Tasting: May 11, 2016
Style: Imperial Cream Ale
Beer #: 935
The acronym for C.R.E.A.M. was introduced to popular culture in the 1994 song C.R.E.A.M by the Wu Tang Clan (Cash Rules Everything Around Me). In the latest entry in Carton’s “Need a Bigger Boat series”, the C.R.E.A.M. in SS Cream is known as “Collaboration Rules Everything Around Me”. This time, Carton Brewing of Atlantic Highlands, NJ has hooked up with New York brewer – Barrier Brewing to create (what else) a cream ale.
Sorry, but having a enough cheap Genesee Cream Ale in my high school/college years to float a bigger boat, I get a flash back shudder whenever I hear cream ale. I guess this is not your father’s cream ale and the latest wave of reincarnation of previously popular beer style.
Cream ales are top-fermented (like an ale – duh) but they will typically go through a period of cold-conditioning (like a lager) to reduce the yeasty ethers thus giving the beer a cleaner hop and malt flavor. A cream ale can be described as being well attenuated. Don’t bore yourself with the details – I’ll save you the trouble. Attenuation is a formula that measures the conversion of sugar to alcohol. The higher the attenuation – you guessed it – typically, the higher the alcohol content and drier beer (or crisp). Funny, I don’t remember that about that Genesee Cream Ale (insert hee-bee-jee-bee shake here)
My initial impressions of SS C.R.E.A.M. is a clean flavor and a wonderful mouthful. Hops present in herbal/grassy, tangerine and malt back bone stands in perfect harmony with the assertive bitterness lends a nice (Treehouse-like) juiciness. Really well done 92 points.
Read my thoughts on the other Need A Bigger Boat beer: