Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,791 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,791
Hads: 5,047
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 19.8%
Wants: 301
Gots: 995 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-12-2004

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,791 | Hads: 5,047
Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer won our blind taste test from among 11 other New England and Mid-Atlantic IPA's. In fact, it was everyone's unanimus choice as the best beer. We tried this beer at the 2002 Vermont Brew Festival, and jokes about it as "the Butter Beer", because of a somewhat buttery aftertaste.

But we are not joking about it anymore. It pours a good head, has good lacing and an excellent hop aroma. It has everything that us West Coast hopheads enjoy in a beer. In even smelling the empty bottle, we longed for more of the fine citrus flavor from the blend of hops and malt. The aroma and taste were great. This beer had everything.

 632 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in May 2005

Pours a hazy copper with a thin white head. Some lacing, not much. Smells of citrusy hops, grapefruit, lime and orange rind. Some hints of tangerine.

Taste is bitingly bitter/lightly sweet citrus hops. Hops explode on the tongue. Some crisp pale malt. Orange rind and grapefruit. Mouth is crisp with a long lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Orange rind is prevalent. Well-crafted, it all works nicely together. i could drink these all night long. A very good IPA. If avaialable here in ATL it would be in my regular rotation...

 559 characters

Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best bottle photography ever. Ever. Pours nice for an APA. Hazy orange, cute little head.

Strong smell of yeast and hops. I can't place the hops--I wish I could but they are both too far beyond me. Suffice to say that it's nice. That's really all I need--it smells yummy.

Tastes like it smells. Bready yeast with dough, lots of dry, bitter hops.

Goes down smooth. Wonderful, wonderful beer right here.

 411 characters

Photo of sponberg
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled on May 27, 2005

As I stated a year and a half ago, brilliant amber with a fluffy white head. I take a sniff... ahhh, American hops, loud and proud. Simcoe screams at me "Drink me!!"

On that colder day, the bitterness seemed out of balance. Tonight, after a half hour bike ride on a warm summer evening, this may be nigh on perfect. Still intensely, citrically aggressive, with a hop bite that makes the taste buds stand at attention, but somehow the balance seems more "on" in very hot weather - cuts the thirst like very few other beverages that I can think of, let alone beers. The malts line up more, with a pleasant malt graininess (in a good way). On a hot day, it's scary drinkable.

In the winter I may buy a six pack in six months. In the summer? Where's the IV...

 788 characters

Photo of studentofbeer
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a light, golden orange with a proper white head that has good lacing and staying power. But it's cloudy as hell. Maybe i poured a bit too aggressively.

smell: lemon zest, some sweetness and pine, but not a whole lot going on in this department. i think i've let the bottle sit a bit too long before review.

light in style but bracing bitterness. orange and some marmalade in the malt, but mostly some strong hopping that really rinses the palate. excellent hop aftertaste. mouthfeel is dry and relatively thin--perfect for the crushing hops to do their work. easy to go down as long as you can take the bitterness and hop flavor, which lasts into eternity in the aftertaste.

a nice beer, too bad this is my last one and i waited too long to review it. an east coast IPA with some definite west coast ambition. wish we could get it out here. i would likely rate this even higher if i had a fresher bottle.

 920 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slight haze, orange gold colour with an off-white head. Dense foam shows good lacing and retention. Clean citrusy hop aroma, orange and grapefruit, slightly floral, but definitely intense. Light malty character appears as it warms up a bit. Bready malt flavour is in there providing some balance, but this one's all about hops. Bitterness is quite assertive and lingers in the resinous finish. Citrus hoppiness throughout, and there's a bit of alcohol towards the end. Very creamy texture with low carbonation and medium body. Really smooth and drinkable. Quite an excellent IPA and one that I'll look for again.

 612 characters

Photo of lou91
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was told that this was better than the big “A” IPA which I really liked. It poured with a yellow orange cloudy haze with pleasant grapefruit hoppy scents. I can see why people like this IPA. It has a great body and bitterness much like the british bitters which is so often missing in the style. Long dry finish with a silkiness unlike so many IPAs. It is worth a try but not excellent.

 390 characters

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.82/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle, bottling date included, poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a hazy golden color, tiny particles floating in the beer, head retention was average.

Aroma: Floral hops was the dominant smell here, pleasant but not too strong.

Taste: Very hoppy with a hint of pine. Simply put, exactly what I desire in an IPA.

Mouthfeel: This was also exceptional. Light bodied with an exceptionally strong flavor. The finish was all hops and pine and lingered just long enough, but not too long.

Overall: This is an excellent IPA, I can't think of a single bad thing to say about it.

 634 characters

Photo of CherylM
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I liked Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog Ale so much that I decided to try their IPA. Good carbonation, light copper color, head lingered. It was a little too bitter for my liking--primarily grapefruit! Although it would be a refreshing summer beer, it didn't seem to mix too well with food. Not the best nor worst IPA I've tasted. Don't think I'll buy another bottle.

 362 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Maybe it was my mood, but I just didn't get into this one the way I normally do.

My sample poured with a one-inch head below the rim; a perfect pour from my man Scott behind the bar at Barcade.

The aroma was both spicey, piney, and fruity. Very nice.

The taste was pretty good, but just didn't seem that balanced. I know the point is to have it be bitter, but the taste seemed lacking in the malt dept.

Overall, I just didn't quaff this one the way I do other IPAs. I'll try it again in a few weeks. I still think it's a pretty good beer.

 550 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed as a 12 oz bottle as part of a mixed 12 pack at a buddy's house. As usual, nice labeling and marketing with a clearly visible bottled on date.

Bright orange chill hazed brew with plenty of carbonation going on. Lacing and retention were top notch.

Very aromatic mixture of pines and grapefruit with a bit of grainy malt in the backgroun. Biting bitterness all over the flavor profile. After having some weaker IPAs recently, it was good to have this one. Great mixture of the various hops, being piney, grapefruity, and a bit of floral on the back end. Alcohol comes in as an afterthought. Good backbone of grassy/grainy malts that don't bother to get in the hops way.
Medium bodied and the hops bitch slap your mouth
Very drinkable. Goes well on the boat, on the porch, and with food. A great drinkin summer brew.

 832 characters

Photo of sacfly
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have been meaning to review this for a long time…
Pours a hazy yellow/orange. Don’t worry. The sediment at the bottom IMO make the beer look chunky and strange, but taste just great. Nice white head, that lasts and lasts. The smell is in your face pine and grapefruit. The taste is unmistakably grapefruit. This beer has over taken DFH 60 for me in terms of my house stock IPA. Crisp, clean, light body, and most importantly- delicious. The best of the Smuttynose offerings and one of the best IPA’s I have ever laid taste buds on. They set the bar high for others that wish to follow…

 590 characters

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hand delivered by Rapopoda (big thanks!) this is a beer I normally wouldn't have a chance to try on the left coast...

The beer pours a deep yellow-gold with a bit of haze; the head is a sticky off white that leaves a bit of fine lacing on the glass as the drink progresses.

The smell is a bit on the light side for an IPA - mostly grassy and herbal notes with a little bit of sweet malt as well. Certainly not an 'aggressive' nose on this puppy.

The taste is quite nice. As you'd expect there's a very prevalent hop note that strikes first and sustains throughout the sip. Somewhere along the halfway point you realize that there are some rather distinct sweet malt notes - a bit of saltine cracker (without the salt) and a hint of sweet corn (no, this isn't an adjunct and yes, sweet corn is a good taste) The hops are primarily floral, herbal and grassy - not your 'west coast' IPA which is mostly citrus and pine. The malt/hop tastes are very well balanced and this is a plenty smooth drink.

Mouthfeel is equally good - it's a light bodied brew with enough fine carbonation to lighten up the experience even more. No unpleasant aftertastes and no overly bitter dryness.

All and all a very tasty brew. I'm often looking for beers that are well balanced. While it's quite easy to build a 'hop monster' that could tear the enamel right off your teeth, it takes a real artisan to create a balanced, nuanced brew composed of strong notes. The brewers at Smuttynose have succeeded at finding that harmony.

 1,517 characters

Photo of kmo1030
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hazy amber with a good not quite white head. grapefruit and pine aromas dominates the nose. resinous big grapefruity bitterness, minimally balanced with caramel and a very light bread-like flavor. leaves bitterness in the back of the throat, and has me burping hops (the sign of a truely good IPA). i find a little pear hidden under some of the stornger flavors. crisp and dry with fairly delicate carbonation. I don't find beers to be very thirst quenching, but this one delivers in that department. very good drinkability due to this thirst quenching quality and it being a very good IPA.

 590 characters

Photo of abcsofbeer
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Love the label of two old guys proclaiming the "finest". Pours out a dull orange color that is cloudy and full of sediment which reminds me of citrus pulp. There is a nice off-white rocky head that leaves a minimal amount of lace.

The aroma is noticably grapefruit like and piney. The taste is very dry and citrusy with a over the top hop flavor. This is a good thing. There seems to be a decent amount of carbonation that leaves a fizzy taste. There is a good amount of pine flavor in the aftertaste. This is a very good IPA, one of the best I have had lately.

 565 characters

Photo of cubedbee
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange-yellow with a finger of off-white head and good retention. Big hops aroma---both citrus and resinous piney scents. A bready malt aroma also lurks in the background. Taste is very bitter upfront, a bit of doughy malt in the middle, and huge resinous hoppy aftertaste. Medium bodied with a slick oily feel of hops. This is an excellent IPA, unbalanced towards the hops, but in this case in an excellently tasty way.

 433 characters

Photo of jakester
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12oz. bottle with a born on month (May)

Pours a slightly hazy, yellowish/orange with a one finger off white foamy head that settles to a coating that stays on the top. Great lacing all the way down. Good level of carbonation.

Smell is bright grapefruit, lemons, and grass. Faint biscuity malt comes through in the back, along with alcohol. I swear I smell seaweed. What the hell would THAT be?

A very strong bitter flavor hits the back of the throat, then overipe grapefruit and pine needles. Light caramel, really mild cigar(?), followed by warm alcohol. This IPA is pleasantly different!

A surprisingly soft carbonation, along with a very strong bittering and high attenuation makes for an enjoyable mouthfeel. There ain't much sugar left in this baby! The balance is definitely shifted toward the bitter, which I like. (It's an IPA)

This is a poundable beer, although I fear the alcohol could wind up giving you a few problems the next morning. I would definitely get this again!

 1,005 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at The Public House Brookline. Had a clear amber coloring, random wandering carbonation, and an ample white head that left a scattering of wispy lace behind.
Nose had a floral aspect at first leading into a lightly grassy maltiness. This was quickly followed by the aromas of spruce needles and, even more intensely, grapefruit rinds.
A couple pulls and I got the jist of this IPA. Clean, slightly fruity sweet malt notes up front quickly swept aside by a rush of juicy, citrusy hops bitterness. This ranks as one of the most citrusy tasting IPA's I've had. The grapefruit peels flavor simply scours the tongue. Finishes drily after an almost creamy mid-section.
Drinkability is damn near off the scale, especially if you're in need of a serious hops fix. Smuttynose's "Finest Kind" IPA is one of the best IPA's I've had to date, rivalling many of my West Coast favorites such as Stone and Alesmith. A certain "must try" example of an American IPA.

 958 characters

Photo of bruachan
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

grapefruit. i taste and smell grapefruit
a fine looking, pale IPA that left some lacing strata in my glass at the brickskeller. i'm nmot sure what C hop it is that is so astoundingly grapefruity, but damn, it's grapefruity. good body with some sweetness to keep the hop flavor in check

 286 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here was something unusual... a hazy IPA. It was deep yellow, with a one finger head. Looked good, if unusual.

Aroma was of pine-like hops and grapefruit over medium bodied malt. Well balanced, but no doubt as to who was the boss here.

Taste was of sharp bitter grapefruit, high in alpha acids. WHAM! Right on the tongue. Delicious. Maltiness eventually worked its way in for the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was in line for something this hoppy... not too chewy, but the hops were supported.

Drinkability was excellent. This was one truly great IPA. I still like DFH's 90 minute more, but this one makes a great runner-up.

 628 characters

Photo of Wonka
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notched for April

Appearance – slightly cloudy orange/gold body; 3-finger thick white, tiny-bubbled head; very reasonable lace; some particulates float about

Smell – grapefruit, pine and spice make the nose nice; rather lively

Taste – massive load of grapefruit; bit biscuity; good grapefruit rind close with big lasting effect

Mouthfeel & Drinkability – well-rounded, moderate, smooth feel that drops late; hop tinge on the edges of the tongue; glorious oily finish that doesn’t crash the experience between sips; really low on the dryness scale; big-time turnover capability

Here’s a favorite IPA. "Finestkind" is ready for the big time.

 677 characters

Photo of yelterdow
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Andy's Corner in Bogota for Smuttynose Promo Night 6/15/05.

Appearance: Crystal clear orange with an unbelievable head. The longer it sat in my pint glass, the thicker the head became. It was like a lesson in compression.

Smell: Grapefruit melds with pine sap... a nice blend of two distinctive attributes of a great IPA. Consistent with the bottled form of this beer, only that on tap this pours even fresher.

Taste/Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This will satisfy the most discerning hop lover, myself included. The alcohol is not at the levels associated with double-IPAs, but the flavor is. Recommended.

 619 characters

Photo of apintofknowledge
2.93/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy, hazy orange-honey color with a 1/2" off-white head. The aroma of pine and grapefruit is dominant, signaling the hops to come. The taste starts with a sweet citrus, like pink grapefruit, that hits right away. It finishes with a slightly sour bitterness, much like a grapefruit would. Not a bad start, but as I drink, the overall flavor gets more and more bitter. A decent IPA overall, but nothing special, and the increasing bitterness makes it less drinkable to me than others.

 493 characters

Photo of quasimoto
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well it poured nicely from the tap to leave a 1/2 inch head which stuck around for a bit, and eventualy laced down the glass as I drank it. The Aroma was strong with hops but they smelled like fresh cut lawn as opposed to good, half spicy grass, half citrus. The mouth feel was a nice smooth feeling which exploded with hop bitterness. So much in fact that it completely covered any maltiness. I'm a hop head myself, but this beer was not a balance of easy going malt and hops and a pleasant aroma. It was more of a hop attack on all counts. The aftertaste really intrigued me. I sat there for a while and literally yelled it to a friend two seats over. ITALIAN BREAD!!! It was by far the oddest after-taste Ive ever tasted. (hence the large type) I liked it, but it was not fair (balanced) beer.

 796 characters

Photo of LPorter33
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance = Nice head retention. Cloudy and murky tiny pieces of something floating throughout. A golden brown color.

Smell = Solid IPA smell. Can smell the hops and citrus althrough they're a little light.

Taste = Wow. Probably the strongest citrus flavor of any IPA I've tried. Almost could pass as fermented grapefruit juice. Very refreshing and very bitter. I'd give it a 4.5 if they added a tiny bit more sweetness but it's still a pretty darn good taste.

Overall = Intersting flavor. I like it although the bitterness hurts it slightly as it hurts the drinkability. Even though it's a refreshing taste, after drinking a full beer, I am not desiring another one. I think the bitterness overwhelms any other flavor and doesn't really allow this beer to compliment anything else. I still recommend it for IPA fans though.

 837 characters

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,791 ratings.