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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
1,593 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:
311
Ratings:
1,593
pDev:
14.03%
Bros Score:
4.27
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
378
Trade:
37
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,593 |  Reviews: 311
Photo of hagbergl
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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 -10.7%

Photo of obywan59
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
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

Photo of kaelingirl
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of Duff27
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of MadScientist
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: The beer is inky black with a light greenish brown tint and no light is getting through. The head is medium brown made of creamy, slightly rocky bubble that leave lacing on the glass.

S: A decent spice and pine aroma with moderately-strong notes of allspice, clove and nutmeg. There is a moderate sweet orange peel aroma. There moderate pine aroma that seems like it's the hops but it could be the mix of spices. Some dark fruitiness comes through at lower levels like moderately-light figs and plums. There most definitely spice in there but there doesn't seem to be a Belgian yeast type of an aroma.

T: It's a spice bomb and the first sip seems like lots of clove at first but it become clear that it's just a lot of all the spices they brewed with from the allspice, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg in order of how strong they appear to me. There is a moderately-light hops bitterness. The balance is even and the finish is fairly dry. The aftertaste shows some dark malt character with a slight roasted malt bitterness.

M: A Medium full body with moderately-strong carbonation. There is some astringency

O: The spice is out of balance but not too badly. Spice like this will calm down over time and if I was brewing a bottle to lay down for years I might bump up the spice to this level knowing I'd leave it alone for a while. I can't recommend this beer right now but I'd be interested to see how it taste in another year or so.

 1,438 characters

Photo of erha2
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of makopoetic
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My first Vertical Epic! Drank straight from the bottle, did not pour. Very dark appearance. Love the bottle; simple, but with class.

Strong spice scents. Allspice? Clove? A little pepper? Will deffinately buy another bottle to try in a glass, wondering if the smell & taste change with time after opening.

Strong taste, hearty! Usually not my style, but I liked it.

Was easy in hte mouth, but still let you know it was there. not overpowering. Small afterbite for such a strong scented ale.

I enjoyed it! My first foray into the Vertical Epic series. Bummer I didn't discover the series sooner.

 599 characters

Photo of cuy50
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of strongaf
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of bostonryan
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of rapidsequence
3.24/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle to tulip. $7 or 8 from Neds.

Appearance: Its pitch black with a darkish brown head. Leaves some really nice lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast aromas and a big "womp" of spice as they say on the bottle. The smell makes me fear its overspiced.

Taste: So, this is not an "abbey-ish" ale as the bottle claims. Its a spicy Belgian stout. Really spicy. Collision of pumpkin pie and Christmas spice. I always find orange peel unwelcome in beer and this is no different. Finishes with roasty malt bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Soft, slightly foamy, then dry on the finish. Too dry for the style, whatever style this is.

Overall: They definitely should not have done this. They need to throw away all their spices and stick to making good beer without all this stupid shit. That said, this is not terrible, actually kind of enjoyable, just wrong.

 843 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of Matt746237
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of DiscGolfRobot
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of jpaulsen
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of MystikCelt
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of theleechster
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of abaer123
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - rich dark (black?) color. beautiful lacing left on the glass.

S - slighrly strong alcohol - but doesn't taste it.

T - smooth and rich. yummy!

M - full and good body.

O - Overall a good ale. I have enjoyed Stone's vertifcal offerings every year, and this one does not disappoint. I can pretty much rely on Stone's offerings. I would not mind visiting the tap room to have each of the vertical epics poured side by side to compare and contrast. I think they are always pushing the envelope a little and usually with great success!

 537 characters

Photo of WritersBlock
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of Bonis
3/5  rDev -23.5%

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 emceecue
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,593 ratings
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