November 26, 2012

Stone Enjoy By IPA

Stone Enjoy By 12.21.12 IPA (2012)
Limited Rotating Release (3'rd Batch).
22 fl. oz. / $7.19 USD / 9.4% ABV

About: "Bottled On: 11.16.12 Enjoy By Date: 12.21.12 You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers - especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs - we've taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We've not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you're getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn't randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the label, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and consumers. Instead, we've sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA."

Thoughts: I'm reviewing this beer on 11/26/12. This IPA is ten days old. When I walked into the liquor store I didn't imagine that I'd even see this, as the last couple of special Stone releases I've seen with my own eyes, I'd had to drive an hour to find and by then it was far too late. This bottle wasn't even on the shelf. It was still in a box on the floor in front of all their other bombers. All I saw when I looked down was "JOY BY" and the Stone logo. My eyes opened up like Pixel Dan when he got Classics Mosquitor in the mail.

It let out a long hiss as I tore the cap off. Couldn't resist taking a sniff from the bottle and man does that smell fucking great! Poured it into my Stone glass and we've got a light one. This beer is super clear, light-golden yellow in hue and has one of the whitest heads you'll ever find atop a brew. The head is really sticking around too. It's been about five minutes since my pour and it's still pretty damn thick. This one has moderate carbonation.

The beautiful scent of hops is off the charts here. Abundant amounts of citrus: grapefruit and tangerine... and what's this? Pineapple too, oh, and a little bit of leafy pine. It's a bit lemony, very zesty, earthy, raw and really sweet. It just slowly climbs up inside your nostrils and you don't want to lower that glass away from your face. It's almost zombifying. Good shit. Hang on, I'm gonna let my chick smell it. She says it smells "stinky", and then she pointed to the washrag in the sink and said, "like that". She so crazy. Ha ha.

I got the weirdest sensation when I took my first big gulp of this... and that was that this beer tastes real. Like, really real real. It's got a nice toasty caramel backup that accompanies the extremely strong hops superbly, and it's really sweet. The beer is a little bitter, but with the soothing malt in the back, it stops just before it gets absurd. So let's just say it's balanced quite finely. It's really indulgent tasting too, and there's a gentle peppery tone throughout. But it's very mild. For the most part this whole beer just screams out tropical fruit! It's insanely fruity up front and after you swallow it down you get a slow, creeping crawl of leaves and pine that don't jump on you, but just make their way in almost unnoticed.

Mouth feel is damn smooth, and creamy too.  The aftertaste is great, light and doesn't fade for quite a while. I haven't gone off and tried too many Stone brews all that much, but this one really has that West Coast IPA vibe about it. Even more than the other brews from them I've ever had probably. Can't find any Pliny? You may have better luck finding this. Check their Website for the Stats! Looks like they care about their beer, doesn't it?

Stone Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA (2013)
Limited Rotating Release (5'th Batch).
22 fl. oz. / $7.19 USD / 9.4% ABV

About: Purchased and Drank on 3/1/13! The info on their website and on all of the bottle of Enjoy By have remained the same throughout all five of the runs so far, so I'm assuming that all of these beers are meant to be the same? I'm not quite sure.

Second Thoughts: Nice hiss with a little smoke. Poured this one out pretty carefully but had expected more of a head. Got about a half finger sliver that lasted a full minute before dissolving down into a haze and a few bubbles. This beer is a dark yellow / light orange color and overall quite light in appearance. It's very clear with a little bit of carbonation rising up.

Tropical fruit up front. Real nice. Yep, this is nothing but tropical fruits all around. Tons of mango, mango rind, sweet orange, some grapefruit, juicy peaches ...a little bit of papaya and pineapple, and just a hint of pear. The hops aren't overly aggressive, they're not crawling up my nose infecting my brain the way I like, but this is one beautiful scent that's for sure. Some very gentle pine in the background.

Something I didn't get in the scent I was hit instantly with the flavor and that's a spicy peppery splash of resiny hops. Cool. The taste isn't as sweet as the smell lets on, and I'm totally fine with that, because it's not a bitter bomb either. It leans more towards the bitter side, mostly towards the end of the swallow but it starts off with a gentle sweetness and that sweetness comes slowly flowing back after breathing in a little bit so it ends up evening out rather well. Still, aside from the bitter and sweet there's that awesome oily and prickly peppery tone that mainly permeates throughout the brew. I may be mistaken, but this beer starts to taste even better once it warms up a bit. It's not really that warm yet but I had it ice cold when I pulled it out. Now that it's getting warmer all the flavors and sensations in this beer are blending together harmoniously and it is fantastic. Nothing goes over the edge here, but it taps into every area of itself in little spikes at a time. Great stuff.

It's got a very surprisingly gentle aftertaste that feels pretty good. The mouth feel is pretty dense. This beer may look light, but it doesn't feel light at all. The near 10% ABV is extremely well hidden as well.

Now I've gotta say that I did enjoy the 12.21.12 more than this batch. It had a fiercer scent and was better balanced for some reason. Though, like I said, I have no idea if this is always meant to be the same exact beer every time around or if little changes are made depending on what they've got and / or are doing. But this beer just hit the shelves, and I bought it on sight. And if I ever get the chance to get the next version, I'll do the same thing. Keep it up Stone.

Stone Enjoy By 05.17.13 IPA (2013)
Limited Rotating Release (7'th Batch).
22 fl. oz. / $7.19 USD / 9.4% ABV

About: Bottled on 4/12/13 (Sixteen Days Ago as of my writing this review).  I do believe every single new bottle I see of this beer is going to become an instant buy and review here on the Double Vision.

Third Thoughts: Poured a real misty yellow-orange, slightly amber color with a nice solid white fluffy head on top.

The scent on this is absolutely incredible. It's just bursting with ruby red grapefruit, just sliced and squeezed mere seconds ago, right up the motherfucking nostrils. This is incredibly fresh and oh, so strong! Getting a little passion fruit in there too. Tropical fruit dominates here, man, and it smells just like juice. 100% fruit juice scent, but it's f'n beer! Can you dig it sucka? Like a mix of tangerines and grapefruit. Really wild shit.

Sweet nectar of the ungods... this shit is unreal! A little syrupy sweetness to kick things off, some peppery spice midway through and a crisp hazy bitterness to ride it out - all of that with an immense depth of flavor all the way through from beginning to end. From scent to aftertaste this is one magnificently crafted brew. Delicious! This is the reason why IPAs exist. It's tingly and tickling, coating and embedding, satisfying and savory. This is one of those beers that just hits the taste buds with every kick-back. Liquid pleasure in a bottle. The bready malts are creamy tasting, real doughy and softly under cooked like... and the pine at the end of it all is gentle but quite lingering.

Tons of resin builds up and floods in around the end of it all, and it's thick and dank.

Look at that beer this time around and the two that I had before it. I noted with this bottle that it poured real misty looking. Well, the pictures don't lie (colors are sometimes off, but a dense haze compared to a see-through brew can't be attributed to flash or lighting). First time around I got a massive head and clarity, second time I got nearly no head and still very much clarity, and now the third time I've got a solid head with some density. Interesting. Who knows, maybe it was change in glassware. ;) I highly doubt that, but nonetheless the fact remains that this beer is utterly kickass by all means.

Stone Enjoy By 09.13.13 IPA (2013)
Limited Rotating Release (10'th Batch).
22 fl. oz. / $5.99 USD / 9.4% ABV

About: Bottled on 08/09/13 - Drank on 08/23/13. Bottle was refrigerated when I bought it which was a nice touch for once. Huh, looking at my reciept I was charged $5.99 for this one instead of $7.19 like the previous bottles. It's about time! Got this along with a four pack of SN 2013 Bigfoot all for $12.23. You really can't beat that deal.

Fourth Thoughts: Nice big frothy foamy head on the fucker. This time around the beer is clear orange again. My etched glass is kicking up some moderate carbonation bubbles and it's lookin' pretty bright.

Tropical fruit notes hit the nose first and then a rush of strong and pungent pine kicks in. There's a real syrupy smelling sweetness to this one, not really fruit juice sweet like before, but rather a dank, stank caramel sweetness. Tangy wet fruits splattered and doused over pine needles. Noticeable haze of alcohol lingers beneath.

Loads of hop bitterness on the tongue. Tons of pine. Mild syrupy sweetness. A haze of soapy grass.

Mouth feel is a tad watery and leaves crisp but coats the teeth and lingers in the taste. It's a bit drying.

I really wish this one had more of that stunning tropical fruit cocktail like the last bottle. I still really love this beer, but this one just isn't as intense as before. The flavors die down a little too quickly and all you're left with is intense bitterness on the back of the tongue. It could use a little bit more of a balance and a more brain tingling aroma. This version is just a little more brutal in the alcohol fumes department.

Stone Enjoy By 11.12.13 IPA (2013)
Limited Rotating Release (12'th Batch).
22 fl. oz. / $8.99 USD / 9.4% ABV

About: Bottled on 10/4/13. Drank on 10/13/13. Nice. Got this in the next state over. It was nine bucks, but it had just been bottled and I haven't seen it locally so I grabbed it.

Fifth Thoughts: Poured a very light orange color that looks a lot yellower than it usually does. Light slightly cream colored head on top that turned to slush. The beer is very clear with a moderate amount of carbonation rising up.

The scent on this one, incredible! Ultra tropical fruit blast to the fuckin' face! Tons of piney dank resin backing that up. A pure west coast DIPA through and through, it smells fierce and magnificent.

First big gulp and interestingly enough, it's not as bitter as the last time. In fact, it's actually pretty sweet. It starts off really sweet and just when the bitterness starts to flow in the boozy fumes hit and another super syrupy sweet spike slithers its way in. The taste is just like the smell, and that's totally awesome. Drinking this is like smoking that dank sticky crystallized red hair Cali bud and then choking back some pineapple juice. What a cool taste.

Mouth feel is pretty pure. The flavor stays long after it's gone but it's not sticky or coating at all. The beer just flows away clean and leaves a very nice aftertaste for a while. This one's got a nice balance, but seems a little on the sweeter side. Those who love Enjoy By but didn't dig the harsh bitterness of the last batch will no doubt love this one.

Oh what the fuck... I just went on Beer Advocate to check what batch # this one was and I scrolled down to the reviews only to see someone describing the taste of this as freezer burn popsicles. I do see where he's coming from. I get it a little bit here. But popsicles aren't supposed to taste like pine, grass or weed.

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