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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

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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 DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With the Vertical Epic series coming to a close, it felt appropriate to to do a small flight of them at Tustin Brewing. The 6-6-06 was the first of the series that I bought, not long after I turned 21, but I eventually sacrificed that bottle at a tasting. Here's my second change, and I made sure not to squander it. On to the beer:

Ink black colored with a short lived head which turns into a few whips of foam. Somehow, the lacing it gives off is quite good. The nose brings the aroma of molasses, dates, grapes, and a strong (yet pleasant) dose of oxidation. Despite a sweet nose, the taste is a yo-yo between sweet and sour, leaning more sour. Was it supposed to be like this at its release back in 2006? But since I'm taking notes of it now, at the end of 2012, I only care about the present state. And it's big fun! Moderately acidic, yet it packs a punch of sourness. Soured white grapes spring to mind, complimented with dates and vague fruitiness. It's medium bodied, with a low level of carbonation.

Better late than never. Gee, did I just type that in my previous review? Even after 6 years of hiding, 06.06.06 is a great ale.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Bighuge
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an oil-black with dark brown hues in direct light. 2" mocha brown head that dissipated to a thin amount of lacing around the edge. Very Imperial stout looking.

Smells of very sweet malt, herbal earthiness, slight roasted coffee scent. The Belgian yeast really permeates.Not to Overly aromatic IMO.

Much like a hearty stout with herbal and hoppy bites. The "twists and turns" it promises on the bottles painted lable is totally correct IMO. Tasting Dark coffee(stout like) then a Dry hop bite (AIPA like) THEN...the yeast brings on the Belgian Abby-ish spices.

This is a dark brew, that is light body, the legs are reduced to mear thin lacing within minutes, hence a thick and substantial feel but dry and rather light on the palate for such a complex brew. Very Interesting! and the 8.66% ABV is very well hidden.

This Brew is a true Gender...I mean..."taste bender". Displaying many different effects, taking on the taste's of at least three styles.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Truh
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Saw the sign of the beast with this one on 6/21/2006. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in an Arrogant Bastard shaker glass.

Very thin initial head, maybe 1/8-inch, that quiets to some wood shavings, largely piled on the edges. Fine sheet of stick as the pour goes further down. Hue is medium to light brown, darker at its core, with not a whole lot of noticeable action happening; fairly quiet. The nose is difficult to determine; some rock candy, caramel, charcoal, sugar cane, and the cathedral vault vacuousness that accompanies Belgian-style ales of this type. Dark fruits invade the tongue, composed of prunes, raisins, some fruity craisins, smoky apple wood (like barbecue chips). A tangy sweetness pulls through at the tail end, slightly sour.

Good stuff. Wonder what it will be like six and a half years from now.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a trace head and no foam lingering. Aroma is a rich toffee malt shake. Hints of light milk chocolate. Taste is a better developed, rich toffee taste. Some toasty brown sugar and creme milk with a little spiciness at the finish. Very smooth brew. Easy to drink for a higher alcohol beer.Went very well with roast beef, mashed potatos, mushroom gravy, and blaukraut.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!!

Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of winky13
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jpaltan
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite dark, somewhat opaque. thin head that leaves little residual lacing. smell is nice, with hints of dark fruits and candy. taste is plum and a bit sweet, but really nicely balanced. mouthfeel is silky and smooth. this beer is almost too drinkable. it is rather unfortunate that this isn't in stone's usual line-up as this beer was quite nice.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my Duvel tulip glass. The ale appears a nearly opaque dark crimson brown color with two fingers of ecru foam. The head lingers for a few minutes before settling down to a thin layer. Nose and flavor consist of rich toasted and caramelized malts, star anise, bittersweet chocolate, spicy Belgian yeast, cocoa dusted raisins, prune notes, pleasantly bitter hops. There is still a bit of alcohol, but it's burn is more than tolerable. A little lighter in body than I was expecting with ample carbonation. Tasty and complex, I'd say this VE is aging nicely. If you have a few bottles, by all means, enjoy one soon.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark cola definitely brown in nature although could border a black tone on the color spectrum tan head forms and leaves fine specks of lacing scattered around my chalice. Aroma has anise upfront just like my Italian grandma's cookies dark powdered cocoa and full herbal grassy notes some what of a woody toasty nut finish interesting. Flavor contains chocolate richness some doughy bread and coffee notes raisins tart apples alcohol finish with more of that signature anise black licorice note. Mouthfeel is creamy soothing alcohol burn medium body soft carbonation glides on palate. Drinkability is definitely intriguing and challenging to the senses some age would do this well as it was designed for it, I'm sure I'll have at least a few more bottles.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear dark, make that black, with a brownish tall head which lasted very well to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity, strongly so as it was poured. Chocolate was present as was a dirty and earthy character. A bit of peppery spice was notable and as the head fell the fruitiness did as well. Some dark fruits were present and their intensity increased as the beer warmed. The fruits were raisins with some characteristics of prunes.

The flavor was earthy with a strong presence of tinny and very lightly spicy hops and yeast. The strongest flavor present was chocolate and that was coupled with dark caramel and some character of raisins and prunes. Spices were present but were mostly muted, pepper was the most prevalent flavor.

The finish was dry with a nice dark fruit and caramel character and peppery hops lasting into the aftertaste without much chocolate presence. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation and a creaminess to the mouthfeel. The warming after consumption was very high and reminded you that this one might have a bit of a punch. A nice Belgian Porter (if there is such a thing).

22 ounce bottle.

Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dense 1" tan head over the clear dark burgundy brew. Head fades slowly, with reasonable amounts of sticky lacing. Aroma is spicy sweetness. Taste is a triumverate of malt sweetness, dark fruitiness, and spicy goodness. Mouthfeel seems like it could be a bit thicker and smoother, and drinkability is pretty good. Happy with this one, and seems to me it should last for awhile.

Photo of EPICAC
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I purchased two bottles of Stone's 2006 installment in their Vertical Epic series at Downtown Wine & Spirits recently. One for now, one for later. I let this warm to around 50ºF and served it in my Westvleteren Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown with ruby tints. The beer is topped by a moderate, fluffy, brown head that thins to a persistent patchy film.

Smell: Very rich and malty. The aroma has notes of sugar, sourness, peppery spice and a whiff of alcohol. All of these are secondary to strong notes of raisins and dates.

Taste: Lightly sweet upfront with some toasty malt flavors. This is followed by the aroma, with tart raisins and dates evident. The finish is a pleasant mix of peppery and alcoholic spiciness, along with a low, but lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the medium side of full-bodied, low carbonation, with a smooth, silky texture.

Drinkability: Quite nice, not as cloying as some other Belgian Stong Dark Ales I've had.

Overall: This is a well-balanced beer. It has all of the sweetness and spiciness of a Belgian Dark, with a nice bitterness, none of which overpower the others.

Photo of MarkBeer
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought three in June of 2006, kept them in the closet. I should have broken one out right then but as the year went by I forgot how many I bought.

what with the '07 coming out real soon - in some areas, these Stone's beers arrive faster than in others - I had no choice but to dig into my closet and break out the one from the previous year.

poured into a frosty mug. the body is extremely DARk with an ample size of foamy head at the top.

the maltiness made this beer stand out. can't smell nuthin by malt and more malt. wow.

now to taste...

I was expecting some bitterness but much to the lack of dismay, the '06 Vertical is a smooth ride. it brings out a good deal of malt and more malt, some with a hint of chocolate, but a good portion of maltiness.

however, the aftertaste is a different story. seems there's been a bit of some sugar added to this brew.

but I don't care - the maltiness trumps it.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bottle, poured in glass chalice

Appearance: Brownish-black color. Thick lacing that hangs around for a good while.

Smell: slight dark chocolate, but mostly wheat and a woody aroma

Taste: As with most of Stone's lineup, theres nothing mild here, but behind the strong taste, theres lots of subtle flavors. Is it wheat, burnt nut, clove or anise, maybe coffee? Hard to put ones finger on all the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying! Makes you feel like your really drinking something with some substance. Slight alcohol tingle warms ya up and makes your mouth water more than a bit a few minutes lates

Drinkabilty: Another good one from Stone. I could sip on this one all night. I'd like to put a bottle of this aside to see how it compares...dont think i could resist opening em though.

Photo of abfraser
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3rd in line

A- Dark brown, nearly black with really good lacing.

S- Sugar, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate.

T: Smooth sugary maltiness with good hints of chocolate, coffee, clove

M: Creamy, little carbonation, medium to full bodied.

D- Pretty tasty. Wish I had more

Tie for first with the 2005. Sounds like Belgian strong dark ales are the way to go.

Photo of lou91
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well someone likes Belgian Strong Dark Ales at Stone since three out of five are in this style. I looked at my last two reviews of the 05 and 03 to see what I thought of the other interpretations and this one was similar but not the same. This one looked great as did the others with the dominant Belgian candi sugar on the nose in a dark brown package as expected. Among the three this one was the best one fresh. The body was bigger and the taste was spot on fresh – sweet, malty with a hop bitterness and even a saltiness that all work well. I just had a chocolate sprinkled with sea salt and this reminded me of this salty/sweet combo.

Photo of joecast
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light tanned head forms about 2cm thick and settles to an attractive lace. deep mahogany and red with little visible carbonation. minimal lacing on the glass.

aroma seems dominated by dark plum and prune. some yeast character in the background accompanied by darker crystal/chocolate malt. some clove like you would get in a dark wheat. definitely has that aspect to it. pretty complex. not sure if it totally works for it as its like its two or three different beers just by the smell.

more dark fruit and malt in the flavor. spices came out for a bit after some pumpkin pie (mmm pumpkin pie) though not sure if it was the beer or the pie. either way it was nice. alcohol is very well hidden, though it does reveal itself once the bomber is finished. just enough belgian yeast character to make you know its not a generic neutral american strain, but not so much that it distracts from the rest of the beer.

smooth mouth feel gives the beer enough substance to satisfy. certainly an easy drinker, but one that can be done slowly. plenty of flavor to keep the drinker busy for a long while.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone's 06.06.06 Vertical Epic pours a very dark brown, practically black, into the glass. A creamy tan head forms on top befure it slowly dissolves to a thick ring around the surface. The foam leaves a few spots of lace behind as it disappears. A rich roast malty aroma and notes of licorice, brown sugar and alcohol greets you before each sip. The smell reminded me of a cola.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is rather dry with a nice moderate carbonated fizz that covers the palate. The flavor is a wonderful combination of roasted malt, coco, and coffee. There's hints of spice (pepper, allspice?) blended in. The spice doesn't dominate the flavor like other Belgian style beers. It finishes with some sweet malt and brown sugar. Once gone, the coffee and coco flavors linger for a while.

This is one easy to drink tasty brew with nice roast malt flavor. If you can find a bottle definitely give it a try.

Photo of portia99
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Dark mahogany color with a small finger of dark tan head with decent staying power and leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Continuing the trend of these VE beers, the body is clear but has lots of very fine suspended particles throughout.

S - Spicy anise, alcohol, dark roasted malts, molasses

T - Anise, bitter chocolate, molasses, light hop bitterness, cloves. Very well balanced - malt hasn't taken over this one yet - the hops still do there job in offseting the sweetnes and making this a smooth drinker.

M - Light to medium body, low/mid-level carbonation, very good balance with a nice hoppy bite

O - Pretty consistently picked among the top 3 of the series in my tasting group. Still a very well balanced beer with good complexity and a nice spicy complement of flavors. Paired well with the homemade Belgian spice bread we had along with it.

Photo of Fugazme
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in L.A. back in September... made TWO flights home to Nebraska... no damage!

Dark, dark brown... Nice, tight/tan, 1/4" head with awesome retention and great lacing.

Aroma is heavy on the yeast with tons of bready/bakery notes... oh yeah. Raisiny... figgy... licorice... subtley woody and smokey.

Mouthfeel is slightly dry and quite smooth through the middle.

Flavor has some wood hints with lots of malty goodness... alcohol presents itself upfront with yeast all over... even after the swallow.

Overall it is nice... I'm too impatient to let this one sit... maybe I should have bought two!

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