Smuttynose Cluster’s Last Stand
Smuttynose Cluster’s Last Stand is an American Double/Imperial IPA. Such a great idea with this one, from the Smuttnose website: Smuttynose has teamed up with Stone Brewing Company to recreate the original, post-Prohibition Ballantine IPA recipe… brewed in the 30’s. 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.
This is an attractive beer, with a rich copper color. The taste starts with a simple sweetness, almost like basic table sugar. The combination of hops are coming off as very floral to me followed by a medium bitterness. Some alcohol heat does creep into taste pretty quickly as it warms up.
Not a ton of bells and whistles with this, but it was a rather enjoyable collaboration from two great breweries.