My blogging binge into Providence Craft Beer Week continues today with my first IPA review (c’mon- you had to know IPA was coming). Most beer is meant to be enjoyed fresh, and so I thought I would drive this point home by tasting a beer whose entire premise was to be enjoyed as fresh as possible. IPA’s especially need to be enjoyed at their freshest because they begin to lose their hop flavor over time, which is where an IPA derives most of its flavor. Period.
“Brewed to be enjoyed within 37 days”, the enjoy by series tries to emphasize this point that you need to enjoy beer fresh. An aged IPA simply does not taste as good as a fresh IPA. Stone Brewing Co is one of the quintessential brewers of the West Coast Style IPA, and their Enjoy By Series have, more often than not, impressed me. Enjoy By 10.31.16 is a Tangerine IPA, although I am having trouble finding the connection between Tangerines and Halloween…oh well. Here is my take:
Beer Name: Enjoy By 10.31.16 Tangerine IPA
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co
Brewery Location: Escondido, CA
Beer Style: Double IPA
Enjoy By 10.31.16 pours a crystal clear orange-copper color with a creamy white head that follows you down as you sip without dissipating. A very inviting beer which is scary because spoiler alert: this is a boozy monster (Get it? Halloween? Moving on…)
Intense citrus dominates the nose of the beer: think orange and grapefruit. The aroma definitely lives up to what is advertised: a tangerine IPA. I also pick up a hint of dankness (if you’ve ever lived in a college dorm, you’re at least somewhat familiar with this term and aroma).
Taste & Aftertaste
A really pungent and hard hitting orange-grapefruit juice flavor hits you over the head with your first sip, followed by a very strong bitter backbone (appropriate for a Double IPA). As you swallow the beer and breathe out through your nose, you do get that “dank” quality from the aroma, though I have perceived this quality more in other IPA’s (this is not a bad thing, just a point of differentiation). There is some crystal malt character to this beer to help balance out the hops, but the hops (as they should be) are the true super star of this beer. The back of the bottle boasts that the beer uses 10 different hops (BAM). Furthermore, this beer delivers on its promise as a tangerine IPA- it’s fantastic! (Though I am still struggling to find the connection between Tangerines and Halloween…any ideas?) Clocking in at 9.4%, there is definitely some alcohol warmth in this beer, which is cool with me (especially as the weather cools, I sometimes need a booze blanket).
My past experiences with the Stone Enjoy By Series have been hit and miss: this one definitely hits the mark. The appearance is extremely inviting, and the hop flavor packs a huge flavorful punch. IPA lovers would enjoy this beer a lot. Stone Brewing Co tries to emphasize that beers (and IPA’s in particular) need to be enjoyed fresh, so with a little less than three weeks until Halloween, don’t wait to pick this bad boy up.