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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

296 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 296
Hads: 1,548
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 32.39%
Wants: 27
Gots: 377 | FT: 43
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:
Beer added by: HalfFull on 12-05-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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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Reviews: 296 | Hads: 1,548
Photo of Wer34truh
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber color with a small head. Looks the part

Smells of Belgian yeast and light herbal flavors.

Surprisingly carbonated for the style. Otherwise the taste is marvelous. A distinct hop character with floral and grass undertones. This is definitely hoppier than traditional Belgians, which creates a great taste contrast. On one end you got your caramel Belgian styled brew, and on the other you have the hoppiness that Stone brings. Together, they make a delightful and potent brew which I thoroughly enjoyed. Without it being revolutionary in any sense.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this yesterday at a beer fest. Great to have this again after it's had some time to age!

Pours a deep almost stout like color.

Nose is all spices, clove particularly.

Tastes like what Christmas should - in that the spice is there in a great way but not overpowering like so many winter warmers.

Wonderful treat getting this and it is definitely better than I remember it from when I first tried it a couple years ago.

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Photo of jancona
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful look and sticky lacing. Flavor is full of sweet spice (allspice, clove) with a toasty, dark malt backbone. Feel is spot-on Belgian strong ale with fine but persistent carbonation. Truly a great beer experience.

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Photo of iRaven99664
4.99/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Most amazing thing I've tried! Bought 4-19-15, drinking 4-20-15. Must have been a huge batch if only brewed once and am still able to buy. Really wish I could have tried all of them. This will for ever be my all time favorite beer.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A strong clove note on the nose along with some sweet fruit, lots of cinammon & nutmeg in the body with some lasting dark molasses. Lots of hefty winter flavor, but a little strong on the spice.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this sometime at the end of 2012, as part of a 03.03.03 - 12.12.12 tasting. I had meant to enter these a while ago while they were fresh and add a few extra details, but that didn't happen. Review from notes. Anyway, here we go.

3.5 A: Black color. Small frothy light brown head.

4.5 S: Wonderfully spicy. Loads of cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg. Smooth chocolatety base with caramel, peel, and light malty backbone. Light roast.

4.0 T: Same as nose.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. Lightly creamy.

4.0 D: Very tasty. Best of the night.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12
22 oz. bottle, no apparent freshness dating
$8.49 @ Total Wine & More # 901, Tampa, FL

Stone has gone out strong with their Vertical Epic 12.12.12. It looks like an Imperial stout, but tastes kind of like a gingerbread cookie with raisins in it. It's got one of the most tenacious and lace-giving dark tan heads I've ever seen, yet its almost opaque brown-black body is actually medium, or even medium-light in body. And although it's got a strong roastiness to it, it's also loaded with fruit and spice.

The aroma is clearly not Imperial stout like (perhaps Belgian stout like), giving off bright notes of spice including ginger, ... uh, ahhh, I see they're listed on the bottle so I might as well just list them here: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sweet orange peel, clove and rose hips... and yet I see there's no ginger but I smell it. I also get a little bit of bubblegum, but all you need for that really is just sugar and clove. Needless to say, it's complicated - and that's all you need to know as I'd rather not write a book detailing the changes you'll encounter as it warms and so forth. For you the imbiber, you can enjoy the malts, the yeast, and the spice as much or as little as you want because although it's quite complex, it's really not overwhelming.

The flavor, now that's a different story. It's spicy, and it's 'Belgian', and it's malty - let's start with that. Dark malts abound, yet it's not overly roasty or chocolatey or darkly caramelish - all of those are present, both standing on their own and working together, but it's not a "malty" beer. In the end it's simply medium bodied so you can't pack that much malt flavor in like you can with a barley wine or what not. And rather than being bitter, it's got a nice sweet note to it that's reminiscent of rock candy - it's sugar, but it's not super sweet sugar - and with the bitterness that IS there, and all of the spice, it remains balanced. What this beer is not, is rounded. No, it's all over the spider web flavor chart with spikes in overall intensity, sweetness, fruitiness, roasted cereal, and alcohol (even at just 9%). It's a roller coaster in that sense. In fact I'm not sure I've ever experienced a beer that's so intense in so many ways, and yet overall not a "punch in the face".

So how to rate it? How to describe it overall? I don't think there's really a beer category to put it in, but if I was forced to choose one I'd go with "Belgian-style stout", which is not really recognized, and as such, rating it can only be done in a hedonistic way. Michael Jackson once told me when I asked him about rating beers hedonistically or "not to style", that "you have to just take what you know and assign it", so I'll do that.

When I go to sleep tonight I might dream of a cinnamon roll with raisins that have been soaked in dark rum and served alongside cold dark coffee and a hot cup of floral and herbal tea with a slice of orange on the side.

My overall impression to pass on to you, then, is buy it, try it, and if you like it go back for more (as I will, at least in part because I think it will age beautifully). To a certain extent this is history in the making! It's the last of the Vertical Epic series (until the next time... ?), and it might be the first of a new style.

Kudos, and thanks to everyone at Stone!

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Photo of barczar
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%

Strong ginger and nutmeg in aroma, along with plums and muted cherry. Light smoke and cinnamon add complexity. Didn't expect the spice character, as I'm having this on draft and didn't read the bottle description. It's dark as a stout. Flavor reveals strong cherry and citrus underpinnings, with a roasty, bitter finish. Medicinal notes abound. Certainly not your typical Belgian dark strong. The cherry character dominates, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and roast malt. Spices are stronger than I'd prefer.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%

The 2012 Vertical Epic release was, appropriately, a winter seasonal, and it was excellent. Everything you'd want in a winter warmer, plus some bonus alcohol just because. Very well done, and I hope I can find some of this next winter somehow.

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Photo of Roguer
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tons of dry spice in this brew! Nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice make themselves significantly known, riding atop a Belgian yeast sweetness. Peculiar roasty finish.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a murky brown color, perhaps leaning toward blackness.

Smell - The malts in the aroma gave the impression of sweet and sour fruits. Without knowing, it would difficult to pinpoint the style based on the aroma.

Taste - My initial thought was that this is a lot like chai tea. There was malty goodness laying in the background, but the spiciness jumps out. There is a measure of chocolate in the aftertaste which leans slightly dry.

Mouthfeel - There is a degree of thickness as this one coats the tongue and lingers. One is really able to appreciate the spices as it lingers.

Overall - I am not sure about the bag reputation this one has, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Wreckerpecker
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the privilege of drinking this AMAZING beer last night at a friends going away party. To make a long story short, this beer IS CHRISTMAS in a bottle. Smells of eggnog, gingerbread, cinnamon, and a touch of nutmeg. The taste is rich, thick, and tastes of the previously stated scents. TL;DR I would buy this beer if I come across it again.

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Photo of babaracas
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a near black with dense dark brown head, a spray of lace on the glass. Smell: a lot of baking spices, fig, date bread, cooked pear note, double sweet stout level of sweetness. Taste: tons of caramel, some chocolate syrup, roast note, prune, nutmeg and allspice. It's like chocolate spiced eggnog poured over date bread splashed with orange liquor. It's a dessert at this point and a nice holiday beer. For the style, even for a "noel" take on the style, it's way over the top.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/6/12, poured into stone snifter

A- pours a dark brown, nearly black color with a small creamy khaki colored head that has good retention long after the pour, leaving some lace behind

S- big dose of clove and nutmeg, with hints of cinnamon, allspice, gingerbread, floral sweetness, fruitcake, burnt dark sugar and fig. Spices are still pronounced.

T- first impression is that the spices are still pronounced, big flavors of clove, cinnamon, gingerbread cookie, nutmeg, allspice, tastes like Christmas in a glass. The finish lingers charred malt, candied orange and sweet figs, awesome

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish, just a touch of abv warmth

O- this was a home run for me. One of the best "Christmas" spiced beers that I've ever had and the spices are still alive and kicking. Very good start to a 7 year vertical

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Photo of Reidrover
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I saw this in a local tobacco and beer place called "Habits" in Salem OR and thought I would take a chance since it was in the fridge. Cost? $3.99 Pours a dark dark brown almost blackcurrant look..nice thick tan head. Nice moderate spicy coriander aspects along with small "barnyard and blackberries in the aroma..very pleasing to the nose. Taste is all of the above with a touch of bitters and very smooth and well melded. Some dark roasted coffee in the end but in balance with the whole. Mouth feel on this is spectacular, smooth oh so silky smooth yet kicks in with some refreshing surprises. Excellent drink..the age seems to have been good for this beer. There is one left..i plan to get it tomorrow.

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Photo of BeerME_562
4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

If you a fan of bourbon banana flamebe this is your beer... extremely similar in taste

appearance: dark espresso with a vanilla head

aroma: cinnamon, orange, allspice,

taste: cinnamon, orange, allspice, aged/roasted banana, woodsy

mouthfeel: fullbody, medium-light

overall good quality beer outstanding

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Photo of fgmiele
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours silken black with little to no cream colored head.

Aromas of mocha, fruit, almond, sweet booze

Taste follows nose..twangy banana like sweetness with a coffee mocha rounding out. Flavor is deep and complex..flavors open as temp warms.

Mouthfeel is slippery and full.. Not heavy but well developed.

Overall a complex and different beer..have not had any of the other vertical epics but I would gather that they were probably quite something from the tastes of this.

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Photo of utfiero
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Color- near black with dark mocha head.

Aroma- nutmeg, cinnamon, raisin and other spices.

Taste- (initial tasting on 12/30/2012) Starts with a spiced intro including clove, cinnamon, and pine needles, then mellows out with roasted malt notes, finishing with a balanced hoppiness.

Aged test 10/20/2013- on retest this is ambrosia. This is like eating a homemade pumpkin pie while drinking an aged Scotch with the faint aroma of pipe smoke in the background. Silky and beautiful! A true epic.

Each time poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass).

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Photo of Rothobinide
4.81/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler - got it filled on 12/13/14 at Stone.

Pours smooth, dark, no light passes through. Nice one finger head formed and dissipated relatively quickly. Smells of yuletide spices: clove, cinnamon sticks, ginger, candied plums, mulling spices, nutmeg, vanilla, orange peel, molasses.

Flavor is complex but oh so smooth and well-rounded. Tastes like a frosted gingerbread house. Plentiful holiday spices provide a rich body to the flavor and the finish is smooth and a little bit dry. This one has aged very gracefully and continues to be a hit whenever I open to share with friends and family. One of my favorites in the Vertical Epic series and in the style family of Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

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Photo of travolta
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Straight black with very nice lacing and very nice retention.

Nose: Grape must, mint, lavender, bananaa, chocolate, with a little tuft of toffee. Nutmeg, faint rose hips and hibiscus at the end.

Taste: great balance, slight orange, chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg, with a Pepsi finish.

Notes: I was married on 12/12/12 at 12:12:12 in Tikal, Guatemala. This is our beer and it is fantastic.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a signature Stone snifter glass. Vintage bottle from 2012, poured 06/14/2014.

Appearance: Very dark opaque brown-black with medium bubbles, head is tan rising to maybe a notch below finger's length.

Smell: Sour yeast smell, bland could be more potent.

Taste: Nice complex and smooth, heavy nutmeg feel. Lightly spicy with a pinch of sourness to it. It is definitely not for everyone.

Mouth: Medium bodied carbonation. Yeast feel at the end that comes off a bit dry.

Overall: Not a bad beer at all and if you see the bottle grab it. I bought this a very long time ago upon it's release and decided to finally crack it open just for the hell of it. Drink up and enjoy, Salud!

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Photo of fourZero
2.99/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

SUPER clove taste, can't get past anything but the cloves. Label says mild clove spice added, I don't believe it. More cloves than I can handle. Like drinking a box of Djarums. Cloying, super-sweet, ultra-clovey nasty spice flavor to this one. Maybe I just tried a winter beer too late in the season? Not sure, but would not be getting this one again.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Dark brown, tan head. Excellent lacing!

The nose is all cloves. Talk about Cloverfield!

Thankfully, the taste isn't all cloves. Something akin to Sublimely Self Righteous brewed with cloves, only much sweeter.

A very interesting beer, no doubt. Would I get it again? Probably not. But it's certainly worth a try for the sheer uniqueness of the drinking experience.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Stone Escondido on 4/3/14

A-Pours a very dark stout like color, black with a medium creamy brown head.

S-A nose of spices, anise, and clove.

T-The flavor is nutmeg, sweet spices, and some banana.

M-The mouthfeel is medium-thick and coats well. Decent carbonation this beer is very stout like.

O-Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of vicg12
2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

Not impressed with this offering from Stone. Must be said that the beer is getting pretty old now, but I saw it on the shelf at a local brew store so I had to give it a try. The pour is beautiful, beer is very dark and puts off a rich chocolate color head; leaves a decent lace. The smell smacks you in the face with an aroma of cinnamon, allspice and another spice I can't put my finger on. The taste is what you would expect from the smell with a strong presence of cinnamon and allspice with an after-note of cloves, but the most predominate flavor is that of bitters! In my opinion this is not a good flavor for a beer. It just takes away from the fact that you are actually drinking a really well brewed beer. You concentrate on this overpowering spice pallet that leaves you forgetting that this taste is actually coming from a beer. Really complex flavor and I appreciate what they were trying to accomplish here, just not my cup of tea. Worst beer I have had from Stone. If I wanted to drink bitters I would have ordered a Prohibition style cocktail, so please, keep it out of my beer.

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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.