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Despite having to keep things low-key this year, I most certainly did not want to be caught without a special beer for my favorite holiday.  I put off making my purchase a bit later than usual and started to worry a bit I when couldn’t turn up any of my annual favorites.  Fortunately, the folks at Stone Brewing had my back and this bottle pretty much screamed out to me from a store window as I was walking to the train station the other day.

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Beer Name: Enjoy By 10.31.16 Tangerine IPA

Brewer: Stone Brewing Company

Style: DIPA

ABV: 9.4%

Description: You can find a full write-up of this “frighteningly fresh” brew on the company website here, but basically this is an Enjoy By offering with a twist – pureed tangerines (because they’re spooky?) were added to the aggressively hopped recipe for this release.  The 22 oz. bomber cost me $8.49 at a bottle shop in Chinatown.

Appearance: The beer had a see-through amber/orange body topped off by a thin fizzy white head.  With a slightly more aggressive pour, I was able tot coax a thicker foamy covering out for the second glass.

Smell: Burst of tangerine juice as soon as the bottle was opened.  A more subdued sweetness followed, mixed with piney hops.

Taste: Tangy, juicy tangerine sweetness mixed with piney hop bitterness.  The finish was a blend of tangerines, citrus zest, and resinous hops that oddly gave the beer something not entirely unlike a fall spice flavor that brought on a zesty, resinous aftertaste.  The sweetness and bitterness got more in tune as the beer sat for a bit, with the resin and zest finish remaining throughout the pour.  Alcohol was well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a touch of creaminess.  Carbonation was moderate overall, but seemed to consistently leave me with plenty of tiny bubbles at the end of each sip.

Hype: As I mentioned in my last review of a beer from this series, these releases tend to be well received but don’t quite fly off the shelves the way they once did.  Personally, I’ve been a longtime fan of Stone and was happy to have a “worthy” beer to celebrate Halloween with.

Overall: Not bad on the whole, but at the same time not a standout for me.  I definitely prefer the regular entries in this series over thisrelease.  It was the finish that turned me off a bit, with the combination of tangy zest and bitter hops not quite coming together in a way that suited my preferences, imparting the unexpected spicy taste described above.  Tough month for fruited DIPAs around here, leading me to think it might be time to declare stout season as officially open.  Regardless, have a happy and safe Halloween!  Have a spooky brew (or few) for me!!!

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