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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

1,328 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1328
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 14.36%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HalfFull on 12-05-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,328 | Reviews: 274 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jonada
Jonada

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours nearly black in color with 1+ finger of a tan head. Body is opaque.

Smell: Smells like a spice bomb. Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cocoa powder, slight roasted malt notes.

Taste: Gingersnap cookies, roasted malt, slight notes of chocolate and coffee. The spices really just overwhelm rather than compliment the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Somewhat thin mouthfeel given how big the beer is. Carbonation is medium.

Overall: Not a fan of this one. They really overdid it with the spices, making it unbalanced and pretty difficult to drink after a few ounces. Best way I can describe it is an overspiced imperial winter warmer. If that sounds like your thing, then this beer is for you. Otherwise, I would avoid.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 02:32:50 | More by Jonada
Photo of writerLJBerg
writerLJBerg

Oregon

2.69/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle. The end.

A: Opaque black with a thin brown head. Sticks to the side of the glass.

N: Orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, chili pepper, molasses allspice, and pumpkin. To call this Christmas in a bottle might make it sound better than it is, but it’s apt.

T: Bitter and spicy. Lots of flavor, but they’re not what I’d call good - in fact it’s more of a massive overload.

M: Thick and dry. Medium bodied.

O: This is my least favorite by far. There’s just too much going on here, and it never comes together - it’s the throw everything into the kettle approach which I don’t much like.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 20:00:50 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black glass holds a thin tan cover that leaves sticky tide marks as I work my way down the glass.

Smell: Clove and the other spices are pretty heavy even now almost a year later. Can't get any other scents from under the heavy spices.

Taste: Spices are front and center, and overwhelm just about everything else. A little more cinnamon than the nose, but just a hint of underlying malt sweetness pokes out before more spice flavors beat it down.

Mouthfeel: Tiny bubble carbonation keeps the medium heavy body lively. Slick oily finish and slightly numbing alcohol.

Overall: Not opening the other bottles any time soon. I'm hoping the spices will die down and let the beer come out. The hints I get are good, but damn this is licking the bottom of a spice cabinet.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 23:54:44 | More by HardTarget
Photo of stella77artois
stella77artois

New York

3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours dark. And I mean dark. It's black, even in the light. A smallish brown head formed after a slow pour. Could be pronounced with an aggressive pour. Good looking beer.

S - Lot's of malt, and a huge roasty smell. Cocoa, roasted chestnuts, and sugar. Even a hint of ash. Very nice smelling beer.

T - Suprisingly, I didn't love this stuff. The taste itself wasn't bad, it just wasn't great to my taste buds. The roasted characters of a bock as noted in the aroma, those were quite plesant. However, I noticed a sourish aftertaste that I can't really put my finger on, which was not pleasant. A lot going on, and while the taste is good, that aftertaste was odd. I was not in a hurry to finish because of that reason. Possibly past the expiration date, who knows.

F - As a dark ale should be, the beer is very thick. Was still drinkable, although it's certainly a sipping beer. Easy enough on the throat and gut, though.

O - I usually love Stone brews, and while I didn't hate this stuff, I doubt I'll buy it again. Good enough tasting Dark Ale (Bock and Dopplebock fans will like this, too), but the aftertase really hurt my rating. I would drink this again if I happen upon, but as I said, probably won't buy it again. I would recommend it though, for fans of dark and flavorful beers. Just not worth the $9 I paid for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 14:13:56 | More by stella77artois
Photo of Dave1999
Dave1999

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black in colour with a tan coloured head.

The smell is spicy ginger and sweet malts.

The taste is strong on the ginger bread and bitter roasted malts.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick with low carbonation.

A half decent beer but not one I'd look out again and disappointing for a stone beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 02:04:45 | More by Dave1999
Photo of rdilauro
rdilauro

Connecticut

3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was waiting for this one. The end of an era with the epics

I was shocked at the pour. Almost a jet black like a stout. But thats where it ended. The aroma, was all malt, tar and ginger.
The taste was basically the same, very malty and almost like bitting into a gingersnap cookie.
Not a strong finish
This is one stone I will pass on the next time someone has one

August 27, 2013

Pours jet black, like a rich stout. The almost perfect white head lasted for several minutes. Finally, the head disappeared.
The aroma and bouquet was so very strong. Malt, Ginger and Sweet were the first things that came to my senses.
The first taste was very big and soft, and was full of malt , ginger, just like a fresh ginger snap cookie and a fair amount of sweet syrup/molasses/etc
As I was drinking this one, it remained full and the malt/ginger just kept on coming out me.
To a point where I felt it was too much. I think I would have preferred a little less of that and some crispness.
The finish was the same as the start, malty and full of ginger.

I just needed to review this one again... Still not on my top 10 list

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 04:19:13 | More by rdilauro
Photo of Libationguy
Libationguy

Nevada

4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/black with a light brown 1-finger head with medium+ retention. Fine lacing.

Christmas in a glass: cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, fig, dates, gingersnaps, deep roasted malt, black strap molasses and a rich, dark earth note in the background.

Molasses, coffee, cocoa powder, ginger bread, black bread. A moderate level of bitterness underscoring everything.

Full-bodied with a hop bitterness cuts the sweetness and holds the beer at nearly dry with a long finish.

Very rich and lush. Be a really decadent bomber near the end of your drinking session.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 05:48:08 | More by Libationguy
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a medium light brown head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, spices, licorice, some chocolate, some dark fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a huge burst of an herbal conglomeration of spices (mint, ginger, licorice, cinnamon among others). Then a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild but provides some balance for the strong spice flavors. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid dark and strong beer. Honestly, it tastes like an intense version of Anchor Christmas Ale, which I mean as neither a complement nor a detriment, just an observation.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 03:41:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black red around the edges when held to the light. Nice two finger dark tan head falls to a ring with good lace.

Aroma is sweet candy sugars, roasted malts, fruit cake, licorice and nice spices, Christmas like.

Taste is wow lots going on some roasted malts, lots of licorice and spice. Some underlying fruit notes. Lots of spice Belgian candy sweetness that I don't really dig but a good Christmas ale for that style. Just comes off a little to sweet for my tastes.

Mouthfeel is a good medium with medium level of carbonation.

Overall this one isn't bad not my favorite style but considering lots of these verticals have come off as very average this one is pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 01:26:37 | More by mntlover
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of deep tan head that fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A dark yeasty Belgian style aroma with a huge presence of spices. Big upfront scent of Holiday style spices with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cloves. Belgian yeast with some funk and some burnt candied sugar. Fruit hints of dried banana and some light citrus orange. Dark roasted malts with hints of cocoa, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and toast. Sweet hints of molasses. Dark dried fruit hints of raisin, cherry, plum, fig, and dates. Hops are very light. A very nice and complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a very spice forward Belgian style taste with some good roasty notes. Big upfront taste of spices with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Belgian yeast with some funk. Sweet notes of molasses and burnt candied sugar. Dark roasted malts with a taste of chocolate, caramel, toffee, toast, and smoke. Fruit notes of dried banana and citrus orange along with dark fruit notes of plum, raisin, fig, dates, and black cherry. Tastes kind of like a liquid chocolate gingerbread cookie. Very interesting and good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, and somewhat syrupy. Some alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A pretty interesting and good twist on a dark Belgian style ale. Its like a winter warmer Belgian style.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 06:54:58 | More by MattyG85
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the tap into a tulip.

The beer is almost totally black with some light in the side. Dark tan frothy head. Inviting.

Gingerbread and lots of spice. Loving the holiday character here with some cinnamon an wood.

Wow first impressions is that this is like eating a clove. Plenty of gingerbread in here. Wood. A faint roast deep in there. Really unique.

Glad I tried this. Definitely not going to bring this in as a regular but very tasty if a bit much. One is enough...

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2013 03:08:45 | More by BucBasil
Photo of JamesStreet
JamesStreet

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - pours an opaque black with a mahogany/brown head. Nice long lacing down the side of the glass. Barely any bubbles almost a creamy layer of head on this one.

S - the first thing that comes to mind are the spices. A little alcohol also comes through

T - i immediately get carrot cake and pumpkin pie here. The nutmeg, as well as ginger, come out followed by a syrupy,alcohol presence. Interesting flavors here. Get a little roasty taste on the back end. Slight bitterness from the hops but not much.

M - medium-bodied with some moderate carb.

O - where to begin? Interesting beer. Don't get the BSDA (well it is strong and dark but don't really get the typical Belgian yeast taste.). To me this tastes what carrot cake would taste like in liquid form. It would be a nice dessert beer but not something I would sip on repeatedly.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 23:50:30 | More by JamesStreet
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep ruddy black-brown. Head is tan and dissipates quickly to a small bubbly head. Carbonation is on the high side of moderate. Some lacing, but not much.

Smell: Loaded with spice. Cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, all the usual suspects. Almost something like pepper spiciness as well. Yeast adds another spice element that's distinct. Minimal hopping, with some hints at citrus. Deeply sweet, pushing toward molasses and brown sugar at times. Some alcohol heat as well. Bready with a rich dark fruit component layered throughout. It's decidedly Christmas.

Taste: A bit burnt with a deep roasted character. The spice plays a huge role, running the entire gamut. The yeast drops esters like a pro. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, it's all there and there's a solid amount of it. Gets a little overbearing as it warms. Dark brown bread and deeply caramelized malts. Sweet. A good bit of caramel and deeper brown sugars. Alcohol pushes through.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body with a slightly above average carbonation. Nice and smooth with a surprisingly almost clean finish.

Overall: Better than most series finales.

An Imperial Belgian Winter Warmer. It's good.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 23:18:08 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of cvm4
cvm4

Mississippi

3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had it on draft when it was first released and decided to finally sit down and crack open a bottle.

A - Pours a bit black with a thin, bubbly tan head.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg and semi-sweet chocolate notes. It's like a gingerbread house in the glass when sniffing it.

T - Great taste in the beginning, cinnamon and nutmeg with hints of chocolate. Really an overabundance of spices. The back end is just really bitter. Not a smooth transition from start to finish. A very two faced start and ending.

M - Medium bodied/carbonation and a dry finish.

O - I want to like it, but this beer is two-faced on the flavor spectrum.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 00:50:58 | More by cvm4
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours a fairly opaque dark brown color. There was a huge tan head on it that lingers awhile and leaves some lacing. The nose is interesting. There are a lot of spices in there. Allspice, cinnamon, faint ginger clove and orange. While they aren’t overpowering on their own, they seem to be keeping any malts and hops hidden. Interesting taste. Pretty fair amount of spices mingling together, along with some chocolate. There is some bitterness coming through, as well as some fruits in the finish. A very interesting brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 20:52:25 | More by Boto
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured an opaque dark chocolate color with a 1/2 finger head. Very attractive looking beer.

The aroma is an overwhelming chocolate-spice combo. Cinnamon, and possibly gingerbread.

The mouth feel was smooth.

The imbalance in the beer starts with the taste. The chocolate-spice notes are completely dwarfed by the hoppiness and bitterness in the finish. I was looking for a smooth transition from aroma to taste: it was absent.

This would have been a great beer if there were more chocolate-spice notes in the finish.
Regrettably, the focus in the final stages of the tasting is on the hops and bitterness.

Re-evaluation: on the second night, the beer was better. The aroma wasn't as pronounced, it was a mellower chocolate spice. The mouth feel was more carbonated.

A snifter may be better for this beer than a tulip.

Most importantly, the hops and bitterness didn't mask the chocolate-spice taste. There was more balance to the flavor, and the finish wasn't overwhelming.

I generally don't like leaving a beer like this in the fridge too long- however, the fridge sometimes helps to mellow out the beer and bring more balance.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 00:05:57 | More by brureview
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a dark brown head. In the aroma, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a small orange citrus. In the taste, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and notes of clove. A mellow spice bite with a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice mixture in the aftertaste. Christmasy for sure, a nice balance of spices.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2013 20:30:38 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I've never reviewed one of these VE ales before, so as luck would have it, my good friend picked up a bottle and agreed to share it with me. Portion of a 22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. From two day old notes.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is a creamy one-finger khaki shade. The general appearance is almost stout-like.

S: Stone really didn't dick around with the spices, did they? There is insane cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg on the nose. The eye-watering spiciness evokes Harpoon's (overspiced) Winter Warmer in a way. Still, I'd love more of the base beer to come through.

T: The aroma didn't deceive me, this is spiced to fuck and back. It opens with a heavy-handed explosion of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. After a while, it fades into a long dark fruit finish (plums, mainly). Touches of roasted nuts also appear. Complexity is good, but unfortunately it's complex in a messy, imbalanced way.

M: This one has a pretty thick body. A shame it had to follow the devastatingly drinkable La Terrible, because this one just seemed indolent and flabby in comparison. Still, alcohol is decently concealed.

O: This brew is meh not because it's boring and lacking pizzazz, but because it's pizzazz is haphazard and unfocused. That, and Christmas in July kind of sucks.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 01:19:55 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of goblue3509
goblue3509

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep black color with a skim head which gives way to edging and a couple strands of lace. The aroma is very good and complex. There is a roasted malt backbone with hints of chocolate but also a lot of spices. There is cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of Belgian yeast. I smells like fall and Christmas. The taste follows suit but just a little off. There is a roasted malt backbone. There is a big nutmeg presence along with some cinnamon. The back end leaves a almost overly bitter dark chocolate flavor with hints of licorice. The mouthfeel is a little slick and velvety. Overall its a solid beer, love the look and aroma but the taste left me off a little bit.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 23:37:04 | More by goblue3509
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Stone's 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale a few months ago for $7.99 at The Lager Mill. I've never had any beers from this series and since this is the last one in the series I thought I should give it a try, I'm not really sure what to expect with this beer. but since it's from Stone I'm going to assume it will be flavorful, so lets see how it goes. 2012 Vintage, released for 12/12/12. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is pretty simple, but it had a nice clean look to it and I like the description of the beer and the series. It poured a very dark brown color that was bordering on being black and it hardly let any light come through with two fingers worth of dark tan head that was almost brown and died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice rings of lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, the color, head and lacing were all very nice.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of spices, all the spices in the description stick out, but it's the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg that seem to stick out the most and they make for a pretty spicy aroma. Up next comes some roasted malts that impart some sweet and light dark chocolate aromas along with a slight bit of coffee that go nicely with the spices but they could be a little more balanced since the spices seems to dominate this beer. Towards the end I get a nice Belgian yeast aroma. This beer had a good aroma, the spices were a little dominating but the end result was an aroma that was very similar to a ginger bread cookie and I enjoyed that.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by lots of spices, the cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg still stick out the most and are still a little too dominating. Up next comes a lighter amount of roasted malts that have a lighter amount of bitter chocolate flavors with a little more roasted malts towards the end. Up next comes some Belgian yeast that adds a little bit of complexity to this beer. On the finish there's a medium amount of sweetness with a just a little more sweetness with an aftertaste that is dominated by the spices with just a slight bit of roast. This is a good tasting beer, but I wish it had better balance, the spices are a little too dominant and it would be nice if the malts showed up a little more.

M- Smooth, a little dry on the finish, slightly sticky, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation that was slightly prickly. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer, but I think the carbonation could be toned down just a little.

Overall I thought this was nice beer, It isn't the best example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but it could very easily be called a Winter Warmer and it would be pretty dead on for the style, it's all about how you view this beer and I view it as being much more like a Winter Warmer. This beer had decent drinkability, the alcohol was well hidden, it was fairly smooth, not filling, and the flavors did a decent job at my holding my attention, but I think a bomber is enough for me, more than that and I think the spices would start to wear on me. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma and appearance, they were both pretty good and I really liked how close to a ginger bread cookie that the aroma was. What I liked the least about this beer was the balance, the roasted malts needed to show up a little more since the spices were just so dominant. I would buy this beer again, I'm pretty sure they won't make it again, so I don't think I'll have the chance to buy a bottle, but I think they should make it again since it's a great winter brew and I would like to have a bottle of this around Christmas time, it was worth the price and I would recommend this to anyone who likes winter warmers or heavily spiced beers. All in All I liked this beer and I thought it was pretty solid, the ginger bread aspect was pretty nice, but i felt like it needed more balance, it would be nice if the roasted malts shined through a little more then they did. Good job guys, I can't say how this does against the other vertical epic beers since I haven't had them, but I enjoyed this one and appreciate it's uniqueness, keep up the good works guys and keep blurring the line between styles.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 03:56:48 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver

California

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours pretty much black with a finger of dense mocha colored head that leaves some lacing and fades to a small mat
S: smells of spices and yeast with a bit of sweetness
T: tastes of spices, a bit of chocolate, more spices, a slight sweetness and a hint of dark fruits. swallow brings a bit of roasty character, and more spice
M: soft and slightly prickly carb with a medium-heavy mouthfeel and a slightly drying finish
O: Pretty interesting beer. the spices are a bit heavy but it's not excessive or really off putting. They could stand to be dialed back a bit more to play more of a supporting role but other than that it's still a solid beer

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 04:44:50 | More by SHODriver
Photo of brewcifix
brewcifix

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- This edition of Vertical Epic pours dark black-brown with a fluffy tan head. The head goes the distance, for sure- displaying exquisite lacing!

S- The nose is crazy. Nutmeg, licorice, clove, allspice, and sugar cookies take center stage- almost drowning out the mellow cream and chocolate. This almost smells like egg nog. Weird.

T- Damn good. Roasted malts, molasses. up front; give way to caramel, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet bread, and brown sugar. Hops add a scarce piney note in the finish that's easily overwhelmed by the other Christmas flavors. Nutmeg, and soft brown sugar linger on the palate. Somehow, though, Stone manages to keep this brew from being overly sweet. It is phenomenally balanced! Now, I'm tasting cream soda? Every sip unravels another layer. to say this beer is complex is an understatement. This beer is knocking my socks off!

M- The mouthfeel is the best part. This beer's nose and taste sound thick and syrupy. On the contrary, this concoction is light to medium weight, with subdued carbonation. This beer is actually very easy to drink!

Overall, this beer is awesome. I bought two bottles. I want to drink two bottles. But, my logical mind is telling me to age one of these. Stone claims that this is a "Belgian style abbey-ish beer". Personally, I'd call it a Belgian Style Stouty Brown Ale. Semantics aside, Stone Brewing knocked this one OUT OF THE PARK! If you are fortunate enough to see one of these bottles somewhere: BUY IT!

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 23:43:50 | More by brewcifix
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Started our Vertical Epic tour counting down from 12.

Dark brown pour with a dark tan head. Foam holds up well on a humid summer night. Aroma is a dense melange of herbal, floral, menthol cigarettes and molasses. Tastes like citrusy mint in a hot, roasty background. Dark, hot and messy. Bold. What it lacks in coherence it more than makes up for in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 14:21:35 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice tan head that dies down moderately and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of cinamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, molasses, dark fruit, sweet caramelly malts and some breadiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has all the christmas spices (cinamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspices) with sweet molasses, dark fruit and sweet roasty and caramelly malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2013 21:23:06 | More by SebD
Photo of 45nDown
45nDown

Arizona

4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just don't drink this. Takes the Stone Arrogant Bastard to a whole new spicy level. Mix of slow and warm drinkin spicy goodnes. Don't judge just drink. There is ALOT going on in here but this beer really needs to be tasted slow. apparently it will-be better years to come.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 06:26:03 | More by 45nDown
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
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