Brewer- Stone Brewing Company
Beer- Enjoy By 11.12.13 IPA
Style- American Double/ Imperial IPA
Backstory- Stone in widely known for their aggressively hopped beers whether it is Stone IPA, Ruination, or Arrogant Bastard, no one could make the claim that Stone is afraid of putting too many hops into their beers. So Stone decided to push things a bit forward with their obsession with hops and begin producing the Enjoy By series of imperial IPA’s. The point behind the series is to get the freshest beer possible into the hands of the consumer and for the consumer to enjoy this tasty beverage while it is still fresh. The problem with many craft beer stores is that the wide variety of beers means that many can and will sit on the shelf for a long period of time and therefore, not be fresh. The very visible ENOJOY BY date stamped on the front of the bottle avoids these problems and you can be ensured that it is a very fresh product, in this case a fresh and aggressively hop forward beer. Stone also ensures the freshness by releasing these beers to limited markets each time a new Enjoy By is brewed and packaged.
Description- Enjoy By 11.12.13 pours a golden amber color with creamy white head that smooth’s out leaving a slow moving heavy lacing on the glass. The aroma is absolutely dominated by hops of the freshest variety, a slight hint of dankness and resin backed with strong citrus and tropical fruits, something like peaches and grapefruit come to mind, all wrapping around a sweet grain bill in the background. The taste is absolutely wonderful, but also surprising. The first assault on the palate is not hops at all, but instead a sweet and soft malt profile before the hops comes in on the attack. The hops are on full display here with ripe peaches, grapefruits, orange, mango, nectarines, pine, and grass all hit the palate at once and make for an enjoyable and stimulating experience before finishing long and dry. The mouth feel tends towards the medium to full side of the spectrum, but this is expected for a beer to handle the heftiness of this many hops. Speaking of the hops, while this may seem to be a one-sided affair as far as balance, the more you sip the beer the more you find that it is actually quite balanced. This is an absolutely stunning beer, let alone a world class IPA! If you can find some do yourself a favor and get it while it’s fresh!
Food Pairing – Food pairing for an aggressively hopped beer such as this one can be challenging and any light dishes will easily get overpowered, that being said I cannot recommend strongly enough to enjoy this beer on its own to pick up all the subtle nuances occurring in the beer. One of the best types of dishes to enjoy with Enjoy By is Mexican, and I mean REAL Mexican dishes not Taco Bell. Another pairing with this beer would be a nice Venison steak dinner with a tart cherry sauce, the caramelized meat would be great with the malt bill and the tart cherry sauce will meld seamlessly will the wonderful fruit flavors emanating from the hop bill. Honestly though, this is a beer that I enjoyed alone as I wanted to take it all in and enjoy every last sip without any competing flavors and with good reason, it is an absolutely amazing beer!
The Final Word – This is by far one of the best IPA’s that I have ever had, hands down. This is certainly an IPA that ranks up there with Russian River’s- Pliny the Elder and The Alchemist’s- Heady Topper. The unbelievable freshness from the hops is on full display in this world class beer. The bitterness can be overwhelming for some of the uninitiated, but certainly not too much for all the hopheads out there in the world. I cannot speak for all of the Enjoy By releases, but I can speak for the Enjoy By 11.12.13 and say that this is an absolutely stunning beer and it is unfortunate for everyone out there who did not get a chance to try this beer while it was at its peak freshness. However, there will be more Enjoy By releases, just hope and pray that it will be in your area and if it is grab it will you can and drink it as soon as possible.
Where can I get it? - Where ever you get it, get it fast and make sure you enjoy this by 11.12.13. The lucky markets to get 11.12.13 in 22oz. bottles are: CT, DE, IA, IN, KS, MA, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA, and VT.
Remember, enjoy responsibly!