A 22 oz. bomber of this hop monster is the way to go, and from the moment your crack the top of this thing, you will be met with a big hop flavor that mixes well with some hints of tropical fruit and peaches. A nice hard pour with give you a beautifully golden, darkish amber creamy white head, and again, the aroma will just leap out of the glass and straight up into the nose. Can’t say it enough…the hops come through big time in this release, more so than some of their previous special releases. The use of Ahtanum hops come through big time, and just in case you don’t think there was enough out of this world aroma, Stone was sure to add some Simcoe, Delta, Target, and Amarillo hops near the end of their boil. But that wasn’t it—the then decided to dry hop this monster with Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Helga hops. Might seem like a bit of overkill, but let’s get to the taste.
As one would expect, the hops nearly dominate this beer, but the somewhat dryness, and some smooth malt and a nice touch to this beer. It’s right on the verge of being too much of a hop-bomb, but thanks in part to some of the pungency and notes of peach, this beer balances out a little better than expected. At 88 IBU, and 9.4%, you pretty much know what you’re getting—an intense hop flavor that will nearly fry the nose hairs, but tickle the palette with a moderately carbonated brew.
Stone has really hit the nail on the head with these Enjoy By beers, both from a brewing standpoint, and as a clever marketing tactic. These brews are meant to drink fresh, and are not meant for keeping on the shelf, or stashed away in the closet for aging. What keeps them interesting is that each batch is tweaked, and consumers are always presented with a new and unique beer. It’s never quite the same, so there’s time when they will really nail the latest release, and other times where it will fall a bit flat. This latest Enjoy By 12.25.15 is definitely on the side of being a winner. The clock is ticking, and it’s ticking fast to go out there and grab this one. However, if it’s a bit too late, just look for their next release, and go out there and stock up on some 22 oz bombers of these traditionally hop-dominated beers.