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Smuttynose Big A IPA - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Big A IPASmuttynose Big A IPA

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,420 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1420
Reviews: 871
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.06%


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: 1,420 | Reviews: 871 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ggilman
ggilman

Maine

4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask, and specially dry-hopped during Smuttfest 2011 at Novare Res in Portland, Maine. Served at room temp in a beautiful Smuttynose Big Beer tulip glass. This is why I came!

Deep orange hue with a big loose foamy head, that left lots of sticky lace. You could smell the fresh dry hopping, lots of leafy aromas, and a little malt in the background. Lots of robust caramel malt up front, leafy hops come in from behind. Loaded with sticky grapefruit hop bitterness. Super creamy hand-drawn mouthfeel. Smooth and delicious. I could've very easily sat their draining glass after glass until I fell off my bench. But that '05 Imperial Stout wasn't going to drink itself.

Serving type: cask

07-11-2011 01:53:38 | More by ggilman
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
Kkottonmouthkngz

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: hazy dark golden color, has a nice frothy head, skinny but expected due to the cask pour.
S: smells sooo good. its got a nice golden delicious apple permeating from it, with phenomenal hop presence. its almost warming.
T: i love this brew on cask. it really does it justice, it just fills your mouth with potent but delicious hops. i never noticed the apple
aspects in bottle, but this application really kind of brings it through to me. maybe im crazy, ive never heard anyone else mention apple before, but of well.
M: creamy, hoppy, warm. dangerously delicious and enjoyable. this is the way this beer should be enjoyed.
D: if i didnt have no less than 3 other beers on the list i had to try on tap tonite, id drink it all(until i passed out due to the 9 and change ABV).

Serving type: cask

01-24-2011 04:39:36 | More by Kkottonmouthkngz
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at the GBBF.

Pours dark orange with a light froth ring. Big juicy citrus and chutney nose. Marmalade malts with some caramel cut by orange resin hops. Light to medium, some chew, and big burn.

Way too hot! Kills half the flavor, never mind any thoughts of drinkability. I wonder if this was very young going into the cask for the festival...

Serving type: cask

08-09-2010 16:29:59 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had off the cask at d.b.a. in Brooklyn. It has a semi-cloudy look to it. Good head and lace. Some bubbles and a kind of fruity apple scent.

Very zesty taste. Has a crazy, almost avocado taste ot it. Fairly dry. It doesn't taste like most IPAs I've had.

Serving type: cask

04-21-2010 23:12:39 | More by Amalak
Photo of m1ked
m1ked

California

3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours a flat looking hazy apple cider appearance....it is a cask after all, but still....underwhelming.

S- Not underwhelming here. This has a thick resiny nose of light piney cedar with some apricot and caramel toffee.

T- There's a sharp cedar pine licorice flavor upfront that is a bit overwhelming. My palate is overwhelmed....hard to pick things out now. That anise caramel cedar/pine lingers on. Can't help but feel that abv in there too.

M- Thick and resiny, cask smoothness. I wonder if carbonation help this gut with the oily resin residue.

D- I love casks, and I love trying new stuff. Glad I had it, but I'll pass on the next one. I'll take a West Coast IPA/IIPA instead.

Serving type: cask

09-17-2009 02:22:02 | More by m1ked
Photo of Quaffer
Quaffer

Nevada

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at the Blind Tiger in New York.

Appearance: Golden, orange-amber in color with a typical cask head. There were hints of lace left on the glass, but not much.

Smell: The smell was very hoppy, but there was a definite malt presence underneath, giving a nice depth to the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth.

Taste: Huge hop flavor and an accompanying bitterness dominated this beer. Hints of malt floated around, but not enough to balance this one out; it was extremely heavy on the hops. One thing that really stood out was a very strong, sweet fruitiness that emerged on the finish and almost dominated the hops bitterness. It was that fruity component that kept this beer from being completely over-the-top in the hop department.

Serving type: cask

05-01-2004 19:04:38 | More by Quaffer
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$2.89 for a 12oz bottle @ Siciliano's. Brewed with North American 2-Row, Crisp Pale Ale malts. Hopped with Bravo and Cascade (bittering), Bravo and CTZ (Flavoring), and Glacier, Nugget and CTZ for dry hops.

OG=21° Plato
FG=3.1° Plato
9.7% ABV
IBU 120

Pours out to a murky burnt orange, lots of little particulate bits floating about, forming a modest light yellow head with good retention and lacing. Moderate carbonation, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose is ripe with mango, grapefruit, apricot and tangerine. Not skunky, pissy, slightly piney. Mouthfeel is tart with hop acidity and is full bodied and moderately syrupy. The taste is a recap of the aroma. Lots of grapefruit here, sitting on top of a big malt base with some residual sweetness to balance out the rather firm hop bitterness. Pith, pith, pith. Quite bitter overall, a bit much for me. Astringent puckering finish. Did I mention the paint peeling bitterness? Cleanly fermented, no off flavors or aromas.

This is not the kind of DIPA that I enjoy, but if you like your IPA's bitter, try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 05:41:01 | More by Mitchster
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

The color is a light caramel, slightly dull with active carbonation in the body. The mounted bright white with a thick congealed top and banded lacing.

The nose is full of light citrus and caramel malt. The citrus tends to lemon and orange, maybe tangerines but a stiff caramel malt background.

The taste is floral, piney and lemony. Huge bitterness assaults the tongue as pine resin flavor finishes it off. The mid palate does detect the caramel malt but it's fleeting.

The feel is very full, almost no carbonated bite, with a hard bitterness and alcoholic finish. It really is a roller coaster as it starts with such a creamy feel but ends so harsh, bitter, astringent and full of alcohol warmth.

This is a bitter Beast of a beer that may have been too much for my particular palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 22:08:55 | More by KYGunner
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date: best by 3/14.
I was skeptical at first- and subsequently surprised that this DIPA was excellent- the best by date is in three months.

Poured a light tea-cider color with a 2 finger head. Lots of lacing- a nice looking beer.

Pine, citrus , and vanilla wafting from the head.

As expected- the MF was very carbonated.

Lots of pine and citrus in the taste.

The finish is not overdone and relatively smooth- a major plus for a DIPA.

Some added bitterness as the beer warms.

An excellent DIPA- very well done by a quintessential New England brewery.



Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 03:33:27 | More by brureview
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best by 4/16/2014. Hate dating like this, I have no idea when it was bottled. I assume around 3 months old, if it has a 6 month expiration date.

A: Pours a clear amber. Tall and fluffy tan head. Fades at a moderate pace with good retention. Sparse lacing.

S: Nice grapefruit bite with a little pine.

T: Grapefruit initially and then quite a bit of spicy, resinous pine. Resinous character is pretty much all-encompassing into the middle and finish. Some sweet graininess helps round it out a bit. Big drying resinous bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. Coats the mouth with hop oils.

M: Medium-heavy body. Very dry on the back end with lots of lingering mouthcoating resinousness (is that a word?).

O: Huh. Surprisingly delicious. Very hoppy. Big hop flavors, big hop resins and big hop dryness. Very pleasantly surprised by this one. West-coast style hop bomb and I've never even known about this. It states 120 IBUs and I believe it. Thanks to whoever suggested this on the forums. Only reason it did not garner higher scores is because of the relative simplicity.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 05:49:24 | More by Dope
Photo of JAFoley
JAFoley

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pale amber body, slightly hazy with three full fingers of off-white head. Very nice retention and sudsy lacing.

S - Citrus and alcohol

T - Big citrus, lemon and soapy hops upfront with low bready malts underneath all overshadowed by big boozeyness.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly sticky

O - As a Portsmouth resident I have to love this beer and luckily I do! The huge abv is certainly not balanced but for those who want a boozey and bitter punch to the face, this'll do it.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 01:35:29 | More by JAFoley
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Clear light gold with two fingers of foamy white head, smaller patchy lacing.
S - Big hop resin, pine, onion a little orange, grass, a tad skunky
T - Boozefest, definitely a lot of bitter pine and earthy hop resin, very oniony to me, a little spice, but there's a big malt sweetness and lots of booze.
M - Alcohol burn, big soapy bitterness..
O - Not a fan, Its too abrasive to have more than even one.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 19:49:59 | More by Omnium
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane

New York

3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours murky orange and you can't see through it. It's a dirty orange color with golden hues. It has a finger of creamy foam that fell fast and left a ring and thin film on top. Decent lace. Nose is not easy to discern. Spice and grass, herbal and dank but not too much fruit. Tart citrus and a peach or soft stone fruit sweetness way in the background. Hardly any pine.

Taste is a little bland. There's plenty of herbal and grass, some spice - moderate spice in fact but hardly any fruit. Then as you search for it you notice a tart citrus and are so glad because where is the fruit? There is a substantial malt character that is plenty sweet and makes for a supple and medium mouthfeel. Caramel as it warms. That also make s me glad. There is some pine in the drink and it's pine needles. There is a moderate bitter. Now this bitter can't justify itself in contrast to all the lingering fruit sweetness because the fruit was tart so it's a sharp and pretty strong bitter. Astringent with a dry finish.

It's ok.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 17:43:47 | More by utopiajane
Photo of patpbr
patpbr

Ohio

3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep orange without much of a head
S - Mild hops and a malt
T - Citrus hops and floral flavors a bit of pine and hints of grapefruit. A moderate amount of bitterness.
M - Medium body and a finish on the dry side
O - Not very exciting for a DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 04:08:20 | More by patpbr
Photo of TreyIsWilson
TreyIsWilson

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy orange color with a thin white foamy head.

S - Not getting much here. Some sweet tropical fruits and some faint piney hops.

T - Lots of hoppy bitterness. The hops are very earthy and resinous. Good amount of sweet tropical fruits - orange and grapefruit.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a high carbonation. Oily mouthfeel with a dry finish. Nice lingering bitterness. ABV is very well hidden.

O - Pretty good DIPA. Pretty easy drinker for such a hop bomb. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 04:43:52 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of TheBullsHorn
TheBullsHorn

Florida

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a hazy caramel orange color with a nice head. American hops jump out on the nose with grapefruit as the most prominent aroma followed by lighter notes of lemon, orange, and the noticeable strength of the alcohol. As with good Imperial IPAs, the malty sweetness balances the intensely citrus hop and provides a medium body and slightly silky mouthfeel after the carbonation washes away. This is a nice example of an Imperial IPA that gets better as you let it open up and let the ethanol notes dissipate but unfortunately doesn't have as much depth as I like to see in this style.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 01:39:14 | More by TheBullsHorn
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

As the signature imperial India pale ale for Smuttynose, the ale jumps right out of the shoot with all of the citrusy bitterness of American ales but with added alcohol and sweetness to balance. It's easily seen as a bigger version of IPA- it's a big ass IPA!

As the ale pours, it certainly looks the part of Imperial Pale Ale with its medium hazy amber color and its release of creamy off-white foam. With strong retention and broken lacing patterns, the ale is much more appeasing to the eye as its label does.

Bright aromas of citrus and pine paint a picture of grapefruit and oranges that are dripping of honey or light caramel. A mild tropical hint of pineapple sneak into the mix as well. Its earthy tone of pine cones are sappy, resinous and herbaceous even in the nose. A tinge of alcohol is spicy and lightly of acetone, but the hops cover all that with ease.

To taste, the malty foreground delivers mild caramel, light toast and honey tones. But heading into the middle portion of taste, its hop influence really comes to life. Pink grapefruit, oranges and a hint of lemon all rise with their taste of pulp, peels and piths. Leading to a finish of deeply resinous pine, the IPA really lives up to its style-sake in its dry and acidic bitterness.

Medium-full in body, the ale tries really hard to be an IPA, but just more of one. Its malt richness is inherently larger than that of standard IPA. Though it simply takes more malt fuel to create more alcohol, these beers simply don't attenuate as well at higher alcohol ranges than they do at lower ranges. So the beer balances beautifully toward the malt- ever so slightly. This leads to a bitter-sweet finish of warming alcohol and sappy resins.

I love how Big A plays out on the palate. Its hop character is paramount but it relies on its bready-sweet and lavish pine complements to round out its citrusy focus. Simply beautiful in every aspect, but it does little to pull away from the pack of other well made imperial IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 06:23:18 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose makes some great beer – just finished up a sixer of Finestkind – so I jumped on the chance to try out another one of their lineup. Cheers.

Best-before date is 03/10/2014, four months after the date of this tasting. All clear.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a dirty gold tinge, topped with a bright white head of soap foam two inches high. Lacing is minimal, but the retention is thick and long-lasting.

S: Tons of raw hop character: aromas of oily, piney resin, damp grass, and leafy green tea emanate from the glass. Powerful. Smells like a bag of hop pellets from the homebrew shop, but not much else – bit of honey and toffee peek through.

T: A hop monster: triple IPA, anyone? I’m typically not a fan of those kinds of beers, but this one blends tongue-scraping bitterness with thick hop oils very well. It slides around with initial flavors of dank pine sap (like hop juice) and sweet honey malt – along with lemon so rich it’s nearly soapy – reined in only by a stinging hop-and-booze bite. The palate tightens as tastes of salt and pepper, chili powder, and fusel alcohol take over; the malts are effectively balanced-out, and then some. Finishes more dry than malty, but a marked sweetness still remains.

M: Thick, but not chewy: it’s all about the oils on this one. Carbonation is light to moderate, picking up the palate with a soft bubbliness, though that’s not much when compared to the sheer thickness of the body.

O: Knocked me flat, that’s for sure…the Smuttynose logo on the label blinded me from the fact that this beer is almost 10% alcohol, so I didn’t learn that until I was halfway through and decided to inspect the bottle a bit more closely. At any rate, this is a well-made, semi-drinkable double/triple IPA, and that’s a rare find in this style – still, it’s not really a kind of beer I’d buy again.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 05:35:57 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth

Indiana

4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy golden-amber, with a nice big head of white bubbles. Beautiful head and lace, too.

Nose is strong and tangy tropical hops, with notes of pineapple up front and foremost. I also get some delicious mango and orange. Superlative!

Taste is strong, with hops dominating. Still, there's a big malt presence here, too. Heavy on the tropical hops, this one keeps itself smooth and mellow on the palate.

A gorgeous and top-tier IPA here.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 20:44:19 | More by secondtooth
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was super fresh with a Besy By of 3/10/14 and comes in at 9.4% ABV.

The beer comes in a color I’ve never quite seen. It’s a bright hzy pink, like pink grapefruit. It has a beautiful two finger fluffy tight marshmallow head. One of the most gorgeous beers I’ve seen.

The aroma has sweet grapefruit, pith, and some pine, but is generally nasally challenged. It has sweet caramel malt, a bit of alcohol.

The flavor follows with just strong bitterness. It’s astringent and just attacks the palate with spicy floral, grapefruit, then just tons of green pine and grass. There’s a tinge of honeyed sweetness in the middle and then attacks again on the end with a lingering bitterness of grapefruit pith, pine, and spicy hops.

The body is medium to full with a round mouthfeel and a gentle carbonation that keeps the beer rolling.

This is a big beer, but thankfully does not carry too much sweetness to overwhelm the beer. However, the aroma is a bit weak and the flavor lacks depth. However, the bitterness works for some hop heads.

(As a note, this pairs extremely well with grapefruit. The sweetness really accentuates the fruit notes in the beer and brings out more sweetness to counteract the beer’s bitterness.)

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 01:54:59 | More by dar482
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass. Freshness date of 2/1/14.

A: Sunny yellow in color, but with a heavy haze. Two fingers of bubbly, bone white head retain very well. Lacing is ample and sticky.

S: Soft pine. Lots of pith. Pulpy citrus fruits. Lemon, white grapefruit, hints of pineapple. Doughy malt base displays a touch of honeyed sweetness. Subtle alcohol.

T: Gripping oily bitterness, earthy and raw. Spicy hops. Pithy. Pulpy lemon and white grapefruit, more subtle and playful notes of pineapple. Peppery alcohol flexes some muscle. Doughy, honeyed malt base. Traces of minerality. Oily, spicy hops and a lingering kick of alcohol on the finish.

M: Medium-full body. Very round and smooth in the mouth. Creamy and velvety. Mild prickling carbonation. Hop astringency, generous alcohol warmth.

O: This is one brawny double IPA. Full malt body, big dose of alcohol, plenty of bitterness. The heat may prove a little much for some, but truthfully it really fits the beer. It lends itself especially well to cask experimentation, and Smuttynose isn't shy about tinkering with it in that realm. The seasonal 4-pack move was a good one, because although this is a fine beer, it frequently went out of code on shelves in the 22oz year round format. Better turnover on the shelves helps to ensure that drinkers are getting this fresh, as intended.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 01:51:13 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard

Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. Best by date of 03/10/14

Poured a hazy thick yellow body, with about 1 1/2 finger soapy white head, which diminshed some, but retained all the way down. Lacing was minimal. Good carbonation.

Great smell of sweet citrusy hops.

Hops and sweetness of the malts battle it out on the tongue, with no clear winner, though the hops stay on the tongue longer, the finish is sweet & fruity.

Mouth was above medium, with a touch of syrupy feel about it.

Overall, this is the best Smuttynose beer I've tried. (Though mouth waters at the thought of their big baltic porter) Glad to say, the rest of the 4-pack is in the fridge. Only downside....that dude on the label is pretty creepy.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 04:45:23 | More by MikeWard
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a dollar store wine glass. Appears bright copper with lots of various sediment particles in the glass. Wasn't sure if this one is bottle conditioned or not, as it did not say so on this bottle. Nice firm lacing of white foamy head. Seems to last quite awhile.

Smells of faint citrus hops. Pretty tame, yet I'm not sure how old the bottle was. Didn't see a born on or best by date. After some warming up, I get lemon meringue.

Tastes initially sweet with waves of lemon and sweet pale malt. Hop nectar rings true to the tongue. Hops aren't overwhelming and seem balanced by the malt. I also get some orange peel and a little resiney hops. Decently bitter.

Seems a little sweet, maybe due to the hop resins. Even still, wish it were a little more dry. Feels medium as I could see myself switching up to another offering after a few.

Overall, an okay IPA. There's so many IPAs out there these days that this one just doesn't stand out for me. It's pretty solid, but I think it could use some fine polishing.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 21:57:09 | More by jwhancher
Photo of hagbergl
hagbergl

Maryland

4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a glass of Smuttynose Big A IPA at Somerville BBQ & beer institution, Redbones. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance (4/5): Big A IPA pours a clear, golden-orange and is topped by a small one-finger head of foam (I'll blame the bartender for the lack of head...for some reason bartenders even at very good establishments think head on a beer is bad. Annoying.). This baby leaves a ton of sticky, resinous lacing behind as it goes. A very pleasant looking double IPA.

Smell (4/5): Right away you smell big grapefruit and piney hops. The hops are backed up by a sizable sweet bready malt that makes this beer maltier (not to say truly balanced–it's a double IPA, after all) than most big IPA's. A touch of lemon adds freshness and resinous hop oils lend a dankness to the beer. This baby's fresh. Nice smelling stuff.

Taste (4.25/5): At the front of the tongue, sweet malts come in and warm up the palate before the piney, grapefruity hops explode with a very satisfying bitterness and citrusy dryness. Sweetness competes with bitter all the way down, though, making Big A an impressive balancing act between malt and hops. The finish is hoppy but the malts are still there giving you a nice sweetness. Much different than your typical West Coast hop monster. I like this a lot.

Mouthfeel (4/5): Big A has a sticky, almost chewy mouthfeel in the beginning before settling into a dry finish. Medium bodied and medium-light carbonation round out the mouthfeel. Good, not stellar.

Overall (4/5): Smuttynose Big A is a very solid double IPA from New England that definitely separates itself from the herd of West Coast-style imitators by injecting a healthy does of malt sweetness into the flavor profile and not going whole-hog with the bitterness and dryness. I particularly like the transition in the mouthfeel from sticky, hop oily at the front to dry in the finish. Good stuff, as I expect from Smutty.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 15:27:50 | More by hagbergl
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 4/13.

Pours a hazy golden apricot with a frothy 2 inch cream head that dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of holy lacing.

Nutty, bready caramel malt, citrus fruit, and resin form the initial aroma. Earthy hops become evident. Fairly malty, but with good hop presence, as well. Tangerine and lime balance resin well.

Flavor reveals underlying notes of tangerine, grapefruit and mango, with slightly sweet caramel malt hitting mid palate, then being knocked aside by bitter, resiny hops. The finish is decidedly bitter and earthy.

Body is a touch full, with moderate carbonation, a fair amount of astringency, and substantial alcohol warmth.

Good citrus character, but a little too resiny for my liking. Flavoring hops could be more complex. Malt backbone and hop character are fairly balanced in extremes.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 02:20:24 | More by barczar
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Smuttynose Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,420 ratings.