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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,957 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,957
Reviews: 1,661
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 213
Gots: 315 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
You could say, then, that Smuttynose IPA is a physical salute to the glory of the American hop grower. The citrusy hop flavor coming from a mixture of Simcoe and Santiams is pleasantly balanced by a smooth bitterness from the Amarillo hops. The beer itself is light bodied and crisp with a golden color that will throw a slight haze, as we bottle it unfiltered. At 75 IBU's, this is definitely not a training-wheels IPA, but is meant for hop lovers looking to satisfy their craving in a way that's not easy to find. We think they’ll be quite pleased.

75 IBU

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,957 | Reviews: 1,661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allengarvin
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%

Woo, Smuttynose finally comes to Texas.

A: 3.75 - Clear gold color with a modest airy head.
S: 4.5 - Enormous citrusy aroma--gobs of citrus hoppiness.
T: 4.5 - Taste follows the nose. It's good to have an old-fashioned (as in 10-years-ago) IPA that is just grapefruit-citrusy flavor. Malt is present but fairly light. Finish, bracingly dry.
M: 4.25 - Light bodied despite the strength, very quaffable.
O: 4.25 - Very straightforward IPA, but there's a lot of appeal in simple drinkability. I liked this a lot.

Weighting (percentages): 20, 20, 40, 5, 15. Avg: 4.30

allengarvin, Thursday at 01:13 AM
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%

Best by 10/30/14.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and grapefruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with solid citrus zest and citrus juice characteristics that are slightly better in the taste to me.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%

Smuttynose's flagship IPA shows the classic character of the style, but doesn't relegate its balance to assertive malt presence, but rather adds complexities from soft esters and alcohol complexes instead.

Their "Finest Kind" pours lightly golden and with the signature dry-hopped haze and sediment for more hoppy goodness. It builds a stark- white head that nearly billows to the rim of the glass- showing off its elevated carbonation. As the froth settles into blanketed coat, it laces the glass with decorative random patterns. Its simply a very appetizing IPA, even to the eye.

Hop-heavy on the nose with bold citrus fruits of grapefruit, orange zest, lemons, pineapples, and tropical medley; the beer's perfumy and floral upstart is supported by light caramel malts that provide a juicy, vine-ripened sweetness to the citrus and tropical notes but never try to rival the hop aromas.

And the beer's hop-centric taste is consistent from its aromatics: citrus, tropical fruits, and fresh-cut grass on the early and middle palate leaves behind an ultra resiny pine bitterness to finish. Fruity esters give a sweet alcohol note of rose and spice. Interestingly, these flavors amplifies the sweetness as it seems to smooth out its bitter bite. Again, caramel malts provide firm underpinnings for the hop display but they never get in the way. The beer is simply an exhibition of American hops.

Crisp, clean, and playfully malty up front, the caramelly grains give way soon after the initial taste, allowing the hop character of bitterness, dryness, and bite to carry the beer deep into the finish and aftertaste. It's a true thirst-quencher.

Finest Kind is a quintessential IPA with a complex hop mix, crisp and understated hops, and noticeable esters and alcohols. Consistent and through from nose to finish.

BEERchitect, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of BogBoyJD
4.1/5  rDev 0%

BogBoyJD, Today at 10:06 AM
Photo of kojevergas
3.34/5  rDev -18.5%


BOTTLE: 12 oz brown glass. Branded pry-off pressure cap. Label clearly identifies this as an IPA, so I'm reviewing as such. "Best by 02/25/15." "ABV 6.9%."

Purchased hours ago and reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've heard a lot about Smuttynose but haven't gotten to try any until now when they started distributing in Texas.

Served cold into a snifter. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A gentle hiss upon opening suggests perfect carbonation.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Off-white colour. Fairly soft-looking. Complexion has a soapy shine to it. Lightly creamy. Billowing. Retention is quite good - about 5 minutes - as it resolves to a soft film atop the body. Light consistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. It could use a fuller creamier consistency, but I've few qualms.

BODY: Not the usual deep copper of American IPAs. Brighter, with paler yellow hues. Nicely vibrant. Moderate carbonation bubbles continue to suggest good carbonation. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

It's a clean clear appearance for an IPA, and I'm looking forward to the first sip, but it doesn't stand out.

AROMA: A fresh clean aroma filled with pleasant notes of citrusy zest, modest grapefruit (with a hint of accompanying hop bitterness), some faint hop oils, pale malt, a dab of nectary character, some resins, and ample fruity esters. The citrusy zest is the highlight and emphasis here; it's tough to pin down but I'd say tangerine and grapefruit, with subsidiary hints of mango and, to a lesser degree, lemon.

Balance-wise, the hop bitterness seems well checked by the unintrusive pale malt base.

As it comes to temperature, I pick up on faint pine resin, a bit of caramalt, and some more run-of-the-mill grassy and floral hop notes.

No oniony or soapy notes here. Nor is there any overt alcohol presence or yeast character.

Simcoe is definitely the star here, but the hop profile flirts a biteen too much with tropical territory for my personal tastes. Still, the mango and tangerine are nice - I just hope they're kept in check.

TEXTURE: The first flaw I notice is a surge towards unnecessary coarseness and dryness on the climax, which lends the brew a rough, lightly scratchy feel that disturbs the otherwise successful smooth, wet, and refreshing mouthfeel. That dragging patch is unwelcome and distracting. That said, it's well-carbonated and aptly medium-bodied. More softness would be lovely, but that's nitpicking. It's a biteen oily, but ultimately boasts a near ideal thickness. Overall presence on the palate is decent; this texture could definitely use some fine-tuning to really bring out the best in the taste.

It's not astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, boozy, or flat.

The highlight for me is the crisp and soft feel of the finish, which encourages the next sip.

TASTE: Though the texture is a bit of a letdown, I'm largely surprised by the flavour profile - which does feature oniony Simcoe notes after all, in addition to the aforementioned hop repertoire of citrus zest, floral hop notes, grassiness, grapefruit, etc. Unfortunately, the grapefruit veers on an almost rindy bitterness, which goes unbalanced by the inadequate (but certainly pleasant) pale malt core. More resins would be nice, and the pine doesn't quite fit into the flavour profile as well as would be ideal. The citrusy grapefruit, tangerine, and mango are emphasized in the flavour profile, but more of a focus on the nectary character of its constituent hops would make this a tastier brew.

In spite of its key hop/malt imbalance, I do like the beer. There's a fair amount of complexity here, but I wouldn't call it an intricate or subtle beer within its style per se. The build is not gestalt; the notes don't work together to comprise an ineffable whole. But it's cohesive and pretty well put together. I will say that while oniony hop notes usually work for me, they don't do so here.

OVERALL: While I'm not sure this lives up to the high expectations four years of reading about the beer on the forums has given me, it remains a very drinkable enjoyable IPA available at a more than fair price. It won't be a mainstay in my fridge, but I'll be revisiting this a couple more times and I'm glad it's available in six packs. That said, it can't hold a candle to the best IPAs out there, but I'm sure it played a big part in paving the way for them. Surely, those IPAs are better for standing on the shoulders of this one. I look forward to trying more of Smuttynose's classic beers.


kojevergas, Today at 01:40 AM
Photo of obrike
4.1/5  rDev 0%

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4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

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4.32/5  rDev +5.4%

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4.56/5  rDev +11.2%

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3.92/5  rDev -4.4%

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5/5  rDev +22%

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4/5  rDev -2.4%

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4/5  rDev -2.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

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4/5  rDev -2.4%

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4/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

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3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

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4.52/5  rDev +10.2%

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3.64/5  rDev -11.2%

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,957 ratings.