Despite the huge buzz surrounding its release and the numerological neatness of its name, Stone Brewing Company’s 12.12.12 may have gotten somewhat of a short shrift. As the last offering in the 10-year-long Vertical Epic project by the Southern California brewery, the Belgian Strong Dark Ale was first tasted by many as the final sip in a flight or tasting dinner. Even the most seasoned beer aficionados might find it tough to be discerning after a series of up to nine other Stone brews, all of which ring in at relatively high alcohol content.
Happily, 12.12.12 is now widely available on tap and in 22-oz. bottles around the country, and this reviewer had a chance to revisit the beer for a more memorable pint. Extremely memorable, in fact — this is an extremely intense glass of suds, and might even benefit from another year of aging on its own.
The beer pours a velvety black with a thick, beige-head. Scents of spice hit your nose before it even gets close to the glass, thanks to a heaping helping of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, orange peel and rosehips (the last having been crushed with a forklift in order to pulverize them before brewing). “Nope, certainly do NOT remember this one from the tasting dinner,” was our comment to the bartender who served it for our review.
Strong as the nose seems, the taste is not overwhelming or cloying, helped by an extremely dry finish. You can’t have an aversion to gingerbread cookies or molasses to enjoy sips of the brew, and the liquid lays heavy on the tongue at first, but after a swallow and a breath, no unpleasant aftertaste lingers. It’s surprisingly easy to finish your pour, especially if you pair the beer with a salty cheese or unctuous charcuterie.
This isn’t a beer you would drink every day, or even more than once a year, but as the finale in an unprecedented vertical tasting experiment, 12.12.12 is worth seeking out. Who knows, perhaps Stone will figure out a way to wrangle a 13.13.13 out of the calendar someday soon.
Colorado-based brewery Oskar Blues will continue its growth in the craft beer scene thanks to its recent purchase of Perrin Brewing Co....read more ›
Do you have an idea for a bar or restaurant? You could win up to $50,000 to get that idea off the ground. ...read more ›
Head to Declaration Brewing Company this summer to declare your independence from your normal watering hole. ...read more ›
Have you ever dreamed of having an amazing home bar, filled with bottles you actually use and the tools you need to execute a finely crafted cocktail?...read more ›
AB-InBev purchased Elysian for an undisclosed sum in January. Three months later, Cantwell resigned. "Working ...read more ›
Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›
It's beginning to smell a lot like summer, and for America, that implies one very important thing: baseball se...read more ›
If you've ever wondered what beer you should sip with your ice cream, the answer you've been waiting for is fi...read more ›
This bottle opener might be the easier one to lose yet. ...read more ›
Want to take a ride in a giant flying cucumber? This could be your chance!...read more ›
We had the opportunity to speak with Tukwini Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, about the House of Mand...read more ›
Heineken Light just made a new, impressive-sounding promise: If you don't think its beer is the best-tasting l...read more ›