Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" | Smuttynose Brewing Company

1,833 Reviews
Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
You could say, then, that Smuttynose IPA is a physical salute to the glory of the American hop grower. The citrusy hop flavor coming from a mixture of Simcoe and Santiams is pleasantly balanced by a smooth bitterness from the Amarillo hops. The beer itself is light bodied and crisp with a golden color that will throw a slight haze, as we bottle it unfiltered. At 75 IBU's, this is definitely not a training-wheels IPA, but is meant for hop lovers looking to satisfy their craving in a way that's not easy to find. We think they’ll be quite pleased.

75 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 03-12-2004

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Reviews: 1,833 | Ratings: 5,261
Photo of dannyvee
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

April bottled-on date, moderately chilled, poured into a Harpoon IPA glass.

Pours a hazy, cloudy rust-orange with a large pillowy head. Plenty of sticky lacing left behind as the brew goes down.

Aromas of grapefruit, grass and a little pine jumping out of the glass. The body is medium and the carbonation light and pleasant.

Taste is everything it has been building up to. Hoppy bite upfront quickly balanced by a touch of caramel maltiness. Is this a perfect IPA?

This is my first straight 5's review and given the fact that I have drank little else in the past month I'm confident with that. I think a good analogy could be made by comparing this brew to a CD; Smuttynose IPA is that new album that you just can't take out of the CD player and when you do try to listen to something else you're just waiting to pop the Smutty back in. This will definately be in heavy rotation for the rest of the summer, at least.

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Photo of Tomdee74
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't know... this might be the gold standard of ipas right here... I've tried many IPAs and this is way up there. if not the best it is certainly in the top 3.

If you like IPAs please give this a try I promise you will not be disappointed.. finestkind just like the label says.. good job Smuttynose!!

edit on 12/14/2009

i just want to re-emphasize how much I love this beer. I have tried so many IPAs over the past year and it has only reinforced my love for this one! It is definitely world class. If you like IPAs you must try this! This is the Pliny the Elder of the East Coast!

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Photo of 31Sam13
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exceptionally well balanced and subtly complex in the best of ways ( to me meaning eminently drinkable. I literally take sip and admire the bottle or glass for its superiority of beermeanor and am often carried off for a second-or many-to places I've been and other great beers I have consumed. State of mind recall is a quality ascribed to the best of beers. It's not often a Busch brings back great memories, well besides being ripped out of a drunken slumber as a minor on a friend's parents' commode...I digress... ). It is simply and eminently drinkable, time and time again...Like the the dudes on the bottle as, this is not how one reviews a beer...

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Photo of Arinthos
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- cloudy and thick with abundance of unfiltered sediment throughout a solid 3 finger head that lasted a long time and solid lacing.

S- very hoppy full of that great citrus smell that I love so much about IPA's

T- the taste follows the nose pretty closely grapefruit hits the pallete.

M- Light carbonation and smooth very refreshing feel.

D- Very drinkable almost dangerously to drinkable This is without a doubt an ipa lovers ipa.

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Photo of Keystone
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers and it doesn't get enough recognition. FinestKind is one of the best IPAs available. The smell is citrus with a malty sweetness that couldn't complement better. Perfectly balanced across the board. Taste is as hoppy as a standerd IPA should be with just the right amount of malt. Great unfiltered feel, crisp but not thin and the right amount of carbonation. Overall excellent, drink one you will want another drink two and you know it's really good drink a few cases and you will see its just about perfect.

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Photo of Seumas
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at Strange Brew in Manchester NH.

All three pints I had there (over two evenings) were slighly chill-hazed, but I don't actually consider that a defect, so no points off there.

White grapefruit, a coniferous resiny character, good body for the alcohol - this is a decidedly hop-oriented beer (as any American IPA should be). The grapefruit comes out more in the aroma, whereas there's a wonderful blend of flavours in the ale itself.

This beer is very moreish and, at 6.6 percent ABV, perhaps a bit dangerous. But certainly worth the risk.

If you don't get a hop hit when you sup a pint of this fine IPA, try again. It's that keg (on the old side, if it's a good venue, badly kept, if it's not) and not the beer.

This is, to date, the ultimate expression of a Chinook-hopped IPA on my list. And, as my favourite hop is Chinook, I guess that makes it my favourite IPA, period.

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Photo of -Hoptimus_Prime-
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In my humble opinion, Smuttynose's Finest Kind IPA is one of the best IPA's I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. I work very hard, 40+ hours a week, and I'm up at 5am to be at work on time. That being said, if I have the money, I'm buying a six-pack of Finest Kind after work every day and drinking the entire thing over the course of a few hours. Now, I'm not an alcoholic in any way, but I sure as hell am addicted to Finest Kind. It is the epitome of what an IPA should be like. Not to mention that when I wake up in the morning, I'm not hungover at all. Now that's what good beer is all about: enjoyment, satisfaction, and the feeling of being rewarded. Absolutely love it.

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Photo of GeoJ
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't possibly add anything to all the spot-on great reviews here, other than to say this is without question my favorite IPA ... no ... my favorite BEER in the world.

I never, ever get tired of it. In the ever-growing world of IPA's, "Finest Kind" is a singular experience, and it is the benchmark for all others, in my humble opinion.

Thanks, Smuttynose!

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Photo of ryrust5301
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A beautiful IPA to be sure! Orange and golden butterscotch colors are set against an almost glowing frame. The perfect color for an IPA, and the head is up to snuff as well. Cocaine white in color, as it looks almost hefe-weizen like. The lacing is of the highest order and looks like sea foam drenching the sides of the glass. Hop oil was very thick in the bottle, and has added a generous bit of hop bits floating around at the base of the glass. A definite 5.0 score!

Smell - Lots of melon, in fact so much so that it drowns out the usual grapefruit smell found in most ipa's. The hops are big and bold and grab at you through the glass. To top it all off, it seems as if they just drizzled honey all around the glass to give it a sweet touch and bring it all together. This is the best nose on an ipa since hopslam, and might be as good if not better.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Seeing as this one has thrown a perfect game so far, we'll see how it stands through the meat of the lineup. Unlike the nose, the hops just blast through and gnash at anything that stands in their way. So bitter that it seems to wash everything else out. After a few sips and letting it get deeper and deeper into my tongue, the sweet honey combed malts come out. I don't think i've ever tasted an ipa so strong! It drinks like an imperial ipa! The mouthfeel is thick and coating, with a huge bitter twang to it.

Drinkability - Make mine a smutty! Sounds like the best idea since sliced bread. If they all taste like this, why the hell not? Make mine a Smutty indeed. The best and boldest ipa that i've ever drowned my taste buds in. This one cuts through all the bullshit and says "Eat hops, don't worry about any of that complexity crap. Choke on my hops!" Oh you dirty little whore!

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Photo of foggylovesbeer
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz serving - great initial pour, clear, golden-orange. Aroma has both the malt and hops upfront. Taste also has great blend of not so overpowering sweet malt and big hop flavor. Mouthfeel is thick, feels like there's a lot of hop oils in this one. Too easy to drink. After half of pint gone from initial pour, empty the bottle into my glass including the sediment. I actually enjoy that this beer is unfiltered and feel like the sediment adds another complex layer to the flavor.
All time favorite IPA.

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Photo of TonyC
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Another local offering for me. Smuttynose of Hampton, NH has always been a winner for me. And the Finestkind IPA is one of their best.

A: A wonderful, hazy orange/amber color with a nice white rocky head that leaves a huge, sticky lace.

S: Citrusy, citrusy, citrusy! A nice prelude of whats to come!

T: A wonderful grapefruity flavor, that is tangy and bitter, with a nice hop bite, and keeps away from the sweet side.

M: A great bitter bite, that takes command. A medium body, with perfect carbonation.

D: Lets you know right away that it's in command, and bites your tongue in such a perfect way, and gives off a little warmth from its 6.90% abv. The excitement stays on your tongue and causes it to beg for more. Very drinkable, very enjoyable.

Finestkind IPA delivers great taste, and a great IPA experience. Highly recommended for IPA lovers.

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Photo of lester619
4.97/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bright hazy dark orange anber with a sticky clingy head and sheets of lacing all the way down. Massive grapefruit smell smacks your nose. Lots of pine, some more citrusy notes and molases is noticable. Great smelling IPA. Harshly bitter up front, but it mellows beautifully with rich toasted sweet malty molases and toffee flavors and some herbal spiciness. This stuff is fantastic. Brutal bitter hoppiness, but so much more. The flavors play off each other perfectly. Very thick substantial bready mouthfeel, but it still goes down very easy for a full grown IPA. One of the best. It strives for perfection and achieves greatness along the way. Magnificent. And two old dudes in lawn chairs with long necks in there hands is hands down the best label in the world. I love everything about this beer.

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Photo of kegerator
4.97/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer, thanks to BA for steering me in the right direction once again.
poured a hazy, hazy yellow with a decent one inch head that lingered nicely producing some nice lacing.
aroma was floral hops and big grapefruit aromas, some light sweetness in the background.
taste was about the same, very very enojyable
mouthfeel was crisp and refreshing with a slight bitter finish that lingered perfectly.
I will buy this one again for sure.

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Photo of ordybill
4.96/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Hops, Malt & Citrus; need I say more
Appearance- A very inviting clean gold color with a small white head
Taste- Big citrus flavor well meshed with hops, excellent.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with mild carbonation
Overall- An outstanding IPA

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Photo of milwaukee512
4.96/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is about as well-balanced as IPA's can get. True to its advertising, it is crisp and drinkable yet a truly hoppy IPA. World class indeed. I will be interested to try other beers from this brand.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle in a pint glass. What a wonderful IPA! Most IPAs are bitter, but lack the hop aroma/flavor. Not this one. Incredible hoppy aroma and nice thick white head that stuck around. I can't wait to get some more. Maybe I'm just not that familiar w/ Simcoe hops, but this beer made my day with the lovely hop aroma and not overly bitter for the style. I absolutely loved this beer. I'm going to try and brew a clone of this wonderful IPA.

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Photo of rgb2807
4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is just amazing. The pour is a somewhat cloudy orange. The smell is just ridiculous, if I could give it a 6 I would. The taste, I don't want to say flawless, but I can't conceive of an IPA tasting better than this. (stone comes close) This stuff just feels so good in your mouth and I could drink this stuff all night, and even tomorrow morning when I wake up hung over.

The label is awesome too. Please, if you like IPAs get a hold of this, this is best, like the best. Seriously, no seriously, like the best IPA. I'm not one to ever say something is the best, I've just had so many IPAs over my beer drinking career and I just can't not think this is not the best. Please, send me a message if you know an IPA (it'd have to be a much lesser known IPA because I've tried lots) that's better because I want it.

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Photo of ITK4ever
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

By far my favorite beer....period. I crave the hops. They hit you like a ton of bricks when you pop the bottle open. Pours nice amber color with a off-white head, lotsa lacing. Nose is hops, hops, hops. Bring it to your lips and it's again...hops, hops, and more hops. Malt comes in to try to balance it in the middle but the hops bitch-slaps them back into submission. Grapefruity finish that you too will crave. Love this stuff!!!

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Photo of bignick
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at TPH in Brookline 5/1/06. Served in a pint glass.

In my opinion, this is one of the finest IPAs in the world. Unfortunately, all-too-often the bottles are not fresh. I did not realize how terrific this beer is until I had it on tap at Mug's in Brooklyn in mid-March. It just tastes much more lively on tap than it does out of the bottle.

Smutty IPA is the quintessential American IPA. It has a strong hop bitterness that hits the front, middle, and back of the toungue equally. While it is not for the faint-of-heart, it is slightly balanced by a clean sweetness. Overall, it is a great pleasure to drink, and should be sought out on tap, as opposed to the bottle.

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Photo of IRNBRU
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Smuttynose IPA pours an opaque dandelion yellow that's really beautiful in light and shadow. The head starts out creamy and foamy but it soon settles in to a nice, consistent ring that persistently sticks, tracing the entire ride down the glass.

Aromatically, this beer has most IPAs beat. It's earthy and mosslike but it's really grounded by a layered scent of sweet citrus fruits that help balance it's character.

It tastes piney and acidic, matching it's complex nose, but it's amazingly clean - dominated by lemon and grapefruit. The sweet hop bitterness sticks around for a beat. The alcohol really breaks through at the finish line but because your mind is blown by the multifaceted citrus notes throughout, it's not the last thing you remember. After one, you'll want another.

Easily one of my favorite IPAs and definitely something that I try to keep nearby at all times.

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Photo of kyleg
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

-Pours nice and mellow with a slow developing, tight nit head.

-Over all appearance is awesome! I love the sweet lingering aroma of fresh pine and grapefruit. This is a great IPA.

-All I can say is drink this beer! IPA lovers, you're in for a treat.

Bitter.. Bitter.. Bitter.


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Photo of mschofield
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy golden orange-amber topped with a three finger rocky light tan head. Leaves full rings of lace, with sparse webs connecting the rings.
Lemon, citrus aroma, resinous pine/spruce.
Citrus, grass, caramel, orange, woody, well balanced taste, good caramel and dark bread malt backbone for all of the hops.
Medium, crisp body, fruity bitterness builds towards the bottom of the drink. Cuts right through spicy food and makes a good pairing. I also liked it poured harder than normal.

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Photo of IrishEyes32250
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alright, first things first. I have to say that this beer has one of the most interesting names of any beer you can find. It's not gimmicky. It's the name of the brewery, a simple "IPA" and then "Finest Kind". But it's the NAME of the brewery, "Smuttynose", and the beers monicker "Finest Kind" that kind of make the mind wander. Smuttynose comes from the Isles of Shoals, located just off the coast of New Hampshire (technically they are in the state of Maine). At 25 acres, it is the third largest of the Shoal Islands. The name originated with some (more than likely completely wasted and, being on a boat for a while, probably extremely randy) fishermen who, seeing the island at sea level, noticed how the seaweed at one end looked like the "smutty nose" of some vast sea animal. Take that description and "Finest Kind" and I'll let you think about that one on your own.

I have to pay homage to the label as well; it's simple with two old men sitting on fold up chairs on their front lawn representing the beer. The old guy on the left says "India Pale Ale", and he guy on the right responds with "Finest Kind". It works. Again, nothing gimmicky. As a side note, my father-in-law REALLY digs the label in addition to the beer. Dude makes some KILLER hot sauces and wants to devise a label similar to this one to slap on the front of his bottles of ass torch. Smart. He recognizes quality.

There's nothing gimmicky about the beer either:

Appearance - Poured from a 12oz bottle into my tulip drinking vessel. Beautiful amber color with a lot of sediment, or "lees" floating around in this beer so you can tell it's not filtered. Super dope GE bright white 100 watt light bulb 2 finger head that sticks to the glass and leaves crazy lacing all over the place. The head went crazy and just laced shit up like an alcohol graffiti artist. Lately, I like to sit and stare at the lacing and try to figure out what shapes it is making. In this particular glass I saw a hadrosaurus, a kangaroo and the Hawaiian islands.

Smell - In this order: Grapefruit, florals, more grapefruit, grass, and bread. Yeah, as far as IPA's go, it can't get much better than the smell of this. It's definitely got a "dankness" about it. This is "only" 65 IBU but you can smell the bitterness emanating from this. This hits on all of my key IPA criteria: Grapefruit, dank, IBU and bitter.

Sound - That's right I introduced a sound category to beer reviewing. I'm innovating the beer review process. Remember Rice Crispies? Snap, Crackle and Pop. Remember when you used to stick your damn ear up to your cereal bowl to listen to it crackling all over the place like pop rocks in your milk. Well, I decided to stick my ear up to my beer and listen to the bubbles in the foam of the head and that was smart. A beer's head is considered a quality as it relates to the style so the SOUND of that head should be considered a factor, more specifically the liveliness of it. The head on this beer SOUNDS lively as all get out and it's all over the place with a fierceness. Quality.

Taste - OK, this is bitter right off the bat. INDEED. It attacks your tongue and taste buds with a ferocity. Crazy bitter grapefruit right up front and I'll be damned if you don't get a bit of sea salt there as well. I'll be honest, I started eating spam at the same time I started drinking this and that was a HUUUGE mistake. The saltiness of the spam and the bit of salt you get from this beer was like a sodium gang war on my tongue. The spam ended up in the freakin' garbage. I like spam but I'll be damned if I'm going to quit drinking a beer this good for it.

And remember the bit of bread detected in the smell? Well, the bready biscuit maltiness in the smell does a fine job of underlying the bitterness of the hops. It's there like a mediator for your tongue between the upfront bitter attack on your mouth muscle and the back end assault you get on the swallow. Again, this is "only" 65 IBU but it's definitely an assault on your mouth.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, leading on the thick side of things, balanced by a nice refreshing carbonation. The beer definitely pimp slaps your taste buds on the way in and on the way out. Your tongue becomes it's bitch.

Overall, I'd have to say this is one of my favorite IPAs. And it's an East Coast IPA and it could destroy most IPA's on BOTH coasts. I'm lucky as hell to be able to get this at my local craft beer store down here in Florida City. If (God forbid) Smuttynose decided to limit production and I wasn't able to find residence on the nose of a smutty nosed sea monster on the Isle of Shoals, I would definitely look to take up residence somewhere close to brewery so I could enjoy this beer on the regular.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Holy cow! What a find at one of my favorite local haunts, JP O'Malley's. The beer poured out of the bottle a brilliant golden colour, with a bubbly and sticky-looking head. The aroma was amazing, with good ol' fashioned hops, citrus fruit and some rich pine essence. The flavor is crisp, clean and very palate cleansing, with an awesome IPA snap at the end. Hands down, one of if not the best straight-up IPA I have ever had, IMHO.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of Maruccil1
4.91/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

To me it's the best IPA in the US. Every time I drink this beer (often) it stuns me with its robust flavor. Recommended to any hop lovers who appreciate a quality beer. Thank you Smuttynose, top notch indeed.

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 5,261 ratings.
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