Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
Brew: Enjoy By 5.17.13
Their Take: 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.
Stone’s Enjoy By series made it’s triumphant return to New Jersey for the 5.17.13 release, and I finally got my first chance to try this one out. Enjoy By is a heavily hopped IPA released periodically and designed to be drank as soon as you can to get the freshest possible hop taste. They really put the effort in to get it to shelves as soon as they can; my bottle was stamped on 4/12/13 and I was drinking it across the country on just 7 days later. Mission accomplished.
Enjoy By 5.7.12 poured a hazy, rust orange, not unlike the pictured river behind the apartment. It had a thin, white head that disappeared a little too quickly for my liking. It would have been nice if it stuck around, and contributed that little bit extra to the aroma and appearance. Not that the aroma necessarily needed it though, because wow, was it strong. Wet, dank, citrusy hops hit you in the face. I picked up orange and possibly some mango, along with woodsy qualities like pine. It was definitely one of the more pungent beers I’ve had, and had a bit of malt sweetness in the scent as well. It rather delicious.
Again, wow is the word I’m going to use to describe the taste. It started off with an earthy flavor, followed by a bit of citrus bitterness kicking in before the earthiness came back. On the back end it faded into a grapefruit finish. The body was full and thick, almost creamy, and was needed to support the heavy, fresh hop profile. It may have been a little bit of their marketing tricks, but with the way the flavors danced, I could really taste the freshness. Like biting into a hop pellet.
I think the best way to describe the taste of this beer would be raw. It felt as though the hops and malt hadn’t had enough time to meld together, like the beer could have used a bit more time to settle. Still, the overall rawness of the beer was striking, and I enjoyed the taste. It was a nice deviation from most IPAs on the market. I still have a bottle, so it’ll be interesting to see if the flavors work together a little bit better now. The mixed flavors of the young beer did impress me though, each one standing out on its own. I’ll definitely be seeking out a bottle or two the next time this beer comes though New Jersey.