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 Mitchster
2.94/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brewed with Pale, Crystal, Munich, CaraBohemian and Special B malts. Hopped with Warrior, Target, Perle and Pacific Jade.
9.4% ABV, 65 IBU, OG=20.5P, FG=2.5P. $8.99 for a 22oz bottle @ BevCo.

Pours out to a hazy medium amber, forming a nice soft smooth yellow head with superior retention and lacing. ~2.0 carbs. The nose is very peculiar...lots of banana followed by the unmistakeable nose of green chilis. This is not a subtle chili's like somebody dumped a shot of salsa verde in my beer, complete with the vinegar. The mouthfeel is soft a with mild carbonation and a medium-dense body, finishing dry. The taste is like the aroma...imagine a belgian dubbel with a shot of salsa verde. I'm not getting any cinnamon in here. Lingering pleasant but not overly firm bitterness nicely balances the sweet maltiness. Aftertaste of hop bitterness and leather. I'm not picking up any heat from the chilis at all.

Very peculiar beer. I'm glad that I've tried it, and it's brewed well, but it's not my thing. I wouldn't buy it again, and would only recommend it for the adventurous. This beer would be much better with black pepper or cayenne.

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Photo of philbe311
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one sounds like a real interesting brew...

A - Two fingers worth of fluffy slightly cascading cream colored froth with a bit of a rocky top... Retention is commendable... The color is a murky mix of red and brown... Streaks of moderate to quick paced carbonation can be sign rising along the sides of the glass...

S - Interesting aroma to say the least... Sweet overly ripened fruits... Belgian yeast... Perhaps some brown sugar as well... The green chiles are present but buried a bit beneath the surface...

T - The palette is a mirror image of the aroma... Grapes... A touch of fig... Brown sugar... Mild Belgian yeast... Perhaps some caramel and toffee... Some bready malts... The chiles rise on the finish and quite distinct and potent without being overpowering...

M - Medium bodied... Dense... Sleek... Lush... Smooth... The finish is a touch dry and a touch chalky...

D - Interesting to say the least... Would be a formidable 12oz offering, but a 22oz is a bit much or an individual in a single sitting (feel free to share)... One of a kind and veers far from style guidelines...

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Photo of Jadjunk
2.97/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Summits' Wayside Tavern Snellville. Reviewed from notes.

16 oz $7.99

(Appearance) Served with a light cream head of a thick cream foam. Retention is average. Color is a medium brown, with a lot of copper red accents. Appearance is lighter looking than I had expected but still decent. 3

(Smell) sweet aromatics, vanilla, caramel and a hint of chiles. Aroma certainly leans to the sweet side. Potency is a medium. the sweet aroma really overshadows much else this beer might have to offer. 3.5

(Taste) tart bitter spice and cinnamon malt flavors finishing with a sharp chile pepper taste. Pretty alarming in intensity overall, and most Flavors overdone throughout. There's a ton of confusion to this beer. sure, theres tons of flavor but without balance its nothing short of a muddled mess. Not really Stone's finest hour. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Slightly Prickly with medium carbonation. Low alcohol presence. Medium body. Decent pairing for what the taste goes for. 3.5

(Overall) Bizarre Flavors make for a really hit-or-miss beer. It finds such a niche market that I really don't feel iT is worth seeking out by most craft beer lovers. In the end I find it to be average at best and won't seek it out again. 3

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 Oz straight glass.

This Belgian strong ale pours dark amber/ brown, very clear and with a little quickly dissipating head. The smell and taste really compliment each other, A lot of Belgian yeast, Wheat, grain, a slight fruitiness and a touch of alcohol. This beer also has a spicy taste and feel, almost like a little cinnamon or another spice put into it, sort of christmassy. The alcohol is warming but there's very little of it in the taste, I found this be be a surprisingly easy to get down Belgian strong pale. This is another good offering from stone but I always expect great from them, granted, this is far from my favorite style.

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Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoyt for splitting this bomber with me.

A - ruby amber; thin lacing of red/brown/white head

S - wine, alcohol, grapes, spices, faint peppers

T - caramel, Belgian yeast, clove, peppers, dark fruit, white grapes, alcohol

M - warm, smooth, medium bodied, good carbonation

This is a really solid beer. The flavor is intriguing and complex. I will definitely try to get another bottle of this while they're still around.

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

A: Decently see-through red-brown pour with a finger of white head and spotty lacing. I wish the head was a bit more prominent, but the color is very nice.

S: The aroma is very focused on cinnamon, but the chiles are hidden underneath in the form of heat. Underneath I'm getting a lot of caramel malts.

T: The cinnamon is big again on the taste, but I do get more and more heat as the beer warms. Initially I think it's too spicy, but the balance does improve as the temperature increases. Malty underneath, I just wish this was a little better integrated. Perhaps they were going for it to be aged, you think?

MF: The drinkability is not helped by the spice. But the body is nicely medium and carbonated well. It's light and easy drinking, but the spices get to me.

O: Just not a great beer. It's not well put together and just feels disjointed. I'd say either skip it, or age it.

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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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Photo of BurpingtonDC
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. In small amounts it may be interesting, but 22 ounces is a bit brutal.

A - Reddish/Carmel color with an off-white small head.

S - Molasses, malt, vanilla, bananas, a touch of cinnamon and lots of green chillies.

T - I got a strong dose of green chili, some cinnamon, malt and alcohol. The chili is up front and a cinnamon and sweet malt finish

M - A balanced dryness/sweetness/carbonation mouth

O - Overall...this is a well made ale, but its flavor were a little off-putting to me. The chili was a little aggressive, but not in a good way. It seems oddly paired with the other flavors. Maybe an interesting brew to try once, but I'm not thinking of trying it again.

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Photo of vic21234
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Been sitting in my fridge since I bought it back in November.

A- Pours a cloudy amber with a small amount of head that fades to some bubbles along the sides of the glass.

S- Smells light and fruity. Lots of banana is present in the smell. I really don't get any characters from the cinnamon or chiles.

T- Starts off rather smooth before giving way to a sharp aftertaste. The end of each sip is rather hot, with a combination of chile and cinnamon.

M- Dry and spicey.

This is an interesting one. Not my type of beer but a good one to give a try. I'm interested to see how it holds up as well.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

the pour is transparent burgundy red with little tan colored head. Nose is medicinal, cherry, light mint and overly sweet. Flavor is too sweet and medicinal with notes of cherry and mint with a bandaid finish. Body is syrupy and heavy with a low carb. ouch!

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Photo of doughanson78
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Medium ruby red with a slight brown tint and nice clarity. One and a half finger light tan head with good retention and sticky lacing.

S: Chilies and light cinnamon make a interesting pairing with banana and clove. Don't know if I enjoy it or not. Doesn't smell bad. Some Belgian yeast and maybe a touch of candi sugar.

T: Light caramel and toffee upfront. Chilies and cinnamon, mixed with Belgian yeast and cloves in the middle. Light bitterness. Finishes with cinnamon and a light chili sting. Taste doesn't work like the aroma did.

M: Medium full body. Medium high carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Huh? This beer is kind of all over the place. I'm not a fan of the flavor of the chilies and how they blend with the rest of it. Smell was sorta inviting. Interesting but nothing special.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Clean ruby in hue. A good, firm pour yields a one finger head. Decent lacing and collar follow.

S: Medicinal and off-putting. There's some ground clove and certainly a bit of cinnamon here, but it's just not really coming together to form a cohesive bouquet.

T: The heat's there, alright. It's not overdone, but there's a definite tingle in the back of my throat. Herbal - like I'm drinking a bottle of Thai food. And then the cinnamon comes on and it gets me thinking...what the hell? What's the point of all this? Just an odd beer.

M: Pretty thick and dense. Well done - easily the highlight of the beer.

O: An off-the-wall entry into the VE series. I get the feeling that Greg and Co. just decided to dump some random shit into the boil, and look!! - We got our next VE!

Not a terrible beer, just not something I'd want more then 4oz of at a time.

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Photo of One2Remeber
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Khaki, tan, creamy thick head. Light mahogany brown with a bright amber hue. Incredible sticky legs.

S: Gummy, soft bubblegum nose. Banana, spicy Belgian yeast with undertones of peppers. Slight alcohol aroma as warms up.

T/M: Fluffy as could be with a mellow body that flows smoothly until a slight carbonation at the end turns to faint burn from peppers. Hint of chocolate mixed with banana esters lingers.

O: One of the smoothest Belgian beers while having a dynamic profile. Complex flavors come across as simple and straight forward. Not sure about a Belgian Pale Ale but for a Belgian chili beer this hits the spot.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking beer-
with a long lived fluffy head-
A ruby ampber body

a curious almost chemical nose.

Flavor- I'm torn between declaring a wonderful lip smacking tongue rolling exceptional flavor and a rather cheek pursing, revolting chemical brew. What a wild dichotomy!

On one hand, the chillies and the cinammon work together, augmenting the hops and ale character.. on the other hand the chillie and cinammon and whatever brewing technique Stone used make for an odd ball "grow on you" flavor- maybe some sort of cleaning fluid.

Mouthfeel is well, great- the long lasting finish had me mulling over my opionon about the flavor for a half hour.

Overall-- this beer is something other than the main-streem even for its brew genre. I've downgraded it because the part of me that dislikes "adjuncts" in the brew-- but on the otherhand.. maybe I'm too hard on what is likely an exceptional beer. You decide!

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Photo of argock
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Cinnamon hue with tall 2-3 fingers of uniformly bubbled, oatmeal colored head with good retention and spots of lacing.

S: Heavily spiced with cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves, and then more cloves. The chiles are not perceptible. The maltiness is burnt toffee and candi sugar.

T: The spices are over the top and too forceful -- they dominate instead of accentuate. The brown sugar and rye toast maltiness and candi sugar is lost with all of the clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors that add up to phenol overload. I never picked up a chile or banana flavors which I am glad about. The hops are very background with earthy, herbal tones.

M: The body is medium-full with active carbonation and but a slightly lacquered feel due to all the spices.

O: Tried it, didn't like it, glad I only bought one. I was hoping some time would mellow the spices more. It is a very intense, overdone phenolic beer. If you like cloves, you will really like this beer. If you don't, avoid.

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

Pours a medium mahogany amber in a Vertical Epic glass. Little head retention. A ring of light tan bubbles around sides of glass.

Smell is very inviting. Lots of cinnamon. A bit of ripe fruit. Belgian yeast is present.

Taste follows the smell well for me. Lots of sweet malt, cinnamon and fruit. Mild bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Medium bodied. Not too much carbonation.

Overall this is one of my favorites from Stone. Will definitely try to get more of this.

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Photo of RickS95
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks epic. Pours a mahogany brown. Very rich looking, an almost thick pour. The head is the opposite, a bright white. Little retention, but leaves a nice ring of white around the glass.

It smells amazing. Just the right amount of cinnamon...just the right amount of Belgian yeast...just the right amount of malt to tie everything together. Oh yeah, and just a hint of chili.

The cinnamon spice and candied sugar work well together. There's the slightest bit of yeast that shines. However, I could do without the chilis. They don't provide much to the beer, other than a small distraction in the finish.

There's some complexity to keep your taste buds hopping. Malt and yeast give some sweetness, cinnamon and chili give some spiciness. The yeast also provides some tart. But the hops and chili give a strange bitterness that doesn't work for me. Almost creamy.

Despite the chili, this is an amazing, dare I say epic, beer. My first vertical I'm sad to say, but won't be my last. Looking forward to another bottle that I hope I can save til 12.12.12.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours vibrant amber to copper with chestnut hues beneath the generous tan head that slowly breaks down to leave a speckled, yet sticky lacing behind.

The chillie and cinnamon aromas greet you immediately as the spicy aromas float from the glass with a strong sugar sweetness to back it up.

The flavor is fantastic, initially sweet, and then spicy with a kick from the chillies, which is then smoothed out from the warming cinnamon and a touch of clove. The sweetness is like brown sugar, perhaps a product of the generous yeasts used in this brew.

While the body is medium the beer sits on the heavier side given the generous carbonation and dense flavors that coat the palate leaving a lingering, but pleasant after taste of spice and sugar-like sweetness.

Not sure this is Belgian Pale Ale, but whatever you want to call it, it is delicious. This beer is just as advertised on the label and it seems Stone got just what they were looking for out of the recipe.

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Photo of ryanonline
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours pretty smooth and gives off a light and foamy tan head. the color is a deep brown ambery hue that is absolutely transparent. Leaves very little trace of lacing.

sweet and spicy best describes this beer. Lots of cinnamon and clove with a hint of wood, lots of sugar. a light touch of citrussy hops graces the finish. lots of bready yeast aroma as well.

all that in the taste as well.

mouthfeel is super prickly and medium bodied with a semi-dry finish.

super drinkable despite it being such a bruiser of both flavor and alcohol content.

This beer really hits it out of the park, I was a big fan of stone 090909 but this is really excellent as well. Brilliant.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a 16 oz. Pensacola Bay Brewery branded Tumbler pint glass (unfortunately, the only piece of glassware currently available to me.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber color with a medium, quickly dissipating orangish head that yields thick lace and lots of floating foam.

Smell: Lots of fruitiness- peach, plum, and clove. Also has more citric notes backed up by cinnamon and a sweetish pepper aroma.

Taste: begins with sweet chile that gradually gains more of a chipotle flavor toward the finish. Notes of clove and banana with some medium bitterness and citrus toward the end. The cinnamon in this beer is surprisingly subdued, but adds a good character.

Mouthfeel: medium, almost chewy body with mild carbonation and a sticky finish.

Overall: A good beer and quite drinkable for its ABV. Not necessarily great, but this is a truly unique drinking experience that's well worth it.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of korguy123
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into tulip

A- Slightly hazy brownish/red pour with a three plus finger off white head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Right off the bat you get the peppers; not spicy but a real solid oomph of that pepper goodness. Definite cinnamon afterwords that really compliments the peppers. Candied sugar and a nice yeast spiciness.

T- The peppers add an vegetable earthiness while the cinnamon and candied sugar subdue them. There is the slightest hint of heat from the peppers and not the alcohol. There is a floral finish that coats your tongue momentarily.

M- Medium bodied, nice chew with a quick finish.

O- I honestly think this is probably my favorite of the VE series I've had (07,08,09,10,11) It's the most inventive one as well and it just seems to work well. Going to grab another one of these to enjoy with the 12.12.12

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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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