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Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

397 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 397
Hads: 655
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 45
Gots: 40 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-12-2006

15 IBU

2008 - 7.0%
2009 - 8.8%
2010 - 9.3%
2013 - 7.0%
2014 - 7.2% brewed with Pineapple Sage
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 397 | Hads: 655
Photo of wadecats
1.16/5  rDev -70.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

- we can't remember not being able to drink a beer. Had this on tap from a respectable beer shop in Brooklyn; tapped the night before, but was just not drinkable at all. I'm not sure, because this beer might have been infected, but the saison was like cough syrup in smell and taste. Poor head on the beer, no real hop character to speak off - super red-dark for a saison - candy cloying malt, maybe like a melted down urinal puck mixed with a can of Moxie and a can of sam adam's lager - metalic. I found nothing resembling even a stretch for a saison or farmhouse ale in this Smuttynose farmhouse. Was this an accident? 9.3% abv - come on. (641 characters)

Photo of mhaugo
1.86/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

22oz bomber poured into a curved pint glass.
Appearance: Thick amber, murky, with a thin cap of foam.
Smell: Hmmmm… dates and figs. This is a “farmhouse” ale?
Taste: Way too sweet. Where’s the pilsner malt? Where’s the clove flavor? I understand that saison is a broad category, but this completely misses the target. No bitterness, not at all dry, and the taste of old pitted fruit. Overripe dates. Not right at all.
Mouthfeel: Too thick and not bubbly enough.
Overall: As a California kid, I don’t get near enough Smuttynose. It’s normally a treat. But this beer is awful. The smell is wrong. The taste is wrong. The mouthfeel is wrong. I hate it. What the hell kind of farmhouse beer is this?
Update: I did not notice until the next day that the label on the bottle notes that this beer was bottle conditioned in 2011. What I assumed was a weak attempt at “farmyard funk”, may have actually been heavy staling. The shelf I bought it off of was not refrigerated, so that kind of makes sense. I’m going to keep an eye out for a newer bottle so I can try it fresh. (1,086 characters)

Photo of grayburn
2.01/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A beautiful beer, huge rocky head. Retention is great as well. Nice light golden color.
The smell comes off as a little funky, a little cidery with a bit of a skimmed note lingering...uh oh...
uh oh is right Batman. Metalically soured taste with a cloying, lingering, I just ate the cookie tin and not the cookie kind of taste. Bad, drainpour. I'll take smuttynose's other fine offerings, not this one. (402 characters)

Photo of diechipmunk
2.03/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a cloudy brass with a think foamy head, really appealing.

Smell is not strong, but there is Belgian yeast and something like sweaty leather (saddle?). There is a warning of alcohol, but it's still promising

Taste, starts out crisp and citrusy with a hint of spice and a balancing undertone of fresh bread. Then disaster strikes. Who dropped the shot whiskey in my saison!? Nasty, cheap booze takes over and stays. Can't get rid of it. The promising start of the first sip is gone, the booze doesn't go away.

Mouthfeel was OK I guess, a little sweet, for me, medium body, but a touch heavy for saison, I think.

Drinkability - poor, to me. If you like Seagrams 7 and aren't looking for a crisp, refreshing saison it may be good. I did not want a premixed boiler maker.

A rare drain pour. (797 characters)

Photo of gfreed
2.05/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Off to a great start: even an easy pour resulted in a generous head that took a very long time to fade. Had to wait several minutes before there was enough space to add more beer to the glass. The beer itself is a sort of matte peach color; topped by the giant white head it was nearly as attractive as a good Hefeweizen. A decent fistful of grapefruit in the aroma was tempered by malt that smelled a bit like cocoa. But that's where the good part ends. One taste of this deflated every anticipation of a good glass of beer. A one-word summation: booze. The overpowering taste of alcohol buried every single flavor. There's no subtlety, no gentle warmth from the alcohol; only ham-handed booze. Boozeboozebooze! This would best be enjoyed from a paper bag.

Smuttynose ought to abandon this Big Beer crap and stick with more moderate brews, which is what they do best. Definitely avoid. (888 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
2.22/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice golden color, yellow like a regulard brew. The smell was bready yeasty. the beer had a nice head. Thats all i can say good about it. The taste was skunky bad yuk hell no. i had to pour the whole thing dow the drain. So sorry but NO, I will not buy this beer again,, And I like most Smuttynose products, but not this one. (390 characters)

Photo of MrOH
2.26/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: clear, light gold with orange highlights and small head which disappears quickly and leaves no lacing. Not too bubbly at all

Aroma: sour plums (?), rose water, slight touch of earthy, spicy phenols to go with nice estery character

taste: spicy and slightly astringent, then fruit and earth in layers, touch of sour, the spice lingers and prickles and then disappointingly finishes with nail polish remover

Drinkability: not very, the solvent character of the finish really keeps you from coming back for more (523 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.33/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to Joppa for this bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear golden color, starting with a two-finger white head and falling quickly to a thin cap without leaving too much lacing behind.

The nose starts out with some faint phenolics and just a touch of fruit in the background. Light notes of alcohol. The flavor really beefs up the alcohol presence atop the peppery phenolics and spice, plus very mild fruitiness.

Body is medium with average carbonation and quite a bit of booze. Yikes.

Not a fan of this one. The saison character goes in the wrong direction and this beer is unnecessarily big. Why have a saison at 9%? It doesn't work here, that's for sure. (668 characters)

Photo of projektyle
2.4/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This review applies to the 2013 vintage!

Over the past several years, Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale has been the "go to" beer at our house. I am not the greatest beer reviewer, and probably don't have the most sophisticated palate, but I know what I like. This year's Farmhouse Ale is labeled "brewed with sage". Short answer - not a welcome addition. This year's beer has a finer carbonation (tiny bubbles), a taste that was unexpected compared to previous years, and was very thin. Over all, not an enjoyable experience - one of the few times I have ever drainpoured a Smuttynose Big Beer, made all the worse by the fact that my expectations were so high. (653 characters)

Photo of danmouer
2.65/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale is one of the more disappointing Alerican craft beers I have tasted in a while. The beer is clean, no offensive odors or flavors, well made, but just not to style.

I expect a "farmhouse ale" to follow, more or less, the conventions of Belgian Saisons, which I have noted often are among my favorite beers to drink and brew. The principal flaw with the muttynose is that it remains sweet. I expect a saison to be bone dry, and this one is far from it. Another problem is that the beer has little to no aroma, and almost no flavor character. Saisons are/should be nothing if not full f character. Where is the spice?

This beer is neutral, inoffensive, reasonably well balanced for a generic ale, but far too sweet for a saison, or for an American pale, for that matter. And where is the hop character? There s none. There is sufficient bitterness to barely balance the sweetness...for an English ale, I suppose, but not for a saison! There needs to be a bit of hop presence, not just a little note struggling against the undying, cloying sweetness of malt. Where is the tang? Where is the spice? Where is the brisk tongue-tickling carbonation? Where is e mellow flavir of pilsner or pale malt? Nowhere in this brew!

Sorry. This beer is a huge let down. (1,279 characters)

Photo of Satchboogie
2.71/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle (2010 vintage) poured into a Portsmouth tulip

A: Pours golden, just a little opaque, with about a finger and half of fluffy white head that quickly dissipates. Leaves just a touch of lacing.

S: slight funky pale malts, spicy floral hops, slight sour apple (in a good way), white grape skin, lots of alcohol. A white-grape infused cider aroma.

T: Not nearly as 'bright' as the aroma would suggest, tip of the tongue is the funky malt with cider and lots of apple juice right behind it. A strong white wine (white grapes) character appears in the middle. Finish is basically a boozy, bitter white wine. Dry grape skin and unpleasant, harsh and hot alcohol. Very stringent and unpleasant finish. (from the alcohol image) Not digging it much. Delicate flavors that are trashed with too much alcohol and not enough refinement.

M: Light body, moderate to very slightly high carbonation. Not as effervescent as I was expecting. I generally like the style to have a crisp and refreshing finish with some nice citrus qualities, this seems the antithesis: not very crisp, boozy, with almost no citrus.

O: I'm not digging this at all. Even at 8+ months old, it's still incredibly boozy. This isn't a saison, it's an Imperial Saison and not a pleasant one. I had trouble drinking this in a cool room, I'd be toast trying to drink this out in the 90 degree weather. I like ya' Smuttynose, but this thing is a mess... (1,421 characters)

Photo of beagle75
2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, brassy golden color with less than one finger of diminishing loose white foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Fruit and almonds are combined in the most apparent qualities of this beer's smell, emphasizing the presence of yeast secondary metabolites. There is little depth beyond the up-front qualities, lacking a discernible malt backbone or hop influences. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with tangy nectarine and pear fruit that is dynamic. Carbonic acid follows, detectable as a flavor but with little of the harshness that it contributes to the mouthfeel. Flavors mellow in the middle as bready malt becomes more pronounced. Bitterness is curiously astringent in the finish, less like hops than like seeds that one should not eat, and spirituous alcohol lingers.

M: Thin viscosity, acidity burns the palate yet it is also fairly sticky, with heavy carbonation.

D/O: This saison may seem true to form at first glance, with a strong Belgian yeast presence in both the nose and on the palate, but then it is defied by its many rough edges. Some will like this--it is, after all, rustic--but there are a number of other American-brewed saisons that are less messy and far more enjoyable. (1,272 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This Belgian style beer pours a clear amber with a decent head that disappears quickly. There is little lacing left on the sides of my glass. The nose is overwhelmingly sweet -- the main impression I get is of prunes smothered in candi sugar. On the palate, that sweetness translates into a biting sensation of sugar with a strange kick on the mid-palate. There is little in the way of fruits or spices here, just straightforward sweetness. The tastes are underwhelming, and with the medium body sticking around the mouth just a bit too much, this is one cloying beer. Not my favorite of the Big Beer series... not by a longshot. (629 characters)

Photo of BeerKangaroo
2.94/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a pint glass:

A: murky orange body with a film of a immediately dieing head, some spotty lacing leaving some rings here and there

S: yeasty and earthy

T: wheaty and some earthy flavors with some orange

M: medium, fairly sessionable, alcohol well hidden, dry sticky finish

O: not a bad beer, but nothing spectacular. I don't think I would have this again, or if I did, it would have to be on tap. (403 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.02/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a gold color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention is decent, but there isn't much lacing left on the glass. Aroma is mostly fruity, it smells like apricots, citrus, peppery spice, earthy/spicy hops and a bit of funk. However, the taste isn't nearly as appealing as the aroma. I can taste the fruity and spicy flavors, but there's also a strong bitter/astringent off-flavor that really isn't saison-like. The bitter/astringent flavor does weaken a little as the beer warms, but it's still noticable enough to hurt the taste of this brew a lot. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has low/moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't very good, I could finish the bottle but there's no way I would want another one anytime soon. Maybe I got a bad bottle of this, or I might need to try it fresh next time. I was disappointed in this brew since I've liked all the other Smuttynose beers I've tried. (984 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle (2011 release) poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a clear golden and orangey hued body with a half finger of rocky foam that lingers only briefly before retreating to the surface. Thick webs of lacing left on the glass.

S - Aroma of sugar, bubblegum, floral/perfumey, alcohol, light citrus.

T - A bit of alcohol up front with bubblegum, mild hop bitterness, citrus, band-aids, herbal and a bit spicy. Has all the components to make up a fine saison, but somehow this one misses the mark for me. Flavors seem a bit disjointed and out of the proper balance.

M - Medium body with a firm carbonation. A bit boozy and alcohol heavy in the flavor profile. Fruity and bubblegummy flavors mix with the alcohol and overpower things a bit.

O - Usually a big fan of Smuttynose offerings but this one really misses the mark for me. Definitely misses most of the finer nuances I look for in a saison (one of my favorite styles). Overall, just not my thing. (962 characters)

Photo of froggyfrog
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. brown bottle served cold in an over-sized wine glass.

Pours a tempestuous golden orange with swirling carbonation with flakes of sedimentary yeast and a substantial sudsy tangerine-tinged head with solid staying power and above average lacing.

Smells of yeasty esters with a caramelized citrus backbone.

Taste is spritzy and crisp. More citrus is evident. Coriander. Slightly bready. Subtly smoky clove notes mixed in. Creamy orange with a tart bitter finish.

This beer made me feel somewhat bloated and gassy. Saison is not a style I typically enjoy. This appears to be a decent example of the style. The taste improves as the beer warms. (658 characters)

Photo of pitasoup
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to SkinnyElvis for this bomber, dated 2010.

A: Straw-like golden yellow. Could be mistaken for generic bmc lager in color and clarity. Slightly more than a finger of fine white head. Second pour is murkier - dregs have been shaken.

S: Typical Belgian saison yeasts - hay, peppery, and the smallest hint of vegetal. Floral esters linger on your tongue afterwards - lavender and dandelion.

T: Taste is more American saison, slight lemons, peppery. Alcohol is very present and distracting. Wheat malts linger as you get past the initial yeasts.

M: Body is medium but lingering mouthfeel is oddly thick from alcohol. This is very distracting - like drinking malt liquor.

O: This is a less aggressive saison in terms of peppery-yeasts, but it compensates with alcohol hotness. I am overwhelmed by the warm and fusel nature of this beverage. There are subtleties in the smell that I quite enjoy but the taste does not back them up.

I am thankful for having been able to taste this but would probably not seek it out again. (1,035 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hazy golden body with a slight white head and a small amount of lacing. Lots of fairly sizeable particles floating around throughout.

Smells very sweet like candy and sweet malts with a little bit of sourness in the background.

Taste is predominantly of sweet sugars with some malt character. So much so that at first I don't taste any sourness that classic saisons exhibit. As the brew warms I do notice that funky sourness in the background, which allowed me to finish the beer.

A pretty thick mouthfeel here.

A little too sweet for me to drink a ton of. (562 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with just under one finger of white foam on top of a somewhat hazy, copper colored body. The head collapses quickly and leaves little lace.

S - A spicy yeast aroma with notes of clove, coriander, and a hint of pineapple. Some Bready malt in the background with some light, musty European hops.

T - Spicy notes of yeast and wheat up front with some coriander and a big note of musty clove. Earthy hop flavors come out in the middle with some toasted malt. The beer finishes with lots of medicinal clove and musty hops as well moderate bitterness. Lingering clove flavors are accompanied by a sweet, but muddy toasted malt flavor.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a very yeasty saison, but unfortunately the yeast character is mostly lacking in the more pleasing notes that the style is capable of in the best instances. There is a huge note of medicinal clove that really becomes overwhelming in the finish. There are some nice notes in the nose, but these fade quickly and don't manage to balance out the phenolics. In addition to the unfortunate yeast character there is an excessive residual sweetness that adds to the cloying nature of the flavor by leaving a lingering sweetness that seems to perpetuate the medicinal notes in the aftertaste. Honestly, I think half the problem here is that they shot for a big beer on this one. Going over 9 percent is really pushing the limits in a way that doesn't seem to work for this style, there is just too much lingering sweetness and the yeast seems to have been stressed in such a way that is put out all of its most unpleasant byproducts. I would like to find something nice to say about this beer, but I really can't seem to; not something I would recommend. (1,775 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep brownish golden hue...slightly hazed...lots of little bubbles through out the glass. Head is a light cream, tight bubbles give the appearance that it was whippedt.

S: Very fruity, slightly sour. Grapefruit, lymon, fresh cut grass and very yeasty.

T: Sour right away, not really puckering but more pungent...sort of like over ripe lemons. Lots of green grass flavors, like if you actually chewed on green grass. A little bit of pineapple, granny smith with a biscuity aftertaste. Some bittering hops at the end that coast with the beer a bit.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation a touch prickly.

D: Sort of a mish mash of flavors, none of which being overwhelmingly desirable. Too sweet to be a true saison. So so. (728 characters)

Photo of begforme4484
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very golden ale color. Little head, less than a finger width.

Smells of a bit of malt and floral hop, but mostly over taken by the sourness.

A bit of doughy malt, not much hop detectable, but a lot of sour.l

Medium bodied, good carb.

Overall a decent beer. (268 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber color, pretty good clarity and about one finger of fizzy white head. Head recedes to not much more than a rimjob with a thin lace.

Smell is immediately funky, but not in a good yeast strain sort of way - more like feet. There is also some grain and honey sweetness in the nose.

Taste is a little better but still isn't a terribly good representation of a saison. There is a honey like sweetness and a graham cracker sort of base, with some grain and a bit of hop bitterness even. Bit of fruit flavor, as well, and some yeasty funk, and some medicinal phenols. Not loving it but it's ok.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium body but it feels chalky and finishes feeling a bit heavy in the mouth. Overall this really isn't a very good saison. There are far better US versions out there. I wouldn't bother with this again. (836 characters)

Photo of Huffs
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured to white, bubbly head with mild retention and little lacing. Appearance was slightly haze with an orangey / straw color. Aroma was slightly sour with some citrus and bread notes. Had a nice, tangy taste of citrus, yeast and spice. Mouthfeel was very carbonated, yet a bit of a creamy effect. Aftertaste was tangy slightly spicy. (335 characters)

Photo of dank203
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

pours glowing orange. on the nose, some sweet malts but the sage comes through with lime and pepper a bit and its definitely in the flavor too. a bit spicy . really bubbly and grainy. yeast comes through as well. its all there but it lacks the punch and the complexity for me (275 characters)

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Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 397 ratings.