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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

296 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 296
Hads: 1,548
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 32.39%
Wants: 27
Gots: 377 | FT: 43
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:
Beer added by: HalfFull on 12-05-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 296 | Hads: 1,548
Photo of PorterLambic
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arrives a deeply dark brown with an almost creamy head of tan sitting on it. Retention isn't the greatest, dropping to a chunky film in about a minute. Decent lace.
Smell is malty with notes of clove and pepper.
Taste is exactly the same, malt with strong clove and black pepper notes.
Full bodied, lightly carbonated. Smoothish and somewhat drying. Warming as well.
A good beer but not one I would drink often as the clove is a bit too much.

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Photo of aCharlie
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark, light low head, quickly disappears after pour
S - Avg smell, nothing too pronounced
T - Spices/pepper. Dry on the front, yet pleasant. Delicate roasted malts
M - Alcohol is hidden very well
O - A very unique BSDA. Strong on the peppery spices, the pepper is in the foreground. Subtle malts.

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Photo of mntlover
3.85/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of portia99
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass...last bottle of the series.

A - Dark, dark brown color, nearly opaque, a finger of mocha head with good staying power, lots of foamy lacing left on the glass.

S - Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, coffee. Very spicy and Christmasy.

T - Bitter hops, coffee, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate.

M - Medium body, spicy, herbal, cool, Christmasy

O - Good spiced Christmas beer, spices are heavy especially coming after a large number of beers to taste in this series. A bit slow and difficult drinker. Spices are good, but this beer is probably best in small quantities.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I think this is my first Vertical Epic ale.
Interesting and unexpected spicing in the aroma. Cinnamon, an allspice kind of spice, clove. Firm dark malt, seeming almost like a stout.
Nice dense dark head, pretty cool. Very black and minimal highlights (brown to black).
Very holiday like, seems like a Christmas beer in the spicing. Matches pretty closely to the aroma. Additional flavors of caramel, touching close to roast, Body isn't quite as heavy as I expected, maybe even a tad thin. The drink itself is drying and this is enhanced by the spices which linger. Pretty quick shot of warmth in the gut and a ping in the pre-frontal cortex too. Pretty fully carbonated ,but it is fairly soft. Not much spice from yeast, in fact, not much yeast flavors at all that I can pick up. But i do like some of the malt flavors.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into the Vertical Epic glass.

It's extrememly dark brown, even the edges, where a little light shows, is dark brown.

Smell isn't super strong, but smells like Christmas. It's like liquid dark gingerbread cookies.

The flavor is dark but not very earthy. There is a dark tea character with some toasty, maybe even burnt, spices like something burnt a little in a pan. I also detect the scent of black coffee.

It feels dark, like tea and black coffee with a bit of tannin.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly opaque. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Plenty of lace is left behind. The foam gently recedes to a ring that sticks throughout, and is easily rejuvenated.
S: Toasted malts, baked bread, toffee sweetness. Some dark fruits. Cinnamon and nutmeg. A clove like spice. Lots on the nose that is very nice.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of toasted malt flavors. Baked bread and lots of sweetness. At first that toffee sweetness works well. Though eventually the sweetness becomes cloying. Plenty of spices as well. Cinnamon, clove, and even dark fruits. So much going on here.
M/D: A medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Though smooth and creamy at the same time. Easy to drink. Plenty of alcohol mixed with the big sweetness makes this a slow sipper. Though still enjoyable.

Man, there is a lot going on here. The sweetness is a bit much, and this is a very busy beer. Though that is most offerings from Stone. It is good to see them not doing an over hopped style, or another crappy "Black IPA." Something I enjoyed, and a nice end to the Vertical Epic Series.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger tan head on a jet black body with nice lacing.

S: spearmint, soap, gingerbread, hint of roasted malts.

T: gingerbread dominates here. Spices also include nutmeg and cinnamon. hints of floral notes. the finish is very earthy with a coffee like dryness and flavor without the bitterness.

M: medium to thick body and light carbonation. smooth and clean mouthfeel.

Overall: biggest issue here is that this one is initially a little watery but fills out in the finish. Complex and flavorful. A nice finish to the series. Not too sweet but sweet enough.

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Photo of BobZ
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Dark rich brown with a nice initial 2" head that quickly recedes to a cap. Nice lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon, clove, & gingerbread. The aroma is spice forward, very spice forward.

Taste: Follows the nose cinnamon and gingerbread dominate, the normal dark fruit flavors present in a Belgian strong dark ale are muted underneath the layer of spice.

Mouthfeel: Relatively clean; however, the spice lingers here too with some heat in the finish.

Overall: Definitely a Christmas beer or a winter warmer in character. A pretty decent beer but a little heavy handed on the spices. Some age may do a nice job in "calming it down", I might pick up another bottle to put in the cellar.

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Photo of katan
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a pint

A - Pours very black, thick. Mocha head formation, moderate, frothy and long lasting. Just a little lacing.

S - Dark fruits and candy, lightly sweet with a solid hopping background. Dark cherries into a black IPA perhaps?

T- Starts off lightly sweet, more fruity than malty. Spicy, cinnamon. Mid-stream more spiciness, reminds me of christmas. Finishes with some stronger forming bitterness. In the aftertaste i get more cinnamon and spice (perhaps everything nice).

M - Moderate to almost thin body. A little bit of alcohol warmth. A sticky clingy aftertaste.

D - A hefty winter warmer ale - has the all around potency of the season. The dark fruits, dark more roasted type flavors make this more of a combination beer. Seems pretty filling.

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Photo of SassieCassie
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has such a well balanced spice complex going on. You can pick them all out as they hit your palate and none of them are competing. I know that this is hard to do when adding spice to beer. I expected less and got more! Poured into a tulip glass, a dark brown color with a decent head. I have to say this is my favorite Stone brew to date, great job!

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Photo of goblue3509
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of flexabull
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shared a 12.12.12 last month with friends and family along with every Epic except 02.02.02. Thought I'd sit down with a bottle today to give it a proper review.

Pours a deep brown color with a very nice light tan colored head.

Aromas are very spice forward. I mostly notice nutmeg and allspice. I also smell ginger even though I'm pretty sure it wasn't in the brew.

Starts out soft, and slightly sweet with notes of cola. Then the finish kicks in with a bunch of spice flavors. Some anise, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. Complex, but pretty one demensinal with spices and not a lot of traditional dark Belgian flavors.

Mouthfeel is soft, full and pretty smooth.

Overall? Interesting, but too spice forward for my liking. Maybe if you set one down for a few years it might mellow a bit, but to me it's just a bit much at the moment. Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of arfenhouse
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Black with light brown head. Decent retention and some lacing.

S: Mainly getting clove and sweet caramel malt. Allspice and unidentified herbal smell. Barnyard. Interesting.

T: Reminds me of clove cigarettes (djarum or gudang). Some coffee, sweet malt, and clove upfront. A bit of raisin and prune. Some pepper. Cinnamon on the aftertaste. Interesting but can taste a bit weird sometimes.

M:Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. Wet.

O: Interesting beer, I was expecting worse.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I run hot and cold on Stone but I thought I would try this. It pours very dark with a thin head that persists a bit. It has a spice aroma as you would expect, but it is a unique blend.

The taste is a bit medicinal. They overdid it. It could be that I am overexposed from all the holiday brews, but they have managed to overpower all the nice yeastiness this style could have given.

The aftertaste is OK - not as strong as the taste. So this is a miss, but I shouldn't be able to get it again.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark, w/ semi beige cap and tight bead w/ opaque clarity

S Smell is strong and spicy w/ ginger and some festive Christmas spice like nutmeg
The malt odor ballasts w/ strong roast And fruity juniper berry tinged

M -thick bitter yet balanced with moderate sweetness and relatively low bitterness w/ mild roastiness and semi dry warming finish

T is spicy, tropical roasted nutty and bitter w/ hoppy pine and pepper w/ light cocoa and ginger notes w/ a hint of coffee and dark cherry

Overall an intense ride might be a good candidate for cellaring but is full of flavor and very drinkable as- is

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours with a large head of tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace in its wake.

S - A really odd, vegetal, aroma with notes of mint and basil.

T - Dark chocolate, peppers, basil, and smoke. Lots of cinnamon in the middle and a finish of basil, sage, pepper, and chocolate.

M - Mediuth thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not bad, but quite odd. The herbal character is completely out of left field based on what the bottle says it is spiced with. Very strong basil character is more interesting than balanced, but I enjoyed the xoerience overall.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Twelve poured a dark cherry hue with a ever rising head of thick foam.

The aromas are spicy with more nutmeg and cinnamon for the nose. I encountered some allspice and clove but the malt was more hidden to me.

The flavor was relatively complex but some of these were not my favorites. I tasted some light smoke, anise, spruce and carroway but also got an earthy, leafy parsley.

The feel was light, bubbly and effervescent without any true sharpness making it easy to drink.

This is a very different example of a Belgian Strong, maybe not the best but certainly worth the money.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a very dark amber (almost black) in color with some moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some dark brown and garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense creamy dark tan (almost mocha) head that slowly reduces to a mottled thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, a medium thin patch, and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of spices including clove, nutmeg, anise, and cinnamon along with some light to moderate aromas of roasted malts. Light notes of caramel and molasses sweetness. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol in the finish of the nose.

T: Light to moderate flavors of roasted malts upfront with a strong amount of spices - nutmeg, allspice, licorice/anise, and cinnamon. There are moderate notes of dark chocolate and spicy/clove yeast and just a touch of banana esters. Molasses sweetness and just a touch of citrus/orange hops which contribute some light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with just a touch more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of alcohol warmth in the finish.

O: Way too much spices and alcohol heat for this beer to be an easy drinker or all that enjoyable - one of the better beers in this series but I'm guessing it will get a little better with some age on it.

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Photo of Gavage
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Moderate lace paints the glass during the session.

Smell: allspice, pepper, and a malt sweetness is detectable by the nose.

Taste: big malt profile. Loads of spice such as cinnamon, allspice, and pepper. Belgian yeast, a decent bitterness, dark chocolate, and some alcohol rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a slow sipping beer that is bold and full of spiciness. Good beer for colder weather.

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Photo of dar482
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The aroma of this beer is spiciness with some sweetness and roasted notes.

The flavor has a big stout character with some roasted malt and chocolate notes. It then follows with toffee and dried fruits and spiciness. The finish is quite drying with that Belgian spice note.

An interesting brew and my first attempt at a Stone Vertical. This is quite good. The stout and Belgian strong dark balance is interesting.

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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.