Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Ry(e)an AleSmuttynose Ry(e)an Ale
Smuttynose Ry(e)an AleSmuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed exclusively for Julio's Liquors. This is an Imperial Red Rye Ale, aged in bourbon barrels hand-selected by Julio's Loch & Key Society.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 209
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From connecticutpoet's cellar!

Festive dark brown cinnamon-chocolate pour with a beige-grey head of 1 finger in my mini snifter.

Aroma is chock full of bourbon goodness, with lots of oak and nice rye notes, some chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Dark burnt toffee flavors with some slight coffee and strong anise notes. Slight tobacco, a bit of a bourbon bump, cinnamon, vanilla.

Feel is nice and thick, very warming, very fuzzy.

Overall, although I'm not a huge fan of Rye ales, this one was exceptionally well done and plays awesomely with the bourbon. Recommended.

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Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Re-reviewing an aged 2011 bottle (I mention it in the old review below). I felt that this was really bourbon-heavy when fresh so I figured I'd retry it. This bottle is now close to 2.5 years old.

A: Bottle cap pops off with just the tiniest hiss. Pours a nice mahogany. Small tan head that fades out quickly. Not much carbonation left in this one. Minimal lacing.

S: Sweet raisins and spicy rye. Especially spicy when swirled. Caramel layered over both. Pretty subtle, probably due to the almost still nature of the beer. Pleasant still, however.

T: Huh, not at all like I remember it. Lots of sweet caramel, vanilla and light raisins up front. Spicy rye in the middle turning into some oak in the finish. Lingering rye, light bourbon and oak between sips.

M: Pretty syrupy for only 7% or so. Probably due to the lack of carbonation.

O: It seems the age has done this one a favor. I felt it was pretty barrel-heavy and a bit harsh when I originally had it. This has mellowed out and the flavors are well integrated to boot. Nicely balanced and fairly sweet. The barrel and rye aspects really work together nicely. I have two more bottles of this, will have to try another next year.

Original review from 01-09-2012:

Super fresh 2011 bottle, just released two days ago.

A: A dark, murky rusty brown pour. Decently thick tan head. Retention and lacing are both quite decent. (4)

S: Smells almost like pure bourbon. Lots of toffee, vanilla and caramel notes. There is a spicy rye element that tingles the nose, versus the alcohol that tingles in real bourbon. No noticeable hop aroma. (4)

M: Nice spicy rye up front immediately followed by a heavy, heavy bourbon backbone with again, lots of toffee caramel and vanilla. Lingering rye spiciness in the aftertaste. (4)

T: Surprisingly thick given the medium ABV. Smooth and creamy. (4.5)

O: Definitely a unique beer, not sure I've ever had or even heard of a bourbon barrel rye beer. It has the mouthfeel of a MUCH heavier beer which gains it extra points. It is quite heavy on the bourbon but honestly I'm not surprised given how fresh it is. I bought a couple extra bottles so age might help calm it down a little and let the rye shine more.(4)

Overall 4.05.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know this beer isn't made anymore, but I had this one for a while.
It pours a deep reddish color body with no head and the carbonation is gone. The smell is straight up bourbon. Taste is the same way all sweet bourbon. mouthfeel is smooth and overall this is a good beer and I would say it aged well.

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

Awesome bomber from dope, split with my brother into pint glasses.

A: Clear, dark amber body (clear until the yeast/sediment is added from the dregs of the bottle), plenty of khaki lacing and good head.

S&T:: Pretty big toasted caramel and spice...bourbon is definitely prominent...huge bready malt backbone and a moderate fruity/spice essence (I'm thinking its the rye but it could be the yeast?). Lots of sweetness...strong vanilla component, I'm guessing from the bourbon barrel...maybe some butterscotch and toffee as well. The fruitiness does stick out a bit, blending well with the spiciness. There is some nice woody/toasted flavors as well.

MF: Full-bodied, and not overly hot. Velvety smooth mouthfeel.

O: A dandy of a barrel-aged rye beer. Still not my favorite style, though this one had a lot going for it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, rye, caramel, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but the smell is slightly better in my opinion.

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Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a snifter. The brew appears amber in color with a slight haze. A yellowish stained finger of froth rests atop slowly fading leaving a full wall of patchy lace on the glass.

The aroma includes notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee and coconut. Some toasty biscuit grain inclusion is present underneath alot of barrel presence which almost trumps all the underlying character. A slighky fruity whiskey note emerges across the back. Overall a solid smelling brew with huge barrel influence.

The flavor includes a note of bready grain upfront mingles with some touches of fruity alcohol. Like the aroma suggested, it displays a huge amount of barrel character but not in a boozy sense. It is soft and enjoyable with flavors of vanilla, coconut and caramel.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking with lots of barrel character that integrates quite nicely with the rye but at times feels almost like it dominated the base instead of complimenting it. Regardless, a very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed Blind, thanks to abraxel...

A: The beer pours a deep dark redish-brown with almost no head at all. There are only a few bubbles that form from a vigorous pour. It coats the glass nicely, has good legs, and leaves no lacing on the glass as it drinks.

S: Ohh boy. This beer is complicated. I get sweet malt, stone fruits, vanilla, caramel, leather. This beer is a wacky mix of smells, but it all seems to sort of work. I'm guessing that this beer has seen some time in a barrel, as I get a good amount of sweetness throughout. Not too much booze in the nose.

T: Hmm. Really interesting. It's sweet to start with big malt, caramel, and vanilla right up front. In the middle, I get a lot of the date, plum, cherry, and leather notes. Again, this is a weird mix of awesome. The back end returns to over the top sweetness. More and more caramel and vanilla develop as it warms. I get some booze in the finish, but nothing too overwhelming.

M: Full bodied beer. It's sticky sweet and coating, but it lacks any semblance of carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. It's not something I would want to drink all of the time, but it's solid. I'm glad I shared this over Thanksgiving with a few friends.

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Photo of stonermouse
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage. Poured into a goblet.

Very nice pour. Milk chocolate brown, with a bit of haze. Super, silky white head.

Aroma is all barrel and oak. I get a touch of citrus in the smell as well.

Taste is absolutely potent. Tons of a bourbon and booze, with a bit of fruitiness smoothing everything out. The finish is a bit rough, like a cheap scotch, but it suits these big flavors well.

Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Really nice finish.

This brew is fantastic if you can find it. I have a 2011 that I'm going to let ride another year or so. The 2010 was perfect right now.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a thick copper, hints or syrup and little to no head

straight smooth bourbon, soft vanilla, a bit of heat

hard to believe this is a rye ale, there really is no bite. very sweet and plenty of smooth bourbon. faint citrus hops, mostly in the finish.

mild to moderate carbonation, some bite in the finish along with some burn.

over all, a nice sipper. love that it is a great BA beer with a lower ABV. only flaw is the sweetness is a bit much. i would drink this again, very enjoyable.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch No. 2. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours a dark amber, brown with a 1 finger tan head. Nice trails and bubbles of lacing remain on the glass.

S- huge bourbon flavors but not alcohol smell. Tobacco, chocolate, vanilla, oak and toffee.

T- delicious bourbon, vanilla, leather, chocolate, tobacco, sweet toffee. Not a much spice from the rye, but may be overpowered by the bourbon.

M- medium body and carbonation. For a lower abv barrel aged beer, there is almost no heat in this beer.

O- very good BA Beer. Reminiscent of very good BA Barleywine. Has great flavors and aromas that make this beer.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dull looking mahogany brown with a thin yellowish head that fades quickly. There is a slight lacing and almost no head retention. The nose is modest and presents mainly notes from the barrel aging ie. caramel, vanilla, plumb, coconut. The taste presents a huge amount of sweet coconut with barely any rye...except a touch in the lingering, spicy aftertaste. Not much of a rye fact it would be hard to find any rye if I didn't know it was technically a "rye beer" and therefore had to have rye present. The mouthfeel is a medium-full body beer with a sweet lingering bourbon aftertaste. Good beer, but it completely masks the rye taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of claspada
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter brown color with a slightly reddened tint along the edges. There is a small off-white head that recedes rather quickly.

Aromas begin with strong amounts of rye bourbon, almost completely dominating. There is a bit of sweet caramel maltiness to help to balance the boozy rye.

The tastes follow the nose pretty much with a small amount of sweet caramel malt but the spicy rye bourbon jumps right in to assert itself. Oak, vanilla and whiskey continue to emerge and dominate the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is slightly hot and boozy from the barrel aging.

Overall this drinks much boozier than any beer of this low an ABV should. The base beer is almost undetectable because they barrel aged an amber ale; maybe partial barrel aged would have been a safer voyage but this basically drinks like a boilermaker (shot of whiskey dropped in a beer).

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Photo of jegross2
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale from the Smuttynose Brewing Company.
Score: 87

Bottled on the 265th day of 2011 (October 23, 2011). Served in a Three Floyds' teku glass and enjoyed on 06/03/12 with Robbie Moy.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark mahogany color with a finger of khaki head that settles to a thick bubbly ring around the glass. Good lacing, good retention, good cling. 4/5

Smell: Rye, caramel malt, and ample creamy vanilla. A little sweet onion and sugary molasses. 3.75/5

Taste: Lots of sugary sweet caramel upfront followed by some creamy vanilla flavor. A nice rye kick on midpalate. Lots of sweet malt. Lingering sugary molasses flavor. Mild red grape flavor too. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel. Malty finish. 4/5

Overall: A solid malty beer that isn't cloyingly sweet by any means, but it certainly teeters the line of "pretty malty sweet" at points.

Recommendation: Not particularly worth seeking out, but definitely worth trying.

Pairings: Goat cheese salad with pecans with balsamic.

Cost: $8 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of mattsander
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, deep ruby with an awesome pale brown head. Very appetizing beer.

S: Huge bourbon, oak, vanilla, a slight cherry-fruitiness, some spicy notes. Very nice!

T: The bourbon barrel flavor is huge here, but it's nicely blended with the slighty tart fruitness of the malt. Huge impact, yet it goes down very smooth. If I had to make one criticism, it does become slightly medicinal at times to me.

M: Feels sweet and slick, goes down very quickly for a beer with such huge flavor.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogony in color almost 1-finger head that fades to just a ring of fizziness around the perimeter. Looks a little lifeless. But a little lacing does occur.

Aroma gives off bourbon right off the bat. Big notes of vanilla as well. Rye is then noticeable underneath that.

A medley of favors bring to mind fig, cherry, brown sugar, bourbon, with rye sitting underneath its all. It's quite sweet. Some bitterness is lacking.

Mouthfeel is a little thin but it also feels slick and syrupy so that prevents it from being too thin, I think.

Overall the layers of flavor and aromatic notes are interesting and fairly impressive, however, it's quite syrupy and the levels of favors here need some modifying. The bourbon overtakes the flavor profile a bit too much and some added bitterness and dryness might do this some good. Worth trying once but I won't get it again.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a rather clear mahogany--amber color with some tiny bubbles forcing their way to the top. A thin ecru cap rose and fell rather quickly. Stray dots of lace here and there.

Big nose on this one. Toffee, sweet cherries, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and spicy rye. The bourbon influence is well attenuated and adds layers of complexity.

Sweet cherries hit my palate first before the bourbon takes over. Dry oak, bourbon, and vanilla lend a nice depth to the profile. Spicy rye comes through in the end with a bit of booze. The finish is spicy, sweet and dry from the oak.

Medium body with a mild carbonation that works perfectly. Slightly creamy with a nice dry, spicy finish.

This was a pleasant surprise for me. Every sip brought on deeper layers of complexity and flavor. My only complaint is I didn't buy more.

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Photo of uustal
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really dark, thick, brown amber with a one-finger, very light brown head. Not much lacing or retention. Nice barrel characteristics in the nose, vanilla and oak. Also sour cherries, caramel and hints of rye. Very similar characteristics in the flavor profile. Smooth caramel and toffee flavors, hints of vanilla initially which fade as the beer warms, sour cherries, spicy rye malt and a hint of booze. Excellent flavor, sweet, spicy and sour all blend nicely for a complex pour.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The color is clear dark amber. There is a small thin head formed that doesn't last long. 3.5

The aroma has sweet caramel, vanilla, toffee, with a hint of wood notes. There is a bit of heat here, but only faintly. 4

The taste is sweet, with some fruit caramel flavor turning into a brown sugar and vanilla finish. There are a lot of good flavors here. 4

The body is heavy with some soft carbonation. 3.5

This is tasty. It's a nice strong ale with lots of barrel flavors. Barrel aged beer fans won't be disappointed. 4

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Photo of sentomaster
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Amazing appearance. Pours gorgeous light mahogany it appears translucent dark ruby red with garnett highlights when held up to the light. Probably the most appealing beer I've seen, very intriguing. Big, frothy vanilla colored head withdraws leaving tons of sticky lace.

S- sweet fruity bourbon and caramel in the nose. Fantastically light but deep and sugary bourbon and vanilla. Spicy alcohol note peeks through. Agitation aggravates the bourbon which comes gnarling out. A slight, slight sour note like sour cherries.

T/M- creamy little son of a gun this is. body is on the thicker side of medium. first impression is of toasted sweet bread and buttery smooth caramel. sour cherries and bourbon appear again mid- palate. Charred oak and vanilla play among the more dominant flavors. a little grainy, peppery rye comes through towards the finish. Lingering bourbon, oak and sticky caramel.

O- fantastically different beer. Started out a superb. Unfortunately as it warms the bourbon started to overwhelm the other great aspects of this beer just a bit. still this beer is awesome. I can't wait to see what happens with some age on this bad boy. Very cool and different beer. They could easily have made another BA RIS, but this beer is very unique and put together very very well.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Pours a dark mahogany with a small reddish hue. No head, just a thin ring of beige foam around the rim .

Lots of bourbon in the nose with hints of caramel. Very strong boozey nose with a little bit of sweetness rounding it out. Distinct rye flavors with some fresh berries on the pallet. Nice oaky bourbon finish with some sweetness rounding this out.

Medium body with sharp carbonation. A little bit hot. Overall I think this is an example of the barrel overpowering everything else a bit much. Tasty because I like bourbon but
some of the flavors seem to get a little lost.

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Photo of JayAre46
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to xenon for this one. poured into a tulip straight down the middle and maple syrup would make more of a noise then this did. give a dark deep brown, realizing this is lacking in the carb dept. i poured it pretty hard to get a dismal centimeter head that falls quickly to a thin ring and surprisingly leaves decent lace. the aroma is of caramel with some touches of vanilla, malty. man this has one of the worst initial flavors of all time, its very salty upfront soy like then flows into a sweet caramel and good amount of vanilla with a maybe some dark fruit abd spice with a bourbon finish that is warming. not much of a rye presence but i feel like this was aged in shitty bourbon barrels and this is the second time i have gotten this reminds me of jim beam which is about is cool as kid rock and his sweet hair. the middle to end of this saves it from being terrible. the mouthfeel is medium but syrupy and carbonation is almost non existent. overall this is a decent beer and is a little strong on the crappy bourbon notes actually improves as it warms and the alcohol is present. could of used more rye as well or maybe the barrel aging covered that up never had a bba rye beer before. i do like the skull and roses on the front makes me feel like river dancin'

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dmeadows for this one in a great trade. I've had it before, wanted it again, and now I'm revisiting a great brew! This time served in my 20oz Schlafly imperial pint glass.

Coppery colored and a bit hazy, with a great head and fair lacing. Looked good in the glass.

Smelled like a barleywine to me, great pungent rye and caramel malts, accented with a touch of funk.

Tasted very nice, again like a barleywine (almost). Bitter hops accents a great caramel malt base with a nice rye flavor and a little bit of nice bourbon barrel accent. I like the fact that the barrel aging is notable but not overpowering.

This beer went down really easy. The body was wonderfully full yet totally easy to drink.

Great job on this one. I think I will re-add this to my wants yet again.

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Photo of techcommdood
2.13/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was finally able to make a run to Julio's when visiting family over the holidays, and grabbed a bottle of this along with quite a few other beers I can't get or haven't seen in NY. I was particularly interested in Ry(e)an as apparently you can only get it at Julio's. Of note, this was from batch 2 (purchased December 31, 2011).

Appearance is solid. Nice dark copper beer with a dense shallow head that sticks around a while.

This beer, to be honest, smells like a caramel apple. None of your typical floral or citrus notes on the nose in this beer. I had caramel apple on the nose, and orchards on the brain when smelling this.

What can I say, I wasn't happy with how this beer tasted. I found it to be overwhelmingly sweet (and I'm a big beer lover) and off balance. If there are hops in this beer, I'll be damned if I could taste them. I got a heavy onslaught of caramel sweetness and some tartness on the back with a bit of a lingering boozy aftertaste. I don't know why they bothered making this a rye, as I couldn't find any of it in the flavor at all. I love a good rye beer, and this was just disappointing.

Mouthfeel was very heavy and thick, like a thin syrup. No carbonation on the tongue at all, though it's lightly present in the glass. I felt like there was a film left in my mouth, on my teeth, on my tongue, upon finish. The boozy aftertaste did nothing to dry things up between sips.

Overall I was very disappointed in this beer. I know and enjoy Smuttynose, and this is just not one of their better batches. Maybe I got a bum bottle, or maybe batch 2 just wasn't up to snuff. I don't know, but I was shocked that this beer rated so well given my disappointment with it. I'd split it with my father on New Year's Eve, and he passed his glass over to me to finish. It's just not an enjoyable beer, unfortunately.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a deep red color with a finger and a half of light tan head. Good retention.

S- intense sultry bourbon nose with notes of vanilla, caramel and aggressive American oak. Spicy rye and rich malt aromas.

T- again delicious amazing bourbon with the vanilla, caramel and oak. The rye comes in with spice and smoothness. Nice sugary barleywine characteristics. Really superb flavor!

MF- syrupy smooth mouthfeel. light medium body. Soft fine low carbonation.

D- nice easy drinking for a barrel aged beer. Drinks with flavor of a double diget abv at 7.7%

overall a superb brew.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours one and a half fingers worth of creamy off white head. Murky brown body. Good retention and nice retention.

Smells of caramel, toffee, vanilla, earthyness and some subtle spicyness. This is quite enticing. The burbon is more apparent as this warms, as well as some more tanic qualities. Quite a complex smelling beer for sure.

Tastes of big fairly sweet Carmel malts and vanilla. Burbon lends a deep flavor through the middle of the mouth. Some warmth is felt as this so gently slides down. A light bitterness mixed with the oakey tannins keeps this very balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy texture and slightly bitter and spicy finish.

Overall this is quite enjoyable. I'm glad this one sat for a few extra months than anticipated before consuming. I'll have no probleming sharing and finishing this one with my spouse.
$8 a bomber

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Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 209 ratings