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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

428 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 428
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 17
Gots: 32 | 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: 428 | Reviews: 169 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Homunculus pours a glowing amber gold with tinges of peach with a whitish head that while small hangs around leaving oily lacing as you drink. With nearly 10% alcohol the small head is understandable.

The aroma has whiffs of alcohol with fruity tinged pale malts, though pleasant no one scent really stands out.

The flavor while not overly complex is a balanced blend of fruity Belgian style yeast, IPA hops, both earthy/spicey and citrus/grapefruity bitter with a slightly sweet pale malt background. Warming does nothing but improve the flavors helping to mask the high alcohol, making it's presence felt in a welcomed warming of the mouth. The finish is dry with a pleasantly lingering light bitterness.

Warming also helps the medium bodied mouthfeel making it silky smooth and lightly creamy. Carbonation seems just a tad harsh for the body but it's not far from just right.

Overall a very enjoyable member of the Smuttynose Big Beer Series. As with most if not all of their beers I am pleased with this Belgian IPA and recommend it!

Photo of n2185
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a honey orange with two fingers of white head that recedes into a thin layer with decent lacing.

S: Lots of bubblegum, banana, and candy sugar at first along with some light spicy notes. Light grapefruit and pineapple citrus aromas follow with a hint of bitterness.

T: Even though the Belgian aspect dominates the nose, the sweet candy sugar and bubblegum flavors are rather subdued. Orange rind, grapefruit, and some piny hop flavors dominate with a light, lingering bitterness. Slight alcohol burn on the finish as well.

M: Medium-light body with medium carbonation, this beer would be crisp if not for the strong hop presence and alcohol burn.

O: Overall, a decent beer with a hilarious label design. Unfortunately it just doesn't seem to meld the Belgian with the IPA aspects, with the Belgian part dominating the nose and the hops dominating the palate. Still, it's far from bad.

Photo of Scrumtralecent
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours a hazy golden yellow with good sized white head. Head sticks around for a little bit with just a slight lacing.

S - Some light hop, banana clove, citrus, and can smell that crisp Belgian yeast.

T - Belgian spice, banana clove, lemon, and lingering hop. The backbone has some malt, giving a little residual flavor. Little sweeter than I would have expected. But well developed flavors. And for its ABV, quite deceptive with little alcohol burn and plenty of taste.

M - The hops and malt sit a little heavier on the backend than I would like, especially for how crisp and refreshing some of the flavors in this were. But still a nice drinkable beer, and coats the mouth well in its flavors.

O - A nice Belgian beer with some good flavors. Not sure how much the style here describes the beer. It feels more like a complete ale with hops and malt neck and neck, not an IPA with hops dominating. The yeast did some nice things to this beer, and for its fairly cheap price, would get again.

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 xnicknj
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a clouded burnt golden color with orange tones. Thick, bubbly crop of white head retains well, leaving patchy lacing behind.

Funky and slightly musty in the nose, plenty of Belgian yeast tones. Splashes of fruit with pear and citrus, along with floral hops and lemon peel.

Snap of hoppiness with floral tones and some citrus notes. Orange and lemon peel, touches of pear and fruit sweetness. Belgian funk with yeast notes and a hint of spice. Finishes a bit peppery, hoppy, and warm.

Medium body, higher carbonation, prickly and lingering on the tongue. A pretty solid beer, although not something I'd rush out and buy. Also - this really felt more like a strong golden ale rather than a Belgian IPA.

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.

Photo of shand
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

This beer pours a hazy golden color with a tiny, rocky head. Lacing is alright. The aroma is a very clean, grassy hop, with plenty of Belgian yeasts backing it up. The aroma has a nice sweetness, along with some Belgian yeasts and a strong hoppiness. A very yummy Belgian IPA, the fruity esters interact very well with the hop flavors, making this one of the best brews I've had of the style. The fact that the aftertaste has a nice bitter hop flavor with just a touch of fruit as opposed to the straight up yeast assault many Belgian IPAs have on the finish does wonders for the drinkability.

The mouthfeel is good enough, it's got a medium body but feels just a bit "slicker" than it should. A bit more carbonation would help it out. The drinkability is quite good, the ABV is completely hidden. Overall a good Belgian IPA, and far better than the style usually is. For the six bucks a bomber that these Smuttys command, it's surely worth it.

Photo of babaracas
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber with one finger of white foam, settles to a thin ring, leaves sticky streaks of lace behind. Smell: grassy, grainy, hopping is spicy with a little citrus rind, pear, and unripe banana. Taste: grainy, big dose of spicy hops, lots of pale malt sweetness that's cut quite well by a hit of alcohol. Pear and red delicious apple, note of clove and dried citrus rind. Delicious. The label is pretty great too.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color w/ an average head. Decent carbonation and lacing. Smell is that of citrus fruit, pepper, and spices. Taste is similar to the nose profile. Big malt w/ underlying hoppy taste. Very dry finish on this beer. Somewhat creamy, but thin and not very complex for the style. This is not the best beer I've had from the brewery, but it's a solid beer. Recommended, but you can find better examples for the style.

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 SawDog505
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
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!

Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep yellow/orange cloudy body, finger head, fine lacing

S: belgian yeast, spices, malt,

T: sweet belgian yeast, malt, slight spicy finish

M: med body, smooth mouth

O: Nice American Belgian IPA.
Smuttynose nailed it. Really enjoyed
this brew and would recommend it.
Want to gulp this beast, but alcohol
warmth is slowing me down.


Photo of chrisgn
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really enjoy the Belgian Golden style and La Chouffe and Duvel and some of my favorite beers. This beer is listed as a Golden Ale on the bottle and Belgian IPA on BA. To me it seems more like a fruity tripel. Tropical fruit seems to predominate in both in the aroma and taste. The flavors are very rich and the mouthfeel is thick and a bit sticky. General I like the beers that are drier and spicier with a little less on the tropical fruit. The alcohol and sweetness comes through more than I would like.

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 DrJay
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold with an off-white cap of fine and soapy bubbles. Good head retention with some streaky lacing. Grassy, slightly citrusy, aroma with notes of grain and fruit, not-quite-clove spiciness, and bread. More of the same in the flavour, but with more honey-like sweetness and moderate, grassy/orange peel bitterness and spice that lingered in the finish. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, decent texture, mild alcohol warmth/flavour and dryness. Pretty solid overall and rather enjoyable.

Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle served in my Spiegelau tulip. Bottle conditioned in 2011 notched on the label. Pours a dull, burnt orange with a hazy clarity and a half inch frothy, bright white head that quickly disperses towards the edges leaving a creamy band around the edges and a soapy skim across the surface. Light fruity esters initially hit the nose (melon fruits); however, there is also a suggestion of candi sugar and a slightly herbal/medicinal quality towards the back. Taste consistent with nose - all the aromas present in the nose nicely coalesce. Fruit and candi sugar is a bit more prominent and there's a light herbal bitterness that comes out at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an assertive carbonation and a slightly oily texture. All and all, I really dig this brew - not at all what I would expect from a Belgian IPA (less hoppy and more fruity); more of a Belgian Strong Pale ale in the Duvel family in my opinion. The alcohol on this is dangerously well-hidden - I didn't realize it was 9.90% until a slight buzz ensued. The flavors also seem to be much more prominent as the brew warms. This is one of the best additions to Smutty's line-up in years in my humble opinion.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a whim unaware Smuttynose had a new release due.

Pours a hazy amber with just a thin collar. Lots of fruity esters in the scent, which I enjoy. Really makes you think of a Belgian brew on steroids. Slightly phenolic.

Taste is semi sweet with a tart hoppy finish, but again the fruity esters dominate with hints of apple. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with tight small bubbles of carbonation. I really enjoy the strong yeasty fruity scent and taste, but it may be overdone for some.

Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into my Stone nonic pint glass. Golden amber in color with a thin but bubble white head to it. Decent head retention and lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a pretty big crisp fruit flavor to it. I get a lot of banana mixing with some notes of grapes and apple. The Belgian yeast adds some clove like spice to it. The hop character is more reserved then I anticipated after reading the label, but some citrusy notes do peek through.

The taste starts out with a sweeter, crisp, delicate fruit flavor. Midway I get more of a tartness to it with some banana and clove spice coming in. Towards the finish it gets more bitter with some of the earthy, herbal hops coming out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty decent beer, but the estery flavors seem to dominate a little too much for me. It's still pretty good, but the hops and other flavors could have shined a bit more.

Photo of Brad007
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color with a one-finger head. Could be a bit brighter.

Spicy with a good dose of citrus in the nose. It's most certainly a belgian ipa.

Another flavor dimension joins the pack: sweet. That's right. Malt is a bit too sweet for this style. The hop bite remains though.

Wow, this one is warming! At 9.9%, it's still quite hot. This hurts the overall feel.

A decent example of the style. It doesn't hit ALL of the right notes but it's still worth a try, especially if you're a fan of the other Smuttynose Big Beers.

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

I poured this into a Cigar City snifter because I could.

A: Extremely cloudy dark orange (Halloween-ish) color, with about a half finger head that subsided very quickly.

S: I got banana mixed with grass actually. I know some bitterness will hit my palate soon though.

T: Easy drinker, and once again, I definitely got banana daquiri and then some. Some bitterness on the afterbite, but the grass played a role in that.

M: Low carbonation, but still mildly prickly. The lacing was subtle, but still present.

O: I still consider Houblon Chouffe to be the pinnacle here, but this one was pretty good... especially for the low price!

Photo of JizackFH
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

Photo of Sensaray
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear golden color with half inch white head that dissipated fairly quickly. A light layer of white stays with this.

Fruity, but not too sweet belgian yeasty scent pour from this. Huge on the nose. Bubblegum and pears, a sense of alcohol, light citrus. Bit of hop character, but not much, was expecting maybe slightly more here.

Upon first sip, my immediate thought is malty sweet bomb, but then some bitterness comes through at the close. Has a good spice note. This bitter does not match this sweet. Off balance. Bit boozy for the flavors.

Light medium, smooth carbonation, dry finish.

Eh, was expecting better. Not very good. Change the hops! Or something. Leans too much on the malty side for me.

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

This Belgian brew, formerly 'The Gnome', pours a deep golden color. Strong carbonation, but settles quickly. Minimal head...a ring with a thin head covering the surface of the beer. Decent lacing. Strongly phenolic- in a great way. Is this La Chouffe? Alcohol is seriously hidden. Medium body, and pretty highly carbonated. Overall, a tasty Belgian from Smutty.

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 MoreThanWine
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 1.5" off-white head. Hazy raw sienna yellow in color. Mild malt smell as well as a little dried fruit. Medium rich and malty body, a little hint of dried fruit, banana, and spice. Better than many American-clamed Belgian styles but still not quite up to actual Belgian strength. Fairly long bitter finish. Cool people-sperms on the label.

Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.