The Stone Enjoy By 11.27.15 Black IPA is the latest installment in the exceptionally popular Enjoy By Series from Stone Brewing. Last month, I took a look at the Enjoy By 10.31.15 and was quite impressed. I went into a little detail about the Enjoy By Series and its history in that post, so I won’t do that again here.
Black IPAs have grown in popularity over the last few years. Back in Black from 21st Amendment is one of the more popular offerings and one of the few Black IPAs I’ve tried. I enjoyed Back in Black, so I was quite pumped when I saw that Stone was releasing the Stone Enjoy By 11.27.15 Black IPA, as well as the Stone Enjoy By 11.27.15 IPA. The regular IPA version was also limited to California.
Stone Enjoy By 11.27.15 Black IPA
Style: Black IPA
Hops: Amarillo, Super Galena, Centennial, Cascade, Vic Secret, Ella & Galaxy
Availability: California Only; 10.24.15 – 11.27.15 22 oz; bottles and draft
MSRP: $8.00 22 oz bottle
Brewer: Stone Brewing – Escondido, CA
Beers consumed for review: 1 – 22 oz bottle
Nose: OK, the Stone Enjoy By 11.27.15 Black IPA didn’t look like an IPA, but it sure smelled like one! The aroma was dominated by tropical fruit (guava) and hoppy notes. There was a jammy, blackberry note mixed in as well. There was also some maltiness in the aroma.
Appearance: Hella dark! The beer itself was a deep, dark, reddish-brown. It poured with two inches of creamy, tan head that eventually settled in around a 1/2 inch.
Flavor: The Stone Enjoy By 11.27.15 Black IPA was 100% unique. It took my palate places I just wasn’t ready for. I was bombarded with bitter hops and jammy fruit (grapefruit, pineapple, cherries) up front while the finish was earthy and malty. The mouthfeel was surprisingly creamy. The finish, while bitter, was surprisingly rich, with a mild, fruity sweetness. Did I mention there was a ton of complexity?
Overall Thoughts: IPA up front with roasted malt on the finish? The Stone Enjoy By 11.27.15 Black IPA is like the love child of a beautifully, bitter IPA and an earthy and malty porter. To be fair, I haven’t had a ton of black IPAs, but this was the best one by a million miles. This Stone Enjoy By Series continues to impress me. The Enjoy By 12.25.15 is much more widely distributed, so I’ll have a look at that one soon.