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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic AleStone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.92/5
Very Good
1,592 Ratings
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic AleStone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HalfFull on 12-05-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
310
Ratings:
1,592
pDev:
14.03%
Bros Score:
4.27
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
379
Trade:
37
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,592 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 565 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one at his "end of the world" tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, spices, herbs, and floral aromas. Taste is much the same with a weird spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that isn't done very well in terms of the spices that come through in the flavor.

 591 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i loved this beer, thought it was incredibly well made and more interesting and enjoyable than any others from this series. it was a perfect way to go out i thought, and i guzzled every drop. the pour is jet black, scary dark, with a rising lacey beige head. the nose is chocolate first, cinnamon, clove, tobacco, anise seed, and dried fruit. its so complex and layered its hard to capture everything thats going on in just one bomber. the flavor is just as hectic, more yeast and alcohol here than the smell, but with the same cast of characters. tobacco and licorice get a big nod, as does the dark chocolate. the finish is bone dry, almost chalky, which is odd for the color and the magnitude of this beer. easily one of the most complex beers ive had in ages, everything from molassas to raisins seem to come though one by one. i should absolutely get another bottle or two for cellaring, as this may get even better over time. thick as hell on the body, but carbonated enough to not be undrinkable. to me this makes the whole series worth it, and im real glad i got to try it. if you get the same chance, please dont pass this up, its too interesting and tasty for anyone who loves beer to not give it a shot. its like no other...

 1,235 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 498 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that has very good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of spices are present in the nose - allspice and nutmeg seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is quite spicy but there is more complexity as hints of cinnamon and clove are also noticeable. Among the spices, nutmeg stands out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The spices lend some dryness.
O: This beer is very enjoyable and has an interesting mix of spices, but not of the peppery variety. It is a nice beer for Christmas. It is very drinkable because the spices are well balanced and no traces of alcohol are perceptible.

 822 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the conclusion of a decade-long saga, Stone's Vertical Epic series concludes on a staggering high note. Belgian inspired, Scottishly malted, and Christmasly decorated- this beer takes the palate on quite a wintry ride!

Dark, bark-like brown, the beer pours with an exuberant pour that easily tricks the eye into thinking stout or robust porter. It erupts with a billowing head of mocha-stained foam that blankets the glass with long lasting foam an decorative lace.

Aromas are full of heavy toast, burnt sugar, molasses, mild smoky peat, and oddly banana bread. A strong spicy rebuttal of "Red Hot" cinnamon candies and clove nearly dominate the deep but focused scent.

An incredible depth of flavors wash the palate with bittersweet chocolate, lightly charred toast, deep molasses, and cold pressed coffee- all delivering a melange of robust and savory sweetness that won't be ignored. Even the fruit taste of grape weaves into the sweetness in estery and melded background. In the near absence of hops, the beer garners its balance from the sharp and spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, and rummy alcohols. Light earth and peat malt seems to ground the taste with slight complements of damp soil, heavy spruce, and juniper.

Robust and assertive, the beer erupts on the palate and causes and expansive feel of dry roast, semi-sweetness, and light ash to engulf the mouth entirely. But as the carbonation relaxes, the earth and malt take hold and usher in a spicy dark rum taste/texture that's further dried by the bitterness seemingly of pine resin, cinnamon, and char.

Despite it's "green" taste and premature roast-alcohol portrayal, the beer shows tremendous promise if properly aged like many other of the Vertical Epic series. If it's going to be your last hurrah, this is the way to go!

 1,798 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acquired for $7.00 USD plus tax at a local beer store. Expectations are average given the brewery. 9.00% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass etched bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served a fair bit warmer than refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger rich dark tan colour head of good cream and thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Lacing is decent. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Spices, rosemary, pumpkin gourd, nutmeg (fairly heavy), cinnamon, orange peel, and citrus zest. A subtly spiced, pleasant aroma. Average in strength. Intriguing.

T: Pumpkin up front, with dark malts forming the foundation and filling out the body. The spices hit on the climax, followed by a smooth dark malt/caramel finish. The turn on the climax is abrupt and calls into question the structural balance. Why does it abandon the tone of the early acts for the brief unsatisfying finish? In any case, the spices are nicely executed and in spite of its lack of structural balance it features interesting complexity. That said, it's a bit of a haphazard mess - though not to the extent of many of Stone's other beers. Somewhat medicinal on the finish, especially as it warms. Maybe a hint of brown sugar on the climax. It's a bit overhopped for its flavour profile, inclusive of overdone floral hop notes that add little. Too rich in the second act, reducing drinkability. No yeast comes through.

Mf: Nicely coarse and wet up front, then a patch of dryness on the climax, followed by a slick finish. Haphazard and unfocused. Doesn't suit the flavours anywhere near as well as it should. The choices made here are perplexing. A bit too thick. Overcarbonated.

Dr: A much better offering than last year's vertical epic, but not without its flaws. I wouldn't call the brewing here anywhere near as masterful as the pretentious label claims, but it's a solid beer for its strange build. A bit pricey for its quality, but I'll enjoy finishing it. That said, I wouldn't go out of my way to find it and it's not unique or special. Hides its ABV decently. A surprisingly decent effort from Stone, but not a horribly drinkable one. I wouldn't want to chug this.

C+

 2,428 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and cloves are quite strong with some light roasted malt notes and some light residuals sugar notes. Taste is also a good mix of roasted malt with some cinnamon and cloves and some residual sugar. Light spicy ginger notes are also distinguishable. Body is full with light creamy texture and good carbonation. Interesting mix of spices with solid malt backbone. I would have liked this better with some toned down roasted malt.

 554 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 400 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; obvious November 2012 bottling. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, roasted malt, toast, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, clove, dark bread, pepper, floral, orange peel, light char, roasted earth, and yeast spiciness. Fantastic aromas with great balance, complexity, and strength of dark malt, spice, and yeast ester notes. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, clove, toast, pepper, dark bread, orange peel, light char, floral, roasted earth, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, toast, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, clove, pepper, dark bread, floral, light char, roasted earth, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance, complexity, and robustness of roasted malt and spices flavors; with a great sweetness/spice balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent spiced Belgian dark ale! Great robustness and balance of dark malt and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,431 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,592 ratings
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