Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)
Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Bock - Maibock
4.02 | pDev: 9.95%
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)
Notes: We brew our Maibock to be hugely malty & subtly finished with a variety of continental hops, with an eye-pleasing russet brown color. Prosit!

2007 - 7.0%
2008 - 6.2%
2009 - 8.4%
2010 - 8.7%
Reviews: 286 | Ratings: 369 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JuliusCaesar
JuliusCaesar from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Light brown/ golden color.

S: Malt and toffee aroma.

T: Sweet caramel, malt and spices. Also, a touch of banana and cloves. Alcohol on the finish.

M: Moderately heavy and a bit sticky.

Overall: A very rich and delicious beer. Really nice desert flavors with warming alcohol. This is a favorite.

Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Triglycerides
Triglycerides from Rhode Island

4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz 2010 vintage poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a dark straw/light brownish colour with a large, impressive head. Leaves a bit of lacing along the side of the mug.

Smell: Definitely has a heavy malt presence on the nose, with some breadiness. There's also a hint of mixed fruit in the background (grapes,apples, pears)

Taste: Tastes very sweet with a bit of sweet malt and fruitiness going on. Mildly hoppy finish finish with some alcohol. There's definitely a lot of complexity here, and it all works quite well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a bit syrupy, but delightfully smooth. Carbonation helps to offset the weight of this brew. As a whole it's pretty well fit to the beer.

Overall: This is a very good and complex beer. Certainly one to take your time with, since there's a lot going on here. Cheers to Smuttynose for another nice brew.

Nov 05, 2012
Photo of fields336
fields336 from Virginia

4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2011 vintage

A: medium caramel amber, with 2 finger thick off white head, lacing is great, carbonation is amazing, clarity is awesome

S: apple, biscuit, honey, freshly baked bread, caramel, yeasty twang, citrus

T: apple pie, honey, bread, caramel, malty, citrus, spice, pepper.

M: medium body, low carbonation, sweet finish, lingering taste

O: pretty good beer, wouldn't have reviewed it but others have reviewed 2011 recently, so i figured why not. Picked it up for 2.99 which was a steal in my opinion.

Aug 20, 2012
Photo of TechTriumph
TechTriumph from Virginia

4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 04/19/12:
Bottle conditioned in 2011; Poured in a pint glass.

A - Over one inch of off-white fluffy head that shows pretty good retention; Darker shade of brass in color with a fairly clear appearance and visible carbonation bubbles rising up the glass; Decent lacing at first, but much less later

S - Lots of yeasty fresh bread, but fairly sweet too, with accompanying apple-like fruits and floral, herbal and spicy hops

T - Pretty subtle alcohol comes through up front, but it's quickly consumed by a nice yeasty/bready flavor and very mild sweetness; Also coming forward are freshly sliced apples, lingering herbal/spicy hops, and some honey - very tasty

M - Moderate and zesty carbonation; Definitely feels like a heavier brew, but the carbonation cuts into it some to provide a bit of a crisp feeling as well; Finish is fairly dry, leaving a bit of syrupy coat in the mouth; A little warmth can be felt at the end of each sip

O - Having tried several Maibocks lately, I've determined that this one is my favorite thus far. As far as the flavor and aroma goes, this beer does an excellent job of packing lots of sweet, bready, and Noble Hop character with a somewhat hefty body to go along. It's obviously a bit different from the German Maibocks, and quite a big beer for the style, but it's also a very satisfying interpretation that will likely be my go-to Maibock in the future.

Jul 25, 2012
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet from Kentucky

2.57/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a great big mug. The pour is apricot-orange in color and very cloudy. It doesn't even look like a Maibock, except that there is a beautiful big head on the mug. I get a nice toffee-like aroma with hits of malt, but there's a citrus-like component that doesn't belong.

The flavor is far too sweet and the mouthfeel is too syrupy. In addition to the malt, I get slight fruit-like notes lingering at mid-palate that seem out of place. There is no trace of bitterness or spiciness to balance out the sweetness. I found it to be borderline undrinkable.

This beer was a huge disappointment. I had read good things about it, but I feel is was vastly inferior to just about every authentic German Maibock I have tried. What exactly is it? An American take on a German Maibock or an attempt to duplicate a classic style? No way I'm buying this again. It doesn't even deserve to be called a Maibock. It tastes more like Sunny D and Everclear.

Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Slaille
Slaille from Canada (QC)

4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was a 2007 vintage, bought at the brewery in April 2012.

A complex and inspiring beer.
Barley candy joy, but not too sweet. Dry finish.
Malty, splendid. Wish I could have tasted the 2012 version, before aging, just to see what 5 years does to a good brew.

Damn, I only bought one... Next time.

Apr 14, 2012
Photo of greencovesteve
greencovesteve from North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy orange with a nice head and lacing.

S: bubblegum. Sweet grape, strawberry fruit blend.

T: mild and malty with a fruity center and a near peppery end. Allot going on here.

M: solild carbonation generates a building peppery heat with bitter semi-dry ending.

O: solid. I like the maibock.

Feb 25, 2012
Photo of RyanLigeia
RyanLigeia from North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light very hazy beautiful golden color. Looks inviting.
Smells sort of like sweet caramel and candy with both hoppy and malty notes mixed. I cant even describe what it smells like exactly but this smells AMAZING.
The taste does NOT disappoint! Im getting some alchohol but mixed very well with all the scents described above. Doesnt stray from an actual beer taste at the same time.
The mouthfeel fits this one great. Very BIG. SOme carbination but that doesnt take away from the heavy smoothness.
Overall its a little different than most maibocks Ive had before but that doesnt mean its not a great beer that shouldnt at LEAST be tried!!

Jan 18, 2012
Photo of abraxel
abraxel from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright, golden orange. Very clear, with active carbonation feeding the huge, pillow-y, cloud-white head which leaves spots of lacing down the side. Very nice.

S - Delicious caramel malts, a touch of hops. Smells absolutely fantastic.

T - More sweet caramel and a bit of toffee, with some nice fruitiness. Reminds me a lot of a malty, English barleywine, except that it's clearly not. Some clean hop flavor (but no bitterness) lingers, but then fades to leave sticky caramel coating my mouth.

M - Somewhat thick mouthfeel with active carbonation. Slight twinge of alcohol. Altogether, quite nice.

Overall, this is a very good beer. I don't think it's a true-to-style maibock (perhaps too sweet?), but it is quite tasty.

Oct 07, 2011
Photo of WhiteOak
WhiteOak from Connecticut

2.71/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark gold color with a big white head and good lacing.

S- Citric/fir bud resin American hops dominate the aromatics, unfortunately, therefore giving the first evidence that the Maibock tradition has not been observed with this Smuttynose in favor of trendiness.

T- The Noble hops character has regrettably been totally overwhelmed by the grapefruit/fir/pine hops. The thick caramel maltiness is very good -- rich and sweet -- but it is upstaged by the hops more suited to an DIPA. The attack is fruity, the mid palate is grassy, and the finish of bitter grapefruit.

ABV undetectable. CO2 just right.

Lager? Maibock? Sorry, just another version of a whatever which has been turned into an overblown, overhopped IPA-type in fad-following fashion.

If you want a traditional Maibock, keep looking, preferably on its native land.

Had this beer been labeled more appropriately, I could have rated it more appropriately.

Note to brewers: hops balance often involves restraint.

Sep 23, 2011
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

20-10 bottling into pint glass.

A- Huge head. Maybe a sloppy pour. Big fluffy foam clouds in the glass, settle after a few. Big chunky lacing. Hazy orange/brown body, still pretty light in color.

S- Malty, ripe fruit, red delicious apples and plums.

T- Mild grassy hops and a significant malty sweetness. Honey, tangerine, and a noticeable alcohol element. Sourdough bread and raisins.

M- Thick, chewy, and heavy. Alcohol is present, I like it but I can see how others don't.

O- Pretty good stuff. Might have to wait until a brisk fall evening to crack another one.

Sep 13, 2011
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL. Bottled in 2011.

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Beer pours a cloudy orange-colored body, semi-hazy, with visible active carbonation. The carbonation supports a sizable head, about 1.5cm, of off-white foam composed of mostly small bubbles, lending it a somewhat creamy appearance. Head retention lasts for a few minutes, and sipping leaves a bit of lace.

Scent is overall held together by a heavy malt sweetness. Adequate herbal and floral hop tones underscore this, along with notes of ripe bosc pear and honey.

Taste opens with strong malt sweetness and a fair bit of herbal hops. Alcohol flavors mixed with malt quickly return for a lingering presence, giving strong sense of caramel and simultaneously fermenting and syrupy fruit. The alcohol is, I feel, a bit noticeable on the palate, contrary to what other reviewers have said. Its heat becomes known if you search towards the end of the sip, and is more noticeable as the beer warms. It's not in your face, but it's there.

Mouthfeel is expectedly medium to heavy, but with adequate carbonation to keep this moving freshly across the palate. Finish is fairly dry.

Overall, this is fairly good, and I like malty beers, but this one is, I feel, starting to get a bit too big for itself. Perhaps rein in the malt tastes a bit and bring down the ABV a notch. I would definitely try this again, but depending on how I feel, that might be my last.

Sep 12, 2011
Photo of djeucalyptus
djeucalyptus from Oregon

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a near-buttercup straw hue with potent effervescence yielding a solid two-finger head with moderate retention and ample lace.

aroma is sweet with undertones of earthy malts and a hint of spice. some crisp apple, a bit of grass, some herbal overtones and more honey sweetness.

taste is potently malty with a pungent grassy, herbal hop blast. for some reason reminds me of a helles lager kicked up to 11. boozy, rich caramels, fruit, toffee, lots of herbal and grassy notes with a potent finish that has a lingering bitterness.

mouth is smooth, almost slick but not quite. ample carbonation helps cut through, as does a good bit of bitterness that trails in the finish.

all in all, an impressive interpretation of the style. a touch boozy for my liking, but that's just me. the flavors are interesting, the mouth solid, and hell - it looks great. so I'd take another in a heartbeat.

Sep 10, 2011
Photo of cwguy5
cwguy5 from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled 10.22.10. Reviewed from notes.

A - nice one inch off-white head; slightly hazy orange/amber color; head retention is high with good lacing on glass
S - apple, toffee, some dark fruit, bread
T - malty and bready with sweet caramel and toffee; touch of apple crispness
M - medium carbonation and body; semi-sweet linger is nice
D - very tasty brew; solid malt bomb that is nice throughout

Sep 01, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
BeerLover99 from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: golden partly cloudy orange, finger head, patchy lacing

S: honey, malt, nice floral nose

T: sweet honey, HUGE malt, floral/earthiness, slight bitter finish

M: med body, prickly tongue, good carbonation,
smooth mouth

O: POW! This is an excellent Maibock
(a very underrated and rarely embraced style).
Smuttynose has delivered a damn fine beer.
The feel and taste make me want to gulp this
refreshing beast, but slight alcohol warmth
refrains me. Highly recommend this and will be
picking this gem up again.


Aug 26, 2011
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy dark yellow in color and poured with a finger high dense white head that slowly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The size of the head is quite impressive for a cask beer.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of spices in the nose along with some notes of raisins.
T: The taste is quite malty and has notes of fruits and spices with hints of sweetness. There is also a light amount of hop bitterness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is a slow sipper given its strength, spiciness and bitterness, but it is ideally suited for drinking outside on a chilly day in the spring or fall.

Aug 16, 2011
Photo of jtingue
jtingue from New York

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 2011 poured into a tulip.

Appearance. Dark straw yellow in color with a gorgeous finger or so of white head. The head dissipates to a thin lace quickly. Nice alcohol legs, some lacing.

Smell. Both malty and fruity. Fruite dominate with very sweet cherries and other dark fruits. The malt is also very sweet with smells of hard candy and caramel. I could be mistaken, but I do detect some yeast esters as well.

Taste. Starts out with a alcohol tinged, slightly bitter, sweeter malt. Fruits then take over with cherries and dark fruits that were noted in the smell. These flavors linger for a while. The finish is very long and gets drier as it goes on. There are also some lingering citrus flavors. Lots of sweetness throughout, though.

Mouthfeel. Very syrupy with a little bit of carbonation.

Reminds me a lot of many barleywines I've had when it come to malt profile and the amount of sweetness, as well as the body of the beer. Very complex, interesting to drink.

Aug 12, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle declares this to be "hugely malty & subtly finished with a variety of continental hops," and both of these come across well in the nose. On the malt side, there are lovely caramels and brown sugars wafting up from the bottle, accompanied by strong toasted grains. On the hops side, there's a definite grapefruity background, which seems to be set at a perfect level to accompany the malts.

On the tongue, this balance also proves perfectly symbiotic, the malts and hops swirling in a generative dance that leaves the tongue on figurative tip-toes, entranced one moment by sugars and the next by bitterness. Malt flavors tend towards the medium-dark here, the caramels and brown sugars from the nose accompanied by darker toffees, buttered toast, and hints of vanilla bean and chocolate, and the hops come on slightly stronger than expected, but still within reason. These flavors last for the better part of the mouthful, the hops coming on stronger in the final moments, and largely dominating the aftertaste. A slightly heavy alcohol tang permeates throughout, but doesn't seem out of place or overpowering.

Overall, this is a solid contribution to the Maibock style, and worth a try.

Aug 08, 2011
Photo of jdense
jdense from Oregon

2.9/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beer #8 sampled at Eastern Oregon DONG (Dudes of Northwest Grog) "We Will Bock You!" tasting @ Barley Brown's, 8.6.11.

Cloudy medium gold body, quite hazy, white head, quick dissipation, significant visible carbonation, color is on the very light end of spectrum for the style. Pretty hoppy nose, floral more than grassy, minimal caramel presence. A pretty hoppy taster, had a hard time discerning much in the way of malts, very boozy. Mouthfeel was medium, not sticky. To be honest, probably the least favorite beer of the tasting, the vast majority of patrons dumped theirs. After all the work my better half went through to bring this back from Massachusetts, a huge disappointment. Evidently this will be one of my biggest deviations from rest of my profile. Not my cup of maibock, err, tea.

Aug 07, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73 from Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium orange color w/ a huge three finger off white head. Massive lacing on the glass, and the head sticks around for a long time. Good carbonation as well. Fairly clear in appearance, but not completely clear.

S- Malt, caramel, toffee, fresh bread. Nice nose, but a little on the weak side for me. Everything is pretty balanced though.

T- Wow. Really tasty beer. Pretty much the same profile as the nose, but the taste just explodes in your mouth. Fantastic malt bomb, but it's not overwhelming. Some continental hops in there as well. Really awesome caramel aftertaste coats your throat. Excellent for the style.

M- Big bodied and malty. Fairly smooth as well, although there's a little bite in the beginning- but the malt quickly smooths it out. Nice.

O- Really nice Maibock from Smuttynose. I really enjoyed this one. Highly recommended if you're a fan of the style.

Aug 05, 2011
Photo of burnstar
burnstar from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark gold with a medium sized head that dissipates quickly. Lots of visible carbonation. Smell is sweet. Honey. Malty. Herbal hops. Taste is huge malt. Toasty and sweet. Big hop bitterness coming in the middle. Very herbal through the finish with a strong lingering bitterness. Extremely flavorful throughout. Full bodied and well carbonated. I believe this is my first bottled Maibock so I'm fairly unfamiliar with the style. I have had a Maibock at a brewpub and it was excellent, although I'm not sure how true to style it was. I think this beer tastes good but I'm not loving how the flavors are combining. I feel like the particular big toasty light malt flavor in this is not complementing the strong bitter and herbal hops. Again, not bad but not as good as I had hoped.

Jul 29, 2011
Photo of beagle75
beagle75 from Iowa

3.16/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, medium golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Surprisingly fruity, with bright but light malt contributions and unrestrained carbon dioxide. There is a fairly grassy, but passive, presence of hops that seems thin and dominated by the CO2. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with refined malt that is slightly toasty and some misplaced esters that yield bubble gum through the middle. Spicy herbal hop aromatics develop briefly, along with mild and elevating acidity, but clear out ahead of the surging honeyed esters. The finish is mildly bitter and astringent, with some distinct fennel seed and bitter almond lingering. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, fairly supple on the palate early then giving way to building acidity, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This strong lager develops some significant intensity in its flavor profile, but the qualities emphasized are not the most appropriate of the bunch. It comes across as a variant sort of tripel, all ripe fruit and honey. Lagering a sort-of tripel only to produce the delivered results seems like a lot of needless effort spent.

Jul 29, 2011
Photo of Blakaeris
Blakaeris from Iowa

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy yellow with a dense white head and spotty lacing.

Aroma is relatively sweet, slight alcohol heat and mildly fruity. There is also a hint of bubblegum and yeasty spice.

Taste is similar to the nose. Caramel malt, and hints of brown sugar. Lemon zest and cracked pepper make an appearance. Finishes with a vague yeasty spice and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Full and round.

Overall a pleasantly fruity malt bomb. Surprising amount of yeasty spice for a bock.

Jul 27, 2011
Photo of hoptualBrew
hoptualBrew from Florida

4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz beautiful bomber bottle conditioned marker as 2011.

Poured into an oversized wine glass a thicker honey orange brown with a huge white cloud-like head that is taking forever to receed. Lacing is beautiful thin microscopic fine & overtly sexified.

Nose on this is amazing! I cant quite place alot of it - very spiced smells like maybe honey, toffee malts, citric zests, touch coriander, a tad of nutmeg maybe? I dont really know, its an orgy of a nose though - very spicy, sweet & fruity.

Taste follows the nose, but decieves the appearance. Such a light hued brew, but damn does this one pack on the complexity! Malty up front with honey citrus zest & coriander is what I'm getting on the mid-palate. Finishes with a little hop & alcohol bite. Malty sweet agglutination on the back of the tongue. Delicious as the honey lingers around.

Body is moderately heavy (7/10) with a touch of carbonation. I was suprised that more carbonation couldnt be detected on the tongue - as the head on this one was enormous. That last statement was most likely an observation taken from a lack of knowledge in the science of brewing. Forgive me.

$7.99 for this one at Total Wine & More - very fair price.

Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie from New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber (2011) poured into a pint glass

A: Pours clear gold with three fingers of fluffy white head. Leaves decent lacing.

S: Floral hops with a touch of earth/spice and lots lightly toasted grains.

T: Tip of the tongue is a spiciness with caramel and grains quickly following. Alcohol is pretty strong right up front. Floral and earthy hops come through a lot cleaner in the middle. Finish is a little bitter from the hops, spicy, with a little more alcohol (though little burn).

M: Almost a full body (took me by surprise), fairly high carbonation, very thick and sweet.

O: While I do enjoy the flavors and spiciness, the alcohol is a little to noticeable and it's way too sweet. I generally like my Maibocks a drier and not as thick and heavy.

Jul 07, 2011
Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 369 ratings