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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.
very good

1,435 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,435
Reviews: 286
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 22
Gots: 315 | 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: 1,435 | Reviews: 286 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +9%

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.

Jason, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%

Acquired for $7.00 USD plus tax at a local beer store. Expectations are average given the brewery. 9.00% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass etched bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served a fair bit warmer than refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger rich dark tan colour head of good cream and thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Lacing is decent. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Spices, rosemary, pumpkin gourd, nutmeg (fairly heavy), cinnamon, orange peel, and citrus zest. A subtly spiced, pleasant aroma. Average in strength. Intriguing.

T: Pumpkin up front, with dark malts forming the foundation and filling out the body. The spices hit on the climax, followed by a smooth dark malt/caramel finish. The turn on the climax is abrupt and calls into question the structural balance. Why does it abandon the tone of the early acts for the brief unsatisfying finish? In any case, the spices are nicely executed and in spite of its lack of structural balance it features interesting complexity. That said, it's a bit of a haphazard mess - though not to the extent of many of Stone's other beers. Somewhat medicinal on the finish, especially as it warms. Maybe a hint of brown sugar on the climax. It's a bit overhopped for its flavour profile, inclusive of overdone floral hop notes that add little. Too rich in the second act, reducing drinkability. No yeast comes through.

Mf: Nicely coarse and wet up front, then a patch of dryness on the climax, followed by a slick finish. Haphazard and unfocused. Doesn't suit the flavours anywhere near as well as it should. The choices made here are perplexing. A bit too thick. Overcarbonated.

Dr: A much better offering than last year's vertical epic, but not without its flaws. I wouldn't call the brewing here anywhere near as masterful as the pretentious label claims, but it's a solid beer for its strange build. A bit pricey for its quality, but I'll enjoy finishing it. That said, I wouldn't go out of my way to find it and it's not unique or special. Hides its ABV decently. A surprisingly decent effort from Stone, but not a horribly drinkable one. I wouldn't want to chug this.


kojevergas, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2.6%

A - Pours a dark black color with a thin finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet dark caramel malts with dark fruits, candi sugar, lots of spices including allspice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, with a bit of citrus peel, Belgian yeast, and some booze.

T - Starts out with a mix of sweet dark caramel malts with a touch of chocolate and some dark fruits, allspice, cinnamon, and some light citrus peel. Through the middle, some more spices come through with some clove, ginger, and herbs, with some Belgian yeast and candi sugars. The finish is a mix of sweet dark caramel malts with lots of spices, dark fruits, some citrus peels, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a warming, sweet, and spicy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice big BSDA but just a touch too spice heavy. Good complexity.

ngeunit1, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of spoony
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%

From a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

A-This brew could easily pass for a double/imperial stout. It pours black and doesn't let a single ray of light through. The head is almost one finger of dark mocha colored foam that drops to a little cap pretty quickly.

S-This brew has some serious spice scents going on: mainly clove, allspice, nutmeg. Also a bit of banana and boozy, dark fruit to go with a little chocolate. Spices are quite heavy.

T-This beer tastes much like it smells, with heavy notes of the aforementioned spices, a little bit of bitter dark chocolate, some booze, and a little banana fruit. Contrary to what you might think with the huge spicy profile, the beer is only mildly sweet.

M-Feel is on the heavy side with just a little waive of carbonation. A bit sticky on the palate.

O-This brew was a little heavy on the spices for me, which rendered the smell and flavor profile a bit one-dimensional. Also, the appearance, while attractive, and the mouthfeel were not true to the style. Notwithstanding those flaws, I think this is a nice brew for a cold December evening and would make a decent dessert-type brew in small doses. Assuming the spices mellow a bit with age, this one could be a good cellar candidate.

spoony, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%

Split a 22 oz bottle poured into a duvel glass

A: looks like a deep dark imperial stout with a fat finger of dark chocolaty head, a small amount of lacing.

S: woah, spice and yeast bomb, absolutly. I get a faint bit of chocolate buried underneath a blanket of clovey and bannana yeast notes, along with the x-mas scent of the other added spices. I particuarly get thw nutmeg, cinnnamon, and orange peel. Reminds me of a very strong winter warmer.

T: again much like I described from the nose, reminds me of an evil Belgian ginger bread man, the more and more i drink it. Covered in cinnamon and nutmeg powder, with black licorice buttons and the whole Nine yards. With an alcohol bite.

M: medium bodied and dry with a lingering spice aftertaste that leavs your mouth dry.

O: I'm not a huge fan of spice beer, and that's deffiantly what that is, which it clearly states on the label, maybe it will mellow out with some time? Anyway if your looking for a super spicy winter warmer, give this a go.

PeterIngemi, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of SFC21
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

SFC21, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of goalie33
4.25/5  rDev +9%

goalie33, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of DCav
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

DCav, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%

A: Pours a short shade below black with a fingers worth of tan head

S: Starts out with a bunch of holiday spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and orange peel with a fruity Belgian yeastiness and lightly roasted malts

T: Follows the nose. Starts out with the fruity yeast and then slowly goes into the spices and roasted malts. Definitely fairly dry, with the alcohol not helping out in that department (not in a bad way, just that it makes it drier). Finishes with lingering spice notes and a hint of roast and bitterness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry and smooth

O: A nice little ending to the Vertical Epic series. The fact that it is winter warmer-esque makes it nice as well, with Christmas less than 2 weeks away and what-not. Enjoyable, but if you plan on aging it, I wouldn't open it any other time than during the holidays because of the spices used. I'm now curious to see what Stone rolls out for their next big project

BEERMILER12, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of stairwell2811bre
4.25/5  rDev +9%

stairwell2811bre, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of nikbullet
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

nikbullet, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of brauseboof
4.25/5  rDev +9%

brauseboof, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of kmoore149
4/5  rDev +2.6%

kmoore149, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of GeoffreyM
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

GeoffreyM, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of opwog
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

On Cask at Beachwood Long Beach

I haven't yet had this from the bottle or on regular tap, so I am not sure if the cask varied at all with maybe extra spicing, but this was a massive holiday spice bomb. It reminded me of a kicked up Anchor Christmas Ale, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about holiday spice in your beer. I generally love holiday ales, but for me Anchor is about the ceiling of where I want my spices. This became a bit overwhelming just to get through a half cask pour (10 oz). Cinnamon takes over and for me it affected the mouthfeel of what was otherwise a beer that seemed a natural fit for cask. I am sure that park of this may also be from cocoa or some other ingredients, but cinnamon is so prominent that it is all that I was imagining when I felt a chalkiness across my tongue. The spices distract from any Belgian characteristics and also hide any heat from the ABV. Pretty girthy beer, as well.

I want to try this now in bottle and tap to see if maybe extra spices were used in the cask. Enjoyable in small quantities and if the bottles or regular keg have the spice pulled back a bit, then it might be more enjoyable for myself.


Had regular keg of this and it is still a holiday spice bomb, but slightly less spicy than the cask and where cinnamon had dominated the flavor of the cask, clove dominated on tap. I don't know if there was different or additional spicing for the cask or if the spices just came out differently between the two sources.

opwog, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of NSK79
4/5  rDev +2.6%

NSK79, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of Tiernan
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Tiernan, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of ambruns1979
4/5  rDev +2.6%

ambruns1979, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of GuyIncognito
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%

Murky. Spicy. Smokey. This beautifully dark belgian strong ale is bold, with just the right amount of December cheer. A perfect brew for December 12th, 2012. The amazing mocha cappucino colred head is a thing of beauty. Stone never dissapoints, and the Vertical Epics went out with a bang!

GuyIncognito, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of ikantspel
3.08/5  rDev -21%

poured into a duvel tulip

pours a imperial stout black with a dark khaki head, heavy lacing all around the glass

oh man does this smell good. heavy banana, clove, belgian yeast, pineapple, and hint of cinnamon

taste is warm cinnamon, spice and malt

definately full bodied.

??? im confused about this beer. its a winter warmer, disguised as a stout/belgian abbey ale.
bummed me out cus i was excited about this one. wish they would have done a oak aged quad

ikantspel, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of ScaryEd
4.25/5  rDev +9%

ScaryEd, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of Dbrag
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Dbrag, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev +2.6%

djaeon, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of BucannonXC5
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Karl Straus pint
From: Costco in San Marcos, Calif., on Dec. 6, 2012
Price: $4.99
BOD: None

Black with two fingers of frothy caramel tan head. Healthy amount of circular, foamy lacing. Pretty good retention.

Nice flavorful smell with nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread, chocolate, caramel, toffee and orange rind.

Tasted similar to the nose with a bit more alcohol bite. Got cinnamon, nutmeg, some other strong spice (couldn’t put finger on it), gingerbread, toffee, orange rind, bitter chocolate and some mint hot chocolate. Reminded me of a winter warmer more than anything else.

Medium-to-full body. Creamy, sticky texture. Lively (above average)-to-average carbonation. Long smooth finish and warms you up on the way down.

A really good beer once again by Stone. If this was under a Winter Warmer category, I think my ratings would have been a bit higher. Feels nice going down.

BucannonXC5, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of KhangGarrett
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

KhangGarrett, Dec 08, 2012
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,435 ratings.