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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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972 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 972
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 111
Gots: 99 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 972 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of YankChef
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

22 oz bomber poured into chalice, no date but it was released in early january.

Appearance: deep dark charcoal like black with a dark cream colored head that is very thin.

Smell: smells of sweet oats and breadiness. Subtle aromas of vanilla and mystery dried fruit.

Taste: ver rich and creamy upfront with a strong roasted malt flavor of oats, maple. Then quickly fades to a strong bitter hop bite, linger flavor of pickled cornichons.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and creamy, a meal in a glass. carbonation is medium, though i would say somewhat high for a RIS

Overall: A very tasty and complex RIS, the head brewer at smuttynose recommends letting this one sit for about 6 months which i did and i would say it could go even longer to let the hop bite mellow out a bit more. Still a very tasty RIS, well done smutty

YankChef, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of umustdrink
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

22 oz. bottle (2007): ~$5
Bomber → Tulip

A - Deep black color that lets no light through. Poured myself a giant head, rocky with small bubbles and medium brown in color, slowly fades to a thin film with a few thick patches. Lacing occurs in large thin sheets, then small dots as it warms.

S - Dark raisin fruit, very bitter chocolate and a bit of creaminess in the background. Some alcohol is detectable. Smell is very sharp, almost more like a porter.

T - Starts thick and creamy, quickly becomes intensely bitter but only for an instant. Next comes a bitter hoppy bite and some chocolatey coffee flavors with some warm alcohol. Finish is bitter and chocolatey, slightly oily.

M - Medium to thick consistency with minimal carbonation.

D - Overall this is a very good RIS, with a much hoppier taste than most RIS's. This was a very inexpensive bottle, so I'd say its definitely worth picking up if you can.

umustdrink, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of mcarroll10177
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%

A- dark as night with the classic coffee colored head. Tons of lacing on the glass

S- burned malts heavy in the nose follow by alcohol

T- a bit over the top of the roasted/ burned flavors for my liking. I would have like to see a bit more to the taste than that. Not bad

M- thick like a RIS should be

D- a sipper for sure and a beer that I would try again. It loses points with the over the top burned malts however.

mcarroll10177, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of Bighuge
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%

Appearance: Pitch black. Thin but retentive brown head. Lace is moderate in amount and comes in rings.

Aroma: Mocha, java, coffee, chocolate, black licorice, tar oils and tobacco. Great fucking nose.

Taste: Bold flavors. Anise oil and hop oil mingle nicely. Dark, bittersweet chocolate. Roasted, charred and blackened malts. Dark currants. Great bitterness throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium full body. Silky and smooth. Slight alcohol attributes. Though it flows nicely and easily for a beer of this magnitude.

Drinkability: This is one great Imperial Stout. And what a bargain at 3.99 a bomber. You gotta be kidding me?!?! Bring it on. I'll take advantage of that next time I see and stock my cellar with a few of these bad boys.

Bighuge, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of mshallah
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

22oz bomber bottle with a map of the islands off the New Hampshire coast for a label. Jet black and inky. Color sticks to the glass with every swirl. Head of many different sized bubbles calms to a ring of tiny bubbles. Aromas of cocoa, vanilla bean, bourbon and dried dark fruits. Flavors are all robust and in your face. Dark bitter chocolate, vanilla bean, bourbon, licorice, espresso and dried plums. Starts dryish and leads into a very tangy finish that begins a little past mid-point and lingers into a long aftertaste. Wow. Big beers do indeed deserve big bottles. To appreciate all that's going on in this beer, skip the food pairing and just sip, savor and enjoy everything this local beer has to offer.

mshallah, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of Liquids
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours a pitch black bodied beer with a dull but dark colored, thin, one-finger head. Aroma is on par for the style, malty roast up front, the hop intensity is low, and there are definite alcohol aromas. Smells reminiscent of 'gonzo" to me. Taste--this has much of what im looking for per style, it's smooth, floral, intense but not excessively so in a way that would make it any less drinkable. Up front it's luscious roast flavors, sweet, the hops don't kill it, but it fades into a bitter chocolate finish behind the bit of grapefruit-like hops. The flavors are good here, and it's very enjoyable drinking. The mouthfeel is 'wow' thick, and good carbonation for drinking, but too sparkly on the tounge for me. Over all, this is an impressive beery. It's very monochromatic, so to speak...but I dig that. I imagine if I was blindfolded and didn't know this was a smuttynose beer I'd still know that it was smutty.

Liquids, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of cbrakel
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

This beer was a pleasure from start to finish: pours well, black as death appearance, cocoa brown head, robust but smooth taste (with hints of chocolate and coffee), malty, not too strong (despite 10.00% ABV). A great dessert beer! Will have again!!!

cbrakel, May 28, 2007
Photo of Budlum
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%

This stout pours with a very thick texture that produces one inch of dense, brown head. Head retention is excellent. The body is extremely thick and as black as it could possibly be.

The nose of this beer is a little lighter than I expected. A charcoal and peat aroma blend with rich chocolate and a sweet, milk smell. Strong espresso and mild hops also blend together at the finish. Alcohol and a mild fruit smell appear as the beer warms.

A wave of flavor starts this stout with strong espresso flavors with lingering sea salts. Hop flavors are strong throughout. Dark chocolates and a faint fruitiness add lingering complexity. The hops re-appear for a long finish blending with earthy charcoal flavors and warming alcohol.

The mouthfeel is quite good. Carbonation is naturally lacking but the strong hops make up for that quickly. The texture is on for the style but thinner than I expected.

The drinkability of this stout is excellent. The flavors are great and each sip left my mouth watering for more.

Budlum, May 25, 2007
Photo of scarletfire79
4.83/5  rDev +18.1%

pours black with slight ruby brown hints. nice dark tan head. looks really nice. definitly picking up some citrusy notes, roasted coffee. but definitly an element of sweetness. citrus hop taste, very mellow on the roasted flavor. hints of dark fruit add to the complexity. one of the best imperial stouts i've had, nicely done beer. really well rounded. i think this might be the best smutty so far.

scarletfire79, May 24, 2007
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%

An excellent RIS, with a good thickness in mouthfeel, black body and substantial head. Aroma coffee-chocolate, with C-hop. Aged about a year so mellowness therefore the hops make their presence but do not detract from the drinking experience. Nicely malted chocolate, with roast also in the secondary. Maybe not the best RIS ever, but damn good and will have again.

Sammy, May 20, 2007
Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

22 ounce bomber. High quality, a top notch beer. This is a very nice looking beer. It pours dark brown from the bottle and appears black in the glass. The head is dark, like any good Imperial stout should be. However, any beer that doesn’t pour like pure black oil from the bottle cannot get top marks in the appearence score from me. I want every Imperial Stout to be pitch black, no matter what, sorry. Aroma indicates that this is a fresher bottle, it has some nice malt elements (chocolate, roast), but it is mainly dominated by huge, citrusy hops. Flavor is very expressive and concentrated. It is massively flavorful in both malts and hops. The malt shows hints of chocolate, coffee and roast, while the massive hops add hints of citrus and pine. A very fresh, hoppy Imperial Stout. This is a tasty beer, but not sublime fresh. I could see this aging really well.

Crosling, May 14, 2007
Photo of Hautacam
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%

Dense , dark , oily brown...the head is really just a whisp on the surface.
Smells like coffee brewing in a carmel corn factory....a whiff of alcohol and leather.
Taste is huge and very complex. Sweet , heavy toasted malt....espresso with anisette, vanilla, figs , prunes , raisons ....an oily bitter hop and a bit of chalk, along with some warming alcohol. Leaves a really nice bitter and licorice aftertaste.
The body is very heavy....carbonation is pretty light.
Damn this is good !
Dangerously drinkable...Smuttynose Big Beers kick ass once again.

Hautacam, May 08, 2007
Photo of Luchman
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

22oz 2006 vintage bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours out cleanly black with a dark cocoa colored head on top. The head dissipates very quickly just leaving the blackness in the glass. Leaves slight lacing on the sides.

S: Alcohol soaked dark fruits, chocolate and smooth bitter coffee leads the nose. Even some slight hints at molasses. Toffee? Not much hops to speak of, but a tad bit comes up in the nose. I love it.

T: Chocolate leads it here along with the currants and raisins. Bitter, um, very bitter-like coffee comes in. Couple more sips in and I get a nice and sweet, dessert like taste. Brownies...? Only other beer to give me that type of flavor was the famous Dark Lord. Alcohol is definitely present, but nothing too over the top.

While this is all good, this beer has a let down. I picked up on a very harsh taste leaving my tongue in a bitter daze. I'm not too sure from what, but my guess is the coffee taste as I pick up on no hops. Other than that, I feel the beer was quite tasty.

M: Medium body with a medium/ to light carbonation. While not that big of a let down, a bigger body would have definitely done this better.

D: Well.. The beer has many pleasing flavors, but as said before, it had a very "harsh" ending in the taste. While I wouldn't call it a chore to finish the beer, I did not gulp it down either. A sipper for sure.

Luchman, May 05, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%

Ahhh...another RIS...how is this one?

Pours deep black with a smallish tan head that disappears to merely a ring very quickly.

Aromas are sweet dark malt and dark fruits with some dark grapes in there but a little weak for the style.

Flavors are lots of dark fruits...raisins, prunes, some grape...then sugar sweetness from the very dark malts..I don't notice any coffee notes, but some dark brownies and cocoa or brownie dough notes. All flavors seem to quickly give way to strong alcohol.

Aftertaste is bitter dark fruit (pleasant) cocoa, and dough flavors with an alcohol warmth.

Definitely a sipper...and definitely not 'another RIS'...this is unique...The Czar would be pleased.

IntriqKen, May 05, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

A - Deep brown, basically black ichor with with a large frothy mocha colored head and thick globs of lacing down the side.

S - An appetizing mesh of pine, hay and floral hops. Dark chocolate and coffee malt.

T - A burnt profile with a lot of chocolate upfront and some very mild hops. The aftertaste is mostly a lingering burnt flavor with some very faint pine and grassy bitterness. It you are looking hard, you might find the alcohol.

M - You need to tear this beer out of the glass and chew it before you can swallow. Viscous like cream and mostly smooth with a faint tingle of carbonation. Refreshing. A tad gummy in the mouth.

D - Extremely good. This beer delivers a total package. The abv is very high, but the only place you can detect it is the warming sensation. There is really nothing bad about this beer. I guess I wish it has most chocolately flavors than burnt flavors - but that is preference more than anything. Went well with my dinner or wheat spagetti in a spicy tomato cream sauce and spinach. Definitely worth a try - yet another Smuttynose winner.

mrasskicktastic, May 05, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

A- Thin mocha head on a black body.
S- Coffee, roasted, kind of burnt ashes, hints of chocolate, alcohol, and a very weak hint of hops.
T- Follows the aroma. Alcohol really warms the back of throat and it is a HUGE aftertaste of coffee. Can't really taste to many hops at all. Just a huge strong malt beer with a bunch of alcohol. It is really rough and not very rounded at all.
M- Full body with low carbonation.
D- I think this isn't to good at all. It tastes like they just threw a bunch of stuff in and called it good. They need to refine it a lot more IMO.

BlindPig, May 03, 2007
Photo of bkett01
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours a deep dark black with a frothy brown head. Absolutely no light is penetrating this beer and the smells of coffee and chocolate were noticeable from the time it hit my glass. A closer smell reveals heavy chocolate aromas mixing with hints of toffee, coffee, and alcohol.

The taste is rich and smooth with a mild alcohol finish. Very heavy malts in this aptly named "Big Beer" lead to a heavy mouthfeel. This '06 edition has aged for around a year now and certainly seems to have improved with time. This easily ranks as one of my favorite Imperial Stout's, and I plan on stocking up on this year's edition.

Grab a few of these and let them age.... highly recommended.

bkett01, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%

Pours a deep black, with a chocolate malt-like head. Looks very rich and thick and darn good. Can't wait to taste it...
Smells like dark chocolate, rich and gooey. Hints of coffee and anise slide by, but the chocolate dominates.
Tastes unlike cocao and more like coffee. Quite a nice transition. Dark fruits, baked caramel and anise also come through to give it a good bite, but not overpowering.
Drinks well. 22oz bomber? Gone. Could use a bit more feeling to it, seems a bit thin considering its look and style.

Mebuzzard, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

This is an '04 bottle that I've been sitting on since buying it at State Line Liquors...
Appears a midnight black with a 2 finger, dark tan, creamy head that fades into a mild cap of foam. Lots of streaky, scattered lacing is left all over.
Smell is of cream & coffee up front with some 63% dark cocoa nibs lacing the second whiff. Vanilla and mild notes of ripe cherimoya make for a very wonderful mix.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some herbal hoppiness and just a mild touch of roastiness.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chocolatey, and smooth.

weeare138, Apr 24, 2007
Photo of Kendo
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%

A: Poured into a Sam Smith's nonic. Body appears pure black, with a 1.5 finger fluffy chocolate-colored head that settles fairly quickly but does leave some splotches of foam clinging to the glass on the way down.

S: Dark fruit (cherries and berries) and dried fruit (prunes, figs and raisins). Also molasses and chocolate and some alcohol spice as well. Fairly strong scents, but they're balanced and subtle, so it's not like a smack to the nose. Pleasant all around.

T: Roasted malt and milk chocolate up front, then dark berries in the middle. It finishes with a taste of burnt charcoal, bitter dark chocolate and alcohol. Nice balance -- mainly sweet in the mouth at first but with a good dry bitterness at the finish and then lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Smoothed out very quickly -- not necessarily velvety-type smoothness, but very nice. Pretty close to full-bodied, but not quite. Alcohol warmth was felt on the way down to the belly.

D: Very good for a beer of this strength. I finished the bomber in just over an hour; it wasn't tough to do so at all.

Kendo, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

From an 06 bottle, poured into a snifter.

Pours a nice pitch black with a smallish tan colored head & some minimal lacing. Aroma is of malt & chocolate with just a tinge hops & alcohol.

Taste of sweetness up front. Chocolate, coffee, some dark fruits. The finish is where it's at though. Nice dry hoppiness with a little bit of heat on it. Mouthfull seems a little light but not too bad.

A very good Imperial Stout and another nice big beer offering from Smuttynose.

Kegatron, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.05/5  rDev -1%

Pours an opaque dark brown color with a full finger tan head that fades slowly to surface. A nice amount of lacing observed.

The smell is classic caramel and light roast malt and some coffee and a little alcohol. I liked the initial scent more than the warming aroma.

The mouth feel is hopped up and tangy with a good amount of carbonation. A Heavy weight body with a bite of lingering bitterness at the end. It's scoring points for complexity in my book.

The flavor is first a coffee then roasted malt and chocolate.

The 10.0 ABV is there as a solid warming sensation in the chest on the way down. A good brew for the BarcaLounger.

jjayjaye, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%

Thanks goes out to nouseforotacon for this one.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice thick black color, tiny fizzy brown head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is very nice of sweet roasted malts, slight hops, and coffee/caramel. The taste is great, lots of roasted malts, big on the coffee/caramel. The mouthfeel is chewy, with a nice dry/slightly bitter finish. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, man these few brew's I've had from this brewery are very tasty. This is an exceptional RIS, highly recommended.

Wasatch, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of nickss
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%

Black with a one finger, dirt brown head.. pretty.

The nose contains chocolate, roasted malt, and a subtle hint of caramel.

Huge flavour.... tons of malt, providing a stiff backbone to this brew. Lots of chocolate and coffee... delicious. Some berries also come through as the beer warms.

Nice and thick with perhaps a bit too much carbonation.

Very drinkable for a impy stout.... great brew.

nickss, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of dfried
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%

Thick, inky black liquid, nice and glossy, 2cm coco colored head. The first thing I noticed in the aroma was some perfumy hops that also had some citrus character. Some coco powder showed up shortly there after, and some dark fruits.

The taste had a lot of charred smoky malt, but which faded to quite sweet and chocolaty after a couple of seconds. The malt seemed to be swimming in hops the whole time, oily and resinous, but with a lot of orangish citrus flavor too. Plenty of fruity flavors, plums figs, and raisins, but it got even more tropical as it warmed with pineapples and grapefruits. The mouthfeel was quite sticky and the flavor long lasting. Definitely a sipper, but one that was really hard to put down.

Overall: I love hoppy dark beers, so I loved this one. I was impressed with how fruity and tropical it got as it warmed. There was also a smokiness in the malt that distinguished it from some other RISs I have had. The aftertaste was especially long and drawn out for this beer too, even for a RIS. Phenomenal beer.

dfried, Mar 29, 2007
Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 972 ratings.