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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

468 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 468
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 85
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: 468 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For my 666th review: Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale pours a very dark brown bordering on black with a tan head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is very sweet and has a touch of roasted malt. The taste is very complex, a touch of bubblegum, banana, clove, roasted malt, a hint of licorice and other flavors that I can't quite put my finger on. There is also just the slightest hint of alcohol, which is pretty well hidden. Quite tasty, recommended.

Drew966, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was only fitting for my 500th beer rated. Poured to an opaque jet black color, with thick tan head that lingered throughout most of the drink and left good lacing. Aroma was a malty dark fruit (grapes and figs) with a hint of alcohol. As the beer warmed, the alcohol became more prominent, but not enough to overwhelm the fruit. Mouthfeel was tingly and sweet, and the taste was a pleasant continuation of the same malty dark fruit as was found in the aroma.

This blend led nicely to a nice, long warming finish. The bottle said it was best to wait until 12-12-2012 to enjoy this; howver, it was just fine now. Beware....Quite a buzz just from this bomber, so be careful if you let it sit 5 more years!!!

kimcgolf, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of Vancer
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An epic dark pour, deep, deep mahogany – pretty much a black hole with a marshmallow top of thick, rich, lacey ivory head. This is gonna be good, just from this – followed by the Belgium yummy aroma of candy cane, molassis, toffee and coffee.

Taste was not near as complex and powerful as I expected – hope I didn’t overly raise them. Dark fruit, plum and cherry float amongst the previous flavors. A bit too thin for a Stone classic.

For an aged brew, the alcohol is upfront, but not overpowering. I’m liking this brew, but not greatly impressed

Vancer, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been aging in the cellar for a little over a year. I remember not caring much for it when it was released but then I didn't have much experience with Belgians at that time. This pours a dark black with and ample light tan head. The smell is estery. The taste is strong spices and licorice and a slight charred feel. I like this better than I did last year but I still have not trained my palate properly to Belgian Strong Dark Ales. Also, there seems to be less medicinal flavors which could be due to age or my palate changing. I will probably drink my remaining bottles every two years

update 03/04/09

smells yeasty and malty, tastes pretty nice, licorice and kind of like a dubbel.

ArrogantB, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of MarkBeer
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

MarkBeer, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in June of 2006. Poured a dark brown (a clear tawny color when examined on the edges) with little head. The nose was of a lot of roasted barley mixed with belgian yeast. Friend also picked up the smell of cherries. The taste was lots of roast and earthiness, along with anise- mostly in the finish. Drinkability got a lot better as it warmed up, and I made my way through the glass. A pretty tasty belgian dark.

MiScusi, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of cameraman
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a brownish red color with an inch high head, that is creamy in color and visually looks creamy as well. A sweet fragrance of dried fruit, nostly of currants and raisons, with touches of malt at the end. A strong malty flavor hits the palate, followed by some dried fruit, then the taste of sweet spicy flavors, like nutmeg, come out. It all ends with a splash of bitterness. A light to medium feel, it coats the palate evenly and leaves a dry finish. This is a surprising effort from a brewery that brings the hops to the table.Strong belgian flavors and the solid mouthfeel make this a very good beer.

cameraman, Jun 23, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Roasted pecan brown that becomes dusky garnet with backlighting. I'm convinced that this is the darkest Vertical Epic Ale to be released so far. The golden brown sugar colored head is a thing of beauty. It looks good immediately after the pour and looks even better as it descends. Only a relative shortage of lace puts the brakes on my enthusiasm.

The nose is dark malty without being the least bit roasted. It's modestly tangy, like a quality weizenbock, with similar dark fruity esters (bruised banana and brown apple). There's a little clove, but not as much as expected. It would be nice if the Trappist yeast played a larger role in VE's nose.

My first mouthful tells me that the flavor score will be a close call between 'good' and 'very good'. I'm sure it will become obvious once I get half the bomber across my taste buds and into my belly. I'm pleased that the beer tastes much more authentically Belgian than it smells.

Complex isn't often a word that I use when describing an American-brewed BSDA (that isn't brewed by Allagash), but it definitely fits in this case. For a beer that doesn't use anything but malt, hops and yeast, that's quite the achievement. But then Stone is quite the brewery.

The flavor profile abounds with fruit and spice and much more besides. Let's see: chocolate covered bananas, dark toffee, light molasses, anise seed, sticky dates and ground cloves. What a delicious potpourri of complimentary flavors and flavor sensations (sweet, bitter and tangy). It's pretty obvious where the scores will fall and I haven't even reached mid-bomber yet.

As the beer warms I'm becoming more and more impressed with the yeastiness. If blinded, I would have bet a great deal that I was drinking a BSDA from Belgium itself. The ABV has to be a misprint because there's no trace of alcohol on the palate. My increasingly light head suggests otherwise.

I have no idea why Stone says 'the body is fairly light', although they do add 'for a beer with such a high gravity'. I'm finding it to be amazingly creamy with an expansiveness that few non-Belgians can manage. I would call it the highlight of this experience, but then this is an incredibly highlight-rich beer.

I would love to do a comparison tasting with Vertical Epic '05 and Vertical Epic '06, but I'm saving the single bottles that I have left for 2012. Maybe I should start buying three each year instead of two. In any case, those years are my favorites of this series so far and can easily give all but the very best Belgian BSDAs a run for their money. Epic indeed!

BuckeyeNation, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of Darkale
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The head rises fast and falls just as quickly, surrendering to a spotty skim that seems one bubble deep across the deep brown, nearly black surface. Lacing is likewise spotty. The aroma is wonderful, and this is from a beer that was poured, admittedly, too cold - like a deep Corsendonk brown, full of raisins and brown bread and a whiff of hops.

Taste is impressive at first. Chocolate, and an interesting slick mixture of grit and cream in the mouth. Rum and raisins. Ends with a dry, slightly puckering alcohol burn and a sour rinse of hops. Not as roundly sweet as anticipated from the aroma, thanks to the hops and the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is slick and lush, but ends thin. Not as chewy as hoped for. A pleasant airiness at the end that disguises the sweetness becomes less apparent as the beer warms.

This take on the Belgian Strong Dark Ale is intriguing but not successful. The mouthfeel is too thin, and the hops are too aggressive. It starts off well, but loses the strong dark ale character too soon.

Difficult to say what discourages me about this beer, but Harry Potter fans may appreciate this analogy. In those books, a "polyjuice potion" contains a small piece (strand of hair, nail clipping) of a person, and when that potion is drunk, the drinker changes their appearance to that person -- for a short period of time. About an hour after drinking the potion, your original features and characteristics begin to show through. Likewise, I felt that this beer was transformed temporarily and magically into a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and my first sips were happy ones. But not long after my first sip, the magic began to wear off, and the characteristics that do not have much to do with that style began to assert themselves. At the end, it seemed to me to be a hoppy black lager with delusions of grandeur.

Darkale, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves about one finger of a biege head that has some good retention and leaves some good lacing. Body is black.

Smell - horseblanket, dark fruit such as plums, and medicinal alcohol. Very inviting.

Taste - as promised by the nose. Horseblanket upfront, with plums in the middle, and finishing with a wash of medicinal alcohol.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, and semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is good ale, only high abv limits sessionability.

ultralarry2006, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from PA by expatsteve. Much obliged.

Pour: porter black, thin with garnet highlights under a minimal khaki head fading to a skim.

Nose: roasted malts, gooey milk chocolate, smoked malts and dark fruit

Taste: roasted and smokey malts dominate the forepalate, milk chocolate follows with dark fruits and apple skins in the finish.

Feel: thick and silky, velvety carbonation, chewy and robust

Drinkability/Overall: Robust and chewy, smokey and complex. A belgianesque porter. Very tasty.

Golden2wenty1, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of mdm46410
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Pours a very deep brown with almost no head. Aroma is dark fruit, raisens, roasted malts. Flavor is very sweet and fruity. Under the fruitiness there are notes of toast, malt and a hint of hops. Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Very smooth. I can't wait to crack open another bottle a few years down the road to see how it is aging.

mdm46410, May 30, 2007
Photo of TheBeerWolf
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Let this baby age for nearly a year and I am not impressed with the way its coming out. This review is based on what it is currently is like.

A - Pours a very dark brown reddish color. The head is like a brownish eggshell color and mine did not make much of a head, like half inch but it does leave some nice lacing that mostly survives while you’re drinking it.

S - A strong alcohol small with slight spiciness, also a bright floral smell very faintly in the background.

T - Overwhelming alcohol taste. A very slight roastiness and graininess in the background. The aftertaste is a bit of that roastiness with just a hint of spicy hops. But the hot alcohol dominated.

M - It seems to have lost body with the time. It seems a little like a watery alcohol soup now.

D - As it is now I would not drink more then one bomber. It’s pretty strong too so I would go for something lighter after this.

I don't think it was stored improperly. I had it in a paper bag in a wine fridge that is always at 50 degrees and served it at this temp too. I liked this beer much more when it was fresh. I also had a bottle after 6 months of aging and even then it was not bad but for me this beer is just great when its fresh. This review is based on the bottle I just opened. If I had reviewed it fresh it would have gotten much better scores. Fresh it had a lot of flavor, you could really taste the wheat and an almost root beer like spiciness. That has faded considerably. I can't imagine another few years improving it honestly. I guess it depends on your taste but I did not like the bottle aged this long. Much better fresh, Since they posted the recipe on their site (thanks stone!) I will try to brew some on my own and enjoy it fresh.

TheBeerWolf, May 08, 2007
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Thick dark brown in color. Fluffy tan head pours two fingers thick with good retention. Nice sticky lacing crawls all of the glass.

S: Softly roasted malts. Clove. Dark sugars. Hints of coffee and chocolate.

T: Day old coffee and a touch of dark chocolate are followed by tastes of clove and ainse. The sweetness of molasses and dark sugars give way to a thick and rich wave of malts. A soft hop presence gives the tongue a tickle and is immediately taken over by a warming alcohol.

M: Smooth and full bodied. Minimal carbonation. Warming and dry.

D: A nice representation of the style. This was my second sampling of this brew and time has definitely mellowed this one out for the better. Complex. Recommended.

Tyrawlings, May 06, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
2.7/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this beer fron the 22 ounce bottle into two tumblers at 50 degrees. The beer was a black thick color with a nice big tan head. The beer has a slightly sweet smell. Taste was slightly ever so of burnt peat but high alcohol killed off any yummy taste. If you just want alcohol taste this is your beer. I will not buy again. One other thing. This stuff about saving it till 2012 is crap. They don't sell bourbon like that. They sell it to you ready to drink. If it is suppose to sit for years befor it is ready to drink sell it to me when it is at its peak or ready to drink!

Minkybut, May 04, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

bjohnson, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of jamie2dope
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta love the 666. It poured a dark rosewood color, with a fluffy white head that clung to the sides of the glass. In the smell were ripe, sweet dark fruits, a bit of coco, and the faintest presence of alcohol. Taste had more dark fruit, sweet caramel, and a lingering candy taste. Light in body, and light on the hops. This one shows signs of ageing well. The flavors are mellow, yet pronounced, and extremely tasty. It reminds me of the 03 alot. I could kill more then one bomber of this no problem. I can only imagine what a few more years of laying low would do to this beer. Maybe ill stick one in the basement for safe keeping. Well crafted brew. Cheers

jamie2dope, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of bradford
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on 4/22/07
Appearance: Dark brown, almost black with a solid head that dissapates quickly
Smell: Strong woody smell, spices, alcohol
Taste: Smooth with a crisp finish. Lots of spices and an underlying alcohol burn, but very mild
Mouthfeel: Not too abrasive, better than average in my opinion
Drinkability: Very drinkable for the alcohol content. Not something I would want to drink every night, but very pleasant. Smooth and nice.
Another great Stone brew. Anyone who thinks Stone Brewing is overrated is out of their mind.

bradford, Apr 23, 2007
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.