457. Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale

457. Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale

I purchased two bottles of Stone's 2006 installment in their Vertical Epic series at Downtown Wine & Spirits recently. One for now, one for later. I let this warm to around 50ºF and served it in my Westvleteren Chalice.

The bottle has this to say:
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 a 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 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 malts, hops, water and yeast!
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 8.66%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear, dark brown with ruby tints. The beer is topped by a moderate, fluffy, brown head that thins to a persistent patchy film.

Smell (3.5): Very rich and malty. The aroma has notes of sugar, sourness, peppery spice and a whiff of alcohol. All of these are secondary to strong notes of raisins and dates.

Taste (4.5): Lightly sweet upfront with some toasty malt flavors. This is followed by the aroma, with tart raisins and dates evident. The finish is a pleasant mix of peppery and alcoholic spiciness, along with a low, but lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): On the medium side of full-bodied, low carbonation, with a smooth, silky texture.

Drinkability (4.5): Quite nice, not as cloying as some other Belgian Stong Dark Ales I've had.

Overall (4.15): This is a well-balanced beer. It has all of the sweetness and spiciness of a Belgian Dark, with a nice bitterness, none of which overpower the others.

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