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:
438
For Trade:
17
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,529 |  Reviews: 483
Photo of gtermi
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a nice dark amber with a very thick, probably 2-3 finger, head that lasts a long time.

S: There is a lot of clove, banana, some tropical fruit and a little spicy smell.

T: This beer is very tasty. I do get a lot of clove and a little chili on the back of the tongue. I am also getting a good amount of fruitiness.

M: It is very smooth and easy to drink. I love the slight bit of carbonation and has a low amount of crispness.

O: I think this beer would be better with age. It is so tasty and a little time, itll be great. I wish I could get all the other ones let them age till 12.12.12

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Count me as one that didn't enjoy this beer. Mild peppers? For me, the chili peppers just dominate this beer, and it's not so much that I don't like peppers in beer, since I've had several I like, but I think it's the type of pepper used. That green, spicy pepper flavor clashes with the other notes here and dominates them completely. The peppers are too bright and fruity to allow the other flavors to develop. I prefer either a smokier, more brooding pepper, which works particularly well with darker beers, or something subtler. I did have a siracha mild once that was delicious, but other flavors were at work there aside from just the heat and green vegetal qualities of the peppers. An interesting idea, but I think this should have been saved for a draught one-off, rather than made the 11/11/11. Oh well, not for me.

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

Pours a deep amber color. Body is clear and free of sediment. One and a half finger oatmeal colored head. The head works its way back slowly. Solid wall of lacing clings to the walls of the glass.

Nontraditional combination of ingredients leads to a bit of a nontraditional flavor. Sweet bready malt, spice and pepper aromas intermingle. Yeast aroma stands up on its own, I enjoy the aroma by itself I am still trying to adjust to the aroma along side the peppers.

The flavor starts out sweet, slightly fruity. Sweet pale malt, banana, and subtle almost tropical fruitiness. Bits of clove emerge just behind along with hints of cinnamon. The Anaheim chilies finally assert themselves on the back of the palate. I like the pepper flavor but it lacks integration.

Medium bodied beer. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate. Finish is dry and pleasant.

At this point this beer is not doing it for me. You take away the chiles and I really enjoy it. The chilie flavor simply lacks integration and I have a hard time getting past this. I am interested to see how this one matures over the next year, at this point it is not for me.

 1,132 characters

Photo of WarnerJC8
4/5  rDev +7%

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

Clear red with a frothy brown/beige cap. Good head retention with quite a bit of clumpy lacing. Nice aroma, banana fruitiness with some apple and clove, spicy and bready, mild alcohol and yeast. Sweet throughout, kind of sugary and fruity with caramel holding it all together. Bitterness up front, but this gave way to mild peppery heat towards the end, which was nicely balanced. Full bodied with moderate to low carbonation, a bit sticky with some alcohol warmth. Overall, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of codynevels
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of BerlinBomber
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have now had this on tap an in the bottle and regardless of how it is served I think it is a great beer

I love anything spicy the hotter the better so it only seemed natural to combine my love for spicy with my love for beer

This is certainly not a beer for the mainstream, but for those out there who like to try new things you certainly need to try this

Obviuosly not your standard Belgian Pale Ale so if that is what you crave have a Blue Moon otherwise sit back pop the top off a 22 oz. bomber of this and enjoy

 520 characters

Photo of viaingo
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Brewing Company is truly an innovative brewery. Every year (and a month and a day) they decide to brew their 'Epic Vertical". This year Stone decided to brew this epic treat with cinnamon and Anaheim chilies from Hatch Valley in New Mexico. I could definitely taste something special with this beer.

Type: Strong Pale Ale
Color: Dark amber red, cloudy.
Body: Cloudy and slightly carbonated.
Head: Thick cream color. Lasts for some time.
Taste: Fruity taste with banana and critic notes. You can taste the subtle spiciness of the chilies in the alcohol.
Aroma: Lightly hoppy, fruity, and a bit spicy.

This is the penultimate edition of this masterpiece of brewing, so if you can find it in stores or pubs, try it.

Cheers!

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Photo of kornkid8600
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of jmfc8237
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a dark, caramel brown with a light, beige foam head and resilient bubbles.

S: Spicy jalapeno-like spiciness is coupled with moderate hop bitterness in the aroma, a bit of flora and a sugary sweet reprieve, but it’s mostly spicy.

T/M: For as spicy as the aroma was, you’d anticipate something along the lines of Cave Creek Chili Beer, but this one is pleasingly well balanced. Earthy hops introduce the forefront followed by a mellow tang akin to banana peppers and rich, caramel maltiness. The cinnamon portrays more of a Belgian like spiciness and compliments the rest of the ensemble well.

Everything is well balanced, but it’s still a pepper beer in the end and you have to really enjoy that style. I’d drink it again, but not if choices were more abundant. I wonder what date they’re going to release 12.12.12…

TheBeerAlmanac.com

 889 characters

Photo of Snellgg5
5/5  rDev +33.7%

Photo of gizmodave
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +11%
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.

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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 Drinkerofales
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich cinnamon color.

Smells like heavily smoked meat/jerky, spicey malt and booze.

Tastes initially(very quick and gone) sweetness replaced by spice and heavily roasted malts. I really wanted the cinnamon and chili heat here, but I really can't taste any at all. Mabye I eat too much heat already, but, this isn't doing it for me.

Feels very thick and strong, great lingering smokiness. Carbonation is just right, not a stout, but not fizzy.

I feel that this is like a beer for an extremely cold night. Lots of spice and alcohol. Great beer, but if you don't like beef jerky and spices, stay away. This beer is narrowly focused and almost a rauch beer. If you haven't tried the smoke beers and you like this, those are made for you. Mabye I should have waited for the "bottle conditioning" to take effect.

DOA

 822 characters

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.

 861 characters

Photo of imyourhero21
5/5  rDev +33.7%

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

On tap at the Cloverleaf, Stone Tap Takeover

Off white head that fades quite quickly leaving lacing on the glass. Copper color body, almost like that of Apple Juice.

I don't get much of a aroma, maybe some fruits like grapes, hints of cloves, wheat and some slight alcohol.

Definitely cloves in the taste, banana, dark fruits, some wheat and coriandor characteristics as well.

Light Carbonation, light dry body, slight alcohol warmth. Feels nice and quite the sipper due to the alcohol and the taste.

I was going to give the taste a lower rating but as I consume and the beer sits and warms more complex flavors emerge.

 627 characters

Photo of Mantooth
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice foam-up on an amber brew. Spices are flavorful but don't shout out what they are. Very sharp flavor with the tang of alcohol. Acidic fruit flavors on top of a rich maltiness. Very fragrant. After a few sips tastes slightly hot on the tongue; more like ginger than peppers to my palate. Ends with black pepper and pencil shavings and a long winey flavor. Aftertaste has quite a bitter, medicinal taste.

They seem to have struck a balance between assertiveness and intrigue. More thought-provoking than the typical Stone powerhouse beers.

 542 characters

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

Glowing scarlet red body. Good clarity. Thin bubbly beige head leaves sparse lace. Wonderful aroma. Thick dubbel like aroma with a nice peppery touch. Nice bready yeastiness and brown sugar as well. The bready yeastiness and cakiness carries over to the palate nicely. The pepper presence is stronger on the tongue than the nose, but it's not too overbearing...to me anyway. Brings a nice little sting to the equation. Candied malt presence as well with just a hint of alchol. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. This pretty good. Quite unique and flavorful.

 560 characters

Photo of GregSVT
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a hazy red shade of brown with a nice off-white head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is a nice combo of cherries, belgian yeast, cinnamon, and a hint of chili in the background.

T: The taste is an odd combo of an earthy chili flavor and a sweet belgian strong ale which consists of cherries, belgian yeast esters, and some candied malt. The hops show themselves as well with a bitter pine flavor on the finish.

M: The feel is medium bodied and a bit creamy.

O: The nose was great but the flavors just didn't work well together. The hop presence on the finish really doesn't play well with the other flavors.

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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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