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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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4,537 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,537
Reviews: 1,728
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 264
Gots: 630 | 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: 4,537 | Reviews: 1,728
Photo of mempath
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

Photo of irishtjb11
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of penguinjive7
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of gatornation
3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
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

Photo of Arbitrator
2.89/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Photo of JamesS
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of PhillyStyle
2.43/5  rDev -40.7%
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.

Photo of cjgator3
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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.

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of cpn920
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy golden color with a nice big head that faded to lacing. Smelled grapefruit and other citrus smells. Taste was well balanced with bitter hops but a smoothing malt finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability is good although there are others in this style that I would choose before this one.

Photo of jdubjacket
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm... Not quite sure what I feel about this. Got a bottle of this in a trade. Best by date is September 2008, so this is nine days past its prime. Pours a hazy amber color with a messy looking head. Very bubbly on the pour and the head sticks to the top of the glass - almost like a beer float. Does not look very appealing. Smells is relatively subdued. Taste is the same. Subdued taste. Subdued citrus taste. Just pretty bitter on the end. Overall, I'm disappointed with this beer. I'll give it credit since it's 9 days past its prime, but I had some high expectations for this beer. Hopefully I'll be able to try one before it's best before date, but if it's similar to this, I don't think I would be terribly impressed.

Re-review. I think the first bottle I had was bad. Small layer of frothy head on top. Nice orange color. The hop character is prevalent. Not a whole lot of complexity to this one. Just some bitter hops up front. Overall, a decent IPA, but not my favorite.

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy orange color with a thick frothy head. Sticky lace goes down the entire class. Looked like it had some sediment though, might just be my bottle.

S - Wonderful citrusy hops. Grapefruit, lemon. Some floral character. Not overpowering and very very pleasant. If an air freshener had this scent i'd buy it forever.

T/M - Like any good IPA, it's a wonderful kick to the mouth. Hop character comes across very smoothly but powerfully. Feels like you're biting into a luscious sweet grapefruit. The malts are sweet and hold together the fruity bite. Doesn't leave your mouth dry either.

D - Maybe this is just me, but I can't drink too many IPA's on account of my mouth hurting.

Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy orange-copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head sticks around for quite a while before receding into a thin layer of bubbles on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of grapefruit mostly, with tropical fruit and pale malt aromas backing it up.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of grapefruit, though the tropical fruit flavors aren't as intense as the aroma would suggest. The malt flavors are a bit stronger, but still take a backseat to the grapefruit. Mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. This has a thickness on par with the hazy appearance and solid carbonation makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing one of these, and I could go for a few more.

Overall this beer didn't disappoint. I may throw this into the rotation of everyday beers - definitely give this a shot.

Photo of Liverpool08
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a great hazy golden orange. Frothy white head and great lacing. Lots of floaters, but thats what you get in an unfiltered brew. Not a real stong smell like some IPA's. A little grapefruit and hoppy pine. Good bitter hoppy taste, nice and dry. Very easy to drink. A little metalic feel lingers in the mouth. Will be even better on a nice warm summer day.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a date coded 12 oz bottle

A-Hazy orange with a moderate white head that settles rapidly with nice looking lacing. Lots of large chunky floaters in the pour which is a bit startling, but hey, it is unfiltered...it says so right on the neck label.

S-Big clean citrus grapefruit hops aroma. Mouthwatering...I'm bracing myself for greatness....

T-Bam! Starts, continues, and finishes with an intense hoppiness... But wait!....isn't there more? I guess not. I'm not sure what the IBUs are on this but it has to be pretty high. This is great for a hop fix, and it sure is bitter, but it seems pretty one dimensional and there is little balance. In a style which has some really exceptional brews, I'd be hard pressed to call this the "finest kind"...not sure I'd call it an IPA...more like raw hop juice.

M-Well balanced in carbonation and slightly oily.

D-I'm not liking this as much as I had hoped, and I saved this one aside really thinking it would be something special, however, I will give it another try at a later date. I like a hoppy brew as much as the next guy, but I'd like to see a little more going on here. Not going to crack another open tonight.

Not sure what all the fuss is about this and why such a high rating because it is truly a one trick pony. Love the hops....show me what else you can do....

(sort of makes me wonder about an experiment. I'll bet that if you take a Brown Dog and do a half and half with this and it would be an interesting mix)

Photo of PatrickJR
3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Hazy golden with LOTS of large, floating sediment. Not exactly sure what this is about... Two fingers of white head rise with moderate retention, falling to a thick cap. Good lacing.

S - Lots of citrus aromas, mainly orange and lemon with hints of grapefruit. Slight notes of pine. Not much else here, but fairly prototypical of an IPA.

T - A little bland. Minimal citrus character presents itself early on, tasting vaguely of orange peel. Pale malt works behind the scenes and grassy flavors pull through. Mid to late palate sees the bitterness rise to full strength, and it is surprisingly bitter. Smutty IPA goes out on an earthy note with lots of residual bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Overall fairly crisp.

D - Smuttynose has made a decent, solid example of an IPA but there's not much here to keep me coming back. The flavor is somewhat lacking but everything else is pretty much in order. However this brew gets lost in a sea of much worse and much better IPAs.

Photo of brendanos
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is predominantly of hops, including citrus, pine, grass, and a slight earthiness, but a sweet, caramel malt character is present, as is a noticeable alcohol warmth. Appearance is light golden to amber with a fairly persistant head and a hint of legs. The most significant thing in the flavour is the long, dry finish, which is very pleasant, and carries grapefruit and slightly herbal hop flavours. Bitterness is moderate, smooth, and lasting. Mouthfeel is medium, without being heavy, and is very pleasant. Good to try another take on the AIPA, overall I found this one dry, with an assertive but pleasant bitterness, but I'm guessing the aroma is typically much stronger than in this one.

Best Before - yesterday.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a one-finger, frothy head. The smell is all hops; citrusy like lemon and pineapple, resinous and piney - a nice hop bouquet. The flavor, while being hop dominate, is pretty well balanced with the initial piney, citrusy hops coming out first followed by the bitter hop bite and finishes with a slightly malty grain finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a creamy, viscous carbonation - chewy is a good descriptor. Overall, a drinkable IPA, very good indeed. The only criticism that I can offer is that the hop bitterness lingers a little, but what can you expect from an IPA?

Photo of timmay41
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask today at the Moan and Dove (Amherst, MA). Dry hopped with cascade!

A: Pours a cloudy brownish/orange hue with softer yellow tones at the top and bottom of the pint glass. By the end it mellows out to a more yellow color. One-finger bubbly head that's pure white. It settles to almost nothing. Offers some nice lacing; clings to the glass like ocean tide foam on the sea shore.

S: Big hop wallop (to co-opt the phrase), along with floral and citrus (grapefruit, orange rine) scents. Some wheat or grass clippings in there too.

T: Huge hop bite--really bitter. It's pungent yet very drinkable. I expected this to be less aggressive, as it's cask-conditioned, but the dry hopping reshapes the taste on this offering.

M: Pretty bitter on the aftertaste but pleasantly so, with a little malt build up. Not as flat as other cask offerings.

D: I think there are a couple better candidates for American IPA session-ish beers (Mayflower, Greenflash, sometimes even Ipswich), but don't get me wrong--I'm a hophead and this beer rocks.

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 4,537 ratings.