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Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

364 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 364
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.25%
Wants: 77
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
We brew our Maibock to be hugely malty & subtly finished with a variety of continental hops, with an eye-pleasing russet brown color. Prosit!

2008 - 6.2%
2009 - 8.4%
2010 - 8.7%

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 04-30-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 364 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of jwc215. Thanks Joe!

A hazy light gold colour with a 1 finger head of foam. Lacing looks to be at least good.

The smell is very malty with a big bready profile and some caramel malt sweetness. A wee bit of citrus finds its way to my nose as well.

The taste is bready and malty sweet with some notes of ummm...chocolate and toffee(nice!) with just a very light taste of some citrus hops that peeks through and then disappears quickly. Very tasty and I'm glad I don't have to worry about a hefty abv so this is very easy to drink.

Medium mouthfeel with lightish carbonation. Very smooth brew.

Drinkability? It is malty but not too sweet, it has a better than average mouthfeel, and it isn't going to grind you down with the alcohol. What's not to like? :^) Near exceptional in every categoy.... I enjoyed the hell out of the session.

Bitterbill, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber,$5.85 from Pints O Plenty. 2010 vintage.

Appearance: This is a fine looking beer. Clear, light orange color (not the "Russet brown" claimed on the label, but that would be too dark). Thick white head with aboe average retention leaves some spots of lacing.

Smell: Malty and a little bit toasty. Some fruity notes, floral hops, and pretty obvious alcohol. Very strong malty aromas, like a barley-lager, or a lager-wine.

Taste: Again, malty and very sweet with toasted bread flavors and a little caramel. Quite boozy and the alcohol goes along with the hops to give a nice balancing bitterness. Finishes pretty clean with just a little toast and grain.

Mouthfeel: Soft and smooth. Pretty full for the style. I like the carbonation level-- its just right.

Drinkability: This is one of those beers that I bought without having an interest in trying it. What a great surprise though. Really tasty with some nice complexity. A little too much hot alcohol. Seems a little unfair to compare this beast to a run of the mill helles, but when you do, it really stands out.

rapidsequence, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of Nicolaos
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Nicolaos, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of hopley
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

hopley, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Turbodog666
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Turbodog666, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of greencovesteve
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy orange with a nice head and lacing.

S: bubblegum. Sweet grape, strawberry fruit blend.

T: mild and malty with a fruity center and a near peppery end. Allot going on here.

M: solild carbonation generates a building peppery heat with bitter semi-dry ending.

O: solid. I like the maibock.

greencovesteve, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of bultrey
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been a little lax about writing reviews lately, but every now and then, a beer comes along that just makes me stop and sing its praises. This is one of those beers.
Smuttynose has really been knocking my socks off lately, whether it's the obvious IPA, or the smooth-as-hell barleywine, or the wonderfully bittersweet porter, but this beer tops them all, in my opinion.
This pours a slightly hazy, beautiful caramel color, just a clue as to the striking caramel malt characteristic of the flavor. The head is frothy, foamy, fluffy and gorgeous, and stays put about an inch or so above the surface of the brew, making for a particulary appealing appearance.
The smell is nice and understated -- some very nice notes of toffee and caramel, with an ever-so-slight grassy/herbal note.
The taste is a caramel malt explosion, the toasty toffee and burnt sugar notes have just been masterfully coaxed from the barley. At the same time, the beer strikes a quite delicate balance, with a nice, just slightly bitter floral note, and a crisp, dry finish.
Mouthfeel is fantastic. Everything I want in a beer. I could swish this around before bed like mouthwash, and I'd be a happy man.
Hop heads will obviously not be crazy about this, but probably aren't crazy about Maibocks to begin with. As good as any German beer I've ever had.

bultrey, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of putnam
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A creamy, gut quenching model of a beverage. Loaded with dry, crispy malt vanilla-tinged deliciousness... dry but thick on the palate. Fresh hops and predictable, vanilla cream flavored mouthfeel make this a slightly vacant rendition of a classic style. For sweet-toothed amcraft geeks, this must be heaven. For me, it is merely recognizable as premier quality. This is what everyone drinks in Blue Velvet. PBR nowithstanding.

putnam, Jul 23, 2004
Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big ol malty nose....smells like a doppelbock...reminds me of Salvator...good breadiness......a deep gold/orangish/brown color...looks the part...mouthfeel is sticky sweet, and full bodied.......big on the malt...feels like a doppelbock...taste is sweet dark fruits....I love the maltiness of this one...the hops are hidden but do provide a tight finish that keeps this from becoming too oversweet....I like this a lot....I suggest they bill it as a doppelbock though because it tastes, feels and even looks like one (Salvator is about the same color)...Thanks again to Bierman9 for hunting this baby down...

ZAP, Jun 18, 2003
Photo of Bierman9
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The "new" Maibock is out, after a hiatus of 3 to 4 years. Scored one today (16MAY07) at Jaspers here in Nashua. I, for one, am glad to have her back in the Smutty lineup. The label still has the same description on the side, though the main label pic is no longer a map of the Isles of Shoals (now on the Imperial Stout) but a repro of a 16-17th century painting of a European couple... Anyhow, to the Bier!
Russet colored? No way! Now a clear, golden hue, with some sporadic carbo ascending within. Head is thin, fine and stark white, with decent lacing. A nice bready malt sweetness emanates, with a noble hop bite melding in. Body is medium-plus, bordering on chewy, and the Maibock is quite smooth and velvety on the tongue.

Flavor, too is bready, with a touch of toasty malt also blending in well, producing a surefire, light sweetness coating the tongue. Has a honeyish lean to it as well, with a hint of fruitiness. Then some noble-like hop action kicks in, with a bit of spicyness along with some fragrant characteristics. Finish is dry and refreshing. Tastes very good, imho.... Yes, very glad to have my Mai back....

Zum Wohl!!!

overall: 4.4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** ***

Enjoyed this offering both from the bottle (today 14APR02), on 06APR02, on tap... Enticing dark-copper (or, as the label says, "russet") color.... Has a small, creamy head, leaving a ring o' lace down the glass. Malty nose, albeit milder than in years past. It is medium-bodied, and beautifully smooth passing over the tongue.

Lots of maltiness in the flavor... including some caramel... and some flavors I have a hard time describing... reminded me of green-peas smothered in butter... huh? (so I'm weird...). Actually its finish is a pleasant, smooth hoppiness, which gives it a good balance. I enjoy this sucker, feeling it's quite drinkable, overall....! (4.5/4.0/4.5/4.5/4.5 = 4.40)


Bierman9, Apr 14, 2002
Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright and bold garnet hue, good lacing effect down the glass. Honey malt sweetness in the aroma and flavour with a twang of hops and alcohol. The alcohol has warmth but a lightly toasted biscuity malt melds well and brings out further complexities. A relatively sweet brew with a clean palate.

Jason, May 05, 2002
Photo of MisterSH
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into smuttynose big beer tulip. Date is notched "bottle conditioned in 2009"
Pours reddish amber. 1 finger head with strong golden hue. Great lacing and super head retention.
Aroma is MALT! Breadyness dominates. Fruity, grape notes, somewhat earthy, fresh baked bread.
Taste: Extremely rich. Immediate impression of roasty malt notes, followed closely by a subtly fruity twang and a strong alcohol warming sensation. Very sweet. Finishes rather clean, with a fairly strong, lingering alcohol warmth and a slight hop note. As it warms I begin to detect a subtle citrusy note buried deep inside of this monstrous flavor.
Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy. Fairly high on the carbonation.

This is a BIG beer. Outrageously complex, I've barely scratched the surface of understanding this thing, that will take several more tastings. Obviously higher on the alcohol than the 6.2% listed above, smuttynose's website confirms it is a higher ABV this year. Fascinating.

MisterSH, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 release poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Smuttynose US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very spicy along with honey, caramelized malts and a touch of hops in the background.

T: The taste is very malty and has strong flavors of honey, citrus and coriander spice. The spice is a bit stronger than any other beers that I’ve had in the style and is such that you’d normally get from a Witbier or Hefeweizen, but it works very well. A mild hops presence provides a very nice balance. The after-taste is bready, spicy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Quite tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, excellent representation of style with a big twist, nice strong kick, I haven’t been disappointed yet with the Smuttynose Big Beer Series (I’ve had Big A IPA, Imperial Stout & Farmhouse). Really Old Brown Dog, Wheat Wine & Scotch Style Ale are still to come. Looking at the beer itself, I find it to be an excellent beer and one that I could drink for a whole evening and enjoy the entire time.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of RyanLigeia
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light very hazy beautiful golden color. Looks inviting.
Smells sort of like sweet caramel and candy with both hoppy and malty notes mixed. I cant even describe what it smells like exactly but this smells AMAZING.
The taste does NOT disappoint! Im getting some alchohol but mixed very well with all the scents described above. Doesnt stray from an actual beer taste at the same time.
The mouthfeel fits this one great. Very BIG. SOme carbination but that doesnt take away from the heavy smoothness.
Overall its a little different than most maibocks Ive had before but that doesnt mean its not a great beer that shouldnt at LEAST be tried!!

RyanLigeia, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of rasta16ry
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a bargain bin at Blanchard's in Boston. A nice pickup found by my friend Seth. Poured it into a Leffe chalice.

It has a real copper glow to it, well-carbonated and the malts are very sweet to the nose. The head is very good-looking, about an inch and sticky on the sides of the glass. I get a little spice in the smell too, at the end, and maybe a touch of hops. The alcohol is there in the scent too, but it's not overpowering. One of my favorite-smelling types of beer, and the Smutty might be my new favorite.

Anyway, the taste is just as good. Not only is it balanced, but it has all the bases covered about as well as it could. Starts off malty and sweet, there's a sort of hoppy bite toward the end, and it finishes nice and smooth. I think this is a great beer, and I'm sorry I can never find it around.

I can drink this one at any time of year, I think, but having it in the winter is just as good as any other time. It's extremely well balanced and has a very appealing mouthfeel. I think it's 7.7% ABV, but it hides it well and I have no problem pounding a bomber of this with some tunes on. Rock'n'roll McDonalds!

rasta16ry, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of Slaille
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was a 2007 vintage, bought at the brewery in April 2012.

A complex and inspiring beer.
Barley candy joy, but not too sweet. Dry finish.
Malty, splendid. Wish I could have tasted the 2012 version, before aging, just to see what 5 years does to a good brew.

Damn, I only bought one... Next time.

Slaille, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of obywan59
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a 2 finger head in my Whitbread half pint mug. The head recedes quickly leaving virtually no lacing.

Waaay malty in the aroma with a touch of apice and citrus from the hops. Spice bread fresh from the oven.

Starts off sweet, but bitter hops soon rise. Not to overpower though, as this is quite balanced, and for a change, the sweetness of the malt lasts to the bitter end, so to speak. The Abv is occasionally apparant.

Feel is medium full, with plenty of carbonation, especially upfront.

Overall, a great drinker. The ABV is on the high side for a maibock, but the beer is well-balanced Worth another try.

obywan59, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of dsa7783
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Big Beer Bottle Series "Bottle Conditioned in 2007", purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $4.99...
An aggressive pour yielded a very impressive appearacne - a murky, cloudy, straw-colored, light-copper, bright-amber hue with an intense foamy and frothy head that exhibited impressive staying power before slowly dissipating and leaving a hefty amount of lacing around the edge of the glass...
Nice, fruity, soft, banana, citrus aroma, with obvious floral notes... With respect to the style, this is certainly one of the best depictions I've ever come across... Smuttynose did extremely well with this one, creating an original type of beer bombarded with flavor and character...
Taste paid homage to the aroma, bursting through with obvious caramel, citrus, floral, banana, toffee, and lemon notes... Very light on the taste, but heavy on flavor, this beer went down crisp, clean, and smooth without any cloying factors or interferences... Definitely one of the most easily drinkable brews I've come across in a while, and considering the hefty ABV, this one is certainly a winner... The caramel and vanilla flavors simply won't die down on this one, and its eclectic and aggressive taste really makes itself known behind a wonderful conglomeration of aromas and flavors...
Good mouthfeel with a perilously easy level of drinkability...

dsa7783, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of TechTriumph
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 04/19/12:
Bottle conditioned in 2011; Poured in a pint glass.

A - Over one inch of off-white fluffy head that shows pretty good retention; Darker shade of brass in color with a fairly clear appearance and visible carbonation bubbles rising up the glass; Decent lacing at first, but much less later

S - Lots of yeasty fresh bread, but fairly sweet too, with accompanying apple-like fruits and floral, herbal and spicy hops

T - Pretty subtle alcohol comes through up front, but it's quickly consumed by a nice yeasty/bready flavor and very mild sweetness; Also coming forward are freshly sliced apples, lingering herbal/spicy hops, and some honey - very tasty

M - Moderate and zesty carbonation; Definitely feels like a heavier brew, but the carbonation cuts into it some to provide a bit of a crisp feeling as well; Finish is fairly dry, leaving a bit of syrupy coat in the mouth; A little warmth can be felt at the end of each sip

O - Having tried several Maibocks lately, I've determined that this one is my favorite thus far. As far as the flavor and aroma goes, this beer does an excellent job of packing lots of sweet, bready, and Noble Hop character with a somewhat hefty body to go along. It's obviously a bit different from the German Maibocks, and quite a big beer for the style, but it's also a very satisfying interpretation that will likely be my go-to Maibock in the future.

TechTriumph, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of ken2cart1
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 0z bomber poured in my sam adams perfect pint glass

A- pale, yellowish, straw color, big huge 2.5 finger frothy head, good retention , good messy lacing

S- sweet malt, grassy and spicy hops

T- great pale malt backbone, very spicy hops, these hops are so spicy it seams as though some extra spices were added to the beer (possibility, i will look online after this unbiased review). Some earthy/grassyness to the hops as well. There is a lingering spicyness. Highly carbonated beer. Tastes similar to a saison.

M-Smooth, crisp

D- very drinkabe, great summer brew, very light/not too filling, spicyness could become cloying after a while but i love it

ken2cart1, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at McKinnon's in Salem, NH - split with BA CheckMate. Pours a light amber slightly hazy body with a good inch of off-white head that slowly dissipates. Smells malty and biscuity, with a fair bit of noble hops (I'm guessing hallertau?) put there to balance it out. Definitely a bit hop forward for the style IMO, noble hops giving a citrussy bite to it, with a fair bit of malt, expressing itself as toffee, caramel, biscuit, and a bit of chocolate toward the finish. Fairly clean finish, though not as clean or dry as some lagers. Medium in both mouthfeel and carbonation. Not the quickest drinker around, but the pleasant flavors, the balance of the flavors, and the medium body definitely make one sip invite another. Overall, a very solid beer - not quite what I was expecting but more drinkable than many in the series, not to mention much much better balanced. Nice.

MrHurmateeowish, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of MarineHokie
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours sparkling pale amber color. Off-white one finger head with staying power.

Fresh slightly biscuity malt aroma

Substantial malt character without cloying sweetness or heavyness. Great balance. Little hint of the ABV.

Nearly full-bodied on the palate but very refreshing.

Very good drinkability

MarineHokie, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of tchenery
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer couldn't look any better than it does. I poured it into a snifter and the head is voluptuous and the carbonation is very active. It is a lighter color than I imagined, just a rich yellow/orange color. Very "beer" looking in the typical sense.

It smells of maybe some pilsner malts, some roasted toasted to it, maybe some Eastern European hops, Saaz perhaps. Very subtle but inviting smell.

First taste I noticed texture more than anything, it's very smooth. It has a nice raisiny bock flavor with a bit of an alcohol warming at the end. Little bitterness other than what might be paired up with the warming sensation.

I like almost anythign Smutty does and this doesn't dissapoint. It's definitely true to the series of BIG beer, but it's very enjoyable as well.

tchenery, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of Manoftyr
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bomber into stange glass.

Appearance-Pours a pale golden-orange into the glass, a big fluffy off-white head rises and slowly bubbles away, some rather thick lacing is left behind.

Aroma-I smell lemon-zest upfront which I assume is from a combination of the yeast and malt, I like it. Following that is of course the typical maibock profile I.E. a load of sweet, biscuity, buttery Munich malt.

Taste-Malty sweetness with honey and fruity lemon notes rounding out the back-end. Some hops round up towards the end balancing out the sweetness to some extent and giving off a dry finish.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with medium carbonation, somewhat sticky.

Drinkability-Now this is my kind of drinking lager; big, malty, tasty and superbly drinkable, buy yourself at least two bombers as one just simply isn't enough!

Notes-Maibocks are perhaps my second favorite style of German lager 'with eisbocks taking the lead' and this may just be the best Maibock I've ever had and, ironically enough, it's an American craft brew; go figure.

Manoftyr, May 29, 2010
Photo of prototypic
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's a little hazy and a nice looking golden/amber color. Head is light vanilla colored and only a finger and a half deep. Retention was better than expected, though lacing was light.

Smell: It's predominantly sweet and malty smelling. There's a strong honey aspect to it that probably contributes a great deal to the sweet aroma. There's perhaps a touch of lemon that gives it a faint fruity aroma. Very earthy. Hops are notable but not overly strong. Mostly floral. Alcohol is noticeable on the tail.

Taste: It's sweet up front. A little more fruity than the nose indicates. It's mostly lemon. Honey flavor blends extremely well. It is malty and very flavorful. Hops play an interesting role here. They are floral and contribute to its earthy/grainy vibe. They're not very bitter, but play a really nice complementary role. Very well done. A little alcohol taste is there, but not offensive.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and extremely smooth. Carbonation is active and crisp. This goes down way too easy and has an excellent feel. Drinkability is likewise very high. I could drink bomber after bomber of this. Very appetizing.

Smuttynose did a hell of a job with this one. At this point, it's the frontrunner in the Big Beer Series. I still have a few left try, but this one's damn good. I picked a bomber of this up during a recent trip to Virginia. I'm kicking myself in the ass right now...I should've bought a case.

prototypic, Jul 25, 2008
Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.