Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)
Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #239
Ranked #3,660
4.1 | pDev: 9.76%
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)
Notes: 2007 - 10.0%
2009 - 8.9%
2010 - 9.8%
2014 - 9.4%
2015 - 10.5%
Reviews: 701 | Ratings: 1,243 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TreyIsWilson
TreyIsWilson from Michigan

3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

February 2015 bottle

A - Pours black with a one finger tan head. Good amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is roasted malts and dark chocolate.

T - The taste is roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and faded hops.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - Nice imperial stout. The flavors are nice and rich with the ABV well hidden.

Mar 31, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a dark brown color with a semi-frothy off white to tan head. Slim little lacing slides into the beer. The smell had a ton of dark sweet fruits coming about into a dry to roasty and semi-bitter chocolate. The taste was dry and roasty with the dark fruits laying down a light sweetness, decent in the flavor. Dry roasty aftertaste and sliding into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a nice sessionable sweet to bitter feel about it. Carbonation has fallen off, but I get it and am not worried. Overall, imperial stout, is it supposed to be a Russian or an American Double? I’m left scratching my beard and hoping I’ll get to try fresh soon enough.

Aug 01, 2017
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justinp444 from Michigan

4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Feb 2015 bottle date. Poured into a 3oz sample glass it as a black body and a beige quickly dissipating head of quarter inch. Smell of dark chocolate, date, plum, stone fruit, caramel, some floral, slight roasted malt, and a little bit of grape juice. Taste is nice dark chocolate, big dried fruit flavor, caramel, floral, nice bit of roasted malt on the end, and some apple. Mouth feel is full as well as body with a moderate carbonation. A great aged imperial stout, really became complex without any serious off flavors and still maintained it's drinkability.

Feb 15, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black color with brown head. Aroma and taste are quite subdued. Some roasted malt and dark fruits, quite classic. Heavy body, light carbonation. To simple for my taste.

Aug 19, 2016
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Evilyak from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

with 1200 ratings, it's not worth it to give my $0.02, as usual. with beers like this, you just have to consider the brewery and whether you like the style. it's inky black and smells, and tastes, of dark fruit and cocoa and roasted malt.

it's familiar and easy to drink and not to be taken lightly.

Mar 28, 2016
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ClavisAurea from New York

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Bottle served at cellar temps in a snifter glass.

Appearance: thick and chewy, pitch black with a nice tan head, stains the glass brown

Nose: raisins, chocolate, coffee, muted malty flavors, rich and delicious, slight oxidation but nothing that takes away from it, soy sauce

Taste: follows the nose perfectly, nice balance and depth of character, bakers cocoa, coffee, ghost of hops past, umami, delicious

Overall: this was a real treat. I actually forgot that I had this beer in my cellar. Nice find. I'd drink this again.

Mar 15, 2016
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StoneDrinking from Georgia

3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2014 Vintage bomber. Poured nearly opaque, but thin. Thin whispy head reminiscent of seafoam reduces to tan, marbled lace. No hops left in this brew. Sickly sweat malts dull the chocolate and coffee notes. Doesn't hit the palate like a ton of bricks. The boomer goes down smooth. A great go-to stout. I'll catch a fresher batch next time.

Mar 09, 2016
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RickS95 from Indiana

4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color as the day is long. Gorgeous. There's a small head of light brown bubbles but it's thin. Decent legs with a spotty lace.

While not a coffee drinker, I love the smell of it in a beer and this is heavenly. Chocolate notes are in there but you've got to search for them.

Very pleasant taste of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. A malt bomb with a splash of alcohol in the finish.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Nice balance of sweet and bitter. Faint heat. Full to medium-full body. Lingering bitter feel.

Stellar beer and easy to drink. 10.5 is well-hidden. I could drink this year round.

Feb 22, 2016
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keithmurray from Connecticut

4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/2014, listed at 9.4%ABV

Appearance - dark brown almost black body with tan head

Smell - molasses, roasted malts, black licorice, marshmallow

Taste - dark chocolate, molasses, roasted malts, black licorice, coffee in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel - full bodied, medium carbonation, roasted feel upfront, flavors coat the tongue and linger a good amount of time, hoppy on the back end

Overall - good RIS here, nice roasted flavors , rich, enjoyable on a chilly night.

Price Point - $ 6.99 / 22 oz bottle

Jan 08, 2016
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TBoneJones from Texas

3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A hop-forward imperial stout, but it blends well with the dark chocolate/ smoke notes.
Not a fan of hoppy imperial stouts, but this isn't bad, IMO, considering it's very much that.

Jan 03, 2016
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JamesBondGA from Georgia

4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours dark black with a nice 2 inch caramel head with lacing on glass. Notes of coffee and chocolate on the nose. Taste is pretty much dark chocolate and alcohol (not that there is anything wrong with that). Not the best imperial stout I've had but enjoyable.

Dec 23, 2015
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scotorum from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Bottled Feb 2015, aged till now, close to a year.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Opaque black. Two and a half inch tan head receded amazingly quickly to patchy surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Slight chocolate/coffee

t: Dark mocha coffee and alcohol on a roasty malt base. Some bitterness lingers a bit on the otherwise mixed sweet and bitter finish.

m: Medium, good body, some carbonation tingle.

o: A deceptively drinkable ten percenter, smooth and enjoyable, probably moreso due to the aging.

Nov 30, 2015
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NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in Feb. 2015.

L-Dark and black with no light transference. Head is minimal and fades to a thin ring.
S-Dark Chocolate with a hint of dark fruit sweetness.
T-Dark chocolate bitterness is the dominant flavor. Pretty one dimensional at this point.
F- Light carbonation with only a medium mouthfeel, too light for a stout.
O- A bit too simple in the flavor profile. In other reviews hops had been noted, but they seem to have faded at this point. I have to admit I'm disappointed. Not Smuttynose's best effort.

Nov 29, 2015
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KGilmour from Vermont

3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

For a stout, too much focus on hops and alcohol. Not enough complicated flavors at the front to mask that. A little thin. Overall disappointed as this is frequently listed as the best stout from New Hampshire. I've had better from NH. Little to the nose beside the faintest hint of coffee. Virtually no head.

Nov 27, 2015
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NeoClassicist from Texas

4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What on earth is this?
Slick mouthfeel, not too oily, but not creamy.
Hops?! In a stout? I taste hops here, without the over crispness of many an ale.
The full bodied-ness of a stout but not the baked character - no cocoa or coffee here. Thick but not heavy.
This is a conundrum.
Light brown head disappeared after pours both rough and soft from the generous sized bottle.
Very little carbonation to speak of.
Smells like a cross between a pale ale and porter.
A standout stout - not typical of the genre, but an interesting choice for a cold fall night.

Nov 11, 2015
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jjboesen from Maryland

3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This one opens with a heavy froth atop a pitch black body that looks like a glass of coal. Take a whiff: there is a subtle nose of malt and coffee. Take a sip: there is a resinous lather of baking chocolate along with some bitter toastiness, all of which is overwhelmed by a boozy finish.

The body is light, too light for a beer of this style. I would have expected something heavier, more breadier, but this was not to be. Still ... not bad, but not great. (This is no Old Rasputin.) ahowever, it makes for a decent quaff on a cold, rainy night.

Oct 05, 2015
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clayrock81 from Florida

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with two finger khaki head and small lace patches. Aroma is comprised of mostly roasted and burnt malts along with hints of wood, biscuit and chocolate. Smooth, fuller heavy bodied beer with emphasis on roasted and toasted coffee malts with just touch of sticky sweetness in background and hidden ABV.

Sep 26, 2015
Photo of egrapplesberg

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz (bottle conditioned Feb 2015) while watching the Ohio state vs Virginia tech game ;) pitch black with a one inch tan head that fades quickly. Moderate retention that doesn't dissipate and slowly slides down the glass. Smell is malt and coffee. Taste is an ipa lovers dream if they had to drink a stout. Hoppy/bitter with Coffee and slight chocolate. decent carbonation but still balanced mouthfeel. Overall another great beer from smuttynose! Cheers!

Sep 08, 2015
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

bottled conditioned feb/2015. opened 8/21/15

A: pours black with a very thin (surprisingly so, especially for an imperial stout), tan head. fades quickly. little retention

S: earthy hops upfront, slight roasted malts. a bit of coffee

T: big earthy hops up front. followed by roasted, maybe even charred malt (likely a high number chocolate malt very present in the grain bill), bitter chocolate. alcohol hidden very well.

M: thick, creamy. wonderful

O: delicious beer. interesting take on the style. very hoppy, especially considering it's 6 months old at the time of drinking. delicious, but i think i might like it more with a litle more age to fade the hops a bit and bring out more malt characteristics.

Aug 22, 2015
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: very dark nearly opaque brown. Pretty full mocha head on the pour that settles to a ring around the rim and a smattering on top.
smell: A bit of charred RIS roastiness, but a healthy dose of hops. Espresso and dark bittersweet chocolate.
taste: Surprisingly mellow espresso milkshake up front with a bitter finish.

Aug 19, 2015
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bgold86 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours nice and dark, has a a thick sort of syrupy feel, not a lot of chocolate or coffee notes one expects from a stout. Kind of overly sweet, but in a good way. Too bad the nose is incredibly light, also what's not expected from a stout of this nature. Finishes like a sweet caramel apple sort of a feel.

Aug 10, 2015
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CNoj012 from New York

4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look is pitch black with a full, thick brown head. Smell is chocolate, bitter roasted coffee and slightly earthy. Taste is much the same, very bitter, and some booziness on the back end. This is a full bodied beer that coats the tongue. Overall I really like this stout. My only complaint would be that the hop bitterness stands out a bit too much and overshadows the other flavors.

Aug 05, 2015
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CantankerousCaveBear from Canada (ON)

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black, like engine oil, as a proper Imperial stout should. Beige/mocha head that dissipates quickly, as expected. The nose smells like baker's chocolate, espresso, cacao nibs, decadent chocolate mousse. I pick up some toffee/treacle notes too. Earthy and herbal hops have a heavy presence, almost a resiny quality reminiscent of a black IPA/ Cascadian dark ale. I get some dark fruit, chiefly figs and prunes. Lots of charred and roast character.

Upon tasting, I get bold coffee and chocolate flavours, full, creamy and rich, true to the RIS style. Some molasses, and burnt sugar coats the palate. Taste is reminiscent of crème brulee, or a thoroughly caramelized butter tart. Robust bitterness and roastiness all around- stemming from the hops, the coffee notes, the dark chocolate notes.. I'm slowly unravelling layers as the stout warms up. Very bold, very complex, right up my alley. Smattering of dark fruits are present, dark cherries, figs, raisins and prunes. There is a distinct earthiness or woodiness/oakiness that I get at the back of the palate. Finish is savoury, again featuring prolonged bitter herbal hops. Throughout the palate there is a residual spiciness which I can't place. I'm not sure if it's licorice, anise or cinnamon.

Beautifully crafted stout. Truly complex, I love the depth the hop profile adds. I really enjoy the heavy roast and coffee taste. Roasty and savoury, brilliant combination. This brew is solid component of Smuttynose's portfolio. Fall seasonal, but something about this beer just suits the brutal northern winters, be it here in Ontario or throughout New England, where it is meticulously brewed.

Jul 27, 2015
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GormBrewhouse from Vermont

4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

l. Brownish black
s. Excellent with the roast coming trough strong
t. Tremendous mouthfeel and warm notes with every sip
F. Same as above
O. Just a well balanced great imperial

Jun 30, 2015
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a moderate amount of carbonation. Solid finger of tan head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A roasty and rich dark malt forward aroma with big hints of bitter chocolate, coffee, and hops. Dark roasted barley malt with big hints of dark chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, biscuit, caramel, and yeast. Sweet hints of molasses along with some hints of anise. Lots of hop presence for a stout with good earthy and herbal hints. A very solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a rich, roasty, and bitter dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate, coffee, and hops. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of bitter dark chocolate, coffee, toast, caramel, biscuit, smoke, and yeast. Big hop presence as well with earthy and herbal notes of grass. Sweet taste of molasses. Also some black licorice anise notes. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, chewy, and drying on the finish. Some alcohol heat is felt but it’s still smooth.

Overall: A very good take on an Imperial Stout. Huge dark malt flavor with a pretty big hop presence as well.

Jun 29, 2015
Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1243 ratings