Review: Stone Enjoy By 02.14.17 Chocolate & Coffee IPA

Stone’s latest “Enjoy By” IPA says it should be consumed by Valentine’s Day, but it was seemingly created for consumption on Valentine’s Day. Anyone looking for a special V-Day gift for that beer-loving special someone should look no further than this romantically-themed one-off brew.

As the name suggests it’s an IPA, brewed with the typical pantheon of hops (12 of them) plus added chocolate and coffee — in the form of cocoa beans processed by Stone and a blonde coffee brewed by San Diego Sunrise.

The results are really intriguing and fun: The bitter hops are impossible to ignore, sure, but the coffee and chocolate work as surprisingly deft foils for the ale. Both are more understated than I’d expect (schooled by years of overblown coffee stouts and the like), adding just a hint of dessert-like sweetness to an otherwise hop-forward experience, which tempers the whole affair and makes it more suitable for after dinner than before. With a moderate fruitiness and its bold, rounded body, consider building a fire before cracking it open.

9.4% abv.

A- / $8 per 22 oz. bottle / stonebrewing.com

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