11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale
Stone Brewing

11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale
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Chile Beer
3.81 | pDev: 16.27%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale
Notes: 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
Reviews: 486 | Ratings: 1,537 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber from Buckeyeboy. Mahogany pour, cloudy, small bubbly head. Cinnamon stiil there, chilies only present as a light tingle at the finish. Belgian notes? Not finding them. Comes off more as a Barleywine or old ale. Elements of leather, tobacco, malts, woody. Not much heat. But still a pretty good quaff. Has aged well.

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stevoj from Idaho, May 13, 2020
Photo of maddogruss
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had bottle in the cellar and decided to pop it open.
A: pours dark brown body with silky, light tan head with excellent retention and lacing.
S: smells of chilis and slight nutty malt notes
T: sweet, nutty taste with earthy, spicy notes. Sweet bourbon alcohol notes in the aftertaste. Solidly balanced beer.
F: medium and silky smooth
O: excellent beer, great feel. I think it’s impressive that there’s high alcohol and not oppressive won the palette.

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maddogruss from New Jersey, Oct 19, 2019
Photo of SABERG
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 0z bottle into the test glass.
A - Murky copper colored backdrop. Solid carbonation feeds a tawny cap
S - Sweet candied sugar, a bit of banana, fruit esters , and Belgian ale yeast, very Quad like
T - Toffee and caramel, earthy hops, candied dark fruit
M - Slick with a slow glide toward dry, linger is dried pine apple.
O - Glad to have had this, a real experiment .

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SABERG from Massachusetts, Mar 21, 2019
Photo of chinchill
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, aged over 5 years in a dedicated beer cooler.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby-copper color with a modest size, bone colored head that is semi-durable and leaves only a few spots of lacing.

Aroma: Moderately strong with Fruity with hints of white wine and green apples.

Flavor: Dark dried fruits and bready malts with toffee, caramel, a hint of cinnamon and faint pepper. Very light heat, probably as much from the alcohol as the chilies. Moderately sweet: the level of sweetness works well with the other flavors. High complexity with excellent harmony and good balance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with light carbonation. Medium-full body.

Overall- A very good Belgian style ale. Lightly spicy and fruity, with a solid malt base that blends nicely with sweet notes of caramel and brown sugar. The high ABV [9.4%] is well hidden excepting some internal warming.

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chinchill from South Carolina, Apr 30, 2018
Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 22 bottle poured into my chalice and enjoyed many years after purchase. The bottle has been cellared at appropriate temperature the entire time it was aging.
The beer pours a deep ruby color with some streams of carbonation rising to the surface of my glass. A minimal .5 cm of creamy eggshell white head foams up on the surface of my glass. This fades to a thin wispy island and the sticky edge layer. The aroma is actually fairly boozy and all malt caramel and brown sugar with just a little bit of pepper notes some spice, but mostly the vegetal pepper note that would be from a bell not a chilli pepper. I do get some cinnamon but mostly this beer is a malt forward boozy nose.
The first sip reveals an average body with very fine and rolling carbonation, texture is slightly sticky and coats my palate after each swallow.
The flavor is malty and sweet with brown sugar and a bit of molassess and just a bit of mild pepper notes with some peppery booze too. There is also some heat, but Im not sure it is from the chilli pepper or the alcohol.
The beer drinks as a bit of a malty sipper which is good for a cool fall evening. Since I dont often like hot spicy pepper I enjoy that the heat has faded a bit. A nice malty brew with a bit of a sneaky kick. Glad I held onto this one.

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sulldaddy from Connecticut, Oct 15, 2016
Photo of clayrock81
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not a fan of reviewing beers that may not be suited for long aging, especially when you don't know if improperly stored or just a bad bottle but here goes.
Poured a cloudy copper body with two-finger head and a bit of lace around the glass. Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel/toffee and some chili in the aroma. Not bad so far but this is where the beer turns for (on might be more applicable) me. It is a thick, almost cloying, sticky, heavy bodied beer that has this cinnamon/nutmeg sweetness that is not balanced with nor compatible with this mild chili pepper heat. Beer has this almost sour/funky offputting finish which leads me to believe that either five years of aging ruined this beer or I just had a bad bottle.

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clayrock81 from Florida, Jul 07, 2016
Photo of colts9016
2.36/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well my first chili beer, Aged 5 years. Poured a dark copper color with mahogany hues. a one finger light tan head that has good retention. the clarity of the beer is fairly clear with some carbonation bubble visible.

A sweet malty aroma with caramel, bread, and toast. A light earth and some floral, I cannot detect any pepper scent.

The beer is a sweet malty with heavy bread, and biscuit notes, caramel, and toast. There is some earth floral, and in the background some chile flavor.

The mouth feel is carbonated and coating.

Overall this beer is not for me. It is heavy malty bomb with subtle chile flavor. I really did not care for it.

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Photo of aussieyank
4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Having a light amber color, the smell of the Epic Ale has slightly sweet/belgiumy after tones. The test is full bodied with the slight sour aftertaste. Epic Ale reminds me of a light farmhouse ale.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looked darker than expected, almost brown. Cloudy, maybe chile particulate haze. Aroma was reminiscent of belgian wits. All that coriander.

Taste was spice, caramel, cinnamon, toffee, booze and citrus. Doesn't really jive together for me. Clove in the mouthfeel, less impact from any chili peppers.

These series of beers have been complex, but in a Dogfish head kind of way: you can throw shit together that maybe is unique, but hardly good drinking.

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Photo of Savan
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an auburn hue. Smells subtly of hops and somewhat of peppercorn. ..odd. taste of tang pepper bannana and a subtle dough taste on the finnish. Feal is not bad...m i think might be getting past prime this brew so... gave generous over all rating for is age it was good.

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Savan from Minnesota, Nov 14, 2015
Photo of PSU_Mike
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Age has worked beautifully for this one. Ugly, murky deep red and no head. Very little on the nose either. But the flavor was outstanding. You can taste a little chili and a little spiciness but no heat whatsoever. Heavy on the dark fruits and a little toffee-like sweetness. Full bodied but not overly thick.

If I didn't know any better, I would have thought this was an English Barleywine. Very nice beer.

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PSU_Mike from Pennsylvania, Jun 11, 2015
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged really well. Faintest hint of cardboard but otherwise excellent. Flavor of anaheim chilies is there, but heat is gone. Flavor is dominated by bananas and cinnamon, with dark fruit supporting.

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Kurmaraja from California, Jun 06, 2015
Photo of Jackolope
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I cellared one of these bad boys for a little more than 3 years and it was just as good as the one i enjoyed sometime after 12.12.12. I wish I could recall how good it was then, but I remember being stunned by the balance and complexity of flavor. You would be hard pressed to name Anaheim chiles as an ingredient without knowing it before hand. I haven't had many beers with chile as an ingredient but i have to say these guys knew what they were doing. I drank this beers with a handful of my friends and we all were impressed. It paired really well with the Mediterranean food we had just eaten and we all thought it was a standout amongst the beers we had recently been drinking. I definitely left this experience happy especially considering how long i held on to it!

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Jackolope from California, Mar 28, 2015
Photo of TylerKitchens
4.56/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared for over 3 years--review from notes on 12/13/14

Poured into a Chimay Chalice at cellar temp 55F

Belgian Bananas and Clove, Warming Sensation, Slight Cinnamon, Prunes, Plums, and other dark fruits, not a lot of chili heat left.

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TylerKitchens from Massachusetts, Dec 17, 2014
Photo of devilben02
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I held onto this one for some time in the back of my fridge waiting for a good reason to open it. Monday night at home seems good enough of a reason. It pours with a dark amber color that is copped by a big, foamy head. At this point, I expected the aroma to be pretty muted, and it was save for some bread, caramel, and a little bit of the chile. There is still a good hit of spice still present in the flavor, however, which provides a little punch and a little added sweetness even. The additions raise this beer from a solid, malty amber ale without seeming gimmicky. Maybe some of the character has been lost with age, but I found this beer to be quite enjoyable.

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devilben02 from North Carolina, Oct 30, 2014
Photo of dcscientist
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In 2011, the Vertical Epic series went all haywire and cooked up a chile beer. I've had this style once before at a local Denver brewery, but this one was a little better. Still plenty of spice, and you have to pair it with the right food to make it work, but it was worth searching for and sharing with friends.

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dcscientist from Colorado, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of jzeilinger
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of cosmicevan
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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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cosmicevan from New York, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of Roguer
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tons of caramel, cinnamon, toffee, and bit of chile. I understand this brew was likely a touch too hot when fresh, but with four years of age on it, it's really a delicious brew.

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Roguer from Georgia, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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GPHarris from Alabama, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of Nova_K
2.57/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bought at Keg Liquors in Clarksville, IN.
Drank from snifter glass.

A - Cloudy. Dark amber/brown color. Minimum carbonation with a lasting 1/2-1/4" head. Lacing is low to moderate.
S - Lots of DMS (canned corn) smell up front. Slight spiciness.
T - Tastes of DMS as well. Slight nuttiness. Jalapeño? finish.
M - Heavy body. Sticky and lasting.
O - I couldn't get past the DMS flavor and smell of this beer.

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Nova_K from Indiana, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of Treyliff
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

poured into Stone snifter

A- pours a deep ruby brown color with some sediment floating around, small foamy off-white head that reduces to a small ring around the edges

S- lots of similarities to a Flanders Red, tart apple & cherries, a hint of cinnamon with banana sweetness, a little bit of singing heat from the pepper

T- the Anaheim pepper flavor is pronounced up front, no heat but very peppery flavor. Slightly tart yeasty flavor gives notes of red apple and cherry, faint cinnamon and banana on the finish with a sweet finish

M-medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a syrupy & foamy mouthfeel and a sweet finish

O- the flavor of this reminded me of sweet pepper jelly, but was very good surprisingly.

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My good friend decided it was time to crack the Epic from 11/11/11. The beer poured a cloudy amber with no head and no lacing. The scent carried a definite chili type spice and a faint cinnamon flare. The taste was very smooth but had big chilli at the end. The start was sweet. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall I am grateful to try this beer.

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Photo of TrevorWGrover
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer a few times when it was very fresh. I rated it as one of my top beers on BA because it was absolutely delicious. I saved a couple bottles and opened them just recently (2014) and it was not good at all. This beer dropped off quite a bit, I would encourage BAs to steer away from this one if you see it again in the stores. Not a good one once it has some age on it. Too bad.

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Photo of Gron10
1.48/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

One of the worst beers I've ever tried. It tasted like someone put some Anaheim chilies in a blender and poured copious amounts of the puree into an already unbalanced beer.

I've had some ok chili beers, but this one was literally undrinkable. Any other redeeming qualities it might have had (mouthfeel, appearance) were completely overshadowed by the putrid chili taste. I like Anaheim peppers, and I like beer, but this mix was wretched.

Split a 22oz with a friend, each took a couple sips, and we both poured it out on the lawn.

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Gron10 from California, Jun 18, 2014
11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1537 ratings