Stone Enjoy After 10.31.15 Brett IPA
Brewed by: Stone Brewing Co.
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: IPA
- Variation: American
- Limited: Yes
- ABV: 7%
- IBU: 70
Notes: The first release in Stone’s “Enjoy After” series that debuted in 2014.
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
This IPA is spiked at bottling with Brettanomyces, a wild yeast that, over time, brings about charmingly unpredictable complexities of spice, funk, acidity and more. The operative words in our beer-cellaring thesis are “over time.” For those of you who are impatient or like to experiment, the earliest we recommend sampling this beer is 10.31.14. The beer won’t be fully carbonated until that date. Ideally, you’ll want to cellar the beer up to—or beyond—the Enjoy After date to help it reach its full evolutionary potential. At that point, some facets of the Brett characteristics will have mellowed, while others will have become more profound; it all matures into a fascinating and delicious culmination. Individual results will vary…and that’s both the beauty and the intent behind this beer.
Hops: Super Galena, Simcoe, Delta, Target, Amarillo, Calypso, And Cascade
More Enjoy After 10.31.15 Brett IPA Images
Artwork: Follows the Enjoy By branding, with dark yellow halftone pattern and “Enjoy After” script typeface.
Color: Cloudy, dark golden to light orange hue.
Aroma: Mild citrus with Belgian funk.
Arrived in: 750ML Bottle
Served in: International Glass
We bought our bottle of Enjoy After 10.31.15 Brett IPA in September 2014, and cellared it for the recommended year. The beer was properly stored until opening on 11.1.15, one day after its “Enjoy After” date.
In early July, Stone actually posted an “8 Month Check-Up” video, where they examined the 10.31.15 Brett IPA, and determined it was ready for drinking at that point (8 months old). But not us — when Stone tells you to enjoy by, you do it, so the same applies with enjoying after!
As implied in both name and tasting notes, Stone injected an IPA with Brettanomyces at bottling. As you know, bottle conditioning with Brett leads to further carbonation inside the bottle. Well, you could say that again, because this was — hands down — the most eruptive ale we have ever experienced.
We just said that about another beer recently, but this one trumped it for sure. When the cork got pulled, it blew like a shaken up bottle of champagne. These tube glasses can be rough to pour into, and this gushing geyser of a beer made the task even more difficult, and took “pouring carefully” to a whole new level.
Once Enjoy After’s oversized dish soap head whisped away, we could finally get some aroma through the remainder of fluff. From the use of Brett, the aroma delivered the funky farmhouse aroma you’d expect. It was somewhat citrusy, with a touch of spice like coriander, over general earthiness.
Enjoy After 10.31.15 might have been supercharged with effervescence, but eventually it amounted to a balloon with the air let out of it. About half way through the glass, most of its carbonation escaped, lending a ridiculously smooth mouthfeel. But by the end, the ale had pretty much gone flat.
Brett IPA provided a muddled citrus kick in the center of each sip, with a drying Belgian funk in the finish. A bit more herbal or spiced character emerged at that point, but we were left feeling somewhat underwhelmed.
Not like we were expecting Enjoy After to have many IPA traits leftover after aging for a year, but not enough hop profile remained. It was mildly bitter, with a touch of acidity, but none of its flavor components ever seemed to take control, for better or worse.
After a year of waiting, the end result of Enjoy After 10.31.15 Brett IPA was pretty much an above average farmhouse ale. It was definitely funky, but we wished it was a brighter ale with more fruity esters to it, and less earthy. Wonder if Stone has adjusted their Brettanomyces dosages in subsequent releases?
Final Score: 3/5
Stone Brewing’s you-age-it-at-home approach with Enjoy After 10.31.15 Brett IPA was a novel idea, and definitely a fun experiment to take part in. However, we will end up sticking with their more hop forward “Enjoy By” offerings that are instant gratification.