Stone Brew Oceanside for Enjoy By and Imperial Russian StoutBy
It was big Monday yesterday at Stone Brewing Oceanside as Enjoy By, Imperial Russian Stout, and Espresso Imperial Russian Stout all appeared. That’s Enjoy By on the left, Espresso IRS, and IRS.
They happen to be one of my favorite IPA’s and one of my favorite Stouts. One thing I like in craft beer is high ABV’s. I think they taste better as the ABV increases, but its also a test for the brewer to maintain the balance.
The Enjoy By is hoppy at 9.4% but very balanced. I like to compare it to the Russian River Pliny the Younger even though Pliny takes it to a new level as a triple IPA and 11%. Enjoy By has a very citrus nose and some say floral. The taste is citrus and clearly grapefruit. The after taste is not bitter as some real hoppy beers as it maintains the balance. The color is golden with maybe a splash of red.
The Imperial Russian, (espresso next) is one of my favorites at 10.5% ABV. Many stouts are in the 6% range. It has a subtle nose with a hint of coffee if you are looking for it. The first taste is full bodied but mellow with a coffee and maybe chocolate after taste.
The Espresso Imperial Russian stout is an amped up IRS. At 11% ABV, it has a very strong coffee nose. You don’t have to look for it. The first taste hits with a strong bourbon barrel aged alcohol taste. I can sense the bourbon barrel, because the beers are not my favorites, but this is a little less intense than those. The fact is, you know you are getting alcohol. Some relish this taste and knowing that now the drinking begins.
You cannot tell the difference in color of the two IRS’s
I wanted to taste all three to see if one spoke to me before filing my growler. I think the Enjoy By is in a class of its own with IPA’s. I recently experienced the Firestone Union Jack IPA at only 7.4% and felt it was top notch. I got a picture of someone filling a rare 3 liter growler with Enjoy By.
The Espresso is real tantalizing because the senses are so alive between the nose, the full bodied taste and after taste that you might want that beer just for the adrenaline of the taste.
The regular IRS is great just because it is so drinkable and would appeal to a wide range of tastes and still deliver the punch at 10.5%.
In any case, you couldn’t lose with either of them and variety is the spice of life. Everyone brings a different palate to craft beer tasting which is what makes comparing favorites so fun.
I rode my bike, but luckily its only a few blocks away from my residence in Oceanside so no train required.
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