12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
Stone Brewing

12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
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Stone Brewing
California, United States
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
3.92 | pDev: 14.03%
Feb 01, 2021
Dec 05, 2012
Very Good
12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
Notes: None
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Photo of neenerzig
Reviewed by neenerzig from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Cracked 1 of the 2 bombers I have left of this. Poured into my goblet glass, this beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color that's not interested in letting in any light whatsoever. Something about the appearance really reminds me of a cup of coffee. Has a light brown, silky looking head that's about an inch thick when first poured. Settles pretty quickly to a very thick ring lining the inside of the glass, some nice cluster swirls of film layer surface foam, and pretty good lacing. Some roasted, bready malts and molasses notes that gives way to some plum, raisins, and a hint of figs. Also some bittersweet dark chocolate and coffee notes. An extremely similar flavor profile, with the aforementioned roasted, bready malts and molasses notes that's followed by some dark fruit notes of plum, raisin, and fig. This is followed by an allspice note. Rounded out w/ a bit of earthy hop bitterness. I'm surprised and at the same time not surprised at how pronounced this is in this beer after 8 + years. Because after all, this is Stone. The 9% SVB is well masked here indeed. Has a slightly crisp, mostly smooth, slightly oily and chewy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Has a dry finish, and pretty much all the aforementioned flavors stick around for awhile in the aftertaste.

Feb 01, 2021
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Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Cloudy dark, dark brown pour... nearly black with a finger of fizzy off-white head. Great lacing.

S: Cinnamon and roast. Spicy... grains and dark fruit.

T.F: Semi-sweet and roasty. Earth and spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and tea. Molassas with a bit of yeast character. Plum and fig... dark chocolate. Medium to light bodied.... smooth carbonation. Lingering spice at the finish.

O: A decent spiced beer... and whether a byproduct of age or design the spice wasn't overwhelming but played pretty nicely with the underlying Belgian Dark. A nice change of pace beer on a night when I wanted something a little different.
Oct 07, 2020
Rated: 4 by RiceOwls27 from Texas

Jul 16, 2020
Photo of BKotch
Reviewed by BKotch from Texas

3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Just had an 11.11.11 and I hate to say it, but it was better than this. This one's simply bland. No character. Not bad for 7.5 years old but it doesn't stack up particularly well against the Vertical Epic 11 or any number of similarly aged beers I've been drinking during the pandemic.
Jun 13, 2020
Rated: 4.2 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona

Mar 30, 2020
Rated: 4 by cp45 from New Jersey

Jan 26, 2020
Rated: 3.83 by Sammy from Canada (ON)

Oct 06, 2019
Rated: 4 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Apr 12, 2019
Rated: 4 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Jan 26, 2019
Rated: 4 by heysuz from Indiana

Jan 26, 2019
Rated: 3.96 by DOCRW from Washington

Jan 14, 2019
Rated: 3.43 by Dave2234 from Minnesota

Oct 21, 2018
Rated: 3.85 by Big_V from Maryland

Oct 12, 2018
Photo of TheRougeBastard
Reviewed by TheRougeBastard from North Carolina

3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Cellared for over five years, a malfunctioning beverage cooler put this on deck. Aged very nicley, would have been perfect a few months ago as it's certainly a winter warmer!
May 20, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by LarrysDeerGut from Illinois

Mar 18, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

Jan 07, 2018
Rated: 3.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Jan 03, 2018
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22 oz bottle. Repeated in July 2018 - probably a bit better at this later date, with reduced and mellowed spicing.
Poured very dark brown looking opaque and essentially black in the glass. The tan head is modest sized but has good retention.
Aroma: complex; more spicy than fruity with hints cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and clove.
Flavor: spicy but with reasonable balance for a spiced ale, and a good mix of spices and a solid note of dark chocolate. Exact rating about 4.15.

Overall: as much an American Strong Winter Ale as Belgian Strong Dark Ale.
Nov 30, 2017
Photo of flaskman
Reviewed by flaskman from New York

3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
This was a bottle that I have stored for over 5 years. I was a little nervous as it was 5 years old. It poured black with a modest head. My first impression was "Wow! It isn't rotten after 5 years !" I actually thought that it was very good. As a spiced brown ale I thought it was enjoyable. I liked the raisin prune taste in the background and the booze was well hidden. It had a good mouthfeel as in not too thin and not too thick. The only issue I had was that it was a touch spice forward with maybe a touch too much clove? When I shared it with a friend we were on his back porch and it was 40 degrees out a week before Thanksgiving. The perfect time of year for a spiced ale.
Nov 14, 2017
Rated: 3.96 by megapyro6 from Wisconsin

Jul 04, 2017
Rated: 4.06 by Imperialjake from North Carolina

Jul 04, 2017
Rated: 4.3 by Jeremiah_Nelson from California

Feb 19, 2017
Rated: 3.68 by SierraFlight from Virginia

Feb 18, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by BarrelAgedG from California

Dec 25, 2016
Rated: 4 by krome from Illinois

Oct 21, 2016
Photo of CraigAvery11
Reviewed by CraigAvery11 from Kansas

1.53/5  rDev -61%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1
The look of it makes you want to like it. However, when the spices overpower the base, body, and everything else you want to enjoy about this beer.... For me, this was just terrible. Ginger, anise, and whatever else overpowers this beer killed it for me. I'm more of a huge high-end sour drinker but occasionally stray to an IPA or stout. This is terrible. I could make it through the bottle in an effort to not waste my money and get the feeling but... Tasted terrible.... smelled slightly worse. Nothing I would ever buy twice. They threw a spice grenade in this. Tastes like you're chugging an upper-middle class Christmas wreath.
Oct 16, 2016
Rated: 4.12 by ojingeo from New York

Oct 14, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by mikr from New Jersey

Oct 12, 2016
Rated: 4.2 by CSO from Illinois

Sep 15, 2016
Rated: 2.29 by Deltoro from Florida

Aug 01, 2016
Rated: 4.3 by Dsimenson from California

Jul 29, 2016
Photo of 57md
Reviewed by 57md from Pennsylvania

4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Had this one at The Mint in Bethlehem, PA. As part of their 5th anniversary, they are serving up some aged beers from their cellar. This offering was about 3.5 years old when consumed in the heat of mid-summer 2016.

Pours a deep dark brown to black color with a finger of beige head - almost porter-like. There is a hint of burnt wood in the nose. I do not recall if this beer was barrel-aged but the essence is definitely there. The dominant flavor is that of raisin bread with Christmas spices. There is also more than a trace of bittersweet chocolate. The finish is quite dry.

The kicker here is that there is no hint of the alcohol - this is definitely a BIG sipper but the booze does not even poke its head through.

June 28th is pretty damn close to "half-way to Christmas" and this offering put me in the spirit of the season early. This was a real treat in the dead of summer but it would make for a total holiday classic after coming in from building a snow man.
Jun 29, 2016
Rated: 4.89 by ackbar556 from New Mexico

Jun 29, 2016
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Reviewed by colts9016 from Idaho

4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A very nice medium tan two finger head with good retention. The color of the beer is a dark molasses and opaque.

N: Molasses, bittersweet chocolate, oranges, raisins, roasted malt, a burnt note, toffee, dark roasted coffee, some floral, and a earth note.

T: Dark chocolate, oranges, raisins, roasted malt, a burnt note toffee, espresso, earthy, floral, woody, molasses, bready, and yeasty.

M: A very chewy rich beer with some carbonation.

This beer has a lot going on with many flavors, yet so refined but bold. After fours sitting it has aged very nicely and is a sipper for sure. The alcohol is noticeable, but not too strong. All the flavors meld together nicely to create this offering. The nose is so much more richer, than the taste; nonetheless, a good beer to drink .
Jun 28, 2016
Rated: 4.17 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

Jun 24, 2016
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Reviewed by Cyberkedi from Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Strong aroma has malty and yeasty notes and a firm overtone of spices - I get clove, ginger and maybe allspice. Thought I smelled coriander, though that’s not listed as an ingredient. It pours like a stout - a deep, warm sable with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Flavor - woooooooo, mouth-filling, strong and herbal; woody, licorice, ginger, roast malt, bitter hoppy, subtle orange and nutty notes. This beer must be sipped slowly! Thick, firm, smooth texture has a strong and persistent tingle. Stones last "triplet date" beer is a winner!
May 30, 2016
Photo of darktronica
Reviewed by darktronica from Indiana

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Despite the claims of being as cellarable as any other beer in the series, my bottle of 12.12.12 was certainly well past its prime. I remember it being a pleasant, though spicy, Belgian when fresh. This bottle was recently acquired at a local bottle shop that found it stored in the back, so I suspect it's been warmer than optimal cellar temp for several years now. That said, it was all nutmeg and wet newspaper, with a sharp bitterness on the finish.
May 25, 2016
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Dark and spicy, lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. Near black body with beige creamy head. Some chocolate in the aroma and taste, mildly dry finish. Overall very complex, lots of flavors combined.
May 18, 2016
Rated: 4.08 by Dillinger from Mississippi

May 15, 2016
Photo of ONovoMexicano
Reviewed by ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

1.87/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1
Great looking beer but sadly not one I could drink. The nose and flavor were complete spice bombs dominated by clove, anise, ginger (?) and other flavors I couldn't hardly get past to enjoy the base beer.

What's interesting is I went into this beer with zero knowledge and was even surprised when I saw a dark stout-like beer (I was expecting a blonde color for whatever reason). I guess my point is I didn't go in intending to dislike this, but unfortunately did. Overly spiced to the point of ruin for me.
Apr 10, 2016
12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1608 ratings