Saturday Night Sixer: Stone’s new IPA should be enjoyed right away

Posted: January 18, 2013 by Brandon Daniel in Beer Weekend, Beer-to-go, Out-of-Town Brews
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Greetings beer aficionados, Brandon here with another edition of the Saturday Night Sixer! As always this installment brings you a weekly offering that you can find in your local fine packaged liquor store, or possibly even on tap at your local watering hole. Looking for a new style or not sure what the craft brewing community has to offer this week? Look no further! Onward to beer …

Lupulin madness should be its real name.

Lupulin madness should be its real name.

The folks at Stone Brewing Company have been spoiling us for a long time now. With their standard lineup of beers like their Arrogant Bastard Ale, Ruination IPA, and their ever-changing selection of seasonal and special brews like their Old Guardian Barley Wine and the Vertical Epic series (if you haven’t picked up the 12.12.12 finale to the series, you may be too late, so get on it) Stone is always providing us with something new, tasty, and wonderful. Basically, Stone is always looking to put their bold stamp on a wide range of styles, and has succeeded in doing so for quite some time now.

It should be no surprise that Stone is taking their penchant for hoppy beers to the next level with the latest offering, the Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA. As they have in the past, Stone has made a beer and made it specifically not to last. Now while that might not make a lot of sense initially, it will once you pour one of these and taste the freshness contained within. This is a beer that you WANT and NEED to drink fresh to fully appreciate the characteristics of the blend of hops contained in every bottle; many times certain hops will degrade in taste and aroma during aging, which is why Stone’s goal with this beer was to get it into your glasses as soon as possible. Hence, Stone goes to extra lengths to ensure that the Enjoy By series is bottled and distributed in a timely fashion, just so that we can enjoy the fresh onslaught of hoppy goodness in every drink. What a great bunch of folks!

After previous offerings of the Enjoy By IPA, Stone’s 02.15.13 is like a mosh pit of hops in your mouth. At first pour, I was greeted with an light orange/amber-colored double IPA with a frothy off-white head, with slight lacing as the head diminishes; it almost has the look of a strong pilsner.  Now here is where this beer shines, as the first whiff of the aromas was phenomenal; lots of floral, citrus and pine notes are present, with slight caramel malt hints as well. Now some IPAs strive to be a simple cacophony of hops, which can lead to a muddled beer; this is definitely not the case with the Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA. The taste of this is wonderful, with tangy citrus and pine flavors hitting on the front. The floral hops that are sometimes lost with age in this style are still there, lending a good balance to the tangy flavors. A slight dry resin and subtle malt is present in the back and in the finish, with slight bitterness and grapefruit taste as well. There’s a slightly rough mouthfeel with little sweetness in there, making this a hophead’s best friend. For a DIPA this drinks remarkably easy and is incredibly refreshing on the palate, with very little alcohol bite. But make no mistake, the 9.2-percent ABV is still there, making this one dangerous to session. Believe me, you will want to have another of these once you taste the goodness within!

Did I mention there are hops in there??  Because there are.

Did I mention there are hops in there? Because there are.

This time of year usually provides brews that are heavy on the malts and spices, so to have Stone’s Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA available is a wonderful addition to the the shelves of stores and taps of pubs around the country. It is currently on tap locally at Back Alley Draft House and the O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. Now, as the name implies, this beer is meant to be enjoyed by February 13, 2013 for optimal flavor, so the time to pick up one is now. Stone has done yeoman’s work in getting this onto shelves, so you should be able to hit your local liquor store and find bombers of it waiting for your enjoyment.

Hopheads rejoice, a big fragrant DIPA awaits your indulgence!

Until next time …

Prost!

—Brandon Daniel (Cryptogrind)

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