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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic AleStone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,443 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,443
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 22
Gots: 316 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HalfFull on 12-05-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,443 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Jason, Dec 13, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

oberon, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

aszatk01, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of braugon
2.05/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

braugon, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of MadScientist
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

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.

MadScientist, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev +2.3%

npala86, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of Tiernan
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Tiernan, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

bulldogg915, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

lordofthewiens, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of freshflesh
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

freshflesh, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

DaftPatrick, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

csmartin6, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +2.3%

warnerry, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

SmellsofMahagony, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of anjah
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

anjah, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Billolick, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of ElSid
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Beers of California

#34

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.

ElSid, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of Homebrew35
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

Homebrew35, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Jovo
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Jovo, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of Skye1024
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Skye1024, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of JeffreyBeer
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

JeffreyBeer, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Altenor
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Altenor, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
4/5  rDev +2.3%

ImFlyerThanYou, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

MicroBeerMan1980, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of jondeelee
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stone’s 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale opens to a spicy nose that would not seem out of place in a Christmas or pumpkin ale: nutmeg, clove, toasted cinnamon, and bitter orange peel mix with an assortment of fruit esters (dates, raisins, maraschino cherries), the end result bearing a striking resemblance to handcrafted fruitcake. These are joined by thick molasses and honey, adding both darker and sweeter sugars, and touches of vanilla and spiced rum add hints of oaky liquors. Add to this a dash of thick brown breads, some pepper, a smidgen of anise, and a shade of toasted pecan, and you have an excellent holiday brew, bearing one of the better bouquets on the market for a spiced winter ale.

On the tongue, the resemblance to fruitcake continues, with an almost direct translation of the spice and fruit notes from the aroma, though here the flavors do take on a darker, more earthy note, as if the crust of the fruitcake were slightly burnt (in a good way). The cloves and allspice notes are especially present in the fruits, and the molasses overtakes the honey, adding scads of dark, near-burnt sugars, which mix nicely with an ashy undertone that emerges mid-mouthful. In subsequent sips much of the original notes are retained, with perhaps an even slightly greater edge given to black, crispy bread crusts. But still, enough sugars remain to add nice levels of sweetness, and the fruits bring dark notes that mix well with everything. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, lingering on the tongue in fruitcake goodness for a very long time. It is mainly here that the 9% ABV comes through, bringing a wash of alcoholic vapors, but those still mingle well with the fruitcakes. Mouthfeel is a dry medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent ale, and it’s a shame that Stone is only making this once, since it’s difficult to imagine anyone getting a winter spiced ale to be better than this one. The flavors are immaculately balanced, the ingredients carefully chosen, and the result is amazing. Grab it while you can.

jondeelee, Jan 13, 2013
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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.