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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 307 | Ratings: 1,586
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 12 12 poures a black color with a nice large tan head. Lots of lacing. There was a spicy aroma with notes of a ferminated malt. The taste had asome pronounced spicey flavor. Very strong malty backbone a bit boozey and had a sharpbitterness at the end. Good strong flavors. Overall a very good beer. simalr to the arrogrant bastard with a pronounced spicey flavor.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Harpoon snifter glass.

The color is a dark black with a finger or two of foamy brownish/tan head that relaxes back into the darkness of this beer.

The smell is a complete surprise. There is a nice belgian chocolate aroma that is top notch. Some great malt flavor in the nose that reminds me of peanut brittle and caramel.

The taste is coffee and dark chocolate throughout and it hits the palate and pushes open the curtains and just walks right in. A big kick toward the end with a bit of a oak flavor that lets the chocolate and coffee bean ride on top.

This beer does kick but it hides the boozy overtones with some well places flavors and a nice warm feel in the back that feels like a warm blanket on a cold night. There is some carbonation that lightens the heavier ABV and and is the glue that seems to hold everything in place.

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Photo of Trifecta1
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Oasis in Rockford, IL on 12/21/12.
A - Dark brown, maybe even dark red. Thick tan head. Looks good, but in hindsight, deceiving of the what the flavor was gonna bring.

S - Nutmeg, clove, gingerbread, orange zest, but not much of that hefty bready yeastiness I enjoy in Belgian-styles. Christmas ale, though, is right on.

T - Nutmeg and clove in your face, spicy pepperiness and gingerbread come in strong too. Alcohol nearly non-existant. Leaves your palate with a gingerbread taste, and the taste of the smell of a pine tree, if that makes any sense. This is probably the first Stone beer I've personally had that has literally no hop taste.

M - Moderate carbonation, thicker like a Belgian quad. Personally I enjoyed it moreso for the latter, but some of my friends disagreed.

O - A great Christmas ale and fitting end to the Epic series. I went to the store prior to drinking this on tap and bought 3 bombers to age. Really looking forward to how those will turn out down the road.

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

Very dark brown color, resembling a porter. Tall tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

There's a ton of spices in the smell. Nutmeg, clove, and allspice. I also pick up dates.

The flavor is also heavy on the spices. A little anise throws itself in there.

Mouthfeel is heavy body, average carbonation.

I liked this beer quite a but, but I can see how it could be polarizing. You're preference will be decidedly wether or not you like spices.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a goblet, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, orange peel, roasted malt, cloves, and some dark fruit. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, it tastes like allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, chocolate, roasted/charred malt, and some dark fruit and licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has good carbonation. I liked this brew, not a bad way to end the Vertical Epic series. $8.99 a bottle.

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

Keeping it cool at Downtown Johnny Browns in San Diego, CA.

Let this thang sit out for a good 20 minutes off the tap and hot damn! Luscious dark textures and flavors that for some reason Raul cannot explain! A bit chile, a bit cinnamon... Get dis! Get dis now!

Raul approves!

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

A: pours pretty much black with a finger of dense mocha colored head that leaves some lacing and fades to a small mat
S: smells of spices and yeast with a bit of sweetness
T: tastes of spices, a bit of chocolate, more spices, a slight sweetness and a hint of dark fruits. swallow brings a bit of roasty character, and more spice
M: soft and slightly prickly carb with a medium-heavy mouthfeel and a slightly drying finish
O: Pretty interesting beer. the spices are a bit heavy but it's not excessive or really off putting. They could stand to be dialed back a bit more to play more of a supporting role but other than that it's still a solid beer

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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.

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Photo of MetalMountainMastiff
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Tulip.

A. Dark brown. Not murky. just smooth dark. About a 2 cm head, that stays.

S. Spices galore. Cloves, Cinnamon. Slight banana smell.

T. Hot almost. strong spices. Cloves, cinnamon. Very christmasy.

M. Medium- full body. medium carbonation.

O. Pretty good. A nice warmer for a cold night, or a festive event when you want a cookie/christmasy spiced beer. Enjoyable for what it is.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a dark brown head. In the aroma, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a small orange citrus. In the taste, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and notes of clove. A mellow spice bite with a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice mixture in the aftertaste. Christmasy for sure, a nice balance of spices.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a goblet. This pours a pitch black color with a finger thick mocha colored head which has okay retention which dissipates to a thin film. The smells are very holiday like, perfect for the end of the year. You get a load of pumpkin, cloves, spice, cinnamon, slight amount of dark roasted malts. The feel is thick and creamy, thicker than I was expecting, mid level carbonination which tingles on your mouth. The taste is pretty good, a little bit of bitterness, lots of spices, pumpkin, cloves, spice, dark malts, great for the holiday.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured almost blackish brown hue with tan head that was two finger high, slow dying and left a lace ring. The first aroma I get is one of sweetness, then some yeast and citric orange peel and then a strong malt aroma, mixing some roasted/heavy malts with caramel and/or candi sugar type malts (I did notice faint sniffs of cinnamon, but the label helped me come to that conclusion). Full-bodied, thick and almost sticky, there is a heavy maltiness to this beer that is both sweet from caramel and bitter chocolate to touches of syrupy or molasses and just sugariness (I can't really explain some of the sweet notes that hit) to dry, roasted, even toasted or coffee-esque malts that provide balance. As for fruit flavors I don't get much other orange and citric and maybe some sweet fruit. The malts lead to a dry backbone of taste (ABV is hidden) but this is aided from some very minor clove/peppery spices and a touch of bitter hops. I hate to say this but I find myself agreeing with the label (I hate reading labels before or during writing a review) but this is, in a cliff notes summary one could say, a classic Belgian with a Stone twist. I found it to not necessarily be a Belgian, per se, but a quality beer that hits the sweet notes as well keeps balance so you know you're drinking a beer and not a milkshake or java.

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

32oz growler from CBX. Poured into the official Stone Vertical Epic glass...

A: Black-brown... kind of like the color option for the furniture at IKEA; half-finger of almond head builds on the pour, dying down to some wispy retention that leaves no lace on the walls of this fancy glass; this is a dark, opaque brew.

S: Belgian yeast / spice / fruit aroma; ginger; winter spices; candi sugar / syrupiness; has kind of a dark Belgian / winter warmer aroma.

T: Dark bread; molasses; figs; dark fruit; raisins; anise hints; cocoa on finish; a lot of little things going on, taste-wise.

M: Full with moderate carbonation.

O: An interesting sipper with a lot of flavor; gets even tastier as it warms; this makes for a great winter ale.

From notes: 12-15-12

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black color with a thin finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet dark caramel malts with dark fruits, candi sugar, lots of spices including allspice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, with a bit of citrus peel, Belgian yeast, and some booze.

T - Starts out with a mix of sweet dark caramel malts with a touch of chocolate and some dark fruits, allspice, cinnamon, and some light citrus peel. Through the middle, some more spices come through with some clove, ginger, and herbs, with some Belgian yeast and candi sugars. The finish is a mix of sweet dark caramel malts with lots of spices, dark fruits, some citrus peels, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a warming, sweet, and spicy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice big BSDA but just a touch too spice heavy. Good complexity.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Karl Straus pint
From: Costco in San Marcos, Calif., on Dec. 6, 2012
Price: $4.99
BOD: None

Black with two fingers of frothy caramel tan head. Healthy amount of circular, foamy lacing. Pretty good retention.

Nice flavorful smell with nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread, chocolate, caramel, toffee and orange rind.

Tasted similar to the nose with a bit more alcohol bite. Got cinnamon, nutmeg, some other strong spice (couldn’t put finger on it), gingerbread, toffee, orange rind, bitter chocolate and some mint hot chocolate. Reminded me of a winter warmer more than anything else.

Medium-to-full body. Creamy, sticky texture. Lively (above average)-to-average carbonation. Long smooth finish and warms you up on the way down.

A really good beer once again by Stone. If this was under a Winter Warmer category, I think my ratings would have been a bit higher. Feels nice going down.

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

Had on draft at Stone Escondido on 4/3/14

A-Pours a very dark stout like color, black with a medium creamy brown head.

S-A nose of spices, anise, and clove.

T-The flavor is nutmeg, sweet spices, and some banana.

M-The mouthfeel is medium-thick and coats well. Decent carbonation this beer is very stout like.

O-Overall a very good beer.

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

A-dark brown color with a light tan head and some lacing

S-malty, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon

T-dark fruit, molasses, malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, hints of nuttiness, slight bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth ABV not that noticeable

O-a pretty solid belgian ale, definitely a stronger beer from this series

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

Bomber to a snifter, first bottle of the '12 batch

Pours a solid black with a half finger of foam. No visible carbonation, alright retention and lacing. Smells of chocolate and cinnamon, clove, oranges, and a sweet malt. Spices really dominate the aroma, would be great except they're a bit over powering. Taste is pretty good, nice spicy clove up front, followed by some cinnamon and orange. Feel is full bodied with a nice dry finish. Overall an interesting beer, good around the holidays. 4s across the board. Got another in my cellar, I'll re-review ~1 year from now

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with a caramel colored head that hangs around and leaves some nice lacing.

Smells of bubble gum, clove, and some minor earthy notes.

Clove and bubble gum come up front with a sweet punch, but they dissipate into a bitter coffee note. Dark fruit (Currant) and bitter chocolate linger towards the end, but are overwhelmed by bitter spice. At times I want to hate this beer, but it is complex enough to keep me interested. This would pair real well with a Macanudo Maduro cigar.

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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 FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1643rd Review on BA
Bottle to VE Glass
22oz

Purchased at Bevmo Chino Hills, CA for $6.99

App- A much darker brown than I usually see from Stone. A khaki/light brown head with great cling lines sliding down the glass. Very sticky and nice to look at and a bit like soap when washing dishes. A denser center with some full browns all the way through.

Smell- This to me seemed to be a good mish-mash although unintended. A winter warmer-eque type nose with a Belgian Strong addition,. A bit earthy and grainy and then a bit of yeast sprinkled with a orange chocolate aroma. A bit more of the spice comes out as it warms with the clove being strong and outshining the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste- As it opens to me the winter warmer is the 1st flavors I get. A bit malty and then the balance of the spices come through. A little bit more cinnamon on the back of the sip vs. the clove of the nose. A bit of that orange zest chocolate flavor is there and matched with a little bit of a prickly yeast. For some reason I get a roast coffee/espresso finish to it.

Mouth- A very solid medium body with a bit of a prickly medium carbonation. Semi-smooth and much like a chocolate like consistency. A lot remains on the flavors of this one. A bit of chocolate a bit of the yeast with some grass behind it. A little more espresso comes out as well.

Drink- Well I am sad the 12.12.12. VE series is over. I will open my 03-12 next week and see how things have held up. This wasnt the best one of the bunch. I think 06 and 09 were my favorites. This was tasty and a bit of a sipper at 9% A lot of the zest makes this a fun beer to have while it was cold outside.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown opaque pour with a nice mocha foam cap. Smells of oranges, cloves and allspice. Prominent cloves in the nose. Taste is chocolate, clove, orange and pumpkin pie spices. None of the spices are predominate, but it's quite complex, maybe a bit too complex of a spice-fest..wait no it isn't. This 12.12.12 is done right. Complex, flavorful and really quite unique. Very nice and it continues to grow on me with every sip.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the conclusion of a decade-long saga, Stone's Vertical Epic series concludes on a staggering high note. Belgian inspired, Scottishly malted, and Christmasly decorated- this beer takes the palate on quite a wintry ride!

Dark, bark-like brown, the beer pours with an exuberant pour that easily tricks the eye into thinking stout or robust porter. It erupts with a billowing head of mocha-stained foam that blankets the glass with long lasting foam an decorative lace.

Aromas are full of heavy toast, burnt sugar, molasses, mild smoky peat, and oddly banana bread. A strong spicy rebuttal of "Red Hot" cinnamon candies and clove nearly dominate the deep but focused scent.

An incredible depth of flavors wash the palate with bittersweet chocolate, lightly charred toast, deep molasses, and cold pressed coffee- all delivering a melange of robust and savory sweetness that won't be ignored. Even the fruit taste of grape weaves into the sweetness in estery and melded background. In the near absence of hops, the beer garners its balance from the sharp and spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, and rummy alcohols. Light earth and peat malt seems to ground the taste with slight complements of damp soil, heavy spruce, and juniper.

Robust and assertive, the beer erupts on the palate and causes and expansive feel of dry roast, semi-sweetness, and light ash to engulf the mouth entirely. But as the carbonation relaxes, the earth and malt take hold and usher in a spicy dark rum taste/texture that's further dried by the bitterness seemingly of pine resin, cinnamon, and char.

Despite it's "green" taste and premature roast-alcohol portrayal, the beer shows tremendous promise if properly aged like many other of the Vertical Epic series. If it's going to be your last hurrah, this is the way to go!

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Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, very dark brown hue with a thick finger of creamy, frothy tan foam which is leaving a nice lace as it slowly dissipates. Quite pretty indeed.

Smell: lightly sweet malt with a spicy, phenolic character. Smooth and well-balanced; I like it.

Taste: sweet malt with a lightly fruity character and a hint of chocolate. Some cinnamon-like spice is present along with that phenolic character from the aroma. These aren't overpowering, and like the aroma each element is nicely balanced. I'm enjoying this.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a satisfying creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: I like this entry in the vertical epic series. Contrary to the name, though, it's balanced and subtle in the right places; this beer isn't at all overwhelming. Quite nice.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-black with a nice thick tan head

S-strong scent of cinnamon, licorice, dark roasted grains, nutmeg dark belgian spices, and some cocoa. smells good! there's a lot going on here, smells like a christmas beer.

T-comes in with a strong taste of cinnamon and nutmeg. it's actually fairly bitter. there are dark belgian spices that come out stronger in the after-taste. it's definitely good, but I'd the bitterness is the dominant trait here.

M-really heavy carbonation with a slightly dry finish, very much like a raw belgian

O-tastes like a really bitter christmas dark belgian ale. the bitterness is actually overpowering, and almost takes away from the flavors, making this not the most drinkable beer. It's such a unique beer that I recommend you going out and trying it, but make sure you have it with a few friends, you might not want the whole bottle.

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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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