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 ShogoKawada
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of cwguy5
3.95/5  rDev -1%
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

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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 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 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 jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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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 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 burnstar
3.67/5  rDev -8%
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.

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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 Blakaeris
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

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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 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 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 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 dtreindl
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poored lighter in color than expected - a light to moderate gold - into my pilsner glass. I received 2-3 fingers of off-white head which reduced to a thin 1/4" persistent layer while drinking. The smell was mild and a little fruity. Reminded me of apples and white grapes, but with a hint of sweet alcohol aroma.

But the taste is where this one really earns its stripes. It has a rich mouthfeel, which I did not expect from the light color and fruity aroma. The flavor balance is spot-on in my opinion. Not too sweet, not too bitter. The fruit flavors are a little more on the dark side than the aroma hinted at, but that's to be expected for a maibock. And the finish is perfectly clean. There is absolutely no lingering bitterness or sappy sweetness, but instead it results in a surprisingly refreshing dry finish for such a powerful beer. As other reviewers noted, there are some noticeable alcohol fumes in the flavor, as might be expected from a beer pushing 9%abv. But not in a degree that turns me off. Just enough to give it a slight warming effect.

This beer is quite versatile. It's strong enough to warm you on a winter night, but also refreshing enough to enjoy during the summer months. This is the best I've ever had from Smuttynose - hands down! Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz (2010) into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

A brimming, fluffy head forms with a gentle pour and retains well. Beneath is a clear, goldfish-amber body with a healthy dose of carbonation rising from the laser etched glass bottom. Nose is full of floral hops and fruity yeast esters of apple skin and white grape juice. Hints of vanilla and pilsner malt blend well with a semi-boozy presence in the background. Satisfying beer so far...

Taste matches the aroma, but with a heftier booze presence and the continued theme of fruit esters takes a decidedly tropical turn. Hops kick in with a minty, herbal characteristic while the malts are sweet and slightly nutty. Mouthfeel is spritzy with carbonation and smooth on the tongue despite the medium-heavy body. Overall, a terrific Maibock from Smuttynose...I gotta try and brew one of these, and soon!

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Photo of claspada
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas begin quite floral from the hops with some sweet and biscuity malt. As it warms you get some more notes of spice from either the yeast or the hops, not quite sure.

The taste begins extremely rich; very malty and sweet. Toasted and bready malts slowly lend to the equal spiciness from the hops; I am guessing they used Saaz or Tettnanger hops based on the spice notes. There are some lesser earthy and floral hop flavors and a little alcohol bite in the finish as well. A nice balance between the sweet bready malts and the bitterness and spice hops.

The mouthfeel is quite full with nice ample carbonation. Not too sweet or bitter with a nice dry finish. Overall this is one of the best in this particular style I have ever had. I am not a fan of lagers in general as well so coming from me that is a great complement to Smuttynose. Their BIG BEER Series has been a huge fan of mine for a long time; they are all stellar, especially the Baltic Porter. Highly recommended.

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

A-Pours deep gold with a generous head. A few slow to medium bubbles.

S-Sweet breadiness.

T-Malty sweetness with a noticeable alcohol presence. Some subtle fruitiness and spice balanced by a moderate bitterness.

M-Silky smooth with a medium body.

O-This is a very nice beer. The alcohol is a bit more dominate than I prefer, but overall a very drinkable "big beer" from Smutty.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a vibrant golden orange. A large amount of head with tons of large bubbles. A lot of carbonation. Nose has a mild hop zest, earthy. A large amount of malts a caramelized honey sweetness with a metallic note. The taste is all malt with a lot of sweet wort flavor. Caramel and sweet bread with a light spicy tang at the end. I'm taking big sips because of the sweetness but the alcohol is present in the aftertaste for sure.

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Photo of steelerguy
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Straw colored, hazy, 1 finger head that fades to a lacing, and moderate carbonation. This should be a clear beer, especially if lagered for awhile.

S - Lots of light malt, straw and lemon grass like aromas.

T - Like the aroma, packs a good deal of malt, the noble hops add a lemon like bitterness. Ends with an alcohol bite, but I like this in a Maibock.

M - Moderate body, the alcohol warmth and carbonation clean it up at the end leaving you ready for the next sip.

O - Good example of German Maibock from a great American brewery.

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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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