Smuttynose Frankenlager (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
35 Reviews
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Smuttynose Frankenlager (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Frankenlager (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 04-30-2014

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 149
Photo of Jacobob10
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap @ Barcade in New York, NY.

Light amber with a slight haze and a small white head. Biscuit malt aroma with grassy/earthy hops. A bit of sweetness in the flavor backed up by big biscuit malt and a dry bitterness from the hops. Medium-full body, much stronger than I expected. Finishes crisp and clean. A bit of an odd beer that crosses over into several genres, but I'd say the experiment is successful.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is straw, hazy, head is bright white, mixture of bubble sizes from fine to medium, some lacing and lingering depth greater than 1 inch.

Smell is pilsen malt, moderate hop citrus and earthy notes.

Taste leans to pilsner, maybe kellerbier like, but then the dryness and hop bitterness come through to swing into the IPL category. Malt is biscuit like, some graininess and earthiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp, carbonated, then dry from the moderate hops.

Overall, a crisp beer that seems to blend styles to create an imperial pilsner, very dry and crisp and pleasant biscuit malts.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a light golden amber with a generous head, slowly dissipating. Hops assault the nose, followed by the hop forward taste in the mouth. They call it an IPL, and it is so!

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Photo of cjgiant
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap:
Pours with the slightest haze, as if you were a hair of a second shy of a perfect decanting pour. This pour was to the top, so limited head, but it was small-bubbled and appeared a yellowing white. Decent sustainability and quick to return. Surface reminded me of science class diagram of a single-cellar organism.

Nose definitely had lager characteristics, crisply but lightly bready. A hint of grass and grain growing in the field. Expected a little more hop punch based on other IPLs I've had, but no idea why I feel an IPL has to be IPA-hoppy. After a swirl mid-beer, I start to notice some tart-like fruity notes, but cannot distinguish them.

Taste starts off a little fuller than expected. Biscuity and initially malty, but backed quickly by clean to grassy bitterness. This reminds me yet again of a classic lager, but kicked up. This is constantly making me rethink my impressions of IPL as a style. Light fruit notes add that third note to the chord to make a very enjoyable beer.

A kicked up lager that impresses me by not being outrageous in any aspect, but bring a complete and enjoyable beer. Maybe a little too heavy, considering it's only kicked up to 7%, and not completely crisp and clean, if I were to pick a not or two.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a nonic pint.

A: Pours a slightly hazy pure-straw with 1 1/4" fluffy white head that recedes slowly. Retention is ultimately so-so, lacing is above-average.

S: There's not much depth here, but what's going on is nice & tight. It's a very balanced blend of wheaty malt, granola & brown sugar - tempered with tropical fruit expressions, passionfruit being the most noticeable. Hints of lime rind lurk in the back.

T: Comes on with an almost-tart bright citrus quality that leads into a mid palate that features bready malt notes & grapefruit with sugar. The finish flashes a dry bitterness that provides a perfect punctuation to all the flavors that came before it. Citrus rind permeates the entire experience.

M: High-ish (to style) carb married to a slightly heavy malt body. What I really like here is the exceptional dryness that helps to elevate the hoppier elements that are in play on the palate.

O: To my taste, this brew is everything that a hoppy Lager needs to be & then some. It's got a great command of the malt-forward full body Lager stuff & it also has a surprisingly well-done execution of creating a clever hop-profile to provide counterpoint. Rather excellent.

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Photo of smanson56
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An overall good beer in this style not something I tend to lean towards. The nose was crisp and with a nice smooth malt forward smell. There are some citrus and pine flavors that come through in the taste with a nice smooth malt finish. The carbonation was great and a nice mouth feel with no aftertaste.

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Photo of cmq103
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Flight Sampler at the Blend Bistro poured into a 4-ounce sample glass. Clear off yellow in color with prominent citrus perfume aroma and taste. A pretty good Pilsner nonetheless. The ABV is well hidden. I wouldn't have guessed this tops out at 7.3%.

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Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is lightly lemony and grainy, with floral notes dominating, and a lager yeast note.

Flavor is very floral, like drinking perfume, with that bitter finish. The malt backbone is fairly grainy and lemon pithy.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 6/18/2014 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, citrus, caramelized malts and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a good burst of hops bitterness that quickly fades and transitions into some citrus and caramel sweetness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +5%

A-Cloudy yellow orange, nice carbonation and two finger head that leaves nice lacing.

S-Lemon, orange, banana, mild hops and wheat.

T-Starts with some citrus and grass, some wheat and lemon. Mild bitterness.

M-Lighter to medium bodied, nice carbonation.

O-For a style I am not fond of, I though this was a good beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Best by 11/2014 indicated on the bottleneck. Pours a slightly hazy, orange-gold with a frothy, 1/2 inch bright white head. Nose expresses pilsner malts and light, fruit esters. Taste consistent with nose with addition of some noble hops bittering, a hint of pine and a slight medicinal quality at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with slight oiliness to the texture and a crisp carbonation. A decent brew - body is not too malty; however, the lingering medicinal bitterness in the flavor profile is a bit much.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

A: clear; golden in color; 1 finger pillowy white head that receded slowly to a thick cap; nice lacing;

S: light malt; apple;

T: well balanced; light malt; moderately bitter finish; not a lot going on, but what is there is really nice;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation; slightly dry finish;

O; refreshing, enjoyable;

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Photo of CrazyLarry
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: head is solid and fades rapidly. Straw murky color.

Smell: first smell was sour apples like Granny Smith, deep delves citrus fruits and wet pine. Sweet fruits.

Taste: hops, funky hops, bitter but not over powering. Faint water line (taste is not completely held together) I do not know what to call this.

Mouthfeel: lighter than I was expecting. Bitters hang around outside of tongue and side cheeks.

Overall very good but not smutty's best beer.

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a big, creamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice, and not too strong aroma of hops, malt, and citrus.

T: Tasted of light citrus notes (orange, lemon), malt, a good shot of spicy hops, and a slightly bready quality. There are times when brewers make this style overly aggressive, but this isn't one of them. It's a well balanced flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is a solidly made, well thought out beer. Never overpowering and fairly refreshing.

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Photo of Gavage
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a yellowish orange color with a one inch head that slowly falls to some large surface bubbles. Some lace develops.

Smell: light citrus, some grass, and a hint of fruit sweetness comes through to the nose.

Taste: grass, light orange citrus, biscuit, golden apples, and a moderate bitterness create a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp and a touch dry late.

Overall: refreshing beer that is well balanced and hits the spot on the flavor profile. Easy drinking beer.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bright beautiful orange with a frothy white head.
Nice lacing and good retention.

Big sweet orange and bitter pine in the nose.

Taste follows the nose with sweet orange and bitter pine dominating. There is a slight biscuit malt backbone that can almost stand up and be recognized. A very interesting beer.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a paler, straw yellow with golden highlights, forming a lovely, eggshell white head above the beer with nice lasting power. When splashed against the sides of the glass, the beer leaves thin, sheet-like strands of lacing on the glass, reminiscent of Smutty’s Farmhouse Ale. In body, the beer is spotlessly clean and clear, with just a touch of haze. On the nose, the beer smells deliciously spicy, with a nice citrus/white grape character balancing out the spicy hops. Bready malt gives further finesse to the smell, lending it a balanced, Germen-esque twist that separates it from other IPL’s I’ve smelt. This beer has plenty of hops, but they are balanced and deliciously delicate. As it warms, I get a scent of nettles and a cool spring meadow. I like the scent. On the tongue, the beer tastes fruity up front, transitioning into a bready sweetness that is balanced by a healthy, herbal bitter bite that eventually dries out the finish. Slight acidity does begin the sip, and puts a vinous pop to the mouth. In flavor, the beer begins as sweet Riesling, swiftly gaining a bready, nearly rye-like spice that then plunges into grassy citrus with nuances of hay, and a faint kick of pale malt. The spice develops peppery hints, moving from green pepper flesh, to white pepper spice as the beer warms. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a crisp-though-heavy mouthfeel and middling carbonation that gives the tongue a nice fluffing, and a slight prickle. When the beer leaves, the tongue is left with a resinous sheen of spittle, while the mouth feels dry and bitter. In all, despite its heavier mouthfeel, the beer goes down bizarrely easy, making it far too easy to drink (I’ve put that to the test…). This is a lovely variation from the IPA’s-with-Lager-Yeast trend that IPL’s have been following as of late, and it actually piques my interest as to continuation of this style. Look at the complexity and subtlety that can be squeezed from milder/non-American hops used in abundance!

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Photo of alexbutler
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Very nice pour of a orange/amber body with a creamy head. Very nice lacing as the head dissipates.

S - Really sweet smelling, a nice aroma of fruits but it's not overbearing. Pretty subtle and clean.

T - Smooth as anything. There's a light carbonation that lingers in the background, while the fruity hops and crisp malt balance out extremely well. Very refreshing.

M - Not too heavy on the palate and a very clean aftertaste. Very balanced lager.

O - One of the finest things I've had by Smuttynose. I bought this one on a whim, having never heard of their BIG BEER series, and this one sold me on the first sip. Very well balanced and I'd recommend it to anyone. The price is a bit steep, but it's worth it.

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Photo of brureview
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a light lemon-yellow color in a pilsner glass. 2F head which quickly resolved itself.

Mild citrus aroma.

The mouth feel is mildly carbonated.

The taste is very different. Citrus- but not easy to identify. Perhaps an "off" citrus taste- almost like a "barnyard" taste in a Saison.

The finish is lightly bitter with a strong presence of fruit- the taste carries through to the palate.
I can taste citrus on the back of my tongue.

This is a lager, which I have not tasted from Smuttynose. It's a very different beer- not stylized.
It's truly a hybrid. Quite interesting, but not my type of beer. It seems more experimental.
I like most of the beers I have tasted from the brewery- and although it's a good beer, it's not the aroma/taste profile I enjoy drinking.

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Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of spicy hops are present in the nose along with notes of bready malts.
T: The taste is mostly dominated by flavors of spicy hops, which dominate the underlying malts and hints of alcohol and also linger in the finish. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a nice amount of hops for an imperial pilsener, which really balance out the malts and makes the mouthfeel seem lighter than it actually is.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By 11/08/14

A: Pours a golden color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fade down to a nice fluffy cap that leaves decent lacing

S: Clean and fruity up front, some definite citrus and pine notes from the hops, as well as some light graininess

T: Starts off with the fruitiness and light graininess which includes the citrusy hop notes. Some lightly bitter pine notes also come through a little later with some bready malts. Finishes with a hint of bitterness and a little bit of the malt/grain

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid IPL with a good balance between the bitterness and fruity notes from the hops and the bready and grainy notes from the malts. Very easy to drink and a great alternative from your typical IPA or pilsner

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Photo of KFBR392
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: pours a straw yellow color with accents of orange. Half a finger of frothy head which clung to the sides of the glass. Fitting amount of active carbonation.

Smell: hops on the front with notes of straw, airy tropical fruits, and some slightly soapy armas. Cloves with buttery yeast warm up on the body. Lingering orange peel is picked up sparatically But overall a subdued aroma.

Taste: Soap and tropical hops greet the palate. Buttery yeast, oranges, and prairie grass compose the body. Cloying hops and doughy yeast stick to the palate. Pretty much what you'd expect after the aroma.

Mouthfeel: interesting but not exactly great. Oak, soapy, citrus hops, and buttery yeast leave a cloying texture behind.

Overall: I never hesitate to grab these big beers from smuttynose. This one was a touch off but an interesting ride for sure.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Hazy gold, small white head leaves wonderful lacing.

S - Tropical fruits, slight pine, light barley/grains.

T - Best part of this beer. Very complex. Fruity but not citrus as the nose lead me to believe. I want to say the fruity taste is thicker than the smell. Nice light malt backbone.

M - This is where I'm a little confused. It isn't as crisp as I would'v expected. The body is medium. Carbonation is low. Lingers on the palate. I wouldn't have know this is a lager.

O - A very interesting brew, not what I expected, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Smutty does a fine job with everything. It helps to get ti fresh.

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Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a tulip glass. Plenty of starting head but it settles to rim bubbles fairly quickly. Superb ring lace without any chunks. The color is greenish gold with a bit of haze.

Attractive blend of semi-fermented sweet malt and floral pellet hop.

Very lightly toasted pale malt start that quickly succumbs to white pepper bite of the hop. Much richer body than most lagers. Other than the flavor it would rival a Doppelbock. Highly carbonated. Not extreme, but definitely better for the hop heads but still a very easy to drink big beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the Big Bottle series with an expiration date of 11/08/14. Sampled on May 28, 2014.

The pour is golden yellow with a white head and a slight hazy opaqueness. Maybe a chill haze but it is a but foggy.

The aroma is of toasted grains, pale malts, citrus, and a smooth yeast character.

Light and refreshing body and smooth.

This is an IPL but it seems to have a more pilsener quality to it with those grainy malts, sweetness, and an added bonus of orange and/or citrus with a crisp, clean finish.

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Smuttynose Frankenlager (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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