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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

495 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 495
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%

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: 495 | Reviews: 343 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 03:37:17 | More by Sammy
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 03:09:45 | More by UCLABrewN84
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2007 23:28:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 01:49:00 | More by mikesgroove
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 23:28:30 | More by womencantsail
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 Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2006 13:55:19 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 02:06:49 | More by metter98
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2007 19:55:09 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 13:41:39 | More by oberon
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2004 02:08:36 | More by NeroFiddled
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 23:54:04 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 23:30:46 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2006 19:14:23 | More by WesWes
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2012 17:51:07 | More by drabmuh
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 17:18:08 | More by Mora2000
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 22:24:09 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

At least a 2005 vintage bottle
Pours a brilliantly clear, ruby amber color that is toped by a frothy, one and a half finger thick light tan colored head. The aroma is rich and concentrated with notes of candied orange peel, toffee and caramel malts. The aroma is quite fruity once you explore it a bit more; notes of cherry, raisin, and a currant-like berry note are evident.

Ah, the taste has an omnipresent hoppiness to it. From the get go a gripping bitterness is present and it lingers on through to the finish, where it starts to become a bit more balanced by caramel malt notes. Sharp and biting with notes of menthol like pine that compliment the bitterness. There are some citrus notes noticeable as well, and this mix with a solid caramel malt note; the caramel note is more noticeable and makes one think of orange flavored caramels. Chewy, with a certain richness, yet not cloying. This beer is drinking really nicely, I was a bit wary of popping this tonight, but I am pleasantly surprised and really enjoying this beer right now.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 04:47:18 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle-conditioned 2007:

Pours orangeish copper with a thin head that quickly recedes o a few bubbles and a thin ring. Minimal trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of citrus/pine. Resiny notes intermingle with grainy, biscuity, caramelish malt and peppery alcohol.

The taste is of caramel/graininess. Hops not quite as full as nose would have them, but they are surely there. Fruitiness becomes pear-like as it warms/progresses. It has a warming, sweetish, fruity/almost boozy finish.

Just about hits full-bodied without being too thickish or sticky, though alcohol does cling to the palate.

A nice, fruity barleywine to sip on.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2008 03:09:13 | More by jwc215
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I waited for some friends to show up to break open this large bottle. The brew was burgandy in color with barely any head. Some spots were visible on the surface. The aroma was of malt, floral tones, and alcohol. The flavor was full of sweet malt, caramel, fruit, alcohol, and decent bitterness. The bitterness level was slightly higher than some other barleywines, but it worked well in this version.

The mouthfeel was smooth with a slighty dry finish. The malt and alcohol tones lingered after swallowing. Heavier bodied. This brew had a great taste and paired perfectly with the chocolate raspberry tart we had for dessert. I prefer 12 oz or less for barleywine servings, so the big bottle is a bit disappointing unless friends are around to help you out.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2004 17:41:01 | More by Gavage
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 barleywinefiend


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

2009 vintage

A: Poured a light, opaque amber color with a tannish head.

S: Nose is big on caramel and brown sugar.

T: Tastes very sweet from the caramel and toffee. Some faded piney and citrus hops leaves a very nice, smooth and delicous taste. Booze is well masked by the flavor.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth, sweet and rather big.

O: Very Good. Ages like a champ!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 14:14:11 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79

New York

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

From 07/27/11 notes. Had on tap at Rustico in Arlington, VA at their Smuttynose event. 2011 vintage served in a tulip and sampled side by side with the 2010 vintage of their Wheatwine.

s - Pours a hazy orange color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Not quite as dark as the whitewine, but looks good.

s - Smells of caramel malts, dark fruits, bready malts, and light alcohol. Not as sweet as the wheatwine and a little more alcohol, but still pretty good.

t - Taste is a bit harsher than the wheatwine. Tastes of alcohol, dark fruits, and caramel malts. Way too much alcohol; prett hot fresh.

m - Thick, full body and moderate carbonation, with a good amount of alcohol warmth. Too hot right now.

o - Overall this is a decent beer, but needs some time. I feel like this one could age very well, as my only real complaint was the heat and alcohol in the taste. Would like to get a bottle and sit on it for a year or two and see what happens. I preferred the wheatwine, though to be fair it had an extra year of aging on it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2011 17:12:12 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak


3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The barleywine is a amber color, 1/2 half way between red and orange. The red colors are clear but the haziness brings out the subtler orange tones. The head comes close to 1 finger on pour and soon snakes down to a small ring with intermittent lacing.

S: The aroma is concentrated malt, intensely sweet with some hoppy bitterness to even things out.

T: The flavor is indeed very malty. The graininess is magnified by the concentration and quantity of the malts. They are sweet and dry at the same time, providing a good finish. The hops provide some balance and hints of bitterness in the mouth, letting the malts do all the work.

M: The malts are intense, providing a dry sweetness that finishes long. As a sip warms in the mouth, the high alcohol becomes very apparent. The effect is not warming so much as overwhelming.

D: This strikes me as the right time of year for this beer. It is two days before Christmas in central PA. There should be a few feet of snow on the ground, providing the needed cold for this very warming beer. Global warming is having a detrimental effect on my beer drinking...

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2006 02:45:23 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2004 16:17:15 | More by Billolick
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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.