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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 614   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 260   ABV: 8.66%
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!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hezron (611) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 3, 2006
Banana, burnt popcorn and toasted malt aroma. Weird,..smells a bit like a dunkelweiss. Dark brown in color with a thin, brown head. Toasted chocolate malt with an aftertaste of burnt popcorn. Not a fan of roasted malt in a double. Medium body, lighter texture. Thanks again to 1FastSTi for bringing the dubbel!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ratman197 (11356) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JUL 3, 2006
Bomber poured a clear sark reddish brown with a small diminishing tan head. Aromas of dark fruit, spices and a hint of roastiness. Palate was medium bodied and crisp. Flavors of clove, brown sugar, a hint of chocolate and some roastiness with a lingering bittersweet finish. Smells much better than it tastes!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
wheninhell (488) - chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 3, 2006
pours dark brown with a tan head. aroma smoke, chocolate, clove, some dried fruit, bananas, and a slight alcohol burn. flavor sweet raison quite a bit of clove. also some smokey chocolate and a hint of espresso bitterness. full bodied. fairly lively carbonation as it should be. finish is a fantastic roller coaster of flavor. the finish alone is just as complex if not more than any other part of the beer. it starts sweet with a hint of raison and alcohol and gently evolves into a lovely smokey bitter chocolate flavor that sticks with you forever. fantastic beer. the first of the series i have rated. i am very interested to see how this stands up to six years of aging.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUL 2, 2006
Crimson chestnut. Healthy light beige foam is slightly rocky and holds an air-whipped consistency. Floral hops, clove-infused apples, bubblegum and green raisin aromas fill the nose. Dainty nougat and unripe banana notes. Creamy and silky on the palate. Seductively soft and mellow, up front, with a flavorsome smack of brightly floral hops. Gritty roast eases its way into the mix and beautifies the deep juiciness. Vibrant display of chewy raisins and plums. Chocolate accented roast exerts its coarseness and highlights the slightly dusty yeast elements. Yeast adds a thickly fluffy texture, but stops just short of overexerting itself. Alcohol is quite keen in its sharpness, and rather than being overaggressive, it imparts a perfect touch dryness which keeps the yeast from becoming overbearing. All the while the spicy clove lends its poignant heat and further aids in keeping the yeast at bay. Clove- and bubblegum-infused chocolate pudding and juicy plums create quite the savory arrangement of flavors. Finishes softly and explosively hoppy, yet with a brash edge of roast kissed with fresh hop bitterness and a lingering bubblegum aftertaste. After a fairly not-so-epic line of Epics leading up to this, I stopped expecting Stone to ever succeed at crafting something of this caliber from a Belgian yeast strain. But 06.06.06 has certainly convinced me otherwise, as it’s my favorite in the series by far. A most pleasant surprise.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (3881) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 1, 2006
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.

<font size=-4>Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Tucson, AZ<font size=-1>

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - JUL 1, 2006
Bottle courtesy of Naven. Looks like a watered-down version of an imp. stout. Smoke, oak, fruit, and toasted malt flavors. Possibly a bit watered-down finish w/ a mild alcohol spiciness.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - JUL 1, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2007 (rerate from 12-25-07) This beer was damn impressive. I expected it to be with over a year of ageing. Ive had the 05’ and i dont really remember it being this good. Murky, and dark black in color, with a white laced head. Aroma is roast (but not in a coffee sense), chocolate, and grapefruit, vineous. Flavor is very much the same but i would describe it as more of a chocolate with a raspberry drizzle. Malty mouthfeel. A little bit of a hop bite, and a warm feeling afterwards. Damn good beer. but it definitely speaks more of a wine. Another winner for the boys at Stone.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ross (2128) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUL 1, 2006
Pours out a dark brown color with a small tan head. Smells very similar to the previous epics, and it also tastes similar to them. This one seems like it will be one that will hold up for a long time. Plenty of fruity and malty backings to this beer. Not very bitter, rather good actually. Probably going to be one that will last until 12 12 12

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
00cobraR (1103) - Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - JUL 1, 2006
Pours out a dark brown color with a nice tan head. Aroma is very malty and yeasty. Flavoe is very much the same. i was a little suprised at the amount of maltyness that was present in this brew. This is a nice brew.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BBB63 (6474) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 1, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 19, 2007 Rerate, 1 yr+ old and served in my NB worthy glass: The nose is still the same except for a slight oxidition. Displays fruity, smoky, grassy, and spicy vapours. No change for Apperance or Aroma. The flavor profile again has not changed much with a spicy frontend joined by some fruit and overall malty sweetness. The finish is getting even more dry but the alcohol and carbonation has seemed to die down a bit. I increased the Flavor +1, Palate +1 and overall score +1. This could be at peak right now. I can’t imagine how dry this will be by 2012! (3.8)<P> Bottle and served in my Stone IRS snifter: Displays a deep brown hue topped by a large frothy beige head and moderate lacing. The aroma is quite fruity with notes of fig, prune, and currant. Additionally I discovered some smoky and chocolate malts, clove, grassy and earthy estery character. Finally a tip of the hat to some Belgian sugar components.

The flavor profile is initially spicy (clove, anise and pepper) touched by a healthy dose of bitter fruit. Depth is added by a smoked and toasty malt background, even a bit of developing yeast tone rounds out the palate. The finish is part woody dryness and moderate alcoholic astringent feel (despite what the description states). Quite lively and somewhat aggressive at this stage of development, a warming beer but never overly dominate.

The overall dryness added a complexity but I think it could end up becoming to much with aging. I gather it will peak at about one year old, will re-rate in six months, seems like a perfect beer for around Christmas time. (3.5)

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