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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,397 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,397
Reviews: 1,701
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 252
Gots: 522 | FT: 4
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,397 | Reviews: 1,701 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LSUPT
2.73/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a best by date of November 2011, served in a Bruery Tulip, but this is my 4th time having this beer over a couple weeks.

Pours a medium yellow/orange color with about a ¾ inch head that slowly dissipates leaving a 1/8 inch fine lace sheet and a ring of froth remains throughout the drink. It’s very,very hazy and be very careful pouring this one as there is a ton of sediment and yeast in the bottle.

Mild grapefruit, I guess, and somewhat sweet nose and almost a pilsner-like biscuit and yeast flavor. Very disappointing. Taste is more of the same. Some grapefruit noticeable centennial hops and a ton of bitterness leaving few discernable flavors. Very light body with about medium carbonation and tons of bitterness in the mouthfeel. Somewhat drinkable.

For all the praise this beer gets I was very excited to try it, and it was one of the only 6-packs I purchased, but I was very disappointed. Thought it may be a Northeastern bias but the reviews are pretty consistent, maybe there’s something wrong with me but I thought this was an average IPA at best.

Photo of kotayk
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my Desi beer runner for the brew

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: A finger a half worth of head, which slowly dissipates. Head is a nice khaki color – good lacing, nice amber color, with lots of floaties – which remain suspended and don’t appear to settle – a nice LFC formulation if I may say so my self

Smell: Typical hop aromas (pine, grapefruit) predominates with a biscuit malty nose singing backup

Taste: You are hit first by the hoppy bitterness which coats the palate, and moves to the back or the throat – however the bitterness does not linger for too long. Rated at 65 IBUs but since the balance is a tad off, tastes more bitter than it should – but I’m complaining – I’m drinking an IPA and not a Zima.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, medium bodied – the first few sips prepare the palate for the remaining glass of Smutty goodness.

Overall: A solid IPA – not a beginner IPA, but a very refreshing brew, full of hops, grapefruits, with a hint of citrus and malt.

Notes: The hop-goodness is the roadrunner always a step ahead of the coyote (malty sweetness)

This is a good thing – last thing you want is an IPA that cloys

Photo of DirtyPenny
2.47/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The bottle shows two old men sitting in lawn chairs. By the flavor profile of this, I can only assume that they're unnecessarily bitter.

A: Yeugh. Lots and lots of little floaties. I know they aren't bad for me, but they still make for an ugly beer. Tall, pillowy white seafoam head crowns the top of this hazy honey-colored brew. Lots of lacing around the rim of the glass.

S: Hops. Grassy, piny and floral. A bit of malt.

T: The grain flavor of this is quickly washed out to sea by the hop flavors (same as nose), and the finish is bitter. If you've ever been to the beach and had a big wave run off with your swim trunks, that's a pretty good analogy. I think.

M: Carbonation is soft and minimal. Smooth and easy to chug. You'll need to because the bitterness gets worse as this beer warms.

O: Eh. I'll admit I'm not much of an IPA guy, and this doesn't do anything to change my mind.

Photo of Kromes
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy, unfiltered orange with a thick white head and thick laces down the glass.

S: Sweet malts and grassy, floral hops.

T: A nice sweet malt backbone with some good citrus and pine hop. The finish is peppery and bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is great. Medium body, good carbonation. Smooth with a semi-dry finish.

O: Quality stuff. Good all around beer. No complaints anywhere.

Photo of beerdrinker4life
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love a good IPA and certainly loved this one! Got to have this guy on tap while visiting some friends in MA. Woop woop.

So she poured out with some decent haze. Almost looked like there was yeast in there. Nice big old white head on top too. Good lacing too and looked delicious.

Smelled like a mixture of fruit and spice. Maybe some Christmas tree smell too. Very interesting.

Big bitter hop flavor! :-)

Nice medium mouthfeel and super drinkable.

This is one fine IPA.

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. A finger of dense beige head tops my beer. It shrinks down to almost half a finger, and there it remains throughout the entire beer. Great head retention, nice bit of lacing. Body looks like murky apple cider. I notice particles suspended throughout most of the body.

S. Citrus and floral aromas dominate. Also smell a hint of pine and a bit of yeast and malt.

T. I note a hint of sweet malt in the split second before the bitter hops explode onto the scene in this brew. Grapefruit dominates the hop palette, but there are hints of pine in there as well. The bitter sticks with you, even into the bread flavor at the end, which brings with it a little sweetness to tame the bitter as best it can...but the bitter holds out until the end.

M. Smooth, medium bodied, this beer is slightly creamy, and definitely very good. Dries at the end, this only makes you want it more.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by October 2011 notched on the label. What an amazing and welcomed concept.

Slightly chill hazed medium orange with a nice layer of retention and a fair amount of sticky cling.

Smells of grainy bitter citric rind and crushed baby aspirin.

Taste follows suit. Heavy handed bitterness pounds at the start and hammers throughout. Tingling orange in the middle is battered around the mouth by the sheer chaos of the baby aspirin laden honey kissed chalky wave. Finish is semi harsh, grainy, and lingers with a mildly metallic punch.

Overall, this is a lush, juicy and very bitter IPA. I appreciate how the malts play a distant second fiddle here, but the star of show could chill a bit on her bitter visage.

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

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a hazy golden orange colored brew with a finger thick pale white/yellow head that leaves some nice lacing. Can see the yeasts suspended throughout this brew.

Smells piney, citrus - grapefruit, maybe tangerine and a definite bready quality.

Tastes of oily resinous pine, grapefruit, spicyness and a nice mild toasted caramel malt sweetness that balances the finish. Almost a tea-like quality as it warms, finishes nice and dry.

Coats the tongue, clean, bitter and crisp. Very smooth and creamy.

Highly sessionable brew that is really easy going down.

Photo of magine
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a cloudy sediment filled golden orange, has an off white head. The head settles to a pocketed lace island head. Nice think sticky lacing. Very good looking brew.

Brew smells of citrus hops, pine, grapefruit and floral notes as well. A nice malty bread smell as well. Good smelling brew.

Brew is creamy and balanced. Citrus hops, piney, oily resin hops as well. Slick mouthfeel; creamy malts in the middle. Peppery, pungent fruit hops. Brew finishes slightly dry and bitter. Has a good finish and leaves you wanting the next sip. Really complex and great tasting.

This is a top notch IPA that is one of the best out there. Great stuff here and sessionable as well.

Photo of IrishEyes32250
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alright, first things first. I have to say that this beer has one of the most interesting names of any beer you can find. It's not gimmicky. It's the name of the brewery, a simple "IPA" and then "Finest Kind". But it's the NAME of the brewery, "Smuttynose", and the beers monicker "Finest Kind" that kind of make the mind wander. Smuttynose comes from the Isles of Shoals, located just off the coast of New Hampshire (technically they are in the state of Maine). At 25 acres, it is the third largest of the Shoal Islands. The name originated with some (more than likely completely wasted and, being on a boat for a while, probably extremely randy) fishermen who, seeing the island at sea level, noticed how the seaweed at one end looked like the "smutty nose" of some vast sea animal. Take that description and "Finest Kind" and I'll let you think about that one on your own.

I have to pay homage to the label as well; it's simple with two old men sitting on fold up chairs on their front lawn representing the beer. The old guy on the left says "India Pale Ale", and he guy on the right responds with "Finest Kind". It works. Again, nothing gimmicky. As a side note, my father-in-law REALLY digs the label in addition to the beer. Dude makes some KILLER hot sauces and wants to devise a label similar to this one to slap on the front of his bottles of ass torch. Smart. He recognizes quality.

There's nothing gimmicky about the beer either:

Appearance - Poured from a 12oz bottle into my tulip drinking vessel. Beautiful amber color with a lot of sediment, or "lees" floating around in this beer so you can tell it's not filtered. Super dope GE bright white 100 watt light bulb 2 finger head that sticks to the glass and leaves crazy lacing all over the place. The head went crazy and just laced shit up like an alcohol graffiti artist. Lately, I like to sit and stare at the lacing and try to figure out what shapes it is making. In this particular glass I saw a hadrosaurus, a kangaroo and the Hawaiian islands.

Smell - In this order: Grapefruit, florals, more grapefruit, grass, and bread. Yeah, as far as IPA's go, it can't get much better than the smell of this. It's definitely got a "dankness" about it. This is "only" 65 IBU but you can smell the bitterness emanating from this. This hits on all of my key IPA criteria: Grapefruit, dank, IBU and bitter.

Sound - That's right I introduced a sound category to beer reviewing. I'm innovating the beer review process. Remember Rice Crispies? Snap, Crackle and Pop. Remember when you used to stick your damn ear up to your cereal bowl to listen to it crackling all over the place like pop rocks in your milk. Well, I decided to stick my ear up to my beer and listen to the bubbles in the foam of the head and that was smart. A beer's head is considered a quality as it relates to the style so the SOUND of that head should be considered a factor, more specifically the liveliness of it. The head on this beer SOUNDS lively as all get out and it's all over the place with a fierceness. Quality.

Taste - OK, this is bitter right off the bat. INDEED. It attacks your tongue and taste buds with a ferocity. Crazy bitter grapefruit right up front and I'll be damned if you don't get a bit of sea salt there as well. I'll be honest, I started eating spam at the same time I started drinking this and that was a HUUUGE mistake. The saltiness of the spam and the bit of salt you get from this beer was like a sodium gang war on my tongue. The spam ended up in the freakin' garbage. I like spam but I'll be damned if I'm going to quit drinking a beer this good for it.

And remember the bit of bread detected in the smell? Well, the bready biscuit maltiness in the smell does a fine job of underlying the bitterness of the hops. It's there like a mediator for your tongue between the upfront bitter attack on your mouth muscle and the back end assault you get on the swallow. Again, this is "only" 65 IBU but it's definitely an assault on your mouth.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, leading on the thick side of things, balanced by a nice refreshing carbonation. The beer definitely pimp slaps your taste buds on the way in and on the way out. Your tongue becomes it's bitch.

Overall, I'd have to say this is one of my favorite IPAs. And it's an East Coast IPA and it could destroy most IPA's on BOTH coasts. I'm lucky as hell to be able to get this at my local craft beer store down here in Florida City. If (God forbid) Smuttynose decided to limit production and I wasn't able to find residence on the nose of a smutty nosed sea monster on the Isle of Shoals, I would definitely look to take up residence somewhere close to brewery so I could enjoy this beer on the regular.

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

A-slightly cloudy red orange color with a surprisingly thick almost creamy head

S-stale bread with floral overtones

T-hoppy and somewhat fruity, but not overly sweet with a nice bitter finish

F-thick slightly creamy

O-an excellent IPA for drinking with food or enjoying on its own. Well-made beer.

Photo of azdback
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Spaten tumbler. Cloudy dark orange color. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles lead to a very large three finger head. The head is bright white colored and very soapy and sticky in appearance. Lace is very sticky.

Smell is quite bready. With some stale fruit smells. I get just a hint of sweetness and as it warms just a tinge of alcohol.

Taste is better than the smell. Some dull citrus flavors of maybe a blood orange. There are some brighter bitter flavors of pineapple, but the taste of dank, musty yeast are there as well. Some sweetness comes from the malts but is too little too late.

The mouth is right on for the style. Bright on the tongue and well carbonated. Full flavors to the end.

Overall, I didn't really like this. I didn't hate it either. I think I have reached a point where I have tried so many IPA's (mostly West coast stuff) that it is going to be hard to impress me. I also don't understand why most of the East Coast stuff has to use the Belgian yeast strains they do. In an IPA is does nothing but hurt the flavor profile. With all that being said, I must thank McNuts for this bottle. Liked or disliked it's another notch on my beers tried belt.

Photo of PollardsVision
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass. Best before August '11.

I'm new to drinking better beers, but so far, this is my favorite American IPA. Pours a beautiful hazy, orange. Nice head with great lacing.
While many other good IPAs have far too much citrusy sweetness for my palate, this one has just the right amount. Just enough to balance while the hoppy bite takes centerstage. If I'm in the mood for a balanced IPA, this is my go-to brew.

Photo of draheim
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (best before Dec. '11) poured into a tulip. Thanks davey!

Hazy glowing gold with a few dark floaties. 1-finger white head, nice lacing.

Aroma is dank water and floral hops.

Taste is bitter up front, floral, slightly metallic, with a hint of citrus.

Creamy mouthfeel coats the tongue.

Overall this is a pretty smooth, well-crafted IPA.

Photo of mooselvlt
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottle has best by date of October 2011

A - Pours a semi-clear, hazy, light orange with a good fingers worth off off white foam. Very good retention on it with nice lacing present throughout

S - Get the malts up front with a bit of citrus hops at the back. Its subtle though.

T - Very very good. Get the smooth malts then finishes with a very strong mix of citrus and pine hops that really lingers after the swallow.

M - Medium bodied. Smooth with a nice bit of carbonation present. Very drinkable.

O - Very solid IPA here and I could see drinking a few of these in a sitting. Nice flavor, very smooth, and doesn't go overboard in any regard. A subtle drinker in every way. Well done!

Photo of Sevoking
3.37/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The 1st time that I had a sixer of this, I thought it was decent, but nowhere near how good the reviews were giving it...especially the A+ marks given by the 2 bros. So, I thought maybe I had an inferior batch or just not as fresh as it could be. So, I thought I'd buy another six & give it a 2nd chance before I reviewed it. I was hoping to have my mind changed, but it was not to be. Burnt orange in color w/ plenty of unfiltered sediment. Smell was good w/ a citrusy, piny fragrance. The taste, while plenty hoppy, left me w/ a bitterness aftertaste which I'm not a big fan of. I guess I've just been brainwashed by the Left Coast IPA. I wanna be able to have a few beers at a sitting, but the bitterness of this leaves me no choice but to call it quits or switch beers. Overall, not a bad beer, just not my favorite style of IPA.

Photo of pburland23
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a case in Portsmouth on my way to Maine for the 4th of July weekend. Super fresh with a bottling date listed on the case as June 29th.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard shaker pint glass.

Beer pours an almost clear burnt orange with thick, lustrous slightly off white head with created some thick rings of sticky lacing.

The smell is fantastic. The citrus hops notes jump out of the bottle and glass. A deeper inhale reveals an avalanche of grapefruit flavor with just a hint of bitterness.

The taste is equally amazing. It's pungent and citrusy, the grapefruit is again the star. There's enough biscuity malts to keep this beer balanced front to back. Unbelievably delicious.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy. It's resinous and sticky. The body is full with a nice thorough level of carbonation.

Overall, a ridiculously tasty IPA. Fruity, funky and resinous. Delicious.

Photo of jman892
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy, opaque orange color with a very foamy 2 finger head.

S - Smell is hops, on the citrus side with a bit of sweetness as well

T - Up front piney hops, with a nice malty background, makes this a nice well balanced beer

M - Moderate carbonation, very crisp and refreshing

O - Its a very refreshing IPA, one which I dont mind drinking out of the bottle if I am in the yard

Photo of Mosley1212
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my DFH Signature Glass

A--Pours a bright, orange sunshine hue. Cloudy color that lets in a lot of light. Heady is bright white and very fluffy.

S--Wonderfully hoppy, bitter citrus smell (grapefruit? Lemon zest?), and a "stank" smell that always identifies itself as "Finest Kind." Also, there's a pine smell that comes through at the end.

T--Hops are the first thing, then a wonderful citrus aftertaste. I pick up sour citrus, whether it be grapefruit or lemon zest I can't tell, but it's there. Then comes the pine cone flavor and some freshly cut grass.

M--The hops last for a while then slowly fade away. The fruit is pleasant on the tongue also.

O--This is a high quality IPA. One of my favorites.

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

This beer pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow color with a thick, fluffy white head with a slight yellow tint. The head fades very slowly, leaving massive lace.

This beer smells of citrus and floral hops mostly. A little pine mixes in too. The aroma is pretty mild.

This beer tastes like it smells, but the flavor is a bit more pronounced. Floral and grapefruit hop flavors. A slight malty sweet flavor is present.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. Carnonation is good for the style. It leaves a floral aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is low enough in alcohol to make it easy to have a few, and the flavor is not overly aggressive.

Overall: This beer is pretty good. It isnt as hoppy as I like, but I grew up on beer from San Diego. Thanks to inlimbo77 for this beer.

Photo of Tschnab
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy orange, small head that leaves quickly, leaving a cover of active bubbly foam on top.

S- tons of hopes and citrus, pine and hops.

T- like the smell, but the citrus is clearly zesty, bitter grapefruit now. Other fruity qualities are more subtle: some mango or pineapple perhaps.

O- This is such a great beer, really hoppy but still balanced. Probably my favorite IPA ever.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a light, pale orange with a near white head. Some lacing left on the glass.

Smell - Faint citrus and pine.

Taste - A bitter mix of pine and citrus.

Drinkability - Bitter, but lots of carbonation.

Photo of beergod1
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice deep orange pour with a foamy, small head. The aroma was intense with citrus, mainly grapefruit. Smooth mouth feel with grapefruit, citrus, and a touch of sweet malt. The finish is a good lingering bite of hops. It’s everything I like in an IPA.

Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This IPA pours out as a golden color with a decent head on it. The smell has a good amount of hops on the nose. The taste of hops and some hearty malts on the tongue. The mouthfeel was pretty good too. Overall this IPA isn't my favorite but worth trying.

Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden amber with a nice white lasting head, with good lacing. Aroma of piney citrusy hops fills the nose with some sweet malt. Taste is citrusy piney hops with some caramel maltiness. Palate is nice medium body, good carbonation, nice crisp moouthfeel. Finish is earthy piney hops bitterness with some good caramel malt for balance, ending with a nice sweet nutty bitter aftertaste. Overall a very nice all around brew

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,397 ratings.