Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
399 Reviews
Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
15 IBU

2008 - 7.0%
2009 - 8.8%
2010 - 9.3%
2013 - 7.0%
2014 - 7.2% brewed with Pineapple Sage

Added by Bierman9 on 02-12-2006

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Reviews: 399 | Ratings: 666
Photo of SwillBilly
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber.

Appearance: Pours a honey, gold like color with very minimal head and slight wisps of lacing.

Smell: Fruity and sweet aromas dominate the nose with hints of apricots, apples and bread. Very fragrant.

Taste: Begins with a yeasty, malty sweetness reminicent of golden fruits, the middle stays along the same lines, with a fruity sweetness. The finish is crisp, with golden apples and apricots dominating, very slight hints of hop bitterness lingers on the tongue long after the finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat crisp and dry with a medium mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale is a decent but not great Saison when compared to the likes of Hennepin and Saison Dupont. A little to sweet for me but some may like it. Crisp, dry and very fruity. Alcohol is well hidden and goes down pretty easily. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Estarrio
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brilliant, bright, gold with a medium white head. Nice retention and complex, silky lacings.

Aroma is fruity, with wheat, hay and esters.

Sweet fruit up front, with lots of plum and apple. The sweetness is balanced with a very earthy, doughy taste. Some hints of clove and pepper appear throughout. The finish is slightly tart with a suggestion of bitter, though not enough to counter the lingering sweetness. Surprisingly, the finish is not dry in the least.

Nice mouthfeel, medium bodied, perhaps a tad undercarbonated for the style. The smooth flavors and sweetness make this a rather drinkable beverage.

This is a very nice beer but it will lose points if you are a big fan of the style. The undercarbonation and the lack of tartness or bitterness in the end are a bit disappointing for a Saison. Still, this is pleasurable to drink.

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Photo of garbercury
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter...

A--Nice looking beer, lacing is sticky and retention lasts.

S--Good funk, not overbearing, light actually, very nice.

T--Excellent, I really like the flavor on this saison, peppery, but not overly so. Lemon zest, just a tad of funk...

M--A little bit too carbonated on back end, but very good all the while.

D--Smuttynose is one of the most undervalued breweries I know of, consistently make great beers, particularly when it comes to their Big Beer Series, highly recommended.

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Photo of akahn
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rosy golden color, hazed. Firm white head, a bit sticky. Looks good to me.

Sweet tropical fruit aroma -- candied orange, especially. Also, musty yeast, earthy. Maybe I'm out of my mind, but I notice a hint of smoke!

Flavorful. Sweet, but dries out in the finish. Sweet orange and lemon flavors, with substantial earthy hops. Quite the tangy edge, as well. A bit boozy until it warms up. I can see how this would be better a bit drier, as the brewers intended.

On the fuller side of medium bodied. This makes it a bit less refreshing and "bigger," but that's what this series is about. Stronger carbonation could help cut this, I would appreciate that more than taking down the sweetness a notch. Goes down easy nonetheless. Interesting, and I plan to try more saisons!

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Photo of scarletfire79
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

awesome. awesome. awesome. dead on for the style. perfect balance of funky bite and smooth finish.citrus and clove notes. definitly one of the best saisons i've had, especially being american brewed. really nice, but what do you expect from smuttynose. a first class beer from a first class brewery.

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Photo of busterthecat
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours a nice hazy slightly golden hay hue. A white foamy head forms with leaves quickly.

S- Nice full banana, spike and yeast. A touch of boozy heat. Some subtle musk. Lemon and orange zest is present.

T- Orange and citrus zest with a slight sweetness upfront. Fades to the notes found in the aroma (spice & yeast). Gets a dirty bread/ earthy tone in end and finish. Hot alcohol is there.

M- Medium bodied and lingers well. The alc does sit on palate and stays in throat. Too hot.

O- The alcohol really detracts from this beer. It seem to ruin the delicate notes and makes drinking, what should be a refreshing beer, a tiresome chore. I would strongly suggest aging this beer to aid with the flavor profile.

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Photo of Genuine
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up the last bottle at my local place, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Poured from the bomber into my pint glass, a pale reddish/amber in color. Not much of a head to speak of, even after an aggressive pour.

Smell - I noticed the aroma of this one right off the bat. Very fruity, citrusy and sweet. Could not miss this one at all. Crisp, even.

Taste - First siason ever, wasn't sure what to expect but it was a very nice pleasant crisp and fruity. Some grapefruit mixed in, with a bit of the alcohol being noticable, especcially at 9.2%. Light body, I noticed some earthy flavors as well, I could see that this was going to go well with dinner.

Mouthfeel - Nice, light and crisp. Nothing that'll destroy the palate but it'll keep you coming back for more. It went very well with Thanksgiving dinner and all of the big flavors.

Drinkability - I enjoyed it greatly with dinner. Not sure if I'd want another bomber right after, as I was feinding for a Celebration next. Great beer to enjoy with food, cleans the palate and enjoyable. A very nice beer from Smuttynose!

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium over-sized wine glass. The bottle is labeled "Bottle Conditioned in 2009". Huge fluffy, egg-white head over an opaque orange brew. So much head I thought it might be contaminated. Super sticky lacing that coats the glass.

A funky Belgian yeast aroma with bread-y malts and some sour and peppery notes. Really different. Almost intimidating, but after a sip or two I'm ready to enjoy only my second saison, the first being several Hennepin. That gives it a lot to live up to, but I have huge confidence in Smuttynose, one of my favorite brewers.

The taste is sweet, but not overly so, tart, spicy and a little dry. I can't say I've ever tasted a beer like this before. The second pour from the bomber overflowed the glass with foam so quickly I hardly had time to react. The Belgian yeast is evident in the taste as well; it's almost sour and definitely peppery, one of the most unique flavor profiles I've had. It's a sipper, one enjoyed over an hour perhaps. The ale is warming and hardly feels like a summer beer to me, as I thought saisons were. The 9% ABV is not noticeable in the taste, but I can feel it. If this was for the peasants what were the capitalists drinking? Upon the third pour I'm getting sour apple notes, crisp and refreshing. I've got to rate the taste a "4" for complexity alone.

The mouth feel is medium in body and well carbonated with small bubbles constantly rising from the bottom. It leaves your mouth dry, but not at a pucker. The drinkability is somewhat questionable due to the 9.3% ABV. One bomber is just about right for big drinkers, but others might want to split this with a friend. I'm in the first category.

A really unique experience that makes me want to try more in this style. I'm interested to see if the tart, sour nature is found in others. I would appreciate any advise about this style if you're feeling generous.

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Photo of froggyfrog
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. brown bottle served cold in an over-sized wine glass.

Pours a tempestuous golden orange with swirling carbonation with flakes of sedimentary yeast and a substantial sudsy tangerine-tinged head with solid staying power and above average lacing.

Smells of yeasty esters with a caramelized citrus backbone.

Taste is spritzy and crisp. More citrus is evident. Coriander. Slightly bready. Subtly smoky clove notes mixed in. Creamy orange with a tart bitter finish.

This beer made me feel somewhat bloated and gassy. Saison is not a style I typically enjoy. This appears to be a decent example of the style. The taste improves as the beer warms.

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Photo of CuttDeez
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber series into a Tulip glass.

A - Solid looking saison that is a hazy gold with a thick frothy white head that laces well.

S - A good balance of sweet fruity sugars, earthen herds, and a little funk.

T & M & D - This saison is like most others as it follows the nose. There are good fruits, earth tones, and funk. The beer is different as it is sweeter upfront than most with only a subtle pepper on the back end. The funk is very slight. Medium bodied and carbinated well. A pretty drinkable brew in flavor, but heavy on the ABV in actuallity.

O - A solid saison from a good brewery. On the sweeter end, but a beer I would do again if given the chance.


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Photo of jsdunlop
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, orange hue with a fluffy, white head that lasts and lasts with thick lacing. Aromas of belgian yeast, funky citrus fruits, and alcohol hit the nose while a slight sweetness lingers around as well. Very fresh and wild taste, strong yeast presence with an abundance of overripe fruit notes, a bit of a spicy aftertaste with a fairly dry finish. Rather tart in the taste, as compared to the sweeter smell I was picking up. The intense carbonation, and spicy kick cover up the alcohol presence very well, making this a lighter bodied, fairly dry, and easy drinking brew at above 9%.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer couldn't look more perfect in the glass a nice hazy golden color with an enormous fluffy head and tons of lace. The aroma is floral with some lemon zest and peppery notes. The flavor is florally bitter with some rye bread boldness and a nice noble herbal hop note. The beer is dry and the palate is sharp and particularly bubbly. Tasty tasty stuff.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark yellow with light head and a bit of lacing. Smells of strong belgian friutiness. Strong flavors of sweet alcohol with fruitiness, delicious.
Very smooth medium body mouth feel with a bit of fizz, very drinkable.

This is an excellent american saison. Something this good warrents further research in to Smuttynoes.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd like to open this review with a question. Who cares how a beer smells? Does it matter if it tastes good? Unless it literally smells like an bad that you can't get it to your lips.

Anyways, I had to choose between this and Arrogant Bastard, and after the first sip I was wishing I had the bastad. I am not doing a comparison here, but after the next few sips, I got into the beer, and I was good with my choice. I think that says alot about the beer. It is solid, it is my first Smuttynose, I don't drink alot of belgians, so keep that in mind.

Good pour, great head, light vanilla brown color, taste is smooth for the most part, a bit bitter at the end, has that creamy vanilla taste, with a bit of lemon, light and fluffy, good for a change up. This is usually the opposite of what I drink, but I liked it, It is tough for me to compare it with others like this, because it is not usually what I get, but it was a solid beer, I would get it again sometime if I was looking for something in this world.

The real eye opener for me is Smuttynose, I want to try more of their beers. It is a tough task....but I am up for the challenge.

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Photo of ejquin
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden with 1-finger thick white head. Decent lacing. It's already appearent there is much less carbonation in this beer compared with usual Saison's.

S: You get that typical saison aroma, fading to brown sugar sweetness. A touch of molasses and fig is a bit unique. Some hop spiciness mixed with clove. Slight banana.

T/m: Starts a bit slow for a saison, yeasty and jucy middle turns to brown sugar sweetness fading to clove and slight hop perception lingers in finish. Little alcohol perception. Nice creamy mouthfeel, again less carbonation than you'd expect in a saison.

D: Very crisp and refreshing as a saison should be inspite of abv.


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Photo of mshallah
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber color that's only slightly hazy. Fluffy, sudsy, foamy head of two fingers which recedes slowly. Belgian yeast spice of clove and white pepper in the nose. Mandarin orange citrus fruitiness. Taste is what it is. A mellow Belgian style pale ale that is easy to drink with sweet, mildly toasty malt and a sour tartness from the yeast. A mellow, well rounded saison. Fruity and delicious.

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Photo of begforme4484
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very golden ale color. Little head, less than a finger width.

Smells of a bit of malt and floral hop, but mostly over taken by the sourness.

A bit of doughy malt, not much hop detectable, but a lot of sour.l

Medium bodied, good carb.

Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of sjverla
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Fruity and funk. Alcohol and clove. Spicy. Complex and yeasty.

Appearance: About a half-inch of frothy white head. Quickly dissipates. Amber gold.

Taste: Fruity and juicy. Alcoholic. Very spicy and tart. Hot on the gums and lightly bitter. Rustic, but not quite funky.

Overall: This one bites back. A little boozy though. Overall, pretty satisfying.

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Photo of DoreenAndDave
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice Saison style beer. Sturdy amber/gold appearance. A hint of spice, but not overpowering. Good citrus with a clear, slightly bitter finish. Satisfying and drinkable. Big but not heavy. Overall, a very good, solid beer. Not as complex as some Saison beers, but that's part of its appeal.

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Photo of RickSawyer
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a vibrant orange with light ruby deep centered. Not an amazing head. Smell is full of pear, green grapes, hay field, tropical pineapple, hints of white pepper, and yeasty belgian floral earthiness. Taste... ok, I have to admit, this is, in my opinion, the most "to style" american made saison I have tasted to date. Taste is peppery pear, touches of citrus, earthy, moist hay yeastiness, fresh bread and green apples. Carbonated like champaign and goes down like veuve cliquot. I am impressed.

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Photo of projektyle
2.4/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This review applies to the 2013 vintage!

Over the past several years, Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale has been the "go to" beer at our house. I am not the greatest beer reviewer, and probably don't have the most sophisticated palate, but I know what I like. This year's Farmhouse Ale is labeled "brewed with sage". Short answer - not a welcome addition. This year's beer has a finer carbonation (tiny bubbles), a taste that was unexpected compared to previous years, and was very thin. Over all, not an enjoyable experience - one of the few times I have ever drainpoured a Smuttynose Big Beer, made all the worse by the fact that my expectations were so high.

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Photo of Matty1918
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber. Bottled conditioned in 2008.

Pours a nice light amber/honey color with a nice foamy white head. Good amount of lacing and retention.

Aroma is of hay at first with a hint of hoppy bitterness there also. A touch floral and nice malt aroma too. A lot going on.

Ok the taste has a lot going on too. Very earthy up front which is followed by a nice spice...cloves maybe and a touch of cinnamon. There's a balanced taste of hops...slight bitterness with some flowers in there too. You can taste some sweet malts in there too. Very good...has a lot of things going on in there.
You can feel the alcohol too...just a little at the end.

Very nice mouthfeel..creamy, not to heavy...very nice. Nice amount of carbonation.

A nice sipping brew indeed. Very enjoyable. I'll go buy some more of these...some to enjoy and some to cellar.

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Photo of pitasoup
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to SkinnyElvis for this bomber, dated 2010.

A: Straw-like golden yellow. Could be mistaken for generic bmc lager in color and clarity. Slightly more than a finger of fine white head. Second pour is murkier - dregs have been shaken.

S: Typical Belgian saison yeasts - hay, peppery, and the smallest hint of vegetal. Floral esters linger on your tongue afterwards - lavender and dandelion.

T: Taste is more American saison, slight lemons, peppery. Alcohol is very present and distracting. Wheat malts linger as you get past the initial yeasts.

M: Body is medium but lingering mouthfeel is oddly thick from alcohol. This is very distracting - like drinking malt liquor.

O: This is a less aggressive saison in terms of peppery-yeasts, but it compensates with alcohol hotness. I am overwhelmed by the warm and fusel nature of this beverage. There are subtleties in the smell that I quite enjoy but the taste does not back them up.

I am thankful for having been able to taste this but would probably not seek it out again.

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Photo of vrazionale
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22.4 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter. Bottle reads: "Bottle-conditioned in: 2008"

A - Pours a clear, bright copper body with a modest, delicately-laced head formation.

S - Lots of stone fruit, sweet citrus, and floral notes, well-complemented by a full yeasty background. Subtle notes of spices - namely white pepper and fresh nutmeg.

T - The fruity notes take hold up front, followed by a wash of honey-like sweetness. Not particularly crisp or tart, and the honey sweetness, while complex in its own right, doesn't feel right here. The progression feels clumsy and awkward. It needs more bitterness, I think.

M - For much the same reason that I didn't like the taste of this beer, I don't like the mouthfeel. The sweetness imparts a sticky feeling that doesn't jibe with the crisp, refreshing character I like in saisons.

D - Not an unpleasant brew to drink by any means, but I've had much, much better saisons. I understand that this beer was brewed almost two years ago, but I expect a well-made saison to hold up better than this. I'd pair this beer with a hearty mac and cheese dish or with sweeter cured meats.

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Photo of Aiptasia
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good belgian style big beer. I sampled a 22 oz. bomber from my hand blown absinthe glass, which is similar to an old fashioned soda fountain glass.

A: Pours like bright sunshine on a misty morning. Head was respectable, white and solid 1" with slower dissipation than others reported. Lacing leaves rings after each drink like a tree trunk.

S: Got my whole nose in there. Beautiful notes of hay, sunshine and lemon zest.

T: Very good. Bready hops on the frontend with notes of citrus and pepper spice in the middle. Some malt sweetness but not overly sweet in the middle, too. Thin on the hops and finishes dry.

M: Light bodied. Very fine carbonation. Cooling and wet on the front with a dry, pallete cleansing finish.

D: Alcohol is well masked, so be careful. A great beer to pair with anything warm and spicy like Thai, Szechuan, Curry or Spanish cooking. I enjoyed mine with Buffalo wings and cool ranch doritos.

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Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 666 ratings.
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