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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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BA SCORE
88
very good
307 Reviews
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
Reviews:
307
Ratings:
1,586
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
14.1%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
383
For Trade:
41
User Reviews
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Reviews: 307 | Ratings: 1,586
Photo of MadScientist
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of makopoetic
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.24/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

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Photo of abaer123
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
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!

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Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights, small cap of off-white head. Scent brings notes of caramel, molasses, pecan, fig, dates, cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg, anise, a splash of vanilla, burnt rum cake - lots going on here. Taste manages to focus some of the notes from the scent, but some sips seemed messy and unorganized. Full of flavor and complexity, but a touch more care needed to ensure all the components either blend or stand out further. Fuller side of medium - warm, sticky. Glad i had a chance to try, but a touch to aggressive for my palate on some fronts.

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Photo of John_M
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Smokin Joe's the other day.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is exotic and impressive, though I'm not sure about the use of all these spices. In any event, this beer reminds of holiday eggnog, with considerable vanilla, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and mint, but with some interesting coffee and chocolate as well. The combination just seems a bit odd, especially with the huge presence of all these spices. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though the spices aren't quite as prominent on the palate as they were on the nose. I really like the soft, creamy mouthfeel I'm getting in this beer, as I think it helps to soften the impact of all the spices. Otherwise, there's plenty of vanilla, coffee and chocolate in this well made beer. Mouthfeel is otherwise long and spice filled, and the alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile. Also, while the beer is on the sweet side, the spices and some underlying hoppy bitterness seem to buoy that sweetness quite well.

An interesting and well made beer, though it's hard to imagine drinking a whole lot of this.

Edit from 3/15/13. Sampled this on tap again during a Vertical Epic event at Pacific Coast brewing. The spice component still seems a bit over the top, though the mouthfeel was softer and creamier. Score at the pub was virtually identical to what I found previously.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Pours 2 finger dark tank coloered head. Good retention. Thick lacking. Color is black.

S. Cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, clove, gingerbread, allspice. Smells like a liquified Xmas cookie. All kinds of spices going on with this guy. Seriously you could confuse this beer with the inside of your spice cabinet.

T. Taste is more gingerbread cookie, than all of the other spices on the aroma. Xmas in a glass pretty much sums up the taste. Again all kinds of spice going on just like the aroma. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.

M. Medium bodied. Finishes with all the spice flavors coating your mouth. Medium carbonation.

O. Kind of a one trick pony. You wont hear me say this often, but definitely a beer you want to share with people, proably 5-6 people. Interesting, but not something I would really ever want to have again.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stone’s 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale opens to a spicy nose that would not seem out of place in a Christmas or pumpkin ale: nutmeg, clove, toasted cinnamon, and bitter orange peel mix with an assortment of fruit esters (dates, raisins, maraschino cherries), the end result bearing a striking resemblance to handcrafted fruitcake. These are joined by thick molasses and honey, adding both darker and sweeter sugars, and touches of vanilla and spiced rum add hints of oaky liquors. Add to this a dash of thick brown breads, some pepper, a smidgen of anise, and a shade of toasted pecan, and you have an excellent holiday brew, bearing one of the better bouquets on the market for a spiced winter ale.

On the tongue, the resemblance to fruitcake continues, with an almost direct translation of the spice and fruit notes from the aroma, though here the flavors do take on a darker, more earthy note, as if the crust of the fruitcake were slightly burnt (in a good way). The cloves and allspice notes are especially present in the fruits, and the molasses overtakes the honey, adding scads of dark, near-burnt sugars, which mix nicely with an ashy undertone that emerges mid-mouthful. In subsequent sips much of the original notes are retained, with perhaps an even slightly greater edge given to black, crispy bread crusts. But still, enough sugars remain to add nice levels of sweetness, and the fruits bring dark notes that mix well with everything. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, lingering on the tongue in fruitcake goodness for a very long time. It is mainly here that the 9% ABV comes through, bringing a wash of alcoholic vapors, but those still mingle well with the fruitcakes. Mouthfeel is a dry medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent ale, and it’s a shame that Stone is only making this once, since it’s difficult to imagine anyone getting a winter spiced ale to be better than this one. The flavors are immaculately balanced, the ingredients carefully chosen, and the result is amazing. Grab it while you can.

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Photo of yourefragile
1.6/5  rDev -59%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 oz bottle.

Pours a dark, thick chocolate brown with a thin dark tan head. Aroma of gingerbread, licorice, molasses, burnt bread, and stale rubber. Flavor is... wrong. Clash of sweet gingerbread, grab bag spices from the potpourri aisle in the crafts store from hell I've never been to, "balanced" by a light burnt ash, bad coffee and rubber taste that mixes with the sweet like oil and water. Syrupy and sweet, vile throughout. Joke is on us with this series of beers as the early beers that we feared wouldn't hold up were at least tolerable. The last few year's releases that experimented with random additions were on the whole undrinkable. And this... thing.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Crane Alley, Urbana, IL
Date: On-tap (review from notes)
Glass: 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Glass

Stone's 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale seems to evoke an extremely polarized response from people, based primarily on the over-spiced nature of the beer that ultimately came across as something ill-conceived or just too over-the-top. In my single tap experience, I did not find this to be the case, though I suppose every pour can be different. While I'm not sure what style this beer should be declared as (and it shouldn't really matter what it's called, anyway), I found this to be something of a mix between a stout and a spiced ale (I wouldn't have guessed Belgian), and thought it fairly enjoyable: I'd partake of another one if I saw it around (I also wonder if the on-tap versus bottle difference had any effect).

The beer arrives with a 0.5cm tall head, tan in color, composed of bubbles that are small to medium in size. Retention is about average, lasting a minute or so, but as the head declines, it leaves significant lacing along the sides of the glass. The body is dark brown to black in color, opaque, though carbonation is visible streaming upwards from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is heavily malty and sweet, like a spiced loaf of dark, sweet bread. Secondary, though notable scents of cocoa, roasted malt, brown sugar, cinnamon, anise, and ginger.

Tasting opens with roasted malt acridness mixed with some sweetness and slight dark bread. This quickly transitions to a mid-palate full of chocolate and roasted barley malt-covered spices, including anise, cinnamon, and ginger. Back of palate finds the spices increasing in intensity, but still held in check by the roasted malt and cocoa tones. Ethanol makes a slight appearance, but it's well within reason for a 9% beer and doesn't detract from the other flavors. Lingering aftertaste of cocoa and assorted other spices.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in weight with carbonation levels of medium intensity. The result is a fairly smooth, sippable beer with just a slight foaming across the palate. Ethanol presence is very well-hidden for a 9% beer, getting very little heat in the nostrils or burning on the throat or palate. Closes semi-dry with fairly substantial stickiness across the palate.

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Photo of rjhildre
2.84/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bomber, poured into belgian snifter.

Look: Beautiful beer, almost completely opaque, Half finger of light brown sugar colored head with decent lacing that works it's way quickly down the glass.

Smell: Heavy spices, clove dominates despite claims on the bottle that only a little was used.

Taste: Heavy clove at first, almost off-putting, but gives way to cinnamon, coffee, dark chocolate, and a small element of dry snuff tobacco. Slight astringency on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: The most disappointing aspect of this beer to me. A beer this dark and spiced I want to chew. Too thin and quaffable, lacking the malt backbone that I think could make this one memorable.

All in all this beer was reminiscent of the holiday offerings that trader joe's released around the holidays (brewed by unibroue I believe.) All in all not a not a bad beer for a $7 bomber but not something I will drink again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.02/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black, with a quarter inch if beige head. The aroma offers licorice, overly spiced, cookie dough, holiday spices. Mediocre flavor. Dark roast and spices with a touch of alcohol heat. This puts the final touches on a mediocre set of beers. On the whole, I remain entirely unimpressed with Stone.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip/snifter like glass. Half finger of a khaki head, dark brownish black body. Some head retention and good lacing.

Smells like a Christmas cookie mixed with fruit cake. Big cinnamon, brown sugar, anise, light Belgian yeast fruitiness.

Mega spice flavor here. Big cinnamon and dark chocolate. Some roast, coffee, licorice and coco powder. The base beer is so far buried and the Belgian character is muted.

Medium full bodied, medium to low carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. I don't think I could handle a full glass of this but none the less this is incredible. So heavily spiced yet fairly drinkable. The base beer is well made as usual from Stone, but is so muted. I enjoyed how in your face the spices are and how hidden the 9% is.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
2.82/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(from notes 12.20.12.)
Served in a 16 oz tulip.

Look- Deep coffee brown with half a finger of tan foam that falls to a filmy ring. Decent lace.

Smell- Heavily spiced, cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, a hint of ginger. Rich, dark. Belgian? Not so sure. Faint esters, char and spice dominate.

Taste- Coffee, cardamom, mace, dusty prune, leathered fig, mocha, mild char. Vanilla bean. Finishes with dark roast, spiced espresso, not as sweet as expected.

Mouthfeel- Full body, medium-high carbonation. Prickly on the sip, smooths out. A sipper, but lightened by the carb. 16 oz. is plenty.

Overall- Perhaps I've been spoiled by the other excellent spiced ales I've had recently (Yogi, Krampus, La Grivoise de Noel), but this one's a bit lackluster. Perhaps it's the yeast or perhaps Stone dumped a chaotic bucket of spices into the brew, but it comes off as a bit heavy-handed. Flavorful, but ultimately not as subtle or complex as I was hoping for. It's not bad by any means, but there are quite a few Belgian Dark Ales I'd pick over this one, spiced or otherwise.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
2.82/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

First review using .25's.

A-Dark brown with a head that is merely a ring. No coverage above the body. Mild lacing speckles.

S-This is my first Vertical Epic. I don't really know how different each year has been. That being said, the nose is pretty unappetizing. Overbearing spice notes of rosemary, clove and nutmeg. Behind that is a slight salted/cured meat aroma. Smells like my Italian grandmother is over-preparing a pork loin.

T-The flavor is more of the same. A tipped over spice rack. Now there is an infusion of spicy, pepper heat. Verbose. Ridiculously spicy. Light roast behind it. Even the yeast is pushed back by the spice medley.

M-Body! Carbonation!

O/D-Stone is so erratic. Their Enjoy By IPA was one of my favorite brews; this one sits along their Belgo Anise RIS as one of my least favorite beers I can recently bring to mind. It kinda grows on you. However, the first sniff and sip are awful and the lingering flavor makes me sad. If this is a representation of this entire Vertical series, I am so glad I missed this annual train of buttgravy.

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Photo of CHickman
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black color with a big thick creamy 2 finger brown head that faded very slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing sticking to the sides.

Smells of spices and yeast up front, followed by cardboard, herbs, clove, root beer, licorice, allspice, cocoa powder, wheat bread, roasted grains, flowers and more spices. There are some many spices that it’s like sniffing potpourri sprinkled in a dark ale or porter. Licorice seems to jump out that most, and to me this nose is OK; I guess it’s Belgian inspired, but borders on too many spices for me.

Tastes alright, but follows the same pattern as the aroma: spices and yeast up front, and then it tastes like Christmas. Hard to nail down why, but it just does. Flavors include licorice, allspice, cocoa powder, herbs, clove, root beer, wheat bread, roasted grains, light caramel, flowers, pepper, cinnamon and more spices, burnt wood and alcohol like a liquor. Again, so many spices that it’s like drinking potpourri in a porter that has some liquor added. The licorice and herbs almost take over, but the Belgian yeast and roasted charcoal grains even it out with some bitterness and hide the ABV pretty well. Definitely a holiday seasonal beer that is Belgian in design, but just so complex that it’s almost confusing. Stone likes to confuse people, so maybe they are laughing last again.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost slick, with very mild carbonation, a chewy medium body and a spicy yet almost bitter finish that’s on the dry side.

I liked this beer quite a bit, but I’m hoping it ages better so I can love this beer because the Vertical Epic 11.11.11 got so much better with age that I have very high hopes for this brew. Will crack open another bottle in 6 months and update the review.

12/21/13-Cracked open an aged bottle and it looked even better than it did a year ago, with a great head and real nice lacing. Smells of allspice, cinnamon, clove, caramel, yeast and a whole mix of spices like the spice rack was dumped in, but in a good way; the aroma was more mellow then a year ago with smoky grainy notes mixed with the yeast and spices. Tastes of burnt grains, molasses, allspice, yeast, clove, toffee and lots of spices – so many spices that it’s hard to distinguish. Lots of herbal notes mixed with the spices makes it quite complex and the burnt or smoky notes of the yeast/malt add some body and a chewy feel. Overall it was more balanced, rich and winter seasonal – much better with age.

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Photo of Beejay
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark black in body, with a deep brown head. The head is quite dense with a few robin's egg specks, that slowly grow into frog eyes.

S: A very herbal smell wafts up from my glass. Ginger or maybe clove, there is a bit of citrus peel in there as well, and well as a hint of licorice or anise. There is also a smell of brown bread mixing with the licorice. Certainly smells interesting. There is almost a chocolate, orange, ginger combo working there.

T: Slightly tart, the herbal quality comes through, as well as a hint of dirty metal. A decent amount of bitterness with some dark grain attributes. An odd duck for sure. Herbal and earthy, still a hint of licorice, and citrus coming through.

M: Dry and tingly in the mouth. although the feel of the body is medium heavy.

O: Overall a bit odd for me. It is certainly a 'womp' for the end of an epic series, but unfortunately, I don't think it goes out with a bang. Interesting, yes. Different, yes. Tasty, somewhat.. I can see enjoying this spiced beer around the holidays, but it falls short of a great holiday beer, and doesn't approach the awesomeness of other Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Bullock’s Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body with a well-sized, pillowed, dark tan-hued head. Sufficient lacing present.

Smell: Even before leaning in for a sniff, you can smell the heavy-handed pack of spices, but, go on, already, and use that snout of yours. Sniff long, sniff deep. You get a clear-cut aroma of each member of the spicing addition, overneathe the charred maltiness and Belgian-type esters.

Taste: Roasted, burnt maltiness with some lighter, gentler tastes of breadcrust, brown sugar that, soon, are consumed by the accumulating spiciness. Very little sweetness throughout. Like being tossed in a giant burlap sack with feral cats, you’re torn to shreds by the spices. Also, some bitterness. Yes, some alcohol. And, still, there’s the charry maltiness. Finishes quite dry, quite spicy, and still rather roasty. In fact, those’re the main impressions of the beer: roast and potpourri.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: It’s the end of an era, I suppose, and they’re closing out with a bold holiday spicing that would leave even the folks at St. Feuillien wide-eyed.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a tulip glass.

A - Dark ink black with 1/2" of espresso coloured head.

S - Big spice bouquet up front - cinnamon, ginger, clove and all spice aromas are all present. Not getting anything but the spice in the nose.

T - A big hit of spice with cinnamon, ginger and cloves dominating. A light Belgian yeast profile is also present but the spices otherwise drown out the flavours from the base beer.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

O - An interesting beer to say the least. Despite the massive spice dominance, which would usually be borderline undrinkable for me, I somewhat enjoyed this one. That said, it was very one dimensional.

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Photo of rudzud
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 07-12 vertical.

A - Poured into a palm tulip a deep rich dark brownish black hue with a good half finger head that faded to leave a thin blanket and light lacing.

S - Aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, Light sweet malts, solid nose.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with nice flavours. Really lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and light roasted chocolate. Faint esters.

M - Mouthfeel is solid for the style, nice and sharp.

O - Overall this beer was not that bad with nice lightly ester along with light chocolate. Solid job

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Photo of russwbeck
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On-tap at Churchkey.

The final beer of the evening has a dark pour with a brown head. It smells of roast, clove, and orange. There's a base of chocolate and spice. The base of the taste is very sweet; with chocolate with anise all over the place. Very disjointed. I can't place the various spices that bombard my palate. The finish is awful and I think this really needs age. There's a medium body and is carbonated well. The aftertaste is awful. Seriously the worst of the night. I can't figure out why they didn't make a beer that was ready to drink right now for the last in the series.

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Photo of champ103
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly opaque. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Plenty of lace is left behind. The foam gently recedes to a ring that sticks throughout, and is easily rejuvenated.
S: Toasted malts, baked bread, toffee sweetness. Some dark fruits. Cinnamon and nutmeg. A clove like spice. Lots on the nose that is very nice.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of toasted malt flavors. Baked bread and lots of sweetness. At first that toffee sweetness works well. Though eventually the sweetness becomes cloying. Plenty of spices as well. Cinnamon, clove, and even dark fruits. So much going on here.
M/D: A medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Though smooth and creamy at the same time. Easy to drink. Plenty of alcohol mixed with the big sweetness makes this a slow sipper. Though still enjoyable.

Man, there is a lot going on here. The sweetness is a bit much, and this is a very busy beer. Though that is most offerings from Stone. It is good to see them not doing an over hopped style, or another crappy "Black IPA." Something I enjoyed, and a nice end to the Vertical Epic Series.

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Photo of adamette
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken a few hours ago. Poured from tap into clean, clear glass at Melt Bar & Grilled in Mentor, Ohio at a cost of $5.50.

A Pitch black body...I see no light coming through...under a medium brown head. Nice lacing left on the inside of the glass after repeated sips. 4.5

S Very interesting smell. I get a subtle dark roast malt in the background. In the foreground is a cinnamon or clove spice smell that might be actually sweet. Not the sweetness of a malt, like a heavy syrupy sweetness but more of a powdered sugar gentle sweetness. I smelled repeatedly before tasting to be sure to get an unbiased SMELL rating. Very intriguing. I don't know how it could be improved. 5.0

T Dark roast malt makes a huge comeback in the taste from its back seat in the smell. Interestingly, it is in the second half of the taste and it is a deep, burnt roast malt taste. The first half of the taste features that welcomed somewhat sweet cinnamon or clove spiciness. This is a very good tasting beer. 4.5

M Interest persists into the feel of this beer. Initially I perceived the "bigness" of a Stout with its Dark Roast Malt. Later I was able to appreciate the long , smooth beginning feel of this beer. Repeated sips confirmed that there is a nice, long smooth feel as long as the beer remains in your mouth. Upon swallowing you get the dark roast malt bigness. This is proving to be a hell of an artisan beer! 5.0

D/O Drinkability is not that high. It is a huge beer, demands your attention and has an elevated ABV that you have to respect. Overall, this is a great beer that is appropriately big (celebrating the end of the Vertical Epic series) but also approachable with plenty to keep the drinker entertained and interested in what it has to offer. I will miss the Vertical Epic Series. 4.0

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Photo of Retta123
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Dark dark brown, with little head.

mouthfeel: smooth, low carbonation.

taste: Clove, sweet, pecan, dark spices,

overall: I liked this, but couldn't have too many due to the strong clove flavor and sweetness. It would be good for an after dinner/special beer.

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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,586 ratings.
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