Saturday, June 13, 2015

Stony Creek Cranky IPA

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1372) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 13, 2015
New 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.

Score: 8/10

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