Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"
5,360 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,360 |  Reviews: 1,856
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Incredible grapefruit aroma. Beautiful hopped appearance. Creamy smoothy orange pineapple grapefruit but also harsh and bitter pungency underlying it rather than a malt counterbalance.Much better balance
had it on tap 5 years later and it held up. Hi IBU still. Revised rating.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

found this to be more of an american pale ale than an ipa, but its real good nonetheless. pours a really clear light golden color, surprising for an unfiltered ale, smallish white head on top but excellen lacing is left behind. the nose is a little bland, no czech pils malts mixed in among the high test hops, which smell better and pretty fresh. the flavor is bitter tall the way through, nice hop varietals here, some citrus and some grassy hayfield type stuff, but all with bitter leanings. indeed there is a czech or german pilsner malt in here, providing a light crackery profile, which is unique in an ipa these days. good carbonation and a really light body for the style, plenty drinkable, would never guess the abv is pushing 7%. it feels good, it drinks good, its a litle strange, its a nice beer all up.

 815 characters

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 10/30/14.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and grapefruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with solid citrus zest and citrus juice characteristics that are slightly better in the taste to me.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This IPA pours out as a golden color with a decent head on it. The smell has a good amount of hops on the nose. The taste of hops and some hearty malts on the tongue. The mouthfeel was pretty good too. Overall this IPA isn't my favorite but worth trying.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear deep yellow in color but has lots of particles floating in suspension. There’s a light amount of visible carbonation, which makes the particles somewhat resemble a lava lamp as they rise up from the center of the glass and fall down the edges. It poured with a finger high off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of rings of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell has aromas of floral hops along with notes of citrus and pine resin along with hints of caramel.
T: The taste has flavors of floral and pine resin hops and is accompanied by a moderate amount of bitterness from start to finish. Hints of caramel malts are also present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: I found this to be an easy drinking IPA that is packed with hops but isn’t overly bitter. The floral hops are an interesting change of pace compared to all of the grapefruit hops currently available on the market. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, the second of a pair of Smuttynose offerings now available in my neck of the woods.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden amber colour, with one skinny finger of weakly foamy, soapy, and mostly bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some weeping mountain tributary lace around the glass as it quickly subsides.

It smells of stale pine needles, overripe orange and lemon rind, estery florals, tingly herbs, grainy pale malt, and further understated grassy, leafy hops. The taste is sharp lemon, white grapefruit, and orange peel, edgy pine resin, a strong hard water flintiness, gritty pale grainy malt, and rather peppy earthy, floral, herbal, and grassy hops.

The bubbles are fairly lively in their probing and supportive frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight for the style, and mostly smooth, the various hop interlopers kind of leaving a trail of minor destruction here. It finishes off-dry, but not by much, as the complex bitterness starts to really assert its control over things.

At first sniff, I was ready to write this off as an East Coast American IPA innovator that has fallen behind the times, but once I got into it, I see that that is not quite the case. Lots of palate-challenging hop flavour and bitterness going on here, just not yer typical one-two punch of citrus and pine, solely. Enjoyable, and something I could see having at least a few rounds of.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good IPA from a local brewery. Only iffy thing for me is the appearance, a little too cloudy and some floaties visible.. this could possibly be due to how it was stored though. Taste wise it's magnificent and close to my favorite, Abijah Rowe from Cambridge House. A hoppy delight!

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Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/26/2013. Pours cloudy golden amber color with a nice 1-2 finger fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of orange, pineapple, grapefruit, citrus rind, floral, pine, grass, bread, light caramel, and earthy hops. Very nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity. Taste of orange zest, grapefruit, pine, citrus rind, pineapple, bread, floral, grass, light caramel, and piney spiciness. Nice amount of piney citrus bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus rind, pine, floral, grass, bread, and piney spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice hop flavor balance and complexity; with just enough malt balance to not be overpowering; and minimal cloying bitterness on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, sticky, and crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent IPA. Great balance and complexity of hop flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering as expected.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of kojevergas
3.34/5  rDev -18.5%


BOTTLE: 12 oz brown glass. Branded pry-off pressure cap. Label clearly identifies this as an IPA, so I'm reviewing as such. "Best by 02/25/15." "ABV 6.9%."

Purchased hours ago and reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've heard a lot about Smuttynose but haven't gotten to try any until now when they started distributing in Texas.

Served cold into a snifter. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A gentle hiss upon opening suggests perfect carbonation.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two fingers wide. Off-white colour. Fairly soft-looking. Complexion has a soapy shine to it. Lightly creamy. Billowing. Retention is quite good - about 5 minutes - as it resolves to a soft film atop the body. Light consistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. It could use a fuller creamier consistency, but I've few qualms.

BODY: Not the usual deep copper of American IPAs. Brighter, with paler yellow hues. Nicely vibrant. Moderate carbonation bubbles continue to suggest good carbonation. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

It's a clean clear appearance for an IPA, and I'm looking forward to the first sip, but it doesn't stand out.

AROMA: A fresh clean aroma filled with pleasant notes of citrusy zest, modest grapefruit (with a hint of accompanying hop bitterness), some faint hop oils, pale malt, a dab of nectary character, some resins, and ample fruity esters. The citrusy zest is the highlight and emphasis here; it's tough to pin down but I'd say tangerine and grapefruit, with subsidiary hints of mango and, to a lesser degree, lemon.

Balance-wise, the hop bitterness seems well checked by the unintrusive pale malt base.

As it comes to temperature, I pick up on faint pine resin, a bit of caramalt, and some more run-of-the-mill grassy and floral hop notes.

No oniony or soapy notes here. Nor is there any overt alcohol presence or yeast character.

Simcoe is definitely the star here, but the hop profile flirts a biteen too much with tropical territory for my personal tastes. Still, the mango and tangerine are nice - I just hope they're kept in check.

TEXTURE: The first flaw I notice is a surge towards unnecessary coarseness and dryness on the climax, which lends the brew a rough, lightly scratchy feel that disturbs the otherwise successful smooth, wet, and refreshing mouthfeel. That dragging patch is unwelcome and distracting. That said, it's well-carbonated and aptly medium-bodied. More softness would be lovely, but that's nitpicking. It's a biteen oily, but ultimately boasts a near ideal thickness. Overall presence on the palate is decent; this texture could definitely use some fine-tuning to really bring out the best in the taste.

It's not astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, boozy, or flat.

The highlight for me is the crisp and soft feel of the finish, which encourages the next sip.

TASTE: Though the texture is a bit of a letdown, I'm largely surprised by the flavour profile - which does feature oniony Simcoe notes after all, in addition to the aforementioned hop repertoire of citrus zest, floral hop notes, grassiness, grapefruit, etc. Unfortunately, the grapefruit veers on an almost rindy bitterness, which goes unbalanced by the inadequate (but certainly pleasant) pale malt core. More resins would be nice, and the pine doesn't quite fit into the flavour profile as well as would be ideal. The citrusy grapefruit, tangerine, and mango are emphasized in the flavour profile, but more of a focus on the nectary character of its constituent hops would make this a tastier brew.

In spite of its key hop/malt imbalance, I do like the beer. There's a fair amount of complexity here, but I wouldn't call it an intricate or subtle beer within its style per se. The build is not gestalt; the notes don't work together to comprise an ineffable whole. But it's cohesive and pretty well put together. I will say that while oniony hop notes usually work for me, they don't do so here.

OVERALL: While I'm not sure this lives up to the high expectations four years of reading about the beer on the forums has given me, it remains a very drinkable enjoyable IPA available at a more than fair price. It won't be a mainstay in my fridge, but I'll be revisiting this a couple more times and I'm glad it's available in six packs. That said, it can't hold a candle to the best IPAs out there, but I'm sure it played a big part in paving the way for them. Surely, those IPAs are better for standing on the shoulders of this one. I look forward to trying more of Smuttynose's classic beers.


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smuttynose's flagship IPA shows the classic character of the style, but doesn't relegate its balance to assertive malt presence, but rather adds complexities from soft esters and alcohol complexes instead.

Their "Finest Kind" pours lightly golden and with the signature dry-hopped haze and sediment for more hoppy goodness. It builds a stark- white head that nearly billows to the rim of the glass- showing off its elevated carbonation. As the froth settles into blanketed coat, it laces the glass with decorative random patterns. Its simply a very appetizing IPA, even to the eye.

Hop-heavy on the nose with bold citrus fruits of grapefruit, orange zest, lemons, pineapples, and tropical medley; the beer's perfumy and floral upstart is supported by light caramel malts that provide a juicy, vine-ripened sweetness to the citrus and tropical notes but never try to rival the hop aromas.

And the beer's hop-centric taste is consistent from its aromatics: citrus, tropical fruits, and fresh-cut grass on the early and middle palate leaves behind an ultra resiny pine bitterness to finish. Fruity esters give a sweet alcohol note of rose and spice. Interestingly, these flavors amplifies the sweetness as it seems to smooth out its bitter bite. Again, caramel malts provide firm underpinnings for the hop display but they never get in the way. The beer is simply an exhibition of American hops.

Crisp, clean, and playfully malty up front, the caramelly grains give way soon after the initial taste, allowing the hop character of bitterness, dryness, and bite to carry the beer deep into the finish and aftertaste. It's a true thirst-quencher.

Finest Kind is a quintessential IPA with a complex hop mix, crisp and understated hops, and noticeable esters and alcohols. Consistent and through from nose to finish.

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Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Flying Saucer in Raleigh, served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a hint of gold. There is a finger of fluffy off white carbonation that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: The overall smell of this one is mild for an IPA. Grassy hops with a slightly fruity note. Just enough malt in the background to balance things out.

Taste: Hops up front, a strong citrus peel bitterness. A nice amount of malt to balance things, but also let the hops be the star. The finish is very bitter from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I think this is a really nice IPA. I enjoyed the hop profile quite a bit. I would have another.

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Photo of emerge077
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBD: 3/3/12

Murky orange yellow with a ton of suspended sediment. Creamy white foam settles to the top, forming drippy concentric rings of lacing in the glass. Retention is good, but appearance is marred by the pondwater chunks.

Aroma is herbal with dried vegetation, grassy sweet and floral.

Flavor has a slight pale malt sweetness at first, quickly segueing in dominant bitter hops, enamel stripping alpha acids and bitter herbaceousness. A light biscuity breadiness flashes by in the middle, with a deeply resiny and bitter aftertaste. Medium bodied with medium carb levels, easy to drink. Definitely an amped up bitterness to this, one for the hopheads out there.

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Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 5,360 ratings