Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)

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BA SCORE
87
very good

172 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

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Reviews: 172
Hads: 443
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 9.84%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 172 | Hads: 443
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.67/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden like the sunset with a frothy white head - nice lacing and good retention.

Banana and spicy clove punch in the nose. Citrusy yeast and floral notes in the background.

This beer teeters between a triple and an ipa and what a fun ride. The banana notes and malty bread of a triple are upfront then the palate is hammered by bitter citrus ipa notes and a lively carbonation sting. This blows raging bitch out of the water. A very exciting and tasty beer. (468 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.63/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Homunculus has a thin, off-white head, a brilliant, very bubbly, gold-orange appearance, and a bit of splotchy lacing left behind. The aroma is of full, sweet, yeasty, spicy, bready malt, and the flavor is of all that, with distinct pepper and floral hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Smuttynose Homunculus finishes semi-dry, mellow, hefty, rich, and delicious. Overall, this is outstanding!

RJT (424 characters)

Photo of JizackFH
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Smuttynose Takes the Taps event at Rattle N Hum on 8/2/11.

Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a nice golden yellow color. It has a nice sized white head on it. the head has decent retention, and it leaves some specs of lace behind on the glass.

S - The smell is great. I am getting a big banana smell right away. There are spices and other tropical fruit smells there too. Also, There is a nice hop presence and some yeastiness.

T - The taste starts off with some clove spiciness and a nice hop presence. There is a big banana flavor here that sort of floats between the background and the foreground. There is some yeastiness here, as well as some tropical fruit flavors. The finish has a dryness to it.

M - This has a medium body and nice carbonation. It has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some hop bitterness, as well as some spiciness and a touch of dryness in the finish.

O - There is good drinkability here. I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting. It goes down smooth and has a nice big bold flavor. I really enjoyed this one, and it is probably one of my favorite belgian style IPAs so far. I recommend trying it. (1,169 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
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! (1,338 characters)

Photo of hoptualBrew
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
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! (454 characters)

Photo of whitehouse50
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at Andy's Corner Bar (twice), pours a rich golden hazy color with a thin off white head, it smelled of grape fruits, semi bitter hops but overall tangy fruits. taste is of nothing i have even had before as there is a lot going on here, very complex, there is lots of citrousy notes along with some pleasant hops and the taste differs slightly as it warms up, this one is very different, its unlike any other belgian ipa i have drank before, the mouthfeel is very nice with a slight bite on it as you sometimes get from eating grape fruits, this is for me is pretty drinkable, if you can find it drink it! (620 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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. (1,133 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy medium orange with a slight skim of white foam. Slight lacing.

Some yeast, toasted malt, and fruit (peach nectar) in the nose. Maybe a little honeysuckle. Good, but a bit mild. Still, it works.

I was worried. I saw this as having the potential of being a pine cone. I was wrong. Wonderful balance here. The initial part of the sip gives you some malt and a touch of boozy over-ripe peach (not browned/bruised, but you know it is only a matter of time before it turns on you-type fruit). Something tart in there, with a little tingle too. Still, not overly sweet. As the body of the brew clears from your palate, the bitterness starts to come in, as if it was held back by surprisingly subdued chemical alcohol. As the bitter and the booze clear the palate of any fruit or sweetness, you get a medium-mild bitterness -- no hop oil, no grapefruit or pine cone, just clean bitterness. The fruit comes back a bit at the very end, but just slightly. Balance, complexity, and even at 9.9%, the booze is so well hidden that you just keep reaching for the glass. A very very rare 5.0 from me.

Now I'm getting picky. I would have liked just a touch more carbonation -- but that is my preference. Tiny bubbles are rising in the pint, so it still has some zip.

Overall, this is a good one. They balanced it great, they got the flavor just right. And the label is hilarious. Some Belgian IPAs are a bitter hop death bombs. This is so drinkable that you'd want to session a 9.9% beer. Oh, you have to try this. (1,523 characters)

Photo of BrianJohnson
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice golden color but with less head than I expected from a Belgian-style brew because these brews (Dubbels, Tripels, etc.) generally have a very thick head. No matter. Smelled like a Belgian beer - with a very fruity, sweet aroma. Tasted exactly like I expected. Really a very good beer. I was very impressed with this one. If I didn't know it came from Smuttynose, I would have guessed that some order of trappist monks had brewed it somewhere in Europe. (475 characters)

Photo of JimmyTango
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber yellow to orange sunburst fade. White and fine lookin' head.

S:Getting really excited! Orange juice and pineapple with lots of sweet citric hop smells. Touch of green banana in there and a touch of malt that is making me think of brioche. There is a spice smell, but it is floral... somehow... maybe its more of a floral nose with a touch of spiciness (think dried flowers and exotic bark).

T: Juicy. "Paler" than I expected from the nose. Hops are reeeaaaaly nice here. More grapefruit than the smell let on with a clean orange rind zing. Bread-y, not very belgian tuti-fruity, but slightly sweet in flavor and its got plenty of depth. Bit of bittering hops and alcohol heat in the finish, but not for too long. There is more pineapple as it warms up. The final impression is a dry, chewy, hoppy and subtly sweet IPA. Great, great, great.

M: Typical, med bodied IPA with fine carbonation. Slightly chewy.

O: Great IPA with a belgian twist. Loved it. like this take more than other Belgian IPAs, which I feel often come across as BPAs with extra hops. (1,066 characters)

Photo of badgustav
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A little more like a Belgian Dark than a Golden. Had the 2012 (three years old) which likely impacted some of the flavored and aroma, but still seems mid-classed. Very delicious. (178 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Max's during American Craft Brew week. Smuttynose makes so many good beers, but this just may be the best I've ever had from them. It's certainly the most unique.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. I've never smelled anything like the nose on this beer. I guess I get some straw, honey, pumpkin and orange cough drop. On the palate the flavors somehow replicate the nose, except there is some underlying hoppiness that is quite interesting and impressive. I also get some apricot on the palate that I'm not sure I got on the nose. There is moderate sweetness that the hops keep at bay and keep from becoming tiring. The beer is medium bodied and fairly smooth. It finishes well, with the abv. pretty well disguised. The sweetness wears me out a bit at the end, but it's still pretty drinkable for its abv.

An extremely unusual and impressive beer from Smuttynose. I've had good beers from Smuttynose in the past, but never anything like this. (994 characters)

Photo of gpcollen1
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growlered by hand out of a keg...cannot disclose where or when....just know that I am very glad I got my hands on it!

Pours a golden orange with a nice rising head that quickly goes away. Aroma is sweet and hoppy, light and sweet with a riding hard hops charging in in the end.

Hits your mouth with a light carbonation and rides in some loving hops. A gentle bitterness rides in early and ushers in some background sweetness that gently combines for a luscious finish.

Wish I could have this more often and absolutely love it. The ABV slides up on you and slings you down on the ground. Scary...AMEN! (603 characters)

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
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. (687 characters)

Photo of smallbatchbrewer
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Chose for a very stressful day. I have a hefty interview this evening. I needed to unwind in between, poured off 8oz from a bomber to keep me sane. i'll finish the rest later. Golden spice. I can taste candy and toffee. What a nice bubbly mouthfeel as well. Certainly packs a punch at 9.37% but even at room temperature right out of the conditioning closet, only on the last part of the finish does the warming quality of the booze mellow into the mix. (452 characters)

Photo of MistahBeah
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an oversized wine glass

Pours a beautiful hazy orange. Sticky lacing on the sides of the glass from a bubbly off-white head. Mildly carbonated

Smells clean with a touch of Belgian yeast. Big orchard fruit esters, specifically orange and some sweet red apple and even a touch of banana. Some candi sugar and caramel. Hop presence is hidden by the sweetness but floral notes can be detected

Taste is big, juicy, and sweet. Tropical fruit kicks things off. Lots of orange, grapefruit, apples, bananas, even some pineapple. Caramel malts and some fresh bread. Acidity and bitterness are mild. Belgian yeast and sweet malts dominate. Hops come in on the back and are floral and maybe a little grassy. Aftertaste lingers for a while but is very pleasant

Feels medium bodied and very carbonated. Sweet and juicy

Overall a really great beer. Definitely true to Belgian IPA-style. Complex and highly drinkable. Lots of sweet fruit flavor with just the right amount of hops to prevent this from getting too fruity. Very nicely done (1,038 characters)

Photo of McNealc31
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
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 (518 characters)

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a Westmalle Chalice on New Year's Day 2013. Bottle I think was pretty fresh, with a July 2012 store dating.

A: Poured from a mildly disconcerting spermatozoa labelled bottle as a cloudy golden apricot color with a finger or so of frothy fizzy head which dissipated almost immediately with no lacing. Good looking on the pour, only average after it had settled.

N: Wow this is a hoppy estery yeast banana bomber. Was pretty intrigued by how aggressive the hop and yeast profile smelled and couldn't wait to get into it.

T: Apparently this beer (originally called the Gnome) was modeled somewhat after Houblon Chouffe, which is one of my Top 5 global favorites. If it's intended to be a Houblon Chouffe clone, this gnome is on steroids. The Vanguard and Goldings hoppiness is turned up to 11 and much more up front in the flavor profile. You might think it would blow out the flavor balance, but it's pretty much perfectly offset by a yeast and ester wall that holds its own. I get a little maltiness and banana and citrus in the mix, but the hops and yeast are the main elements for me. It's unique, and bitterly aggressive, but I like it!!

MF: Carbonation is solid, which masks the 9.4% ABV well and makes this beer surprisingly drinkable. I would describe it as a light to medium body with good creaminess, very refreshing and drinkable.

Overall this is a nice beer, even though it may take a bit of adjusting to. I can't remember what I paid for it, but I imagine it compares well with other big beers or true Belgians in terms of value. I would definitely buy it and session it again. (1,619 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (465 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 10/2/11 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is contains Belgian yeast, floral hops, light caramelized malts and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out with a nice burst of hops bitterness. Then some flavors of Belgian yeast, bananas, spices and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, well-disguised kick, good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to drink for a long time. (775 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a solid but quickly dissipating head. Very cloudy with a yellowish brown color, rather unusual. In bright light I see a lot orange. Lots of webby lace on the glass.

This may be the closest I've ever smelled to pure alcohol (like vodka or moonshine). Beyond the alcohol is a small whisper of malt.

The taste is far more balanced. Moderately sweet toasted malt at the start and even in the swallow. Yet, the aftertaste has a healthy contribution of peppery and citrusy hop. The alcohol is almost undetectable. Shocking! Full bodied and highly carbonated make for a great combination. (596 characters)

Photo of BostonBrewRu
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (184 characters)

Photo of NarrowG8
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
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! (582 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my 13oz tulip glass. Pours a cloudy orange yellow, with a inch of sticky white head. Fruity banana, orange, and some clove. Some pine into the background. Taste is the same, but the hoppy pineyness steps out of the shadows and steals the show, nice. Equal IPA and belgian, what I love. Plenty of body & carbonation in this gem. Easy to drink at almost 10 abv. Hopheads belgian-ipa for sure! (402 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (1,595 characters)

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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.