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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 610   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 260   ABV: 8.66%
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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 yearís edition.

In this yearís edition, youíll 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 itís part of the Stone family. This ale was brewed with a specialty Belgian yeast that weíre really liking here at Stone...itís 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
IrishBoy (3843) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2010 06/10/06 Dark walnut with cherry tints in the body and very small beige head. Malty aroma with banana and plum notes. Flavor shows malts and bananas with hints of chocolate and spice. 04/19/08 Nose more molassy with raisin, chocolate, and clove notes; clear dark walnut with a nice medium straw head; flavor is brown sugar, prunes, molasses, and a light chocolate note; has developed nicely over these last almost two years. Good thing I still have six to sit on for the next dozen or so years and see the development! 5/15/10 Another two years and this stuff is still fantastic. Still drinking very well. My favorite of the Vertical Epic Series!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Odeed (1779) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
UPDATED: JUN 20, 2007 poured a super brown (almost black) body with red highlights.the head was very tiny but did stick around for a while.lots of belgian yeast in the aroma.followed by some brown sugar,and a hint of zesty spice.flavor was loaded with yeast as well.along with some chocolate,cloves,hay,and bananas.the palte was nice and complex and changed for several seconds.mouthfeel was on the medium side.id like to do a side by side with an 05 to see where they stand.(RE-RATE ON JUNE 20TH 2007)appearance is pretty much the same.althoughi now detect some cinnamon and ginger in the flavor.it seems like its holding up pretty well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
zug4abby (287) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
Bottle thanks to DarkElf. Pours a clear, dark brown color with a very small tan head and no lacing. Aroma is malty and full of bananas with strong nut/malt hints coming through. Flavor is rampant with banana, yeast and malt and is very complex, some spice hints come through towards the end and more so as a beer warmed a little. very smooth and bubbly on the palate. This should age very well in my opinion.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
Pours with a dark brown body topped by a medium thick to thick head with a good amount of lacing. Itís slightly sweet and malty with slight banana notes, a little roastiness and some dark fruit, as well as, some underlying spicy notes (Anise). Medium to full bodied, slightly tingly on the tongue and a touch dry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
22 oz bottle from BevMo LaJolla. Pours dark brown and mostly opaque with mahogany highlights when held to light, and a huge fluffy beige head that diminished to a rocky cap leaving a trace of lace. Aroma is full and rich, molasses, hints of maple, dark fruit and spice, light cloves and all spice, peat and roasty malts, with floral notes evident as well. Flavor is roasty and sweet at the same time, black tea, prune, wood and spice, alcohol noticible with a bit of tangy spruce and bitter herbs in the finish. Full body, gentle carbonation and smooth on the tongue. I too will be interested to see how this one ages, but for a fresh, young dubble, itís pretty darned good!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
very dark burnt chestnut with a lacey, frothy tan head. Again with the yeast I hate..spicy nose but backed by an interesting roastiness..smells like itíd be chewy. <!-- p --> Now that Iíve tasted it..I must say, its certainly the most complex vertical epic to date..thick, chewy...the yeast is a little spicy for me but you can taste an interesting woven pattern of chocolate malt flavors behind it...with a little cinnamon-spice and warming alcohol. This one is thick enough and strong enough and might just be the one that makes it to 2012. Good Job lamers. This beer with a less spicey yeast would be sublime.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
Unlike my good friend Bartzilla, I bought several of these beers. Some are for saving and aging, but this one tonight.....sheís all mine. I too, am not a huge dubbel fan, although this one is pretty good. Itís clear this one will benefit from sitting, because right now everything is pretty much up front and in your face. Itís really dark.....looks like a porter. Almost pitch black. Not much in the way of a head or lacing. Smells great. I got a strong initial alcohol burn that lingered on forever. Not bad, just a bit overpowering. As I get deeper and deeper into this glass, I like it more and more. This one is going to be a winner in time.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Bartzilla (534) - La Mesa, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
I did something unprecedented and aged this for 2 days before trying it. I heard this needs to mature, so I figured what the heck. Well, actually, the liquor store aged it for me for 2 days. All kidding aside, I can see why this would improve with age. Tastes amazingly fresh and light for a dubbel. But Iím not complaining, eh. I knew this was going to be the case. That said, what Iím drinking is pretty good. Iím not the biggest dubbel fan (much prefer a golden/tripel), so the lightness and prevalent hops make this taste AOK right now. Iím almost inclined to take my virtual whipping and say this tastes like a Belgian Bastard in itís current state. Good stuff. Iíll have to give a couple to my mom and let her hide them from me because, letís face it, shelf life in my house is a matter of hours, not years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
bindpmc (88) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 8, 2006
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2006 Bottle at the Liars Club, (possibly the best bar ever-although Iíve said it before). I hesitate to call myself a Liars Club regular, but letís just say the bartender saw (and remembered) me, and insisted I try this beer. I dare say I think his enthusiasm was more because it is so newly available and not because of the product itself. It just tastes young. It says right on the bottle to age it, as all the Verts from Stone do, but you just gotta try the new one when it comes out each year, donít you? Dark reddish-black pour. tastes like a glass of Dr. Pepper with some raisins or other dried fruit mixed in. Not much in the way of nose, other than a faint suggestion of roasted malts. Mellow and drinkable for how young it is...was taken aback when told it was 8.6%, as there was little burn. Certainly a unique beer, and it has a pleasing sweet malt finish. Just tastes a little less than what I thought it would be. Not a lot of oomph, if I can be totally obtuse about it. Iíd be curious to shelf a bottle for a year and see if more complexity develops as a result. EDIT- Perhaps a case of one too many brews at Liars Club, but I origianally listed this as a draught. I woke up today to see I got a beermail from Greg, who most likely is Greg Koch, the mighty ruler of Stone, (and all around good guy, Iíve met him at a couple of beer functions). He thanked me for the review and corrected me in that Liars Club does not have this on draught but only in bottles. And yes, I did have it in bottle, which I should have remembered since I spent a good amount of time reading the info on the label. Greg, if you see this, thanks for pointing that out. As penance for my mistake, I will drink large amounts of Imperial Russian Stout, which is one of my favorite beers in the world (and I recently scored a bunch of it at my corner store).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
calivania (62) - USA - JUN 7, 2006
Thanks to my wife who brought this home on the unholy day so I could be the first to review it. Melty and sweet-- like pricey rugulach, a swirl of raisin and burnt sugar-- right down to the color, which deeply darkly amber and an almost ruby opaque at its thickest point. There is something thick and buttery to itís mouthfeel even. Head fades fast as does the backend -- one must wonder what this one might develop into when it is not, say, 37 minutes old. .Let me be first to say to hell with the devil and hooray for this beer!

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