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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)
Very Good
614 Ratings
Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
First brewed in England, these potent, malty monsters were frequently aged before being put into small bottles and sold as strong beers or even medicinal tonics. The American version has been blown up with more alcohol, larger bottles and more hops.

Smuttynose Barleywine straddles these two branches of the barleywine tree. When you taste it, you’ll notice deep, rich caramel malt flavors, balanced with hop bitterness. Fruity hop flavors act as a garnish for its amped-up but classic flavor. For a more refined experience, tuck a few bottles away for a year or two. The alcohol will mellow and the hop aromas will fade into the background, leaving the luscious malt to shine on its own.

65 IBU

2007 - 11.4%
2009 - 11.1%

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 614 |  Reviews: 358
Reviews by BeerForMuscle:
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep garnet red with a thinner slight off white head,this is an old school barley wine in the nose meaning mainly big malt sweet cherry and brown sugar dominate I even picked a touch of smoke in there.Nice big chewey mouthfeel but went down quite easy,big malty flavors to go along with the chewey mouthfeel once again rum soaked cherries and vanilla with notes of carmael and brown sugar with just a light smack of pine in the finish letting you know the hops are there.I didnt get the big hop presence of this beer like many others who have reviewed it a nice barley wine none the less.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml brown with a Victorian style colour sketching of a woman picking hops. Good blurb about the brew, no freshness date, but none is required with this style.

Appearance: Hazy, cloudy, and dull copper-like in colour with an off-white lacey head.

Smell: Ripe, fruit esters with a touch of caramelization, grain and a pinch of hop.

Taste: This brew is smooth and big on chewy malt flavours; rich toasted complexities. From then, it flows into an amazing cocktail of esters and citruisy hop flavours which end with a dry, grain aftertaste.

Notes: We think Smuttyies has done it again. Perhaps one of the best Barleywines available. Downright exceptional, balanced beyond belief and a honor to drink. 7.0% abv.

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Photo of blitz134
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly clear, red bodied brew. Very light tan head on top, 1/4" that stayed around a while after reducing slightly. Nice sheet of lace all the way down the glass.

Smelled strongly out of the bottled. In the glass I get whiffs of a ton of hops, citrus rinds mostly, some grapefruit. Nice sugary sweet, caramel smell to it, definately has its share of crystal malts. Hints of alcohol, but not strong.

Nice balance here, even though there are plenty of hops. Caramel, crystal malt sweetness to start. Then transitions into some grassy, herbal hops with some bitter citrus pith. Then comes the "dinner roll" malts at the finish with subtle hints of chocolate. Finishes with a bit of lingering "dirty" bitterness. Quite nice. This one must be had only slightly chilled to let everything come through.

Nice full bodied brew, coats the tongue and the flavor lingers. Low carbonation. Quite smooth with just a little brashness from the hops.

This is a really good beer, in my opinion. If you like Great Divide's Old Ruffian, you'll like this one. Alcohol is present, I can feel it already and I'm barely anyways into this one at all. A superb example of the American Barleywine style.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a claret color with a modest head and a small amount of lacing. It had a nice roasted grain odor. The taste was predominately hoppy, with a little fruitiness thrown in. The hop taste remained a long time. A very smooth, rich beer. I didn't notice the alcohol, but one big bottle is all I'd want to drink in a single sitting.

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Photo of sponberg
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass, cellar temperature. Deep reddish copper with a thin cream colored head that's thin, but laces for a while. Big aroma of toffeelike malt, spicy slightly earthy/grapefruity hop, and warmth of alcohol.

This, to me, is what a barleywine should taste like. Big, chewy, and round, yet not overblown, with a fruity, toffeelike maltiness with hints of nuts, balanced by a solid hop bitterness. Then a gentle warming surge of alcohol joins in, followed by a spicy, earthy, citrusy hoppiness that is just below the malt. The finish is all of the above flavors happily gliding away. Not the biggest barleywine I've ever drank, nor the maltiest, hoppiest, or most alcoholic; but the balance is spot-on for my taste buds. Special, this one.

One of my three favorite barleywines, no question.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy dark amber color with a decent, off white head. Smell is extremely fruity, citrusy hops, grapefruit, a hint of alcohol. Taste is more ripe fruits, figs, raisins, definite hop presence in the finish which does a decent job of hiding the alcohol with a pungent grapefruit and pine flavor. The burn in the belly, however, remains giving off a nice warming sensation. Mouthfeel is velvety, semi-rich, modest carbonation, and dry, hoppy finish. One bomber is definitely enough. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber bottle, no freshness dating found. Pours golden amber, clear, minimal head, tiny buble film, leaves minimal lacing. Nose is faint malt. Taste is smooth, malt. Vanilla, leather,melon and caramel. Hops are subtle, not overpowering. Grainy, grapefruit hop notes come through. Quite warming with Alcohol (10%!) present, but well hidden by fulll flavors of this tasty sipper. well done, seek and enjoy.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a growler freshly filled a couple hours ago at Shoreline Beverage in Huntington, NY (thanks for the tip Malto).
A real attractive bronze/rust color w/ a nice finger full of off-white head that disappears quickly. Lacing is very thin and has no cling at all.
Aroma is real enjoyable...rum raisins, cherries, and some alcohol present.
Taste is packed full of raisins, grapes, and has a decent malt backbone. I was expecting something sweeter from Smutty.
Alcohol is present too, but is not upfront and does not linger...just warms you up perfectly.
The mouthfeel is just right for the style...a bit syrupy and somewhat thick.
Drinkability is average, as I never find the barleywines to be highly drinkable...a perfect one to enjoy this time of year.
I would prefer this particular offering aged for at least a year, and I will do this with the few bottles I just picked up last week...I could simply not avoid picking up a growler of this brew when I saw it available...blame me?

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Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of ballewblake.

Pours brownish-amber with a small off-white head. The aroma is very sweet with some strong caramel malt. The flavor is lots of caramel as well as hops, chocolate, sweet malt as well as some dark fruit and brown sugar. The alcohol does come through in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up on a recommendation at Knightly Spirits in Orlando. 2011 edition.

Poured into a goblet. A hazy amber brew, with visible sediment that suspends in the glass until it finally settles. A thin head is all that survives. Not the best looking brew I'll admit, but few barleywines ever are.

The nose is quite inviting: big caramel, malt, bread, peach, a bit of booze and citrus. Quintessential American barleywine nose here.

Tastes excellent - flavorful and complex. The citrus hops added a lovely counterpart to the sweet malty blast at the beginning. Dry grain to the finish. Notes of peach, apricot, wine. Nice chewy feel, medium bodied, excellent carbonation. Slightly meaty with the sediment.

Great barleywine, highly recommended.

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Photo of mattster
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 22 Fluid ounce 2007 Bottle at Beer Tasting with NitroGen & Tayner; Poured into wineglass.

Pours a nice clear reddish/med brown color. Virtually no head, some lacing.

The first thing that hit me with the smell of this monster was Pecan pie - Nice toasted pecans with nice caramel maltyness. Taste follows through with nuttiness, also provides some bitter and sweet notes. Somewhat hot on back of palate, but a nice drink.

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Photo of MikePags
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Hairrrrrrrr
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of yankeeheel
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful garnet with a smallish off-whte head. Settles in to a rather swirly sheet of lace.

Smells very estery with a fair amount of hop coming through.

Tastes like a young barleywine but not quite as aggressive. There's no need to wait on the malts to tone down, they're perfect. Lots of big ripened fruit and caramel flavors. The hops are a bit over the top for me, but dealable. Feel the burn.

Mouthfeel is rather huge. Bordering on overbearing at times.

Drinkability. I'm going to get another bottle of this and lay it down. I'd like to see it when the hops settle in.

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Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip; surprisingly light and clear orange; by looks, this could be an amber ale or even a DIPA. Creamy white head, descends very slowly leaving tons of lacing.
Smell is very interesting; very malty, with soft grain and a hint of nutty sweetness with some lighter fruitiness as well, and a hint of wine-like booze.
Taste is tons of toasted grain malt, nutty and soft, caramel and hints of sweetness and fruit. Slight pinch of crisp hops at the end cleans up the sticky aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is smooth and full, well-carbonated.
Overall, every barleywine I've had is unique, and this one continues the trend. It's delicious, malty, smooth, and the alcohol is hidden entirely. Awesome job, not that I'd expect anything less from Smuttynose.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a deep, dark copper color with a tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with good amounts of toffee. Also present are slight hints of pine hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet caramel malts up front are joined quickly by mild amounts of pine hops. Midway through the flavor profile sweetens a bit with the addition of heavy toffee and butterscotch flavors, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was a bit too sweet and lacked the complexity to be in the upper tier of barleywines, but it’s another solid beer from the Big Beer series. Worth a shot.

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Photo of justme
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JMS1512
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On the docket: Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (part of the BIG BEER Series). Bottle conditioned, and brewed in 2013. Excellent- pre-aged. No waiting needed.

Poured into: Jester King Snörkel snifter.

S: An opaque tawny, brown body sits below a quick-rising khaki head. After a minute or so, the head dies down, sitting tight and sudsy. I’ve not even had a sip, and there’s lacing on the glass, medium bands of beauty.

A: This big beer boasts fig, caramel and pine in the initial aroma. Further inhalation provides sweet malt and certain fusel booziness. It smells characteristic of an American Barleywine.

T: The taste mimics much of the aroma, adding a bit of earthy, spicy hop signature. The malt sired toasted brown bread and caramel. When on the cold side, the alcohol is masked. When warm, it’s easier to detect. Bitterness helps balance out the sweetness.

F: Some carbonation present, enough to keep the sweetness from dominating and creating fatigue. Medium body, dry bitter finish that lasts and lasts. Woo!

O: In addition to being a favorite style, I also appreciate that this example produced by a respected American brewer bridges the gap between treacle-sweet English BWs and hop-bomb, abrasive US versions (fresh Bigfoot comes to mind). Thus one hits all the marks- hoppy, boozy (in a good way- not hot and solventy), nice initial sweetness. A fine example of the style.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled conditioned in 2013. 10.6% stamped on the neck.

A: Pours a hazy orangish amber with a slightly yellowed head. Can barely make out any visible carbonation. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Initially I notice a nice dose of hops which add a citrusy floral aroma. Bit of dark fruit from the malt. Can smell the alcohol.

T: Nice blend going on here, initially there is a pretty bitter hop flavor. Then the malts catchup on the backend adding in their sweetness and fruit qualities. Has a bit of a molasses or carmel tone to it as well. Booze doesnt hesitate to show its face.

M: Medium to full body with a creamy mouthfeel. Pretty sticky and resinous on the backend. Leaves your mouth a bit dry.

Overall this one certainly fulfills the "big beer series" name. A bit rambunctious now, this one will benefit with age. Pick one up if youre not scared of something strong.

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Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 614 ratings