BREAKING NEWS: The Mayans couldn't foresee their own demise let alone ours. Today is the well-hyped apocalyptic day, or as I call it, Friday. If you are just emerging from your underground bunker, I hope this review prompts you to grab a cold one and celebrate being alive today. And tomorrow. Until the day you die.
Following Stone's instructions, I cracked this bottle open last night to avoid the bottle's expiration date of 12.21.12. Stone made it very clear that this is meant to be enjoyed immediately and one should not plan to cellar any for later. As soon as I popped the top, I understood where Stone is coming from. The scents immediately escape the bottle as if it had literally just been brewed and bottled. Indeed, this is one you NEED to enjoy fresh.
This double IPA pours a slightly hazy amber color, which is quite beautiful. There are some amazingly fresh and citrus scents on the nose--very green. Not so much piny as it is citrusy, and I also catch a scent similar to fresh-cut grass.
The earthy, grass-like, scents come through on the flavor, though there's a sweetness that is very unexpected. I am reminded of sugar-covered grapefruits. The flavors are pretty complex. The body is surprisingly heavy with an almost syrup-like mouthfeel that
coats the tongue, letting the flavors hang around and linger awhile
until you take the next sip.
The front of the palate is hit hard with the freshness of the hops, but then there is an intense wave of sugar, citrus, and malt that complete the taste. It should also be noted that I tasted this with a buddy homebrewer who immediately picked out the Amarillo hops that dominate this beer's flavor profile. This also explains why this is not nearly as bitter as one would expect from a DIPA coming from Stone.
This is a really solid beer. I recommend sharing this with any friends who are turned off by IPAs that are "too bitter." This one is a crowd pleaser. It's also 9.4% which pleases the crowd even more!
So, here's to Stone's Enjoy By and to the world not ending.