Recently the folks who brew Ballantine Ale sent me a 750 ml sample bottle of the latest incarnation of Ballantine India Pale Ale. They also offered to set up an interview with the fellow who brewed it.
In the late 1960’s I drank a good number of the Ballantine India Pale Ale that was brewed at that time in Cranston, Rhode Island. It was rumored that the unique hop tang was accented by the fermenting in pitch-lined fermenters. At the time I was less interested in how the stuff was brewed and more interested in where I could get a six-pack of those stubby bottles of bitter elixir.
And so I was more than a little intrigued when I received the sample of the latest incarnation of the elixir of my youth.
In order to sample the product in a proper environment and under ideal conditions I decided to hold the tasting at the Waterfront Alehouse on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York because I didn’t trust my memory or impartiality.
Sampling the brew I found it a bit less emphatic than I remember it being. The color and head, aroma and refreshing character were all spot-on. However, the almost spruce-like spike of flavor eluded me. As you will see and hear on the following video, that observation is also spot-on. See you in the video…