My beer is expired. Yesterday it was fine, or a few days ago, depending on when you're reading this. But today, according to the label, I have officially missed the window in which I should enjoy this beer. Perhaps I shouldn't have purchased a case Stone's Enjoy By 4.20.14 just eight days prior to it's imposing end date. Perhaps I shouldn't have written an article last week based loosely on Gram Parsons' lyrics.
What I won't do is stand here (I'm sitting) and apologize for my ill-timed purchases or my heart felt obsession with the voice of a rock and roll angel. I will not be a Purchase-Parsons Apologist. I won't do it. I won't.
I also won't tell you about my Record Store Day purchases, although I really want to. Or my terrible skin allergies that were originally self-misdiagnosed as a fungal infection and subsequently mistreated with all sorts of strange holistic diaper creams and expired prescription anti-fungal medications.
Have you ever had a yeast infection on your ear? I haven't either, but for a few days I thought I did.
I won't tell you about why I have expired prescription anti-fungal medications. I won't tell you about the strange patch of dry skin on my right hip that I am now convinced is the result of always keeping my smart phone in my right pants pocket. I won't tell you about my time spent during past winters on a wrestling mat. And I won't tell you about the strict left/right pocket regimen I keep with the personal possessions that must be with me at all times.
I will tell you about the delicious expired beer next to me right now and how it's clear, golden orange shine reminds me of the sweetly finished spruce of an acoustic guitar. I will tell you that it looks just as good as it did two days ago, but I suppose appearance would be the last thing to fade.
So then I will tell you about the smell – the sweet citrus and resinous pine of it, the fresh dankness, and the floral hints of spring and hyacinth. I will tell you about a few days ago when I accidentally spilled a glass of it on my dining room table and how it filled the room with such a sweet pine and floral fragrances that I considered just letting it drip and lay until the whole house smelled clean. Let me tell you that today, a day past it's prime, I am not noticing much difference.
I will tell you about the taste, both the taste from today and the taste from two days ago, because they are still one in the same. The beer is wonderfully bitter right away with the sharp needles of pine flavors and grapefruit. There is a superb juiciness that is part flavor – sweet citrus like orange or nectarine – and part chewy feel, an aspect that reminded me of the pure hop juice that was Founder's Harvest Ale but with a fuller, more rounded feel. The flavor and the feel of the expired beer rotting away in the glass to my right are so closely woven, so nearly inseparable, that I can hardly bear to separate them into two separate paragraphs, separately. And so begins the anti-separatist movement in the craft beer community. The carbonation and hop profile compliment one another to offer a hint of creaminess that keeps things from feeling overly slick. The finish has the feel and flavor of dry grapefruit rind bitterness without any of the soapy build up on the back of the tongue that might typically accompany such a beverage. If anything is noticeable in terms of change between my enjoyment today and the days of enjoyment prior to April 20th, it would be that the juiciness may be losing the burst it had four or five days ago.
And let it be said here that the juiciness in the flavor and feel was most present in the tulip glass. In fact, the tulip is what really made this a stand out beer for me. It makes sense that a beer so fresh and potentially time dependent would also experience the most shift in flavors from different glassware. Out of a pint the malt backbone was more present with almost a German-esque quality to it. Out of the IPA glass things seemed just a bit thin considering all the punch of the flavor.
Can I tell you about how I thought about playing Edward Four-Twenty-Hands with some of the bottles I expected to have left over after the brewery imposed end date? Let me tell you that I have been practicing to be Eddy Enjoy-By-Hands since that fateful summer night between the seventh and eighth grade when I first dipped my toe in what I now lovingly refer to as the Bathtub of Self Discovery.
Thankfully, fellow Beergraphs' scribe Ben Sammis had a much more appropriate suggestion: I drink an expired bottle of Enjoy By each week, over 4 weeks, and keep detailed notes of any changes I notice. So that is my current undertaking – think of it as Shirt Science. Expect something in about 4 weeks or so with the results.
Enjoy By 4.20.14, Stone Brewing Co.
Appearance = 4.5/5
“it's clear, golden orange shine reminds me of the sweetly finished spruce of an acoustic guitar”
Smell = 5/5
“accidentally spilled a glass of it on my dining room table and how it filled the room with such a sweet pine and floral fragrances that I considered just letting it drip and lay until the whole house smelled clean”
Taste = 4.5/5
“bitter right away with the sharp needles of pine flavors and grapefruit...superb juiciness...sweet citrus like orange or nectarine”
Feel = 4.5/5
“The carbonation and hop profile compliment one another to offer a hint of creaminess that keeps things from feeling overly slick. The finish has the feel and flavor of dry grapefruit rind bitterness without any of the soapy build up on the back of the tongue that might typically accompany such a beverage.”
Overall = 4.5/5
It is really quite good.
When J. R. Shirt is not trying to get his 3 year old to go to bed he can be found on Twitter and Untappd @beeronmyshirt