1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Smuttynose Stone Cluster's Last Stand - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Stone Cluster's Last StandSmuttynose Stone Cluster's Last Stand

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

401 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 401
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 18
Gots: 82 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: johnnnniee on 07-28-2013

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 401 | Reviews: 65
Photo of fredmugs
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

3 = good and that's the best thing I can say about this. Had this on draft and it was devoid of aroma and flavor.

Photo of JohnCassillo
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ffshore545
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into an impy nonic a dull hazed burnt orange with a thinner but well sustained white head atop.More of a juicy fruitiness to the hop aromas like orange and tangerine,big caramel and sweet dough as well.A big malt forward IPA I have to say here,yeasty and doughy,almost like a sweeter midwestern style pizza dough,some juicy tangerine and orange hoppiness comes in the finish.This is a big MALTY IPA,maybe the most malt driven of the style I have had.

Photo of mscudder
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of petewheeler
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of delta490
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orangey-amber with a thick off-white head that has moderate retention and leaves some nice sticky lacing. The aroma is mild but has nice tropical fruit hops and bready malt notes. The taste is similar to the aroma with the nice addition of pine and a little caramel sweetness. The body isn't too heavy and his a nice bitter bite on the finish.

Photo of scootny
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A golden amber ale that pouurs frrom a 22 oz bottle. Huge head and chunks of lace on the glasss. Lovely nose offers up aromas of lighe malt, a bakery full of bread, light caramel and tropical fruits. Light citrus and mild peppery alcohol. Taste is caramel and doughy white bread. isp bitter finih leaves lingerig notes of alcohol. Supremely drinkable and surprisingly light and crisp. mild but pleasant carbonation. This seems like a great approximation of hte classic Ballentine IPA

Photo of BPMeyer27
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar consisting of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of catnip-like hops are present in the nose. Notes of caramel malts become apparent as the beer begins to warm up.
T: As in the smell, the taste seems to be dominated by Cluster hops, having flavors of catnip and notes of spiciness from the Brewers Gold hops. There is a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer was nice and bitter, but the "catty" flavors from the hops weren't really my cup of tea. It's not often that you see Cluster hops so I'm not sure if this becomes an acquired taste.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Farinag16447
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bogdawg
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of AAG
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Orange, clear, with a dirty white head that forms up full and is quite persistent. Laces in fat bubbly lines.

S - Slightly medicinal, pine hops, lemon drops and honey. Sugars. Floral.

T - Following the nose as to pine, lemon, citrus zest, honey and floral elements. The close is more bitter as it warms, but the honey and lemon notes are this beer's core.

M - Moderate carbonation, but strong drying. A bit of alcohol volatility.

O - Interesting collaboration of heavy IPA, but with the floral notes and honeyed malts and sugars dominating. Reminds me strongly of traditional English IPAs, over the West Coast or even New England treatment. Glad I gave this one a try.

Photo of h4ger
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nrbw23
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of craft4mike
2.78/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not liking this one. Nice color but massivly bland hop profile. Only rating because im an "outlier"

Photo of bsm80x
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BuzzFee
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jlipin8622
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a beautiful opaque golden orange. In a beer-clean IPA glass, the head maintains at least ten minutes without taking a sip. After taking my initial tasting notes and sipping some more, the head still maintains very well in the glass.

Nose shows orange peel, melon, the slightest bit of overripe banana, and other citrus fruits.

The body is light-medium. Flavors of orange peel and other citrus immediately engulf the palate and linger long after the finish. Wouldn't be able to tell by flavor by itself that this beer comes in at 8.3% ABV, but the body gives more of an indication.

Overall, it's a nice beer, but not something I would continually seek out. The packaging is really cool, but it gave me no indication whether this would be a strong ale or double IPA, and no indication of why they chose "Cluster's Last Stand" as the name. I'm sure it's on the website, but part of the allure of these beers is why they chose the name (even though I bought it anyway!)

Photo of cornucopia
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle best by 03/05/15, so drank it from a stemmed glass nice and fresh, great balanced beer.

Photo of Corninajar
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JebBeerFish
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer less than an hour ago, and I can't really remember it. Unremarkable.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Smuttynose Stone Cluster's Last Stand from Smuttynose Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 401 ratings.