1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

1,443 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,443
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 22
Gots: 316 | 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: 1,443 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yeti123
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

yeti123, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of kew
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

kew, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of Evan47
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Evan47, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of Axnjxn
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Axnjxn, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of cdwil
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

cdwil, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of DoubleJ
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

DoubleJ, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

bluejacket74, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Lantern, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of hollywood_15063
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

hollywood_15063, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +2.3%

JohneHoodlum, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

grahamboudreaux, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of JohnnyMc
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last in the Vertical Epic series!

Pours out black with a decent amount of fluffy, mocha head.

The aroma is dominated by allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove along with some ginger. There are some bready notes and a subtle amount of chocolate.

The taste is also very spice dominated. There is a ton of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, ginger and subtle amounts of orange, chocolate and some maple or molasses. Balanced between bitter and sweet. Can't taste or smell the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is rich and the body is medium.

For a Christmas beer this is good, but for a Belgian styled Dark Christmas Ale...it's not even close. I don't get any of the Belgian characteristics and this is where the beer disappoints to me.

JohnnyMc, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of tleifj
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

tleifj, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of DocJitsu
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black with very thin slivers of cola brown around the bottom edge of the glass. A big, thick, foamy, long-lasting light mocha colored head. Medium-bodied, slick to mildly astringent moutfheel. Asymmetrical foamy lacing clings and drags as the beer is drunk. Cardamom nose with not much else going on. Flavors of clove up front with mild ginger. The bitterness of the clove needs to be balanced with something that has more depth. The experience is too narrow. Not enough going on. This is the last one?? Stone disappoints again. But, for a different reason this time.

DocJitsu, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of brotherloco
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

brotherloco, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of vanillacokaine
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

vanillacokaine, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of RichH55
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

RichH55, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very very dark brown with no opacity. Thin tan head. Smells like the holidays. Cinnamon cardamon clove and nutmeg. Faint dark fruits.

Taste is very spicy. Medium body mildly tannic. Faintly sweet up front with a nice balancing bitterness but the spices dominate this beer. They do however play off the bitterness nicely.like a holiday Belgian ale but doesn't exactly hit he mark just right.

jtierney89, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of Greywulfken
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

At the borderland between a dark ale and a stout, there is Stone's Vertical Epic 12.12.12

A: into a tulip, center-pour: black void body with a pillar of thick dark foam, tons of lace on hand

S: roasty cocoa and espresso, molasses and holiday spice

T: very porter/stout-like, with rich flavors of smooth and creamy espresso, sweet dark spice and roasted dark malts. The flavors more typical of a BSDA are in the background and on the finish; the more stout-like flavors are bold and assertive, up-front and throughout

M: smooth, mellow, creamy, full-bodied, milky; with a slow, drying roasted chocolate malt aftertaste; subtle tingle of spice and heat

O: this is a fantastic tasting drink (and what's more important than that?) - blindfolded, I'd think it a porter or stout (drier than an imperial, but sweeter than a dry) - as a BSDA, it's gonna really stand out because it has such a different profile than typical heavy hitters like Maudite, Gulden Draak, or Chimay Blue. It is unlike them more than it is like them..., and I like that about it. Grab one if you spot it - the only way this disappoints is if it doesn't meet your expectation of the style. It exceeded my expectations.

Greywulfken, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

tempest, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Hanzo, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of JRed
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque in body with mocha bubbly head that turns to a thin film. Wonderful bouquet of allspice, nutmeg, rose hips, and gingerbread. Wow. Tastes of cocoa nibs, allspice, nutmeg, earth, burnt toast, ground chocolate powder, subtle booze towards the finish with tobacco ash. As it warms, more citrus notes become available. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The sweet and char balance is amazing. Aroma is delicious and then the flavor smacks ya around nicely. Completely unexpected but beautiful. The perfect ending.

JRed, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of Tucquan
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-12-20 in Norristown, PA at Capone's

A - Opaque dark brown with a 1/2-finger tan head and great lacing.

S - Cinammon, rock candy, allspice, roasted malt.

T - Lots of flavors including fig, plum, allspice, dark roasted grain, nutmeg, cinnamon. It's mildly sweet and well-balanced with a touch of roasted and hop bitterenss. Not much alcohol. Great balance. Dries well. Holds all these flavors together nicely. The lingering aftertaste is an equal balance of the above flavors.

M - Medium body and carbontation. Not too thick, not too creamy, not too crisp . . . just right.

O - A very enjoyable, delicious, holiday-inspired brew.

Tucquan, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of claspada
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

claspada, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of jsurfs82
4/5  rDev +2.3%

jsurfs82, Dec 20, 2012
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.