1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Ry(e)an AleSmuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

206 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 85
Gots: 31 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed exclusively for Julio's Liquors. This is an Imperial Red Rye Ale, aged in bourbon barrels hand-selected by Julio's Loch & Key Society.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 05-17-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 125 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by stonermouse:
Photo of stonermouse
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage. Poured into a goblet.

Very nice pour. Milk chocolate brown, with a bit of haze. Super, silky white head.

Aroma is all barrel and oak. I get a touch of citrus in the smell as well.

Taste is absolutely potent. Tons of a bourbon and booze, with a bit of fruitiness smoothing everything out. The finish is a bit rough, like a cheap scotch, but it suits these big flavors well.

Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Really nice finish.

This brew is fantastic if you can find it. I have a 2011 that I'm going to let ride another year or so. The 2010 was perfect right now.

stonermouse, Nov 25, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

megamass, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of Homebrew35
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours one and a half fingers worth of creamy off white head. Murky brown body. Good retention and nice retention.

Smells of caramel, toffee, vanilla, earthyness and some subtle spicyness. This is quite enticing. The burbon is more apparent as this warms, as well as some more tanic qualities. Quite a complex smelling beer for sure.

Tastes of big fairly sweet Carmel malts and vanilla. Burbon lends a deep flavor through the middle of the mouth. Some warmth is felt as this so gently slides down. A light bitterness mixed with the oakey tannins keeps this very balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy texture and slightly bitter and spicy finish.

Overall this is quite enjoyable. I'm glad this one sat for a few extra months than anticipated before consuming. I'll have no probleming sharing and finishing this one with my spouse.
$8 a bomber

Homebrew35, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is very nice. I get notes of alcohol, maple, oak, rye and vanilla. The maple seems to be the most dominant aroma. The flavor is maple, vanilla, bourbon, rye and oak. The bourbon and maple really come through in the flavor, but the beer is still very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very good.

Mora2000, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of far333
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed rusted ochre, semi-opaque, with a fluffy off-white head of foam that lingers long and sends sheets up the sides of the glass as I sip.

Aroma of sweetish malt and honey, vanilla and marshmallow, ripe fruit and a hint of bourbon.

Rich flavor of sweet malt, vanilla and woody oak, faint hint of smoke, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mild bitterness, subtle spice. Very complex, lots of flavors melding.

Rich and full and creamy mouthfeel, very satisfying, slight tannic and tingly finish. Tasty and drinkable beer, but a definite sipper.

far333, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade with BogleHill - thanks!

Pours a brownish-amber color with a 1.5-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark caramel malts with large amounts of bourbon - somewhat spicy booziness with hints of vanilla. Also present in small amounts is rye spiciness, which is more earthy than the spiciness from the bourbon.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Mildly sweet caramel malt flavors with solid amounts of earthy rye flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are large amounts of vanilla flavors from the barrels. The vanilla flavors fade out into a moderately bitter and somewhat boozy ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I was expecting more from this beer but the flavors from the barrel just didn't seem to be terribly well integrated. Rye beers and bourbon barrels are two of my favorite things but the jury is out on whether or not they're terribly complementary. Worth a shot now but if you have only one it will likely smooth out as it ages and I'd recommend allowing it some time.

glid02, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of pwoods
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to rpstevens for this in my Secret Santa package.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a RR wine glass. Shared with Kels.

A: Pours a murky orangish rusty brown. Moderate head on the pour, without much retention or lacing.

S: Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose and some tart fruitiness. Plenty of barrel as well. Sweet malts, not really smelling the rye.

T/M: Still a good bit of alcohol but not too hot. Alcohol has a bit of citrus like pungency. Lots of tart fruits... not so much barrel infection but I'm not sure where it would be coming from. More of the sweet malts with some deeper flavor and some of the rye coming out with light spiciness. Body is only about medium with mild carbonation.

D: 7.7% is surprisingly low considering all the very present alcohol. I would have guessed this at over 10%. Not the easiest drinker, especially since it's only 7.7%.

pwoods, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

acurtis, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of mdaschaf
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 11/20/10.

A: Pours a dark brown/copper color. One finger light tan head with moderate retention with some nice lacing, leaves a nice ring around the glass.

S: Nice vanilla aroma. The brown sugar and molasses are very strong from the barrels. There is a little bit of woody oak and caramel malts.

T: Nice dark fruit and the bourbon hit you upfront. The vanilla and rye blend together nicely in the midpalate. It is rounded out with some caramel malts.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. You can taste the alcohol a little bit, but in a good warming way. Overall, very nice, easier drinking than other similar beers I have had.

mdaschaf, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of alamode
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

alamode, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of asabreed
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first time at Julio's a few weeks ago after my wife and I were in driving back from Boston to New York, for some reason I had no idea this was a one-off, even though, if my memory serves me correctly, they had a special going at three bottles for around $20, and I think I bought this one for around $8. Anything with Smuttynose I haven't heard of means I'm in, and after my great experience at Julio's I'm now psyched to try this.

Bomber into a 12 oz. Samuel Smith nonic.

Appearance: A beautiful mildly hazy amber color with lots of tiny dark slowly-gurgling bubbles going toward the top of the glass. Each pour brings an insanely billowing head, leaving both thick raucous clumps of lacing coupled with slim and also monster raindrops. An extremely nicely-looking beer in all aspects.

Smell: Dominance from the bourbon aromas. Caramelized sugars, vanilla, mild wood, a bit of sourness and mild, mild funk. Also there's the spiciness from the rye, which lingers in the background, but as I'd hoped, the bourbon dominated.

Taste: Here you get more of the rye spiciness, but it's still the dominating bourbon characteristics that come through the most. Definite barrel sourness and earthy woodiness coming through, with lingering subtle burnt sugars and vanilla. Lingering bourbon with some sharp citrus spiciness from the rye and the hops, and they meld together nicely in the end.

Mouthfeel: From the ecstatically billowing head, I'd have guessed this would be creamier, but it still remains nice, despite all the sweetness from the rye and the bourbon going on. Seemingly a bit more than medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Really, 7.7%? The bourbon must be deceiving, as I'd guess more toward the 9% or above. Then again, the bourbon barrels can be deceiving, especially if you have a beer that's not a stout or BW going into the barrel. I'm glad I got a bottle of this, of course, and I wonder what some age would do. One thing's for sure: this brew's got balls and a lot of flavors going on. Age may do it some good, but if you like your bourbon brews with a little spring in their step, this is a good young one to try. A solid one-off with a great label, for a great place, by Smuttynose.

asabreed, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, served in a DFH oversized snifter

A - pours with almost half an inch of lightly frothy and bubbly tan colored foam. the beer is very dark brown/ruby in color and slightly hazy.

S - semi-sweet chocolate enters the nose first before a lightly spicy rye, some mild dark fruits, vanilla, and a subtle kiss of bourbon.

T - starts off with a cola like sweetness which lasts through most of the drink, rye seeds, vanilla, birch root, maple, and vanilla. the bourbon is just a nice compliment to everything else. very mild alcohol at the end along with

M - light bodied and very tight effervescent carbonation. finishes sticky sweet (but not cloying) with lingering birch, vanilla, and light bourbon aftertaste.

D - well, i liked it...fairly easy drinking. as mentioned the bourbon is very nice and subtle, and melds well with everything else. while being a bit subtle, the flavors dont really jump out at you...which may be a good thing.

Stigs, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Lazerlobe
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a full opaque garnet with a few fingers of head the color of aged paper.

S: Upfront with bourbon, oak, vanilla and a suggestion of candied fruits. Caramelized sugars and other sweets play in the back (pan fried cotton candy?). Reminiscent of Red Brick 15th Anniversary.

T: As with the nose, the bourbon is present but mellow. I respect the appropriate use of barrels. Some vanilla and weak tannins come out, with the burnt sugars following faithfully. The rye character is faint for me, bordering absent. It is too ephemeral to pin down but I recognize some of the grain flavor in the aftertaste after the other players have settled down.

M: The alcohol appears well masked with a nice amount of carbonation for an ale.

D: I'm really enjoying the balance but this is a little too sweet to want to finish the entire bomber. I'll do it anyway.

Lazerlobe, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks as always to ShogoKawada for this one - even if I weren't a fan of Julio's and their whiskey selection, how could I turn down my namesake beer?

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Spirit Sippers snifter.

Burnished rosewood liquid, dark enough that clarity is difficult to judge, though the body glows Carnelian and Venetian Red. A soapy head slowly recedes to a parchment-colored concave half-finger. Pasty, then sandy lacing, leaving arcs behind amidst parallel lines of tears.

Bourbon up-front in the nose: vanillin, coconut, faint tobacco, booze. Some fruit is suggested as well, but the bourbon overwhelms whatever else might be present.

Slightly tart triticale notes on the palate, along with alfalfa-like notes and a mild bitterness - a wave of barrel notes comes on next, suggesting everything noted in the aroma. Keeping the ABV down makes you focus on the beer as a whole rather than just the bourbon notes I think - well crafted. Dry grainy finish, though whiskey-like sweetness pervades the aftertaste.

Medium-light bodied, smooth yet crisp and almost salty.

Rich flavors but nothing overbearing - I'll miss this when it's gone; a shame it was a one-off. Another winner from Smuttynose.

augustgarage, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the awesome person that sent me this. I've been sitting on this bottle for a few months with the intention of sharing it, but it seems that the time is right and I'll keep it all to myself.

Pours garnet with a concentrations of bubbles in the middle of the glass. Pretty color, but not much else going on visually.

The nose is full of goodies here! Bourbon (and its usual contingent parts of vanilla and oak) leads the way followed by spices and a kiss of sweet.

Again, bourbon up front with vanilla and oak. Some sweet citrus (tangerines and oranges, tangelos specifically) and spice also play with rock candy, figs, and a hint of Granny Smith apples. Oh, my what a beer.

The mouthfeel is full and chewy. It fits nicely with the beer.

Overall, this is a very good brew. I wish I could have shared it, but I'm glad I get to enjoy it regardless.

RomaniIteDomum, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of hooliganlife
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a thick copper, hints or syrup and little to no head

straight smooth bourbon, soft vanilla, a bit of heat

hard to believe this is a rye ale, there really is no bite. very sweet and plenty of smooth bourbon. faint citrus hops, mostly in the finish.

mild to moderate carbonation, some bite in the finish along with some burn.

over all, a nice sipper. love that it is a great BA beer with a lower ABV. only flaw is the sweetness is a bit much. i would drink this again, very enjoyable.

hooliganlife, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of nickd717
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at a tasting by someone in the local BA group.

Pours a great clear dark reddish-brown color with an off-white head and good retention.

Aroma is rye, caramel, fruity notes, and mild bourbon.

Flavor is slightly sweet, caramel and toffee malt, rye, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. More oak than bourbon.

Palate is decent. Medium-bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Pretty good beer overall.

nickd717, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of russpowell
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from LarryG, cheers Larry!!

Pours an effervescent orange/chestnut with 4 fingers of mocha colored head. Crazy lacing & very good head retention

S: Brown bread & bourbon sourness once warm.

T: Brown bread, apricot, peppery rye & dryness up front, plus sour Bourbon notes. Richer bourbon notes, boozey apricots & figs, some caramel as this warms, plus rye crispness & dryness. Finishes spicy, crisp, boozey with nice bourbon notes, pretty dry & nice sour-wood honey notes...

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation, becomes warming over time

Great drinkability not as good as Rye on Rye, but on its heels

russpowell, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of FalconA
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

FalconA, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Kegatron, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of Kinsman
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lately I've been on a bit of a kick for both barrel aged beers and rye beers and since Smuttynose is already one of my favorite breweries, there was no way I would pass up the chance to try this beer.

Dark reddish copper hue with some ruby highlights and a creamy tan head, about 2-3 fingers thick and fades to leave a sticky looking lace around the glass.

Aroma is heavy on the vanilla/woody oak barrel and bourbon aroma which seems to mask a few of the other aromas. A bit of the bready rye character can be detected but the effects of the barrel appear to be too strong on the aroma.

Wow, first sip reveals much of the same sweet vanilla and brown sugar with bourbon character but it does not overwhelm the taste as much as it did the aroma. The bourbon seems to be sweet but not boozy. Much more room for the rye malts too come through with some of bittersweet spice to it. In the end, rye is there but the bourbon barrels do most of the work on your palate, and I have no problem with that. Still though, I'm curious as to what this rye beer tasted like before barrel aging, which would certainly help give a better understanding of the beer and its flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is smooth and really creamy, which is just about what I would expect for Smuttynose. Keeping the ABV down I think helps keep this from being a hot and boozy mess in your mouth.

Overall, I'm really loving this beer. What I don't like about this beer is that it is brewed exclusively for Julio's. Where's the love for your home state Smuttynose? I propose you brew this beer exclusively for sale in the state of New Hampshire and Julio's can go find a brewer in their own state to brew a beer for them.

Kinsman, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle. Got in trade with tai4ji2x and was excited to see this in the box!

A- Pours a darker chestnut color. Two finger light beige head shows medium retention and caps the beer nicely. Ringy lacing with light streaks on the sides of the glass.

S- Bourbon is really in this beer. Brown sugar and molasses also dominate toward the front with a nice dose of rye. Light vanilla notes fall in the background giving way to a nice oak aroma. Some light caramel malts with a touch of leather notes in the ending.

T- Bourbon is right in the forefront which I wasn't expecting. Good thing for me I like the taste of bourbon. This gives way to a darker fruit mixture that gets balanced out with some asky and vanilla tones. A nice spicey rye comes through in the backing with a hint of caramel malts and some light brown sugar. The alcohol in the ending to me comes in the form of light bourbon and is warming.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Bourbon, oak, and rye left on the palate with pretty much the same as far the aftertaste goes. Medium-heavy drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors are more bourbon than anything else even though the balance of the beer isn't too off otherwise. Clean flavors even with the bourbon bite to this beer.

D- This beer is good. If you like bourbon barreled beers then you will not be let down. The alcohol in this is right there pretty much the entire time but never really took over the overall flavor of the beer which was nice. I would like to get a couple more bottles of this beer when and if I could.

alleykatking, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of dfclav
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jlindros for this generous extra.

A - great 3 finger mocha colored head with outstanding retention.

S - tons of barrel aging. Very dark fruits, vanilla, and rich malts. Rye noticed on the backend. A strange addition of cocoa as well. Bourbon is noticed but is not overwhelming by any means.

T - oak and rye. The bourbon isn't apparent as I thought it would be but as the temperature warms it comes out more. A delicious backend kick of sweet dark fruits present themselves on the finish and hang around forever.

M - velvety and creamy smooth with very nice, prickly carbonation.

O - very well made barrel aged beer, definitely worth trying.

dfclav, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of dtx00
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

dtx00, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of trappistlover
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(22oz bomber acquired in a trade). Pours a hazy dark ruby/mahogany colorw ith thin tan head. Some nice, active carbonation. Aroma has some whiskey, green apple, ripe fruits, and some bourbon. Damn! This is a really tasty beer! Taste is sweet from the malts and the barrels. Again, the green apple and fruits and very visible which I didn’t think would be the case. Of course, there is the mix of rye whiskey and bourbon, but I think they work well together. The beer is fairly thin-bodied but the flavors have come together in a great way. This far surpassed my expectations.

trappistlover, Jun 29, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.