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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

307 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 307
Hads: 478
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 8.84%
Wants: 83
Gots: 123 | FT: 13
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
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Reviews: 307 | Hads: 478
Photo of HopHeadKen
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of Phocion
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (764 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (700 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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! (759 characters)

Photo of beermanbrian
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
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). (857 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being the Devil's ale, or even just that of the Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar (in reference to 6-6-6), this isn't really that scary. In fact, it's kind of sweet.

It pours a very dark, almost-black mahogany body beneath a full-sized head of dark-tan foam. The retention could be a bit better, and the lacing as well, but it still holds pretty well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is yeasty with lots of banana and clove. Brown sugar and mild malt appear as well. Only a touch of alcohol appears to be present.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with some added chocolate malt that helps to ground it; a nip of spicy/floral hops; some peppery yeastiness; and a touch of warming alcohol.

It's smooth and lightly creamy in the mouth with a medium-full body and moderate carbonation.

The flavor mimics the aroma, but with a touch less more banana and more brown sugar.

Very nice! I think this might be the best of the Vertical Epic Series that I've tried so far. (1,003 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured into a Stone snifter

A- pours a nearly opaque black color with a small fizzy off white head that reduces quickly, leaving just a ring behind

S- peppery spice with a plethora of fruity sweetness, caramelized malt, light char, toasted bread, fig, lots of dark fruit

T- tons of dark fruity notes up front; fig, prune raisin. Caramel malt gives it a big sweetness, with notes of chocolate. Belgian spices add notes of must and peppery flavor, the finish is sweet with lingers of dark cherry and chocolate

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish, just a hint of alcohol warmth on the finish

O- this has held up amazingly well, the spicy and fruity yeast flavors mix nicely with the chocolate/caramel malt. Very well done! (770 characters)

Photo of cabsandking
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and shows its reddish hue when held to the light. Creamy tan head. Malty molasses nose with a hop pungency. Right away your detect its alcoholic potency. Bitter hop bite match with malt characters of espresso, licorice, and cocoa pungency. Acidic and floral tanginess are left in the finish. Thick body but a surprisingly watery mouth. As it warms the mouth becomes more sticky and viscous, while the alcohol mellows giving way to more malt notes of raisons and caramel. Even further it develops a tart sourness like a grand cru. Very, very nice... can't wait for 12/12/12! (585 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (873 characters)

Photo of d4114
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at winter storm:
Was dark brown with little head. It smelled very buttery and a little sweet. The taste was like drinking liquid buttery pecans and walnuts in a way. It was very very smooth and super easy to drink. I was not completely sure what to expect with this but it was surprising one of the better beers I had while there. (341 characters)

Photo of KeithStolte
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz to glass.

A - poured dark with a light tan head; great retention and lacing.

S - Heavily roasted malt. Little hint of alcohol.

T - Heavy roasted malt and earthy tones. Oak undertones with a hint of chocolate

M - Mixture of a stout and dark brown ale.

D - Thick by oddly very drinkable. Very smooth.

My first Vertical Epic, but am looking forward to haveing more in the future. (401 characters)

Photo of maek228
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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 (299 characters)

Photo of gotbeer
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (969 characters)

Photo of bobhits
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep dark red amber. Barely possible to see through the glass, but you can see that it's well carbonated at over 4 years old. Thin tan head with excellent retention and lacing. This is what I think of when I think about a dark Belgium.

Dark fruits, cherry sweetness, raisins, there's a hint of alcohol in the background but very subtle.

Caramel, it's not cherry but a similar fruit sweetness. Oak seems to take the back end which I don't recall at all when I last had this 2 years ago, let alone what I remember from 06 (mind you I do recall being a "touch" buzzed when I had it in 06). Mix in some roasted malt characteristics and a touch of chocolate and you've got an interesting beer.

The body is thick and kinda fluffy as well. I want to chew this.

It's thick but it's also very drinkable. I know...seems off.

I hate that stone no longer does 6 month tasting on their site as they claim they will. This beer has peaked. It's still the best of the series as it stands (08's hops are gone and certainly not for the better). I've had this beer since I was 21 or 22 depending on when I finally saved a bottle. Unlikely I ever have any of the older bottles, but this one holds a place in my heart. Proof that stone can make better beer than the belgiums even in their own style. Apologies to the Trappests.

The best Belgium I've had, but it was better a few years ago. (1,377 characters)

Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic Glass, avoided the yeast sediment for the first pour

Pours a very dark but not opaque brown. The edges of the beer show deep red and bronze.

Smell is strong. Smells lightly alcoholic with vanilla and pungent vegetables. Also smells like strong dark rye bread.

Tastes like earthy malt, tea, and toasty bran muffins.

Very smooth, clean feel that is nearly flat on carbonation. (398 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 45 months old now,

A: Pours a dark brown with a light white head, nice retention.

S: Great nose now. Raisin, prune reduction; it's all dark fruit and sugar.

T: Gets darker initially than the nose. Dark chocolate comes out immediately with a nice undercurrent of raisin and prune. Great flavour.

M: Still has a nice full carbonation, full body without going over the top, smooth as ever.

D: I was excited to try this as I still have a bottle of 6/6/06 in the cellar. This is a great beer now, I can't wait to see what it's doing by 2012.

December 2012 Edit - My last one. Held up well, spiced bundt chocolate cake in the nose, almost a winter warmer. Flavour has a lot of good malt flavour, great chocolate cake flavour in the finish, decadent, very tasty. A different beer than in 2006 fresh, or even in 2010, still a lot of fun. Really enjoyable. My longest cellared beer ever; I'm glad my little dresser can cut the Dijon so to speak, cellared personally since February 2007. (998 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.38/5  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. (585 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

purchased in june, consumed in june. fresh.

pours a dark mass into my allagash tulip. bright sun behind it draws out some reddish chestnutty highlights in the narrower part of the glass. velvety rootbeer head vanishes quick but leaves behind a tight thin layer.. much like the cascading, thick lace when i turn my glass.

aroma is a nice balance of darker wheat maltiness and fruity belgian esters. the wheat is more pronounced, and at times this beer (especially with warmth) smells like a weizenbock. but then you have some cherry compote and brown burnt sugar in there that echo flanders. interesting.

first sip brings joy to my senses.. this beer is great! don't get me wrong, i expected decent, but i haven't orgasmed over any of the vertical epics so far. this one is easily the best of the bunch. dry nuttiness with hints of wine-like tart yeast. finish draws out some more belgian dark fruit character, but doesn't overbear the drinker with sweetness. after drinking the adirondack abbey ale from new york, i am impressed to have found two beers in a row that allow the consumer to enjoy rich belgian flavors without any of the heavy candi sugar presence or an excess of phenolics. i keep sipping this, and for 8.6%, it goes down wicked easy.

this is a perfect belgian for slight experimentation on a summer day as i find it strangely refreshing in its crispness. i'm not sure how this one will age though.. doesn't seem like it has the juice to turn into anything but a mess. we'll see, won't we, in 2012. (1,526 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The pour was a dark almost opaque brown with a nice three finger head that quickly dissapated and left a nice lace on the sides of the glass throughout the drink.

The smell was very heavy in malt sweetness with the standard Belgian yeast aroma and a suprising almost cedar like hint in the rear of the nose.

The drink starts with a heavy malt sweetness then the yeast kicks in with that Belgian flavor the hops are there but they never over take the flavor of the beer. The finish was a lingering bitter-sweet malt.

All and all a great beer and to me true to the style. Lighter in body than I'm used to for the style but still quite the tasty beer. (657 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vicious mohagany black color. Opaque in the middle, transparent on the sides. Full creamy tan head holds solidly. Moderate lacing. Very fruity in particular plummy aroma. Dark raisins and yeast sorround. Almost a German type yeast flavor with banana/clove and some bubblegum in there. More plums/raisins in the taste. Dark chocolate comes in waves on top. A bit of spice toward the middle. More of a Belgian yeast taste as compared to the German yeast aroma. Hop bitterness comes forth mid-finish. An herbal character is in there slightly. Finish is chocolate cherry liquerish. Long smooth with a touch of burn in the belly. This is nice. Really, really intense in flavor but nothing is too overwhelming imo. A must try. (720 characters)

Photo of dblinkhorn
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a practically opaque black color (in fact you can only see its true color if you hold it up to a strong light, in which case you can see that it is a very deep reddish amber). The head is about three fingers this, creamy, and rocky. Its color is a light tan and it retains decent, settling at a half finger cap of creamy foam. Excellent, thick lacing all the way down.

Smell - Slighty bitter but mainly fruity/floral hops on the nose. Clove, annis, and black pepper spiciness can be smelled. Rich and hearty bready malt character finishes it up. Smells like a delicious Belgian!

Taste - Rich bready malt character with fruity/floral hops up front. Sweet/sugary fruits can be tasted such as fig, raisins, plum, etc. (dark, ripe variety). The spice is again clove and the black pepper is stronger than in the smell, while the annis is hard to pick out. The alcohol really shows in the middle, creating a warming and spicy feeling in your mouth as you quaff this stuff (the raisin flavor really shines here). The finish has some fruity sourness from the hops, paired with a very rich (almost roasted) malt character. A wet aftertaste consisting of medium earthiness, dying fruitiness, and some very tasting spiciness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with an excellent level of carbonation; not too much, not too little.

Drinkability - Very good, with its only drawback being the quite noticeable alcohol presense, especially smack in the middle of a taste. I personally enjoyed this warming/spicy effect, but many will probably find it somewhat unpleasant.

A superb belgian-style brew from Stone. These guys really know what they're doing as far as I'm concerned. This stuff is just as good as some of the best Belgians, in my opinion. Rich, velvety, spicy, and full of strong flavors. Highly recommended. (1,879 characters)

Photo of slayer3604
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a-pours a suddy one finger head that becomes a light coat on the top of the beer, which fades into a swirl of tiny white bubbles. held a mag light up to it and it was a beautiful deep ruby red!

s-lots of yeasty/bready notes that dominate, but has a nice bit of plum, and rich candi sugar epervesence.

t-huge amounts of sun dried raisen, yeasties, spice, malt, the list goes on, its a very complicated beer.

m-very warm, solid heavy bodied beer with lots of hard spices.

d-not available enough to drink very much of. im getting one more 06 in the mail and thats being saved till 2012 (586 characters)

Photo of Franchise
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
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. (621 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Upon its release from the 22-ounce brown bottle the beer sets a deep incarnadine color, the head behemothic in size, light tan in color and semi-creamy in texture, the lace forms a thick and sticky sheet to hide the glass. Nose has a deep, rich malt sweetness, hints of aromatic spices dominate after resting a bit, a joy to this old schnozzle, start is sweet with a delightful grain presence, top is moderate in feel to the palate. Finish has a spiny acidity, the hops and spice quite flavorful, dry and long lasting after taste. One of the better verticals from Stone, and one that will age nicely. (600 characters)

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.