Tag Archives: Smuttynose

783. Smuttynose Brewing Shebang

Smuttynose ShebangI had this beer on draft at Marche in Lewiston and enjoyed it. A few weeks later I found some bottles at Joka’s in Waterville so I decided to grab one to enjoy at home. The bottle was nearly three months old so it may have lost something in that time but I find the really big 10%+ DIPAs don’t lose as much as some of the smaller beers.

Great looking beer with a deep orange color and thick white head. The aroma when cold was very light with some fruity hop aroma but the alcohol really took over as it warmed. Taste has lots of pine and a bit of grapefruit followed by a big bitterness that lingers. The bitterness and the big alcohol flavor made me happy this was a small bottle.

Overall a good beer but they may have gone a little too big.
Pros: 

Cons: Too bitter and too much alcohol
Alcohol Content: 10.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose Brewing
Brewers Description: Shebang (triple IPA, 10.5%) goes further than Big A; featuring a lupulin cornucopia! Bravo and Zeus were used in the boil additions, while dry hopping is a blend of Summit, Pacific Gem and Falconer’s Flight.  For perspective, Shebang uses about 6 pounds of hops per barrel, while Finestkind is brewed with just over 1 pound per barrel.

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599. Smuttynose Durty Mud Season

Smuttynose DurtyDurty started out as part of Smuttynose’s Short Batch series. Apparently it was successful enough to make it into a seasonal beer available in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles. I did not try the Short Batch version but heard plenty of good things and ended up picking up this bottle at Craft Beer Cellar in Portsmouth.

Smuttynose Durty is a hoppy brown ale with a fairly high 8.4% ABV. The beer is very dark brown with a solid tan head. Aroma may be the most interesting part of this beer as it has everything you would expect from a dark beer mixed with a solid amount of earthy hops. Very similar to a black IPA in the aroma. Taste I thought was an odd mix of chocolate, coffee, pine hops and a fairly bitter finish.

I’m not sure why but I did enjoy this beer more than I expected. As with everything from Smuttynose it is very well done.
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 55
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Big, Brown and Hoppy. You never know what Mud Season is going to throw at you, so we brewed a beer that covers all the bases. We took the malty notes of a brown ale and balanced them with the hop aroma and flavor of a double IPA. Now we’re talking Durty!

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513. Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale

Smuttynose Wheat Wine AleI am a big fan of Smuttynose’s Big Beer Series. Some of the very best high ABV beers so I try to grab them whenever I see a new one. This one is their Wheat Wine Ale which combines the barleywine and wheat ale styles.

The last ABV reported on the Smuttynose website was 12% in 2010. This was a bottle from 2012 and I have to assume it was in that area. Appearance is a deep orange with a very thick white head. It took some time to get the glass this full. Aroma has lots of caramel malts and a fair amount of booze.

Taste has a bit of everything with those big malts coming through with some vanilla and a bitter and boozy finish. This sounds like it would be a bad combination but it works as there are a lot of things happening in this beer. I have yet to be disappointed with anything from their Big Beer Series. If you haven’t tried them, find them. 
Pros:
Complex and high ABV
Cons:  Boozy might not be for everyone
Alcohol Content: 12% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale is a unique hybridization of two well-known beer styles, combining the rich, voluptuous taste of a traditional barleywine with the subtle, tart flavors of an American wheat ale, topped off with a healthy dose of crisp, herbaceous hops.

For more information about this style, please consult  the Brewers Association Style Guidelines.

The much-anticipated debut edition of Smuttynose Wheat Wine, brewed and bottled early in 2005, was delayed for nearly a year due to problems stemming from the federal label approval process. The Tax and Trade Bureau (formerly ATF) rejected our original label approval application, claiming that use of the word wine in a beer name would confuse and mislead consumers and retailers. We didn’t agree (barleywine, anyone?) and appealed their rejection. Ours is the first, but definitely not the last, wheat wine application the federal government has seen, so they had to create new guidelines regarding the use of this name. We did prevail, at last, and the issue has been put to rest, and although there are several outstanding examples of this style offered at brewpubs, we are pleased to say that Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale was the first commercially bottled Wheat Wine on the market.

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443. Smuttynose Brewing Noonan Black IPA

Smuttynose Noonan Black IPABlack IPA is still a style that I don’t really understand. I have had a few and the only two that are memorable are Ted Bissell’s homebrew and Foster from Hill Farmstead. The rest are not all that memorable and the Noonan Black IPA falls into that category. This is a nice beer and a good example of the style but nothing to get too excited about.

Color is black with a thin tan head, aroma has more roasted malt, coffee, chocolate than hops but there is some piney/citrus hops in there. Taste is about the same with plenty of hops to start and then the chocolate, roasted malts take over. Still seems an odd combination of flavors for me.

Overall this is a fairly easy drinking black IPA but it is not a style I would drink on a regular basis. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose Brewing
Brewers Description: Black IPA doesn’t quite seem to make sense, does it? How can something that’s black also be described as pale?

Noonan is our interpretation of a New England original, the Black IPA. Dark like a porter, but hoppy like an IPA, this seemingly contradictory beer style originated in 1994, in Burlington, Vermont by brewer Glenn Walters and under the watchful eye of Greg Noonan. Greg was many things, a brewing pioneer and author, founder of three brewpubs, 2005 Russell Scherer award winner and genealogist. When Greg passed away suddenly, Smuttynose’s brewing team wanted to brew a beer in his memory and this was the result. We hope you find it a worthy tribute as well.

Noonan (the beer) looks like an ordinary porter or stout, until you get the pint up to your nose. You can’t avoid the big whiff of piney, herbal and citrusy American hops, but there’s virtually no roasted character. Ponderous, huh? When you take a sip, you’ll notice that the beer doesn’t taste a lot like a porter either. Instead of the expected astringency imparted by dark grains, you’ll find a depth of caramel malts and more American hops. Don’t worry that’s by design; it’s also what we love about the beer.

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382. Smuttynose Brewing Lindz

Smuttynose LindzThis is a very interesting beer for two reasons. First the reason it was brewed and named Lindz is in memory of Lindsey Altshul who was a big supporter of craft beer and co-owner of Pepperland Cafe in South Berwick. He passed away in the Summer of 2012 and Smuttynose decided to make a beer in his memory. Second it is a Kolsch style beer which is fairly uncommon in today’s marketplace.

A Kolsch beer is an ale but is it cold conditioned like a lager. Appearance is light and very clean with a thin white head. The aroma and taste are very similar and both quite mild. Slightly sweet smell with some earthy hops, tastes adds another layer with a fair amount of bitterness. Lindz has a bit more carbonation than I am used to but apparently that is normal for the style.

Overall this beer was pleasant, easy to drink and tasty even though the flavors were all quite subtle. A nice beer with a great story behind it. See the link below to Smuttynose’s blog post about Lindz. 
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.27% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 10
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose Brewing
Brewers Description:

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381. Smuttynose Herbaceous

Smuttynose HerbaceousSmuttynose is one of my favorite breweries and their Big Beer series is excellent if you like high ABV (BIG) Beers. They also have a Short Batch series where they have a limited run on bottles (usually less than 1,000) that they sell only at the brewery. These beers sell out in a day or two and unless you make the trip or know someone that is it can be very hard to get these beers.

Fortunately for me I have some great beer friends in the Portsmouth area and one of them was kind of enough to share a bottle of Herbaceous and Lindz (see next post) with me. This beer is a wet hopped red ale with a fairly low ABV of 4.35%. I love this photo but it does make a bit difficult to see the color of the beer; it is a hazy deep red color with a thick off white head. Aroma has a nice herbal hop presence and not much else. Overall a very appealing beer.

The taste on this beer starts out much like other amber/red ales with some sweet caramel malts but quickly transitions to some nice earthy, grassy hops. No citrus, grapefruit, etc just a nice mild hop kick. With the low ABV the beer seems a little watered down but overall I enjoyed it.
Pros: Appearance, well balanced
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.35% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 50
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose Brewing
Brewers Description: We decided to go with a very simple malt bill using nothing but Vienna and CaraMunich II, from Weyermann Malt, to brew an amber ale as the base beer.  Bittering was done with Magnum and we used Willamette and Sterling for the flavoring additions.  The 150 lbs of freshly-picked Citra were used exclusively for the wet hop-as- dry hop component that we felt was the best way to showcase the pungent essence of hops right off the vine.  The best way for you to showcase these ethereal hop flavors it to drink the beer as soon as possible, just not on your way from Smuttynose.

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318. Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog

I really enjoy Smuttynose’s Big Beer Series and liked the Old Brown Dog when I reviewed it almost a year ago so it is no surprise that this one scored well with me. What did surprise me was the alcohol content of this one. I had this while cooking dinner on the grill and beer just goes down to quickly when you are cooking meat on a grill and I didn’t really pay attention to the ABV before starting. By the time the burgers were done so was I as finished most of the 22 oz bomber while cooking and was walking a little crooked when I came back in the house.

Beer pours a deep brown with a nice two finger off white head. Aroma is sweet malt and dark fruit and very inviting. Taste follows the aroma with lots of sweet malts, dark fruit, molasses and maybe a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is very smooth and goes down far too easy for a 10.9% ABV beer.

Even if you usually do not enjoy brown ales you should give this one a try as it is a wonderful beer that will leave you happy. 
Pros:
Alcohol is well masked
Cons: Hits harder than it tastes
Alcohol Content: 10.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 20
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Old Ale (also known as “Stock” Ale), is a full-bodied beer with high levels of dextrins. In times past, this beer was typically laid up to mature, hence the name. The color varies from rich, dark amber to a very dark brown. This style features fruity, vinuous & deep, malty flavors, giving it an almost port-like qualities. Sight acidity is not uncommon.

Olive, iconic mascot & spirit guide of our brewery, first appeared on our Old Brown Dog label in 1994 & returned, thirteen years later, to pose for our Really Old Brown Dog, a luscious, malt-rich, full bodied “old ale” featuring deep notes of complex fruit. Much like our beloved Olive, this beer will mellow & age gracefully.

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309. Smuttynose Strawberry Short Weisse

This was the beer release that brought me to the Portsmouth area a few weeks back. While I was there I visited a couple of other breweries; Blue Lobster and Throwback as well as The Thirsty Moose so it was certainly a trip worth taking. This was a limited release beer and I am sure it sold out the evening of the release. I grabbed 4 bottles and shared 3 with others here in Maine. This may be the first Berliner Weissbier that I have reviewed (I cannot think of another). Certainly an interesting style of beer known for its low alcohol content and tart fruit flavor.

As usual Smuttynose did a great job with the style of beer keeping the ABV below 4% and the Strawberries certainly give this one a nice tart finish. Color is pale orange with a slight white head. Aroma seemed more earthy than strawberry, I was expecting something very sweet but it was not there. This beer is a lot more complex than I expected it to be, crisp refreshing start with a tart almost sour finish but still very drinkable.

Smuttynose almost never disappoints and if you can get yourself a bottle of this Short Batch Series I am sure you will enjoy it. 
Pros:
Refreshing and different
Cons: Very limited release
Alcohol Content: 3.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 5
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Smuttynose Strawberry Short Weiss, our take on a Berliner Weisse, is lightly tart, refreshing and incredibly drinkable.  It’s also one of our staff’s most beloved beers.

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308. Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (2007)

I picked up this bottle while I was at Smuttynose for the Strawberry Short Weisse release. They have a vintage cooler containing many bombers from the Big Beer Series that have been bottle aged at the brewery. This one was labeled 2007 so it has been sitting for approximately 5 years.

No idea what age does to a saison but I can tell you this was a very good beer. Color is a deep orange with single finger head. Lots of earthy aromas along with some spice make for a very interesting aroma. Taste is very complex with the spice from the aroma coming through but also a strong malt presence and just a bit of funk. Alcohol content is very well hidden. I really enjoy saisons and this option from Smuttynose is very well done. 
Pros: 
Complex flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Broadly speaking, a farmhouse ale – or saison – is an esoteric style native to the French/Belgian border region. Characterized by a golden to light amber color, light to medium body, and noticeable fruity/spicy esters, this beer, known also as a “country ale” was traditionally brewed in primitive conditions in farmhouse breweries for consumption throughout the warm weather by seasonal farm workers.

Our Farmhouse Ale is an homage to traditional European beers brewed for quenching the thirst of farm workers, or “Saisonaires.” A unique Belgian Saison yeast is used to impart a mixture of spicy, fruity, & earthy notes along with lip-smacking palatability.

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Smuttynose – Strawberry Short Weiss bottle release

Another stop on my afternoon/evening in Portsmouth and Hampton, New Hampshire was the bottle release of Strawberry Short Weiss at Smuttynose Brewing. This brewery is about 10 minutes from Throwback and located in an industrial park. The building looks a little tired as you can tell from the photos but that is soon to be remedied as Smuttynose is building a brand new facility in Hampton. The new facility will include the brewery and a 95 seat restaurant/pub. From what I saw during the bottle release the brew area is very cramped. The release started at 5:00 and I arrived about 20 minutes after the start.

The line was out the door when I arrived and I waited about 20 minutes to get to the front and get my 4 bottles of Strawberry Short Weiss. Bottles were $15 per and I will be exchanging 3 with some other beer drinkers in the coming weeks. I also purchased a bottle of their Farmhouse Ale from their Big Beer Series as I missed this one when it was released in stores. The employees were pouring samples of the Short Weiss as well as the other beers they had on tap. I only had a sample of the Short Weiss  as I was on my way out for the day.

The sample I had was very good and I will do a full review when I open the bottle in the coming weeks. This was a very straight forward bottle release unlike some I have attended by Allagash and others. Their goal was to get the beer out the door and I am pretty sure they were going to sell out of the Short Weiss that evening.

Website: www.smuttynose.com
Facebook: facebook.com/Smuttynose
Twitter: @smuttynosebeer
Location:  225 Heritage Ave – Portsmouth, NH
Hours: Thursday & Friday 4 – 7 / Saturday 1 – 4
Tours: Friday 5:30 / Saturday 11:00 & 1:00 – you must register online for tours. 
Packaging: 
A bit of everything
Distribution:
 Most states east of the Mississippi

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