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
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4/5  rDev +5%

Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with an obvious vintage date.

LOOK: Garnet amber color, healthy looking head.

SMELL: Cinnamon stick, Anaheim chilies, golden raisins, candied fruit, toasted grain, boozy alcohol.

TASTE: Cinnamon, mild chili pepper, toasted bread, dusty powdered clove, banana taffy, medicinal phenols, clean alcohol, hop bitterness, treacle, chaotic finish.

Nearly a palate overload, thankfully I prepared for this beer and I guess I am a pro more or less so I can roll with the punches. Flavors come in waves, cinnamon and chili then the Belgo-yeast character and of course the generous handful of hops all surrounded by a well balanced malt backbone. The heat, its from the alcohol ... not the chili. Possibly the most enjoyable Vertical Epic from Stone I have had that was not cellared.

Nov 10, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of TylerKitchens
TylerKitchens from Massachusetts

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.

Dec 17, 2014
Photo of chilidog
chilidog from Ohio

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As always, my first review of the new year. Opened New Years and poured into a Stone VE glass.

Pours amber orange, tan head with a film retention, spotted lace.

Aroma of sour dough bread, spice, malts toasted and slight alcohol.

Taste does come in layers. Toasted bread, malts, raw chili pepper thats mild, not hot. Spice of cinnamon,clove and black pepper. A combo hop/malt finish. A mild alcohol warmth backs things up.

Mouthfeel lingers with a hoppy coat.
Overall a drinkable chili beer, a first for me.

Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Loogs
Loogs from Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -21.3%

Jan 22, 2012
Photo of goalie33
goalie33 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Dec 13, 2012
Photo of DruC4
DruC4 from Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Jun 18, 2012
Photo of rwilde
rwilde from Ohio

4/5  rDev +5%

Nov 27, 2011
Photo of JasonP71

4/5  rDev +5%

Jul 19, 2012
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Nov 24, 2013
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

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.

Apr 30, 2018
Photo of dbell23
dbell23 from Tennessee

4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review was written about a bottle that was aged over a year. I aged it because the new bottles were somewhat overwhelming.

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. Super dark orange/ golden brown with little head and no retention or lacing.

The aged smell is more subdued than the new smell. Still bubblegum,cinnamon, and chile but not near as pronounced based on my recollection.

The taste is not the assault on the palate as I remember from a year ago. Chile beer to start with a somewhat hoppy malt middle and a fairly clean aftertaste. Very pleasant and very different. Unlike any other beer I have ever had. I guess you could call it a Belgian strong ale but its unlike any other beer I have ever had.

Mouthfeel is okay. Good carbonation and as usual it smoothes out as it warms.

Overall a good beer and super different. I'm glad I aged it as it did mellow with time. The new version was pretty close to over the top.

Feb 07, 2013
Photo of mattkoon
mattkoon from South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i was about to buy the new stone vertical epic 12.12.12 buy the fella at the beer store i go to said that it was in jan.'s beer club so i figured i could hold off til next week. i decided to pick up the ve11.11.11.

it pours a cloudy brown looks good.

the smell is bold and fruity. you can also detect the cinnamon. it seems to be the perfect time of year for this beer right around the holidays.

the taste is unique there is traces of the chilies, maybe even slight heat. and you can taste the alcohol. there is a lot of sweetness here-its also dry, reminds me of a red wine.

over all i like it, i like when breweries reach out and try different combos, makes for unique drinks. i look forward to the 12.12.12 next week.

Dec 22, 2012
Photo of IHyphySF
IHyphySF from California

3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet

A: Dark amber/light brown also light nice light foam that quickly dissipates.

S: Strong smell of the chiles but also has the smell of olive juice ready for a martini with a small hint of smoke.

T: You really can taste the peppers mixed with smoke while the aftertaste leaves a nice fruity but smoky/hoppy taste in the back of my mouth. The cinnamon really comes out towards the end and is quite pleasant.

M: Lightly carbonated makes it very creamy in the mouth and it goes down smooth.

O: Their seems to be just an imbalance because there are some things i like about this on how smooth it is for being 9.4% the taste is great when i taste the fruitful parts and the cinnamon afterwards. But the lasting smoke flavor is quite off putting while i am drinking it.

Dec 11, 2011
Photo of ScottR
ScottR from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Jul 23, 2012
Photo of doho95fu
doho95fu from California

4/5  rDev +5%

Mar 01, 2012
Photo of Sarlacc83
Sarlacc83 from Oregon

3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Cherry red with a thin off-white/creme colored head.

N: Cherry, iron, lavender, cinnamon, and wood. Chili peppers show up with a fruity and spicy aroma.

T: Very spicy due to the adjuncts. Good level of sweetness to balance this one out.

M: Moderately sticky and medium bodied.

O: My favorite of the series. The spice and malt are integrated together to make for an enjoyable sipper.

Sep 12, 2013
Photo of jheiss
jheiss from Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Dec 18, 2011
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz from California

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus from California

4/5  rDev +5%

Dec 11, 2011
Photo of FEUO
FEUO from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Jan 22, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek from West Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Showed up at my local last week, not as bad as I was thinking considering the cinnamon and Anaheim chilies additions. Not very pale, more of a deep russet ruby like color going on with tan head forming thick, body slightly clouded with minimal yeast suspension floating. Head forms nice full intricate layered lacing levels. Really nice beer poured into my Stone RIS chalice that has somehow survived almost ten years of beer drinking. The cap reads a malt advocate magazine quote..."Stone Brewing defines the American craft brewing spirit", I'll agree with this since they have been one of the early trendsetters and continue to release things that break trends like their West Coast mild. I'm amazed that the Anaheim chilies don't flame me out either in my nares or the palate. Aroma has a great spectrum of fruit layers (apple/raisins) heavily ripened with natural sugars, like an earthy dubbel glazed with cinnamon spice and a full peppery finish. The first sip provides a wave of juicy caramelized malts and ripened fruit (prunes/dates/cherry)...with some spicy/hatch chilie pepper/spicy cinnamon stick ground bitterness in the finish. Not much heat as I mention spicy it really is well blended and doesn't kill the palate. A bit of astringency creeps in as a nutty/earthiness possibly from the yeast or the pepper seeds that really sets the smooth malt ride off it's path of glory. Complex interesting ale with sturdy smooth creamy carbonation and medium bodied ale with enough texture and dry finish to make it approachable with each sip. Overall Stone continues to make a more balanced chilie beer than I've tasted thus far, that's comparing a handful of experiences from Left Hand, Wynkoop, Rogue, Crazy Ed, and Great divide.

Dec 07, 2011
Photo of Kelp
Kelp from New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Jan 18, 2013
Photo of orangesol
orangesol from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Jan 20, 2013
Photo of scoand
scoand from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +5%

Nov 28, 2011
11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1537 ratings