Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic AleStone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
79.5%
Liked This Beer
3.97 w/ 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
Liked:
388
Avg:
3.97/5
pDev:
11.34%
Alströms:
3.97
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
118
Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 488 |  Reviews: 308
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

7/21/08. Wow, what a great improvement. No carbonation, and that's a minor concession, but all of the truly awful things listed before have mellowed significantly, into a very drinkable BSDA. Rich and full, a bit of spicy complexity, but mostly just a good tasty brew. Minor sweetness offset by a hint of the former leather/charcoal, much more under control and definitely enjoyable. This one has aged very well. Now having said that, though, this one also is 2 years old- I can get a fairly new BSDA from other brewers that are relatively fresh that are just as good- why wait 2 years? But still, enjoyable.

6/23/06 review: 3.5/3/2/3/1.5 Original Scores. OK, I waited a couple of weeks for this to show up in my inland part of southern California. I waited while I read about the excitement of its release and the final reviews once it came out.

I'm sorry, this isn't enjoyable at all to me. It's like chewing on a charcoal briquette. Sharp, smoky, and not enjoyable like a rauchbier. Stale cigar smoke. I'll try it again, because I hope that this improves with age, but now, I can barely drink this stuff.

Not recommended. Maybe it'll be good in a few years.

 1,165 characters

Photo of SPRichard
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of BeastLU
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of TXhomebrewer
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

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.

 824 characters

Photo of alamode
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of axeman9182
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to one of my trading partners. Opened in celebration of grabbing some 10.10.10 and poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours black; not as soul crushingly black as an RIS but there's no light coming through even when backlit. The nose is very interesting, roasted but not especially chocolaty or coffee in nature. There's also the anise and cedar promised on the bottle, as well as some more murky herbal/spiciness. Honestly, not much to add about the flavor that the nose doesn't cover. Every facet of the aroma shines through and helps craft a very tasty beer, even four plus years later. This beer reminds me of New Belgium's 1554 in that it seems to be a cross between a Belgian strong dark ale and a stout. Very solid body, nice and creamy and I would say surprisingly light if I hadn't been warned by Stone beforehand. Carbonation could stand to be a little more expressive, it seemed a tad dull. Four years later the 06 Vertical epic drinks pretty smoothly, and is a very good beer, but just doesn't make me want to call it "world class" or a revelatory drinking experience. Still, another great beer from Stone.

 1,141 characters

Photo of meathookjones
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good sized light brown head over the dark brown body. Sweet dark fruits and caramel with a nice backing of spices. Seemed a bit overly sweet, also some alcohol came out. Sweet chocolate and dark fruits. Lightly bitter before a dry spicy sweet finish with notes of fruits and alcohol. Seemed a bit mild overall. Pretty thick body and smooth. Good enough drinkability but the flavor didn’t grab me enough to keep me sipping consistently. It got a little boring half way through.

 477 characters

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

Pours a jet black color with a two finger caramel colored head. Big bubbles towards the middle of the head with a smooth milkshake like head towards the side. Excellent retention with sticky thick lacing down the glass. Dark fruit notes with prunes, figs, blackberries, burnt brown sugar, rotten bananas, and spicy malt aromas. Complex and big with nice Belgian phenols.

Belgian phenols from the start with a nice dryness in the finish--slight bitterness also associated with the dryness. Figs and prunes are abundant with a slight citric fruitiness. Licorice notes with slight peppery notes to them. Yeasty and earthy with a nice spicy mouthfeel. Very smooth and quite soft on the palate. Medium to full bodied with a nice soft aftertaste. A damn nice one from Stone. I'm glad that I've got another sitting in the basement. I wonder what this will do in a few years.

 870 characters

Photo of bobhits
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep dark red amber. Barely possible to see through the glass, but you can see that it's well carbonated at over 4 years old. Thin tan head with excellent retention and lacing. This is what I think of when I think about a dark Belgium.

Dark fruits, cherry sweetness, raisins, there's a hint of alcohol in the background but very subtle.

Caramel, it's not cherry but a similar fruit sweetness. Oak seems to take the back end which I don't recall at all when I last had this 2 years ago, let alone what I remember from 06 (mind you I do recall being a "touch" buzzed when I had it in 06). Mix in some roasted malt characteristics and a touch of chocolate and you've got an interesting beer.

The body is thick and kinda fluffy as well. I want to chew this.

It's thick but it's also very drinkable. I know...seems off.

I hate that stone no longer does 6 month tasting on their site as they claim they will. This beer has peaked. It's still the best of the series as it stands (08's hops are gone and certainly not for the better). I've had this beer since I was 21 or 22 depending on when I finally saved a bottle. Unlikely I ever have any of the older bottles, but this one holds a place in my heart. Proof that stone can make better beer than the belgiums even in their own style. Apologies to the Trappests.

The best Belgium I've had, but it was better a few years ago.

 1,377 characters

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A. Poured into my VE glass this brew pours the darkest of the VEs so far, mahogany brown.
s. The aroma contains notes of cinnamon and figs with some brown sugar.
T. The flavor has hints of chocolate and coffee and dark maulty goodness.
Mf. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but smooth.
Overall not a bad beer, not as good as 05.

 322 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Really excited to have got this one; somehow missed out when it was released and have despaired ever since.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish brown color. Can't see through it, but at the edges it appears clear. Minimal off-white head turns to a thin wispy film really quick.

Smell: Nice roasted malt aroma with hints of dark caramel or toffee. There's a hint of chocolate and also dark fruit like cherries and fig.

Taste: Has a strong yet delicate flavor. Lots of heavily roasted malts with hints of caramel or toffee sweetness and the figs (but very minimal). Not much other fruit until near the finish, when you've got some of the cherries (no tartness) and other things coming in. There's also some dark chocolate and hop bitterness coming in. The aftertaste has a pronounced "roasted" taste, combined with some of the bitterness. I have the impression of some alcohol at the finish and into the aftertaste, but it really never comes out.

Mouthfeel: There's some tingly carbonation at the start of each sip, but it goes away quick. Medium-bodied and really smooth. I think it is a bit light, but without approaching being watery or anything.

Drinkability: High alcohol content, but no real taste of it. Good flavors and keeps my interest.

Definitely the best of the four Vertical Epics I've now had the pleasure of enjoying, though last year's was nice as well. Flavor-wise I felt this had a lot in common with the Chimay Blue - that really came to mind while drinking this. However, they are of course certainly different too. I think I'll try and get a few more bottles of this and cellar them a bit longer!

 1,657 characters

Photo of Pecan
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Beersnake1
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of weonfire
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of robear
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a chalice, pours a dark mahogany, dark and clear ruby hues through a light, a small head forming from the pour that settles to a thin film, light lacing in streaks and bubbles. The aroma is heavy on the malts, spicy and yeasty, cloves and pepper, dark fruits, ripe banana, plum,

The taste is even better, a hefty dosing of malts, lots of it, spices are fantastic, cloves and spicy pepper, brown sugar, maybe even molasses. The fruits of plum and raisins, all kinds of stuff going on, really nice. The mouth isn't anything special, a decent body, the carbonation is about right, a little warming with the alcohol. But the thing I love about certain styles is the extremely wide variation on the theme. Its another beer that tastes like none others, and a delicious one at that. Most of the time, I wish I lived in SoCal for beers like this. I want many more in my cellar.

 879 characters

Photo of moonknight31
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah yes, the annual VE. Always good stuff. This year, like '03, returns to the darker of Belgian-style ales, as it pours a very deep brown (black?) with a solid showing of heady foam. That Belgian yeast they're using at Stone must be great...it sure smells good. The aroma is quite spicy, full of cloves and yeast, and showing off some mild esters. Layers of flavors upon sipping; I had a rare "holy fock, this is good shit!" moment. Subtle spices carry over from the nose, building upon smoky layers of chocolate, licorice, plums and a kiss of herbacious hoppiness; all which balances the huge grain bill so nicely. Finishes nicely smooth, aftertaste is dark wheat. Wow. Very mild carbonation and well-hidden alcohol. I've made plans to purchase a few more bottles this weekend. This is great now, and I think aging might make it an absolute gem. We shall see. Great stuff.

 873 characters

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

Opened this one after 6 months in the fridge

Poured a dark black, opague. Head diminished quickly. Smells strongly of roasted malts, mixed with some hops. Taste, dried fruit, chocolate/coffee with a hop bckground. Finishes up with an alcohol heat and some chalk. This is a sipper. A nice, nice beer

 299 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle. Best by 12/12/12.

Pours almost pitch black into my chalice. Topped by a quarter inch of tightly packed tan head.

Caramelized sugar, figs, chocolate, hints of coffee, overripened fruit.

Relatively smooth with overtones of ripe dark fruit, though no one flavor pops out. Slightly hot alcohol tinge indicates this one could cellar a little more. Chocolate and coffee appear by midsip. Finish is bitter chocolate.

I almost had a heart attack when I found out the NY distribution for Stone was gone, but managed to track down 1/2 case in Boston for the beer fest (Bauer Wine & Spirits, a must visit). Not the best Epic, but I'm glad I have it.

 668 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another limited release, annual ale...this one six years young to it's expected prime? Well so the epic story unfolds, this one pours out of the 650ml brown bomber a very dark brown with burgundy highlights barely coming through, capped with a bubbly light brown head. Has a good amount of natural carbonation and decent lacing.

The aromas that come out of this brew smell as if they come from abroad, overseas that is. Very spicy and fruity, somewhat potent and that distinctive Belgian yeastiness...honestly, it smell's of a fresh import from you know where. As the label describes it: "a deep, rich aroama of toasty malts, anise, Belgian yeast spiciness, and a hint of cedar", this is exactly what you taste...isn't it?

The mouthfeel is quite creamy and very smooth... a solid medium body, although they claim it as light, on the label. I suppose by the typical standards of Stone, it has a lighter body than they're more massiive offerings...still a pretty heafty brew by any standards, yet I could quite easily opt this as a beer for sessions. This is really tasty, yet not the typical Stone beer...if there is such a thing!

Thanks again G.K. and Co., this stuff is good to go as is...CHEERS !!!

 1,209 characters

Photo of OStrungT
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brown so dark, it is almost black. The head is light brown. It looks thick and fluffy. It fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a strong bready aroma. It is also quite yeasty. It smells of cloves, and other spices. Grains of Paradise and coriander, and orange peal. This beer also has a plesent mild citrus hop aroma. A slight lemony aroma is present.

This beer has a lot of different flavors. It is taking me a little while to sort them all out. I taste some spices up front. As with the aroma, cloves, and coriander. It has a slight bubblegum flavor. It has an earthy yeast flavor to it as well. Citrus hop flavors are also detectable.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a bubblegum like aftertaste. This beer is well carbonated.

I think, despite the slightly high alcohol content, that this beer might make a good session beer. It tastes very good, and the flavor is mild enough to not get cloying. I am anxious to see what a few years will do to this one.

 1,006 characters

Photo of DemoniChris
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 79.5% out of 100 with 488 ratings
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