It’s been a wonderful Saturday, starting with a drive (down to The Country Vet, but you take what you get) with Jennifer and Maddie, moving from there to a bit of shopping (although the lamp I bought didn’t work), then to a little bit of work (more corrections), followed by a Maddie-led walk downtown (Straight to Petaluma Pie and Copperfield’s Books… what a dog!), and ending up in my reading a few stories, including the impressively chilling tales by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. and Genevieve Valentine from the inaugural issue of Phantasmagorium. And, rumor has it, there still may be a slice of Maddie-versary sweet potato pie for dessert.

Beyond that, I’m having and (finally) reviewing Stone Vertical Epic Ale 11-11-11, which has been available for a couple of months now. I know what you’re wondering, “how’s it stack up?” First, a little backstory…

For the last decade and a dime, Escondido’s Stone Brewing has been producing annual Vertical Epic Ales, released on those days when all the numbers on the calendar line up (01-01-01, 02-02-02, and so on, the series culminating with this year’s 12-12-12). Last year’s offering, 11-11-11, is an “Ale Brewed With Anaheim Chilies & Cinnamon.” I’m a little late, but how is it?

11-11-11 pours a rich, chestnut brown, with a thin, tannish, quick-falling head. Cascading lacing and noteworthy viscosity. Green chilies, cloves, and cinnamon on the nose, with strong suggestions of malt sugar, banana, pear, and Belgian yeast. Tongue follows taste: cinnamon and cloves, then warm, sweet chilies, nutty grains, and a bitter, spicy, dry finish. Lightweight mouthfeel, like thin syrup with active carbonation working overtime to spread the flavors around. Nicely complex, with plenty of bite.

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