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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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899 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 899
Reviews: 649
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)
View: Beers (51) |  Events
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
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Ratings: 899 | Reviews: 649 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beergeek279


3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber, into a pint glass. The color is jet-black, with a decent tan head. The smell is a nice chocolate. The taste is nice and bitter, with a bit of chocolate in the taste . Mouthfeel is very thin. As for drinkability, could have a couple.

A bit thin to be an imperial stout, but a decent beer all the same. Still, not sure that I'd trade for another one. Thank you to mydeadguy for the trade!!

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2004 02:48:37 | More by beergeek279
Photo of Imbiber

New York

4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mmmmm... Thick and rich, this jet-black beer has an initial tan-coloured head which fades quite quickly but not totally. Aroma is not overwhelming - slightly alcoholic with hops coming through here and there. Flavour-wise, this superb brew has a rich, bittersweet taste but mellow on the tongue; what is commonly known as 'dangerously drinkable', given its strength. The initial sweetness fades in a few seconds and a lingering bitterness takes over.

This beer is VERY dangerously drinkable...

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2003 17:18:34 | More by Imbiber
Photo of beernut7


4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the most impressive beers I have consumed in quite a long time. From the Big Beer series, pours an incredibly heavy black liquid with a sticky mocha head. The aroma is strongly of deep, sweet chocolate and hints of bold floral hop spice. The fist sip is like warm chocolate milk inconsistency. I cannot remember when I have had a beer so naturally creamy. The chocolate malt flavor screams at the palate with the perfect hop balance and a mellow bitterness. An awesome concoction.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2003 21:23:14 | More by beernut7
Photo of UncleFrank


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

I love big beers.
Black oil liquid fills my glass with a brown head. It starts thick but fades, however not all the way.
The aroma is sweet and roasty with chocolate. No hop or alcohol presence.
The taste is smooth and slick. Some coffee aspects are there but taken away by chocolate and burnt malts. The bitterness comes from the dark, black grains, not from hops. It is balanced toward the malt side, as it should be. The alcohol is very well masked.
The finish is slick and reminds my of cookie dough. A warming glow is evident after the first few sips.
Im glad I had somebody split this with so we could compare our take on it. And so I could drive home. Its a sneaky Imperial that I plan to grab more of, if its available.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 03:24:26 | More by UncleFrank
Photo of mydeadguy


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich opaque black with nice (though small) coppery tan chocolate head that disappears quickly. (the second, more vigorous pouring, resulted in a bigger head, though this head, as well, disappeared quickly)
Somewhat smokey chocolate malty nose.
Smooth deep chocolate taste, alcoholic, and heavy on the chocolate malt. The alcohol content is key to the finish, just overpowering the malt.
Light carbonation, a bit sticky on the palate, not as thick as some stouts, but very drinkable.
I'm reminded of some of my favorite porters with this one. quite good.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2003 20:38:49 | More by mydeadguy
Photo of edchicma


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

Beautiful, kick-butt stout. Almost black with a decent head that had a light chocolate color.Rich malty aroma that invites you to drink. Then...boom...taste is malty, coffee-flavored and alcoholic all at once. It literally explodes with flavors, then the alcohol leaves a pleasant dryness on the palate and the burnt malt flavor remains in an aftertaste that is very good. Mouthfeel is mostly crisp due to the alcohol, but the maltiness keeps it from going over the edge. Drinakbility (or should I say sippability is very good)

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2003 23:05:32 | More by edchicma
Photo of rabidawg


4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. No light passes here. Small creamy, tan head that settled to swirling, turbulent foam. Spotty lacing coats the side. Appears thick and viscous.

Smell: Butterscotch and roasted malt dominates. Wonderful dark-roast coffee aroma with a backdrop of citric hops.

Taste: Light carbonation prickles the tongue, and settles into a round, creamy mouthfeel. Starts almost sweet. Sweetness is swept away by an astringent bitterness. Chocolate and coffee in the middle, with fresh, floral hops fighting for attention with slightly burnt coffee.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2003 03:21:13 | More by rabidawg
Photo of Wildman


4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured black with no light penetration and formed a dark brown foamy head that left circular lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, coffee and chocolate is present with a hint of raisins. The flavor malt, coffee and burnt chocolate. The finish is fairly light for this style with a touch of bitterness. Reminds me more of a chocolate porter than an imperial. So as imperials go, it is not the best representation, but overall, it is a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2003 17:10:44 | More by Wildman
Photo of Darkale


4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light chocolate aroma, with a hint of plums or raisins. Coffee colored head, boiling up from the depths of the deep dark brown body the way it should in a stout.

Deep chocolate, bittersweet cocoa taste. Very sweet and very nice. Chewy, just a bit gritty, and so sweet.

Other reviewers have said that this is not a true imperial stout, and they have a point -- perhaps it is more like a chocolate porter on a very good day -- but this is a lovely beer, eminently drinkable, so very friendly to your tongue, and another winner from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2003 19:22:55 | More by Darkale
Photo of MJR


3.35/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased in Boston the weekend of the AoBF...

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque pitch black. A dark brown head struggles to exist, and eventually fades away to nothing. A quick swirl brings it up again, but it suffers the same fate this time as the last...

Smell: Malty with a bit of chocolate and coffee. A hint of green hops is hidden somewhere in there. A bit weak overall...

Taste: Honestly, this is one of the weakest tasting so-called Imperial stouts I've come across. Chocolate shows up the most, along with a roasted grain flavor, but even those don't blow my skirt up, like they should. The finish is short-lived, burnt, and bitter, with a pathetically small suggestion of fresh, green hops. A bit watery...

Mouthfeel: Lacking in body and oomph. This brew is way too thin and watery to even be considered an Imperial stout.

Drinkability: Average. I'll go ahead and repeat myself again...this isn't anywhere near being an Imperial stout. It's more along the lines of a strong stout. Or maybe a sweet one, as the chocolate is the strongest flavor. Overall, not a bad brew, but terribly mislabeled...

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2003 22:43:55 | More by MJR
Photo of BeerResearcher


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

This "Big Beer Series" is proof that BA and like beer lover groups are making an impression upon brewers and they are responding by digging out the top ingredients and notching up their brewing techniques in order to appease our ever growing thirst for excellent beer. This mild Imperial Stout is pitch black in color with a thin brown fading head and lots of sticky, patchy lace. Bitter chocolate, sweet malt, hop and mild alcohol aroma. A thick and rich chocolaty malt is nearly perfectly matched with sharp citrus bitterness and lightly astringent and pine-like flavors and light alcohol lung-feel. The creamy, almost oily liquid is quite luscious and very drinkable, although the intensity fades towards the end of the glass.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2003 18:39:41 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of goz


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

Pours super dark, motor oil black, small-medium sized dark tan head which quickly diminishes, minimal lacing. Aroma has coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt to it, although it's not too strong (especially compared to some others in this style). Flavor is roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and a slight burnt/smokiness that poked through at the end. Body is on the fuller side of medium, flavor lingers on with the bitter chocolate being last to leave.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2003 12:05:49 | More by goz
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An absolute black hole of a body, no ruby highlights here. Big, thick, dentable kahki head, which eventually settles into a tabletop. Nose is primarily chocolate, which is never a bad thing (talk about combining vices). Some licorice and coffee buried down below. Taste is roasted malts with some coffee, a hint of chocolate and some late arriving herbal hops. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, appropriate of a pour that resembled motor oil. Drinkability is surprisingly easy, and desirable. This will require more than one bomber bottle next winter.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2003 21:58:34 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of WanderingFool


4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Smuttynose Big Beer Series is full of Big Flavor. It pours as black as midnight with a thin milk chocolate colored head on top that quickly retreats to a ring around the surface. Little to no lace is left on the glass. I found the aroma to be subtle with hints of coffee, chocolate, and hops. This full bodied beer begins with a chocolate taste, moves towards roasted malts and coffee and finishes with a slightly bitter flavor and mild alcohol finish. A stickyness and chocolate flavor are left behind.

This is a terrific imperial stout that is full of flavor. I found it to be a somewhat filling which took away a bit of its drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2003 14:17:17 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of samlucy

New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours out of the bottle very dark almost black with a slight head that calms down quickly. It has a toasted smell of lightly burnt coffee and a similar taste with a touch of fruit(current). Mouth feel is very smooth, silky with little carbonation. I look forward to enjoying my next one as much as I did this one. A good beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2003 19:04:39 | More by samlucy
Photo of avylover


4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a black hole. No light penetrates at all. Black as can be with as nice looking thick tan head.. The head almost looks reddish like many other imperial stouts.Smells of burnt coffee, some chocolate and ripe fruit.Taste and mouthfeel are topnotch. This brew feels like silk in my mouth. Chocolate up front with nice bitterness going down. That fruitiness is in there too. Suprisingly drinkable for an Imp stout. .

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2003 15:46:20 | More by avylover
Photo of scottum


3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out almost black with a very nice brown head. Tastes good. Not the best imperial around, but make no mistake, this is a good brew. Not enough in your face imperialism to make me as happy as I'd like. Tastes a touch of sweet with a good hunk of burnt and a bit of old fashoned hoppy goodness. Not enough quench to take more than one in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2003 20:05:14 | More by scottum
Photo of purplehops


2.88/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This stout pours an opaque black with a chocolate brown head. The head is very short lived and leaves little to no lace on the glass. The aroma is burnt chocolate and black malt with some notes of coffee. The taste starts with flavors of burnt coffee and grain with a slight sweetness of cocoa. The finish is slightly astringent flavors of roasted grains and coffee. The aftertaste is a mellowing of the burnt flavors with hints of sweet malt and chocolate and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium light with some astringent prickliness of the tongue.
Overall an average to substandard Imperial Stout. Not enough malt profile coming through the black malt bitterness. Also no hint of hop bitterness to balance the malt.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2003 11:32:12 | More by purplehops
Photo of kunzbrew


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

This brew pours a jet black with a nice tan head that hangs around for a while, leaving a silky tan lace behind. A coffee smell fills the nose along with a sweet fruit. The first sip is a sweet earthy fruity taste that is great. The smooth finish leaving nothing on the palate make me crave the next sip. The smooth yeast finish is great also. This is a very good beer.


Serving type: bottle

01-30-2003 17:08:56 | More by kunzbrew
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Imperial Stout poured jet black with good tan foam that left nice lace on the glass. The smell was very good: sweet, dark malt, and coffee aromas. The taste was good: sweet, malty, with coffee and licorice in the mix. The mouthfeel was smooth and full bodied. The drinkability was good. A very fine effort.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2003 10:44:09 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


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

Have waited so long for their Black Cat Stout to be bottled, I decided to try this beer, though I knew it was a different blend. Very black with little or no head. Smooth, but not very robust. A good stout, but not the Black Cat I anticipiated it could be.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2002 06:38:17 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of Andy


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

Poured with little to no head. Toasted wafer aroma. Toasted flavor throughout, very mello and pleasant. Not overwhelming (which is too bad). Substantial underlying fruit notes, green apple and banana. Alcohol is present but not a main attraction.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2002 13:00:25 | More by Andy
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is no doubt about drinking an Imperial stout, and Smuttynose's has beef. A dark, ebony colored stout with good flavor. Brewed with 8 grains and 3 hops. ABV - 7.1%

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2001 18:51:19 | More by jdhilt
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-1998 00:00:01 | More by BeerAdvocate
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Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 899 ratings.