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

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

581 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 581
Reviews: 350
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 71
Gots: 62 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-04-1999

65 IBU

2007 - 11.4%
2009 - 11.1%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 581 | Reviews: 350
Reviews by puboflyons:
Photo of puboflyons
4.17/5  rDev +5%
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!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep garnet red with a thinner slight off white head,this is an old school barley wine in the nose meaning mainly big malt sweet cherry and brown sugar dominate I even picked a touch of smoke in there.Nice big chewey mouthfeel but went down quite easy,big malty flavors to go along with the chewey mouthfeel once again rum soaked cherries and vanilla with notes of carmael and brown sugar with just a light smack of pine in the finish letting you know the hops are there.I didnt get the big hop presence of this beer like many others who have reviewed it a nice barley wine none the less.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml brown with a Victorian style colour sketching of a woman picking hops. Good blurb about the brew, no freshness date, but none is required with this style.

Appearance: Hazy, cloudy, and dull copper-like in colour with an off-white lacey head.

Smell: Ripe, fruit esters with a touch of caramelization, grain and a pinch of hop.

Taste: This brew is smooth and big on chewy malt flavours; rich toasted complexities. From then, it flows into an amazing cocktail of esters and citruisy hop flavours which end with a dry, grain aftertaste.

Notes: We think Smuttyies has done it again. Perhaps one of the best Barleywines available. Downright exceptional, balanced beyond belief and a honor to drink. 7.0% abv.

Photo of blitz134
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly clear, red bodied brew. Very light tan head on top, 1/4" that stayed around a while after reducing slightly. Nice sheet of lace all the way down the glass.

Smelled strongly out of the bottled. In the glass I get whiffs of a ton of hops, citrus rinds mostly, some grapefruit. Nice sugary sweet, caramel smell to it, definately has its share of crystal malts. Hints of alcohol, but not strong.

Nice balance here, even though there are plenty of hops. Caramel, crystal malt sweetness to start. Then transitions into some grassy, herbal hops with some bitter citrus pith. Then comes the "dinner roll" malts at the finish with subtle hints of chocolate. Finishes with a bit of lingering "dirty" bitterness. Quite nice. This one must be had only slightly chilled to let everything come through.

Nice full bodied brew, coats the tongue and the flavor lingers. Low carbonation. Quite smooth with just a little brashness from the hops.

This is a really good beer, in my opinion. If you like Great Divide's Old Ruffian, you'll like this one. Alcohol is present, I can feel it already and I'm barely anyways into this one at all. A superb example of the American Barleywine style.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a claret color with a modest head and a small amount of lacing. It had a nice roasted grain odor. The taste was predominately hoppy, with a little fruitiness thrown in. The hop taste remained a long time. A very smooth, rich beer. I didn't notice the alcohol, but one big bottle is all I'd want to drink in a single sitting.

Photo of sponberg
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass, cellar temperature. Deep reddish copper with a thin cream colored head that's thin, but laces for a while. Big aroma of toffeelike malt, spicy slightly earthy/grapefruity hop, and warmth of alcohol.

This, to me, is what a barleywine should taste like. Big, chewy, and round, yet not overblown, with a fruity, toffeelike maltiness with hints of nuts, balanced by a solid hop bitterness. Then a gentle warming surge of alcohol joins in, followed by a spicy, earthy, citrusy hoppiness that is just below the malt. The finish is all of the above flavors happily gliding away. Not the biggest barleywine I've ever drank, nor the maltiest, hoppiest, or most alcoholic; but the balance is spot-on for my taste buds. Special, this one.

One of my three favorite barleywines, no question.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy dark amber color with a decent, off white head. Smell is extremely fruity, citrusy hops, grapefruit, a hint of alcohol. Taste is more ripe fruits, figs, raisins, definite hop presence in the finish which does a decent job of hiding the alcohol with a pungent grapefruit and pine flavor. The burn in the belly, however, remains giving off a nice warming sensation. Mouthfeel is velvety, semi-rich, modest carbonation, and dry, hoppy finish. One bomber is definitely enough. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber bottle, no freshness dating found. Pours golden amber, clear, minimal head, tiny buble film, leaves minimal lacing. Nose is faint malt. Taste is smooth, malt. Vanilla, leather,melon and caramel. Hops are subtle, not overpowering. Grainy, grapefruit hop notes come through. Quite warming with Alcohol (10%!) present, but well hidden by fulll flavors of this tasty sipper. well done, seek and enjoy.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a growler freshly filled a couple hours ago at Shoreline Beverage in Huntington, NY (thanks for the tip Malto).
A real attractive bronze/rust color w/ a nice finger full of off-white head that disappears quickly. Lacing is very thin and has no cling at all.
Aroma is real enjoyable...rum raisins, cherries, and some alcohol present.
Taste is packed full of raisins, grapes, and has a decent malt backbone. I was expecting something sweeter from Smutty.
Alcohol is present too, but is not upfront and does not linger...just warms you up perfectly.
The mouthfeel is just right for the style...a bit syrupy and somewhat thick.
Drinkability is average, as I never find the barleywines to be highly drinkable...a perfect one to enjoy this time of year.
I would prefer this particular offering aged for at least a year, and I will do this with the few bottles I just picked up last week...I could simply not avoid picking up a growler of this brew when I saw it available...blame me?

Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of ballewblake.

Pours brownish-amber with a small off-white head. The aroma is very sweet with some strong caramel malt. The flavor is lots of caramel as well as hops, chocolate, sweet malt as well as some dark fruit and brown sugar. The alcohol does come through in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of mattster
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 22 Fluid ounce 2007 Bottle at Beer Tasting with NitroGen & Tayner; Poured into wineglass.

Pours a nice clear reddish/med brown color. Virtually no head, some lacing.

The first thing that hit me with the smell of this monster was Pecan pie - Nice toasted pecans with nice caramel maltyness. Taste follows through with nuttiness, also provides some bitter and sweet notes. Somewhat hot on back of palate, but a nice drink.

Photo of yankeeheel
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful garnet with a smallish off-whte head. Settles in to a rather swirly sheet of lace.

Smells very estery with a fair amount of hop coming through.

Tastes like a young barleywine but not quite as aggressive. There's no need to wait on the malts to tone down, they're perfect. Lots of big ripened fruit and caramel flavors. The hops are a bit over the top for me, but dealable. Feel the burn.

Mouthfeel is rather huge. Bordering on overbearing at times.

Drinkability. I'm going to get another bottle of this and lay it down. I'd like to see it when the hops settle in.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a deep, dark copper color with a tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with good amounts of toffee. Also present are slight hints of pine hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet caramel malts up front are joined quickly by mild amounts of pine hops. Midway through the flavor profile sweetens a bit with the addition of heavy toffee and butterscotch flavors, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was a bit too sweet and lacked the complexity to be in the upper tier of barleywines, but it’s another solid beer from the Big Beer series. Worth a shot.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of DagFishHead
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright copper-amber body. Frothy orange-tan head fades leaving ample lace.
Smell: Syrupy/fruity sweet malt, a big whiff of alcohol with piney-citrus hops.
Taste: Thick sweet toffee malt to start. Lush with soothing alcohol warmth and peppery citrus / bitter hops at the top. The hops struggle to dry this baby out but finally retreat leaving some malt to limp throught he aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, not as lush as some other BW's. Light carbonation very appropriate.
Drinkability: Reminds me of a toned-down Old Horizontal. Very nice, but not as memorable as so many others.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pretty golden orange with a nice half finger of white that stuck around for the entire drink as a faint white covering to the glass.

Aromas are right on for a Barleywine....sweet malts with lots of sugar and a bitter citrus peel hop finish.

Taste is sweet amber malt with lots of sugars, light brown sugar, a bit of tropical fruits with tangerines and oranges mixed in, and then a finish to a citrus peel bite with almost a pepper sharpness to it.

Aftertaste is bitter citrus peel and alcohol.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but with lots of sharp carbonation.

Like it lots.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle

AP: A deep amber with red and orange hues. Minimal, thin head, very active "eye" directly in the center that is continually bubbly.

Smell: Ultra-sweet malt, leafy hop, mild dark berries...very aromatic overall.

Taste: Sweet-fruity malted barley, potent green-leafy hop (smutty's 2006 brews seem to have a very leafy hop effect...RIS and Big A come to mind) It's a very robust and complex malt flavor with a big burst of grren hop at the end.

MF: Medium body with plenty of activity happening but it still feels substantial and hefty on the palate.

DA: 10% ABV you really feel! but it's complex and tasty, this is a classic brew for the NE area IMO.

Photo of jmz62565
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark reddish amber with a large tan foamy head. This is a very nice looking beer. The smell has dark fruit, malt, and alcohol as the main scents. The taste is hoppy with dark fruit,very nice. This is alittle too hoppy for a traditional barleywine, but it tastes great. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors mixing very well. Some people don't like this because it's "too hoppy'. I say if it's a good beer it's a good beer. Cheers.

Photo of asabreed
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a snifter. 2006 dated on the label.

Appearance: Dark, slightly murky, hazy amber orange with some brown involved just as well. Mix between spotty lacing, raindrops, and a few sheets pasting the top of the glass as they slide down.

Smell: A lot of weird complexity is going on here. Alcoholic funk, yeast, a bit of alcohol clouded by dark fruit, lighter pungent strawberries, citrus like lime and lemon, toasted husks and grain, chocolate and caramel, some toffee, dried tortilla, vinous characteristics, and much more. Again, weird. And very intriguing.

Taste: Here's another barleywine where the hops, thankfully, are doing their thing, but it's letting the sweeter and malty flavors come through. In that sense also it's helping the balance and by the end, helping the finish. Lots of citrus is on the tongue more than anything as far as the flavors, but what comes though on the malt side are hints of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, grain husks, vanilla, maple, a bit of spices, pineapple rind, strawberry, and a lot more. There are probably many great things to come with time, but now, this is good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Thick, rich, heavy, full-bodied, though it's more coating than anything, without being so heavy that the carbonation levels try to make up for it.

Drinkability: A very good and singular barleywine. Around $5 a bottle (for, I think, most of the Big Smuttynose brews) is a remarkable price for this, and I wouldn't mind snagging a bunch for the cellar. Like most good versions of the style, this has potential to get much better, as there's a lot of backbone here, a lot of complexity, and a lot of balance.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing orange-y red color, almost candy apple red; hazy with a thin light-tan head that lessens to a skim and leaves tiny dots of lace on the glass.

Nice strong citrus rind in the nose, very topical-fruity with pineapple jutting out most. Candy-like, indicating a bold sweetness. Bright.

Wow, speaking of bright, this flavor is almost glaring. Prickly pineapple and sugar-glazing sit up front, while deeper in there's tart citrus rind, full-on lime, spicy alcohol (kept well in check, even at 10%), light cinnamon and caramel much further back, and a tag-team of rind and fresh sticky pine in the finish. While this all sounds extremely hop-centric, it's the malt sweetness that brings just as much character to the tongue. Somehow, amazingly, impossibly, Smuttynose has avoided a total tooth-rotting sugar disaster here. It has balance and grace despite the bright bluster.

Not incredibly heavy in body, this has a snappy, zesty texture. Very little stickiness, although it's there, and considering the style, it ought to be.

Not a mindblower, but remarkably balanced despite a wild hop/sweet mutation. This is interesting, and reminded me of Bearded Pat's barleywine by Bluegrass Brewing Co. (Kentucky). That too needed aging, and I think next time I see this I'll do my best to let it sit in the cellar a year or two. (This was from the 2009 bottling.)

Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition. No proof of this on the bottle, but it's not bottle conditioned and it reeks of Amarillos.

Peachy copper with a tight beige head that dissolves quickly to a film.
Fragrant of kind bud, red haired and sticky. Pine and spruce, countered by brown sugared malts and alcohol muscle.
Enters palely malted. Almost dry (quite the paradox, because this is not "dry" in the least). Sweetened breads, but not quite doughy. Caramunich holds down the malt end. Ever-so-slightly toasty and full of dripping caramel. Fruits appear, especially with warmth. Apricot and oranges and dates. Brown sugar adds to the sweetness, which, while domineering for a few moments, is about to undergo a coup of epic proportion.



All resin and full of evergreen. Greenhoused cannabinoids. Gooey and potent. Traces of citric rind bitterness. Sprucy, piney, but most of all GREEN. Forceful. Pungent. If I didn't know this was 'Rillo dryhopped, I sure would have guessed it. There is bitterness to spare, but it's mostly just resinous. This is absolutely an Uncle Sam B'wine. It may not be quite the numbing (and mouth-dumbing) levels of a young Old Crusty, but it mirrors the intent.

Alcohol is undermined (in relation to its double digit number), but far from absent. There are heated flashes to remind a person that drinking this quickly is foolhearty. Barrel-aged Rum comes to mind. Though the coniferous nature imparts gin (and quinine) traits. The caramelly, brown sugarness suggests bourbon. Yes, this is boozy and heady. But it's all just suggestions, and does not impede the potability.

A logic-defying sense of lightness is manifest. The carbonation aids to keep this from its realistic heft. Not airy...its actually quite solid. But this goes down rapidly. Perhaps too rapidly.

A bit chewier with a more assertive malt statement, and this might be untouchable. It is still rather delicious-- even if leaned, perhaps, a bit too much towards the hopping-- and its unduly drinkable. A year from now, and...ohhhh my. This will be a gem. Sadly, my inventory suggests I will not have any proof of that statement.

Thanks go to yankeeheel.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drinkable and the barley taste is there, it's a typical American barleywine, hopped up on C hop, with citrus taste, a barley dominated substantial aroma. Peachy colour with small and significant head.A bit of bourbon corn sourness from the Jack Daniels barreling of one year. Still, I am glad I cellared it for a year.

Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to ShogoKawada for yet another Big Beer!

Not vintage marked, but I presume this is the '09 release. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Hazy international orange body shot through with small glowing orbs of amber. A respectable soapy sunset/beige head settles to a gossamer layer on the surface, which shift like clouds viewed from orbit. A dense collar persists.

A touch of pine and grapefruit comes through in the aroma which is quickly followed by toasted brown sugar and a wave of malt. The alcohol adds a touch of fruit, but is surprisingly restrained.

Hops, dry bread, toffee, and walnuts build the base of flavor. Very faint banana, along with brandy, and apricot stones mid-palate. The finish is very dry, somewhat bitter, and almost astringent, though I can detect no roast malt. Lacks a little complexity, but there are some hints that this might develop with some age.

Somewhat thin for the style, which is surprising considering the ABV. Moderate carbonation, and warming...

Not a spectacular example of the style, but well made and highly drinkable none the less.

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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 581 ratings.