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Smuttynose / Stone Cluster’s Last Stand

Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 228   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 62   EST. CALORIES: 264   ABV: 8.8%
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
OminouSC2 (452) - SWEDEN - JUL 11, 2016
Golden/orange color. Crisp hop aromas, citrus and grass. Fresh taste, citrus hops, floral and grass. (My wife mentioned shampoo. I think it’s the hops.) Alcohol finish makes it seem like an Imperial IPA instead.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
rjplumer (1003) - Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 30, 2016
Sweet fruit spice aroma. Hazy burnt orange body with a two fingered head on top. Sweet fruit taste is balanced well with a moderate bitter bite. Leans toward an English style IPA. Has a slick mouth feel. Faint warming sensation is the only clue to how strong this is. Drinkable and smooth.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
rouhlas (2760) - GREECE - JAN 11, 2016
650 ml bottle at the Hoppy Pub, Thessaloniki. courtesy of Constantin. Hazy golden orange color with off white head. Malty and hoppy aroma, caramel, fruity, citrusy fruity, some alcohol. Sweet and bitter taste like aroma. Medium oily body with soft carbonation. It was an old bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
ExpendableHero (854) - Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2015
This was great stuff. Hazy orange/copper brew with a slightly off-white head. Aromas of piney hops. Tastes of pine hops, floral notes, biscuit malt, and caramel. Bittersweet hop finish. Excellent malt backbone really complements the hops. Perfectly balanced. Very good beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hotstuff (4864) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 15, 2015
Rated on 6-19-2015. When poured, this bottled beer forms a medium sized creamy, smooth off-white head that mostly diminishes, hazy golden body, fizzy, lively, fast rising carbonation, and spotty amounts of lacing. The aroma is citrus, pine hops, musty, earthy, fruity, and boozy. The flavor is moderately bitter, citrus hops, earthy, sweet, and boozy. The mouthfeel is lively carbonation along with a warming sensation. This is a medium bodied. Overall, this IPA is very quaffable and is a sipping beer. This would be a good beer on a cold snowy day.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DanielBrown (4381) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - OCT 23, 2015
Birmingham Beer Bash 2015. Another outstanding keg hop pleasure. Super tangy and billious with green hop.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jrodooo5 (1487) - DOVER, Delaware, USA - JUL 16, 2015
Very nice ipa! Lovely cloudy orange pour w/ a white head that leaves good lacing. The aroma is full of hops. The taste is relatively clean w/ just an underlying bitterness which makes it remarkably easy to drink at 8+%. Not exactly a flavor explosion but tasty enough to make this one fine beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Scotty001 (488) - Portlethen, SCOTLAND - JUL 5, 2015
Poured medium amber, off white head. Aroma of moderately heavy citrus. Medium body, flavour is medium sweet tropical fruit, mango,, lychee, papaya; moderately bitter finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
SilverfoX (871) - Norfolk, ENGLAND - JUL 3, 2015
very malty aroma, amber gold with white lacing, quite sweet with a cloying peppery finish, ok

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BlackHaddock (6351) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - JUN 26, 2015
Seems to be a lot of rates if they only brewed 780 Imperial Gallons of this stuff. Anyway a bottle found it’s way to Shropshire and four of us shared it on 24th June 2015 at a Shrewsbury Bottle Exchange meeting. Poured clear golden colour with a staying white crown. The nose was somehow perfumed with a citrusy orange twist and slightly piny. Semi-sweet in the mouth with again an orange, citrusy and piny feel: not as bitter as I expected. Decent though.

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