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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

308 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 308
Hads: 482
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 14.11%
Wants: 84
Gots: 123 | FT: 12
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 06-05-2006

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 308 | Hads: 482
Photo of gotbeer
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a kick-ass looking deep, deep brown to black colour with a large creamy head that hangs around for a while but ultimately dissolves down and leaves a fair amount of residue on the glass.

The aroma is a well balanced blend of berries, banana, spice, some malt, hints of sugar and a touch of yeast.

The flavour of this one basically hits on all aspects of the aroma, yet leans a bit more to the fruit/sweet side of things. Malt kicks in toward the middle and the finish is a nice blend of both fruit and malt along with a touch of alcohol and a nice swig of yeast flavour as well. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and nice overall but a touch thinner than anticipated here.

This is good stuff. I can't recall off the top of my head but it may be my favourite of the Vertical Epic Series so far. Definitely worth picking up a bottle or two (or more).

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Photo of ggaughan
4.32/5  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.

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Photo of peabody
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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
alcohol warmth.
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.

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Photo of HopHeadKen
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Phocion
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lacking appropriate glasswear, I poured this one into my Duvel tulip. Pours a very dark amber, almost black, with a huge cream-colored head, though it was likely accentuated by the glass.

Smells of coffee, anise, and fruity undertones (mostly raisin); the yeasts definitely indicate a Belgian influence as well.

Dry roasted malt. Surprisingly smooth but with a hoppy bitter finish (it is a Stone after all). Spicy and fruity, with wheaty undertones, this one is very complex.

Medium-heavy bodied, but very smooth. Very pleasant on the palate.

This one is probably too drinkable. The bitter aftertaste is the only thing slowing me down, as I've already drunk about half the bomber just writing this review. At 8.7%, this beer could be pretty dangerous.

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Photo of DrJay
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark brown with deep mahogany highlights. The fine foam was much lighter brown and laced the glass nicely. Malty and fruity aroma, with notes of raisins, prunes, bread crust, anise, nuts, and cocoa. A bit of spice and yeast. Very nice. Chocolatey bittersweet malt flavour to start with caramel and fruit character rising part way through, mostly raisin and date, but there's a hint of sour cherry as well. Bread, alcohol and yeast bring up the rear along with an earthy pepperiness. Medium/full bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry, malty finish with a solid texture. I really liked this VE release. Plenty of maltiness and an assertive character. Definitely a winner that I'll revisit again.

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Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well crafted and pleasurable beer to both drink and review. One of my favourite of the style tried to date, to which it boast great character and quality makeup. Pours a deep, deep brown, nearly opaque with some highlights when held up to the light. Good head that sits steadily over top. The aroma seems of equall part yeast and malt. Enticing. Mouthfeel finishes a little grainy but with some candi sugar sweetness. Also ends with a small degree of bitterness that adds more depth. Flavours suggest many things: a good showcase of darker malts, light toasty character, a fine wheat balance as well. Maybe some light spice. I enjoyed this more than the other "epic" vintages I've tried. This one would certainly be a main stay for the cellar. Thanks Harry!

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have about 6 of these in the cellar and the wife wanted to have one tonight. Realized i didn't review it yet.

Dark copper almost opaque color with an off white head. Not much head but with 18 months on it that isn't a surprise. A thin cap hangs around but the lacing is minimal. Smell of dark fruits, raisins and plums mostly. Also some nice roasted malt and a chocolate finish. From what i can remember the hops has mellowed significantly letting the other flavors come to the front. Some bitterness kicks in with the taste but is quickly hidden by a little alcohol burn. Very heavy solid brew. A nice winter sipper that warms the belly on a cold night.

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Photo of jamesm7485
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting beer, manged to find some way in the back of the cooler at a hole in the wall place.

It's hard to pinpoint a single color in this beer depending on how you hold it up to the light there is red amber and some dark brown. Absolutely no head but being aged 2 years what do you expect.

The smell is very strange some currants possibly figs cant notice any hop smell?

The taste is very similar to the smell, but fades fast once its in your mouth.

The drinkability is very nice the alcohol isn't noticeable and the taste isnt too over powering.

Glad i got to try this and willl be interesting to see what some more time does.

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Photo of scottoale
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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 !!!

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a chalice, pours a dark mahogany, dark and clear ruby hues through a light, a small head forming from the pour that settles to a thin film, light lacing in streaks and bubbles. The aroma is heavy on the malts, spicy and yeasty, cloves and pepper, dark fruits, ripe banana, plum,

The taste is even better, a hefty dosing of malts, lots of it, spices are fantastic, cloves and spicy pepper, brown sugar, maybe even molasses. The fruits of plum and raisins, all kinds of stuff going on, really nice. The mouth isn't anything special, a decent body, the carbonation is about right, a little warming with the alcohol. But the thing I love about certain styles is the extremely wide variation on the theme. Its another beer that tastes like none others, and a delicious one at that. Most of the time, I wish I lived in SoCal for beers like this. I want many more in my cellar.

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Photo of waltonc
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown and red

S: Coffee, dark fruits

T: Sweet, carmel, molasses, bourbon, wood. Very delicious. Reminded me a little bit of a milk stout, actually.

M: Thick body, medium carbonation.

D: I really liked this one a lot, and wish I had more. My favorite of the five vertical epics we had last night.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of Resuin
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

Poured from a bomber into an enlarged snifter.

Appearance: Pours pretty much black and gives a tan head of a finger. A layer of tan is left around the rim of the glass (4.25)

Smell: Some nice must, licorice, dark chocolate, plums, figs, roasted malts, hint of molasses. Nice, balanced aroma. (4.25)

Taste: Big raisins, figs, licorice, plenty of dark chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla, molasses. Good amount of sweetness. This beer has held up pretty well. Nice and smooth. (4.25)

Mouth-feel: Low carbonation (but present) with a medium, creamy body. Super smooth finish. (4.5)

Overall: I'm definitely pleasantly surprised with this beer. It has held up really well and is a very tasty, well brewed beer. On the sweeter side, but just barely. Nice licorice, dark chocolate, and dark fruits in the flavor profile. (4.3)

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Photo of callmescraps
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again for very generous folks at the Goat.

Appearance- Very dark ruby. A vigorous pour provides a nice little head, especially nice considering the age.

Smell- Leather, off the bat. Dark fruits, plums and chocolate covered cherries. Smells like old cherries left in a barrel or something.

Taste- Sweet cherries, a hint of vanilla. Strong Belgian yeast, interesting hint of spice. Also some chocolate, and a little oak goodness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- A tad thin. Very smooth.

Drinkability- Goes down very easy.

This is a nice beverage. The lady friend really enjoyed it as well. Lots of nice layers of flavor. Missing a little robustness, but still very interesting and well made. I wish I had more.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty dark brown color with ruby around the edges. Thick light beige head with very good retention, and a decent sheet of lacing. Aroma of toasted malt, spices and yeast. There is also a touch of peppery alcohol in the nose. Medium, spicy body with malt, clove and grassy hops flavors. Bittersweet finish of sweet malt and spicy hops. Pretty enjoyable as is, and I wonder what it will taste like in 6 years.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep black color with faint ruby highlights around the edges and two fingers of creamy head with good retention.

S: Sweet sugar and malt fragrance paired with an aromatic yeasty smell, which was kind of funky or mildewy in a good way, but also spicy and inviting. The nose is quite complex and sumptuous.

T: A very even-keeled malty Belgian style. Malty and sugary up front easily transitioning into a smooth and dry finish. Plenty of spices present, with a bit of hop bitterness at the very end. Elaborate and tasty.

M: Good carbonation and creamy mouthfeel, a very nice texture on the palate.

D: Great take on the Belgian Dark style. Would definitely have another, and was surprised by this offering from Stone.

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Photo of oelergud
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
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.


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Photo of Arbitrator
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Received in a trade from soulfly967. Thanks man! I was saving this for a vertical with the guys, but at this point it's simply not happening, and I have too much beer. Here goes...

A: Pours a translucent, dark brown with a limpid half-finger of off-white head. It retains for about a minute before vanishing into a moderate collar on the brew. It looks like it's losing some carbonation.

S: The smell is quite nice, despite that. Cherries, anise, plums, a bit of clove.

T: A very interesting flavor. Subdued anise, which works VERY well with cherries, chocolate, raisins, and plums. There's a brown sugar and banana flavor throughout, and a hint of hoppy bitterness that offsets the otherwise sweet flavors nicely. It's also semi-dry, which lets the flavors speak for themselves without overwhelming the palate with sugars.

M: Definitely on the thin side, which is a bit off-putting since the beer is evidently losing carbonation (unless it was just really low-carbed to start with).

D: I thought this was pretty good! Glad I had it.

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Photo of Zorro
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of mattpetti
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, almost black in my chimay glass, with a half a pinky sized ligh brown head that shows good lacing.
S: Roasted, toasty malts that smell nice with, slight spice, overly ripe fruit(plum), licorice, and a tiny bit of alcohol.
T/MF/D: Solid medium body with the toasted malts leading the way followed by a swarm of fruity, wheat dopplebock flavors, but ends with a lingering, anise, and bready flavor that is nice. Moderatly carbonated which leaves a solid mouthfeel that makes this beer enjoyabe. Slight warming and tannic behavior is there also. All in all i liked this beer alot. It seems that the edges have to be rounded with aging to truely make this beer "Epic". Then again the bottle itself says "specifically designed to be aged until sometime after december 12 2012"...

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Photo of Boto
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber: This one pours an extremely dark, opaque brown. It is the darkest Dubbel that I have ever seen. There was a small tan head on it that drops away quickly. The aroma is complex. Some chocolate and smokiness comes to the top. There are some fruits and hops down in there also, but it is hard to distinguish individual notes. The flavor is complex also. A full richness, with a bit of sweetness. Some chocolate and fruits come to the top, as well as some hidden bitterness. A wonderful brew.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of asabreed
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into my Delirium Tremens glass. Figured it's best to take this guy really slow. It's been in the fridge for hours, so we'll see what happens as it warms and I drink.

Appearance: Seemingly opaque at first until the light, from far away, shines through it a bit, making it a deep, dark amber color. Huge head at first, slowly dissipating, with a nice ring around the edge of the beer, and some round clumps of wet lacing around the glass too.

Smell: I'm a huge fan of the bubblegum from the yeast strains, and this one packs a lot in there, so of course I'm down. There's also, at the colder temperature, a presence of anise. Not as much as a glass of ouzo, which is good because it's subtle, but it's definitely there. As it's warming I'm getting some brown sugar and banana. Are there some sour cherries in there too?

Taste: Some charcoal, candi sugar, bubblegum, slightly bitter hops, plum, slight anise, toasted malts, strong Belgian yeast. I love the originality here, the toasted malts, hops-as-needed, and insanely huge bubblegum backbone. I'd say if you were put off by the bubblegum this may not be your thing, but I really dig it, at least at this stage in its greenness. Finish is mild medicinal phenols, lingering hops, and, yes, bubblegum, with a little banana on there too. Also some charcoal. Long, distinct, fulfilling. And yes, maybe still a little green, but if this only gets better, watch out.

Mouthfeel: Awesome fullness and creaminess and not sugary or cloying at all. If this is only going to improve, then it may become pure silk.

Drinkability: I have two bottles of the 05.05.05 sitting in the cellar, and I'm glad I do, as I really want to see how it ages. And I have one bottle of the 06.06.06 still left (though I'll probably be buying more). A few years and I'd imagine the flavor to really do some insanely nice things. For now, though, it's a great brew, and like no other attempt at a Belgian I've ever had. Worth the $7-$8 a bottle for sure in my book.

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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.