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

Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

898 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 898
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%


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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 898 | Reviews: 648 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Karl Strauss tulip. 2011 bottle.

Pours with a medium-thick, coffee black body. Nice viscosity--not much light makes it through this RIS. A scant wisp of light brown head builds and settles quickly to a ring of bubbles. Aromas of sweet dark chocolates and a boozy blast of fermenting dark fruit. A bit of floral perfume from the hops and alcohol.

The flavor is spot-on for what I look for in the style, with big notes of dark chocolate fudge and earthy coffee. A bit of roasted malts and caramel as well. Hops are muted, but balanced. Alcohol is present, but not overpowering. Chewy mouthfeel isn't too thick, but instead nicely carbonated and drinks well across the palate. I would love to try a barrel-aged version of this--I think the body and flavors would hold up very, very nicely.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 02:15:33 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours an opaque mahogany/borderline black tone while yielding a solid 3/4" cappuccino-shade of head; decent retention and some lacing in patches. nose isn't as bold as i typically look for in my imperial stouts but does offer a decent amount of chocolate and roasted malt, with a little coffee, maybe a hint of hops.

flavor is a pleasant surprise. much bolder and tastier than i'd have guessed going off the aroma alone. nice chocolate, coffee, and roasted maltiness, with secondary notes of caramel and hops. very tasty. full bodied mouthfeel with a bit of chew to it; adequate carbonation.

overall i was impressed by this beer. don't get me wrong, i didn't expect to not like it, but it proved to be one of the tastier imperial stouts i've had recently. would definitely recommend.

(originally reviewed: 06-14-2011)

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 01:28:59 | More by BostonHops
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 02:45:34 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Ben for this one!

Vintage 2009

Solid black, creamy and sticky brown cap of foam and lacing.

The nose is lovely. Very complex scents of sweetness from the malt. Dark fruits, molasses, chocolate.

Tastes very much like a triple chocolate cake with alcohol. Chocolate ganache, chocolate cake, some booze, toasted malts and chocolate syrup on the end.

I find the body to be thin for the style. The body is sticky feeling also.

What a huge chocolate forward imperial stout. Very tasty and even the aging hasn't mellowed out all of the alcohol at this stage. A very well done beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 01:18:07 | More by jera1350
Photo of libbey
libbey

British Indian Ocean Territory

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 22oz bottle poured into a NB globe.

A: The beer pours a jet black with a large fluffy coco head that held decent retention. A very pretty walnut brown trail of lacing was left throughout the session.

S: Big roasted chocolate malt dominates the nose. There is no hop presence to speak of but there is a fair amount of booze left on the nose after each whiff.

T: Again a big roasted malt body and the alcohol is certainly present but it melds really well with the overall body of beer. Finnish has a really nice bitter chocolate layer that lingers.

M: This beer had an awesome mouthfeel. The carbonation is perfect and it interplays wonderfully with this medium full bodied imperial stout. Lingering coat remains on the tongue after each sip. Nice.

O: Overall this is an excellent RIS and one worth seeking out. I would certainly have this again if the opportunity arises.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 01:28:51 | More by libbey
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Dogfish Head large snifter glass, vintage and dating unknown (can't tell), oh wait there it is, bottle conditioned 2009.

A real nice creamy milk chocolate brown color head is formed, not very large and disappears fairly quickly. A small collar does manage to stick around, sitting on top of simple dark walnut brown body

Bouquet is a bit hot. Lots of roast and char, much alcohol heat, faint chocolate but really not too much else, the heat on this is like a very strong barleywine, but a bit hot.

I was a little worried about that heat I smelled, luckily it doesn't come out as big on the palate. Nice roast character, and almost silky texture. Aftertaste hints a nice chewy black licorice candy. Carbony char slightly, and some hot alcohol fruit mix in the palate sort of almost... Southern Comfort.

Overall, it's a bit hot smelling but it's still quite enjoyable. I could have this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2012 18:35:53 | More by smakawhat
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - worn black crayon black (just running out of ways to describe the dark blackness of IRS's and other stouts), wells up three fingers of dark brown head that lightens in colors as it fades with rocky pits and sticks to the sides of the glass

S - malts dominate with a chocolate backbone, some booziness, and a spritz of mocha

T - big on coffee bean, like biting into a bean, chocolate support followed by big boozy roasted malts

M&D - a straight forward and tasty RIS, doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't, doesn't surprise you with anything, just some nice flavors and a warm feeling, nice RIS

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 22:17:36 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of ibbjamin
ibbjamin

California

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this beer November of 2009 and am tasting in Feb of 2012, so cellared at least two and a quarter years. I pour into a large snifter to review.

Tight, light brown head of about an inch in height after a slightly heavy pour. Great head retention, thick lacing and black in color.

Heavy roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, crème, brown sugar, booze and oak. Standard RIS nose and a pretty good one at that.

Taste is quite dark of roasted malts, coffee and cocoa. I do also taste a good dose of resinous hops which balance this one out quite nicely. The cellaring did this beer well and it is drinking great right now.

Full bodied with light but noticeable carbonation keeping the mouthfeel alive. Very smooth and easy to drink with a long, dark malty finish.

This serves as a good benchmark for a typical RIS. Nothing extraordinary, just a solid big stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 03:51:24 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage split with my dad. This beer always makes me think of ba badbeer.

Pouring black with reddish brown highlights, this probably isn't the blackest stout out there, but it's all good. The nose surprises me. Despite being 4 years old, this still is one hoppy beer. Moderate citrus is present, along with a blend of chocolate, roast and coffee. A little bit of fruity yeast, and a little licorice are also present. Very nice.

The palate opens with a nice blend of chocolate, about 50%cocoa, some roast and of course, the hops. I heard this was an especially hoppy vintage(can someone back me up?) and it shows. While the bitterness is moderate and mostly grainy , there still is a rather noticeable hop flavor present. Fruity mid-palate, there is a mild black licorice character present. Roasty on the finish, this beer has a nice blend of chocolate, coffee and roast. Medium-full in body with creamy carbonation, this feels really nice on the palate. A pretty good no-nonsense imperial stout imo.

I'd be failing in my duty if i didn't mention how suprised i was at how non cheese-like the aged hop character in this beer is. It really is remarkable, i've had beers younger that tasted terrible. This is the 2nd 4+year old smuttynose beer i've opened this week, and both have been remarkable. I guess they have really good quality control and a thorough understanding of all that makes a beer age gracefully. Kudos, guys!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 05:15:06 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of 05Harley
05Harley

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009
(303 calories)

Purchased fresh @ Village Market Place, Somersworth NH

Price - $5.80/bomber

Pours black with deep amber edges when held up to the light. A thin creamy tan head forms but quickly retreats to a thin veil. Spotty lacing and fine bubbles keep me staring at the glass.

A full nose of aroma starts out with sweet chocolate, dark fruit, molasses and cinnamon. A big coffee expresso finish and some hops help balance it out to a near perfect smell.

The taste is sweet upfront with dark fruit but quickly changes to bitter with dark bakers chocolate, roasted malt and licorice. Ends with a vanilla alcohol aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a thick chewy finish. You can really feel the hop presence with both bitter and dryness in the finish.

I've had issues with this beer over the years being just too damn hot fresh, so I decided to age this one for a couple of years and revisit it. It's smoother with a few years on it and much more enjoyable. I'm really impressed with how well this beer ages. And well priced to boot.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 22:22:24 | More by 05Harley
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Long leftover from my second trade.

Looks like a stout should. Dark black body. Not too thick. I mean compared to Marshal Zhukov, its light as hell. Light caramel head lingers a bit.

Dry roasty grains up front. Hints of dark fruits fill the air around the glass. Slight bitterness from the hops.

Hm the taste. More of a dark fruit presence than the other IRSs than Ive had recently. It almost feels like a blend of a Quad and a Stout than a straight IRS. I actually kind of like that. Maybe the few months of sitting the back of my closet have mellowed this thing out.

Finishes very dry and roasty. The roasted grains prevail more here than in the flavor. Very light body for the style. Chewy feeling. Late exhales leads to a nice hop bitterness.

Overall very balanced with some nice robust flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 23:49:05 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of FirstBrewsoon
FirstBrewsoon

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter for a live review.

A - A smooth pour brings forth 1/2 finger of moderately dense foam, which recedes in short order leaving pointillistic lacing. Colour is dark opaque brown with a slight red velvet hint to it when held to light.

S - Tuscan cappuccino, vanilla notes, molasses and cocoa. Not as chocolatey as one might have expected, but still rich and interesting, with a good undercurrent of booze laying down the bass line.

T - This is where you'll find the chocolate intermingled nicely with the coffee. The vanilla detected in the nose is subtle but present, mainly on the back end. A nice, smokey aftertaste, with a solid kick of lingering bitterness. Well balanced.

M - Carbonation on the light side, such that it's present without being at all in the way. Viscosity is fairly workmanlike, not overly thick or thin, leaving a nice coating on the tongue.

O - Definitely a tasty, enjoyable stout, without being overwhelmingly memorable. I especially enjoy the smoke at the back of the palate, a distinctive characteristic. Finally, at $5.99/bomber this is an outrageously good deal. I normally avoid cheap RISes like a case of the clap, as a low price tag can be indicative of sloppiness, haste and a general lack of attention to detail. Not true here - this is a complete steal, and at this price it has my highest recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 04:21:42 | More by FirstBrewsoon
Photo of beerbiatchMD
beerbiatchMD

Maine

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose imperial stout 09 on tap Novare 1/28/12.

A: dark, black, minimal brown head w good lacing.

N: sweet chocolate, plumb, caramel, syrupy.

T: lots of dark fruit and sweet chocolate, roasty malts as well.

M: good, smooth, good carbonation  a bit of alcohol.

O: a good stout for sure, a bit sweet but well balanced, would recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2012 14:00:57 | More by beerbiatchMD
Photo of abrand
abrand

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber shared with a friend poured into a pint glass.

This pours jet black with a small ebony colored head that fades quickly. The viscosity of this is visible on the pour. Smells is full of coffee and chocolate. Not much else going on. Smells appealing. Taste is spot on. Nice bitter chocolate flavor that is rounded out with roasted malts. Very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is full bodied. Overall I loved this. Haven't really found a stout I haven't enjoyed though.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 02:35:43 | More by abrand
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a dense mocha head that settles to a chunky cap and leaves TONS of lacing clinging to the glass.
S - Big aromas of dark berries, molasses, caramelized sugar, and a touch of soy sauce. Burns the nostrils a tiny bit, the +9% ABV isn't hidden too well.
T - Dark roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, and dark berries linger on the palate for some time, followed by a burnt grain aftertaste (similar to scorched popcorn, but not as unpleasant). Very smooth and balanced, and, despite the nose, no trace of alcohol.
M - Big and velvety-smooth, with a creamy, full mouthfeel and low carbonation.
O - An impressive Russian Imperial Stout, but nothing that shatters the mold. I'd still pick up another bottle if the price was right (and it usually is with Smuttynose).

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 05:29:03 | More by jsanford
Photo of aranheaney
aranheaney

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bomber into a DFH snifter. This one has been cellaring for over a year.

A-Pretty typical for the style, jet black, some tan head and a little lacing. Really nice overall.

S-Coffee. More coffee, maybe some roast and a little bit of molasses.

T-good, maybe a little disappointing, not a ton of mellowing, but better than average...

M-A little slippery, I typically like an imperial that has a bit more body

O-above average but i hoped for more...

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 02:58:16 | More by aranheaney
Photo of ksimons
ksimons

New York

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-almost black in color with a medium tan head that leaves some lacing on the top

S-Big smell out of this one. Roasted malt, molasses, black coffee, mocha, and a fruity/boozy finish.

T-the taste is similar to the smell, but a little more subdued. Still get the roasted malts, molasses, mocha, and burnt coffee but there doesn't seem to be as much molasses as the nose suggested. Overall has more of a burnt taste.

M-almost full body, medium carbonation, leaves a bitter dry taste in the mouth

Overall really good for the price, not one of my favorite RIS but I would definitely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 00:43:23 | More by ksimons
Photo of TheMultiYeast
TheMultiYeast

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Conditioned in 2010:

Viscous pitch black liquid with medium sized mocha colored head. Nice stickiness as bubbles cling to glass.

Smells of figs, coffee, chocolate, charcoal upfront. Medium roasted character, mild sweetness, hot glazed donuts, and herbal earthy hops with hints of cedar, pine and woodsmoke.

Taste follows nose into a rich coffee/chocolate character followed by spice, star anise, cloves, black pepper. Burnt/roast comes through merging with a cutting hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is sticky and slightly chewy. Steady sippin.

Nice release from Smutt! Try it.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 02:43:18 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Not quite jet black body with a nice khaki head. Lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell - Roasty malts in the shape of chocolate. Not a lot of coffee on the nose. The lighter malts come through a bit as well. Caramel and some dark fruits. A hefty hop aroma as well. Smells nice.

Taste - Wow, really tastes great. Hop character throughout, but it has a nice dark chocolate roast to it. Again, the lighter malts really complement it well. The hop finish is bitter, but not outrageously so, which I really like.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied for 9.8%, but the booze comes through as well. Good carbonation.

Overall - Really outstanding for the price. I think it was $5.99 at my local shop. Can't beat that for how good it is.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 01:02:19 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass slightly chilled. Thank you Funhog for bringing me this one!

Appearance: Pours about 3/4 fingers of tan head, settles down into a thin lace across the top of the beer. About as dark as they come. Excellent lacing. A dark brown-black used motor oil color that is completely opaque. Quite inviting. 4/5

Smell: Unsweetened chocolate and raisin. Some dark fruit and faint cherry aroma as well. Hint of smoky vanilla? Noticeable booziness in the nose. 3/5

Taste: Charred chocolate mixed with a little vanilla. Roasted barley as well, but not very sweet. A little raisin or fig flavor too. Some hop bitterness. Noticeable alcohol warmth both on the mid-palate and finish. finish. Finishes with long lasting, unsweetened, bitter chocolate. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Very dry finish. 4/5

Overall: Though some of the flavors in this one really work, the alcohol was very unbalanced and detracted from the enjoyable aspects of the beer. As the beer warmed, the alcohol's distraction only increased. This one certainly has potential, perhaps with a lower ABV, but overall a disappointment based on my expectations. I certainly would not go out of my way to try this one again.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 05:37:36 | More by jegross2
Photo of aepb1
aepb1

Florida

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark chocolate with a creamy brown head

S- Roasted malts, chocolate

T- Chocolate hits you right off, roasted caramel malts and this finishes off with some chocolate bitterness and boozy heat. A nice big imperial stout

M- Smooth, full-bodied and moderate carbonation. Creamy

O- So smooth! Great beer and I will certainly return to this one in the winter if able

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 20:48:24 | More by aepb1
Photo of mullenpc
mullenpc

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011

Appearance -- Black body as expected. Head is tan/caramel/coffee with cream color with some soapy bubbles lingering on the side of the glass.

Smell -- Milk chocolate, coffee, cherries, raisins, roast, malty sweetness, a bit of alcohol

Taste -- Incredibly smooth. Doesn't drink anywhere near 9.8%. Milk chocolate covered cherries and raisins up front with a roasted coffee w/cream finish. Pretty awesome.

Mouthfeel -- Fairly viscous, but enough carbonation to allow for a fairly dry finish for an imperial stout. Flavors coat your mouth but the finish gives the feel of an easy drinking beer.

Overall -- At $6.99/bomber I will be buying a lot of this as I assume it will only improve with age. The 2011 is so smooth so I can't wait to see how it drinks in 2-3 years. Really a great brew

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 05:32:40 | More by mullenpc
Photo of HossMcGraw
HossMcGraw

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fantastic value and impressive brew.

Appearance is thick as junkyard motor oil with a half-inch tan head

Smell is ultra chocolatey with dark fruits and a touch of hops.

Taste follows suit with a rich, complex chocolate malts, dark cherry and coffee. Sweet but balanced. A bit hot might benefit from a year in the cellar. Wonderfully dry finish.

Mouthfeel is what you'd expect from an imperial stout: slick, oily, yet difficult to sip because it's so tasty.

Reminds me of a less hoppy Shakespeare Stout which is one of my favorites. Yet for a few less shekels and a higher ABV, this gives ol' Billy Shakes a run for his money.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 03:48:17 | More by HossMcGraw
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

served in founders snifter
2011 vintage from the in-person at darkness day BIF

Looks thin. Red around the edges-- looks dark brown at first, until you see the legs or see it backlit. Small dark tan head with decent retention and lacing.

Nose is HUGE chocolate malt. I could smell the chocolate malt before I even poured the bottle. Some caramel malt and a big dry roasty character.
The flavor is, surprise surprise, chocolate malt with some caramel sweetness and a big dry roasty stout profile. The finish is much drier than I expected-- touch of bitterness. As it warms, I do pickup a little touch of booziness.

Feels a little thin and watery-- and oddly gritty.

Overall-- this isn't bad, considering how inexpensive and relatively available it is. I have a few other bottles that I will try aging for a while to see if that booziness drops out.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 22:07:49 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like an RIS, black, thin mocha head, not much retention, no lacing. Nothing sets it apart from the crowd, but looks like it should.

Smells of gentle roast and light boozy esters. For the first 15 minutes or so, it is pretty faint overall. Not really getting much, even with a swirl, and it's not very cold. We'll see if it opens up...okay, it's a little easier to find now, but still not a whole lots going on. Roast, booze, and vaguely of malty sweetness.

Tastes mainly like thick blend of roasted barley and black patent at first. Some malty sweetness creeps in, and the roast is reminiscent of coffee. Hints of molasses add some depth, and there is a fairly strong roasted bitterness increasing out of the middle and into the finish and lingering. This bitterness is a little bit brash and astringent early on, but it mellows later. And the synergy of the whole thing gets smoother and better after time lapses. Still, it is not as deep and complex as many beers of this style.

Adequately carbonated with some alcoholic bite accompanying some sips. It is rich and chewy thick, so of course the body is full. Warming is clearly apparent, and it finishes with a roasty bitterness.

Certainly this a good example of the style. And maybe it is young? But it doesn't strike me as an elite RIS, and it isn't as smooth, balanced and complex as many. If I had scored it inside of the first 30 minutes, though it wasn't opened cold, it would have scored much lower.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 03:00:08 | More by sprucetip
Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.