Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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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: 1,525
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.

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

Huge props to joemcgrath27 for procuring this treat. Was super stoked to finally crack this brew alongside my BA bro!

A - Pours a hazy dark ruby red with a thumb of big bubbled off-white head, decent retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Scent is complex, the Belgian notes are prominent with the cloves, yeast esthers and cinnamon coming through alongside the chili pepper notes and a subtle earthy citrus hop.

T - Widely ranging on the palette, started off with the cloves and cinnamon notes, dark fruit notes, earthy plums and fig newtons. The chili flavours come through on the finish offering up a unique earthy chili oil resin flavour. Hints of bitter earthy citrus hops and some muddled caramel also linger.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - Well worth the wait, and definitely a unique brew. If you're a fan of chili beers, you'll certainly appreciate the flavour this brew brings to the table. The ABV has mellowed and is incredibly well hidden, offering up only a touch of heat. The cinnamon complements the chilies nicely and the flavours tend to become more robust as the brew warms. A worthy brew indeed!!

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

Raisin reddish brown in color. Poured with a short beige foam that dissipated quickly, but left lots of sticky lacings on the glass. Spicy, sweet aromas with a caramel malt undertone. Thick, rich feel with dense, lazy carbonation. Unique spicy pepper flavor up front with sweet caramel malt beneath. Dark fruit and cinnamon flavors thru the middle to the end. Finishes semi-dry with a funky sweet and spicy aftertaste.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a tulip glass that left good lacing throughout. the body was a clear copper color. beautiful beer.
s - roast and chocolate with a hint of belgian yeast.
t - bready and chocolate with a slightly spicy finish.
m - big and chewy.
o - i remember enjoying this one at a VE tasting but being able to drink this much of it was great.

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

Appearance - How is this even a BSPA? it is dark as hell, murky brown with amber hues lingering towards the ends of the glass. About a fingers worth of head, very fluffy.

Smell. The quintessential BSPA is right in this beer. I dont get much cinnamon or chiles, more funky belgian yeast, grass, sweetness. I am unsure what to think going into the taste.

Taste - ohhh this beer. Different than most i have tasted. The belgian strong pale ale tastes are RIGHT there, and perfectly executed. You wait and wait for that chile to hit and boom, right at the end you get this little tingle and just a tad bit of heat going down your throat. The cinnamon isn't very apparent but probably put in just to balance this one out. SO impressed with the taste on this.

Mouthfeel - Silky, moderatly sticky and chewy.

Overall - I have to say, this beer really caught me off guard. I am not a chile beer fan but this one is so well balanced and uses them in the right way. It is a very subdued flavor but there if you are looking for it. Very intelligent style to bring these flavors into. I have to tip my hat to Stone. The taste is phenomenal, nose is great. Just shy of an A+ for me honestly, and i dont even like this style. GREAT! seek it out.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper-orange with a finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with some candi sugar, chilies, cinnamon, Belgian yeast, some other spices, a touch of citrus, and some booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet bready caramel malts with some candi syrup and some hot pepper. Through the middle, some cinnamon and Belgian yeast flavors come through with a bit of citrus. The finish is a mix of hot chili, cinnamon, candi syrup, Belgain yeast, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a hot, sweet, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balance of flavors with the chili heat providing a unique complexity to the BSPA style.

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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 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.

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

Stone, you're a badass. I've had a few of these now, but my first impression after a sniff was a doubtful, "Dude, what temp did you ferment?" In other words - ester bomb. But as the beer warmed up, things started to come together (like a plan on the A-Team). When I say things, I mean the cinnamon. Very nice with the fruitiness of the yeast. Not too over the top, and it felt warm and festive as the beer came to room temp. It's brown and carbonated and bubbly and dark-fruity and pretty and boozy and a little thin and that's all made better...because it has cinnamon.

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

Thanks Rob for saving me two bottles.

Pours dark crimson with a finger of khaki foam that recedes slowly coating the sides of the glass with copious lace. Smell is cinnamon, cloves, candied pears, and faint chilies. Taste has cloves and bananas mated perfectly to cinnamon and a hint of chili spice that's melded with the mild bite of Stone's hops. Excellent. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-full. Finish is delicious. Thankfully I have another bottle, the 11.11.11 disappeared off the shelves quickly here in Minneapolis.

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

A: Pours a translucent very red amber, with a fair amount of light tan head. Really nice color. Most of the head dissipates, leaving just a bit of surface film, but enough sticks around the edge of the glass to leave good lacing.

S: Sweet Belgian style spices; clove, cinnamon, as well as mild yeast. A touch of possibly slightly boozy warmth.

T: Sweet and rich, with a light fruitiness on the top, moving into a slightly bitter finish with a touch of boozy astringency. It's nicely balanced, and though I've mentioned boozy aspects twice already, it's so well integrated that the overall effect isn't boozy at all.

M: Medium body, medium prickly carbonation.

Overall, this is an extremely well constructed beer, with lots of complexity and depth while still remaining easy to drink. I'll be sure to pick up a few more while they're available.

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

22oz into a pint

A- Pours a deep red to almost ruby color. Thick and opaque but not hazy. Off colored head formation is strong, well retained.

S - A little bit of spice comes through, pepper like - almost stings the nostrils. Belgian fruity yeast makes the backdrop. A little bit of alcohol warmth. A unique nose.

T - A sweet and smooth start - lightly malty. Mid-stream develops a lot of spiciness. Both a earthy base and a green pepper like edginess. Finishes with a sweet and spiciness, a little bit of caramel tied in with quite a bit of clove and cinnamon. Alcohol warmth is pretty potent in the aftertaste.

M - Moderate body, moderate to light carbonation. As noted on the taste, alcohol warmth is present. Very light aftertaste, very clean.

O/D - A unique and interesting beer. The cinnamon and the peppers go together very well. ABV is pretty potent but workable. Not at all filling. Comes off very complex - at times feels like a dessert beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice. Consumed after aging past the recommended date of 12/12/12.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy brownish copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three fingers of light tan head which slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A bready and fruity aroma with a sharp mix of spices. Toasted malts with good hints of biscuit, yeast, toffee, and a little caramel. Big hint of bananas with some apple and dark prune. Sharp hints of chili peppers along with some clove and cinnamon spices. Also a slight hint of citrus fruit and brown sugar. A little scent of alcohol comes through. A nicely complex and interesting aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a complex mix of bready malts, spices, and fruit esters. Sweet bready malts with a taste of biscuit, yeast, toast, toffee, and caramel. A little brown sugar sweetness. Good taste of bananas and apples. Also some dark prunes and dates along with a little citrus. Notes of spices including chili peppers, cinnamon, and cloves. The spicing is quite noticeable but doesn't overwhelm the other flavors, they blend in nicely. Tastes similar to a dark Belgian ale with a good dose of added pepper and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, and fairly smooth. Alcohol heat is felt a little.

Overall: A really good take on a Belgian style ale. The spices added are just enough to add a interesting profile without making it too hot.

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

I love chilis. I love cinnamon. This beer is right up my alley. Nice thick dense head atop a dark for a BSPA fluid. Chestnut colored really. A bit of haze and bits if stuff in suspension. Smell has some lighter malt aromas mixed with some roastier notes and a hint of the chili pepper. A cinnamon undercurrent. Light yeast funk and and dark fruits along with mild toffee notes. Taste follows the nose with layers of sophisticated brewing flavors. Toffee malt front with light pearle malt and sweetness. Mild dark fruitiness. Cinnamon is well folded into the overall construct, acting like a flavor enhancer to both the malt and hops. Chilis also flow throughout and bring out lovely nuances. Finish is clean and dry with faint alcohol and a chili flourish in the back of the mouth. Chilis bring out an astringent hop bitterness that gives good pucker. Light bready malt lingering with dry hops and grainy notes. Feel is creamy and supple with a lovely medium weight that is so close to the next level up. This is just a great beer, super drinkable and delicious with a unique character that makes me want to stock up mass quantities. It has replaced the 090909 as my favorite VE. Great job Stone!

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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

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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 yankeej13
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had only one bottle left on the shelf is it was a must buy.

A- Pours out a nice light amber orange like color. Has a light or soft amount of carbonation that quickly fades. Almost caramel like color.

S- Sad to say I had a stuffy nose when I smelled it so didn't get its full potential. I got a mild hint of cinnamon and a good hint of the chilies.

T- It has a fantastic well balanced flavor between the chilies and the cinnamon. Each mouthful I got a different amount of each, once my tastebuds started to work. Had a nice sweet start that finished with a malty chili taste. Left your mouth a mystery cause there was a note of something that I couldn't really pick up on what it really was.

M- Had great drinkability, even though it was a higher alcohol content it was nice a smooth. Great balance, nothing was overwelming. Nice sweet finish.

Overall- I really really enjoyed it alot. I would of liked to have just a tad bit more chilies but other than that, it was a fantastic brew. Cheers!

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

A: Pours a fairly clean dark amber, slightly cherry hue with a good fluffy tan head that dissipates quickly leaving good amounts of lacing.

S: Sweet bready yeast, banana esters and grainy malt - very Belgian smelling, cinnamon sticks, light hop and just a hint of chile and booze.

T: Ah there's the chile - though detectable in the nose, I was hoping for more of a showcase in the flavor and I was not let down. Sweet toasted malt, the banana is there too, midway the booze is detectable but not at all offensive, then the chile lays on thick, balanced perfectly with a more earthy than spicy cinnamon (not at all what I expected when I read this one had cinnamon added) - very subtle and earthy and really compliments the chile well. These guys know what they're doing!

M: On the bigger side of medium-bodied, the carbonation is light and lends perfectly to the style and creaminess of this brew. Someone complained about an oily quality in the mouthfeel, and I agree on the lingering oiliness - which is from the chile, but I really like this aspect. Stone often accomplishes this with oiliness from the hop, but here they've achieved this quality with oil from the chiles added - super bomb!

Overall far from a session beer, but I don't think that was Stone's intention by any means, but as a quality sipper to enjoy from time to time, this one is up there with some of the best.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks great. Has a towering light tan head, and a crystal clear dark ruby colored body.

The aroma is of cola, vanilla, metallic traits, cinnamon and maybe some cocoa.

In the taste and mouth feel, I'm getting more of a cocoa flavor here. It took a few sips before I got the burn from the chilies and alcohol. That actually paired well together. The cola flavor is detectable too, aling with some prune. There's a good amount of CO2 in here, which gives the beginning to middle a chewy texture.

Overall a very innovative ans solid offering.

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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 aussieyank
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Having a light amber color, the smell of the Epic Ale has slightly sweet/belgiumy after tones. The test is full bodied with the slight sour aftertaste. Epic Ale reminds me of a light farmhouse ale.

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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 BurgeoningBrewhead
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice. I guess "pale ale" is a relative term in this case; but I'd be disappointed if beers in this series stayed within style lines. It's a dark cloudy orange with a lively white head that dissipates leaving some lacing on the glass. Smell is quite perplexing; warm and spicy, presumably the intermingling of the chilies and the belgian yeast. Taste follows; no actual spice from the chilies, but a delicious warm flavor. The "belgian" character is very diminished in this beer (which is good for me, I don't like belgians). Alcohol isn't noticeable at all, surprising for 9andsomething%. Mouthfeel is rather full. Even though it's more of an experimental beer, it's the best belgian-style beer I've had so far.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.41/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown-amber in color and does have a slight unfiltered look to it. Good head at pour but savored in a small glass. Good vertical lacing on the glass. I expected more from the nose of this beer given the flavor - still smells good but doesn't reveal much more than a string Belgian style ale with maybe some clove coming through. Taste is complex and wonderful - subtle chilies that builds over time. Other pleasant spices with a nice malt balance.

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Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.74 out of 5 based on 1,525 ratings.
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