Enjoy by 07/04/17 - Stone Brewing Co
I've been buying Enjoy By IPA's for a few years now. It's always seem to be the "right" idea to just leave it sit until the very day it says to enjoy it by and then snap a picture with a quick quip about how I just beat the buzzer or if I'm doing this correctly. Now that Stone released this latest batch in cans, I was able to finally experiment with whether I really should be saving it until the suggest "last day" or should be having them sooner.
This is as scientific as it is going to get with this beer. I'm going by the dates and what notes I wrote on both entries. It was a bit of a revelation for me because I consumed the cans WEEKS apart, which made for some interesting comparisons. For the record the can in the first picture was drank on 06/13/17. The can in the picture below was had on 07/04/17. Ignore the color of the beer in both pictures, the differences are mostly due to lighting and time of day. The first picture was taken at around 8 PM, the second was taken at around 1 PM. With that said, I'm going merely on flavor and nose.
This was the very first time I've had an Enjoy By so "early" into the process and after this, I definitely know not to let them sit until the very last day. The difference in the hop presence between the two was quite remarkable. The June version was much more hop present within the taste realm. The July version still retains some of the nose from its predecessor but the taste doesn't quite hold up as well. Don't get me wrong, July was still good, but the difference is discernible and quite telling between the two. June still had that piney hop bite within it, by July it faded more into a tropical flavor with some extra sweetness. I haven't really had one past the date suggested, but I'm willing to believe it'd fall off considerably. Three weeks makes a hell of a difference when it comes to this beer. I'm unsure what the date was for the actual brewing, but if you want a better hop presence in this beer with a more well-rounded taste, you're better off having these ASAP. If you want the hop bite to die down, then do what I used to do and let it sit for a bit. Because of the high ABV, 9.4%, it probably ages a bit better than it should, but if Stone is recommending a date... I'd go with that.
This truly is a great beer though and I jump at purchasing it every time. If you look close enough, a lot of IPA's nowadays suggest to drink fresh and not age, but this is one that actively gives you the deadline on the can. From now on, I'd suggest trying to get your hands on these as soon as you know it has hit the stores and trying it immediately, unless you want your hops a little more muted. Take the "Enjoy By" part less as a gimmick and more as a warning and you'll definitely "Enjoy More". Salud!