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: 1,528
Photo of shanblur
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased locally in Evansville, IN. Poured from 22oz bomber into a snifter. A - A rich mahogany color with a thick off white head which leaves extensive lacing. S - Dark fruit and a chile smell. Not much of a cinnamon aroma as other beers have had with cinnamon added. Perhaps overpowered by the chiles. T - Caramel malts and sweetness comes before the heat rises from the chiles and lingers. Dark fruit flavors as well. M - Moderate to thick body with a generous carbonation. A great tasting beer. The chiles were integrated nicely. Look forward to the next in the series.

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Photo of raveskdr
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

figured I should crack this one open. Poured into my Bruery Snif-lip.

A - Murky brownish color with tints of red. Sea foamy head that recedes to the edges of the glass.

S - Light carmellly sweet malts. Slight sweet pepper smell in there as well. That smell has faded over the past 5 months. A slight "stone" hoppiness is in there as well.

T - Light belgian candi sweetness on the front end. The chili taste is still there on the back end but has definitely fallen out as well. Very, very slight spiciness that isn't nearly as prevalent as it was when fresh.

M - Really good carbonation and a full mouthfeel.

O - This beer has definitely faded. It is still a decent beer but I really wish I had drank my bottle closer to when I bought it. This will be a completely different beer on 12-12-12 than it was on 11-11-11, and that isn't really a good thing with this. I liked 11-11-11 fresh way more than 10-10-10 and 9-9-9 fresh.

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Photo of baseballrock
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking it on tap at the flying saucer in San Antonio.

A- the beer is a deep amber color with a thick inviting head. Tons of lace is left on the side of my snifter.

S- pepper and spice. Anaheim chili peppers and beer. I'm into it the aroma is different.

T- up front I am hit with flavor from the peppers. The pepper flavor is awesome. Anaheim peppers are known for their great flavor, so I assume it was a good choice of pepper on the part of stone. It is a big Belgian style beer and the next thing I taste is the big malt flavor. The beer finishes with a moderate dose of hops.

M- the chili peppers dominate but with awesome subtle flavors form the malts.

D- were can I go form here its over 9%for ABV and by taste buds just had sex with this beer.

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Photo of mschind
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up on clearance about a year ago and have been letting sit.

A- Not a particulary elegant looking beer. Murky reddish brown, not much head or retention.

S- Here's where it gets interesting. Big malt with dark candi sugar and caramel, brown sugar and just a hint of cinnamon.

T- Everything from the nose is here plus raisin falvors that are linked to the Anaheim chiles. Sweet, no hops flavor that I can pick up. Consistently sweet across the palate with a bit of heat at the finish. Probably the chiles but could be the alcohol too.

M- Surprisingly thin considering the big malt presence and not very well carbonated.

O- This is all over the place. An interesting experiment, worth a try but not something I would have again. I really enjoy the taste but age is not kind to it otherwise.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Pours a deep reddish amber, more like a BSDA really. A crown of beige foam rises to the top of the tulip and leaves some thick dollops of lacing as it recedes down to about a quarter inch. Pretty in the glass.

Aroma-Again, more like a BSDA in aroma with the associated dark fruitiness complementing the Belgian yeast. The cinnamon is apparent on the nose as are the chilis, though faint.

Taste-Very apparent spice right up front with the cinnamon and chilis showing distinct flavors, the Belgian yeast complements with its own spicy/estery nature. Plenty of dark maltiness mid palette forming a blanket for all that spice to rest on, typical Stone heavy-handed hops abound but they're far from the focal point. Finishes dry with notes of cinnamon and some slight chili 'heat.' Very unique.

Mouthfeel-Very plush and luscious mouthfeel, creamy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall-Quite a unique brew, I'd order this if I ever saw it on tap; one of my favorites of the Vertical Epic series.

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Photo of olfolxholme
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Mill Valley Beerworks. Served in a unibroue hurricane glass

A - poured with a nice light tan head, about 2 fingers. Crazy good lacing. Beer is a pleasant dark red amber with some haze. Nice looking. Head retention is ok.

S - some dark malt, hint of chiles, not much cinnamon.

T - taste is like a nice dubbel up front, with chiles lingering in the aftertaste. Not overpowering though... And the cinnamon is even further behind. I could imagine a better flavor profile but it's definitely not bad.

M - smooth and creamy. Nice.

O - definitely not a pale... But I get the "Belgian strong" part... I'm happy that this isn't overpowering. Worth trying. Not a must have, but not bad at all.

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Photo of jfmorey
4.6/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle purchased when first released, in the cellar or 2+ years.
(I bought at least two of each Epic from 8/8 on, drank one and kept the other.)

Poured into a stem glass.

Very hazy amber, plenty of tan head.

Taste starts spicy, the chilies and cinnamon now in perfect balance. A small amount of acrid alcohol, not surprising in a beer of this style, not unpleasant. Nice Belgian funk in the aftertaste.

Very full in the mouth, plenty of carbonation.

Overall, worth the waiting.

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Photo of Savan
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
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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Photo of starkmarvelo
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone Epic Vertical 11.11.11

A- clear ruby in color with a two finger head. Very pretty.

S- smells like hot Tabasco and slight chile fruit. The aroma is dominated by the Anaheim chiles.

T- lots going on here. Slight hint of cinnamon, caramel, burnt sugar, ground coffee, even a bit of cacao some fresh green chile fruit. Bitter finish with a slight cheese aftertaste. Very complex.

M- medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Chile warmth in the back of the throat after a few sips.

O- like I said, there is a lot going on with this beer. At first my palate was bombarded with a bunch of different flavors, but after a while I was able to pick them out. So yeah, still tastes pretty good after a year. Happy Veterans Day!

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Photo of fatmcb1
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber, dark brown color with an off white head that dissipates very quickly. Lacing is left on the glass.

I get banana and cinnamon up front. There is also a strong malt backbone and a bit of other dark fruit. I don't smell chilis.

This is a little bit of everything all rolled into one. Banana, dark fruit esters, and cinnamon come through first. This is much more balanced by hops than the smell indicated. Chilis do show up towards the end, but are never overpowering.

Carbonation is nice and creamy with a medium body.

Overall, I enjoyed this. I am not reviewing it as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. This was really well crafted, and I'm excited to see what a year or so of aging does to the flavor. The chilis were a nice touch.

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Photo of IPA4LIFE
4.77/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep mahogany red with a big, fluffy, two finger off-white head. The head offered moderate retention and a decent amount of lacing.

S- Complex as all hell. Some real belgian yeast characteristics; predominantly banana with some good clove notes as well. Behind that is some dark fruit, some brown sugar, and sweet malty notes.

T- Just as complex, if not more-so than the smell. Sweet caramel malt and dark fruit are predominate features up front. Brown sugar and cinnamon then show up with some flavors reminiscent of a cinnamon roll. Flavors are clean and light up front, and dark and heavy at the back. This is a really amazing transition from one part of the palate to the next. Truly awesome complexity.

M- Pretty good, but just a touch thin for the flavors, in my opinion.

O- Awesome. The vertical epic lives up to it's reputation. Masterfully crafted brew.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

amber color. slight haze. tan/golden head. good retention. good lacing.

slightly peppery aroma. ok label reveals the presence of chilies and cinnamon. both can be detected in the aroma though the cinnamon is subtle. malty caramel aroma. no hops.

that is quite a funky flavor. malt flavor upfront. then spicy chili blended with cinnamon and it finishes with a subtle hop flavor and crisp hop bitterness.

medium body. i would guess they used adjuncts to get a beer of this abv with such a light body. it works very well. nice balance. very drinkable. smooth but a crisp refreshing finish.

the reason i dont give the taste a higher score is that it is too strange. not that i cant handle a 'strange brew,' but the cinnamon AND chillies is a bit too much for my taste. also the label says this beer is meant to be aged till after 12.12.12. personally i cant see the flavor of this beer developing much in that time. although on second thought the flavor of the chillies might mellow and sweeten in that time so maybe ill give it a try.

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

I know you're supposed to drink this one after 12/20012, but I have a second bottle I'm aging until then and wanted to try it fresh.

A: Dard amber in color, light brow head with excellent retention.

S: Very complex, certainly lots of chiles--and not just cholos but like chili oil. Some lemony zest. Pretty earthy and sweet and the end of the smell.

T: Definite peppers. I don't get the cinnamon very much but maybe it's represented in the sweet hard candy-like taste at the end. Finishes with minimal bitterness, mostly a sweet-spicy aftertaste.

M: Modium bodied, not boozy at all. Good amount of carbonation.

O: Very interesting beer. I don't think I could drink a lot of it but I'm certainly glad I have it. Should be a pleasure in a year or two. Definitely recommend. Thank you Stone.

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Photo of MrTopher
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served into Stone Vertical Epic tasting glasses.

A – Pours a rich bronze color, has a decent 1-2 finger light brown close to tan head, this has some pretty impressive lacing also.

S – The spices come forward first on this, get mostly heated spices and then a little sweet spices. Then the sweetness of some malt and a little yeast character dances on the edges of the whole experience.

T – Interesting beer to say the least; has a decent malt sweetness, a little spice characters come forward (heated and sweet) and then you get this rush of heat which isn’t similar to the spice character, lastly you get a little earth character from I would guess the yeast. The heat is mild but present, just layers this beer well. Its perfectly balanced and not overly done.

M – Very medium, which I find most all Stone beers to be and I don’t really complain about. The carbonation is present and isn’t overly aggressive or submissive.

O – Decently surprised by this, my favorite VE of the series I don’t think so, but interesting and will be nice to see how this develops between now and next year. Would like to experience this on draft to see if the peppers and cinnamon are more present.

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Photo of rmcnealy
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium/dark copper that is very filtered. Produced a small ivory head that faded to a mere ring around the glass. First aromas are of slight citrus, malt, slight clove, cranberry. I don't smell the cinnamon but faintly taste it. I also can't exactly distinguish the chilies, but the taste has an unsual bitter twang to it. By no means heat, but a slight chili zest. Just enough to let you know something is happening here. It is just slightly boozy and syrupy, expected at 9.4%. Not a bad beer, may need some slight aging to bring out the tastes.


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Photo of IHyphySF
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a glass on 1/7/13

First let me say i feel a bit slighted that there were aged versions of this beer. I bet those where tasty.

Appearance- It pours a ruddy reddish orange with a light orange head. It dissipates eventually. Hardly any lacing

Aroma- Yeast, Banana, butter, cinnamon some vanilla and carmel on the back end.

Taste- Buttery, chili. reminiscent of a holiday tamale. A little corny, husky at the front, a big roasted chili flavor in the middle, and light cinnamon and piney hops round out the end. I am reminded of the few times I had Nopales, the mexican side dish made from cactus pads. It also becomes somewhat vinous as it warms.

Mouthfeel- slick almost greasy, low alcohol warmth.

Overall- having just tasted Telegraph's holiday Ale and the big smack of cinnamon that had, i have to say i somewhat enjoyed the subdued efforts of Stones 11/11/11 epic. I think by this time in the series the brewers were becoming bored or brash or both and just started throwing stuff in the beer. The Cinnamon was well played and the chilies worked okay, the whole thing played out a bit like a questionable "hole in the wall" mexican food joint. It doesn't look like much but it has it where it counts. The slick mouthfeel was a little off putting I thought of a greasy Chile Relleno. To me, if it was meant to be aged it would have a cork too...As one of the later releases in the epic series i imagine it was designed to not be cellared as long so it lacked some of the qualities i was expecting (slight oxidation, mellowed boozy warmth, hints of molasses plum and maybe some slight esthers or sourness) but, that's hardly the fault of the brewer. I wouldn't order another but this makes me wish I would have got in on the ground floor in the vertical epic series.

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Photo of TrevorWGrover
3/5  rDev -19.8%
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 blindtiger24
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Deep brown ruby color with slight head.

S: Apple cider / pie smell. A bit of heat from the chile in the nose, but really faint.

T: Apple, cinnamon taste with hints of clove spice.

M: Creamy mouthfeel and not overly sweet. Not much chile heat.

O: Good, but not great. Was left wanting more from the taste and smell, especially with the chiles. Aging might bring out more complexity.

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Photo of gregb13
2.22/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looked great in the glass; awesome color and head with moderate lacing. Smelled of Benadryl and bananas, with some metals. Taste: The chiles came in with a vengeance. The chile taste wasn't bad, except when it collided with the bananas, cinnamon, and metal it was not pleasant. I finished the bomber but it was a chore. Slightly better as it warmed, which is odd given the phenolic quality but whatever. Not a fan.

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Photo of MEsoJD
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

[Poured into an large Duvel Tulip glass]

I: I wasn't really ecstatic about the chilies and cinnamon combination put into this beer, but some have told me that it's worth a shot so I picked up a bottle. I know it's intended to be age, and will pick up another for that purpose if I like what I see. Anywhoo... Lets Get It ON!

B: [9.4% ABV, 1 Pt. 6 FL. OZ.] At first glance, one would think that this beer was a collaboration by the non existence of gargoyle art, but it's part of a series starting from 2002 and ending in 2012. Of course all the general information that should be on every beer bottle is here and more. Nice summary and ingredient information. I'm not too crazy about the front label, but it's fine(taking into account that it's a series).

A: Dark body(medium transparency) with a red tint, large fluffy head with spongy center, and moderate dissipation(good lacing).

S: Smells like a Belgian(especially on the yeast), cinnamon malt, and apparent, but not overbearing chilies. Hops are clouded.

T: Interesting... I would say that it follows the nose, but each ingredients degree is not what I was expecting. It's heavy on the sweet Belgian malt/yeast up front(with the cinnamon and chilies lasting throughout), hop bitterness comes more apparent after a few sips(nothing crazy), all seemingly regulated by the creeping/warming alcohol and citrus. Nothing is too overbearing(though it has a lingering booziness).

M: Syrupy/smooth finish, medium/full bodied, moderate carbonation, and apparent alcohol(not overbearing, but boozy and creeps).

O: Interesting... It's defiantly complex, and you won't pick up everything on your first sip. It's defiantly good, and reminiscent of a Belgian, but also maybe unbalanced(that's what it feels like). god.... this beer makes me feel conflicted. Scoring this will defiantly take some time. Despite that, it's defiantly worth picking up and trying. Worth the money, just on it's complexity. Cheers!!!

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Photo of dahlen22
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in a 22 ounce bomber.

Appearance: Amber with a decent head.

Aroma: Cinnamon, hops, and a bit of grassiness.

Taste: The Cinnamon starts this one off and then comes the chili but fades quick, then a grassiness with a bit more cinnamon, and then more chilis and a clean hoppiness in the finish.

Overall: A lot going on with this brew and this is not for rookies. It is big, warm, spicy, hoppy, ala complex and is a sipper for sure. An excellent choice but I think one is my max per sitting. Cheers!!

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Photo of wrycon
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks mahogany, with some redder tints. Smells pretty good. You can smell the cinnamon and a spicier undercurrent. There's a lighter yeast scent, as well. Full sharpness to start. The cinnamon and what tastes like nutmeg present themselves shortly after. The endgame is held by the hops, which throw bitterness in all directions, and the Anaheim pepper element, which twists the bitterness in an interesting direction. The final lingering element is spicy cinnamon, so the ale succeeds in that. Wouldn't want to drink this regularly, but it is a good limited release.

Like It? Yeah

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Photo of KarlosT
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this at a stone beer tasting event. Claim to fame: cinnamon + chile (heat).

I'm not a big fan of spiced beers, and probably would've avoided if at a bar. However, I really liked this beer ... quite interesting ... bought the 2 remaining bottles at the liquor store.

a: malty brown, nice head

s: malty chile notes. reminded me of the smell of a spicy potato chip.

t and mf:
I could definitely picture myself drinking this beer watching a football game, while eating some spicy appetizer. There was a nice heat to the beer (chile) which was unlike any taste I've had before. Perhaps I could barely detect the cinnamon, but it was very subtle. And the flavor had a nice balance between the malts ... not very hoppy at all.

overall: very interesting and different beer. The 1st spiced beer that I actually liked. Strongly recommend trying.

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Photo of thydarkprevails
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing a somewhat fresh bottle now. I have more in my cellar. Poured into a duvel tulip. Cloudy, dark, amber brown. Thick, light tan head that takes forever to shrink. Now at one inch 2 minutes after pour. Floral, pine, grapefruit, pepper, caramel, and malty notes in the aroma. Taste is pepper, apple, grapefruit, orange, toffee, and more pepper. It actually picks up on the flavor of the aneheim pepper besides the heat. Mouthfeel is thin and a bit sticky. I can't wait to try it in a year.

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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.74 out of 5 based on 1,528 ratings.
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