Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
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Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.70%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale is a unique hybridization of two well-known beer styles, combining the rich, voluptuous taste of a traditional barleywine with the subtle, tart flavors of an American wheat ale, topped off with a healthy dose of crisp, herbaceous hops.

2007 - 11.4%
2008 - 10.3%
2009 - 11.4%
2010 - 12.0%
2014 - 10.8%

Added by Bierman9 on 04-13-2005

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 765 |  Reviews: 476
Photo of ballewblake
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

One finger tanish yellow head that didn't last long, turned to a ring around the glass. Moderate lacing. Smells like a mild bourbon, or port, ethanol dominates over everything. Wow. Flavor is a mild bourbon too, alcohol bomb, baby. Sweet malts, I can't tell that it's wheat. If this was a blind taste I'd just as easy guess this was a barley wine. Mouth is nicely carbonated, but the alcohol is pretty intense, almost like this was bourbon-barrel-aged, but I don't remember seeing that on the bottle. I think the drinkability suffers from the high alcohol heat, but give it a little time. Warming mellow the heat a bit, but not much.

 674 characters

Photo of Richardberg
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a large bottle into a beer stein. Tons of foam though it didn't last long. Cloudy, ruddy amber in color.

S: honey (orange blossom?), with strong floral notes. Some wheat specific aromas (eg banana ester) are among them.

T: sweet and malty, similar to a barleywine. Not otherwise familiar with this variety. Pleasant, but complexity is kinda overwhelmed by the booze.

M: effervescent and clean. Typical strong ale. ABV helps here, giving it an oily coat.

D: definitely feel the ABV -- not in a bad way. Enjoyed all 22oz but probably wouldn't order a second back-to-back.

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Photo of buzzy
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AppaZappa
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage. Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is a bright, rose-amber coloring with a thin, frothy, off-white head that disappears rather quickly after the pour. Aromas of toasted grains, booze, tangy sweet caramel and toffee. Smells sweet and rich. Flavors are very rich and a bit boozey. Caramel rich and roasted backbone, which is overpowered by the sweetness of the palate. Some subtle spicing at the end of the palate helps clean everything up a bit. Peppery and slightly bitter hops profile. Smooth, robust feel in mouth. The aftertaste is a rich, sweet blend of booze and toffee, leading to a rich, slick, lingering finish. Heavy brew, with a robust talent. Tasty, but big.

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Photo of ChewbaccaSD
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of rpstevens
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Portsmouth tulip. The pour yields a bright orange with a dark center that fades to glowing edges (it really looks like a tootsie pop). There is a tight white ring around the top, but no head. The beer leaves very little oily lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is pretty subdued. There is a noticeable amount of honey, medicinal-tea-like-hops and booze-soaked cherries and raisins. As the beer warms the smell gets sweeter and sweeter.

The taste is just as sweet as the smell. Lots of boozed soaked dark fruit notes, some honey, some caramel and sugared candy dominate. The herbal tea-like hops come through in short bursts.

The mouthfeel is heavy and sweet, almost syrupy. Just what I would suspect from the style. The beer is just carbonated enough to make the flavors move over the palate. The beer is very sweet, and the alcohol is a bit overwhelming at this point. The some aging might benefit this beer.

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Photo of breweryaprntc13
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper/amber with basically no head, only a few floating bubbles. Slight chill haze.

Citrus hops nose, strong wheat notes blended with caramel malts, slight yeast and alcohol aromas as well.

Wheat leads strong, yeast flavors, some malt flavors, citrus hops, barleywine familiarity, bitter finish, alcohol not very noticable suprisingly, medium duration of flavor.

Medium body, oily, low carbonation

Very drinkable, great example of a wheat wine, but not an every day beer (as per the style)

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Photo of DrJay
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The cap popped with a weak hiss. Crystal clear amber with an orange hue. A vigourous pour resulted in a thin head that quickly fell to a ring. Just a bit of spotty lacing initially. Crackery malt aroma, some caramel, with a floral and powdery hop aroma. Toffee and faint alcohol were present as well. Ripe tropical fruit became fairly strong as it warmed. Moderate bitterness with a malty start, a bit crackery, fruity (a bit of citrus, very mild ripe berries). Caramel at the mid. Towards the end, alcohol really moved to the front and lingered through the finish. Lighter bodied than I expected, quite dry, with low carbonation that resulted in a flat mouthfeel. Not bad. I enjoyed it, but wasn't overwhelmed. Still, this is a solid beer.

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Photo of Skillz
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of t0rin0
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I believe this is the last vintage that came out.

Pours a reddish orange color, small head, only slightly hazy for a beer with this much wheat.

Smells like wheat, caramel (crystal malt), alcohol, and more wheat.

The taste is coming around. Well, I didn't try it new but the wheat and malt are starting to age. A bit heavy on the alcohol but its all upfront, doesnt leave much alcohol taste in the aftertaste.

Body was real thick and syrupy. Nice that its heavy but a bit over the top. Tastes pretty good and is therefore enjoyable but the abv will catch up with you rather quickly.

This is only the 4th new wheatwine I've tried but its probably the best, with the exception of aged versions of the Marin Starbrew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dried apricot orange with a faint reddish blush. The sandlewood colored cap is a tight collection of tiny bubbles that persists nicely, especially given the ABV. It's also an admirable leaver of lace in unbroken, sandblasted sheets. I haven't had enough wheat wines to know what they ought to look like, but this one looks great to me.

The beer smelled pretty good from several feet away, but for some reason it doesn't smell quite as good when I get up close and personal with it. Its biggest negatives are a lack of power and a lack of any complexity whatsoever. Its biggest positives are a tangy orange fruitiness and a complete lack of alcohol. If it improves with warming, I'll nudge the score accordingly (note: it doesn't).

Smuttynose Wheat Wine is good beer that I'm not tempted to wax poetic over. I've yet to have a version of this style that I thought came anywhere close to the best barleywines. Whether that has to do with the inherent qualities of wheat versus barley or whether it has to do with brewers' inexperience with a relatively new style, I couldn't say.

At an estimated 18 months of age, the alcohol has, I'm guessing, settled down considerably. It's still a presence though and is borderline in terms of masking/flavor contribution. There's a definite warm spiciness present that doesn't quite reach the threhold of being considered hot. It has the effect of slowing me down by forcing me to take small sips; never a bad idea.

The flavor is reminiscent of orange liqueur. It isn't smooth enough, however, to remind me of Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Cane sugar was added, but the little yeasties must have been unusually efficient with this particular batch because residual sweetness is at a minimum. Or maybe it's simply that enough hops were used to balance things out and the ABV is high enough to keep things dry.

Medium toast French oak chips were used as well. I do pick up more than a hint of bourbon barrel-like vanilla, so I'll have to credit the brewers for that particular addition. While this is a fairly enjoyable big beer, it isn't an especially complex one. It isn't as if one has to probe each and every mouthful for hidden flavors, because they simply aren't present.

The mouthfeel is a highlight for me (along with the appearance). It's full and sticky and comes oh so close to syrupy on the finish. A laid back amount of carbonation contributes to all of the above. Even the somewhat harsh alcohol (that is starting to numb my tongue) can't ruin my enjoyment of how this beer feels in the mouth. It certainly gives it a good effort though.

In the end, the unmasked alcoholicity of Smuttynose Wheat Wine has worn down whatever enthusiasm I had during the first third of the bottle. I thought that I gave it enough time to rest, but it looks like another 18 months wouldn't have been out of the question. While it might improve a fair amount over that time, I don't believe that it will ever be great beer.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy honey colored with a tall but brief white with yellow tinted head.

The smell is banana foster and honey. It has a sweet dessert smell.

Banana and honey flavors are cut by the heat from the booze. There's also and herbal tea like touch. They don't meld well at all. It finishes with crushed aspirin.

Mouthfeel is reall hot and boozy. Medium carbonation.

This started out promising but the herbal flavors threw this out if whack.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Wasatch
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to TheManiacalOne and barleywinebrewer for this one.

Poured into a chalice a nice slightly cloudy ruby red color, nice carbonation, nice fizzy off-white head, only some small islands left behind. The nose is slightly sweet of cherries, malts, slight oak, and some caramel. The taste is a little sweet, malty/oak, spicy, and some caramel. The alcohol is pretty up front on this one, nice warming feeling going down. Medium body. Drinkable, but not really a fan.

 477 characters

Photo of headbucket
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle

A: amber with reddish tint.darker than I expected for some reason.

S: sweet and bready. Little bit of hops and maybe a slight spicy note in there.

T: sweet,wheaty, a bit of dark malt ,with grapefuit hop flavor in the middle. A dark sweetness lingers at the end.

M: medium thickness, a little syrupy.

D: the alcohol isn't too strong and had a unique and interesting taste,but a bit sweeter than I like.

 418 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours in a snifter with a auburn, copper, bourbon-like body w/ a 1-finger head that receeds quickly and leaves a little bit of lacings. The aroma is packed with a heavy, thick malt smell of caramel and other sugariness, plus some spices. A little bit of alcohol sips in, creating a warming sensation. Even though this is a mix, it really comes across as a barleywine. The sugariness and syrupiness comes through in a thick, almost full-body and is matched with a pronouced sourness. A heavy, almost alcohol burning taste on the tongue; just a tad smoothness. This is a good beer but much more barleywine that wheat (not an even mix). Still contains a dry, hot backbite that resembles a cinnamon burn - and retains drinkability. There's still a good amount of sweetnessl this beer is complete with nut, almond, roasted and other malts that give it that sweet edge. I'd have this again, but I'm not going to seek this out. Just a little too potent and a little too sugary for a sessioning.

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Photo of bigone4
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle. Decent fluffy white head. Hazy amber orange hue. Some hints of lace down the sides of the glass. The smell is slightly sour with a rather pronounced alcohol tone. Caramel like sweetness in the nose. Some fruity fig like scent perhaps raisins or some souring grape like tone. The taste was fruity and sweet. Nice subtle sourness in the back of the mouth. Decent wheat flavor much lighter than the traditional barley wine making for a nice lighter alternative. Alcohol is certainly making its self known with the aftertaste. Has a potent like alcohol essence as it warms to the room. Very complex flavors blend in the taste though. Subtle hints of vanilla and hints of caramel mix with the slight sourness. Decent mouthfeel smooth and enjoyable to drink. I would certainly drink this one slowly. Nice taste and it gets the cheeks rosy.

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Photo of wcintula
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big Beer Series? I'll say. Poured into a tall, more 'flute-shaped' snifter with a deep solid dark honey brown body and a nice tan one finger head to cap it. This beer smells incredibly sweet. I can't exactly put my finger on. It's very fruity and sugary, even. Any hops presence is muted by the incredibly wheaty profile of the wheat wine. The bar I had this beer at listed it at 12% ABV and you certainly notice it. Great beer to have if your in the mood for something big.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gravity keg at Blind Tiger. Pours a dirty brown with no head. Aroma of nice hop oils, lots of citrus hops. Very nice. Flavor of lots of citrus, tropical fruits, nice and hoppy. Also some apple skins and acetone as the beer warms. A little odd as it warms, but still MUCH better fresh.
8/4/7/4/14 (3.7/5)

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Photo of barnzy78
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, 2012 release, pours golden-copper in color, with a thin bubble head, tons of carbonation in the body of the ale. Aromas are sweet with honey, vanilla, raisin. Tastes are cloyingly sweet with more vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, raisin, booze. Mouth-feel is full bodied and syrupy, with moderate carbonation, finishes with a dash of white pepper and a tingle on the tongue. Alcohol is warming, but not overly assertive. Overall, this seemed to be too sweet. Good flavors, but cloyingly sweet. A whole bomber by myself was too much to handle. Nice take on the style, but needs to be drunk in smaller doses.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Conditioned in 2006

This is my first time trying a Wheat Wine so I'm not really sure what to expect. Smuttynose is one of my favorite breweries though, so here goes nothing!!!

Poured an ever so slightly hazy, but still pretty clear, light amber with reddish tones to it. Creamy, off-white, half-inch thick head with good retention. Not much lacing to comment on however.

Smells flowery and floral, lots of barley aromas not unlike many barleywines, sticky sweet caramel, some hop spiciness, very mild alcohol fumes.

Taste is lots of alcohol, lots of barley, sticky sweetness ala caramel and toffee, some wheat is detected but seems covered up by all the other stronger components of this beer. Very complex. Finish is pretty hoppy and with much alcohol burn. In fact, this brew is very harsh. But seems like it would be fabulous with a couple years under it's belt.

Mouthfeel is airy, fluffy, and rolls around on your tongue. Mild carbonation.

Drinkable this beer is not. It is just too harsh at this point in it's life to be drinkable. It needs to mellow out.

I plan on buying a few, cellaring them, and opening one each year and see how these babies age. All the great flavors and complexity is there, just the alcohol bite is too much at this point.

 1,281 characters

Photo of output01x
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (Dated 2009) into a snifter glass.

A vigorous pour yields a 1-inch cream-colored head that quickly disappears, leaving a nearly absent dusting and clumpy foam ring. The body is a hazy strawberry amber with no noticeable carbonation bubbles. Large floaties can be seen resting on the bottom of the glass like pebbles in a fish tank.

Strong alcohol stings the nostrils at not only the first whiff, but each subsequent sniff thereafter. Grainy wheat with notes of bananas and red apples helps to round out the rest of the nose. As the beer warms, the aromas combine to form a nose reminiscent to warm mulled cider.

Sweet, caramelized malts with a shadow of floral hops starts each sip. An apple cider characteristic lends itself nicely to the overall experience and helps to make the sweetness more acceptable. As soon as the beer is swallowed, a strong alcohol burn kindles in the back of the throat for a moment but quickly fades to a mere warmth coupled by a candied sugar sweetness. As the beer warms, the alcohol becomes less apparent, permitting the other flavors to come out more.

Medium bodied with very little carbonation, this beer is surprisingly smooth. The lack of carbonation has amazingly little effect on the drinkability. While it is rather sticky, and almost syrupy once warm, it is still easily enjoyable.

 1,353 characters

Photo of Ame127
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of soco7tyx7
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A ruby amber with little head. Hazy with sediment

S - Bourbon, some dark fruits with some dark brown sugar

T - Some hoppiness up front with a bourbony alcohol body. Sweet malitness that lingers with some bitterness

M - Medium body, sticky, smooth otherwise

D - A decent brew that is made for sipping on. The alcohol definitely keeps you warm and is felt all the way to the finish. Similar to their barley wine

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Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 765 ratings.
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