Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic AleStone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale

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very good

308 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 308
Hads: 481
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 84
Gots: 123 | FT: 12
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’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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 308 | Hads: 481
Photo of merlin48
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours into a goblet a clear, but dark, ruby mahogany body with a small beige head that quickly drops to a film. Some spotty lacing initially that totally disappears midway through the first pour.

Aroma is dominated by spicy anise and clove. Some burnt brown sugar and wheat malt notes are present, along with a solid dark fruit component that is mostly dried figs. Some fusel alcohol notes detract.

Mouthfeel is light medium bodied with some medicinal alcohol. Carbonation is subdued.

Taste is dominated by the spicy anise, with a spicy clove presence being equally annoying. Alcohol presence is fusel and medicinal. Some bitter hops give a nice cedar presence. Dark fruits are present, mostly figs. Some bitter, dark roasty malt notes emerge as it reaches room temperature. Overall, seems rough around the edges.

I'm not generally a fan of American brewed Belgian dark ales, and this one is no exception. Hopefully, this one will improve with age. As it is, my least favorite of the Vertical Epic series.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nearly black in color with light only shining through on the lighter, garnet colored edges. Dense light tan head left behind some nice lacing. Spicy scents of roasted malts, licorice, cloves, a bit smokey as well. Taste consists of dried dark fruit, coffee, chocolate and alcohol. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Compared to the 05.05.05 I had before this, the 06.06.06 should get better with some time in the cellar.

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Photo of MLegendre
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark, almost black with dark ruby highlights towards the bottom of my snifter. Very thick light tan 3in. head disapating very slowly into a thin cramy head. Bits of lacing stick the the glass as I sip it down.

S: Prodominatly fruity with a slight bit of hoppy bitterness. Has the typical belgian smell.

T: Very interesting. Starts off kind of sweet and a little bit roasty. Midtaste has some clovelike spice while the alcohol becomes very apparent and even burns the tongue a bit. . Aftertaste is very bitter and lingers on for awhile.

M: Very thick and creamy with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: I've never really cared for any of the belgian stlye beers I've had, but this one was pleasent. It's something I would have again, but not something I would get very often. It's kind of hard for me to finish the whole thing.

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Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle found for less than five dollars at a little shop off the 15 freeway in Temecula called Old Town Liquor, had not seen this in stores for quite some time now, grabbed a few and this was my last bottle, poured into a thin 0.4L Stiegl glass

A-Deep dark brown tha has minimal light going through, 3/4 inch slightly creamy off white head, did not stay around for long, minimal retention, some small lacing

S-Aroma was pretty weak overall but I could smell a big roasted nuttiness, black cherries, wheat, candy, brown sugar, sweet malt, some bread too, and caramel

T-The initial roasty accents can almost pass for a porter at first, I wonder if age mellowed these out or intensified them, regardless they were strong and unique for a Belgian, some chewiness in the middle along with port and the cherries I could smell before, finish was a bit dry but also filled with nuts, mostly almonds and cashews, did not change much as it warmed other than the fact it got a little sweeter and the fruits were more noticeable, still some hops lying around in the aftertaste after two years of being in the bottle, nicely balanced and probably will only get better as the years go by

M-Roasty, somewhat sweet, and dry mouthfeel, lots of carbonation for the texture of this beer, medium to full bodied, a little thicker than expected, taste lingered nicely, still lively

D-Could have probably finished the bomber by myself if I forced the issue but a bit heavy, ABV is pretty strong at almost nine as well, smooth though and not too much booze detected

Not one of my favorite Vertical Epics but still good, it is hard to really distinguish what type of beer this has become with almost two years of age under its belt, still extremely roasty though, would drink again and probably will at a Winter Storm in upcoming years, recommended

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12, review from notes.

A: Pours brown with a small off-white head with minimal retention and no lacing.

S: Some red wine like tannins, a bit of cinnamon, chocolate and peppers.

T: A good bit of smoke mixed with caramel, cinnamon, cocoa, and a little bit of dark fruit.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation.

O: Not bad, but nothing special either. It was middle of the road in terms of my 3-12 rankings.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The first in a Vertical Epic tasting - 06 to the 12 back to back, very awesome. Thanks to Cam for this one.

Dark brown body with some clarity there. Beige head is small but retains well.

Scent shows it age a bit, some oxidation and rustiness there, along with spice, yeast, dark fruits.

Taste is an improvement, there is some oxidation here as well but it doesn't really deter. Dark fruits, caramelly malts, musty Belgian yeast, spice, some licorice.

A thinnish mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Solid for the age.

A solid dark Belgian that had held up decently being close to 7 years old. Nothing groundbreaking here but good.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark malty aroma with spicey notes like black pepper. Very fruity aroma that makes me think of plums. Puts me in the mind of Belgian Dubbels but a little less complex.

Deep ruby colored and clear when held up to bright light. Thin but persistant head leaving nice lacing behind.

Flavor is a little all over the place. I get lots of roast malt. Other sips I get fruity fermentation effects. Still other sips I get strong bittering hops. But none of it blends together. Each sip I find myself concentrating on one of these factors instead of perceiving them as part of a whole.

Full bodied with a little bit low carbonation. There's also an alchol warmth that gives away the strength of the beer.

I really do like the beer but it just seems kind of disjointed. Hopefully, with Stone's intention that this be aged, the bottles that I've layed down will develop more complexity and the flavors will meld better. It has potential but right now it drinks kind of "green."

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Photo of blindtiger24
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Obsidian color with a thin mocha head.

S: A bit of plum and rum raisin in the nose, but smells were faint.

T: Lots of plum, raisin, fruit cake flavors, with the fruit sweetness being more apparent than spice.

M: Super juicy and sweet mouthfeel.

O: Not bad, but too much fruit juiciness and lacking in aromas and taste categories.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Number #3 in our night of conquest...on to the review.

A: Poured a dark brown with beautiful hues of cherry-red. Head was there when poured vigorously, but soon disappeared; lacing was weak. 3.0

S: Very prune-like aroma mixed in with spiced malts...perhaps a touch of brown sugar. Alcohol is well hidden.

T: Soy and brown sugar come to mind with the initial sip...along with every proceeding sip thereafter. It's not bad, but I'm not sure it's something I would crave for. Alcohol isn't as well hidden as the aroma indicated and numbs the palate a bit...warms the throat too.

M: Medium body and good carbonation for a three-year old beer.

D: Full of flavor...not particularly easy to drink...but overall good.

Overall: A try it beer. Cheers!

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Photo of KYGunner
3.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Seven year old Six had a murky brownie like darkness with a foamy cap.

The aroma was phenolic alcohol with a moderate raisin scent.

The flavor was nicely surprising as it had a smoky tone of peppercorn, cola and some dried fruit.

The feel is very sprite and effervescent with a superb crispness.

This turned out to be a bit lacking in complexity but a nice drinking beer.

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Photo of Solomon420
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz botella that I bought last week. Drank a bit too cold in the beginning but after the last snifter full when it warmed up a bit more things became apparent with this beer.

A: poured very dark, almost black but when I held it up to the light I could see the edging of the glass to exhibit a very dark red hue. Head fell shortly after its creation, only leaving a small top "cream" layer with some minor lacing along the edges of the Palm snifter.

S: could detect some coffee notes in the aroma, but thats all I could put my finger on for the moment. Perhaps when I drink the second bottle next year I will detect a few more matured tasty smells. For a Strong Belgian Ale, it didnt really have that -OH bite to it, perhaps due to its relatively low AC% (when compared to others in this style).

T: again, here the complexity was not truely there yet, a few years of maturation will bring out the more woody, burned detections. I could taste the malt though, along with some coffee/caramels in there intermingled with a tad small revelation of alcohol...but not overwhelming at all. Age will only help mellow that and make it a bit sweeter as well.

M/D: the carbonation keeps it lighter than it looks in the snifter. As some in this style tend to be much "thicker" tasting. When you drink it you can feel the carbonation in your mouth. I dont know yet if thats a good or bad thing.

Overall, a slightly better than average beer tasting this go around. I imagine the trueness of this beer will become apparent and revealed as the years pass by. I had recently drank a Hertog Jan Grand Prestige that was a 2004 vintage, and being of the same style, really set the mark for me as it was a thicker maltier beer that had more complexity to its taste. I imagine this one to show the same characteristics when in its prime. I look forward to tasting it next year and the following 5-6 years to come. Good thing I bought 10 bottles of it :)

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been aging in the cellar for a little over a year. I remember not caring much for it when it was released but then I didn't have much experience with Belgians at that time. This pours a dark black with and ample light tan head. The smell is estery. The taste is strong spices and licorice and a slight charred feel. I like this better than I did last year but I still have not trained my palate properly to Belgian Strong Dark Ales. Also, there seems to be less medicinal flavors which could be due to age or my palate changing. I will probably drink my remaining bottles every two years

update 03/04/09

smells yeasty and malty, tastes pretty nice, licorice and kind of like a dubbel.

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Photo of Bobikel
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Apperance - Deep, dark, almost stoutlike. A medium head dissipates fairly quickly. Little to no lacing.

Smell - Yeasty breadyness smacks you twixt the eyes, overpowering really. A little pepper, coffee, and just a touch of hop come through with a little more examination.

Taste - Caramel, coffee, and alchohol dominate. Descent bitterness on the tongue, but still quite sweet. Good for a belgian.

Mouthfeel - Thick & syrupy.

Overall - A little dissapointed in this example from one of my favorite breweries. Maybe I'm just not a fan of dark Belgians....

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Photo of Bung
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Stone takeover at Duckworths. From notes.
Dark brown pour, whispy off white head. Little lacing.

Aroma is malty with belgian yeast and dark fruit heavily involved.

Tons of dark red fruits. A puckering midway through is a bit overpowering. Cocoa later and dry finishing with chocolate covered strawberry, cherry.

Mid bodied, no abv really to speak of. Maybe a little overcarbonated, but I tend to think that of the style in general. The puckering sour really hurts the drinkability for me. Doubt I'll see this again, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of kernalklink
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The '06 epic poured a dark brown with minimal head but good lacing. There was nice lightness to the heavy brew, added by the carbonation. A good blend of malts gave the beer a sweet toffee flavor, followed immediately by a slight, spicy hop character. Although the aromas threw me off at first, the flavors rounded out in the end to make a good brew.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had at the Stone Tap Takeover in Charlotte. Served from tap into a tumbler. Poured dark dark brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, hops, and spices. The flavor was of a massive sweet malt, red wine spices, and a subtle hop note. It had a light feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew. My only complaint was that the massive sweet flavor really overwhelmed a lot of the other flavors present and made them quite hard to pick out. Still quite enjoyable once you got over the initial shock of the sweet aspect.

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Photo of rallison
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Relatively malty in the aroma with a fair amount of fruity esters. Slight hints of molasses. Decent but not great smell.

Decent head that diminishes to basically nothingness. Brown body with a reddish tint.

Fruity taste with some toffee/molasses/brown sugar notes. Slightly spicy on the back-end. Slight alcohol presence. Some roast and bitterness. Odd mixture of flavors. I don't think this meshes all that well.

Medium carbonation, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Slightly alcoholic and spicy finish. Ok.

Overall, meh. For the price I paid, not bad. Will this stand up until 2012? Definitely not convinced of that.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good sized light brown head over the dark brown body. Sweet dark fruits and caramel with a nice backing of spices. Seemed a bit overly sweet, also some alcohol came out. Sweet chocolate and dark fruits. Lightly bitter before a dry spicy sweet finish with notes of fruits and alcohol. Seemed a bit mild overall. Pretty thick body and smooth. Good enough drinkability but the flavor didn’t grab me enough to keep me sipping consistently. It got a little boring half way through.

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Photo of JoePat
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown with a kaki head that dissipates pretty quickly leaving some lacing.
Smells malty, with some earthy hops and a little bit of the anise.
Tastes mostly like bitter chocolate, some malt but not very complex.
Pretty average mouthfeel nothing that stands out.
This beer goes down pretty easily but doesn't really make me crave for more.
This was my least favorite of the line up tried tonight.

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Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly viscous, dark chestnut brown color that appears jet black and opaque in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Surprisingly hop forward aroma with an earthy, resinous character followed by roasted malt, dark fruit and zesty spice. Slightly herbal with grassy pine notes followed by pepper, clove, anise and licorice. Sweet, slightly toasted malt backbone with hints of cocoa, caramel, toffee and alcohol. A lot of these notes are faded but they have at least held up, unlike many other entires in this series.

Medium bodies and more complex than expected with a nice balance of sweet malts, zesty spice, resinous hop, dark frui and alcohol. Like the aroma, the flavor retains a lot of hop flavor. Not as complex as when fresh but there is some earthy grass as well as some herbal pine flavor followed by sweet chocolate malt, toffee and caramel. As it warms, dark fruit sweetness comes forward with hints of grape, raisin, currant and other dark berries followed by some alcohol sweetness in the finish. High ABV is well masked though making it easy to drink. It's a bit watered down and the flavors havent completely held up but this is still one of the better beers in this series.

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Photo of cbutova
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes a few weeks back (02/02/13) for all the VE series I could obtain.

A- Poured from the bottle to a pint glass. Very dark brown body with some red around the edges. Nice head for 6.5 years old. The cap is one finger in height with a light tan-toast color and decent retention. A few creamy lace patches.

S- Definite oxidation rustiness but not terribly so. Some spice and caramel, tiny dry roast but hard to pick up overall.

T- Really thinned out and dried out flavor. Slight roast but no real depth to it. Just like a light roast grain husk. Brown toasted malts, raisin spice and some oxidation but not as much as the nose. Some dark fruits.

MF- Thinned out like crazy. Lower end carbonation with somewhat watery feel, not unexpected. Slight warming from alcohol and spicy bitterness.

Solid brown-amber Belgian hybrid, some of this probably due to the age. Not overly affected by age but it shows. Gets better with warmth.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is interesting. So far I haven't been too impressed with any of the Vertical Epic series. I don't know if it's because I haven't had enough bottles to age, or if it's just not my thing. Too bad. I really want to like it more, because I love Stone, but I can't.

Pours to a dark reddish brown color with a thin tan head that recedes to nothing. No lacing.

The smell is of sugary barley malt. Some dark fruity esters. A very subtle noble hop aroma.

Has a dark, almost roasty malt flavor. Sweet with a decent backing bitterness. None of the floral hop flavor from the nose. Almost seems to taste like tannin, which I suppose is my main gripe about it.

Maybe a good 6 years of age would do something about that? I'll probably never know. I have one bottle left, and it'll more than likely end up as trade fodder.

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one blasted my pants off. It was defeintly a little too strong for me which is funny because the 10th and runiation arnt enough. Going to buy another bottle and let that one age. Poured a deep brown/black color with a big white head. Very malty with some nie deep chocolate hints to it. I am going to love to sample this again in a few years.

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Photo of auntfloyd
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22 oz bomber into a St. Bernadus goblet.

Pours a dark, ruby-tinged brown with only the faintest amount of tan head.

Smell is of candy sugar, sweet malt, dark fruits, and belgian yeast.

The flavor is similar: sweet, like a Belgian dark ale should be, with a pleasant hint of spice. Definite malt and dark fruit notes, with a slightly bitter, yeasty finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than is normal for this style, but in my mind, that's a good thing. This is a highly drinkable ale for the style, as it is neither too strong, too thick, nor too sweet.

What to make of this? This is Stone's take on Belgian ales, and it is a good ale, but not a great one. It's a bit surprising to try such a subdued beer from Stone, as they are usually known for being over-the-top, but in a style where high abv and extreme taste is normal, they've produced a somewhat brew remarkable chiefly for its restraint. Don't get me wrong, this is a tasty and quite fine ale, but if you are a fan of Stone's typically unrestrained styles, you might be put off by this; perhaps since BSDAs are already so full of Stone-like qualities, Stone had nowhere to go with this one.

So, in short, I liked this, but it seemed live I've had it several times before. The usual Stone excitement and exuberance just wasn't there this time.

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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.