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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

1,485 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,485
Reviews: 872
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 86
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Big A IPA Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,485 | Reviews: 872 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acasper
acasper


1/5  rDev -74.9%

07-18-2012 20:10:05 | More by acasper
Photo of bigkamp
bigkamp

Rhode Island

1.43/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I love smuttynose "finest find" ipa. It is one of my favorite (and affordable) local IPA's. I am a huge fan of smuttynose so I was looking forward to trying what I figured would be a similar recipe to their original ipa; maybe just with added hops and malt... boy was I wrong.

Best enjoyed date: May 11'

This beer poured a murky brown with sediment present in the glass. a small head faded quickly with some lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell was nothing like I expected. Earthy, grass, doughy, malt presence.

Taste is syrupy thick with way too much malt presence for an ipa.

I could only get through a couple of sips. I will try another bottle to make sure this one wasn't bad, but I am pretty sure that this was one of the rare "misses" from smuttynose as they usually put together an amazing product.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 00:13:32 | More by bigkamp
Photo of techcommdood
techcommdood

New York

1.95/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance: Hazy light tan color, weak head but solid lacing.

Smell: Spicy hops and lots of sugar on the nose.

Taste: Very sweet (like artificial sweetener), strong hop spicy bite, some booziness. Not a lot of character, just big malt and big bitter payload.

Mouthfeel: Heavy at first, finishes dry. Strong spicy burn from hops.

Drinkability: Poor. For me, it's not balanced well. Very strong sweetness and hop characters clash more than play off each other. Hop burn all down my throat. And it all builds repeatedly with every sip. Unenjoyable.

Overall: A disappointment, to be sure. I was expecting much better out of this one. I think more than anything else it was the sweetness that killed this beer for me. I can tolerate strong hops (hell, I recently brewed a 100+ IBU cascadian dark ale). I won't be getting this one again.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 17:30:57 | More by techcommdood
Photo of Longstaff
Longstaff

Massachusetts

2.28/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reviewing the 12 oz bottle version.

First try at this format and it wasn't good. Phenolic character lurking behind the hops quickly distracted you from what would otherwise be a fine beer. After researching and finding nothing about this issue, I had to give a bottle to a fellow hophead to make sure I wasn't crazy. He came to same conclusion wihtout me front loading him with my opinion and now there's two bottles sitting on top on my fridge waiting to be transferred to the garbage.

So dissapointing as fresh hoppy beer is so desperately needed in the area and this could have been a go-to beer for me. And the bombers were always so good.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 17:41:40 | More by Longstaff
Photo of WastingFreetime
WastingFreetime

Wisconsin

2.45/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured out an orangish-amber color with some sediment chunks and a minutes' worth of head that leaves behind medium levels of lacing on the glass.

Smells of the typical grapefruit and pine resin but with a large boozey alcoholic hotness. Tastes similar, with hot boozey pine resin and unfortunately, not enough malt characteristic to stand up to the bittering and alcoholic hotness. It might just be me, but this one seems WAY out of balance for an IPA. I'd expect this sort of booziness from an unbalanced barleywine or malt liquor, not an IPA.

Oh well, they can't ALL be winners.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 21:19:50 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Sanchezrox23
Sanchezrox23

Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

04-23-2014 09:51:40 | More by Sanchezrox23
Photo of jk3
jk3

New York

2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

04-20-2012 23:22:31 | More by jk3
Photo of Callenak
Callenak

California

2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a nice pale/golden color. I'm so used to east coast DIPA's not being pale that this was a relief. Small white head that lingered for a short while.

Smell was more earthy and piney than citrusy. Be curious if they used some sort of noble hops in it.

Taste was a little disappointing but matched the smell. I've had many great DIPA's and know this style well, this beer just isn't doing it. A earthy bitterness without much citrus/fruit in the finish. Malt is dry and stale.

Sorry just not digging this beer. I had my hopes up on the pour but that was the best part.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2006 17:51:15 | More by Callenak
Photo of fredmugs
fredmugs

Indiana

2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

12-06-2013 03:14:48 | More by fredmugs
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Normally I try to write complex review but this beer isn't worthy. This bottle is near but not at the best buy level so if I find it fresher I'll adjust.

A good looking double IPA with WAY too much malt and sugar aroma. It smells bad.

The taste is WAY too much sugar bread and flavors I can only express as old hoppy beer but again this isn't old. bit sugar malt, HUGE even. There is a hop bite too, but it isn't good the breat and caramel are just blah.

Too think too sugary and doesn't work.

This is just not a good beer, let alone a good IPA. I can't imagine this being good.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 03:13:11 | More by bobhits
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

2.55/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden color with a large fluffy white head that is really lingers. As the head fades it leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Very potent aroma of grapefruit and pineapple with some malty sweetness notes as well.

Obviously there is a lot of hoppy bitterness going on here, but there is not enough maltiness to balance it out in my opinion. Taste is piney with slight notes of honey sweetness. Long, lingering bitter aftertaste. Improves as it warms; expresses some floral hop characteristics to help balance out the resiny American hops.

It has a lot of carbonation, too much for the style in my opnion.

This beer doesn't have the depth that I was hoping for and with this much alcohol it's not that drinkable. Don't plan to revisit.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 15:50:22 | More by claspada
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

2.55/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very hazy amber orange with a one finger off white head with fairly decent retention. There is quite a bit of sediment floating in the glass, which is not visually appealing. The aroma has grapefruit, pith, pine, and some caramel malt. Smells overly bitter.

The taste is much like the aroma. grapefruit, pith, peelings, pine, and some caramel malt. This is more bitter than most DIPA's I have had.

Medium to full bodied, oily, slick, with fairly high carbonation. Not one of the better DIPAs I have had.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 01:56:31 | More by hardy008
Photo of Stingray5
Stingray5

New York

2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber featuring Stash Wojciechowski, the "Killer Kielbasa". Who? Pours a hazy golden amber with almost no head. Aromas are fruity, nutty and slighty toasted, more like an English IPA. Thick mouthful is followed by nutty fruity malt and bitter hops. There is a good dose of alcohol in the finish.

I'm trying to avoid saying this, but I found this beer to have a slight aroma and taste of vomit. Needless to say, that's a bad thing.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2003 20:57:39 | More by Stingray5
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured a very cloudy tangerine orange, with a huge fluffy white head that looked like looming Alka-Seltzer as it died down.

S: Fresh citrus fruit, with a muted clean cotton scent. There was also quite a bit of candy sugar in there as well.

T: A bit disappointing on the taste... a bit like soap actually. Despite the sugary smell, the taste was almost devoid of sucrose. The fruit totally got buried by an EXTREMELY funky, bitter, and unpleasant boozy cleaning agent.

M: Booze and then some. The carbonation was prickly enough, but the particular brand of bitterness couldn't be helped by it much. The lacing was moderate.

D: I don't think I would drink this again. heck, I had trouble enough making it through 12 ounces of it! I'll stick with "Finest Kind."

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 02:20:10 | More by Chaney
Photo of bespin15
bespin15

Washington

2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

06-10-2012 03:35:49 | More by bespin15
Photo of sendsilk
sendsilk

Florida

2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

10-18-2012 03:47:33 | More by sendsilk
Photo of TheBigBoy
TheBigBoy

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

04-29-2012 12:11:17 | More by TheBigBoy
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

12-04-2012 04:30:36 | More by chippo33
Photo of newbrewer_zb
newbrewer_zb

Florida

2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

05-04-2014 01:21:18 | More by newbrewer_zb
Photo of bluesplit63
bluesplit63

Connecticut

2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

11-05-2012 05:34:40 | More by bluesplit63
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately

Pennsylvania

2.78/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber, bottle conditioned from "2007"

Poured a light caramel color with 2 finger head. Decent lacing througout.

Smell was good but not great - heavy alcohol, some hop bitterness, possibly some orange peel.

Taste did not seem true to an IPA - barley, grilled brussel sprouts, with the only sweetness being what I will compare to a turnip. Deep alcohol present as well, which was fine for the style.

Mouthfeel was very heavy and cloying. No crispness, or sharp mouthfeel which I would have expected.

Not drinkable beyond a few sips in my mind. Based on the other glowing reviews, I think I must have gotten a bad/old batch that didn't "condition" well in the bottle. Too bad, b/c I like the other Smuttynose's I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 11:06:04 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of bpfishback
bpfishback

Maryland

2.83/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

When I first had this beer, I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure if the recipe or my palate has changed but now I do not like this beer at all. It has a nice pale orange color and good thick head but a lot of yeast debris. The hop aroma is very lacking in comparison to the top dipa's.The taste is some sweetness followed by very sharp bitterness. I feel like the bitterness comes from the floaties but even when being very careful not to get any yeast in the glass it still has an unpleasantly sharp bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 20:31:17 | More by bpfishback
Photo of deejaydan
deejaydan

Michigan

2.83/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear orange-yellow hue, sticky lacing, moderate head retention.

Aroma-- Actually, kinda faint. Slight grassy chinook type aroma is hanging out.

Taste--- Just rip roaring hops and bitterness. Not the usual bitterness that I can enjoy in an IPA, but a raw, rough bitterness like that of the pith of a lemon or orange. Give me some maltiness to balance this.

Mouthfeel--- ?? I can't feel my mouth! I CAN'T FEEL MY MOUTH!

Drinkablity-- Well, I've had better IIPAs.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2005 21:56:41 | More by deejaydan
Photo of PeatReek
PeatReek

California

2.85/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy and yellow/amber, like a nice weissbeer. Rocky white head. Hop smell is strong but light, floral and lemony with a slight savory undercurrent. Bitter, scratchy hop flavor right from the outset; the delicate aspects from the aroma don't cut through this so well. Rather dry, but almost invisible, malt presence. Finishes dirty with a mildly unpleasant ester fruitiness. Hmm. No thanks.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2006 00:56:29 | More by PeatReek
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Slightlty cloudy orange/gold body had a chill haze. Minimal head even with an aggressive pour. Bottle was about 48F.

Smell was very difficult to discern. Not much smell at all until the beer warmed significantly. When the aromas started to unfold they were everchanging beginning with mild citrus hops. Rye bread. Spice and powdered donuts. Mild alcohol presence.

Taste was pine tree bark. Coniferous sweetness with a stripping hops bitterness. Citrus and alcohol. Marmalade. Not citrus pith but citrus sweetness. Not as flavorful as Finest Kind and somewhat lacking in the overall presentation.

Mouthfeel was medium/full bodied with mild carbonation. Alcohol hits the brain. Not one I will seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2006 15:52:33 | More by Cresant
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Smuttynose Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,485 ratings.