Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
307 Reviews
Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic AleStone 12.12.12 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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 307 | Ratings: 1,589
Photo of 57md
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at The Mint in Bethlehem, PA. As part of their 5th anniversary, they are serving up some aged beers from their cellar. This offering was about 3.5 years old when consumed in the heat of mid-summer 2016.

Pours a deep dark brown to black color with a finger of beige head - almost porter-like. There is a hint of burnt wood in the nose. I do not recall if this beer was barrel-aged but the essence is definitely there. The dominant flavor is that of raisin bread with Christmas spices. There is also more than a trace of bittersweet chocolate. The finish is quite dry.

The kicker here is that there is no hint of the alcohol - this is definitely a BIG sipper but the booze does not even poke its head through.

June 28th is pretty damn close to "half-way to Christmas" and this offering put me in the spirit of the season early. This was a real treat in the dead of summer but it would make for a total holiday classic after coming in from building a snow man.

 978 characters

Photo of GuyIncognito
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky. Spicy. Smokey. This beautifully dark belgian strong ale is bold, with just the right amount of December cheer. A perfect brew for December 12th, 2012. The amazing mocha cappucino colred head is a thing of beauty. Stone never dissapoints, and the Vertical Epics went out with a bang!

 289 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.51/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

At the borderland between a dark ale and a stout, there is Stone's Vertical Epic 12.12.12

A: into a tulip, center-pour: black void body with a pillar of thick dark foam, tons of lace on hand

S: roasty cocoa and espresso, molasses and holiday spice

T: very porter/stout-like, with rich flavors of smooth and creamy espresso, sweet dark spice and roasted dark malts. The flavors more typical of a BSDA are in the background and on the finish; the more stout-like flavors are bold and assertive, up-front and throughout

M: smooth, mellow, creamy, full-bodied, milky; with a slow, drying roasted chocolate malt aftertaste; subtle tingle of spice and heat

O: this is a fantastic tasting drink (and what's more important than that?) - blindfolded, I'd think it a porter or stout (drier than an imperial, but sweeter than a dry) - as a BSDA, it's gonna really stand out because it has such a different profile than typical heavy hitters like Maudite, Gulden Draak, or Chimay Blue. It is unlike them more than it is like them..., and I like that about it. Grab one if you spot it - the only way this disappoints is if it doesn't meet your expectation of the style. It exceeded my expectations.

 1,190 characters

Photo of Kuaff
4.51/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

This ale is as dark as a stout. I can see a tiny bit of transparity around the edges of my glass, but it's pretty much opaque black. The head is small (maybe around a half an inch), but it is made of fine (what I like to call "high-quality"), light brown foam.

It smells like the spices which are described on the bottle. I definitely get a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. There is also a bit of dark fruit, molasses, and a gingerbread scent. A wonderful aroma.

The taste is much like the smell, but even more complex to me. The spices and gingerbread character are prominent (I LOVE the spiciness), reminding me of Christmas cookies and dark fruit cake, but there is also a noticeable combination of tartness and bitterness which I'm inclined to attribute to the orange peel this ale was brewed with. The after-taste has the unmistakable roastiness of a stout, and there may also be a little of the breadiness I expcet to find in a Belgian strong dark ale, but it kind of hides underneath all the other flavors. This beer also has that signature Stone-esque bitterness, which counter-balances the sweet Christmas cookie traits. Sublime.

The mouthfeel is thick and substantial, with lively carbonation. This consistency does an excellent job of supporting the myriad flavors and deep dimensions of this beer.

This is an excellent ale, no doubt about it. And so unique as well. It may be categorized on this site as a Belgian strong dark ale, but it's so much more than that... Certainly a must-try-beer if you can find it. Expertly-crafted, distinctive, throughly enjoyable, and unforgetable.

 1,643 characters

Photo of acevenom
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

 908 characters

Photo of Libationguy
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/black with a light brown 1-finger head with medium+ retention. Fine lacing.

Christmas in a glass: cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, fig, dates, gingersnaps, deep roasted malt, black strap molasses and a rich, dark earth note in the background.

Molasses, coffee, cocoa powder, ginger bread, black bread. A moderate level of bitterness underscoring everything.

Full-bodied with a hop bitterness cuts the sweetness and holds the beer at nearly dry with a long finish.

Very rich and lush. Be a really decadent bomber near the end of your drinking session.

 567 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/6/12, poured into stone snifter

A- pours a dark brown, nearly black color with a small creamy khaki colored head that has good retention long after the pour, leaving some lace behind

S- big dose of clove and nutmeg, with hints of cinnamon, allspice, gingerbread, floral sweetness, fruitcake, burnt dark sugar and fig. Spices are still pronounced.

T- first impression is that the spices are still pronounced, big flavors of clove, cinnamon, gingerbread cookie, nutmeg, allspice, tastes like Christmas in a glass. The finish lingers charred malt, candied orange and sweet figs, awesome

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish, just a touch of abv warmth

O- this was a home run for me. One of the best "Christmas" spiced beers that I've ever had and the spices are still alive and kicking. Very good start to a 7 year vertical

 897 characters

Photo of DaveAnderson
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess I'm late to the Vertical Epic party. Stone has only been in our market for a year or two, so I understandably missed the first 10 or so. But hey, this was staring back at me as I perused the shelf, so why not?

Before I review the beer, I want to confess my complete ignorance about it. The bottle said it was spiced, blah, blah, blah... I don't know why, but I just ignored this. To the beer:

Right off the bat, this beer surprised me. I was not expecting a dark-as-night beer with a thick, mocha head. Looks like an amazing stout or porter. The bubbles are tight, and the head sticks around for days. I'm kind of jazzed.

What. The. Heck? This beer smells nothing like I expect. It's kind of yeasty, roasty, and spicy -- like ginger and chocolate. How strange.

But nothing could prepare me for what came next. It tastes like someone took batter for gingerbread, carrot cake and chocolate cake, mixed them together, and baked it to see what emerged. It's genius. The more I drink, the more fascinated I am.

This, of course, has me musing about ginger in beer. This is probably the third beer I have had with a pronounced ginger taste, and I have loved them all, to my utter surprise. You've won this round, Stone (shakes fist)!!!!

I have been sarcastic when reviewing some Stone beers in the past. But let me be clear here: This beer impressed me, and I don't usually care for spiced beers. Great job, Stone.

 1,421 characters

Photo of farrago
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick two to three finger head of mostly medium to larger bubble sizes, moderate dimpling, very dark brown in color, excellent retention with wispy but tenacious lacing. The liquid itself is pure coal black and entirely opaque, can’t see a single bubble in it. The nose is like walking into a bakery, rich chocolate, mocha and coffee, ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg spices, vanilla and cola, fruity in a fruitcake way like raisins, dates and nuts, some sweet breadiness too, pine and sour orange notes scurry about in the background, more hops in there than you’d think at first, especially as it warms. Full-bodied, the creamy texture helps it coat the palate as that cavalcade of baking spices dance about to create a wonderful inner mouth perfume. The chocolate could not get richer if it tried, you might as well cram a German chocolate cake down your throat. The coffee tartness provides some balance, luckily the yeastiness more drying than softening. Given its density, kudos for the carbonation even reaching the discernible stage. Mint, anise and lilacs add a touch of makeup. The prune to plum, golden raisin, fig, cherry fruit never gets too sweet and actually stays in the shadows. This beer tastes like December during the holidays.

 1,261 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Dark beige head, good retention on a black body. Soapy, sticky lacing. Aroma dominated by spices...white pepper, clove, cardamon, mint. Taste includes all of the above, they actually work very well together. Certainly never tasted anything quite like this one. Looking forward to trying this one into the future. Paired well with my shrimp stir fry.

 400 characters

Photo of JMad
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an opaque pitch black color with a brown head that quickly dissipated into a very thin layer. The smell is bursting with nutmeg, cinnamon and chocolate with a hint of clove and banana. It tastes of dark chocolate with a hint of coffee, ther is lots of nutmeg and some clove with a slightly bitter herbal hop finish. This beer is extremely smooth and almost silky, it has low carbonation and a nice dry finish. I thought this was an awesome Belgian dark ale, the extra hop character and dryness was very enjoyable.

 528 characters

Photo of BeerME_562
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

If you a fan of bourbon banana flamebe this is your beer... extremely similar in taste

appearance: dark espresso with a vanilla head

aroma: cinnamon, orange, allspice,

taste: cinnamon, orange, allspice, aged/roasted banana, woodsy

mouthfeel: fullbody, medium-light

overall good quality beer outstanding

 309 characters

Photo of brewtus
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours very dark brown, pretty much black with a short lived light tan head
S- great holiday smell, rosemary, pine, some cinnamon, malty and roast. Hint of vanilla.
T/M- very smooth for the style, tons of crisp piney freshness, spiced cinnamon and nutmeg, backed up by nice Belgian sweet maltiness. Some vanilla and maybe a little black licorice.
O- im nnot a big fan of spice forward dark ales like this, but dang this is really enjoyable. Very good one for the holidays. Amazing balance of malt, hops, not overly spiced but not overly sweet either. Glad I sampled it before it disappears off shelves, ill grab one for the future.

 633 characters

Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber with a jet black color and a very healthy foamy tan head. Has a huge combination of smells: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, banana. Taste is also highly complex, with cinnamon and ginger and medium bitterness in the finish. Has a full body, smooth mouthfeel. This is the best pumpkin beer I’ve had that’s not really a pumpkin beer. Among my favorite spiced ales, just a close second behind Unibroue’s La Terrible.

 434 characters

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.

 760 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - very dark pour, I don't see any light getting through. A fat finger of mocha, thick and creamy.

Aroma - the spices jump out of the bottle, allspice and clove leading the charge. Orange pops up as it sits. An undertow of something Belgian, slightly funky.

Taste - roasty, chewy malts. The spices come across like licorice and cola. The belgian yeast has the dry, slightly funky bit after the spice flavors fade. The hops just balance, not much flavor. An occasional metallic not. The finish is dry, roasty, lingering, very pleasant.

Mouthfeel - very smooth brew, the carbonation seem lively at first but quickly tames down. A touch heavy, I like it.

Overall - delicious stuff when fresh, I would guess aging it would lose the spice and bring out more of the yeast and Belgian elements. Great finish to a fun series to collect, share, and sip.

 858 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12
22 oz. bottle, no apparent freshness dating
$8.49 @ Total Wine & More # 901, Tampa, FL

Stone has gone out strong with their Vertical Epic 12.12.12. It looks like an Imperial stout, but tastes kind of like a gingerbread cookie with raisins in it. It's got one of the most tenacious and lace-giving dark tan heads I've ever seen, yet its almost opaque brown-black body is actually medium, or even medium-light in body. And although it's got a strong roastiness to it, it's also loaded with fruit and spice.

The aroma is clearly not Imperial stout like (perhaps Belgian stout like), giving off bright notes of spice including ginger, ... uh, ahhh, I see they're listed on the bottle so I might as well just list them here: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sweet orange peel, clove and rose hips... and yet I see there's no ginger but I smell it. I also get a little bit of bubblegum, but all you need for that really is just sugar and clove. Needless to say, it's complicated - and that's all you need to know as I'd rather not write a book detailing the changes you'll encounter as it warms and so forth. For you the imbiber, you can enjoy the malts, the yeast, and the spice as much or as little as you want because although it's quite complex, it's really not overwhelming.

The flavor, now that's a different story. It's spicy, and it's 'Belgian', and it's malty - let's start with that. Dark malts abound, yet it's not overly roasty or chocolatey or darkly caramelish - all of those are present, both standing on their own and working together, but it's not a "malty" beer. In the end it's simply medium bodied so you can't pack that much malt flavor in like you can with a barley wine or what not. And rather than being bitter, it's got a nice sweet note to it that's reminiscent of rock candy - it's sugar, but it's not super sweet sugar - and with the bitterness that IS there, and all of the spice, it remains balanced. What this beer is not, is rounded. No, it's all over the spider web flavor chart with spikes in overall intensity, sweetness, fruitiness, roasted cereal, and alcohol (even at just 9%). It's a roller coaster in that sense. In fact I'm not sure I've ever experienced a beer that's so intense in so many ways, and yet overall not a "punch in the face".

So how to rate it? How to describe it overall? I don't think there's really a beer category to put it in, but if I was forced to choose one I'd go with "Belgian-style stout", which is not really recognized, and as such, rating it can only be done in a hedonistic way. Michael Jackson once told me when I asked him about rating beers hedonistically or "not to style", that "you have to just take what you know and assign it", so I'll do that.

When I go to sleep tonight I might dream of a cinnamon roll with raisins that have been soaked in dark rum and served alongside cold dark coffee and a hot cup of floral and herbal tea with a slice of orange on the side.

My overall impression to pass on to you, then, is buy it, try it, and if you like it go back for more (as I will, at least in part because I think it will age beautifully). To a certain extent this is history in the making! It's the last of the Vertical Epic series (until the next time... ?), and it might be the first of a new style.

Kudos, and thanks to everyone at Stone!

 3,347 characters

Photo of thegodfather1076
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Very simple yet attractive and classy label in the Stone painted on style. Front label gives ABV info, states “Ale brewed with spices.”, and a bit brewery info. Back label gives an excellent back story on the Vertical Epic series, as well as a back story and description of the beer, states “Limited Release”, gives cellaring info, states that there may be sediment. Very nice and informative.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from 22oz brown bomber into a 16oz snifter glass led to a 3 finger fairly thick amazing looking tan head resting atop a deep opaque dark brown if not black beer. Head retention was excellent at 5min 11sec before fading to a thick frothy coating and ring with excellent lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smell is heavy on spices with hints of cinnamon, strong clove, nutmeg, and black pepper coming through. Also has a dark molasses sweetness in the nose along with a nice hint of Belgian yeast. Has a nice orange zest scent. Not much in the way of hops detected.

Flavor/Taste: Spices and dark chocolate malt rule the front end with the cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg easily detectable along with a slight black pepper kick. Mid point is sweet with a brown sugar and molasses infused with an orange zest coming through along with a slight bit of hops and yeast coming through. Midpoint fades to a deep charred malt yeasty finish with hints of dark fruit. Charred aftertaste.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Full bodied thick and creamy with a smooth chewy mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Overall/Comments: Excellent beer that definitely has the feel of a winter warmer with the spices and flavor profile. The Belgian yeast throws a bit of curve ball and really make this tasty while keeping it interesting. This would be perfect on a late fall or winter evening. If you can still find this grab it up!!! Classified as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale @9%. Consumed 8/16/2013.

 1,906 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a slight tan head. No true lace.

Big nutmeg and dark maltiness in the nose. You get the spice up front.

Boozy, cinnamon and nutmeg, brown bread crust, dark carmelized fruit, some burnt sugars, some palate clearing bitterness. Warming alcohol at the end. This has it all, and in great balance.

Full bodied, just right carbonation.

Terrific brew. Drinkable, lightly spicy, not overwhelming. Great cold-weather beer.

 440 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a murky brown color, perhaps leaning toward blackness.

Smell - The malts in the aroma gave the impression of sweet and sour fruits. Without knowing, it would difficult to pinpoint the style based on the aroma.

Taste - My initial thought was that this is a lot like chai tea. There was malty goodness laying in the background, but the spiciness jumps out. There is a measure of chocolate in the aftertaste which leans slightly dry.

Mouthfeel - There is a degree of thickness as this one coats the tongue and lingers. One is really able to appreciate the spices as it lingers.

Overall - I am not sure about the bag reputation this one has, but I enjoyed it.

 685 characters

Photo of ChugMan
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Opaque, becoming deep dark red/brown at its thinnest. Light foamy head was abundant, settled, and left more of a wall of foam than mere lacing. Pretty neat!
S - Beautiful. If this was placed before my nose while I was blindfolded, I'd swear it was my mom's walnut banana bread. Ripe banana with that slightly sharp nutty bready butteryness.
T - As is remarkably standard for this brewer: this beer is complex. Immediate taste of clove, reminding me of the Fall season and pumpkin beer- but none of those can compare to this. Suffice to say it's like a mouthful of exotic, cloying, nearly perfumy spice. The flavors boomerang around your mouth, changing with each pass. Fun, interesting, very satisfying.
M - Drinkable for such a dark and bold beer, but there's definitely some thickness here. Hops make themselves well known on the back of the tongue and are a nice counterpoint to the beer's otherwise sweet spicyness, a bit overstated for me but otherwise it's fine. Leaves a tingling sensation on the tongue and roof of the mouth.
O - Stone doesn't mess around. Clearly the work of many-a sure hand, this beer exemplifies their mastery of the craft.

 1,157 characters

Photo of dcscientist
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The 2012 Vertical Epic release was, appropriately, a winter seasonal, and it was excellent. Everything you'd want in a winter warmer, plus some bonus alcohol just because. Very well done, and I hope I can find some of this next winter somehow.

 245 characters

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.

 2,071 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 TwelveOunces
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pours almost pitch black like an imperial stout. Very thick. A one finger brown head.

S- Cinnamon, clove, banana, allspice. A big dark fruit and an almost coffee roasted quality. Not much hops but a very light bitterness. An intense christmasy nose.

T- A ton of cinnamon and spice. Allspice, reminds me of a pumpkin beer. Clove and banana peel. A sticky roasted quality on the tongue. somewhat dry. A slight bit of coffee and chocolate. A perfect amount of bitterness. The belgian yeast takes a back seat to the bold flavors. A little of the orange peel comes through at the back half. This is a mix between a porter, an abbey ale and a christmas beer, but its done so well and just works.

M- A good creamy and thick feel. A dry and bitter aftertaste of orange peel and bakers chocolate. Not too hard to drink and at 9% it gives a nice warming.

O- Surprised by this beer. Its great improvement over the other VE's I have tried. It's a mishmash of styles but its done so perfectly. I would like to see this again from stone. A great christmas brew.

 1,091 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.