Any regular reader of Rough Draught knows that I am a hop-head. I absolutely love a huge, hoppy IPA. When I learned of the release date of the latest iteration of Stone Brewing Company’s Enjoy By series, there was no way I was going to pass it up. My local bottle shop, Savor Market in Clintonville, OH, just received their shipment today. I took a trip there promptly after work to claim my stake to one of these masterpieces, and lucky for me, they still had plenty in stock. As much as I would have liked to drink the whole bomber myself, a beer this good is meant to be shared. Therefore, I waited for my brother to show at my house to partake with me. The wait was every bit worth it!
The beer pours a perfectly clear, amber color that looks almost exactly like apple juice. There was about one finger of white head that disappeared relatively quickly. Tiny bubbles can be seen floating to the surface, releasing one of the most mouth-watering aromas I’ve experienced in an IPA.
This beer smells like an IPA, except everything about it seems to be magnified. The aroma is dominated by an overload of hops. There are other scents underneath all of the hops, but it takes some concentration to pick them out. I get a lot of earthy and pine notes, as well as some citrus, notably oranges, grapefruit and even some pineapple. It is very floral as well. This particular batch of Enjoy By was bottled on February 22, 2013, so my bottle is exactly one week old. That means this is an extremely fresh brew, and it’s reflected in the strikingly fresh aroma. This beer smells huge!
This IPA has one of the more robust flavors I can recall. Just like the aroma, everything in the flavor is magnified several factors above your typical, run-of-the-mill IPA. And the freshness is amazing, which is exactly what Stone is going for with this brew. The hops are very intense, but in a very flavorful kind of way. The bitterness is not as overpowering as I would have expected. Don’t let that fool you though; this beer is still very bitter and will delight any hop-head. There are a lot of flavors going on in here, too. There is a tiny bit of sweetness upfront, and following that I get a strong resin flavor combined with the pine from the aroma. The citrus is quite bold and reminds me a little of orange and pineapple juices. Finally, I can taste a bit of the floral notes I detected in the aroma.
This beer is, indeed, huge. It’s full bodied, medium carbonation, and feels really creamy. It’s also quite sticky, and the hops linger on the pallet long after you’re done sipping, leaving my mouth quite dry. At 9.4% ABV, this IPA give very little warmth from the alcohol, but that could be because it is mostly masked by the huge hops flavor.
I can’t say enough about the Enjoy By IPA by Stone Brewing Company. This is the first in the series I have been fortunate enough to try and I absolutely love it. Sadly, mine is all gone, but hurry over to your local bottle shop, and if you’re lucky you might be able to get your hands on a bomber of your own. Cheers!