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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,988 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,988
Reviews: 1,663
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 214
Gots: 329 | 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: 3,988 | Reviews: 1,663 | Display Reviews Only:
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"FINDESTKIND IPA."

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.

B-

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,988 ratings.