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

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,496 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,496
Reviews: 291
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 22
Gots: 340 | 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
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Ratings: 1,496 | Reviews: 291 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 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.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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.

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i loved this beer, thought it was incredibly well made and more interesting and enjoyable than any others from this series. it was a perfect way to go out i thought, and i guzzled every drop. the pour is jet black, scary dark, with a rising lacey beige head. the nose is chocolate first, cinnamon, clove, tobacco, anise seed, and dried fruit. its so complex and layered its hard to capture everything thats going on in just one bomber. the flavor is just as hectic, more yeast and alcohol here than the smell, but with the same cast of characters. tobacco and licorice get a big nod, as does the dark chocolate. the finish is bone dry, almost chalky, which is odd for the color and the magnitude of this beer. easily one of the most complex beers ive had in ages, everything from molassas to raisins seem to come though one by one. i should absolutely get another bottle or two for cellaring, as this may get even better over time. thick as hell on the body, but carbonated enough to not be undrinkable. to me this makes the whole series worth it, and im real glad i got to try it. if you get the same chance, please dont pass this up, its too interesting and tasty for anyone who loves beer to not give it a shot. its like no other...

Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of zeff80
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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.

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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.