Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
84
good
1,529 Ratings
Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic AleStone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,529
Reviews:
483
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
16.58%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
442
For Trade:
17
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,529 |  Reviews: 483
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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.

 500 characters

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first foray into the Vertical Epic realm. Pours a dark brown color, very little head or carbonation to it. Aroma is of sweet chili peppers, quite pleasant actually. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, a ton of flavors hit the palette. Definite peppers come through, a tad bit of cinnamon, and a whole lotta hops. Stays well balanced and has a great mouthfeel with a clean finish. Surprisingly drinkable for the high ABV and the odd ingredients used. I'm a big fan of this beer and love the uniqueness of it.. highly recommended.

 528 characters

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is clear very dark reddish amber in color. It poured with a thin off white head that eventually completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of pickled peppers in the nose.
T: The taste is very complex and has notes of spicy peppers along with hints of bananas, cloves and dark fruits as well as a light amount of bitterness. No flavors of cinnamon are detectable. The peppery flavors particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very interesting, particularly if you like lots of spicy flavors.

 660 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone just can't leave "well enough" alone; pushing the strongest of strong Belgian Pale Ales past 9% abv. and challenging the natural yeasty spice with both chili peppers and cinnamon.

Vertical Epic 11 delivers with a sturdy bronze or deep copper pour that exceeds amber hues and with the added visual weight of moderate yeast haze. Well headed, the lightly tanned foam caps the beer with a thick blanket of creamy foam that retains and laces reasonably well, even for Belgian standards. A heavy looking, but appetizing beer to the eye.

Fruity esters and spicy phenols, both from yeast relese a balanced scent of apples and mulled berries with the tinge of peppercorn, all aside from the obvious scent of chili peppers and cinnamon. Somewhat supple and muted, the fruity/peppery blend plays more delicately on the olfactory sense than expected. Underlying caramel, nut, light toast, and toffee sweet aromas provide support for the yeast character and spicy additions with minimal influence over the nose.

Flavors however, favor malty sweetness garnered from highly kilned caramel malts, light toast, toffee, and nutty grains. A delicate balance of fruity apples and berries provide a tart taste to offset sweetness, as well do the peppery and tannic drynesss of alcohol and phenols. Additions of chili peppers and cinnamon provide complexity and variety of flavor but are very careful not to dominate the flavor profile or to throw the already well balanced beer out of whack. Yeast character however are mild and lack the pungent earthy and fully characterful flavor of many authentic Belgian Strong Ales. Though somewhat cleaner in stature, it's just more simplified than most.

Full bodied from caramel malt sweetness and early creaminess, but the full texture is aided in dryness by growing alcoholic heat, developing spice (both from natural yeast flavor and pepper additions), and fleeting malt sweetness. Finishing malty-dry and semi-sweet, the beer carries a long linger of malt and spice deep into aftertaste.

VE 11 is an inquisitive ale that breaks the norm of traditional Belgian brewing flavors but does so with an aggressive American brewing attitude with recipe formulation and recipe. Designed for the long haul, I'm excited to see how this beer develops in the cellar- but for now its simple and muddled combination of ingredients leave it limited.

 2,369 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of kojevergas
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are relatively high; Stone can disappoint but on average they tend to brew interesting beers.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream lacing, great thickness, and fantastic retention considering the relatively high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent copper.

Sm: Aroma is surprisingly yeasty, with a fair amount of floral notes, bittering hops, and spice - maybe even pumpkin. Aroma is moderate in strength.

T: The bittering hops and spice clash quite a bit, I have to say. I don't know that aging would resolve this issue. Lots of weird notes are in there, including misplaced spices and bad caramel. The balance is completely off and the build is pretty badly considered. At least the alcohol doesn't come through. This is the worst possible outcome given the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Entirely too thick, however. It sort of complements the flavours.

Dr: Hard to drink on account of its low quality and bad balance. I hope that aging resolves its issues, and that I'm just guilty of opening it too early. I wouldn't buy it again, but I guess I'd try it aged. It's certainly experimental, which I applaud, but this is unfortunately a failure.

 1,326 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a darker shade of amber with an inch or so of foam; both the retention and the lacing were OK

Smell: Caramel and Anaheim peppers? You bet, with undertones of fruit (strawberry, banana) and clove

Taste: The caramel and clove flavors are in the forefront but it doesn't take long for the chile and fruit undertones to make an impression; after the swallow, it is sweet, hot and spicy, with warmth in the gullet, too

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: What is intersting on the nose creates chaos on the tastebuds; this beer diverges at the fork in the road and never, ever, finds its way home

 634 characters

Photo of oline73
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy amber that has an intense red hue. There is a half finger of creamy off white head that fades quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt smacks you in the face. There are some fruity grape and cherry notes along with mild Belgian spice. I think I'm also getting some caramel.

Taste: Initially this tastes like it is going to be a total malt bomb, full of cherry, grape, and Belgian spice. There is a bitterness that shows up and cuts the sweetness a bit. The finish is slightly bitter with some Belgian yeast spice and then the chili peppers show up.

Mouthfeel: The body is syrupy with lots of foamy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer just didn't come together for me. Many of the flavors seem to distract from each other. I'm not sure that I would want another, but we'll see what age does when I open up all the VE's I have at the end of the year.

 976 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
1.75/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dark orangey color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of Anaheim peppers and bready yeast is intriguing with notes of cinnamon and caramel malt also easily noticeable. Taste is a mix between some solid caramel malt with a sweet edge and some cinnamon which unfortunately needs with too many spicy notes and therefore this beer ends ups as a major mess. Body is full with limited filtration and huge malt backbone with good carbonation. No alcohol notes or if there was any there were hidden by the peppers notes. I could barely bring myself to drink ¼ of the bottle before it hit the drain. Not sure where all those high rates are coming from.

 702 characters

Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -46.5%

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.

 530 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 10/2011. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, cinnamon, clove, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, chili pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, dark malt, and cinnamon/chile spice notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, fig, pear, cinnamon, clove, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, brown bread, clove, chile pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Light chile heat/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, cinnamon, clove, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, brown bread, chile pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, dark/bready malt, and cinnamon/chile spice flavors; with big robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding Belgian chile beer. All around fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, dark/bready malt, and cinnamon/chile spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,553 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.56/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle picked up from Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a Stone Vertical Epic glass that can be described as stemless martini-like.

Pours a dark golden-copper color with a good white head and some lacing. The nose brings forward plenty of chilis plus a moderate amount of cinnamon and light malt. Taste is a bit odd at first, getting worse as it warms. As expected, the flavors don't come together at all. Terrible idea; bad execution. Not really looking forward to this again in 2012, but I suppose I must. Finish was grossly dry. Bad.

 535 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a hazy, reddish brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Deep caramel, chocolate, and spicy notes of pepper, smoke, and clove.

T - Dark sugar, clove, and coriander up front. Some slightly harsh phenolics in the middle and a finish of brown sugar, chocolate, and dull spices.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - I enjoyed this quite a bit last year when I had it fresh on tap, but it is not as enjoyable now as it once was. The aroma is quite nice, but the flavor is flabby and dull with a cloying meatiness that sits heavily on the palate.

 654 characters

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass a slightly hazed maber with sticky1/2 finger off white head,cinnamon and earthy chili's in the nose,light phenols poke thru as the beer warms a little.Belgian yeast flavors at the onset,phenolic and spiced to go along with light cinnamon flavors,again the chili flavors are more earthy lending a little warming on the way down.Not bad,Iam not a huge Belgian yeast fan but the subtle chili,and cinnamon flavors are nice.

 451 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice creamy big head fades semi slowly with nice lacing, clear but small sediment ruby reddish brown color.

Nose light booze and esters, reddish malts, quite malty, sweet candy and caramel, toffee, lots of sweetness, hint of a chili and cinnamon like spice, and a definite pepper.

Taste a light pepper comes out first, light heat with chili pepper, sweet malts, lots of reddish malts, caramel, candy syrup, fairly sweet which balances the light spice well. Light cinnamon in there as well. Light esters and fruit with a hint of booze. Later towards the finish is a slight earthy herbal like hop kick with some light bitterness. Finishes with a bit more light heat and touch spicy pepper flavor, touch of heat on the back of the throat, quite sticky and bit sweet, more caramel and light cinnamon all linger.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lower but decent enough carb, bit syrupy.

Overall very interesting, they hit the heat level almost right with maybe just a touch more of a kick would make it perfect, not a huge pepper bomb, and nice sweet balance with touch of hops. Lots of interesting flavors, and fairly drinkable. The only qualms I have are that its a bit syrupy and a bit light on carb.

 1,201 characters

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, Belgian yeast, cinnamon and chilies as advertised and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with the odd but complementary combination of the cinnamon and chilies with a mild sweetness. Then a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast breadiness comes in. the hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good variation of style, it’s a good beer to drink for a while if you’re looking for something different.

 865 characters

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.

 196 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe