Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stone's Enjoy By 12.21.12 IPA


Enjoy By 12.21.12.

I had missed my opportunity to nab the first 2 releases of this time-sensitive IPA so I made it a point to procure the third rendition.

But as my luck would have it, the day it came out, my favorite liquor store (yes, I have a favorite liquor store.  Oh my God, I am an alcoholic!) got their beer delivery later than usual.  This was bad news for me because I counted on buying a bottle before I started work.  As I saw it, that would be my only shot.  That was my short window to grab a bottle.  See, most places received a box or two of the stuff.  In other words, 12-24 bottles per store and a limit per person.  Even then, these bottles flew off the shelves in no time at all.  I knew, once my shift had ended that there would be no beer left for me.

 The main allure behind this beer is the freshness of it.  Enjoy By... utilized 11 varieties of hops (both fresh and dry) in the making of it.  It is meant to be consumed within a 35 day period (the sooner the better).  If any store or bar still has this beer on 12.22.12, Stone will make their rounds and pick up the leftover supply.  But believe me, hop heads are all over this bad boy.  The response after their initial release was overwhelmingly good.  That coupled with the fact that it wasn't widely available only ensured that it would fly off the shelves.  I am not a big fan of IPAs per say but I am a fan of Double IPAs.  From what I understand, the added hops increase the alcohol level which I appreciate for obvious reasons.  But also, it helps balance or mask a lot of the inherent bitterness that I can do without.  

 I was more curious about the product than anything else.  I was skeptical that Stone could or would make a double IPA that I would really enjoy.

Anyway, I had given up any hope of being able to find a bottle to buy so I was ready to look for a bar that carried the stuff on tap and hopefully still have it so I could enjoy a pint over the weekend.  That's when I received a special delivery at work one morning.  "Holy Schnikes!"  It was Ryan from Stone with a box of the stuff.  Ohhhh yeaaaah, "it's on now," I thought to myself. 

Well, I drank my bottle and while I enjoyed the fresh hop bite of the IPA, it was still lopsided in terms of balance.  Again, Stone Brewery makes no bones about their "in your face" approach to beer.  I've said it once and I'll say it again.  Gimme a blind beer-taste-test and I will correctly identify Stone's more times than not.  Enjoy By 12.21.12 is another hop assault on your senses.  It didn't read to me like a Double IPA at all so I won't even recognize it as such.  It's one of the better IPAs I've had though, but I still prefer Sculpin out of Ballast Point.  It's a very good beer, for what it is but it's not something I will seek out again like I did this last time.  Been there, done that.  Next!

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