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

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Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series)

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very good

470 Reviews
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Reviews: 470
Hads: 744
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 56
Gots: 61 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 470 | Hads: 744
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber in color with a late-erupting, quickly dissipating head. Aroma of raisins, burnt sugar and bitter hops.

Flavor is deep and complex. Biscuity malts spiced with nutmeg and clove sit beneath caramelized figs and hops, with a faint touch of apricot at the periphery. Finish is mostly clean, with a late, slightly cloying sweet note, and the high ABV adds a phenol punch.

Balanced, but big - and enjoyable. Easy does it on this one. (442 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage (about 6 months aged)

pours a murky reddish brown with just a spattering of foam, though it leaves nice lacing.

very barleywine-ish aroma with raisins, figs, dates, grape skins, some brown sugar, a bit of spice, and just a bit of toasted whole wheat bread.

again akin to a barelywine in the flavor profile, but the wheat seems to smooth it out a bit. dark fruits, booze, caramelized brown sugar, maple syrup, grape skins, with just a bit of wheat lingering behind that.

a bit light bodied and low on carbonation, but with a nice smooth finish and a slightly pleasant alcohol warmth after the swallow.

overall, its good, but doesn't differentiate itself enough from a barleywine to really stick in my head. (725 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a hazy, barely transparent coppery red-brown with a thick, fine-bubbled, fairly persistent pale tan head that leaves some good lacing. Aroma is wheaty and fruity, the latter an interesting mix of apple and citrus, with a hint of an alcohol bite. Fruity, wheaty flavor has an undertone of barleywine (i.e., serious alcohol content) and equal parts sweetness and bitterness. Very tasty! Texture is rough and rowdy, leaving behind a nice fizz. Heartily recommended. (483 characters)

Photo of greenmonstah
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Deep copper red with a wispy tan head

S - Sweet and bready. Candied fig and a hint of booze.

T - Very sweet and slightly boozy. Bready malt and lots of dark fruit flavors. Finishes with a sweet fig and even a bit of chocolate covered raisin.

M - Full bodied and a bit sticky sweet. Fairly crisp, somehow. Very smooth finish.

O - A very interesting beer. Like a barley wine but smoother. Definitely a big beer, it takes a while to drink it down. (483 characters)

Photo of NODAK
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big beer, big aroma. Reallly big aroma. Gobs and gobs of sweetness here. Thick. Caramel, dark fruits,'s all there and in loads. I also perceived perhaps some grapes there as well.

Pours a light amber color, somewhat hazy with a small head at first that disappears rapidly.

Taste is bold up front, with quite a bit of maltiness in the form of toffee, dark fruit and some liquorice as well. It's interesting. Not so sweet as to overpower though, as in their doppelbock. It's also somewhat "hot" with the booziness...there isn't a lot of doubt that this has a high ABV. Bitterness in the finish is certainly present and though it isn't exceptionally much, it's somewhat sharp on the sides of the tongue and lingers a little. A roasted note also lingers as well after the swallow. Honestly, I don't really get any wheat out of this beer. I love wheat beers, I tried hard to percept wheat flavors...I don't get it.

Interesting, but perhaps not my favorite. A bit hot, and the flavors aren't really all that exciting here. (1,031 characters)

Photo of Stunner97
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- brownish and orange in color, with very thin white head and low carbonation, murky in color

smell- very sweert and sour nose, very nice citrus notes and tones with slight bitter hops too,

Taste- very unique flavor on the mid palate is there where it does begin have some flavor points of wheat ale, slight fruit flavors and little bit sour, but mostly strong bitter hop notes more reminds me still of the flavors of the barely wine, really reminds me mostly of barley wine only slightly lighter flavor profile

Mouthfeel- very heavy and thick with low carbonation, just a real big bruiser of a beer

Drinkablility- overall this beer is pretty drinkable considering the high abv, the wheat gives it slightly more light version of what you get out of barley but still real big flavor, this beer was good but I would have fall short of calling it great and as my first example of the style it was more okay then amazing, a unique style of beer i will have try again, do have admit though the beer did grow on me and certainly started appreciate balance of sweet and bitter (1,083 characters)

Photo of aepb1
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy amber body and a small off-white head (barely any head)

S- Sweet grapes, some sweet bready malts

T- Follows the nose; at first sweet dark fruits, sweet malts and there's some wheat body

M- Medium body with light carbonation and it's almost syrupy

O- I dig the style and this a good overall beer. I want more wheat wines to compare it to. (351 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a copper orange out of the bomber into a snifter. The head is small and dissipates quickly while the body is hazy orange amber.

S- Sweet and malty with some orange zest and lighter citrus notes. subtle yeasty scent is in there too

T- lighter taster with an alcohol taste toward the end. Malty upfront with a tiny yeast taste. Sweetness is more prominent in the middle which follows till the finish. sweetness that turns lightly bitter finishes

M- Heavier mouthfeel with lower carbonation.

O- I wasnt sure what to expect with this one. althuogh it wasnt great, it wasnt horrible. I should let one sit in the basement for a littlewhile and give it a go. (666 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a mostly clear reddish amber color, no head.

Smells of rich caramel and apple tartness with a hint of hop pine and honey.

Tastes sweet like honey and maple, with apple tartness, a bit of hop bitterness and wheat like malts, plus noticeable alcohol flavor.

Feel is moderate to thick, sticky, and warming. Slight carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Pretty interesting and unique ale, enjoying it immensely but not sure it's something I would come back to. Glad to have it once though. But don't expect the same taste as a barleywine. (548 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just a note that this is the first time I have ever had a wheat wine, so i will be taking that fact in to consideration as I review this..

Poured from a 2009 bottle in to a large snifter.

A-opaque chestnut. there is no head except bubbbles around the glass surface. there seems to be a complete lack of carbonation...a fact i'm not liking.

S-a strong scent of booze. there is also a lot of caramel. to me, this smells a lot like an unbalanced barley wine. the more i smell it, the more i like it though. I must admit that i'm timid to take my first sip though, it smells quite intense.

T-comes in much smoother than expected. hits the tongue with booze and smooth caramel. then comes a boozey bitterness that leads in to an after-taste of cherries, grapes, and caramel. the after-taste is quite sweet and quite tasty. at all points, the caramel can be tasted. now this is my first wheat wine, so my question is...where is the wheat supposed to come in to play? if i had tasted this with out knowing the style, i would've guessed barely wine immediately.

M-low carbonation with a boozey, dry finish

O-This is meshing extremely well with the ham and turkey sandwich that i'm eating. I'm finding out though, that this is a bomber that is best shared with a friend. The tastes, though not extremely bad, just aren't something that I want a lot of right now, or ever. i think this beer needs a bit more carbonation, okay a lot more carbonation. it just isn't something i'll be getting again. i'll admit, i always though the whole wheat wine concept was a little weird, now i believe it even more. (1,598 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay, I've only had one wheat wine before so I'm not an expert but I'm getting wafting alcohol from halfway across the room. Is this normal? Pours a cloudy copper melange with a wispy cap in place of a head. Nose is the aforementioned sledgehammer of alcohol with backing caramel malt and plenty of mixed sugars and dark fruits.

This is well made stuff, so it isn't like the scraping nails on blackboard sensation of a malt liquor. but this is still a great deal of booze in a very small spot. Sweet malt in the extreme, swimming in a sea of ethyl. A slight attempt at balance but it mostly gets lost in the shuffle. A touch of smoke and peat in the finish adds some character.

Overall, pretty mellow and drinkable considering how many brain cells it is sending to an early grave. This is a reading poetry on a snowy evening in a mountain cabin kind of beer, but a pretty good one. (885 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly transparent amber-red color with a finger of frothy tan-brown head. The head fades slowly down to a thick ring leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of wheat and rich caramel malts. There is also dark fruit and some hops mixed in. The alcohol is definitely noticeable.

T - Starts off with dark fruit sweetness and wheat flavor. There is also some pine hop flavor right at the start. Through the middle, some more fruity flavors and some more hops come through. More rich caramel malt flavor. The finish is a mix of dark fruit and malt flavors with some hops and booze in the background.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate-low carbonation. Really syrupy through still pretty slick. Pretty sweet with a resiny finish. Touch of alcohol warming.

D - Heavy, but still pretty drinkable. The 10.7% abv shows here, but not in a bad way. The flavors are interesting and well balanced. The flavors are strong so this is pretty much a sipping beer but very enjoyable. (996 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a deep copper body that is slightly hazy with a reddish hue to it and a creamy beige head on top. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- The dry spicy hop note has a slight sweet malt note to follow and a finish of floral esters that smell a bit like shampoo.

T- This beer has a sweet malt flavor that is slightly syrupy and a pine hop bite with some alcohol bite that finish the dry finish. As the beer opens up there is an aged penny brassy flavor that sometimes come with lots of wheat and some caramel notes that are dry.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture that really thins out as the beer warms. The alcohol is present but warming in the finish.

D- This beer has some nice wheat wine flavors but it is a bit thin without much depth. Perhaps a little age will help bring things together but that may make it even thinner. The brassy flavor was a bit off putting and soon became stronger than the other malt flavors. (1,031 characters)

Photo of jmerloni
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Raw light brown color, very little head or lacing. Looks more like wine than beer.

S - Wheat! Haha. Also caramel malts and alcohol.

T - Tastes like caramel and bread with a lot of alcohol. I'd drink this with desert after a big meal.

M - Very little carbonation, form of the sip is the same when it's swalllowed as when it enters the mouth. Almost buttery. Actually, very buttery.

D - A slow sipper. Pretty delicious in a desert kind of way. I don't know if I've ever consumed a beer with more malt and sweetness in it. It's kind of like drinking butterscotch. Interesting. (581 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.07/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Felt this was too similar to a normal barley wine. I thought that this would have been a little bit different. Expected it to be lighter I guess. To me not much really stood out and made much of a difference. It was a brownish colored brew with a little head that survived for a little while. The flavors in this beer was strong for sure. I would try this again in hopes of enjoying this a little more the second time around. (425 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber body with copper hues and only the faintest of off white heads that leaves almost no lacing to speak of even after a vigorous pour.

The aromas are quite impressive with sweet vinous aromas backed by herbal hops with sweet malt and additional dark fruits playing along as well.

The flavor is where the wheat presence really kicks in. There is an immediate dark wheat presence, followed by the sweet malt, vinous flavors, additional fruits, and herbal hops mid-palate.

The mouthfeel is medium, yet lighter than the appearance and aroma had led on with very little carbonation and a diverse coating on the palate which as at times sweet, at times drying, and ultimately smooth.

I am impressed with this beer. As a relatively new style, I have not had much to sample just yet, however based on the description, this appears to be a winner. (863 characters)

Photo of foogerd
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage.

A- Pale copper body some yellow highlights hardly any head.

S- Sweet and bitter almost like an American IPA, theres citric sweetness in there namely orange and some pineapples.

T- Bitter hops, sweet malts lots of fluffy bready wheat character, this would do better with age to dull the hops and have the sweet character more pronounced.

M- Full foamy and fluffy, definitely a strong point to this brew.

D- A decent brew overall not something to quaff but tasty nonetheless. (492 characters)

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. 22 oz. bomber poured into a large tulip. Took an agressive pour to produce a two-finger head.

Nose is thick caramel sweetness and some booziness. I love that.

With a year on it, the taste is pretty much all caramel malt and sweet booze. The wheat is there, but this is a malt bomb. Definitely more barleywine-esque.

Mouthfeel is smooth but some booziness remains. Good thing I like that too.

Overall this is a beer to age only if you crave caramel malt sweetness between your teeth. Not the best of the Smutty Big Beer series, but it's pretty darn good. (571 characters)

Photo of wcintula
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big Beer Series? I'll say. Poured into a tall, more 'flute-shaped' snifter with a deep solid dark honey brown body and a nice tan one finger head to cap it. This beer smells incredibly sweet. I can't exactly put my finger on. It's very fruity and sugary, even. Any hops presence is muted by the incredibly wheaty profile of the wheat wine. The bar I had this beer at listed it at 12% ABV and you certainly notice it. Great beer to have if your in the mood for something big. (474 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Release

Wheat Wine pours a deep copper color. It's mostly clear, and has scarlet highlights when held to light. The disappointing part is that no head develops. Yeah, there's a few bubbles that attempt to collect on the surface, but they just can't get there. Too much alcohol? Really? Needless to say, lacing was pretty much non-existent. Kudos for the color though - it's impressive.

The nose is above average. It would benefit from more strength. Up front, it's grainy and a little grassy. The wheat aspect is apparent. Citric notes of pineapple and orange are in the mix and seem to carry it a bit. A little caramel malt is noted, but doesn't come across as overly sweet. Alcohol is masked extremely well and barely comes through at all. It's not bad at all, but could be better.

The flavor is a notch above the nose. Initially, it has a bit of a caramel malt flavor. It's a little sweet, but it's far from offensively sweet. Wheat, grain, and grassy notes follow quickly and resonate throughout. Citrus orange and pineapple notes are largely responsible for this beer having a pretty good flavor. The fruity notes work really well with the other flavors. I suspect some hoppy and bitter notes were here some time ago, but they're not today. Alcohol is more notable in flavor, but isn't warm or hot. It finishes grainy and fruity with just a touch of alcohol.

Wheat Wine has a lighter body than it should. Carbonation is light, which helps, but it feels too thin. Maybe more malts would help? Drinkability is above average. The flavor's alright, but grows a little tiresome. This is a pretty big beer, too. A bomber seems like a little much.

Smuttynose did a credible job with a style that I find intriguing and difficult. To be fair, I'm not enthralled with Wheatwines. Nonetheless, this one's alright. I do think the strong citric fruit presence is why it succeeds. It works well with the heavy wheat presence. If you haven't tried a Wheatwine before, this is a great place to start. I can't say this is the best of the style, but it's rather friendly all around and is a little better than the score probably suggests. (2,135 characters)

Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Bottle conditioned in 2009 notched on front label. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.99.

A: Rusty amber with healthy 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and lacing for the ABV.

S: I don't really see much difference in this brew from any American barleywine -- loads of caramel and nougat maltiness with moderately aggressive floral, citrus, and herbal hops. The wheat tanginess is not in there -- maybe that's because the alcohol hammers your olfactory system like working sheet metal.

T: The flavor has a mild amount of wheaty tart/tanginess, but all in all, this tastes like a boozy American barleywine with thick, syrupy caramel maltiness, floral and citrus hoppiness, and more than a blast of woody alcoholic heat. One year has not even scrubbed any of the booze factor off of this brew.

M: Viscous and warming with low carbonation and very woody alcohol finish.

D: This one needs much more time before visiting again -- probably more like 4-5 years time. (1,064 characters)

Photo of AwYeh
1.5/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

2009 bottle

A: Pours a clear copper-amber color with basically no head; in its place is a thin, off-white foam which struggles to cover the surface of the beer.

S: Orange and pineapple citrus notes combine with caramel, toffee malts, and bits of fig and plum. Unfortunately ethanol factors heavily into the smell, making the more enjoyable sweet flavors much harder to fully appreciate.

T: A split second of sweet, caramel malts is noticed, and then the alcohol takes over. Deep and cutting, it pushes the fruit flavors that should be coming through to a place where they can barely be perceived, leaving only a vaguely fruity sweetness in their place.

M: Thin-medium body, sticky and syrupy. Lots of alcohol heat, long alcoholic finish.

D: I realize that this is a sipper, but most sippers I've experienced have flavors that can stand up to the alcohol in them- that is not the case here. The slightly tasty, faint sweet notes are outweighed entirely by the ethanol. Not looking for another glass of this. (1,011 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep, robust copper. tried to pour carefully, but still got some unfiltered-ness. tiny carbonation bubbles fight through the yeast particulate.

S: smells like banana fosters. banana, brown sugar reduction with a splash of rum. really smells like dessert.

T: alcohol, vanilla and brown sugar at the tail-end. alcohol has a mild numbing effect on the tip of the tongue/warming factor. the residual sugar is significant in this brew, actually diminishing any yeast character and even some of the wheat character.

M: just a touch of carbonation works great on a full, heavy body.

D: a strong brew proudly representing a strong style. overall, just a bit too much alcohol. may need to get another one of these and set it aside for a while to see if it can mellow out. (771 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is an opaque orange in color with a bit deeper hues verging on pinkish-red. The light brown head that forms is pretty tight and dense, sitting almost like a pillow just over 1 finger high and sticking around for a fairly long time before dissipating to a thick foam. Some lacing drops down the glass and remains.
There's a lot of fruit on the nose with a tinge of alcohol and just a hint of grains underneath the very strong dark fruits. There's also a touch of hops and an interesting yeast profile.
It's really good for the style that the wheat beer was the majority, because I can imagine the subtleties would be completely lost otherwise. As it is, it takes work to separate this from a typical (albeit very good) barleywine. Thus, it's very much like a well-made barleywine with more complexity and a wheat/grains undertone. Otherwise there's lots of dark fruits and impressions of fig, a touch of toffee and/or vanilla and a dose of hops. Overall it's generally a sweet flavor with a bit of alcohol heat to it. There's enough complexity in here to keep me happy and it's very tasty. Alcohol is heavy, and there's even a bourbon-like touch to this. but I'm still surprised to read nearly 11%. Well crafted.
This beer has a pretty full mouthfeel that reaches a good balance of crispness on the front and smoothness following.
This is a very interesting mix making for a nice slow sipper. (1,402 characters)

Photo of DanOLeary
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Burning alcohol spice upfront with some lingering dark ripe fruit in the background. Some biscuit and toast mixed with the plums and alcohol. But mostly alcohol.

Appearance: Poured slowly from bottle conditioned vessel this beer holds a beautiful and deep mahogany red. Good clarity if you don't pour the yeast, which is easy to hold back. Head initially holds an off-white blanket, but fades quickly to a thin ring of white at the edge of the glass. No lacing.

Flavor: Bready malt sweetness hits the tongue at first but is quickly punched back by the alcohol spice and dark fruit presence. The alcohol creates almost a peppery spice through the middle and into the finish. Tannic orange peel and grapefruit rind finish out this beer, as well as lingering alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. The alcohol presence has an almost cooling effect on the palate, but is balanced fairly well with just enough malt sweetness to keep this beer in check throughout. Alcohol burns just a bit in the finish.

Overall: This is a straightforward malt and alcohol explosion in your mouth. While the malt does offer some complexity and tries its best to balance that alcohol, it does push toward overly hot at times. This beer would likely cellar quite well, mellowing out in time. Definitely worth picking up if you can find it, and a must try for any barleywine lover. (1,385 characters)

Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.