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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic AleStone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.97/5
Very Good
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 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 dfillius
3.11/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass on 9/22/07

A: Pours an opaque dark brown. 1/2 finger of head which quickly subsides.

S: Molasses, dark bread and not much more . I think this one is another victim of my warm cellar :(

T: Pretty tasty though. Alcohol taste is not subtle though. Red grape flavor quickly followed by a dry, woody, barrelly bitter flavor. Medium hop bitter aftertaste. Hops hover somewhere between an APA and an IPA. Dry, especially on the middle rear of my tongue. It seemed to be picking up flavors of things I was eating at the time: cucumbers, then raisins...

D: I couldn't finish one 22oz bottle

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this ale pours very dark, with slight ruby highlights, with a thin chocolate milk colored head, to dark to ascertain the presence or rate of carbonation

S - a delightfully sweet malty aromam, the fruity sweet esthers (this is gonna sound weird) sort of amalgamated into a strawberry-banana smoothie aroma (you know the Dannon ones), a slight spiciness, seems like ginger, is in the background

T - hmmm, a complex taste, lets see, its hard to separate, definite spicines, like anise and/or ginger, but all the meanwhile a nice sweet background, definite fruit tastes that are hard to pick out (plum that previous reviewers have mentioned seems accurate), as my second glass warms almond or amaretto flavors emerge as well, plus the alcohol taste is also prevalent

M - nice and smooth, well balanced, aside from the alcohol prevalence this is feels very nice

D - again, except for the alcohol taste, very drinkable, that does not detract from the beer overall though

this is my initiation into the Vertical Epic series, so if anyone wants to trade me the others, lemme know

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Photo of taez555
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown/black body with a tan head.

Nose is in your face belgian dark ale. Dark rich chocolate, phenols, caramel, brown sugar, candy sugar, woody tree bark, natural roots, spices, and mild touches of anise.

Taste is full bodied at first and rolls over the tongue in a waves of flavors ending surprisingly lighter. Dark malts, caramel, chocolate, toast and hints of dark wheat. Chooclate coverd cherries, bubble gum and mild hints of smoke. Rough around the edges with a course taste. There's a numbing anise flavor from beginning to end. Hop taste is there and finds a nice middle ground between big american ale and belgian trappist. Enough bitterness to hold it's own without being over the top. Hop taste is earthy and is slightly overpowered by the spice flavor. That or maybe it is the hops. Either way, it's not your typical floral or earthy notes. Ends with a lingering anise flavor.

Another fantastic year from Stone VE series. This is one that seems taylor made for aging. It's seriously rough around the edges right now, but the style with the big hop backbone is made to be drunk in 6 years. It should be really interesting to see this mellow and yet maintain a bite.

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Photo of Bnoise11
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of scootny
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice dark fluid with a light brown head. Not much carbonation visible. Decent lacing. Smell is dark malts and dark fruits.

Some Belgian yeast and light woody notes. Raisin, plum, figs give a nice aroma to blend with the caramel and sweet dark bread. Touch of earth in the hops.

Flavor is big and smooth, with a slight vinous undercurrent. Malt front is followed quickly by a nice combination of spices. Firm earthiness gives a nice dry finish.

Feel is rich and smooth. Velvety with a nice weight and carbonation. Easy drinking for this big a beer.

A good beer overall.

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Photo of asabreed
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into my Delirium Tremens glass. Figured it's best to take this guy really slow. It's been in the fridge for hours, so we'll see what happens as it warms and I drink.

Appearance: Seemingly opaque at first until the light, from far away, shines through it a bit, making it a deep, dark amber color. Huge head at first, slowly dissipating, with a nice ring around the edge of the beer, and some round clumps of wet lacing around the glass too.

Smell: I'm a huge fan of the bubblegum from the yeast strains, and this one packs a lot in there, so of course I'm down. There's also, at the colder temperature, a presence of anise. Not as much as a glass of ouzo, which is good because it's subtle, but it's definitely there. As it's warming I'm getting some brown sugar and banana. Are there some sour cherries in there too?

Taste: Some charcoal, candi sugar, bubblegum, slightly bitter hops, plum, slight anise, toasted malts, strong Belgian yeast. I love the originality here, the toasted malts, hops-as-needed, and insanely huge bubblegum backbone. I'd say if you were put off by the bubblegum this may not be your thing, but I really dig it, at least at this stage in its greenness. Finish is mild medicinal phenols, lingering hops, and, yes, bubblegum, with a little banana on there too. Also some charcoal. Long, distinct, fulfilling. And yes, maybe still a little green, but if this only gets better, watch out.

Mouthfeel: Awesome fullness and creaminess and not sugary or cloying at all. If this is only going to improve, then it may become pure silk.

Drinkability: I have two bottles of the 05.05.05 sitting in the cellar, and I'm glad I do, as I really want to see how it ages. And I have one bottle of the 06.06.06 still left (though I'll probably be buying more). A few years and I'd imagine the flavor to really do some insanely nice things. For now, though, it's a great brew, and like no other attempt at a Belgian I've ever had. Worth the $7-$8 a bottle for sure in my book.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch dark brown/mahagoney with no light getting thru. Huge khaki head taking its time to fall. This head will be us run of production, the retention is stunning. When it does meander down, a thick webbing is left behind. So far so good.

S: Lots of Brussels yeast. Licorice, clove, coconut and banana esters.

T: A lot going on, lets start from the top. Starts with dark malty sweetness that immediately gives way to loads of dark licorice. Roasted coffee then takes the limelight with hints of bakers chocolate, anise and lactose. Finishes with overwhealming banana esters. Aftertaste is bourbon, bananas fosters and sweet cream. I've been tasting a lot of banana esters outside of German wheats lately, this must be the new thing in brewing. I'm good with it.

M: Medium to thick. Chewy with good carbonation.

D: Much too young, it needs to ripen. This beer needs a couple of years but then it will be a winner. This beer is going to be seriously good....Its already good! Needs some rounding, too many flavors currently competing.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby brown in color. A head formed on the pour, but was gone not too long after. Smell is very dark, ripe, juicy fruits and some black licorice. Taste is along the same lines, but with more of the licorice flavor coming through. Perfect amount of carbonation and wonderful creaminess on the mouthfeel. This one has suredly stood up to the test of time. Good beer.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice head and good retention

Smell is of roasted barley. Belgian funkiness comes out as the beer warms

Taste at first is stout like with a lot of roasted barley characteristic. Nice hop balance. Nicely balanced beer with faint belgian funk after wards. Belgian funkiness becomes much more pronounced as the beer warms. Tastes like a belgian RIS

Not hard to drink for an 8.86% abv dark belgian. I will cellar this and try it again in 09 or 10 and 12-12-12

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Photo of Treebs
2.87/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown color with a light brown head forming on the pour. Some splotches of lace are left behind.

S: Boozy, some sweet malts and fruity notes as well. An odd minty note on the finish, reminiscent of toothpaste.

T: Brandy soaked plum, some anise and a ton of booze. Light roast with herbal mint qualities on the finish. Not as noticeable as the nose.

M: Medium bodied with a medium low carbonation level. Herbal and roasty finish.

O: The odd minty and toothpaste like flavors on the finish detracted from an overall decent beer.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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).

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Photo of jkball01
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of kingmaker
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of kimcgolf
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was only fitting for my 500th beer rated. Poured to an opaque jet black color, with thick tan head that lingered throughout most of the drink and left good lacing. Aroma was a malty dark fruit (grapes and figs) with a hint of alcohol. As the beer warmed, the alcohol became more prominent, but not enough to overwhelm the fruit. Mouthfeel was tingly and sweet, and the taste was a pleasant continuation of the same malty dark fruit as was found in the aroma.

This blend led nicely to a nice, long warming finish. The bottle said it was best to wait until 12-12-2012 to enjoy this; howver, it was just fine now. Beware....Quite a buzz just from this bomber, so be careful if you let it sit 5 more years!!!

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Photo of bruachan
3.11/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this has been sitting around since its release so i thought i would liberate it (don't worry there's another in the cellar

it's nicely carbonated, which maintains a thick head for sometime, and when it finally does descend the glass has a souvenir left along itself

the aroma is is of dark fruit, but clean. floral hops and some roastiness. it smells a bit like a baltic porter fermented cool with a belgian yeast. there's some spice in there, as well: coriander. and tastes exactly like a baltic porter fermented cool with a belgian yeast. more spice in the flavor as well, and it does dovetail fairly well with hop bitterness

in the end, though. it is a porter in a belgian's clothing. i don't have anything averse to that in and of itself, but this just doesn't seem too imaginitive. perhaps i'm being harsh...

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Photo of russwbeck
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Churchkey

It has a black pour that lets some light in and a thin off white head. It smells of sweaty socks weirdly, malt and dark fruits, booze, and some liquor. The taste is much more Trappist, and less socks. Like a dubble, the taste is all dark fruits, caramel, booze, and roast. Finally this is one that has held its body and is nicely carbonated. First one that impressed me on this Vertical Epic tasting. Other than the smell, it's doing well after 6 years.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Belgian yeast, dark ripened fruits, banana, a touch of cloves, and some esters.

Appearance: Shoe leather brown opaque pour with a fluffy tan head. The head disappears too quickly and leaves minimal lacing around the glass.

Flavor: Cocoa powder, bananas, cloves, pears, white raisins, some carmel, and a spicyness rounds things out. Pretty complex and it changes character with each sip. Some a little sweeter others a bit more toward the bitter chocolate end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation, and a dry, slippery finish.

Overall impression: I can't see this lasting until 2012 but maybe I'm just missing something. I'm sure the spices and darker malts will help it age but the body and carbonation just seemed to low to stand the test of time. I say drink it now. Overall, a pretty decent offering from Stone.

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Photo of sprucetip
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of wcudwight
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my big ass Arrogant Bastard glass I got in the Double Trouble BIF.
Pours a dark mahogany color. Very porter or even stout looking. 1/4" tan head with moderate retention. Sticky, runny lace completely covers the glass with each sip.
Lot's of malt in the nose. Smells sweet and somewhat fruity.
Man this taste like a coffee stout brewed with Belgium yeast. It's great. The forementioned coffee flavor really stands out to me, along with some dark chocolate and brown sugar. The Belgium yeast complements the roasted malt flavors instead of hops. I don't taste much hops in this beer.
Mouthfeel is full bodied and filling.
Scary drinkable. Alcohol is barely noticable and it's a very flavorful beer. Was thinking of trading my other 2 bottles but I now believe I will keep them.
This is a style that I'm exploring and just beginning to enjoy so I don't know if it's spot on for the style or not.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack open this here puppy for no particular reason.
The pour is nothing special looking but nothing off putting. Very little in the way of head, foam or lacing occurs; that which does is white to offwhite in color.
The scents are pleasant but weak. I tend to expect more bold and striking aromas for this style. Even when on the warmer side the odors are muted. I can pick up some caramelized malts and some dark fruit scents; mostly dark raisins. Just a hint of phenols in there.
Flavors are much more pronounced and well developed. Pretty authentically Belgian in flavor profile except lacking a bit of distinctive yeast presence. Deep, dark fermented fruit flavors with raisin and dark cherry being the strongest. Some bitterness either from toasted malts, or hops, or both. Sweetened coffee things are going on, maybe with a splash of grenadine. Some cola-like notes linger here and there in the quality of the sweetness. The bitterness does well to balance out those components.
The feel on the palate has just the right combination of carbonation and smoothness for me. The bubbles keep some of the cloying away that makes way for a soft, pleasurable finish.
Very tasty stuff. I kinda wish Stone produced something like this in a regular basis. or maybe even a seasonal one.... something between their Smoked Porter and their Russian Imperial stout.
Good sauce and tasty juice. Fans of big, Belgian dark ales are likely to enjoy.

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Photo of BuckTuckian
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of Dewey0603
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby mahogony with a giant foamy head. The smell is sweet candy sugar and alcohol, not bad but not as pungent as other Belgian Strong Ales. The taste is sweet candy sugar, alcohol, dark fruit, and some coffee. A good tasting strong Belgian beer. The m/f is medium with the flavors mixing very well and hiding the strong alcohol well. A good beer worth trying,but not the best strong Belgian Ale out there.

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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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