Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series)
475 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%

Added by Bierman9 on 02-11-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 475 |  Reviews: 181
Reviews by TheBrewo:
Photo of TheBrewo
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of golden pumpkin orange. It holds a one and a half finger head of soapy white bubbles, leaving spotty lacing as it recedes at a quicker pace. An aggregate of fat leftover bubbles remains for the remainder of the tasting. A chill haze permeates the beverage, with no sediment noted. Carbonation appears light to moderate. The aroma pits bright lemony malts against metallic, sweeter pale malts with a brush of liquid caramel. Phenols are strong and medicinal, with hearty fusel booze, orange peel zest, ripe berry sweetness, light banana esters, and a mustiness of aged cheese. Our first impression is that the flavoring fit very well to the style, with big juiciness of flavoring, and boldness of Belgian components, just as was seen in the nose. As we sip, pale Belgian malts, banana esters, clovey and medicinal phenols, citric hops, lemon pulp, and the bright sweetness of raw honey start us off. The middle comes to a peak with enhanced phenolic pop, along with orangey juiciness, wet citric hops, mineral, and Belgian yeasty muskiness. We finish alongside a final pale malt wash, further sweetness of banana esters, peppery spice of alcohol, that continued vein of citric hops, and bittered puck of Belgian yeast, medicinals, and faint buttery diacetyls. The aftertaste breathes of cool malts, big banana esters, light vanillas, bittered citric hops, hop stem, mustiness, Belgian yeast and pale malts, and drying chalkiness. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium, with contributory prickle. There is nice foaminess, cream, and froth to each sip, with decent slurp, smack, pop, and glug. The mouth is initially coated with soft bubbliness, but this gives way to light astringent dryness via those Belgian malts, yeast, and booziness. The abv is fine, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, the thing we liked best about this beer was how well it represented the style. This was noticed at just about every turn throughout the tasting. The aroma possesses every required component for the style, but remains on the mild side, even with warmth. The flavoring, on the other hand, gave juiciness and depth through its Belgian base, while giving nice balancing sweetness and pucker of the hop bill. The flavoring gives equally to the experience, and this beer fits well among the other delicious beers in the Smuttynose “BIG BEER” series.

 2,368 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large tulip glass a slight hazed medium golden with a nice blooming white crown that left globs of lace as it settled ever so slowly.Spiced phenols and overripe citrus fruit mainly in the nose,the phenols are the main component and that kinda turned me off a little.Medicenel and tropical citrus fruit hop flavors with spicy phenols in the background.while the phenolic flavors are held in check somewhat,the beer lacks a whole lot of complexity in my mind.

 471 characters

Photo of npala86
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of GameOfBeers
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of wrycon
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is slightly muddled, but overall clear. Gold in complexion. Short head is somewhat thin and dissipates quickly. Smells quite yeasty, with a hint of funk. Picking up some wheat and citrus. Hmmm... Tastes heavy and flat to start with a thick, almost banana flavor. Minor carbonation carries the middle through a sharp and yeasty blockade. Ends semi-sweet and hot with more of that thick banana flavor. Wondering if this would be better given more time.

Like it? It's OK

 479 characters

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #55 (August 2011):

“The Gnome” has been reborn in this Big Beer Series. Golden in color with a touch of haze and large carbonation bub- bles that yield a creamy white head. Soft, powdery funk in the nose. Musty orchard, light phenols, gum, pepper, sweet herbal and spicy notes. Fairly light bodied. Prickly carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel, as the beer warms on the palate. Tamed alcohol heat and spice. Quite malty and sweet. Bready, candied fruit, banana, some lemon, white pepper and lingering bubblegum. A bit rough around the edges, but overall a very complex and solid offering that offers a lot to discerning palates and fans of Belgian-inspired ales.

 700 characters

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was a bright golden color with a small white head.

It had a sweet malt aroma. Some fruit, mainly banana. Spice.

I really liked the taste. Yeasty bread. Banana, with a little citrus. Some clove. A nice hoppy finish.

A little on the crisp side. Refreshing. A very nice Belgian IPA.

 309 characters

Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled several of these and even took notes (!) at the Blind Tiger in NYC, p0ured kind of flat unfortunatly, cloudy dark apricot, leaving just a smidge of lacing, nose is Belgian yeastyness, and fruits and flavor notes were of more fruits, bananas, yeast and the expected crisp and spicy and resiny hops. Alot of interest here, respectable take on a style I love, looking foward to more of this from Smutty and hopefully lots of other American and Belgian brewers.

 465 characters

Photo of uratowel
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Homunculus opens with a nose that is exactly in line with the Belgian-style Golden Ale that it is: heavy on the banana and clove aromas, with touches of spicy black pepper resting just beneath, and tangible whiffs of pineapple, pear, cherry, and apple fruit esters rounding out the sugars. The nose is slightly more pineapple-based than I normally prefer, giving the brew a fruit cocktail-like overtone. Subtle wheat field notes do help ground the sugars.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a whang of banana and clove, but a split second later these are joined by pear, black pepper, white grape, and apple fruit esters, as well as a good spicy layer that helps further shape the overall effect. The pineapple is thankfully largely gone from the mouthful, replaced by a rind of grapefruit and lemon from the hops, which also contribute a nice buzz to the soft palate (45 IBUs). Toast crust and biscuit bring the beer back to earth. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, the hops lingering for far longer than do the sugars, and lasts for a good while, though at the end it does take on an unfortunate taste of dandelion-stem. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good Belgian fare, presenting many of the common flavors of the style, but ramped up in typical Smuttynose Big Beer style to not-normally-seen levels. Even with these larger flavors, the beer manages to be fairly well balanced on the tongue, with only a fairly strong alcoholic kick (the result of the 9.9% ABV) marring what are otherwise great flavors. Worth trying.

 1,595 characters

Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy gold under a 2” clingy white foam collar. S: Peach and apricot aromas. T: Yeast driven stone fruit flavors with traces of bubble gum and hard candy over bready to biscuit malt with an earthy, bitter hop finish. F: Creamy with above average carbonation and medium body to medium full body. O: Very good, well balanced drinkable.

 343 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 22oz bomber poured into a wine glass. Bottle lists when the beer was conditioned, but it does not list an ABV.

A: It is a golden orange color and mostly clear, though there is a bit of haze. It has a thin white head (disappointing) which disappears quickly, but it does leave nice lacing with each swirl.

S: Rose, pine, banana, grapefruit, candy, and fruity esters.

T: Grapefruit, bubblegum, and piney hops dominate along with a strong alcohol burn and taste.

M: Heavy and dry.

O: Homunculus has lots of hop flavor, but it does not blend the alcohol well. The high presence of the alcohol in the flavor gets in the way of the better elements of this beer.

 666 characters

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
2011 on bottle
Almost pasted this up because I tend not to drink beers with sperm on the label. Glad I didn't

A- This beer pours a very slight hazy body with a murky caramel color on the second pour. There is a sticky white film of head that last and leaves register marks on the glass. There is a slow motion of microbubbles swirling to the surface.

S- The full aroma of pears and banana esters is more yeasty than fruity wit a nice finish of green herbal hops that balance the esters nicely.

T- The candy malt quality is not overly sweet with a nice circus peanut candy quality to follow and a dry green hop snap in the finish that has some dry estery fruit notes to it. There is a soft mineral water flavor that could be saison yeast in character but a is only in the background.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a velvety fizz in the finish and no alcohol heat making it hard to believe this is a 9.9 % ABV beer.

O- This beer has a great yeast character with a nice crisp hop finish that balances the flavor and aroma. The dry finish and slight sweetness upfront really makes this beer easy to drink.

 1,133 characters

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

Not as rich and creamy or sweet as other Belgians but this beer is pretty cool. It's super dry and hides it's ABV amazingly. Smuttynose is like the David Copperfield of the beer world.

 184 characters

Photo of RBM
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of WickedBeer
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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

22 oz.

Golden amber color, spazzy bubbles, creamy, thick foam, moderate size head, dissipates quick with a nice ring of foam sticking around.

A nice citrus tang in the hops, spicey, tangy earth effect, honey-sweet malt with minty and green aroma's.

A fat complexity, thick and sweet malt, wild honey and caramel along with a major fruity and sharp bite. Earthy yeast and hops, all in pretty good balance, high heat, maybe too much heat even mixed in with the complexity of the other flavor's.

The feel is sharp and dry but crisp, hefty-medium feel, very substantial just like most Smutty's.

Very bold flavor's make this a big beer for sure, major complexity, maybe too big.

 685 characters

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Smuttynose Homunculus (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 475 ratings
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