Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 461 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev +1.3%
Purchased in June of 2006. Poured a dark brown (a clear tawny color when examined on the edges) with little head. The nose was of a lot of roasted barley mixed with belgian yeast. Friend also picked up the smell of cherries. The taste was lots of roast and earthiness, along with anise- mostly in the finish. Drinkability got a lot better as it warmed up, and I made my way through the glass. A pretty tasty belgian dark.
06-26-2007 06:57:58 | More by MiScusi
4/5 rDev +0.5%
poured a brownish red color with an inch high head, that is creamy in color and visually looks creamy as well. A sweet fragrance of dried fruit, nostly of currants and raisons, with touches of malt at the end. A strong malty flavor hits the palate, followed by some dried fruit, then the taste of sweet spicy flavors, like nutmeg, come out. It all ends with a splash of bitterness. A light to medium feel, it coats the palate evenly and leaves a dry finish. This is a surprising effort from a brewery that brings the hops to the table.Strong belgian flavors and the solid mouthfeel make this a very good beer.
06-23-2007 01:09:41 | More by cameraman
4.47/5 rDev +12.3%
Roasted pecan brown that becomes dusky garnet with backlighting. I'm convinced that this is the darkest Vertical Epic Ale to be released so far. The golden brown sugar colored head is a thing of beauty. It looks good immediately after the pour and looks even better as it descends. Only a relative shortage of lace puts the brakes on my enthusiasm.
The nose is dark malty without being the least bit roasted. It's modestly tangy, like a quality weizenbock, with similar dark fruity esters (bruised banana and brown apple). There's a little clove, but not as much as expected. It would be nice if the Trappist yeast played a larger role in VE's nose.
My first mouthful tells me that the flavor score will be a close call between 'good' and 'very good'. I'm sure it will become obvious once I get half the bomber across my taste buds and into my belly. I'm pleased that the beer tastes much more authentically Belgian than it smells.
Complex isn't often a word that I use when describing an American-brewed BSDA (that isn't brewed by Allagash), but it definitely fits in this case. For a beer that doesn't use anything but malt, hops and yeast, that's quite the achievement. But then Stone is quite the brewery.
The flavor profile abounds with fruit and spice and much more besides. Let's see: chocolate covered bananas, dark toffee, light molasses, anise seed, sticky dates and ground cloves. What a delicious potpourri of complimentary flavors and flavor sensations (sweet, bitter and tangy). It's pretty obvious where the scores will fall and I haven't even reached mid-bomber yet.
As the beer warms I'm becoming more and more impressed with the yeastiness. If blinded, I would have bet a great deal that I was drinking a BSDA from Belgium itself. The ABV has to be a misprint because there's no trace of alcohol on the palate. My increasingly light head suggests otherwise.
I have no idea why Stone says 'the body is fairly light', although they do add 'for a beer with such a high gravity'. I'm finding it to be amazingly creamy with an expansiveness that few non-Belgians can manage. I would call it the highlight of this experience, but then this is an incredibly highlight-rich beer.
I would love to do a comparison tasting with Vertical Epic '05 and Vertical Epic '06, but I'm saving the single bottles that I have left for 2012. Maybe I should start buying three each year instead of two. In any case, those years are my favorites of this series so far and can easily give all but the very best Belgian BSDAs a run for their money. Epic indeed!
06-22-2007 15:54:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.75/5 rDev -5.8%
The head rises fast and falls just as quickly, surrendering to a spotty skim that seems one bubble deep across the deep brown, nearly black surface. Lacing is likewise spotty. The aroma is wonderful, and this is from a beer that was poured, admittedly, too cold - like a deep Corsendonk brown, full of raisins and brown bread and a whiff of hops.
Taste is impressive at first. Chocolate, and an interesting slick mixture of grit and cream in the mouth. Rum and raisins. Ends with a dry, slightly puckering alcohol burn and a sour rinse of hops. Not as roundly sweet as anticipated from the aroma, thanks to the hops and the alcohol.
Mouthfeel is slick and lush, but ends thin. Not as chewy as hoped for. A pleasant airiness at the end that disguises the sweetness becomes less apparent as the beer warms.
This take on the Belgian Strong Dark Ale is intriguing but not successful. The mouthfeel is too thin, and the hops are too aggressive. It starts off well, but loses the strong dark ale character too soon.
Difficult to say what discourages me about this beer, but Harry Potter fans may appreciate this analogy. In those books, a "polyjuice potion" contains a small piece (strand of hair, nail clipping) of a person, and when that potion is drunk, the drinker changes their appearance to that person -- for a short period of time. About an hour after drinking the potion, your original features and characteristics begin to show through. Likewise, I felt that this beer was transformed temporarily and magically into a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and my first sips were happy ones. But not long after my first sip, the magic began to wear off, and the characteristics that do not have much to do with that style began to assert themselves. At the end, it seemed to me to be a hoppy black lager with delusions of grandeur.
06-13-2007 13:45:42 | More by Darkale
4.03/5 rDev +1.3%
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves about one finger of a biege head that has some good retention and leaves some good lacing. Body is black.
Smell - horseblanket, dark fruit such as plums, and medicinal alcohol. Very inviting.
Taste - as promised by the nose. Horseblanket upfront, with plums in the middle, and finishing with a wash of medicinal alcohol.
Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, and semi-dry.
Drinkability - this is good ale, only high abv limits sessionability.
06-04-2007 13:40:57 | More by ultralarry2006
4.47/5 rDev +12.3%
Brought back from PA by expatsteve. Much obliged.
Pour: porter black, thin with garnet highlights under a minimal khaki head fading to a skim.
Nose: roasted malts, gooey milk chocolate, smoked malts and dark fruit
Taste: roasted and smokey malts dominate the forepalate, milk chocolate follows with dark fruits and apple skins in the finish.
Feel: thick and silky, velvety carbonation, chewy and robust
Drinkability/Overall: Robust and chewy, smokey and complex. A belgianesque porter. Very tasty.
06-02-2007 23:55:46 | More by Golden2wenty1
3.9/5 rDev -2%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Pours a very deep brown with almost no head. Aroma is dark fruit, raisens, roasted malts. Flavor is very sweet and fruity. Under the fruitiness there are notes of toast, malt and a hint of hops. Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Very smooth. I can't wait to crack open another bottle a few years down the road to see how it is aging.
05-29-2007 23:15:43 | More by mdm46410
3.05/5 rDev -23.4%
Let this baby age for nearly a year and I am not impressed with the way its coming out. This review is based on what it is currently is like.
A - Pours a very dark brown reddish color. The head is like a brownish eggshell color and mine did not make much of a head, like half inch but it does leave some nice lacing that mostly survives while youre drinking it.
S - A strong alcohol small with slight spiciness, also a bright floral smell very faintly in the background.
T - Overwhelming alcohol taste. A very slight roastiness and graininess in the background. The aftertaste is a bit of that roastiness with just a hint of spicy hops. But the hot alcohol dominated.
M - It seems to have lost body with the time. It seems a little like a watery alcohol soup now.
D - As it is now I would not drink more then one bomber. Its pretty strong too so I would go for something lighter after this.
I don't think it was stored improperly. I had it in a paper bag in a wine fridge that is always at 50 degrees and served it at this temp too. I liked this beer much more when it was fresh. I also had a bottle after 6 months of aging and even then it was not bad but for me this beer is just great when its fresh. This review is based on the bottle I just opened. If I had reviewed it fresh it would have gotten much better scores. Fresh it had a lot of flavor, you could really taste the wheat and an almost root beer like spiciness. That has faded considerably. I can't imagine another few years improving it honestly. I guess it depends on your taste but I did not like the bottle aged this long. Much better fresh, Since they posted the recipe on their site (thanks stone!) I will try to brew some on my own and enjoy it fresh.
05-08-2007 01:25:09 | More by TheBeerWolf
3.8/5 rDev -4.5%
22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.
A: Thick dark brown in color. Fluffy tan head pours two fingers thick with good retention. Nice sticky lacing crawls all of the glass.
S: Softly roasted malts. Clove. Dark sugars. Hints of coffee and chocolate.
T: Day old coffee and a touch of dark chocolate are followed by tastes of clove and ainse. The sweetness of molasses and dark sugars give way to a thick and rich wave of malts. A soft hop presence gives the tongue a tickle and is immediately taken over by a warming alcohol.
M: Smooth and full bodied. Minimal carbonation. Warming and dry.
D: A nice representation of the style. This was my second sampling of this brew and time has definitely mellowed this one out for the better. Complex. Recommended.
05-06-2007 16:03:58 | More by Tyrawlings
2.7/5 rDev -32.2%
Poured this beer fron the 22 ounce bottle into two tumblers at 50 degrees. The beer was a black thick color with a nice big tan head. The beer has a slightly sweet smell. Taste was slightly ever so of burnt peat but high alcohol killed off any yummy taste. If you just want alcohol taste this is your beer. I will not buy again. One other thing. This stuff about saving it till 2012 is crap. They don't sell bourbon like that. They sell it to you ready to drink. If it is suppose to sit for years befor it is ready to drink sell it to me when it is at its peak or ready to drink!
05-04-2007 13:46:48 | More by Minkybut
4.13/5 rDev +3.8%
Pours a jet black color with a two finger caramel colored head. Big bubbles towards the middle of the head with a smooth milkshake like head towards the side. Excellent retention with sticky thick lacing down the glass. Dark fruit notes with prunes, figs, blackberries, burnt brown sugar, rotten bananas, and spicy malt aromas. Complex and big with nice Belgian phenols.
Belgian phenols from the start with a nice dryness in the finish--slight bitterness also associated with the dryness. Figs and prunes are abundant with a slight citric fruitiness. Licorice notes with slight peppery notes to them. Yeasty and earthy with a nice spicy mouthfeel. Very smooth and quite soft on the palate. Medium to full bodied with a nice soft aftertaste. A damn nice one from Stone. I'm glad that I've got another sitting in the basement. I wonder what this will do in a few years.
04-27-2007 03:33:23 | More by bjohnson
4.47/5 rDev +12.3%
Gotta love the 666. It poured a dark rosewood color, with a fluffy white head that clung to the sides of the glass. In the smell were ripe, sweet dark fruits, a bit of coco, and the faintest presence of alcohol. Taste had more dark fruit, sweet caramel, and a lingering candy taste. Light in body, and light on the hops. This one shows signs of ageing well. The flavors are mellow, yet pronounced, and extremely tasty. It reminds me of the 03 alot. I could kill more then one bomber of this no problem. I can only imagine what a few more years of laying low would do to this beer. Maybe ill stick one in the basement for safe keeping. Well crafted brew. Cheers
04-25-2007 00:01:50 | More by jamie2dope
3.73/5 rDev -6.3%
Tasted on 4/22/07
Appearance: Dark brown, almost black with a solid head that dissapates quickly
Smell: Strong woody smell, spices, alcohol
Taste: Smooth with a crisp finish. Lots of spices and an underlying alcohol burn, but very mild
Mouthfeel: Not too abrasive, better than average in my opinion
Drinkability: Very drinkable for the alcohol content. Not something I would want to drink every night, but very pleasant. Smooth and nice.
Another great Stone brew. Anyone who thinks Stone Brewing is overrated is out of their mind.
04-23-2007 07:30:11 | More by bradford
3.53/5 rDev -11.3%
A: Dark colored reddish brown color with a lively head of tan foam. Medium level of carbonation.
S: Strong notes of belgian malts and yeast. Sweet biscuit notes blended with raw sugar aromas. Not overpowering or cloying, very natural. Nice.
T: Similar to aroma, but it didn't quite connect the way i'd hoped it to; Strong malty and spicy notes blended with a mild biscuit and buttery yeast note. Hints of grains in the background. Not bad, but a bit of a let down after the aroma.
M: Nominal. Slight stickiness and density. Carbonation was about that of most belgians, perhaps slightly lower. Not bad.
D: Right around average. Not a bad beer, but nothing i'd seek out again. May be interesting a year or two down the road.
Notes: Special thanks to KingG for the 22 oz. bomber sample.
04-23-2007 02:19:31 | More by Frozensoul327
4.13/5 rDev +3.8%
A- very dark brown with some red hues, 1 finger foamy tan cappuccino-like head, good retent
S- roasted malts, wheat, fruit sweetness, yeast, clean
T- slow rising black licorice & alcohol heat in finish through after, roasted malts, black licorice, spicy yeast, burnt bitterness, wheat, creamy
M- medium body, smooth, creamy, heat at finish and in after
D- enjoyable and complex, not mind blowing or something to fall in love with but a solid brew none the less, can't wait to see what age will do.
04-22-2007 23:48:00 | More by tonistruth
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
Into a chalice, pours a dark mahogany, dark and clear ruby hues through a light, a small head forming from the pour that settles to a thin film, light lacing in streaks and bubbles. The aroma is heavy on the malts, spicy and yeasty, cloves and pepper, dark fruits, ripe banana, plum,
The taste is even better, a hefty dosing of malts, lots of it, spices are fantastic, cloves and spicy pepper, brown sugar, maybe even molasses. The fruits of plum and raisins, all kinds of stuff going on, really nice. The mouth isn't anything special, a decent body, the carbonation is about right, a little warming with the alcohol. But the thing I love about certain styles is the extremely wide variation on the theme. Its another beer that tastes like none others, and a delicious one at that. Most of the time, I wish I lived in SoCal for beers like this. I want many more in my cellar.
04-05-2007 00:38:00 | More by objectivemonkey
3.23/5 rDev -18.8%
Pours a deep rich chestnut color with a smaller light brown head that doesn't last long. No real lace on this one for me even with a strong pour.
Aroma is malty lots of caramel, liquorice loads of dark fruits plums, figs ect. a good supply of spice also.
Taste is lots of malt upfront moving to a liquorice flavor that starts out nice but seem to intensify thru out and on into the finish. Actually could go on and describe the fruit and nice spice but all in all it comes down to too much liquorice for me to see the attributes that might be present in this one.
Mouthfeel is a big medium good level of carbonation that gives it a slight touch of pep.
Drinkability is not good no real desire to have this one again. little to one sided toward the dark side for me black liquorice that is. Thanks to merlin48 for this bottle as I thought i needed to try it since I have had 03, 04, 05 anyone wanting to send me an 02 all you have to do is ask and I will accept it.
03-27-2007 00:23:47 | More by mntlover
4.53/5 rDev +13.8%
Amazingly deep brown colored body with deep garnet hues when held in light. A third of an inch beige colored head quickly faded. Too dark to notice and carbonation rising. Light lacing ribbons.
Super dark malt aroma. Fruit qualities of raisins, blackberries, and red grapes. An overall spiciness also has hints of a nice alcohol content. In the finish there is a slight hint of burnt butterscotch.
Crisp spicy flavor leaves a nice variety of flavors battling on the tongue. Sweet malt and and the flavor of dark berries are foremost. Secondary flavors include roasted caramel, burnt coffee, and even a very faint pineapple presence.
Thickness on the tongue is exceptional. Almost no carbonation feeling but plenty of buzz from the spice. Taste cling to every mouth surface.
Excellent beer. This is the perfect choice to enjoy with a filet mignon at a great steak house. This was so good at 7 months that I doubt it can wait until the end of the series to become any better. A must try for every palate.
03-26-2007 07:04:55 | More by RedChrome
4/5 rDev +0.5%
Update: 3 years later (13 Mar 10)
Poured into a chalice a dark brown color, some carbonation, little fizzy tan head, one small island in the middle. The nose is malty, slight plum note, slight licorice, and some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with some plums/licorice, and caramel. Medium body, this brew is kinda flat now, not much carbonation either, still tasty, but no where near what it was 3 years ago, not much alcohol hint either. Drinkable, I'm dissappointed with this much age on it.
Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy creamy tannish head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet, malty, nice touch of plums, licorice, and some caramel. The taste is very smooth of sweet malts, plumy, nice touch of licorice, and lots of caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, I'm really likeing this one, a nice twist on a BSA, very tasty, highly recommended.
03-25-2007 19:12:41 | More by Wasatch
4.22/5 rDev +6%
Had two bottles; couldn't wait until 2012, so now I have one
Pours a flat black body, medium sized tan/brown head. Lacing was nice and smooth. Looks really good.
Smell of Belgian yeast spice, clover, banana and biscuit.
Taste; up front some roasted malt and spice. The banana turns a bit toward a black berry hint, a bit of anise and biscuit.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but makes for easy drinking.
2012 is a long way off.
03-16-2007 19:24:33 | More by Mebuzzard
2.83/5 rDev -28.9%
Do you like black licorace? If you do, please disregard my negative comments, and enjoy a beer made for you. Pours black without much of a head. Strong smells of burnt sugar, cough syrup and licorace from the anise. Taste is along those same lines, only more amped up. For me, the licorace taste was too overwhelming and repugnant. I could not finish a glass, let alone the bottle. Mouthfeel was average, but the downfall to the drinkability lies soley with the taste.
03-12-2007 20:03:45 | More by Onibubba
4.28/5 rDev +7.5%
Deep chestnut brown color-borders on a faint black if there is such a thing. Small head at first-some nice lacing. Aroma of licorice and burnt raisens. Slight sulfur smell to it. Deep, robust flavor but not in a roasted malt way. Deep, licorice and burnt sugars. Slightly spiced. Faint black pepper taste. Nice, smooth and creamy mouthfeel-very full bodied. Very, very enjoyable beer. The best VE I think I have had. I bought 4 bottles this year and I am damn glad I did. Yummy.
03-10-2007 01:52:52 | More by lackenhauser
3.78/5 rDev -5%
A - Pours a dark brown/light black with a few ruby highlights and a thin brown head.
S - Spicy with dark fruits, earthy with some alcohol. A lot of malt is showing up in the aroma.
T - Yeasty spice and pepper, banana, clove, dark fruits, noticeable alcohol taste, woody with lingering licorice on the aftertaste.
M - Medium bodied and well carbonated. Bubbly in the mouth.
D - Unique and complex. Tasty.
03-09-2007 01:41:00 | More by brewcrew76
3.68/5 rDev -7.5%
A: Dark amber, pours nice and smooth with a small half-inch head.
S: Nice malt smell with strong toffee and chocolate scents. Cinnamon, licorice and flowers also come to mind. A really nice smelling beer.
T: A nice caramel taste with toffee and again chocolate coming in afterwards. The alcohol appears quickly, but also leaves quickly and the beer finishes smooth.
M: Sits nicely on the palate and goes down so smooth. Dry aftertaste with very little of the alcohol lingering. Enjoyed the feeling of drinking this beer.
D: Not a session beer, but definitely enjoy the 22oz. bottle.
03-04-2007 00:09:32 | More by JustinOSU99
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
Clear, dark brown with deep mahogany highlights. The fine foam was much lighter brown and laced the glass nicely. Malty and fruity aroma, with notes of raisins, prunes, bread crust, anise, nuts, and cocoa. A bit of spice and yeast. Very nice. Chocolatey bittersweet malt flavour to start with caramel and fruit character rising part way through, mostly raisin and date, but there's a hint of sour cherry as well. Bread, alcohol and yeast bring up the rear along with an earthy pepperiness. Medium/full bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry, malty finish with a solid texture. I really liked this VE release. Plenty of maltiness and an assertive character. Definitely a winner that I'll revisit again.
02-24-2007 20:27:03 | More by DrJay
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.