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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

419 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 419
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 13.05%
Wants: 15
Gots: 27 | 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:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 02-11-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 419 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SFLpunk:
Photo of SFLpunk
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

First, not impressed with the label. Almost didn't buy it just because of the artwork.

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. 2011. Pours a golden amber with thin white head that fades without a trace. Nose smells like sweet corn and corn husks with some amber malt mixed in and banana peel/leaf. There's flash of hops, but it's overtaken by "esters." Palate is fat, wide, slick and un-bounded. A seeming trainwreck of "Belgian" flavors: banana peel, caramel malt, fruitbasket, cloves and lettuce. Yup...lettuce.

Not impressed at all. It's like the yeast gave up the ghost. A syrupy mess of a Belgian tripel I suppose. (Reminds me of that first bottled batch of Gravitation where the yeast died before reaching the intended alcohol level.) Label is disturbing, beer is flat and viscous. I usually love the Smutty Big Beers, but this is headed for the drain. Sorry folks.

SFLpunk, Jul 25, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

oberon, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of npala86
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

npala86, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of GameOfBeers
4/5  rDev +4.4%

GameOfBeers, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of wrycon
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
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

wrycon, Dec 05, 2011
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.

BeerAdvocate, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +4.4%

danthehopslamman, May 03, 2014
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

lordofthewiens, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev +4.4%

JakerLou, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Billolick, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of uratowel
5/5  rDev +30.5%

uratowel, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jaminjohnson, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of jondeelee
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

jondeelee, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Janeinma, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Mantooth, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

WVbeergeek, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of ianjsullivan
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

ianjsullivan, Dec 06, 2011
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.

rhoadsrage, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of RBM
4/5  rDev +4.4%

RBM, Oct 06, 2012
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.

GratefulBeerGuy, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +4.4%

alamode, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Metalmonk
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
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!

Metalmonk, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Sammy, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of whatname
4/5  rDev +4.4%

whatname, Jul 30, 2013
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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.