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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

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1,749 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,749
Hads: 4,868
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 292
Gots: 854 | FT: 6
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:
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: 1,749 | Hads: 4,868
Photo of GolgiIPAratus
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

Sampled: 3.6.05

A hazy haze of orange with off-white head that screams it will lace the glass with each deduction. The beer does not lie. Lacing: Check.

The aroma is hoppy sweetness with hints of red grapefruit. Tangy, but not too citrusy, followed by a bitter tinge.

The sweetness in the mouth matches the nose. I sense the presence of apricots? Bitterness prevails, however. Good, proper IPA bitterness. The mouth is well carbonated and full rolling over the tongue. I've had better bottles, but this beer's minimalist qualities get me. It's not too much, it's not trying to be way complex. It's an IPA and it tastes like one, and a good one at that. I can't give it a review score in the taste category I'd have given past bottles because wouldn't be honest, but it's still a nice beer. And I know it can be better.

If you're an IPA person, this is a good one. Sessions might need to be reigned in a little as the 6.6% has some damaging potential. But a sixer should treat any cookout right.

UPDATE 9.26.05:
Had a portion of a sixer this weekend, and it tasted a LOT better than the bottle/six I reviewed at the time, thus supporting my "I know it can be better" claim. So, I've bumped the taste rating up a half point to reflect that.

Tip: I drank some of this beer at room temp and it was fantastic. Great juicy flavors really came out. It was as good as a Hoptical Illusion I had on cask. The temp really mimicked that cask feel. Anyway, I suggest trying it! (1,500 characters)

Photo of diakron
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a case (24x12oz) one week ago at the exceptional Beer Yard distributor in Wayne, PA. I became a fan after trying this when visiting friends who live in Massachusetts near Nashua, NH.

The good-times photo on the label represents a state we all should aspire to attain, and is worth the price of admission by itself.

A notch on the label indicates the beer was brewed in February, presumably of 2005. No best-by date to be found. Pours a bright golden/orange with a smooth two-finger head that persistently laces the glass. Appearance is hazy, with yeast particles suspended within, a la Red Hook's SunRye ale. Aroma is powerfully hoppy and citrusy. The taste is amazing - the first sip makes the taste buds stand bolt-upright at attention. Brightly tart, grapefruity and acidic. The generous carbonation continues the attack, and the beer finishes clean and dry. However, the strength of this beer probably prevents it from being a session brew.

This is a tremendous and unique American IPA. Highly recommended, as we all seem to agree. (1,054 characters)

Photo of HogHill
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $5.99 for a six pack at Colonial Spirits in Acton, MA.
Poured a golden amber with a tint of orange, with a 2 finger white foam head atop. The aroma is truly one of the best I've smelled for an IPA, like a grapefruit and pine vortex. Taste, again I'm hit by the grapefruit citric acids from the alphas. This one is balanced, a medium bodied, overall an excellent IPA, that is more in the vein of a west coast style. Defintely in the top tier IPAs I've experienced. (469 characters)

Photo of Chadbrew
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a shiny gold color with just a tiny bit of goodies left on the bottom of the bottle. Not a big head on it and it drops pretty fast into a thin ring.
The aroma is real nice and hoppy! Lots of pine and citrus.
The taste is excellent really, very bitter up-front but some great stuff like grapefruit and maybe some sweet orange push thier way through.
The feel is good too, not as thin as it may appear and my tongue is getting a workout from the bitterness and flavors.
Really good beer in my opinion. I could drink alot of these but I think the abv would get me. I've had the Robust Porter by Smuttynose and that's what inspired me to pick this up, very glad I did. Gonna check out the rest of thier offerings. (723 characters)

Photo of beerislove
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy two-finger head that clings nicely to the sides of the glass. The color is a beautiful amber resin and fairly clear as long as the yeast is settled. Smells strongly of citrus and pine with mild floral notes. So far, so good...Yowzah! Wow is this stuff sharp up front, and this sharpness doesn't quit as it rides down the length of the tongue and clings to every tastebud that it encounters. The hops are powerful - and I love it! There is a bright aftertaste that is almost metallic.

Very dry and full of punch, this is my kind of IPA.

Highly recommended. (570 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ayuh,finest kind,fo showa..
Beautifully gold and hazy,with a nice, tight head filled with super fine bubbles.
Delicious nose, filled with fresh fruit and pine.
Peaches,oranges,pears and a pine forest after a fresh rain.
Mouthfeel is invitingly light for such a big,bold brew. Each sip begs for another.
Lucious fruits on the pallet with a slightly stinging bitterness and an extreme crispness.
More peaches,oranges,and pears, along with grapefruit, lemon zest,and mangoe.
Bitterness lingers endlessly and the only cure is another sip.
Alcohol is smooth and well integrated,not hot at all.
Minimal lacing except for around my lips.
Truly a great beer.
Ayuh. (667 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Jimbo for sending me this amazing beer!

Appearance: Mild haze on a golden light-orange body, with a slightly off-color head.
Aroma: A rich malt and piney hoppy aroma.
Taste: Firm maltiness, and sharp piney bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Smooth creamy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: This beer reminds me a lot of Liberty Ale, which is one of my favorites. (367 characters)

Photo of oggg
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ppoitras for this bottle conditioned East Coast gem

Slightly hazy brew with a gorgeous white head of superfine bubbles that just don't die. Copious lace all over my glass.

Hints of pine amidst huge citrus hops. Super lime and lemon. Grapefruit. There is a super bitter bite. Seriously bitter. The bite releases its grip fairly quickly to let the hop flavors squeeze my salivary glands dry. Huge juicy citrus is ironically quite delicate. Huge bouquet of flowers explodes in my mouth. So refreshing! Biscuit and grainy toastiness balance out the lingering bitterness. The finish is clean and dry. Medium bodied.

Overall: could this super juicy East Coast IPA be my favorite single IPA? It knocked my socks off! Beermail me if you know what hops they used, please! (782 characters)

Photo of Ahhdball
4.77/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gotta thank my wife for her selection. She goes to Boston and not knowing what to get she grabs this beauty!
Orange and yellow color with a fantastic white crown.
A distinct floral aroma accompanied by lemons. The citrus grabs the nose and we go for a nice ride,
The taste is awesome and I'd dare say the best IPA I've ever had. A slight malt flavor accompanied by huge hops and citrus that stings the mouth very nicely. Very bitter but fantastic,
Smooth as glass with nothing left after but a small enticing sting to remember this by. This is going to be a heartbreaker since I only have 2 left. I hope she heads up that way again becuase I'd love to have more. (666 characters)

Photo of wisnerd
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is the finest kind. I surely enjoyed this brew. Poured hazy and orange with a a nice cm head that stayed around for a bit. Smells of tangy citrus, hops and even cloves- very enticing. This beer tastes like an IPA should with a great bitterness and a bit of a bite, and the citrus flavors complement that well in this concoction. Stays nice on the tounge after a sip, and I could do just that, sip this all day. This is my first brew by smuttynose and I am very pleased, an excellent choice. (493 characters)

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unfiltered, but not sure if it's bottle-conditioned. The label recommended mixing in the lees, so I gently turned the bottle on its side and let it rest before opening. Freshness notch indicates it was bottled in Jan (no year)

Very slight haze in luscious orange. Nice white head rises up after I started pouring straight down the middle. Laddering and lace forms on the glass.

Wonderful, enticing orange aroma pierced by a high brightness. I could smell this all day.

Sharp orange sweetness opens up into serious grapefruit rind, and whole crates of grapefruit slice up the finish and finish and finish, a finish so long it grows even sharper until I can almost taste the knife.

Sharp carbonation. Did I mention how sharp this beer is? Maybe it's *too* fresh. Good stuff, but I might wait a little while before opening the next one. (846 characters)

Photo of Hhawk06
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Evidently this is a seasonal, got a few in a sampler 12 pack from Smutty. It poured with a hazy golden amber body with a thin white head. The nose is very hoppy with evidence of spruce. The mouthfeel can best be described as full but also adds an overflowing characteristic. I enjoy the fact that the hops don't bully you right away, its more of a slow mount. Overall, its very sprucey with a woody character and clearly has a heavy dosage of hops (cascade?). A few sips in, you find the brew settles bitterly at the back of the throat. The finish is a little more sharp with the bitterness as the spruce is accompanied by just a splash of lemon. It really sticks on the palate and leaves a dry coating. Really, its solidly built. (730 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cool label.
A whirling blizzard of very small yeast flakes populate the hazy, darkish golden orange body. Capped by a finger of sticky flourescent white head. Yeasty perfume of doughy sweet malt, candied anonymous fruit and resinous, sappy, cannabis-y hops. Very kind. Sharp hop acids bombard the tongue up front. Bitter, yet tasty...hmmmm...I like that. Hop taste is slightly citrusy, but mostly pitchy white fir sap. Light biscuit and fruit malt flavors are there, but can't quite keep pace with the aggressive hop attack. Finish stays hoppy and resinously bitter, with yeast, and hints of candied malt. Delicious. Very lively mouthfeel in a medium body. Almost too lively. Still, an IPA I could drink everyday. (714 characters)

Photo of ADR
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Out of a bottle, Extreme Beer Fest 2005...

Slightly greenish hazy orange appearance. Crystalline head rises high and leaves tight and nicely complicated lace. Very good aroma, hops are almost like the freshest ground black pepper. Flavor is hoppy to be sure, again, pepper with a balsamic vinegar tone that suggests the richness of malts as much as anything else in the brew. Hops tend toward resiny (waxy) with a touch of orange cream soda, and if the malts don't keep up in obvious separate flavors, there is enough there to balance and give a good impression. Anyways, because of the flavorful hoppiness, I'm rating this as one of the best IPAs I've come across out of a bottle (683 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. with September notched on the side. Pours a golden orange with lots of goodies floating around (unfiltered) and a 1 finger off-white head that leaves decent lacing. Scents are pine, citrus, and perfume and are very pungent. Flavors are sweet ruby red grapefruit, a sharp hop bitterness that lingers, and lots of malts which are stronger in the aftertaste. Also a little bit of bitter chocolate and coffee flavors which I don't usually find in IPAs. Lots of hops with a good malt backbone. Very smooth - nice carbonation and it coats the mouth well. Very drinkable and at 6.6% it can sneak up on you if you're not careful. (628 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

september vintage

orange, cloudy, foamy

smells of sweet hops

tastes the same, with a beautiful grapefruit balance and some wood in the aftertaste as well. doesn't leave you with a bitter nasty and mellows out as you consume more and more.. one of the first times i ever poured it out- this baby is just as good right from the bottle.

and isn't it "Finestkind", not "Finest Kind"?

for an IPA, this rates high. i prefer smutty's big beer series, but this is a fridge staple and perfect for a long-day refresher. (524 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange with lots of sediment, a nice beige head, and subdued carbonation which leaves nice lace. Very nice grapefruity citrusy hop aroma. Big citrus hop flavors with a nice malt backing to balance; hoppy without being overly bitter. Medium-full bodied with a hoppy finish.

Much better than the Big A IPA for drinkability !! A definite buy !!

Per Label: "Finestkind"

Per S.B.Co. website: Simcoe, Santiams, Amarillo hops. 65 IBU's.
GOLD - Best American Beer - 2004 Great British Beer Festival

Bottled: Nov ('04') - notched on side of label
Tasted: 01/19/05

($1.43 / 12 oz.) (593 characters)

Photo of Suds
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber, slightly orange colored brew, topped with a brilliant white, foamy head. The aroma is filled with piney, resiny, flirtingly floral hops. There’s a lot of funky citrus and flower smells thrown into the mix with an undertone of malt. It’s a full, rich, and very satisfying beer. The hops are dominant in every aspect of the beer, but remain nicely balanced by the beer’s sweetness. The finish is seriously bitter, with a no-nonsense lingering flavor. I could still taste the hops for several minutes after a sip. Solid, exciting, and extraordinarily delicious. (577 characters)

Photo of shirfan
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle featuring two old guys in lawn chairs, a lawn gnome, and a motorhome.

Appearance: Medium golden, slight haze, retentive lacing.

Aroma: Freshly sliced grapefruit, pepper, bready malt.

Taste: Chewy, whole-grain-bready malt again, more black pepper, citric hops are there for a pucker but not quite as big as I had expected. Tasty, but the flavors seem to be at odds with each other rather than complementary.

A nice smooth mouthfeel, drinkability is a little off...pepper doesn't go well with grapefruit. I'm guessing the yeast strain is to blame.. otherwise very nice. (608 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pouring into a pint glass, this appeared to be a golden honey/copper color that left a frothy 2 cm head that stuck around throughout the session. Nice lacing was left on my glass as well. Lots of hop sediment was floating throughout as well from what I could see.

Sitting over a foot away, I could get the scent of very potent hops and when getting closer I could get the hints of caramel and grapefruits mixed throughout.

Taking the first sip at room temperature, the grapefruit was very prevalent along with a strong bitter hops flavor that made me wince a little...wow! Very floral in flavor as well w/ a seriously strong hoppy aftertaste that stuck around on my palette for minutes.

Smooth on the sip w/ hops that hits your sinuses pretty hard. A slightly bitter finish sums this one up and a huge aftertaste of flowery hops for hours!!! Good luck with this one!!! (878 characters)

Photo of whartontallboy
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange with a nice white head that hung around for quite a while.
Nose dominated by a piney grapefruit aroma with some underlying apricot and a bit of malty bread.
Taste is amazing! Citrusy sweet, but with a hoppy bite that lingered into a slight bitterness on the finish.
Medium-bodied smooth mouthfeel that it's impossible to find fault with.

Overall: One of the few beers that really lives up to its hype; undoubtedly the best American IPA I've tried. Well-balanced flavors coupled with an exceptional mouthfeel make this beer a true can't-miss standout of the style. (593 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blurry golden orange with a tight yellowed foam.
Nose of sugared pink grapefruits, Blood oranges, pine needles, and tarry, gooey resin dankness (finest Kind? Perhaps.) Shortbread malts.
Begins with a rock candy sugariness, then onto clues of clementines and lightly toasted, brown sugar-glazed desert breads. Hops are grapefruity, with notions of Jamaica red hair and spruce. This is sweeter than it is bitter (at least by IPA standards).
Drinkability is large in its loose, free-flowing medium built.
Solid quaffing-styled IPA. Thanks Bighuge. (549 characters)

Photo of JackStraw22
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer has a slightly opaque amber/orange body. A nice big, white foamy head tops it off. Great head retention, tons of lacing. All I could really smell were the hops, quite hoppy. It's an IPA, so it was bitter, one of the more bitter beers I've tasted. I generally like more hoppy/bitter beers, but this was a little much for me. It wasn't very complex, just a big uppercut of hops. It's good for what it is, though. Light mouthfeel, dry finish. I'm not sure I could drink more than two of these at a time, but could go for more than one. (537 characters)

Photo of hustlemuscle
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice beer, one to seek out, for sure. Not much head on it, but a pretty color, sort of sunset gold, with plenty of bubbles. Nice piney hops greet the nose. Whew, it is good stuff. Piney piney piney. Not over the top, just right. Good, and easy drinking, with enough kick to make you feel it a little. Clean, easy to drink, without a lot of the hop slickness you get from many IPAs. (383 characters)

Photo of Morris729
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange peach color with lots of noticeable chunks of sediment floating throughout the beer. Nose is pine and fresh grapefruit up front with a nice biscuity malt aroma in the background. Medium in body with a slightly sticky texture in the mouth. Taste begins with notes of grapefruit juice and a touch of grain followed by notes of pungent tobacco and bitter raw green hops that remain in a lasting aftertaste. A very fine IPA to be had here. (457 characters)

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,749 ratings.