Smuttynose S'muttonator (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose S'muttonator (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose S'muttonator (Big Beer Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

387 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 600
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.48%
Wants: 74
Gots: 59 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 01-11-2005

S’muttonator is a tasty mixture of German ingredients & good ol’ fashioned New England tenaciousness. Our brewers take 30 hours to brew a single batch of this traditional Double Bock. Take your time & enjoy its rich, malty & deceptively smooth flavor.

2008 - 8.8%
2010 - 9.5%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose S'muttonator (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 387 | Hads: 600
Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy brown color with a big off white head.

Nose is big and boozed with a big raisin stench as well. Smells like grape jam and alcohol. Not the most pleasant thing in the world.

Fortunately the flavor is a bit more mild. Big body with a cinnamon raisin bread flavor. Hints of caramel, brown sugar, and honey are present as well. The sweetness is cut with a subtle herbal hop presence however a warming alcohol presence is found on the finish as well as a lightly lingering sugared fruit sweetness. Not bad but nothing impressive either.

A simple and slightly different doppelbock.

Im just glad it doesn't taste like other smuttys I've had before. (659 characters)

Photo of akorsak
2.74/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: The lager is a deep auburn color with no visible sediment. It poured with a vigorous head that quickly settled down. There was no lace remainder.

Smell: A mild malt note emerges from the lager. I stress mild because the nose does not imply a doppelbock. I expected an overwhelming malt nose that was sweet and grainy. Instead, the aroma was very muted and relaxed.

Taste: A little stronger than a Vienna lager, the taste does not live up to expectations. In the taste, I pick up a smoked malt character that conjures up a rauch-lager hydrid. The taste does not impress me.

Mouthfeel: The lager sits nicely on the palate, although the taste is a little muted.

Drinkable: Moderately drinkable. For someone looking for the malt charge of a doppelbock, this beer will disappoint. (800 characters)

Photo of tfsimpkins
2.74/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Bottle marked 2014. I'll start by saying this beer seems young for a doppelbock. I am scoring based on my 'off the shelf' experience. Merely a warning.
The malt is there but the young astringent, bitter flavor begs attention. The alcohol is quite overwhelming as well. I believe this beer will do much better with some age. A true Doppelbock should be all malt forward, almost chewy, with a warming flush affect from the alcohol. You shouldn't taste it on the front end.
Do the dilligence where the brewery may have left off and lay this down for 8-10 months. Could be intentional to lengthen its shelf life? Again, not brewery bashing. rating based off of experience. I will purchase a second bottle and throw some age its way. it would be worth the wait. (759 characters)

Photo of asabreed
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber into an oversized wine glass. 2005 version.

Appearance: A dark amber color with brown hues. Some bubbles, but not many, gurgle toward the top of the glass. Hardly any lacing and almost no head to speak of.

Smell: This is a doppelbock? I get a lot of sweet malt and tons of hops, and really nothing more. There's not really much balance, and it almost, oddly enough, smells like a barley wine. Bland stuff.

Taste: Damn, this tastes like a barley wine too. What the hell is going on? There's a harsh balance between the sweet malt and hops, as if they're both trying to come through more, but instead of harmony there's heads colliding and too much dissonance. Finishes extremely hoppy, once again like a green barley wine. Did Smuttynose really make this?

Mouthfeel: Overly cloying and coating, and almost syrupy. I feel like the brew's sticking voraciously to my gums and the sugars are eating away at them.

Drinkability: Wow, maybe my biggest shock of 2006 so far. I love Smuttynose and all their brews, especially the wheat wine and the Big A IPA, but man... this is just bad. I don't think this is a bad bottle, and I was pretty neutral when I opened it. I'm utterly shocked and disappointed. Still, though, I'm thinking this is just a slight chink in the chain, and it's not deterring me from purchasing more of their brews for sure. (1,363 characters)

Photo of Derek
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a big american brew. Certainly inspired by the doppelbock style (or perhaps samiclaus?), but not very malty. It's difficult to rate this one. It's REALLY well-crafted, but it's just not a doppel.

A: Medium-brownish orange, off-white head, some retention.

S: More fruityness than the average doppel (given its strength, perhaps the fermentation got a little too vigorous); brown sugar; slightly peppery.

T: Bread, brown sugar, grassy/slightly peppery hop spice, dark (slightly burnt) caramel. Bitterness is well-balanced. Alcohol is INCREDIBLY well-hidden, but it seems like it could use some lagering to smooth out the flavours.

M: Moderate body is really well-attenuated (surprisingly thin for its weight, it lacks the malty backbone of most doppels).

D: Perhaps a little potent for Lent. Not a session lager.

Thanks for the sample biegaman! (868 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sorry for the average scores, but I gotta review 'em as I drink 'em. Had on tap at the Barley Pub in Dover NH. My over-all impression of this one was of sugar. Medium dark amber when served, low head. Burnt sugar aroma. Tastewise was more of the same, there were notes of spun sugar to start, and the finish was more of a maple sugar flavor. (341 characters)

Photo of LPorter33
3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22oz bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Great looking dark, transparent, ruby-red brown. good 3/4'' inch head which lasted substantially. Ok lacing.

Smell = Lots of spice and fruit with a high bit of alcohol coming through. I smell cherries and plums mostly. A bit too pungent but still good.

Taste = I think this beer would be so much better if it had less of an ABV %. The flavors are initially very good with a sweet, malty fruity mix but then the alcohol comes and it just overpowers everything else. I do enjoy high ABV beers but they have to be done really well and the brewers need to make sure the alcohol doesn't dominate everything else. This beer fails at that and brings the taste and drinkability scores way down.

Overall = I like a lot of things about this beer but I can't recommend it. I just don't think they do a good enough job of mixing the alcohol in with the rest of the flavors. (918 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
3.04/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours out a hazy brown with a barely-there head. Smells of brown sugar, figs, lots of toasty malts, some booze. Flavor does not remind me of a classic, chewy doppelbock. It reminds me more of an imperial dark amber lager or something. Loads of toasty malts overwhelm the more caramelly/dried fruity malt aspects. Alcohol isn't overly present. Mouthfeel is rather flat and slick. Not impressed with this, at all. (418 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber (notched 'bottled conditioned in 2008') recently recieved in trade from ATPete, thx! Served at 55F in my Delirium snifter, S'muttonator is dark hazy garnet with a tight bubbled tan head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is sweet, grape soda, perhaps a bit of roast, it opens some as it warms, but there is a bit of rancid grain or something that asserts itself more in the taste.

Taste is very rich and sweet, raisin and medjool dates, a tinny bite, grassy hop bitterness on the lingering, malty finish. Something about this isn't working for me at all, there is a sourness that stands out, but it's tough to pinpoint any one off flavor, just the sum of the parts is failing for me. Below average.

Mouthfeel is thick and malty, with lots of creamy carbonation.

Drinkabilty isn't to high for me, I'm just not feeling this beer. The strong flavors hide the ABV, but that's really no solstice. (910 characters)

Photo of beerbutcher
3.11/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance- the beer pours a tan head two fingers deep and is a deep mahogany color.

aroma- i can smell the munich first, with crystal malt/ toffee tones under it, and a sharp phonol kick.

taste- the palate is light and dry. there is some richness to the malt and the sweet spots there, but alcohol overwhelms and the hop bitterness lays a bit heavy for this style.

mouthfeel- there is little of the lush creaminess that i look for in this style, and every sip ends wiith a wash of heat.

drinkability- overall, it's too strong and bitter, with little of the classic malt profile to back it up. definitely an american interpretation of the style... still the strength is endearing as i empty my glass. (715 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

650 ml bottle poured into a Heavy Seas tulip (2014 bottle, 9.8%)

A: Burnt Sienna body color with a mild head on the pour but leaves some lacing and a bit of a collar.
S: Interesting scents here. Lots of spices with a sweet malt base. Just a tiny bit of yeast in there.
T: Weird flavor here that is yeast, bread and some sweet malt. Weird spices that dominate the flavor profile. Sweet malt base undertone. Yeast and bread with some spice is the aftertaste.
M: Nearly no carbonation. Maybe I should have waited for it to bottle condition a bit more, but I don't think I should have had to wait.
O: Just weird flavors here, that make for an uncharacteristic doppelbock. Not like the doppelbocks that I'm used to. (723 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smuttynose's S'Muttonator, double bock beer. 9.8% ABV.

A: Just a bit of head. Soda-like carbonation. Nice, deep plum color. Cream soda-yellow in the dimple, with a neat pile of bubbles along the bottom.

S: Fairly earthy for a doppelbock. Citrus hop backing; not the star, but present. Also odd for a doppelbock. Tree sap. Alcohol seems a touch apparent. Dust and dirt.

T/MF: As with the smell, nothing like any other doppelbocks I've had previously. Hoppiness is slightly forward, but malt is right behind it. More tree sap, tree bark, citrus, earthiness. A sickly sweet backing. I was expecting a fairly carbonated beer from the look of it, but it's fairly calm. More bubbly than other doppelbocks, but just barely.

I'm not happy with this one. I've always heard of Smuttynose as one of the better east coast brewers, but this doesn't have me enthusiastic to try their other beers.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass. (944 characters)

Photo of nhindian
3.22/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter, split during a tasting. Generously provided by 603BeerMe. Thanks!

A - Pours a dark copper, hazy body with a finger's worth of head. Decent retention with small, scattered lacing.

S - Smell is very sweet, heavy on caramel, toffee, with some darker fruits in the background.

T - Taste, much like the nose, is malt-heavy and very sweet. Lots of caramel, figs, currants, and perhaps a hint of bitter chocolate. Finish is long and surprisingly bitter.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with low carbonation. Relatively smooth and creamy, but as mentioned in the taste, it ends bitterly.

D - Drinkability for me is pretty low. A bit too sweet up front and too bitter in the back for my liking. Becomes a bit hard to drink about halfway through. (780 characters)

Photo of Longstaff
3.22/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

The bottled version poured out into my .5 liter mug with a huge creamy caramel colored head. Hot alcohol aromas dominate the nose. Creamy mouthfeel is quite appropriate and there is a nice raisin, dark chocolate, and plum flavor, but the hot alcohol aromas and flavors seem to overide everything else. Now I can see why they delayed to release of this beer, hoping the hotness subsides. Its something I am noticing in many of their big beer series lately, maybe they are too big? I will buy a few bottles and let them sit for a few months. Hopefully it mellows by the time the traditional dopplebock season rolls around. (620 characters)

Photo of Spider889
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle conditioned in 2011.

Poured into a Troegenator stein.

Cloudy burnt umber color. Tall creamy off-white head. Lots of visible strong carbonation. Decent retention. No lace.

The aroma is rich is melonoidins. The label claims that they take 30 hours to brew this beer. I'm not quite sure how they're adding up time, and what brewing elements are being counted, but it is safe to assume that they were using an extensive decoction mash and long boil. Strong yeasty presence and floral hoppiness. Also the bite of alcohol in the guise of honey is in the mix.

Again, I found this fairly hoppy and bitter for a doppel... There are also some roasty, burnt flavors in there - elements of the decoction (possibly going too far?). Doughy but not really bready the way a doppel ought to be.

Warming, almost too hot going down, especially for only 8.5%. Over carbonated.

Overall this wasn't bad, and is a great value at $5.99 a bomber. That said, this doesn't hold a light to the traditional German doppelbocks out there. (1,020 characters)

Photo of DIM
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: This was a hazy mahogany/ruby color. It poured with a big, sticky, light tan froth.

s: Warm dark fruits and some floral hops. There was a little chocolate hiding behind the excessive heat.

t: This is fairly hot, almost to the point of being harsh. The strongest flavors are of dry, perfumed, bitter heat. The sweet maltiness is there, tasting of raisins and chocolate, but it doesn't take center stage as it probably should.

m: Mouthfeel and carbonation are fine, but I didn't like the lingering bitter heat.

d: I don't think I'm a style nazi, but in my limited experience I haven't had a dopplebock like this one. One and done for me. (642 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 10/5/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of sweet malt and soda. Flavor of raisin bread, yeasty pizza dough, spices, and soda. Reminds me of expired Corsendonk Christmas Ale, hehe. A little too sweet with a weak palate. Probably most similar (in terms of doppelbocks) to Spaten Optimator.
6/4/7/3/14 (3.4/5) (343 characters)

Photo of nase
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasting next to a fresh St. Victorious for comparison. This is an 05 bottle that is 2+ yrs. old.

it may have been posted already but a quick profile
Malt:
Pale (2-Row) Malt, Munich Malt, Caramunich, CaraFa II, ABV - 9.6%
Hops: IBU ­ 42 Bittering and aroma - Hersbrucker Hallertau

First thoughts are that this has aged too long. It's quite malty and uniquely sweet as the brewer suggests. A faded brown appearance against its dark red counterpart in this tasteoff w/ some well-preserved lacing. Smells like a strong ale overboard on sweetness and the taste reflects that. As though someone doused a little syrup or medicine into a Bastard.

App. - 3.5, Smell - 3.5, Taste - 3, Mouthfeel - 3.5, Drinkability - 3 (722 characters)

Photo of jmz62565
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a dark reddish color with a smallish head. The smell has a slight malt and fruit,prunes,raisins, scent,but it's not very strong. The flavors are a real fruit taste with some alcohol aftertaste. This isn't really anything special. The m/f is heavy with a flavor that's not well balanced. This is an average, or below, double bock and I wouldn't go out of my way to get this again. (390 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bottle left over after GABF judging and given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Pours a two finger dark tan head over a red-brown copper liquid. Smells caramel, toffee, sherry-like oxidation, earthy hops, clean alcohol, a little bit of grain-husk phenol.

Tastes mild malt sweet that's quickly over-run by carbonation, noticeable flavor, and earthy hop flavor. There is an acidic bite in the finish that doesn't fit in the style, nor with the flavors, nor the mouthfeel. Malt flavor is honey with a dash of chocolate, nougat, and caramel. Hop flavor is earthy, but not quite noble...perhaps a variant of tettnanger, but not tettnanger itself. Alcohol intensity matches the style and works well with the honey flavor. Hop bitter is mild and grassy. The finish dries from alcohol and leaves lingering hop flavor into the aftertaste. Too strong carbonation and light in the mouth. (889 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown beer with a creamy tan lingered colored head. Very sweet smelling of toffee and caramel, borderline cloying sweetness. Hops are not apparent in the nose what-so-ever.

Lots of rich thick layers of malt. This has flavors of bready, caramel, toffee. Mouthfeel is soft, thick and rich. Biting alcohol warmth in the finish. Lacks some of the depth of nuttiness and roasted flavors found in the best German doppels, but still very enjoyable.

This is a big sweet doppelbock. Alcohol detracts from the overall enjoyment. Not sure this would age well either because I find German styles typically just do not. (618 characters)

Photo of Franchise
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a reddish brown, looks more like a red ale as suppose to the darker brown in most doppelbock's I've tried. I know this style can range in color but I just expect more brown than reddish. It leaves a small off white head that kind of lingers with the brew. The smell of this beer seems off to me, more of a grape sour smell comes out which throws me off a bit. As I continue to smell this beer more candied darker fruit begins to rise from the depths which now intrigues me. The taste is malty with a nice balance of hops to counteract that sweetness on the palate. Caramel starts off on your palate with medium carbonation followed quickly by a sharp herbal bitterness and finishes with some what mellow nutmeg spice characters. Overall this isn't the best beer from Smuttynose but decent. (805 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: 650ml brown glass bottle with apt label art and a branded black and lime pry-off pressure cap purchased at a local bottle shop.

Expectations are high given its current 91 rating. 9.8% ABV. Reviewed as a doppelbock per the label. "Bottle conditioned 2014." Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half finger wide. White colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Not real frothy. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Retention is pretty good for the ABV - about 3-4 minutes.

BODY: Dark copper with amber hues. Average vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Translucent. Semitransparent.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not unique or special for the style, but certainly within conventions, and appealing.

AROMA: My first whiff yields only a simplistic impression of generic malty sweetness.

Trying again, I pick up on caramel, some brown sugar, vague indistinct fruit, and caramelized fruits and malts.

Hmm. There aren't many notes in the aroma. As it warms a bit, though, it does start to take shape: light fig, faint sugarplum, the beginnings of a trace of red apple...it's not a muted or subdued aroma, it's just a withdrawn one.

Pleasant, but light in strength.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Caramel, prune, light fig, a kiss of sugarplum, caramelized indistinct fruit, amber malts, traces of cherry and juicy red apple, brown malts, dextrins, Vienna malts, and some fruity breadiness on the finish. I find myself working in overdrive to find these notes; it's not a reticent or muted flavour profile, and it does have depth of flavour, but everything melts together so nicely it's tough to break it down into its constituent notes. A bit of cinnamon spice; if they played that note up this beer might be wonderful. A hint of pecan, a whisper of walnut...this is a tough nut to crack.

The malty sweetness is well-checked, and the fruitiness guides the flavour profile nicely, tying it together with a rare (for a doppelbock) cohesion. As it warms, fruitcake enters the equation. Maybe even some raisin. The subtlety of the dark fruit is notable, yet it retains a distinctly German vibe, never venturing into Belgian dark fruit territory - I guess because it never tastes candied?

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes come through. I'm surprised many other reviewers are calling it warm and/or boozy; I find the alcohol quite well concealed.

Overall, I find it well-balanced and cohesive, and it almost feels like a gestalt whole. Complex enough for a doppelbock, with surprising subtlety and an initial inaccessibility. Sure, it could be more intricate and nuanced, but that goes for damn near every beer. Sweetness is high in general, but just right for the style.

TEXTURE: Sticky, smooth, wet, full-bodied, heavy, thick, and lush without ever venturing into syrupy or viscous territory. It's only slightly over-carbonated, and while it's unrefreshing I do think it's a quenching meal-in-a-glass kind of brew. You could see a glass of this nourishing a tired German monk on a winter's night, and I suppose in the end that's what the style is designed for.

Has a good overall presence on the palate. This mouthfeel complements the taste quite well, but doesn't elevate the brew beyond the potential of the taste.

OVERALL: Drinkable for its high ABV, but nevertheless a very filling beer. You wouldn't want more than one in a night, and while I'll finish the bottle alone, I don't know that I'd recommend that to most beer drinkers. This will definitely satisfy fans of the style, and it's one of the better American offerings in the style I've had recently, but it's certainly not world-class. Smuttynose has done a good job brewing the intended style and I could see myself aging one or two of these if I had the disposable income on hand (I don't). It's perhaps a bit more subtle than my palate is currently able to contend with; I'll have to revisit this one when I'm more experienced. In any case, it's certainly worth trying at least once.

B- (4,186 characters)

Photo of SteveO1231
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber with no freshness date. Pours a dark maroon/ brown with an awesome thick frothy off-white head. Great lacing. Lots of carbonation. Aroma is a bit complex with caramel and alcohol making up the majority. I also pick up a fruity, citrus/berrylike aroma. Full bodied, The taste is just as complex, caramel and chocolate sweetness up front, nutty almost earthy character and I'm getting a slight hint of maple sugar. The middle and finish are overpowered by the alcohol, ans leaves the palate with a bitter dryness. This brew is very warming and after the bottle I was feeling pretty good. This beer is good but the powerful alcohol flavors overpowered this brew and numbed my palate. It is a sipper!

Cheers! (720 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I expected to love this beer but sorry I don't. Poured almost all head, beige color, long lasting. Smell is really quite mild. Yes there's malt but it's not a complex malt smell. Color is a hazy rusty brown. Taste is indeed malty but again it's not a complex malt, and to be honest I thought it was kind of salty. Finally, I did expect the high alcohol yet this beer still seems hot to me. (389 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smuttynose S'muttonator (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.