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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 | website

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 cjgator3
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is very malty with caramel, dark fruits and hints of hops.

T- The aroma is a lot of sweet caramel malt and dark fruits with a mild hop bitterness in the finish that helps balance out the sweetness.  

M- The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. 

D- Overall, this is another solid brew from Smuttynose that is reommended!

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

my first dip into smutty's big beer series, and while i wasn't blown away, i was impressed with the effort here. the maibock pours a nice amber colour with a decent lasting head, it has an immediate malty, caramel smell which is echoed in the taste and finishes with a hoppy flavouring. the main concern here was that at times this sweetness and caramel flavour was a bit too pronounced. also, there was a metallic/sulfur taste at times, which may have been a hint of the beginning of a skunked beer, but it wasn't consistent enough for me to get a reading on it. strange nonetheless.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a slightly hazed golden color with a frothy white head that maintains. Thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very yeasty and bready with a caramel malty background. A hint of hops show up as it warms.

Tastes mildly sweet upfront leading into a nice yeasty and bready flavor. A faint smokiness appears before a slight hop flavor and bitterness sets in. Finishes rather clean with a slight sweetness.

Medium-full body, creamy texture.

Overall, a solid maibock and another good offering from Smutty. I had no problems finishing the bomber. Certainly worth a try if you have it available to you.

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Photo of m1ked
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a little something random at New Beer Distributors, love that plasce.

A- A slightly hazy/clear golden apricot color with an inch white foamy head that gives way to a thin, yet full whate cap. Multiple streamers visualized with tight bubbles.

S- A sweet summer fruit...can't put my finger on it...it's not berries, maybe stone fruit...like almost peachy with honey. Some carmelized sugar, like candied-corn. A touch of alcohol.

T- Starts out with that sweetness, not overwhelming though. The malt backbone really takes over and fills the mouth. Some more of that carmelized sugar, no fruitiness. A slight bitter finish that ends with some heat. It's not that exciting to me.

M- This beer is actually a full bodied brew that has plenty of carbonation that tingle on the tongue for quite some time.

D- I would not categorize this in the session category, and it is not very exciting to me. Its good and all, and it is fun to try the big beer series, and different/unique styles. It just doesn't float my boat.

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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 Bierguy5
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, 2007 edition. Darker golden color, only slightly hazy. Foamy white head that holds well for a bit.

Malty, and floral in the nose. Pretty clean.

Big malt character, a good amount of sweetness. Maybe a bit bready. Seems to have a warming, spicy finish. Pretty big beer. Floral hops round out at the end.

Great body on this one. Pretty clean, but seemed pretty big, which hurts drinkability for me.

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

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a sudsy, frothy bronze. The head explodes and almost comes right out of the glass. Lots of head and it retains itself for some time.

Smells of fresh produce, wheat, and yeast. Not too much going on. I'm not crazy about it, but it's nice enough.

Lots of flavor, though. I was surprised given the smell and appearance. Attacks with pure brown sugar, almost maple syrup. Some light caramel and hazelnut take over and fade into a mild hoppy vegetal flavor.

It's a strange brew as it packs a wallop flavor-wise, but seems very mild in the mouth and light. Considering that 6.2 ABV, this is quite an impressive drinking beer with all that flavor.

However, that sweetness prevents that drinkable mouthfeel from coming to fruition.

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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 mbrandon2w
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz, poured into sam adams glass

Beautiful gold/caramel color. Not often impressed by appearance, but was with this one.
Smell seems somewhat lacking. I'm not picking up much at all but a bit of sweet malt.
Taste is good, with nice malty flavor, touches of caramel, bit of vanilla. Starts to feel like it might get a bit too sweet, but then that sweetness gets smacked down by the hops right at the end. very well balanced.
Mouthfeel is smooth, with a nice level of carbonation that seems to lift the heavy malt flavors right off the tongue.
Overall, very drinkable without being too heavy. Even on a 90 degree day, this was very nice.

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

Appearance: Pours a pleasant translucent amber/straw with a generous and lingering white head. Healthy lacing.

Smell: The smell is a little faint, it took getting my nose right in the glass a few times to distinguish flavors. Sweet hoppiness, light citrusy hops and apple cider.

Taste: Up front there's a sweet maltiness that gives way to big bitter hops on the back end. Maybe a smattering of clove and cinnamon. Virtually none of the citrus and apple cider promised in the smell. All and all, better than average to good taste.

Mouthfeel: Very sharp carbonation moderate, almost creamy mouthfeel but at times it feels a touch thin.

Drinkability: It's fairly drinkable but the assertive hops makes it a little less drinkable to other maibock. However, given that this beer advertised as a "big beer" the minor deficit in the drinkability should be expected.

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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 pittvkyle7
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- from a bottle to a pint glass this was a hazy golden color with a thick 1 inch head and some lacing that was very good but didn't stay the whole time.

S- malts and a little sour, very sweet.

T- the first taste being some nice floral hops surprized me because I didn't smell any. The malts were mostly present. Carmel, toffee, candy, butter, rasin, pear. Wow that's a lot, this is kinda complex.

M- medium body, coats the tounge a little, very somth and buttery. and some well done small bubbles.

D-ok drinkability, maybe a little cloying after a while.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Russet in color with a solid 2 finger head. Head finally folds to a soapy lace both on top of the beer and on the sides of the glass.
Sweet buttery aroma with some alcohol heat at the end.
Very sweet beer rich in malts. Some alcohol flavors mixed with honey. A bit of a hop twing but it's covered by the alcohol burn. Also a bit of a butter flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium and crisp. This beer has a smooth finish to it.
Sipper for me. It's a beer I'd return to once in a while.

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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 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 ianjsullivan
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 1 Pint 6 fl ozs bottle

A: The label promised russet brown and the reviews seemed to indicate a brownish tinge. However, mine came out on the darker tinged golden side, cloudy with a head that hat one minute retention. When held to the light the beer was cloudy gold, though one could see through the glass, with steady carbonation. The bubbles were small and pleasant. As it sat, the beer took on a bit of a darker color.

S: In the first whiff, aromas from the hops are prevalent. Citrus and some pine quickly give way to sweet malt, a tinge of honey, the smell of a backed cake, and spice with a nutty elements.

T: The citrus from the hops are present on the tip of the tongue. By mid-palate, the sweetness of the malt comes forward along with some spice. The finish has syrup-sweetness with a nutty spice that lingers though does not overbear. There is some taste of alcohol that stays in the back of the throat and warms the blood.

M: Starts lighter and crisp but quickly changes to a heavier syrupy creaminess.The steady carbonation stops the beer from being too heavy.

D: It is a Big Beer series for a reason. It has 8% abv and some syrup heaviness, it is is not meant for multiple consumption. However, the finish it relatively clean making the beer smoother than expected.

Overall: I am happy with this beer and sometimes that is the best reason to buy a beer or not to buy a beer. Am I happy that I spent my money to drink this beer? That is the main question and the rest is just hammering out the details. This beer offers great flavor and manages to avoid becomes sticky sweet. Considering the cost, I only paid $5.99, and the quality, this is a beer to buy. I think I would have had more fun with it in the spring with some cool breeze and I would have enjoyed trying it when it was a bit fresher, however, that will have to wait until next year.


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Photo of fairdinkum2
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liquid sunshine in a glass. Beautiful golden color with a generous, creamy, white, gold head.

Very appealing nose of sweet malt and honey followed by a big mouthful of malt. Initial taste is followed by sweet honey and stone fruit notes. Could almost be described as having mead characteristics.

Don't be fooled though, these sweet impressions are quickly balanced by firm hops and a dry, clean finish.

This is a rich beer with a medium level of carbonation. I could certainly do a few of these.

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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 beernut7
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this bright orange colored brew last night from a tap. The head dissipated before I received it. Aroma was very sweet and a bit earthy. Alcohol and sweet malts tastes very apparent. A little too sweet for my taste, but the finish was wuite smooth with just a bit of roasty aftertaste.

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Photo of darklordlager
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Maibock

A: Pours a cloudy peach colour with red highlights, nice 1/2" butter coloured head. I would give it a perfect 5 except for the opacity.

S: Wow, that was a lot more hop character than I was expecting--Bright, skunky hops with an earthy undertone, and a sugary smell. Crusty sweet bread.

T: The bones of this beer are in the malt presence. A smooth bitterness is built upon it, as well as a nice fruity flavour imparted by the yeast. Not as "fruity" as some Maibocks I have tried, and a little bit sweeter as well. Opens up nicely as it warms. Still, the sweetness lacks a bit of depth.

M: Medium-high carbonation and a slick mouthfeel.

D: An enjoyable beer from Smuttynose. Overall though, it is a bit to "sugary sweet" and is lacking depth. If they tweaked the sweetness to have more biscuity malt flavour, and I would be more inclined to pick this up again.

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Photo of porterwoobie
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2009 edition, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: golden amber color, clear, huge white head which slowly dissipated, some lacing

S: it has a big malty nose. there is a breadlike character and some fruity sweetness. slight alcohol aroma also.

T: malty and biscuity. no hop bitterness/flavor is detected as the malt overpowers and stands out. it has a honey like sweet finish to go with a moderate alcohol warming.

MF: full bodied, medium carbonation, has a lingering sweetness.

Drinkability: at 8.4%ABV, i agree it fits their big beer series. i would enjoy this much more if it were closer to 6%, cause i want to drink much more of this. the underlying malt flavor is awesome, but the alcohol bite didn't blend well with the taste.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Lightly hazed, bright, vibrant orange with just the slightest hint of a brown hue. Huge, foamy white head with moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S - Big toasty malt aroma with lots of fresh baked bread. Faint straw-like earthiness and hints of fruit as the beer warms.

T - Bready malts up front with a light toastiness. Fruitiness comes through mid-drink but is very mild. Light earthy hoppiness comes through late in the drink to provide some balance to the maltiness but is very limited. Certianly a malt-centric brew.

M/D - Light to medium bodied with a mild carbonation. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming. Still surprisingly noticeable given the moderate ABV.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What no goat? Pours a more copper color with great clarity. A soft white head with good retention and lacing through the whole tasting.

The aroma is mostly malty. Noticeable Munich notes with a hint of grainy notes. Some hint of pilsner as well. There are some noticeable yeast notes that is a bit off. Hints of diacetyl but not overly off. Some minor vegi notes, but that is more nit-picking than anything.

The flavor brings out a good malt characteristic that lingers into the finish. A nice kettle caramel flavor that blends with a more detectable diacetyl note. Some alcohol notes but very soft considering the ABV. A nice grassy flavor that comes out but is limited in the finish. Some minerally flavors as well but not over the top. A good sweet caramel finish.

The body is moderate to moderate-full. Nice finish with a good palate. Carbonation is light but helps the malt taste. Clean finish really helps this beer out. Some off flavors were a bit of a distraction but overall a good beer.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out into the glass with a bright ivory head that settles to a thick luscious half-inch layer of compacted foam, sitting atop clear deep russet/amber liquid. The nose is that of a dopplebock...it's that intensely malty, bready and sweet smelling. The taste is no less malty than the nose, only an underlying hoppy bitterness cuts through the sticky and thick malt base. Finishes on a long and sweet note, this is indeed "liquid bread"!

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Photo of Kendo
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Into a pilsner glass it pours a clear, deep golden color. No real head, but just a small white film settling on top. Some bubbles rise, but in general it looks kind of flat. Absolutely no lacing.

S: Malt scents -- bready and mildly sweet -- with a hint of hops as well. Not very strong in the nose, however.

T: Sweet and fruity -- berries, perhaps -- with a smoother sweetness that makes me think of honey or even butter. Finishes with a bit of a hop bite that keeps it from being too sweet, however, and the alcohol is noticed at the end as well. Despite the "Big Beer" moniker I didn't expect a maibock to be this strong, ABV-wise, and was surprised when I could taste it.

M: Call it light-to-medium in feel, normal amount of carbonation.

D: Good. A little sweet for my personal preference, but it fits the style and it's not overwhelmingly sweet.

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Smuttynose Maibock (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.
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