Review of Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11

05 Feb
Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be taking a look at the Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11 produced by the Stone Brewing Company located in Escondido, California.

These yearly releases always generate quite a bit of excitement when they hit the market and I must say I’m pretty excited about trying the 2011 offering.

From the website,, we find this description of the 11.11.11.  

Ale brewed with Anaheim chiles and cinnamon.

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:

Ok.  Let’s pour.

This beer comes in a 22 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 9.4%.

It poured a cloudy, burgundy/maroon color to start with.  It had an off white head that was soft, fluffy and rocky.  The size was good and the retention time was very nice.  The lacing seemed only average, but it still left behind a few spots of foam.  After the brew warmed a tad it cleared up nicely and the color started to become more of a ruby to amber.

The nose revealed hints of clove along with subdued notes of fig and toasted breadiness.  I can actually smell the cinnamon in this beer too.  Deep within the aroma I gathered the “green” chilies note.  It wasn’t overly robust or pungent, but still easily noticed.  All in all, I found the aroma to be quite pleasing and worthwhile.

The chilies seemed to be a bit more forthcoming in the taste than they were in the smell.  Got a little bit more of the cinnamon as well as some bready and yeasty savors.  A touch more of fig, although I also began to recognize a soft fruity banana in there too.  A slight notion of alcohol and a relaxed clove spice completed the rather well balanced and tasty flavor profile.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth and very dry.  The carbonation was good and quite a bit of heat was radiated from both the chilies and the alcohol.  A nice inkling of flavor was left behind on the palate for a few moments after the sip also.   

I’ll tell ya.  This was a very unique and good beer in my opinion.  A lot of people have given this brew mixed reviews, and that’s fine, but as I continued to drink I really started to enjoy it very much.  The chilies were melded well with the overall profile and I didn’t find that they ever took over the characteristic of the flavor in any way whatsoever.  In fact, I wish I would have sampled this with some tacos or burritos or something.  It definitely had that sort of “feel” to it.  The drinkability was quite good, but I doubt that this would be a style of beer that I would want to have on a daily basis.  Once in a while though I think it would totally hit the spot.  I’m glad I was able to pick up two bottles.  I can’t wait to see how this thing develops in another 10 months.  With that being said, if you see a bottle of the Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11, pick it up and give it a try.  It could very well be the beer you been looking for.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 

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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Country: USA, Stone


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