Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
487 Ratings
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic AleStone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.66%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by Todd on 06-05-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
487
Reviews:
307
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
11.34%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
118
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 487 |  Reviews: 307
Photo of jumbopanda
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 1,579 characters

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

Appearance: Poured into a goblet. Like other reviewers have said, pours very, very dark. I had a bottle of 05.05.05 last year, and don't remember it being nearly as dark in appearance, but that might just be memory fading. Very thin head which quickly dissipates. Very little lacing upon swirling.

Smell: Really good aroma. A very yeasty smell, with a hint of sharp alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate. Cloves. Kiwi.

Taste: A sweet, very drinkable brew. Again, some estery notes, kiwi in particular. Bittersweet chocolate, again. Cloves, some general spices I'm not familiar with (anise?). A little dry upon swallowing. Very little alcohol burn, but it's there. Overall, however, very drinkable, and perhaps slightly less complex or pleasurable than the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Again, a little dry when you swallow, but overall very smooth, very little carbonation, only slighty syrupy.

Drinkability: A great brew. Like most belgian styles I've had from American craft beer makers, not quite a Belgian, but always a very interesting take on the style. Stone does it better than most others, I'd say.

 1,101 characters

Photo of gonzo138
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a deep black with hues of red when held to the light, has a rich brown head that doesnt retain too well but does have a nice lace

S- mostly a sweet malty aroma, not very strong though, light anise smell is also present

T- rich sweet malt taste, spices like coriander, and the anise taste is present as well, fruity taste is there too, a little bitter at the finish

M- good carbonation, medium/heavy body, very sticky mouthfeel

D- goes down easily enough and not too alchoholic (for a belgian style), would like to try this beer after some aging, I would recomend people pick this one up while its still here

 628 characters

Photo of BradBLR
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will have to say this is my least favorite beer that I have had from Stone, a good beer but not my favorite. The appearance of this beer was dark chocolate brown with a hint of red when held up to the light. The head was a browninsh tan and the lacing was very good. The smell was that of chocolate and malt, very sweet smelling.

The taste was simliar to a porter at first with a nice strong sweetness to it, there was also a hint of spice to it. The mouthfeel was very smooth and the CO2 was just about perfect.

Overall a pretty good beer with alot of alcohol. I think it will be better after it sits a few years.

 622 characters

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, with a muted ruby glow, barely visible. 2 solid fingers of head, light and foamy, not too much protetin structure, and thereby not much lace. Subsides to a film somewhat quickly, but not too much so. The nose is very interesting, with the immediate sensations being of refined sugars. These open up, however, into much nuttier fruity flavors, with some savory peppers. The alcohol is noticable too, though it unfortunately imparts a bit of a medical smell, which nudges the entire nose slightly off kilter. The taste is well balanced, yet subtle. The dark roast malts have a nice bite to them, and on the back of the tongue there is a great rich meatiness to the beer, revealing some coffee and chocolate notes. The mouthfeel is great, with a light start and a rich, full-bodied finish. Definitely very drinkable. Now I just need to go grab another bottle to put away for a few years to ripen.

 904 characters

Photo of slayer3604
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
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 ZX6Chris
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand.

A-Dark. Nice head and lacing. Tan/brownish head.

S-Sweet carmel aroma. Oak.

T-Spicyness, oak, woodyness.

I'm kicking myself for not taking better notes but I will next time. Fortunately I can do this tasting again.

 276 characters

Photo of xymyl
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Looks deep copper as it pours but pretty close to black in the glass, nice light brown head that clears away pretty quickly.

Aroma: Milky, floral, chocolatey, Coffeeish, Earthy & Spicey, Etc... It just keeps going.

Taste: Everything that the aroma indicates floods in along with an intense and dense fruitiness, then nuttiness then a slight dry bitterness. For me, it is the perfect balance of fruit and earth. I'm sure I'll pick up much more the next time I try it. There's so much going on here you can just pick your favorite flavors in advance and they are likely to be here.

Body: Medium

Other comments: It's sort of a Belgian stout. I've been waiting for this one since they started this series and I am not disappointed in the least. This is exactly my type of beer. Too bad I only bought 1 case. I hope I can get out into the civilized world and get more before it's all gone. Either way, I'll have a few bottles left for the big vertical tasting. This is by far the best VE in my opinion. It will be great in about 3 years. Am I gushing? Sorry, at least I can edit it later if I want to.

 1,115 characters

Photo of ScottyC54
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

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.

 969 characters

Photo of sandiego67
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of ChillMike
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

 462 characters

Photo of TrickKnee
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one blasted my pants off. It was defeintly a little too strong for me which is funny because the 10th and runiation arnt enough. Going to buy another bottle and let that one age. Poured a deep brown/black color with a big white head. Very malty with some nie deep chocolate hints to it. I am going to love to sample this again in a few years.

 347 characters

Photo of auntfloyd
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22 oz bomber into a St. Bernadus goblet.

Pours a dark, ruby-tinged brown with only the faintest amount of tan head.

Smell is of candy sugar, sweet malt, dark fruits, and belgian yeast.

The flavor is similar: sweet, like a Belgian dark ale should be, with a pleasant hint of spice. Definite malt and dark fruit notes, with a slightly bitter, yeasty finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than is normal for this style, but in my mind, that's a good thing. This is a highly drinkable ale for the style, as it is neither too strong, too thick, nor too sweet.

What to make of this? This is Stone's take on Belgian ales, and it is a good ale, but not a great one. It's a bit surprising to try such a subdued beer from Stone, as they are usually known for being over-the-top, but in a style where high abv and extreme taste is normal, they've produced a somewhat brew remarkable chiefly for its restraint. Don't get me wrong, this is a tasty and quite fine ale, but if you are a fan of Stone's typically unrestrained styles, you might be put off by this; perhaps since BSDAs are already so full of Stone-like qualities, Stone had nowhere to go with this one.

So, in short, I liked this, but it seemed live I've had it several times before. The usual Stone excitement and exuberance just wasn't there this time.

 1,336 characters

Photo of mcarroll10177
2.96/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

poured from the 22 oz bombering into an imperial pint glass

A- a very beautiful beer, dark burgandy almost black with a big tan head that left lots of lacing on the glass with each sip

S- some sweet notes with some malt a good smell but not to overwelming

T- strong and bitter, not a great taste with some chocolate sweet undertones

M- sticks in your mouth and is a bit on the thick side spot on as far as I am concerned

D- not an every day drinker by any scence of the imagination and not wonderful tasting like a big heavy sipping beer.

Notes- the best way I can sum up this beer is that it is too raw. It has potential but needs some definate aging to balance out the flavors. This may beer an exceptional beer in the future, but for right now the favors have not melded together. Give it a few years of aging.

 832 characters

Photo of Melchizedek
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this just over a year ago and have aged it (poorly) in anticipation of my departure to Berlin.

Pours a deep dark murky reddish brown. Nose is leafy hop competing against yeast and phenols and dark fruit, creating a sort of chocolate-toffee thing in the aroma. As it warms, I get almost a Worcestershire sort of vibe, kind of tangy.

Taste is well bittered, more woody and leafy and vinous/tannic. A little toast, aniseed, clove. Spicy alcohol, especially as it warms.

Nice. Glad a year of inconsistent and poorly managed aging didn't murder this one. I love the aroma, and I'd be curious to taste it after a couple of years of good aging.

 649 characters

Photo of bradford
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on 4/22/07
Appearance: Dark brown, almost black with a solid head that dissapates quickly
Smell: Strong woody smell, spices, alcohol
Taste: Smooth with a crisp finish. Lots of spices and an underlying alcohol burn, but very mild
Mouthfeel: Not too abrasive, better than average in my opinion
Drinkability: Very drinkable for the alcohol content. Not something I would want to drink every night, but very pleasant. Smooth and nice.
Another great Stone brew. Anyone who thinks Stone Brewing is overrated is out of their mind.

 537 characters

Photo of blindtiger24
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Obsidian color with a thin mocha head.

S: A bit of plum and rum raisin in the nose, but smells were faint.

T: Lots of plum, raisin, fruit cake flavors, with the fruit sweetness being more apparent than spice.

M: Super juicy and sweet mouthfeel.

O: Not bad, but too much fruit juiciness and lacking in aromas and taste categories.

 377 characters

Photo of adhokk7
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sergeh
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of eballard
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown with little light passing through and a dark head that settles into a nice lacing. The beer smells sweet and malt with a slight wheat sent. The taste is similar to the smell. It starts with a sweat chocolaty character and that really settles into a yeasty hops spice. The beer is surprisingly crisp and clean with a little bit of a bite at the end. For only sitting for a few months this beer has a great taste. Like all of the vertical epic beers I’m sure this one will age to be even tastier in the future.

 538 characters

Photo of Iguana
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence - Poured a dark brown/ruby with a medium sized head. Looks pretty good thusfar.

Smell - I get toasted brown sugar, hints of banana, and a bit of ripened fruit. Quite pleasent.

Taste - Interesting, I am getting toasted brown sugar again, but a nice hop presence in the background adding some bitterness. Rather unique.

Mouthfeel - Pretty good, bit of carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste, and a nice lingering sweetness.

Drinkability - Pretty tasty beer, not the best I have had of the style, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. This beer is at least worth a try, and worth getting and putting a few away for a couple years.

 644 characters

Photo of kneary13
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of JMD71
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ap: Thin head of tight laced bubbles that dissipates quickly when poured. Deep rich black cherry color with little carbonation evident.

Ar: Typical Belgian yeast aroma. Almost saison-like. Fruity with slight specialty malt aroma noted.

Ta: Reminds me of a higher strength saison than a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Saison-like fruitiness but with more alcohol warmth in the finish. Belgian yeast character dominant with little, if any, hop bitterness I'm used to from other Stone offerings.

Mo: Medium bodied & slightly rich. Carbonation is higher than appearance would lead you to believe. Leaves mouth crisp.

Dr: Medium drinkability. Due to its strength, this leads to a bit of caution. Deceiving....

Comments: This was an enjoyable departure from the hoppy beasts I have become used to from Stone. This being my first Vertical Epic tasting, it was a nice departure for Stone. If I had realized these were meant for a bit of aging, I probably wouldn't have sampled so soon. Time could smooth out some of the rougher alcohol edges...

 1,045 characters

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.97 out of 5 based on 487 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More