Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
125 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

Added by Bierman9 on 05-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 207
Photo of brew3crew
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In line at founders for CBS

A-murky auburn color with white head

S-very sweet and invitihg. Can't wait for the taste!!

T-sweetness of thye bourbon melds well with the rye body

M-medium body and smooth

O-very good beer. Glad to have got to try it...

 253 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the awesome person that sent me this. I've been sitting on this bottle for a few months with the intention of sharing it, but it seems that the time is right and I'll keep it all to myself.

Pours garnet with a concentrations of bubbles in the middle of the glass. Pretty color, but not much else going on visually.

The nose is full of goodies here! Bourbon (and its usual contingent parts of vanilla and oak) leads the way followed by spices and a kiss of sweet.

Again, bourbon up front with vanilla and oak. Some sweet citrus (tangerines and oranges, tangelos specifically) and spice also play with rock candy, figs, and a hint of Granny Smith apples. Oh, my what a beer.

The mouthfeel is full and chewy. It fits nicely with the beer.

Overall, this is a very good brew. I wish I could have shared it, but I'm glad I get to enjoy it regardless.

 859 characters

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I forget who sent me this beer, but I have to say, thanks! Amazing nonetheless!

Murky, mysterious body. Light brown, leather in color with a khaki head. Looks amazing. Lacing is rather scarce and with a hard pour into my Unibroue flute/tulip, I get a good 2 inches of solid head. Like I said, looks phenominal.

Oh sweert mercy, I found my bourbon angel. The nose, though laced with all the pleasantries of bourbon aging (molasses, caramel, vanilla, dark fruits) it is the mere fact that is done so mildly. No up in your face bourbon notes. I have to say that the rye nature to the beer is rather lacking, yet there remains beneath a spicy base that yearns to break through. So, damn, inviting.

Caramel front, mid body loaded with dark fruits and vanilla, and a burning, bourbon finish. Spicy notes linger in the throat (the rye?). Again, well bourbon-ized. No cloying sweetness, no overdrawn heat. This is a beer where you can taste the bourbon, and the beer. Very well done.

Sticky, oily, viscous body. Lingering flavors mean business. A slow sipper and a great beer to share. Amazing. I am sad I only have one. I am cookoo for this beer.

 1,146 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into mini snifter. Thanks cheesemoose! Cloudy, worn leathery color. Aroma is of sweet caramel malt, dates and prunes. Smooth, very smooth taste and mouthfeel. Nice sweetness, nice aged taste, interesting port flavor, slight vanilla, malty sweet taste, with some molasses. Great beer, wish it was more widely available.

 337 characters

Photo of sdawson
4.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this in a trade some time ago from jmu500. Was holding on to it for a special occasion, and tonight was that occasion. Thanks so much jmu500; you humble me with your amazing selection for trades, as always!

Appearance - Ry(e)an Ale pours with a huge head and a color just slightly lighter than the color of mahogany wood. The brown and red tinges make an appealing, even pretty brew.

Smell - I love the scent on this one. It starts generally acidic, but open up into a nose dry herbs and grasses. Beneath that,t here's a sweet, maple core with subtle, but present boozy notes.

Taste -- The taste opens with a blase of burnt sugar and maple. It's the perfect level of sweet without ever encroaching on the cloying territory. A deep mexican vanilla note then comes in, paired with the taste of bourbon. Wow, I knew this would be good, but it's *exceptional*.

Mouthfeel -- Ry(e)an Ale is oily and heavy in the mouth and leaves a strong coat. The carbonation is stronger -- stronger than I would have thought I would want for a beer of this kind -- but now that I am exposed to it I can't imagine it being good with less.

This is, clearly, an amazing beer and one I'm glad I had the sense to save for celebration instead of opening randomly. I'll be savoring the rest of the bottle, and missing it when it's gone. Great brew!!!

 1,338 characters

Photo of dfclav
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jlindros for this generous extra.

A - great 3 finger mocha colored head with outstanding retention.

S - tons of barrel aging. Very dark fruits, vanilla, and rich malts. Rye noticed on the backend. A strange addition of cocoa as well. Bourbon is noticed but is not overwhelming by any means.

T - oak and rye. The bourbon isn't apparent as I thought it would be but as the temperature warms it comes out more. A delicious backend kick of sweet dark fruits present themselves on the finish and hang around forever.

M - velvety and creamy smooth with very nice, prickly carbonation.

O - very well made barrel aged beer, definitely worth trying.

 655 characters

Photo of trappistlover
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(22oz bomber acquired in a trade). Pours a hazy dark ruby/mahogany colorw ith thin tan head. Some nice, active carbonation. Aroma has some whiskey, green apple, ripe fruits, and some bourbon. Damn! This is a really tasty beer! Taste is sweet from the malts and the barrels. Again, the green apple and fruits and very visible which I didn’t think would be the case. Of course, there is the mix of rye whiskey and bourbon, but I think they work well together. The beer is fairly thin-bodied but the flavors have come together in a great way. This far surpassed my expectations.

 577 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks again, Jason. Brewed exclusively for Julio's Liquors

A: Light reddish brown with a beige head

S: A nice blend of caramel, bourbon, and rye. The spirit character is great. Faint oak and a little apple. Vanilla peeks out as the beer warms.

T: Caramel, oak, bourbon, and rye. All elements are balanced. The flavor is smooth and mellow, with no harsh notes. Finishes exhibits caramel, apple, and a mellow alcohol presence.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth, sticky, and creamy.

Overall: A nice beer. Best beer I've had from this brewery, actually.

 594 characters

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can really say about this beer is that it reminds me of sweet tea with a spicy wood kick. It makes me think I'm sittin' on a fornt porch somewhere in the south dressed like Colonel Sanders eating some fried chicken. Yeah, it's that good.

This aged a lot better then I thought it would, could go for a lot longer.

 320 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a beautiful amber with a creamy off white head.

S. Bourbon wonderfullness with caramel and brown sugar.

T. Caramel, toffee, bourbon, brown sugar, a touch of vanilla, and some fruitiness from the rye.

M. Medium creamy mouthfeel.

D. Great. Another thanks to Urbancaver.

 280 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful maroon brown... A very wonderful reddish tint. There is a light but solid white head. Very pretty. Smells heavy on the vanilla. Lot of rye spice as well. Tastes very dry and spicy. Tons of vanilla. Vry very tasty. The spice profile is really very tasty. A nice thick syrupy mouthfeel. The driness is a bit off-putting put overall incredibly tasty!

 365 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. This one has been in my fridge for far too long, waiting to be drank. Poured into a snifter glass a dark copper clear color with a nice tan head. To me, the barrel is noticeable in the nose but not extreme by any means. I get more caramel and vanilla notes that the bourbon. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. The sweetness upfront is what grabs my attention first upon my first taste. Caramel followed by a warming alcohol and barrel notes. Some vanilla in the back end. Candy like.

 480 characters

Photo of Damian
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 6 fl ozs. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Served in a pint glass

Cloudy, crimson-hued mahogany in appearance. A small, bubbly, saddle brown cap of froth topped the liquid. No lacing to speak of.

The nose was simply astounding. Robust caramel malts, brown sugar and sweet bourbon notes dominated. Vanilla came through super strong. Some maple and honey too. Dark fruits appeared as well. Strangely, there was a noticeable Belgian-like component. As the beer warmed, the vanilla notes became even more apparent.

The flavor profile was also quite impressive. Lots of toffee and dark fruit flavors. Some brown sugar. Rich caramel malts served as a nice backbone. Slightly sour. Nutty in the center. Again, there was a fruity, phenolic Belgian yeast component. Bourbon notes appeared in the finish, but the booziness was kept to a minimum. If I were to nitpick, I might point out the fact that the rye was undetectable. Seeing as I am not a fan of rye beers however, I was able to overlook this shortcoming.

The mouthfeel was amazingly creamy and smooth with a fine, zippy effervescence. Medium bodied. Frothy with just enough heft to keep the beer weighted to my palate.

Ry(e)an Ale simply blew me away. Beers this flavorful (and barrel-aged beers in general) usually clock in at around 9% ABV or more. It was nice to see a beer this modest in alcohol pack this much complexity. I really hope this will be brewed again someday.

 1,466 characters

Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to FluffyMcTingle for grabbing me this brew.

Poured into a stange-style glass with a huge orange-hinted head and a bold, cloudy nut brown body. Head just stays and laces.
Smell is a bit of black grapes and toffee. There is also some dried prunes with a touch of tannic, oaky red wine.
This tastes great. The malts and body give it just the right amount of sweetness from brown sugar, bourbon, and molasses then blends it with raisin bread toast and creme brulee. Fantastic.
Despite its look, it is a medium bodied beer with smooth malts and a bit of dryness from the rye oats.
Should be a bit of a sipper with its bite of honeyed bourbon at the end, but its mild balance of sweet to sour works quite nicely.

 715 characters

Photo of pburland23
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy JT from NH for gifting me a bottle of this during a recent swap of NE and PA beers.

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass.

Pours a chestnut brown with a thick khaki head.

Smell is fantastic. Bourbon, spicy rye, vanilla. Very complex aroma. The sweetness of the bourbon/vanilla compliments the spiciness of the rye.

Taste is dominated by the sweetness of the bourbon, but it's well balanced by the rye. I often worry that bourbon aged beers will come out cloying but this isn't the case with Ry(e)an Ale.

Mouthfeel was thick, viscous and sticky. The beer really coats your mouth with each sip.

Overall, an outside of the box and complex brew. A nice sipper.

 714 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice dark reddish brown. Constant streams of carbonation rising from the bottom ending in a off white 1 finger foamy head. Head clung very well and lasted a long time. Aroma was slightly spicey sweet. A bit of sugary pepper. Flavor was complex and changing. At times it was bitter, other times it was sour, and some times it was sweet. Sweet brown bread with a bit of pepper was noticed. Wasn't so hot in the mouth. Seemed overly carbonated, and perhaps a bit to sticky in the mouth. Overall it was a well balanced nuanced beer.

 576 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter. Huge thanks to SneezyAchew who gave me this extra a while back.

A: Pours a dark maroon with a soft off white head that faded into a fuzzy film that left rings of fine lacing down the glass.
S: Notes of vanilla, caramel, bourbon, spicy rye, and a hint of apples, grapes and other fruit.
T: Follows the nose with all the fruity, spicy, sweet and alcoholic flavors blending exceptionally well. Flavors of sweet fruits, warm bourbon and spicy rye and hops are so integrated and creamy that it's hard to describe how surprised I am at how much I love this beer.
M: Soft and creamy with a full body, heavy and slightly oily mouthfeel and soft carbonation.
O: Amazing flavor. Maybe I just haven't had another beer like this, and I came into this beer not expecting much, but I am really enjoying the complexities of the flavor. If you're a fan of rye or bourbon (or barleywines) definitely check this one out!

 931 characters

Photo of mikeyv35
3.12/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Date: 02/17/2011
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a light brown mahoghany w/ a 2 finger tan head that left medium lacing. Aromas of caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, bradiness, and spices. The appearance and nose were definately the best aspects of this brew. Taste was the same as the nose w/ an extremely heavy bourbon booze character. Mouthfeel? I could not really determine that because I was so overwhelmed by the bourbon. As far as drinkability, I would say this is not very drinkable at all, dut to being a disjointed boozy mess.

Highly disappointed by this brew! It pains me to say that as I believe this is the first beer I have ever had from Smuttynose that I disliked. Will not be revisiting this one.

 746 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours two-finger light tan head that fades slowly and leaving a good lace. Hazy amber color, hints of yeast. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Bourbon nose, and strong bourbon flavor, just hints of rye. One could imagine a lot higher ABV than 7.7%. $8.99 for a 22 oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

 313 characters

Photo of morebeergood
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Back in 2010, joshman picked me up a bottle of this at Julio's. It's been aging in my cellar since then, until tonight when I cracked it open. Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Light brownish red in color. Decent sized white head forms. Plenty of carbonation, with an extremely thick spotty coating of lacing on the glass. Smell was awesome - all bourbon. Loved it. Taste was very good too, again dominated by that barrel aged bourbon flavor. Mouthfeel was borderline thick; a nice surprise after a year in the cellar. This beer was crisp from the rye yet slick from the bourbon's inherent sweetness. Fantastic feel on the palate. I thought this was a fantastic beer to drink, and it held up very well over the year. The abv % seemed a lot higher, as I would have guessed over 10%. I wish now that I had another bottle to age for a few more years to see what would become of it.

 878 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks akorsak for this bomber, shared with tenderbranson69. Poured chilled into a duvel tulip and a snifter allowed to gradually reach cellar temp.

A crimson color with translucent clarity, the head is smooth and tan w/ bb like bead and lace that sticks well. The color is much like a ripe deep red cherry. The smell is really fruity w/ some cherry and bourbon notes and mild wood aroma w/ very malty backing. The slight bready odor from the rye w/ strong bourbon adds complexity to the nose. The feel is semi-full bodied with smooth sweet texture and lots of bourbon influence w/ dry strong texture and moderately high carbonation w/ woody tannic finish.

The rye has a fruity tasty quality with some cherry and juicy sweetness w/ malt fullness which is bready and thick. The caramel malt flavor comes through w/ some subtle grainy notes of rye and moderately strong bourbon with oak flavor joining the blend. There is almost a coconut like nutty fruit quality w/ toasted taste and warming mild alcohol in the finish. I found the mild hop and strong sweetness level makes it seem very candy-like but still very drinkable and has plenty of strong bourbon to sort of balance the caramel presence. The barrel certainly works as an ingredient in this beer, I am not sure I would have liked it as much without it. The flavors are deep and I find this to be a good example of a rye beer aged in a bourbon barrel, the experience is unique.

I am appreciative of the chance to try this, again Thanks Adam!

 1,505 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy copper color beer with a finger of off-white head that had some moderate lacing and decent retention.

S - Malt, rye, bourbon, some notes of spice. Somewhat unique with a bit of wood, and some amber hints. Not bad.

T - Fair bit of bourbon for something that is 7.7%, kind of overwhelms the base beer a little bit, although the rye does come through. Some vanilla and oak, this is not great, but it's decently tasty.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, not a great beer, but was happy to try it. I think this might really agree with some people.

 581 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes

appearance: copper brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: vanilla, oak, caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses

taste: dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, rye

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

drinkability: a very nice bourbon rye beer. actually goes down smooth. would love to find another bottle.


the CPJ

 347 characters

Photo of StoneTSR
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Very deep, dark copper, the color of the RY(e)AN Ale reminds me of some sort of chocolate caramel. A big, fluffy, white head rested on top with lots of big bubbles. Retention was so-so, but it was very pretty when first poured. No lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Just like bourbon, the smell warms from within. Toasty malts, caramel and a hint of vanilla combine with a bit of sour to create a very appealing aroma.

TASTE: A strong hoppy, bitter and yet somewhat malty flavor greets the palate at the start before a moderate sized wave of wild, sour flavors kicks in. The finish is dry and hoppy and bourbon flavors are noticeable throughout the sip, but they are more of a backbone rather than the feature. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned the sour flavor, it is CERTAINLY there, unless I'm crazy, which is possible.

MOUTHFEEL: This is a very well carbonated beer, especially for a bourbon barrel aged ale. I expected more of a creamy feel to it, but was delighted by its sparkle.

OVERALL: I went back and forth on how I felt about this beer throughout the glass, but generally, I liked it. The combination of bourbon and sour was certainly interesting, and a little tough to get used to, but by the end of the glass, as it warmed, I was looking forward to each sip. This is a solid beer and an excellent change of pace.

 1,341 characters

Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into chalice.

Pours almost 1 finger of a yellow hued tan head. Pretty thick and creamy. Good retention with some lacing. Color is a dark hazed amber copper.

Aroma: I can definitely smell the imperial red ale components (or what is left of it). Very malty, but it actually works well with this beer. Rye and spice. A decent blast of bourbon and oak.

Taste: The bourbon is the spotlight here. Tons of bourbon with hints of oak and vanilla. I would have never guessed this to be an imperial red. The rye shows a lot. Still pretty malty, but overall just a lot of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean, maybe a tad dry.

Overall, a really awesome rendition on an imperial red ale. Normally I hate when those beers get a few months old and lose their hop bite. This was an exception. The bourbon came in and overpowered the malts (in a good way). Kind of one dimensional, but I enjoyed it.

 964 characters

Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 207 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!