Beer Review: Carton/Barrier SS-C.R.E.A.M. Imperial Cream Ale

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Barrier and Carton got together and decided to make a hoppy imperial cream ale. I imagine after drinking lots of Money and Boat Beer they came up with SS-CREAM. Needless to say I was pretty pumped to give this beer a try as Barrier is becoming a favorite east coast brewery of mine and Carton is one of the most solid breweries from NJ. SS-CREAM comes in at 8.4% ABV and 70 IBUs.

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper/light amber color. Almost no head but some real great lacing.

Nose: Citrus, pine, resin, grapefruit, lots of orange and some tropical fruit aromas. Malty sweetness and spicy as well. Smells like a big beer and has a lot of depth. Some of the notes became a little more pronounced as the beer warmed up.

Taste/Mouth: Spicy, herbal hop flavors and some sweet malt up front. Some vanilla flavors with orange and grapefruit carrying over from the nose. Pear and pine resin in the middle. Full body beer with a nice bready malt sweetness as well. It finishes slightly bitter and dry. I would compare this to a super balanced double IPA, since I can’t compare it to any other imperial hoppy cream ales.

Price/Availability: Brewed once as a collab between these two at Smutt Labs in New Hampshire.

Overall: Love the experimental style of this beer. Two solid east coast breweries teaming up and trying something new, while taking elements from some of their successful beers. It feels like there should have been more hype surrounding this beer. I was excited to get this in a trade and it certainly delivered as an excellent super balanced big hoppy beer. It is currently a one off but if it was brought back as a rotating or seasonal offering I would grab it again.

Grade: A-

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