Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,591 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:
1,591
Reviews:
309
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
14.1%
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
378
For Trade:
37
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,591 |  Reviews: 309
Photo of videofrog
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Sports Page in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Pours opaque black with a light tan, finger width head. Good retention. Strong lacing with good stick.

Smell - Nutmeg and cinnamon spice. Moderate roast. Gingerbread.

Taste - Follows the nose. strong Christmas spice flavors, nutmeg and cinnamon. Gingerbread. Earthy. Slight bitterness throughout. Bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Fair smoothness. Finishes dry.

Overall - I suppose it makes sense that a 12.12.12 release would have a Christmas-themed flavor profile, but I'm not a big fan of those flavors being in a beer. Quite comparable to the 2012 Anchor Christmas release.

 686 characters

Photo of anjah
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of johunnic
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of RickS95
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I can't tell if my scores are all inflated because I'm sad to see this series end or because it's simply an EPIC beer. We'll see.

The appearance is head and shoulders above other beers. I prefer dark and this is dark. I've seen darker, but that's splitting hairs. Up top is why this beer is top notch in the looks dept. The head is thick, retains exceptionally well, is brown and leaves its mark all over the glass in the form of lace. My eyes have not seen better.

I like spicy beer in the winter and this is it. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are the key players and they don't disappoint. If I stick my nose deep, I can pick up a bit of roasty something in the form of bittersweet chocolate.

The spices don't dominate on the palate like they do in the nose. The flavors are more roasty and again, bittersweet chocolate is there. Nutmeg and cloves dance on the tongue but the cinnamon is gone. Smoke.

As the bottle mentions, it's dry. There's a splash of sweet, but it quickly turns smokey and bitter, though never over the top. The dry finish means the bitterness from the chocolate and hops lingers well, well, well into the swallow. In the background, there is some heat from the alcohol. it's full bodied and while not easy to drink, it's exactly what it's supposed to be.

Overall it's a great American version of a Belgian strong dark ale. Lacks the sweetness and smoothness of those from over the sea, but it's very American in its aggressive ways. Wish I'd bought more than one.

 1,490 characters

Photo of jmw4437
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of brentblack1
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of WissBrauSean
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I had this beer on a sampler flight last night, made some notes (untappd won't work on my phone for some ungodly reason) and am just reflecting on it now.

It poured black and opaque with a thick creamy brown head and fully sticky lacing with no pattern until minutes later!

The aroma smelled like all the components in a ginger bread cookie including a slight yeasty bready aroma mixed with light hops.

I thought the bittering hops were a bit excessive and pronounced through the entire sip and fades a little at the finish. It's actually balanced pretty well considering the amount of holiday spices in there. The bittering hops had a slight soapy taste that I think would age out of there if cellared for a few more months!

It had a full, creamy and smooth mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation and a smally dry hoppy finish.

I am not a fan of the holiday spices and don't want to let that get in my way. Ultimately I don't know how this fits into the style as listed. It seems like a winter warmer to me. But all in all, I didn't like something about the bittering. It did resemble soap in a way. I have encountered that with some of my homebrews when using American grown coriander. But after aging 4 months, that soapiness went away and the beer quality took off! I would love to get my hands on a couple bottles to age a year!

 1,345 characters

Photo of BLACKBEARDNY
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

had as part of a big VE tasting at the end of the world party, shared with many friends.

Pours a light fizzy head, almost pitch black color, fluffy lacing.

Nose has earthy malts, root and herbal earthy like, caramel, little brown malt and brown sugar.

Taste has nutty malts, earthy, nutty, herbal malts and hops, hints of cinnamon and nutty spices, creamy brown malts, floral even, hint of booze and esters.

Mouth is med ot fuller bodied, nice carb, light warming booze.

Overall not bad, decent for Belgian strong dark ale, probably would be better aging than most of the other ones that I aged.

 600 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Winter spiced beer alert! Had this on tap for the VE tasting (beers 07.07.07-12.12.12) at Pacific Coast Brewing Co. during SF Beer Week. All reviews are from my notes.

Pours a dark, opaque color, much like 09.09.09, except with a little bit more noticeable carbonation and and nice little ring enveloping the top of the glass for the beer's entire consumption. Again, looks a lot like a stout, except with far more bubbles gliding towards the top, and extra thickness that reminds me of various Belgian spiced beers that I had the chance to try during one winter in Europe. Not sure how to rate this to style, but it's definitely a comforting looking beer for sure.

The aroma is filled with all kinds of intense, seasonal spices, ranging from freshly cut ginger, pumpernickel, clove, toasted birch bark, mulled wine spices, and blackcurrant. If a combination of those doesn't sound good to you, steer right away from this... However, for those who do love winter beers, this is a pretty much a match made in heaven. I'm pretty indifferent towards them, but definitely Stone has nailed the style pretty well here. It's still really astringent on the nostrils, often leaving behind a prickly sensation, and the combo of spices do remind me of the holidays - this is especially true as it warms up, as piney and rosemary characteristics reveal itself. But the initial festiveness might be a little too overwhelming for me in the long run.

The best way for me to describe the flavor of this thing is that it reminds me of eating a freshly baked ginger cookie with crushed pepper dunked in molasses. Indeed, there is an enormous molasses backbone going on here, combined with loads of peppermint, baking spice, and pumpkin seed. Molasses and ginger are definitely two flavors I'm pretty hesitant about putting in my beer, and while the other spices and light sweetness from the alcohol do try to settle it, they are very overpowering flavors in their own right and seem to win the battle here. As it warms up, the texture becomes far more astringent, and slightly soapy, creating a difficult drinkable experience for me. Alcohol and yeast are either masked or muted here. Feel is creamy and full bodied, which is good, as any thinness would totally ruin this for me. Quite a daunting task for me to finish even 6oz overall.

Not sure if Stone was trying to make a super festive beer or super challenging festive beer here, but they definitely succeeded at either, depending who you are. However, I did buy a bottle of this when it came out and am glad I didn't open it too soon. This should cellar well for the next holidays, and I will gladly revisit it then. My hope is that the spices will settle down (as will the soapiness) and the yeast will come more towards the front and include more fruity flavors to balance out the spices. Until then!

 2,844 characters

Photo of Ferd577
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of UnderPressure
2.08/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Very dark almost black beer. If I hold it up to the light, I can see a slight brownish red tint. No head, just some momentary fizz.

Strong clove in the aroma. Some sweetness. I'm not picking up much else in the aroma.

Way too heavy on the spice flavors. Tastes like I'm drinking a spice rack. A mouth full of cloves. Nasty.

Medium bodied with a dry bitter finish.

Really not impressed with this beer. I'm glad I didn't cellar it for a long time and finally drink a bottle of cloves after years. Though, maybe the spice character would have faded after a while.... I'll never know.

 584 characters

Photo of thomascj
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of tdmccarthy
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of chris1919
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of rramsey
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JohnBender
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Rick778
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of animal69
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of cbutova
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes 02/02/2013. The last of the series.

A- Pretty much black, a very dark brown, beer from the bottle into a pint glass. Mocha head about one finger in size with good retention leaving plentiful thick lace.

S- Almost like a roasted pumpkin ale because of the massive allspice influence. Clove and cinnamon add to this feeling. Some dark fruit but mostly spices.

T- Cinnamon is here but this beer is dominated by clove flavor, holy clove. Big allspice, pretty floral spiced, roasted cereal grains with a dark brown ale feel. HOLY CLOVE.

MF- Moderately carbonated body with a foamy and silky feel. Spicy finish for sure.

Seriously a clove bomb, WTF spice annihilation. Did Stone just get sick of this series toward the end?

 742 characters

Photo of DaKur
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of bootsandbeer
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,591 ratings.
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