Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,423 | Reviews: 285 | Display Reviews Only:
3.18/5 rDev -18.5%
Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one at his "end of the world" tasting.
Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, spices, herbs, and floral aromas. Taste is much the same with a weird spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that isn't done very well in terms of the spices that come through in the flavor.
12-23-2012 04:07:53 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.15/5 rDev +6.4%
A: The beer is essentially jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that has very good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of spices are present in the nose - allspice and nutmeg seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is quite spicy but there is more complexity as hints of cinnamon and clove are also noticeable. Among the spices, nutmeg stands out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The spices lend some dryness.
O: This beer is very enjoyable and has an interesting mix of spices, but not of the peppery variety. It is a nice beer for Christmas. It is very drinkable because the spices are well balanced and no traces of alcohol are perceptible.
05-04-2013 01:01:49 | More by metter98
4.03/5 rDev +3.3%
In the conclusion of a decade-long saga, Stone's Vertical Epic series concludes on a staggering high note. Belgian inspired, Scottishly malted, and Christmasly decorated- this beer takes the palate on quite a wintry ride!
Dark, bark-like brown, the beer pours with an exuberant pour that easily tricks the eye into thinking stout or robust porter. It erupts with a billowing head of mocha-stained foam that blankets the glass with long lasting foam an decorative lace.
Aromas are full of heavy toast, burnt sugar, molasses, mild smoky peat, and oddly banana bread. A strong spicy rebuttal of "Red Hot" cinnamon candies and clove nearly dominate the deep but focused scent.
An incredible depth of flavors wash the palate with bittersweet chocolate, lightly charred toast, deep molasses, and cold pressed coffee- all delivering a melange of robust and savory sweetness that won't be ignored. Even the fruit taste of grape weaves into the sweetness in estery and melded background. In the near absence of hops, the beer garners its balance from the sharp and spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, and rummy alcohols. Light earth and peat malt seems to ground the taste with slight complements of damp soil, heavy spruce, and juniper.
Robust and assertive, the beer erupts on the palate and causes and expansive feel of dry roast, semi-sweetness, and light ash to engulf the mouth entirely. But as the carbonation relaxes, the earth and malt take hold and usher in a spicy dark rum taste/texture that's further dried by the bitterness seemingly of pine resin, cinnamon, and char.
Despite it's "green" taste and premature roast-alcohol portrayal, the beer shows tremendous promise if properly aged like many other of the Vertical Epic series. If it's going to be your last hurrah, this is the way to go!
12-13-2012 06:26:26 | More by BEERchitect
3.73/5 rDev -4.4%
Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and cloves are quite strong with some light roasted malt notes and some light residuals sugar notes. Taste is also a good mix of roasted malt with some cinnamon and cloves and some residual sugar. Light spicy ginger notes are also distinguishable. Body is full with light creamy texture and good carbonation. Interesting mix of spices with solid malt backbone. I would have liked this better with some toned down roasted malt.
04-29-2013 01:51:49 | More by Phyl21ca
3.1/5 rDev -20.5%
22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Bullock’s Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.
Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body with a well-sized, pillowed, dark tan-hued head. Sufficient lacing present.
Smell: Even before leaning in for a sniff, you can smell the heavy-handed pack of spices, but, go on, already, and use that snout of yours. Sniff long, sniff deep. You get a clear-cut aroma of each member of the spicing addition, overneathe the charred maltiness and Belgian-type esters.
Taste: Roasted, burnt maltiness with some lighter, gentler tastes of breadcrust, brown sugar that, soon, are consumed by the accumulating spiciness. Very little sweetness throughout. Like being tossed in a giant burlap sack with feral cats, you’re torn to shreds by the spices. Also, some bitterness. Yes, some alcohol. And, still, there’s the charry maltiness. Finishes quite dry, quite spicy, and still rather roasty. In fact, those’re the main impressions of the beer: roast and potpourri.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.
Overall: It’s the end of an era, I suppose, and they’re closing out with a bold holiday spicing that would leave even the folks at St. Feuillien wide-eyed.
01-08-2013 01:33:25 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.8/5 rDev -2.6%
A: two finger tan head on a jet black body with nice lacing.
S: spearmint, soap, gingerbread, hint of roasted malts.
T: gingerbread dominates here. Spices also include nutmeg and cinnamon. hints of floral notes. the finish is very earthy with a coffee like dryness and flavor without the bitterness.
M: medium to thick body and light carbonation. smooth and clean mouthfeel.
Overall: biggest issue here is that this one is initially a little watery but fills out in the finish. Complex and flavorful. A nice finish to the series. Not too sweet but sweet enough.
01-04-2013 03:41:33 | More by kylehay2004
4.03/5 rDev +3.3%
This poured out as a very deep black color with a fluffy brown colored foam on top. Very nice looking beer, very stout-like. The beer leaves a chunky lacing on the glass with a pretty good retention also. The smell of the beer is moderately spicy with a big amount of chocolate on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet, dark chocolate with some spice in there. The beer has a creamy smooth mouthfeel and heavy bodied, it finishes sticky and dense. Overall it's a good brew. Glad I got to try it.
12-22-2012 22:12:57 | More by Knapp85
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
3.3/5 rDev -15.4%
Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.
Spelunky...what can I say? I'm garbage. Anyway, to the beer at hand: It pours a very dark, bleak black-brown topped by over a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, clove, mace, orange zest, toasted wheat, and some sort of soda (definitely either cola or root beer). The taste brings in more of the same, with more clove, black pepper, bitter anise, and nutmeg. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a solid BSDA, though the overt spicing keeps it from achieving any sort of real greatness.
12-26-2012 14:24:44 | More by TMoney2591
3.94/5 rDev +1%
A - Jet black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.
S - Lots of heat in the nose. Peppery and spicy nose.
T - Lots of chili-like spice, peppery with some roasted malt flavors.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.
O - This is an interesting VE beer. Not my favorite but still really good.
01-15-2013 03:41:47 | More by zeff80
3.8/5 rDev -2.6%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a medium light brown head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains roasted malts, spices, licorice, some chocolate, some dark fruit and a faint touch of hops.
T: The taste starts out with a huge burst of an herbal conglomeration of spices (mint, ginger, licorice, cinnamon among others). Then a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild but provides some balance for the strong spice flavors. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.
M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.
O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid dark and strong beer. Honestly, it tastes like an intense version of Anchor Christmas Ale, which I mean as neither a complement nor a detriment, just an observation.
08-21-2013 03:41:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.78/5 rDev -3.1%
A - pours with a large head of tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace in its wake.
S - A really odd, vegetal, aroma with notes of mint and basil.
T - Dark chocolate, peppers, basil, and smoke. Lots of cinnamon in the middle and a finish of basil, sage, pepper, and chocolate.
M - Mediuth thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a balanced finish.
D - Not bad, but quite odd. The herbal character is completely out of left field based on what the bottle says it is spiced with. Very strong basil character is more interesting than balanced, but I enjoyed the xoerience overall.
01-04-2013 03:53:24 | More by nickfl
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,423 ratings.