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

very good
473 Reviews
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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 | website

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 Reviews
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Reviews: 473 | Ratings: 760
Photo of Mazeraski
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into an oversized wine glass.

A - Pours a deep ruby and mahogany color with very little head that ends up dissipating rather quickly into the sample.

S - Spicy and piney hops and a fresh wheat characteristic jump at the nose at first followed by hints of caramel and roasted malts. The wheat and sweet malt aspects of the aroma shines through as the brew warms.

T - A thick and rich roasted malt and barley flavor wash over the palate first. This is followed by notes of caramel and burnt sugars, floral and piney hops, notes of alcohol and perhaps the slightest hint of wheat, although I'm not sure if I just expect this aspect to be present or if it actually is present. Overall, a big roasty malt presence that creates a sweet, smooth thick feel on the tongue.

MF - As stated above, quite a nice smooth and thick mouthfeel attributed to the heavy malt backbone. Teetering on the edge of medium to full-bodied with a nice mix of carbonation and alcohol present. Almost chewy in a sense.

D - Taste-wise a very nice malt-bomb with a great combination of flavors. The ABV doesn't exactly lean in favor of this aspect, however, this is to be expected in keeping with the style of this brew.

Notes: Definitely an interesting and relatively complex brew that was quite a pleasure to sample. If you are into malt-heavy brews and looking for something slightly different, this would be one to pick up. Most definitely recommended to try and another great brew from this brewery.

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Photo of ABCJiugui
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber into duvel tulip

A- copper/amber with reddish tint, fairly clear, head retention is surprisingly good: thicker ring around the edge and visible layer of foam stays throughout on liquid surface. Little/inconsistent lacing.

S- Fresh baked bread, lightly malty, butterscotch from a distance. Smells english in its barleywine nature- slightly sweet port like, but without the stronger fruit components. Strong whiffs of alcohol here and there.

T- Sweet up front, gives way quickly to both tart wheat ale character and hoppy finish that reallly lingers- makes my tongue fairly rough. Hops and tartness mix and linger, making it hard for me to discern which is which. Harsh alcohol in nose and throat in bigger sips, detracts a little bit from the flavor, gives a pretty strong burn if you're not careful.

M- This is a little confusing. It is high abv, but then again, it feels light/thin at times. Carbonation is soft, adding to the feeling.

This is an interesting, somewhat odd beer. My first wheatwine so I didn't know what to expect. The lack of lacing didn't detract for me because of the surprisingly good head retention. The taste was odd- it really is a mix of the three points they say on the bottle- barleywine sweet character, tart wheat, and bitter hops. They are all pretty well defined but at the same time I'm unsure if I'm happy with the balance- the tart wheat and bittering hops especially are in full effect. Given the chance, i'd revisit this beer again, and this style as well.

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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 juzy
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottled 2005

Poured this from the bottle into a big bowled wine glass. Straight up I notice the color, a hazy copper with a tinge of gold around the edges. Quite interesting and a bit mesmerizing. There is a very thin head that is gone almost instantly.

I clear my nose for my first scent...fruity, apples maybe? It's bright with a hoppy scent and a hint of alcohol.

Not exactly love at first sip, but I think I had expected something different. So I go on and sip a few more times, swishing it around each time, trying to find what stands out. I get citrusy hops and grassy notes right up front. No sweetness, I think there should be more malt sweetness to balance this out a bit, but it is a wheat wine so I'll roll with it. It finishes with a touch of malt and a bitter alcohol bite, phenolic notes on the finish and in the aroma (I forgot to mention that).

The mouthfeel was interesting, a bit oil or creamy, if you prefer. Reminds me of the mouthfeel of a good cabernet.

As for drinkability, I had to score it average, it's a hard one to get down on ones own.
I found myself in the rare position of having to drink this bottle by myelf. One glass would be more than enough of this big beer on any given night. I drank the whole bottle and found myself in bed and asleep by 9pm. Seems a tad sharp and the alcohol is not well hidden. Other than that I find it interesting, I've never had this style before so wasn't really sure what to expect.

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Photo of pcguitarwzrd
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Copper orange, slightly hazy, off-white head. If I didn't know better, I have sworn I was looking at a DIPA.

S: Sweet caramel toffee malt, wheat, vanilla/oak, maybe a little booze.

T: Powerful vanilla and oak flavors, a little nudge of hops at the end. Leans toward being too sweet.

M: Medium body, not highly carbonated, a little sting of booze.

O: An interesting beer, but probably not something I could drink often.

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Photo of ODBRIP
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured it vigorously to try and stir up some carbonation. a thin white head appeared...perhaps a bit lacking in carbonation...but not so lacking I 'd call it a problem.

smell: dry barley wine type smell...maybe a hint of apple

overall: pretty awesome I think, great winter beer, has a really warm taste, not a burny alchohol taste, even though this beer has some punch. basically I would describe this barley wine as dry..farily complex, and very drinkable.

wish I had more to drink.

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Photo of JaredKent
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

Appearance: Amber/brown in color. This pours a very light head only about a 1/4" high. The head lingers for quite a bit though.

Scent: Caramel up front with a slight burnt note to it. Biscuity, toffee aromas mixed in with dried fruits and raisins. The aroma is strong on this one.

Taste: Once again I get toffee notes with plenty of dried fruit. As the beer lingers in the mouth I get a bit of tartness most likely coming from the wheat. A hint of spiciness on the finish mixed in with the warmth of the alcohol. I dont find this too different then a traditional barley wine.

Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied with the alcohol heat ever present. The carbonation is minimal which allows the heavy beer to go down smooth.

Overall: I dont notice too much of a difference coming from the 53% wheat. It drinks very much like a barley wine, the flavors are very much like a barley wine. The wheat just doesn't add enough unique characteristics to the playing field. A good beer, but blends in with other barley wines already out there.

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Photo of deciding39
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bottle, served in a snifter.

A: Pours a golden-amber, with a half-finger white head. It disappears rather quickly, leaving a thin white collar around the glass. Minimal lacing.

S: Strong whiff of alcohol and orange, followed by sweet malted barley and wheat. Citrus hop notes also pull through.

T: Caramel malts and wheat, with assertive, citrusy hops. A smooth, but warm and alcoholic finish. Surprisingly well-balanced.

M & D: Medium/full body. A smooth, yet formidable brew. Drinkability is good, despite the well-disguised alcohol content. It was quite a challenge to knock one back by myself. I haven't had any wheat wines before that I can compare it to, but this was definately satisfying. Try it out.

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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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Photo of mclaughlindw4
2.98/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2012 vintage

A- golden beer color. Nice fluffy head which lingers a short while.

S-a little sweet. Raisons and plums and some estery compounds.

T- there is a bitter quality that first hits my tongue and persists through to the aftertaste. Boozy caremel and the raisons.

M- A little sticky.

O- Perhaps it could use some time to mellow out. Hard to judge I guess because its not a specific style. But thinking of it as a wheat wine, not one of my favorites.

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Photo of 89Vision
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a chalice. The color is a nice reddish brown, with a one finger head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is very reminiscent of a tripel: fruity, grape and cherry notes, alcohol.

The taste threw me off. Its not as sweet as the aroma leads you to believe and is much hoppier than I would have thought. The taste to me is somewhat like a cross between a tripel and a saison. Sweet with mostly a grape taste, hoppy, alcohol.. pretty nice.

Overall, a good beer. I'm usually not a fan of highly hopped beers, but I enjoyed this one. I was surprised that it clocks in at 70 IBUs, as it doesn't taste that high.

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Photo of surlysober
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

FIRST TRIAL: On tap at the Landmark 1850. This was an unobjectionable brew. I've only had a few other wheat wines, but this was the closest to many of the barleywine's I've had, however, it was quite a bit less extreme in terms of flavor. The beer was a nice copper with a quickly diminishing head. There was very little aroma though (similar to the flavor). There was a slightly sweet/fruity malt taste, and a little bit of hop bitterness, with a reasonably smooth finish that didn't taste very alcohol-y (maybe the wheat?). This beer wasn't bad, there just didn't seem to be that much to it. I enjoy a few Smuttynose products, but don't know if I'd order this one again.

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Photo of TLJ
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This Smuttynose poured a beautiful reddish mahogany, with a little off-white lacing and a small amount of carbonation. The smell produced a wonderful strong malt, with caramel, bourbon, oak and vanilla.

Unfortunately, while the taste also yielded all of these warm flavours, I found the cigar-smoke sweetness and over-powering alcohol taste to this beer somewhat unbearable and wasn't able to finish what I had poured.

I would have preferred to have this beer in a 6 or 8 ounce glass on tap, and served slightly warmer than refridgerator-cold so that I could enjoy its scotch-like woody character and gingery spiciness.

June is a sweaty month here in Boston, and that also did not work in favour of this beer.

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Photo of frankbro
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Exceptionable Barley/Wheat wine. I try to limit myself to 2 beers at a time, but 2 of these 22 oz babies is like a six-pack for alcohol. No real head to speak of, but the beautiful coppery color makes up for it. You can really smell the wheat, and it puts Sam Adams to shame. (Itself a good wheat) You can smell the alcohol too, but that's expected for a barley wine. It could use a tad more hops and my "low" score for drinkability is only due to its unchugability. At $4.59/22oz a bargain. Not to be missed, but not for Budweiser fans.

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Photo of cmmprez
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 6 Fl Oz bottle, conditioned from 2006

The large bottle pours an orange beer with little head. I'm using a goblet to observe and drink it. The aroma makes me instantly think sweet malt barleywine. The smuttynose hops hit up front in the taste but are tempered by the malty finish. Typically, I'm not a fan of Smuttynose's aggressive hops, but in this beer they are very well balanced. This is my first wheat wine and I'm enjoying the body. Its lighter and cleaner then a barleywine but it still carries enough weight or stickiness to have the taste linger on your tongue. Although this is a BIG BEER, its not overloading my palate and making me sick from residual sugars.

If you like Smuttynose or just barleywines in general, this is a good pick.

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Photo of aaj1002
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Okay, here is the deal. This beer has a wonderful amber hued glow with a nose that blends subdued malts, slight hops and complex oak. The mouth-feel is alive without being overly active. The taste starts with a simple rounded sweetness of malt and alcohol, but not overly so - don't let the wine name fool you. These big bold flavors are controlled and even highlighted by the dryness of the oak. In fact, the only note I would give is that the oak might...slightly...dominate the flavor. Give this puppy some age and forget about it...

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Photo of slash196
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was excited for this one, grabbed a bottle from whole foods.

A - Rich burnt orange, with assertive carbonation and a one-finger head receding to thick lace.

S - Like a fresh barleywine should, good amount of hops, with some distinctive alcoholic notes.

T - Very unusual. Toffee, wheat, vanilla, bourbon, and booze. Lots of booze. Honestly, I would swear this thing had been barrel-aged, the bourbon flavor is VERY forward. To be honest there is a lot going on in this one, and it doesn't all pull in the same direction. Some flavors try to lighten things up, but other flavors drag it down. Not a BAD beer, but very much not my cup of tea.

M - Medium body with prickly carbonation. Some cloying on the finish.

Overall - This was a disappointment, though I didn't know what to expect it was a bit of a letdown. Unbalanced and overcrowded palate and VERY boozy. Nice to see Smuttynose experimenting, but this is a style that is rare for a reason.

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Photo of reiger
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into an American Pint

A - Small, thin head that settles quickly. Nice dark brown color with a hint of red.

S - Sharp cherry with some interesting earthy tones.

T - Cherry, earthy wheat, slight hint of citrus at the finish. Honestly, there are other flavors I can't quite identify but whatever they are, they're good.

M - Very clean beer. You catch a slight tingling/burning from the high ABV.

D - Very smooth and drinkable for 10.7%. Towards the bottom it gets heavier but that's not a bad thing. I think one 22 is enough for me.

I had this on tap at the local watering hole a few weeks ago and it blew me away so I had to try the bomber. It's not as heavy bottled as it was on tap, which makes for a smoother drinking experience. Definitely recommended, but not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of terranova770
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is 2007 edition. The label is idyllic and you will be too if you finish a bomber of this. Great deep caramel color and nose. Taste heads straight for nyquil yet takes a turn right before cherry. Long , long, long finish that tends to fade into one dimension, maybe licorice? This is drinkable as long as you plan on sitting, my bomber felt like it packed much more wallop than the 10% abv would suggest. I had been eyeing this brew for awhile and it did not dissapoint, definitely has some wine characteristics as suggested by the label. Will look for more to cellar!

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Photo of SR_619
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Overall, rock solid - normally a stout drinker, but stepping into the world of other strong beers, the high ABV really helps pull this together. Notes of dates & raisins on the aftertaste (really carrying a good barleywine flavor there) with the lighter notes of wheat. Balanced well - hops stay where they should be (complimenting the malt, but not standing out too strongly.)

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Photo of Comandante
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well rounded, smooth brew, with subtle smokiness, that lends well to pairings with grilled meats--and especially charcuterie/salumi. If I smoked, I'd be more than willing to substitute this for a snifter of Cognac (which I'm oh so partial to).

Notes of apricots, cedar and tobacco. Little head retention, but it's almost as velvety as it is fiery. This beer is now to be a staple in my household--on hand to be savoured with a spread of smoked, salty delights.

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Photo of rreed
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been in the fridge a long time. No idea why I bought it. Combo of wheat and barley wine; obviously incompatible. Patriot game on, might as well do this beer. Unexpectedly (which is always the the best) one of the best beer experiences I've had. ABV over 10. Too much under the influence to rate higher than 4.25. Thank you Smuttynose!

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Photo of coasterboard
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I am reviewing a 2010 version, in a bomber.

A- a pleasant, fairly clear amber color. Very little to no head. Very little lacing. Not a terribly remarkable appearance

S- Not a lot to smell here. Its very surprising that it isn't very boozy, and it gets points for that. It looses points, though, for not having any good hop aromas. I know it isn't an IPA, but some hoppiness to balance out the caramel would be nice. That said, the brown sugar/ caramel aroma is nice.

T- It is about like I expected. It is rich, syrupy, but also wheat-y. The wheat flavor makes it significantly more drinkable than a typical barleywine. The boozyness comes through on the back end, but I rather like a little of that

M- Best part of the beer, in my opinion. Rich and syrupy, with a good wheat flavor as well. Very nice to drink on a crisp late fall day like today

O- I like this beer. I wish it balanced the syrupiness out a little more, but it is very good for what it is. I think it would be good to let it sit on the shelf for a few years. You'd get more flavors out of it and it will definitely stand the test of time. I have had a little less than half the bottle by now in the review, and I am getting a little tipsy already. On second thought, I should've split the bottle with someone. I'm going to go take a nap. Cheers!

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Smuttynose Wheat Wine (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.
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