Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic AleStone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.97/5
488 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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
308
Ratings:
488
pDev:
11.34%
Bros Score:
3.97
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
119
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 488 |  Reviews: 308
Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly viscous, dark chestnut brown color that appears jet black and opaque in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Surprisingly hop forward aroma with an earthy, resinous character followed by roasted malt, dark fruit and zesty spice. Slightly herbal with grassy pine notes followed by pepper, clove, anise and licorice. Sweet, slightly toasted malt backbone with hints of cocoa, caramel, toffee and alcohol. A lot of these notes are faded but they have at least held up, unlike many other entires in this series.

Medium bodies and more complex than expected with a nice balance of sweet malts, zesty spice, resinous hop, dark frui and alcohol. Like the aroma, the flavor retains a lot of hop flavor. Not as complex as when fresh but there is some earthy grass as well as some herbal pine flavor followed by sweet chocolate malt, toffee and caramel. As it warms, dark fruit sweetness comes forward with hints of grape, raisin, currant and other dark berries followed by some alcohol sweetness in the finish. High ABV is well masked though making it easy to drink. It's a bit watered down and the flavors havent completely held up but this is still one of the better beers in this series.

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Photo of cbutova
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes a few weeks back (02/02/13) for all the VE series I could obtain.

A- Poured from the bottle to a pint glass. Very dark brown body with some red around the edges. Nice head for 6.5 years old. The cap is one finger in height with a light tan-toast color and decent retention. A few creamy lace patches.

S- Definite oxidation rustiness but not terribly so. Some spice and caramel, tiny dry roast but hard to pick up overall.

T- Really thinned out and dried out flavor. Slight roast but no real depth to it. Just like a light roast grain husk. Brown toasted malts, raisin spice and some oxidation but not as much as the nose. Some dark fruits.

MF- Thinned out like crazy. Lower end carbonation with somewhat watery feel, not unexpected. Slight warming from alcohol and spicy bitterness.

Solid brown-amber Belgian hybrid, some of this probably due to the age. Not overly affected by age but it shows. Gets better with warmth.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is interesting. So far I haven't been too impressed with any of the Vertical Epic series. I don't know if it's because I haven't had enough bottles to age, or if it's just not my thing. Too bad. I really want to like it more, because I love Stone, but I can't.

Pours to a dark reddish brown color with a thin tan head that recedes to nothing. No lacing.

The smell is of sugary barley malt. Some dark fruity esters. A very subtle noble hop aroma.

Has a dark, almost roasty malt flavor. Sweet with a decent backing bitterness. None of the floral hop flavor from the nose. Almost seems to taste like tannin, which I suppose is my main gripe about it.

Maybe a good 6 years of age would do something about that? I'll probably never know. I have one bottle left, and it'll more than likely end up as trade fodder.

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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.

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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.

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

Pour chestnut brown with with swiss-cheese head.

Aroma of sweet plums, currants, raisins, chocolate. Slight spicy phenol echo.

Wicked chocolate nutty full-bodied taste. A shout from the Carafa and full-bodied dextrins. Slams fist on table with noticeable crystal malt emphasis.

Not as drinkable or great as some of the other epic vintages, IMHO.

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

Poured from the black bomber into an oversized wine glass the beer was a dark, dark brown color that looked to be boardering on black or very very dark plum in some areas. One finger of tan head skimmed the top of the beer and the beer was very still carbonation wise. Little lacing to report as well.

The nose is immidiate alcohol upfront with roasted malt and dark fruit: plum and raison dominate the aroma.

The taste is quite hot up front as this beer is still quite fresh. Alcohol singes the taste buds. A firm malt presence with bit of hops dropping in here-and-there. Dark fruit and wine-like charateristics. Plum and raison are apparent.

Medium firm body that thins out a little towards the end of the sample.

I think this beer needs a little time. It was a little hot right now and some of the flavors didn't seem to quite all fit together. Alcohol was really the dominant taste. Some time in the cellar will likely produce a better result. Time will tell.

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Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, with a thin head despite fizzy carbonation.

Aroma is ultra fruity, overripe bananas dominate.
Some caramel in there too, along with a few wisps of cedar. Those only come out after you let the brew sit for a bit, once you agitate it again the fruit powers back.

First sip was all clove.
When I was a kid I tried making my own clove cigarettes with crushed cloves from my moms kitchen. This kind of reminded me of that, but in a good way. Smokey, clove, tobacco, sweet and spice.
As it warmed, notes of banana crept in.

Medium body, with a lengthy dry woody finish. Will be interesting to see how this develops.

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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.

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Photo of cproioi
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 22oz Bomber.

A: A dark amber color with a tan color head that reduced at a decent pace that left decent lacing. The carbonation was very apparent in this beer if one could look through the darkness of the beer.

S: Smelt of Anise, Coffee and smoke. A rather nice mixture of both. One did not over power the other one.

T: Had a peppery taste to it. Along with the sweetness brought in by the Belgian yeast. Had almost a taste of Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, with their Smoked Porter and a Belgian ale. It was rather good.

M: Had a very warming note to it. It was so warming that it actually left me with a little sweat on my brow. Would of be rather nice on a cold day.

D: Very slow drinking beer. Had to take a break in the middle of the bomber slow down. However, I will get it again to cellar.

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Photo of chaz01
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good sized (4-5 ounce) pour at a Stone Vertical Tasting Event sponsored by Belmont Party Supplies on 5/12/2010, served in a very cool Stone Vertical Epic tasting glass.

A: Very dark brown, almost black with a nice wispy head.

S: Dark fruit and licorice in the aroma.

T: Cherry, plums and roasted malts with undertones of licorice and anise.

M: More full bodied and carbonated than previous beers in the series. Hint of a weak coffee finish.

D: Very complex and heavy beer. More of a sipping beer than the others in the series, and unlike some of the previous editions, should hold up very well to time.

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Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

So I've amassed VE's 6-12. Thought I would take them to a tasting, but doubt that will ever happen, so I guess now is the time to drink 'em….

A: A very dark brown, but not quite black. Forms a moderate sized, creamy, dark tannish colored head that slowly reduces to a thin, patchy surface coating. Moderate amount of lacing.

S: Not overly aromatic, but what is there is roasted malts, dark fruits, prunes, and a bit of alcohol.

T: Taste is better than I was expecting on this one. The beer has a moderate sweetness to it. Notes of smoke, raisin, and dark fruits. Coffee on the back end.

M: Medium bodied. Nearly flat.

O: A decent drink. Wasn;t expecting this one to hold up.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer for...well, I guess about 5 years. Hopefully it ages well, which I feel pretty confident it would have being a Stone... Let's give it a go...

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color so dark that you really can't see much light through it at all, except for the corner and then it is hard to tell how clear it really is. Though there was a good off-gas after popping the top, there was very little foam after a relatively quick pour. After the pour the beer is sitting like a pretty stale soda-pop looking drink. There is a little bit of light colored foam getting stuck to the side of the glass, but it is nothing major.

Aroma: I initially got lots of dark malt contributions with dark fruit like raisins and plums, but as the beer is sitting, there is a winey contribution coming out. There is a good amount of hops still noticeable in here, and it is mostly contributing a floral aroma that is playing rather nice with the dark malts. As the beer warms up, there is cocoa and some floral hops coming out to be much larger players in the aroma.

Taste: The flavor is a little syrupy for this style, but the hops and acidity from the dark malts do a wonder to counter-act that in the finish. Though there is carbonation here, it really doesn't do a whole lot for the mouthfeel. The beer rolls across the palate quite heavy and finishes balanced slightly toward the sweet. The alcohol is noticeable, but it is not hot or anything, so it's major contribution is some spice late in the profile and a bit of warming late in the finish.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. It is in a tough category, so it is really hard to be outstanding. It is not slouch of an effort in beer craftsmanship, but at the same time there really isn't much to make it stand apart in a category that is wide open. I would think being Stone, that they would make it a nice strong dark, but Americanize it with local hops. This isn't the case, the flavor is more traditional, but without a whole lot to make it stand out.

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Photo of Alkey
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured a dark brown with a tan head that leaves some spots of lace around the glass. Smells of toasted malts and a banana like wheat aroma with a bit of spice. Taste rich and malty with some dark fruity flavors like some prunes or raisins. It has a light somewhat creamy body with very little carbonation and is fairly easy to drink but probably is something I would pass on next time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

06.06.06 Vertical Epic, let's get to the bottom of this.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut brown body topped with a fizzy, thin brown-colored head.

Smell: Aroma is largely fruity (bananas and plums) and chocolaty, imbued with a Belgium yeast scent and a wee amount of smoke.
Curiouser and curiouser...

Taste: Leading flavors of dark chocolate, black licorice, molasses, and grapes. Eventually achieves some herbal bitterness and ends with a yeasty dry finish. Not nearly as sweet as the nose would have you believe.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, creamy, and has a mild carbonation which helps to maintain a light finish.

Drinkability: Admirable cross-style hybrid brew showing characteristics of a dubbel, weizenbock, smoked porter, and more.

Catch ya in 2012, little bomber!

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Photo of JustinOSU99
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber, pours nice and smooth with a small half-inch head.
S: Nice malt smell with strong toffee and chocolate scents. Cinnamon, licorice and flowers also come to mind. A really nice smelling beer.
T: A nice caramel taste with toffee and again chocolate coming in afterwards. The alcohol appears quickly, but also leaves quickly and the beer finishes smooth.
M: Sits nicely on the palate and goes down so smooth. Dry aftertaste with very little of the alcohol lingering. Enjoyed the feeling of drinking this beer.
D: Not a session beer, but definitely enjoy the 22oz. bottle.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of berkey
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of shoegueuze
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of TheBrewo
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from a bottle at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a red cola coloring with dark ruby around the edges. It held a half finger tall head of tan bubbles, leaving rings of stark white lacing after a nice retention. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared moderate. The aroma gave fusel booze, the deepest caramel malt and roast, light coffees, syrupy figs, chalky pale malt and grit, and a lighter yeastiness. With warmth came a cooled vanilla smoothness, and faint wheatiness. Very grain forward. Our first impression was that there was a nice depth to the malts, but this lightened up a bit through the finish. The flavoring opened with toasted pales, deep caramels, spicy black pepper, a flash of cayenne heat, and fusel booziness. The peak came mildly, with yeast, coin, and washed caramel sugars. The finish gave black pepper bite, caramel syrups, fig sweetness, limey citric bite, faint floral hops, and dirty earthiness. The aftertaste breathed of coffee malts, anise, smoked oak, meaty ham smoke and salt, burnt caramel, and light florals. The body was medium, and the carbonation was lighter. There was a smooth and oily coating all around the mouth, with an eventual boozy dryness. Each sip gave nice slurp and smack, but lesser cream or froth to the lip. The abv was fine, and the beer was easy drinking.

Overall, what we liked best about this brew was the nose and the sticky syrup sugars to the flavoring. The sweetness was robust and held up nicely at first through the malt bomb-ness of it, but by the end of the sip things faded a bit. This gave room for some hops and subtle smokiness of the malts, but the blend was lost. The feel was equally as thin, and almost watered, making this guy less exciting for the series.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a alarge snifter.

A - Pours the color of color with a touch of a red hint when held up to the light. A lasting two finger tan head crowns the brew.

S - A yeasty aroma with some roasty smells and a hint of spice in there. Nice but a lot fainter than I was expecting.

T - A roasty flavor that gives way to some spicy tastes and a yeasty, woody finish. A pretty good flavor overall.

M - A medium bodied brew that coats the mouth nicely.

D - Not bad for a few sips but the roastiness combined witht he woody flavor is a bit much.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a bottle of this got opened at big beers in vail last night, and i was stoked to see it because i somehow missed this one despite it being quite prevalent even last year when we lined up a few of them. much more straightforward than some others, just a belgian strong ale here. cool yeast has dried this out a lot over time. far less residual sugar than it may have originally had, but still a light honey finish. really dig the mellowness of the alcohol too, its barley there, and while the carbonation and body are both less than where id like to see them, i think this has aged with grace. a full bomber would not be too much, as the layers of spice continually improve and unfold with temperature. a very well made beer, not full of additives, something they should probably make regularly honestly. maybe a new winter seasonal?

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Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shared bottle in Atlanta.
This has held up surprisingly well. Carbonation indicates the seal was good. Very smooth and nicely balanced. Good complexity, especially in the aroma.
Dark red brown body with exceptional clarity.

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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 488 ratings
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