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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

685 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 685
Hads: 1,174
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 120
Gots: 142 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 05-05-1998

2007 - 10.0%
2009 - 8.9%
2010 - 9.8%
2014 - 9.4%
2015 - 10.5%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Reviews: 685 | Hads: 1,174
Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed notes from 10/28/13. A pint bottle poured into a snifter glass. 2009 batch.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark chocolate with a small tan head. Spotty lacing hangs on the glass.

Smell: Alcohol, anise, chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, and bready malt on the nose. A complex rummy aroma.

Taste: Same as the nose, with rich chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and dark fruit( think cherry) characteristics. Very sweet in the finish. The alcohol is hidden well in the taste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Very smooth over the palate.

Overall: A satisfyingly indulgent, desert-like beer. It paired nicely with cheese and a venison burger. Maybe just a little too sweet to be overly quaffable. More akin to a port wine.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

March 2011 bottling, 22 oz bottle

black as ink. thin dark tan head that fades fast. like motor oil. smells of dark char, a hint of smoke, bitter cocoa. similar tastes, very smooth yet complex flavors. dry, slightly bitter and acidic. long finish. slick, thick body, low carbonation.

overall a quality big and bold imperial stout.

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Photo of Dope
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 batch.

A: Pours a nice jet black. Big and dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly; great retention. Nice solid chunky lacing everywhere.

S: Strong dark fruits in this one. Lots of figs, raisins and plums. A bit of char and maybe a hint of chocolate and anise. Dark fruits even stronger when swirled.

T: Quite charry up front with a smoke presence as well. Dark fruits are still here but very subdued under the char. Kind of a dry, bitter chocolate and char in the finish. Anise and lingering char in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, pretty dry.

O: Not bad. Very much on the fruity/charry side of RISes. Not a whole lot of chocolate or coffee that you usually find (and that I usually prefer). Quite dry too. Very little sweetness in general and very dry in the finish. Definitely a bit different than most. Will have to try this fresh someday to compare. Pretty good but I'm a bit biased towards more sweet, chocolatey and coffee based RISes.

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Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle from 2010 poured into a pint glass. Purchased yesterday at local distributor for $7.00.

A: Black. Hints of dark red towards the top when held to a light. Very nice tan, mocha-colored head that fades into a thin lacing around the edge of the glass.

S: When I first opened the bottle, the first thing I immediately noticed was the intense alcohol presence. That is what I expect when I open an RIS, so right away I knew I was onto something with this beer. As the beer warms it really opens up with some dark fruits, molasses and chocolate. Wonderful.

T: Taste matches the smell, especially as the beer warms. Alcohol is hidden very well. Sort of reminds me of Siberian Night by Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. Nice bitter ending on the palate with hints of some sort of dark tropical fruit? Very complex.

M: Creamy, low carbonation, and smooth.

O: Pretty solid RIS. Not the best I've had, but definitely glad I purchased it. I would have loved to try a new one and compared it to an aged beer like the one I just drank. I may have to purchase one more to save for another year or two to see how it transforms. At $7.00 at 22 oz, it's a steal for an RIS. Once again, another solid offering from Smuttynose.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. 2010 bottle.

Smuttynose Imperial Stout pours a molasses, nearly black color, with a generous mocha head that rises up to the top of my glass and leaves a nice web of lace down the glass.

Dark fruits, including dates, plums, and raisins, dark chocolate, sweet molasses, roasted malt, and some smoke all contribute to the nose.

The flavor matches up the the aroma fairly well. There is a molasses and dark fruit sweetness that contrasts with the smoke that comes through right away. After a moment, roasted malt and dark, unsweetened chocolate come through next, with a bit of bitter coffee and some more smoke coming along at the finish.

The body is definitely on the full side, with a creamy carbonation that just stays out of the way. It is definitely sticky on my lips and leaves a little bit of a bitter, acrid feel at the end.

I have been sitting on this bottle for a while, and it was about what I expected: nice, but nothing overly special.

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Photo of kevanb
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2011 dated. Poured into a Smuttynose Big Beer Series snifter.

The beer pours a nice jet black color, thick, motor oil texture, touches of dark brown when hit by the light with a nice thick caramel colored head rising up the glass, about a finger and a half high that has decent retention and leaves behind no lacing. The aroma is of nice chocolate malt, mollasses, prune with some slightly roasted coffee with some residual sweetness from the malt a bit of fusel alcohol. The flavors follow nicely, big chocolate malt rush on the tongue with some nice stone fruit flavors, dark cherry and plum, mollasses with a much more prolific roasted coffee presence that lingers nicely on the tongue with a touch of alcohol at the finish. The body is fairly silky, moderately rich with a bit more carbonation than expected, higher on the medium spectrum with an easy smooth finish that has a nice warming sensation as it goes down.

Verdict: A very fine stout from Smuttynose. Their isn't a ton of complexity here, but the beer is very balanced and easy to drink. A worthy take on the Russian Imperial Stout and one I hope that gets brewed again in the future.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle (2011 vintage) poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L – Black color with a 1.5-finger creamy, rocky, tan-brown head. Decent retention but not much lacing.

S – This is full of lots of RIS aromas. Cocoa, plums, currants, molasses, licorice, and an aroma reminiscent of coffee liqueur come to mind. This smells much more complex and layered than I expected it to be.

T – The taste isn’t quite as complex as the nose suggested but man, is it tasty. It starts off sweet with molasses, cocoa, and some dark fruits. At about mid-taste, spicy licorice comes along for the ride. Towards the finish, big and bitter roasted coffee appears and lingers. As the bitterness mellows, dark fruit and cocoa sweetness comes back into play.

F – Full-bodied with good carbonation, a thick, creamy, and velvety mouthfeel, and a slightly bitter, slightly sweet, and dry finish. Bitter roasted coffee lingers until molasses and cocoa sweetness takes back over. There’s a bit of a throat-warming sensation from the alcohol, as well.

O – This is a really nice RIS. It’s big, bold, and complex enough while remaining very drinkable. It has all the elements that I would look for in a beer of this style. This is an awesome beer from Smuttynose. They really have yet to disappoint me.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of mullenite
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally tasted fresh, each section is updated and the score is averaged after ~3.5 years of aging.

2009 bomber poured in to a Corsendonk tulip (I LOVE these glasses for big stouts.)

Pours a straight black body with no highlights and a 3 finger head that fell slowly in to a thin carp mostly covering the top of the beer. Excellent lacing down the side of the glass. / After 3.5 years, the appearance remains true except the head. It dropped a bit faster to a much more dense foam.

Smell is a strong dark chocolate and some roast. Has an overall bitter nose to it with the alcohol adding a touch of aquanet. The aquanet is a good thing though, it's a very clean alcohol smell. / The alcohol and roast are mostly gone leaving a really nice dark chocolate and dark fruit aroma. The "aquanet" is gone, too.

There is a lot going on in this beer, the flavors are all kind of bunched at the start of the sip and separate through the finish. There is a noticeable grassy hop bitterness to start, followed by a slight roast character with some resonant alcohol and finish with an alcoholic dark chocolate. A very hoppy imperial stout. / The hop bitterness is gone, the alcohol is gone. The rest remains. Absolutely amazing and up there with some of the best in the world.

Medium to medium heavy mouthfeel with a fair bit of carbonation to it. / This hasn't changed.

Pretty easy to drink it now but I imagine after a couple years this one will mellow out and balance to become an absolutely amazing beer. / My prediction was correct. This one drinks scary easy and has an absolutely amazing flavor.

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Photo of Morey
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bomber into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black in color with a light brown head that initially stood just under two fingers high. After about 5 minutes or so, I'm left with just a thin and spotty layer with some lone bubbles here and there. There's a good amount of lacing being left behind though.

Aroma: Very roasty, with hints of semi-sweet chocolate and espresso. The nose was rather mild following the pour, but it started to come alive as the beer warmed up a bit.

Taste: Sweet and creamy up front with some nice roasted and espresso-like bitterness not far behind, providing immediate balance to this big stout. There's a touch of hop bitterness towards the middle with a welcomed chocolate flavor in there as well. The finish is smooth, creamy, sweet, and bitter all at the same time. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sweet, and creamy...near perfection in this area.

Morey's Bottom Line: I had heard some good things, so I finally decided to bring this one up from the cellar after sitting on it for about a year. Very similar to the Imperial Russian Stout by Stone which I just drank last week. You get superior value at only $6.99 a bottle. You can't afford not to get this. Cheers!

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled in tall ale glass; 8 mo-old version

A: solid black; thin head; good carb; great lacing
S: wow--total leather and dark-roasted barley
T: this easily rivals Old Rasputine; the complexity is astounding; much like chewing a leather belt (in a good way); pepper on the finish

This is an amazing porter; my stomach isn't completely happy but my mouth is

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Photo of mooseo
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml into tulip.

A - Midnight black with a thin dark tan head.

S - Sweet aroma of chocolate, molasses, and toffee. Milky.

T - A nice blend of dark roasted malt, milk chocolate, and vanilla cream. Reminds me of a sweet chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, in liquid form. Delicious.

M - Thick and full bodied, extra smooth and creamy. Low carbonation with warming alcohol.

O - A really nice imperial stout. I got this on discount, so it probably has some age on it. The alcohol is hidden well and probably mellowed out a bit. Excellent flavor.

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Photo of hosehead83
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "bomber" bottle ( vintage 2011), into a wine goblet.
Jet-black in color, with a moderate to short head of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted coffee and chocolate notes
Taste-Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, dark orchard fruits, underlying warming alchohol. A solid, all around RIS.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TCHopCraver for supplying this one!

Appearance: Poured from a 22oz bottle into a large snifter. Color is jet black with a one-finger dark brown head. Good lacing and retention. After the head recedes, little bubble islands populate the surface of the beer.

Smell: Quite sweet on the nose. Lots of brown sugar, maple, and molasses. Some dark fruit in there as well. There are some bitter notes, but they take a bake seat to the boozier, sweeter elements.

Taste: The taste is not quite as bold as the aroma, but it delivers nonetheless. There is more of an earthy presence than I anticipated and a bit more hop flavor as well. Decent balance and a dry finish are imparted from roasty influence. The dryer elements seem to persist the longest after drinking.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and a tad lighter than I expected. Good balance with a roast, dry finish.

Overall: Good elements here, but the taste department is a touch lacking. While there is good balance between sweet and bitter, it feels like there is a lack of cohesion among the competing influences in this beer.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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)

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of jera1350
4.15/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
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

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Photo of ibbjamin
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

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Photo of 05Harley
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.2/5  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.

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Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4.2/5  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.

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Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 685 ratings.