Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,589 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
Ratings:
1,589
Reviews:
307
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
14.1%
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
377
For Trade:
37
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,589 |  Reviews: 307
Photo of Kahmal
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of flexabull
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 858 characters

Photo of Tumble
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of charlzm
2.79/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.

The beer is an opaque very dark brown. Only a thin ring of foam for a head.

Aroma notes are a vague sweetness with counterpoints of nutmeg and smoke.

The flavor is quite strong, with clove, nutmeg and cinnamon being the main components. Malt is overwhelmed.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and still.

Not a very impressive way to end the Vertical Epic series.

 427 characters

Photo of freduardo
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of campfirebrew
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of dominic4beer
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Hopmarc
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of kayrex
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of orangesol
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of buschbeer
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle
Served in a Stone tulip glass

A - It looks like a porter or stout. It is very dark. Light does not penetrate this beer. It is topped with two inches of tan head.

S - It smells like a Christmas ale. It is spicy with cinnamon and clove.

T - I get plenty of spices. Clove seems to be prominent. I also taste some roasted malt and Belgian yeast.

M - Medium

O - It reminds me of Anchor's Our Special Ale. It is okay, not great.

 453 characters

Photo of cclark67789
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of KiMiRaiK
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Pando
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of rob99er
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

Very dark brown color, resembling a porter. Tall tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

There's a ton of spices in the smell. Nutmeg, clove, and allspice. I also pick up dates.

The flavor is also heavy on the spices. A little anise throws itself in there.

Mouthfeel is heavy body, average carbonation.

I liked this beer quite a but, but I can see how it could be polarizing. You're preference will be decidedly wether or not you like spices.

 456 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on January 18, 2013.

The pour on this is an amazing looking dark brown to practically black with a smallish head.

The aroma is alive with dark malts, black licorice, a hint of dark fruit, and molasses. This is very enticing.

The body is definitely full.

The taste has this outrageous black licorice flavor to it along with dark malts, raisins, and as fully hopped finish. Quite complex and unique to say the least. Drink it slowly and enjoy it.

 485 characters

Photo of anvilx
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of RickDeLucio
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of scratch69
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Jet black color with a fingers worth of lingering tan head. Minimal amount of lacing.

Smell- Cinnamon, clove, licorice, and hints of citrus and molasses.

Taste- Very complex. I am detecting new flavors with each sip. Dark roasted malt, cinnamon, hints of clove, plums, chocolate, citrus, and hints of licorice. Very well blended with some alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and smooth. Light amount of carbonation.

Overall- A good winter beer. Complex and very interesting.

 534 characters

Photo of IPA4LIFE
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark, much darker than I expected. The head is pretty thin, and dissipates quickly. Dark brown on the near verge of black.

S-SPICY! Not like hot spicy, but full of spices, spicy. Clove is upfront, along with cinnamon and anise/black licorice. There is also a hint of spicy belgian yeast, a little butter dark chocolate, and maybe even a slight hint of citrus. A very unique and distinctive aroma that is I will not forget for a long time!

T- The first few sips, I wasn't as impressed (the beer may have been a bit too cold at the time), but it really opened up into a wonderful profile of dark malt and spice flavors, with raisin and plum in the background. There is bittersweet chocolate with plenty of clove (surprisingly much more enjoyable than i would have thought!), a bit of allspice and some cinnamon. There is maybe just a hint of cold-pressed coffee, a good measure of brown sugar and a good hint of booze. There is also a solid note of belgian yeast spiciness that ties the whole beautiful mess together. The lingering spice of clove is really beautiful and is the first time I have seen something like that expressed in a beer.

M- Smooth and velvety. Awesome.

O- Complex beyond even what I expect from Stone's VE series, this is a fitting send-off. This beer is really, really, good. It is difficult beyond complicated to mix all of the ingredients in this beer together in a successful way. Stone pulled it off wonderfully. This stuff is beautiful. Seriously awesome.

 1,490 characters

Photo of hagbergl
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a 22 oz. bottle of Stone's 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale (this edition is a Belgian-style spiced Christmas ale) at the Kimbark Plaza liquor store in Hyde Park, Chicago. I've had a few of the Vertical Epic ales by Stone before and liked them alright, so I wanted to see how they finished off the series. Served in my Chimay chalice.

Appearance (4.25/5): Pours an opaque dark brown, and is topped by a dense, tightly packed, 1.5 finger dark tan head. Plenty of bubbly tan lacing clings to the sides of the glass as it recedes and the beer is consumed.

Smell (4.5/5): Beautiful nose full of interesting spice notes: coriander, nutmeg, orange peel, cinnamon, some Belgian yeastiness, a little roasted malt. Very complex and bold (it is a Stone beer, after all); I'm catching subtly different notes with each whiff. An excellent and enticing nose on this holiday ale, for sure.

Taste (4/5): The taste is even more complex than the nose: it starts with the nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, orange peel spiciness and sweetness. Mid-palate transition to dark roasted malt flavors, a little smokey, dark bread. Resolves with a long, roasty, coffee-like bitterness. A bit of warming alcohol flexes in the back but never interferes with the flavors. This is a bit of a strange beer, but it's good. It has a bit of spiced holiday beer, dark abbey ale, brown ale, and stout to it. Sounds bizarre, I know. The one downside to the beer is that it's so bold that it gets a little cloying about halfway through the bomber. I'd say this is a beer that's meant to be split. Still, quite respectable.

Mouthfeel (4/5): very smooth, medium body, lightly carbonated. Doesn't feel "BIG" on the tongue.

Overall (4/5): This is a good way to close the Vertical Epic series–exceptionally bold, complex, and–given the time it was released–appropriate to the season. This is a beast of a holiday ale: hearty, spicey, and a heavy-hitter for sure. As Jason noted in his review, appropriate that this beer is a bittersweet one...farewell Vertical Epic series. Kudos to Stone for closing it out on a high note.

 2,093 characters

Photo of Pinche_Oso
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of obywan59
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black, totally opaque with a 3 finger thick tan head

Spices predominate at the start, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. As the beer warms, a little banana shows up followed by a bit of molasses, caramel, and some Belgian yeast with a whiff of alcohol now and then.

Sweet and spicy up front becoming more citrusy tart in the middle, with molasses and then some bitter roast malt in the end.

Good carbonation and medium full mouthfeel with light syrupy quality resulting in a bit of pleasant stickiness on the tongue and good warming in the throat.

Ovedrall, a very good winter brew. Warming for a snowy winters night and plenty of assertive flavors to keep things interesting.

 685 characters

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,589 ratings.
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