England-style IPAs seem to be all the rage these days, so it’s nice to
encounter a slightly more traditional brew from the area. Stony Creek’s
“Cranky IPA” is classic East Coast-style as it’s all about the pine and
resin hop character and has a remarkable amount of malt presence and
balance, too. Fun and interesting.
I poured a 12oz can into a snifter. There was no freshness date and it cost $1.69 ($0.14 per ounce).
Appearance: Fairly dark copper/burnished orange hue. Body is quite hazy
with some carbonation visible around the edges. Pours to an
average-sized, white, foamy head which retains and laces well.
Smell: Earthy character of pine needles and resin with a slight citrus concentrate note lurking in the background.
Taste: Usually, with an IPA the first thing you taste is the hops; but
with this beer it’s actually the malt component that appears first. Not
especially sweet, though it does have fairly strong bready/caramel
flavors along with a touch of yellow lollipop. Through the middle it
becomes stronger in bitterness and the earthy/piney hops from the aroma
emerge in the palette. They create for a slightly dry/slightly spicy
sensation that is tempered with the bitterness so as to remain strong,
but not shocking or intense at 68 IBUs. On the finish I get a slight
black pepper note which really complements the entire palette quite
well, as well as more lemon lollipop. It’s an interesting and enjoyable
mixture of flavors to be sure.
Drinkability: At 6.8% ABV, Stony Creek Cranky IPA is about average in
size for the style, though it drinks like a lighter beer than it is. The
body is much more than medium, but not quite as obtuse as a huge,
imperial brew. Soft with rounded edges, but still crisp at the apex. The
hops and malts both linger momentarily after each sip, but the
sensation is tolerable; maybe even pleasant. This beer will stand up to a
savory meal no problem.