer. But thanks to Sebastian for bringing this beer.
04-03-2013 20:43:18 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5 rDev -0.8%
Clear red with a frothy brown/beige cap. Good head retention with quite a bit of clumpy lacing. Nice aroma, banana fruitiness with some apple and clove, spicy and bready, mild alcohol and yeast. Sweet throughout, kind of sugary and fruity with caramel holding it all together. Bitterness up front, but this gave way to mild peppery heat towards the end, which was nicely balanced. Full bodied with moderate to low carbonation, a bit sticky with some alcohol warmth. Overall, I enjoyed it.
12-09-2011 01:41:24 | More by DrJay
3.33/5 rDev -11.4%
Had this the other night at Bier Thirty... This review is from a bottle. Poured into my Delerium goblet... 2 finger tan head... the brew is clear deep amber... nice lacing.
Big spiciness in the nose... too much for my liking.. the cinnamon and clove phenols run a bit high... banana and hints of bubblegum are also too big. Not getting much chili.
The chilis are more discernible on the palate... a very mild but building heat with a distinctive vegetable flavor.. still, the cinnamon is sooo far out of place that I just don't appreciate this one. The "yeasty Belgian flavors" would be much better off without additional spices... decent malt profile that mainly acts as a spice delivery device... Mehhh.
This is probably my least favorite VE yet... and I doubt it will get any better for my palate.. the cinnamon is only going to grow as the other flavors lessen...
Sorry... I just don't dig it.
11-21-2011 02:38:29 | More by JohnGalt1
3.8/5 rDev +1.1%
Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of yeast, sweet malt, slight citrus, hint of hop, and a hint of spice (coriander?). Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with a low carbonation level. There is a heaviness associated with this beer. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of dry hop, slight yeast, spice (all spice, cardamon?), hint of dark citrus, and a hint of wheat. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and complexity. The blend is a little off; the spice dominates the finish.
12-22-2011 17:28:07 | More by Tone
3.7/5 rDev -1.6%
Served in bubble pint glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish mahogany color with just a thin cap of of off-white head that no retention or lacing.
The aroma was very spicy and yeasty with just a bit of underlying grain showing through. The taste was very similar, just a lot bigger and bolder. Grain was the base with that funky comb of spice and yeast dominating the tongue.
The body was good, somewhere less than full yet more than medium. Drinkability was good, if the distinct taste suits your palate, but I probably wouldn't have two in row. Overall, this beer is hard to describe, which explains why this review is so vague. This a must try when you see it, and maybe you'll be able to describe better than I can.
After looking at a few other reviews, I didn't pick up any of the chiles or cinnamon other reviewers mentioned. Certainly a unique beer, but I don't think it will age well, I suggest drinking it fresh.
11-24-2011 19:05:06 | More by beertunes
2.13/5 rDev -43.4%
On tap at Stone.
A: Reddish brown with a finger of beige foam. Solid retention and a little lacing.
S: Pronounced clove and cinnamon. The pepper smells pretty nice. The yeast smells like cotton candy and bubblegum. I don't really like this yeast. I also get banana.
T: Strong clove-like phenols and banana with evident cinnamon. The chilis really don't go well with this Belgian yeast. It creates a medicinal harshness that makes me want to grab mouthwash. The chili is at odds with the clove-like phenols and bubblegum banana esters. Not a pleasant combination. The finish is the worst, and it really lingers.
M: Medium body with upper moderate carbonation.
Overall: One of the worst Stone beers I've had.
11-20-2011 17:17:09 | More by HopHead84
4.05/5 rDev +7.7%
Poured from a bottle into a large wine glass, the beer is a vibrant, ruby-hued amber coloring with a steady dose of carbonation bubbling and a thin film of beige head. Very clean looking brew. Light clinging to the glass, but nothing that holds for a great length of time. Aromas of slightly sour and bready yeast characteristics, light candied and toffee malt profile, and sweet greens. The beer's flavors are dark roasted initially, with a baked caramel sweetness and some earthy tones to balance. There is a slight spicing throughout, with some pepper and clove presence. Medium bodied, there are only the slightest hints of the chiles throughout, but they help to keep the beer clean. The aftertaste is more of the tangy malt and slightly sour yeast, with a cinnamon spicing at the very end. The finish is clean, and slinks away without much distraction from the beer itself. Very tasty brew!
12-10-2011 20:13:45 | More by GarthDanielson
4.22/5 rDev +12.2%
Pours a clear dark brown with garnet highlights when held to light, stingy beige head shows moderate retention and lace. Smells of sweet candy sugar, spicy yeast esters, coriander, some kind of pie spices like nutmeg or all spice, there's a hint of red pepper in the aroma, but I can't find the cinnamon. Taste is sweet fruity and sugary up front, then the yeast takes over a bit before slowly expressing some pomme fruits, a dry spice character, red pepper flavor with a hint of heat. Finishes a bit sweet with a lingering candy sugar sweetness and a touch of heat. Moderate to high level of carbonation, medium body with a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. Lots of stuff going on here. I would have liked a bit more pepper, but its just the same.
12-23-2011 00:20:35 | More by johnnnniee
3.5/5 rDev -6.9%
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.
12-22-2011 05:54:14 | More by dirtylou
3.08/5 rDev -18.1%
22 oz bottle finally made its way to my area. Grabbed one to review fresh and one for the cellar. Poured into multiple tulip glasses.
A: Brownish-red colored body with an initially nice off-white head, but it dissipated rapidly. A thin retention ring and barely any lace on the glass. The bubbles are tiny and tight, not thick or creamy.
S: Lots of banana and yeast notes up front. The cinnamon definitely comes in with subsequent sniffs, as well as some actual pepper flesh nothing spicy or stinging. Clove, pale and caramel malts with a small dash of bitter hops towards the end. Not overly aromatic to say the least, sort of boring. You definitely get a Belgian spin.
T: First sip brings the Belgian-centric nature of this beer, lots of clove, banana and spicy yeast notes. The cinnamon barely shows up in the taste save for a certain dry grittiness I'm trying to attribute to it. Chiles/peppers? Maybe, but it's that raw, sliced flesh. There's no heat or spiciness from them. Malty in the backbone and into the finish. I don't know, this isn't terrible but it's not delicious.
M: Highly active carbonation, very bubbly and fizzy on the palate. It's cleansing but doesn't help give this beer any body. I'm pretty indifferent here.
Well, this isn't mind-blowing nor anything I'd consider a great beer. It has a lot of interesting elements to it, but I feel the flavors labeled that I would think would give it a different flavor profile failed to show up in the taste. OK, but I don't need this one again.
11-28-2011 15:09:12 | More by ShanePB
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,451 ratings.