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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic AleStone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.92/5
Very Good
1,592 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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
310
Ratings:
1,592
pDev:
14.03%
Bros Score:
4.27
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
379
Trade:
37
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,592 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of arash1000
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of mwbrady12
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of scottDC
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of poopsyeah
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of Focusf111
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of notdriving
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of Zbeetleman
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of hmmmbeer10
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of mattyrubes
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of snaotheus
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle poured into a large mug

Pours black with a smallish fine head. Can't see much carbonation, but that might be the opacity. Honestly, looks more like a stout than a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Smell is overpoweringly black licorice. Extremely sweet. That is all I can smell. And it's not my favorite smell.

Taste is more black licorice with some additional medicine flavor. Still very sweet. Alcohol is noticeable. It reminds me (for some reason) of jaegermeister. This is clearly not my deal.

Mouthfeel is a strange combination of sticky and dry. Overall...the black licorice character (as I perceive it) is a no go. It's not quite so bad that I'm willing to drainpour the whole thing, but I'm not sure I'll make it through the whole thing, either.

If you like black licorice, you should try this beer.

 814 characters

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of bluesplit63
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of Teleweizen2
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of DocJitsu
2.77/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black with very thin slivers of cola brown around the bottom edge of the glass. A big, thick, foamy, long-lasting light mocha colored head. Medium-bodied, slick to mildly astringent moutfheel. Asymmetrical foamy lacing clings and drags as the beer is drunk. Cardamom nose with not much else going on. Flavors of clove up front with mild ginger. The bitterness of the clove needs to be balanced with something that has more depth. The experience is too narrow. Not enough going on. This is the last one?? Stone disappoints again. But, for a different reason this time.

 583 characters

Photo of charlzm
2.79/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.

The beer is an opaque very dark brown. Only a thin ring of foam for a head.

Aroma notes are a vague sweetness with counterpoints of nutmeg and smoke.

The flavor is quite strong, with clove, nutmeg and cinnamon being the main components. Malt is overwhelmed.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and still.

Not a very impressive way to end the Vertical Epic series.

 427 characters

Photo of Lawl3ss
2.82/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

 1,078 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
2.82/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

 1,069 characters

Photo of sweemzander
2.84/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

22oz. bottle poured into a taster. Thanks Chris!

(A)- Pours a near pitch black color. Some minimal tan froth.

(S)- Plenty of licorice bits with a spicy array of nutmeg, juniper berry, and cocoa.

(T)- Similar to the smell only more nutmeg and juniper berry forward. Some raisin and cocoa increases as it warms. Its a spicebox!

(M)- A good carbonation level. Overall, a spicy cornucopia of a beer. Some subtle hints of a richer background, but its just hidden with all the spices.

(O)- Easily the more unique one of the line, but is near the bottom for me despite it being the freshest example. Way too many spices to really enjoy it fully.

 643 characters

Photo of rjhildre
2.84/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

 918 characters

Photo of vicg12
2.86/5  rDev -27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

Not impressed with this offering from Stone. Must be said that the beer is getting pretty old now, but I saw it on the shelf at a local brew store so I had to give it a try. The pour is beautiful, beer is very dark and puts off a rich chocolate color head; leaves a decent lace. The smell smacks you in the face with an aroma of cinnamon, allspice and another spice I can't put my finger on. The taste is what you would expect from the smell with a strong presence of cinnamon and allspice with an after-note of cloves, but the most predominate flavor is that of bitters! In my opinion this is not a good flavor for a beer. It just takes away from the fact that you are actually drinking a really well brewed beer. You concentrate on this overpowering spice pallet that leaves you forgetting that this taste is actually coming from a beer. Really complex flavor and I appreciate what they were trying to accomplish here, just not my cup of tea. Worst beer I have had from Stone. If I wanted to drink bitters I would have ordered a Prohibition style cocktail, so please, keep it out of my beer.

 1,093 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.98/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I've never reviewed one of these VE ales before, so as luck would have it, my good friend picked up a bottle and agreed to share it with me. Portion of a 22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. From two day old notes.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is a creamy one-finger khaki shade. The general appearance is almost stout-like.

S: Stone really didn't dick around with the spices, did they? There is insane cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg on the nose. The eye-watering spiciness evokes Harpoon's (overspiced) Winter Warmer in a way. Still, I'd love more of the base beer to come through.

T: The aroma didn't deceive me, this is spiced to fuck and back. It opens with a heavy-handed explosion of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. After a while, it fades into a long dark fruit finish (plums, mainly). Touches of roasted nuts also appear. Complexity is good, but unfortunately it's complex in a messy, imbalanced way.

M: This one has a pretty thick body. A shame it had to follow the devastatingly drinkable La Terrible, because this one just seemed indolent and flabby in comparison. Still, alcohol is decently concealed.

O: This brew is meh not because it's boring and lacking pizzazz, but because it's pizzazz is haphazard and unfocused. That, and Christmas in July kind of sucks.

 1,299 characters

Photo of fourZero
2.99/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

SUPER clove taste, can't get past anything but the cloves. Label says mild clove spice added, I don't believe it. More cloves than I can handle. Like drinking a box of Djarums. Cloying, super-sweet, ultra-clovey nasty spice flavor to this one. Maybe I just tried a winter beer too late in the season? Not sure, but would not be getting this one again.

 351 characters

Photo of sgttibbs
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of cclark67789
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of skholbrook1982
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,592 ratings
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