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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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4,395 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,395
Reviews: 1,701
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 251
Gots: 519 | 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
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Ratings: 4,395 | Reviews: 1,701 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shaw
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A relatively new arrival in Florida. This beer pours golden in color with some sediment and a big head that reduces to a layer of foam in my glass.

It has a light aroma of bread and hops.

The taste is nicely hoppy and bitter, with a light malt touch. It's quite bitter, actually.

Good smooth body.

Overall this is a fine IPA and I can see why it's highly rated.

Photo of Casey10
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time this year drinking this year have had in the past but finally getting around to review.

A - nice golden hue with a 1 finger head poured into bottle.

S - slight pine, citrusy, hops.

T - clean refreshing not too overpowering very nice.

M - light small sting citrus feeling.

D - Nice feeling really drinkable a really nice beer from smuttynose !!

Photo of burnstar
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky slightly orangish gold with a medium to large persistent head. Nice lacing on the surface and sides of the glass. Aroma is big piney hops. Taste is dominated by hops from start to finish. Resinous, piney, earthy, and herbal hops. A big grapefruit note as well. Bitterness throughout just somewhat balanced by a light malt backbone. Very good. Full bodied. And excellent IPA overall.

Photo of MaltistLupulist
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had this one in a long time, despite having easy access to it. Let's get my palate up to speed.

Pours a gorgeous golden with minimal haziness given the fact that it's unfiltered. It looks like it belongs in a squeeze bottle in the shape of a bear. About a half-inch of head does a good job of sustaining itself despite losing some dense, sticky microbubbles to the lacing.

This is dry-hopped according to the label, but I wouldn't guess that was the case from the nose. There's certainly plenty going on aroma-wise, but the intensity I had hoped for fell short of a successful delivery. (I suppose I should blame Stone et al. for wrecking my olfaction as well as my palate.) At any rate, there is a delightfully crisp, if measured, pineyness in the nose coupled with a brisk pepperyness which contributes a welcome piquancy that I wish I'd encounter more often in IPAs. A lesser degree of citrus also makes its presence known, but in no way prepares you for the assault it is about to mount on your palate.

The drinker runs the risk of being lulled into a false sense of security by the aroma and even the first sip--it actually seems rather balanced initially--but soon falls victim to a veritable hop menace in the guise of a grapefruit. The pucker-inducing intensity of this rindy aggressor is especially prevalent in the finish, and it soon becomes clear that its objective is to occupy, not just pillage, your palate. Settle in, boychicks, you won't get that taste out of your mouths anytime soon. There's some pine in there, too, but it's almost as if it switched positions with the citrus vis-a-vis its role in the aroma. There's also a lot of activity that I can barely pick up on or that I have trouble identifying: some grassyness, a trace of metallic lupulin (perhaps the Santiams?), and a scarcely noticeable sweet tropical flavor that some have suggested is lychee fruit. At the end of the day, though, it's that grapefruit, so thoroughly integrated into the fiber of this beer, that gives it its identity.

Medium body, medium carbonation; dry mouthfeel.

Even once I factor in the possibility that the hops are obscuring the alcohol and pay close attention to whether there is any distracting booze, I really can't detect any. It's the hops you have to worry about regarding drinkability here. Some will handle it better than others.

I'm sort of conflicted as far as a final assessment of this beer. It's not really as clean-tasting as the West Coast IPAs I tend to favor, and the hop profile is not particularly to my liking: Simcoe, for instance, is similar to Cascade (which I love) but the fact that it is so concentrated and manipulated paradoxically makes it seem astringent. On the other hand, there are enough positive attributes to this beer that, in spite of my hopelessly esoteric tastes, I'm bound to reach for another before too long.

Photo of gory4d
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange with a thick white head; lots of lacing. The smell is grain, citrus peel, grass, flowers. The taste is sweet up front, lots of grainy malt in the middle, with big tangelo bite in the finish. It's viscous and highly carbonated, good cold (but not too cold). A powerful quaff but a very enjoyable one.

Photo of joedon
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pleasing IPA on tap at Atwood's in Cambridge.

Bright yellow-gold with white head that dropped pretty fast.
Big hop aroma of Cascade or Centennial. Taste matches the smell with plenty of bitterness. Bit of residual sweetness but also a touch of metallic aftertaste.

Good mouthfeel and this IPA went well with food. Quite drinkable and a nice effort by the brewmaster.

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

Received as an extra from Bucwild in a recent trade. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a very pretty shade of golden amber with about a finger and a half of head that retains very well. Dies down to a light coating over the surface of the beer and leaves a great deal of sticky lacing as I drink. Mild beading from the carbonation but not overly huge.

Smell- Lots of big notes of pine and resin on the nose. Some hints of grapefruit as well, but certainly comes across not as a citrusy IPA to me, but rather one that is going to be big on pine. Very nice on the nose though overall, lots of big notes of piney hops, nothing really to dislike.

Taste- Much as I thought, huge on the resin and pine. Starts out with big notes of resin, ends with a sharp and drying bitterness from the hops that keeps you drinking more. Very nice and a solid dose of hops for a standard IPA.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Great mouthfeel. A tad on the sticky and slick side, but this is counteracted nicely through a fairly substantial amount of carbonation and the drying kick from the hops on the back of the tongue at the end of each sip. Really helps to improve the drinkability of this brew too. Despite (or because of perhaps...) the high level of bitterness, very drinkable and would be quite easy to have a few of these.

Overall, a very solid IPA which comes with my high recommendation. Perhaps not my favorite that I've had, but quite good.

Photo of Kraken
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, consumed 1/26/09

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Jever Pilsner glass. Firm pour yields 1/2 inch of head. Head fades quickly and leaves a moderate lace. Color is a wonderful cloudy, ruddy amber with bits of floating sediment.

Nose- Sticky citric hops, mild grapefruit, hints of orange.

Palate- Wonderfully bitter hops, grapefruit rind. Light sweetness, biscuit, floral hops, a touch of tangerine. Finishes very bitter, a lovely IPA.

Mouthfeel- Slightly thick, and a bit astringent.

Drinkability- Great! Very well done.

Photo of mirish72
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am so glad my brother in law re-introduced me to Smuttynose, this is one great IPA, probably the best NE brewed IPA I can think of.

Pours a hazy, orange copper. Nice hoppy aroma. Tastes like it smells, which is a very good thing. It has hints of piney grapefruit goodness. It is very drinkable, almost could be a session beer, but it has a nice kick so it might be a shorter session.

Overall this is a great beer, one that has made me re-think their other offerings. I also think this can compete with a lot of West Coast offerings and for the price it almost can't be beat.

Photo of ImusBeer
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 pack of assorted Smuttynose brews, I've had 2 of the 4 different ones packaged at my local pub several times before, the Porter and the Brown Ale.

Appearance: Pale brown to amber with about one finger of off white head , head sticks around with lots of great lacing,

Smell: Some aroma hops but very little, not very impressive here.

Taste: very hoppy on the onset along with a lot of bitterness, pine flavours and very dry at the end.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Bitterness sticks around a bit.

Drinkability: I like my beers hoppy so this one is a keeper.

12oz bottle

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

Thanks again to JZED for bringing back yet another great gift from Boston's last festival.

Drinkability - A great beer that I'm sure the heavy-hop fans will love. However, I'm still not quite converted enough to drink a lot of these in a session. But the further I get into this beer, the more of them I think I could drink...

Appearance - A nice hazy gold with fine champagne-like carbonation. Head recedes to a thin layer with little lacing.

Smell - nice mild aroma of sweet honey malt and obviously hops. Also mildly herbal, piney and orangy citrus. Am I crazy to pick up a tobacco-like scent in the background?

Taste - fits the stereotypical characteristic American IPA but with bigger, more complex herbal, peach, tropical and citrus flavours. I'm going to throw a wierd reference out there and say I can taste a lot of lychee-nut in the middle (post review note - not so wierd since I've since seen a few other reviewers note the same). The grapefruit citrus bitterness is high and lingers long as well. A very mild buttery taste in the late dry finish. The 6.9% isn't noticeable at all...a great beer that hop heads will love.

Mouthfeel - medium body and creamy texture until the courser dry finish. A good medium level of carbonation.

Photo of jbhuxley
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle labeled best before 11/09.

Pours a hazy golden clear, with abundant big chunky off white head, which sticks around for a while.

Smells very tropical with some pineapple mango scents, with a good bit of grapefruit coming out. I can also pick up a grainy smell.

Firsts tastes are pungent and citrusy. Slight sweetness, not nearly enough to make it candy like or syrupy. Finishes floral and grassy.

Good mouthfeel. Nice bite of carbonation. Not thin, but not at all syrupy or chewy. The dryness of it really leaves the hops to be appreciated, and the balance makes it easy to put away a few of these.

Photo of bobsy
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Rattle N Hum East v. West IPA Festival.

My God... this is a world class IPA. A slightly cloudy orange pour with a large, creamy head that laid down sheets of sticky lace and stuck around for the whole course. Full on tropical aroma, like a juiced up masala mama. Lychee, pineapple, mango and lots and lots of grapefruit. The flavour manages to pack in a boatload of hops, while walking a fine tightrope and achieving stupendous balance. Again, waves of tropical flavours hit hard, bringing a decent bitterness, but never appearing overly harsh. While the malts are faint, the hopping is expertly applies, with a great mix of aromatic and bitter varieties to prevent this from becoming one-dimensional. So leafy and fruity its amazing. Full mouthfeel for the style, with a creamy feel and pillowy carbonation.

This is simply an exception IPA which delivers on every front. Highly, highly recommended.

Photo of MisterSH
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. A strong pour left a solid 1 finger head, with remarkable resilience.

The beer is a beautiful golden copper, slightly cloudy with yeast as it is unfiltered. It showed some chill hazing initially.

Aroma is completely dominated by powerful citrus/grapefruit hops. There is a backbone of fruity malt aroma that is subordinate, but helps to round things out. One hell of a fine smell; bold, complex, and mouth watering.

Mouthfeel is just right, with a moderate body and medium carbonation.

Taste begins with an immediate, powerful twang of bitter citrus. There is a strong, pleasant breadiness to the malts here, again adding a nice foundation but taking a back seat to the hop character. Finish is a long, lingering bitter, reminds of me of a very dry grapefruit. That said, there is a sweetness to this beer, it is subtle to be sure in the face of the hops but it is clearly apparent, more so as the beer warms a bit.

This is a powerful hop bomb. It is somewhat balanced by subtly rich, fruity malt, but overwhelmingly the beer tends towards the bitter, grapefruity end of the spectrum. For a hop fan, this is exquisite; for someone with an aversion to bitter this would be real challenge to finish even one. This is one of my favorite beers and certainly one of my favorite American IPA's but I must say I prefer it with food, as a lifeline for my inevitably brutalized palate.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA is dry-hopped and unfiltered. The lees (sediment) that form on the bottom of the bottle are a natural part of this fine ale. 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 65 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. I think you'll be quite pleased. ABV 6.9%

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.41/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, shared with my family at the cabin.

A-Dark orange brew, hazed. Bright off-white head, reatained to an extent with a nice bubble layer.

S-Slight resiny and piney hop aroma, no malt presence.

T-Very bitter, with some nutty and bready malt character. Definately balanced toward the hop bitterness, along with a resiny and earthy hop flavor.

M-Drying hop bitterness. Moderate mouthfeel with medium-level carbonation.

D-Good, but a bit too out of balance, even for an IPA.

Purchased in NYC while visiting my sister, transported back to MN in my girlfriend's suitcase.

Photo of TheTrevor
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy yellow with a single-finger head. The smell is a mix of different hops with orangey citrus and piney hops being the most prominent. The taste starts off with a solid malt backbone that gives way to some floral, orange zest, and then piney hops in roughly that order. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some slickness from the hops and a moderate amount of carbonation. This is a fairly drinkable beer, definitely more for sipping than chugging though.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an American Tumbler pint. Best before A/S '09 (notched in the middle)

A - A slight haze forms in the golden honey color. The bubbles slowly trickle up to a creamy and large off-white/bone colored head that holds itself in place for quite a while. Thick, sticky lacing coats the majority of the glass very elegantly.

S - Delicious hoppy aroma. The pour releases a horde of notes from assertive mandarin orange and tangerine to grapefruit and a touch of lemon. Obviously fruity in aroma, small floral hints present themselves as well. Very light malts in the background. Caramel and crystal possibly.

T - The first sip presents a toasty caramel malt with a bit of sweetness but is instantly demolished by the bitter floral-strong hops. Rather than strength in fruit such as the aroma, the flavor is highly floral. Fruits like the mouth-puckering grapefruit still dance around though. The result of the two flavor profiles going on here is a beautiful blend that balances well. The finish is a lingering after taste of sweet caramel malts and a bitter grapefruit hop flavor in conjunction.

M - Smooth and creamy with a dry finish in the throat but not the mouth. Bitter and citrusy with a great level of carbonation to give it just the right kick.

D - Well, normally I'll have written out my full review within the first six-or-so ounces of my beer but as I finish this sentence, this beer is being finished. Full of complexity and flavor, it's certainly a good beer I could keep drinking all night long.

Photo of Mit
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- Pours a nice cloudy gold coulour with a orangish tinge. You can see sediment floating in glass obscuring clarity of the beer.

s- Hoppy goodness. Lots of spicey citrus notes jumping out of the glass.

t-The smells almost don't do the big hop flavour justice. Somewhat balanced with hops winning out for sure. Maltiness is noticed almost near end of mouthful and in aftertaste.

m-Very heavy and thick, but the beer is almost 7% so it's to be expected.

d-I could drink these as a lawnmower beer over the course of the afternoon although I may not be able to walk after.

Probably one of my top 5 IPA/DIPAs.

Photo of foggylovesbeer
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz serving - great initial pour, clear, golden-orange. Aroma has both the malt and hops upfront. Taste also has great blend of not so overpowering sweet malt and big hop flavor. Mouthfeel is thick, feels like there's a lot of hop oils in this one. Too easy to drink. After half of pint gone from initial pour, empty the bottle into my glass including the sediment. I actually enjoy that this beer is unfiltered and feel like the sediment adds another complex layer to the flavor.
All time favorite IPA.

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.12/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured In: Tulip Glass
Purchased From: Steve's Liquor (Madison, WI)

Did I get a bad batch, or has BA gone crazy?

Appearance: The pour leads me to believe it's got potential still. A nice golden color with a very thin layer of head at the top. A few bubbles are climbing to the top of the glass, with very little lacing alongside my tulip glass. A nice puddle of sediment at the bottom of my glass, which of course will be consumed.

Smell: Where are the hops? I'm getting a little spice, a little alcohol, and a little yeast. I'm not getting a nice hop aroma as I expected from this IPA.

Taste: Bitter, spicy, a dash of yeast, and a very, very, very small amount of citrus on the aftertaste. This really doesn't seem to be dry hopped as it says on the label at the top of the glass. I'm still not getting a very strong hop flavor out of this.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of this beer is at least enjoyable. A medium bodied beer with a very nice feeling on my palate. A crisp carbonation that goes down quite easily. If only the liquid that was going down was worthwhile.

Drinkability: I'm quite disappointed. With the number of reviews, and the rating of those reviews on BA I expected this beer to be packing quite a bit more punch. While I wouldn't classify this as an APA, as the bitterness is definitely there for an IPA, I feel like the hops weren't added at the end of the boil or once the fermentation died down.

Photo of KenGage
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank from a Sam Adams lager glass poured from a bottle.

a - it's not filtered so it pours cloudy

s - smells of hops, with one whif I knew right away what I had in my hand

t - grapefruit rind...citrus and a little bitter with some flashes of pine, more than average hopiness and a great finish that left me trying to identify flavors; this one is NOT balanced out by malt and I love it

m - fantastic - hoppy and not over carbonated, complex and hoppy finish

d - very good IPA; it's Pliny the Elder's more bitter east coast cousin

Photo of bamadog
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked a few bottles of Smuttynose offerings from the Vintage Cellar. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a beautiful coppery yellow with a nice 1 and 1/2 finger, thick and fluffy head that is ever-so-slightly off white and fades to a pretty full and thick skim; a nice full curtain of lacing; body is fairly hazy and shows pretty strong carbonation bubbling up throughout.

Smell: Nice and bitter hop presence with a strong citrusy background of grapefruit, orange and lemon peel -- not much else to the nose, but this will definitely do the trick.

Taste: Very similar to the nose with a ton of hoppy and citrusy bitterness with all of the flavors listed above; the nice suprise here is the slightly sweet malty backing that provides just a hint of balance, yet allows the bitter to run rampant over my palate, which is great and exactly what I was looking for tonight.

Mouthfeel: Very full and creamy body with a nice carbonation that keeps it lively and doesn't allow it to just "sit" there; still manages to leave a nice stickiness throughout the mouth.

Drinkability: Quite high. I love the flavors, and it's very refreshing and balanced just enough. I think the only thing I really don't like about this beer is the label -- what's up with the old dudes in the lawn chairs?

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

12oz bottle in a trade with kmurray8621 aka Kevin...thanks for everything!

A- Pours a hazy golden yellow slight amber color. One finger eggshell white head that melted away to sticky lacing that stuck to the sides of the glass.

S- After trying to smell something but really can't at all. I had to let this sit and warm for a short bit but then could smell some sweet malts kind of toasted a little. Citrus hops make a little presence but still hides in the background.

T- Big sweet malts upfront with a strong bitterness that clashes right upfront. The balance is pretty good. Middle shows a little bit of alcohol to it but ends up with a good citrus/slight bitter hop taste.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel. Good carbonation that lets the beer flow across the palate very nice. Leaves a bitter hop taste on the tounge that leaves you wanting more.

D- This is a very well put together IPA. This is my first time with this and well...I'll be looking for some more here soon.

Photo of daledeee
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this because I recognized the name and can't get it in Iowa.

Pours a dark gold clear color with a medium head. A citrus nose with a hint of smokiness at the first sniff. Very fresh smelling.

Taste is citrus like grapefruit(oils or rind) and hops. Malt is present. The taste is very balanced and fresh. The aftertaste is very long lasting and strong. Very easy to drink. A very fine IPA

Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,395 ratings.