Needless to say, I was really excited when a friend who was up visiting from Massachusetts recently brought with him a bottle of Newport Storm (Coastal Extreme Brewing Co.) Luke. ‘Cause, well, that’s me. So maybe, given the beer’s name, I’m a little biased as I write my review. But regardless, this was one damn tasty brew!
The bottle describes the beer as an “India Style Red Ale” but at an ABV just shy of nine percent and 65 IBU’s, I’d say it’s much more like an “imperial” or “double” red ale. The beer pours a great rusted caramel red color, with one of the biggest, puffiest, most pillow-like head I’ve ever seen on a beer. Slightly off-white in color, too. And the head retention is great, too, with a whole lotta lacing going on as it slowly recedes.
The nose on this beer is great, too. A great battle of floral and spicy hops and toasted, biscuity caramel malts going on. Some dark fruits, too. It’s spicy one sniff and sweet the next; pretty neat stuff. The mouthfeel is big and bold with lots of carbonation.
The taste is as can be expected from the nose – a lot of slightly toasted (not overly roasted, if that makes sense) malts and caramels with some vanilla in there as well. Plus there’s a great earthy, piney hop bite that hits you as the beer washes over the back of the tongue. You can definitely tell that there are nearly 9 percents of alcohol in there, too. In fact, that’s the only real downside of this beer; as it warms up, the alcohol got to be a little too overpowering. Not in a bad way, I’d just recommend drinking this one on the colder side.
The Newport Storm website doesn’t say much about this beer — could be because they’re in the process of moving to a new location and have other things to focus their website on — but by the look of the rest of the Cyclone Series beers, this one probably won’t be around for too long. But if you happen to find yourself in their distribution range, have a friend who is, or can make a trade for a bottle, I would definitely recommend it. Even without a great name, Luke is a great beer to try.