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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 619   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   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 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - JUN 12, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2006 22 oz bottle dark, alcohol, caramel, chocolate, smells like a Belgian. Needs to age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 11, 2006
A hint of ruby-brown light gets through this brew, under a moderate light tan head. Spicy aroma with fruits; similar phenolic yeast notes that I associate with wheat beers. Slight medicinal touch. In the mouth, it’s bitter right off the bat, with the sweet/fruit/phenol flavors overlayed. Finishes the same way it started, with alcohol warming.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
5000 (6600) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUN 11, 2006
Bottle: Black coffee in color, moderate frothy beige head, a few whisps of lacing.   Nose of molasses, brown sugar, slight anise, a touch of charred wood, and even some candle wax like aspect.   Very pale dark pitted fruit, moreso noticeable on the tongue.   Fairly sweet, yet not cloying, nearly full bodied, moderate mouthfeel.   A bit more dark pitted fruit on the exit, but otherwise moreso brown sugar, molasses, and some nutty aspects.   Not your typical Dubbel.   Warming, yet not hot.   Decent offering, just wished it had a bit more dark pitted fruit and a bit less sweetness.   Flatter than most Belgian examples too, but glad it didn’t blow up when I opened the bottle.   I praise them for trying different stuff, but they still have more work to do on these Belgian styles.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - JUN 11, 2006
UPDATED: JUN 13, 2006 Rating #666: The darkest of brown with burgandy highlights, when held up to light and a small fading tan head. Aroma is spicy with dark fruit and a wiff of banana. Flavor is spicy and peppery with dark fruit and a little nuttyness finishing somewhat dry with a hint of chocolate and some banana comming through as it warmed. Medium bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 11, 2006
22oz. bottle. Deep ruby-brown, nearly opaque, with a medium sized brown head. Heavy astringent phenol yeast aromatics, clove and some banana. Heavy clove and pineapple esters up front, melds into some bubblegum, crystal malt, and some nutty/toasty malt characters. Tinges of chalky chocolate in the finish reinforce a mild roastiness and some residual fruit esters, primarily banana. Mouthfeel is a slightly heavy medium, somewhat hot as it warms, fairly lusterous but not dry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
Poured from a 22 ounce bottle. Very dark brown with a frothy white head which quickly diminishes. The aroma is lightly spicy, yet has some coffee notes. The body is medium at best. The flavor initially hits the tip of your tongue with some bitterness, but after that a nutty roastiness (maybe chestnuts) hits you along with flavors of chocolate and dried fruit. This should age well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 10, 2006
From 22oz Bottle. Pours a deep dark, chocolatey brown color with a beige creamy head resting on top - fabulous retention. Loads of banana in the nose, but light and creamy like a frozen popsicle treat. Some coconut and smooth clove spice add some olfactory highlights. A mild chocolate licorice rounds out a solid malt base. Thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel without being overly heavy. This beer is going to be amazing if its already this good. The yeasty clove spice is a bit staggering as it confronts the palate at first, but it eventually gives way to some rich Belgian chocolate notes with a hint of anise. The chocolate flavors are nice and balanced without being overly dry or too sweet. Final smack of cedar cone hops and a smooth caramel maltiness. Well constructed beer with a delicious complexity as is - I will eagerly look forward to tasting this in the years to come.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Enniskillen (2044) - Salinas, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
This is probably the best of the anniv. that i have had so far. Dark body, caramel and plum aroma. Taste is caramel, alcohol, a bit mettalic. Pretty good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
winegarner (220) - san diego, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
Poured a dark brown to black with a lasting tan head and good lacing. Aroma is of chocolate and spice, most notably clove. Flavors are similar to what the aroma would lead you to, especially with an overpowering clove character. The clove really dominates the entire flavor profile from beginning to end. Some sweet roastiness and hop flavor try to compete. I must say that I am a little disappointed with this one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
IrishBoy (4000) - 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!

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