Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

483 Reviews
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic AleStone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Chile Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by JAramini on 11-10-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 483 | Ratings: 1,529
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich amber colored with a quickly reducing off-white head. Anaheim chilies dominate the nose on this one, as well as the initial taste. The back end is where the cinnamon comes through, followed by a warm, pleasant finish fueled by the high ABV. Unique flavor profile, but really enjoyable for something so off the beaten path -- which speaks to the quality and complexity of the beer. The Belgian-inspired malt profile is an elegant platform for the Anaheim chilies and cinnamon. Not something I'd want every day, but a great change of pace and pretty much perfect for a cold, grey November afternoon.

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Photo of Roguer
4.15/5  rDev +11%
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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Photo of ChadC12
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had it on tap in a tulip. At first sight it was a dark reddish tone, almost amber/carmel color.

There was almost no head that quickly disappeared.

I love the taste, the chile is more move a taste then the cinnamon but still caught just a hint of it.

It finished nicely, very easy to drink. I enjoyed every last drop!

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone 11.11.11 on tap at Amsterdam Ale House in Manhattan, New York. Enjoyed on 08.04.12.

Appearance: Served in a fishbowl snifter, still appearance, no head, no lacing, dead looking. Intriguing, though! Deep auburn, the color of Nicole Kidman's hair. Shiny and gold-flecked.

Smell: Raisin, brown butter, malt, grape juice, must. Mulled wine, cherry. Sweet-and-sour overtones.

Taste: Follows nose, with a more aromatic feel. Spice, lavender, honey. Also hops and tartness. Yeast, "that Belgian feel" all over. Clover. Caramel and some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Damn right! Well balanced all around, with full body, flavor and medium carbonation. Not dry, great spicy finish.

Overall: Drinkable (within measure), engaging, intriguing. Aging 9 months has done a lot of good to this brew!

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Photo of ahalloin
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a handsome amber hue. Slight reddish tint. Almost brilliant clarity makes this a great looking beer. Light meringue head recedes to a ring but steadfastly remains down the glass.

The smell has a big Belgian toffee base coupled with banana and clove phenolics from the yeast. A slight grassy note from the pepper lingers in the background. I do detect a slight cocoa note as the beer warms in addition to some grape and fruit qualities.

The taste is very interesting and complex with a big clean toffee flavor up front which morphs into a grassy, pepper flavor, and finally receding to a pleasantly dry finish with a slightly spicy bitterness that masks the alcohol very well.

The mouthfeel works great for the beer with a medium-low carbonation. The body is full yet somewhat cloying for a second but the bitterness and spiciness of the peppers dries out and cleans up the palette nicely.

Overall this is a very interesting beer with a great balance of adjuncts. All of them shine through nicely without one being overbearing.

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Photo of diamondc
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber, looks good in a Chimay chalice. Some decent head and lacing.

S: Chili powder, cinnamon, dark purple fruits. Great, unique aroma.

T: An initial taste of peppers, figs & various dark fruits, with a cinnamon/nutmeg-like sweetness at the end.

M: Very dry and bitter on the aftertaste. I would have liked a bit more Belgian candi sugar flavors, but who am I to complain?

O: Surprisingly drinkable despite the odd flavors. I'll probably buy another to cellar.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice.

A: Dark, slightly hazy amber. Tan head started at two fingers, but quickly dissipated and left islands of head throughout the surface of the beer.

S: Smells quite Belgian. Strong yeast and dark fruit. Maybe a touch of cinnamon?

T: quite interesting. Starts off with a touch of Belgian yeast, then a kiss of the chile. It's not spicy or hot at all, it's just the pepper taste. The chile quickly gives way to banana and clove, which finishes it off. There is a bit of a bitter, peppery aftertaste. I didn't detect any cinnamon, but it could've been melded with the chile.

M: Mouthfeel isn't anything too substantial. Still trying to analyze that crazy taste.

O: Putting chiles and cinnamon in a BSPA was a very interesting move, in my opinion. I haven't really had anything like this before. The chile seems to clash maybe a little bit with the other flavors, but it was strangely addicting.

Want to see what happens when it's aged for a year. Whee...excited!

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber color, half finger of head that settles to a nice frothy layer. Great bubbly action.

S - Chili pepers and brown sugar with a hint of cinnamon.

T - Almost a spicy sour taste. Start with some nice sweet notes with some cinnamon spice which leads nice into the chilis. and it finished with a with a boozy spice.

M - Smooth but spicy bite. Good carbonation.

D - Truely a unique beer. I really enjoyed this because it was so unique, it is hard to think of what to expect with the spice but I think they did a good job of mixing it in. Might be a bit boozy right now but any beer with 9.4% will be. I would love to try it again, hope there is still a bottle left.

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Photo of bruachan
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

it's been long vertical hiatus for me...i guess since 10/10/10

orangy copper/caramel color, with something of a froth

hefe yeast aromas hit the nose immediately (umm...isn't this supposed to be Belgianish?). i almost smell white wine? chilies mos def, and they're great

tons going on for the tongue to celebrate. delicious smokey chilies. sweetness is minor, though maybe with some Vienna malts. bittnerness is reasonable. i don't know that i would have identified cinnamon sticks but there's definitely something bark-ish going on

chilies claims plurality for the flavor profile

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Photo of unclejazz
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a quart growler of this and shared it over a dinner of bbq chicken salad w/ cauliflower. I thought the bbq would go well with the chiles and cinnamon.

A-a nice dark amber color with a thick 2 finger head.

S-heavy odor or roasted malt, I cane barely make out the chilis. There are some undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg

T-so the chili finally decides to show up and along with clear malty notes and spices with some honey too. Pretty tasty stuff.

M-right on here, rich to a point, crisp when it needs to be and a clean finish that was not to hoppy. Solid carbonation after sitting in the growler for 3 days.

O-another good beer from Stone. These guy care about the beer they make and it comes through in the flavors they whip up.

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Photo of Phelps
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the tap at Tops one year after its initial release, served in a tiny snifter. This is a Belgian-style amber ale brewed with cinnamon and Anaheim chilies from New Mexico’s legendary Hatch Valley.

Cloudy crimson. A thin, wispy head of light tan.

Surprisingly sweet nose. There's a big banana note that blends with heavy, sweet peaches. Green chiles meld in perfect proportion with the sugary fruit, making this almost seem like it was sour or spiked with some funkifying yeast strain.

Earthy peppers are more apparent in the flavor, though without heat. Kind of like voting into a green pepper, the same bite. Nice blend of pear and banana in the back, though banana is bigger here. Black pepper, red apples, a touch of honey. Complex and pretty damn tasty.

Medium light body, moderate massaging carbonation break the beer into a ton of fizz.

Much improved from its original form. I like this way more than I did when I had it last year. Nice use of peppers, good Belgian sweetness.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 8 fl oz from Frugal's.

A - Pours a dark red with some brown highlights. One and a half finger head moves to thin lace.

S - Grassy citrus, banana bread

T - Malts, some sweet sugar/dark fruit, banana in the finish. Hints of cinnamon and alcohol. Was worried the cinnamon would be overpowering. From reading label, it has come to my attention that I was not supposed to be drink this until 12/12/12. I guess I am going to buy another and follow directions. Not picking up much of the peppers,it may be behind the slight zang in the finish, which I was attributing to the alcohol. Hops presence is minimal in the taste (in contrast to the nose).

M - Low on the carbonation side (maybe due to lack of aging?), and slightly sticky.

O - This is good. I imagine it only gets better if aged. As is, it is good play on the style, with just enough spice to keep it interesting.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have collected the last few years of verticals. I am excited to do a four bottle opening next year.

This was a very distinct smelling vertical by Stone. You get cinnamon and anaheim chiles. It doesn't smell like any chile... specifically the anaheim variety. It reminds me of when I stuff anaheims with sausage and grill them in the summer. That seems like a long way off when it is 25 degrees outside.

The flavor is pretty balanced. You get more cinnamon and anaheim than in the smell. There is also some sour in the background.

I like the mouthfeel. There is some warming in the back of the throat. It is very drinkable, much more that the chile beers I have had in the past.

I look forward to opening this beer in mid-December next year.

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Photo of Phade42
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought 12-6-11, quickly chilled and poured into a Sam Adams Pint Glass. Probably not the best glass for the style, but I'm working with what I have.
I've had the past 3 iterations of the vertical epic, but haven't aged any of them. Every year I tell myself "Drink it now and if I like it, buy another one and age it" but I never do.

Appearance: Rust colored, with an almost opaque white head that left miimal lacing

Smell: You can definitely smell the Anaheim peppers, which are mild, about 1/4 the way from a bell pepper to a jalapeno in terms of heat. Very "peppery", but not spicy. Cinnamon smell is faint, if even there at all.

Taste: Sweet peppers at the forefront, some raisin and fig notes follow.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, dry up front, a little complex, but finishes clean.

Drinkability: it's a doozy at 9.4% ABV but you'd never know by the taste.

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Photo of nickthegun12
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

wow...i do believe i like this beer!

the appearance is dark....more of a dark brown color

smell is dominated of cinnamon and cloves...very similar to

the taste is stunning! the spiciness hits first....maybe from the chiles or the yeast maybe the cinnamon....there isn't much of a back to the taste....very good

kind of a medium feel in the mouth not as creamy as i'd like to see

overall this beer is above average for a strong ale....i think the chiles and cinnamon did wonders for this ale!

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass. We're close enough to 12.12.12, right?

A: Slow pour results in thick foamy 4 finger head which slowly subsides to moderate lacing and a cap. Beer is a brownish-crimson. 4

S: Just incredible. Sweet malts, lots of cinnamon and other spices, and chili peppers. 4.50

T: A lot of sweet malt, some spice, and the finish is all chili peppers. Can't feel alcohol heat despite high ABV or it is synced well with the peppers. Either way, it works. Complexity not terrifically evident with all the spices involved.

M: Definitely full-bodied, syrupy, and with heat, so while it's great for what it is, the drinkability is reduced. Keep that in mind, as finishing this in one sitting turns out to be a bit of a chore.

O: As this is the first of the series I've had, I'm drinking this without relation to the previous 9 offerings. I like it for what it is and recommend sharing rather than trying to go it alone.

I have another one aging, but don't expect it to be much different post 12.12.12 than it is now.

Postscript: 3/15/14 opened the aged 11.11.11

A: No change evident. Still produces large foamy head, maybe more lacing but I really can't recall. Color seems the same - about a cordovan. Changing to the 4.25 I think it should have had then.

S: Lost a little bit of the great nose during the aging (or maybe my nose is different). Changing to 4.25. Still quite good.

T: Seems about the same. Flavors seem to work a little bit better as a whole.

M: Oddly seems more drinkable now. Less full-bodied (does that make any sense or has my greater exposure re-aligned my perception?). Bumping up to 4.25.

O: So it's a little bit better now. Never really picked up the red wine notes a lot of others do. Has to be the best chili beer out there, for my money. Sad I probably will never run into another one.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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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Photo of Knapp85
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a clear looking amber color with a white soapy looking head on top. The smell of the beer was malty and a little sweet smelling with some caramel on the nose. The taste was interesting, it seemed a little herbal to me or like some Christmasy spices were added to this one. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, moderate carbonation and smooth. Overall this beer was pretty interesting I think. I wasn't really able to get much of the Belgian qualities out of it. Regardless a good brew.

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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 Casey10
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow interesting is all I can say. The bear pours a dark hazy color with a wispy head som lacing on the side.

Definately taste the Belgian influences here (candy sugar) but then this hits you with the heat cinamon and chile definately strong and you taste them (well at least now, not sure what again will do).

Overall not your typical brew, worth trying and hopefully wiil go well with the rest of the vertical epics next year.

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Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a two-finger, off-white head of bubbly, thick foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of Anaheim peppers with a touch of heat. There was a nice malty aroma, too.

T - It had a nice spicy taste with a mild taste of hot peppers. It had a nice biscuity malt flavor with a touch of fruitiness

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is yet another great Vertical Epic beer. Love the peppery twist on a Belgian-styled ale.

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

On the nose I get a kind of delicious smelling robust meatiness from the chills used in the creation of this beer. The heat from the chills comes off in the nose as a mild note, but it defiantly lets you know it's there. Quite an interesting beer so far.

11.11.11 is a nice clear dark ruby color with a slightly off-white head. No visible carbonation. Lacing is prominent and leaves large bubbles on the sides of the glass.

I once ate a chocolate bar that had chili peppers and pop rocks in it. Aside from the popping sensation, this beer tastes exactly like that candy bar. I was shocked at how much chocolate there is in the flavor when there was none in the aroma. On the finish, I actually pick up flavors of fried banana with caramel sauce. There is also a nice malty character to this beer in a kind of caramel flavor I get mid palate though the finish. This beer, in one word, is delicious!

Carbonation is just right at a nice moderate level. There is no CO2 bite, but it's not flat either. The body is on the higher side of medium, and finishes a tad on the sweet side.

I don't taste the alcohol in this at all, it is an incredibly well constructed ale, worthy of several purchases.

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

waited until 11/11/11 to open this one that I've had in my fridge for 3 days. I waited until the clock turned from 11:59pm on the 10th to 12:00am on the 11th.

pretty clear mahogany amber color with a nicely sized light tan head that billows to the top of my duvel tulip and laces well as it slowly recedes.

belgian amber aromas with fruity esters, toasted malts, a bit of the clove and banana scents typical to a belgian yeast. behind that, my nose hairs tickle from the chiles, but they do not overpower.

starts yeasty, gets sweetened up by the malt, some cinnamon creeps in and some fruits. after the swallow the chiles linger without burning.

pleasant soft carbonation that lets the flavors pop without being too harsh.

skeptical at first, but this actually works. not sure how it will age. It will be interesting to see. drinks pretty damn well now.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic 11/11/11

Appears a deep amber, with fine clarity and little head or lace.

Aroma much like Big Red Gum, with malt sweetness, cinnamon, and a touch of spice from the peppers.

In the taste, belgian yeast makes an appearance with a nice rounded fruityness, cinnamon and chile come through for a unique and enjoyable flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a small dry spice.

Overall: A nice take on a chile beer. The cinnamon, and ginger bread like malt compliment the chiles very well.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty basic coppery color. Nice foamy white head. Moderately spiced aroma-chile peppers and cinnamon dominate. Malty flavor with an even handed dose of chiles going on. The cinnamon is more in the backround flavor wise. Pleasant overall spice flavors. Has a nice malty backbone that really keeps it from being overspiced like many other beers. Good mouthfeel, nice creaminess. Really enjoyable and quite drinkable. I only bought 2 bottles of this but see getting more.

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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.74 out of 5 based on 1,529 ratings.
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