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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.
very good

1,575 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,575
Reviews: 877
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 92
Gots: 92 | 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)
View: Beers (52) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,575 | Reviews: 877 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jtw5877
4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice orange hue with a nice white fluffy head. The aroma is a magnificent testimony to hoppy goodness. The hopiness stays there all the way through to the aftertaste. Enough malt to back things up but this is a hop lovers beer all the way. I'd recommend this to anybody who likes IPA's IIPA's or hoppy Barleywines. Truely an exceptional beer.

Photo of Southernbrew
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange with a big, bubbly head.

Tons of hops in the nose. Spicy hops blend with sugary sweetness and a pineapple-like aroma, strange.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Big spicy hops up front along with a light alcohol flavor. The middle becomes slightly sweet then finishes up with plenty of bitterness. A fine Double IPA, not my favorite, but a nice change of pace from the pine bombs I've been drinking. I will say the alcohol is not quite hidden enough.

Thanks to Nickbagofdonuts for bringing this back for me.

Photo of Skidz
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ppoitras for this big guy.

Pours out solid gold and sits a deep orange-brown, copper amber in the glass with a large, light tan head with plenty of big lacings.

Smells rich and malty with a little dose of alcoholic sweetness under the nose. Nice hop backing, mild citrus-like aromas of tangerines and oranges. Some herbal qualities.

Tastes bitter and laced with alcohol from the get-go. Malts are subdued underneath the deep, penetrating bitterness and the spicy hop flavors. Quite peppery and pakced with toasted flavors. Alcohol roams freely throughout, finish contains the same bitterness seen from the start and leaves you with a taste of piney hops and more alcohol.

Crisp and mellow in the mouth with good working carbonation in a medium-full body. Works well for the beer, nice to handle.

I got pretty tired of the bland hop flavors and kick-you-in-the-ass alcoholic presence pretty fast. Not a bad beer by any means, and it's still quite enjoyable, but nothing to drink that often, or much of.

Photo of mntlover
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored brew with a nice off-white head that leaves light lacing. Aroma is sweet floral hops with some citrus peaking thru on top light sweet malt background. Almost as nice as a bouquet of flowers. Taste is sweet floral hops and malt to start and linger a while then a citrusy grapefruit flavor kicks in and leaves a nice lingering bitter finish. This I2PA is close to Barley wine status in taste, it is good. Mouthfeel is good smooth creamy almost on the right side of medium. Drinkability is good real good I would say a nice I2PA sweet and bitter very nice.

Photo of Crosling
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Orange.

Sibrant, citrusy aroma of grapefruit, dripping pine needle and also some nice floral and grassy hops, almost English in a way.

Phenomenal, sugary deep biscuit and caramel malt flavor along with hints of mainly English tasting hops; pine and grapefruit. Fantastic and unique. I loved this.

Photo of winomark
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper with a thick, light tan head. Lovely deep hop aromas, similar to Ruination. Smells great. Wonderful palate. Hoppy, slightly thick, and very tasty. A great double IPA. Rich mouthfeel, coating nad very flavorful. A really great beer. Balanced, hoppy, and flavorful. Something I would like to have around on a regular basis. Highly recommended.

Photo of garthwaite
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy light orangish-copper with a big bubbly and long lasting white head - very attractive brew. Hoppy and sweet aroma with grapefruit, lemon citrus, pine, and some doughiness. Initial hit of citrusy hops overcome by a wave of sweetness. Relatively strong alcohol presence and unrelenting candied sweetness throughout deduct royally from the fairly complex hop profile which becomes more piney and resinous as it warms. Moderately bitter for the style and medium bodied. Finishes with grapefruit, toasted malt, & sweet alcohol. Marginal.

Photo of Hibernator
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this out of a 22 oz brown bottle and served in a pint glass. I paid $3.49. The label shows the boxer Stash Wojciechowski on the front. This beer is part of the Smuttynose Big Beer Series. I was unable to find a freshness date.

Hazy orange in appearance with an excellent head that sticks.

Smells floral and slightly fruity.

Taste combines a fruity twang and a sharp hop bitterness on the finish. Medium, juicy body with a floral presense. This beer became better as it warmed up a little bit.

Good American double IPA that showcases some great hops.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy offwhite head. The aroma is good. It has an intense citrus hop aroma which is overlayed on top of a nice malt base. It has pale and light crystal malt scents. The taste is good. It has a rich malty core and a very bitter hop flavor that's piney and intense. It goes down easy and finishes smooth and full of hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine imperial ipa. It's not as good as Stone's Ruination IPA, but few are. Still, this drinks well.

Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber body was slightly cloudy, and was topped with a two inch tall foamy head that was well retained and left a ton of lace. The carbonation was medium, and the slow upward ascent of the bubbles gave a good idea as to the thickness of the body. The aroma was zesty and piney hops that were backed by some fruity malt with apricot, and apple fragrance. The taste was quite soft up front, and the malt was much more evident here in a caramel texture. There was a fair bit of diacetyl, but it was appropriate for the style, and served more as an enhancement, than a flaw. The hops hit mid palette en force with a citric tanginess, until the malt made a brief sweet reappearance. The hops took over once again in the lingering peppery aftertaste. The alcohol was only an afterthought in the flavor department. Thanks ppoitras for this grand bomber from the granite state.

Photo of kfoss99
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance – Amber-bronze body with a large fluffy off-white head and plenty of tiny bubbles. A nice lace is left on the glass.

Smell – Sweet and hoppy, it lets you know it’s and IPA.

Taste – Very little balance when cold. Hops are noticeable, but lack a good bite. As it warmed a mild sweetness balanced out the hops.

Mouthfeel – Initially smooth, but finishes with a roughness that’s creeps up from the throat to the back of the mouth.

Drinkability – A disappointment, mouthfeel is too rough for my liking. IMO, mouthfeel is as important as taste, and the taste does little to make up for the deficiency.

Photo of wbickerton
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Fat Heads. Medium-amber color that is clear with good effervescence. Small, creamy, off-white head that is mostly lasting. Good lacing. Aroma is very hoppy. Spicy flavor with a smoky aftertaste. Longer than average finish. Palate is medium body, semi-dry texture with a medium astringent finish.

Photo of meathookjones
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting looking 22oz bomber with some old time boxer I have not heard of on the front of the label. This pours out a deep orange with a red tint to it that has an overflowing tall rocky white head of foam. The head collapses down to a mountain like landscape and leaves huge chunks of lace on the glass in doing so. This brew is picture perfect in every sense of the word. The nose is filled with floral and citric hoppy goodness and a touch of malty sweetness, a bit weaker than expected overall. Bitterness strikes first in front of the taste before being soothed by slightly sweet caramel malt. The after taste is bittersweet and a bit dry, overall this is a little more balanced than you would expect a DIPA to be but it’s a good overall flavor. The body is a little thinner than typical but the mouth is definitely creamy and goes down smoothly. Drinkability is good, as I could go through a few of these in a sitting. Good overall beer and a more balanced DIPA than you typical fare.

Photo of pezoids
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 ounce bomber this poured out with a considerable amount of murk and chunk. A thin film of a head topped the beer off. Orange amber in color and full of floating particulates. Hmmm… Is this supposed to be like this? It has been in the fridge for a few months. Am I talking to myself?

The aroma is very appealing. Sweet hoppy fruit notes, strawberry licorice, apricot nectar. Very nice. Taste is bold and bittersweet. Nice balance. Heavy malt is kept in check by the bitter hops, and prominently grapefruit rinds. Flavors up and becomes increasingly bitter as the beer warms. Overall, this is an enjoyable IPA. Nicely balanced, maybe a bit rough around the edges, but the overall flavor makes up for that.

Photo of Fish113d
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale poured a beautiful honey/ copper color w/ a good inch of head. It soon dissipated to about a 1/4 inch left, and left some nice lacing on the glass. Smelling, I could get a good sweet hoppy scent from this brew w/ some hints of some fruit (grapes maybe) in there somewhere....

Tasting, I got a nice carbonation on the front that tickles my tongue. This beer becomes incredibly smooth as the hops begin to take over. However, like a good hoppy beer does, the sugar comes through w/ it making it very tasty. Mouthfeel is terrific w/ some good alcohol warming in my belly. Loving this treasure...good lookin out Sullydaddy!!!

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber purchased at Joe Canals NJ.

Hazy dark copper color with a fluffy white head. Very good lacing that clung in rings around my glass with each sip.

The smell is quite earthy. A lot of oily pine and grapefruit notes. Hmmm....I think this may be hoppy...

Oh boy, that was an understatement! Grapefruit, pine, oily hoppy resins are abound. Where is the malt in this beer? IMO not very balanced, but for a hop head like me seeking to have his lips curled back this is it. Different from a lot of double IPA's I've had in that there is little to no sweetness to be found here. Just earthy, herbal oily hops.

Mouthfeel was biting. Very dry.

I had to cork this bomber and let it sit after my first glass. High abv and pure bitterness curbed the drinkability of this IPA. Although after it warmed a bit it became a bit more complex, and a bit sweeter to the taste.

I would buy this again in a heartbeat, but alas, my store is out. Grab some if you can.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Miraculously on tap at The Drafting Room in Springhouse, PA. Amen! Hazy, cloudy, golden peach hued pint with antique white cakelike head, followed by tons of lace coating.

Tons and tons of sweet hops. Amarillo, perhaps? Pine resins abound. Warrior hops? Spicey grapefruit peel and orange mixed fruit tastes. Bone dry cut grass aftertaste.

Acidic feel and sizzle is quite prevalent. Medium bodied.

Last swigs: Active yeasts? This is a bewildering, excellent American IPA that later turns out to be a 2IPA. Excellent nose. Reminds me of a local favorite Yards IPA. Seek this beer.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of sideshowrob
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a wonderful bronze color, beer seemed to be glowing from inner beauty. Good floral notes and lots of hops present. Taste was pretty complex - a subtle malt note on initial taste followed by ever-more hops as the sip went on. Hops taste iteslf was pretty unified. Complex character. Really good mouthfeel, and a very drinkable big beer, though you were aware of it's power from the first sip. To me, this is one of those beers that stradles the line between a super-hoppy barley wine and a malty double-IPA. Avery Hog Heaven is kinda similar.

Photo of mschofield
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange-gold, topped with a two finger head. Well carbonated with abundant streams of tiny bubbles. Leaves wide rings of lacing - were thick and puffy.
Very robust floral and citric aroma, wood and lemon zest notes.
Bit of a harsh taste, wood, oily, citrus, floral, leather and citrus zest, not much malt showing through.
Medium-full bodied. It's good but it would be tough to drink more than a couple.

Photo of Godspeed
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance is glowing amber orange topped with a large frothy off-white head. a very attractive looking beer I must add. aroma consists mainly of citrus with faint floral and pine notes. sweet malty flavor is overpowered by a massive grapefruit hop bitterness, the latter of which maintains its presence for the aftertaste. the 8% abv is barely noticable in this brew. quite drinkable for an imperial IPA, and I'm left wishing I had bought more than a 22 ounce bomber.

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. This is a wonderful IPA. I'm enjoying part two of the 22 oz. bottle as I type.

Appearance: Poured a 3 finger, light tan, extremely dense head which seemed to stick around almost to the end of the glass. Its color was a slightly cloudy light amber/copper.

Smell: Beautiful hoppy aroma. Hints of citrus (orange) and flowers.

Taste: At first, the hops are in full-effect, then notes of spice and pepper... the more you drink though, the more a sweet caramel malt taste becomes prevalent. Just after you swallow, the bitter hops and sweet malts do battle atop your tongue, with the hoppy bitterness winning out ever so slightly. The higher ABV is masked very well but there is definitely a very slight, happy warming feeling toward the end of each sip. It really came to life as it warmed.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, very smooth, a good deal of carbonation.

Drinkability: At first I thought this was very drinkable and then about halfway through the bottle, I felt the alcohol catching up to me. Having said that, I think I just blasted over that plateau and I'm feeling that this is very drinkable again. This is just great.

Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle pours a clear, amber body underneath an impressive, three finger, billowy, ivory head. Active carbonation abounds, with hundreds of small bubbles rising from the bottom. Generous patches of lace adorn the glass.

This has a lovely, sweet aroma of floral and fruity hops. Honeysuckle, grapefruit, and orange blossoms provide a delicate hops bouquet.

Mouthfeel is amply carbonated in this medium bodied double IPA.

The hops are much more dominant on the palate. Grapefruit rind fronts an aggressive hops profile here. Sweet, caramel malt notes are present underneath, but this ale is all about the hops. The abv is disguised very well. The finish is citrus rind bitter, with a hint of floral sweetness.

This Smuttynose is a "Hop Monster", but is very subtle in the way it allows the abv to sneak up on you. Nice complexity and excellent drinkability. Another fine "Big Beer" series ale from this New Hampshire brewery.

Photo of ybnorml
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has a cloudy golden yellow color with a creamy off white headand little bit of lacing going on. Very distinct hop aroma that is both floral and sweet ( grapefruity ). The flavor is a hop and malt battle for your tongue. At first the hops grapfruit bitterness grabs your taste buds. Then a malty sweetness dances lightly all over your tongue. leaving the finish to a smooth hoppy ending. I got my first taste of this beer at the HopHead Throwdown. Which compelled me to review this in a bottle. A fine IPA in my opinion.

Edit: 7/11/05 This years version is even better. Its like there are peppery hops and floral hop fighting for your (poor beatup) tastebuds.
My cahne for this is both appearance and smell up from 3.5 App and 4.0 Sme

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Anam Cara for Hophead Throwdown

Glowing apricot, with a half inch of dense white head. Faintly fruity scent (I'll have to check this again when I'm not surrounded by a floor covered with hops). Wonderful creamy mouthfeel filled with fruity, nutty malts, a complex of vanilla, hazelnut, and orange juice. Strong buzzy hops with long, long apricot finish and slowly emerging grassy notes.

Nice, nice, nice. Takes the whole premise of high IBU's and runs away with it.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer arrived on the bar a clear pale golden with a white long lasting head which laced the glass.

The aroma was cirty with a malt presence.

The flavor was malty with muted hop presence (English?) and a nice bittering balance.

The finish was dry with hop presence and the body was medium.

On tap at CAH Innsbrook.

Smuttynose Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,575 ratings.