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Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

726 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 726
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 55
Gots: 58 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  10.70% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 04-13-2005

Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale is a unique hybridization of two well-known beer styles, combining the rich, voluptuous taste of a traditional barleywine with the subtle, tart flavors of an American wheat ale, topped off with a healthy dose of crisp, herbaceous hops.

2007 - 11.4%
2008 - 10.3%
2009 - 11.4%
2010 - 12.0%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 726 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vancer
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a different, and in the end, wonderful brew.

First, the semi-hazy cherry amber pour, minisucl heading – which did leave lace streaks in my lil’ Schlafly 6oz sampling glass. Nice

Now – the initial sweet cherry kool-aid took me back. Followed by a sticky sweet cherry based malt barleywine (my notes before I read the bottle label – how this is a cross between a BW and a wheat). Like I said, too sweet at first, but the sharp alcohol pop really grows on you and settles after a couple glasses.

One 6oz sample, and I though – whoo, never again. But two more samples later – I hooked on this bad boy. Give it a while if possible.

But hey! Thanks a ton to bjohnson for the chance to partake of this.

Photo of flexabull
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a couple of big wine glasses. Beer is cloudy, deep orange color, and with a nice head.

Aromas are quite interesting... dark fruits and a bit of smoke.

Flavors are very interesting as well... at first this beer reminds me of a barleywine. Deep dark fruit flavors, big mouthfeel, and some alcohol showing on the front. The beer then finishes crisp, dry, with just a bit of hop bitterness. Complex and impressive.

This is very drinkable for such a high ABV beer. This is full flavored, yet not too heavy. I really enjoyed this one, and would be happy to try this again sometime.

Quite different from the excellent Marin Star-Brew Triple Wheat Wine I have tried to before... but equally impressive.

Thank you very much MuenchenerKindl for this one.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The deal of the century continues. A BIG beer for under 3 dollars a bomber, you've got to be kidding me. My original review, last year, was not nearly the affinity I obtained during last year.

This year version is more balanced, more mature and and and and better. This is a big time beer. In fact, this may be the best, biggest beer that you can get with out the ridiculousness of being a novelty beer. Big fruits, smaller malts than last year, fewer hops as well.

Simply put, this is a fantastic beer.

Photo of BlindPig
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Thin light tan/off white head on a kind of cloudy orange amber body. Thin lacing with a collar.
S- Aromas are on the lighter side. Breads come out a bit mixed some different types of wheats in it. Some lighter style of hops. Maybe some lighter grass and a hint of piney hops.
T- Strong on alcohol that gives you a bit harsh of a warming. Some different flavors come out of this than what I am used too (only had one other wheat wine). Some citrus hops come out with a orange flavor. Bits of breads but not much. Is strong on a wheat flavor just can't really pin point it more than that.
M- Full body with low carbonation but does leave a little tingle on tounge from the carbonation and maybe mixed with the alcohol too.
D- It is a sipper and a very strong in alcohol beer. I think it is a bit rough. Would love to see how this would be after a few years (if you are even supposed to age these?). I think the marin triple wheat ale is more refined than this one.

Photo of Terp96
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first beer of this style that I have ever had.

The pour leaves very little head. The color is deep amber and not cloudy at all.

Smells very much like a barley wine. Malty with some hop profile. Not much in the way of wheat beer aroamas. No yeasty or spicy overtones.

Taste is phenomenal. So smooth and so much character throughout. Initially, this tastes like an average barley wine. As I progressed, I started to get a little more of the hop bitterness and wheat beer spiciness. Some clove. About halfway through and as the beer warmed, I started to get hit with the oak barrel an smokey flavors. Man, this tastes a lot like a good single malt scotch. I seriously had scotch burps!!!!

Mouthfeel was great. Again, very smooth and balanced. The flavors lingered for quite some time. Nice dry finish.

Drinkability is decent. You can tell this is a huge beer but it is well disguised. At less than $4 a bomber, I will be going back for as many of these as I can. I wonder what it tastes like aged?

Photo of bruachan
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i the head is consistent but understandably minimal. the beer itself is a nice deep copper

man...it's been awhile since i sipped one of this style. it's a great one. i'm one of those people who malign american wheat beers but it's great to get a clear wheatiness through a relatively neutral yeast (i.e. no 3068). the line between this and a BW is not wide

i love reading the writeups on the brewery website. they're so candid about what's going on, unlike some others. the hops are what i encouter first when i take a whiff, but under that is a fine robust malt monster. it truly reveals itself with a sip: barleywine strength and mass, but with the wheat dryness and even a slight spice. depth. hop flavor is significant and the vanilla from the oak measures in as well

this certainly belongs in the big beer series and would be fine if aged

Photo of akorsak
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is a deep amber orange color with a sizeable head on pour that retains well and laces the glass.

S: The aroma is a big malty mess that is mellowed a bit by a strong wheat airiness.

T: The ale is a mouthful. It starts out with a strong malt body, concentrated and sweet with some fruit and mint, before revealing a strong wheat body that is heavy on alcohol. In moderation, wheat is light and refreshing. When used heavily, the wheat takes on a more sinister character. It is heavy and conveys the alcohol much easier. The finish is all wheat alcohol and has a buttery bourbon taste to it.

M: The concentration of wheat and barley has given the ale a very pleasant bourbon buttery taste.

D: The high abv and bourbon sweetness can hurt the drinkability, but they add a nice quality that is flavorful and warming.

This review of a bottle of Smuttynose Wheat Wine was at a warmer temperature, which lead to a greater accentuation of flavors and a higher score.

Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I feel like if a beer is 10.7% abv, you should really mark that on the label. Labeling aside, this was an interesting beer and definatley one that could benefit from cellaring. It was still good, but a touch boozy. It tasted of rich wheat and barley malt with fruit coming out and a finishing bitterness, but still tasted hot. Worth a try if you want to try the biggest wheat beer around in the Northeast (or anywhere).

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Smutty's Big Beer Series. A hazy red/orange color with very little head. It had a flowery, sweet aroma. A sharp, crisp hop presence. This is a pretty assertive beer, one made for sipping and quiet contemplation. Definitely not a session beer.

Photo of scarletfire79
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours an orange amber with very little head. kind of suprising with all the wheat in it. you can smell this beer across the room. very fruity, possibly apricot. the high abv also seems to be present in the nose. i was thrilled about the first sip, but to be honest, as i got a few sips into it, the beer definitly grew on me. i don't have a ton of barleywine experience but this one stacks up pretty solid. i dig the addition of the wheat, it definitly adds something to the mix. i have never been disapointed in a smuttynose offering and this is no exception. sessionable....probably not the best idea, delicious...hell yes.

Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass kind of a odd mix of deep burnt orange with ruddy brownish hue to it a thinner but well formed slight off white head atop.Boozy and quite sweet aromas like alcohol dipped apricot and a nutty terrine malt presence not much hop to be had here,definently a malt based big brew with a sweet alcohool kick dried apricot and dare I say applesauce flavors mixed with alcohol burn,definently flavorful and definently ballsy.Iam finishing the bomber and I will sleep well tonight,glad I tried it it really warms the insides.

Photo of jwc215
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours orangish with no head - just a few fizzles.

The smell is of alcohol with some caramel sweetness and graininess. A hint of fruitiness.

The taste is apricot-like fruitiness. Sweet. The barley malt seems more prounced than the wheat, though it does make a crisp appearance. (Acc. to label, there is just a bit more wheat malt than barley). Caramelish fruitiness dominates, along with boozy alcohol. It seems to go in several directions. The hops are taken over by the malt sweetness and the aggressive alcoholic character.

The alcohol dominates the feel - seems higher than already high abv., washing away much of the flavor.

A slow sipper. Sharp. An interesing brew - something different, but not interesting or flavorful enough to revisit.

Photo of hoppymeal
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours burnt orange to copper in color, fairly clear, small off white head fades away quickly. Raisiny sweet maltiness in the aroma along with a ripe fruit warm boozy alcohol smell. There is some pruney sweetness in the taste along with some citrusy hops and a noticeable alcohol presence. A crisp alcohol and slightly dry bite in the finish, are preceded by a medium bodied somewhat chewy maltiness. Interesting beer, although I don't get much wheat beer characteristics in it, maybe just a hint of wheatiness behind the malts and also contributing to the body. It definitely seems like an ipa/dipa-barleywine hybrid. This bottle is an 06, I look forward to an aged sample of this one, but an enjoyable warming beer to relax with now as well.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dried apricot orange with a faint reddish blush. The sandlewood colored cap is a tight collection of tiny bubbles that persists nicely, especially given the ABV. It's also an admirable leaver of lace in unbroken, sandblasted sheets. I haven't had enough wheat wines to know what they ought to look like, but this one looks great to me.

The beer smelled pretty good from several feet away, but for some reason it doesn't smell quite as good when I get up close and personal with it. Its biggest negatives are a lack of power and a lack of any complexity whatsoever. Its biggest positives are a tangy orange fruitiness and a complete lack of alcohol. If it improves with warming, I'll nudge the score accordingly (note: it doesn't).

Smuttynose Wheat Wine is good beer that I'm not tempted to wax poetic over. I've yet to have a version of this style that I thought came anywhere close to the best barleywines. Whether that has to do with the inherent qualities of wheat versus barley or whether it has to do with brewers' inexperience with a relatively new style, I couldn't say.

At an estimated 18 months of age, the alcohol has, I'm guessing, settled down considerably. It's still a presence though and is borderline in terms of masking/flavor contribution. There's a definite warm spiciness present that doesn't quite reach the threhold of being considered hot. It has the effect of slowing me down by forcing me to take small sips; never a bad idea.

The flavor is reminiscent of orange liqueur. It isn't smooth enough, however, to remind me of Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Cane sugar was added, but the little yeasties must have been unusually efficient with this particular batch because residual sweetness is at a minimum. Or maybe it's simply that enough hops were used to balance things out and the ABV is high enough to keep things dry.

Medium toast French oak chips were used as well. I do pick up more than a hint of bourbon barrel-like vanilla, so I'll have to credit the brewers for that particular addition. While this is a fairly enjoyable big beer, it isn't an especially complex one. It isn't as if one has to probe each and every mouthful for hidden flavors, because they simply aren't present.

The mouthfeel is a highlight for me (along with the appearance). It's full and sticky and comes oh so close to syrupy on the finish. A laid back amount of carbonation contributes to all of the above. Even the somewhat harsh alcohol (that is starting to numb my tongue) can't ruin my enjoyment of how this beer feels in the mouth. It certainly gives it a good effort though.

In the end, the unmasked alcoholicity of Smuttynose Wheat Wine has worn down whatever enthusiasm I had during the first third of the bottle. I thought that I gave it enough time to rest, but it looks like another 18 months wouldn't have been out of the question. While it might improve a fair amount over that time, I don't believe that it will ever be great beer.

Photo of phisig137
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Conditioned in 2006 according to the bottle. Pours a slightly hazy dark amber orange color, with ruby highlights. One finger head with good retention falls into a ring around the glass, with a touch of lacing.

Aroma is hugely alcoholic. Almost like taking a whiff of rubbing alcohol. There is a slight hint of banana up front, and a decent amount of piney hops in the middle, with a touch of caramel in between. Smells interesting, but I have to dock it a point for that huge alcohol presence.

Flavor is quite malty, with the wheat playing harmony. Semi-sweet malt flavors of caramel, toffee, and raisons are prevalent up front, with a slap of hop flavor and bitterness on the finish. Alcohol again is hot and quite forward. Slight banana flavor makes me wonder if this was brewed with a hefe yeast, or a standard ale yeast. Mouthfeel is creamy and full. Drinkability is decent, but a bit hampered by the alcohol.

Another "big beer series" winner from Smutty. This is the only wheat wine I've eve come across, so I can't compare it to others, but I do enjoy the beer completely. Others may taste the beer as it is... hot and boozy.... but I taste potential. I think this one will age very well. There is enough of a hop presence, and enough alcohol, to let this age for quite a while. I think I'll buy a few more bottles and let them sit for a couple years. It really is a great beer, and will only improve with age. I'd hope to see some of the wheat characteristics come through with age, once the hops and alcohol subside a bit. But highly recommended in any case. Smuttynose rarely disappoints. And at only $3.69 a bomber, this is one of the best bang for you buck beers out there. Simply can't beat it for the price.

Photo of mshallah
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with classier than average label art. This beer is a balance of big flavors. Floral herb aroma hops,tangy fruitiness,bright wheat,barley malt caramelized sweetness, alcohol presence in nose and taste and a fine bubble bottle conditioned carbonation that adds to complexity and mouthfeel. Bright tasting for a barley wine and un-like any I have ever tasted. No one element of the flavor stands out as this is a balance of all the supporting characters. One weak link would bring the whole beer down. This is a beer that I'm not sure I would have liked in my youth(10-15yrs ago), but is just the type of challenging beer I now seek. Another excellent brew from Smuttynose.

Photo of EPICAC
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I noticed another Smuttynose Big Beer release at Downtown Wine & Spirits last week. This one is a Wheat Wine, which is a style I've never had before. I let it warm to around 45º F and served it in my New Belgium glass.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy amber. It's topped by a one-finger, off-white head that quickly thins to a sudsy film that slowly fades to a ring. Lace is low and sporadic.

Smell: Very aromatic. Tart fruitiness, floral hops, and spicy and peppery alcohol in the background.

Taste: Lightly fruity with sweet malts upfront. The malts run throughout and provide a nice backbone. There is substantial hop bitterness in the finish that mingles with spicy alcohol. The aftertaste is a light citric tartness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, low carbonation, with a lightly oily texture.

Drinkability: High alcohol, but it's very warming, which is nice on a cool night like tonight.

Overall: This is my first Wheat Wine, so I'm not sure how it compares to other examples of the style. I enjoyed it.

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy amber-orange with a creamy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell is sweetly fruity with a piney resinous hop character.

Taste is dominated by dark fruit and alcohol, lending a brandylike character. Caramel malt base is syrupy and bready at the same time. An unusual brew here. An understated earthy nuttiness. Finish has a resinous hop blast with lingering hop bitterness and warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with generous hop oilyness.

Overall I found this brew interesting. Flavor profile isn't as balanced as I would prefer. The alcohol sweetness is a little overpowering. Still, this is a tasty offering that is recommended. Let this one warm a bit to get the fullest flavor.

Photo of bashiba
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep shade of hazy reddish copper with a thin ring of tan head.

Has a big sweet molasses and malt smell with a bit of herbal hoppiness and a strong alcohol smell.

Taste has a strong sweet mixture of dark fruits, molasses, and alcohol. A bit of juniper bitterness, but not quite enough to even it out.

Mouthfeel is heavy and very warming.

A bit to harsh with alcohol lowers the drinkability although the flavors are quite good, definitly a sipper.

Photo of DrJay
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The cap popped with a weak hiss. Crystal clear amber with an orange hue. A vigourous pour resulted in a thin head that quickly fell to a ring. Just a bit of spotty lacing initially. Crackery malt aroma, some caramel, with a floral and powdery hop aroma. Toffee and faint alcohol were present as well. Ripe tropical fruit became fairly strong as it warmed. Moderate bitterness with a malty start, a bit crackery, fruity (a bit of citrus, very mild ripe berries). Caramel at the mid. Towards the end, alcohol really moved to the front and lingered through the finish. Lighter bodied than I expected, quite dry, with low carbonation that resulted in a flat mouthfeel. Not bad. I enjoyed it, but wasn't overwhelmed. Still, this is a solid beer.

Photo of cbl2
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/1/2006 $4.99 22 oz. 10.70% Bottle conditioned in 2006.


Pours a slightly hazy orange/brown suffused with burgundy that is adorned by a quarter inch of tight tan foam that settles slowly.


Candied fruit dominates with marachino cherries, brandied pears and lychee dominating. Caramel apples and alcohol are detectable as well.


Rather weak, thin mouthfeel precedes a beer that is brimming with vibrant fruit flavors. Pear and lychee dominate the landscape with notes of candied apples present as well. This is somewhat onesided, with all of the flavors leaning towards the fruit spectrum of things. Alcohol is detectable towards the finish, and slightly distracting. A tasty beer, though not overly complex.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Wheat Wine, sweet. Pours a nice reddish color with a small white lace heading. Also many champaigne like bubbles rising to the top. Smell contained some sweet honey, ripe red fruit...im thinking strawberry, and a certain cream taste as well. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and pretty damn easy to drink. Alcohol is hidden particularly well with this beer. While it is similar to Barleywine in many ways, this beer still has a personality all its own. I really enjoyed this bottle, and I think i will be going back for more in the near future.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Conditioned in 2006

This is my first time trying a Wheat Wine so I'm not really sure what to expect. Smuttynose is one of my favorite breweries though, so here goes nothing!!!

Poured an ever so slightly hazy, but still pretty clear, light amber with reddish tones to it. Creamy, off-white, half-inch thick head with good retention. Not much lacing to comment on however.

Smells flowery and floral, lots of barley aromas not unlike many barleywines, sticky sweet caramel, some hop spiciness, very mild alcohol fumes.

Taste is lots of alcohol, lots of barley, sticky sweetness ala caramel and toffee, some wheat is detected but seems covered up by all the other stronger components of this beer. Very complex. Finish is pretty hoppy and with much alcohol burn. In fact, this brew is very harsh. But seems like it would be fabulous with a couple years under it's belt.

Mouthfeel is airy, fluffy, and rolls around on your tongue. Mild carbonation.

Drinkable this beer is not. It is just too harsh at this point in it's life to be drinkable. It needs to mellow out.

I plan on buying a few, cellaring them, and opening one each year and see how these babies age. All the great flavors and complexity is there, just the alcohol bite is too much at this point.

Photo of blackie
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005

appearance: The pour gives a low, off white head that soon recedes to leave behind a thin ring around the glass. The beer is a medium amber, aged copper-like color. Some more head retention would be nice, but this is the norm for many high ABV ales.

smell: Right away, I'm surprised by how similar the aroma is to that of a bottom-shelf screwdriver (the drink, of course). As I search for other aromas, it's hard to get it out of my mind at first. After some focused sniffing, I do find aromas of tropical fruit (mango, unripe passionfruit), lightly toasted malt sugars, muscadine/scuppernong grapes, a hint of spicy wheat, and a moderate ethanol note. A light Americanish hop aroma hides in the background. Some further searching reveals notes of honey dipped crackers and dried sour berries.

mouthfeel: The carbonatoin is low and smooth, and the body full and slick. It takes a somewhat unpleasant astringent turn after the swallow.

taste: First up are flavors of citrus and other tropicals alongside a somewhat slick, but clean wheat and toasted malt sweetness. A definite ethanol note comes fuming out after the swallow. Light to moderate hop flavor and bitterness. A few seconds after the swallow, the alcohol and hops give an astringent feel on the tongue. The flavor is not as complex as the nose led me to believe it might have been.

drinkability: A nice wheat wine, but I find it difficult to finish a bomber given the alcohol presence and astringency on the tongue. Something is missing here, especially on the tonge, and the ethanol needs to be toned down alot (I don't say that very often).

Received way back in the day from, I think, ppoitras in BiF 24...and cellared since then.

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color with minimal head, settling into a frothy ring. Aroma is subtle, sweet grains and just a little fruity.

Taste is dry pale malt with some fresh fruity hops. Lots of citrus tastes, fresh oranges with a toasty malt base. A little candy flavors, mild butterscotch and caramel. Barest hints of strawberry, honey or possibly mango but overall the finish is quite dry with no flavors of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium but slick with alcohol; can't taste it but you can feel the bite on the tongue and the warming of the gullet on the way down. Missing a lot of what I would call wheat characteristics, this is the first of this style that I've tried. It's more than just an American barleywine, although it is very similar in style. I like it.

2005 Vintage

Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.