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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

1,437 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,437
Reviews: 286
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 22
Gots: 314 | 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: 1,437 | Reviews: 286 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Homebrew35
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip/snifter like glass. Half finger of a khaki head, dark brownish black body. Some head retention and good lacing.

Smells like a Christmas cookie mixed with fruit cake. Big cinnamon, brown sugar, anise, light Belgian yeast fruitiness.

Mega spice flavor here. Big cinnamon and dark chocolate. Some roast, coffee, licorice and coco powder. The base beer is so far buried and the Belgian character is muted.

Medium full bodied, medium to low carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. I don't think I could handle a full glass of this but none the less this is incredible. So heavily spiced yet fairly drinkable. The base beer is well made as usual from Stone, but is so muted. I enjoyed how in your face the spices are and how hidden the 9% is.

Homebrew35, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Lawl3ss
2.83/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(from notes 12.20.12.)
Served in a 16 oz tulip.

Look- Deep coffee brown with half a finger of tan foam that falls to a filmy ring. Decent lace.

Smell- Heavily spiced, cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, a hint of ginger. Rich, dark. Belgian? Not so sure. Faint esters, char and spice dominate.

Taste- Coffee, cardamom, mace, dusty prune, leathered fig, mocha, mild char. Vanilla bean. Finishes with dark roast, spiced espresso, not as sweet as expected.

Mouthfeel- Full body, medium-high carbonation. Prickly on the sip, smooths out. A sipper, but lightened by the carb. 16 oz. is plenty.

Overall- Perhaps I've been spoiled by the other excellent spiced ales I've had recently (Yogi, Krampus, La Grivoise de Noel), but this one's a bit lackluster. Perhaps it's the yeast or perhaps Stone dumped a chaotic bucket of spices into the brew, but it comes off as a bit heavy-handed. Flavorful, but ultimately not as subtle or complex as I was hoping for. It's not bad by any means, but there are quite a few Belgian Dark Ales I'd pick over this one, spiced or otherwise.

Lawl3ss, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of JeffTheJuice
4/5  rDev +2.6%

JeffTheJuice, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of whiterapid
4/5  rDev +2.6%

whiterapid, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of hockeyfighter19
4/5  rDev +2.6%

hockeyfighter19, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of VelvetExtract
2.81/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

First review using .25's.

A-Dark brown with a head that is merely a ring. No coverage above the body. Mild lacing speckles.

S-This is my first Vertical Epic. I don't really know how different each year has been. That being said, the nose is pretty unappetizing. Overbearing spice notes of rosemary, clove and nutmeg. Behind that is a slight salted/cured meat aroma. Smells like my Italian grandmother is over-preparing a pork loin.

T-The flavor is more of the same. A tipped over spice rack. Now there is an infusion of spicy, pepper heat. Verbose. Ridiculously spicy. Light roast behind it. Even the yeast is pushed back by the spice medley.

M-Body! Carbonation!

O/D-Stone is so erratic. Their Enjoy By IPA was one of my favorite brews; this one sits along their Belgo Anise RIS as one of my least favorite beers I can recently bring to mind. It kinda grows on you. However, the first sniff and sip are awful and the lingering flavor makes me sad. If this is a representation of this entire Vertical series, I am so glad I missed this annual train of buttgravy.

VelvetExtract, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of briandaube
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

briandaube, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of dudecandle
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

dudecandle, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of jar66su
4.25/5  rDev +9%

jar66su, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of wmountz
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

wmountz, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Tibi81
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Tibi81, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of DukeX13
4/5  rDev +2.6%

DukeX13, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of CHickman
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black color with a big thick creamy 2 finger brown head that faded very slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing sticking to the sides.

Smells of spices and yeast up front, followed by cardboard, herbs, clove, root beer, licorice, allspice, cocoa powder, wheat bread, roasted grains, flowers and more spices. There are some many spices that it’s like sniffing potpourri sprinkled in a dark ale or porter. Licorice seems to jump out that most, and to me this nose is OK; I guess it’s Belgian inspired, but borders on too many spices for me.

Tastes alright, but follows the same pattern as the aroma: spices and yeast up front, and then it tastes like Christmas. Hard to nail down why, but it just does. Flavors include licorice, allspice, cocoa powder, herbs, clove, root beer, wheat bread, roasted grains, light caramel, flowers, pepper, cinnamon and more spices, burnt wood and alcohol like a liquor. Again, so many spices that it’s like drinking potpourri in a porter that has some liquor added. The licorice and herbs almost take over, but the Belgian yeast and roasted charcoal grains even it out with some bitterness and hide the ABV pretty well. Definitely a holiday seasonal beer that is Belgian in design, but just so complex that it’s almost confusing. Stone likes to confuse people, so maybe they are laughing last again.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost slick, with very mild carbonation, a chewy medium body and a spicy yet almost bitter finish that’s on the dry side.

I liked this beer quite a bit, but I’m hoping it ages better so I can love this beer because the Vertical Epic 11.11.11 got so much better with age that I have very high hopes for this brew. Will crack open another bottle in 6 months and update the review.

12/21/13-Cracked open an aged bottle and it looked even better than it did a year ago, with a great head and real nice lacing. Smells of allspice, cinnamon, clove, caramel, yeast and a whole mix of spices like the spice rack was dumped in, but in a good way; the aroma was more mellow then a year ago with smoky grainy notes mixed with the yeast and spices. Tastes of burnt grains, molasses, allspice, yeast, clove, toffee and lots of spices – so many spices that it’s hard to distinguish. Lots of herbal notes mixed with the spices makes it quite complex and the burnt or smoky notes of the yeast/malt add some body and a chewy feel. Overall it was more balanced, rich and winter seasonal – much better with age.

CHickman, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of AntLeatherface
3/5  rDev -23.1%

AntLeatherface, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Beejay
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark black in body, with a deep brown head. The head is quite dense with a few robin's egg specks, that slowly grow into frog eyes.

S: A very herbal smell wafts up from my glass. Ginger or maybe clove, there is a bit of citrus peel in there as well, and well as a hint of licorice or anise. There is also a smell of brown bread mixing with the licorice. Certainly smells interesting. There is almost a chocolate, orange, ginger combo working there.

T: Slightly tart, the herbal quality comes through, as well as a hint of dirty metal. A decent amount of bitterness with some dark grain attributes. An odd duck for sure. Herbal and earthy, still a hint of licorice, and citrus coming through.

M: Dry and tingly in the mouth. although the feel of the body is medium heavy.

O: Overall a bit odd for me. It is certainly a 'womp' for the end of an epic series, but unfortunately, I don't think it goes out with a bang. Interesting, yes. Different, yes. Tasty, somewhat.. I can see enjoying this spiced beer around the holidays, but it falls short of a great holiday beer, and doesn't approach the awesomeness of other Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

Beejay, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of smlmeyer
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

smlmeyer, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of JeffreyBeer
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

JeffreyBeer, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of jdavolos88
4/5  rDev +2.6%

jdavolos88, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

dmorgan310, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of polshgiant
2/5  rDev -48.7%

polshgiant, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of gshackles
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

gshackles, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of Reinbeck11
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Reinbeck11, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

TheSevenDuffs, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of rudzud
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 07-12 vertical.

A - Poured into a palm tulip a deep rich dark brownish black hue with a good half finger head that faded to leave a thin blanket and light lacing.

S - Aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, Light sweet malts, solid nose.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with nice flavours. Really lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and light roasted chocolate. Faint esters.

M - Mouthfeel is solid for the style, nice and sharp.

O - Overall this beer was not that bad with nice lightly ester along with light chocolate. Solid job

rudzud, Jan 07, 2013
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,437 ratings.