1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,403 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,403
Reviews: 1,701
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 253
Gots: 528 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-12-2004

You could say, then, that Smuttynose IPA is a physical salute to the glory of the American hop grower. The citrusy hop flavor coming from a mixture of Simcoe and Santiams is pleasantly balanced by a smooth bitterness from the Amarillo hops. The beer itself is light bodied and crisp with a golden color that will throw a slight haze, as we bottle it unfiltered. At 75 IBU's, this is definitely not a training-wheels IPA, but is meant for hop lovers looking to satisfy their craving in a way that's not easy to find. We think they’ll be quite pleased.

75 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,403 | Reviews: 1,701 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MeisterBurger
2.97/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The label says it's unfiltered and boy do I believe it. This pours out an astonishing amount of floaties. It looks like sea monkeys are living in my beer. I'm guessing this is a sign of collapsed proteins, a clear a sign of an overaged beer. Damn. The color is a murky golden brown topped by a 1.2" foamy head that lays down nice spots of lacing.

The neck label also says it's dry hopped. Neck label lies. The aroma is mostly grainy and in no way hoppy. The best before date says it's good until a notch between A and M of just past 10. Might it be too late already, with April 2010 just over a month away, and this coming from an unrefrigerated shelf somewhere in Buffalo? As it warms it's almost...earthy. Musty like a wet basement in the most humid days of August? Meh. Smuttynose indeed. Some caramel does come out as well, but at this point it's too little, too late.

Luckily it tastes way better that it smells, though with a modest amount of bitterness for an IPA, again likely due to the lack of freshness. Lots of grapefruit and tropical fruits with (weak though it is) a sticky, leafy, resiny bitterness that clings to every corner of the mouth.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation and very creamy, all of which makes this go down easy.

This was a strange one for me. The aroma was off-putting and yet it tasted pretty good. But it wasn't at its freshest. Knowing this in some ways I feel it might not be fair to review this beer, but they came up with the best before date of April 2010, not me. For me the experience was a strong argument for putting bottled-on dates on IPAs rather than best-before dates.

Photo of brewbasterd
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden hue with yeast particle suspended throughout and a slightly off white head. Lots of citrus fruit on the nose and a little bit of sweetness. An almost perfect blend of flavoring and bitter hops with a sweet malt backbone, bright citrus upfront and a mouth puckering bitter finish. Dry mouthfeel and a medium body, flavors stick to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter. This is a tremendous brew that nails it, a great beer all around.

Photo of josefnewsong
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a clear, light golden orange with a decent amount of head that leaves lacing like crazy
S - ooo...smells a bit musty. skunky isn't the word but it has something a little different in there...like if BO smelled good it would smell like that. Definitely the hops but possibly yeast as well. I like it
T - at first it was a bit unbalanced, the hops dominating everything with a citrus/grapefruit flavor with a lot of earthiness. Good flavors, but unbalanced. Then as the beer warmed the malts came out and the hops became a little bit more subdued. That's when this ale came to life for me.
M - medium bodied, smooth, sticky, well-carbonated. All around good.
D - definitely drinkable

*This brew was significantly different on tap than in a bottle, neither better nor worse. I would say that I remember the bottled version being more "standard" IPA and the draft version standing out a bit more.

Photo of buschbeer
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to two inches of off white head. It is is orange in color and has some yeast floating around in it. It smells sweet and citrusy, orange , lemon, grapefruit. The taste, however, is all grapefruit. I prefer a grapefruit taste to a pine taste, which is odd considering I like gin. It's a nice IPA, but the grapefruit taste is a little too much for my liking.


Photo of joemeister
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just had some of this with my brother.

Pours with a frothy head, leaving minimal lace. The beer looks almost syrupy or viscous and it has very small bits of suspended sediment. Color is a cloudy amber.

The beer has a very nice hoppy aroma. A strong vein of pine and orange shines through.

This is undoubtedly an IPA. The hops offer a great floral bitterness with a smoother pine/orange finish. Carbonation is relatively mild and the beer has a medium-thin body. The aftertaste is an unmistakable bouquet of apricot-like hops. This is a satisfying execution, and it does the IPA style justice. I could easily go through three or four of these; although I do wish the hops had a *little* more bite (my brother and I prefer in-your-face liquid agression). But overall, the flavor profile is very, very well-balanced.

Photo of mkyle
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- a nice golden hue, similar to a a light apple cider. mild sediment is visible. weak to moderate lacing properties.sustains the head for about 2 minutes.

Smell- dominant hoppy aroma overshadows the sweetness of the beer. the balance favors the hops.

Taste- bitter hoppy taste. mildy acid tasting in the mouth. good sustain on the aftertaste. aftertaste has a hint of pine flavor, probably from the dry hopping. The
composition of the taste really lets you appreciate the flavor of whatever hops are used to brew this beer.

Mouthfeel- not an agressive beer at all. goes down very smooth. good balance of smoothness with hoppy taste.

Drinkability- good drinkability. the final swig really brought out the true bitterness of this brew. overall, definitely a hop-biased beer but not over the top.
respectable balance. i appreciate this beer.

Photo of JohnL9013
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Typical golden IPA color. Deep glowing awesomeness, excellent head with lacing included.

S: Excellent hop nose showcasing quite a large quantity of hops used in the brewing process. The smell is clean, citrusey, and pungent, as it should be.

T: This is at the top end of "IPA" and nearing the bottom end of "DIPA". Extremely strong, extremely delicious. I was floored by how the sweet, tangy, and bitter flavors mingled and separated in my mouth. This IPA is truly a cut above the rest. Oh, and the hops are insanely good, and there's loads of em.

M: Nearly perfect, low carbonation, extremely smooth and fresh.

D: I could drink this stuff all night. A fine brew.

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

12oz bottle into glass

A- Pours a Cloudy golden orange with a slight yellow hue. Thinner white head on top that leaves a few blotches of lacing but nothing to crazy. A bit of sediment floats about in my glass but i'm not complaining haha Adds to the look and flavor IMO. That's how you know it's a good brew!

S- Floral hops up front with a slight citrus. Getting some fruits in the backround, possibly mango, pineapple, or some kind of orange or tangerine.

T- Delicious hops hit you first with a sweet citrus backround belended with possibly some tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, or tangerine. Can't quite put my finger on the flavor but man is it good.

M- Medium to light body that holds a slight bitter with every sip. After it goes down the carbonation hits your tounque and a bit of dryness comes out. But not to much

Overall this is a really great I.P.A. I'd recommend it to anyone.


Photo of tchurchill7
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

How have I not ever reviewed this beer? I think this beer began my true odyssey into IPAs back about 5 years ago. Once you taste a fabulous beer, your next adventure becomes finding out what is even better, sometimes forgetting the old friend that is your first. My road has come full circle. I've found many delicious IPAs, but I'll be damned if I can find one better than Smuttynose Finestkind IPA. Citrusy, chewy, and hoppy as all get out. Yet, that honeylike malt flavor is just amazing. And floaties? I love 'em. So consistent, and so easy to find fresh and cheap in central MA. I'm back in love....

Photo of albertjr21
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A cloudy unfiltered haze can be seen up close in its golden amber color under an inch of moderately dense head.

Initial smell and mouthfeel were loaded with citrus flavor and grapefruit bitterness in particular.

Very Hoppy. Great drinkability. Quite refreshing.

Photo of sitarist
4.89/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, best by date June-10.

A- Pours a golden/honey color. Short white head, fades to patches and a ring. Lacing is pretty heavy. Lots of floaters.

S- Lemon-heads, pine, powdered sugar, citrus notes. I also smell a Belgian like yeast. For everything sour there is a sweet counter.. I cant believe this is an IPA.

T- Orange rind, pineapple, something almost minty/menthol. You can taste a nice yeasty, sourdough funk. The best IPA that Ive had.

M- Wet, medium body, carbonation is right on and dances on your tongue. Not to thin not to sticky. The beers bitterness does not effect its wonderful finish.

D- Its bitter but balanced. For me this is as close to perfect a beer can be.

F.T.- One of the best beers that Ive ever had, the best IPA. The yeast really took this to another level.

Photo of Polifemo
4.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Alibis in Carlisle, PA. Golden color, light carbonation. Some sticky lace left behind with each sip. This beer is hard to sip, though. Aroma is pungent, with grapefruit, pine, peaches and marihuana. Flavor is luscious sweetness spiked with bitterness and suffused with the same elements that are found in the aroma. Very drinkable. Tangy, lip-smacking finish. Like smoking marihuana while chewing peach-flavored bubblegum. A highly entertaining beer to drink. A veritable circus of flavor.

Photo of jameswaldo
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm drinking my way slowly through a sixpack best before April 2010. I love having those happy plaid-shirted dudes on their lawnchairs laughing at me every time I open the fridge, and hope to keep at least a few fresh bottles in there at all times. One of my favorite IPAs for sure.
Before pouring bottle, make sure to gently stir up sediment so yeast and chunks of hops all get from bottle into a pint glass.
If you're lucky a bit of hop flower will show up in your dense lumpy head, where the gorgeous home-brew look of unfiltered hopped from head to toe IPA will reward a moment's appraisal.
Definitely worth sniffing for what beer should smell like: hops and yeast and alcohol so huge I don't feel malt but don't miss it either. Taste is a tangled complication of every kind of hop you'd want: bitter balancing floral, sweet and turpentiney piney too.
Mouthfeel like a bagful of fierce pussycats carefully holding their claws in paws: tickles hairy happy hop tingling yowl yummy. Fumes of hop aftertaste persist longer than glass can stay full. Makes me want a chart for my tongue: where are all these tastes fitting? How many flavors of bitter can you possibly taste?
I just love this brew. Fridge must always have it. If it were less expensive and brewed closer to home, I'd drink more of it more often.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours mostly clear though there were some suspended bits seen. A light yellow/orange color with a small head that dissipated within 90 seconds, leaving no lace.
Smell is hops foremost, then malt, citrus, some pine and wheat. Decent balance.
Taste is hops taking the lead with a strong resin aspect. Very light malt and spice. Citrus just not here.
Hops is biting, almost harsh. It arrives with plenty of attitude. Fairly dry with a somewhat mellowing hop finish and a hint of grape late. Medium-light body, good effervescence. Altogether, pretty good though I think I would have preferred it with some complimentary food rather than by itself.

Photo of devilben02
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Finestkind IPA written as a set of patent claims:

1. A potent potable comprising:
twelve fluid ounces of an India pale ale (IPA) having a yellow-orange color, a thin, fizzy head, and a plurality of small floating particles suspended therein;
wherein the aroma of said IPA comprises one or more hop characteristics selected from the group consisting of earthy, piney, and citrus;
wherein the flavor of said IPA comprises an initial earthy hop bitterness and a successive brightness of a grapefruit and orange citrus hop character, said hops being at least partially balanced by a bready maltiness; and
wherein said IPA is refreshing, but still provides a sticky bitterness that lingers on the tongue.

2. The potent potable of claim 1, wherein said IPA is drinkable, satisfying, and a solid representative of the style.

Photo of travduke
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden body, 2 finger head with lacing that sticks down the entire pint glass. Lovely.

Smell: Citrus hops surround my nose with hints of floral. Lot of fruity esters in this one.

Taste: Just like the smell but a lot more hop foward. This beer defines what an American IPA should be.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smuttynose's flagship IPA shows the classic character of the style, but doesn't relegate its balance to assertive malt presence, but rather adds complexities from soft esters and alcohol complexes instead.

Their "Finest Kind" pours lightly golden and with the signature dry-hopped haze and sediment for more hoppy goodness. It builds a stark- white head that nearly billows to the rim of the glass- showing off its elevated carbonation. As the froth settles into blanketed coat, it laces the glass with decorative random patterns. Its simply a very appetizing IPA, even to the eye.

Hop-heavy on the nose with bold citrus fruits of grapefruit, orange zest, lemons, pineapples, and tropical medley; the beer's perfumy and floral upstart is supported by light caramel malts that provide a juicy, vine-ripened sweetness to the citrus and tropical notes but never try to rival the hop aromas.

And the beer's hop-centric taste is consistent from its aromatics: citrus, tropical fruits, and fresh-cut grass on the early and middle palate leaves behind an ultra resiny pine bitterness to finish. Fruity esters give a sweet alcohol note of rose and spice. Interestingly, these flavors amplifies the sweetness as it seems to smooth out its bitter bite. Again, caramel malts provide firm underpinnings for the hop display but they never get in the way. The beer is simply an exhibition of American hops.

Crisp, clean, and playfully malty up front, the caramelly grains give way soon after the initial taste, allowing the hop character of bitterness, dryness, and bite to carry the beer deep into the finish and aftertaste. It's a true thirst-quencher.

Finest Kind is a quintessential IPA with a complex hop mix, crisp and understated hops, and noticeable esters and alcohols. Consistent and through from nose to finish.

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

Pours a pale-ish golden colour, with a light haze, and a pleasantly generous head, sinks in spots but nice and dense on top, white, with visible webbed bubbles around the edge. Leaves nice specks of lace around. Nice looker.

Nose is a nicely hoppy affair, lots of fruit and floral characters, with rosewater, citrus and passionfruit providing the majority of aroma. A fairly tartaric character as well, with sweet hints of sherbet and musk as well. Yeah, that rosewater makes it really quite sweet, but well tempered by more citric hop characters.

Taste has a goodly amount of malt at first and providing a backbone throughout. Rich molasses on there without it being too sweet. Bitterness hits early and continues throughout. An impressive American hoppiness with lots of citrus, orange zest and a bit of mandarin on there as well. Slight grassy notes and hints of medicinal phenols towards the back. Bitterness is not overpowering, with hints of tanginess on there, but little of the sweetness lingering. Very pleasant IPA, frankly though not all that distinctive, just pleasant, nicely used hops. A solid effort.

Feel is nicely full and textured, a bit fuzzy with nice bubbles and a nice, interesting roughness to complement the bitter flavours. Very pleasant.

Photo of SteveS1
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, Smuttynose, I love your malty, robust big beers, but will I love your IPA?

From the bottle to a stout glass:

Look- an orange hue, and wait, what the heck is floating in there? Sediment in my bottled IPA? This is something else... Tall frothy white head.

Smell- Glorious bitter hops, orange citrus

Taste- Tasty sweet citrus on the tongue, clean hops finish. Bitter hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- A bit thick for an IPA, but smooth. I suspect it would be smoother had I chilled it more.

Drinkability- If you like IPAs, this is a fine example and plenty easy to drink. If you don't like the style, be warned, the bitterness is up there.

Photo of imaguitargod
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Finally available in Ohio so I picked up one of these much talked about IPAs. Poured to a 1 finger head and the beer is golden in color and with loads of carbonation. There’s a hint of 2-Row malt up front and after that it’s nothing but hoppy goodness. I want to say there’s some Cascade there but the after taste is something else, very grassy which I’m not sure if I like it or not. It’s a good IPA otherwise.

~Jonathan Passow

Photo of nhopkin
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle marked Best Before March 2010, poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous golden orange with a slightly off white head. A tiny bit of haze (some lees I think at the very end of the pour) and lots of vigorous tiny bubbles. The head is epic, creamy and solid and leaves behind a lot of sticky lacing.

Smell: Clean citrusy hops, pine, and herbs in the nose. A hint of orange and grapefruit, along with sweetness from the malt. Fairly restrained but classic American IPA aroma profile. Doesn't blast you in the face, but it lets you know of the ensuing deliciousness.

Taste: Starts out with some herb and junipery hop flavor. It's backed up by a subtle biscuit malt background, some restrained sweetness, and a lot of bitter hop. The bitterness lingers. Alcohol is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Sublime. Not harsh at all, drinks sooo smooth, with just a tinge of carbonation bite.

Drinkability: Fantastic. If it weren't for the deceptively strong alcohol content I would session these all night. Who am I kidding, I just got into grad school. Three sheets to the wind, three cheers for Smuttynose IPA!!

I've had by far more IPAs than any other style and this is my favorite.

Photo of augustgarage
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!). Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Best before May, 2010.

Hazy orange peel body with rich soapy ivory lacing. Fairly thick and quite sticky lacing.

Lightly toasted malt, red delicious apples, and soft floral notes in the nose. Very slightly "catty" as it warms.

Sweet, delicate (pilsner?) malt leads leisurely into a dry fruity bitterness characterized by alfalfa, grapefruit, evergreen, and dandelion greens with a hint of orange. Earthy finish with touches of leaves - tastes like an Autumn day. Apples return in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied, soft yet bristley, and moderately carbonated.

A little sweet overall, and not as hop-forward as most IPAs. The balance reminds me a bit of certain Northwest IPAs, but using Amarillo, Simcoe, etc. rather than C-hops.

Always interesting to get to sample regional takes on "American" styles.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light orange colour, with an enormous and frothy head of bright white bubbles. Lacing is sticky and persistent. Looks very nice indeed, really, really tasty.

Big fruity hop explosions on the nose, lots of pineapple, passionfruit, citrus and melon rind. Bursting with flavour and very robust. A slight hint of diacetyl is a little offputting, but it's certainly overwhelmed by the other luscious flavours. Very nice.

Big robust hops bitterness wells from very early on the palate - a strong, resinous bite, slightly more phenolic than the crisp and slightly fruity west coast note. Carbonation is fine and tingling, which accentuates the bitterness. It really strips back the body and the sweetness so the bitter hoppiness is front and centre.

It's a clear, robust, no-holds-barred beer this one. It's unapologetic in its flavour profile, and that creates a beer worth of respect. A very good IPA - one I'll drink again.

Photo of goatgoat
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks GrittyMug345 for the opportunity.

Dated best before April, 2010. Poured into a pint.

Pours a honeyed gold. An off-white head falls in space of time I would call just on the long side of quick. No lace. Aroma is sweet and citrus, like candied grapefruit. Flavor starts off lightly fruity and sweet and is then clobbered by a stout bitterness. Long lasting finish. Medium body.

Nice sturdy IPA. Very solid drink and I envy those within its distro.

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
2.88/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smuttynose has finally arrived in my area. I have been wanting to try this IPA for the longest time. Lets see if it lives up to the hype.

A: Pours a nice golden-amber color. Very hazy with a lot of floating sediment. Head is nice an foamy with some decent lacing.

S/T: The aroma is not the best. It has a fruityness, but it is offset by a almost dish water type aroma. Somewhat stagnant. Not fresh and citrusy like an IPA should be. Taste is disappointing. There is hops and some fruit in there, but it just lacks any complexity and character that makes IPAs so great. Its like a watered down Stone IPA. The fruit is more along the lines of an apple or pear. A touch of pine in there. After the weak flavor wears off, there is a wave of bitterness that is actually quite unpleasant. Unpleasant because there is no flavor to go along with it. The stagnant dish water does come through in the flavor here and there. Probably one of the worst IPAs I have had lately.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied. Finish is bitter and dry. I wish this had a little more flavor. It just tastes bitter with little to no hop flavoring. Whats the deal? Not something I would buy again.

This is a huge let down. I want flavor with an IPA, and this just doesn't deliver. Is it bitter? Hell yeah. But a great IPA balances out the bitter with hop flavoring and malt. Maybe this is an English interpretation of the style? Either way, I was not impressed by this one.

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,403 ratings.