12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
Very Good
1,596 Ratings
12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,596 |  Reviews: 311
Photo of chefduff2
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of acevenom
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a brandy snifter. Pours black with a thin tan head. There are some visible bubbles along the side of the glass, indicating the presence of decent carbonation. The head doesn't hang around very long. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass during consumption. I pick up very forward aromas of spices such as nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, and quite a bit of cinnamon. There are dark roasted malts and chocolate. There's maybe just a hint of anise and there is some sweetness in the scent. This is a very spice forward beer in the flavor. The cinnamon jumps out along with the nutmeg, ginger, clove, anise, and allspice. There are dark rosted malts, chocolate, and toffee. Age would be beneficial for mellowing out these spices, but they are still nice. The alcohol is well hidden here. The body is medium and has moderate carbonation. It's fairly pleasant to sip. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of tetu
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of jordanmckell
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mick303
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass, had a nice head of toffee caramel foam, with really great retention. Really good lacing and leaves a nice soapy film. Colour is a nearly pitch black dark brown.

Smell has a really interesting, lovely spiced bouquet of flavour. Earthy and subtle citrus spice notes come through. Roast malt, not a ton of upfront hop character, but it is really intricate and interesting.

Taste is lightly spiced, roasted malt is forward. Strong coffee, subtle clove and cinnamon spice, the interplay is really nice and intricate. A bit of minerally sweetness, some orange peel notes, quite festive and spicy. Aftertaste is long, toasty, with dry molasses bitterness comes through, just a tinge of subtle earthiness.

Mouthfeel is really big, carbonation is pretty mild, subtle sweetness and a rolling creaminess, a bit thick on the palate, becomes quite dry on the finish.

This was a definite winner, really nice. Some nice intriguing flavours coming through, blended well together. Complexity and balance of flavour is pretty solid, though has a couple rough patches. More points for being interesting than being flawless. A really solid offering from Stone.

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Photo of ridgeline23
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Docer
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (3.5)

- This brew is a very dark, murky, and thick rich brown. Can't see through it a bit. Subtle light mocha-tan head that quickly calms to a medium-sized ring of bubbly lace and a scattered dusting over the brew. Looks much like a common stout or porter.

Smell: (3.5)

- Lots of spice up front from nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and allspice. There is also a rather earthy and woody character to it as well. Perhaps some roasted malt and barley going on. There is only the slightest floral aroma along with the slightest smoke aroma. Smells good, but seems a little too spice-forward (which I am sure will settle with age).

Taste: (4.0)

- Certainly get the rose hips in flavor along with a touch of zest. Very balanced to say the least with all the spice and flavors. The malt is a nice chocolate and almost wooded and smoked tasting. Light clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon shine through, but are not at all too heavy. Seems this would be a good one to cellar a bit. Some light grassy and herbal hops going on to balance.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)

- This puppy has a full, smooth, and creamy body. Rather well carbonated, thus feeling thick and filling. It's a bit drying at the finish due to its bitterness, and is a little cloying. Overall quite decent.

Overall: (3.5)

- I'm just a touch let down with this one as a 'finale' of sorts. My favorite that I have had, has got to be the 09, especially with a couple of years on it. I haven't had much before the 07. This is of course super well-made, and is certainly a signature Stone beer. It's flavorful alright, just not quite the flavors I like. Too much like a winter or Christmas beer. But, I am positive it will cellar well, and really transform after 4 years or more. My sweet spot for this might be around 2 years.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is black with a smallish tan head. Head fades quickly, leaving a bit of lace.

I have not read anything about this year's vintage, and was surprised to find the nose initially dominated by spices. Clove, nutmeg and cinnamon in particular jump out, along with a bunch of cardamom. Very Christmas like. I can't really get anything beyond the spices.

Taste follows the nose closely. Spice city. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg. Also contains a minty flavour, a but herbal. Fairly dry. Some bready malt beneath and a bit of chocolate but certainly does not taste like a typical BSDA, even of the noel variety. Perhaps an enjoyable beer for those who like lots of spices in their beer, but I am not one of those people.

Medium to full bodied, low to moderate carbonation.

Overall, over-spiced for my liking. Obscures the rest of the beer.

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Photo of mhaugo
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Raime
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured black as night with a two finger mocha head. Left slight lacing.

S - Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Gingerbread, Anise, Basil, Very slight chocolate if you actually sniff for it.

T - HOLY SHIT does this taste like Cinnamon. Really, That's all I was able to pick up. It was like taking a spoonful of cinnamon and eating it alone. The cinnamon was too sweet as well. Did not expect this flavor from this beer. Alright, Perhaps there was some slight clove and slight honey as well, But it didn't help.

M - Medium bodied light to medium carbonation.

O - Overall, This beer was a disappointment. I was expecting something close to a Double Bastard but I didn't get it. Oh well. Not worth the $8.99 price tag.

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Photo of jtyson
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of MCDub
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Thorivan
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours with a large head of tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace in its wake.

S - A really odd, vegetal, aroma with notes of mint and basil.

T - Dark chocolate, peppers, basil, and smoke. Lots of cinnamon in the middle and a finish of basil, sage, pepper, and chocolate.

M - Mediuth thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not bad, but quite odd. The herbal character is completely out of left field based on what the bottle says it is spiced with. Very strong basil character is more interesting than balanced, but I enjoyed the xoerience overall.

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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.

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Photo of travishardy929
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of uturn
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Chrixsus
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of BeerLover99
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep brownish black body, finger khaki head,
amazing lacing

S: malt, ripe fruits, clove, ginger, xmas spices

T: chocolate, ripe fruits, bready malt,
long cloved/spicy finish

M: med/heavy, chewy/smooth mouth

O: Stone is truly excellent! This is a fun way
to celebrate the end of the year. Strong Ale
meets Christmas brew.


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Photo of rmeller
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Timman87
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of SuyoonShin
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of jpd7374
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of jsprain1
4.74/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- darn near opaque dark chocolate, even when held to light. Head is a half finger cocoa brown. Retention is so-so with a little bit of lacing.
S- A plethora of aromas, most of them spice centric. Clove, cinnamon, dark sugar, burnt caramel, and a bit of smoke.
T- This is a beer that layers flavors well. reading the extensive list of flavor notes on the side of the bottle I was worried about them competing, but they complement well. Chocolate, a lingering smoke, clove, cinnamon, and licorice. A bit sweet, but certainly less so than your average BSDA.
M- The mouthfeel is excellent. Medium body, carbonation is low and smooth. I would have given it a five, but given my expectations from reading Stone's description I expected it to be drier. It is smooth and a just a hint sweet.
O- A very very good beer. Definitely worth picking up.

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12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,596 ratings