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 vandemonian
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic about a year and one month after it was released. It is a tasty, fruity Belgian ale. The flavours from the grapes are quite strong but not unpleasant.

A: Orange colour and a 5 mm head that fades quite fast. 4

S: It basically smells like a mixture of white wine and apple cider. Not unpleasant. 4

T: Malty with some residual sweetness. Definitely much grainier than I expected from the smell. Ripe fruit flavours are evident. The alcohol is evident in the aftertaste. 4

M: Lightly carbonated. 3.5

O: 4

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Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A hard pour down the middle of a snifter results in two fingers of rolling and bubbly tan head. Color is dark brown with ruby red hues at the edges. Spice, dark chocolates, dark fruits (cherries, plums, raisins) to the nose up front. A little caramel malt sweetness and fresh baked cinnamon bread follows. Tastes of semi-dark chocolate, more dark fruits, taffy sweetness and simple bitterness at the very end. Creamy going down and the alcohol is camouflaged with the complexity of flavors. A little cardboard in the aftertaste fades quickly. As it warms a bit of unique earthiness is revealed, presumably from the chili addition. First VE undertaking, and somehow feel I've really missed something in the past as this one is sitting quite well right now.

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

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series.

P: A vivacious clear amber to copper body that has a dollop of tan bubbly head.

S: Nice a peppery, Anaheim pepper, picketed bell peppers, picketed jalapeño peppers, banana phenol, orchard fruit, cinnamon. Nice heat to this.

T/M: Spicy peppers continue with a spices and sweet malt background. Medium smooth tight body crisp carbonation.

O: Nice and spicy. Tons of different variations of spice to this. Spicy hops and vinegar soaked peppers. The heat was really brought with this beer and it developed nicely. I have to expect that it was quite intense when fresh.

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

i was about to buy the new stone vertical epic 12.12.12 buy the fella at the beer store i go to said that it was in jan.'s beer club so i figured i could hold off til next week. i decided to pick up the ve11.11.11.

it pours a cloudy brown looks good.

the smell is bold and fruity. you can also detect the cinnamon. it seems to be the perfect time of year for this beer right around the holidays.

the taste is unique there is traces of the chilies, maybe even slight heat. and you can taste the alcohol. there is a lot of sweetness here-its also dry, reminds me of a red wine.

over all i like it, i like when breweries reach out and try different combos, makes for unique drinks. i look forward to the 12.12.12 next week.

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Photo of thecheapies
2.42/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.11.11, a year and change later. In a pint glass.

Very cloudy and muddy brown. Looks like pond water with some afterwash foam scum.

Cardboard oxidation, overripe banana, caramel, and muddy malts.

Definitely didn't keep well. Papery and caramelized and turned. Cinnamon is still prevalent and the banana is just behind the accent. The heat is barely there. It's just not right, however. No distinguishable malt profile. Only what I remember from last year.

Drinks smooth, but with light carbonation. Alcohol levels are a little seeping.

Should have reviewed this last year. An otherwise okay beer turned bad. Time was not the answer. Sorry Stone. Drain pour.

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

I thought that I reviewed this last year but I guess I didn't. Anyways poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. This pours a slightly cloudy mahogany color with a three finger thick tan head which has mid retention and this completely dissipates. The smells are of cinnamon, chili, dark ripe fruit, Belgian sugar. The feel is medium to thick, tingly on the tongue. The taste is good enough, dark ripe fruit, sugar, cinnamon and a some nice green chili.

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Photo of atr2605
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep red amber with an off white head with pretty good retention and leaves a thick lace around the edge of the snifter
S-cinnamon, chili, dark fruit like plums and black cherry
T-cinnamon and fruit up front with the chili peppers coming in the finish along with a bit of bitterness
M-medium to medium-full
O-very unique brew. Should have bought a bottle to try when it was first released in order to compare. Still very interesting and complex.

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Photo of HerculesRM
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: Poured from bottle into a chilled pint glass. I may have served it too cold.

A: Murky brown with a hint of amber, cloudy.

S: It has a very clean smell, but that's part of the problem. Not much fragrance to speak of.

T: Underwhelming. The chilis and cinnamon are weak, and I had to use my imagination to detect them at all, very slight spice. Slight alcohol taste. Decent malt profile.

M: Somewhat thick, appropriate for this gravity.

O: Overall a bit of a disappointment, though not a bad beer. It may have been better had I served it a bit warmer. I have a second bottle that I intend to cellar for a while, and I may update my review.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No freshness dating other than the 11.11.11

A= Pours a thick looking hazy dark amber brownish color with a thin finger of active bubbly head on it that holds little retention and lacing.

S= The smell is a deep cinnamon aroma with deep rich belgian candy and dark malts. It has a bit of an over ripe pear aroma and a touch of alcohol.

T= The taste is actually quite nice. I was initially worried about the chili in it but the chili is very light offering only a vegetative quality to it. The cinnamon comes through as well as touches of belgian candy sugar and dark fruit. It has a nice sweet malt character similar to that of an irish amber or something of the sort. The finish offers just a touch of the chili.

M= Lower carbonated.

O= This is a solid beer for something I figured I would hate. It works. The chili is light in it and that may have something to do with the age. It's complex enough to keep ya guessing. Check this beer out if you can find it. It's worth looking at.

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Photo of camiverson34
4.84/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Amber-red color minimal lacing, but retains slight carbonation throughout.

Smell - The Chili and cinnamon are sharp at the beginning with a hint sweet malts, brown sugar, and caramel that round out the spices.

Taste - Flavor of Anaheim Chile without the spicy burn that were present when it was young followed by a lingering sweetness with just a hint of cinnamon and caramel. Although the alcohol is present, it is well hidden by the spices.

Mouthfeel - Minimal carbonation. Coats the tongue with a syrupy texture that lasts for a minute or more, and has a slight burn at the end that one would expect from the spices.

Overall - I've had this beer a couple of times over the last year, and this is the best it's been. Previously the spiciness of the chili overpowered the subtleties of the sweetness of the beer. The cinnamon, although very mild, provides a unique spice counter to the heat of the chili. Good balance, and although it's ready to drink now, I think it will improve even more with time.

Well done Stone!

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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 joemcgrath27
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After staring at this bottle the past year in my fridge, its finally time! Waited a little longer than the 12-12-12 date to coordinate a online tasting together with my BA in crime andrenaline. STOKED!
A - poured into a tall tulip, itsa murky purple brown hue, two finger of head settled at a solid cover, very consistent lace ring
S - big dark Belgian fruity aromas of candied plumb and raisin, some bready yeast, then the chilli builds and keeps building, and is then met by cinnamon to produce a big sweet and spicy finish
T - plumb and pear fruitiness with some yeasty funk opens it up, quickly turns to a sweet heat chili flavour with an oily aspect, just a hint of a boiled veggie flavour that seems to be part of the deal with most chili beers but its light and passes quickly, the cinnamon adds a sweet and spicy aspect that also brings out the chili heat a little more, finishes with some light peppery hop notes and a bready quality, and just a touch of chili lasting way late in the finish
M - big and rich with less than medium carbonation, creamy and super smooth throughout with the chili heat just lingering late in the finish as you have more sips, i didn't try it upon purchase but i'd imagine the ABV has mellowed significantly as you would never guess its high octane
O - I must say i'm proud of myself for having waiting until the best after date to crack this, well worth the wait. I'm only recently started to put together some brews to age and this is really my first try of anything aged, great experience, can't wait to make a trip south of the 49th parallel and grab the 12-12-12, along with one or two for my homie andrenaline!

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a weizen glass, ruby amber colored with a huge tan head that fades slowly leaving soft lacing, cloudy with some bubbling

S: caramel malt with a sour cherry note, slight cinnamon spice, bittering hop just barely there

T: big malt character up front then the taste of the chilies hits, on the sweet side up front, finish dries as the cinnamon comes out, cloves and bitter hops

M: heavy with a big oily alcohol presence, alcohol lingers on aftertaste

O: it is an interesting take on a strong ale, it is a weird fusion of red malt, Belgian yeast, and southwest chilies and spices, glad I tried it but not a daily drinker, the heavy oily alcohol presence was a bit much

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Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4.92/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- ruby red, 1/2" quickly fading off white head

S- intense spicy peppers that tingle the nose, southwestern style sweet salsa

T- follows the nose, hint of belgian yeast

M- medium body, crisp carbonation, tingling spicy peppers at the back of the throat

O- the first beer i have ever aged and i'm extremely happy i did. I don't remember much from last year besides that the peppers were very subtle and really only showed as a spicey after taste and heat. With over a year on it, the peppers have dominated everything. The best description i can give is basically a beer with clamato in it (try it, it's awesome!) With a southwestern twist. It's spicy, its sweet, and earthy. I wish i would have aged more than one bottle.

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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 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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Photo of PatriotsRule
4.79/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly an epic. This is not exaggeration.
A: Nice and cloudy, almost a blood red. Yellowish head, medium lacing with good carbonation
S: Chilies and cloves. Fruity bready hoppy roasted malt with a hint of smoke
T: Chilies and hops. Citrus and something bright...
M: Nice yeast activity, very smooth and flavorful with ample aftertaste. A tiny bit o' alcohol
O: For this to be 9.4% it is absolutely beyond drinkable. Super interesting flavors, I mean really uncommon tasting beverage for a beer. It is soothingly spicy, and, well, wowing. Hoping to pick up a bottle of the 12.12.12 fresh hop monster as soon as an east coaster possibly can!

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a murky orange-brown, 2 fingers of head (surprising for a year old chili beer). smells sweet of cinnamon, molasses, brown sugar, has a mole spicy scent overall. a raisiny spicy kick up front.. very sugary sweet, a little bit TOO sweet that it doesn't honestly go all that great with the chili spice. a slight bitter aftertaste of burnt caramel.
medium body, medium carbonation, a little on the syrupy side.

an interesting choice for a beer, a subtle spiced quad.. the more it warms up the more you taste the pepper and cinnamon. not really THAT into it, and i do like mole stouts and dark chili ales, this one is just too sweet.

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

This exceptionally different ale, presented itself with a deep, rich yet cloudy mahogany color. The aroma is of sweet malt, prunes or dates, cinnamon and yes, chiles. This combination should not work but does quite nicely. The cinnamon is not as present but the sweet malt is at the front. The chilis are more forward at the end of the bottle and I really enjoyed the second half more than the first. The completely different nature of this ale makes it succeed and I recommend it for anyone experimenting.

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Photo of Ranz
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: With about an inch and a half head above a thick, murky brown, this beer pours nicely in my tulip. The head is fairly creamy in texture, and in the right light, the color almost becomes a bit red in hue. Thick lacing in the glass creates a webwork of resilient bubbles.

S: The Anaheim chiles are subtle yet distinct in the nose up front; bready malt, biscuit, and a slight tincture come next. It's a nice, warming, inviting smell, distinct in character yet not showy. I like it.

T: Very, very interesting. Just like in the nose, the chiles make their presence known immediately: it kicks with the carbonation before smoothly transitioning into a nice malt and yeast profile. It does have just the slightest sweetness to it, which is only discernible in the finish marked by an alcoholic medicinal quality. What a unique surprise.

M: For something with such a pronounced spice profile, it's a smooth experience with some nice acidity at the front with a fairly long, boozy finish.

O: Stone never disappoints, and this beer continues that tradition. I only wish that I had bought another and that I had known about this years earlier when the Vertical tradition began. Alas, good beer was not on my radar at that point.

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

Big Cinnamon beer, thanks Jason. Spicy, with heat in the finish. Brown with big lace. Interesting but also some astringency. OK drinkability, unique, but perhaps not the best of the vertical series. I would like more chile heat, offset with some brown sugar..

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Photo of peensteen
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber brown colour, 1.5 fingers of offwhite head, quite a great deal of lace here as well. Smell is loaded with pepper and spice, cinnamon, malt is there as well, some alcohol and some light belgian yeast influence. Taster is very spicy, chile is there in a big way, some cinnamon with a mid palate malty flavour. Medium carbonation, med-full body, good weight. Interesting stuff but this didn't do it for me, it became more drinkable after about 30 min or so but still mildly put off by this, wouldn't come back to this I dont think.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich amber colored with a quickly reducing off-white head. Anaheim chilies dominate the nose on this one, as well as the initial taste. The back end is where the cinnamon comes through, followed by a warm, pleasant finish fueled by the high ABV. Unique flavor profile, but really enjoyable for something so off the beaten path -- which speaks to the quality and complexity of the beer. The Belgian-inspired malt profile is an elegant platform for the Anaheim chilies and cinnamon. Not something I'd want every day, but a great change of pace and pretty much perfect for a cold, grey November afternoon.

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Photo of Chadillac
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened on 11/13/12 shared with a friend and poured into a tulip glass.

Only bought 2 when they came out and didnt drink them so this is my first taste.

Appearance: pours almost a light brownish and cloudy, small amount of light getting though. 1 finger off white head dissapated quickly, some lacing

Aroma: bready, malty, belgiany, sweet smell. not getting much chili or cinnamon in the nose.

Taste: very mild belgian taste, maybe the year of age mellowed it out. Get a hint of spice and clove, Really nice sweetness but not too sweet then folowed by the chili in the back of the mouth and slightly boozy as it warms your chest up a little.

Overall: Great tasting beer, Definitely worth the wait. Lots of complex flavors, almost too rich for my palate to dicipher.

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Photo of smerrell
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is mahogany with a long lasting head. The smell is malty and sweet.unlike many other chili beers that I have had before, the roasted flavors of the chili is what comes out, and (thankfully) not the heat. The Cinnamon is present and adds a nice dimension to this beer. I need to pick up a few more before they disappear - some for now, and some for next year.

EDIT 11/12/2012

served chilled in a snifter, after storing for a year in my fridge

A: a deep amber/mahogany with a slight yellow head

S: Very fragrant - floral and sweet smelling

T: I taste a lot of the fruitiness of the Anaheim chili, and strong cinnamon notes. The finish is bitter and dry.

M: this is well-carbonated, which helps the finish to dissipate quickly.

O: I enjoyed this beer fresh a year ago, and I like it now, however I wouldn't want to drink more than one in an evening. It's nice for something different, but I wouldn't want a ton of it. I find myself pleasantly surprised a the absence of chili heat, which has ruined other chili beers for me in the past. I am happy that I stored a few bottle s of this one, and I still recommend it.

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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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