Smuttynose / Stone Cluster’s Last Stand

Brewed by Smuttynose Brewing Company
Hampton, New Hampshire USA
8.8% India Pale Ale (IPA) | 228 Ratings | 62 IBU | Special Release |
POST- PROHIBITION BALLANTINE IPA RECIPE RECREATION USING PERIOD-CORRECT HOP VARIETIES. BREWED IN COLLABORATION WITH STONE BREWING CO.
Old, new? It’s all the same, really. Cluster’s Last Stand defies the commonly  accepted notion that strong, hoppy beers are recent arrivals on the US beer landscape. Smuttynose has teamed up with Stone Brewing Company to recreate the original, post-Prohibition Ballantine IPA recipe. That’s right; strong, 60 IBU beer was brewed in the 30’s. How do we know? We read it in Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele’s excellent and well-researched book, “IPA, Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale.” The only difference  between this beer and more contemporary IPAs are the hop varieties: Cluster, Brewers Gold, Bullion and East Kent Goldings. None of these are trendy and we were a little surprised to find out that all four were readily available. The result is a rich, copper-colored ale with a strong, refined hop profile of spiciness with a hint of grapefruit.

Aroma
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Appearance  
1
2
3
4
5
Taste
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Palate
1
2
3
4
5
Overall
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
TOTAL SCORE   
Comments


Beer Rating Assistance

Click the descriptors below to add them to your comments.

  • AROMA
  • APPEARANCE
  • TASTE
  • PALATE
  • OVERALL

  • Aroma is one of beer's most complex features. Aroma is propelled by lively CO2 and dampened by pillowy heads - especially nitrogen foam. Click on a term below to add it to your tasting notes.

    Malt
    caramel, bread, hay, cereal, chocolate, coffee, nuts, toast, roasty

    Hops
    resin, floral, grass, spruce, citrus, herbs

    Yeast/Bacteria
    dough, barnyard, cheese, basement aromas, leather, earthy, leaves

    Other
    alcohol, banana, bubblegum, butterscotch, clove, cooked vegetables, cough drop, ginger, licorice, raisin, rotten eggs, soy sauce, skunky, smoke, vanilla, woody
    Appearance is how a beer appeals to the eye and includes notes on color, the liquid's visual texture and the head -- the beer's foam top. Click on a term below to add it to your tasting notes.

    Color
    pale, golden, amber orange red brown black

    Liquid
    clear, hazy, cloudy, sparkling

    Head
    rocky, frothy, minimal, white, tan, brown
    Taste is what can be appreciated with the tongue. It's easy to mistake aromas for tastes -- the tongue only senses sweet, bitter, sour, salt and umami. Click on a term below to add it to your tasting notes.

    Sweet
    light, medium, heavy

    Bitter
    light, medium, heavy

    Sour
    light, medium, heavy

    Other
    salty, umami
    The palate includes touch sensations on the lips, tongue, gums and roof of the mouth. Click on a term below to add it to your tasting notes.

    Body
    light, medium, full

    Texture
    thin, oily, creamy, sticky, slick, thick

    Carbonation
    fizzy, lively, average, soft, flat

    Finish
    astringent, bitter, abrupt, long
    Your overall score quantifies how much you enjoyed all the beer's elements combined as a sensory experience. Was this a standout beer? Were your expectations met? Did the beer go well with your food? Would you recommend this to a friend? This isn't about how well the beer conformed to its style definition -- it's about a measurement of your own appreciation.