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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

1,453 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,453
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 22
Gots: 322 | 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
Ratings: 1,453 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MPSTARR
4/5  rDev +2.3%

MPSTARR, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of TomG2751
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

TomG2751, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of brureview
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured an opaque dark chocolate color with a 1/2 finger head. Very attractive looking beer.

The aroma is an overwhelming chocolate-spice combo. Cinnamon, and possibly gingerbread.

The mouth feel was smooth.

The imbalance in the beer starts with the taste. The chocolate-spice notes are completely dwarfed by the hoppiness and bitterness in the finish. I was looking for a smooth transition from aroma to taste: it was absent.

This would have been a great beer if there were more chocolate-spice notes in the finish.
Regrettably, the focus in the final stages of the tasting is on the hops and bitterness.

Re-evaluation: on the second night, the beer was better. The aroma wasn't as pronounced, it was a mellower chocolate spice. The mouth feel was more carbonated.

A snifter may be better for this beer than a tulip.

Most importantly, the hops and bitterness didn't mask the chocolate-spice taste. There was more balance to the flavor, and the finish wasn't overwhelming.

I generally don't like leaving a beer like this in the fridge too long- however, the fridge sometimes helps to mellow out the beer and bring more balance.

brureview, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a dark brown head. In the aroma, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a small orange citrus. In the taste, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and notes of clove. A mellow spice bite with a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice mixture in the aftertaste. Christmasy for sure, a nice balance of spices.

OWSLEY069, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of mrosenfeld32
4/5  rDev +2.3%

mrosenfeld32, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of JesseLara
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

JesseLara, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of Hultkrantz
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Hultkrantz, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of WOLFGANG
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

WOLFGANG, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of jkbrules1
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

jkbrules1, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I've never reviewed one of these VE ales before, so as luck would have it, my good friend picked up a bottle and agreed to share it with me. Portion of a 22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. From two day old notes.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is a creamy one-finger khaki shade. The general appearance is almost stout-like.

S: Stone really didn't dick around with the spices, did they? There is insane cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg on the nose. The eye-watering spiciness evokes Harpoon's (overspiced) Winter Warmer in a way. Still, I'd love more of the base beer to come through.

T: The aroma didn't deceive me, this is spiced to fuck and back. It opens with a heavy-handed explosion of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. After a while, it fades into a long dark fruit finish (plums, mainly). Touches of roasted nuts also appear. Complexity is good, but unfortunately it's complex in a messy, imbalanced way.

M: This one has a pretty thick body. A shame it had to follow the devastatingly drinkable La Terrible, because this one just seemed indolent and flabby in comparison. Still, alcohol is decently concealed.

O: This brew is meh not because it's boring and lacking pizzazz, but because it's pizzazz is haphazard and unfocused. That, and Christmas in July kind of sucks.

ThisWangsChung, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of georgiaboy8686
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

georgiaboy8686, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of akang
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

akang, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of goblue3509
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep black color with a skim head which gives way to edging and a couple strands of lace. The aroma is very good and complex. There is a roasted malt backbone with hints of chocolate but also a lot of spices. There is cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of Belgian yeast. I smells like fall and Christmas. The taste follows suit but just a little off. There is a roasted malt backbone. There is a big nutmeg presence along with some cinnamon. The back end leaves a almost overly bitter dark chocolate flavor with hints of licorice. The mouthfeel is a little slick and velvety. Overall its a solid beer, love the look and aroma but the taste left me off a little bit.

goblue3509, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of mikepcarney
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

mikepcarney, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of ebrifan
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

ebrifan, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of StoutHunter
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Stone's 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale a few months ago for $7.99 at The Lager Mill. I've never had any beers from this series and since this is the last one in the series I thought I should give it a try, I'm not really sure what to expect with this beer. but since it's from Stone I'm going to assume it will be flavorful, so lets see how it goes. 2012 Vintage, released for 12/12/12. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is pretty simple, but it had a nice clean look to it and I like the description of the beer and the series. It poured a very dark brown color that was bordering on being black and it hardly let any light come through with two fingers worth of dark tan head that was almost brown and died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice rings of lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, the color, head and lacing were all very nice.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of spices, all the spices in the description stick out, but it's the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg that seem to stick out the most and they make for a pretty spicy aroma. Up next comes some roasted malts that impart some sweet and light dark chocolate aromas along with a slight bit of coffee that go nicely with the spices but they could be a little more balanced since the spices seems to dominate this beer. Towards the end I get a nice Belgian yeast aroma. This beer had a good aroma, the spices were a little dominating but the end result was an aroma that was very similar to a ginger bread cookie and I enjoyed that.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by lots of spices, the cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg still stick out the most and are still a little too dominating. Up next comes a lighter amount of roasted malts that have a lighter amount of bitter chocolate flavors with a little more roasted malts towards the end. Up next comes some Belgian yeast that adds a little bit of complexity to this beer. On the finish there's a medium amount of sweetness with a just a little more sweetness with an aftertaste that is dominated by the spices with just a slight bit of roast. This is a good tasting beer, but I wish it had better balance, the spices are a little too dominant and it would be nice if the malts showed up a little more.

M- Smooth, a little dry on the finish, slightly sticky, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation that was slightly prickly. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer, but I think the carbonation could be toned down just a little.

Overall I thought this was nice beer, It isn't the best example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but it could very easily be called a Winter Warmer and it would be pretty dead on for the style, it's all about how you view this beer and I view it as being much more like a Winter Warmer. This beer had decent drinkability, the alcohol was well hidden, it was fairly smooth, not filling, and the flavors did a decent job at my holding my attention, but I think a bomber is enough for me, more than that and I think the spices would start to wear on me. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma and appearance, they were both pretty good and I really liked how close to a ginger bread cookie that the aroma was. What I liked the least about this beer was the balance, the roasted malts needed to show up a little more since the spices were just so dominant. I would buy this beer again, I'm pretty sure they won't make it again, so I don't think I'll have the chance to buy a bottle, but I think they should make it again since it's a great winter brew and I would like to have a bottle of this around Christmas time, it was worth the price and I would recommend this to anyone who likes winter warmers or heavily spiced beers. All in All I liked this beer and I thought it was pretty solid, the ginger bread aspect was pretty nice, but i felt like it needed more balance, it would be nice if the roasted malts shined through a little more then they did. Good job guys, I can't say how this does against the other vertical epic beers since I haven't had them, but I enjoyed this one and appreciate it's uniqueness, keep up the good works guys and keep blurring the line between styles.

StoutHunter, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of PGVG
4/5  rDev +2.3%

PGVG, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of eph1291
5/5  rDev +27.9%

eph1291, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours pretty much black with a finger of dense mocha colored head that leaves some lacing and fades to a small mat
S: smells of spices and yeast with a bit of sweetness
T: tastes of spices, a bit of chocolate, more spices, a slight sweetness and a hint of dark fruits. swallow brings a bit of roasty character, and more spice
M: soft and slightly prickly carb with a medium-heavy mouthfeel and a slightly drying finish
O: Pretty interesting beer. the spices are a bit heavy but it's not excessive or really off putting. They could stand to be dialed back a bit more to play more of a supporting role but other than that it's still a solid beer

SHODriver, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of bobv
4/5  rDev +2.3%

bobv, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of dmsohyea
1.25/5  rDev -68%

dmsohyea, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of brewcifix
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- This edition of Vertical Epic pours dark black-brown with a fluffy tan head. The head goes the distance, for sure- displaying exquisite lacing!

S- The nose is crazy. Nutmeg, licorice, clove, allspice, and sugar cookies take center stage- almost drowning out the mellow cream and chocolate. This almost smells like egg nog. Weird.

T- Damn good. Roasted malts, molasses. up front; give way to caramel, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet bread, and brown sugar. Hops add a scarce piney note in the finish that's easily overwhelmed by the other Christmas flavors. Nutmeg, and soft brown sugar linger on the palate. Somehow, though, Stone manages to keep this brew from being overly sweet. It is phenomenally balanced! Now, I'm tasting cream soda? Every sip unravels another layer. to say this beer is complex is an understatement. This beer is knocking my socks off!

M- The mouthfeel is the best part. This beer's nose and taste sound thick and syrupy. On the contrary, this concoction is light to medium weight, with subdued carbonation. This beer is actually very easy to drink!

Overall, this beer is awesome. I bought two bottles. I want to drink two bottles. But, my logical mind is telling me to age one of these. Stone claims that this is a "Belgian style abbey-ish beer". Personally, I'd call it a Belgian Style Stouty Brown Ale. Semantics aside, Stone Brewing knocked this one OUT OF THE PARK! If you are fortunate enough to see one of these bottles somewhere: BUY IT!

brewcifix, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of SBoyar1
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

SBoyar1, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of DSkilling
4/5  rDev +2.3%

DSkilling, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Started our Vertical Epic tour counting down from 12.

Dark brown pour with a dark tan head. Foam holds up well on a humid summer night. Aroma is a dense melange of herbal, floral, menthol cigarettes and molasses. Tastes like citrusy mint in a hot, roasty background. Dark, hot and messy. Bold. What it lacks in coherence it more than makes up for in flavor.

donkeyrunner, Jun 30, 2013
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,453 ratings.