1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

415 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 415
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 14
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 415 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JayQue
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always think I am missing something when I hold a Belgian IPA for a long time. I'm sure I am missing out on hops. This beer is pretty good "as is" whether it was held too long or not. Pours an apricot colored, hazy color with a very small delicate white head that fades fast. No real lacing on my Chimay goblet. Smell is very mild, some fruit (apples and pears) and a hint of alcohol.

Tastes pretty good, especially if you have the patience to let it warm up. Once again pears and apples, a hint of Belgian yeast, a little sweetness, balanced by mild hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. There is a hint of warming alcohol, but not enough to keep you from gulping it...gotta read the label for that!!!! It is a slow sipper at that high an abv.

Overall a nice slow sipper with enough flavor to satisfy. I may buy one of these fresh and compare it. I'll bet the hops profile makes it more interesting than my year or older bottle that I just reviewed.

JayQue, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of trocketsauced
4/5  rDev +4.2%

trocketsauced, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of djtomain
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

djtomain, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of mbs11
4/5  rDev +4.2%

mbs11, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of ralree
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly cloudy, gold, nice white head, wonderful lacing, decent retention. A very nice looking beer.

S: Extremely fruity/citrusy. Rich hops in there too. Toasted malt with sticky caramelized brown sugar.

T: Extremely intense flavor - hops and alcohol come out in full force to attack, backed up by a really sweet malt (almost cloying) and tangy fruit ends up in the background, but it's still strong compared to most flavors. Very interesting flavor. Toasty flavor is in there, but it's rather hard to detect with the sweetness.

M: Thick, chewy, syrupy - more like a stout than an IPA for sure. Sticks to your mouth, holding the flavors in after swallowing. This is about what I expected.

D: Goes down slow - not one to try to drink quickly for a few reasons: you'd be very drunk very fast, you'd be overpowered by sweetness, and you'd feel extremely full. This one is better for sipping by the fire (or in the hot tub). Not something I would have with most foods (except maybe some cheese and crackers/bread).

ralree, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of cowboy83
4/5  rDev +4.2%

cowboy83, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of andylipp
4/5  rDev +4.2%

andylipp, May 18, 2012
Photo of McNealc31
4.33/5  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

McNealc31, May 06, 2012
Photo of closisinthehouse
4/5  rDev +4.2%

closisinthehouse, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of ghostwalker
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden body with a light frothy finger of white head.

Nose has the Belgian funk and a light clean graininess.

Flavor is big alcohol on a clean malt backbone. Euro-hops are on the finish in moderate quantity.

Warming, stripping, slick.

Overall is pretty good. It drinks dangerously easy for such a big beer. Clean malt and crisp hops make it almost quaffable.

ghostwalker, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of Beejay
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A pale apricot color, crystal clear with plenty of white head on top. The head starts to collapse into itself and form a rocky moonscape as it sits.

S: Very sweet at first. Some light spice notes, as well as a honey character. Clove and some fruit notes, peaches, apricot, and perhaps a little orange peel. Definitely some bready character, and perhaps a little tropical fruit in the finish as well as a hint of booze.

T: Nice belgian character rounded out with herbal hops bitterness. Sweet and bready, Some raison notes, as well as clove. The fruit flavors are more diminished than the smell would lead you to believe. The bitterness comes out in the finish with some herbal notes. The finish has a bit of booze in it.

M: I think it feels a little thicker than it really is. Carbonation is about medium, lacking the typical Belgian carbonation may perhaps be why it feels a little thicker.

O: Overall I like the malt and Belgian character, but the hops seem to fight it a little. The mouthfeel seems a touch of. All and all I like it, but I think it could be smoothed out a bit.

Beejay, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of vbiliyar
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

vbiliyar, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of smutty33
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

smutty33, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

thagr81us, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of projektyle
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

projektyle, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of SickGnar
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich, dense, almost dark golden. Not really hazy, but less than clear. Just a few tight bubbles rising to a small white head with a cappuccino froth look. Alright retention and some decent lace. Second pour from the bomber does get a bit of true haze.

S: Floral, estery, somewhat restrained fruit. Soft apples & pears, some light tropical fruit hints, and a bit of citrus from the hops. Hops are also spicy and a bit herbal. Spice is tied ta bit to the whiff of alcohol. Light hint of phenolics. Really nice background doughy malts with fair to big sweetness. Spicy alcohol increases & gets more of a bite as it warms.

T: Starts off sweet, doughy, floral, & fruity. Sweetness is a mixture of honey, candi-sugar, & sugar cookies. Just a hint of light crystal. Very rich doughy aromatic malt – sweet bread dough with great depth. Floral & fruity esters struggle a bit to emerge from all the sweetness. When they do the effect is thick mountain laurels in bloom and juicy ripe apple. As sweetness diminishes in the middle the yeast and hop notes really come out to play. Mild phenols, lots of -spice – both softer “pie” spices & sharper pepper-like stuff. Spices & alcohol give a bit of mild heat. The pepper leans a bit to white, and along with a yeasty, earthy, musty note it gives a bit of funk. Bitterness is firm, but not overpowering – and it lingers long in the finish. Hops are mostly herbal with some citrus & spice, and then resin in the end. Alcohol is clearly present but never gets out of line.

M: Medium plus body with CO2 a touch under-matched but adequate. Most of texture seems to be from tannins with just a few sugars and dextrins. Soft & smooth at the start. Then you can feel the alcohol thinning it out. Alcohol & hops take it firmly drying in a refined manner. Alcohol warming as expected. Feels potent.

D: Way more a BGS than a BIPA. Mislabeled on the BA I’d say. This one walks a line between pleasant & aggressive. Starts off with sweetness, fruity & floral, warm & rich doughy aromatic & sweet malts – kittens and rainbows and everything nice. Then in comes the bitterness, earthy/yeasty/funk, herbal/resiny/spicy/peppery/phenolic high octane mix. Careful - this one will quietly & calmly kick your ass. It is one fairly pleasant and very potent beast.

SickGnar, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of BierAdvoNikk
2/5  rDev -47.9%

BierAdvoNikk, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of uratowel
5/5  rDev +30.2%

uratowel, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of Luigi
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an light orange and hazy. Large foamy white head with plenty of lacing around the glass. Head retention is good as a blanket of foam stays with the ale till the end.

The aroma can be judged in two ways: is this really a Belgium IPA? The bottle just says golden ale. This would imply a Belgium strong golden ale, like Duval. So I think I will judge it based of the aroma matched the description. The aroma is full of sweet fruit. White grapes and orange. Hops are more citrus than pine like. The yeast brings a distinctive Belgium character to the ale. Alcohol, certainly brings sweetness to the nose. Maybe should have been toned down a bit.

The flavor is full of sweet and sour fruit notes. Not a very bitter hop, because the booze is not masked as well as I would like. Full of citrus and almost white wine flavors. Again the booze taste just is not hidden as well.

Medium bodied with a semi-dry finish. Something you would want to take your time one because of Alc. %.

Overall, I do not know what to think of this Ale. The Belgium characteristics are all there. Just tone down the sweetness a little bit.

Luigi, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of FirstBrewsoon
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

FirstBrewsoon, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev +4.2%

PittBeerGirl, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of tjeppaint
3/5  rDev -21.9%

tjeppaint, Feb 24, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

chrispoint, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip. Beer is orange, mildly hazy, thick off white head, off white, lots of lacing, moderate to high carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, yeasty, a little grassy, cascade / noble hop aroma. A little estery.

Beer is a little solventy, strong sweet and little bitter. The yeast is winning in this beer. I drank the 22 ounces but it was a little dry, not bitter enough and the hops were a little grassy. It is an OK Belgian IPA but not a repeat for me.

drabmuh, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange w/ minimal everlasting head and lace patches. Strong spicy and citric hop aroma, as well just a good aroma of orange. Getting some solid wheat/yeast as well as touches of sugar and funk. Light bodied but fuller mouthfeel from the yeast...yes, there is an orange citric vibe but I get a real crisp, hoppy beer that has a sour/funky tropical edge. I'm alos getting a spicy, bready beer that somehow maintains this light body and fruit taste (along with candi sugar and caramel sweetness) yet has a somewhat "hot" finish - the ABV kicks in out of nowhere and just packs an almost medicinal, boozy finish at the last second. This is a great beer, I love the mix of hops and citric twang against this sturdy sweet malt base and then quite frankly a high ABV that can get you in trouble. Not as complex as a Belgain triple but doesn't mean it's a great beer (and as a sidenote: here in VA it's $6 - a similiar beer - Allagash Hugh Malone which was stacked right next to it is $14 - in this economy a $6 bomber that can deliver the goods is mighty nice).

clayrock81, Feb 14, 2012
Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.