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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,542 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,542
Reviews: 302
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 24
Gots: 374 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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
Ratings: 1,542 | Reviews: 302
Photo of Gavage
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Moderate lace paints the glass during the session.

Smell: allspice, pepper, and a malt sweetness is detectable by the nose.

Taste: big malt profile. Loads of spice such as cinnamon, allspice, and pepper. Belgian yeast, a decent bitterness, dark chocolate, and some alcohol rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a slow sipping beer that is bold and full of spiciness. Good beer for colder weather.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a deep brown with light tan head, some good thick lace.

S: Lots of winter spice, dark chocolate, orange, cinnamon, definitely has a Christmas cookie appeal.

T: Orange, chocolate, dark malt. It's reminiscent of those chocolate oranges I always get around the holidays. Tons of clove, charcoal, Dutch cocoa in the finish.

M: Medium to full-bodied, rich and spicy, creamy and frothy, soft carbonation.

O: This is pretty darn good and a great finish to the Vertical Epic series. This would be interesting to see how it ages. Fans of spiced winter warmers, cinnamon should love this; I know I enjoyed it.

Photo of Billolick
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
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

Photo of yourefragile
1.6/5  rDev -59.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 oz bottle.

Pours a dark, thick chocolate brown with a thin dark tan head. Aroma of gingerbread, licorice, molasses, burnt bread, and stale rubber. Flavor is... wrong. Clash of sweet gingerbread, grab bag spices from the potpourri aisle in the crafts store from hell I've never been to, "balanced" by a light burnt ash, bad coffee and rubber taste that mixes with the sweet like oil and water. Syrupy and sweet, vile throughout. Joke is on us with this series of beers as the early beers that we feared wouldn't hold up were at least tolerable. The last few year's releases that experimented with random additions were on the whole undrinkable. And this... thing.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Brewing Co.
12-12-12 Vertical Epic Ale

LOOK: Pours an opaque dark brown color with a creamy off white foam topping.

SMELL: Dark, roasted malts, dark fruits, cinnamon, clove and anise in the aroma. Sweet malt, estery Belgian yeast and light floral notes are prevalent.

TASTE: Roasted malt base with cocoa and char notes. There is a big presence of anise and cinnamon. Dry hopped flavor of resinous, sappy pine and carries a solid balancing bitterness. Could perhaps be described as a Spiced Belgian-style Stout.

FEEL: Full bodied, smooth, creamy feel with a prickly carbonation.

OVERALL: An interesting ale that will surely evolve and develop in time. It's also drinking just fine right now. Certainly not hot, this drinks smooth and easy. Not the best in the series but a nice brew.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is it! After more than 10 years, the Vertical Epic series approaches the end. Much has happened since then; we have seen cell phones morph into smartphones, Stone beers being available at supermarkets, and we are all 10 years older. Reflect for a moment...
....and now on to the beer:

Ink black in the glass, topped with a small head with fair retention and a few strings of lace. The nose smells like mint and chocolate. Are they already in the Christmas spirit at Stone? A two-trick nose, but it's appetizing.

The taste offers a lot of fresh mint. A lot. Theere a big chocolate malt base which attempts to drown the spice. The combination works just enough, even though it's a little unbalanced. Its full body coats the inside of the mouth. Overall, it feels like a dessert beer (or if you're popping open the Vertical Epic series all at once, the dessert to your collection).

12.12.12 has its moments, though a little age couldn't hurt. How ironic, as the series is now officially closed.

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a 12oz pour at 3 Squares in Maple Grove. Interesting beer, at first taste I was thinking this is a Belgian stout/porter from the roast. As the beer warmed, more the spices came through, with some well balanced nutmeg (too often overpowering in beers). The roasted barley makes a fine contrast with the smooth dark fruit in the 12.12.12. It feels strong, but I was a little surprised to see it's 9%. This is a well-conditioned beer. Overall, a cool way to close the Vertical Epic series. At times the flavors seemed a little overblended—as in the notes got lost in each other. Still, a very tasty brew.

Photo of Zorro
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black beer with a mediums sized brown head.

Smells spicy with a good holiday spice mix. Patent malt and clove, with oranges, and spruce needles. Coriander and licorice with mint and a strong dose of clove.

Starts out tasting of spice and patent malt, after taste is clove. Spruce, pine, clove, cinnamon. Some chocolate taste but the char of the malt is stronger. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall it is good. Still it is really a Christmas beer.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a very dark brown with a massive brown cap which fades leaving some really nice lacing present

S: Big spice here, the nose is not able to differentiate at the moment but hopefully the palate can break that up. Nose also leaves me with some chocolate, dark fruits and roastiness

T: Big intial spice upfront as I expected by the nose, to mucg so for me really. The initial blast of clove, allspice, nutmeg is overbearing even for the big hearty malt base which gives me some chocolate, roastiness, light coffee and dark fruits. The finish has lingering spice with a small booze sting.

M: Medium body, well carbonated, loads of flavor its just a little to much in one direction.

O: A Belgian Dark Strong you say? Why because of the yeast strain? This should have been labaled a spice beer with a Belgian yeast not the other way around.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank 2/3/13
(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours an obsidian black body with a thin deep tan head that fades to a thin ring before the first sip. There is a sluggish microcarbonation that trails up the glass.

S- The aroma of rotten banana ether gives way to a dry spice mixture that takes more of a banana bread aroma as it opens.

T- The big dry spice flavor has some iodine taste to it with a ginger, clove, anise, allspice flavor coming through. It finishes with a slightly dry bitterness either from spices or black malt that lingers. There is also a charred wood note that comes through in the aftertaste.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a hint of fizz in the finish.

O- This beer is a big spice mess with the only malt flavor being a big bitterness. There is no malt, hops or yeast character to help cover the spices. I don’t think age would help this much, and it was tough getting through this bottle.

Photo of John_M
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Smokin Joe's the other day.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is exotic and impressive, though I'm not sure about the use of all these spices. In any event, this beer reminds of holiday eggnog, with considerable vanilla, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and mint, but with some interesting coffee and chocolate as well. The combination just seems a bit odd, especially with the huge presence of all these spices. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though the spices aren't quite as prominent on the palate as they were on the nose. I really like the soft, creamy mouthfeel I'm getting in this beer, as I think it helps to soften the impact of all the spices. Otherwise, there's plenty of vanilla, coffee and chocolate in this well made beer. Mouthfeel is otherwise long and spice filled, and the alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile. Also, while the beer is on the sweet side, the spices and some underlying hoppy bitterness seem to buoy that sweetness quite well.

An interesting and well made beer, though it's hard to imagine drinking a whole lot of this.

Edit from 3/15/13. Sampled this on tap again during a Vertical Epic event at Pacific Coast brewing. The spice component still seems a bit over the top, though the mouthfeel was softer and creamier. Score at the pub was virtually identical to what I found previously.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a smallish tan head that quickly recedes and is stingy on the lace. Smells of clove, and nutmeg on top of a solid dark sugary base. Bits of alcohol and dark dried fruits round out the nose. The flavor is filled with lots of caramel, molasses, and burnt sugars with a heavy dark dried fruit flavor. Lots of spice here, clove, nutmeg, all spice, and cinnamon are very evident in the flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a chewy burnt mouthfeel. I thought this one was all right but a bit heavy on the spices for my taste. Maybe they will tone down and I can enjoy another one just before the next apocalypse.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The vertical epoch 12-12-12 reminded me of a black Saison. The beer poured a dark opaque black with rich tan head that laced well. The smell had burnt Maise, roasty malts and hops. The taste was much like the smell with a great blend of alcohol. The mouthfeel was full bodied with good carbonation. Overall it was a good beer!

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a tulip glass.

A - Dark ink black with 1/2" of espresso coloured head.

S - Big spice bouquet up front - cinnamon, ginger, clove and all spice aromas are all present. Not getting anything but the spice in the nose.

T - A big hit of spice with cinnamon, ginger and cloves dominating. A light Belgian yeast profile is also present but the spices otherwise drown out the flavours from the base beer.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

O - An interesting beer to say the least. Despite the massive spice dominance, which would usually be borderline undrinkable for me, I somewhat enjoyed this one. That said, it was very one dimensional.

Photo of vfgccp
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Opened June 2013

A - Black body, used motor oil. Dark khaki head with nice retention and lace.

S - Smoked pepers, jerk rub, allspice, black pepper, light caramel malt, milk chocolate.

T - Huge spice and floral note. Allspice, grains of paradise, blackened spice, burnt gingerbread.

M - Medium body. Dry, nutmeg finish.

O - Too much spice for my taste. Ironically this could use a few years.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard Ale pint glass. Pours a very dark red brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass. Half finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of dark sweet malt and holiday spicing; cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves; slightly herbal. Flavor is pleasant roasted malt, similar spicing as aroma, chocolate, finishing with cloves, cinnamon, licorice and roasted, almost charred malt and coffee. Medium bodied with nice creaminess. This is an excellent winter warmer and perhaps one of my favorites winter ale and favorite among the Verticals. I will be picking up a few more bottles of this. A perfect and seasonal end for the series. I hope they do another series like this.

Photo of beertunes
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Belgian Strong Dark Ale? I had thought this a Stout when I had it. Served in 12oz tulip. Poured a solid black, no translucence, with over a half-inch of medium brown head that had good retention and nice sheets of lacing.

The aroma was very malt heavy, and had some light roast notes and a touch of fruitiness as well (perhaps from a Belgian yeast?). Whoa!! There's a lot going on across the tastebuds. Some fruit, some definite alcohol, some grain, some yeast, some roast. This is certainly a multiple personality brew.

The body was solid but a bit thin (remember, I thought that this was a stout when I took my notes) but still enjoyable. The beer did have sharp, harsh finish that I didn't care for. Drinkability was OK, but this is a "one & done" type of beer for me. Maybe if I stumble across a bottle in a couple of years, I'd try again, otherwise I won't miss it. Overall, an OK brew that's worth trying if you see it. I didn't particularly care for it but, YMMV.

Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, very dark brown hue with a thick finger of creamy, frothy tan foam which is leaving a nice lace as it slowly dissipates. Quite pretty indeed.

Smell: lightly sweet malt with a spicy, phenolic character. Smooth and well-balanced; I like it.

Taste: sweet malt with a lightly fruity character and a hint of chocolate. Some cinnamon-like spice is present along with that phenolic character from the aroma. These aren't overpowering, and like the aroma each element is nicely balanced. I'm enjoying this.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a satisfying creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: I like this entry in the vertical epic series. Contrary to the name, though, it's balanced and subtle in the right places; this beer isn't at all overwhelming. Quite nice.

Photo of DrJay
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, basically opaque, with modest tawny edges and a thin skim of mocha bubbles. Lingering collar with fine bubbles clinging to the glass. Aromas of banana and bread, figs and spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg), almost like pumpkin pie. Burnt sugar and alcohol, quite nice. Solid bitterness throughout, perhaps a bit too much (hopefully this mellows over time), with a spice cake sweetness. Fruity notes of bananas and figs, alcohol and molasses. Lingering burnt and bitter character. Full bodied with fine carbonation, slight astringency and slickness, mild warmth. Overall, pretty enjoyable and a fitting conclusion to the series. It seems like it should age well too.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 12.12.12

A - Pours a deep brown with ruby hilights. A thin light brown head forms, lingers, and becomes a clump in the middle of the glass.

S - Spices, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamin, roses.

T - Spices dominate, same as the nose, bitter bready, floral, cinnamin finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Lots of spices, shocking. This one should age well.

Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark, dry, a touch of sweetness, the spices really come out. This one is aging wonderfully.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this 22 oz bottle from Jack's Wine Sense in Ewing, NJ. Didn't realize it but it was bottled on 11-14/12. (Over a year old)

A - Deep dark brown, almost black. A little light coming through. A tall, frothy, sticky tan head.

S - Spiced molasses, licorice. Winter spice cake, toffee candy.

T - Ginger snaps all the way. Burnt sugar, molasses, spiced muffins. Copious amounts of fall/winter spices but way better than any "pumping ale" I've had in regards to those flavors. The caramelized sugars, and dark sweetness balances the assertive spices.

M - Creamy and slick, semi viscous. Medium bodied with a pleasant carbonation.

O - Wouldn't consider it a BSDA but it's really delicious. Sweet but not cloying, spiced but balanced.

Photo of puboflyons
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on January 18, 2013.

The pour on this is an amazing looking dark brown to practically black with a smallish head.

The aroma is alive with dark malts, black licorice, a hint of dark fruit, and molasses. This is very enticing.

The body is definitely full.

The taste has this outrageous black licorice flavor to it along with dark malts, raisins, and as fully hopped finish. Quite complex and unique to say the least. Drink it slowly and enjoy it.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a goblet, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, orange peel, roasted malt, cloves, and some dark fruit. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, it tastes like allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, chocolate, roasted/charred malt, and some dark fruit and licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has good carbonation. I liked this brew, not a bad way to end the Vertical Epic series. $8.99 a bottle.

Photo of claspada
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark brown color with an off-white tight bubbly head that recedes at a moderate pace to leave some soapy lacing topping.

Aromas begin with spicy cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. This gives way to some dusty cocoa and crusted toasted brown bread maltiness. As it warms you get some light phenolic Belgian yeast spice and some dark and stone fruitiness, mainly fig marmalade and a light orangey citrus.

The tastes follow the nose with bittersweet cocoa, dark fruits, caramelized brown sugar and molasses. The spices join next and combine with the Belgian yeast phenols to balance the sweet toasty brown bread maltiness. There may be some hops in here but they are undistinguishable and hidden by the spice and yeast flavors. As it warms you get some light drying alcohol notes and some more drying roasted malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is on the dryer side for the style with some spice and the dark chocolate roastiness.

Overall this is my favorite of the 5 or so releases in this series that I was able to try fresh and maybe the best overall since the 08. Maybe it is the "holiday" style ale flavor profile that I enjoy but it really hits the mark for the season and for the style.

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,542 ratings.