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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

406 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 406
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 13
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 406 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ILiveOffHops

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 23:27:09 | More by ILiveOffHops
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 19:40:51 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of MoreThanWine


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 13:25:45 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of celticfutblclub


4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22er into a pint glass

bunch of dude sperms on the front nice touch. comes out golden. thin white head sits atop keeps itself pretty well. good lacing. nose is lemon yeast clove pepper and bread. complex and inviting. taste is big clove yeast bread malts and sweet malts round out with lemon and pepper. great dry strong hop finish on this with moderate carbonation. this is one damn fine belgian ipa. go get some.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 00:49:42 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of OldIronLungs


3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 01:04:22 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of OtherShoe2


4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 00:06:24 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap tonight at the Rustico in Ballston in Arlington, VA at their Smuttynose Rare Beer night. 13 oz. goblet.

a - Poura a hazy bright orange brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some spotty lacing and no head retention.

s - Smells of Belgian yeast, bananas, spices, and cloves. A lot of spices in the nose.

t - Tastes of spices, bananas, Belgian yeast, and fruit. More bananas than the nose, but a lot of spice again.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty good Belgian style beer that is heavy on the spices. Nice bananas in the taste as well. Would give it another shot.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2011 01:43:58 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber served chilled into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Golden yellow in color. A small, fizzy white head emerges and dissipates pretty quickly.

Aroma: Big banana and clove notes are noticable at first smell. Some spicy hop notes are there as well and assert themselves after the initial sweetness. A bit peppery as well.

Taste: A quick flash of banana and clove before an outslaught of bitter hops. SOme fruity esters are present as well, but he big, bitter hops dominate and make this a bit overwhelming. Not balanced or pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, maybe a bit heavier than I am used to for the style, but crisply carbonated.

Overall, an interesting take on a Beglian IPA. The hops really don't provide an citrus or fruit here though, just unpleasant bitterness. The Belgian beer behind the hops is not bad, but there is just no harmony here. Not something I am likely to buy again. One of the only Smuttynose Big Beers I was dissappointed in.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 16:25:52 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of SFLpunk


2.58/5  rDev -33%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 06:37:42 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has seriously got to be one of the weirdest labels I've seen in a while, looks like Smutty is having some fun with it though.

Pours a golden orange color with a thin head, fades at a fast rate, doesn't leave any lacing on the glass whatsoever.

Smell has a strong fruity ester aroma, even dominates over the hops which also has a good representation, sweet malt melds in the background.

The alcohol is much stronger than I would have imagined it to be judging from the aroma, definitely has a bit of a bite to it, the fruitiness couples with a citrusy hop bitterness to create the dominate flavor, light sweet malt balances things out a bit.

Not sure I'd say this is a Belgian IPA, especially since I think it needs to have a bit of age on it to mellow out. I'd give this 6 months in the cellar and it'll be for the better.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 20:56:14 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of beancounter

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Bottling.

A-Dark golden and hazy with numerous small quick bubbles.

S-Bready/yeasty and fruity

T-Tart fruitiness and alcohol with noticeable bitterness upfront and on the back of the tongue with a bready aftertaste. Do I taste band-aid in here as well?

M-Medium to thick (for a Belgian style ale)

O-I just didn't care for this interpretation of a Belgian IPA. The bitterness dominated to the point of drowning out the other flavors.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 18:00:20 | More by beancounter
Photo of jlindros


3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light fizzy head with hazy golden apple orange peach color.

Nose has dry musty malt, lactic like herbal hop musty, estery aroma and a bit of phenolic booze, slight plastic band-aid, light sweet malts and light fruit.

Taste starts with sweet malts, light bitter fruity hops, but more phenolic and esters, light plastic, Belgian malts, bit of yeast, chewy malts, touch salty, little doughy malts, hint of bring and bitter hops, fairly bitter overall.

Mouth is med bodied, dec carb.

Overall pretty bleh, probably the only Smuttynose beer I've not enjoyed at all. It just wasn't done right, phenolic, plastic, band-aid, a bit estery, boozy, the hops didn't come through well either.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 16:58:37 | More by jlindros
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at Shaw's in North Hampton. Pours a hazy/murky yellow-amber body with virtually no head to speak of. Smells fruity and spicy, with orange, apple and pithy notes. Fruity for sure, with orange, peach, apple, pineapple, notes. Low in carbonation, medium in body. A little more carbonation would help this a bit (maybe I got a bad bottle?) but apart from that, this beer is truly awesome. Tastes like nothing else I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 02:20:05 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden color that borders on amber, good sized fluffy white head sticks much lace. Smells of lemon and pepper with a spicy earthy twist. Citric and spicy with a herbal earthy bitterness. Taste is sweet fruity malt up front earthy bitterness comes in then a spicy yeasty flavor. Finishes sweet and fruity with a hint of warming alcohol. Medium body with a spirited level of carbonation, sweet sticky mouthfeel. I like this beer. Great tasting Belgian style brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 00:28:06 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of JamesRobbins


3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a hazy golden appearance; a consistently pleasant grapefruit smell; a dynamic taste which proceeds from subtle honey to sweet grapefruit to a final alcoholic tinge; and the mouthfeel starts out crisp and ends creamy.

Overall, this beer does a very nice job of hiding it's substantial alcoholic constitution: One is left with a consistently pleasant and fruity smell and taste in conjunction with a hospitable mouthfeel in the process of getting markedly crunked.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 20:03:08 | More by JamesRobbins
Photo of SABERG


4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sevred in a modified tulip from a 22oz bottle.

A - Nice deep gold color, gentle carbonation continues throughout our time together.

S - Butter toffee, lemon grass, light malt, and citrus. Nice nose complex enough to keep you thinking.

T - Honey early, then some malt, balanced with sweet. Some more sweet and little hops. A little apricot at the end, and some more sweet.

M - Feels is not slick, but not tight eather. Interesting that there is a slight dry finish. All in all a pleasant feel.

O - As belgian style blondes go she is a touch to the heavy side. But whats not to like! I appreciate the work Smuttynose continues to do.


Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 20:55:04 | More by SABERG
Photo of ksimons

New York

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-a hazy amber orange with a ring of white head around the top

S-bready malts, warm sugar, yeast, and a hint of alcohol

T-Similar to the nose, but with even more candy sweetness and then ends with a hop bitterness. The two flavors don't ever really mesh, it goes from very sweet to a citrus bitterness

M-medium body, light carbonation

Overall easy to drink, especially for 9%, but the sweetness is too overwhelming for me

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 23:43:32 | More by ksimons
Photo of Bendurgin


3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My buddy Jason hooked me up with a very fresh bottle of this. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy straw color with just a thin layer of foam.

The aroma is full of belgian yeast; it gives of a distinct bannana aroma with sweetness. A little bit of grassy hops but lots of bannana and cotton candy sweetness. Fruity bubble gum caharacter to the pallet with a bitter pine hop finish. A touch of caramel in the finish. A better balance between the hops and the yeast on the flavor than in the aroma. Pretty tasty as a matter of fact.

The feel is a bit full for me tastes. Even a little sticky. Nice soft carbonation. Overall this is prety much no thrilss. This one is enjoyable but I'd take a lot of Smuttynose beers over this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 01:52:52 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of blackie


3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: deep golden in colour, lightly hazed and sporting a thin layer of retained carbonation, some lace

s: lots of sweeter candied fruits - apricot, peach, and orange most notably, canned and swimming in sugary syrup, with a decent herbal hop edge, the belgian yeast exerts some influence but without much depth - mostly a light clove aroma

m: carbonated on the light-medium end of things, with the body about the same

t: tastes of lots of citrus fruit on a full pale malt body, some mild yeast phenolics, orange and sweet pit fruit, hop presence pungent but not forceful, a good belgian ipa but without some of the range of the better examples

d: drinks pretty well for a 9 percent beer, and is plenty enjoyable in the process, but the sweetness seems to be pulling through a little much for a higher score

branded snifter at Novare Res, Portland, ME

review 2, no scores altered:

a: cloudy light caramel amber in color, served in a wide belgian chalice, head light with low retention

s: body of pale malts with a moderate underlying sugar, notes of light caramels, strong yeasty spice and a fairly strong alcohol presence come together in a bit of a mess, hops grassy and muddled citrus, candied, fermented citrus and tropical fruits

m: carbonation light, body light-moderate with a heavy sugary slickness

t: lots of sweet pale malts and some lightly toasted caramels form the malt body, hop flavors of citrus peel and fresh grass, muddled sweet fruit flavors, somewhat harsh alcohols, lightly bitter with sweet malt throughout

o: this one seemed promising but the execution lacks a little, nice set of flavors/aromas but a little harsh and crowded at times, lacking refinement, my least favorite of the series


Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 12:08:51 | More by blackie
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 4/9/09. On tap at Blind Tiger. Pours a cloudy orange with a small white head. Aroma of tangerine jelly candies. Flavor of sweet citrus, candi sugar, and some yeast. Ok, not great.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 14/20

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2009 21:11:39 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'07 vintage into tulip.

Pours a cloudy, warm apricot, with a fluffy white head that settles quickly into a thin creamy cap.

Nose is tropical fruit, bit of a citrusy hop bite. Beautiful candied pineapple note.

taste is very crisp, citrusy hop bite up front. Bit astringent, with more of the candied pineapple note from the nose. Finish is more citrus, bitter, drying.Very similar (obviously) to Houblon Chouffe, but hard to compare due to the age. Very much in the "Tripel + cascade" vein of Belgian IPA, rather than a strong pale ale or using grassier, noble hops.

Mouthfeel is crisply carbonated, sticky, moderate to full bodied.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2009 23:02:41 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of whitehouse50

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2009 16:46:26 | More by whitehouse50
Photo of jwc215


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blind Tiger, NYC, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours hazed golden with a thin white creamy head that lasts and leaves a bit of lacing.

The smell is of pink grapefruit rind, citric and spicy with some pepper, coriander and pale maltiness.

The taste is of pink grapefruit and herbal/floral bitterness. A sturdy malt backbone balances bitterness. Black pepper overrides some potential complexities. Leafy, drying finish.

The feel is a bit shallow from mild carbonation. Still, it's a bit creamy.

A nice, interesting American interpretation of the style. A good sipper with a great America meets Belgium aroma.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2008 01:22:22 | More by jwc215
Photo of DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2008 18:07:32 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of John_M


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2008 23:42:24 | More by John_M
Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.