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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

1,526 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,526
Reviews: 875
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 89
Gots: 73 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,526 | Reviews: 875 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Big A IPA poured out of a growler purchased at the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room in Manhattan, NY.

Appearance: Classic Double IPA look, amber/orange color. Not hazy, though, slightly transparent and clean-looking. Perfect one-finger white frothy head, which remains for a while before dying and turning into a single white circle around the rim of the glass. Good retentiion and some thick, sporadic lacing.

Smell: Very citrus-y, lots of orange juice, cooked grapefruit. Fresh flowers and hops. A bit of cleaning product (pine aromas).

Taste: More of the same. Hops, citrus juices, pine-y flavors. A bit of hemp/medicinal marijuana. Very bitter and dry, you'll need some water to go with this. A touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation/medium body, almost full flavor. Dry finish, puckering hops.

Drkinkability: Not bad for 9.6%, but a little tiresome in its one-dimensionality. It is hops, hops and more hops, bitterness all around.

On tap/growler is better than in a bottle. Still, I would choose Smuttynose IPA.

DoubleSimcoe, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of OakedCanuck
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass, from notes

This beer pours a nice orange-amber colour with decent white head. Lots of bubbles. It smells very citrusy with oranges, grapefruit and lemon zest. You can tell by the smell this will be a juicy one. And sure enough, it is. Juicy citrus flavours of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and orange juice. Decent hop profile, however, I seem to get this soapy taste in it and I don't know why. The mouthfeel is chewy and drying but that soapy taste and aftertaste throws this one off a bit. An okay beer that I would try again in the future.

OakedCanuck, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orange copper like color with at least an inch of head. Bottle date is "May 2010" oh thats at least 7 months old! Hope it keeps well.

S - Very malty nose with slight citrus and grapefruit. Smells pretty good.

T - Wow its actually very enjoyable! Malts of bread-ness dominate yet balance slight bitter hops which come out kind of sweet with a sort of a citrus tang. It's like the exact opposite of the regular IPA which is piney, bitter, and forgettable. The finish isn't even that bitter but crisp. Very solid!

M - I expected more ABV burn but it's balanced and drinks like a medium bodied IPA. Very nice!

D - I may have to go back and get some more and will have to have it again fresh but it's so hard to believe how much better this is than the regular IPA. And it was even slightly older to boot! Very nice big beer offering!

DrDemento456, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks goes out to ubufan2112 for this 12oz bottle, into my DFH Signature Glass.

A: Cloudy copper orange color with a white head, about an inch or so that recedes to a cap of bubbles. Huge sticky spots of lacing. Quite turbid, but looks great.

S: Pretty malty for a DIPA, lots of sweet malt and a little bit of a citrus bite at the end. Surprisingly no alcohol on this, which is shocking for a nearly 10% beer. A little more hoppyness in the nose would help a ton.

T: Well the hops that were missing in the nose have shown up in spades in the mouth. Lots of resinous citrus and pine, excellent bitterness at the end. Not over the top juicy with the hops, but still pretty nice. Malts are quite sweet and balance out the huge hop profile, pretty even keeled. Just a hint of astringent booze at the end.

M: Definitely thick with medium to low carbonation, a little bit of warmth from the alcohol. Fairly sticky on the lips. Pretty nice.

D: Its a pretty big ass IPA, no doubt about that at all, pretty enjoyable but it isn't over the top. Not a bad beer by any means but it just doesn't have that wow power that some of the other DIPAs have. Glad to try it!

pokesbeerdude, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off tap at American Flatbread this beer was a slightly hazy, tangerine color with one finger of beige head. The retention of the creamy head was great and the lacing in curtains that slid into streaks. The aroma was of grapefruit, Chinook hops, pine, pale malt and a touch of must. The flavors were complex and delicious. I tasted orange, grapefruit and tangerine flavors all wrapped in a lot of caramel malt. I also tasted hints of pale malt, alcohol l heat and some herbal/root-like elements The finish was quite bitter and piney which with the caramel had a resinous effect on my palate. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body full and the carbonation light. I thought this one was very drinkable for 9.6% and balanced. But I could also see how the strong caramel/citrus elements could be off-putting to some people. Worth a shot!

thekevlarkid, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle that was part of a four pack. drank out of my sierra nevada hop tulip glass. this is a brewery that just moved into my area.

A- this one pours out a glowing golden colored body with a tall bright white head on top. the head has above average retention and leaves behind moderately large rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i pick up on in the nose is hops. lots of hops. strong grapefruit and pine with a lesser amount of orange zest. theres a little bit of sweet caramel malt that tries (and fails) to add some balance to this.

T- the sweet caramel malts i could smell start this one out. the come through faintly compared to the massive amount of hops that follow it. tons of pine and grapefruit. theres also a little bit of orange peel. unbalanced and awesome.

M- medium bodied, bordering on full. nicely bitter. the alcohol is well hidden. this leaves my mouth feeling very dry.

D- easy to finish. i dont think that this DIPA gets the attention it deserves. a little pricey at $11.99 for a four pack, but this is still something that i can see myself drinking regularly. check it out.

jwinship83, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of OnThenIn
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: - finger of slightly off white head. A copper orange bod my that is hazy but looks good.

S: Straight up citrus and tropical fruits. I smell oranges and pineapples in this beer. I can dig it.

T: begins with a mix of citrus and caramel and some bitterness becomes evident. There is a lingering bitterness as well as Russian sugar. Well balanced overall.

M: carbonation is very present, but slightly lower than I would like with a medium body.

D: Very drinkable and a pleasure to check out. Good but not impressive. I really would consider picking this up once in a while.

OnThenIn, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of birchstick
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - pours an orangeish yellow with a big, froathy head

S - smells of delicious grapefruit and pineapple hops

T - the taste is not as sweet as the nose. Caramel malts are firsr on the palate. The malts are quickly pushed aside by a barrage of citrusy and pine hops, which are followed by a ton of bitterness. As it warms, the bitterness fades and caramel malt and sweetness shines.

M - big, creamy mouthfeel, pretty solid

D - pretty solid DIPA here. At first I found it way too bitter, but as it warmed it became a very enjoyable brew. Another smutty that impressed me.

birchstick, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of Blakaeris
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber-bronze with a dense creamy white head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is bready caramel malt. Resinous pine and citrus hop. Subdued dry musty quality.

Taste is sweet bready malt up front. Piney citrus hop bitterness comes on strong, coating the tongue. Citrus fruit - notably apricot and grapefruit. Finishes with alcohol warmth and a metallic sting.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with some hop oil residue.

Worth a try. Hops come on strong and raw.

Blakaeris, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of bashiba
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clean copper color with a thick and creamy head.

The smell had a nice cirusy hop with a big malty backbone.

Very bitter right up front, slowly the caramel malt creeps in through the hop onslaught. Loads of citrus and juniper hop flavor and tons of bitterness.

The mouthfeel is very thick and resiny.

A hop lovers delight. Very citrusy and hopy, a bit onesided, but still good.

bashiba, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of Shaw
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I remember reading that this beer rated highly when reviewed in the New York Times.

Pours almost orange with a huge pillow-like head.

Mild hoppy aroma. I'm surprised it's not stronger.

Very bitter and hoppy but with a big malt backbone and a warming alcohol burn.

Slick and glassy body.

Overall this is a nice big IPA.

Shaw, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of uustal
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale orange with a nice frothy white head. Good lacing and retention. Very nice aroma. Big whiff of tropical fruits, grapefruit and orange. Taste starts off with a small sampling of the aroma. Sweet tropical fruit and grapefruit, but the flavor is quickly overpowered by dry, dominating pine hops which linger after the finish.

uustal, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly I've never reviewed this one before.

A nice decent fluffy 1.5 finger head fades slowly with a nice lacing, over hazy golden orange bright colored beer.

Nose has lots of fresh hops, some citrus, a little spicy hops, touch of tangerine, and some light sweet malts. PLenty of fruits as well, and just a hint of booze.

Taste brings some fresh hops, a bit of fruity citrus hops, some light spicy hops and a bit of earthy hop flavors. Fairly bitter, but not overpowering. Plenty of fruits, tangerine, hint of apple, and more. Fairly bitter and spicy, a bit of herbal hops as well, and the booze starts to get a little warming. Some sweet malts add a strong malty base too. Finishes a bit drier but not much, a long bitter hoppy finish with a hint of booze late.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation, and bit of warming booze.

Drink is decent, but the bitterness gets a little heavy, with spicy and warming booze, and some malty sweetness to balance it all.

jlindros, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of bishopdc0
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

bishopdc0, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of jsh420
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

best by sept. 2011

pours hazy golden orange with a 2 finger head that left some lacing

smell - big grapefruit pineapple pine and a touch of booze

taste is a tad too sweet with the malts but it needs those malts the hops are huge bitter (almost salty resin from those hops) pine citrus

mouthfeel is on the heavy side with ow carbonation

drinkability was some what of a struggle but then again maybe i should have started my night with this beer because it sure as hell ended it

jsh420, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of StevenBilodeau
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an excellent representation of an American Double IPA/Imperial IPA. This is so grassy, hoppy and decadent...

Not like a regular beer, this brew should be consumed by the few whom can enjoy the hoppy goodness.

The aroma is strong, fierce, zesty, and bitter.

The head is foamy and white.

The flavor is explosive, and fulfills the bitterness your palate is in need of. Citrus zest, tangy hop bitterness, and mellow carbonation makes this brew one should seek out!

StevenBilodeau, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of Vonerichs
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy pale orange body with a heafty head. Not a lot of lacing.

Fresh and juicy aromas of pineapple, orange, and grapefruit with a little bit of pine.

Nice and bitter with citrus hops and pine. Slightly sweet, in a fruity way.

Sticky and clean mouthfeel with light carbonation.

Slightly hot, but otherwise a damn good DIPA that I'll be frequenting now it's distributed in IL.

Vonerichs, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of Franz4
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- unfiltered, cloudy peach/golden color. Nice head that sticks to sides of glass.

S- Pine, earthy, and citrus combine on the nose, very subtle throughout, almost like it's missing something.

T- pine hops balanced with a sweet grapefruit flavor. Ends with a bitter grapefruit aftertaste.

M- no evident carbonation in glass, but on the tongue it really comes to life. Aftertaste stays around in a strong way.

D- Feel really brought this one down, as the taste brings a nice balance, even with the aftertaste. definitely worth a try though

Franz4, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of slonsk
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice head. There is very little aroma that I was able to pull in. Creamy and smooth going down. Little bit of a bitter aftertaste. I like a lot of hops and bitterness, but the end is a bit too bitter. Overall, not a bad beer, but not the best IPA I've had for sure

slonsk, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of titosupertramp
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying thanks to DIM.

A: Hazy orange. Looks like it's unfiltered.

S: Sweet with citrus notes.

T: Starts sweet and gets bitter and dry really quick. Pretty nice grapefruit, citrus flavors.

M: Very dry, good carbonation..a little alcohol burn.

D: At 9.6%ABV and as dry as it is, this beer is pretty drinkable.

This is a good beer and I'm certainly glad I tried it.

titosupertramp, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. single from Before You Go...

Into a Duvel tulip the color glows slightly darker than pure saturated orange, getting into tequila sunset territory. Frothy, long lasting foam, that settles to an overall skim across the top. Spotty crescent of lace on the opposite side of the glass.

Citrusy sweet grapefruit rind aroma. Pungent and clean.

Full bodied, resinous hops, stumbles just a bit from it's enormity. Tangy grapefruit, raw orange peel, minty spruce. Bready malt is underneath, just a bit. Dry aftertaste of citrus bitterness. Feels pretty big, which relegates it to being a sipper. Not bad, glad it comes in 12 oz. servings.

emerge077, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of thedoubler55
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very mixed feelings on this beer, the look was very orangey with a slight tint of brown. The smell was that of oranges and apricots all mixed together. The taste of the beer was very bitter with a harsh aftertaste. This was definitely a reason I did not truly love this beer. The mouthfeel went together with the taste for me, because of the bitterness I was not able to completely enjoy this IPA.

thedoubler55, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a murky amber with lots of sediment. Medium sized head with lots of lacing. Aromas of hops, orange and maybe a bit of apricot. Taste is a big wallop of hops upfront and then some orange. Big bitter aftertaste as well. ABV is hidden pretty well. Pretty good Imperial with a big bitter taste. Worth picking up.

PicoPapa, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of rapidsequence
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle-- I thought all the Big Beer Series beers were big bottles.

Appearance: Pretty hazy orange. Small head, little lacing.

Smell: Fruity hops. Smells like Tang. Also apricot and peach. Some caramelly malt too. One of the fruitiest IPAs I've smelled in a while-- can it be too fruity? Maybe.

Taste: There's quite a bit of bitterness. This is not one of those fruity and malty sweet IPAs. It actually ends up pretty bitter and dry. Bitter citrus, a little sweet malt, then dry and bitter. Alcohol is pretty prominent also.

Mouthfeel: Nothing wrong with the carbonation. Feels good at first, but it it tongue stripping and too dry on the finish. Overall, the body is medium to full. Did I mention the dry finish?

Drinkability: I thought this was going to be one of those DIPAs that showcases hops flavor over bitterness, but is just ends up too bitter. Its OK.

rapidsequence, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of rka758
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

August 2010 bottling poured into tulip glass.
Think I paid roughly $3 per

A: Poured a deep orange color with plenty of life. A consistent 1 finger head.
S: Heavy citrus smells coming from this...grapefruit, orange
T: A nice and balanced hoppiness with a grapefruit finish. Not harsh on the tongue.
M: Really nice. Hits all the right spots with a good body.
D: This is tasty, wow...I just saw the ABV (9.6). For a beer at this level I think they do a great job.
This is my first Smuttynose offering. I thought that it was really quite nice. It is approaching midnight as I drink this; I think that this is the perfect type beer for a brisk fall/winter day with a nice cool breeze coming through the windows -- can't wait for Sunday football.

rka758, Nov 16, 2010
Smuttynose Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,526 ratings.