Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

307 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 307
Hads: 478
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 8.84%
Wants: 83
Gots: 123 | FT: 13
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 307 | Hads: 478
Photo of cjacobsen
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a glass

The beer poured dark. The head was light but stuck around throughout.

The smell was heavy on roasted malt. It wasn't too complex but that is where the smell differed from the taste.

The taste was of roasted malt and some sort of earthy tones. Oak and hints of raison and maybe some chocolate. Its tough to think about the taste of it now and how it would compare the how it tasted back in 2006 when it was fresh off the line.

The mouthfeel was that of a stout and a dark brown ale.

Definitely a drinkable beer and goes great with grilled steak and pork. (598 characters)

Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance:

Popped the cap on this vintage bottle that was a great extra from my buddy Greg. Slight amount of carbonation gas seeping out with not much of a hiss. Poured into my basic snifter and the colors comes off a deep ruby red / brownish that is surprisingly clear and some light is trying to poke through the other side. I was left with a half inch thick cream colored head that hung around for a while as I sipped away. As I give a small swirl the viscosity is medium leaving some legs on the walls.

Smell:

Lots of sweet brown sugar, burnt toffee,oxidation, some wet cardboard notes. Raisins, faint bananas, light chocolate, cranberries, some some yeasty phenolic undertones. Nothing to complex here pretty standard Belgian ale.

Taste:

Holding up better than I would have guessed, pretty thin on the mouthfeel, light carbonation, lots of plums and figs. Reminds me of a oatmeal raisin cookie, malty sweetness. cherries,rum, and no real hop presence. Very long dry finish. Not the best of the VE series but definitely not the worst. (1,044 characters)

Photo of berkey
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 10/31/09.

Pours a very dark brown, near black color. Takes a robust pour, but I managed to coax up a medium sized tan head. Retention, however, is quite poor.

Smells of Belgian yeast, chocolate, and dark fruit. Not bad but I'm picking up some soy sauce in there that has me a little concerned.

More dark fruit, hints of plum and fig specifically. Soy sauce character not as bad as I feared but still a factor. More of the chocolate perceived on the aroma rounds out the aftertaste. Virtually no hops detected. Seems to get sweeter with stronger chocolate and some molasses notes as it warms. Medium thickness, very low carbonation. Average drinkability.

Overall not bad for an three and a half year old American beer. I get the impression Stone's mastery of Belgian yeast is improving as the 7 and 8 are aging quite a bit better. (844 characters)

Photo of Onibubba
2.87/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Do you like black licorace? If you do, please disregard my negative comments, and enjoy a beer made for you. Pours black without much of a head. Strong smells of burnt sugar, cough syrup and licorace from the anise. Taste is along those same lines, only more amped up. For me, the licorace taste was too overwhelming and repugnant. I could not finish a glass, let alone the bottle. Mouthfeel was average, but the downfall to the drinkability lies soley with the taste. (468 characters)

Photo of nickss
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a chalice.

Extremely dark, coffee brown with almost no head despite a vigourous pour. Whatever head there was quickly disipates.

Beautiful yeasty aroma. Bubblegum, citrus and rich fruits swarm in the nose. Quite nice.

The taste is... well... odd. Yeast dominates the flavour, with little else prevailing. A dry, astringent citrus is barely perceptable. Lots of malt... interesting... not my favourite.

Moderately carbonation, and nice and thick. Very chewy... nice in this dimension.

Moderately drinkable, but I think a couple of years in the cellar (as Stone intended) would do this one some good. Im just impatient =( (653 characters)

Photo of beerphilosopher
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of cabsandking
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and shows its reddish hue when held to the light. Creamy tan head. Malty molasses nose with a hop pungency. Right away your detect its alcoholic potency. Bitter hop bite match with malt characters of espresso, licorice, and cocoa pungency. Acidic and floral tanginess are left in the finish. Thick body but a surprisingly watery mouth. As it warms the mouth becomes more sticky and viscous, while the alcohol mellows giving way to more malt notes of raisons and caramel. Even further it develops a tart sourness like a grand cru. Very, very nice... can't wait for 12/12/12! (585 characters)

Photo of BeerRun13
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ahhhh. My 100th review. What a fitting way to celebrate it.

06.06.06 pours into my goblet a very clear yet dark ruby/brown color. A small slightly tan head gives off some good lace.
Aroma contains a strong candi sugar presence, along with a nice spicy clove like element.
Candi sugar in the flavor. A touch of dark maybe even roasted malts. A banana and clove flavor shows up in in the back of the mouth. Maybe a little chocolate in there as well.
Full bodied. A creamy yet syrup like texture. A bit of bitterness in the back of the mouth.
Pretty good beer, but maybe not super drinkable. I look forward to seeing this one age. (634 characters)

Photo of BadBadger
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Stone V.E.A. 06 edition pours a very dark brown color, with ruby undertones. The head is rather, and sadly, short lasting. The smell is pleasantly thick, with malt and fruits coming through. The taste is good but raw, being strong on malty sweetness. Aging should pull the flavors together to something more coherent. The mouthfeel is nice and rather smooth, with only a mild alcohol burn on the back of the throat. A nice beer to search out and enjoy. Be sure to buy at least two and cellar one of them. (508 characters)

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I love that the price for a 22oz is $6.66...although my wallet isn't too fond of it. The very spartan bottle Stone uses for their Verticals is a look that's not usual for their in-your-face attitude, but I like it.

A - Very dark body with a 1 finger off-white head.

S - Roasty, coffee, malty.

T - At first it seems very cidery, more so than I expected. But the malty sweet goodness slides in to replace it fairly quickly. The alcohol is also present and accounted for here in the flavor.

M - Full bodied as you'd expect a belgian dark to be.

D - Not as drinkable IMO as I'd hoped. But then my tongue is not accustomed to this style as it is to others. Definitely more drinkable than average. (706 characters)

Photo of rabsten
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First bottle out of a case, poured into a pint glass. This is a dark, dark beer. Not as noir as an imperial stout but darn close. Light tan head with moderate lacing. I like the dark, so good marks on this.

Smoked malt aroma. Pine or cedar or some other evergreen sits in the background too. Nice enough.

Tastes smoky indeed. Lox-like smokiness. Not at the level of, say, a Rogue Smoke Ale or Stone's own Smoked Porter, but plenty high. There are hints of several other flavors I can't I.D. Malty character with little or no traditional hop presence.

Overall mouthfeel is okay, but not great. It numbs my tongue a bit (and not because I've overchilled it; I haven't). Round feeling with smooth finish.

Pretty good drinkability, considering the higher than average ABV, smoke factors, and the numbing effect. To be honest though, I'd rather split a bottle with someone than tackle it by myself.

This is the fourth of the VEs I've had and it's my least favorite as of this writing. I loved the 03.03.03 and 04.04.04 and really liked 05.05.05. This one is good, quality stuff, but not up my alley right now. I expect it will be better given some proper ageing (sp?) and me being more in a mood for the style. I have plenty to age (years worth, actually) and get into smoked alcohol moods about twice a year, so this wont go to waste or anything. (1,359 characters)

Photo of kernalklink
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (350 characters)

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

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(?). (422 characters)

Photo of pjwilson
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seen for 4 dollars, which i think is a hook-up so I purchased two. If I really like this, I will go back for more. The 2nd bottle won't be opened for 6 months to a year.

appearance: poured into a carnival cruise ship coctail glass tulip shaped thingy. looked pretty good for a beligan style beer. and it does. huge insane head, staying for 5 mins, and forming amazing looking lace. damn, i don't know how much the glass is to blame, think a skinny duvel glass. the beer itself is a solid dark black. no light. i'm very into it.

smell: hints of chocolate, licorice, mild yeast, more chocolate. so far, very different from a standard beligian dark, as much a strong porter as that. very promising, quite complex and nice.

taste: damn that's tasty. not nearly as belgian tasting as I was expecting, more belgian inspired. damn, this is a unique brew. First taste is pure liqorice. I find the beer quite dry, not sweet as some reviewers mentioned. None of the sweetness of the smell. It's got a pretty strong bitterness, (this is stone), which I suppose is almost too strong right now. this will mellow out with age for sure, although i'm digging this now. no booze to be found. the aftertaste brings out some coffee and chocolate. fucking nice.

mouthfeel: nice and light, making for a good drinking time. some sugar was used, making for a very light mouthfeel.

drinkability: i'm enjoying sip after sip. uh, 4 bucks a bottle, i'm gonna go get at least 3 to 4 more, this is seriously very,very good. this "one off release" blows 9 out of 10 west coast attempts at a dark beligian style out the water. honenstly, to me it's more of a porter mixed with dark beligian, but it is truly one of a kind.

verdict: snag up several bottles now. (1,752 characters)

Photo of daveytheformer
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with almost no light getting through. Thin tan head that immediately fades to very light lacing.

Smells like chocolate, raisins, plums, brown sugar, and sweet tobacco. Lots of dark fruit and cocoa. More sweet than roasted.

Tastes are caramel, vanilla, a little woody, chocolate malts, more dark fruit, toffee, and slightly syrupy. Mild malt bitterness rounds out the flavor.

Mouthfeel is a creamy thickish medium with very little carbonation.

Overall is great and even five years old is maybe my favorite of the vertical epics that I have had. (571 characters)

Photo of gbontrag
4.71/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a mahogany beauty. Stone always cares about the froth, and this delivers a sizeable cap of tan froth that holds, and looks pretty while it folds in upon itself; folding into a dense, thin blanket. The lace just gets thicker like pipes calcifying.
Aroma of vanilla cherry raspberry toffee. Raisins, and a bit brassy.

Wow, tastes like an estery chocolate toffee; bananas and chocolate. Woody, too: Raw pine plank, and "poofs" of cardamom, clove, nutmeg. Some cane sugar aftertaste, but this beer doesn't finish. It keeps blossoming into more... Rhubarb, blueberry, strawberry, ripe muskmelon, rye and buckwheat.... (625 characters)

Photo of chaz01
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good sized (4-5 ounce) pour at a Stone Vertical Tasting Event sponsored by Belmont Party Supplies on 5/12/2010, served in a very cool Stone Vertical Epic tasting glass.

A: Very dark brown, almost black with a nice wispy head.

S: Dark fruit and licorice in the aroma.

T: Cherry, plums and roasted malts with undertones of licorice and anise.

M: More full bodied and carbonated than previous beers in the series. Hint of a weak coffee finish.

D: Very complex and heavy beer. More of a sipping beer than the others in the series, and unlike some of the previous editions, should hold up very well to time. (608 characters)

Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with an off-white head.

Hints of yeast and spices in the nose with assorted sugary and fruity notes.

Alcohol spiciness in the taste with hints of black licorice, sugars, coffee, prunes, and a dry yeast flavor.

Another solid offering from Stone. (264 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The pour was a dark almost opaque brown with a nice three finger head that quickly dissapated and left a nice lace on the sides of the glass throughout the drink.

The smell was very heavy in malt sweetness with the standard Belgian yeast aroma and a suprising almost cedar like hint in the rear of the nose.

The drink starts with a heavy malt sweetness then the yeast kicks in with that Belgian flavor the hops are there but they never over take the flavor of the beer. The finish was a lingering bitter-sweet malt.

All and all a great beer and to me true to the style. Lighter in body than I'm used to for the style but still quite the tasty beer. (657 characters)

Photo of cproioi
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 22oz Bomber.

A: A dark amber color with a tan color head that reduced at a decent pace that left decent lacing. The carbonation was very apparent in this beer if one could look through the darkness of the beer.

S: Smelt of Anise, Coffee and smoke. A rather nice mixture of both. One did not over power the other one.

T: Had a peppery taste to it. Along with the sweetness brought in by the Belgian yeast. Had almost a taste of Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, with their Smoked Porter and a Belgian ale. It was rather good.

M: Had a very warming note to it. It was so warming that it actually left me with a little sweat on my brow. Would of be rather nice on a cold day.

D: Very slow drinking beer. Had to take a break in the middle of the bomber slow down. However, I will get it again to cellar. (827 characters)

Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic Glass, avoided the yeast sediment for the first pour

Pours a very dark but not opaque brown. The edges of the beer show deep red and bronze.

Smell is strong. Smells lightly alcoholic with vanilla and pungent vegetables. Also smells like strong dark rye bread.

Tastes like earthy malt, tea, and toasty bran muffins.

Very smooth, clean feel that is nearly flat on carbonation. (398 characters)

Photo of Matthew
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown to near black, ruby highlights. Small head that leaves almost no covering, very little lacing.
Some roasted malt, slighlty yeasty, some faint hints of dried fruit.
This is a very smooth beer, Nice and big roasted malt character, some almost burnt type flavors, with nice yeasty flavors, slightly fruity, with a almost almond type character there too. Some hints of sweeter caramel and an overlapping spiciness pulls through as the beer warms.
Nice medium bodied mouthfeel slighlty leaning towards a more viscous/chewy character.
Good drinkability at 8.6%, the high abv is very hard to percieve, niceley balanced. This beer has alot of potential and will certainly improve with another year or two. A pleasant suprise from stone. (753 characters)

Photo of lou91
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (640 characters)

Photo of abfraser
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (357 characters)

Photo of Alkey
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured a dark brown with a tan head that leaves some spots of lace around the glass. Smells of toasted malts and a banana like wheat aroma with a bit of spice. Taste rich and malty with some dark fruity flavors like some prunes or raisins. It has a light somewhat creamy body with very little carbonation and is fairly easy to drink but probably is something I would pass on next time. (398 characters)

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.