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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

464 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 464
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 86
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: 464 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jerz
4/5  rDev +0.5%

jerz, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +0.5%

billab914, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +0.5%

afsdan, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +0.5%

rab53, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of GETTNCRUNKED
4/5  rDev +0.5%

GETTNCRUNKED, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +0.5%

sbricker, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle courtesy of czoch75 - likely the farthest back I'll ever go in this series, so many thanks to Clint (awesome trader). Poured in to a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a good dark Belgian hue, nearly black but not glassy or onyx-like, and instead multi-hued, with some light dancing through around the edges, sort of like it does through a cup of fresh coffee you made just a little too weak (note: the strength at which I take my coffee has made lesser men weep). This beer's opacity is a result of its hue, not its clarity, as a fair amount of slow carbonation is visible immediately inside its glassy prison. The head - initially about a finger tall, though it fades to inside a quarter finger within sixty seconds - is dense, uniform, and a pleasant though uninspiring dull tan. Ultimately, it leaves only a similarly-situated collar, unevenly dispersed around the circumference of the tulip, a few flashes of gilttery lace, and a ghostly whisper of surface lacing.

Aroma: A sweet, malty mess. Tons of brown sugar and toffee jump out the gate strong, along with a few darker and toastier notes, nothing too sweet but also nothing astringent. There's a fair amount of Belgian spice and yeasty esters - mostly cloves, but plenty of nutmeg, overripe bananas. A few chocolate notes emerge as this one nears room temperature.

Taste: Sort of laid back. This might have been a little more flavorful at one point, more varied, more subdued, but as its age, certain things have come through a little stronger, and certain others have faded a little too far. What's strong is the malt backbone, toasty, faintly sweet, like an old, well-attenuated sugars, slightly caramelly, toffee, brown sugar, faint cocoa and toast. A handful of fruity notes - raisins, plump plums, bananas, dried cherries - mingle with strong Belgian spices to suggest a once robust and still enjoyable but perhaps past-its-prime brew. A slightly faint vegetal note concludes things, mingling with a few astringent malt notes.

Mouthfeel: Perhaps this beer's best aspect, and there's a nice amount of smooth, well-integrated carbonation here, present, large and in charge after a good nearly-four years. Nothing sticky, nothing too intense ... just a smooth, well-aged sort of Belgian mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A straightforward beer and a slightly mixed bag at times. I think it's probably past its peak, but then again, I didn't have this one fresh, so I don't really know what I'm talking about from a relative point of view. I just know what "past its prime" beer tastes like, and this one exhibits a few of those characteristics. You can't knock Stone for not breaking outside the box, though - the vertical epic series will show brewers exactly what they can and can't, should and shouldn't do when creating series designed to be aged in this fashion. I had no problem finishing this one, and enjoyed it perfectly well at 4 years of age ... but I imagine it was at one point better, and will not get better with an additional two years, six months, and twenty days on it.

CrellMoset, May 24, 2010
Photo of dgherm
4/5  rDev +0.5%

dgherm, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.5%

imperialking, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone- 06.06.06 Vertical Epic

Appearance- dark brown almost black with a huge thick tan head. sticky lacing down the entire glass.
Smell- roasted hops ash, charcoal, cherry, raisin, banana.
Taste- like a blend of Stout and Belgium ale. Strong roasted flavor blending quite evenly with fruit tones. Raisin, cherry, and banana flavors come through.
Mouthfeel- strong burnt flavors at first but quickly flipping over to equally strong fruit flavors. Slighty strong in alcohol but not overpowering.

Overall- A nice Belgium that has a big flavor and a bit of a kick. A very good sipper!!

NJpadreFan, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of MiScusi
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

MiScusi, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of grub
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

biegaman was nice enough to share this one with me. thanks jan!

pours a deep red brown with some ruby highlights. fine tan head that quickly drops to a ring around the glass

aroma is nice. slightly sweet candi sugar like aroma. pumpernickle bread. a bit of spice.

taste is good. nice bready malt, just a hint of residual sweetness. a little belgian funk to it that's kind of nice. spicy, maybe corriander. touch of licorice.

mouthfeel is good. pretty dry, nice carbonation level.

drinkability is great. really easy drinking brew that i'd love to have available all the time.

grub, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

789th Review on BA
Bottle to snifter
22oz

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks Jim for sharing!

App- When this poured out it had a medium brown color with some amber around the edges. A 1/2” partially bubbly head was there and quickly faded. No real cling or lace was there.

Smell- For a 5 year old bottle its holding up nicely. I got a lot of the lighter yeast notes with a damp dark fruit notes. Had a bit of maple and some sweet malts behind it. A little plum and raisin.

Taste- A very complex taste in that the nose dissipates quite rapidly to reveal a more malt forward BSDA with a lot more spice and layers behind it. Yeasty on the final sips with a bit of that plum coming through.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A nice balance of yeast/dark fruits on the tongue. A little thin but still medium.

Drink- I have an 03-10 at home and was very excited to try some of the early versions to compare them all later.

FosterJM, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of DogFood11
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another in a long line of outstanding stone products. Sleek but refined graphics on the bottle. Large head, thin coating of lace, and eventually falls to a topper. Dark body, looks rich.

If I had to compare it to another beer I'd say its very similair to the Gouden Carolus Grand Cru....Identical? of course not, but similair non the less in my experience. It's a belgian strong dark that has some balls so to speak. It has all the qualities you'd expect. Rich, Cloves, Dark fruits, etc. But what this has that the others don't is a scent and taste of smoke....yes smoke. It becomes bitter in the back corner of my mouth, more towards the finish. Aftertaste is lingering and the alcohol will sit for a bit to reflect on its naughty past. Rich Plumbs really take center stage as it warmed.

Notes: Its really good. Far from great. Cellared 8 and hopefully one will make it for the tasting in 2012.

DogFood11, Jun 26, 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 ommegangpbr
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack open this here puppy for no particular reason.
The pour is nothing special looking but nothing off putting. Very little in the way of head, foam or lacing occurs; that which does is white to offwhite in color.
The scents are pleasant but weak. I tend to expect more bold and striking aromas for this style. Even when on the warmer side the odors are muted. I can pick up some caramelized malts and some dark fruit scents; mostly dark raisins. Just a hint of phenols in there.
Flavors are much more pronounced and well developed. Pretty authentically Belgian in flavor profile except lacking a bit of distinctive yeast presence. Deep, dark fermented fruit flavors with raisin and dark cherry being the strongest. Some bitterness either from toasted malts, or hops, or both. Sweetened coffee things are going on, maybe with a splash of grenadine. Some cola-like notes linger here and there in the quality of the sweetness. The bitterness does well to balance out those components.
The feel on the palate has just the right combination of carbonation and smoothness for me. The bubbles keep some of the cloying away that makes way for a soft, pleasurable finish.
Very tasty stuff. I kinda wish Stone produced something like this in a regular basis. or maybe even a seasonal one.... something between their Smoked Porter and their Russian Imperial stout.
Good sauce and tasty juice. Fans of big, Belgian dark ales are likely to enjoy.

ommegangpbr, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of axeman9182
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to one of my trading partners. Opened in celebration of grabbing some 10.10.10 and poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours black; not as soul crushingly black as an RIS but there's no light coming through even when backlit. The nose is very interesting, roasted but not especially chocolaty or coffee in nature. There's also the anise and cedar promised on the bottle, as well as some more murky herbal/spiciness. Honestly, not much to add about the flavor that the nose doesn't cover. Every facet of the aroma shines through and helps craft a very tasty beer, even four plus years later. This beer reminds me of New Belgium's 1554 in that it seems to be a cross between a Belgian strong dark ale and a stout. Very solid body, nice and creamy and I would say surprisingly light if I hadn't been warned by Stone beforehand. Carbonation could stand to be a little more expressive, it seemed a tad dull. Four years later the 06 Vertical epic drinks pretty smoothly, and is a very good beer, but just doesn't make me want to call it "world class" or a revelatory drinking experience. Still, another great beer from Stone.

axeman9182, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

ultralarry2006, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Somehow I never got around to reviewing this before now, let's see how it is holding up 3 years and 5 months since its release. Pours into my glass a deep dark brown with a small khaki head on top. Aromas of dark fruit and spice with roasted malt underneath. Quite a bit of yeast esters in there as well. Hints of plum and clove. A touch of oxidation is creeping in as well.

First sip brings dark roasted malts mixed with dark fruits. Licorice, chocolate and caramel mix in as it flows down with a nice kick of spicy, estery Belgian yeast. A bit woody on the finish as well with a touch of bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden. Pretty darn tasty still.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with good steady carbonation. Overall, a tasty brew that has held up well at this stage in my opinion. I'm not sure how this will be tasting by 12.12.12 but I intend to let my other bottles chill in the cellar to find out!

orbitalr0x, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of BadBadger
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Stone V.E.A. 06 edition pours a very dark brown color, with ruby undertones. The head is rather, and sadly, short lasting. The smell is pleasantly thick, with malt and fruits coming through. The taste is good but raw, being strong on malty sweetness. Aging should pull the flavors together to something more coherent. The mouthfeel is nice and rather smooth, with only a mild alcohol burn on the back of the throat. A nice beer to search out and enjoy. Be sure to buy at least two and cellar one of them.

BadBadger, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: moderate retention of the tan-colored head, the beer is a very dark brown in color

smell: Aromas of cedar and other evergreen woods together with Belgian pale and toasted malt smells. Moderate milk chocolate aromas, and maybe even a little roast. Hints of anise. Negligible hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a smooth medium, and the body pretty full for a Belgian. Lingers on the palate for awhile. Interesting.

taste: A "different" mix of Belgian type pale malts and light milk chocolate flavors with a range of yeasty Belgian flavors notes. I'm digging it. Flavors of dark tree fruits and anise. Light hop flavor and bitterness. Woody evergreen notes.

drinkability: good...I could see this one aging well

split with dirtylou while in Mad Town

blackie, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of Deuane
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Very dark brown almost black. Subtle hints of deep ruby highlights. Small tan head that reduces to a thin ring leaving spotty lace.

S-Some dark fruits and a bit of spice all poking thru a wafting aroma of subtle smokiness.

T-Deep and rich flavours melding together. Dark fruits, citrus a bit of licorice and even some chocolate. Undertones of faint smoke pervade throughout.

M-Medium-heavy body. Very porter-esque. Incredible smoothness that makes this an absolute treat to drink.

D-Nice, glad to have had the opportunity to have this one. A very interesting take almost a blend between a Belgian Dark and a smoked porter. I rather enjoyed this one.

Deuane, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of harrymel
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during a tasting of 06-10 VE's.
Poured to NB globe.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly perfectly opaque ale. Single finger light tan head dissipates quickly. Little lacing here.

S: Molasses, molasses, molasses, anise, mineralic qualities. Very complex, dark malts with belgian yeast greets the nose with dark fruits which are quite subdued by the original approach of molasses feel. Cocoas dance here as well.

T: The molasses and dark fruits continue here. Malts, anise, cocoas. Wow, delicioso!

M: Heavy, viscous with low carbonation. Great feel for this beer. Sticky, resonant, smooth.

D: This beer was second only to 09.09.09 on the lineup. It was fantastic! I wish I had more of this beer around to drink for sure.

harrymel, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of chilidog
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Its Happy New year time and thisone was my choice for New Years 06 to 07.
Its been cellared for six months, bought in june, till now.

It poured a nice dark brown and settled a slight burgandy with a small but fair tan head.

The aroma was of sweetenwd coffee and roasted malts.

The taste was alittle sweet as if brown sugar was dusted over roasted malts. Hints of coffee, spice, cocoa and clove back things up. The alcohol was suttle, perhaps that little time mellowed things abit. So much so the 8.6% almost got by unnoticed.

Drinkability was good overall with a slight dryness toward the finish.

chilidog, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of ellisdee97
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz. bottle with printed label.

A: Pours a dark coffee black. Light head which dissipates leaving a tan ring. Sticky lacing.

S: Pepper, sweet fruity yeast. Hints of alcohol are devilishly concealed.

T: Pepper, sweet fruity yeast with a wonderful malt balance. A smooth journey within the yeast and malt. Hops are present but not showy.

M: Exceptionally smooth. Begins sweet with a little alcohol kick, finishes dry with a desire for more.

D: For my first VE I am sad I have not had the previous few years. This beer is highly drinkable, an exceptional representation of the style. Very well balanced, fantastic.

Can't wait to see where the tastes take me down the line, my first true cellar beer.
Slainte.

ellisdee97, Jul 05, 2006
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.