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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Noonan Black IPASmuttynose Noonan Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

76 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 76
Hads: 388
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 5
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerNinja007 on 02-27-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 76 | Hads: 388
Photo of brother_rebus
2.54/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

So thin. No foreward taste of much. It all kinda blends. I do like the carbonation of it though- it's kinda like Sri Lanka: not as latent as a stout or porter, still stays in touch with India.

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Photo of jwc215
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black. A creamy light brown head lasts. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, coffee, pine, herbal notes.

The taste is of chocolate, roasted coffee with a bitter hop finish.

Smooth medium-to-full body.

Hop-forward, but balanced by firm, rich dark malt. Flavors blend well!

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Photo of Tone
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a black color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of yeast, and a hint of oatmeal. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of yeast, and a hint of oatmeal. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and body, but nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours almost bible black with a long lived frothy head.
There's plenty of hops bitterness with an underlying toasted malt hint.
The flavor stance is vibrant on the palate with what I would expect from an IPA.
There's a long finish but I wish the entire mouthfeel and flavor cross-section had "more of". Nevertheless I found this beer as an interesting and enjoyable IPA.
Certainly worth your "beer-time" on a bottle or two.

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Photo of MisterE
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

12 ounce bottle with “best by” date of 08/05/14 and ABV 6.2% printed on the glass

A: poured gently into a tall snifter - deep dark brown with considerable sediment in the bottom and a powerful foamy head that keeps building for several minutes after the pour - excellent lacing

S: dark roasted malt but dominated by grassy and piney hops - stronger as it warms up

T: excellent example of the style - hops are present throughout, but muted by the dark, almost burnt flavor of toasted grains - so little sweetness that I expected to read there was coffee in the mash

M: medium body with moderate carbonation - smooth and very dry

O: glad to have tried this one and would buy it again, but unlikely to become one of my go to beers

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: deep brown; 1 finger tan head that receded slowly to a thick ring around the edge of the glass; nice lacing;

S: roasted malt; coffee;

T: coffee ice cream; piney hops show through at mid-palate; finish is moderately bitter with coffee and pine before the swallow and espresso after;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; long, dry finish;

O: complex flavors; I was happy that the hop flavor came through - doesn't seem to happen a lot with this style;

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass; best before 7/23/2014, 6.2%. Pours moderately murky nearly opaque dark brown color with a 2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, orange peel, pine, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, grapefruit, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, coffee, grapefruit, orange peel, pine, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and citrus/pine hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and fairly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice malt driven black IPA. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and citrus/pine hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger light brown head that leaves some lacing.

S-Roasted malt, nice earthy notes, slight citrus and mild coffee.

T-Rather malty, too much, but as it warms more coffee comes through along with dirt, pine and grass.

M-Light to medium bodied, not as creamy as I was expecting.

O-Although still within the best by date it was too malty, maybe fresh the beer would better. Then again it could just be too malty.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Once upon a time, I was taken to task by another user on this site for name-dropping. Tough bananas, pal, since people now name-drop ME! My point being that I was very fortunate to meet Greg Noonan following the Vermont Brewers' Festival in 2004 and so I raise my glass as a toast to him. It is my hope that he will save me a seat at the bar alongside of him.

Unquestionably, this is one of my least favorite beers styles, and do not expect any quarter just because a beer luminary's visage and name grace the label. I just want to be up front about this.

My pour went off without a hitch and the resulting pseudo-cascade was a pleasure to watch. It settled into a finger of dense, light-tan/mocha-colored head with great retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44) and I have to ask if anyone really registers any beer as "black". Although it was dense enough to prevent any light penetration in the glass, I could see what it looked like during the pour. Nose had the dark, deep-roasted, burnt/smoky scent that I dislike in this style. I got a faint grassy mintiness from the hops, but the malts were getting in the way. Bah! Let nothing stand between a hophead and tasting his/her hops. Mouthfeel was dense, thick, especially for an IPA of any stripe. Nice. The taste, however, was a different story, or better put, it was more of the same. Man, I just cannot get past the roasty malt characteristic that defines this style. I kept tasting charcoal and not in what I would define as a pleasant way. Finish was dry, smoky, almost stout-like, but where were the hops? I weep for the hops that go into these recipes as they have given their all for naught. Nice lacing, by the way. Next!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says Best By 08/06/14.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 3/4 inch dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind. There are also little clumps of sediment resting at the bottom of the glass.

S- Roasty upfront with tones of chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Mild hops round things out nicely.

T- Yeah, I feel like the hops have faded quite a bit since this is basically tasting like a slightly hopped up heavy porter. Still very good with some nice dark roast plus some more chocolate and coffee but the bitterness is only really in the aftertaste and there's little hop flavor otherwise. Alcohol is decently well hidden.

M- Quite viscous with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Pretty good, just wish I had gotten to it when it was fresher. Even so, I feel like even at its freshest, it still wouldn't be a match for Durty.

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Photo of Jchicks
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I don't think Smutty makes a bad beer. I've been brewing for over 15 years and I struggle to produce a beer like this. Nice hop character, great lasting dark (cholocate?) malt flavor. This is top notch stuff...and at 5.7 ABV you can have a couple and enjoy them without walking head first into the TV getting up to take a leak at halftime/end of quarter/end of peroid. If you like flavor and well crafted beer grab some of this and enjoy!

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Photo of zac16125
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass
no bottling dates

A: Pours an opaque black with lots of light brown sedimentation suspended in the glass. 2.5 fingers width of light tan head has good retention before dissipating down to thick film that hands around for the remainder of the drink and leaves tons of lacing.

S: Citrus rind and resinous pine. Roasted malts and cream. This one is heavier on the hop notes than some of the style, which IMO is how the style meant to be.

T: Follows the nose. Hops are the most prominent component with piney bitterness and bitter citrus rind. Roasted flavors and cream are present but subtle.

M/D: Full bodied, appropriate carbonation, a bit drying on the finish, drinkability is average.

O: When this style first began hitting the shelves I loved it, but as more and more examples of the style came out I found myself shying away from them because they usually were underwhelming. This one is an exception. The big hop characters with only subtle "dark" flavors is IMO how the style should be done.

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Photo of Act25
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this brewer, and I find this beer is under-rated on BA compared to my 4.0 experience of it.

A: Starts out with a perfect black pour with an ample, lasting tan head that loads the glass with persistent lacing
S: Balanced hop aroma, more malt than hops. Cocoa, coffee, grass, and roast aromas. Outdoorsy.

T: Rich, velvety malt is layered with grassy hops, bitters, coffee, cocoa and pine. Very complex, rich, layered, inviting, definitely a meditation beer. Tingly bitter, nice feeling. Very dry and long finish. Great.

MF: Chaulky and creamy at once, drying, long finish leaves you almost puckered.

The best black IPA I have every enjoyed. Must try esp if you like em dry.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bbd 8/13/14) into a pint glass, dark brown almost black with a large thick tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: black patent malt, dark and toasty, coffee, only light hops

T: bitter burnt flavors up front coupled with substantial hop bitterness, flavor stays bitter throughout, coffee, pine resin hops, espresso

M: medium with higher carbonation

O: quite bitter overall with little malt sweetness, focus is on heavily roasted malt

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a more or less opaque black with a thick khaki head.

S: Aromas of coffee, roasted grain, dark chocolate, herbs, bitter orange, lemon, lime, pine, and cedar quickly reveal themselves on the nose.

T: Notes of lemon rind, bitter orange, grapefruit pith, lime, kumquats, cedar, pine, herbs, roasted grain, leather, dark chocolate, burnt toast, and coffee coat the palate. The finish is bitter and citrusy with a combination of roasted grain, leather, burnt toast, coffee, lemon rind, pine, cedar, and grapefruit pith notes.

M: Medium in body and oilier than I would expect a beer of this style to be. Carbonation is firm. Very smooth and easy to drink.

O: A nice, easy drinking American black ale. It is not the most refined example of the style in the world, but it is still unique and very much worthwhile.

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Photo of Billolick
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best before 06/04/14 noted on the label

Pours black, dark khaki head, lasting nicely, leaves a nice looking tiny bubble film, thicker collar, and areas of high sheeting , bits and strands of fine lacing.

Dark chocolate, pine, grapefruit on the nose.

Full flavor BIPA, more dark chocolate, dark grains, and bitter, citric hops sealing the deal.

Fresh tasting and well crafted tribute to a true Vermont craft beer pioneer

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Photo of farrago
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a big, frothy brown head, close to three fingers as it crests, full-on mix of bubble sizes, from huge to tiny, dimpled all over, the lacing is thin but forms broad sheets which cover close to half the available glass space. Black liquid yet has a shiny brightness to it, this in spite of the chunky floaties inside the glass, hard to visually gauge the carbonation, shifts to a yellow hue along the rims. The nose is sweetly roasty, oodles of chocolate, coffee, hard toffee with even more malt after that, it’s hoppy in a mellow fashion, more cleansing than herbaceous, subtle floral lift, not much fruit but maybe a little earthiness. Full-bodied, thicker and denser than expected, the carbonation is slow to unwind but it does not feel flatfooted. Here too there’s a strong emphasis on roast although it does adroitly avoid bitterness. Coffee beans, cocoa, mocha more than milkiness, although there’s moments of root beer and vanilla. Mutter of quinine. The mouth feel is grippy and dry, more pine and cut grass than flowers or citrus. Again, hard to discern clear fruit presence, more apricot, maybe cherry. Because it starts with such intent and energy, it’s hard for it not to finish likewise. Sticks to the basics, does them well enough.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color with bits of ugly sediment floating in the glass. The body isn't a looker, that's for damn sure. The head makes up slightly - a three finger khaki shade with a soft texture and good retention. Lots of lacing is left behind. I have no idea how to score it: the body is ass-ugly, but the head looks great.

S: Very roasty. Lots of espresso and brown sugar, with lesser chocolate notes. The hops are very well integrated within everything; once this opens up, I'm getting a bit more in the way of pine and citrus. More along the lines of a hoppy porter/stout than Black IPA, but still a very good aroma nonetheless.

T: Oh man, this one is roasty. Huge roasted malts and espresso give it a tongue-gripping start, while bitter, piny hops build up subtly on the finish. There are slight touches of chocolate here and there, but otherwise there's no sweetness to be found. Like a lot of Smuttynose offerings, it's bitter in all the right ways.

M: Very light and very crisp - most regular IPAs wish they could be this easy going down. And it's really, really, really dry. There isn't a whole lot of carbonation, so the dry finish is really doing its job here.

O: Rather than punching me in the face with hop bitterness, the IPA portion of this beer integrates so well with the roasted malts, it makes me wonder if I'm really drinking a glass of cold espresso. I'd love to see this tribute become a year-round offering.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on April 5, 2014.

The pour is a very dark brown to just about black with a puffy, tan head that lingers on and leaves lacing as it dissipates.

The aroma is a well balanced with its dark, roasted malts and earthy hop sensations.

But the hops evolve into a formidable pine and citrus ocean when I sip it with the malts fading quickly into the background. Bitter finish.

Medium body.

Brewed in tribute to a late brewer and it cherishes his memory right.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Ny Pizza. Pours black with an inch of khaki head. Fair amount of lacing. The aroma is a nice mix of hops and roasted malts. Hints of chocolate. The taste is chocolate and coffee with roasted malts. Less of a hop presence than I expected from the nose. Still there are some piney hop notes. Roasted malts and chocolate at the finish. Charcoal as well. Lots of carbonation. Overall, solid Black IPA but maybe a bit too roasty.

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Photo of WyethBednar
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've had a few Black IPAs before and have never liked them, mainly because they just sort of seemed like porters that for some reason classified themselves as IPAs. However, this one definitely showed me what a Black IPA could be. It was a nicely balanced beer, with a nice roasty base that was complemented nicely by a hoppy kick.

Appearance: Just like the name would suggest, it's pretty black. A relatively thin white head that doesn't leave much lacing.

Smell: Definitely tips you off to the hoppiness. One thing I never liked about other Black IPAs was that the smell was all roast and coffee, there was no hop presence, and this one definitely didn't have that problem. Nice balanced smell of roastiness and hops.

Taste: Complex and awesome. Really well-balanced, with enough hop presence to please any fans of IPAs. Versatile enough to pair well with either a spicy meal or a dessert.

Mouthfeel: A little thin feeling. Decent carbonation, but due to the roasty character of the beer a little more smoothness would be a nice improvement.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, nearly black in appearance, with ruby highlights. Thick, tri-finger of foam and a pleasing tree-line lace.

Nose is chocolate malts, with maybe a slight hint of citrus hops sharpness. Overwhelmingly, though the aroma is chocolate and roastiness.

Taste is definitely bitter and roast up front, with the bittersweet cocoa notes coming in around an astringent, acidic hops character. Solid and enjoyable, though not a favorite.

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Photo of ChiChi
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out thick, heavy and beastly. Yes, a beast of a beer. Many qualities of a good stout, as far as Black IPA's are concerned, this is way heavier and stronger. Aftertaste of bourbon. Heavy malt taste leaves the palate slightly dry. Nice glass lacing, The Noonan is a complex brew that gets better and takes over with every sip. I can't find any foods to pair it with yet, because this beer is almost like a meal in itself.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Best before 08/04/2014.

Deep black opaque body, just a hint of dark red along edges for the body color too. Head is a bit out of control booming. Giant fistful on the pour. Super soapy, cocoa tan in color and big clumpy aggressive appearance. Lots of lacing and big retention while it settles. There's some pretty good amount of trub chunk in this glass too.

Bouquet hits more towards the roasty character with a faint hint of grapefruit and pine hop. Some sweet juicy fruit action slightly. Slightly char and even a hint of campfire smoke, but quite tiny on the nose. Overall not too bad.

Palate matches fairly straightforward what the nose senses. Mild senses of hop juicy pine and some grapefruit rind. Light roast character hinting toward coffee in the mid palate. Finishes clean, if possibly a little oily with a good long hop aroma and presence. Palate feel is a little weak, but flavors do manage to coat quite a bit.

Overall it's alright in the realm, but there's some better out there. No worries this drinks easily.

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Photo of dsjohns85
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a single 12 oz bottle from a local shop. Poured into a tulip.

Black appearance. Left about a quarter inch in the bottle, but still had tons of off white blobs floating around the sides of my glass. Not appealing. Totally opaque overall. No highlights when help up to light. Off white head. Poor head retention. Quickly faded.

Aroma is predominately mocha. Think chocolate and coffee drink. You can catch hints of cut trees, resin. On return, hints of citrus fruit, mostly towards grapefruit are found.

Flavor is up front roast. Burnt toast and some coffee flavors mostly. Not sweet at all. The bitterness is firm and present. Not harsh at all. Small hop flavors come through, mostly citrus towards lemon.

The beer is well carbonated. No tannin bite. The roasted malts might have contributed a bit of an acrid feeling. Pretty light body.

A solid example of a Black IPA, although in my opinion way too close to a stout with its roast. Honestly, I would consider this beer basically a stout with a light body. While the hop character is present, it doesn't take the main stage as an IPA should. It is a good data point for this emerging style.

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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.