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Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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very good
286 Reviews
Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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%

Added by Bierman9 on 04-30-1998

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 286 | Ratings: 368
Photo of mentor
2.29/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a 7 finger yellowed head over a murky straw colored liquid. The meragnue-like head had a lemon-yellow tint to it. Smells of lightly honeyed toast with aromatic hops. Light caramel, biscuit malt, and a tiny dash of clovey phenolic. I'm very very sensitive to that phenol and I can't imagine anyone else would be able to detect it. It's standard that I get a dash of it in maibocks and octoberfests.

Tastes strong malty of vienna. Comes across a bit worty. The phenol comes through in the flavor and acts to counter some of the thick malt sweet. Floral hop flavor is mild (clover honey) and hop bitter even more so. The finish has a spicy heat that I think is from hops, though could be from a very clean alcohol. DMS rising retronasal in the aftertaste is off-putting.

I'm not digging this one, as it's just too dry and has a few flavors I consider off. Md-thick with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Jesse13713
2.52/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a golden straw yellow. Very well carbonated. A cloudy, opaque orange-yellow. Laces to the glass quite well.

Smell - Grassy and earthy overall. A bit unwelcoming.

Taste - Some wheat and grass tones. Quite alcoholic tasting. Full of hay, straw and light berries. I feel like a horse.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Quite alcoholic tasting and a bit unbalanced. Light bodied and easily drinkable. Very natural tasting overall. It was okay overall, but just wasn't one of my favorites at all.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
2.57/5  rDev -35.6%
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.

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Photo of WhiteOak
2.71/5  rDev -32.1%
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.

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Photo of rpstevens
2.8/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was given to me by my very generous smuttynose sales rep, thanks Bill. Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

The beer pours a bright and translucent amber with a thick white head that quickly fades to leave moderate, oily, lacing.

The smell is sweet malt and with a slight bubble gum underneath.

The taste is sweet and malty as the nose implied. The alcohol presence is a bit surprising and there is a little bit of acidity that isn't very pleasant.

The beer has a nice crisp and light feel, very well carbonated and goes down smooth aside from the slight alcohol burn. I can imagine that after a few months this beer might become more drinkable. Overall a good lager, not a great one.

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Photo of jdense
2.9/5  rDev -27.3%
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.

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Photo of kennyo
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle says "russet Brown" but the beer is a dark gold. pours with a big head that stays for a while. Aroma - beer, not much there. Malty sweet taste. After drinking the 22 oz bottle, you can tell that there is a nice amount of alcohol. In my opinion, not one of their best beers.

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Photo of carln26
3.02/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Color: Brown to golden, as I’ve said, I prefer my Maibock’s to be gold. This pours nice, with a reasonable head, and a lace that retains for a time. The malt does come through on this, as it should for all Maibock’s, but it just doesn’t last. Smuttynose does great Ales, but their lagers need improvement. This is a good beer, not a great one. I don't want to drink another, and another, as I do with their ales.

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Photo of beagle75
3.16/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

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Photo of far333
3.23/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber honey colored with a light beige head that disappears quickly. Very light aroma of malt and fruit. Flavor is not too complex, very light. A little biscuity, a little doughey, not hoppy at all. Some hints of floral flavors, and some butter. Smooth mouthfeel. The alcohol definitely makes itself known.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.24/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden amber with very little head. The aroma was far from appealing. I couldn't quite grasp what aromas and bouquet was coming through. It wasnt yeast or malt.
The taste basically followed the smell. It was a little off in taste. I sort of had a hint of an old apple.
As you can tell, this is not one of my favorite styles

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Photo of seh410
3.24/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Yellowish-brown colored, sort of reminiscent of honey in color. It pours with two fingers of thick, bubbly, foamy white head that quickly reduces in volume within 30 seconds down to about a half of a finger's worth.

Aroma: Spicey and yeasty with fruity/estery alcohol coming through and some hints of carmalized toast and funk

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes a lot like it smells: lots of spice and fruity sweet alcohol up front, followed by hints of carmelly malts and finally a bitter hoppy finish. Medium mouth feel, nice carbonation.

Notes: Not really drinkable to me. It's a little too heavy on spice, bitterness and alcohol for my personal taste. Interesting to try though.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Smuttynose Maibock is a lively, hazy, light golden lager with a creamy, off white head that has great retention and leaves thick lacing. It smells malty-- a little sweet and bready or pretzely. It's medium bodied and very smooth with a pretty crisp finish. It tastes pretzely and peppery. It's a little fruity and a little wooden. There's no sweetness. The alcohol is certainly apparent in the taste. There is an odd phenolic note. This is not something I would really drink on purpose. I used most of the bottle for a marinade.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.27/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz into a 6oz wineglass for tasting split 3 ways.

Orange, thin white head, small bubble.

Good aroma lots of sweetness/dark fruit/apricot.

There is a bite of tart fruit, orange, little malt - carbonation is very evident in pushing the citrus to the fore, leaves a bit of bitterness afterwards.

This is very light on the palate, highly carbonated. Not really my cup of tea and I really didn't enjoy drinking it very much despite the fact that there doesn't seem to be any one aspect particularly wrong. The combination of the mouthfeel and the bitter aftertaste leave a lasting impression.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.31/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Sammy: Poured a cloudy deep beige/orangey color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of semi-sweet malt is dominant. Taste is a mix between some dry malt with some light sweetness and some light nutty notes. Body is full with some limited filtration with great carbonation. There was a dryness in this beer that I didn’t particularly enjoyed but otherwise it was a fine example of the style.

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Photo of horshack7
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Out of a 22 ounce bomber it pours a copper color with about one inch of head that is lacey.

Aromas: nice hop nose and slight maltiness. Light hints of dried fruit like dried apples and little hints of cinnamon.

Taste: Out of the gate I taste hints of cinnamon. Still hints of dried apple with a medium body and somewhat of a smooth mouthfeel. Slight sweetness to it but not as much as I thought there might be.

Notes: This is not too bad one of the more unique tasting Maibocks that I have had. Cheers

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a wonderful golden color. VERY foamy head, laces as well. Has a very grassy nose. freshly cut.
Wonderful malt taste. very clean finish, sprinkled w/ a wonderful hops taste. Now most Miabocks I have had don't have the same profile, so this was deinfately an interesting change. Pretty crisp finish, with some malt left on the back of your tounge. Nice representation of the style, try it if you can

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, with notching indicating it was bottle conditioned in 2009. tasted in late may/early june 2009.

orange honey color w amber tones. clear on first pours. big 2-finger light tan head, slowly fades to constant 3mm layer. thin rings of lace at first, getting much thicker further down the glass, and almost even a curtain effect.

aroma: malty with apple hint, but also mixing w something almost fusel or phenolic. not horrible, just unexpected. noble hops with touch of american pine/citrus character.

taste: similar flavors, with something just slightly "off" about the yeast character, giving those phenol/fusel notes. not horrible, but unusual. accentuates a boozy character as a result. bold hopping (noble plus touch of american?) actually helps offset the previously mentioned fusel/phenols. but still seems a little outside the style.

medium body, relatively smooth, some resins and astringency with the alcohol and phenolic note. initially fizzy carbonation calms down to be almost creamy later, but not enough to ignore the apparent phenols.

hmm... seems to have gone astray somewhat. perhaps it needed more lagering time?

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Photo of Pencible
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a hazy copper with white head. It smelled more like a lager than I was expecting, with scents of lemon hops, yeast, and barley. It tasted like very freshly cut barley malt, with clean lemon yeast for a bit of bitterness. It was oily with moderate carbonation and a slightly bitter and malty aftertaste. Overall this was a good quality beer, but not the best flavor for me. It was drinkable but not overly enjoyable.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.41/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a gorgeous deep orange color with a good deal of white fluffy head. Lace is rather non existant. Smell is fruity and wheaty (with hints of corn), definately a lager smell. Kind of moist and stale smelling. The taste is a bit stronger than the flavor would suggest, with an off-alcoholic flavor mixed with barley and corn, bananas, and some spices. No hops really, though. Mouthfeel is light in body, with light carbonation. This beer is uneventful and disappointing overall, but maybe that would be different if i werent so tired... But hey, nothing like a beer or two to put you right back to sleep

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Photo of emsroth
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

App: Medium amber with a frothy head. A nice cap stays on throughout.

Smell: Honey malt with a touch of fruitiness. Sweet alcohol lingers throughout.

Taste: Not much up front. Warming, bitter alcohol in the middle. Ends with a touch of grape and a strong herbal flavor with noticeable bitterness. Lacking the sweetness I associate with the style.

Wonderful body and substantial carbonation.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

Thought since it was the top rated maibock that I personally had access to, I needed to get around to trying it at some point in time. The appearance is much more pale and pathetic than i would have expected, but it is a lager so I don't know what quite to assume. The aroma has some floral hoppiness and some citrus on what is a rather delicate malt nose. The flavor is good, it's tastes like a regular old lager that any individual would enjoy drinking on a hot summer's day. This beer is refreshing and light, but it doesn't remind me of the Maibock I've had in the past and truly enjoyed. This is a simple lighter lager that seems to have very little imagination and isn't really something that I would consider purchasing ever again. Honestly I'm unsure of why it's rated so highly.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A hazy golden brew with a large foamy head and a thick branches of lacing down the sides of the glass. The head itself is frequently replenished by an armada of bubbles.

S - The beer smells like alcohol, honey and peppery noble hops.

T - The taste is fairly sweet, very malty flavor with a peppery finish. The aftertaste is a faint alcohol warmth and a bit of honey, licorice and

M - Thick, fairly smooth though the bubbles tingle a bit, a little thick and alcoholic to be tremendously refreshing.

D - Pretty good. Yet another solid sampling from Smuttynose. I will probably have this again at some point, but I am not going to rush out and buy another.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a solid seasonal lager offering by Smuttynose, but it is remarkably light on everything but the carbonation. It pours an average amber with a light, thinnish head that recedes quickly. The aroma is clean, crisp, and spicy--the most refreshing part of the experience. The taste, alas, is disappointing; there's some slight banana and peppermint spiciness, but otherwise, not much. The mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated. Good, but not special.

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Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 368 ratings.
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