Came home from work last week and had a mysterious package from FedEx that required a signature due to alcohol in the box. I was not expecting any trades or boxes and people usually do not tell the shippers that alcohol is included as the companies frown on individuals shipping alcohol. I opened the box and found another wooden box with a Ballantine IPA, bottle open and a nice letter explaining the beer was being sent to people to sample before it was released through distributors in September.
I had never heard of Ballantine IPA so I had to do a little research and found a couple of articles in USA Today and this one on CNN explaining it is a brand owned by Pabst Brewing and the recipe was recreated based on historical information as no recipe was saved. This process took two years as it cannot be an easy process .
Appearance is very nice deep orange with a thick off white head. Aroma had all aspects of hops; citrus, pine, dank and floral. Taste is good but not great. Lots of complexity as you would expect from a beer with four different malts and eight different hop varieties but it leaned more towards a traditional IPA, floral and quite bitter. A bot of wood also came through from the wood chips used in the beer to mimic the barrels used in the original production.
Overall I was pleased with this beer mostly because it was fresh and different than a lot of the other IPAs on the market today. If you can find a fresh bottle (which they all should be right now) I would give it try.
Pros: Unique and complex taste
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Brewers Website: Pabst Brewing