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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

469 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 469
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 85
Gots: 115 | 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: 469 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

789th Review on BA
Bottle to snifter
22oz

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks Jim for sharing!

App- When this poured out it had a medium brown color with some amber around the edges. A 1/2” partially bubbly head was there and quickly faded. No real cling or lace was there.

Smell- For a 5 year old bottle its holding up nicely. I got a lot of the lighter yeast notes with a damp dark fruit notes. Had a bit of maple and some sweet malts behind it. A little plum and raisin.

Taste- A very complex taste in that the nose dissipates quite rapidly to reveal a more malt forward BSDA with a lot more spice and layers behind it. Yeasty on the final sips with a bit of that plum coming through.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A nice balance of yeast/dark fruits on the tongue. A little thin but still medium.

Drink- I have an 03-10 at home and was very excited to try some of the early versions to compare them all later.

Photo of Knapp85
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of FARGO619
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BASED ON NOTES AT BOTTLE SHARE with some good friends.

A- Dark with some light that sneaks in at the bottom of glass. Reddish.

S- Oaky, cigarish, caramel undertones.

T- A blend of spice, oak, earthy, charcoal, Belgian style.

Overall it was a good beer and glad I had the chance to try this one.

Serving type: bottle/22oz.

Photo of daveytheformer
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of birchstick
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had in the midst of a '06 - '10 vertical.

This guy poured brown to black without much of a head. The nose opened up with smells of chocolate fading to pine then ultimately spicy fig / dark fruits. The flavor profile was similar to the nose - chocolate with spicy rum soaked tobacco leaves and a bit of caramelized malts; spicy fruit was also in the mix thanks to some Belgian yeast. Was medium bodied and went down smoothly. Solid but didn't blow me away. I was excited just to be able to try it...

Photo of harrymel
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during a tasting of 06-10 VE's.
Poured to NB globe.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly perfectly opaque ale. Single finger light tan head dissipates quickly. Little lacing here.

S: Molasses, molasses, molasses, anise, mineralic qualities. Very complex, dark malts with belgian yeast greets the nose with dark fruits which are quite subdued by the original approach of molasses feel. Cocoas dance here as well.

T: The molasses and dark fruits continue here. Malts, anise, cocoas. Wow, delicioso!

M: Heavy, viscous with low carbonation. Great feel for this beer. Sticky, resonant, smooth.

D: This beer was second only to 09.09.09 on the lineup. It was fantastic! I wish I had more of this beer around to drink for sure.

Photo of d4114
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at winter storm:
Was dark brown with little head. It smelled very buttery and a little sweet. The taste was like drinking liquid buttery pecans and walnuts in a way. It was very very smooth and super easy to drink. I was not completely sure what to expect with this but it was surprising one of the better beers I had while there.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer for...well, I guess about 5 years. Hopefully it ages well, which I feel pretty confident it would have being a Stone... Let's give it a go...

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color so dark that you really can't see much light through it at all, except for the corner and then it is hard to tell how clear it really is. Though there was a good off-gas after popping the top, there was very little foam after a relatively quick pour. After the pour the beer is sitting like a pretty stale soda-pop looking drink. There is a little bit of light colored foam getting stuck to the side of the glass, but it is nothing major.

Aroma: I initially got lots of dark malt contributions with dark fruit like raisins and plums, but as the beer is sitting, there is a winey contribution coming out. There is a good amount of hops still noticeable in here, and it is mostly contributing a floral aroma that is playing rather nice with the dark malts. As the beer warms up, there is cocoa and some floral hops coming out to be much larger players in the aroma.

Taste: The flavor is a little syrupy for this style, but the hops and acidity from the dark malts do a wonder to counter-act that in the finish. Though there is carbonation here, it really doesn't do a whole lot for the mouthfeel. The beer rolls across the palate quite heavy and finishes balanced slightly toward the sweet. The alcohol is noticeable, but it is not hot or anything, so it's major contribution is some spice late in the profile and a bit of warming late in the finish.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. It is in a tough category, so it is really hard to be outstanding. It is not slouch of an effort in beer craftsmanship, but at the same time there really isn't much to make it stand apart in a category that is wide open. I would think being Stone, that they would make it a nice strong dark, but Americanize it with local hops. This isn't the case, the flavor is more traditional, but without a whole lot to make it stand out.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: The beer pours a dark brown sort of color, maybe "chestnut", with a creamy khaki colored head.

S: Starts off less than stellar with a bit of metal, but that goes away shortly. There's a strange woodiness to the beer, but it works alright with the caramel, toffee, mild chocolate, and bubblegum notes that make up the rest of the aroma.

T: Sweet caramel and toffee open this one up. There's a big bubblegum and cotton candy flavor that follows. Toward the back end I get a lot of chocolate and vanilla with some subtle dark fruit flavors.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation that feels sort of creamy on the tongue.

D: One of the better of the VE series beers. Pretty complex and very easy to drink.

Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

Photo of Bung
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of akorsak
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Alewife. I ran through the entire flight of Verticals, so this one will be a shorter.

A: The ale has a dark stout appearance with a thin tan head.

S: An unpleasant, buttery nose starts things off, very sweet with just enough sour mixed in. The darker aromas never get going, victims to what I'd call age.

T: The BSDA starts off with roasted malts and plenty of spicy sweetness. The buttery flavors, mildly sour, add a dry berry-like flavor that helps the ale improve (as compared to the nose).

M: The mouthfeel is sweet and berry-like, sweeter than any Belgian style stout I've come across.

D: My least favorite of the bunch, it seems like age has been unkind to VE 06.

Photo of axeman9182
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to one of my trading partners. Opened in celebration of grabbing some 10.10.10 and poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours black; not as soul crushingly black as an RIS but there's no light coming through even when backlit. The nose is very interesting, roasted but not especially chocolaty or coffee in nature. There's also the anise and cedar promised on the bottle, as well as some more murky herbal/spiciness. Honestly, not much to add about the flavor that the nose doesn't cover. Every facet of the aroma shines through and helps craft a very tasty beer, even four plus years later. This beer reminds me of New Belgium's 1554 in that it seems to be a cross between a Belgian strong dark ale and a stout. Very solid body, nice and creamy and I would say surprisingly light if I hadn't been warned by Stone beforehand. Carbonation could stand to be a little more expressive, it seemed a tad dull. Four years later the 06 Vertical epic drinks pretty smoothly, and is a very good beer, but just doesn't make me want to call it "world class" or a revelatory drinking experience. Still, another great beer from Stone.

Photo of KeithStolte
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz to glass.

A - poured dark with a light tan head; great retention and lacing.

S - Heavily roasted malt. Little hint of alcohol.

T - Heavy roasted malt and earthy tones. Oak undertones with a hint of chocolate

M - Mixture of a stout and dark brown ale.

D - Thick by oddly very drinkable. Very smooth.

My first Vertical Epic, but am looking forward to haveing more in the future.

Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of cwguy5
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed this draft at the Stone Total Tap Tower Takeover event @ Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC. ***thank you Stone for coming to NC!!!***

med - high retension and lacing; off-white thin head; dark "cool" brown color with amber highlights; clear, but could just barely see through glass

mostly sour aroma with a bit of dark fruit

surprisingly low fruit for the style aside from the vinous flavors; some floral in the middle; some mild herbal notes with very low malt and toffee; medium sweet and med/high sour; almost no bitter taste; light body

light carbonation with very fine fizzy texture almost like champagne yeast

this beer is not super drinkable for me after a few separate tastings. the light carbonation seems to enhance the sweet/sour flavors, but the thin body and uneven flavors just dont work. overall it is on the thinner bodied side of the strong dark ales ive tasted. wine drinkers may enjoy this as it has some vinous flavors and textures. btw this is the only beer from stone that i have not liked.

*edited 10.31.10 after another on-tap tasting. no radical changes really just a more accurate review now imo.

Photo of bobhits
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep dark red amber. Barely possible to see through the glass, but you can see that it's well carbonated at over 4 years old. Thin tan head with excellent retention and lacing. This is what I think of when I think about a dark Belgium.

Dark fruits, cherry sweetness, raisins, there's a hint of alcohol in the background but very subtle.

Caramel, it's not cherry but a similar fruit sweetness. Oak seems to take the back end which I don't recall at all when I last had this 2 years ago, let alone what I remember from 06 (mind you I do recall being a "touch" buzzed when I had it in 06). Mix in some roasted malt characteristics and a touch of chocolate and you've got an interesting beer.

The body is thick and kinda fluffy as well. I want to chew this.

It's thick but it's also very drinkable. I know...seems off.

I hate that stone no longer does 6 month tasting on their site as they claim they will. This beer has peaked. It's still the best of the series as it stands (08's hops are gone and certainly not for the better). I've had this beer since I was 21 or 22 depending on when I finally saved a bottle. Unlikely I ever have any of the older bottles, but this one holds a place in my heart. Proof that stone can make better beer than the belgiums even in their own style. Apologies to the Trappests.

The best Belgium I've had, but it was better a few years ago.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand.

A-Dark. Nice head and lacing. Tan/brownish head.

S-Sweet carmel aroma. Oak.

T-Spicyness, oak, woodyness.

I'm kicking myself for not taking better notes but I will next time. Fortunately I can do this tasting again.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Really excited to have got this one; somehow missed out when it was released and have despaired ever since.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown color. Can't see through it, but at the edges it appears clear. Minimal off-white head turns to a thin wispy film really quick.

Smell: Nice roasted malt aroma with hints of dark caramel or toffee. There's a hint of chocolate and also dark fruit like cherries and fig.

Taste: Has a strong yet delicate flavor. Lots of heavily roasted malts with hints of caramel or toffee sweetness and the figs (but very minimal). Not much other fruit until near the finish, when you've got some of the cherries (no tartness) and other things coming in. There's also some dark chocolate and hop bitterness coming in. The aftertaste has a pronounced "roasted" taste, combined with some of the bitterness. I have the impression of some alcohol at the finish and into the aftertaste, but it really never comes out.

Mouthfeel: There's some tingly carbonation at the start of each sip, but it goes away quick. Medium-bodied and really smooth. I think it is a bit light, but without approaching being watery or anything.

Drinkability: High alcohol content, but no real taste of it. Good flavors and keeps my interest.

Definitely the best of the four Vertical Epics I've now had the pleasure of enjoying, though last year's was nice as well. Flavor-wise I felt this had a lot in common with the Chimay Blue - that really came to mind while drinking this. However, they are of course certainly different too. I think I'll try and get a few more bottles of this and cellar them a bit longer!

Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle courtesy of czoch75 - likely the farthest back I'll ever go in this series, so many thanks to Clint (awesome trader). Poured in to a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a good dark Belgian hue, nearly black but not glassy or onyx-like, and instead multi-hued, with some light dancing through around the edges, sort of like it does through a cup of fresh coffee you made just a little too weak (note: the strength at which I take my coffee has made lesser men weep). This beer's opacity is a result of its hue, not its clarity, as a fair amount of slow carbonation is visible immediately inside its glassy prison. The head - initially about a finger tall, though it fades to inside a quarter finger within sixty seconds - is dense, uniform, and a pleasant though uninspiring dull tan. Ultimately, it leaves only a similarly-situated collar, unevenly dispersed around the circumference of the tulip, a few flashes of gilttery lace, and a ghostly whisper of surface lacing.

Aroma: A sweet, malty mess. Tons of brown sugar and toffee jump out the gate strong, along with a few darker and toastier notes, nothing too sweet but also nothing astringent. There's a fair amount of Belgian spice and yeasty esters - mostly cloves, but plenty of nutmeg, overripe bananas. A few chocolate notes emerge as this one nears room temperature.

Taste: Sort of laid back. This might have been a little more flavorful at one point, more varied, more subdued, but as its age, certain things have come through a little stronger, and certain others have faded a little too far. What's strong is the malt backbone, toasty, faintly sweet, like an old, well-attenuated sugars, slightly caramelly, toffee, brown sugar, faint cocoa and toast. A handful of fruity notes - raisins, plump plums, bananas, dried cherries - mingle with strong Belgian spices to suggest a once robust and still enjoyable but perhaps past-its-prime brew. A slightly faint vegetal note concludes things, mingling with a few astringent malt notes.

Mouthfeel: Perhaps this beer's best aspect, and there's a nice amount of smooth, well-integrated carbonation here, present, large and in charge after a good nearly-four years. Nothing sticky, nothing too intense ... just a smooth, well-aged sort of Belgian mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A straightforward beer and a slightly mixed bag at times. I think it's probably past its peak, but then again, I didn't have this one fresh, so I don't really know what I'm talking about from a relative point of view. I just know what "past its prime" beer tastes like, and this one exhibits a few of those characteristics. You can't knock Stone for not breaking outside the box, though - the vertical epic series will show brewers exactly what they can and can't, should and shouldn't do when creating series designed to be aged in this fashion. I had no problem finishing this one, and enjoyed it perfectly well at 4 years of age ... but I imagine it was at one point better, and will not get better with an additional two years, six months, and twenty days on it.

Photo of chaz01
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 469 ratings.