Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)

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very good

438 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 438
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 19
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  9.37% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-11-2007

This hoppy, Belgian-style golden ale first appeared in early 2007 as the first edition of our Short Batch Series. At that time, we called it the Gnome, an homage to Brasserie d'Achouffe.

45 IBU

2011 - 9.9%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 438 | Reviews: 172
Reviews by McNealc31:
Photo of McNealc31
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold with a fluffy white head, the fruit from the Belgian yeast is very noticeable in the aroma. At first, fruit dominates the flavor as well, with orange, apricot, and banana. Even a bit of bubble gum. Hops flavors come through after the fruit with a peppery jolt, leading to a dry and somewhat bitter finish. The aftertaste is similar to butterscotch candy. Some heat comes from the 9.9% ABV, but not overpowering.

Very tasty. If they keep this is a yearly, seasonal release beer, I can see it get very popular

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large tulip glass a slight hazed medium golden with a nice blooming white crown that left globs of lace as it settled ever so slowly.Spiced phenols and overripe citrus fruit mainly in the nose,the phenols are the main component and that kinda turned me off a little.Medicenel and tropical citrus fruit hop flavors with spicy phenols in the background.while the phenolic flavors are held in check somewhat,the beer lacks a whole lot of complexity in my mind.

Photo of wrycon
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is slightly muddled, but overall clear. Gold in complexion. Short head is somewhat thin and dissipates quickly. Smells quite yeasty, with a hint of funk. Picking up some wheat and citrus. Hmmm... Tastes heavy and flat to start with a thick, almost banana flavor. Minor carbonation carries the middle through a sharp and yeasty blockade. Ends semi-sweet and hot with more of that thick banana flavor. Wondering if this would be better given more time.

Like it? It's OK

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #55 (August 2011):

“The Gnome” has been reborn in this Big Beer Series. Golden in color with a touch of haze and large carbonation bub- bles that yield a creamy white head. Soft, powdery funk in the nose. Musty orchard, light phenols, gum, pepper, sweet herbal and spicy notes. Fairly light bodied. Prickly carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel, as the beer warms on the palate. Tamed alcohol heat and spice. Quite malty and sweet. Bready, candied fruit, banana, some lemon, white pepper and lingering bubblegum. A bit rough around the edges, but overall a very complex and solid offering that offers a lot to discerning palates and fans of Belgian-inspired ales.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was a bright golden color with a small white head.

It had a sweet malt aroma. Some fruit, mainly banana. Spice.

I really liked the taste. Yeasty bread. Banana, with a little citrus. Some clove. A nice hoppy finish.

A little on the crisp side. Refreshing. A very nice Belgian IPA.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled several of these and even took notes (!) at the Blind Tiger in NYC, p0ured kind of flat unfortunatly, cloudy dark apricot, leaving just a smidge of lacing, nose is Belgian yeastyness, and fruits and flavor notes were of more fruits, bananas, yeast and the expected crisp and spicy and resiny hops. Alot of interest here, respectable take on a style I love, looking foward to more of this from Smutty and hopefully lots of other American and Belgian brewers.

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

Homunculus opens with a nose that is exactly in line with the Belgian-style Golden Ale that it is: heavy on the banana and clove aromas, with touches of spicy black pepper resting just beneath, and tangible whiffs of pineapple, pear, cherry, and apple fruit esters rounding out the sugars. The nose is slightly more pineapple-based than I normally prefer, giving the brew a fruit cocktail-like overtone. Subtle wheat field notes do help ground the sugars.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a whang of banana and clove, but a split second later these are joined by pear, black pepper, white grape, and apple fruit esters, as well as a good spicy layer that helps further shape the overall effect. The pineapple is thankfully largely gone from the mouthful, replaced by a rind of grapefruit and lemon from the hops, which also contribute a nice buzz to the soft palate (45 IBUs). Toast crust and biscuit bring the beer back to earth. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, the hops lingering for far longer than do the sugars, and lasts for a good while, though at the end it does take on an unfortunate taste of dandelion-stem. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good Belgian fare, presenting many of the common flavors of the style, but ramped up in typical Smuttynose Big Beer style to not-normally-seen levels. Even with these larger flavors, the beer manages to be fairly well balanced on the tongue, with only a fairly strong alcoholic kick (the result of the 9.9% ABV) marring what are otherwise great flavors. Worth trying.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 22oz bomber poured into a wine glass. Bottle lists when the beer was conditioned, but it does not list an ABV.

A: It is a golden orange color and mostly clear, though there is a bit of haze. It has a thin white head (disappointing) which disappears quickly, but it does leave nice lacing with each swirl.

S: Rose, pine, banana, grapefruit, candy, and fruity esters.

T: Grapefruit, bubblegum, and piney hops dominate along with a strong alcohol burn and taste.

M: Heavy and dry.

O: Homunculus has lots of hop flavor, but it does not blend the alcohol well. The high presence of the alcohol in the flavor gets in the way of the better elements of this beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
2011 on bottle
Almost pasted this up because I tend not to drink beers with sperm on the label. Glad I didn't

A- This beer pours a very slight hazy body with a murky caramel color on the second pour. There is a sticky white film of head that last and leaves register marks on the glass. There is a slow motion of microbubbles swirling to the surface.

S- The full aroma of pears and banana esters is more yeasty than fruity wit a nice finish of green herbal hops that balance the esters nicely.

T- The candy malt quality is not overly sweet with a nice circus peanut candy quality to follow and a dry green hop snap in the finish that has some dry estery fruit notes to it. There is a soft mineral water flavor that could be saison yeast in character but a is only in the background.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a velvety fizz in the finish and no alcohol heat making it hard to believe this is a 9.9 % ABV beer.

O- This beer has a great yeast character with a nice crisp hop finish that balances the flavor and aroma. The dry finish and slight sweetness upfront really makes this beer easy to drink.

Photo of BostonBrewRu
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not as rich and creamy or sweet as other Belgians but this beer is pretty cool. It's super dry and hides it's ABV amazingly. Smuttynose is like the David Copperfield of the beer world.

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

22 oz.

Golden amber color, spazzy bubbles, creamy, thick foam, moderate size head, dissipates quick with a nice ring of foam sticking around.

A nice citrus tang in the hops, spicey, tangy earth effect, honey-sweet malt with minty and green aroma's.

A fat complexity, thick and sweet malt, wild honey and caramel along with a major fruity and sharp bite. Earthy yeast and hops, all in pretty good balance, high heat, maybe too much heat even mixed in with the complexity of the other flavor's.

The feel is sharp and dry but crisp, hefty-medium feel, very substantial just like most Smutty's.

Very bold flavor's make this a big beer for sure, major complexity, maybe too big.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.59/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love big beers, I love Smuttynose, and I love their Big Beer Series. Despite the mildly disturbing label, I'm way excited to try this...

Pours a soupy copper-gold color, white a snow-white head that's creamy and not huge, but long-lasting...and a ton of wild lace shapes are left on the glass.

Been a while since I've smelled a new beer that kept my nose diving back in for whiff after whiff. The perfect melange of tropical and citrus fruits, tell-tale Belgian yeast earthiness, other funky/dirty traits, and a clean, friendly, sweet spiciness.

While the alcohol definitely plays a starring role in the taste of Homunculus, it's kept in check by the just-right earthy/funky/fruity yeast, the mango-like spiciness, the green American hops twang, and the clean hops-driven, light breeziness of the flavor and feel. Yeah, the feel is a wonderful, buoyant, light-but-substantial thing of perfect balance between carbonation and a texturally slick, banana-like ride. Speaking of banana, that also comes through in the subtly complex flavor profile. There's a milky/creamy vibe (taste and feel), with the alcohol coming in just enough to lift all these flavors up to the next level. I get new things each sip.

Oh my...I'm gonna need some alone-time with Homunculus. Chalk another one up to the usually AMAZING Big Beer Series. Go Smutty!

Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recent bottle. A lot is going on in this. Pours unfiltered look, milky orange golden with a small retained head. Somewhat sweet slightly funky aroma. Easy mouthfeel, yeasty sweet with a hop bitter finish. A little orange juice. Brett aftertaste. Understated carbonation, aided drinkability.IBu 75 a little surprising.

Photo of tdm168
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - cloudy, hazy orange with a huge, pure white head that has fantastic retention

S - apricots, rind, Belgian yeast, spicy alcohol

T - apricot, orange juice concentrate, orange rind, yeast, alcohol in the finish

M - medium to full bodied, warm, dry, juicy

This is a pretty decent BIPA. It's incredibly fruity and juicy. The alcohol is ever present but it doesn't take away from the drinkability. The yeast is present but seems to work well with the intense, complex fruitiness. This is worth a try for sure.

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

Homunculus is gold in color. It’s very hazy, and looks a tad orange when held to light. A forceful pour only yielded a surface covering of bubbles. It rose no further. Disappointing. Needless to say, it dissipated quickly. Lacing was very light. At least the color looks good.

The nose is alright. It kicks off with a spicy yeast scent. Smells like pepper and clove. There’s a hint of Belgian character to it, but not a great deal. Smells a little sugary and sweet. There are some light, citric hop notes. Grapefruit seems to be the primary player. It’s somewhat earthy and grainy throughout. Alcohol is noted, but doesn’t smell all that strong. I would guess it was 9%+. Not bad.

The flavor is consistent with the nose, but is a bit better. It definitely kicks off with a yeasty flavor. It’s quite spicy, feature clove and pepper flavors. The malt base is a little sweet and sugary. It’s definitely earthy and grainy throughout. It does have a strong fruity aspect. Hops add mostly citric flavors of grapefruit and orange. It’s a little bitter and dry. Apple and pear flavors are also noted. Alcohol is noted, but isn’t quite warm or hot. Finishes spicy, yeasty, and fruity.

Homunculus has a light-medium body. It feels a little thin and insubstantial. Carbonation is mid-range, but the bubbles feel soft. More body would help. For a beer of its size, it goes down pretty well. I won’t have any problem polishing off this bomber.

Homunculus is a pretty good release from Smuttynose. I’m not sure I like the Belgian IPA classification. It reminds more of a Tripel. Having said that, it is good stuff. The hops add an interesting jolt to the flavor and really make it interesting. If you’re into Belgian ales with a twist of hops, grab a bomber.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Light golden color, still not quite transparent. A nice finger and half of head that held nicely.
A muted aroma of yeast, bread, banana, and other ripe fruit.
It tastes fruity, mildly bitter in the middle and a sweet ending. Fairly standard for the style.
The texture is sublime. Soft, so soft. Like drinking velvet. Low carbonation and medium body.
The taste was the runner up here. It felt amazing and looked and smelled good. The taste just was not up to the same standard. Well worth trying for the texture alone.

Photo of hoptualBrew
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. Wine/goblet glass. Clear honey orange. Looks crisp. Shitload of lacing. Clinging onto the glass for its life. Funky belgian yeast, sweet malts, piney spicy earthy hops. You taste delicious you belgian inspired son bitch! I like you alot, I may even purchase your services again. Candy sweet, hop punch in the back. Malty slightly chewy mouth, full body for an IPA (7/10). Smooth, bittered just right, funky, hoppy, sweet. Cheers to Belgian IPA's!

Photo of beerboy21
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hops and bubble gum in the nose. Bitter citrus and bubble gum when hitting you tongue. Great beer, but U.S. brewers continue to fall short of the Belgian profile.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Andys...

Poured into a nice Smuttynose big beer series tulip. Gotta get my hands on one of these!

A- Light pale straw golden liquid- thin white head- decent lace.

S- Smell was of bubblegum and fruits- faint citrus (lemon?).

T- Very interesting. Surely qualities of an IPA, hops were faint but nothing strong and bold like an American IPA. Lots of chewy fruity flavors, citrus some mint.

M- To me, this beer should have had a little more carbonation, lacked in this department. Thin, juicy mouthfeel, but appropriate for the beer.

D- This one will creep up on you- at 9% ABV, this one is a nice tasty big beer.

Good stuff Smutty! Look forward to more short batch beers.

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from growler into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured a hazy red-orange with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, banana, apple, spices, floral, floral hop, earth, and earthy hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, fruit, spices, earth, earthy hop, sweet alcohol, citrus, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The aroma on this was very complex and had a lot going on. Unfortunately it might have had a little too much going on with not a lot of balance. The flavor however wasn’t as complex, but still had a pretty good bit going on. I just didn’t flow very well and the alcohol presence really took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me. This could be a great brew if it were a little more balanced. Worth trying if you get the chance, but that’s about it.

Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy white orange/straw color with a tight white head that settles into a solid ring. Nice Belgian look.

The aroma is of pale malt and plenty of candi sugar. Lovely floral and clovey presence from the yeast. Some general tropical fruitiness. Solid belgian aroma.

There is a nice light bready malt that supports a sweet belgian candi sugar. A bit of mustiness from the yeast. The yeast is peppery and spicy, perhaps a bit too much. Has a candy like sweetness but is muddied by the yeast. A generally earthy bitter brew but has notes of pineapple and other tropical fruits.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Sweet on the palate overall but does have a hoppy bitter and spicy offset.

A good Belgian IPA but not authentic. The hop profile is too assertive and the yeast is too powedery. Its a well made American BIPA but it lacks the Belgian touch.

Photo of Kinsman
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excited to try a new (well sort-of new) addition to the Big Beer Series. Pours a bright glowing orange with a slight bit of haze to it and a solid inch of frothy white head.

Aroma starts off with some bready and grainy malt backbone before the yeast notes start to come in. Lots of fruity esters and just a bit of clove and white pepper spice. Hops add just a touch of grass and floralness but not as much as expected.

Sweet, fruity, malty, hoppy... these are all words that could describe the variety of flavors coming across the palate. Toasted grain sets up the malt backbone on which the yeast and hops battle for flavor supremacy. Hops add some herbal and slightly citrusy character and yeast add some green apple and berry like fruitiness. Definitely a bit of spice coming from the yeast as well but not as strong as some Belgian style ales. Finishes with a good kick of hoppy bitterness and warming bite from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, much more so than expected but I think it suits this beer well. Overall, I have a tough time with Beligan IPAs. I like hops and I like Belgian yeast character but I'm not so sure I like them together. That being said, for what it is, Homonculus is a fine example of what a Belgian IPA should be. Hoppy and yeasty with just enough malt to keep it all in line.

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

Poured into a La Fin Du Monde tulip a nice amber gold with a finger of solid head that leaves streaky lace.

Nose is bright Belgian yeast, lightly spicy clove, grain, and a touch of alcohol and a dash of bubble gum.

A sip is big clove and Belgian yeast, sweet grain, and a bit of an estery alcohol presence. Medium to heavier body for the style, lighter carbonation.

The alcohol is there, but really well disguised behind a sweet body. Overall a pretty nice BIPA, but not really blowing me away in any regard.

Photo of NarrowG8
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a Allagash tulip -

Wow, I found this very enjoyable.

A - Okay, looks like a typical belgian, nothing special, very hazy w/good head though.

S - smells like a typical belgian as well w/ notes of creaminess & clove

T - one of the best parts is the taste - Crisp, creamy, clove, I think some taste of dates

M - amazingly foamy

O - I would definitely have this again and think it is worth purchasing especially at it's price for a belgian style and thought it was a bit above average and the 9.37 ABV is not noticeable in taste but only within the good vibes, Cheers!

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

a: hazy, golden amber.

s: spicy, citrus. some honey comes through too. slight hint of banana

t: malty sweetness is the dominant flavor for me. Hops seem muted for the most part but presence is there.

m: thick and syrupy. medium carbonation

o: A nice, inoffensive beer. Fairly drinkable for its abv. Alcohol does start to become prominent especially as it warms. Not something I would seek out again but decent enough. I'd likely stick with other offerings from Smuttynose however.

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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 438 ratings.