1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

466 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 466
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 87
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of abfraser
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

abfraser, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of waltonc
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown and red

S: Coffee, dark fruits

T: Sweet, carmel, molasses, bourbon, wood. Very delicious. Reminded me a little bit of a milk stout, actually.

M: Thick body, medium carbonation.

D: I really liked this one a lot, and wish I had more. My favorite of the five vertical epics we had last night.

waltonc, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of slayer3604
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a-pours a suddy one finger head that becomes a light coat on the top of the beer, which fades into a swirl of tiny white bubbles. held a mag light up to it and it was a beautiful deep ruby red!

s-lots of yeasty/bready notes that dominate, but has a nice bit of plum, and rich candi sugar epervesence.

t-huge amounts of sun dried raisen, yeasties, spice, malt, the list goes on, its a very complicated beer.

m-very warm, solid heavy bodied beer with lots of hard spices.

d-not available enough to drink very much of. im getting one more 06 in the mail and thats being saved till 2012

slayer3604, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of scojo
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has aged well. It's mellowed out significantly - drinkability is high. It has a malty taste at first, with very little carbonation at this point. There's some interesting bitterness in the finish. Overall, an above-average BSDA. Recommended.

scojo, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of jamesm7485
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting beer, manged to find some way in the back of the cooler at a hole in the wall place.

It's hard to pinpoint a single color in this beer depending on how you hold it up to the light there is red amber and some dark brown. Absolutely no head but being aged 2 years what do you expect.

The smell is very strange some currants possibly figs cant notice any hop smell?

The taste is very similar to the smell, but fades fast once its in your mouth.

The drinkability is very nice the alcohol isn't noticeable and the taste isnt too over powering.

Glad i got to try this and willl be interesting to see what some more time does.

jamesm7485, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Deuane
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Very dark brown almost black. Subtle hints of deep ruby highlights. Small tan head that reduces to a thin ring leaving spotty lace.

S-Some dark fruits and a bit of spice all poking thru a wafting aroma of subtle smokiness.

T-Deep and rich flavours melding together. Dark fruits, citrus a bit of licorice and even some chocolate. Undertones of faint smoke pervade throughout.

M-Medium-heavy body. Very porter-esque. Incredible smoothness that makes this an absolute treat to drink.

D-Nice, glad to have had the opportunity to have this one. A very interesting take almost a blend between a Belgian Dark and a smoked porter. I rather enjoyed this one.

Deuane, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

7/21/08. Wow, what a great improvement. No carbonation, and that's a minor concession, but all of the truly awful things listed before have mellowed significantly, into a very drinkable BSDA. Rich and full, a bit of spicy complexity, but mostly just a good tasty brew. Minor sweetness offset by a hint of the former leather/charcoal, much more under control and definitely enjoyable. This one has aged very well. Now having said that, though, this one also is 2 years old- I can get a fairly new BSDA from other brewers that are relatively fresh that are just as good- why wait 2 years? But still, enjoyable.

6/23/06 review: 3.5/3/2/3/1.5 Original Scores. OK, I waited a couple of weeks for this to show up in my inland part of southern California. I waited while I read about the excitement of its release and the final reviews once it came out.

I'm sorry, this isn't enjoyable at all to me. It's like chewing on a charcoal briquette. Sharp, smoky, and not enjoyable like a rauchbier. Stale cigar smoke. I'll try it again, because I hope that this improves with age, but now, I can barely drink this stuff.

Not recommended. Maybe it'll be good in a few years.

Dukeofearl, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 rallison
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

rallison, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened a bomber with a couple of friends today. Poured a dark, stout-like, color with a good inch of foam. The aroma was mostly of caramel, chocolate, and some roasted malts. The combination of caramel and chocolate combined to a tootsie-roll candy-like aroma. My friends laughed at me at first with the comments but after I mentioned it they were able to pick it out in the aroma. The flavor was more of the same as the aroma; caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. The mouthfeel was a tad thin with a thin finish as well, some alcohol near the finish but I hoped for a stronger, lingering, flavor in the finish/after-taste. Good beer overall though and I wish I had more bottles to age (I opened this one by mistake thinking it was the 07).

seaoflament, May 26, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
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

Floydster, May 20, 2008
Photo of jslot38
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on May 13, 2008, so its a few years old. Came from the Stone guys at the Lupulin Reunulin, so its been kept well I'd imagine.

This was good, I was more than impressed with the way its held up and aged, as such the numbers reflect that.

Appearance: Dark wood colored body, nice ruby red touches around the sides. Head is a dirty white, almost tan. Nice.

Smell: A bit of port underlies a cherry infused nut smell. Not very strong, but pleasant fruity mix. A bit musty.

Taste: Mellowed out with the age. Notes of cherry, port, a bit of earth ridden hops and nuts round it out.

MF: The two years has mellowed this out on the tongue, very nice.

Drinkability and Notes: Certainly wish there was more than the few ounces of this sample. A pleasure, if you find a bottle lying around pick it up and drink it. I could've drank a bomber, if the ABV let me.

jslot38, May 16, 2008
Photo of jeonseh
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber and poured into my brandy snifterh.

A - Wow this is one dark Belgian that I would say is on the verge of black. It might actually be a very dark plum but I would say that on the whole it is essentially black. There is no light at all getting through this badboy and it has a clean and reflective appearance to it. A small head sits on top throughout and it is only about a 1/4 of a finger in size.

S - smell is a mixture of sweet and tart. I get a smell of black cherry, clove, and pink bubblegum as well. There also seems to be a hint of orange and lemon as well.

T - this is at first rather wheaty and has a certain Belgian yeast. Has a characteristic dark Belgian taste as it has the usual characteristics of a hefe as it is loaded with bubblegum and clove. These really seem to dominate the flavor in this one. There is also a tart cherry taste to it but you can barely notice it as a citrus orange seems to come in and really dominate the flavor profile especially on the back end Within that cherry flavor there is also a of plum as well. There is also a strong hint of black licorice anise as well that gives this one a strong after feeling. Seems to also have a light chocolate note to it as well near the front of it.

MF - The mouth feel reminds me a bit of a weizenbock. At first it has a lot of carbonation that really just attacks the tongue. After that fades away the beer calms down just a bit but not too much. Never really becomes creamy or smooth either as throughout it there is a strong burning and tingly feeling that sits and the mouth and really carries on even way after the beer is gone in the mouth.

D - Overall this is an okay beer as well. I don't really care for having some of the bigger wheat aspects mixed in with the dark Belgian beer. Also the carbonation seems to be a bit much for me as I don't care for how the tingling feeling just cares on forever.This is a nice beer worth trying and it will be interesting to see how this holds up until 12.12.12. The beer did a nice job of hiding the alcohol though which is good.

jeonseh, May 10, 2008
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack open this here puppy for no particular reason.
The pour is nothing special looking but nothing off putting. Very little in the way of head, foam or lacing occurs; that which does is white to offwhite in color.
The scents are pleasant but weak. I tend to expect more bold and striking aromas for this style. Even when on the warmer side the odors are muted. I can pick up some caramelized malts and some dark fruit scents; mostly dark raisins. Just a hint of phenols in there.
Flavors are much more pronounced and well developed. Pretty authentically Belgian in flavor profile except lacking a bit of distinctive yeast presence. Deep, dark fermented fruit flavors with raisin and dark cherry being the strongest. Some bitterness either from toasted malts, or hops, or both. Sweetened coffee things are going on, maybe with a splash of grenadine. Some cola-like notes linger here and there in the quality of the sweetness. The bitterness does well to balance out those components.
The feel on the palate has just the right combination of carbonation and smoothness for me. The bubbles keep some of the cloying away that makes way for a soft, pleasurable finish.
Very tasty stuff. I kinda wish Stone produced something like this in a regular basis. or maybe even a seasonal one.... something between their Smoked Porter and their Russian Imperial stout.
Good sauce and tasty juice. Fans of big, Belgian dark ales are likely to enjoy.

ommegangpbr, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my least favorite of the vertical epics by far. That being said its still a decent beer, and hopefully it will get better.

Its also the darkest of the VEs. It is almost black in color with little or no light shinning through. There was some head when poured from the tap but it disapeared and left nothing behind. There were plenty of bubbles coming up though.

The smell was of dark malts and roasted malts as well as dark fruits. There was an odd flavor in there that I can't put my finger on. It might be some spice that they put in the beer.

The flavors didn't mix very well in my opinion but some of them were good individually. There were some dark malts in there and a little roasted malt. There was some fruitiness and I'm wondering if they dumped some dark candi sugar in there, I guess I could just go check the recipe online.

The beer had a medium/heavy body and was a little dry. That part was nice, I just wish I could have enjoyed actually drinking it more than I did.

t0rin0, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of k3n
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.

A: Deep brown color, shot through with deepest red when held to light. Mocha 1-finger head lays down quickly, leaving little lace.

S: Caramel. Figs.

T: Some roasted malt qualities. Sweet maltiness and candi sugar. Dark fruits. Boozy (still!).

M: Thick. Stone is very good at making the "thick" beers. =P

D: A great sipper for cold weather.

k3n, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of beermanbrian
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have about 6 of these in the cellar and the wife wanted to have one tonight. Realized i didn't review it yet.

Dark copper almost opaque color with an off white head. Not much head but with 18 months on it that isn't a surprise. A thin cap hangs around but the lacing is minimal. Smell of dark fruits, raisins and plums mostly. Also some nice roasted malt and a chocolate finish. From what i can remember the hops has mellowed significantly letting the other flavors come to the front. Some bitterness kicks in with the taste but is quickly hidden by a little alcohol burn. Very heavy solid brew. A nice winter sipper that warms the belly on a cold night.

beermanbrian, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of Boto
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber: This one pours an extremely dark, opaque brown. It is the darkest Dubbel that I have ever seen. There was a small tan head on it that drops away quickly. The aroma is complex. Some chocolate and smokiness comes to the top. There are some fruits and hops down in there also, but it is hard to distinguish individual notes. The flavor is complex also. A full richness, with a bit of sweetness. Some chocolate and fruits come to the top, as well as some hidden bitterness. A wonderful brew.

Boto, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of sfoley333
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a delirium tremens snifter. Poured a brownish cola black color with a off tan head with good retention. Smells of raisin, prune, yeast, and malt. Taste is Herbal with anise, smoke, prune, but with a good malt compostion but diffent alcohol warmth on the finish. The mouthfeel is a little overcarbonated but in time will lessen. Worth putting away for another 5 years.

sfoley333, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of Melchizedek
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

Melchizedek, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of bruachan
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this has been sitting around since its release so i thought i would liberate it (don't worry there's another in the cellar

it's nicely carbonated, which maintains a thick head for sometime, and when it finally does descend the glass has a souvenir left along itself

the aroma is is of dark fruit, but clean. floral hops and some roastiness. it smells a bit like a baltic porter fermented cool with a belgian yeast. there's some spice in there, as well: coriander. and tastes exactly like a baltic porter fermented cool with a belgian yeast. more spice in the flavor as well, and it does dovetail fairly well with hop bitterness

in the end, though. it is a porter in a belgian's clothing. i don't have anything averse to that in and of itself, but this just doesn't seem too imaginitive. perhaps i'm being harsh...

bruachan, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of dfillius
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass on 9/22/07

A: Pours an opaque dark brown. 1/2 finger of head which quickly subsides.

S: Molasses, dark bread and not much more . I think this one is another victim of my warm cellar :(

T: Pretty tasty though. Alcohol taste is not subtle though. Red grape flavor quickly followed by a dry, woody, barrelly bitter flavor. Medium hop bitter aftertaste. Hops hover somewhere between an APA and an IPA. Dry, especially on the middle rear of my tongue. It seemed to be picking up flavors of things I was eating at the time: cucumbers, then raisins...

D: I couldn't finish one 22oz bottle

dfillius, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of beerphilosopher
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

beerphilosopher, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice head and good retention

Smell is of roasted barley. Belgian funkiness comes out as the beer warms

Taste at first is stout like with a lot of roasted barley characteristic. Nice hop balance. Nicely balanced beer with faint belgian funk after wards. Belgian funkiness becomes much more pronounced as the beer warms. Tastes like a belgian RIS

Not hard to drink for an 8.86% abv dark belgian. I will cellar this and try it again in 09 or 10 and 12-12-12

jasonjlewis, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours about like Coca-Cola. One finger of light mocha head. It has a creamy smooth top that I wish could stay for a bit longer, but it is not to be.

Aroma - moderate aromas of smoke, toasted malts, bubble gum, and root beer. A slight Belgian yeast in there at times with some brown sugar and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste - a diversity of flavors. Sweet malts, both roasty and smoky. Yeast, anise, figs, chocolate. The alcohol is quite well-hidden. As the palate adjusts, the flavors that jump out at me the most are anise, chocolate, and the smoked malts. Lots of potential for flavor development with age. Finishes dry with a charred edge and anise.

Mouthfeel - solid carbonation level, about medium in body.

Drinkability - an enjoyable beer from Stone; looking forward to another sampling down the road...

brewdlyhooked13, Sep 13, 2007
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.