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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

617 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 617
Reviews: 394
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 42
Gots: 25 | 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:
15 IBU

2008 - 7.0%
2009 - 8.8%
2010 - 9.3%
2013 - 7.0%
2014 - 7.2% brewed with Pineapple Sage

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 617 | Reviews: 394 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerboi1123
1/5  rDev -74.1%

Beerboi1123, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of argylegirl
1/5  rDev -74.1%

argylegirl, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of wadecats
1.15/5  rDev -70.2%
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.

wadecats, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of mctizzz
1.25/5  rDev -67.6%

mctizzz, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of mhaugo
1.83/5  rDev -52.6%
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.

mhaugo, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of gfreed
1.9/5  rDev -50.8%
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.

gfreed, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of grayburn
1.9/5  rDev -50.8%
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.

grayburn, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of diechipmunk
1.95/5  rDev -49.5%
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.

diechipmunk, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of nathanjohnson
2/5  rDev -48.2%

nathanjohnson, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Viperman1316
2/5  rDev -48.2%

Viperman1316, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of JillHaas
2/5  rDev -48.2%

JillHaas, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of tommyguz
2/5  rDev -48.2%

tommyguz, May 10, 2013
Photo of Minkybut
2.2/5  rDev -43%
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.

Minkybut, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of MrOH
2.2/5  rDev -43%
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

MrOH, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of kjrod20
2.25/5  rDev -41.7%

kjrod20, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
2.28/5  rDev -40.9%
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.

Thorpe429, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of projektyle
2.36/5  rDev -38.9%
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.

projektyle, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of Carpentiere
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%

Carpentiere, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of jfcaa193
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%

jfcaa193, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of danmouer
2.64/5  rDev -31.6%
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.

danmouer, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Satchboogie
2.68/5  rDev -30.6%
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...

Satchboogie, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of beagle75
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

beagle75, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of geexploitation
2.93/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

geexploitation, May 16, 2006
Photo of bluejacket74
2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

bluejacket74, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of BeerKangaroo
2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

BeerKangaroo, Dec 21, 2011
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Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 617 ratings.