Smuttynose Smistletoe | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose SmistletoeSmuttynose Smistletoe
Very Good
106 Ratings
Smuttynose SmistletoeSmuttynose Smistletoe

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Patches826 on 11-04-2014

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of WynnO
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StormAles
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2016 bottle.
This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a fairly dark amber color with a slight transparency about it. Nice sturdy finger's worth of white foamy head held tight for a good two minutes before ever so gently dissolving.
The aroma had a really nice blend of sweet to tart black and red cherries running into some sherry notes and a sweet vanilla extract-like character. Light sweet grass and an even lighter Belgian yeasty to bready sweetness rolling into a subtle earthy spice, semi-black currant to slight fig-like character started to develop as it warmed.
The flavor was moderately sweet running through the blend of bready Belgian yeasty notes to vanilla, black currant and cherry notes. Sherry notes seem to be there, but semi-sweet with a touch of tartness. Slight cherry to sherry-like flow in the aftertaste with that bready Belgian yeastiness.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it due to some of the tartness and a crisp noticeable carbonation about it. ABV seemed just a touch under. Finish had some of the sherry sweet to tart yet crisp edge pushing against my lips with a bit of stickiness. For the most part, I didn't mind this.
Overall, as a biere de garde, I'd say it works. I'd have again.

 1,263 characters

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

Photo of Icemann383
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sendbeer
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 1/14/2017 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains spices, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of brown sugar, spice and fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

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

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

 809 characters

Photo of Budlum
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fosters9
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HattedClassic
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2016 Edition
The beer pours a slightly pink head that dissipates fairly quickly. It's also a nice contrast to the cherry red and clear body. It's a nice look with the contrast between the lighter and dark body.

The smell is decent with a very nice fruity smell to it. The fruit is a nice sweet red cherry that has a bit of a Belgian yeast note and light Belgian spices to it. It isn't overly complex but fairly pleasant.

The taste is decent. It has a slight sour cherry note to it but is countered by the Belgian yeast and spice notes. There's a light bitterness but it gets lost in the sour.

The feel is decent. It's a nice medium bodied beer that feels pretty thin that it's easily mistakable for a light bodied beer. The carbonation is light and fizzy.

Overall, an interesting seasonal beer but you can take it or leave it. Honestly, it seems more like a desert beer.

 874 characters

Photo of MA08
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmg480
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of user785335
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tekstr1der
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Ruddy murky pour with a pink-beige cap that fades to a ring. Aroma is sour cherry foremost with malt and yeasty spice similar to that of a dubbel. Flavor follows nose well and is really tasty with a slight sweet mid-sip countering the sour cherry notes. Finish is somewhat dry but not too much - pretty clean. Very tasty if a little too bubbly for me.

 351 characters

Photo of rderedin
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2016 bottle in oversized wine glass

A: lovely deep red, hazy, but not quite opaque, half finger head quickly dissipating, no real lacing
S: has the immediate spicy bite of a more traditional Belgian yeast strain with a nice sweetness
T: very prominent immediate thick marriage of spice and malt, a hint of bitterness but not much, kind of syrupy sweet
M: dry but not overly so, a bit thick
O: a very pleasant surprise, though I think it might could benefit from sitting a year or two (it is a biere de garde afterall) it is immediately enjoyable though it is a fairly heavy and filling beer, it is worth your time, and a nice addition to the tradition of holiday beers

 669 characters

Photo of citizencane
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ok, I'm rating this with zero familiarity with the style. Pours dark red-orange with small dissipating head. Smells of sour cherries with malt and hops. Taste is same, with heavier emphasis on sour cherries and sour saison-like taste. Mouthfeel is crisp and heavily carbonated. Overall, not a beer is actively seek out, but a solid beer from a solid brewery.

 363 characters

Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ichorNet
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had this in a couple years, so I picked up a fresh bottle to reacquaint myself with it. This is a peculiar beer... a strong "Bière de Garde" with cherry, black currant and plum, aged on oak chips. It's kind of like a combination of a hibernal saison (think Dupont's Avec les bons Vœux) crossed with a fruit beer and blended with a Belgian Abbey dubbel. Very unique concept, that's for sure.

Pours a deep ruby/garnet color with a thin head of off-white and slightly pink-hued lace that settles to nearly nothing in my glass. The color on this is good, but the head formation is incredibly stark and minimal, and there's absolutely no lacing to speak of. Though the lack of lace is to style, I'd prefer some retention here, and the way what does form fizzles away nearly instantaneously is not confidence-inspiring. That said, this beer is more than just its pour, for sure.

The nose is deep and richly layered with notes of plum, orchard apple, semi-funky yeast and abbey malt. I'm picking up a light vinous quality and subtle thread of tartness running throughout. There's a bit of understated oak tannin quality as well, providing some subtle vanilla-like notes. Medicinal cherry and black raspberry/blackcurrant follow up once the pour settles a bit. Slight phenolics and weird, unplaceable esters as well. Seems like the fruit interacts with the yeast uniquely here, which is cool.

Flavor is robustly full-bodied, with a hefty and chewy malt base upfront, followed by slight wine-like fruit notes and a crisp and effervescent carbonation that belies the 8.5% ABV. As a beer influenced by the beguiling charm of Belgian yeast, it isn't too surprising that this has some underhanded qualities, though, so I'm not taken too aback overall. Super crisp and well-carbonated with flavors of jammy dark fruit, plum and cherry preserves, spicy clove and raspberry-filled sugar cookies.

The feel is on the heavier side of medium, with a detailed and expressive carbonation that provides some levity to the darker fruit flavors on order here. Luckily, this avoids beind syrupy by just the slightest bit, and retains a pretty solid drinkability throughout. It also gets better at room temperature, meaning this is a solid beer to solo over a longer period of time. In addition, I'm pretty sure this will age decently as well, so it may not be a bad brew to lay down in the cellar for a celebratory Yuletide festivity in the future.

Overall, this is a very nice holiday beer that clearly involves a hugely-inspired group of people coming together to create a smörgåsbord of flavor. The main attraction here is how naturally the ideas come together... this beer feels totally effortless, and none of the additional fruits, nor the oak aging, feel out of place in the whole. I think this can probably be improved a little bit by tweaking it to be a bit maltier and darker, with less fruit influence, but that may just be my taste speaking. If you're in the mood for a Winter seasonal brew that outright defies genre convention entirely, this may be just the thing for you. Winter warmers, stouts and porters are passé... make mine a Smutty!

 3,147 characters

Photo of sgregory
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of StoutHunter
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Smuttynose Smistletoe 2015 for $10.69 at The Lager Mill. This one seemed pretty interesting and it seemed like it was worth taking a chance on, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a white 22oz bottle into a teku.

A- The bottle looks nice, it's got a good design and it's eye catching. It poured a nice ruby red color that took on more of a bright ruby color when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of bubbly slightly off pink head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it didn't leave much lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish it had more lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with a funky yeast aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a little bit of a barnyard and wet straw aroma with a slight horse blanket aroma showing up in the background and it leads into the berries which impart more of a mixed berry aroma with the cherries seeming to stick out the most and it's got a little bit of a juicy aspect to it. Up next comes the malts which impart a little bit of a sweet malt aroma with a slight bit of pale malts coming through and right at the end comes the oak chips which are noticeable, but not too overpowering. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, I like the funkyness to it, but I wish the berries showed up a little more.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but a little lighter in some aspects and a little stronger in others, it's tarts off with a slightly lighter amount of medium sweetness with the cherries and currants being the first to show up this time and they show more than they did in the aroma while imparting some nice juicy and natural cherry and berry flavors. Up next comes the yeast which isn't as funky and it takes on more of saison yeast flavor that's followed by the malts which impart those same sweet malt aspects that they did in the aroma. On the finish there's a slight bit of booziness with the oak chips barley coming through with a slight bit of bitterness and a slightly lower amount of medium tartness with a cherry and currant like aftertaste with a little bit more of that saison yeast in the background. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, I like it, but I wish the yeast was funky like it was in the aroma.

M- Smooth, slightly refreshing, pretty crisp, medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. The moutjfeel is good and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice example of the style, for the most part it lived up to it's description and I thought almost all of the different aspects worked well with each other. This beer had nice drinkability, I think one glass would be the perfect amount for me, it might start to wear on me after that. What I liked the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it's just where I want it to be. What I like the least about this beer is the yeast flavor, I wish it was more funky and less saison like. I might buy this beer again if they make it next year and I would recommend it trying it if want a unique fruit beer. All in all in I liked this beer, I liked how unique it was and it was nice to seem them think a little out of the box when it came to this beer. It's not a favorite Smuttynose beer, and it's a nice example of the style. Nice job guys, this is a nice and unique beer, keep it up.

 3,436 characters

Photo of KriekKrazzed
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Easy fruity saison. Very nice!

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Photo of Sk8sean86
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Uniobrew31
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of arizcards
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 2015 bomber at TW Arrowhead in early January for $10.99.

Beer poured blush with a nice off white head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is tart cherries and dark fruits.

Taste is tart cherry forward, with dark fruits over a saison body.

Feel is light to medium bodied with a nice smooth saison touch.

Overall this is way too fruity for my tastes but the base beer i sense is pretty solid.

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Smuttynose Smistletoe from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 106 ratings