The Day I Found an IPA and a ‘Scotch’ I Actually Liked

IMG_5117America’s craft-beer revolution has become increasingly IPA-centric in recent years: we’ve gone from simple hops-forward India Pale Ale to a whirlwind of subcategories that includes Imperial, Double, Session, Black, and even East and West Coast variants. But I’m not a fan of IPAs, which I generally find disagreeably bitter. Similarly, I’ve never really latched onto the resurgence of scotch: in this case, it’s the peaty taste I find to be a turnoff.

So it was a pleasant surprise last week to sample a pair of new products from Newport Storm that, if not turning these taste preferences of mine quite on their head, at least offered a pleasant entry point to some flavor profiles I generally find disagreeable. Coastal Extreme Brewing’s (purveyors of Newport Storm beer and Thomas Tew rum) new Rhode Sodah is brewed from El Dorado, Citra and Equinox hops and Canada Pale and honey malt: packaged as a tall boy can and sold in four-packs, it’s got just enough hoppiness for IPA lovers and enough offsetting floral and fruit flavors to keep me from making my bitter-beer face.

seafogwhiskeyThe Sea Fog whiskey also unveiled last week in Newport is an American Whiskey, not a scotch, but it is made from peat-smoked malted barley. I found it to be a nice compromise between the single-malt American whiskeys that have come into fashion in recent years and the traditional scotches that everyone other than me seems to enjoy so much. Considering the Sea Fog a scotch for beginners is not too far off the mark, which is not meant to demean this pleasantly smooth, 7-year-aged spirit in the least.

In short, I immediately found Rhode Sodah and Sea Fog to be two of my favorite products from Coastal Extreme: you should check them out soon, preferably at one of their Friday night tastings or on a tour of the Coddington Highway brewery/distillery.




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