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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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3,974 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,974
Reviews: 1,660
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 215
Gots: 324 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,974 | Reviews: 1,660 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of czfreeman
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know why I haven't picked this one up yet, I've been on a bit of a Southern Tier kick lately.
Poured into my Brookly Hefe glass, a brilliant apricot-hazy amber ale sporting active enticing carbonation. This looks really good. The damn-near-perfect fluffy IPA head dosen't hurt one bit.
Smell is explosive. A huge phenolic whiff not expected of a 6.6% IPA is the aperitif. Malted pineapples, spicy passionfruit,blood oranges,black pepper, fresh basil-arugula like herbal notes. This wonderful composition is bound by a finish of just-right amounts of Simcoe and Amarillo hop goodness. This one is rapidly climbing into the regular section of my fridge.
Taste is much less sweet and fruity than expected. Whereas the nose is all about the citric juciness, a suprisingly bittering, drying body with a delicate malty backbone is found. light biscuity flavor, spiced juniper-studded citrus fruits, light drying finish. Very dry, almost a hoppy English Bitter.
I am extremly pleased at the change found in this brew. Whereas many IPA's simply become a little too sweet after a few, I could see a 6pack quickly dissapering in my near future. Well done.

czfreeman, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of droomyster
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing, hazy orange with a small white head that settles to a sudzy rim. Citrusy, zesty hop aromas singing loud and proud, with a bit of sweet malts in there as well. Taste is absolutely sublime. A crashing wave of grapefruity goodness from start to finish, lingering for what seems like days. Honeyish malts that don't "balance" the massive amount of hops so much as blunt the sting. I'm not a major IPA lover but still recognize a work of art when I taste it.

droomyster, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of whoneeds8
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass with enormous white head. Retention is very long. Color is opaque gold.

Smells a little stale like, but sweet and strong. Had to wait for the head to go down a little before I could finally taste the beer.

Taste is interesting for a IPA, not overly hoppy but it does have a great malt balance at the end.

Has a great mouthfeel, just right carbonation with a faint dryness at the end.

Overall, this is a great everyday IPA. I just wish I could get it everyday.

whoneeds8, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of tburkhart
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy with very thin head. Not a very impressive start to this beer.

Smell had an "aerosol can" aroma to his. I've never smelled this in a beer, but it reminded me of hairspray.

Tastes was good. Hops didn't come through like they should have for an IPA, but they were there just enough to make me say "ok, it's an IPA".

Quite thin on the mouth. Hoped for for.

I've had a handful of Smuttynose beers before and have enjoyed them, this one might be the exception. If I come across another bottle I'll give it another shot and see if I just happened to get a bad bottle.

tburkhart, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of gabe23
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy light orange/honey color. Colossal rocky white head with amazing lacing. The only reason I didn't give a 5 was due to some really huge particles floating around.

S - I don't pick up anything other than strong grapefruit/citrus rind notes. I guess if I bury my nose inside, I can detect a little piney aroma, but malt is MIA.

T - Bitter grapefruit smacks you right in the tongue at the start. A bit of malty sweetness creeps in, but before it approaches anything near balance, a piney bite takes you to the finish. The aftertaste lingers for a good, long while.

M - Bathes the entire mouth in powerful hoppy bitterness. Very smooth with medium carbonation.

D - This beer just begs you to take another sip after sip after sip. I could easily see putting away a few if I'm in the mood for a hop blast.

gabe23, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of Boto
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: This one pours an orange tinged golden color. There was a bit of a white head on it, and it leaves some lacing down the glass. Decent enough aroma. Hints of citrus and piney hops, with some faint malts coming through. The taste is quite good. A well balanced IPA with a fair amount of bitterness. Flavors of both grapefruit and pine give it its bitterness. A Very Good IPA.

Boto, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of duffextracold
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured into my s.a. perfect pint glass from a bomber. light golden amber color. not much head, but a bit of foamy lacing on the glass.

S- smells like sweet malt and hops. very appealing aroma. slightly citrus.

T- bitter hop bite with perfect malty backbone. citrus aftertaste. very delicious.

M- medium carbonation level. nice velvety texture, like its giving my mouth a hug.

D- very good! me like!

duffextracold, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of porntipsguzzardo
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange with a nice, sticky lace. A real kick in the face hops-wise. Extremely piny flavor with a bit of citrus and a balancing sweetness, but the bitterness does linger for quite a long time. A strong pine smell. Very fizzy but the bitterness and stickiness don't make for a good session beer. A good example of a hop-heavy American 2IPA, though I prefer the more citrusy West Coast versions.

porntipsguzzardo, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy orange-copper color with a nice-sized creamy and frothy white head with good retention and great lacing.

S: Grapefruit, pine resin, and grassy/floral hops. Some yeasty, bready malts as well. Some spice hints. Very complex and appealing.

T: Grapefruit again, some strong floral hints, and more sappy, resiny pine. This fades into a substantial, bready malt flavor. A surprising, refreshing yeasty and citric flavor into the finish.

M: Medium in body, with a very crisp, refreshing feel. A nice, moderate creaminess for the style, fading into a dry, snappy, yeasty finish.

D: Wow, this is really good. Surprisingly refreshing for the style. I like how yeasty and spicy this is into the finish. An impressive take on an American IPA. Will definitely seek out in the future.

Clydesdale, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of kwakwhore
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very pretty pour into my DFH shaped pint. A little hazy because it's very cold. Off white head leaves excellent lacing on the glass.
Aromas include an upfront blast of citrusy hops which is followed by some bread malt.
Flavors mirror the scents as the first thing you get is a shot of grapefruit bitterness, which persists for a long time, but the finish is actually fairly malty. Malt and hop flavors meld more as the beer gets warmer and the finish becomes more bitter.
Hop oils linger on the tongue, very pleasing mouthfeel.
I only have one of these, but I could drink more than one. Very tasty and very easy to drink.
Very good IPA. I like this very much, and I'm really glad that we can get this in NC now.
Had this again last night with dinner and it was even better. Very floral, citrusy scents.

kwakwhore, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of nc41
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New to the Total Wine in GSO. Have to say I'm surprised by how good tis brew was. With all the IPA's flooding the market most get caught up in the wash of being just good, few standout above the rest. This one does. Nice crisp orange color, slightly hazy because it's unfiltered. decent head, but not overwhelmingly frothy The nose isn't heavy on the florals like Two Hearted, but the first sip gets your attention very quickly. This one is a pure hop bomb, and drinking one behind a Ruination IPA, the bitterness level seemed to be about equal. Nice finish, easy to drink if your into IPA'S, and easily surpasses most common IPA'S Won't disappoint.

nc41, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of farrago
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While the orange color is light and closer to yellow than amber, it has a gauzy translucency which deepens it, good one to two finger head of white whipped froth and strong lacing. Unassumedly penetrating nose of white grapefruit, lemon citrus, wheat and rye, pine tar, flower blossom, dry and hoppy without forgetting to allow the tight package to soak in enough to be enjoyed. Medium-bodied, there's a fun interplay between the sneaky carbonation and the general inclination towards woven balance, sometimes dancing nimbly across the palate, sometimes wanting to grip it firmly and make it listen to the message. Playfully bitter hops and yeasts contribute to an erect posture in the mouth, The white grapefruit, mandarin orange, lemon citrus alternately sweet and sour. The pine and wet tea leaf notes persist, the floral dimension needs more 'tude to get heard. Can't say it ever tastes "malty" but this element doesn't cushion things here and there. As close to a "sessionable" IPA as one might ask for.

farrago, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy burnt orange, lots of debris, kind of disapointing. Decent head but doesn't leave much lacing. Smells of very strong grapefruit, lemony citrus, tart apples . Tastes exactly like grapefruit and apple like malt followed by a huge earthy hop aroma and taste. Finishes nice and bitter and dry.

A very nice IPA with a great flavor. Very nice hop presense, never had a beer with such a solid grapefruit presense. The only thing i didn't like was the hop debris that was quite prominant, doesn't exactly make me wanna drink it. To be fair, i've had this before and never noticed that before. Still tastes great!

bum732, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for this one in a trade!

A: Hazy orange gold with a white head that bubbled up about half an inch and reduced to a film, excellent chunks of lacing on the edges of the glass.

S: Grainy malts, grapefruit hops, lots of malt sweetness, but really really more on the grainy side of the spectrum, not a lot of hops, but a definite presence.

T: Initially very bitter, malt sweetness is there, kind of out of whack, all the flavors are there, but they hit at the wrong time. Hops are very citrus rind flavored, malt is really grainy and not that smooth, a slight hint of alcohol throughout.

M: Quite thin for an IPA, light carbonation, really lingers in the mouth for a long time.

D: Pretty fair overall, I could drink quite a few of these if I wanted to, it wouldn't be my first choice though. A good IPA, but not great.

pokesbeerdude, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of cooncat
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving from 12 oz. bottle, decanted into my Sam Adams Boston lager glass. (thanks to Reagan1984 for the trade which allowed me to review this beer)

On the pour you get an orangish colored brew, with a touch of haze, probably from abundant hops. The head was average in size, and disappates to a thin cap in short order. Some good stickage from lacing on the side of the glass. Each swirl leaves lacing; not a huge amount, but it is there.

The nose is huge grapefruit, with a touch of candied pineapple thrown in for good measure. No malt character to the nose .. this one is for the hop heads!

The taste .. ah ... the taste is a wonderful hop explosion on the palate. Like the nose, huge grapefruit is the immediate taste. Just a touch of pineapple in the taste as well. A biscuit like maltiness tries to assert itself, and is smacked down hard by the hops. Plenty of hop burps, if you're into that thing. Carbonation is right on, giving this a medium mouthfeel, which I find just right for the style. Finish is dry, without being astringent. The palate just wants more! I'd rate drinkability as very good, especially if you are into American IPAs. This is one you can enjoy responsibly all night long.

Well done, Smuttynose. "Finest Kind" is a first class American IPA, and one not to miss. Seek it out .. you will not be disappointed. Would have to rate it in my Top 5 American IPAs .. excellent!

Na Zdravje!

cooncat, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chilled beer mug. The frost did give the brew a pit of a chill that was unexpected but gave the beer a bit of a bite.

Color is gold, with an amber tint.

Smell is hoppy with a bit of grapefruit. Sweet with a tangy flavour.

Taste is a bit bitter. Has a grapefruit hop taste that cancels out most of any other flavours. Has a bit of a bitter aftertaste as well.

Was surprised that this IPA was as good as it was. I have heard many times that West Coast IPA were the best, this one can be put in the top five.

Duhast500, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best Before: 08/08 labeled on the bottle. Purchased 01/05/09 at local consumers beverage center.

Poured 12 oz. bottle into a 12 oz. tumbler. Pours a very nice hazy golden amber with sediment following. I love the fact of the natural in the bottle party action.. visual stimulating.

Gulp. Perfect combination of hops and flora aroma that can please the most stubborn individual. Head settled in a timely manner, lacing nice. Flavors of tangerine a definite, mouthful a plenty. 1st round TKO for the hop lover, you're not going to know what hit you.

Recommend: Yes. Overlooked until now, this is a superb example of the American IPA.

Bottled label visuals are something else, that should be some extra points for creativity. Humility? Honor? Justice?...

BuffaloTapHugger, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of alovesupreme
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light orange very hazy beverage with lots of (hops?) floating in the beverage. Good head with great lacing.
Grapefruit juice. A little piney very pleasant,maybe a hint of biscuit.
Biting taste, this is not a subtle beer. Astringent grapefruit flavor is most prominent from start to finish. Followed by a blissful malty flavor that is my favorite aspect of this beer. The beer finishes with a lingering taste of pine. Everything In Its Right Place.
Excellent beer from start to finish. A great aspect of IPA's that never gets mentioned is that they are the only beverage that tastes just as good when burping.

alovesupreme, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of 3Vandoo
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy dark golden with some sendiments visible, with a shy head and low retention.

Smell is very hoppy, with hints of citrus, pineapple flavors coming in with a shy buttery body. There some caramel and malt present but very shy compared to the hops imbalance.

Taste is very hoppy of course, pine and pineapples flavors with a hint of citrus come in play. Very unbalanced, very into the bitterness and the hoppy bitter than everyelse. A hit in the face bitter that leave a shy aftertaste with a watery mouthfeel.

3Vandoo, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of Gyle41386
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle purchased at Total Wine in Columbia, SC. Best by March of 09 on the label.

Pours a bronzish orange with a fine white head. Tiny rising bubbles and yeast particles are visible. Produces a hoppy, citrusy smell. Initial sip is very smooth and light, followed by some quickly-dissipating harsh bitterness. It's hard to believe a beer with that kind of bitterness (although it is very brief) could be so smooth and drinkable. There's a nice malty backbone that balances it out. Citrus notes like grapefruit and possibly some lemon present in the taste, though they give way more to the herbal notes, slightly grassy and some pine notes, although not as much pine as was in Great Divide's Titan IPA, which preceded this beer on my list for the evening.

Gyle41386, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of JayNH
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear golden color with a frothy head.

S- A slightly citrusy hoppiness with a biscuity maltiness.

T- A nice hoppiness, grassy and slightly citrusy. Very well balanced with a bready maltiness. More like an English IPA.

M- Smooth, medium body with just the right carbonation.

D- Excellent! Sort of a novelty these days, a nice well balanced IPA.

JayNH, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of TheMistler
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a "Best Before" notch of March, '09. A chunk o' gold in the glass, maybe a bit tarnished - light brown hues, cloudy. Roiling carbonation produced solid 3/4 inch of white head. Good retention and lacing. Settles to a creamy, fairly thick cap.

After this beer has sat for a few moments, the nose is like that a slightly hoppy Bitter. Biscuit. Disturb the beer in anyway, and aromatic hops are unleashed. Grapefruit.

Hoppy taste, with a bevy of citrus. The malt notes upfront are whisked into the distant background. Grapefruit (and how), lemon zest. Grassy, as well. Bitter, but not overly so.

Slightly slippery, resin-y feel. Good carbonation. Very good drinkability. In fact, I think I'll crack another right now.

TheMistler, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronzed orange with a burst of bright yellow that pierces through as underlining. It has a nice tan complexion and great gleam when held up to the light. Although clear, there are plenty of both tiny bubbles and tiny particles of yeast that meld about in the backdrop. The head is thin, spotlessly white, very creamy and insanely adhesive. Really insanely adhesive.

The aroma doesn't pack nearly the punch I look for in an American IPA. Although it's really the DIPA's that tend to deliver TKO's, I've had many many regular IPA's that could go toe to toe with the heavyweights. Smuttynose's DIPA (whose label depicts a big boxer) has a mean, lights out kind of hook but the 'Finest Kind' is really more of a welterweight, at best.

It continues to falter on the flavour. The amounts of pine, citrus and other hop residue wouldn't even shake the needle on some scales. The hop presence is really light, I'm failing to pick up on any juicy, fruity flavours and can't even register the zest. I'd be ok if there was enough caramelization to the malts to make up for it, but there isn't, it's just too light a toast.

The mouthfeel does some to amend the situation. The IBU's seem in check; the hops are finally sensed as they leave a leafy, astringent, lightly suffocating bitter note when passing down the throat. They seem to be in good number, why aren't they doing more for the flavour? I'd also insist on toasting those malts a little longer. But I suppose, even despite all its shortcomings, this makes a pretty refreshing, easily quaffed IPA.

Notwithstanding any style preference, I strongly prefer Smuttynose's DIPA to their regular one. Still, I can see now what those two old men on the label are so happy about. Give me the lawn chair, a nice sunny day, and a few bottles of the Smuttynose IPA and I'd be smiling just like they are. Boy, that sure does sound nice... if only I had a lawn chair.

(*Note: I didn't take notes and won't factor it into this review, but I once had this beer from cask, dry hopped in the pin with Nugget hops. THAT sample was nothing but outstanding!*)

biegaman, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of ncbeermonger
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this may be my favorite IPA, and I am an IPA head!

It pours with a great head

The smell is perhaps the best part. The Hops come out and bring a smile to your face

The taste is outstanding! smooth, and hoppy! this one is tough to beat!

The mouth feel is good, its crisp, and not heavy

this is an amazingly drinkable beer. When you see this IPA GET IT!

ncbeermonger, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of gciccarelli
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Pale orange with a good white foamy head. Great head retention, minimal lacing.

S - Hops. Citrus, grapefruit. Malt. Very pleasant smell - good for an IPA.

T - It starts off with sweet malt and some citrus notes, then the hop taste hits you. Ends with a bitter aftertaste. A great IPA taste! Very bitter, very hoppy.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Very nice for the style.

D - Very drinkable, but bitter aftertaste may knock it down slightly (same with all IPAs...).

A very solid IPA overall - worth checking out!

gciccarelli, Dec 30, 2008
Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,974 ratings.