Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 462 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
4.25/5 rDev +6.8%
Pours an exceptionally dark black colored version of the style with a great tan to light brown head. Stone's experience making RIS shows in the appearance. I considered taking some points for the exceptional darkness but I didn't because this is a visually striking beer that is unlike any other I have seen.
Smell is strong and fruity with a spicy aroma of coriander and black pepper. Aromas of apple, grapes, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and nuts. Quite an aromatic beer with a great deal of complexity.
Taste is sweet and fruity and full of chocolate at the beginning. Chocolate remains the major flavor component until the coffee and slight bitterness take over. Fruit and spice are somewhat less than what is in the aroma. In the end though the flavor while good isn't outstanding.
Mouthfeel is good and quite like full fat milk.
Certainly an easy ale to enjoy. For what it lacks in taste it certainly makes up for crowd-pleasing popularity. There is only one other beer in this ales class, Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer, an exceptionally exclusive and outstanding class indeed.
10-04-2006 04:32:05 | More by Zorro
4.4/5 rDev +10.6%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance - Pours a practically opaque black color (in fact you can only see its true color if you hold it up to a strong light, in which case you can see that it is a very deep reddish amber). The head is about three fingers this, creamy, and rocky. Its color is a light tan and it retains decent, settling at a half finger cap of creamy foam. Excellent, thick lacing all the way down.
Smell - Slighty bitter but mainly fruity/floral hops on the nose. Clove, annis, and black pepper spiciness can be smelled. Rich and hearty bready malt character finishes it up. Smells like a delicious Belgian!
Taste - Rich bready malt character with fruity/floral hops up front. Sweet/sugary fruits can be tasted such as fig, raisins, plum, etc. (dark, ripe variety). The spice is again clove and the black pepper is stronger than in the smell, while the annis is hard to pick out. The alcohol really shows in the middle, creating a warming and spicy feeling in your mouth as you quaff this stuff (the raisin flavor really shines here). The finish has some fruity sourness from the hops, paired with a very rich (almost roasted) malt character. A wet aftertaste consisting of medium earthiness, dying fruitiness, and some very tasting spiciness.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with an excellent level of carbonation; not too much, not too little.
Drinkability - Very good, with its only drawback being the quite noticeable alcohol presense, especially smack in the middle of a taste. I personally enjoyed this warming/spicy effect, but many will probably find it somewhat unpleasant.
A superb belgian-style brew from Stone. These guys really know what they're doing as far as I'm concerned. This stuff is just as good as some of the best Belgians, in my opinion. Rich, velvety, spicy, and full of strong flavors. Highly recommended.
10-02-2006 03:06:35 | More by dblinkhorn
4.22/5 rDev +6%
Stone's 06.06.06 Vertical Epic pours a very dark brown, practically black, into the glass. A creamy tan head forms on top befure it slowly dissolves to a thick ring around the surface. The foam leaves a few spots of lace behind as it disappears. A rich roast malty aroma and notes of licorice, brown sugar and alcohol greets you before each sip. The smell reminded me of a cola.
Each sip of this medium bodied beer is rather dry with a nice moderate carbonated fizz that covers the palate. The flavor is a wonderful combination of roasted malt, coco, and coffee. There's hints of spice (pepper, allspice?) blended in. The spice doesn't dominate the flavor like other Belgian style beers. It finishes with some sweet malt and brown sugar. Once gone, the coffee and coco flavors linger for a while.
This is one easy to drink tasty brew with nice roast malt flavor. If you can find a bottle definitely give it a try.
10-01-2006 20:41:00 | More by WanderingFool
4.22/5 rDev +6%
I purchased two bottles of Stone's 2006 installment in their Vertical Epic series at Downtown Wine & Spirits recently. One for now, one for later. I let this warm to around 50ºF and served it in my Westvleteren Chalice.
Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown with ruby tints. The beer is topped by a moderate, fluffy, brown head that thins to a persistent patchy film.
Smell: Very rich and malty. The aroma has notes of sugar, sourness, peppery spice and a whiff of alcohol. All of these are secondary to strong notes of raisins and dates.
Taste: Lightly sweet upfront with some toasty malt flavors. This is followed by the aroma, with tart raisins and dates evident. The finish is a pleasant mix of peppery and alcoholic spiciness, along with a low, but lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel: On the medium side of full-bodied, low carbonation, with a smooth, silky texture.
Drinkability: Quite nice, not as cloying as some other Belgian Stong Dark Ales I've had.
Overall: This is a well-balanced beer. It has all of the sweetness and spiciness of a Belgian Dark, with a nice bitterness, none of which overpower the others.
09-29-2006 03:28:32 | More by EPICAC
3.93/5 rDev -1.3%
Apperance: A loose, frothy head which was mocha in color. The beer itself was as black as grandpa's motor oil. The lacing was spotted and head retention was between average and weak.
Nose: Toasty malt, a light raisin in the middle with a background of yeast.
Taste: A very light mouthfeel. Sweet in the middle with a lindering bitterness. The bitterness is kept with some crisp bubbles at the end.
09-26-2006 09:05:01 | More by travolta
3.93/5 rDev -1.3%
Appearance: Dark brown to black in color with some ruby accents in good lighting. Little to no head.
Smell: A sweet yet spicy aroma with some malty caramel too.
Taste: Big complex taste, I'm not used to this but I shall describe it best I can. Lots of different spices, can't put my finger on one alone, some black liquorice is apparent. The malt comes through a bit more on the finish and is sweet and a bit caramel. Very complex flavor, for someone who really enjoys that in a beer, this one would be worth their time.
Mouthfeel: Medium in body, alcohol is apparent but not over powering.
Drinkability: I doubt anyone is sessioning this beer. One sip and you can tell thats not its purpose. However it does drink pretty easily and getting through a bomber is not big feat.
09-25-2006 16:50:10 | More by tattooedtolley
4.1/5 rDev +3%
Appearance: Pours a cola black with a small head that fades and leaves little lacing.
Smell: Smells to me like Birch beer soda with a splash of red syrup, cherry, licorice, yeast and dark brown sugar (maybe a drop of dark Karyo syrup. Beside the sweet candy aromas there was also a spicy yeast and grain attribute that kept this beer from becoming cloying.
Taste: This beer poke prods and prickles with spicy sugars zippy flavors that dance and spin on the taste buds. Yeasty spices with dark fruits, black licorice, molasses and plenty of acidity keep the mouth very busy.
Mouthfeel: The texture is very fizzy like a cola and spicy with yeast and alcohol.
Drinkability: Fantastically but it is not gentle. This is not a beer for the meek of palate. The acidity and yeasty spicy, the boozy alcohol dry bite, make this a beer for sipping by any definition. Obviously Vertical Epic is designed with the idea of cellaring. I do think this beer will mellow nicely with age.
Hope this is helpful.
09-16-2006 06:24:01 | More by Phatz
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
Pours medium brown with amber highlights and medium creamy ivory head.
Smell is sweet spicy and caramel,
First taste has a bit of spicy sweetness similar to a Belgian Dubble, but finishes rich and malty like an Octoberfest.
Mouthfeel is full and smooth, I did not notice any thinness or carbonation harshness.
Very Drinkable, I will look for this beer, and try to put a few back for the Holiday Season; Since it is a one time release, it may already be gone.
09-14-2006 11:49:33 | More by HopHeadKen
4.38/5 rDev +10.1%
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!
09-08-2006 16:33:29 | More by cabsandking
3.68/5 rDev -7.5%
This beer pours a dark brown with little light passing through and a dark head that settles into a nice lacing. The beer smells sweet and malt with a slight wheat sent. The taste is similar to the smell. It starts with a sweat chocolaty character and that really settles into a yeasty hops spice. The beer is surprisingly crisp and clean with a little bit of a bite at the end. For only sitting for a few months this beer has a great taste. Like all of the vertical epic beers Im sure this one will age to be even tastier in the future.
09-08-2006 05:23:03 | More by eballard
3.95/5 rDev -0.8%
Very dark, with light hints of amber, if held to a light. Frothy head the settles nicely to the side with decent lacing.
Smells of sugary malts and very unique hop spiceness. Very interesting, never smelled that off a beer before, not even the 050505.
Bitter at first, but then very sweet, then a lingering spicness in your throat. Very strange array of tastes, but I like it. Anise, clove, brown sugar, are all present. The hops are well balanced to the malt.
As I drank this the spiceness got stronger. And was very warming.
Very tasty, and has the bite a covet so much from Stone Brews. Yum!
 Aged for a year. Flavors seemd to have settled down. Much more smokey, with that same spiciness. Less sweet. Coffee like tanic quality.
09-04-2006 01:51:34 | More by Freshie
4.5/5 rDev +13.1%
Licorice black with a medium cap of dirty frappuccino brown frothy foam. Intricate lacing in inky stretched and straggly strings.
Aroma is a bit light at first but agreeably grows and becomes nice to partake in the nose as its a bit like a fresh poppyseed muffin and some black malt mixed with black licorice, anise, cinnamon, dark sugary sweetness and some dark, herbal, spicy yeast.
Taste is one complex, tender display of leveled tastes and mixtures of dark spicy fun stuff. A ride of intricate little nuances of spices, dark, dryish malt, and sweet dark sugars really balance out and make for a pleasureable, palateable treat. The flavors aren't overly intense here, it all seems very well placed and perfectly displayed as it tugs here, pulls there; leaves here, enters there. A fun dance of flavors that are bready, sweet, dark, yeasty, and spicy. I find it to be quite nice. Perhaps not as bold or in your face as other Stone brews, but definately well crafted in the nature of what has become the growth of Stone's own brewing palate.
As in the smell, many alluring complexities await the spicy realm of dark yeasty breads with anise, clove, cinnamon, black licorice, dry black malt, rye, poppyseed, and pale woodyness. A wonderful palate full of dark spicey fun, and balanced in with with a uniquely tender little undertow of dark sugary sweetness. Oh my...
A treat to behold, no doubt; yes, sure, it's not quite the brute you'd think it would be, but in a way it has it's edge. Edge enough for me to absolutely drink the hell out of this beer. The medium, low set carbonation and smoother, dark malten body ooze an easy goin' flow. Yet the active spice and yeasty parts pep it up to the point of total balance and control. Plus the finish has some great little blackened banana, coffee, black malt dryness that is remarkably satisfying to the palate as it finishes slightly dry and powdery.
06.06.06 is one to savor in, even given it's impressively easy drinkability. 8.6%? I'm sure it's there somewhere waiting...but undetectable in most regards until the first bomber is nearly emptied. A very finely crafted brew by Stone. A true treat that I may need to seek more of...
My undisputed thanks goes to cvshaller for the chance to embark on more Stone superbness!!
09-01-2006 02:24:36 | More by tavernjef
3.43/5 rDev -13.8%
Nice dark malty aroma with spicey notes like black pepper. Very fruity aroma that makes me think of plums. Puts me in the mind of Belgian Dubbels but a little less complex.
Deep ruby colored and clear when held up to bright light. Thin but persistant head leaving nice lacing behind.
Flavor is a little all over the place. I get lots of roast malt. Other sips I get fruity fermentation effects. Still other sips I get strong bittering hops. But none of it blends together. Each sip I find myself concentrating on one of these factors instead of perceiving them as part of a whole.
Full bodied with a little bit low carbonation. There's also an alchol warmth that gives away the strength of the beer.
I really do like the beer but it just seems kind of disjointed. Hopefully, with Stone's intention that this be aged, the bottles that I've layed down will develop more complexity and the flavors will meld better. It has potential but right now it drinks kind of "green."
08-31-2006 06:21:39 | More by czechsaaz
4.08/5 rDev +2.5%
Appearance: pours a brownish black color with a thick 2" head that lasts a long time. The head builds after the pour is complete. Some spotty lacing develops.
Smell: wheat, wood, yeast, and hint of dark chocolate.
Taste: the wheat is quite noticeable here, along with some chocolate, pepper, prunes, yeast, and a overall woody and bready character. Bitterness is definitely noticeable, alcohol less noticeable.
Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. The aftertaste is long on the flavor components. Medium-heavy in body.
Drinkabilty: quite good. This is a good brew that doesn't need to age but is quite tasty in its young days. Nice brew.
08-27-2006 19:15:57 | More by Gavage
4/5 rDev +0.5%
Aroma is dark malts, spice, licorice and sweet dark fruits. Body is a a rich dark brown with a firm two finger thick tan head. Fore is pumpernickel, rye, licorice and then dark fruits, spice, alcohol and floral notes waft in. Quite spicy in the finish. Pretty damn tasty and gets tastier as it warms.
08-24-2006 11:03:40 | More by Jredner
4.4/5 rDev +10.6%
Vicious mohagany black color. Opaque in the middle, transparent on the sides. Full creamy tan head holds solidly. Moderate lacing. Very fruity in particular plummy aroma. Dark raisins and yeast sorround. Almost a German type yeast flavor with banana/clove and some bubblegum in there. More plums/raisins in the taste. Dark chocolate comes in waves on top. A bit of spice toward the middle. More of a Belgian yeast taste as compared to the German yeast aroma. Hop bitterness comes forth mid-finish. An herbal character is in there slightly. Finish is chocolate cherry liquerish. Long smooth with a touch of burn in the belly. This is nice. Really, really intense in flavor but nothing is too overwhelming imo. A must try.
08-24-2006 03:17:02 | More by granger10
3.85/5 rDev -3.3%
Pours an incredibly dark brown, with a lacy off white head that dissipates into foamy patches. The nose is pretty straightforward, malt, yeast, sour dough bread, some alcohol and stone fruit. The taste mimicks the nose, with some light carbonation. It finishes clean for such a strong brew, and is actually quite drinkable.
08-24-2006 00:11:38 | More by dherling
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
Pours out dark brown with an orange tint when viewed in front of a light source. One finger of off-white to tan creamy head that dissapates quickly. There was slight lacing when swirled around a tulip glass.
Chocolate and rasberry/plum and yeast followed by a very slight alcohol aroma. No hops to speak of but there is something else there, I just can't identify it.
First taste is chocolate/coffee followed by fruit then a very slight
Mouthfeel is smoothe up to the swallow then bitter on the back of the tounge and the warmth of the alcohol puts a nice finish on this Belgian style beer. Stone does very nice beer all the way around.
And with the availability and price, one could have a few at one sitting.
08-23-2006 01:14:36 | More by peabody
4.13/5 rDev +3.8%
Appearance: Poured into a goblet. Like other reviewers have said, pours very, very dark. I had a bottle of 05.05.05 last year, and don't remember it being nearly as dark in appearance, but that might just be memory fading. Very thin head which quickly dissipates. Very little lacing upon swirling.
Smell: Really good aroma. A very yeasty smell, with a hint of sharp alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate. Cloves. Kiwi.
Taste: A sweet, very drinkable brew. Again, some estery notes, kiwi in particular. Bittersweet chocolate, again. Cloves, some general spices I'm not familiar with (anise?). A little dry upon swallowing. Very little alcohol burn, but it's there. Overall, however, very drinkable, and perhaps slightly less complex or pleasurable than the aroma.
Mouthfeel: Again, a little dry when you swallow, but overall very smooth, very little carbonation, only slighty syrupy.
Drinkability: A great brew. Like most belgian styles I've had from American craft beer makers, not quite a Belgian, but always a very interesting take on the style. Stone does it better than most others, I'd say.
08-22-2006 05:59:36 | More by RidiculedDisplay
4.43/5 rDev +11.3%
22 oz. bomber bottle with the usual Vertical Epic artwork silk screened right onto the bottle. If you're unfamiliar with the bottle the artwork has 06.06.06 in a circle on the front, definition of the word "epic," information about the whole series of Vertical Epics, and information about the 06.06.06. This will be my first Stone Vertical Epic.
Appearance: When poured into a Snifter, the beer was what I thought to be jet black, but instead was actually a very dark brown hue with ruby highlights. I got just a little skim of bubbly foam that happened to be an off white color, almost tan in color. The head of foam seemed to dissipate away very fast into just a few rings and barely any lace around the glass.
Smell: It had a pleasant aroma of dark roasted malt, hint of coffee, pinch of chocolate, bitter hops, and all of these aromas were wrapped around many different varieties of fruits. There were so many different varieties of fruit that I can't write them all down.
Taste: The taste was very unusual to me. I use the word unusual in a good way. In this there was dark roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, chocolate, bitter hops, hint of yeast, alcohol, and large variety of fruits all wrapped into one big huge flavor ball. Again, like the smell, there were too many different types of fruits in here to list all of them. Not any one fruit stood out by itself. They all just came together to form this taste. As you can tell, I enjoyed this taste very much.
Mouthfeel: I would have to say that this is medium bodied and it didn't have much carbonation to it. I should also mention that this beer is very sneaky because it was hard to taste and feel the 8.66%ABV.
Drinkability: I will have to get another bottle of this beer in the near future because it is really good. I liked how all the flavors were just rolled into one big huge taste.
08-20-2006 22:12:20 | More by AltBock
3.98/5 rDev 0%
A- Had a 1/4" tan head which fades fast when poured into a sniffer. Looks black then when held to light is a brownish color. Basically no lacing, just around the edge, and a bit here and there.
S-Malts and alcohol, almost a sweetness to it. Maybe sweeter hops like a sugarish sweet. Once I drank some and smelled it again it's REALLY fruity (pruney?) and I couldn't believe I didn't smell it before.
T- Fruity flavor, prunes plums, maybe light cherry?. It was almost to fruity for me. Pretty sweet also. Basically no alcohol taste. Not really bitter, just very fruity. Can't put my finger on the different fruits, maybe a roasted fruit flavor? As it warms I got warming in chest from the alcohol.
M-Med/full body, medium carbonation, very complex
D-Pretty good. I think it was to fruity since I'm not a fan of fruity beers. I think it will be better aged.
08-19-2006 22:57:34 | More by BlindPig
4.38/5 rDev +10.1%
Ah yes, the annual VE. Always good stuff. This year, like '03, returns to the darker of Belgian-style ales, as it pours a very deep brown (black?) with a solid showing of heady foam. That Belgian yeast they're using at Stone must be great...it sure smells good. The aroma is quite spicy, full of cloves and yeast, and showing off some mild esters. Layers of flavors upon sipping; I had a rare "holy fock, this is good shit!" moment. Subtle spices carry over from the nose, building upon smoky layers of chocolate, licorice, plums and a kiss of herbacious hoppiness; all which balances the huge grain bill so nicely. Finishes nicely smooth, aftertaste is dark wheat. Wow. Very mild carbonation and well-hidden alcohol. I've made plans to purchase a few more bottles this weekend. This is great now, and I think aging might make it an absolute gem. We shall see. Great stuff.
08-19-2006 02:38:51 | More by IrishRedRock
3.93/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
08-19-2006 01:18:40 | More by rabsten
4.38/5 rDev +10.1%
This offering pours a dark brown almost black with a thick tan head that leaves this brew quickly. The nose is strong plum, figs, prune, dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, wheat, just lots of sweetness in the nose. The taste starts mildly bitter with a grapefruit crack of bitterness, this is very interesting....it feels like a fruity Belgian beer combined with west coast pungent hops finished with a porter's roasted barley like quality. The taste continues with a prune sweetness that is balanced by a citrus rind bitterness. The alcohal is minimal this is a quality brew that will def become more complex with age.
08-18-2006 14:32:24 | More by Franchise
3.58/5 rDev -10.1%
Good sized light brown head over the dark brown body. Sweet dark fruits and caramel with a nice backing of spices. Seemed a bit overly sweet, also some alcohol came out. Sweet chocolate and dark fruits. Lightly bitter before a dry spicy sweet finish with notes of fruits and alcohol. Seemed a bit mild overall. Pretty thick body and smooth. Good enough drinkability but the flavor didnt grab me enough to keep me sipping consistently. It got a little boring half way through.
08-17-2006 19:02:42 | More by meathookjones
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.