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
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Ratings: 487 |  Reviews: 307
Photo of jpaltan
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark cola definitely brown in nature although could border a black tone on the color spectrum tan head forms and leaves fine specks of lacing scattered around my chalice. Aroma has anise upfront just like my Italian grandma's cookies dark powdered cocoa and full herbal grassy notes some what of a woody toasty nut finish interesting. Flavor contains chocolate richness some doughy bread and coffee notes raisins tart apples alcohol finish with more of that signature anise black licorice note. Mouthfeel is creamy soothing alcohol burn medium body soft carbonation glides on palate. Drinkability is definitely intriguing and challenging to the senses some age would do this well as it was designed for it, I'm sure I'll have at least a few more bottles.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear dark, make that black, with a brownish tall head which lasted very well to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity, strongly so as it was poured. Chocolate was present as was a dirty and earthy character. A bit of peppery spice was notable and as the head fell the fruitiness did as well. Some dark fruits were present and their intensity increased as the beer warmed. The fruits were raisins with some characteristics of prunes.

The flavor was earthy with a strong presence of tinny and very lightly spicy hops and yeast. The strongest flavor present was chocolate and that was coupled with dark caramel and some character of raisins and prunes. Spices were present but were mostly muted, pepper was the most prevalent flavor.

The finish was dry with a nice dark fruit and caramel character and peppery hops lasting into the aftertaste without much chocolate presence. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation and a creaminess to the mouthfeel. The warming after consumption was very high and reminded you that this one might have a bit of a punch. A nice Belgian Porter (if there is such a thing).

22 ounce bottle.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dense 1" tan head over the clear dark burgundy brew. Head fades slowly, with reasonable amounts of sticky lacing. Aroma is spicy sweetness. Taste is a triumverate of malt sweetness, dark fruitiness, and spicy goodness. Mouthfeel seems like it could be a bit thicker and smoother, and drinkability is pretty good. Happy with this one, and seems to me it should last for awhile.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I purchased two bottles of Stone's 2006 installment in their Vertical Epic series at Downtown Wine & Spirits recently. One for now, one for later. I let this warm to around 50ºF and served it in my Westvleteren Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown with ruby tints. The beer is topped by a moderate, fluffy, brown head that thins to a persistent patchy film.

Smell: Very rich and malty. The aroma has notes of sugar, sourness, peppery spice and a whiff of alcohol. All of these are secondary to strong notes of raisins and dates.

Taste: Lightly sweet upfront with some toasty malt flavors. This is followed by the aroma, with tart raisins and dates evident. The finish is a pleasant mix of peppery and alcoholic spiciness, along with a low, but lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the medium side of full-bodied, low carbonation, with a smooth, silky texture.

Drinkability: Quite nice, not as cloying as some other Belgian Stong Dark Ales I've had.

Overall: This is a well-balanced beer. It has all of the sweetness and spiciness of a Belgian Dark, with a nice bitterness, none of which overpower the others.

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Photo of MarkBeer
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought three in June of 2006, kept them in the closet. I should have broken one out right then but as the year went by I forgot how many I bought.

what with the '07 coming out real soon - in some areas, these Stone's beers arrive faster than in others - I had no choice but to dig into my closet and break out the one from the previous year.

poured into a frosty mug. the body is extremely DARk with an ample size of foamy head at the top.

the maltiness made this beer stand out. can't smell nuthin by malt and more malt. wow.

now to taste...

I was expecting some bitterness but much to the lack of dismay, the '06 Vertical is a smooth ride. it brings out a good deal of malt and more malt, some with a hint of chocolate, but a good portion of maltiness.

however, the aftertaste is a different story. seems there's been a bit of some sugar added to this brew.

but I don't care - the maltiness trumps it.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bottle, poured in glass chalice

Appearance: Brownish-black color. Thick lacing that hangs around for a good while.

Smell: slight dark chocolate, but mostly wheat and a woody aroma

Taste: As with most of Stone's lineup, theres nothing mild here, but behind the strong taste, theres lots of subtle flavors. Is it wheat, burnt nut, clove or anise, maybe coffee? Hard to put ones finger on all the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying! Makes you feel like your really drinking something with some substance. Slight alcohol tingle warms ya up and makes your mouth water more than a bit a few minutes lates

Drinkabilty: Another good one from Stone. I could sip on this one all night. I'd like to put a bottle of this aside to see how it compares...dont think i could resist opening em though.

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Photo of abfraser
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3rd in line

A- Dark brown, nearly black with really good lacing.

S- Sugar, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate.

T: Smooth sugary maltiness with good hints of chocolate, coffee, clove

M: Creamy, little carbonation, medium to full bodied.

D- Pretty tasty. Wish I had more

Tie for first with the 2005. Sounds like Belgian strong dark ales are the way to go.

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Photo of lou91
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well someone likes Belgian Strong Dark Ales at Stone since three out of five are in this style. I looked at my last two reviews of the 05 and 03 to see what I thought of the other interpretations and this one was similar but not the same. This one looked great as did the others with the dominant Belgian candi sugar on the nose in a dark brown package as expected. Among the three this one was the best one fresh. The body was bigger and the taste was spot on fresh – sweet, malty with a hop bitterness and even a saltiness that all work well. I just had a chocolate sprinkled with sea salt and this reminded me of this salty/sweet combo.

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Photo of joecast
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light tanned head forms about 2cm thick and settles to an attractive lace. deep mahogany and red with little visible carbonation. minimal lacing on the glass.

aroma seems dominated by dark plum and prune. some yeast character in the background accompanied by darker crystal/chocolate malt. some clove like you would get in a dark wheat. definitely has that aspect to it. pretty complex. not sure if it totally works for it as its like its two or three different beers just by the smell.

more dark fruit and malt in the flavor. spices came out for a bit after some pumpkin pie (mmm pumpkin pie) though not sure if it was the beer or the pie. either way it was nice. alcohol is very well hidden, though it does reveal itself once the bomber is finished. just enough belgian yeast character to make you know its not a generic neutral american strain, but not so much that it distracts from the rest of the beer.

smooth mouth feel gives the beer enough substance to satisfy. certainly an easy drinker, but one that can be done slowly. plenty of flavor to keep the drinker busy for a long while.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone's 06.06.06 Vertical Epic pours a very dark brown, practically black, into the glass. A creamy tan head forms on top befure it slowly dissolves to a thick ring around the surface. The foam leaves a few spots of lace behind as it disappears. A rich roast malty aroma and notes of licorice, brown sugar and alcohol greets you before each sip. The smell reminded me of a cola.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is rather dry with a nice moderate carbonated fizz that covers the palate. The flavor is a wonderful combination of roasted malt, coco, and coffee. There's hints of spice (pepper, allspice?) blended in. The spice doesn't dominate the flavor like other Belgian style beers. It finishes with some sweet malt and brown sugar. Once gone, the coffee and coco flavors linger for a while.

This is one easy to drink tasty brew with nice roast malt flavor. If you can find a bottle definitely give it a try.

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Photo of portia99
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Dark mahogany color with a small finger of dark tan head with decent staying power and leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Continuing the trend of these VE beers, the body is clear but has lots of very fine suspended particles throughout.

S - Spicy anise, alcohol, dark roasted malts, molasses

T - Anise, bitter chocolate, molasses, light hop bitterness, cloves. Very well balanced - malt hasn't taken over this one yet - the hops still do there job in offseting the sweetnes and making this a smooth drinker.

M - Light to medium body, low/mid-level carbonation, very good balance with a nice hoppy bite

O - Pretty consistently picked among the top 3 of the series in my tasting group. Still a very well balanced beer with good complexity and a nice spicy complement of flavors. Paired well with the homemade Belgian spice bread we had along with it.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in L.A. back in September... made TWO flights home to Nebraska... no damage!

Dark, dark brown... Nice, tight/tan, 1/4" head with awesome retention and great lacing.

Aroma is heavy on the yeast with tons of bready/bakery notes... oh yeah. Raisiny... figgy... licorice... subtley woody and smokey.

Mouthfeel is slightly dry and quite smooth through the middle.

Flavor has some wood hints with lots of malty goodness... alcohol presents itself upfront with yeast all over... even after the swallow.

Overall it is nice... I'm too impatient to let this one sit... maybe I should have bought two!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled July 2006
Pours with a dark, black colored beer that shows a brilliantly clear, deep purple & brown colors when held up to the light. The beer is fairly well carbonated and has an, initially four-finger thick light brown colored head that foamed over the sides of my glass when I was a bit too aggressive with the pour. Rich fruity notes of sweet plums, raisins, rum-like notes, some interesting port notes, a touch sour tartness, and a finish of toasty grain notes. The typical suite of bubblegum, banana and clove are all here at noticeable, yet smooth, levels. I really like the complex fruity notes on this beer, so much better than the Avery Thirteen (sorry for the pot shot there).

Thick and chewy, with a sweet malt not up front that amps up the dark fruit notes found throughout this beer. The beer finishes with a hint of tart acidity and a sharp roasted grain note. Notes of roasted almost slightly burnt fruit notes evoke thoughts of concentrated sweet plums, raisins, dried figs. The light tartness plays up some nice fruit notes as well, noticeably amplifying flavors of tart plums, and perhaps a hint of pears. The burnt note adds some bitterness to the finish and there is a touch of hot alcohol at times as well.

This is quite nice, and like last years brew, Stone is finally on the right track of brewing vertical epics which will still be quite tasty come 12.12.12. This beer, over the next few years, should soften up, become a bit smoother and more drinkable. With a couple more years it will pick up some complexity, and it actually should come close to peaking come December 12, 2012, though my guess is that it will peak a bit before. Regardless it will still be quite tasty come the appointed time. Fresh out of the bottle this is also one of the better Vertical Epics, though I liked the fresh vibrancy of the 04 a touch better.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from the bottle into my Duvel glass...I'm going to make this a tradition - I have a case of 06.06.06 and I will drink one each Monday of Columbus Day weekend to see how they age.

A - Dark chocolate with little head...maybe hints of a reddish-brown towards the top.

S - Powerful aroma of smoky dark chocolate and maybe some raspberry in the background (definitely some fruity-malt) ?

T - Very unique taste...strong combination of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and sweet/dry malt...but a definite detection of fruit lingered in the background...either raspberries or cherries. Some hops escape in the aftertaste - along with some alcohol - but the fruit quickly follows. Very interesting.

M - Light carbonation with a creamy body. Felt very good going down.

D - I am very excited to try this is 2012! I'm also very curious to see what it's like next October...wondering if the fruit comes out even more next year to form maybe a dark chocolate raspberry flavor. Excellent release by Stone!

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep chestnut brown color-borders on a faint black if there is such a thing. Small head at first-some nice lacing. Aroma of licorice and burnt raisens. Slight sulfur smell to it. Deep, robust flavor but not in a roasted malt way. Deep, licorice and burnt sugars. Slightly spiced. Faint black pepper taste. Nice, smooth and creamy mouthfeel-very full bodied. Very, very enjoyable beer. The best VE I think I have had. I bought 4 bottles this year and I am damn glad I did. Yummy.

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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.

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Photo of clickpush
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 22oz bomber to wide mouth glass. Comes out with a half inch of light brown head over a very dark brown body and has tons of tiny bubbles throughout the beer. Head doesn't last long at all but the lacings are interesting in that the active carbonation in the beer keeps the lacings in a constant state of change.

Nose: This thing has everything: an early combination of chocolate, caramel, and nuts presents a whole pecan pie on a silver platter. All this is followed by some dark chocolate covered cherries and fruitcake aroma. Smells like a 5 star dessert.

Mouth: Enters with a light chemical feel up front that couples with a bubble gum flavor. Deep malts all around and tons of warmth in the swallow. It has a sweet plastic lasting flavor that warns off any hops. Has an excellent mouthfeel with nice fizz all the way through the mouth. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee, but over all the beer's still too sweet. Has a bit of a smoky swallow which is nice, but doesn't mellow the bubble gum.

I took about 2 hours to drink this bomber and by the end the alcohol was really over powering - it didn't ebb at all. This one is getting thrown behind bars for 3-5 - then we'll see if it's more under control.

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Photo of kneary13
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of weonfire
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to metallitone1 for the bottle.

Poured into my Triple Karmeliet glass.

Deep dark brown with only the slightlest bit of light shining through. Small cream colored head gave way to a good lace down the glass.

Smell started with dark fruits, figs, and spices. Hint of alcohol as well. Smells warm.

The taste was very rich. Dark fruit again predominates, sweet, hints of caramel and sugar. Apricot as well.

Very nicely carbonated and very light. Nice frothy feel, great going down, slight alcohol warming, but very nice overall.

This was a great beer, I am sure this will mellow with age and bring out all kinds of flavors, gonna lay a few down for later.

 678 characters

Photo of robear
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of N17shelfside
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

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