Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic AleStone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale

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BA SCORE
89
very good

469 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 469
Reviews: 304
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 85
Gots: 115 | 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: 469 | Reviews: 304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maximum12
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dubbercody for dropping in this extra to a long-ago trade. This'll be the oldest Vertical Epic that I've had to date, & the chances of any reacing 12.12.12 are zero.

Pours a nightish red, almost completely dark, but one can see a blood-amber finger if one waves it behind the beer, nice. Smell is rich, almost Imperial Stout-like, with a sweeping sweetness, chocolate, vanilla, & a glaze of fruit. Definitely red fruit.

06.06.06 is, after almost four years of hiberation in that fancy screen-printed bottle, is a tasty beer. The candied spiciness of the Belgian character comes immediately to the fore & drives the entire experience. More sweetness, from the malts, follows. Rumors of dark fruit remain, along with a further splash of spice that I assume to be anise, right at the end.

Very good beer, another that peaked with the smell & didn't quite follow through on that promise in the taste category. Still, when the mood for a dark Belgian hits, this is one that will bite that scratch.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.3/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of JoePat
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown with a kaki head that dissipates pretty quickly leaving some lacing.
Smells malty, with some earthy hops and a little bit of the anise.
Tastes mostly like bitter chocolate, some malt but not very complex.
Pretty average mouthfeel nothing that stands out.
This beer goes down pretty easily but doesn't really make me crave for more.
This was my least favorite of the line up tried tonight.

Photo of callmescraps
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of brdc
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle. Unfortunately, never had before, so have no comparison, but my first impression is that this will not last well into 2012. On the other hand, overlord thinks this one is improving.

Very dark reddish brown, golden highlights. Very thin light tan head does not hold at all, and produces minimal lacing.
The aroma, if not powerful, is very interesting and unique; dark fruits and candy like a belgian, but also some chocolate, vanilla, spicines, yeastiness.
The same notes come back on the palate; medium bodied, with caramel, dark fruits, malty sweetness, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate.
Despite all those flavors, like the aroma, the flavor does not feel "powerful" enough, and it is very short lasting.
Good, not great; I hope I am wrong, but I cannot see this one holding long.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Volo, Stone Appreciation Day. Pours slick black, with nice white head. Good aromas of anise, chocolate. Taste is rich but only average, was expecting thicker. A delivery of anise, after 3.5 years the yeast "she has gone away" A bit on the sweeter side.

Photo of Overlord
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

By far the best of the vertical epics I've had. I dimly remember this beer at the time of the release, but it certainly wasn't as good as it is now. It gives me hope for the series, as I found the 07, 08, and 09 to be ... varying ... in quality.

Pours a beautiful, walnut-y golden brown. Thin off white foam head that quickly dies down to the merest crust.

Smells like Belgian candi, a whiff of vanilla, caramel dark fruit-ed malt, and a faint, faint tinge of spices ... something exotic. Cloves and banana, perhaps?

Taste is really quite nice. Frankly, one of the better straight-up Belgian ales I've had in quite some time. Exotic mixture of dark fruit, caramel, toffee, sweet brown sugar and spices. A hint of vanilla and maybe ... chocolate? Some rum in there, too. Also some banana to give it a tropical undercurrent.

Mouthfeel is acceptable, though given the abundance of flavors, I expected it to be a bit thicker. I am really surprised by how much I am digging this. Not merely the class of the Vertical Epic series, but one of the best Belgian Ales I can remember.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 12.26.2009.

Poured a very dark brown with a decently-sized head, especially given the age. The smell was of chocolate, Belgian yeast, roasted malt, and hints of dark fruit. The taste is really dominated by the chocolate flavor of the malt, with a bit of roasted characteristics, as well as some lingering Belgian yeast, especially in the aftertaste. Not a bad beer at all, and I look forward to trying it again in 2012.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Corsedonk snifter. Pours a very dark brown with a rather small tan head, possibly due to the age. Head dissipates pretty quickly but remains a thin frothy head around the outside surface.

Aroma is very sweet: raisins, apple, cherries. Dark roasted malts, grainy.

Very nice flavor. Tastes aged if that makes sense. Low carbonation...also probably due to age. Very much resembles a wine. A lot of fruits...but mixes really well. Another great Vertical Epic from Stone!

Photo of Cresant
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. The body was dark brown and clear of sediment. The weak head was was tan and left a fine film.

Smell was lightly of alcohol. Melted brown sugar. Rich. Well melded aromas and flavors.

Taste was sweet and fruity. Dark raisins. Lightly tart. Not too much alcohol. Moderate toasty malts. Very smooth and complex.

Mouthfeel was medium to full in body. Smooth. I look forward to trying this again in 2012.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Blind Tiger, NYC, busted out an aged keg of this a few weeks back and I jumped at the opportunity...

Poured a deep dark murky brown into a tulip, with over a finger of khaki-colored head that laced very well. The aroma was a nice mixture of tart berry, lemon, molasses, brown sugar, and caramel. The taste was a sublime progression of maltiness, caramel, cranberry, and brown sugar, dissolving to molasses and caramel, and finishing on a tart note. The body was medium but creamy, and not overly carbonated. I loved this beer. I only wonder what it would taste like after further aging.

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!

Photo of berkey
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 10/31/09.

Pours a very dark brown, near black color. Takes a robust pour, but I managed to coax up a medium sized tan head. Retention, however, is quite poor.

Smells of Belgian yeast, chocolate, and dark fruit. Not bad but I'm picking up some soy sauce in there that has me a little concerned.

More dark fruit, hints of plum and fig specifically. Soy sauce character not as bad as I feared but still a factor. More of the chocolate perceived on the aroma rounds out the aftertaste. Virtually no hops detected. Seems to get sweeter with stronger chocolate and some molasses notes as it warms. Medium thickness, very low carbonation. Average drinkability.

Overall not bad for an three and a half year old American beer. I get the impression Stone's mastery of Belgian yeast is improving as the 7 and 8 are aging quite a bit better.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellared until Fall 2009.

Pours very dark brown to nearly black with thin head that retreats quickly to a thin lace. Nose is somewhat tepid with some brownbready aromas and overripe fruits. A light roasty component is noted as well. On the palate, a brown sugary sweetness comes forward with roasty malt flavors, a few holiday dessert spices, and finishes somewhat warm with alcohol. There's a lingering dark fruit flavor on the aftertaste.

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap today at Stone on Vertical Epic release day. Tomorrow may be 09.09.09, but today was drink old VEs at the brewery day. This was the oldest they had on tap today, along with the 07 and 08.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost pure black, save for the slightly lightened edges, with a little tan crown of head. Only an 8oz pour due to the ABV, but still laced well and had decent head retention as well.

Smell: Spicy notes of clove, slight banana and anise, with over-ripe fruits like fig and plum as well. Spiced cider almost has a similar nose, but with more of a caramel / toffee malt to it as well.

Taste: The smell comes through with the taste as the malts are almost nutty with spiced fruit and clove, and the alcoholic slightness that is there is mellowing to a more anise-laced cider-like sweetness to it, but totally balanced out by the darker, yet sweet malts. The yeast really comes alive here too, adding that Belgian fruitiness that really adds something extra to the whole component. Ends with somewhat of a tobacco and smooth spiced finish. Interesting, layered, and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Not overly carbonated, and smooth. Left a little aftertaste of banana-toffee, and almost a coffee flavor in that as well, although there is certainly no coffee here.

Drinkability: Pretty good for the ABV, and a lot of flavor to keep you going as it opens up and warms up. If it were more readily available, I'd say pick some up, but it's a little more rare being three years old now. If found, buy some and save some for what will truly be an epic vertical in 2012.

Photo of PatronWizard
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In a pathetic attempt to begin to repay BAs OlieIPA, Mauerhan, and Aimstatus for the tremendous generosity that oozes from their pores, I decided to crack the last vestiges of my cellar and have a Vertical Epic 04-08 tasting one fine evening. Started with 08, then 07, and here we are....

Poured a dark opaque burgandy with a decent one finger head. Low on the retention.

Smell is slightly disappointing. Not that its bad, but because it isn't strong at all. Very weak. Within this weakness is a nice tea leave, tobacco leave over a soft mint.

Taste is meh. 'Nuff said.

Overall: why was I holding on to this?

Photo of bluejacket74
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about a half-inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. The aroma is pretty nice, it smells like dark fruit (prunes, raisins), bittersweet chocolate, Belgian yeast, brown sugar, caramel and anise. Taste is similar to the aroma, there's bittersweet chocolate, plums, anise and caramel, along with some hops that come out in the finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit silky with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and enjoyable to drink. I think this beer has aged well, it's drinking good right now.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark and tart fruits, Belgian yeast, caramel, some chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with sweet flavors of caramel and chocolate that are quickly followed by the bready flavor of Belgian yeast and semi-sour flavors of dark fruits. The malt character is hearty and there's a mild but complementary hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very nice representation of style, after three years this beer has smoothed out quite nicely, not sure what effect another 3 years will have on it but I don't see that there's much room for improvement. This is a very good dark Belgian beer to drink for long time.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my Duvel tulip glass. The ale appears a nearly opaque dark crimson brown color with two fingers of ecru foam. The head lingers for a few minutes before settling down to a thin layer. Nose and flavor consist of rich toasted and caramelized malts, star anise, bittersweet chocolate, spicy Belgian yeast, cocoa dusted raisins, prune notes, pleasantly bitter hops. There is still a bit of alcohol, but it's burn is more than tolerable. A little lighter in body than I was expecting with ample carbonation. Tasty and complex, I'd say this VE is aging nicely. If you have a few bottles, by all means, enjoy one soon.

Photo of OlieIPA
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Number #3 in our night of conquest...on to the review.

A: Poured a dark brown with beautiful hues of cherry-red. Head was there when poured vigorously, but soon disappeared; lacing was weak. 3.0

S: Very prune-like aroma mixed in with spiced malts...perhaps a touch of brown sugar. Alcohol is well hidden.

T: Soy and brown sugar come to mind with the initial sip...along with every proceeding sip thereafter. It's not bad, but I'm not sure it's something I would crave for. Alcohol isn't as well hidden as the aroma indicated and numbs the palate a bit...warms the throat too.

M: Medium body and good carbonation for a three-year old beer.

D: Full of flavor...not particularly easy to drink...but overall good.

Overall: A try it beer. Cheers!

Photo of winky13
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this at Stone's special 80's growler fill on Sat night. Nice dark color. Almost as dark as the IRS 08 I also bought via growler. Smell: very pleasant dark fruit smell, with spicy belgian notes. Taste: raisin, maybe prune with belgian spice. Noticeable sweetness very nicely balances the light bitterness of hops. Mouthfeel: medium weight, not too highly carbonated. This may be because I drank this a few nights after buying in Escondido. Very drinkable beer that opens up well after warming up.

Photo of m1ked
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark burgundy,copper, mahogany. Held up to light.... barely pierces through. Nice tan thin bubbly, creamy head.

S- Cocoa, dark fruits, carmelized sugar

T-Tasty caramel, smokey wood, raisiny, figgy cocoa.

M- Smooth, medium bodied with great fine carbonation. Love it.

D- I haven't had this one in a while and it has turned into something better than I remember. excellant.

Photo of jpaltan
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite dark, somewhat opaque. thin head that leaves little residual lacing. smell is nice, with hints of dark fruits and candy. taste is plum and a bit sweet, but really nicely balanced. mouthfeel is silky and smooth. this beer is almost too drinkable. it is rather unfortunate that this isn't in stone's usual line-up as this beer was quite nice.

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a root beer brown with garnet highlights and a bubbly head that fades rather quickly, leaving foam on the sides and a film to cap the liquid

Smell: Dark fruit (prune and fig), tannery leather, caramel and a chocolate covered banana aspect

Taste: After the initial onset of dark fruit, the beer turns somewhat bitter, with a roasty, charcoal aspect; the bitterness fades in favor of the sweeter elements, after the swallow, and the finish has a nice dark fruit and chocolate covered banana flavor that is rather appealing

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy, with lively carbonation

Drinkability: A decent beer, but not quite up there with the best of Belgium; it lacks the depth of flavor to some extent

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 469 ratings.