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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

543 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 543
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 69
Gots: 55 | FT: 4
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 543 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -6%
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.

Sammy, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

t0rin0, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky brown color with a 1 inch light tan head that settles to a thin film. Random small spots and streaks of lace dot the glass on the drink down. Lots of sediments floating around in this one. Smell is of biscuit-like malt and some citrus zest. Kind of a weak smell overall on this one. Taste is better with some malt, brown sugar, and citrus zest hops on the finish. Mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a somewhat thick and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but nothing too amazing going on.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +0.8%

djrn2, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

zestar, May 31, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy reddish orange in color and poured with a thin ring of white bubbles around the edge of the glass and some lacing on the surface.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of caramel malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of caramel malts and a bit of malty sweetness mixed in with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of stickiness.
O: This beer is a good representation of the style and has a nice balance between malts and hops.

metter98, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 release. Gaudy orange-bronze with brilliant tangerine trim. There was near riotious carbonation immediately after the pour, but things settled down nicely within the first few minutes. All those bubbles have created a spectacular looking head that is large, chiseled rocky, creamy and sticky. Except for the color, I could almost believe that I was looking at a Belgian ale. This is a great looking American barleywine.

The nose is good without being hugely impressive. The Brewer's Notes on the Smuttynose website say that they decided to be a little more aggressive in dry hopping the '06 since this nose 'is a bit understated'. I agree with that assessment. The biggest contributors are alcohol, caramel and oranges (in that order).

There's nothing much wrong with the flavor. While I wasn't too impressed with the bitterness during my first few mouthfuls, it seems to be gaining in intensity with each successive sip. It tastes like most of the 80 IBUs that were present at the time of bottling are still present. More hop flavor would be nice. The hop bill (Santiam, Cascade, Simcoe and Warrior) sounds like it might have been a doozy when this sucker was fresh.

The malt backbone is some kind of sturdy. It tastes like a near equal mix of pale and caramel, with an underlying brown sugariness resulting from the addition of... brown sugar. Oranges and candied cherries macerated in Jagermeister fill out the remainder of the flavor profile. Jagermeister has always tasted like cough syrup to me and this beer does as well. Perhaps that's where the association is coming from.

Incompletely masked alcohol doesn't ruin the good time vibe, but it puts a damper on things. Again, more hop flavor would have worked wonders. I guess that's what I get for reviewing an aged barleywine. Not only is my belly warming up, but my mouth and tongue are on the hot side too. As a result, drinkability suffers.

The mouthfeel is closer to medium than it is to full (if style is taken into consideration). It's firmly silky smooth rather than being lushly silky smooth. I may not be able to assess the mouthfeel properly after too much longer because my mouth is becoming more and more numb as the ounces disappear. The somewhat generous amount of bubbles don't annoy because they're so fine.

Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale would have been a better beer with twice as much hop flavor and half as much alcohol presence. I can understand the former being considerably less aggressive with age, but why didn't the latter mellow as well? If you're cellaring an '05, I'd suggest waiting another year or two at the very least.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium dark copper color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention. Aroma of sweet malt with some traces of dry figs. Taste is mostly dominated by some strong and sweet malt with a nice subtle floral touch. Dry figs and prunes are present though not overly dominant. Body is above average and alcohol is well hidden. Overall, this is a very nice barleywine but lack of complexity doesn’t allow to elevate to great status.

Phyl21ca, May 08, 2006
Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This lovely 2007 vintage 22oz bottle has been staring at me for quite some time now. I have been dying to try it and decided to pull it tonight when some company was over. Served chilled and poured into a bunch of taster glasses. This one was consumed on 11/14/2008.

The pour was very nice. A rich reddish tinted amber color coming through very clearly on this one. Nice head of white foam reached about an inch before settling down into a thin veil that covered the rest of the glass.

Very nice sugary sweet, candy malt type aroma, your classic nicely aged barleywine. Nice notes of a caramel and a dulled hoppy flare to it still. Light bready malts are coming through nicely now as well. The flavor was very rich. Almost a syrup like feel to it as it rolled across the tonque. Thick with a nice coating feeling to it. The flavor was very sweet, lots of candy flaored malts and a nice and thick pine resin like flavor that was still nicely displayed here. Very mellow with almost no alcohol at all present here. Smooth and again very mellow finish left a long lasting flavor that urged you to go back for another sip as soon as possible.

Overall this was really an excellent barley wine. Very understated and under the radar. I would really enjoy trying this one again, especially fresh. Seems like a real winner.

mikesgroove, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer shared by Drew. Thanks.

A: The pour is a dark orange-copper color with a thin tan head.

S: Smells like stale sugar, brown sugar, caramel, and oxidation. A decent amount amount of grapefruit hops and perhaps even some grapefruit.

T: The grapefruit flavors from the hops are strong here and there's a nice citrus zest quality to it. Decently bitter with plenty of different sugar flavors like brown sugar, toffee, and caramel.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation, especially for a barleywine.

D: Sort of middle of the road for a barleywine. Not really bitter, not really sweet. And what is there is not really anything that great or interesting.

womencantsail, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired through a trade made with Muddyfeet way, way back in early 2006.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a full, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling aroma of oranges and lemons with only a light addition of caramel. Hint of green peppercorns and breadcrusts.

Taste: Sweet caramel maltiness with a slight toasted quality to it. Faint spiciness. The hops provide a rich citrusy flavor, but yield only a mild, reserved bitterness. Finishes bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A good barleywine and another fine offering from Smuttynose.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

oberon, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

JAHMUR, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at room temperature. Its slightly hazy copper body has a ruby cast and displays deep amber highlights beneath a creamy head of ivory foam. Initially the head holds quite well and leaves wide swatches of lace about the glass, but it eventually fades to just a wide but creamy collar and some cottony surface covering. The nose delivers a variety of fruits (without being very specific about any one in particular) and some grassy and citrusy hops over a caramel-drenched maltiness. The body is medium-full with a very fine, natural carbonation that leaves it quite smooth and velvety across the palate. Rich, caramel malt is equally balanced in the flavor by juicy fruitiness, grassy and lightly citrusy hops, and a brisk bitterness. Its alcohol is noticeable within the first few sips, but it never becomes excessive. It finishes dry as its malt and fruit flavor fade quickly but leave its bold bitterness and some leafy and grassy hop flavors behind. Well done and certainly worth trying, but be sure to enjoy this one at closer to cellar temperature to get its full range of flavors.

NeroFiddled, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Jason, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 release, poured from a 22oz bottle into a Smuttynose Big Beer Series tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep ruby red color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong floral hops, citrus, dark fruits and alcohol.

T: The taste seems to have everything hit you all at once with a bursts of hops bitterness, fruity sweetness, an alcohol sting and a hearty malt character all jumping right out together. The strength of all those flavors can sometimes conflict with each other, but here they are quite harmonious and there’s an excellent balance. Eventually, it’s the piney hops flavor that sticks a bit in a hoppy and slightly sweet after-taste.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, low-to-medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily for a 10.00% ABV beer, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style. Just like the rest of the Big Beer Series that I’ve had, this is an excellent big beer.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +0.8%

RblWthACoz, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Slatetank, May 26, 2013
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: beautiful, rosey, garnet color, with a solid, 1/2" algae-green head o' foam.
Aroma: big, fat, and sugary, fruity, sweet, while still soft, and well-rounded. A lovely fruit-punch in the nose (but not a fruit punch-in-the-nose), with notes of strawberry, cherry, melon, & more. Discernible alcohol, but not rough at all.
Taste: great hops, tasty malt, but potent booze stands tall every inch of the way, traveling through every corner of the mouth, treading every path of the senses. Long presence on the palate, with a resilient boozy finish.
Great taste, full fruit, thick malt, and in the final analysis, the strength proved to be managable, but the alcohol remained long into the finish.
One delicious barleywine!
Large-size thanks to Bierman9 for this beautiful bomber!

feloniousmonk, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of our central New England Beer Advocate Meetup #2.

A: Light fizzy head fades quickly, bright hazy orange red color.

N: Hoppy! Some sweet malts, slight boozy, sweet fruit, some orange peel.

T: Still hoppy! One, if not the, hoppiest barleywine I've ever had. Chewy hops, chewy malts, some sweet malt flavor, spicy hops. Very bitter and hoppy, almost an aged DIPA. Citrus and ping with a little boozy character. Some tangerine flavor as well.

M: Semi medium, chewy, decent carbonation.

F: Semi sweet, malty, long bitter spicy and chewy hops, some pine, a little orange peel lingering, and hot, a little too boozy overall.

jlindros, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Pizza P. Ugh, not a fan. Beer is brown with a wispy tan head of small bubbles, no lacing, no carbonation to speak of, low retention.

Aroma is sweet and boozy, lots of alcohol in the nose.

Beer is thin and harsh, very hot, thins out on the end and has a really dry finish, leaves me wanting a glass of water after every sip, I didn't like and won't have it again.

drabmuh, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich, malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts along with a killer hop aroma. It has a wonderful burnt toffee smell. Damn, this is enticing. The taste is great! It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down slow and warming with a nice hop filled finish. It's rich and bitter with burnt toffee notes and fruity yeast overtones. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an awesome brew. It's big with loads of flavor and aroma; a real treat.

WesWes, Apr 16, 2006
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.

Mora2000, Jan 01, 2010
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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.