1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

1,396 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,396
Reviews: 280
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 20
Gots: 299 | FT: 26
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,396 | Reviews: 280 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bonis


3/5  rDev -23.1%

01-15-2013 17:19:06 | More by Bonis
Photo of zeff80


3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Jet black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - Lots of heat in the nose. Peppery and spicy nose.

T - Lots of chili-like spice, peppery with some roasted malt flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is an interesting VE beer. Not my favorite but still really good.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 03:41:47 | More by zeff80
Photo of emceecue

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

01-15-2013 03:18:31 | More by emceecue
Photo of siddhartha


4.25/5  rDev +9%

01-15-2013 00:50:57 | More by siddhartha
Photo of BlissJunkie


4/5  rDev +2.6%

01-14-2013 22:51:07 | More by BlissJunkie
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights, small cap of off-white head. Scent brings notes of caramel, molasses, pecan, fig, dates, cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg, anise, a splash of vanilla, burnt rum cake - lots going on here. Taste manages to focus some of the notes from the scent, but some sips seemed messy and unorganized. Full of flavor and complexity, but a touch more care needed to ensure all the components either blend or stand out further. Fuller side of medium - warm, sticky. Glad i had a chance to try, but a touch to aggressive for my palate on some fronts.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2013 21:19:26 | More by rfgetz
Photo of nickwc


4/5  rDev +2.6%

01-14-2013 14:42:32 | More by nickwc
Photo of John_M


4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2013 14:02:10 | More by John_M
Photo of Deltrus


5/5  rDev +28.2%

01-14-2013 03:46:37 | More by Deltrus
Photo of harrylee773


2.25/5  rDev -42.3%

01-14-2013 01:57:58 | More by harrylee773
Photo of Brown120


2.5/5  rDev -35.9%

01-14-2013 01:26:28 | More by Brown120
Photo of CanisMajor


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

01-14-2013 00:43:12 | More by CanisMajor
Photo of PopnLoads


3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

01-14-2013 00:25:49 | More by PopnLoads
Photo of Hopmodium


4/5  rDev +2.6%

01-14-2013 00:18:41 | More by Hopmodium
Photo of MordorMongo

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

01-13-2013 23:37:51 | More by MordorMongo
Photo of siradmiralnelson


3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Pours 2 finger dark tank coloered head. Good retention. Thick lacking. Color is black.

S. Cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, clove, gingerbread, allspice. Smells like a liquified Xmas cookie. All kinds of spices going on with this guy. Seriously you could confuse this beer with the inside of your spice cabinet.

T. Taste is more gingerbread cookie, than all of the other spices on the aroma. Xmas in a glass pretty much sums up the taste. Again all kinds of spice going on just like the aroma. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.

M. Medium bodied. Finishes with all the spice flavors coating your mouth. Medium carbonation.

O. Kind of a one trick pony. You wont hear me say this often, but definitely a beer you want to share with people, proably 5-6 people. Interesting, but not something I would really ever want to have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 22:30:19 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of cglass24


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

01-13-2013 22:26:35 | More by cglass24
Photo of thinwhiteduke


4.25/5  rDev +9%

01-13-2013 20:44:48 | More by thinwhiteduke
Photo of jondeelee


4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stone’s 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale opens to a spicy nose that would not seem out of place in a Christmas or pumpkin ale: nutmeg, clove, toasted cinnamon, and bitter orange peel mix with an assortment of fruit esters (dates, raisins, maraschino cherries), the end result bearing a striking resemblance to handcrafted fruitcake. These are joined by thick molasses and honey, adding both darker and sweeter sugars, and touches of vanilla and spiced rum add hints of oaky liquors. Add to this a dash of thick brown breads, some pepper, a smidgen of anise, and a shade of toasted pecan, and you have an excellent holiday brew, bearing one of the better bouquets on the market for a spiced winter ale.

On the tongue, the resemblance to fruitcake continues, with an almost direct translation of the spice and fruit notes from the aroma, though here the flavors do take on a darker, more earthy note, as if the crust of the fruitcake were slightly burnt (in a good way). The cloves and allspice notes are especially present in the fruits, and the molasses overtakes the honey, adding scads of dark, near-burnt sugars, which mix nicely with an ashy undertone that emerges mid-mouthful. In subsequent sips much of the original notes are retained, with perhaps an even slightly greater edge given to black, crispy bread crusts. But still, enough sugars remain to add nice levels of sweetness, and the fruits bring dark notes that mix well with everything. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, lingering on the tongue in fruitcake goodness for a very long time. It is mainly here that the 9% ABV comes through, bringing a wash of alcoholic vapors, but those still mingle well with the fruitcakes. Mouthfeel is a dry medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent ale, and it’s a shame that Stone is only making this once, since it’s difficult to imagine anyone getting a winter spiced ale to be better than this one. The flavors are immaculately balanced, the ingredients carefully chosen, and the result is amazing. Grab it while you can.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 20:15:12 | More by jondeelee
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

1.55/5  rDev -60.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 19:40:13 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Sunn


3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

01-13-2013 15:01:21 | More by Sunn
Photo of falloutsnow


3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Crane Alley, Urbana, IL
Date: On-tap (review from notes)
Glass: 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Glass

Stone's 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale seems to evoke an extremely polarized response from people, based primarily on the over-spiced nature of the beer that ultimately came across as something ill-conceived or just too over-the-top. In my single tap experience, I did not find this to be the case, though I suppose every pour can be different. While I'm not sure what style this beer should be declared as (and it shouldn't really matter what it's called, anyway), I found this to be something of a mix between a stout and a spiced ale (I wouldn't have guessed Belgian), and thought it fairly enjoyable: I'd partake of another one if I saw it around (I also wonder if the on-tap versus bottle difference had any effect).

The beer arrives with a 0.5cm tall head, tan in color, composed of bubbles that are small to medium in size. Retention is about average, lasting a minute or so, but as the head declines, it leaves significant lacing along the sides of the glass. The body is dark brown to black in color, opaque, though carbonation is visible streaming upwards from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is heavily malty and sweet, like a spiced loaf of dark, sweet bread. Secondary, though notable scents of cocoa, roasted malt, brown sugar, cinnamon, anise, and ginger.

Tasting opens with roasted malt acridness mixed with some sweetness and slight dark bread. This quickly transitions to a mid-palate full of chocolate and roasted barley malt-covered spices, including anise, cinnamon, and ginger. Back of palate finds the spices increasing in intensity, but still held in check by the roasted malt and cocoa tones. Ethanol makes a slight appearance, but it's well within reason for a 9% beer and doesn't detract from the other flavors. Lingering aftertaste of cocoa and assorted other spices.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in weight with carbonation levels of medium intensity. The result is a fairly smooth, sippable beer with just a slight foaming across the palate. Ethanol presence is very well-hidden for a 9% beer, getting very little heat in the nostrils or burning on the throat or palate. Closes semi-dry with fairly substantial stickiness across the palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 06:27:59 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of rjhildre

North Carolina

2.74/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bomber, poured into belgian snifter.

Look: Beautiful beer, almost completely opaque, Half finger of light brown sugar colored head with decent lacing that works it's way quickly down the glass.

Smell: Heavy spices, clove dominates despite claims on the bottle that only a little was used.

Taste: Heavy clove at first, almost off-putting, but gives way to cinnamon, coffee, dark chocolate, and a small element of dry snuff tobacco. Slight astringency on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: The most disappointing aspect of this beer to me. A beer this dark and spiced I want to chew. Too thin and quaffable, lacking the malt backbone that I think could make this one memorable.

All in all this beer was reminiscent of the holiday offerings that trader joe's released around the holidays (brewed by unibroue I believe.) All in all not a not a bad beer for a $7 bomber but not something I will drink again.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 02:35:45 | More by rjhildre
Photo of ChrisKayler


4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

01-13-2013 00:07:50 | More by ChrisKayler
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

2.99/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black, with a quarter inch if beige head. The aroma offers licorice, overly spiced, cookie dough, holiday spices. Mediocre flavor. Dark roast and spices with a touch of alcohol heat. This puts the final touches on a mediocre set of beers. On the whole, I remain entirely unimpressed with Stone.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 23:34:43 | More by Huhzubendah
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,396 ratings.