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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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4,534 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,534
Reviews: 1,728
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 264
Gots: 631 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,534 | Reviews: 1,728
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.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice bronze color with a one finger head and some nice foam retention. Standard bubbling and lots of sediment, not a bad thing of course.

The aroma is a clean hop, on the sharper side of the orange peel spectrum. A little grass clippings spinkled on there for good hoppy measure. The malts just add a little dry barley powder to off-set some of the hops.

The taste has nice rounded edge sharpness of a little lemon and lime juice blended with the toasted orange peel. The malt has a dry bread crust and a little caramel.

The palate is bitter, dry, astringent, and really sets a nice standard for all AIPAs to follow or strive for. Bitterness, palate cleansing and full of refreshing flavor.

Photo of seedsofchaos
2.43/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Received as an extra from ubufan2112. Bottle marked best before April 2011.

At first pour in my glass the first thing that ran through my mind was, "Man, that's a great looking head!" Fluffy and nearly white it reminds me of cumulus clouds on a bright summer day. Head fades to nothingness quickly and unfortunately enough. Lacing is present but nothing fantastic. Let's see what this highly rated honey-hued bad boy tastes like.

First smell is a let-down. Very biscuity with no discernable hop aroma. A bit of caramel and toffee comes through behind a healthy dollop of beer skunkiness. Light struck? Tastes like it. Resinous pine bitterness permeates the mouth. I like pine in conjunction with other hops but this is overwhelming. Pine needles, grassy bitterness and skunk take centerstage with coriander, orange peel and grapefruit rind notes somewhere way in the back... I think to myself, this can't be how it's supposed to taste... Right?

Mouthfeel seems like it could be smooth enough but pine and bitter hold onto my mouth and astringency grips at my throat. Definitely not a beer that I would want more than one of... Ever... I sure hope this isn't the way the brewer intendedl

Photo of argenti44
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. served in a large mug. Served at 38*

A: The bottle poured sunshine orange with a slight sign of sediment. No head at all and no lacing.

S: Very prominent Pine aroma with a hint of citrus in the background. Reminded me of the strong sent of hydroponic marijuana.

T: Up front there was Pine followed by lime and a strong finish of the same pine. It also reminded me of Marijuana.

M: Tingley

D: Wonderful I got it in a build your own 6er. I want to go out and get a 12 pack for the weekend. It is a nice Spring or early Summer brew.

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a stein

A: pours a nice golden color with a slight amount of sediment, pours with ample white head, leaves a nice amount of lacing

S: nice hop character with a slight citrus scent

T: slight hop notes as well as a very nice citrus note with a slight amount of depth

D/M: smooth on the pallet with a nice lingering depth on the pallet, slight carbonation tingle

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

A - Bright orange body, quite cloudy but it appears pretty clean at the same time. It has a suddy white head with good retention and quite decent lacing.

S - Pine, grapefruit, has tropical notes (citrus). Heavy on the hops.

T - Much the same as the smell, pine dominates with notes of grapefruit. There are more subtle tropical flavours of citrus, and not much malt to be found.

M/D - Smooth mouthfeel with a medium to light body. Excellent drinkability, would gladly have a few of these.

Photo of Satchboogie
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (Best by May '11) poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass

A: Pours golden pale yellow, hazy, one inch bubbly white head that quickly dissipates to a thin bubbly froth.

S: A little grapefruit, lemon peel, and pine. The aromas are a bit hard to pickup, faint. Biscuity malt with a tiny bit of sulphur.

T: Bitter grapefruit, lemon peel, and pine hops. Not that fruit, by not quite just pine either. Very astringent and resiny. A fairly strong backbone of pale caramel malt that gives it just enough sweetness to make the fruit flavors quite juicy, but not too sugary. Smooths out in the middle to a bitter pine finish with just a little lemon (maybe pepper too) in the background. There's a bit of floral esters that gives it a slightly Earthy flavor and has just a tiny bit of grain to it. Seems a little buttery in the background. Alcohol is fairly well hidden. It seems that from bottle to bottle I get anywhere from just a little soapiness to practically drinking hand soap. Not sure why, but it doesn't seem the most consistent flavor. There's a hint of sulphur.

M: Medium carbonation, close to fully body. Very chewy, fairly viscous and almost syrupy. Lots or pine resin and hop oils. Finish is very dry and bitter. Heavy for an IPA, but I'm liking it.

D: It's pretty bitter, resiny, and can be soapy so it's not the easiest IPA to drink. When you have a nice fresh bottle, this can be great though.

NOTE: I didn't want to completely review, but I recently had a 3-week fresh bottle and it was again a different experience: more grapefruit, no soapiness, and the best taste yet. I guess this is one that can fall off quite quickly. Luckily I can always get it very fresh.

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RBlaszak for sending this beer as an extra.

The beer pours a golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the florally hops with some citrus mixed in. There is also a little bit of bready malt in the aroma.

The flavor is heavy on the grapefruit, apricot and floral hops. There is a low to medium amount of bitterness which is complimented nicely by the malt backbone. The citrus notes are fairly juicy and make the beer very easy to drink.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice IPA.

Photo of patriot76
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Copper, orange color with a great 1 inch thick head. Sediment floats around a mildly cloudy brew. Great lacing.

S- Floral hops and malt. Also some apricot and grapefruit. Very nice.

T- Stong hop bitterness but not overwhelming. The taste immediately goes to the back of the palate. You have a nice pairing of hops and malt going on here. Very well balanced with a full mouth experience. A grapefruit like finish.

M- The back of the palate is the main player in this game. From start to finish the taste rests there. During the initial face there is smoothness, then sharp bittness takes over; nice transition.

D- Overall this is a very nice IPA to drink. It initially is tasty and well balanced. That being said the lingering grapefruit bitterness was unreal. It was as if I slugged down a whole gallon of grapefruit juice, it just wouldn't stop. After a while the lingering bitterness took on the role of an aftertaste. If the lingering bitterness were a bit more subdued I would have given it about as high a rating as possible.

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, presented with thin white frothy head, and a great golden, copper color.

Smell is piney hops. Slightly resony. Followed by a nice roasted maltness.

Taste is mild malt roasted flavors with piney hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is just what you expect for this beer, nicely bitter but enough balance to make it greatly drinkable

Great drinkability, flavors are just right. One of a few ipas you could drink all night.

Photo of shand
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint.

Pours a hazy orange-straw colour with a finger's worth of head that retains decently and laces very well. HOPS!!! The aroma is head to toe hoppy goodness! They're very complex hops, with some citrus and floral aspects. A very good smelling beer. Unfortunately, it doesn't taste quite as good as it smells, but it's still a great tasting IPA. It's not aggressively hoppy, it's a mix between hops and malts. Thankfully, the malts aren't very sweet and there's some serious grapefruit rind to help bitter it even more.

The mouthfeel is just thick enough to hit the seriously drinkable edge, and the fact that the malts hit first make it extremely drinkable, this didn't last very long in front of me. 7% ABV? Could have fooled me, this is very drinkable. A great IPA from Smuttynose, I'm excited to try more beers from this brewery.

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

Last bottle of my six pack; best by 3/11. Figured I should drink this sooner.

A: Floaties! Smells to be a common occurrence with Finest Kind. It turned me off at first but I've come to expect it now. Honeyed amber with great lacing. Started off real foamy but quickly died off. Small stream of bubbles.

S: Grapefruit peel and hop resin. Also...mustard? After a swirl some sweet biscuit malts come forward. I know for a fact this one is much more pungent fresh, but its still no slouch right now either.

T: Wonderful grapefruit juice flavor battles the malt backbone, but in the end the winner is pure hop bite. Again, this is normally much fruitier fresh, but its pretty surprising how bitter it is and stays. I wish I knew the IBU's on this thing, it has quite a bitter finish.

M: Nice full mouthfeel; I still kick myself for not having this on cask the one time I saw it. Medium carbonation makes sure you get the bitter finish throughout your entire mouth.

D: I've drank an entire six pack in one sitting before when it was fresh. Full disclosure, this is my favorite local IPA. I can see how at this point in time someone might find the bitter finish a little much though so I'll have to dock it for that.

I will have to remember to review the next fresh bottle I get. One of my favorite locals with one of my favorite labels. Who doesn't love Cy and Paul whooping it up?

Photo of mshannon
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- looks and smells like citrus, attractive
S- grapefruit, sweet pine, lots of hops and a hint of alcohol
T- same fruit and pine, some grass, kind of like eating fresh hops
M- thick, smooth and bubbly, oily
D- just plain good, wonderful example of the style, I'd get it again

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

Appearance: Brilliant golden orange color. Cloudy with sediment. Nice white head that sticks around.

Aroma: Very strong sweet citrus. Some sweetness from the malts.

Taste: Very bitter and citrusy hop flavor dominates with some nice grapefruit notes. Nice caramel and bready malt backbone. Very slight alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and full-bodied. Perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer is a fine example of how an American IPA should be brewed. Nice solid hop bite that assaults the palate with a nice malt backbone. This beer is almost like drinking liquefied hops. A top-notch brew!

Photo of DrStiffington
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, it's about time I reviewed one of these. It poured with a large head and had a nice, hazy, light amber color. There were some rings laced around the glass as I drank this. The taste follows the smell, with some nice, but not overpowering, citrus. This is probably my favorite IPA for the price. You can't go wrong with this one!

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

Poured into plastic cup at Great Wolf Lodge in Cincy, but this is the first time in OH to buy Smuttynose and Great Lakes, so I'm not waiting for a special glass.

Great bronze, apricot color and solid inch head. Smell is great combo of citrus and pine, everything you'd expect.

Taste is classic IPA, a little malt, a little biscuit, a lot of hops. This has an extremely bitter finish, a slight bit oily.

I expected a lot from this IPA and it delivered on all fronts, wish they could extend dist into Indiana.

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

Purchased at Wegmans in Warrington, PA.
Purchase price: $9.99/6pk
Served and enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.
I'd seen this beer on the shelf several times before and being an IPA fan, I decided to give it a try.

A - Pours with a frothy, one finger head that disapated after a few minutes to a thin white head. Cloudy, opaque amber color that is a result, I would assume, of the unfiltering. A great amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass as I drink it down.

S - Familar grapefruit, citrusy smell that I associate with most IPAs. Nothing that says "wow" right off the bat.

T - The smell really doesn't give a good indication of just how good this beer is! Tons of flavors (lots of citrus, floral and pine flavors.) What is really nice is that this beer is also pretty damn hoppy! Really nice bitterness but it isn't overpowered by the hops at all. Good balance of hops and malt.

M - Well carbonated with a distinctive hop bite at the end of each taste.

D - A top-notch IPA for sure. The alcohol, although not terribly high to begin with, is barely noticeable. This could be a session beer in my opinion but probably I'll stick to simply savoring one or two at a time. I like it quite a bit since it's not overly sweet like some other IPAs I've tasted.

Overall: A great example of an American IPA. There are tons of IPAs out there and since I really enjoy them, I've sampled quite a few. This would rank as one of the better ones that I have tried for sure. Highly recommended and I'll be purchasing again, for sure, in the future.


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

This beer was served in a pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is apricot colored. The head is a thick white coloration. The head stands up to my mustache test. Rings of lacing wrap around my glass.

Smell: Citrus hops and zest combine with a pleasing pine aroma.

Taste: Subdued caramel malt wraps around biscuits layered with a bright citrus marmalade spiked with oily pine hops. This beer is very well executed. Very well balance!

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The body of the beer is medium. The carbonation plays out well. Flavors of the beer are long lasting. Very good balance between hops and malt. This is a classic IPA. Glad to see this one in the Cincinnati market.

Photo of TCgoalie
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to zoso1967 for this one.

Pours a standard straw yellow with a good deal of carbonation present. The head pours 1 finger thick and lasts throughout my consumption. Lacing is very good for a bottled beer. If someone handed this to me, I would think it was a from a draft.

Plenty of piney hops in the nose with musty malts showing balance.

Lemon, orange, and pine hops provide decent bittering against sufficient bready malts in the backend. I can taste a bit of the mustiness in which I was smelling.

Medium in the mouth with a touch of creaminess. I feel some bitter drying in the end.

This is a very drinkable and solid brew. I would gladly have this again.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy apricot orange with a dense, soapy head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is biscuit malt, and an unusual yeasty funk. Citrus hop shines through along with some alcohol warmth.

Taste is more of the biscuit malt from the nose. Light citrus fruit- pineapple and melon. Hints of tobacco. Dry and musty. Finishes with a lingering mineral quality.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with some hop oil residue.

Overall, a flavorful APA. Certainly worth a try.

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 4,534 ratings.