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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
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Ratings: 468 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AltBock
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

AltBock, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

BlindPig, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

IrishRedRock, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of rabsten
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

rabsten, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Franchise, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of meathookjones
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 didn’t grab me enough to keep me sipping consistently. It got a little boring half way through.

meathookjones, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of Beaver13
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a light brown with red highlights. It has a smallish slightly fizzy head that quickly dissipates to a thin collar.

The aroma is banana, cloves, yeast and some dark fruits.

The flavor is sweet and sugary initially leading to some banana and cloves with a spicy yeasty, peppery alcohol and slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with soft carbonation.

Overall, I don't normally care for sweet or banana flavors in beer, but I was surprised to find that I liked this one. The flavors mesh well together.

Beaver13, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of nickss
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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 =(

nickss, Aug 15, 2006
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the black bomber into an oversized wine glass the beer was a dark, dark brown color that looked to be boardering on black or very very dark plum in some areas. One finger of tan head skimmed the top of the beer and the beer was very still carbonation wise. Little lacing to report as well.

The nose is immidiate alcohol upfront with roasted malt and dark fruit: plum and raison dominate the aroma.

The taste is quite hot up front as this beer is still quite fresh. Alcohol singes the taste buds. A firm malt presence with bit of hops dropping in here-and-there. Dark fruit and wine-like charateristics. Plum and raison are apparent.

Medium firm body that thins out a little towards the end of the sample.

I think this beer needs a little time. It was a little hot right now and some of the flavors didn't seem to quite all fit together. Alcohol was really the dominant taste. Some time in the cellar will likely produce a better result. Time will tell.

Sycodrummer, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Daalamar: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a small foamy head with average retention. Aroma of delicious cookie dough with some nice sweet malt. Taste is also dominated by the sweet cookie malt which are just plain delicious. Body is a bit too watery for my own taste and alcohol is well hidden. Probably one of the best in the vertical epic series and a damn fine abbey dubbel in any case.

Phyl21ca, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of ejquin
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: Pours cola dark with brown bubbly head

S: Spicy, phenolic, and yeasty. typically beligan. Touch of sweetness and some cinnamon.

T: I didn't find this to be particularly flavorfull. Some spice up front fades to alcohol and hops. Long finish of hop bitterness with slight molasses sweetness. Alcohol a bit sharp and unbalanced.

M: slightly low on carbonation

D: Good

Ovr: Not bad, but not too bold, and probably my least favorite vertical so far.

ejquin, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of oelergud
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby body with decent lace and low retention.
Sweet spiced caramel, almond and toffee in scent and taste. Strong honey and malts. Aftertaste similar with the addition of faint hops
Full body with some coating.
Very drinkable. Maybe I'll take the suggestion on the bottle and save one till 12/12/12.

-Oelergud

oelergud, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of gbontrag
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
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....

gbontrag, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/09/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2006 release. Poured into a wine style glass.

Appearance- Iced tea brown colored pour. Mildly clouded. Nice 3/4 inch head and whisps of sticky cobweb lace left in the glass.

Smell- Nose burying smell. Doesn't jump right out of the glass. I get a bit of sweet roasted malt, a touch of caramel candy smell and some anise and clove.

Taste- This one is actually remeniscent of the Gouden Carolus Grand Cru that I just had. Not nearly as tasty, but the same kinda tastes. Heavy of the spices (clove and anise) and flavorful in the deep roasted malt and light coffee hit.

Mouthfeel- This one needs some time to calm down. It is pretty well carbonated, but it's also very warming and sticky sweet with a fuller mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Will be excited to try this one in 2012...unless I can sell the whole series for $10,000 on ebay :) Really has some backbone and I think the caramel and malt flavors will come out much more with some time. Pretty good as is though.

GClarkage, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of merlin48
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours into a goblet a clear, but dark, ruby mahogany body with a small beige head that quickly drops to a film. Some spotty lacing initially that totally disappears midway through the first pour.

Aroma is dominated by spicy anise and clove. Some burnt brown sugar and wheat malt notes are present, along with a solid dark fruit component that is mostly dried figs. Some fusel alcohol notes detract.

Mouthfeel is light medium bodied with some medicinal alcohol. Carbonation is subdued.

Taste is dominated by the spicy anise, with a spicy clove presence being equally annoying. Alcohol presence is fusel and medicinal. Some bitter hops give a nice cedar presence. Dark fruits are present, mostly figs. Some bitter, dark roasty malt notes emerge as it reaches room temperature. Overall, seems rough around the edges.

I'm not generally a fan of American brewed Belgian dark ales, and this one is no exception. Hopefully, this one will improve with age. As it is, my least favorite of the Vertical Epic series.

merlin48, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

06.06.06 Vertical Epic, let's get to the bottom of this.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut brown body topped with a fizzy, thin brown-colored head.

Smell: Aroma is largely fruity (bananas and plums) and chocolaty, imbued with a Belgium yeast scent and a wee amount of smoke.
Curiouser and curiouser...

Taste: Leading flavors of dark chocolate, black licorice, molasses, and grapes. Eventually achieves some herbal bitterness and ends with a yeasty dry finish. Not nearly as sweet as the nose would have you believe.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, creamy, and has a mild carbonation which helps to maintain a light finish.

Drinkability: Admirable cross-style hybrid brew showing characteristics of a dubbel, weizenbock, smoked porter, and more.

Catch ya in 2012, little bomber!

ChainGangGuy, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, with a muted ruby glow, barely visible. 2 solid fingers of head, light and foamy, not too much protetin structure, and thereby not much lace. Subsides to a film somewhat quickly, but not too much so. The nose is very interesting, with the immediate sensations being of refined sugars. These open up, however, into much nuttier fruity flavors, with some savory peppers. The alcohol is noticable too, though it unfortunately imparts a bit of a medical smell, which nudges the entire nose slightly off kilter. The taste is well balanced, yet subtle. The dark roast malts have a nice bite to them, and on the back of the tongue there is a great rich meatiness to the beer, revealing some coffee and chocolate notes. The mouthfeel is great, with a light start and a rich, full-bodied finish. Definitely very drinkable. Now I just need to go grab another bottle to put away for a few years to ripen.

FranklinPCombs, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of Iguana
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence - Poured a dark brown/ruby with a medium sized head. Looks pretty good thusfar.

Smell - I get toasted brown sugar, hints of banana, and a bit of ripened fruit. Quite pleasent.

Taste - Interesting, I am getting toasted brown sugar again, but a nice hop presence in the background adding some bitterness. Rather unique.

Mouthfeel - Pretty good, bit of carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste, and a nice lingering sweetness.

Drinkability - Pretty tasty beer, not the best I have had of the style, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. This beer is at least worth a try, and worth getting and putting a few away for a couple years.

Iguana, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Litterbean, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of BradBLR
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will have to say this is my least favorite beer that I have had from Stone, a good beer but not my favorite. The appearance of this beer was dark chocolate brown with a hint of red when held up to the light. The head was a browninsh tan and the lacing was very good. The smell was that of chocolate and malt, very sweet smelling.

The taste was simliar to a porter at first with a nice strong sweetness to it, there was also a hint of spice to it. The mouthfeel was very smooth and the CO2 was just about perfect.

Overall a pretty good beer with alot of alcohol. I think it will be better after it sits a few years.

BradBLR, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of flexabull
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to try one of three I have (had). The other two will have to sit for a few years...

Wow! What a beer... This was excellent. I have the 03 - 06. And while I haven't tried the 04 and 05, I have tried the 03, and this was similar to that beer.

But the 06 is a darker "version". Very dark brown in color, not as dark as a porter or a stout, but certainly brown. It has the spicy yeasty taste, in addition to very prominant alcohol flavors and a very sweet almost raisin bread like quality from the malts.

This is really good, and will certainly be better in a few years.

flexabull, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of Ieatlambfries
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I purchased a few bottles at Joe Canals in Lawrenceville NJ. This one was shared with my brother and another one has been put away until 2012.

The appearance was a hazy dark reddish brown. It poured with a three finger high tan head full of dense fine bubbles. The head dissipated rather quickly leaving absolutely no lace.

The smell was a stand out. Upfront notes of crisp tart apple. Reminiscent of Granny Smith's. Also sweet smelling malts and a warm spiciness. Similar to mulled cider.

The taste was dominated by tart apple cider notes upfront. Followed by a sweet malts and dried fruits, roasted espresso and cocoa powder. This led into the mulled cider spices, cloves and licorice. Finishing with a slight hop bitterness. I felt the alcohol was hidden pretty well. I didn't get that "hot" taste from it.

The mouthfeel was a bit of a let down. IMO not enough carbonation. Very smooth as stated in previous reviews, but to me it felt a bit flat.

Drinkability was good. Again, I didn't really detect the alcohol. That paired with the smooth texture and complexities of flavour made this a drinkable brew.

All in all I thought it was a good beer. A bit young at this point, yet still had a complex flavour. I can only see it getting better as time goes by. I'm looking forward to reviewing it again in 2012 when I do a vertical tasting of whatever "vintages" I have collected by that time.

Ieatlambfries, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of MLegendre
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark, almost black with dark ruby highlights towards the bottom of my snifter. Very thick light tan 3in. head disapating very slowly into a thin cramy head. Bits of lacing stick the the glass as I sip it down.

S: Prodominatly fruity with a slight bit of hoppy bitterness. Has the typical belgian smell.

T: Very interesting. Starts off kind of sweet and a little bit roasty. Midtaste has some clovelike spice while the alcohol becomes very apparent and even burns the tongue a bit. . Aftertaste is very bitter and lingers on for awhile.

M: Very thick and creamy with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: I've never really cared for any of the belgian stlye beers I've had, but this one was pleasent. It's something I would have again, but not something I would get very often. It's kind of hard for me to finish the whole thing.

MLegendre, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is dark brown, with faint amber hues if viewed in direct light. The head tries to develop during the pour, but only ends up as a frothy ring. Very "dubbel" like aroma of coffee, banana, and belgian yeast. There is a hint of earthy and roasted character plus some alcohol too. The taste very much matches the aroma initially, and ends with a tangy bitterness that is quite pleasing. I like the hint of dryness in the finish also, plus the light roasted character that gives it some qualities like a porter. Mouthfeel is good, with a medium body and decent carbonation. Intrigued by its potential, I would defintiely try it again after a few more months...

bennetj17, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark cola definitely brown in nature although could border a black tone on the color spectrum tan head forms and leaves fine specks of lacing scattered around my chalice. Aroma has anise upfront just like my Italian grandma's cookies dark powdered cocoa and full herbal grassy notes some what of a woody toasty nut finish interesting. Flavor contains chocolate richness some doughy bread and coffee notes raisins tart apples alcohol finish with more of that signature anise black licorice note. Mouthfeel is creamy soothing alcohol burn medium body soft carbonation glides on palate. Drinkability is definitely intriguing and challenging to the senses some age would do this well as it was designed for it, I'm sure I'll have at least a few more bottles.

WVbeergeek, Aug 04, 2006
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.