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Smuttynose Big A IPA - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Big A IPASmuttynose Big A IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,487 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,487
Reviews: 872
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 87
Gots: 64 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ever since Stash Wojciechowski, the “Killer Kielbasa,” created this Imperial IPA for our Big Beer Series, Big A IPA has gotten a lot of attention. Lauded by the New York Times and Men's Journal Magazine, it’s been one of the most talked-about beers around. Brewed in very small quantities, it has also been one of the hardest-to-find. Until now.

Big A IPA has everything you’d want in an India Pale Ale, only more: more hops, more malt & more flavor. Na zdrowie!

120 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-16-2002)
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Ratings: 1,487 | Reviews: 872 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
Photo of Dantes
Dantes

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Package: 1 pint, 6 oz. (22oz.) crowned, brown bomber. Great label depicting the beer’s inspiration, Stan Wocjechowski, “The Killer Kielbasa.” No date or ABV information, but this is a fairly new, seasonal release that I expect is not more than a couple of months old.

Cost: $3.49 at Bottle King

Presentation: 20oz.imperial pint at ~50º.

Appearance: Wow! This is one of the prettiest beers I’ve ever poured. The body is almost as dark as burnished copper (I think darker even than Dreadnaught) with lovely, rustic, fine flakes in an almost colloidal suspension, lending the beer a thick, cloudy appearance. Floating on top of this liquid was a rich, beige, ultra-fine-grained, whipped egg-white head that left a solid, continuous sheath down the glass. Tiny bubbles seemed like seed-pearls embedded in amber.

Smell: Quite startlingly strong. A quick whiff right after the pour was like having someone squeeze a grapefruit peel right under my nose. The smell was very resinous and citrusy and somewhat harsh. A bit jarring, with some clashing vegetal aromas. I detected almost no malt and little fruit.

Taste: Sadly, the taste confirmed the somewhat harsh nose of this beer. The hops are in your face and quite brittle. This hoppy sensation wasn’t helped much by the pretty strong notes of alcohol or the failure of the malts to provide much softening roundness. The result is that after the initial hop assault, there isn’t much depth that I’ve found in some other Double IPA’s. There is some lingering spiciness that comes through on the finish, which is pretty long but also a bit medicinal.

Mouthfeel: At least Smutty got this right with this beer. The heavy, hop-oiliness comes through in a viscous, palate-coating mouthfeel. Definitely exhibits the big body of other heavy-hitters like Dreadnaught and 90-Minute IPA. Unfortunately, it doesn’t open up to provide the almost mentholated sensation I’ve found in some others. The carbonation is sensational, giving this a luxuriously soft and unctuous experience.

Drinkability: Not as good as it should be. This requires some work to love (at least for me). The appearance and mouthfeel are phenomenal. The aroma and taste are rough and “clashy.”

Backwash: Boy did I want to love this! It’s really the first beer from Smutty that I’ve been somewhat disappointed with. I don’t think the combination of Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo works too well. Maybe it’s the Amarillo, which I don’t know that well, but there is a definite discordance in the flavor for me. I haven’t tried the new “regular” IPA yet, but look forward to it. Perhaps with a little more age, this will improve, but all of the one’s I’ve had so far (from the same store) have been pretty much the same. Maybe next year’s will be more to my liking.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 22:05:28 | More by Dantes
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Smuttynose Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,487 ratings.