Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stone Brewing Company - Enjoy By IPA

I'll admit it- I haven't always been the biggest Stone fan. It probably stemmed from their incredibly arrogant (no pun intended) prose on many of their bottles without really having the beer to back it up. It's not that I hated their beers, but I felt that the quality of their product didn't really warrant the "My dick is miles bigger than your dick" attitude that Stone was putting forth. But recently, I've noticed a startling change over at Stone. Their beer is starting to catch up to their mouths. For me, it started with their More Brown Than Black IPA, then caught up even more with their Tenth Anniversary Ruination. And just when I thought they couldn't make a better beer, along came Enjoy By IPA.

The idea behind Enjoy By IPA is simple, if not genius: Make a beer that is impossible for the consumer NOT to consume fresh. Many breweries are starting to print "Best By" or "Bottled On" dates on their bottles, which is meant to show the consumer that the beer is fresh. By making the "Best By" date a part of the actual label, Stone has taken the beer freshness craze to a new level. A small (and often smudged) date stamp can be looked over, but a date on the actual label is absolutely impossible for the consumer to miss. And once the "Best By" date has passed, Stone releases a new batch with an entirely new label. It's genius. At #82, here's Enjoy By IPA.

Enjoy By IPA pours an absolutely beautiful deep golden color with a one finger bone white head. The smell brought loads of tropical fruit, with mango and pineapple coming out the most. I also got some candied orange, caramel and pine. The tropical fruit aromas reminded me a lot of one of my other favorite IPAs- Ballast Point's Sculpin.

The taste was a fantastic blend of tropical and pine hop flavors. A rich caramel malt held the hops in check and an almost buttery mouthfeel married the flavors seamlessly. The finish brought a huge load of pine hop resin, and really rounded out the flavors nicely. This is one of the better IPAs I've had. Stone, I stand corrected.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 112

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