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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)
Very Good
474 Ratings
Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.37%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
This hoppy, Belgian-style golden ale first appeared in early 2007 as the first edition of our Short Batch Series. At that time, we called it the Gnome, an homage to Brasserie d'Achouffe.

45 IBU

2011 - 9.9%

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 474 |  Reviews: 181
Reviews by DeFaz:
Photo of DeFaz
2.89/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I know I've had some good Smuttynose beers in the past, but I have to say that after this one and especially after the Gravitation beer, Smuttynose and I are going to take a break, at least as far as their "Big Beer" series.

This pours a cloudy very light copper color with a medium head and average retention. Lacing is pretty good. The smell is unfortunately overpowered by alcohol, although when straining to see past the alcohol I find some nice fruit, including cherry and berry, and malt tastes, and it's clear there's some yeast being used here. The taste suffers from a lack of balance, with the alcohol flavor out of control. The yeast seems to offer some nice flavors, but the label on the beer says that it is "Impregnated with loads of hop character", and yet I find very, very little hop character here at all. By the way, don't drink this beer when pregnant or when looking for a balanced and flavorful beer. Anyway, it's OK--it's not well thought out, like the Gravitation beer, and I wish I hadn't bought such a large bottle of it. The mouthfeel is drying but spot on as far as thickness, but overall it's a beer I would try again as it needs to be reconstructed.

 1,180 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Grinky
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of DIPAFAN
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of KevinGordon
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of SickGnar
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich, dense, almost dark golden. Not really hazy, but less than clear. Just a few tight bubbles rising to a small white head with a cappuccino froth look. Alright retention and some decent lace. Second pour from the bomber does get a bit of true haze.

S: Floral, estery, somewhat restrained fruit. Soft apples & pears, some light tropical fruit hints, and a bit of citrus from the hops. Hops are also spicy and a bit herbal. Spice is tied ta bit to the whiff of alcohol. Light hint of phenolics. Really nice background doughy malts with fair to big sweetness. Spicy alcohol increases & gets more of a bite as it warms.

T: Starts off sweet, doughy, floral, & fruity. Sweetness is a mixture of honey, candi-sugar, & sugar cookies. Just a hint of light crystal. Very rich doughy aromatic malt – sweet bread dough with great depth. Floral & fruity esters struggle a bit to emerge from all the sweetness. When they do the effect is thick mountain laurels in bloom and juicy ripe apple. As sweetness diminishes in the middle the yeast and hop notes really come out to play. Mild phenols, lots of -spice – both softer “pie” spices & sharper pepper-like stuff. Spices & alcohol give a bit of mild heat. The pepper leans a bit to white, and along with a yeasty, earthy, musty note it gives a bit of funk. Bitterness is firm, but not overpowering – and it lingers long in the finish. Hops are mostly herbal with some citrus & spice, and then resin in the end. Alcohol is clearly present but never gets out of line.

M: Medium plus body with CO2 a touch under-matched but adequate. Most of texture seems to be from tannins with just a few sugars and dextrins. Soft & smooth at the start. Then you can feel the alcohol thinning it out. Alcohol & hops take it firmly drying in a refined manner. Alcohol warming as expected. Feels potent.

D: Way more a BGS than a BIPA. Mislabeled on the BA I’d say. This one walks a line between pleasant & aggressive. Starts off with sweetness, fruity & floral, warm & rich doughy aromatic & sweet malts – kittens and rainbows and everything nice. Then in comes the bitterness, earthy/yeasty/funk, herbal/resiny/spicy/peppery/phenolic high octane mix. Careful - this one will quietly & calmly kick your ass. It is one fairly pleasant and very potent beast.

 2,297 characters

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Crazy4LegMoose
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy orange hue with 3 fingers off white head. Leaves good lacing down the glass.

S: Big fruity esters in the nose. Hints of orange citrus flavors and faint aromas of bananas.

T: Smooth fruity flavors up front that is finished with a good hop bite and bitterness. Hints of banana bread and orange zest up front that blends into a good citrus hop bite that leaves a slightly bitter finish on the palate.

M: Medium body beer with good creamy carbonation.

O: Quite good. Nice hoppy with an interesting banana bread malt backbone. Very well balanced and unusual flavor combinations.

 586 characters

Photo of Bnoise11
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy medium orange with a slight skim of white foam. Slight lacing.

Some yeast, toasted malt, and fruit (peach nectar) in the nose. Maybe a little honeysuckle. Good, but a bit mild. Still, it works.

I was worried. I saw this as having the potential of being a pine cone. I was wrong. Wonderful balance here. The initial part of the sip gives you some malt and a touch of boozy over-ripe peach (not browned/bruised, but you know it is only a matter of time before it turns on you-type fruit). Something tart in there, with a little tingle too. Still, not overly sweet. As the body of the brew clears from your palate, the bitterness starts to come in, as if it was held back by surprisingly subdued chemical alcohol. As the bitter and the booze clear the palate of any fruit or sweetness, you get a medium-mild bitterness -- no hop oil, no grapefruit or pine cone, just clean bitterness. The fruit comes back a bit at the very end, but just slightly. Balance, complexity, and even at 9.9%, the booze is so well hidden that you just keep reaching for the glass. A very very rare 5.0 from me.

Now I'm getting picky. I would have liked just a touch more carbonation -- but that is my preference. Tiny bubbles are rising in the pint, so it still has some zip.

Overall, this is a good one. They balanced it great, they got the flavor just right. And the label is hilarious. Some Belgian IPAs are a bitter hop death bombs. This is so drinkable that you'd want to session a 9.9% beer. Oh, you have to try this.

 1,523 characters

Photo of thornburyslasher
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of rkcrozier
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of bdaggett
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ms11781
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of StoutSnob40
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

From the 22 oz. bottle marked Bottle conditioned in 2012. Sampled on October 22, 2012.

The pour is a cloudy golden yellow with a whole lot of foamy, milk shake-like head and a whirlwind of carbonation.

The nose is tickled with plenty of Belgian yeast, sweet malts, and a nice dose of citrus with an emphasis on grapefruit esters.

The body is about medium with a kind of astringent acidic character.

The taste compliments the aroma with its citrus zing, light pale malt character, yeasty note, clove, and a semi-lingering finish that in many respects reminds me of a Tripel. Easier to drink than I expected.

 613 characters

Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of thain709
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a semi-clear, golden-copper body...the head was small and white in color...it stayed small and presented a solid ring...some lacing was left

S - The nose is rather sweet...Belgian yeast and spices are the most dominate aromas...there is some citrus lingering around

T - A lot of Belgian spices are again present on the palate...there is some spicy pepper mixed in with some clove...the yeast is chewy and presents itself in the middle of the beer...there is an alcohol presence that is coming out and wasn't detected in the nose...the hops are pretty minimal, but do add a bit of citrus flavor...the finish is spicy sweet

M - Medium bodied...it's a little on the sweeter side, but there is a spicy backbone and a slight bitterness

O - I'd say this Belgian IPA lends its hand towards the Belgian side...the hops were brief with the Belgian spices and yeast coming through pretty strong...the alcohol really comes out on the palate

 949 characters

Photo of jman005
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of polloenfuego
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Homunculus has a thin, off-white head, a brilliant, very bubbly, gold-orange appearance, and a bit of splotchy lacing left behind. The aroma is of full, sweet, yeasty, spicy, bready malt, and the flavor is of all that, with distinct pepper and floral hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Smuttynose Homunculus finishes semi-dry, mellow, hefty, rich, and delicious. Overall, this is outstanding!


 424 characters

Photo of PTEdelman
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Jeffo
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dad got me this one while in the States a while back. Thanks for the brews pop!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2013

APPEARANCE: Pours a large, three finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with great retention. Cloudy gamboge orange with medium levels of carbonation. Head fades to a full foamy cap and coats the glass with lacing. Half wisp with sheets of lacing down the glass. Good looking brew for sure.

SMELL: Pale malts, green fruits, apples, spicy cloves and yeasty spices on the nose. Medium strength and plenty Belgian in style.

TASTE: Pale malts, spicy cloves and green fruit sweetness up front. Medium but lingering finish of spicy yeast, cloves, caramel sweetness, green fruit and apples, as well as some bitter floral hops for balance. Flavorful and plenty spicy as well.

PALATE: Fuller body with medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Full and creamy for sure. Good feel.

OVERALL: A very good beer. Lots of good aromas and flavors, and definitely showcases the spicy nature of Belgian yeast, which is a hallmark of this style. I would have liked to see more hop flavor perhaps as opposed to the hops simply providing bitterness, but the spicy and estery qualities of the yeast made this an enjoyable drink. Though the fuller feel is definitely not Belgian in character, I’m a fan and appreciated the creamy fullness here. Definitely a quality brew that’s well worth checking out if you get the chance. Thanks again dad!

 1,516 characters

Photo of CesarLopes
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 474 ratings