Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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1,817 Reviews
Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

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: 1,817 | Ratings: 5,174
Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour gives a slight, white head that recedes to a thin layer and ring. Poured off the sediment, the beer is a clear, golden amber in color.

smell: Notes of juicy green hop pulp upfront carried on light waves of ethanol. Light aromas of caramel and pale type malts. Notes of tropical fruits including big passionfruit and grapefruit.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a high medium, and the body light.

taste: Fresh green hops with a nice, light malt balance which allows the hops to dominate. Notes of tropical fruits abound with the pulpy hop flavor, especially passionfruit and grapefruit. A big bitterness gradually takes over and lingers long into the finish with some graininess and residual hop flavor.

drinkability: easy, very tasty

Single bottle purchased at Woodman's in Madison and smuggled back to NC. Notched as best by August '06.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid IPA. Golden color, nice medium head. Floral aroma, a little citrus in there also. Tasted initially sweet, then the nice hop sharpness kicked in. Pretty assertive beer. A beer to drink a few of, as long as you're sticking to IPAs. I liked this almost as much as Smutty's Big A IPA.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - deep golden color, medium-sized white head with a little retention, nice lacing, lots of big yeast chunkies floating around

s - great aroma, you can tell this is going to be a hop bomb, lots of citrusy and piney hops in the nose

t - as the smell would suggest, the start is pretty sweet and rather malty, but soon after that the hops come to the forefront starting with a citrusy taste and evolving into a mouth filling bitterness that goes on forever

m - medium carbonation, light-to-medium bodied, hop oil coats the mouth

d - very drinkable, could easily become a session beer for me, wouldn't want to try to review anything else after a few of these though b/c the hops destroy the palate

Great example of my favorite style. Not on the level of The Mama or Two-Hearted, but a very solid brew all-around.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle a cloudy reddish gold with a fairly large head of foam that shrunk quickly leaving a solid layer for most of the session and then.. diminished some more until just a very fine layer remained.

The smell is quite hoppy with notes of citrus like grapefruit and lemon and there's a bit of malty sweetness in the nose as well.

The taste is actually a bit sweeter than I expected. The hops are definitely in control with grapefruit and lemon and a bit of grass but the malt presence kind of eases the bitter tones until the finish when it becomes quite bitter and very refreshing. Good stuff!

Bottom line: A very good example of an American IPA. Thanks go out to jwc215 for including this one in our trade!

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Photo of AlesRTasty
3.72/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- amber/yellow and hazy from bits of floating yeast? white head about an inch thick
S - some hops, very little aroma
T - bitter and dry hop taste. much more impressive than the aroma. very nice.
M- good carb. and "crispness" for this style
D - overall a good beer. I would drink it regularly if I could get it regularly.

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Photo of Liquids
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orangey yellow one finger bubbly head. This is unfiltered? there is yeast floating around. I missed the warning, though it seems like it wasn't settled anyhow and would be in the mid even with a good pour. That makes it a bit unattractive in appearance though otherwise it was pleasing. Aroma is citrus rinds and flowers. Not over the top but getting there, good resinous aroma, but all hops. Taste is intense bittering hops. It's definite a hop kick from the start in that plain old bitter sense. Tastes like a few and not just one hop variety but not a million either. Surprisingly, a malty flavor peaks in at the end, of all things. Very grapefruity in flavor. A hop-heads delight. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with full on carbonation; leaves a zippy lively feel on the tounge. For all of that, I admit this was nothing special. I'm finding I like the multi-hop kind of flavor over the single hop kind of thing, but also with this beer I realize the distinction in "where do you put the hops?" so to speak. Abundant bittering hops, vs abundant flavoring hops, vs abundant aroma hops, and all of the above. This one focused on bittering to my palate, so while the hop choices weren't overwhelming, the puckering bitterness made this not enjoyable. I learned something here. Smutty shows their ability to craft well here, though it's not to my palate. A fine beer for the hop lover, but not the IPA I'd return to.

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Photo of BasementBrew
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bright beer with a light body and a fruity nose. It started out thin, but grew into an astringent, bitter, hoppy aftertaste. I wouldn't say it stood out in the world of craft IPA's but it knocked commercial brands (like Keith's) and I'd happily buy it again.

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Photo of macpapi
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always thought this beer was the best of the lot among New England brewed I.P.A.s Its hoppiness has often seemed more akin to west coast representations of the style than the typically mild northeastern candidates. As such, I've always thought of this one as among the finest I.P.A.s that American breweries had to offer.

Finest Kind pours a nice light brown to yellowish color. Pale indeed! It has a full white head and very nice lacing.

Smell is dominated by fresh citrus and hop notes. A very strong pull on the nostrils. There is a nice combination of grapefruit, lemon and orange here--dominated by the latter two fruits.

Taste is a multitude of hops. A very strong and bitter swallow, which almost overwhelms an otherwise fine grapefruit flavor. This is a very full and impressive tasting beer.

Mouthfeel again is full, bitter and biting. I can see how this beer could be almost unpalatable for non-I.P.A. fans or anti-hopheads. For me though it is very appealing.

Despite the astringent qualities--or perhaps because of them for a h.h. like me--this is an eminently drinkable brew. To my mind, it is complex, well-balanced and potent enough to make it an American heavyweight. Right up there with Two Hearted and Hop Devil as the the most drinkable and sessionable American I.P.A.s

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Photo of BrewDoctor
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to start by saying this my 'go to' American IPA. After years of trying some of the more conveted IPAs from West to East, this one lends it's hand as a benchmark. A great batch of "Finest Kind" is right up there with the best of them. The price is just an Easter Egg on top.

A - Hazy sunshine with a slight hint of unripened oranges

S - Beautiful, floral hop aroma accented by citrus. In a fresh batch, the hop flower is quite pungent. Malts? Not really.

T - The smell tells a lot about the taste of this brew. It starts with the scent of hop flowers as the beer slides toward the lips, followed by a orange, lemon, and grapefruit citrus flavor that leads it's way to a strong bitterness on the tongue. Malt flavor is hardly present as the hops overpower the overall brew giving it a crisp, refreshing flavor that's sure to satisfy. Ahh, just like I like it!

M - Decent mouthfeel with enough alcohol to sting the gums to help accent the 'in your face' hop presence. Again, a crisp feel all around.

D - This beer does well as a single or 6 at a time. The bitterness may turn off some malt lovers, but perfect for a hophead to enjoy all day at a BBQ.

Did I mention that I love this beer? Oh yeh. Thank the beer gods for Smuttynose!

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After trying their Big A i was looking for something with a little less bang, and the Smuttynose IPA is absolutly perfect. Was a little worried about the mouthfeel being that it was unfilitered but did not taste it at all. Beautiful fruitful aroma with a lovely color. Definitely a great drinker.

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Photo of snilsen13
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - golden with lacey white froth, stays frothy for at least an hour. nice.

S - slightly grassy

T - before the hops hit there is some faint sweeetness, but the end is pretty bitter. these are the hops that are borderline soapy to me... I've noticed hop heads can be pretty crass, makes me wonder ... Now, do not get me wrong, there's more than soap, there is a presence of alcohol in the flavor too, and it is a pretty heady brew. bottom line, it does taste prettty good at $8 a 6 pack.

M - the soapy hop flavor lingers on too long for me.

D - difficult to to drink, but not entirely off putting, this qualifies as a finisher.

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Photo of sloejams
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Finest Kind" as it's formally known, has only been around for only a couple years. I love the label with the 2 fellas on the lawnchairs, enjoying some beer. The guy on the right kind of looks like Drew Carey (If you can make that out). It has a cloudy peach-orange color with a brilliant head that leaves lace rings on the pint glass as I enjoy the nectar. The aroma has a great citrus hop nose: grapefruit and lemon, yum. The taste is much of the same with a caramel malt hint that doesn't balance the bitter hop attack, but I don't think it was meant to. The creamy texture is something that I've found some of my favorite IPAs make complete. This is no exception. Probably the best IPA, I've had from New England. Delicious.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.24/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle I brought to OH from CT. The appearance was awesome and, unfortunately, the best attribute of this beer. Deep orange color, hazy with yeasties floating around, with thick foamy top.

The smell was slightly hoppy, among the weakest IPA aromas I've tried. The taste was signifigantly more bitter than the hop flavor leads you to expect. Maybe high alpha acid hops... Also 1-dimensional in that there was no malty counter-balance to the hops.

Not worth the effort to get.

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Photo of granger10
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky orange color with some kind of chunks in it. Yeast or hops? Looks kind of nasty but I kind of like it. Aroma is interesting. A touch sweet but hops. Like sweet pine smell and then grapefruit. Complex, really, but I can't pin it down. Taste is hopped the crap out. But there's not the intensity I was expecting, making this quite drinkable but not quite the palate destroying experience I thought it might be. Good and bad. Lower carbonation and smooth really with a fruitiness that seems to dominate. Drier on the palate than nostrils however. Balanced but hoppy. Finish has more bitterness and alcohol replaces the fruity malts. I drank this one fairly easily and quickly, but its not my favorite.

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Photo of
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle. Crystal clear gold with orange tones. Large, rocky off-white head. Aroma was grapefruit hops, very little malt, what was there came through as honey. Flavor was reflective of aroma, with hops as grapefruit, a nice balance of malt (honey was very faint), and almost no aftertaste. Mouthfeel was light, with medium to high carbonation, and moderate drying. A very nice beer, the younger brother to Big-A IPA. I prefer the Big-A version, but this is incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of rayjay
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another one brought to me by a friend on a cross-country run, straight from the Foodery in Philly. Thanks again!

Nice pour, nice looking carbonation, looks like it'll lace up nice. Lots of chunks in this one, big thick ones that take forever to sink.

Smells good too. High alpha hops and some "east coast" malt smell, a la 60 Minute IPA.

Tastes really good. Big bitter punch up front, fruity/grapefruity/piney thing for a second or two, then back to bitter aftertaste. Like many of my favorite IPA's it tastes like chewing on hops, which I love. Plenty of fresh flower bite.

Mouthfeel is good, too, with a light malt backbone that lets the hops blast through. Refreshing!

It's great to see the east coast really step it up with this one; too many east coast IPA's have a huge malt body, which slows me way down. It's got plenty of punch and it's nice and light for easy sessioning. A++

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Photo of Estarrio
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light golden yellow. Kickass head! Big, white, frothy, with big frothy chunks and some decent retention. Intricate lacings through the last sip.

Standard stock IPA aroma. Floral hops with a bit of orange.

Nice, smooth taste. This is an IPA that you can jump into without being initiated into the halls of hopdom. A lightly sweet, citrus taste is quickly overtaken by a well-balanced, potent hop flavor. The aftertaste is grapefruit. It's not too dry or bitter, making this a very smooth, balanced and highly drinkable beer.

Light to medium body with high carbonation and again, very drinkable.

This is an IPA I could drink after mowing the lawn without a problem and yet it is still a nicely flavored and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of cbl2
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3/28/2005 $6.99 6 pack 6.60% Bottled February 2005.


Pours a hazy shade of orange brown with a thin white head on top.


I'm slightly congested, but some orange/citrus notes shine through. I'm not detecting much else, but that's due to post-nasal drip.


Starts off very bitter, with a touch of orange. By midsip the bitterness has quelled a little, to allow some mild malt presence to arise, but the bitterness rears its ugly head at the end. I've gotta say that I'm not overly impressed with this one. It could by my illness, but there are much better IPA's out there.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy, pale gold with a thin, white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The robust smell contains hops, sweet citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is very well-balanced between the hops bitterness and the citrus malt sweetness. The two flavors counteract each other so evenly that there’s no after-taste and you simply crave the next sip. Once the beer warms a bit, it leaves a pleasantly bitter hops after-taste.

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

D: It’s tasty, not-too-filing, and it’s the kind if beer that you can just keep on drinking. Smuttynose Brewing Co. continues to impress me. I think this is an excellent beer and a great representation of the style.

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Photo of JayQue
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A really good IPA, close to Celebration Ale and as good as Hop 'Otten. Pours a cloudy light orange/dull gold color with a medium size white head. The head fades quickly to 1/4 inch but then hangs in there throughout. Good heavy lacing. Fairly good hops aroma. Taste is great. Bitter hops with some grapefruit. The flavors are nicely balanced and the grapefruit is not overpowering. The taste/mouthfeel are rich and smooth (for a hop head). THe ABV is a bit high for a session beer, but if I was going to be sitting on my butt with friends for a long while I would consider slowly putting down 3 of these beauties. An outstanding beer, looks like it is available all year long. A greeat find for a guy down to his last 3 2006 Celebration Ales.

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Photo of hunteraw
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours lighter than I expected, more of a dark gold than an amber/orange. Good head and lace. Aroma is all hops, specifically very grapefruity. The flavor is very much along the same lines. I wouldn't be too surprised if someone told me grapefruit juice actually went into this beer. Bitter, citrus hop notes dominate throughout. Mouthfeel is good, drinkability is high. Worth coming back to again and again.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden apple-juicy amber with a smooth, fluffy, white head and fair retention. Thin flecks of hops are visible in slowly swirling suspension. You can tell this one's gonna be hoppy.

Smell: Gorgeous, foresty hops, very resinous, evergreen-ish, floral, and bursting with a peppery clover aroma. Sweet, lush, caramel malts hold things together nicely.

Taste: Blunt hops are the alpha and the omega here, with a quick flash of caramel malts in the middle. Finish is dry and somewhat flat and dull, a poor finale for an otherwise exciting beer. Overall, it's kind of a one-note samba, but still good.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sticky and a little too syrupy.

Drinkability: Pretty potent and invigoratingly hoppy, a good beer to have towards the end of a session.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange with a decent white head, retains nicely and laced my glass. Very hoppy in aroma, Cascades, citrus fruit and pine, Sweet malt aroma unlocked wit a little swirl of the glass. Medium bodied. Sweet at first with a tingle of carbonation, Tangy citrus middle like grapefruit. Pine bitter finish that dries the back of the throat somethin' fierce. Well balanced, delicious IPA!


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Photo of Hautacam
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber...big foamy head..laces and drops to a film.
Smells great ! Big floral aroma... The way my kitchen smells when I'm brewing.
Citrus rind bite...grapefruit hop with a slightly sweet malt background....the hops definitely win this round. Finish is grapefruit rind dry. Very good.
Mouthfeel is medium , as is the carbonation.
A good IPA...pretty hoppy...not a lot of malt , but enough.
Like everything else Smuttynose makes...quality stuff.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale, sunny, orange color with light cloudiness and few chunks of sediment. The head is creamy and light with amazing retention. Loads of streaming carbonation visible. The aroma is tangy with strong piney and floral hop presence. Very grapefruit like in character, and also very "fresh" to the nose. The taste is also dominated by grapefruit hops, the malt flavor is a bit subdued but has a nice toastiness that holds up well to balance it out. Bitterness is solid and makes it very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is fairly light in thickness and the carbonation is not overpowering. This brew has excellent drinkability due to its nice balance and crisp hoppiness. Nothing over-complex, but made just right... Thanks to ghostwalker for this brew...

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Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind" from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,817 ratings.
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