1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

560 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 560
Reviews: 381
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 65
Gots: 46 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose S'muttonator (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 560 | Reviews: 381 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nase
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
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

Photo of jmz62565
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Photo of mentor
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

Photo of claspada
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Photo of Franchise
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
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-

Photo of SteveO1231
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
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!

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a relatively transparent brown color. Has some reddish highlights.

S-Mostly sweet. A bit roasty. Not very big in the aroma department. Sweetness rules here but is not very intense altogether.

T-Eh. Too boozy. Alcohol zaps my tongue immediately. Sweetness is there. Brown sugar and what not. A bit of grassy and pine hoppiness. The alcohol hurts the flavor here. Poorly masked.

M-Heavier body. Carbonation is more lively than I was expecting. Alcohol dries the mouth. Decently bitter aftertaste.

O/D-Not very impressed. Booze is too blatant. Am going to struggle drinking this whole bomber. That being said, it isn't awful. Just not what I was hoping for.

Photo of AltBock
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle that has a classic label of a long horned goat standing tall of his pasture. The face on the goat says it all. It's saying "I'm going to head butt you till you get out of my face!" Under the label in the far right hand corner is the bottled year. Mine was the 2006 vintage. I believe that was the last bottled year for this Doppelbock. The far right side of the label is just the Government warning. The far left side has 3 seperate sentences. The top one talks about how it's brewed in limited quantities, the second one talks about the German ingredients that went into this beer, and the last one talks about how it took 30 hours to brew a single batch.

Appearance: When poured into a Pilsner glass, this Doppelbock was a clear caramel brown color with a massive 5 inch initial head of foam. The color of this foam was a light beige color. This massive head of foam had really good retention that left behind a 1 inch tan film and a fair amount of sticky tan spots of lace around the glass. The massive head of foam was nice to see, but I still liked the color of this Doppelbock a bit more.

Smell: This Doppelbock's aroma was lightly sweet yet malty and slightly wheaty all at the same time. The aroma consisted of dark roasted malts, roasted wheat, sweet caramel, and dried dark fruits at the finish. When it was swirled around, more wheat and dark fruits emerged, but this time they had a small coating of alcohol on them. The alcohol did not take over the aroma because the sweetness of the beer controlled it.

Taste: The taste was sweet and malty, but not wheaty like the aroma. It's funny. It starts off with sweet roasted malts and then it goes directly into a sweet and alcoholic flavor burst. That means the sweetness of the caramel and the dark fruits a covered up by an alcoholic blanket. The alcohol was not overwhelming, but it will warm you up. The taste isn't done just yet. This sweet alcoholic flavor burst is followed up by more malts, but this time their dry roasted and not sweet roasted like they were in the beginning. In the end, it could have used more dark flavors and less alcohol, but it's still an enjoyable Doppelbock taste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was walking the thin line between being a medium bodied beer and a full bodied beer. It's hard to say which one it is. The aftertaste strated off sweet and boozy, but after about 3 seconds, the booze trails off leaving behind a slightly sweet aftertaste of sweet roasted malts and a hint of caramel.

Drinkability: Overall, it's not a Doppelbock you want to drink on a daily basis or a monthly basis because it's too sweet and boozy. The alcohol won't kick your ass, but it will let you that it's there. Is it worth a shot? Yeah, because it's an interesting Doppelbock that was brewed about 2 years ago. I wonder if a little more age will settle down the alcohol. Only one way to find out!

Photo of Nutleybeer
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish-brown in color. While the taste has a zing to it based on the high alcohol content, it is not overly rich in flavor. There are not a lot of underlying tastes involved here. I would have liked a bit more depth to this doppelbock.
Not bad, but certainly not great either.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby-amber body with about 1.5 fingers of creamy offwhite head. Poured into an Aventinus glass. 2010 bottling. I didn't get any lacing, and the head eventually dissipated into some decent surface memory.

Smell is boozy, with some hops and raisins or apricots or something, but it's hard to get past the booze on the nose.

Taste is nice though. It sort of follows the nose and this drinks much more like a mild barleywine than a doppelbock. The hop character is more aggressive than standard for the style. It's mostly malty, though, with some raisin and vague spice. Yeah, this is really more of an American-style barleywine than a doppelbock, in that it is hoppier and the alcohol is more present.

Mouthfeel is fine, pretty standard smooth effervescence from bottle conditioning, nothing of great note here.

Altogether it's all right, but probably not a doppelbock I'll buy again.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Marked as bottle conditioned 2014

Appearance - Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass to reveal a relatively clear reddish copper color with a khaki, near 2-finger head. Strong retention, eventually settling to a thin, consistent layer of surface suds. Virtually no lacing.

Smell - The toffee notes come through from a mile away with hints of caramel and distant raisin bread.

Taste - Toffee, toffee and more toffee! Hints of earth, raisin and walnut toward the finish, but they are overshadowed by the sheer strength of the toffee dominance.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Slick, and maybe even a light syrup stickiness in texture. Goes down easy enough and finishes on the

Overall - Decidedly malty with an emphasis on toffee sweetness; this one is on the richer side, even for the style. I really wanted to like this beer, but the nigh one-dimensional flavor profile makes it hard to enjoy even past half a glass. Ayinger Celebrator it is not. It's not dislikeable, but a hint of balance (coffee or dark malt roastiness) would go a long way.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear thick auburn brew with a one finger head that leaves little spots of lacing on the glass after it vanishes in two minutes .

S - Alcohol, caramel malt, pepper, a tiny bit of smokiness and light-bodied malt. The smell is nice, but the alcohol's appearance is "not impressive."

T - Strong sweet, smokey caramel malt flavor with a backing of lighter malt flavors with a touch of coffee. Abv is detectable, but less dominant here than in the odor. The aftertaste is a lingering relaxing bitterness of indeterminant origin.

M - Chewy, thick, smooth and refreshing too.

D - It's no Troeganator, but it is quite good. A meal in itself, but I think it would work well with unspiced foods. It is easy to drink and soothing enough to entice you back for more. A good price, good beer, I will probably have it again.

Photo of Gbgbrouge
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle, slightly hazy dark red copper with low off white head. Aroma is mild with notes of caramel, dried fruit, vanilla and whey butter. Taste is sweet with a big malt body and some bitterness in the finish. Didn't like the whey butter aroma at all, spoiled the whole experience.

Photo of babaracas
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy red-orange with one finger of fizzy tan head. Fades to nothing, few spots of lace on the glass. Smell: raisin, date, cherry-ish. Toasted brown bread, somewhat boozy. Taste: fairly booze forward for 8.5%, toasted brown bread with raisins, mild medicinal hopping. Medium to full bodied feel but thins out and finishes with a booze + cola feel. Carbonation is high and fizzy and I get the impression that it would be a lot better slightly less attenuated. I like Smutty a bunch, but I'm not digging this one, despite the phenomenal name. Bottled conditioned in 2011.

Photo of Dithyramb
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap as a Friday lunch brew at Mahaffeys. Dark wood brown with amber highlights. Half a finger of head with average retention and lacing.
Smokey caramel aroma.
Taste is very malty. You have your sweet caramel, some nutty aspects, some coffee, and just a hint of smokiness.
Chewy and drinkable. I found it to be nutty and enjoyable. However, mouthfeel and drinkability lost some points due to the observable ABV lurking around every sip.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish bronze with orange peel edges. I'm amazed at the range of colors for beer of this style; from something this light to opaque mahogany on the darker end. I'm betting the flavor will correspond to the color. The head overflowed the glass on the pour and is now a sticky mass of pastel caramel colored foam. Although it doesn't look like a typical doppelbock, I like the look just fine.

I don't know about the flavor yet, but the nose isn't roasted malty or chocolate malty (or even dark) in the least. In that sense it smells more like a big helles bock than it does a doppelbock. There's a whiff of caramelized sugar and an equal whiff of alcohol. That's about it, sorry to say.

Tough call. All in all, I've had better. Unless the beer opens up and deepens the warming (it doesn't), I'd have to call this member of the 'Big Beer Series' a disappointment. Part of the problem is that it doesn't taste much like a doppelbock to me. I was willing to forgive the appearance; not so the flavor.

If you ask me, the malt bill is to blame. What an odd choice to include pale and Munich malts, but no caramel, chocolate or roasted malts. That design decision results in a flavor profile that is more akin to a helles bock, as previously mentioned, or even an English barleywine. Make that an American barleywine because the Hersbrucker Hallertauer are still throwing off a considerable amount of bitterness; another reason why it's such a unique version of the style.

A certain alcoholic fruitiness puts me in mind of brandy as well. In fact, this may be one of the most undoppelbock-like doppelbock that I've ever had. I would have thought, since this is the 2005 edition, that the heat of the alcohol would have cooled to some extent. Maybe it has, but it's still a little too raw for my tastes. I'd suggest room temperature, a brandy snifter and small sips.

The mouthfeel favors the left side of the bell curve for such a big beer. Given the fact that it's a big lager, however, it's well within the bounds of acceptable. It's firm and clean rather than lush and full. A little less carbonation, which I expect to be the case in the bottom half of the bomber, should improve the mouthfeel even more.

I love Smuttynose beer as a general rule. My lack of enthusiasm for this one probably has more to do with my preference for roasted malty doppelbocks than it does for any failure on the part of the brewers (other than the choice of ingredients). I'd like to be able to say that I'd love s'more S'muttonator, but it's one and done for me.

Photo of pentathlete
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent brown, some rosy highlights, a big beige head but it falls away very fast leaving a miniscule incomplete ring. Smell is weak versus expectations, some toasty malt, but nothing promising a heavy dose of maly sweetness. Taste begins with some of that missing malty sweetness, but moves to a mild hop bitterness, and finishes with a fine alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is medium, nearly light. Drinkable but not overly delicious. It doesn't demand to be consumed.

Photo of Vendetta
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
September 26, 2008

Pours deep black with a GREAT head and some fabulous lacing. Good looking beer typical of a what I expect from a doppelbock. Flavor is dark, smoked, with a bit of alcohol bite at the end. A slight tinge of malty, coffee, roastedness. I didn't find any real fruit in there. Pretty plain doppelbock that doesn't try to do all that much but succeeds admirably in what it shoots for. Creamy, smooth palate. Very enjoyable brew. My father raved about it.

Photo of greenmonstah
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz into large snifter

A - Ruby brown with a two finger yellow-tan head. Nice retention.

S - Aroma includes raisin, some spice, dark bready malts, and yeast.

T - Intensely flavored, with alcohol, bready malt, mild dark fruit, spicy yeast.

M - Sharp feel, medium body, over carbonated.

O - Overall an average take on the style. Very very intense in flavor, it doesn't have the mellow-yet-robust flavor of, say, a Celebrator. A very strong beer that demands your attention but maybe doesn't deserve it entirely.

Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one sported a smallish white head and was light, ruby brown in color.

Smell – There’s some light caramel and good toasty malts to this nose, but the booze is just horrendous. I like a sense of alcohol in my Doppelbocks, but this was like Russian vodka from a plastic bottle (no offense, Globetrotter). The fruits, mostly prunes and plums, were terrific along with the sugary molasses, but I just couldn’t get by the alcohol.

Taste – The molasses came out big at the taste. The malts were huge and soaked in darkish fruits. The cheap vodka flavor dimmed my view of this one, though.

Mouthfeel – This is between medium and full-bodied with a light drying at the finish and a huge alcohol sting.

Drinkability – I enjoyed some of the malty and fruity flavors of this DB, but the booze and harsh bitterness at the finish ruined the experience.

Comments – Thanks to Skyhand for letting me use her sink to pour out the rest of this bottle.

Update – I originally reviewed this with a 2005 sample and noticed that I came in much lower than everyone else. I thought maybe I got a bad bottle so was thrilled when BeerGuy brought me another bomber, this time an ’06 vintage.

I would stand by my previous review with two exceptions. First, the head was much better this time around. Second, the alcohol was still cumbersome but not as bad as the ’05. The rest of my tasting notes seemed right on, so I am going to raise my Appearance rating by half a point and call it even.

Oh, and I'm not sinking this one.

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of KevinGordon
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of crobinso
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Smuttynose S'muttonator (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.