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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.
very good

1,328 Ratings

(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
Ratings: 1,328 | Reviews: 274 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Retta123


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Dark dark brown, with little head.

mouthfeel: smooth, low carbonation.

taste: Clove, sweet, pecan, dark spices,

overall: I liked this, but couldn't have too many due to the strong clove flavor and sweetness. It would be good for an after dinner/special beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2013 04:21:37 | More by Retta123
Photo of Slatetank


3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
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

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2013 11:03:03 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz tulip glass

Appearance – Served a pitch black color with a one finger tan head. The head fades relatively quickly to leave a great level of lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is heaviest of a roasted malt smell and aromas of clove and cinnamon. Mixed with this there is a light sweetness of some chocolate as well as a light citrus hop aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt flavor. As the taste advances further some sweet chocolate flavors come to the tongue. A coffee flavor and spice flavors of cinnamon and clove spice then develops in the taste, quickly following the fruit flavors. More toward the end, as the coffee and roast intensify some, a bitter hop flavor of a earthy and citrus nature comes to the tongue. These flavors, with a light alcohol flavor, create an odd bitter and roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average to slightly lower side for a 9% abv brew with a carbonation level that was rather average. The carbonation was good for keeping and making an easy drinking brew, although a slightly thicker body may have been nicer for the darker flavors.

Overall – Not really what I was expected in something that is labeled as a Belgian strong dark. It is roastier and hoppier then I would expect. It wasn't bad though as it did have quite nice transitions between a more initial roast, followed by a light sweet and spice and then finished with a hoppy flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2013 01:15:46 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of RaulMondesi


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

Keeping it cool at Downtown Johnny Browns in San Diego, CA.

Let this thang sit out for a good 20 minutes off the tap and hot damn! Luscious dark textures and flavors that for some reason Raul cannot explain! A bit chile, a bit cinnamon... Get dis! Get dis now!

Raul approves!

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2013 00:44:01 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of searsclone


4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had on tap in a snifter.

dark brown color with a good tan head and really good lacing

smell and taste are very similar. nutmeg, pumpkin, and spice. smells and tastes like a pumpkin beer, but doesn't drink like one. I don't particularly care for pumpkin beers, but this one was very easy to drink. Creamy mouthfeel, nice balance, smooth, smooth, smooth.

I was lucky to find this on tap and am really glad I got to try it. I liked this more than the 11, which is the only other that I have tried.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2012 04:42:26 | More by searsclone
Photo of Hondo3


4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a growler into a 20oz Weizen glass. Beautiful 1/2" choclatey tan head that fades rather quickly with good lacing. Beer is a rich, choclatey brown to black.

S - Simply incredible. I've brewed with clove before and there is a distinct clove smell present. Some floral and cinnamon also.

T - I'm in heaven. Definite clove, chocolate, coffee present. Mild bittersweet aftertaste.

M - Smooth. Very smooth. Extremely drinkable.

This is what could be considered "A freaking good beer". It's a shame it will only be a limited production offering. My local supplier currently has this on tap but they also have a good supply in the 22oz bottle variety. Time to make an investment for the future!....

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2012 20:39:38 | More by Hondo3
Photo of PorterLambic


3.88/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2012 01:36:10 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of stumac


4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at my job. I begged and pleaded and got my wish. Thanks santa clause. Drinkin this the day after Christmas. Pours up jet black with a brown crazy foamy head. Endless lacing. This is gonna be one dirty glass after I'm done with it. Nose is cinnamon, banana yeast, allspice, molasses, vanilla bean. Tastes of all the same as the nose but with chocolate and lots of cinnamon. Lil bitter finish. Medium-leaning-full bodied. Easy carbo. great brew. Glad I got to finally try the last Vertical. Missed out on all the others cuz I didn't feel like falling for another "crazy expensive beer series pitch" but this one is worth it

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2012 23:43:23 | More by stumac
Photo of vette2006c5r


3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 12 12 poures a black color with a nice large tan head. Lots of lacing. There was a spicy aroma with notes of a ferminated malt. The taste had asome pronounced spicey flavor. Very strong malty backbone a bit boozey and had a sharpbitterness at the end. Good strong flavors. Overall a very good beer. simalr to the arrogrant bastard with a pronounced spicey flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2012 02:37:33 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of Knapp85


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a very deep black color with a fluffy brown colored foam on top. Very nice looking beer, very stout-like. The beer leaves a chunky lacing on the glass with a pretty good retention also. The smell of the beer is moderately spicy with a big amount of chocolate on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet, dark chocolate with some spice in there. The beer has a creamy smooth mouthfeel and heavy bodied, it finishes sticky and dense. Overall it's a good brew. Glad I got to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2012 22:12:57 | More by Knapp85
Photo of DoubleJ


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2012 23:33:37 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of tempest


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 23:10:14 | More by tempest
Photo of Tucquan


4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 22:41:37 | More by Tucquan
Photo of rand


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tap to snifter

Pours dark brown in color (touching black), forms a foamy coffee-tan head on the pour. Big notes of clove and toasty sugar in the nose. Alcohol and malts step up while hop presence takes a back seat. The flavors are layered and rich, carried by a robust, chewy complexion. Holiday spice and toasted sugar rub elbows with ripe fruit and ground pepper. A little hop astringency dries the palate, ushering in a surprisingly short and balanced finish.

Not the best of the Verticals, but world's better than last year's edition and a nice bookend to an interesting series of brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 07:21:02 | More by rand
Photo of thecheapies


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, opaque mocha brown-black color with a retaining inch of tan head. Looks like a treat. 4.5

Maple, cinnamon, brown sugar, Christmas spices, rum raisin, and bitter dark malts. 4.0

Flavor is much hoppier and spicier with mace, nutmeg, and a chile-like heat that is very mild. Pine, clove, cinnamon, and star anise are also prevalent. Finishes spicy and a little sweet with more lingering piney hops. Nuances of pith and maple and brown bread are notable. Very busy in the mouth, both in flavor and in feel. Happily carbonated with that spicy finish and prickly feel on the tongue. The body is merely a wet medium. Alcohol seems pretty checked-down. 4.0, 3.5

Great beer and a great finish to a fun series. I could see myself drinking this at the end of the world. 4.5

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2012 02:55:27 | More by thecheapies
Photo of lordofthewiens


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

I've looked forward to this series every year. This one was exceptional. In a snifter it was near black in color with a small tan head.

Cocoa and chocolate aroma. Roasted malts. Charcoal.

Cocoa/chocolate taste. Some coffee and vanilla.

This was a very dry beer, and just a joy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 21:27:57 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of daledeee


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thought I would try the new one in the series although I don't think I ever had the others.

Got this in a 16 oz glass. First thought was wow a dark one. Lots of dark tan head and really dark body.

Nose is charcoal, malt

Taste: Well the first sip may me say "NOT". I immediately wondered what I spent my $5 on. As it aired out and warmed up I began to enjoy this beer. However, it reminded me of a rather dry stout. First impression was overwhelming spice and a bitter malty mess. Later, it mellowed with less spice, a little more sweetness and a smoothness. It had plenty of coffee.

Mouth feel was pretty carbonated and heavy bodied.

This is a pretty good winter beer. Not quite balanced enough but I would like to try another.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 00:08:15 | More by daledeee
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Brewing Co.
12-12-12 Vertical Epic Ale

LOOK: Pours an opaque dark brown color with a creamy off white foam topping.

SMELL: Dark, roasted malts, dark fruits, cinnamon, clove and anise in the aroma. Sweet malt, estery Belgian yeast and light floral notes are prevalent.

TASTE: Roasted malt base with cocoa and char notes. There is a big presence of anise and cinnamon. Dry hopped flavor of resinous, sappy pine and carries a solid balancing bitterness. Could perhaps be described as a Spiced Belgian-style Stout.

FEEL: Full bodied, smooth, creamy feel with a prickly carbonation.

OVERALL: An interesting ale that will surely evolve and develop in time. It's also drinking just fine right now. Certainly not hot, this drinks smooth and easy. Not the best in the series but a nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2012 04:18:44 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of vicg12

New York

2.83/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

Not impressed with this offering from Stone. Must be said that the beer is getting pretty old now, but I saw it on the shelf at a local brew store so I had to give it a try. The pour is beautiful, beer is very dark and puts off a rich chocolate color head; leaves a decent lace. The smell smacks you in the face with an aroma of cinnamon, allspice and another spice I can't put my finger on. The taste is what you would expect from the smell with a strong presence of cinnamon and allspice with an after-note of cloves, but the most predominate flavor is that of bitters! In my opinion this is not a good flavor for a beer. It just takes away from the fact that you are actually drinking a really well brewed beer. You concentrate on this overpowering spice pallet that leaves you forgetting that this taste is actually coming from a beer. Really complex flavor and I appreciate what they were trying to accomplish here, just not my cup of tea. Worst beer I have had from Stone. If I wanted to drink bitters I would have ordered a Prohibition style cocktail, so please, keep it out of my beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 13:17:32 | More by vicg12
Photo of brutusmuktuk


4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber with a jet black color and a very healthy foamy tan head. Has a huge combination of smells: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, banana. Taste is also highly complex, with cinnamon and ginger and medium bitterness in the finish. Has a full body, smooth mouthfeel. This is the best pumpkin beer I’ve had that’s not really a pumpkin beer. Among my favorite spiced ales, just a close second behind Unibroue’s La Terrible.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 21:10:26 | More by brutusmuktuk
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this 22 oz bottle from Jack's Wine Sense in Ewing, NJ. Didn't realize it but it was bottled on 11-14/12. (Over a year old)

A - Deep dark brown, almost black. A little light coming through. A tall, frothy, sticky tan head.

S - Spiced molasses, licorice. Winter spice cake, toffee candy.

T - Ginger snaps all the way. Burnt sugar, molasses, spiced muffins. Copious amounts of fall/winter spices but way better than any "pumping ale" I've had in regards to those flavors. The caramelized sugars, and dark sweetness balances the assertive spices.

M - Creamy and slick, semi viscous. Medium bodied with a pleasant carbonation.

O - Wouldn't consider it a BSDA but it's really delicious. Sweet but not cloying, spiced but balanced.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 02:13:58 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a nice dark brown and it had a nice bouquet that was coriander dominant, but the taste is where this beer loses points. The initial taste was okay, but then there is an overpowering bitter taste that is very unpleasant. Mouth feel is course and harsh carbonation.

I know this bottle is over a year old, but I cannot vouch for its storage and care so I wonder if this is the culprit here. I'd like to think that this is the case as I have truly enjoyed all of Stones other offerings.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 22:29:37 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of Zaplt


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours pitch black with a quarter inch tan head

Smell - cherry, prune, dark fruit, chocolate, roast, spice,

Taste - Nutmeg, cinnamon, dark roast, dark fruit, date, plum,

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, moderate carbonation

Overall - This beer is decent, interesting blend of spice but something seems to conflict.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 00:09:07 | More by Zaplt
Photo of ykncornelius

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Been aging this guy for a shade over a year, and while I know the bottle says it's due to age beautifully for years to come....yeah, I just couldn't wait any more. I'm finishing off the last sips of this just before pouring a 3+ year bottle of 10.10.10 :D

This one's gorgeous. It's everything I like out of a beer plus some whizzing extras. Pours like liquid chocolate, not a hint of translucence, with a thin tan head that dissipated fairly quickly (to be fair, I'm sharing so I never got to give it a terribly hard pour).

Smashing boozy aromas: dark rum, Christmas pudding, raisins...all that good stuff from a strong Belgian trappist ale. Taste-wise? Same things, less sugar. At 9% and less sugar, I have a hard time believing it'll stand up to TONS of aging, but that's speculation. At a year old, it's literal perfection. I want this to last for days.

Creamy, decadent, mouthfeel, but very very low carbonation--I think it could benefit from a bit more bubble. It's the only thing about this beer I'd change, and I imagine the younger bottles had more fizz anyway.

Really this is just brilliant. I hopped on the Vertical Epic series a bit late, but this is easily my favorite of the final four releases. If you can track down a bottle out there...get your mitts on it!!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 03:53:55 | More by ykncornelius
Photo of MaillardRx


4.85/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Black as night, black as coal. I want to see the sun blotted out from the sky, and I did. Brownish, tan head with a tasteful amount of lacing

S: Ginger, spices, licorice, sweetish

T: Candied fruits, raisins, plums, Christmas spices, currants, and like a hint of cedar

M: Good for this flavor profile, but perhaps minimally carbonated

O: A very fine beer indeed and would drink it any chance I could

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 19:32:24 | More by MaillardRx
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,328 ratings.