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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
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Ratings: 1,485 | Reviews: 872 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of objectivemonkey
objectivemonkey

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a pint glass, pours a lovely hazy gold, nice whitish head, good lacing. Aroma is full of hops, citris and resinous, a boatful of stuff shooting straight up the nose. Taste is the same, grapefruit, supersweet malts, hops zings the tongue, very intense, and almost makes it fantastic. Mouth is very soft and very full, very nice, warm, lovely. I really wanted to love this one, but just didn't, made me sad, but man would I drink this any day.

Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2007 20:38:15 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of ttfreek
ttfreek

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells good and strong. Pours alight orange with a head that leaves a little lace. There is alot of yeast (?) sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Great taste, strong with malts and hops but also a sweeter taste towards the end. Refrshing feel to the mouth, not too carbonated. Tasted slightly citrisy and rosy, and filled me up pretty good. Did not feel the alcohol as much as i expected, but i had a lot to eat that day.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 16:58:39 | More by ttfreek
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

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

Poured from a Bomber to a pint glass. The liquid is Thick yellow with good carbonation. The head is tall, 2 fingers, white and sticks around some, it leaves very little lace.

The smell is good Big hop piny aroma, with a thick sweet maltyness.

The taste it staight forward, lots of hop and thankfully lots of malt. However I do get from this beer that id is not quite up to double standards. Maybe it's 1.75IPA. This beer would be crazy good but it is missing just a little some thing.

Mouthfeel is good thick, sticky, creamy.

Drinkability is also good but not one to go out of my way for. The price is right, however. MK

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2007 06:44:36 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of hopsaplenty
hopsaplenty

Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. brown bottle, bottle conditioned in 2006 in label.

Clear honey gold. Short cap of mixed size parchment colored bubbles. A few slow carbonation streams sporadically rise to the surface. The head diminishes to a thin skim with tall piles at the edge and leaving a few splotches of lace. Big, full aromas of orange rind and grapefruit flesh are sprinkled with a touch of sweetness. Full bodied with huge helpings of orange rind and grapefruit. The finish is filled with orange as well as a bit of pine. There is an ample biscuit malt body to compliment while also providing a bit of heft. Smooth and at times creamy feeling, relatively low carbonation, but this does not detract. The hops lend a resiny feel on the tongue and become just a touch numbing. 9.2%? I couldn’t taste that at all beneath the hops. Supremely drinkable, highly enjoyable, and a great price ($4) as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 14:17:23 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JeffKrenner for this one.

A: Glowing golden rod body with some sediment from the conditioning. Head is on the small side, marshmallow white with some floaters across the top.

S: Grapefruit juice, tangerine, caramel, apricots with a hint of butterscotch.

T: Sugary pink grapefruit leads the charge across the center portion of the tongue with marmalade trailing not far behind. Bittering hops of the pinecone sort coat the sides of the tongue creating a charming balance between sweet citrus and bittering pine. Buttery resin with caramel aspects takes over the position of the citrus adding a nice slickness to the mouthfeel. Finishes with an earthy bitterness that continues around the back sides of the tongue long after the swallow.

M: Medium body with a full, almost syrupy, mouthfeel.

D: I really liked this beer. I'm surprised it doesn't receive better reviews than it does. It has a good balance that keeps it complex and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2007 21:51:26 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

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

22oz bomber

A - Pours a hazy deep golden orange with a thin white head and sticky lacing.

S - Piney, citrus, grapefruit, floral hops.

T - Bitter pine and grapefruit with bits of pineapple followed sweet malt but not enough to balance this one out. It is definitely heavy on the hop side.

M - Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation and slightly sticky. A touch dry in the finish but that dryness becomes overpowered by the sticky factor.

D - A very solid DIPA. The alcohol is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2007 20:54:54 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

Pours a clear golden/amber, big white head forms, nice lacing and good retention. Smell is very hoppy, pineapples, caramel, some citrus, pine, nice. Taste is grainy, some toffee, very hoppy, citrus and pine, almost medicinal bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, very dry bitter finish. Maybe a little bit too bitter, but I enjoyed it, hop blast. Thanks whoever brought this one, Tim, Jay, or grub!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 01:45:43 | More by Viggo
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold with a little haze, a fading head but good lacing.

Smell: Big citrus aroma.

Taste: Citrusy hoppiness, with a fruity sweetness backing it up, very tasty.

Drinkability: Good stuff, but not available in Minnesota.

I picked this up over in Wisconsin, I'll try about any DIPA. This one has a little sweetness in it that I like a lot. Good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 18:02:13 | More by Mdog
Photo of doubleipa
doubleipa

Georgia

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

Pours a small quarter inch, white, creamu, head. Aroma was a bit weaker than I would have expected considering it has 120 IBUs. There is a heacy hop aroma withlots of pine, spruce, and resin. Not much citrus, though. Seemed pretty heavy for a DIPA. Can really taste the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 17:14:15 | More by doubleipa
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A slight haze on a golden brew with a copper hue. A large two finger head dissipates in minutes. Copious lacing adorns the glass.

S - Fantastic presentation of floral (lillies and roses) and strong pine hops. A mild sweetness about it as well. The aroma is enchanting. No abv detectable.

T - Initial flavors are of sticky pine and lighter grapefruit with a bit of rose backing. The flavor is quite dry with a very potent bitter aftertaste.

M - A medium body with a bit of a dry feel to it, but all and all slightly refreshing.

D - Not too shabby. I actually went into this not really wanting a hoppy IPA with little sweetness. Even though it wasn't what I wanted, it was able to deliver. I think I might have to have this again (perhaps after I sample the rest of the big beers line from Smuttynose).

M -

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 00:14:56 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of cooter
cooter

New York

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks great, except it refused to give me any hea--er, foam on the pour. Granted, I'm using a bulbous glass, but still!

Smells fantastic. It actually jumped out and smacked my nose when I poured it. Hops, vinegar, honey, berries, and luscious springtime are among the scents emitted by this wondrous, un-headed beer.

BAM it's really alcoholic. And as well, it's very tasty. Creamy and smooth and goes down easy (though not in terms of foam). Moderate carbonation with a strong sticky pine aftertaste make it very very enjoyable. It feels like a blended scotch--fiery, but smooth.

Two thumbs up. Very strong, flavorful, and pleasant. Probably poor as a session, but it works perfectly to get a night-after-work started.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 23:29:58 | More by cooter
Photo of kelticblood
kelticblood

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

First sip was extremely harsh. Was so bitter my eyes were watering. Had a wondeful floral, citrus, pine, and hop aroma. The first sip was like watching a child eat something real bitter for the first time. The high ABV is well-hidden. I love real hoppy beers, but this is just too bitter for me. Has a very appealing color like a glowing gold. Very cloudy with decent amount of lacing. Nothing else is tasting other than bitter hops. Well crafted to hide such a big ABV. Stands true to its distinct category so it must be reviewed for that category. This Double IPA delivers just what it says DOUBLE ! Mellows out after about 3 minutes of sipping. This is a heavyweight and not for rookies.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 23:32:16 | More by kelticblood
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange (being bottle-conditioned). A thin head leaves traces of lacing along the side.

The smell is floral, bready, some citrus. An underlying brown sugar sweetness.

The taste is very hoppy - chewy, fruity, bready, slightly citrusy hops give it a nice, complex hop profile. Grainy malty sweetness gives it body, depth and some balance. Sharp alcohol gives it a kick. Long, dry, hoppy finish.

Full, rich. Slides down the throught with just a hint of sharpness.

A hop-lovers delight, this one is. Not the usual citrusy, but a blend of different hop styles, with some citrus interwoven. A hearty, strong brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 16:14:49 | More by jwc215
Photo of rayjay
rayjay

Hawaii

4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks you zrrbrrt, for surprising me with this bottle. It poured out hazy amber-orange, white head and lace. The nose reminded me of hoppy, minty shaving cream.

Loads of dried apricots in this one. It has mellowed in the bottle a few months, but the hops still come off lively and energetic (although not sharp and pungent, as they probably once were). Fresh cut pine timber. I like it alot at about 45°F, because it keeps the malt in check; right now, it's providing a solid backdrop without getting in the way at all. The hops ride out the aftertaste for quite a spell, but never quite fade to sheer bitterness like many IPAs do; rather, the full flavor of the hops stays for the duration. Maybe some buiscuit malts?

This is a very fine 2xIPA, from a brewery that has yet to dissapoint me. I first had their beer in 1998, and have thoughly enjoyed the few I've had since then. CA would love it if there's enough to go around! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 02:03:26 | More by rayjay
Photo of jamie2dope
jamie2dope

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Big A IPA poured an extremely cool looking golden color....completely clear, with a small laced heading. Aroma was totally of juicy citrusy fruits...very tropical in nature. I would say I picked up on some pineapple and orange, but a definite hop smell in there too. Taste was syrupy sweet, with nectar notes, more fruit flavor, and a nice bitter hoppiness in the back. This beer seemed much lighter in body in appearance then it did once it met the palate. It's not nearly as harsh as many of the other DIPA's i've tried, but still pretty heavy either way. I wish I had picked up a few bombers of this beer, as it is damn drinkable, and really tasty at that. Smuttynose completely knows what it is doing in the India Pale Ale category. Their Finest Kind, and this are two of the best of their type in my opinion. Then again, I cannot ever recall a time where a Smuttynose beer let me down. A lovely warming treat for the cold weather...holds up in my book as one of the best Double IPA's on the market. Happy Trails

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2006 05:46:59 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of supercolter
supercolter

Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a very quality beer, definately my favorite DIPA, but maybe just a bit lighter than expected.
Appearance is decent, not a good deal of head or lacing, yellow-orange in color.
Smell is fantastic, floral hops and a sweeter citrus smell fill my nostrils with goodness.
Taste is very similar to the smell, but just a bit too light to drop a 5.
Mouthfeel is very good as well, but again just not quite syrupy enough for a 5.
Drinkability is excelent, especially for the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 18:54:45 | More by supercolter
Photo of Enola
Enola

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Purplehops

This beer is a little lighter than typical of a DIPA. It is a yellowish orange. There is a small head. The smell is citrusy. The taste is hoppy, of course. There is also a good amount of bitterness to go around. The mouthfeel is suprisingly smooth for such a big beer. The alcohol takes a back seat to the huge hop profile. There is a stickiness that is usually paired with hops. The drinkability is good. I bet it would be easy to get in a little trouble with this beer considering the ABV. Overall, pretty damn good.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 03:22:25 | More by Enola
Photo of EvilKeith
EvilKeith

Alabama

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

Big “A” IPA poured into the glass a chill hazed copper color. The head was thick off-white creamy lather-like foam. The lace was thick and meringue-like in appearance.
The smell was bright citrus and pine resin with a light buttery note and pineapple as it warmed.
The taste was sweet but acidic tangerine citrus, caramel malt, pine and hop oil, with an overt alcohol presence. There was significant hop bitterness and a pleasant dry finish. Balance is maintained with the hop bitterness allowing just enough of the malt sweetness to show through.
The body was medium-heavy and the mouthfeel came across as creamy. This is a pretty good DIPA. If not for the higher ABV this could certainly be a sessionable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 17:07:51 | More by EvilKeith
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
RedwoodGeorge

California

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep golden color with a thick white head, almost meringue like. Rather thick sheeting on the side of the glass - too heavy to call "lace"

Very floral nose, quite captivating. Herbal, green, floral, sweet hoppy notes are all in abundance. Far from overdone but really, really big aromas. Heck, you can smell it from across the room!

Very flavorful as well but the malt is a bit on the weak side... Strong hops as you'd expect with a very "East Coast" mix of floral and herbal notes. Some woody and grassy hop flavors as well. Not much malt flavoring to balance the hops - there's a generalized sweetness but nothing more complex.

Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation to liven up each sip. Slightly oily residue and moderate bitterness at the finish but not aggressive. No alcohol burn but a bit of alcohol vapor in the back of the nose with each sip.

All in all tasty and a really good presentation of hops. Flavorful but just a little bit one dimensional. High ABV makes it a bit less drinkable than "Finest Kind" but if you enjoy the IPA you'd certainly enjoy this...

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 02:45:37 | More by RedwoodGeorge
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

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

a - deep burnt orange color, very hazy, half-inch head with very little retention and a bit of lacing

s - piney hops dominate nose, but there is noticeable amounts of sweet maltiness and alcohol as well

t - sweet caramelly maltiness up front with a nice piney bitterness developing quickly, finish has some alcohol and lots of bitterness, pretty balanced

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, dry finish

d - somewhat drinkable, though the high abv and dry finish might limit me to one, maybe two, bombers

Nice DIPA, a truly big beer that is another good brew by folks at Smutty. With my limited access to Smuttynose here in NC though, for my money, I'll be drinking Finest Kind.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 01:41:22 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 ounce bottle, with a lovely colorful label exactly like that shown in the BA Database, sealed with a crown cap says “Make mine a Smutty”. No strength listed, nor a Best Before Date, but it does have a “Bottle Conditioned in 2006” in a yellow circle at the bottom of the label.

Appearance: Clouded grapefruit body with a hazed pineapple dimension. Dirty white head climbs the glass, sticky lacing coats the sides of the glass from where the dizzy heights of the frothy cap ceased to rise all the way down to the surface of this brew. Head slowly breaks but despite the random and partially broken nature of its looks it retains good coverage. Finely dissolved carbonation builds with a gentle swirl. It all looks damned good in my favorite 24 ounce handled Mug.

Nose: Pinching citrus, orange and grapefruit is rounded off with some mellow passion fruit and gentle, almost perfumed peach cum apricot soft fruit edge to deliver a very confident aroma overall. Fresh, punchy and a little in your face, but in a very respectful way.

Taste: Starts with a big malt entrance which has a cutting bitterness and a quick fleeting insight into the 9.2% alcohol. Soon the tangy grapefruit hops fill the middle with a bitterness that starts astringent but soon fleshes out with some peach and orange to lend a more tolerated profile. Has a natural balance that never feels manufactured, calculate or forced, moreover the sense of equilibrium between the mats and hops feels organic, though the hops certainly try hard to tip the scales in their favor.

Mouthfeel: Soft as peaches with some resinous fleshed out oranges that have a juicy nature. Nonetheless, this is a full bodied brew which portrays and projects itself extremely well.

Drinkability: Shockingly easy to forget how potent this one is. The cutting bitterness is lovable and even a little harsh at times, but in a good way. Not exactly clean on the palate but I wouldn’t expect that, the feel and bite from this is defined and it has a way of making you take the next sip sooner that you really want to. A gluttonous IPA.

Overall: Highly enjoyable, a well balanced, sharp biting brew that commands a respectful deference. Like a Grizzly Bear, it seems cuddly and lovable one moment but you know that it has the potential to get wild and kick your ass if you mistreat it.

This is one great brew to watch the 2nd Day of the First Ashes Test between Australia and England live from the Gabba…..this Big A IPA is a “Rippaah” too.

Raised to celebrate a Happy Birthday to Ian “Beefy” Botham, a young 51, and oh how England could do with some of his magic today.

A Big Ass Cheers for this magical brew Joe!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2006 05:05:20 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber bottle conditioned in 2006.
Poured into my nonic pint glass.

Appearance - Mildly cloudy golden orange with an inch of eggshell tinted foam. Minimal lacing on the glass with each sip.
Smell - Immediately hit with floral hops and malted grains. As it warms, I'm getting a strong nose of bitter citrus and peach.
Taste - First comes a bitter lemon hop flavor, followed by sweet tropical fruit, then the bitterness returns with some cirtus peel and malt in the passenger seat.
Mouthfeel - Medium in both body and carbonation. Lightly coats the tongue.
Drinkability - Hides it's alcohol pretty well. Not as balanced as DFH 90 Min. but still a really good DIPA. Grab a bottle if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 04:19:03 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of Donthoseme
Donthoseme

Alaska

4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite beers. Too bad it's 4 bucks a bottle (22oz). They don't call this a big beer for nothing. It's more malty than a normal IPA which is expected from a double it's also less carbonated (also expected). It pours a thinker gold and smells of some serious hops. The 10% acohol is balanced very well. If you have a chance to drink one of these it's worth every penny. Damn what a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 03:22:40 | More by Donthoseme
Photo of jameaterblues
jameaterblues

New York

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

Reviewed from notes...on tap at hop devil grill.
A-Bright Gold, with a 1/2 inch creamy head, and a think lace.
S- Sweet...honey...musky hops with a little floral and herbs(savory) coming through. Slightly fruity with peach and citrus both present.
T- Big hops with lots of citrus....slightly sweet with both peach, a little red fruit and a bit of honey or sugar.
M/D thick and syrupy with a very long finish.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2006 07:04:09 | More by jameaterblues
Smuttynose Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,485 ratings.