Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,424 | Reviews: 286 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Zach225:
4.29/5 rDev +10%
Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Pours a gorgeous, seemingly black, dark dark brown. No light shining through to speak of, but not completely opaque. A slight hint of a deep, dark mahogany at the very edge of the glass and a very attractive light mocha/tan head (about 1 finger poured moderately). Modest alcohol legs.
Nose: "Christmas Seasonal". The spices are definitely present and playing a major role here. The clove is subtle and the other wintery spices work well together with big leading notes of nutmeg, orange peel and cinnamon. The spices are surrounded by a warm blanket of darker, roasty/chocolatey notes with some deep, robust, oily espresso as well as the estery belgian yeast. The sort of doughy, fuity, zesty, breadiness of a belgian dark is subdued but still present and in balance with the roasty notes.
Taste: A well crafted ale that really fits the season it was released into, although I am drinking this in March. Three months later the flavors are melding together very well. The spices definitely have a starring role here and makes it predictably reminiscent of autumn seasonals/pumpkin beers, but it has a depth of flavor in the malt structure and belgian yeast. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and wickedly creamy. This sort of creamy roasty quality blends nicely with the belgian dark strong flavor profile. The creaminess helps balance out the spice character but it still finishes delightfully dry.
Overall: A very enjoyable beer and a great way to end the series. Having this now, I would like to try to get my hands on a few more bottles to age for autumns and winters to come. This is possibly my favorite beer I have ever tried with this kind of blend of winter spices. Another big thumbs up for Stone.
03-18-2013 08:33:34 | More by Zach225
More User Reviews:
4.18/5 rDev +7.2%
Glad to try the last in this annual series.Poured into a chalice a deep dark chocolate color...nearly black with a creamy one finger deep beige head that left a broken ring of lace as it settled into a creamy mass.Deep mulling spice in the nose along with alcohol sweetness and a little earth.Full chewey feel to beer and really smooth,top notch there.The spice starts out like it might overpower the beer with nutmeg really standing out but a big earthy dryer finish kicks in just in time to give it balance.This is a big allspice and nutmeg spiced bomb but the earthy dry finish is a perfect foil up against it,a great beer.
12-28-2012 23:42:39 | More by oberon
2.05/5 rDev -47.4%
Not a favorite here. I'd heard such great things about others in this series, and love Stone beers. March is definitely not an ideal time of year for this one. The appearance was dark/black, the nose, mostly clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, the taste reminded me of when I ate a tablespoon of nutmeg as a bored teenager. I don't usually like heavy spice beers, and this one says right on the side of the bottle it is an Ale with Spices, so no one to blame but myself here. Overall, just too spiced for me.
03-20-2013 12:15:40 | More by braugon
3.41/5 rDev -12.6%
A: The beer is inky black with a light greenish brown tint and no light is getting through. The head is medium brown made of creamy, slightly rocky bubble that leave lacing on the glass.
S: A decent spice and pine aroma with moderately-strong notes of allspice, clove and nutmeg. There is a moderate sweet orange peel aroma. There moderate pine aroma that seems like it's the hops but it could be the mix of spices. Some dark fruitiness comes through at lower levels like moderately-light figs and plums. There most definitely spice in there but there doesn't seem to be a Belgian yeast type of an aroma.
T: It's a spice bomb and the first sip seems like lots of clove at first but it become clear that it's just a lot of all the spices they brewed with from the allspice, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg in order of how strong they appear to me. There is a moderately-light hops bitterness. The balance is even and the finish is fairly dry. The aftertaste shows some dark malt character with a slight roasted malt bitterness.
M: A Medium full body with moderately-strong carbonation. There is some astringency
O: The spice is out of balance but not too badly. Spice like this will calm down over time and if I was brewing a bottle to lay down for years I might bump up the spice to this level knowing I'd leave it alone for a while. I can't recommend this beer right now but I'd be interested to see how it taste in another year or so.
01-18-2013 00:31:41 | More by MadScientist
4.38/5 rDev +12.3%
I've looked forward to this series every year. This one was exceptional. In a snifter it was near black in color with a small tan head.
Cocoa and chocolate aroma. Roasted malts. Charcoal.
Cocoa/chocolate taste. Some coffee and vanilla.
This was a very dry beer, and just a joy to drink.
12-15-2012 21:27:57 | More by lordofthewiens
4.25/5 rDev +9%
22oz brown bomber with a vintage date. Brewer's intention is a Belgian inspired winter warmer ... Belgian Christmas ale.
LOOK: Opaque with a stunning tan head
SMELL: Fruitcake, molasses bread, burnt figs, christmas, brownies, marmalade, alcohol
TASTE: Chewy, smooth, charred malt, holiday spicing, dark chocolate, estery alcohol, chocolate covered candied oranges, warming, balanced hopping, dark bread, toasty, plum, mild charcoal, long lingering finish
Stone nails the style, or at least the intention of being of the Belgian Noël beer likeness. Bold but that is expected here, memories of winter trips to Belgium come to mind. Last of the series, funny they should end with a bitter-sweet brew. One of the best of the series IMO.
12-13-2012 05:16:58 | More by Jason
4.2/5 rDev +7.7%
Looks like this one has been in a dark closet for 6 months or so. Chilled and allowed to warm up for about 45 mins.
Pours darn near black, mocha head, leaves a thick n rich head, quality, tiny bubble and nice looking fine sheets of lace.
Burnt malt, dark bitter chocolate , vanilla on the nose
Super smooth, big, bold, complex and flavorful Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Dense flavors of dark and bitter chocolate, more vanilla. Snap of belgian yeat in the rear.
Heady brew. Dangerously awesome
06-07-2013 03:59:56 | More by Billolick
3.74/5 rDev -4.1%
The Beers of California
Bottled Date: None
A: Pitch black and opaque with an ephemeral milky espresso head which fades to trace lace and a faint blanket of foam.
S: Big spice aroma with raisins, dark grains with a hint of espresso, cocoa, and citrus zest. Some alcohol warmth is detected along with faint phenolic medicinal qualities which build as the beer warms.
T: An interesting melange of flavors with spice upfront consistent of nutmeg, allspice and a hint of peppery cloves on a foundation of mostly grainy, huskiness with a reserved sugary sweetness. The spice is paired with phenolic, band-aid like notes. There are also raisins, plum, espresso and chocolate topped off with citrus zest which attempts to balance the spice characteristics. Alcohol builds to the end beginning in the middle of this brew adding a nice warmth to the palate.
M: Medium bodied, powdery, with good linger and carbonation. There is also a synergistic spicy mouthfeel to the brew.
O: The last of the 10 Vertical Epic ales from Stone. The brew is not lacking in overall strength with a great complex spice flavors but overall the palate and component characteristics lack agreement with each other. Great effort from Stone.
12-14-2012 02:27:57 | More by ElSid
4.44/5 rDev +13.8%
Served in a tulip/snifter like glass. Half finger of a khaki head, dark brownish black body. Some head retention and good lacing.
Smells like a Christmas cookie mixed with fruit cake. Big cinnamon, brown sugar, anise, light Belgian yeast fruitiness.
Mega spice flavor here. Big cinnamon and dark chocolate. Some roast, coffee, licorice and coco powder. The base beer is so far buried and the Belgian character is muted.
Medium full bodied, medium to low carbonation.
Overall I enjoyed this beer. I don't think I could handle a full glass of this but none the less this is incredible. So heavily spiced yet fairly drinkable. The base beer is well made as usual from Stone, but is so muted. I enjoyed how in your face the spices are and how hidden the 9% is.
01-09-2013 19:04:03 | More by Homebrew35
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,424 ratings.