1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

4,122 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,122
Reviews: 1,672
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 12.2%
Wants: 216
Gots: 365 | 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: 4,122 | Reviews: 1,672 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oldhippie247
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light golden with a fairly thin white head that dissipates to a thin layer quickly. Medium carbonation. This particular bottle has a ton of sediment for an American IPA, and even without that looks as though it might have a bit of haziness.

Hop aromas are predominately herbal and floral. A surprising whiff of something malty, almost oatsy. A bit muddled and clunky on the nose.

Malt balances the palate nicely once it warms a bit. Medium length bitter finish, with just a bit of citrus.

A great beer from a great brewery at a great price. I think the value outweighs any technical or even style preference flaws.

oldhippie247, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of brewdoc75
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard stories about this being great. When I saw a sixer in WI, I just had to pick it up.

A: Looks pretty solid with a beautiful orange color w/ a faint amber hue.

S: Fruity with beautiful citrus hops. The malts are there too, with just enough sweetness to balance it out. Very fragrant for a standard IPA. I'm really suprised how it has kept its aroma as the "drink by" date is April 14th.

T: Malts and hops married together in a perfect union. First the subtle sweetness of the malts are there with a hint of caramel. Fruity esters lead you into the hoppy greatness. I get a strong grapefruit bitterness that transitions into a citrus masterpiece. Tangerine and even some lime here. Really quite fantastic. What I envision the perfect IPA to taste like.

M: Lighter medium bodied. Finishes crisp and clean. Nice carbonation.

D: I must say this is one of the finest IPAs I've ever had. A perfect example of how you can have hops and malts together in an IPA. I'm growing tired of one-dimensional "beat you over the head" IPAs with nothing but hops. This beer has balance. This is something that I miss in my American IPAs. I wish I could get this in Minnesota. I will travel to Wisconsin often for this treat.

brewdoc75, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of markaberrant
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - glowing orange, mostly clear, tight white head, leaves some sticky lace

S - very clean, fresh citrus, lemon, grapefruit, light sweetness

T - bitter grapefruit, crackery malt with light sweetness, finish is longer lingering bitterness,

M - light bodied, low carbonation, smooth, some hop astringency which is not unpleasant, puckering/drying bitterness, gentle alcohol

D - oh hell ya, beers like these go down way too easy for me.

Simple. Solid. Another IPA that delivers. Nothing too extreme here, but a very fine IPA nonetheless. If I had it my way, beers like this would be considered everyday beers and available all over Canada, instead of just an occassional treat.

Best before is notched at March 09, but still tastes great. I can only imagine what a fresher sample would taste like.

Thanks to Viggo for the bottle!

markaberrant, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date says April 2009

A: The colour of the beer is golden with a nice fluffy head.

S: the nose on the beer is filled with floral hops and a slight spiciness (like chinook or something). The beer

T: The beer is quite bitter, but is balanced by a solid malt sweetness that is a tad bit bready. The hop flavours that come through are the floral hops and a spiciness. Quite tasty.

M: Medium mouthfeel and adequate carbonation.


swizzlenuts, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of bsend
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this beer from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

The beer poured a nice hazym dark yellow color. There was a slight shade of amber orange as well. A small one finger head stayed on the top of the beer for half of the drinking session.

The beer smelled wonderful. There was a nice mix of citrus and hop in this brew.

The taste goes really well for this brew. There is some grapefruit and pine flavored beginnings that break way to wonderful hops.

The mouthfeel is above average but feels a bit dry. This moves into the drinkability. I can definitely enjoy a few of these during the game and would definitely drink more, however at some point I would probably make a switch.

Final Thoughts - This is a great entry into the IPA genre from Smuttynose. I will definitely pick this brew up again. Recommended.

bsend, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by: March 09. This one is on the cusp.

The color is a gold to burnt orange. There are floaties in the beer that, as a homebrewer, do not scare me. I can smell the hoppy goodness from here. A nice foamy head settles into a super sticky lace.

Smells of lightly toasted nuts and malt, some caramel and a little light fruit. I really think my nose is broken, this should be huge with hops but perhaps they've dissolved with age.

Taste is bright, crisp and clean. Light to medium body with hops on full display but not too prominent so as to be annoying. Malty caramel perfectly balanced with the bitter hop resins finishes out the taste but the balanced taste of both lingers for you to contemplate which you taste more.

Mouthfeel is like a mans beer should be. A little sharp up front and full but lean in the middle with a tongue snapping taste tattoo in the end. Really nice.

Drinkability, yes. This is like a long weekend in the summer kind of beer. You will likely wear out your taste buds after 2-3 but a cracker and some water will have you wanting more. Good stuff.

"Finest Kind", indeed. I hope to find a fresher one to do an update sometime.

StrangeBrewer76, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of jimj21
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Twelve ounce bottle bought as part of a mixed twelve pack. Bottle marked as best by May 2009. Pours a golden orange color. Very hazy with some sediment. Tons of bubbles rising in the glass. Pour produces about two fingers of off white head. Decent retention and great lacing.

Smells mostly of citrus and light malt. Floral notes. Nothing too prominent. Seems reserved, even as it warms.

Lots of citrus upfront. Mostly grapefruit with some orange. Some sweet light malt to balance, as well as a little caramel. Finishes with flavors of pine and grass. Alcohol is only there with a little warming in the throat. Aftertaste is some bitter pine resin.

Mouthfeel is very good. Creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation. Dances on the tongue and is quite smooth.

One of the better regular IPAs I have had. Very balanced with great hop character. Available year round and at a decent price. I could definitely drink a number of these on any occasion.

jimj21, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of pinotboy007
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Vibrant, cloudy orange/amber with a nice, off-white sticky cap that drops to a collar. Lots of Belgian-like lace.

S - Grapefruit, marmalade, leather and pine.

T - Somewhat likes it smells with a very nice malty undertone; the hops are there for sure but don't clobber your tongue Very tasty!

M - Bracing but refreshing with a softness that makes this an intriguing IPA. The carbonation is modest.

D - Great for year 'round enjoyment, especially during the warmer months. Cheers!

pinotboy007, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of GJ40
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased at Nikki's in N Providence, RI. Bottle had a best by date of June 2009.

A - Golden and cloudy with suspended chunks of yeast (not quite what I expected from an IPA with a safe best by date). Very little head.

S - Nice toasted malt aroma and some fruity and floral hops. Not big but nice.

T - Toasted malt with bready and biscuity flavors balanced by some nice fruity and floral hops as well. Some citrusy hop bitterness too. Well done.

M - Very low carbonation (but it works well) and a moderate consistency.

D - I was a bit leery based on the suspended yeast chunks but this beer was very good. I'd love to try this stuff on tap.

GJ40, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of dasenebler
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. Best before 3/09, so I hope it's still good even though it's not as fresh as I wanted.

Slightly cloudy orange, very small head. Ring and film stick around for the drink. Nice aroma of fruit and citrusy hops, a little bit of musk.

Delicious flavor, even better mouthfeel. A very hoppy and bitter IPA for the medium-light body, which is fantastically creamy, buttery, and smooth. It fills the mouth beautifully with near perfect carbonation. Flavor is very piney, woody and bitter. Some malt sweetness, but the focus is big hop flavor. Very drinkable and totally satisfying. This is going to be a go-to for me. I can only imagine what it's like really fresh!

dasenebler, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of mempath
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

always loved a dense LOOKING brew...yet, bright (foggy) amber with nice head that settles not too fast leaving an artful, minimal lacing. just sitting there, it looks great.

smell is not blasting out like a boom box (which i like only in the nugget nectar's grapefruit kaboom) BUT this is really nice and has a moderate muscadine-citrus effect going on...i sense it being a perfect blend of hops and malt...there's more to it being layered...it's 3-dimensional and a smell i have to say is pretty stellar. i hope it repeats.

whoa...what is THAT taste. totally different and unexpected. yep, hoppy bitterness i would dream of...but what i always smell as 'grapefruit' actually tastes of it, though of course in hop terms. wow...another swallow reveals INTENSE hoppiness but barely a sense of malt...and it (leading to mouthfeel) is bright and crisp without any sense of heaviness...a little thin, but it seems to match the flavor profile just fine.

this seems to be one of the hoppiest, non-malty bottlings i've had so far. making this stand out a bit. one to return to and hopefully find it on tap. drinkable, for sure, but i admit, anyone not liking hops need to stay clear of this one.

one other thing...i think the weird, mysterious bitterness i am getting is MENTHOL? or eucalyptus...maybe juniper? extreme pine sap...?

edit addendum: i never like to read previous reviews when i am reviewing...interesting the previous reviewer mentions juniper...but i don't get the 'sweetness'...so, good to know (no criticism here!) that there is very close common ground on one count and extreme difference on another. a highly recommended brew worth staying in touch with. it will challenge your expectations.

mempath, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle best by June 2009 into an American pint glass.

A--Two finger dense creamy white head atop a cloudy yellowish apricot body. Good looking beer, especially if you like da yeast, as I do!

S--Sweetish, with pronounced grapefruit seed oils coming through with pine in the back. Lots of spruce roaming around the citrus. Not earthy or herbal flavors to speak of, so I'm guessing this is an American IPA in every sense of the word. Hops are big without being explosive and overruning or assaulting your nostrils.

T--Wowee dag. The sides of your mouth will pucker--no surprises here in terms of the hops, as more very sweet almost sugary maraschino cherries give way immediately to evergreen and more grapefruit seed. Weird kind of juniper thing going on I really like. The martini of beers? You decide (prolly not). Anyway, what I like best about this beer is that it's not hiding a crappy pale ale: the grain bill comes in about midway into the flavor profile and is for real. Wonderful biscuit malt juicing the center so you don't get worn out on the hops, and the yeast kind of smooths the hops toward the back of the tasting by making everything more bready.

M&D--Excellent on both fronts. There are not many IPAs I could stick with in a night. This is one of them. Restrained enough for palate stamina, flavorful enough to make you remember it--pretty much my ideal IPA. East coast represent!

TheycallmeTim, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 31 May 2008.

Medium sized tight head. Medium carbonation. Clear peachy color. Light aroma, hoppy, green leafy. Moderate malt throughout with slightly stronger grapefruit bitterness. Bittersweet aftertaste. Light body, warming finish.

Tasty and well balanced.

htomsirveaux, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a hazy amber with a fluffy, fine-bubbled head. Aroma is strong, evergreenish, and seriously hoppy, promising an excellent IPA. Flavor is ferociously hoppy so it is like drinking a pine tree - what I like in this kind of beer! Texture is edge and jazzy, yet smooth and pleasant, leaving a hoppy bitter aftertaste. Strongly recommended for IPA nuts!

Cyberkedi, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of irishtjb11
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this has been my favorite ipa for awhile, i haven't been able to actually rate it.

appearance is nice golden color, a great white fluffy head that laces all along the glass as the beer sinks. sometimes there is yeast floating aorund the beer, which i like.

the smell is filled with that classic hop smell. floral accents, with lots of grapefruit flavors and of course all the sweet scents that come along with hops.

taste is what i associate with for a great ipa. its not a west coast hop bomb, which i respect. its got a nice full, silky flavor. tons of grapefruit and hops on the palate. as it leaves the tongue it gets increasingly bitter.

irishtjb11, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of nickfl
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a two finger tall, white head. The body is a deep golden color and perfectly clear. The head has good staying power and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - Nice, citrus hop aroma, notes of orange and pineapple. Subtle bready malt in the background.

T - Sweet with strong hop flavor and bitterness. Malt sweetness mingles with fruity, citrus hops; lots of grapefruit with some pineapple. Some bready malt character comes out briefly in the middle before the hops overwhelm it in the finish. Strong bitterness lingers on the palate with a slight astringency and some tobacco like quality.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet, astringent finish.

D - Not bad, it has nice hop aroma qualities, but the bitterness is a bit rough. The finish is kind of harsh, and I can't help but think that some of the bittering hops could have been better used to increase the aroma and or flavor. Overall it drinks like a rougher, less pungent version of Stone IPA; which, all things considered, is still pretty good.

nickfl, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of penguinjive7
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange with a half inch of white head.

The smell of grapefruit is dominant smell with a bit of floral hops as well.

Man, what a hopbomb! Grapefruit hops explode on the tongue with just a bit of the floral hops showing up in the very dry finish.

The carbonation is not overpowering at all and actually works very well to complement the bitterness of the hops.

This is a huge IPA. Monstrous grapefruitiness makes this one of the more powerful IPAs out there. There is balrely any malt character to speak of which can be good or bad depending what you like. If you are a hophead, this is an absolute must-have.

penguinjive7, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of gatornation
3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this ipa pours a classic copper orange color with a small head a good lacing.. the smell is crisp hops grassy smells some herb and malt.. the taste is ok above average.. but to bitter tasting not because of the hops its just acidic tasting its ok with a malt finish.. i can drink this one i guess but there are dozens of other IPAS that are better.. smuttynose is worth a try and one i will buy as a single again but i dont need a sixer of this on hand

gatornation, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of Uwftke26.

A: Pours a hazy orange / apricot color with yellow tint when held to the light. A 1" thick head recedes into a light film and collar around the drink, proceeding to deposit thick gushes of lace down the glass as I drink.

S: A strong earthy / wheat smell assaults the nostrils first, with a secondary blast of pine and floral hops. Other reviews indicate I should be expecting grapefruit hops first and foremost, but I find it to be a secondary aroma mixed with hints of mango.

T: Initially, this tasted like a wheat beer with floral hops -- a terrible combination. As it warmed, the flavor profile changed and brought out additional sensations. It still retained a wheat / grassy base, with a hop profile dominated by floral and pine notes, but a fainter citrus hop base and light fruity mango sweetness was detected. The malt was almost nonexistent -- maybe a light biscuity taste. The finish was all hop bitterness that lasted long into the aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied with low to medium carbonation.

D: Not impressed at all. I've had much better IPAs. The taste was imbalanced and unimpressive. The "Best by" date is July 2009, so I doubt it's bad, and it doesn't smell skunked. It just tasted like a botched wheat beer, and I have very little interest in the flavor. This was my only bottle and I right now I don't plan to trade for more. But I'll give it another shot in the future, since my experience doesn't match anyone else's. I feel I must have just gotten a bad one.

Arbitrator, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of JamesS
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light copper color, but with some nice head and decent lacing. Nice scent, very balanced leaning towards citrus hops. Overpowered hoppy taste, very little malt, a lot of hops that comes off a bit strong and rough. Nice scent, a rough taste, but I would drink more of it, although there are better out there.

JamesS, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
2.3/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Best by July 2009.

Poured a nice light orange color with a really nice light white head that was well retained and provided nice lacing throughout the drink.

It gave off a nice hoppy aroma with some hints of pine and floral notes.

The beer started with a good hoppy flavor, but the beer finished with an unexpected metallic flavor that stayed with me long after the beer was gone. The aftertaste completely turned me off to the beer. I almost poured it out.

The beer had a medium body, it was smooth, but the drinkability took a huge hit with that bitter metallic aftertaste. I did not enjoy this one as much as expected given the rating. Also, the beer did not taste well with spicy food. Overall, given the rating I may try this beer again, but not for awhile.

PhillyStyle, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Best before date of Aug 09 notched on the label. Pours an orangish golden yellow color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is a lot of citrusy hops (lots of grapefruit particularly) and other tropical fruits as well. I feel that the aroma is a little subdued for an IPA but it is definitely a solid aroma.

T- The taste is an in your face palate wrecking hop explosion that overshadows a pretty decent malt backbone as well. The malt is a mere afterthought though, the hops clearly steal the show with this one.

M- The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium bodied with a really nice texture and a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Smuttynose IPA is a really solid IPA that I really enjoyed. Highly Recommended.

cjgator3, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of scottbrew4u
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden color with a light orange sunset like color. Some sediment added a murky condition but otherwise good clarity. Fine tan head was thick and not easy to dissipate.
S: Spicy, herbal, and citrus hops in the forefront. Fresh cut grass, some pine sap and ripe apricots in a nice blend. Roasted malt aroma is faint but present.
T: Bitter citrus, pine, and herbal hop flavors hit hard and fast. Sharp and intense are the hop flavors and they border an imperial IPA level. Bready roasted malt undertone is overshadowed by the hops. It allows a small amount of sweetness to announce itself.
M: Crisp medium body beer with a noticeable alcohol breath.
D: Fresh tasting and satisfying a thirst on a warm day. A must try for hop heads. Too bitter for my tastebuds because I can not taste other flavors in beer after this one, but to have more of these is ok.

scottbrew4u, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of BrewerB
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Damian for the hookup on this beer. Cheers!

A - Poured into a nonic pint glass. Light orangish-golden color with a half-finger off-white head that is holding up well and leaving a small amount of lacing on the glass. Slightly hazy.

S - Wonderfully prominent hop nose with a variety of aromas. Initially I picked up a little mango. Next, grassy and some herbal character, too. Clean malt, low to no esters.

T - Crisp, hop-forward flavors that leaned towards grassy and herbal. The malt backbone is making itself none too with a light cracker character. The moderately-high level of bitterness isn't apparent up front but creeps up gradually in the middle and finish. Long-lingering bitterness persists into a crisp, dry finish.

M - Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Smooth.

D - This is certainly a testament to IPA balance. As opposed to cracking you over the head with hops and nothing to fall back on, this beer has a great malt backbone offering up a hint of cracker and a firm, clean foundation for the grassy/herbal hops. Excellent. I could easily consume a few pints.

BrewerB, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of thegodfather2701
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-This beer is a beautiful golden color. It has a small white head that lasts nearly the entire time. The only negative is that there is alot of sediment floating around which may bother some people.

S-The nose isn't overpowering but consists of grapefruit and a touch of honey.

T-The taste is phenomenal. The hops make themselves present from the beginning. The hop bitterness lingers on for a while, but thats not a bad thing. It has a dry finish.

M-Somewhat thin and slightly carbonated.

D-I think this is a very drinkable beer. It is not too hoppy like other ipa's I've had and at 6.6% alcohol this could still be a session beer.

Overall this is a wonderful ipa. I absolutely love it, I consider it my favorite ipa. One of the most amazing qualities of this beer is its lacing. Everyone one I have drank has left a beautiful lacing covering the entire glass, simply remarkable. I highly recommend this beer.

thegodfather2701, Mar 05, 2009
Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 4,122 ratings.