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Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)

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978 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 978
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 112
Gots: 100 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
2007 - 10.0%
2009 - 8.9%
2010 - 9.8%
2014 - 9.4%

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 05-05-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 978 | Reviews: 658 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by falloutsnow:
Photo of falloutsnow
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: 2010 bottling
Glass: Tulip

Even with a little over two years of age, Smuttynose's Imperial Stout is a version of the style that hits all the right notes with its heavy, slow-sipping body, chocolate and roasted barley flavors and aromas. The hop usage also adds a slight twist to the typical stout, imbuing this with some characters not too commonly seen. The price ($6 at the time) and quality of the beer make this quite superb indeed. One I would happily try again.

Pours a 1cm tall head, burnt tan in color, made up of small-sized bubbles, creating a very dense-looking mass of foam. The head has average to above average retention for the style, lasting about 1.5 minutes by my watch. Lacing left by the head is noticeable, fairly large masses of burnt tan froth stick to the inner sides of the glass. The body is dark brown to black in color, opaque to the point that observing carbonation is not possible.

The aroma is upfront and noticeable, a mix of bitter roasted malt, dark chocolate, slight caramel and stale coffee beans, and hops presenting very modest pine resin and bitterness.

The flavors are similar to the aroma, and that's a good thing. Front of the palate picks up slightly acrid roasted malt with a dusting of dry cocoa, leading into a mid-palate that features stronger dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors, a more subdued prune essence, and hops with pine resin and bitterness that are noticeable through the heavy chocolate and roasted barley flavors, but just barely able to cut through and not distract from the main elements of the stout. Back of palate increases the hop bitterness and prune-like esters slightly, but still well-balanced by the roasted malt and chocolate nuances. Aftertaste is of lingering roasted barley, dark chocolate, and hop bitterness with a touch of pine.

Medium-heavy to heavy in weight, with carbonation levels of medium to medium-low intensity, leading to a smooth, thick mouthfeel with an appropriately low amount of fizz to induce sipping. Closes dry, with significant stickiness lingering across the palate.

falloutsnow, Jan 12, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a ink black with a thin mocha colored head that vanished pretty quickly,aromas of dark fruit like raisin dipped in rum and dark roast coffee with bittersweet chocolate as well I noticed some leafy hop wich was very nice.Alot of things going on other than the standard impy stout flavors sure the deeply roasted malt and rummy flavors are there but what a nice drier earthy finish with notes of mint,I really like the hop profile to this beer it gives it more noticable flavor and depth.I liked this offering alot I applaud Smuttynose for their use of hops in this impy stout.

oberon, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Really enjoyed a bomber from Star.

A: Black with a brown head. Really dark.

N: Hoppy as hell. Piney and citrussy. Cocoa powder.

T: Loads of bitter, dry, dark cocoa powder. Rich and complicated with loads of fruits from the hops. Perfectly palanced.

Mouthfeel: Lighter then most RISs. Less oily and thick. Really nicely balanced bitterness and fruitiness. Dry.

Drinkability: Superb.

DaPeculierDane, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of Spaten454
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Spaten454, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of woodchipper
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

woodchipper, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 1 pint and 6 FL oz bottle. Number one in Smutty's "Big Beer Series." Old nautical map of the Shoal Isles.

Appearance: Pitch black, no light can be seen through this beer. Chocolate shake like head in the beginning, but it dissipated very quickly. No head retention at all.

Smell: Dark malts and smokiness.

Taste: Dark unsweetened chocolate flavour, chewy maltiness and an odd hop flavour (leafy and watery, trying to pull through) that lingers.

Notes: This is too similar to a traditional porter in style and taste. At 7.1% abv, this turns out to be a delicious very strong porter or chocolate stout.

BeerAdvocate, May 05, 1998
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle from the Big Beer series. This is a big beer. A dark, dark black with a small coffee-colored head and some nice lacing. A strong coffee/chocolate odor. An espresso taste with some intense bitterness. As the beer warmed, the bitterness abated, and I could taste some fruit. A nice, robust beer. Cost effective,also. One bottle will do just fine.

lordofthewiens, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -2.2%

warnerry, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Afroman, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of renegadeburger
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

renegadeburger, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of Callmecoon
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Callmecoon, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of bishopdc0
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle split with my wife. Hers in a New Belgian mine in an Allagash Tulip.

The beer is a deep black with a huge head. the head is reminiscent of a creamy with the smaller bubbles moving the edge while the bigger bubbles remain in the center. As the beer is drank the head doesn't dissipate.

The aroma is wonderful, full of roasted barley cocoa and coffee are the most evident. The end is a fruity and spicy notes perhaps from the hops very nice.

The taste is wonderful. The taste starts with a roasted creaminess on the mouth. The carbonation builds and dissipates to reveal a dry bitter roasted flavor. this flavor subsides and taste of raisins and a slight spicy hop finish. Nice.

bishopdc0, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of Doomcifer
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a nice caramel colored head which retains greatly. Nice lacing to boot. Good looking, inky, Impy Stout.

Smell is of huge dark sweet malts, roastiness, chocolate, a slight nuttiness.

Taste is huge and complex and for a 10.0% abv, this is incredibly smooth. Huge sweet roasty malts, anisette, bittersweet chocolate, raisins, espresso, cherries, nutty, most of the alcohol sensation is solely in the nice warming effect of the finish. Finishes pretty hoppy as well. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is full, rich, and robust...very oily, and just the right amount of carbonation.

This is as drinkable as your tolerance allows it to be. I could easily drink a couple bombers but would probably be off my rocker.

Just another fantastic beer from a fantastic brewery.

Doomcifer, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber with a "Bottle Conditioned In 2006" freshness date on the label.

A- Light brown lace, opaque black ... yes this is one of those really really dark beers.

S- Coco powder, ripe blackberries, South American medium roasted coffee, faint vanilla and slight charred wood all in the nose.

T&M- More creamy than smooth, lush full body. The undertow from the roasted malts pull the taste buds in a bit, just the perfect amount of charred flavor. Some malt sweetness lays underneath with a balancing hop bitterness. Molasses and dark raw honey come to mind. Warmth from the alcohol comes middle to end with ripe dark berries. Finishes semi-dry with a mild roasted grain character.

D- A sipper for sure, an awesome beer for a cooler fall night ... going to finish this one off with a sweet Dominican cigar.

Jason, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of merlin48
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big Beer bomber pours an opaque, ebony body with a ferocious, light brown head that quickly turns rocky as it sits atop the inky body. Massive lacing, sheets and patches, adorns the sides of the glass as the contents are slowly drained.

Aroma is incredibly complex. Expected notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate are complimented by hints of tobacco and leather. Lilac adds a floral hops presence to the impressive bouquet.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, rich and creamy, and coats the palate.

The taste is robust. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, tobacco, and leather echo the nose, as does a floral hops note that evokes lilacs. Chocolate covered raisins emerge midway through, and a chicory nuttiness and smoked almond round off the finish, and provide a slightly bitter aftertaste. An all around explosion of pleasant tastes from start to finish.

This Smuttynose "Big Beer" is everything that an excellent imperial stout should be. One of the better American examples of the style. Very highly recommended.

merlin48, May 23, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, pours black, dark tan head dissolves to a nice tiny bubble film and this one leaves nice lacing. Big and bold Imp stout. Nose of bready yeast and some dark malts. Flavor is burnt malt, black coffee, dark chocolate. dark rum. dry and chalky in the finish, this classy sipper is complex and warming. All stout lovers rejoice- this is a winner. Seek and enjoy.

Billolick, Jun 25, 2004
Photo of warriorsoul
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Liquor World in Porter Square for bringing this one in early...
Almost pitch black in color with some very little light able to pass thru on the edges...less than a finger of tan head with a gentle pour.
Some lacing forms, but quicky recedes back into the snifter.
Vineous at first whiff with a hefty dark chocolate scent and green hops.
The taste is real solid...the dark chocolate is still there and then comes the robust coffee flavor that balances it out. Enough hops to bitter it up just enough and definitely more on the dry side than sweet. Also, a gentle tweek of vanilla bean as it warms.
Alcohol is nicely masked...just that warming effect I expect from my big beers.
Goes down nice...easy to consume one bomber in no time, but no real desire to crack open another...the perfect beer to finish off an evening with. Mouthfeel could be a touch thicker and the carbonation a bit more mellow.
Another solid brew from Smutty's Big Beer Series and I will be sure to pick up many more of this one before it disappears.

warriorsoul, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of badbeer
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black, with a tan head, leaving some lacing, but the head remains throughout the glass. Smells is full of piney hops, some maltiness, but hops seem to be at the forefront. Taste had a little bit of a vegetable taste at first, but I'm glad it's short lived. From there, the taste has a nice pineyness to it, and then shifts more towards the roasty and chocolate tastes. Little more than medium bodied, medium carbonation. Pretty good, I don't know that I'd buy this often though. Worthy of a try.

badbeer, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by mar.

2008 vintage. Pours dark brown to black with a beige head. Aroma has quite a bit of alcohol as well as some roasted malt. Flavor is roasted malt with some smoke and a little soy sauce character. Very creamy, medium mouthfeel.

Mora2000, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Skye1024
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Skye1024, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber picked up at Knightly Spirits in Orlando. I needed one last bottle (at a reasonable price) to finish off my purchase, and the employee suggested this one. I didn't hesitate.

Poured into a goblet. Inky black, with only a faint ring of chestnut around the edges. Light mocha head survives as a thin but sturdy cap, sheets and flecks of lacing grace the glass.

Nose is dark chocolate, roasted malt, toasty bread, more chocolate, cream, a bit of grape. Lovely.

This is one tasty stout! Loads of chocolate are in cahoots with nice toasty malt, some grape, smoke and a bit of booze. Finishes dry and roasty. Great stuff.

Silky feel, only a slight booziness on the tongue, medium to low carbonation.

Great brew - very happy with both the Smuttynose "Big Beer" offerings. A well crafted imperial.

JohnnyBarman, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of BigE90
4/5  rDev -2.2%

BigE90, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of amidabha
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a moderate pour into an imperial pint gave little head or lacing to this motor oil colored beer. seems to have just the right amount of darkness to the smell, sweet and bitter at the same time.

this is a bit sweet and could stand to sit in my cellar a year or so which means i'll need to buy some more. the alcohol is just apparent enough for me to drink with caution. there is just enough carbonation to help give the dark malts some extra bite.

i like this one and can't wait to find a specialty stout from their big series in the future.

amidabha, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boast a full and rich nose, redolent with the heady vapors of chocolate malt, black breads, molasses and hops--exactly what should be expected of an Imperial Stout, with perhaps a slightly above-average hop odor.

On the tongue, the brew is thick and dark, and immediately noticeable is the cream-like mouthfeel. In terms of flavors, the beer turns out to be far thicker and darker that would be expected from the nose, the chocolate (and perhaps black) malts rebounding off the soft palate and tongue in a feedback loop of impressive richness that makes even a good Guinness seem comparatively tame. Huge coffee and burnt grain flavors dominate, as well as not-so-subtle hints of tobacco. There is a good amount of sweetness to the beer as well, in the form of dark fruit esters and molasses-like flavors, but these are barely enough to keep up with the more bitter, black malt flavors. And there is a good grapefruity hop kick, though again, against the power of the burnt grain malts, it can be easily lost in the background, and tends to be strongest at the tail end of the aftertaste.

Overall, while I do admire the brashness and flipside-of-subtle burnt malt flavors, it does seem that the beer is slightly unbalanced, and anyone not already familiar with even some of the weaker Imperial Stouts on the market is going to have a tough time with this one. Newcomers should thus try at their own risk, but more experienced connoisseurs will no doubt find much in here to discuss and enjoy.

jondeelee, Aug 08, 2011
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Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 978 ratings.