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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

467 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 467
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 86
Gots: 112 | 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: 467 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Truh
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Saw the sign of the beast with this one on 6/21/2006. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in an Arrogant Bastard shaker glass.

Very thin initial head, maybe 1/8-inch, that quiets to some wood shavings, largely piled on the edges. Fine sheet of stick as the pour goes further down. Hue is medium to light brown, darker at its core, with not a whole lot of noticeable action happening; fairly quiet. The nose is difficult to determine; some rock candy, caramel, charcoal, sugar cane, and the cathedral vault vacuousness that accompanies Belgian-style ales of this type. Dark fruits invade the tongue, composed of prunes, raisins, some fruity craisins, smoky apple wood (like barbecue chips). A tangy sweetness pulls through at the tail end, slightly sour.

Good stuff. Wonder what it will be like six and a half years from now.

Truh, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$6.99 a bottle at HiTime Wine Cellar. Bottle blabs about being chapter 5 in a 10 chapter series. (Other reviews indicate that their botle states fourth.) This Belgian Strong claims to be 8.66% with the identical yeast as 03.03.03.

Pours eggplant violet black with only thin glints of violet light splinters along the side of the glass against the light. An instantly settled collar stands atop a solid frozen offering.

Nose is a piquant liquorice and cocoa stab with some Dr. Pepper thrown in for good measure. Spices abound with clove and banana aspects via a deep Belgian yeast like rye bread.

First swigs: Dusty dry woody sawdust with a black liquorice and black cherry. Some overripe banana and even a charcoal tobacco flavor too. Abit overwhelming with an intensity that paints the tongue with palate paste. Copious amounts of wet bread dough flavor and an onslaught of flavor avalanche here. Big flavor.

Feel is a touch sugary thick with too much yeasty characteristics. I might have enjoyed this more if it were a touch lighter overall. Carbonation is proper but the toasted malt really leaves a footprint.

Last swigs: Liquid black jelly bean. Maybe too much so. Bold taste that just demands attention rather than attracts it but if I were the brewer for Stone I'd scratch my head every Epic too.

blitheringidiot, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of taez555
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown/black body with a tan head.

Nose is in your face belgian dark ale. Dark rich chocolate, phenols, caramel, brown sugar, candy sugar, woody tree bark, natural roots, spices, and mild touches of anise.

Taste is full bodied at first and rolls over the tongue in a waves of flavors ending surprisingly lighter. Dark malts, caramel, chocolate, toast and hints of dark wheat. Chooclate coverd cherries, bubble gum and mild hints of smoke. Rough around the edges with a course taste. There's a numbing anise flavor from beginning to end. Hop taste is there and finds a nice middle ground between big american ale and belgian trappist. Enough bitterness to hold it's own without being over the top. Hop taste is earthy and is slightly overpowered by the spice flavor. That or maybe it is the hops. Either way, it's not your typical floral or earthy notes. Ends with a lingering anise flavor.

Another fantastic year from Stone VE series. This is one that seems taylor made for aging. It's seriously rough around the edges right now, but the style with the big hop backbone is made to be drunk in 6 years. It should be really interesting to see this mellow and yet maintain a bite.

taez555, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of maek228
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark with a brown head. looks great

Smell: rum cake, hazelenut, malts, chocolate.

Taste: dark malts with hints of raisin, dark fruit, and hazelnut.

Mouthfeel: mildly thick and somewhat chewy.

Drinkability: Goes down easy for its strength.

Overall a really good darl ale

maek228, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a black-amberwith a one finger tan head that melted slowly to thik sticky lacing.
Aroma is sweet....roasted dark malts, ripe banana, dark fruits, heavy spices like cloves, and a hint of pine or spruce.
Taste is thick sweet prune juice initially followed with a roasty malt flavor then raisins and dark fruits with over-ripe banana at the end. Again, a slight pine in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is really rich and creamy.
Aftertaste is ripe banana and dark fruits.

Very enjoyable brew that is still a little rough around the edges but will balance nicely in time...enough so that I am going to buy a case for cellaring. I mention banana a lot in my review but it is a dark over-ripe banana that melds beautifully with the other dark fruit and roasted flavors. A lot of reviewers are calling this bubblegum, but to me it is much warmer and softer than bubblegum. The spruce and spice presence I sense reminds me of a Christmas dubbel begium beer.
I like it and the slow warming alcohol is making me like this more and more.
***
Revisit Aug 25th...
Not that much cellaring, I agree, but flavors are mellowing and blending incredibly well.
"Belgium" aspects are much more apparent this time around.
Aroma is still distinctively alcohol based, however the flavors have really balanced and blended to the point where the alcohol is definately secondary...maybe even 'thirdendary'.
Good stuff...I'm buying more to cellar for later...and later...and later.
This might be worth buying a bottle a week and just hiding it.

IntriqKen, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of clickpush
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 22oz bomber to wide mouth glass. Comes out with a half inch of light brown head over a very dark brown body and has tons of tiny bubbles throughout the beer. Head doesn't last long at all but the lacings are interesting in that the active carbonation in the beer keeps the lacings in a constant state of change.

Nose: This thing has everything: an early combination of chocolate, caramel, and nuts presents a whole pecan pie on a silver platter. All this is followed by some dark chocolate covered cherries and fruitcake aroma. Smells like a 5 star dessert.

Mouth: Enters with a light chemical feel up front that couples with a bubble gum flavor. Deep malts all around and tons of warmth in the swallow. It has a sweet plastic lasting flavor that warns off any hops. Has an excellent mouthfeel with nice fizz all the way through the mouth. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee, but over all the beer's still too sweet. Has a bit of a smoky swallow which is nice, but doesn't mellow the bubble gum.

I took about 2 hours to drink this bomber and by the end the alcohol was really over powering - it didn't ebb at all. This one is getting thrown behind bars for 3-5 - then we'll see if it's more under control.

clickpush, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of gotbeer
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have been looking forward to this one since I visited Stone's new brewery last April. The past VE's have been beers I have really enjoyed, and the trip just got me looking forward to this one when it was discussed in the tour.

Luckily, it did not dissapoint.

This one poured a dark, almost black color with a head full of fine bubbles that faded into merely light lacing on the oversized snifter it was poured into. The smell was of spices, orange, and bready malts.

The taste was complex and raw. Maybe this one is a little young. There is anise, orange, and spices readily apparent with some bubble gum flavors. The alcohol is well hidden, and the drinkability is superb. There is quite a lot going on in this beer, and many parties fighting for control. This brings incredible complexity. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one is after some time in my cellar. I purchased a couple extra for that reason.

Another great installment in the VE series.

gotbeer, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of weeare138
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to egajdzis for this...
Appears a dark brown with red hues around the edges. A nice light tan head slowly fades out and leaves streaks of lacing around the tulip glass.
Smell is of candy sugar, Belgian Chimay yeast, cocoa, light wood, mild caramel, light banana, and hints of fruit.
Taste is of the same aromas with a mild smack of vanilla in there.
Mouthfeel is sugary, complex, and a bit yeasty.
This one will age well

weeare138, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of lou91
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well someone likes Belgian Strong Dark Ales at Stone since three out of five are in this style. I looked at my last two reviews of the 05 and 03 to see what I thought of the other interpretations and this one was similar but not the same. This one looked great as did the others with the dominant Belgian candi sugar on the nose in a dark brown package as expected. Among the three this one was the best one fresh. The body was bigger and the taste was spot on fresh – sweet, malty with a hop bitterness and even a saltiness that all work well. I just had a chocolate sprinkled with sea salt and this reminded me of this salty/sweet combo.

lou91, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of IceAce
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours ruddy brown capped with three fingers of soapy tan foam leaving an awesome trail of lace in my Duvel tulip. Nose is bright and Belgian with hints of molasses, anise, apple-spiced yeast, as well as an occasional hint of alcohol.

Entry is quiet and mouthfeel is palate-pleasing, but a little slick. Midtaste brings the malts full force with a dry finish borne of nutmeg and cinnamon yeasties, black licorice, and even a hint of Mom's cedar chest.

The qualities of this brew multiply exponentially as room temperature is reached. Laying this down for a spell will no doubt round out the myriad of complex flavors...but I like these beers young so that individual components may still be recognized.

IceAce, Jun 13, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 fl .oz. brown glass bomber, with “Stone Vertical Epic Ale” screen printed in silver & orientated vertically, set against, & inside, a thin double lined yellow border. Now I’m always up for a bit of beer geekery and I immediately noted that the design has changed slightly, the central decal is a circle made up of one large 06, surrounded by 5 smaller ones; all of the previous designs had six smaller numbers surrounding the central decal. Also, the reverse describes this one as the “fourth” in an epic series, when we all know by now that it is in fact the “fifth”. Still, another empty Stone bottle to put with the rest of my Stone collection!


Appearance: Has a very dark brown projection with a deep mahogany body which exhibits a highly polished gem-like ruby flash when backlit. The head rises but it does not retain much of a presence with only a halo-head and a very thin patchy broken covering. Gentle swirls reinstate a thin uniform cap but it soon fades and disappears. Carbonation is temperate and rather moderated in its contribution.

Smell: Lovely Belgian nose, spicy yeast, lightly roasted malts and a hint of dark fruits. Rash tendency to project cloves with some chocolate banana in and amongst a strong bubblegum finish. Anise comes and goes; sadly the volatile bubblegum tends to overpower it.

Taste: Dark start, molasses, roasted malts; prune juice forms the entrance, when anise soon punctuates the middle with support from the alcohol. Rich feel, complexity is here but it’s simply presented right now, a mature future bodes well. Raisins and licorice litter the finish along with some tobacco smoke too. Ending is spicy and distinctly Belgian.

Mouthfeel: Solid texture is accentuated by the spicy alcohol and Belgian yeast. Warming to a limited degree with a very satisfying finish. Creamy with a thick feel and a hint of kick-ass in the finish.

Drinkability: Sips well but occasionally slips the wool over your eyes and fools you into a full on session approach. It is 8.66% and the warming alcohol is neatly hidden but definitely present.

Overall: The 06VE seems to take a hell of a lot from the 03VE, and that’s just fine because the 03VE remains one of my favorites to this day. However the 06VE seems to have a little extra thrown in for good measure which will probably reveal itself in the coming years, and the Drinkability right now is downright dangerous.

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 13, 2006
Photo of ChillMike
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich mahogany color with a decent sized tan head that doesn't leave much lacing. Not too strong of a smell, but I get scents of bubblegum, malts, caramel and chocolate. Wow a flavor burst of craziness! I’m first hit with a taste of chocolate, then onto bubblegum followed by a nice roasted coffee flavored malt then ends with a slight bitter bubblegum taste (although that sounds gross it’s actually very nice) I’m very impressed with this Stone brew.

ChillMike, Jun 13, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly as black as the darkest stouts. Head is a carpet of neatly trimmed foam. Nose is full of cotton candy, bubblegum, molasses, pepper. Taste is almost exactly the same. Alcohol is completely disguised by the tasty flavors. Mouth is thick like a nice booty. I could absolutely drink a ton of this stuff. Unfortunately that won't be possible since this is a limited run. Stone, you are out of your minds if you never brew this great recipe again in the future. Damn good stuff.

TheBungyo, Jun 12, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another limited release, annual ale...this one six years young to it's expected prime? Well so the epic story unfolds, this one pours out of the 650ml brown bomber a very dark brown with burgundy highlights barely coming through, capped with a bubbly light brown head. Has a good amount of natural carbonation and decent lacing.

The aromas that come out of this brew smell as if they come from abroad, overseas that is. Very spicy and fruity, somewhat potent and that distinctive Belgian yeastiness...honestly, it smell's of a fresh import from you know where. As the label describes it: "a deep, rich aroama of toasty malts, anise, Belgian yeast spiciness, and a hint of cedar", this is exactly what you taste...isn't it?

The mouthfeel is quite creamy and very smooth... a solid medium body, although they claim it as light, on the label. I suppose by the typical standards of Stone, it has a lighter body than they're more massiive offerings...still a pretty heafty brew by any standards, yet I could quite easily opt this as a beer for sessions. This is really tasty, yet not the typical Stone beer...if there is such a thing!

Thanks again G.K. and Co., this stuff is good to go as is...CHEERS !!!

scottoale, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch dark brown/mahagoney with no light getting thru. Huge khaki head taking its time to fall. This head will be us run of production, the retention is stunning. When it does meander down, a thick webbing is left behind. So far so good.

S: Lots of Brussels yeast. Licorice, clove, coconut and banana esters.

T: A lot going on, lets start from the top. Starts with dark malty sweetness that immediately gives way to loads of dark licorice. Roasted coffee then takes the limelight with hints of bakers chocolate, anise and lactose. Finishes with overwhealming banana esters. Aftertaste is bourbon, bananas fosters and sweet cream. I've been tasting a lot of banana esters outside of German wheats lately, this must be the new thing in brewing. I'm good with it.

M: Medium to thick. Chewy with good carbonation.

D: Much too young, it needs to ripen. This beer needs a couple of years but then it will be a winner. This beer is going to be seriously good....Its already good! Needs some rounding, too many flavors currently competing.

Westsidethreat, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of ggaughan
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just picked up 2 cases of this on Friday and cracked it open today after a hard day of work. What a treat. Before I opened the bottle I noticed that the label says it is the "fourth" in an epic series but this is actually the fifth.

The beer poured a deep, dense brown color with a bubbly tan head that disapated rather quickly but left good lacing down the glass. The aroma has a definite Belgian yeast character to it that was pleasing to the nose and it was backed by some spice notes and toasted malts. The taste has a definite yeast body to it and a good backbone of the toasted, almost chocolatey malts. There were also touches of anise and maybe some clove going on in there. After each sip there is a definite tone of hop bitterness that lingers on the tongue and rounds things out well. Although this is a big beer with a high abv, the carbonation and body overall are not overbearing and makes for a very drinkable beer. Can't wait for 07.07.07 now.

ggaughan, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brown so dark, it is almost black. The head is light brown. It looks thick and fluffy. It fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a strong bready aroma. It is also quite yeasty. It smells of cloves, and other spices. Grains of Paradise and coriander, and orange peal. This beer also has a plesent mild citrus hop aroma. A slight lemony aroma is present.

This beer has a lot of different flavors. It is taking me a little while to sort them all out. I taste some spices up front. As with the aroma, cloves, and coriander. It has a slight bubblegum flavor. It has an earthy yeast flavor to it as well. Citrus hop flavors are also detectable.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a bubblegum like aftertaste. This beer is well carbonated.

I think, despite the slightly high alcohol content, that this beer might make a good session beer. It tastes very good, and the flavor is mild enough to not get cloying. I am anxious to see what a few years will do to this one.

OStrungT, Jun 10, 2006
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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.