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Smuttynose Big A IPA - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Big A IPASmuttynose Big A IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

889 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 889
Hads: 1,693
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 15.08%
Wants: 102
Gots: 147 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-16-2002

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: Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 889 | Hads: 1,693
Reviews by goatgoat:
Photo of goatgoat
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Bottled 2006. Thanks to patsliqour for the opportunity.

Clear sunflower gold with hints of orange. Pours with little to no head but with plenty of little rising bubbles.
Aroma is earthy, a little must. Sweet malts, honey. A little citrus/pine. Not much.
Taste is smooth honey. Very subdued citrus hop. A gradual bitterness builds and takes over the finish. It's a bit harsh and has a sharp alcoholic astringency. A sort of perfume like alcohol/floral presence to the finish, solvent-like.
It has an almost creamy feel before it's cut by the bitterness.

I've never had an aged DIPA and through a trade got one that I've never had fresh. Pretty interesting. I can see why some people age DIPAs, but I don't think I'm a fan. Now I'm on a quest for a fresh bottle to compare!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dull light golden with a thinner white head that left a trace amount of lace as it settled quite quickly,as expected the hops are the attraction here in the nose grapefruit rind and pine really stick out hints of alcohol show thru but they are subdued.Pretty resiny on the palate with alcohol dipped tangerine flavors wich were nice there is a noticable lightly sweet caramel malt base underneath but it stays in the background as I drank more it became quite sticky and sweeter.The hops are big and its enjoyable not as in your face as some others of the style,I liked the different flavors not just one dimensional with the citrus and pine flavors.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a beautiful thick yellow in color with a full, white head. It just screamed “quality” from head to toe and was one of the more inviting beers of the evening at the first annual Skyhand Bavarian Beer Fest.

Smell – The big pine aroma was actually matched fairly evenly by a huge, malty balance. This really is an even-handed mix of full, unabashed malts with a complex, resiny hop compliment.

Taste – This is definitely a DIPA. The malts are big and thick at the tongue but, again, are well-balanced with the complex hops.

Mouthfeel – This one is a big medium-bodied that somehow manages not to be overly bitter. It finishes with a sweet caramel taste that really rounds out the beer.

Drinkability – This terrific DIPA screamed quality from start to finish.

Comments – The first annual Bavarian Beer Festival at Casa de Kim was a huge success, and a big BA thanks emanates from all for busting out this beauty shop.

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Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of pbsmooth
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Mac19872
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Tiernan
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of woodchipper
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of wrycon
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of TuckerCarlson
3.07/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This may be a somewhat inconsistent beer, or maybe it's a year-to-year variation, or maybe it's a bottle v. tap issue. I had this on tap at Korova in Ithaca, NY, and was sorely disappointed on a couple of fronts, though I can't deny the things this beer does right.

Pours orange and slightly hazy with decent head that didn't las as long as I expected it to. Some lacing, but nothing major.

Nice big nose-full of citrusy hops. Opens more and more as it comes up to temperature.

Tase is disappointing - the darn thing is too darn sweet. There's a great citrusy opening and a lot of oily, piney tastes at the back end, but in between the two there's so much sweetness that it comes across as out of balance (think a cabernet sauvignon with 4% residual sugar). The sweetness somehow lets the alcohol show through in a slightly displeasing manner.

Mouthfeel is incredible if you can divorce it from the flavor: nice and thick, very satisfying when it comes up to temperature.

Could have been an excellent DIPA that comes up a bit short due to an excess of sugar.

Oddly enough, my first experience with this beer (also vintage 2007) was straight out of a 22-oz. bomber while camping with some friends and coworkers. I lost a lot of visual and olfactory cues, but the taste seemed way more in tune with what I expected.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bomber a bright reddish orange with a cragly, fluffy two finger head. Delicate rings of lacing coat the side of the glass. Inviting. Hybrid grapefruit citrus pinecone hops waft up into the nose. Candy sweetness with just a hint of caramel.

A nice wave of earthy, piney, citric hop flavors coats the tongue. Caramel, bready malt follows along with a nice hit of bitter on the way down. Alcohol esters peek in and out. A nice double IPA by Smutty...I could still use a bit more hop flavor in there though.

Mouthfeel has a nice, full and creamy body. Satisfying. One bomber is enough for me...but it is enjoyable to drink and goes down easy. I look forward to trying more of the Big Beer Series. Many thanks to dmeadows for the opportunity!

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Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of dandaugherty1221
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty good beer, but I think it could be a little bit bolder. Not disappointing by any means, just a little tame. It is an orange color with a medium head, as well as some nice lacing. A sweet, floral aroma. Predominant hops taste, with a little citrus. Good mouthfeel, very drinkable.

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Photo of warnerry
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle about two months old; Poured into a tulip.

Pours a cloudy orange brown with a lot of suspended material (bottle was stored upright; maybe poured to vigorously?) and two fingers of head. Head does not have great retention, but leaves a lot of lacing behind.

Smell is very floral hops with tropical fruits (pineapple and mango). some citrus as well. Aroma is pretty subtle.

Taste is nice, juicy hops as it hits the tongue. Pineapple with a faint amount of pine. Nice bitterness with a pretty solid malt backbone, though it is hard to pick out specific malt flavors. Very tasty and satisfying.

Mouthfeel is medium and slightly oily, with a nice juiciness, almost chewy. Finishes with lingering dry bitterness.

A very enjoyable, balanced DIPA.

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Photo of Todd
3.27/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 1 pint 6 fl ozs. bomber bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Cloudy, murky, unfiltered orange / amber coloured beer with a magnificent off-white creamy, fluffy, frothy, sticky and lasting head.

Smell: Mega citrus, floral, sweet pale malt and fruity aromas.

Taste: A rather dry brew. Smooth, creamy, chewy, juicy mouthfeel that turns coarse with grain and a semi-astringent hop character, that then explodes into an aggressive raw leafy bitterness; rind, salt and a palate stinging character. Notes of wood line the one-dimensional malt character, which is fruity with faintly sweet. Alcohol is apparent. Finish is ruled by strong hop residual falvours.

Notes: As far as big IPA's go, this one is about average. Malt characters are a bit bland. A well-made IPA, but it's lacking balance and uniqueness. Still a good brew, but nothing I'd frequent.

Note: the "A" stands of "Ass" ... but they weren't allowed to put the word on the label.

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Photo of sponberg
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle conditioned in 2006. medium dark gold, white head lasts forever, aroma has a depth of citrus hoppiness and fruity-toasty maltiness balanced with whiffs of alcohol. Hints of a good bud.

Love this brew. Starts with a toasty-caramelly maltiness followed immediately by a bracing, citrusy-slightly-piney hoppiness that just envelops the mouth. Solid, rockin' bitterness all over the tongue. Mid sip it all blends in perfectly. The alcoholic warmth shows up near the end, adding more complexity. Finishes with a grapefruit-and pine, resinous hoppiness along with the maltiness, tongue tingles from the bitterness, mild buzz confirms the alcohol, empty glass confirms the drinkability. Completely appropriate body - not too syrupy, but not thin at all.

One of my favorite DIPAs.

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Photo of Jpinoniemi
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of shapudding
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured with a thick head atop an incredibly cloudy unfiltered looking ice tea colored bres. Can't see through it. Scents mainly citrus. Tons of grapefruit rind flavor, that is the main thing jumping out at me, then the hops. Highly carbinated, but not annoyingly so- just enough. Very drinkable.

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Photo of euroslvt
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head signature glass. A slightly more aggressive release of carbonation then normal is produced while removing the cap.

A: A slightly aggressive pour produces a creamy off white head. Directly below a sits a copper colored brew. Like usual a steady stream of carbonation constantly bubbles to the surface. Eventually the head thins out, a thin lacing sticks around forever.

S: Grapefruit, Pine, and a slight alcohol smell. Not nearly as aggressive as Ruination, but there are some pretty hardcore hop sents in here. A mild alcohol note hits your nose at the end. Understandable with the above average abv.

T: Bitter hops up front. Some grapefruit follows. Small alcohol at the end, but pretty hidden for the abv. Unfortunately it all comes down to a almost typical dipa, but still very enjoyable.

M: Fucking sticky. Sticky mouthfeel, sticky on the glass. Alcohol, and slight carbonation. Lingering bitterness on the tongue, but there is nothing wrong with that.

D: You can finish a bomber in on sitting easily. For the style and abv I find it suprising, but welcome.

Yet another great offering from Smutty. The big beer series doesn't usually let you down.

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Photo of Shagator
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of nstroup
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of bishopdc0
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is received as very golden in color with a thick white head that laces pretty well

The aroma is full of hops. Citrus and piny hops fill the nose with a slight hint of alcohol.

The taste is bold as you would expect from a DIPA but its color and aroma are deceiving to the taste. It is sweet with a slight citrus hop but it finishes with a big pine bitter finish.

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Smuttynose Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 889 ratings.