For Part 2 of my exposé on aging IPAs, I conducted a taste experiment to put the very problem of oxidation into practice so I could train my palate to recognize the flavors of an IPA that’s well past its prime (that’s what I tell myself anyway). To this end, I purposely aged one of the freshest beers around, Stone’s Enjoy By, 10 months past the enjoy by date and compared it to a 2 month old edition and one fresh off the truck (the 02.14.14, 10.31.14, and 12.26.14 respectively).
If you don’t know, the name of every bottle is the date by which you better drink it else Greg Koch will personally come to your house and punch you in the solar plexus (his teary, disappointed dad eyes are the worse part). To avoid this, I hid my two aging Enjoy By bottles in a dark, temperature-controlled place along with my other cellared beers.
Now, let’s address what some of you are probably thinking. Why use Stone’s Enjoy By when any common IPA would most likely have a simpler and more consistent flavor profile? And why commit this level of beer abuse against a wonderful IPA that has only given the world glass after glass of joy? If these thoughts haven’t crossed your mind, I suggest you just get on with it and skip to the Experiment and Findings section. For those that want due diligence, I shall explain.