Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic AleStone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale
Liked This Beer
3.76 w/ 1,529 Ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,529 |  Reviews: 483
Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, split

appearance: served in hopleaf tulip - garnet body, dark cream head - wouldnt have pegged this as a BSPA

smell: spice, yeast, cinnamon, pepper, fruity esters

taste: the vertical series was once such an exciting concept - hell i'm sitting on every vintage from 2003 to 2011, but i'm not even sure why anymore. none of them have been particularly outstanding and December 2012 is shaping out to be a pretty bad month for beer drinking if i have to kill all these things. But i digress - i really dont have any issue with this beer, its just kind of boring. Beer brewed with anaheim chiles and lots of spice, shouldnt be boring, but it is. muddied belgian yeast flavors, cinnamon, spice from the pepper.

mouthfeel: medium, rich

overall: somewhere along the line, Stone became DFH 2.0, and unfortunately innovation doesnt always taste great.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The auburn colored body looked quite different than most BSPA's. The head that formed in the tulip glass was three finger thick, and beige. The smell was more similar to the darker Belgian beers as well, with lavender, juniper, white pepper, orange peel, and coriander being evident. The taste was very herbal, with a strong, almost overwhelming cinnamon and mint presence. I could detect the smokiness of the Anaheim chiles after the initial flavors calmed down. The mouthfeel was actually pretty good, with a oily, coating action. The aftertaste was a lingering herbal note. I think this would be better after mellowing some more, as the flavors tend to clash a bit right now.

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Photo of NvMyBeer
2/5  rDev -46.8%

Photo of guild337
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Fadefury
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - 1 1/2 to 2 inch head with a amber/dark brown body

Smell - Very fruity, with hints of cinnamon(I think?)

Taste - The taste is nothing like the smell. Not even close. I had this beer with spicy/hot wings, and I'd imagine it truly helped with this beer. Very strong and I could not taste any of what I thought I could smell, i.e. the banana and cinnamon spice.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation, and very thin

Overall - Would only drink with the right meal in front of me. No way would I drink this by itself again. Too strong, and far to bitter for my taste. The beer smelled and looked great, but ended up being nothing spectacular after that.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of SteelCityHops89
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Slikpitt
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of RadicalEdward
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of jtmcgraw
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ours crimson with 3 fingers of tan head. Great head retention with nice lacing

S: Orchard fruit, some pineapple

T: Green apples, dark candi sugar, a touch of cinnamon & grapefruit up front. Figgy notes as this warms, plus grapefruit & pineapple, dryness, a kiss of caramel as well, pepper spicyness sneaks into the party as well. Finishes with a grapefruitty hop flourish, a kiss of pineapple & just a smidge of green apple skin& some ancho chile spice & green banana that all blend together fairly well

MF: Medium bodied, creamy fairly nice balance

MF: Medium bodied, slick, good balance

Nice Americanized take on the style with twists. It says to wait until 12/12 to drink this. My doomsday calendar dictates otherwise:P

Perhaps if I come across another bottle I will save up. I think it's drinking fairly well as it is

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Photo of mzsanford
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of hardy008
2.69/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper color with a two finger foamy light tan head with good retention and lacing. the aroma has cinnamon, chili peppers, pale malt, Belgian yeast, bananas, and cloves. Interesting combination. If this beer tastes like it smells, I'm not sure if this combination of ingredients is going to work well together. Only one way to find out.

It's different, that's for sure. It tastes like it smells. Cinnamon, chili peppers, pale malt, Belgian yeast, bananas and cloves all in the same beer. The main problem is the chili peppers are too strong, and overpower most of the other ingredients. I can tell the other ingredients are present, but the chili peppers should not have been so dominant. They are not to hot or spicy, but you can definitely tell they are in the beer.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. The aftertaste is mostly cinnamon and chili peppers. I think if Cinnamon and chili peppers are going to be added to beer, it should be added to an imperial stout, and taste like Hunahpu's. This isn't bad, but not as good as it should be. I do applaud Stone for continuing to experiment, but I don't think this beer is entirely successful.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.47/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Cream brown head. Tons of stick. Deep dark brown body.

Smell - Musky cardboard. Slight refried beans in nose. Wine. Solvent.

Taste - Refried beans. Musk. Malt.

Mouthfeel - Slight astringency. Pretty acidic. Becomes pungent after airating. Drink quickly!

Overall Drinkability - Delicious.

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Photo of BHOBS
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of steelerguy
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Clear brown, with ruby highlights. Big frothy light tan head, that stay around for awhile with moderate carbonation.

S - Spicy, the cinnamon can be picked out but the yeast seems to be adding more spicy aromas like clove.

T - Lots going on here, the malt is almost overwhelmed by cinnamon and cloves and I guess what might be the peppers but just comes across as a strange medicinal flavor. The medicinal flavor then turns into an astringent aftertaste made bitter by the hops.

M - Nicely attenuated, warming quality, with a bit of sparkle from the carbonation and alcohol.

O - This beer looks great, smells good, and feels good but where it counts just isn't very good. I have only had the last few Vertical Epic Ales but this is easily the worst.

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Photo of dmsohyea
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

Photo of sholland119
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of paperbackfoster
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass.

A - A big, bold pour. Dark bronzed amber fills the glass with clouds of carbonation, storming up to a full three finger head that recedes to two fingers, then one, becoming more solid. Very little lingering body carbonation, but the head is solid and sticky.

S - It comes off like the usual big malt beer. Slight hints of caramel over heavy bread notes. The smell is full and round. As the scent deepens, it throws off the clove hints of a tripel as well as the yeasty touches of a sour brown.

T - First, I'll say that the aroma is not at all representative of the taste. It hits like a big, bready malt beer, yes, but the flavor is entirely different. The key players, as Stone admits, are anaheim chiles and cinnamon. The two are concurrently opposed and married. Chili notes are certainly more savory than they are heat, a noted difference from many chili beers. It plays off as a sweet yet dark bite. The cinnamon rides in with the malt to enhance the dark bread characteristics. The two combine into a sweet rye dynamic. It's a peppery, earthy character that may not be entirely balanced, but I like that you can pay attention to and evaluate either side. It's definitely the rare strong ale that could compliment a meal. I could see this going with a lot of red meat dishes, roasts, or even standing its own against comparable mole or other bitter spiced dishes.

M - For what it is, it's both too thick and too thin. The body carbonation doesn't balance out the fullness, but the flavor doesn't merit such thickness.

Overall - I think this one's worth a try, and I'd be interested in buying another 22oz to store until next year. The combination of notes from a chili beer, an amber, and a brown/warmer into a single brew is a unique idea that's not altogether a bad one. It's just a tough one to pull off. It's a complex flavor that may just have too many players competing at once.

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Photo of therope
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of MsRif
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. Poured a clear dark brown color with a nice off-white head that receded slowly, leaving thin and spotty lacing. Had an aroma of peppers, spices and earthy hops. Taste followed the nose and ultimately, what I really tasted was peppers. There were undertones of sweet malts, spices and floral/earthy hops...but the peppers were so distracting to my palate that I could not enjoy the complexity of this brew. Not really well-balanced.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Crisp, but I wouldn't have a whole glass of it simply because of the pepper profile. Just a preference of taste.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Served in a stem glass, a dark walnut brown, clear, but so dark as to almost seem opaque; capped with a small layer of wispy, off-white head. Aroma of roasty malts, bready yeast, and only a hint of peppers, that seemed more sweet than hot. I didn't really get any cinnamon in the aroma. Malty taste and very woody, nutty, with subtle cinnamon notes; mid-palate, the taste from the peppers finally revealed itself, but it was very tame, contributing much more flavor than actual heat, blending well with the other flavors, and making this beer overall more robust and less sweet. Biscuity finish with an earthy quality. Medium mouthfeel, and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of jheiss
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of jmvecchio1
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of KTCamm
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at The Little Pub in Ridgefield, CT, in a Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

The pour is dark brown that builds to a 1/4 off white foam at the top. Good stickiness.

Very different smell/taste. From the notes I am looking for the cinammon and the chilis - the former is very faint, and I definitely get the peppery backbone. Theres a dark layer throughout, with that semi-sweetness you'd expect in Belgian style. A stiff but deeper hop awaits the close. The alcohol is noted, but not dominant.

Overall a very interesting beer. Not sure I'd love 22ounces of this bad boy, but the draft tulip made for an interesting dinner accompaniment.

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Photo of duff247
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 63% out of 100 with 1,529 ratings
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