Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 286 | Ratings: 368
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A malt drinkable treasure followed by an expected malted down bitterness, with caramel. Orange yeast aroma. Orange cloudiness with a good white head. A great example of this style, maybe the best I have had. Great medium mouth drinkability.Delightful with dinner.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A golden-orange color with a bit of haze to it (I opened this one before the sediment had completely settled though). An inch of head settles into a thin cap pretty quickly, but retains well from thereon.

Smell: Malty with a big estery aroma of dried fruit; peaches, apricots, dates. A bit of brown sugar.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very close to the nose; this stuff is malt-forward and chock-full of fruity esters. Bitterness remains low throughout, making a brief appearance in the semi-dry finish. Medium-bodied, perhaps a bit heavy for the style - a bit more dryness and a bit less alcohol would be to this beer's benefit. I can't complain too much though, because this does have a great malt character.

Notes: Got this one from Dyan - thank you. Enjoyable stuff, a decidedly Americanized version of this classic German style.

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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 Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep gold with a bit of an orange tint to it. Off-white head.

S: Nice, but nothing too special. Mostly just a deep breadiness. Bits of caramel and graham cracker.

T: Pretty much straight grain, with a tad bit of caramel and graham cracker sweetness. Tad bit of hop bitterness without much flavor. Fairly one-dimensional, but well done.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation and not much of any alcohol taste.

D: Pretty nice. Not my favorite of the style, but one of Smutty's better beers.

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Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Two fingers of bone white head on a clear, light golden colored body. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Pilsner malt aroma, honey and graham crackers. Light euro hop character.

T - Alcohol and moderate hop flavor up front. Some sweet malt shows up in the middle to try and balance but is not sufficient to push back the spicy alco-hops. Much of the same flavors in the finish, very spicy, almost like belgian yeast character.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Not bad, but a bit off for the style. The alcohol is a bit hot, or at least spicy, and there is none of the requisite smoothness of even a strong lager. Not a bad beer, but not a good Maibock.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a .5 liter stein a clear deep golden with a hint of amber hue,a tight formed 1/2 finger white head.Somewhat clean aromas just some light caramel malt and some toastiness,fuller flavors starting out sweet and somewhat buttery with a light toastiness a decent herbal-like spicey finishes with some crispness in the finish.A decent mai bock just a little light in the nose.

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Photo of jlindros
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one from the Smuttynose Big Beer series. Some great beers coming from the series, so here's another one.

A: Ginormous airy head about 50% of the glass. It slowly pops its way down and still leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Brilliantly clear with a light amber orange yellow color. I can see perfectly through this, watching the movie Road Warrior with a light pale yellow hue.

N: MMmm toasty... malts, toasty malts that is. Some earthy toasted malts to be even more specific. A light sweet candi sugar like aroma also seems to come out. Mostly it has a nice malty nose, similar to a big red ale or nice amber style. I also get a slight creamy fruit, almost like peach with whipped cream on top.

T: Starts like a really good Oktoberfest. Lots of earthy toasted malts, and a huge red ale like malt slap. Tastes like quite a few different malts, even European malts. Pretty sweet and decent alcohol presence for being 6%. It has that sweetness converted to alcohol taste and heavy feel. The bottle conditioning adds a slight spicy and fruity quality from the yeast. More creamy flavors, and more very light fruit. Perhaps a bit too sweet as it never seems to fade.

M: Semi thick and pretty heavy with malt presence. A nice warming alcohol which really makes me balk that it says 6%, feels more like 8-9%. High carbonation.

F: More sweetness on the finish, and it didn't dry off like I thought it would. An interesting bitterness hits at the finish, can't tell it ifs from some nicely added hops or the mixture of malts and yeast. The lingering malt thickness and alcohol like flavor seems to sit around for a while too, mingling with an earthy flavor.

Final thoughts: A pretty heavy Oktoberfest/red ale taste with nice heavy malts, sweetness. Alcohol presence is higher than it is labelled. It's biggest downfall is its sweetness. A nice thick semi heavy beer for Autumn, not the best in the Big Beer Series, but its going up against some heavy hitters, and it stands its own pretty well.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Basic Maibock. Clean. well-balanced.

Its clear amber body with orange highlights is capped by a decent sized head of off-white froth that holds fairly well and leaves some nice lacing.

The nose expresses sweetish, lightly toasted and bready malt with a hint of fruitiness, a snippet of alcohol, and some minor hops.

Medium bodied with a standard carbonation.

The flavor is rich with malt: lightly toasty, bready, and straw-like. Some fruitiness in the mix (not necessarily from the yeast, but just the intensity of the malt). Subtle touch of alcohol is usual. Well-balanced with a solid bitterness. Finishes dry with some lingering malt, fruit, and low-key hops that erode to leave just a mild bitterness behind.

Maibock is a hard style to pull off and Smuttynose has done it nicely. There are better examples of the style out there, both domestic and imported, but this one's definitely worth trying.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 release poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Smuttynose US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very spicy along with honey, caramelized malts and a touch of hops in the background.

T: The taste is very malty and has strong flavors of honey, citrus and coriander spice. The spice is a bit stronger than any other beers that I’ve had in the style and is such that you’d normally get from a Witbier or Hefeweizen, but it works very well. A mild hops presence provides a very nice balance. The after-taste is bready, spicy and slightly sweet.

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

D: Quite tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, excellent representation of style with a big twist, nice strong kick, I haven’t been disappointed yet with the Smuttynose Big Beer Series (I’ve had Big A IPA, Imperial Stout & Farmhouse). Really Old Brown Dog, Wheat Wine & Scotch Style Ale are still to come. Looking at the beer itself, I find it to be an excellent beer and one that I could drink for a whole evening and enjoy the entire time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cheery-looking orange body with a small, white head.

Smell: An aroma filled with honey and spice and everything nice (i.e., dough and lemon).

Taste: Light, sweetish caramel flavor with notes of bee-fresh honey and citrus fruits. Noticeable doughiness. Hop flavor and bitterness remain quite light. Wraps up with a very drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Works for me! A pretty good maibock.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice, light amber, golden in color with a light bit of haze to it. Off white head, maybe an inch and a half creeps up the sides and sits down on top for a while. Good carbonation can be seen constantly reinforcing it on its way.

Light caramel, bready notes are highlighted here. Sweet with a light undertone of some herbal hops peeking though. A light touch of dark fruit perhaps? Possibly but a sweet, caramel malty lager type aroma is what is predominant here. Smooth, easy flowing flavor. Caramel, and toffee, hints of buttery like notes persisting now as it comes up in temperature. Fades smoothly, leaving a creamy and sweet flavor on the tongue that snaps back with a nice hop bite at the finish.n Nice carbonation never lets it get too heavy or over zealous in any way. Very drinkable, in fact really could not get enough of this one. It's a style I see far too little of as of late, and would relish the chance to touch base with it again.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold into a lager mug.
A - A golden amber w/ a full inch of cream colored head.

S - Smooth, malty relatively light odor-wise w/ a gentle hop tinge.

M - Full, creamy, malty and honey-like sweetness w/ a tinge of hops and moderate carbonation.

T - A sweet creamy malt flavor w/ a honey tinge. A teutonic styled delight smooth, sweet and subtle spiciness. An enchanting malt flavor overtakes the senses. The light malt w/ honey sweetness gets a tinge of carbonation toward the end and gives it a real spark at the finish of each swallow. There is a hint of peppery spice that accompanies the smooth malt. A nicely bitter flavor of hops in mild doses.

D - A very tasty beer, highly drinkable w/ big malt flavor, texture and smoothness. This is a fine example of the style. I would drink this often if I could. I wish I had a case.

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Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. It poured a gold like color with a big fluffy white head filling the top two inches of the glass. The head faded to a thin layer but remained through drinking it and left some moderate lacing.

The aroma has a nice mix of grassy, peppery, herbal hops and grainy, bready malts. I get a little alcohol to it as well. Pretty nice mix of flavors, it felt relatively balanced as well.

The taste also has a lot of the herbal, peppery, grassy hop flavors to it throughout the beer. Some big grainy, bready flavors come out as well and lead into some sweetness in the finish. Again a little alcohol is present, but not too bad and seems to fit with the style.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style with carbonation being above average. Overall it was a pretty good beer with some very interesting flavors. It had a nice balance to it which definitely helped the drinkability out. It was probably the biggest version of the style I've had, which was apparent at times with the alcohol showing through though. Overall it was pretty good beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Neutral gold color with the slightest of haze. Long lasting head that leaves good spotty lace.

Malty with a notable level of alcohol warmth in the smell.

Strong alcohol flavor--lots of oily liquor; very warm to the throat. Lots of lighter malt flavor with nearly no hop bitterness. This is a dry bock. Excellent body; truly perfect for the style.

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Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright and bold garnet hue, good lacing effect down the glass. Honey malt sweetness in the aroma and flavour with a twang of hops and alcohol. The alcohol has warmth but a lightly toasted biscuity malt melds well and brings out further complexities. A relatively sweet brew with a clean palate.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for sending this one to me in a recent BIF.

A: A very nice looking pour on this one. A vibrant orange color with a fluffy white head and some mild lacing.

S: There is a nice bready malt character to the beer up front along with a light floral hoppiness. A bit of citrus and herbs as well.

T: A surprising sweetness to the flavor with plenty of caramel, bread, and maybe a bit of floral honey. Light citrus and even more floral character.

M: This seems to be right in the middle of the road in terms of body with plentiful carbonation.

D: Definitely on the bigger end of the maibock spectrum (but I suppose that's to be expected from a beer in the "Big Beer Series"). That said, a good beer, but nothing overly exciting.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks for leaving half of the bottle for me even though I hit my threshold and fell asleep.

The beer is fairly hazy and light orange in color, with 1/2" of creamy, white head that leaves some good lacing on the glass. The aroma brings malt, light caramels, floral notes, and subtle spice. The flavor is malt forward, with a healthy floral presence, and caramel malt flavors. The finish brings some hop bitterness to round things out, though malt flavors take over once again, lingering on the palate between sips. Alcohol content is hidden well. The sweet nature of the style precludes me from wanting a second helping. Overall, a decent beer and a solid example of the style. Recommended.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was about 6 months old at the time of this review.
Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a great looking head that laced the glass all the way down. Smells of malt. Caramel, a bit of bread, some faint hops in the background. Tastes sweet, but not cloying, properly sweet for the style. Melanoid malts, caramel, some fruit. Tastes great. Ample carbonation, medium to heavy body. Another great brew from Smuttynose.

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Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden amber with a towering fluffy head that soon becomes bubbly and descends to a thin cover, then a patch.

The smell is of grainy malt. Honey sweetness. Touch of spicy/fruity alcohol.

The taste is grainy/malty. Honey sweetness. Continental-type hops and alcohol work together to give it a balancing dryness.

Firm, medium body. Smooth despite alcohol that becomes more boozy and noticeable as the drink progresses.

As tasty as this is - and it is - one of the best-tasting of style I've had (if not the tastiest), the booziness does come through, esp. in second half of bottle (as it warms) that it impacts drinkability somewhat. Still in all, a great "sipping" brew and a nice way to end the spring season.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, rich amber color, big head of active foam atop, quick to crumble.
Nose is soft, dry, vegetal/herbal, leaning into a certain sweetness. Very stately and assure.
Taste is rich and full, fresh with a bright fruity quality, berries and apples, and such, but that loses hold, as the flavor feels more coppery and buttery at swallow's end. Maltiness reigns supreme here, and hops entertain a mere tingle at the fore. Body is medium, at best, and the finish is long, flavorful, and ultimately dry.
An interesting maibock, one that I think I like...this is sophisticated, truly mature, not oversome in flavorful and sweet, buttery malt, but, rather, like Baby Bear's hand-me-downs, ju-ust right.
Good balance, good taste, just plain ol' good...and that's good!
Very happy to have a full 22 ounces all to myself, (this should cover me for the night)...and I must give thanks to the Bierman #9 for it!
Now, I just lean back and enjoy the rest, scrutinization over and done!

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle. Pours a nice looking shade of almond, with copper hues, small white head, some lacing. Nose of malt and some spice. Spicyness comes foward, notes of vanilla, rum, brandy, plums, black pepper. Nice sipper, good strong spring/summer brew. Malty lager, some crisp hops come in late for balance and to dry things. Nice job by the Smutty folks, another fine offering from the BIG A___ line of brews

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Photo of drabmuh
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Stange glass. Beer is amber and mostly clear. Carbonation is high and steady and forms a thick white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Looks great.

Malty sweet aroma. Pretty good. Its overall a little weak.

Beer is medium body and leads off with a mild malt sweetness and finishes completely clean in the back of the mouth. Carbonation is nice on the palate and carries the subtle flavors through the palate. Beer has a grain based bitterness on the back of the palate the grows. I am still thoroughly enjoying this beer and would definitely have it again. Very awesome.

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Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy yellowish orange color with a 2" head. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: mild fruitiness, malt sweetness, and a hint of spiciness is very pleasant.

Taste: nice malt profile with caramel, red grapes, pears, pepper spiciness, nice bitterness, and a bit of earthiness. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Smooth throughout. Long malty aftertaste.

Drinkability: nice and flavorful maibock here. Easy to drink. Another good beer from Smutty.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber at Liberty St. Tavern. What a great beer. Appeared a clear gold with a white head. It was a near-perfect, balanced mix of fruity berry esters with a slightly creamy yeast character, and herbal bock note. Very drinkable and fairly true to style. A lot of American maibocks I've tried are too thick, but not this one. Definitely give this a try.

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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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