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Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 613   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 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT2 (8741) - San Diego County, California, USA - OCT 2, 2010
Tap at Alewife for the Stone Tap Takeover. 40 Stone beers on tap. So how did this beer develop over the past four years? It poured a deep ruby with a thin, tan head that left small but sheety lace on the 6oz taster. Aroma is very good: meaty, smoky, smoked gouda, maple, bacon. Taste is moving to a sour English porter- rich meatiness with a soft lactic palate. The near sour body is just a tad too thin moving to citrus tartness that isnít in harmony with the smoked malt nose. Refreshing, tart palate. Very good even if the sourness was not originally intended.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dogbrick (8657) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUN 29, 2006
Pours a pretty dark brown color with ruby around the edges. Thick light beige head with very good retention, and a decent sheet of lacing. Aroma of toasted malt, spices and yeast. There is also a touch of peppery alcohol in the nose. Medium, spicy body with malt, clove and grassy hops flavors. Bittersweet finish of sweet malt and spicy hops. Pretty enjoyable as is, and I wonder what it will taste like in 6 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (8551) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 15, 2006
Very dark brown with a thick creamy tan head. Aroma is of dark toasted wheat, sweet spicy yeast, some light licorice, toasty and with lots of deep dark malts. Some cherry but not a whole lot of plumminess that I normally go for. The flavour is very toasty and chewy. A bit of roastiness on the back of the dark malts and dark spices. Dry, fairly bitter finish. As it warms more of the yeasty spice comes forward bringing a bit more balance than was present initially.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
3fourths (8228) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 10, 2006
Dark brown and burgundy hues. Tan head. Rich and doughy toffee, mocha, dark roasted plums, molasses and some light charred malts tastes. Yeast is a little hard to fit in this beer, have to say it doesnít work so well, but the rich toffee, molasses and stick malts are pretty nice. Not a proper dubbel by any means, but good for an experimental beer. Nose is light ash, dusty malts, with some light toffee and molasses - similar to the flavor - with some light yeast as well. A good one, but not my favorite VE from Stone.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (8127) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 27, 2006
UPDATED: APR 25, 2011 Any first impressions?
-A veil of foam covers the obscure, purplish brown.
-Roasted malts and their cocoa-like companions walk along earthy, near vegetal hoppiness.
-The spicy fruitiness of cloves, vanilla and star anise rests atop an intelligent union of roasted maltiness and hop bitterness.
-The soft effervescence and generous maltiness are beneficial to the mouthfeel.

What if you dig deeper?
-The spicy yeast makes some room in the nose after a few tries.
-Chestnuts are found within, as if an English brown ale is trying to establish itself amidst the flavor spectrum. This feature seems to have accentuated with time (latest bottle drunk was 5 years old).
-Alcohol is well concealed, to the tastebudís enjoyment.
-Not as spectacular as many Stone brews, but a very good, quite drinkable strong ale. Tastes like an Imperial Brown Ale with spices after 5 years or so.


   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jercraigs (8059) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 13, 2006
Black body with a moderate tan head (3+). Sweet malt aroma sort of anise like notes, very light woody chocolate and a touch of light alcohol. Dry spice in the flavour, some malt, finish is surprisingly bitter, covering up a light anise character. Average palate is lighter than I would like for this. Pleasant but a bit underwhelming. 7/3+/6-7/3/14

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DocLock (8054) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 22, 2006
Bottle from Super Saver. Dark brown pour with 1-finger khaki head. Aromas of roasty malts, nuts, brown sugar, black licorice, spicy banana, and yeasty funk notes. The flavor, to me, is rather weizenbockish, with notes on the palate of malt, figgy fruits, some molasses, licorice, brown sugar, banana, and cacao. As with all Stone beers, this one has a sizable palate heft and marvelous complexity.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JorisPPattyn (8031) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - SEP 7, 2006
Dark brown with red highlights; dense but small yellow brown head. Malty and greenery/vegetable with some earthy nose. All very restrained, certainly for Stone, if I may say so. Warming up, orange zeste. Licorice in the taste, tons of the stuff. Roasted malts, of course, and quite some alcohol, both in MF as in taste. Retronasal some more wry, woody, near piney notes, whilst warming up - mint? Itís thin. It shows some possibillities for aging, but not much, I fear. When 12-12-12 appears, this is going to be dark dishwater. Disappointing, certainly from this brewery.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7868) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 13, 2008
On tap. Pours a dark brown with a large, off-white head. Great lacing. Aroma of coriander, dark malts, caramel and a bit of candi sugar. Taste is malty, coriander, some oxidation, hint of bananas, and some alcohol. Light bubbles and creamy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
chriso (7428) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 25, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2007 22oz bottle, bought in Downtown Wine & Gourmet, Harrisonburg VA. Consumed September 2006. This poured very dark red-brown and was quite floral, estery and spicy on the nose. I definitely picked up violets and maybe cloves. Sweetish palate with deep, sticky malt to the fore but, at the same time, the body was fairly light. Some hops kick in late but they seemed rather harsh and the whole didnít seem perfectly integrated to me. Not my favourite Vertical Epic by a long way. Tasted as if it could do with more bottle age. Also, Iím not sure that carting it around in the back of a car for a couple of weeks helped too much. Iíll pick up another bottle next time Iím in the US if I can and re-rate.

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