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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic AleStone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

471 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 471
Reviews: 305
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 85
Gots: 116 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.66% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 06-05-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics, and twists and turns as the adventure unfolds. This bottle conditioned ale is chapter five, and is specifically designed to be aged until sometime after December 12th, 2012. Provided you can wait that long. At that time, enjoy it in a "vertical" tasting along with its ten Stone Vertical Epic Ale brethren. Each on unique to its year of release. Each with its own "twist & turn" in the plot line. Each one release one year, one month and one day from the previous year’s edition.

In this year’s edition, you’ll notice a deep, rich aroma of toasty malts, anise, Belgian yeast spiciness, and a hint of cedar. The toasty, dark and roasty malt flavors combine with a soft palate - courtesy of specialty dark wheat and barley malts. The body is fairly light for a beer with such a high gravity. There is a pleasant, lingering bitterness, so you know it’s part of the Stone family. This ale was brewed with a specialty Belgian yeast that we’re really liking here at Stone...it’s the same one we used for brewing the Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale. And as with the Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale, all the spicy, deep, and wonderfully funky aromas and flavor characteristics in this beer come as a result of nothing more than malt, hops, water and yeast!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 471 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GETTNCRUNKED
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle courtesy of czoch75 - likely the farthest back I'll ever go in this series, so many thanks to Clint (awesome trader). Poured in to a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a good dark Belgian hue, nearly black but not glassy or onyx-like, and instead multi-hued, with some light dancing through around the edges, sort of like it does through a cup of fresh coffee you made just a little too weak (note: the strength at which I take my coffee has made lesser men weep). This beer's opacity is a result of its hue, not its clarity, as a fair amount of slow carbonation is visible immediately inside its glassy prison. The head - initially about a finger tall, though it fades to inside a quarter finger within sixty seconds - is dense, uniform, and a pleasant though uninspiring dull tan. Ultimately, it leaves only a similarly-situated collar, unevenly dispersed around the circumference of the tulip, a few flashes of gilttery lace, and a ghostly whisper of surface lacing.

Aroma: A sweet, malty mess. Tons of brown sugar and toffee jump out the gate strong, along with a few darker and toastier notes, nothing too sweet but also nothing astringent. There's a fair amount of Belgian spice and yeasty esters - mostly cloves, but plenty of nutmeg, overripe bananas. A few chocolate notes emerge as this one nears room temperature.

Taste: Sort of laid back. This might have been a little more flavorful at one point, more varied, more subdued, but as its age, certain things have come through a little stronger, and certain others have faded a little too far. What's strong is the malt backbone, toasty, faintly sweet, like an old, well-attenuated sugars, slightly caramelly, toffee, brown sugar, faint cocoa and toast. A handful of fruity notes - raisins, plump plums, bananas, dried cherries - mingle with strong Belgian spices to suggest a once robust and still enjoyable but perhaps past-its-prime brew. A slightly faint vegetal note concludes things, mingling with a few astringent malt notes.

Mouthfeel: Perhaps this beer's best aspect, and there's a nice amount of smooth, well-integrated carbonation here, present, large and in charge after a good nearly-four years. Nothing sticky, nothing too intense ... just a smooth, well-aged sort of Belgian mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A straightforward beer and a slightly mixed bag at times. I think it's probably past its peak, but then again, I didn't have this one fresh, so I don't really know what I'm talking about from a relative point of view. I just know what "past its prime" beer tastes like, and this one exhibits a few of those characteristics. You can't knock Stone for not breaking outside the box, though - the vertical epic series will show brewers exactly what they can and can't, should and shouldn't do when creating series designed to be aged in this fashion. I had no problem finishing this one, and enjoyed it perfectly well at 4 years of age ... but I imagine it was at one point better, and will not get better with an additional two years, six months, and twenty days on it.

Photo of dgherm
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Immortale25
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and wispy specs of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing.

S- Very unique aroma of sweet Belgian candi sugar, spice and mildly roasted malt. Also a bit of anise.

T- More sweetness with the candi sugar playing a main role up against the malty backdrop. Has a nice balance with some ginger-like spice in the finish. Notes of clove, cinnamon and black licorice.

M- Slightly viscous with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This is a classy Belgian that's held up well in the bottle with no noticeable oxidation or skunking in the aroma or taste. After having four different entries of the series, I'm beginning to see the underlying trend and realizing I like it. There's only been one that I've disliked so far and it was the 12.12.12 but, hey, maybe it just needs some age since I had it fresh.

Photo of beerphilosopher
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very rich ruby red that, in the absence of light, looks black. A huge khaki-colored head that is tall with tight bubbles climging to the inner rim of the tulip glass. Sheets of lacing rid the glass as this beer is sampled. The nose is of sweet roasted malts, quite spicy and has a nice yeasty character. The palate is sweet up front, with enough hop balance to keep it lively. Nice spice and yeast flavors here. Mouth feel is a bit lighter than I would have thought, but still substantive enough to match the strong flavor profile. This ale is quite acidic and has a nice alcohol warmth, especially as it warms. I almost wish that I had aged this one even longer, but very nice as it is. This was my first in the Vertical Epic series ... but won't be my last. Well crafted.

Photo of BlindPig
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Had a 1/4" tan head which fades fast when poured into a sniffer. Looks black then when held to light is a brownish color. Basically no lacing, just around the edge, and a bit here and there.
S-Malts and alcohol, almost a sweetness to it. Maybe sweeter hops like a sugarish sweet. Once I drank some and smelled it again it's REALLY fruity (pruney?) and I couldn't believe I didn't smell it before.
T- Fruity flavor, prunes plums, maybe light cherry?. It was almost to fruity for me. Pretty sweet also. Basically no alcohol taste. Not really bitter, just very fruity. Can't put my finger on the different fruits, maybe a roasted fruit flavor? As it warms I got warming in chest from the alcohol.
M-Med/full body, medium carbonation, very complex
D-Pretty good. I think it was to fruity since I'm not a fan of fruity beers. I think it will be better aged.

Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle Labor Day weekend at AJ's for $5.79.

Beer poured a deep mahogany with an off white head that is sustaining well. Nose is sweet, with a hint of bananas and cloves. Taste is of sweet malts, hint of candied sugar, bananas, and cloves. There is a lot of alcohol heat in the finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, and smooth. Overall drinkabilty is good although the alcohol back bite is pretty heavy.

Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber with a vintage date of 06.06.06

A- Great lacing, leaves tan rings on the glass. Dark leather brown color, nearly black.

S- Dark sugar and malt aroma, faint suggestions of clove and anise. Mild roasted grain bite similar to a slightly acidic coffee bean.

T&M- Amazingly smooth with an ample crispness in a full body. Suggestions of cocoa powder, coffee, anise, clove, walnuts, thyme with a rounded maltiness. Maltiness is a tad sugary ... brown sugar to be exact which becomes sandwiched by a bitter hop and a slightly hot alcohol.

D- Pretty damn tasty, great to try but I think some time in the bottle will prove it to be a better beer.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Daalamar: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a small foamy head with average retention. Aroma of delicious cookie dough with some nice sweet malt. Taste is also dominated by the sweet cookie malt which are just plain delicious. Body is a bit too watery for my own taste and alcohol is well hidden. Probably one of the best in the vertical epic series and a damn fine abbey dubbel in any case.

Photo of shroompod
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up 13 of these and will try to pick up more next year.

Poured half a bomber into a pint glass. Thick tan head seems to hold up well. This beer is dark with no light penetrating.

Smell has some anise, clove , and sweet honey notes.

Taste almost has a bubble gum spearmint flavor up front. It gets rounded out by some nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick , a little sweet, good carbonation.

Drinkabilty is OK, and I imagine will improve in time. I'm curious to see how this one ages throughout the "EPIC"

Photo of Cresant
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. The body was dark brown and clear of sediment. The weak head was was tan and left a fine film.

Smell was lightly of alcohol. Melted brown sugar. Rich. Well melded aromas and flavors.

Taste was sweet and fruity. Dark raisins. Lightly tart. Not too much alcohol. Moderate toasty malts. Very smooth and complex.

Mouthfeel was medium to full in body. Smooth. I look forward to trying this again in 2012.

Photo of Freshie
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Powerful

Very dark, with light hints of amber, if held to a light. Frothy head the settles nicely to the side with decent lacing.

Smells of sugary malts and very unique hop spiceness. Very interesting, never smelled that off a beer before, not even the 050505.

Bitter at first, but then very sweet, then a lingering spicness in your throat. Very strange array of tastes, but I like it. Anise, clove, brown sugar, are all present. The hops are well balanced to the malt.

As I drank this the spiceness got stronger. And was very warming.

Very tasty, and has the bite a covet so much from Stone Brews. Yum!


[edit] Aged for a year. Flavors seemd to have settled down. Much more smokey, with that same spiciness. Less sweet. Coffee like tanic quality.

Photo of Matthew
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown to near black, ruby highlights. Small head that leaves almost no covering, very little lacing.
Some roasted malt, slighlty yeasty, some faint hints of dried fruit.
This is a very smooth beer, Nice and big roasted malt character, some almost burnt type flavors, with nice yeasty flavors, slightly fruity, with a almost almond type character there too. Some hints of sweeter caramel and an overlapping spiciness pulls through as the beer warms.
Nice medium bodied mouthfeel slighlty leaning towards a more viscous/chewy character.
Good drinkability at 8.6%, the high abv is very hard to percieve, niceley balanced. This beer has alot of potential and will certainly improve with another year or two. A pleasant suprise from stone.

Photo of brdc
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle. Unfortunately, never had before, so have no comparison, but my first impression is that this will not last well into 2012. On the other hand, overlord thinks this one is improving.

Very dark reddish brown, golden highlights. Very thin light tan head does not hold at all, and produces minimal lacing.
The aroma, if not powerful, is very interesting and unique; dark fruits and candy like a belgian, but also some chocolate, vanilla, spicines, yeastiness.
The same notes come back on the palate; medium bodied, with caramel, dark fruits, malty sweetness, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate.
Despite all those flavors, like the aroma, the flavor does not feel "powerful" enough, and it is very short lasting.
Good, not great; I hope I am wrong, but I cannot see this one holding long.

Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a root beer brown with garnet highlights and a bubbly head that fades rather quickly, leaving foam on the sides and a film to cap the liquid

Smell: Dark fruit (prune and fig), tannery leather, caramel and a chocolate covered banana aspect

Taste: After the initial onset of dark fruit, the beer turns somewhat bitter, with a roasty, charcoal aspect; the bitterness fades in favor of the sweeter elements, after the swallow, and the finish has a nice dark fruit and chocolate covered banana flavor that is rather appealing

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy, with lively carbonation

Drinkability: A decent beer, but not quite up there with the best of Belgium; it lacks the depth of flavor to some extent

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, and spices. Taste is much the same but the flavor is mainly fruity with the spices coming through on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is easy to drink and I think it has held up quite well so far.

Photo of vfgccp
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Opened June 2013

A - Dark chocolate cranberry body. Thin, off-white head sits low but has nice retention and lace.

S - Touch of old wood. Dark dried fruits; cherry, fig, raisin, apricot. Almonds. Smooth chocolately booze. Black cherry soda. Rum cake.

T - Hard wood, iced coffee, hazel nut, tart cherries. Dark fruits, light and mellow scotch, cherry chocolate cordials.

M - Medium-light body. Solid carbonation. Touch of water on the finish.

O - A solid offering that held up well after 7 years.

Photo of Melchizedek
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this just over a year ago and have aged it (poorly) in anticipation of my departure to Berlin.

Pours a deep dark murky reddish brown. Nose is leafy hop competing against yeast and phenols and dark fruit, creating a sort of chocolate-toffee thing in the aroma. As it warms, I get almost a Worcestershire sort of vibe, kind of tangy.

Taste is well bittered, more woody and leafy and vinous/tannic. A little toast, aniseed, clove. Spicy alcohol, especially as it warms.

Nice. Glad a year of inconsistent and poorly managed aging didn't murder this one. I love the aroma, and I'd be curious to taste it after a couple of years of good aging.

Photo of LvilleIPA
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the 22oz'er into my favorite St. Bernardus chalice.

Sets up nice, and smells fantastic. The head was a deep tan that formed a thin rim near the top of the glass before disappearing rather quickly. The "body" is a deep brown, almost black.

The mouthful reminds me of a Belgian Dubbel (actually, I may be off, but this mostly reminds me of a Maredsous 8).

Stone made a great run at crafting a Belgian Dark Ale here. It's mouthful dances with dried fruits and toffee before drying out my mouth completely. Leaves a dry/fruity/smokey/spicy flavor on the palate. You can tell there's alcohol there, but it's not overwhelmingly powerful (considering it's a 8.66%).

I think this will hold up well until Stone's suggested drinking date of 12-12-12.

Definitely a great beer to drink now as well. Don't be afraid to drink it now and save some for later.

Photo of daveytheformer
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with almost no light getting through. Thin tan head that immediately fades to very light lacing.

Smells like chocolate, raisins, plums, brown sugar, and sweet tobacco. Lots of dark fruit and cocoa. More sweet than roasted.

Tastes are caramel, vanilla, a little woody, chocolate malts, more dark fruit, toffee, and slightly syrupy. Mild malt bitterness rounds out the flavor.

Mouthfeel is a creamy thickish medium with very little carbonation.

Overall is great and even five years old is maybe my favorite of the vertical epics that I have had.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Volo, Stone Appreciation Day. Pours slick black, with nice white head. Good aromas of anise, chocolate. Taste is rich but only average, was expecting thicker. A delivery of anise, after 3.5 years the yeast "she has gone away" A bit on the sweeter side.

Photo of
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, with ruby highlights when I held it up to the light. Almost opaque. Modest tan head hung around briefly after the pour. "Typical" Belgian aroma, some barnyard, some sugar/sweet aromas, spice (clove?). Very appealing and it improved as it warmed. Slight metallic and alcohol notes as well. Flavor was quite complex, toast/coffee hints at start, a raisin/grape taste in the center with some alcohol/medicinal bits thrown in, and a finish of hop bittering (fairly mild). Finally, I think I picked up licorice in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was medium body, low carb, some alcohol warming and a little bit of diacetyl like slickness. I found this to be very drinkable, moreso the warmer it go. I bought a good bit to cellar and am interested in how that works out.

Photo of rabsten
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First bottle out of a case, poured into a pint glass. This is a dark, dark beer. Not as noir as an imperial stout but darn close. Light tan head with moderate lacing. I like the dark, so good marks on this.

Smoked malt aroma. Pine or cedar or some other evergreen sits in the background too. Nice enough.

Tastes smoky indeed. Lox-like smokiness. Not at the level of, say, a Rogue Smoke Ale or Stone's own Smoked Porter, but plenty high. There are hints of several other flavors I can't I.D. Malty character with little or no traditional hop presence.

Overall mouthfeel is okay, but not great. It numbs my tongue a bit (and not because I've overchilled it; I haven't). Round feeling with smooth finish.

Pretty good drinkability, considering the higher than average ABV, smoke factors, and the numbing effect. To be honest though, I'd rather split a bottle with someone than tackle it by myself.

This is the fourth of the VEs I've had and it's my least favorite as of this writing. I loved the 03.03.03 and 04.04.04 and really liked 05.05.05. This one is good, quality stuff, but not up my alley right now. I expect it will be better given some proper ageing (sp?) and me being more in a mood for the style. I have plenty to age (years worth, actually) and get into smoked alcohol moods about twice a year, so this wont go to waste or anything.

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 471 ratings.