Dank as promised: A review of Stone Brewing Company’s Enjoy By 4/20 IPA

Stone Brewing's Enjoy By 4.20.14 IPA
Stone’s “Enjoy By” brews are extremely fresh, but won’t last long. Drink up! — photo via of Stone Brewing.

While perusing the beer selection at the New Pioneer Food Co-op, I found a little something I could not pass up: Enjoy By 04.20.14 IPA, brewed by the Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, Calif.

Batches of Enjoy By are brewed “NOT to last,” according to the beer’s web page. Stone gives the enjoy by date a prominent place in the name because Stone wants you to drink it as soon as possible, while it is fresh. (According to Stone’s website, this edition of Enjoy By was bottled on March 15. Yeah — that’s fresh!) Get it while it lasts because Stone buys back the unsold bottles on April 21.

Serving type: 22-ounce bottle. The expiration by date is unavoidably part of the name: “04.20.14.” Thank you, Stone!

Appearance: Pour into a tulip glass. The color is medium amber. Enjoy By is crystal clear; so clear, in fact, that I could see the minute grooves of my fingers, magnified by the bulge of the tulip, as I held the glass. A finger and a half of white, tight foam dissipates slowly leaving a little lacing, a ring around the edge and eventually a bubbly skim.

Smell: As described on the bottle, Enjoy By is “devastatingly dank.” There is a touch of pine and floral hops at first, followed by an enticing bouquet of citrus and tropical fruit. There are scents of grapefruit, cara cara orange, mango and perhaps a little pineapple. As the beer begins to warm, floral hops start to predominate. Overall it is crisp and lovely, without a hint of the 9.4 percent ABV.

Taste: Enjoy By is tasty and bitter. The mouthfeel is creamy and the hop bitterness works the taste buds throughout each sip. The citrus and tropical fruit are not as prominent at first, but they are still noticeable. The flavors include grapefruit, mango, lemon zest, orange, caramel, honey and pine resin. The alcohol becomes evident as the beer warms, countering the hop bitterness with a light sting. When the honey flavors combine with the alcohol, the beer is reminiscent of a hot toddy.

Drinkability: This is a solid and enjoyable beer — especially because it is so fresh. While I wish citrus and tropical fruit were more prominent in the flavor, it is still a tasty, pleasing and dank brew.

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