OK, so I couldn’t wait. I have a bomber of Stone’s 2011 Vertical Epic Ale. The idea is to bottle condition it for a bit over a year, so I really shouldn’t have opened it until at least December 2012. However, the promise of spices and chilies proved to be too tempting, and I had to crack it after three months in my fridge. The Belgian yeast is distinctly present, and I’d have to agree with Stone’s tasting notes that they give this year’s edition a banana flavor. The spices and chilies are also there in the background but very subdued, and not overpowering at all. The finish is nicely hoppy and pleasantly bitter. I need to get another bottle of this beer, because as good as it is after 3 months, I can’t wait to see what it’s like after a year.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.