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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

492 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 492
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
65 IBU

2007 - 11.4%
2009 - 11.1%

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-04-1999)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 492 | Reviews: 343 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smcolw


4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Small head that settles to a thin layer of bubbles throughout the tasting. The color is dark amber and clear.

Semisweet nose with a nice floral hop balancing presence.

Excellent pale to crystal malt base. There's also an excellent hop counterpoint that creates balance and interest. Creamy, full body but the carbonation fits for this beer. Simply put, this is hoppy barley wine that the masses could enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2014 17:48:17 | More by smcolw
Photo of karengarys


3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this pours hazy burnt orangish leaving a small fluffy layer of extremely small bubble foam. I slow pour to avoid a large head. It laces down the side of the glass quite a bit.

smell of rasins, fruit, some spices I can't put my finger on.... floral... yummy!

Taste, to me, is plum, cinnamon, correander, pepper. I've got this thing with pepper, I don't know why I always pick it up... Whenever I'm at a tasting and I say "pepper", everybody looks at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears... ...but I'm picking up a hint of pepper.

Guess what? The alcohol is almost completely hidden!

Mouthfeel is decent, somewhat thick, oily, but also creamy.

This is a nice hefty drink. Finish is a bit bitter, asprin like, I dropped the taste from 3.75 to 3.5 because of that aftertaste.

Actually, this is my favorite barleywine that I recall. Nice, balanced, even, no serious edges. As I recall, in my area, it was also less expensive for a bomber than most. I don't recall the price, sorry!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 00:42:16 | More by karengarys
Photo of MaineBrewing


3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Poured from bomber into snifter vigorously to produce a 2 finger off white head with dark ruby red amber body. The color is beautiful and enticing. No lacing, legs galore. Head disappeared and left nothing but a tiny ring that remained throughout.

S - Strong hop aroma, floral, earthy, pepper... the malt notes cut through with a raisin bread character, molasses, burnt sugar, tobacco, more earthiness and a kick of alcohol

T - Very fresh taste, would benefit from aging, a little hot and hop forward... but enjoyable nonetheless. It kicks you with hop bitterness and resolves with a complex malt taste of raisin and molasses with notes of bread, wet tarp, burnt sugar, and just an overall mellow sweetness. It ends with a nice bitter, pungent alcohol and peppery yeast bouquet... this taste lingers.

M - Thick slow sipping, fitting for the style. Alcohol is very warming, more so compared to other examples, again I think this aspect would benefit form aging as well.

O - Fitting for the american barleywine category, at least this sample, though I have had some aged and it really mellows out quite nicely. This is hop forward and hot, but is still very drinkable/enjoyable. Taste was a little less complex than some other examples, but overall a well executed barleywine, I do have at least one of these every year and I will continue the trend.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 02:21:38 | More by MaineBrewing
Photo of sommersb


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 03-03-2014
Freshness: 2013 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Chuck's, Bowling Green KY

A: Hazy, orange-red beer capped by an offwhite head. The head fades fairly soon but leaves behind a beautiful pattern of lace.

S: Very pleasant aromas start with earthy hops, then follow with rich caramel malts. Other smells elicit thoughts of wood and also dark fruits such as raisins and figs.

T: The first sip yields a good balancing act between hoppy bitterness and malty sweetness. The flavors keep switching between the rich fruits, bitter hops and sweet malts. You also get some alcohol heat.

M: Full-bodied and delightfully chewy with also a high carbonation level. The finish is quite bitter but is also balanced with the big malt notes, just as you'd expect from a barleywine.

O: An excellent barleywine; my only complaint would be it was a bit hot in the alcohol department. This is one that would be even better after some cellar time I suspect.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 04:51:35 | More by sommersb
Photo of ChipMurray


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Vermont last week. Absolutely impressed by how good it is. I intend on doing a fuller review when time permits.
A thick, viscous pour, yet a medium mouthfeel, very succulent.
Malty with a hint of sweetness, not cloying.
Definitely hoppy, but overall in great balance.
An exemplary barleywine, and I should have expected no less from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 21:59:28 | More by ChipMurray
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz bottle from Brawleys -2013 version - Bottle says ABV 10.6

A - Cloudy ruby/orange, with a thin half finger head. A good amount of lacing retention on the side of the glass

S - Dark fruit, bread, orange, faint hops

T - Dark fruit, fig, malts, bread. Very smooth considering the ABV and lack of age. The hops make an appearance on the finish.

M - Carbonation is mid to mild, but there is a definite amount of heft in the mouthfeel.

O - I was happy to have the opportunity to try this, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the style. A more muted form of Bigfoot, if I had to compare it with another.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 02:36:25 | More by Apellonious
Photo of DrDemento456


4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got a bottle for $6.79 at Giant Eagle. At around 11% hopefully its good. Bottled 2013

A - Well for 11% I got a decent 1/2 inch of opaque colored head that sticks around for a bit. Beer is somewhat hazy amber brown no sediment floaties.
S - Smells balanced resinous pine meets some toffee and sugar malts. Very well crafted with no ethanol smells.
T - Love me some hoppy barley wines! Very bitter somewhat citrus and lemon hop hints meets herbal tobacco and sweet caramel malts. Reminds me of a bigger version of "Monster Barleywine" Tasty.
M - Big beer but drinks with a medium body. Sip worthy don't chug!

Overall I was rather impressed this is a very smooth hoppy Barleywine and for under 7 dollars a bottle worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 04:53:41 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 bottling; 10.6% ABV

Appearance: A very impressive showering of foam as the head builds up over the clear amber liquid; spotty lacing lines the side of the glass

Smell: Very resinous, with caramel tones buttressing

Taste: Resinous and piney, up front, with an abrasive tobacco bitterness that builds; the caramel malt flavors are overwhelmed by the the hops but linger underneath into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This beer will become much more user-friendly with a year or two of age on it but right now it is brash and abrasive

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 01:28:23 | More by brentk56
Photo of KnNashua

New Hampshire

4.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Honey (fall amber), a beautiful gold with just a very slight tint of red, bubbly, small white head (my bottle was not as red or the head off white as others say, maybe a difference this year?)

Smell: citrus, yeast, sweet

Taste: Complex, first, early, mid then after tastes, all strong but none out copete or overwelm, slight sweet fruitness but not too much, good bitter but not overboard.

Mouthfeel: smooth, lasting dry but lingering sudsyness only thing not perfect about it.

At 11+% APV depending on year (not sure about this bottle conditioned 2013) strong but alcohol is not noticable (Beer Adv review says 7%, its clearly not and is ~11% as details above say)

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 23:44:41 | More by KnNashua
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.74/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip; surprisingly light and clear orange; by looks, this could be an amber ale or even a DIPA. Creamy white head, descends very slowly leaving tons of lacing.
Smell is very interesting; very malty, with soft grain and a hint of nutty sweetness with some lighter fruitiness as well, and a hint of wine-like booze.
Taste is tons of toasted grain malt, nutty and soft, caramel and hints of sweetness and fruit. Slight pinch of crisp hops at the end cleans up the sticky aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is smooth and full, well-carbonated.
Overall, every barleywine I've had is unique, and this one continues the trend. It's delicious, malty, smooth, and the alcohol is hidden entirely. Awesome job, not that I'd expect anything less from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 03:03:48 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of NeedBeerHere


3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out a really nice maroon in color with a great two finger white head with good retention and lot's of good lacing. Smell is really sweet with nice candy sugars, lot's of caramel hops that give you great sugar, a little bit a of dark fruits, and a little bit of toffee. Taste is really sweet as one would expect but there is also a little bitter hops that weren't present in the nose that add to the complexity. Really a nice barley wine as there is some balance with the hops that I typically don't see in this style. Mouth fell is really pretty thick that goes with the style. I really like this as there are a lot of things going on here that meld together that I don't typically see in this style. Overall a really big beer that makes me want more as this beer brings balance that you normally don't see in the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 09:24:55 | More by NeedBeerHere
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz 2013 bottle. Pours dark amber with long lasting white head. Aroma is caramel malt, cherry and herbal hops. Body is full and slightly crisp. A lot of herbal hops, caramel malt, cherry and alcohol fill the mouth. Finish is long and very dry. Great, complex brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 16:20:56 | More by mikeg67
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled conditioned in 2013. 10.6% stamped on the neck.

A: Pours a hazy orangish amber with a slightly yellowed head. Can barely make out any visible carbonation. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Initially I notice a nice dose of hops which add a citrusy floral aroma. Bit of dark fruit from the malt. Can smell the alcohol.

T: Nice blend going on here, initially there is a pretty bitter hop flavor. Then the malts catchup on the backend adding in their sweetness and fruit qualities. Has a bit of a molasses or carmel tone to it as well. Booze doesnt hesitate to show its face.

M: Medium to full body with a creamy mouthfeel. Pretty sticky and resinous on the backend. Leaves your mouth a bit dry.

Overall this one certainly fulfills the "big beer series" name. A bit rambunctious now, this one will benefit with age. Pick one up if youre not scared of something strong.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 00:00:17 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of barczar


3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy copper brown with minimal cream head.

Deep caramel, brown sugar, and sharp citrus form the initial aroma. Grapefruit, pine, and honeysuckle emerge.

Flavor reveals underpinnings of lemon, grapefruit, and tangerine, with pithy bitterness finishing the profile, slightly resiny. The backbone is substantial malt, which gives an illusion of sweetness that is just enough to counter the brutal bittering hops.

Body is thick and almost syrupy, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Great contrast of malt and hops. Well balanced in extremes, with enough flavoring hops to keep things interesting. This would probably age well.

Serving type: growler

12-21-2013 17:54:44 | More by barczar
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on Friday the 13th of December 2013.

The color is brown amber all the way through with pretty good clarity and a short lasting off-white head that becomes a ring and leaves limited lacing.

Barley malts are big on the nose along with a kind of overripe pear quality. Overripe fruit anyway. Thin hops. No booze. Overall a rather mellow scent for an 11.6% Barleywine.

Light to medium body, which is a bit unusual compared to Barleywines I have had in the past.

The taste is definitely malt and fruit forward but at the same time not in your face. Light to medium bitterness. Unlike other fresh Barleywines I have tried this one is not a pucker-up malt explosion. It feels like it has already cellared and mellowed for a year. Nicely done Smuttynose!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 02:02:07 | More by puboflyons
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage

A: Pours a dark burnt orange color with a fingers worth of head that takes a couple minutes to fade down to a nice cap

S: Sweet malts, quite a bit of fruity esters, and a touch of alcohol are right up front. Some caramel and toffee notes are in the back, with a touch of dark fruit

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a big hit from the fruity esters, which is balanced nicely by the light malt sweetness. Alcohol powers through in the back, giving the esters a nice backing. The caramel and toffee notes help to round things off in the finish. There is also a nice light bitterness in the finish

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Nearing a fuller body. A little dry from the alcohol

O: Fresh, this is a solid brew. It could use a few months to a year of age, which would mellow out the alcohol a little and really help to showcase the maltiness a bit more. Can't really beat the price point either, which is the case with all of the Smuttynose Big Beer Series

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 06:45:26 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of KFBR392


3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2013 bottle

Appearance: A very transparent amber red/light brown color. Extremely low active carbonation in glass and on the pour. Slight random lacing with each drink.

Smell: A creamy smooth barley jumps right out of the glass. Some earthy fruit with medium to heavy hop bitterness. Mild oak rounds out the back side.

Taste: The front is subtle and smooth barley and medium bodied hops. Rolls into an increasingly potent body of the flavor continuing to open up. Fruitiness pops up on the back end of the beer with some slight soapy creamy tones.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bitterness with lots of bright fruit left on the palate long after drinking.

Overall: A very good barleywine. Will only improve with age. The Smuttynose big beer series are always so solid and come at a great price.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 19:07:37 | More by KFBR392
Photo of ferrari29


4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Snifter shaped glass

Aged for one year - bottle conditioned in 2011

A - Dark orange opaque colored body; very thin white/beige colored head; doesn't hold well and dissipates very quickly; tiny amount of lacing, that doesn't stick much; plenty of visible floating sediment

S - Cotton candy; brown sugar; caramel and maple syrup; touch of roasted malt; high ABV; vanilla; hints of pine

T - Beer has a very sweet taste of brown sugar; heavy dark fruit like raisin and fig; slight hop aftertaste with a light burn; very boozy taste; maple syrup; caramel; roasted malt flavor

M - Thin and slightly effervescent; sweet front and bitter back-end flavor; hops leave a tingling feel on the tongue; medium body

D - Overall this is a great drink; probably got a bit boozier of time, so I suggest letting it sit for a year or two; great sweet and bitter hop balance

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 01:11:19 | More by ferrari29
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

***2009 Vintage***

Thanks to gosox8787 for this one.

Poured from a bomber and split with my wife.

Appearance: Brassy-red, fairly clear but bright with 3 fingers of very light tan head that has a few minutes of retention on it.

Smell: Resiny hops(!) is surprising followed by fruit jam, nuts and dried berries.

Taste: Dried dark fruits, candi sugar, leather, jammy a bit with sharp herbs.

Mouthfeel: Bit heavy with heat showing up but it is smooth and mellow after. Not impressed by the body as it feels lacking.

Overall: Mellow, alright but even though flavor is good, the rest is ordinary IMO.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 12:46:46 | More by papat444
Photo of BostonHops


3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber served in a snifter.
2011 vintage.

pours a deep copper/amber tone with a 1"+ of beige colored head. very nice retention and lacing. outstanding presentation.

i'm reading reviews describing the nose as aromatic but to me it's a good deal more subdued than i typically look for in my barleywines; evident are notes of caramel malt, candied fruit, and alcohol. taste is a moderate improvement with the sweet maltiness from the nose pulling through, joined by a hoppy presence i missed in the aroma - particularly in the finish... definitely sweet but not cloyingly so.

medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation. overall i i'd have to say this offering is reasonably tasty and enjoyable - well worth a try - though nothing transcendent.

originally reviewed: 03-14-2011

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 04:17:13 | More by BostonHops
Photo of Odysseyalien

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap originally spring 2012 somewhere in NYC. Found it in bottles today at Readington Wine and Spirits in East Whitehouse Station, NJ.

A: Cloudy...deep copper color.

S: Sweet...caramel...no hoppy aromas.

T: Bitterness is very subtle...sweet...maple syrup...brown sugar...light on the hops...bitter on the backend. Very yummy!

M: Medium light body. Light effervescence. Not clear when this bottle was filled but sometime between 2007 and 2011.

O: I love British barleywines. I'm finding a number of American barleywines that I really dig too and this is up there in my top two or three. I had looked for this in bottles for over a year and found it today. Had on tap last year. I'll have to get more when I'm back at this store. Oh, it's a happy day!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 11:54:46 | More by Odysseyalien
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up on a recommendation at Knightly Spirits in Orlando. 2011 edition.

Poured into a goblet. A hazy amber brew, with visible sediment that suspends in the glass until it finally settles. A thin head is all that survives. Not the best looking brew I'll admit, but few barleywines ever are.

The nose is quite inviting: big caramel, malt, bread, peach, a bit of booze and citrus. Quintessential American barleywine nose here.

Tastes excellent - flavorful and complex. The citrus hops added a lovely counterpart to the sweet malty blast at the beginning. Dry grain to the finish. Notes of peach, apricot, wine. Nice chewy feel, medium bodied, excellent carbonation. Slightly meaty with the sediment.

Great barleywine, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 02:48:01 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of Rob315


4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark copper color with ruby / garnett highlights. Minimal head, nice amount of bubbles slowly rise from the bottom of the glass.

S: Huge toffe notes upfrot, bread, figs, caramel, molasses, sweet rum cake

T / MF: luscious creamy mouthfeel presents notes of rich chewy caramels, toffee candies, candied sugar, dark fruits, raisins and plums come to mind, nice thick bready notes,

Overall: Incredibile, very smooth with layers of complexity and a thick but not heavy body make this a brew that commands your attention and respect. I'd love to see what more age would do for this beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 23:47:43 | More by Rob315
Photo of hosehead83


3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a "bomber" bottle (2011 vintage) into a wine goblet.
Deep amber/gold in color, with a short, bone-white head of foam.
Aroma-Sweet malt,fruity.
Taste-Sweet toasted malt backed by fruity esters, hops almost entirely in the background. Slowly warming finish. Very smooth,easygoing barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 16:54:05 | More by hosehead83
Photo of sprucetip


4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lugged this gal home to Alaska from Maine over a year ago, and my curiosity finally got the best of me.

Light medium amber with modest head, retention and even less lacing. A little bit hazy, but I don't mind the looks of live beer. Looks good, though this category matters little to me.

Boozy, and malty sweet with plenty of caramel. And some detectable hop presence as well. It works for me. Good balance generally, though the booze is kinda strongish. But in a mellow way, if that makes sense. Like a big dude who is gentle. I like it. Fresh, it might burn a little.

Like the nose but better. Definitely some pine/floral/citrus hop presence asserting itself into the caramel sweetness. And it's less boozy tasting than the nose, not than I minded it in the nose...Balanced and complex. Really good.

Good carb, rich full body, medium viscosity, and smooth from start to finish.

See above. Really nice barleywine. Maybe not quite elite of the elite, but really good. No question.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 07:42:34 | More by sprucetip
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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.