Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
368 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 368 |  Reviews: 286
Photo of trevorpost
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

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

A late May Maibock tasting with Smuttynose vs. Berkshire.

First rule of brewing a bock beer--put a goat on the label. No exceptions!

Billowing, pillowy 2 finger white head. Translucent straw color. Good retention and a few lacey splashes but didn't last too long in 88 degree heat. Not Smutty's fault.

Sweet floral aroma. A big but gentle giant of a beer Smutty Maibock plays between thick, heavy handed malt and light and lively summery fruit esters. Same floral sweetness present in aroma manifests itself into taste.

 522 characters

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

I'm a big fan of the Smuttynose Brown Dog ale so I thought I'd give some of their other beers a try. The Maibock is another excellent brew worth drinking. It pours a hazy light brown color with a medium bodied tan foam head that dissolves to a collar around the surface. The aroma is very malty with a hint of spicyness. Each sip is packed with flavor. The best way I can describe it is like a low alcohol barleywine. Malt flavors dominate, but there are spices in there too. It finishes with a bit of bitterness and leaves a sticky sweetness behind.

A terrific beer that's packed with flavor. The drinkability isn't as smooth as I expected and the head faded quickly, however I'll be buying another bottle as soon as I can find one.

 736 characters

Photo of paulys55
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber orange color with a 1.5 finger frothy yellowish beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lace.

Slightly roasted caramel malt aroma with hints of maple and floral hops.

Very quaffable, creamy medium body with a huge roasted malt presence balanced out by a prominent earthy floral hop flavor. Hints of chocolate, caramel, toast, hazelnut and slight alcohol warmth. The bitterness of the hops linger over the sweet malt body into a slightly dry finish.

 509 characters

Photo of cciquera01
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of 22Blue
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of jampics2
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz of love from Smuttynose into an oversized glass. Looks great - a light caramel beer with some orange and yellow highlights fills the glass. The head is white and tight, and it leaves excellent lacing. The carbonation is visibly active. Like beer in high def!

Smell is a wonderful mix of caramel, baked bread, and flowery hops.

Taste is light toast, sweet malt, and a decent earthy and flowery bitterness from the hops. Doughy and delicious. Some noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel is sparkling and medium-light. Finishes clean and refreshing. I liked this - a good example of the style. This one didn't run away from Smuttynose. Nice one! Would buy again.

 658 characters

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 301 characters

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!

 977 characters

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

$5.99 for a 22-oz bomber from HopCity. Served in a pilsner glass.

Pours a lovely clear autumn gold with a nice two-finger head that settles slowly, but inevitably. Head retention was lacking, but it looks perfect on the first pour.

Aroma of doughy, bready malt, with a bit of earthiness and spice. Hint of pollen or something floral.

Taste is sweet initially, but not sugary. Biscuity pilsner malt, tannic white grape skins, and the sweet sting of alcohol. Just a touch of ale-like fruitiness in the background that suggests honeydew melon and apple. Then a powdery dry grain and mildly astringent bitterness settle on the tongue. Some spiciness to the hops, but mostly it is just a clean finish that neatly wipes the palate clean and leaves it ready for the next sip.

Mouthfeel is amazingly light despite the ABV and the malt forward character. Smooth, but with an appropriately bright lager carbonation.

Very nice version of the style, and may set a new standard. Drier than Einbecker, the only German version I have had, which improves the drinkability, but it doesn't have the earthy, complex maltiness of that classic of the style.

 1,141 characters

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

Appearance: Pours cloudy golden amber with small bubbles making up a thick off-white head. Retains the foam with a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Big malt aroma, sweet fruit and buttery. Spicy hops in the background.

Taste: Nice malt base with sweet caramel taste up front followed by a spice/alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warm. Light carbonation with the malt makes it full bodied and stays smooth throughout.

Drinkability: This is a nice big Maibock with a big flavor. Great brew by Smuttynose.

 512 characters

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!

 847 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 pint and 6 FL oz bottle. Second in Smutty's "Big Beer Series." Old nautical map of the Shoal Isles.

Appearance: Light rusty brown in colour with minimal head retention.

Smell: A definite floral aroma is present from the hops, as well as very slight notes of spice and sweet malt. Ester whiffs from the 7.5% abv give notice to the potency of this brew.

Taste: Extremely malty and sweet with a syrup-chewy mouth-feel due to the high FG (final gravity) which leaves many unfermentable dextrins. A spiciness, almost tingly, from the warming alcohol is present lending to the overall well balanced bitterness.

Notes: This is a HUGE beer, not a "big beer." This bottle was given to us by Peter himself, and bottled within days. Very fresh, flavourful and down right drinkable.

 798 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange amber color that's very hazy. It has a an incredible cream colored thick head that goes away after a few minutes and produces lacing and stick to the glass that I would say is slightly better than average. Each sip you take has a thin layer of the lace fall down to the liquid. The aroma is outstanding. Floral hop notes as well as some citrus (orange and grapefruit) yeast which to me smells "zesty" if you will. The taste is equally as good. The malts are more present here, very sweet almost a honey taste to it. There is also a citrus taste, much like the smell, and a bready/yeast type flavor as well that is slightly tart. The hops are clearly present at the end as well, it finishes bitter from the hops. There is also a taste of alcohol that is present, tastes much more potent than 6.20%, I'd say somewhere like more in the 7.5% range. This is really a taste that really attacks your taste buds from front to back. The mouthfeel is very good, I'd say it's medium bodied overall, has a slight bite from the alcohol. This is a very drinkable beer, perfect spring beer, be great in the summer too.

 1,128 characters

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.

 565 characters

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

I was pleasantly suprised when i walked into my local market to find not the really Old Brown dog ale that had been available previously but the glorious return of the MAIBOCK!! Let's see what this 2007 version is all about:

AP: An abundance of carbonation creates a big-fat and frothy-tight all-white head over a wonderful golden-bronze color that is simply mouth watering. It's not exactly the " Eye-pleasing russet brown" that the lable describes, but it's good looking anyway. The dissipation is slow, very slow...which is good. There is about an 1/8' frothy cap remaining with scattered clumps of lacing.

nose: There is an herbal and veggie scented hop with mild vinegar ellements that i'm picking up on first, then a bold, biscuit-in-the-oven scented malt, sweet bread and a mild fruity sweet whiff.

Flavor: Whoa! This has a wonderfully complex, big and bold sweet-malted barley flavor with buttery bread that coates the tip of your tongue. Even though the malt is dominant and hefty there is balance to be found with the herbal and slightly peppery hops and mildly sour yeast. The finish is a perfect blend of the sweet malt and herbal zing of the hop. i really don't feel the hop effect is least for an American Maibock.

Feel: Medium bodied look with a big,full, sticky feel on the lips and tongue. There is a crispness and smooth buttery feel. really nice feel overall.

DA: This might be my favorite 2007 brew next to maybe the sierra Nevada bigfoot Barley wine so far...with big bold flavors and for the ABV % i find it to be extremely drinkable. i actually can't get enough of this right now to satisfy me.

 1,646 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - A very cloudy orange/golden amber honey color. Two-finger thick head that fades into a crown with a thin film over the middle. Moderate lacing.

Nose - Breaded malts, toffee, caramel, honey, spices. Perhaps a fruitiness as well?

Appearance - The nose knows. It's all here in the taste - breaded malts, toffee, caramel, honey and spices. The mysterious fruitiness appears again. I still can't figure out exactly what that is. There's no bitterness or hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full bodied. A bit of a stickiness. Medium carbonation. There's definitely a hint of the alcohol.

Drinkability - Fantastic. I opened this up midway into the second half and was done before the third quarter started. Go Packers!

All in all, a quite interesting taste. Definitely recommend.

 819 characters

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

Smuttynose keeps getting better and better. When you can pick up a fresh 22oz bottle of this for $2.50 at the supermarket, life's good. It poured a nice dark orangish color. The taste bordered on a barleywine. Semi-sweet, with a great malts and hops. I hope it's around all summer.

 281 characters

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

Pours hazy amber nectar with a very minor head with spotty lace.
Aroma is caramel and toffee with some oliy and resiny hop notes.
Flavor is caramel with some dark citrus fruits and a resiny, citric hop profile.
Mouthfeel is sweet, malty and lightly spiced with some citrus fruit feel.
Drinkability is very high. Hard to believe this is a lager. Smooth and beautiful.

 370 characters

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

22 oz bottle. Purchased Sept. '03, drank March '04.
Shiny dark copper. Big fluffy white head. Clinged to the glass in clumps then scattered in large iceberg looking coating to the body.
Sweet toasted malt smells, fresh buttermilk biscuits, and loads of malt everywhere. Small whiffs of alochol as well.
Taste was toasty, sweet, nearly syrupy and loaded with malty goodness. Flavors were very reminiscent of a dopplebock. That rich. Moderate alcohol esters, thin the body and supply a subtle hint of heat. Full bodied, nearly chewy for a Maibock then a more subdued finish toward the end.Finish doesn't linger as much. more dry. I think a nice abv thins it out a bit, but nothing detracts. Easy to drink and a very good treat. Well worth the wait.

 752 characters

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

Strong malt with this big beer series, very smooth and easy to drink, excellent flavor too bad it is a seasonal.

112 characters

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

Package: 1 pt. 6 oz. crowned brown bottle. No date information. Interesting “map” label denoting this as “a robust seasonal lager.”

Cost: $2.49 per bottle at Bottle King

Presentation: glass mug at ~45º.

Appearance: Poured an almost toffee-colored body with a dark bone-colored medium density head, which resolved to medium-heavy lacing.

Smell: Strongly malty, with substantial toasted barley aroma. Nice background chorus of spicy hops and some fruitiness.

Taste: This really hit the flavor bulls-eye. This beer exhibited just the right amount of malty sweetness and caramel, with enough tang to avoid verging on the cloying. The use of hops was very well done; plainly evident but not oppressive or “creatively original.” Spicy elements of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. This one hews pretty closely to the classic Maibock style. Alcohol is also apparent but not obtrusive.

Mouthfeel: A nicely heavy, but not viscid mouthfeel, with a very nice level of carbonation leavening the brew. Very smooth and mouth-filling. Provides a nicely extended finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer. I don’t know what the ABV is, but I’d have to guess it is on the upper end of the scale (7.5% or more?); not because the alcohol is oppressive but because the beer is so well-balanced.

Backwash: the best thing I can say about this beer is that after trying one, I went back and bought the rest on the shelf. And, it's a good value! This is another beer that I could see drinking regularly from May through the Fall. Clearly, “robust” doesn’t do this justice; this is a blockbuster lager. One of the best maibocks I’ve had this year, especially considering it was served from the bottle. A big score for New Hampshire!

 1,804 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.