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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Reviews: 286 | Ratings: 368
Photo of MisterSH
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into smuttynose big beer tulip. Date is notched "bottle conditioned in 2009"
Pours reddish amber. 1 finger head with strong golden hue. Great lacing and super head retention.
Aroma is MALT! Breadyness dominates. Fruity, grape notes, somewhat earthy, fresh baked bread.
Taste: Extremely rich. Immediate impression of roasty malt notes, followed closely by a subtly fruity twang and a strong alcohol warming sensation. Very sweet. Finishes rather clean, with a fairly strong, lingering alcohol warmth and a slight hop note. As it warms I begin to detect a subtle citrusy note buried deep inside of this monstrous flavor.
Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy. Fairly high on the carbonation.

This is a BIG beer. Outrageously complex, I've barely scratched the surface of understanding this thing, that will take several more tastings. Obviously higher on the alcohol than the 6.2% listed above, smuttynose's website confirms it is a higher ABV this year. Fascinating.

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Photo of obywan59
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a 2 finger head in my Whitbread half pint mug. The head recedes quickly leaving virtually no lacing.

Waaay malty in the aroma with a touch of apice and citrus from the hops. Spice bread fresh from the oven.

Starts off sweet, but bitter hops soon rise. Not to overpower though, as this is quite balanced, and for a change, the sweetness of the malt lasts to the bitter end, so to speak. The Abv is occasionally apparant.

Feel is medium full, with plenty of carbonation, especially upfront.

Overall, a great drinker. The ABV is on the high side for a maibock, but the beer is well-balanced Worth another try.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Big Beer Bottle Series "Bottle Conditioned in 2007", purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $4.99...
An aggressive pour yielded a very impressive appearacne - a murky, cloudy, straw-colored, light-copper, bright-amber hue with an intense foamy and frothy head that exhibited impressive staying power before slowly dissipating and leaving a hefty amount of lacing around the edge of the glass...
Nice, fruity, soft, banana, citrus aroma, with obvious floral notes... With respect to the style, this is certainly one of the best depictions I've ever come across... Smuttynose did extremely well with this one, creating an original type of beer bombarded with flavor and character...
Taste paid homage to the aroma, bursting through with obvious caramel, citrus, floral, banana, toffee, and lemon notes... Very light on the taste, but heavy on flavor, this beer went down crisp, clean, and smooth without any cloying factors or interferences... Definitely one of the most easily drinkable brews I've come across in a while, and considering the hefty ABV, this one is certainly a winner... The caramel and vanilla flavors simply won't die down on this one, and its eclectic and aggressive taste really makes itself known behind a wonderful conglomeration of aromas and flavors...
Good mouthfeel with a perilously easy level of drinkability...

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Photo of TechTriumph
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at McKinnon's in Salem, NH - split with BA CheckMate. Pours a light amber slightly hazy body with a good inch of off-white head that slowly dissipates. Smells malty and biscuity, with a fair bit of noble hops (I'm guessing hallertau?) put there to balance it out. Definitely a bit hop forward for the style IMO, noble hops giving a citrussy bite to it, with a fair bit of malt, expressing itself as toffee, caramel, biscuit, and a bit of chocolate toward the finish. Fairly clean finish, though not as clean or dry as some lagers. Medium in both mouthfeel and carbonation. Not the quickest drinker around, but the pleasant flavors, the balance of the flavors, and the medium body definitely make one sip invite another. Overall, a very solid beer - not quite what I was expecting but more drinkable than many in the series, not to mention much much better balanced. Nice.

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Photo of MarineHokie
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours sparkling pale amber color. Off-white one finger head with staying power.

Fresh slightly biscuity malt aroma

Substantial malt character without cloying sweetness or heavyness. Great balance. Little hint of the ABV.

Nearly full-bodied on the palate but very refreshing.

Very good drinkability

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Photo of tchenery
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer couldn't look any better than it does. I poured it into a snifter and the head is voluptuous and the carbonation is very active. It is a lighter color than I imagined, just a rich yellow/orange color. Very "beer" looking in the typical sense.

It smells of maybe some pilsner malts, some roasted toasted to it, maybe some Eastern European hops, Saaz perhaps. Very subtle but inviting smell.

First taste I noticed texture more than anything, it's very smooth. It has a nice raisiny bock flavor with a bit of an alcohol warming at the end. Little bitterness other than what might be paired up with the warming sensation.

I like almost anythign Smutty does and this doesn't dissapoint. It's definitely true to the series of BIG beer, but it's very enjoyable as well.

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Photo of ken2cart1
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 0z bomber poured in my sam adams perfect pint glass

A- pale, yellowish, straw color, big huge 2.5 finger frothy head, good retention , good messy lacing

S- sweet malt, grassy and spicy hops

T- great pale malt backbone, very spicy hops, these hops are so spicy it seams as though some extra spices were added to the beer (possibility, i will look online after this unbiased review). Some earthy/grassyness to the hops as well. There is a lingering spicyness. Highly carbonated beer. Tastes similar to a saison.

M-Smooth, crisp

D- very drinkabe, great summer brew, very light/not too filling, spicyness could become cloying after a while but i love it

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear gold with a white head that has nice retention - a beauty in the glass.

In the nose is grass, malt, persimmon, fresh cream, and caramel.

Slight sweet orange up front gives way to bitter orange/persimmon and spice. It has a nice dry woody finish drawing you back. A very lively carbonation keeps the flavors - grass, banana, butter scotch - popping and moving around. And, it has a nice caramel malt backbone to hang everything on. An excellent brew and very drinkable - subtle in all its goodness.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bomber into stange glass.

Appearance-Pours a pale golden-orange into the glass, a big fluffy off-white head rises and slowly bubbles away, some rather thick lacing is left behind.

Aroma-I smell lemon-zest upfront which I assume is from a combination of the yeast and malt, I like it. Following that is of course the typical maibock profile I.E. a load of sweet, biscuity, buttery Munich malt.

Taste-Malty sweetness with honey and fruity lemon notes rounding out the back-end. Some hops round up towards the end balancing out the sweetness to some extent and giving off a dry finish.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with medium carbonation, somewhat sticky.

Drinkability-Now this is my kind of drinking lager; big, malty, tasty and superbly drinkable, buy yourself at least two bombers as one just simply isn't enough!

Notes-Maibocks are perhaps my second favorite style of German lager 'with eisbocks taking the lead' and this may just be the best Maibock I've ever had and, ironically enough, it's an American craft brew; go figure.

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

Appearance: It's a little hazy and a nice looking golden/amber color. Head is light vanilla colored and only a finger and a half deep. Retention was better than expected, though lacing was light.

Smell: It's predominantly sweet and malty smelling. There's a strong honey aspect to it that probably contributes a great deal to the sweet aroma. There's perhaps a touch of lemon that gives it a faint fruity aroma. Very earthy. Hops are notable but not overly strong. Mostly floral. Alcohol is noticeable on the tail.

Taste: It's sweet up front. A little more fruity than the nose indicates. It's mostly lemon. Honey flavor blends extremely well. It is malty and very flavorful. Hops play an interesting role here. They are floral and contribute to its earthy/grainy vibe. They're not very bitter, but play a really nice complementary role. Very well done. A little alcohol taste is there, but not offensive.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and extremely smooth. Carbonation is active and crisp. This goes down way too easy and has an excellent feel. Drinkability is likewise very high. I could drink bomber after bomber of this. Very appetizing.

Smuttynose did a hell of a job with this one. At this point, it's the frontrunner in the Big Beer Series. I still have a few left try, but this one's damn good. I picked a bomber of this up during a recent trip to Virginia. I'm kicking myself in the ass right now...I should've bought a case.

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

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass-

A- Golden brown color with a fluffy little cream colored head which quickly dissipated with every sip that I took.

S- Smell was malty and creamy. Not much hop presence in the nose. Vanilla and swweet scents abundant and highly present.

T- More importantly, the taste is just great. There was an unmistakable fruity presence (strawberry, cranberry?) Hops were there, but not uber-hoppy, just enough to wet my palate. Smooth and malty backbone here with a creamy cake like finish.

M- Nice full body and sticky finish.

D- I could drink 2 bombers of this, I swear. I love it, give me more.

Highly recommended for the amazing taste.

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

Notes from 10/06/2010:

2009 vintage. 22 oz. bottle at 42* into an Ayinger Weizen glass.

A: This pours a murky, burnt orange color with 2.5 fingers of "bottle conditioning head".

S: It consists of a fruity alcohol smell, toast, and some herbal/medicinal notes.

T: A lovely blend of bready malts, fruity booze, herbal flavors, and lager yeast. Nice.

M: It's creamy and memorable.

D: It's somewhat "hot" but still flavorful. It's a nice, creative version of a great style.

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

Smuttynose Maibock
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a vibrant mustard yellow with a solid head on top and trails of sticky lace all over the glass.

Sweet aroma with whiffs of pure honey and clean malt.

A juicy, bready malt flavor provides the backbone with hints of honey, fruit, sugar, flowers and cereal. This is a nice beer and quite drinkable.

Yet another great beer from Smuttynose. So good.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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.


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

A- pours a hazy copper with a two finger foamy head.

S- Very buttery. Butterscotch really dominates the nose. A balancing earthy hoppiness and a very mild hint of alcohol.

T- sweet butterscotch malt with a nice balacing earthy/grassy hoppiness. Sweet and buttery but well balanced.

M- smooth, creamy and full-bodied. You could eat this brew with a spoon.

D- Excellent, alcohol is well hidden. No shortage of flavor. A complex, well crafted brew.

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Photo of jtingue
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light amber with moderate carbonation and a two-finger creamy off-white head. Thick, sticky sheets/lacing left behind. Great retention.

Smells like bready malts and floral hops. There's an underlying fruity sweetness too. Just a hint of yeast.

Taste is mostly malt: doughy biscuits with a caramel undertone. There's some sweet citrus fruit as well, and some floral hops come through in the finish. The alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Very crisp and smooth.

Great drinkability. I could easily knock back a couple of these in one sitting. Another fine offering from Smuttynose!

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of ericj551
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Maibock pours a clear gold with a frothy head. The aroma is sharp and sweet with a twinge of herbal and slightly metallic hops. The flavor is sweet and crisp, tastes like mostly pale malts. Hops are there with a nice balanced bitterness and a hint of the herbal flavor in the after taste. I think they still have this at my local beer store, so I might have to pick up a few more bottles.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After an 8 month cellar sentance, a cold January evening prompts me to finally give this baby a whirl. Well, it's not really cold but it is still January, and I'm thirsty!

It pours a beautifully clear amber/orange color with big rocky head that settles into a fine veil, leaving clumps of lace as it does. A steady stream of bubbles erupts from the bottem center of my Delerium tulip.

Succulant malt aromas begin the experience; sweet caramel, butter toffee, pears, cherries, and toasted bread. A hot rush of alcohol heightens the delightful nose. If I was blindfolded, I might think this was a barleywine.

Taste is malty as expected beginning with creamy caramel, honeyed pears, brown sugar, plums, cherries, and sugar cookies. Bohemian hops take the rear seat with a subtle spiciness. Again this reminds me of an English style barleywine. Alcohol is not as noticable as I anticipated from the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium to light while remaining creamy and full. Carbonation is perfect and makes it highly drinkable. This is one of the best maibocks I have had the pleasure of embibing. I wish I had purchased more than one because I think it has aged well so far, and could even go longer.

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Photo of Murph
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very nice garnet with a nice creamy tan head that leaves a decent lace. Smell is of sweet, smooth malt with some slight caramel characteristics to it. Creamy sweet malt jumps onto your tongue and lets its presence be known. Very smooth malty presence is dead on for the style. Nice creamy mouthfeel is just the slightest bit cloying and brings the drinkability down just a little bit. A very nice maibock. Thanks to the Bierman for the sample.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to wolfsblood for this beauty.

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy orange gold color with a creamy small-bubbled head.

Aroma of malty sweetness, light citrusy hops, candy sugar, toffee, and biscuit.

The taste follows the aroma. Sweet malts, candy sugar, citrusy hops, and biscuit at the finish.

Medium bodied, rich and smooth, and lightly carbonated.

A top notch maibock from Smuttynose. I wish I had more than just this one.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After much searching I finally foud this little grail. Straight from the cellar, served at room temp. Pours an optic grade, clear copper, with a formidable eggshell colored head. Like a good set of lingerie, it's nicely laced. Smells deeply fruity and cherry. Almost bordering on a cough syrup smell. Hugely malty and sweet. Lots of deep ripe red fruit here. Sweet till the last drop. Caramel fades in and out in the background. Slightly less than crisp mouthfeel, but still good. Goes down like butter. Alcohol is felt early for me. If I had a keg I could kick it.

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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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