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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"

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4,528 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,528
Reviews: 1,725
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 263
Gots: 622 | FT: 5
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: 4,528 | Reviews: 1,725
Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle, good till June 2011. Have had lots of good Smuttynose IPA for a long time, or as I call it, the Bartles and James beer with two old guys on the front who remind me of that old wine cooler commercial from the 80s (although these guys look happier).

On to the beer she pours into a pint glass a nice golden orange with a small one finger head that is perfectly white. Body is cloudy with lots of visible carbonation.

Bouquet is like a musty almost yeasty hop bomb. Big on hops and kind of a barnyard faint must-orange smell. Also giant husky grain quality to it as well This might be real off putting to people, but I actually enjoy it.

Upon tasting Finest Kind it is very big bodied and feels dense. Extremely hop bitter at first but with a nice clean finish that is kind of a small bread taste. Airy hop and very dry in the palate. Surprisingly not that citrusy in taste to me.

This is a fun beer, and one that sort of stands out to me amongst all the citrus-y fruity IPAs that you could have. She's kind of unique. There's nothing like Smuttynose finest kind I think.

Photo of patreely12
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - cloudy copper. tall creamy off-white head, about an inch tall. good bit of carbonation. great lacing, clings to the glass the whole way down.

S - bready yeast and hops. piney aromas. some spice, maybe a few citrus notes too. semi-sweet smell of honey.

T/M - faint sweetness of the malts up front, along with a hint of honey and citrus. this is quickly dominated by the bitterness of the hops. crisp, fairly light bodied. the high carbonation and bitter aftertaste linger on the tongue, leaving it dry and looking for the next sip.

D - fairly drinkable. I'll admit that IPAs are not my favorite style but this is good. this is the quintessential IPA.

Photo of backfat
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beaut from Andyc5337 on a recent trip to Maryland. Thanks bud! Poured into favorite random tulip, Back in the U.S.S.R. in the backround.

Pours a hazy and glowing honey. Bright and fluffy bone white head. very attractive color profile.

Aromas of a spicy and peppery hop profile with a bready zing. light and pleasant with a touch of pine. cinnamon apple as it warms.

Flavors are crisp and slightly sweet. faint pear and metal.

Nice carbonation and mouthfeel. I feel like I could kill a few of these no problem. not mindblowing, but still nice.

Photo of Lupuliniac
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gold colour with foamy small bubble collar. Aroma smacks of fruity hops with a subtle malty sweetness. Tastes sweet with an immediate hop bitterness attack. Piney with that feline urine finish. This beer has a somewhat oily body that is full but hides behind it's bitterness despite a lively carbonation.

Photo of Fluke828
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass...

Appearance: Cloudy and a very pale-amber in color, Not quite two fingers of head with good retention. Minimal carbonation.

Smell: Fruity and very floral/perfumy, almost has a berry-like aroma to it....can't quite explain it....

Taste: Bites a bit when first going down, very pleasant tasting IPA with a the bite at first, transitioning into a crisp, fruity middle and finishing with spicy floral notes.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, crisp, at first and medium texture going down. Refreshing tingle at the end with a mild, comforting amount of bitterness.

Drinkability: Dangerous. Very good. Disappears quickly. Easy to crush 4 without even blinking....

Overall this is a superb IPA in my eyes. Was turned on to it by a friend years ago (an IPA enthusiast) and it has been in the fridge rotation consistently ever since. Would recommend trying even if you are not a big fan of IPAs.

Photo of theo871
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a perfect pint glass.

A - pours a beautiful cloudy dark gold, with a one finger head that leaves a respectable amount of lacing.

S - I smell sweetness, spicy notes with a nice hop scent. This is quite the treat for the olfactory senses.

T - this beer has amazing balance. Sweet up front, bitter hop notes at the end.

M - smooth and dry, medium carbonation, hoppiness lingers for a decent amount of time.

D - this is a beer that I could drink all day and not get sick of it. Not quite session able, but as close as you can get for an IPA on the strong side.

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

A- Golden body with a small white cap. Foamy ring leaves a few spots of lace.

S- Light caramel malt behind a nice amount of grapefruit and pine.

T- Pretty much a plentiful amount of grapefruit and pine hops making most of the flavor.

MF- Light body with crisp feel and nice carbonation.

DB- A solid IPA with a smooth, nice flavor. Drinks easily.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Finest Kind pours an unfiltered golden color with a tinge of orange. A well proportioned 3 cm creamy white head forms upon pouring. After a few minutes, this reduces to a film with some rocky bubbles. The head refreshes with every swirl of the glass an leaves some splotchy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Tons of pleasant hop aromas without much sweetness to get in the way. Grapefruit is the primary aroma, with tangerine, apricot, pineapple, and pine supporting.

Taste: The pale malt is really in here to give the hops a platform more than anything. Juicy grapefruit hops get me puckering almost immediately. Tangerine and pineapple add some tropical fruit depth, and some pine helps round out the hop bill. The finish is fairly clean, but a lingering bitterness grows with each sip.

Mouthfeel: Even with the huge load of hops in each sip, I never get to the point where I feel like my taste buds are being ripped off my tongue. Instead, a quite creaminess massages the tongue, leaving just a mild bitterness after each
sip. There is a medium level of carbonation and a medium to full body.

Drinkability: Tons of hop flavor yet still incredibly drinkable. A six pack of this could just vanish.

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

12 oz bottle dated "best by" 3/2011 served in pint glass.

pours a hazy light amber with a substantial off-white head. Head has good retention and leaves exceptional lacing.

East Coast (i.e, less hoppy) IPA with significant malt base. Satisfying and good tasting, but not bold or especially interesting.

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

A: A beautiful hazy, murky deep golden. Nice thick head forms from a hearty controlled pour. Head is not extremely thick.

S: Piny oily hops, a subtle malty soothing backbone. Some light lemon zing.

T: Super bitter hops. Dry, invigorating. Grapefruit bitter, and a bit of malty bread at the close. Super hoppy. Exceptional.

M: Bitter, slightly oily , very refreshing. Fresh.

D: High, especially alongside a nice spicy meal.

This is my standby affordable IPA staple beer. I love it!

Photo of y2jrock60
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy orange hue with a frothy white two finger head that laces beautifully.

S- Very citrus and floral with a hint of pine.

T- Very hoppy. The taste of grapefruit jumps out and remains til the end. There is a slight hint of pine after you swallow. Upfront sweetness followed by sourness. A nice balance of hops and flavors. The malt is on the lighter side.

M- Medium bodied low carbonation.

D- Average drink-ability for an IPA. It's not a light IPA, but its also not a big IPA.

A very delicious IPA. Excellent appearance and aroma. The hops are very citrus followed by a hint of pine. Taste transitions from sweet to sour throughout the sip. One of my favorite IPAs.

Photo of Brew33
1.73/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've had this beer multiple times and I don't know why I keep doing it to myself. A hazy golden amber pour. The aroma is poor to say the least. Astringent hops, chemicals, smells of hop over-extraction. The flavor is terrible. Extremely bitter. Resinous, biting bitterness, weak malt flavors struggle to make themselves known. Some grapefruit? Pine? Little complexity. A poor attempt at an ipa. Shocked people enjoy this so much.

Edit: I've tried to go back and edit this review as it almost doesn't seem fair to give it an F but I can't change a thing. This beer is awful.

Photo of drewba
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle is best before May/2011

A - Hazy golden straw with a frothy half inch white head. The lacing is full and unrelenting. A quarter inch of head stays around for most of the beer.

S - Lemon rind, orange, pinecones, some biscuit and cracker.

T - Juicy lemon, dry lime and orange, some grass. The malt character is not pronounced, but there is a bit of biscuit and nut to help balance the healthy smattering of hops I'm getting from this. The finish is straight grapefruit and pine bitter. Not an overwhelming bitter, but it leaves a dull bitter in my mouf. This gets better as it warms.

M - thin and soft, but the carbonation is on the high end.

D - It is drinkable, it would be moreso if I were having a few of these back to back with the geezers on the bottle. These guys look like they can party. Nice flavors, bitter isn't overwhelming and overall enjoyable.

Photo of gabedivision
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Sam Adams Imperial Series snifter glass.

A- Very cloudy, sudsy, non transparent golden orange. A head that latches on to the sides of the glass and little floaties dancing in the very low carbonated beer.

S- The smell is so good i got carried away and accidentally got some up my nose, which wasn't so bad. Very citrusy, hoppy and flowerly. Exactly what you want to smell from an IPA.

T- Extremely bold and bitter citrus and hop characters. Very delicious.

M- Tart and bitter. Leaves the mouth thirsty for another sip.

D- High drinkability, one of the finest beers of its style that I've had.

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

best before December 2010. Usually I would not rate such an old beer, but I have been looking for fresher bottles for several weeks now and this is the best I could come up with. Purchased at Barb's Beer Emporium, out of the cooler on Jan 30 2011

Hazy orange color with light, short-lived head and light lacing. A few small white chunks are present. That seems unusual especially since I don't believe it is bottle conditioned. (There is no noticeable sediment in the bottom of the bottle.)

Very slight orange aroma with a touch of biscuit. Nice but very understated. Touch of citrus flavor with some pine that quickly resolves in a long bitter finish. Overall, this is a tasty brew, but the flavors just seem a little jumbled and muted.

Medium body with just enough carbonation to lighten things up. A tasty enough beer. Definitely worth trying, especially if you can find it fresh. But in its home state of New Hampshire, this is a difficult thing to do. Maybe the distribution network is in need of a major overhaul?

Photo of MattyV
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle best before April 2011 poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Golden orange colour with lots of floaties in suspension. 1 finger white head with considerable retention.

S: Pine and grapefruit, a nice mix of spice and citrusy fruit.

T: Lacking the hoppy bite I expected, which is likely due to the fact this bottle's only a few months away from it's best before date. Still, nice citrus zest/grapefruit flavours with light piney bitterness that coats the mouth. Good biscuity malt backbone. Finishes on the crisp side with only a light bitterness.

M: Medium, slightly chewy body, nice smooth carbonation.

D: I didn't find this spectacular (the bitterness seemed highly restrained or faded), but still a highly drinkable IPA. I'll have to keep an eye out for a fresher bottle next time I'm down south and give this another go.

Photo of Gushue3
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- orange/yellow body with a slight haze, 1+ finger head. Great head retention that turns thick and foamy, lots of sticky lace left above a slab of foam.

S- flowers and citrus. smells like its gonna taste great.

T- sweeter bitterness up front. piney and citrus fill my mouth and the bitterness lingers long after the sip is gone. nice balanced beer, not too much or too little of anything

M- smooth and refreshing. nicely carbonated adds to the bitter taste.

D- very drinkble. theres 4 foot snowbanks outside but can imagine this is a perfect summertime IPA.

Photo of Dotcubed
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

My last bottle from a mixed box.

Stellar label.

Not big on ipa but always willing to try one.

Fizzy looking yellow stuff. Paler than i recall. Stable foam.

Aromatic, good mellow hop.
Certainly smoother than many other IPA, a delight.

Reminds me of a doubble simco ipa I love.

Bitterly plesant, lasting but not overpowering.
Medium to light body.

Photo of sdsurfer217
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark straw color. About a finger work of bright white head that hangs around. Little bit hazy. Left some lace marks on the glass

Aroma: I smell pine, almost tar. Little bit of citrus in the nose and spice in the nose.

Taste: Tastes almost reminiscent of a lemon curd roll. Little sweetness at the beginning, plenty of lemon through the middle and a tart finish. Left a piney/tar aftertaste. Little bit of toasted taste.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp feeling. Good amount of carbonation in my mouth.

Drinkability: A great IPA. Easy to smell the dry hops and it delivers in taste. Well balanced IPA with plenty of bitterness. I would buy this one again and drink it with any food or by itself.

Photo of ramseye4
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose usually pumps out fine representations of beer styles. let's see how their IPA stands out in an extremely crowded IPA market. Bottle has a humourous picture of two old dudes kicking back in front of a trailer with beer bottles scattered all over the yard. Me in 50 years? Finest kind indeed. Anyway, pours a bright golden color with a 2 finger head, tremendous lacing down the glass. Aroma is comprised of primarily of strong citrus hops, a bit of pine, slight biscuity malt, and a bit of grapefruit. Hop bitterness hits the tongue upfront, with smooth citrus fruit rolling nicely around the mouth. A faint trace of malt is present, this is a very hoppy beer. Good bitterness. A prototypical IPA. Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy, a good amount of bitterness. Drinkability is outstanding,dangerously slow, especially considering the good finish. A great example of an IPA. While I wouldn't put this into the "elite" category reserved for four or five near perfect IPAs, I would consider Finest Kind a great interpretation of the style.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A lovely pale orange pour with a nice creamy head, just the sort of look one wants from an IPA. Very strong nose of floral hops, sweet but not syrupy, and promising depth. Nice full mouthfeel, very drinkable but substantial nonetheless. Tasty citrus flavors complement the flowery sweetness of the hop, without making it too dry but balancing it all the same. Extremely well-balanced, complex but accessible. Among my favorite IPA beers - a cheap go-to beer that is widely available.

Photo of Erish
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet. Marked best before May 2011.

A: cloudy, orange-amber color with lots of particles in suspension: hops, yeast, both? The cream-colored head quickly falls into a scant but persistent cap with moderate lacing.

S: orange, ruby red grapefruit, pineapple(?), muffin-like sweetness, orange peel.

T: the bitterness hits early in this IPA, and lingers for the full duration of the tasting spectrum; lemon peel, orange peel, and finally some sweet grapefruit open up, the honey and citrus sweetness hits in the middle, and struggles to balance the bitterness, and just barely does, the finish is strongly grassy, piny, and finally aspirin-like.

M: medium-bodied, silky to slightly oily, moderate carbonation, mouth-coating astringent finish.

D: The astringent finish on this beer is a challenge for me. I am a black coffee, neat whiskey, and big tannin red wine kind of guy, so I am not afraid of a certain level of astringency. Honestly, I feel like I have chewed an aspirin after drinking this beer! I would love to try this beer fresh and on-tap, as I'm sure the citrus and tropical fruit shine through the aspirin!

Photo of LairdChisholm
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a nice, clear, golden color with a little over a one finger, cream colored head. There is really some excellent lacing with amazing retention. There are good sized carbonation bubbles heading to the top. One of the best looking IPAs I've ever seen.

S - Not the most pungent smelling, or the most complex, but the hops still back a little punch in the nose.

T - Some silky, and sweet lemons and citrus up front that gives way to a layer of heavy hops, that hit hard in the back of the mouth, that lives a bitter tastes lingering on. After that, the lemons make a nice appearance again. Very nice.

M - The persistent head helps a lot, but there is a good amount of carbonation to go along with it. Great.

D - I can swig these down pretty fast, a with a manageble ABV, this would make one of the best session IPAs out there.

Photo of AwYeh
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best by May '11... hoping its fresh enough to be at its peak.

A: Hazy golden-amber color; two finger head with great retention and beautiful lacing, all the way down the glass.

S: Traditional IPA smell: some citrus and pine hops alongside some caramel and biscuity malts. Slightly yeasty notes, and a floral aroma comes out with warmth.

T: Malt flavors stand out here more than those of the hops, but hop bitterness is stronger than malt sweetness (much to my enjoyment). Flavors include caramel, toffee, biscuits; grapefruit, more grapefruit, and spruce.

M: Moderate body/carbonation; mostly smooth, with a dry finish.

D: Decently drinkable; nothing is overbearing me or stopping me from wanting another glass.

If you're a first timer to the Smuttynose IPA, while I definitely enjoyed it, I would recommend their Shoals Pale Ale over this one.

Photo of Arinthos
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- cloudy and thick with abundance of unfiltered sediment throughout a solid 3 finger head that lasted a long time and solid lacing.

S- very hoppy full of that great citrus smell that I love so much about IPA's

T- the taste follows the nose pretty closely grapefruit hits the pallete.

M- Light carbonation and smooth very refreshing feel.

D- Very drinkable almost dangerously to drinkable This is without a doubt an ipa lovers ipa.

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 4,528 ratings.