Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Hop Battering Ram - Stone's Enjoy By

I have had three iterations of Stone Brewing's Enjoy By IPA - 9.21.2012, 12.21.2012 and 2.15.2013 - and I've started this post more times than that.  (Here's a link to a Stone video on Enjoy By for those that don't know the story behind it.)  What to say about this beer?  A single sentence can tell you all you need to know:  Enjoy By is a freaking massive double IPA. 

Stone brews two of the best IPAs ever in its flagship Stone IPA and its Ruination double IPA.  Enjoy By is a double IPA, too, but when compared to Ruination, Enjoy By is aggressiveness squared or cubed.  Enjoy By is the new arrogant bastard.  It challenges your IPA preconceptions, and ultimately mocks you.   Don't take this beer lightly, it'll knock you down with a hopped-up sucker punch you won't even see coming.

You can smell the rich pine resin before the first taste, and pine dominates Enjoy By's hop assault on your palate.    I thought I noticed a bit of tropical fruits alongside the pine (I can't believe I just wrote that). It's redundant to say Enjoy By is bitter.  It's ABV is 9.4%, but it drinks bigger, although the alcohol is well masked by the bitter taste of hops except for some heat on the finish.  Enjoy By is sweet, but here lies the brilliance that went into crafting it.  Rare is the double IPA with Enjoy By's hop strength and alcohol level that isn't cloying and syrupy.  Enjoy By is neither, which makes it drinkable and leads back to my point about mocking you while knocking you down. 

Did I enjoy Enjoy By?  Yes, I liked this beer.  Ultimately, I am not a beer masochist and don't like keeping one eye on a beer while I drink it, so Enjoy By is a periodic treat. Stone has done a fantastic job marketing Enjoy By, it sells out in a matter of days, or even hours wherever Stone releases it.   Be careful with this beer, respect it or you'll regret it.

No comments: