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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

464 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 464
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 86
Gots: 113 | 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:
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 added by: Todd on 06-05-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 464 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluejacket74
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about a half-inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. The aroma is pretty nice, it smells like dark fruit (prunes, raisins), bittersweet chocolate, Belgian yeast, brown sugar, caramel and anise. Taste is similar to the aroma, there's bittersweet chocolate, plums, anise and caramel, along with some hops that come out in the finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit silky with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and enjoyable to drink. I think this beer has aged well, it's drinking good right now.

bluejacket74, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

Pours a dark ruby brown in color. A head formed on the pour, but was gone not too long after. Smell is very dark, ripe, juicy fruits and some black licorice. Taste is along the same lines, but with more of the licorice flavor coming through. Perfect amount of carbonation and wonderful creaminess on the mouthfeel. This one has suredly stood up to the test of time. Good beer.

FtownThrowDown, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

Poured into a glass chalice.

Pours very dark brown with a very thin head that becomes a lasting swirling patch with a thick white ring along the edges.

The smell is of spiced toasted bread with sharp alcohol notes.

The taste is of roasted, earthy grains, anise, and slightly smoky, cedar. The flavors are blended, but each sip seems to emphasize a different one. The malt has a barley sweetness and a sharp wheat crispness. Spiced yeast gives it a zest. It has a long, dry, fairly bitter finish. The alcohol notes come through to give it a "sipping" quality. The body is on the light side of medium. Very rich, complex and unique.

It has a certain rawness to it that will probably mellow with time. (The label says to wait until after 12/12/12 - but, too tempting to wait that long...) The flavors make it enjoyable though the feel is a bit harsh.

A delicious, unique, complex brew.

jwc215, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

Appearance: pours a brownish black color with a thick 2" head that lasts a long time. The head builds after the pour is complete. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: wheat, wood, yeast, and hint of dark chocolate.

Taste: the wheat is quite noticeable here, along with some chocolate, pepper, prunes, yeast, and a overall woody and bready character. Bitterness is definitely noticeable, alcohol less noticeable.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. The aftertaste is long on the flavor components. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkabilty: quite good. This is a good brew that doesn't need to age but is quite tasty in its young days. Nice brew.

Gavage, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

Big thanks to ClockworkOrange for sharing this bottle on 11/13/10. After recently having this on tap, wow what a difference and a seemingly completely different beer. It has held up much better in this bottle than the draft version.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a clear dark brown color with a bit of ruby clarity. A tan head clings close to the rim of the glass and spotty lacing appears with a bit of leggy patches.

This brew smells of dark fruit with a bold presence of alcohol. Some hints of a molasses like sweetness is present before the onset of some dark fruity chocolate notes. The alcohol smells a bit fusel instead of the belgian type of aroma I was expecting but still it is deep and enjoyable.

The taste includes some alcohol warmth right upfront with a slight belgian yeasty flavor. There is a dark sweetness present almost like molasses with a bit of a smoky aspect that turns a bit dry on the back end with the alcohol coming back into play. There are bitter herbal hops left lingering in the mouth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. The alcohol is right out in the open and very noticeable but it is fairly drinkable considering the other flavors present. This would have no problem hanging on for a few more years. Quite a big difference between this experience and having it on tap. After having this brew on tap I somewhat lost interest in seeking out and trying the other vertical epics, this experience put some interest back into it for me.

stakem, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

A - this ale pours very dark, with slight ruby highlights, with a thin chocolate milk colored head, to dark to ascertain the presence or rate of carbonation

S - a delightfully sweet malty aromam, the fruity sweet esthers (this is gonna sound weird) sort of amalgamated into a strawberry-banana smoothie aroma (you know the Dannon ones), a slight spiciness, seems like ginger, is in the background

T - hmmm, a complex taste, lets see, its hard to separate, definite spicines, like anise and/or ginger, but all the meanwhile a nice sweet background, definite fruit tastes that are hard to pick out (plum that previous reviewers have mentioned seems accurate), as my second glass warms almond or amaretto flavors emerge as well, plus the alcohol taste is also prevalent

M - nice and smooth, well balanced, aside from the alcohol prevalence this is feels very nice

D - again, except for the alcohol taste, very drinkable, that does not detract from the beer overall though

this is my initiation into the Vertical Epic series, so if anyone wants to trade me the others, lemme know

sinstaineddemon, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of BillyB
4.1/5  rDev +3%

A- Dark brown to black. Almost opaque with a thin tan head.

S- Excellent aromas of dark fruits,roasty malt, cedar, anise and other spices.

T- Excellent balance of deep, rich barley and spicy, floral wheat. Nice hop bitterness rounds out the taste profile. Dark fruits; Raisins, plums.

MF- Medium bodied despite a high gravity. Slight alcohol warmth.

D- Overall a good dark belgian strong or maybe a dubble(?).

BillyB, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Appearance: Pours a cola black with a small head that fades and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Smells to me like Birch beer soda with a splash of red syrup, cherry, licorice, yeast and dark brown sugar (maybe a drop of dark Karyo syrup. Beside the sweet candy aromas there was also a spicy yeast and grain attribute that kept this beer from becoming cloying.

Taste: This beer poke prods and prickles with spicy sugars zippy flavors that dance and spin on the taste buds. Yeasty spices with dark fruits, black licorice, molasses and plenty of acidity keep the mouth very busy.

Mouthfeel: The texture is very fizzy like a cola and spicy with yeast and alcohol.

Drinkability: Fantastically but it is not gentle. This is not a beer for the meek of palate. The acidity and yeasty spicy, the boozy alcohol dry bite, make this a beer for sipping by any definition. Obviously Vertical Epic is designed with the idea of cellaring. I do think this beer will mellow nicely with age.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Consumed on 12.26.2009.

Poured a very dark brown with a decently-sized head, especially given the age. The smell was of chocolate, Belgian yeast, roasted malt, and hints of dark fruit. The taste is really dominated by the chocolate flavor of the malt, with a bit of roasted characteristics, as well as some lingering Belgian yeast, especially in the aftertaste. Not a bad beer at all, and I look forward to trying it again in 2012.

Thorpe429, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of kmo1030
4.1/5  rDev +3%

deep, dark rich looking brown with thick tan head that fades to a ring with film.
the smell contains chocolate covered banana, clove, licorice, spicy alcohol, prune, rootbeer, cigar, and candied fruit... in no particular order. very complex, and enticing.
the taste is sweet and very similar to the aroma, with a little bit of bitterness towards the back. there is a little bit of heat at the finish, which is almost necessary to contrast to the sweetness
the mouthfeel is pretty light considering the taste. with a mellow relatively delicate carbonation.
just like the last couple years of VEs, this one also tastes young and to me will obviously benefit from a couple years under it's belt. certainly more than worth a taste now though, it's a good beer as is.

kmo1030, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of johnnnniee
4.1/5  rDev +3%

I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy deep garnet color with a smallish off white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is sweet caramel, chocolate, roast and cinnamon with a light woody aroma.The flavor follows the aroma quite well. Sweet and sugary with caramel, chocolate, and cocoa with hints of spice and fruit. The finish is fairly dry, but leaves a long lingering chocolate and roast bite on the palette. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet mouthfeel. I liked this one quite a bit.

johnnnniee, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Has to be among the most anticipated release of a beer. Every year, this beer offers many suprises. This year's is not different. Large amount of sweetness, tartness, fruitiness, and luster jumps out immediately...and I haven't even poured it into a glass yet. The beer pours a deep, dark, purple, ruby hue and releases a dense brown-ish head that stands the durration perfectly. Decorated with pepery spices and sprinkles. Aromas seem very complex with an abundance of caramelized malt sweetness, and a heavy dosage of every spice known to mankind. Tastes even better. Big on the sweetness, but not overly thick. Spices compliment the belgian tartness very well without distraction. Fruity with all dark, dehydrated fruits from cherries to prunes to licorice to black berries... Alcohols are assertive all along the way, becoming a bit fusal in the end. Almost a caugh syrup flavor and feel. The body is full, rich, and bold. Coats the mouth with a bready, velvety layer that I find pleasant, then cut through with the alcohols and tartness. Expectibly (because of its youth), the beer is a bit harsh on the alcohols and hop character, but is sure to meld in the years to come. In fact, I was surprised the beer did not taste more 'green' than it did. Father time will be very kind to this beer.

BEERchitect, Jul 01, 2006
Photo of Iguana
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Appearence - Poured a dark brown/ruby with a medium sized head. Looks pretty good thusfar.

Smell - I get toasted brown sugar, hints of banana, and a bit of ripened fruit. Quite pleasent.

Taste - Interesting, I am getting toasted brown sugar again, but a nice hop presence in the background adding some bitterness. Rather unique.

Mouthfeel - Pretty good, bit of carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste, and a nice lingering sweetness.

Drinkability - Pretty tasty beer, not the best I have had of the style, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. This beer is at least worth a try, and worth getting and putting a few away for a couple years.

Iguana, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +3%

poured from the 22 oz. bottle to a goblet:

A: Deep brown with tinges of copper/burgundy at the edges. Thin off-white head with a bit of lacing.

S: Heady smell that's dark and toasty, Belgian yeasts, clove, spice, baked bread ... my first sniff reminded me off the baking semolina dough at a favorite local pizzaria. Noticed some alcohol, too. Complex.

T: Not quite as challenging as the smell, but definitely good flavors. Lots of fruit and noticeable alcohol presence. Sweet & malty initially but a more bitter coffee/chocolate-like finish.

M: Creamy but a little clingy with a lingering bitterness. Pretty heavily carbonated

D: A very good beer, one that will improve with time I'm sure. I enjoyed sipping this one but actually didn't finish the whole bottle in one sitting.

msubulldog25, Jun 27, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Dark mahogany. Thin cramy light brown head. Lacing is moderate and comes in rings. A nose with some similar traits to a good dunkelweizen. Dark malts. A little molasses. Clove and banana. But ALSO, some of that nice belgian yeastiness. Doughy and bready. I like the nose. Interesting flavor up front. Dry cedar like woodiness. A little yeastiness in the background. A subtle acrid "barrel-like" tannic bite. Bitterness is present. Almost like a tobacco leaf bitterness. The body is light-medium or so. Lightly carbonated. Alcohol is way in the background. But a bitterness lingers. Not offensively....just there.

Bighuge, Jul 15, 2006
Photo of jaasen64
4.1/5  rDev +3%

On-tap at Lord Hobo's Vertical Epic Event in Boston. Part of the Flight "B" (06, 07, 08). 5oz serving in a flight glass.

A- Dark cherry reddish brown slightly translucent around the edges with about a quarter of a finger of creamy beige light mocha head with decent retention (definitely the best head out of the series so far).

S- Cedar, some light peppery spices, chocolate, cocoa, some very light dark fruits, fairly aromatic.

T- Dark chocolate, cedar, some light spicey pepper (nowhere near as much spice as the 03), finishes with a dark chocolate cocoa aftertaste that lingers. Cedar definitely adds a hint of roastiness and blends well with the cocoa.

M- Medium bodied, low carbonation, very smooth, easy drinking.

O- This was my favorite beer of the series up to this point. There was nice complexity and the beer held up very well with age. I loved the mix between the roastiness, chocolate, cocoa, and cedar aspects of the beer. All held up nicely and contributed a nice quality to the beer.

jaasen64, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

2006 properly cellared bottle opened in 2012, poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours an opaque dark brown with mahogany highlights at the edges. Nice fine, half finger tan head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of lightly oxidized sweet malt, dark dried fruit, slightly sour. Flavor is nutty dark malts and dried fruit with the expected oxidation. Very rich malts, reminiscent of a well aged old ale. Body has matured to a medium, creaminess that is very pleasant. The oxidation was very evident on the first sip, but as this ale opened up, the more complex fruit, malt, toasted malt and light Belgian spicing flavors have come through; no sign of the light aromatic sourness in the taste. I started the series with 08, so I had to buy an aged bottle of the 2006 vintage, and I liked this so much I wish I had aged a few myself. Wow, Stone really knows what they're doing.

LiquidAmber, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Appearance: Poured into a goblet. Like other reviewers have said, pours very, very dark. I had a bottle of 05.05.05 last year, and don't remember it being nearly as dark in appearance, but that might just be memory fading. Very thin head which quickly dissipates. Very little lacing upon swirling.

Smell: Really good aroma. A very yeasty smell, with a hint of sharp alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate. Cloves. Kiwi.

Taste: A sweet, very drinkable brew. Again, some estery notes, kiwi in particular. Bittersweet chocolate, again. Cloves, some general spices I'm not familiar with (anise?). A little dry upon swallowing. Very little alcohol burn, but it's there. Overall, however, very drinkable, and perhaps slightly less complex or pleasurable than the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Again, a little dry when you swallow, but overall very smooth, very little carbonation, only slighty syrupy.

Drinkability: A great brew. Like most belgian styles I've had from American craft beer makers, not quite a Belgian, but always a very interesting take on the style. Stone does it better than most others, I'd say.

RidiculedDisplay, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured a hazy brown, thick tan head forms, sticks around, nice lacing. Smell is sweet, toffee, anise, some butter, spices, little bit of alcohol, pretty complex. Taste is sweet and toffeeish up front, anise and chocolate, some yeasty spiciness, alcohol in the finish, more anise. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied, very well attenuated, low carbonation. Nice, interesting flavour profile, kept me interested. Thanks biegaman!!

Viggo, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
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.

bjohnson, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of winky13
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Bought this at Stone's special 80's growler fill on Sat night. Nice dark color. Almost as dark as the IRS 08 I also bought via growler. Smell: very pleasant dark fruit smell, with spicy belgian notes. Taste: raisin, maybe prune with belgian spice. Noticeable sweetness very nicely balances the light bitterness of hops. Mouthfeel: medium weight, not too highly carbonated. This may be because I drank this a few nights after buying in Escondido. Very drinkable beer that opens up well after warming up.

winky13, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Scored a bottle at the Spinnerstown Hotel tonight. Ordered one as my final beer after dinner. The beer poured out as a deep brown colored brew with a fizzy tan colored head on it. The head settles into just a thing ring around the glass. The smell of the beer is malty and has some Belgian yeast on the nose. There's also some molasses, brown sugar and booze aromas. The taste is a little earthy, lightly roasted and some molasses as well. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected, there was still a good amount of carbonation too. Overall I always wanted to try the 666 version of the vertical. I'm very pleased to have filled that little gap in my chest with some of this brew.

Knapp85, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of tonistruth
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.

tonistruth, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Opened this one after 6 months in the fridge

Poured a dark black, opague. Head diminished quickly. Smells strongly of roasted malts, mixed with some hops. Taste, dried fruit, chocolate/coffee with a hop bckground. Finishes up with an alcohol heat and some chalk. This is a sipper. A nice, nice beer

sleazo, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of ChillMike
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a rich mahogany color with a decent sized tan head that doesn't leave much lacing. Not too strong of a smell, but I get scents of bubblegum, malts, caramel and chocolate. Wow a flavor burst of craziness! I’m first hit with a taste of chocolate, then onto bubblegum followed by a nice roasted coffee flavored malt then ends with a slight bitter bubblegum taste (although that sounds gross it’s actually very nice) I’m very impressed with this Stone brew.

ChillMike, Jun 13, 2006
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.