Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
109 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian-style stout, partially aged in bourbon barrels.

8.4% abv 50 IBU
Malts: North American 2-Row, Carawheat, Munich 10L, C-120, Chocolate,
Roasted Barley, Brown Malt
Hops: Magnum, Glacier
Mojo: Dark #2 Belgian Candi Syrup

Added by Todd on 10-25-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
109
Ratings:
400
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
21.58%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
37
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 400
Photo of elgiacomo
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2012 vintage. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours black with red highlights and a two finger brown head that leaves some spots of lacing and recedes to a small cap.

Aroma is definitely that of a Belgian-style stout...roasted malts, coffee and chocolate paired with dark fruits and a strong yeast presence. The bourbon barrel impact is quite mild, mostly just picking up notes of the oak and not much more. Very good overall strength.

Flavor is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, Belgian yeast. Nice to see the barrel come through more here, but still mild overall compared to other barrel-aged stouts. Somewhat sweet, minimal bitterness, mild alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, sticky, good to sharp carbonation.

Pretty good, but I’d prefer their regular Imperial Stout, to be honest. Nice balance of Stout and Belgian characteristics, could have used more barrel influence.

 936 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012

A: Pours a very dark mahogany color with a fingers worth of light brown head

S: Very fruity and estery from the Belgian yeast, along with some toffee, light toasted malts, and a hint of wood from the barrels

T: Starts off very BSDA-like, with plenty of dark fruits and esters from the yeast. Moves into stout territory with some nice dark chocolate, toffee, and toasted malts. Don't get a lot from the barrels (no bourbon presence at all), but there is a light presence of vanilla and wood. Alcohol is well hidden and goes well with the fruitiness

M: Medium-full bodied with plenty of carbonation

O: A solid Belgian stout with a great influence from the Belgian yeast strain(s). I know only a portion is aged in bourbon barrels, but there really isn't too much of an influence to be found. I'd like to see how the base beer stands up to the barrel aged portion. Regardless, this is a solid brew with plenty of Belgian and American character

 950 characters

Photo of ksimons
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-very dark brown, almost black, with a fingers worth of light tan head that sticks to the glass

S-rich malt, dark fruits, light chocolate and molasses, and light bitter coffee

T-Black coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt with some breadlike qualities. As the beer warms I'm getting more of the Belgian yeast and dark fruits.

M-medium body, medium carbonation, a dry roasted flavor is left

Overall as the beer warms I get more of the Belgian qualities of the beer, though I don't get much of the bourbon flavor that the beer is supposed to be aged in. Overall I like it and would have it again.

 599 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a light tan head and some lacing

S-dark roasted malt, dark fruit, bourbon, brown sugar

T-dark fruit, dark roasted malt, vanilla, light bourbon notes, caramel

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth mouthfeel, alcohol not very noticeable

O-pretty decent beer, had a good flavor and enjoyable to sip

 333 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 bottled conditioned

Pours a very dark brown color with a good sized light tan head, fades slowly and leaves a lasting cap on top, only small bits of lacing on the glass.

Smell has a strong roasted malt aroma, dark fruit also hits the nose mixed with a strong vanilla aroma, kind of all over the place, not picking up much of the bourbon barrel aging though.

Taste starts out with the caramel roasted malt backing, vanilla and the Belgian candied sugars strikes next, a strong bourbon burn follows in the aftertaste, slight woody presence but not overwhelming like the burn, carbonation is nice and soft which gives a decent body.

An interesting beer, I think a year of age will mellow out the burn and smooth out some of the other characteristics as well.

 764 characters

Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Churchkey during Zwanze Day. Served in a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours black with a thick layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the glass and leaves some mild lacing.

Smell: Lots of roast and dark chocolate here. I'm getting a mild bourbon note and some dark fruit as well.

Taste: This beer is quite bitter up front with some dark chocolate and roast. I'm getting dark fruit and smooth bourbon notes. The finish is a bit peppery with some alcohol heat and a bitterness from the roast.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with tingly carbonation and a finish that is very dry.

Overall: The old and new beer blended works quite well here. You got interesting notes from both. I would have more in the future.

 754 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4/6...pours dark black, no foam, very still. Soft chocolate malt, some figs and raisins. Light licorice too. Cherry fruit taste, backed by a sweet chocolate milk flavor. Slick mouthfeel. Dark fruit, raisin plum in the background. Barely any carbonation. Quite interesting.

 272 characters

Photo of AJacob81
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bluth frozen bananas in the nose; star anise, clove cigarettes, and a hint of mocha on the palate. Interesting, ultimately successful experiment w subtle bourbon barrel characteristics. What I expect from a Belgian-style stout. Would drink again.

 246 characters

Photo of TubaManJack
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So according to the beer menu it's a belgian stout with a 50-50 split between fresh and burbon barrel aged. Needless to say I am intrigued.

Appearance - black as night and opaque. An almost tan grey head.
Smell - a mixed bag of dark malt, a touch of burbon, mild Belgian yeast
Taste - an interesting dichotomy of fresh and aged. There was a mild sweetness of unfermented sugar rounding out the taste. This was more of a malt and yeast exhibition than burbon.
Mouthfeel - light for many of the belgian stouts I have had and the lower abv helps support this

Overall - I liked it and its a nice change of pace and a good hybrid to try when you get a chance.

 660 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown, opaque in the glass, two fingers of creamy light brown colored head, a few rings on the glass. Smell: cocoa, plum, brown bread, red grape, caramel, bourbon-y booze sweetness. Taste: dark brown sugar, prune, chocolate note, toasted brown bread, plum skin, vanilla note, earth and berry in the finish. Barrel-aged quad-y. 2012.

 350 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Notch on label says Bottle Conditioned in 2012.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and spotty surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thin ring behind on the glass.

S- Big dark roast aroma with nice notes of chocolate and a bit of Belgian candi sugar.

T- Flavor is more straightforward with a heavy thrust of dark roasted malt, a bit of sweetness and not much else. The sweetness is the only thing that stands out as Belgian-esque to me. Notes of chocolate, caramel and some raisin. I don't sense much of a barrel presence.

M- Thick and chewy but smooth. Medium carbonation and a robust body.

O- Not one of my favorites from the Big Beer series but still very tasty.

 838 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer pours a dark, rich, ruby highlighted blackish coloring with a tall, frothy, light tan colored head that quickly settles into a sparse surface coating. Aromas of berry fruit highlighting a rich and roasted chocolate backbone. The initial light, fruit sweetness has a great contrast on the nose with the rich sweetness of the backbone. Smells tasty. Flavors of roast, followed quickly by a fruit characteristics that I can only liken to boiling fruit down when you are preparing it for jams or jellies. It's that concentrated sweetness that still has a light characteristic. Again, the fruit has a strawberry/raspberry profile to it, and that is quickly enveloped by a dry roasted and baker's chocolate backbone, with a subtle bitterness that grows into a strong roast and bitter blend in the aftertaste. There are also some boozy qualities in the palate that slowly build, as well as a warmth. This is a dynamic brew, and the layers continue to develop as you drink. Let this one warm in the glass before you drink in order to fully appreciate it. Smooth, dry finish, with a slight bitter chocolate linger. Very tasty.

 1,163 characters

Photo of joeseppy
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour is extremely dark brown to the point of a black hole. Minimal mocha receding head clings to the sides.

Aromas of baking chocolate, Concord grape juice, roasted grain and malt. Nice sweetness to it with coffee and faint alcohol. To me a classic Belgium ale.

Taste initially is bittersweet chocolate. Caramel cola, star anise, sweet malt and hops. Temps 55-60' yield more pronounced oaky bourbon with vanillas and Belgium sugars.

Medium to heavy bodied with a creamy texture as you savor this. Each sip has the aroma of roasted grain and the drying bitterness lays on the tongue awhile. Some stickiness on the lips.

Not over the top barrel aged brew yet satisfying and I would even go as far to say that this is a sleeper in the world of whale hunting. I've had a few of these and look forward to this for years to come. These guys and gals always keep their craft extremely well priced and a solid fare! Can't find that whale, give this a go!

 950 characters

Photo of brewtus
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- poured into tulip, big foamy tan head that lingers for a little bit
S- Belgian yeast, chocolate, cinnamon, oaky, some vanilla
T/m- dark chocolate, Belgian yeast, some dark fruit, slightly oaky, milky texture, pretty easy drinking
O- I'd love to have more oak, there is a lot of chocolate and Belgian flavors. It's very unique and is a great balance between the flavors. If you made it an imperial stout, it would really make it an excellent beer.

 450 characters

Photo of Digimaika2
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(3.75) A: Black with a crimson tinge and a tall bubbly mocha coloured foam head. Blanket recedes promptly to a ring with minimal lacing.

(4.5) S: Very aromatic dark fruits (plums, dates, raisins), dark chocolate, black licorice, variety of tropical fruits (banana and peach), and generally quite a herbal (anise-like) aroma. Waves of mellow and boozy whiskey. This is excellent stuff. Diverse and fruity-herbal aromas that are very enticing.

(4.0) T: Similar to aroma with those bold and boozy dark fruits upfront (mostly figs, plums, cherries) that transition to tropical fruits (mostly banana) and roasted malt flavour (dry cocoa) on the backend. Flavours of molasses, anise, and clove compliment the primary tastes well. Fairly bitter and dry with smooth bourbon and oaky notes. Very good.

(4.0) M: Full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Oily and chalky with a boozy warmth.

(4.0) D: Very good. Stout characteristics are interesting in this with a dry roasted malt flavour coming through, but works very well together with more belgian strong dark ale qualities.

 1,074 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a smallish tan head that shows good retention and spotty lace. Smells of roast, caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, dark dried fruits, a bit of lactose like sweetness, spicy Belgian yeasty esters, and a mild bit of vanilla. The flavor is actually quite complex. Mild chocolate and dark sugary sweetness up front that is almost immediately pushed aside for some peppery yeastiness. Juicy and lightly tart dark fruits come around next and meld with a bit of chocolate and roast before a touch of vanilla, oak, and ethanol show up. Long lingering sweet tart fruit sugar and chocolate finish last long after every sip. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet sugary mouthfeel. Wow this one impressed me. It might be a hair on the sweet side, but I enjoyed the hell out of this brew.

 856 characters

Photo of Kinsman
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark and rich body thats capped by a large and sticky tan head. Not sure how you improve on this one. Roasted malts right up front on the nose with a nice mix of dark fruits and some wood and vanilla hints as well.

Nice roasty stout flavors on the palate with a sweeter side than normal. Chocolate and vanilla mix in with a some fruity flavors as well. A bit lighter on the mouth than many stouts but it certinaly doesn't hurt the beer. Makes it all the more drinkable.

Not sure why this had so many lackluster reviews. Anyone expecting a big bold imperial stout clearly doesn't know how to read a beer label. A relatively moderate 8.4% ABV makes for a nice midweek drink and the Belgian yeast certainly adds a nice fruity quality you don't find in Smuttys other stouts/porters.

 800 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet black body, sturdy billowing soufflé head, long lasting and creamy in texture.

Nutty dark chocolate, banana and plum esters from the Belgian yeast.

Chocolate, cocoa, bitter roast in the aftertaste. Lingering dried fruit traces of dates and plums. Smooth supple feel, medium bodied and slightly chewy. A little bit of dry woodiness in the aftertaste, but otherwise not much overt bourbon presence. Dry bitterness lingers in the finish. Nicely blended and well integrated. Smooth and warming on a cold winter afternoon.

 526 characters

Photo of tango22
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at 3 Crow, Rockland, Maine. Dark ebony brown, with creamy lingering head. Fruits, licorice, toffee, and subtle fruity yeast, smooth start, middle, and finish. 8.7% ABV, but not so's you'd notice it while drinking.
MMMM, good! Smooth. Tasty. Chewy. Very drinkable, especially during this snowy cold winter here on the Mid-Coast.

 336 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 11/25/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, coffee, some dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong chocolate flavor with some coffee, dark fruit and licorice in the background. Then a hearty roasted malt character and a good Belgian yeast breadiness come in. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a very nice dark Belgian beer to drink for a long time.

 821 characters

Photo of Bung
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Nearly opaque black pour, thin frothy layer of cream head. Retention ok, minimal lacing.

Aroma, healthy molasses and chocolate candy. Some vanilla, banana and yeasty spice.

Taste, Large chocolate and larger roast malt presence than I was expecting. Vanilla, some earthy spice, peat. Vanilla and molasses as well. Stork chocolate resin finish.

Pretty solid mid body, carbonation in check enough to make this quite drinkable. Coating and nicely sticky. Alcohol barely shows.

A dessert beer and one of the best "Belgian" style stouts I've had. Not overwhelmed by yeast notes and carbonation.

 598 characters

Photo of tkelley
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BIG BEER series... 22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A -- Very dark black with a toasted marshmallow (toasted, not burnt!) head. The head has very very fine bubbles, which almost look like the head on a nitro-stout.

N -- subtle, sexy desserty scents fill the nose. Dark roasted malts.

T -- Like the bottle promises this beer blends chocolate and caramel from the malts, fruit from the Belgian yeast, and some really smooth vanilla flavors from the bourbon. I usually dont like really strong bourbon flavors, but this one hits the right notes. Really good.

D -- Smooth, silky. The alcohol hits you pretty quick even though its not in the taste too much.

O -- Love it. Really good. Good blend of different flavor profiles.

 731 characters

Photo of brewtechnik
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 bomber slightly chilled, poured into a snifter...

This beer looks awesome...dark brown with minimal tan head lasting only a few minutes until dissipating into a consistent outer ring. Very clean and clear...nice lacing as well.

I smell raisins, vanilla, wood/bourbon, tad bit of Belgian yeast character (but not over done).

The taste starts with hops and toned down Belgian yeast flavor (low phenolics), transitions into chocolate, vanilla, wood and little bourbon, and finishes with dark fruits, dark chocolate and hop bitterness mixed with a little ethanol twang.

This beer is fairly light bodied with perfect medium carbonation...more of a porter in comparison, but right in style for a Belgian dark. Easy drinking, not very filling...I would have no problem finishing a second bottle.

Overall I would like to see this beer a little heavier in body, with a larger percentage (possibly even 100%) aged in bourbon-oak. This is another solid beer from Smutty that I'll definitely buy again, perhaps even age some for half year to bring out more of the chocolate and dark fruit character. Good buy at $7 regardless!

 1,124 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split and poured into snifters. Bottle conditioned in 2012.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a 2 finger slightly tanned head. Takes a minute or two to settle down to a thin covering. A good amount of yeast settles to the bottom of the glass. No real lacing.

S: Has a fruity aroma that I was not expecting from such a dark beer. I'd say its a cherry mixed with a yeastiness. If you look for it you can get some of the bourbon notes.

T: The two snifters taste very different with one having the yeast poured into it. The start of the bottle holds much more bourbon and roasted malt while the bottom of the bottle is fruitier and has a tart bitterness. Nice and complex.

M: Medium bodied with a good warming feel, a little slick toward the back end. Very drinkable for a bourbon stout.

Overall this one is certainly worth a try. Complex and different. Imagining this would age very well and hope I can snag another bottle.

 940 characters

Photo of Atlas1
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love every Smuttynose beer I've ever had. No reason to think this will be any different. Also, really happy to see Smutty in Texas these days. I enjoyed it plenty when I lived in DC, and missed it sorely upon moving back to TX in 2008, but it's great to see it on the shelves here now.

Pours a mellow brown color. Appears kind of thin. No head or lace. The nose is pleasant, delivering notes of sweet malt, fig, prune and other dark fruits. Some vanilla, and a faint coffee scent as well. Taste is delicious, again with sweet chocolate malt flavors, dark cherry and vanilla. A slight bitterness in the finish provides a nice touch. Mouthfeel is smooth and balanced.

Another fine beer from Smuttynose. It's almost past stout season here in TX (this is listed as a Beglian Strong Ale by BA, but the brewery calls is a Belgian stout), as the heat begins to settle in for the summer, but I'm glad I grabbed this today. Tasty stuff. Cheers.

 955 characters

Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 109 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe