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Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

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

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 401
Photo of Treyliff
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A- pours black, nearly opaque with a two-finger head with short retention and no lacing

S- some fruity esters from the Belgian yeast with candy-like sugar, traces of vanilla oak aroma with just a touch of barrel juice

T- fruity yeast with a light metallic flavor, light roasted notes with just a touch of chocolate, oak character mid-palate ith some tangy barrel juice at the end, pretty dry finish

M- medium body with low carbonation, slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish, mouthfeel seemed a bit light for the style

O- some good flavors going on, the bourbon is very subtle from only using a blend of barrel aged beer, a little light on flavor and mouthfeel for a stout

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Not much lacing at all.

S: A subtle aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, and malt. Nicely done smell.

T: Like the smell, the flavor was a low key, yet tasty, affair. A good amount of chocolate, roasted malt, Belgian yeast, and dark fruit. Not as aggressive as some of the Belgian BSDAs, but well done and tasty nonetheless.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solidly made, enjoyable beer. Drinkable.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a 25oz snifter, the ale is near black and topped with a frothy tan head that holds excellent retention. Aromas are fruity, chocolate, roasty, bourbon, and boozy as it warms. Tastes are beautifully complex and balanced with notes of toasted grain, dark fruit - raisin, fig, date, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, some faint coffee, and Belgian yeast. Mouth-feel is full with nice carbonation, while finishing just dry enough for the palate to want another sip. At 8.4%, there actually was better drinkability, as opposed to some higher ABV stouts & strong ales. Overall, I loved it! One of my favorites out of the Big Beer Series.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very dark brown (black when viewed from afar) in color. it poured with a thin dense tan head that has good retention properties and hardly died down.
S: Light to moderate aromas of yeast are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of Belgian yeast along with hints of dark fruits.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice beer if you like yeast, but doesn't have much in the way of dark fruits or bourbon, even after it warms up. It's rather easy to drink because no traces of alcohol are detectable.

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Photo of Pencible
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like dry roasted coffee and earthy dark cocoa powder, with some spicy Belgian yeast and oak.
T: It tasted like copper hops and dry roasted coffee and earthy dark chocolate, with a bit of spicy Belgian yeast. It had a somewhat clean aftertaste that was bitter and earthy.
M: It was somewhat thick with lots of natural carbonation.
D: This was not a great Belgian stout, and it had no bourbon character as advertised. The scent and taste were ok, and the body was decent. The finish was a bit harsh, so it was not super easy to drink. I'm not convinced age would improve either. Skip this unimpressive brew.

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Photo of dpianka
4.87/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

date of tasting: 4/4/2013
place of tasting: Barley Vine - Bristol, CT
beer: Zinneke
brewery: Smuttynose
brewery location: Portsmouth, NH
type: Ale
style: Strong Dark Belgian Ale
abv: 8.4%
ibu: 50
glass: mug w/appearance test in tasting glass
temperature of beer: 55F

Appearance: gorgeous clean roasty black. It isn’t quite opaque, I can see through it a bit when held up to the light, when I do the color is an extremely dark amber. Head pours thick, heavy and creamy but doesn’t last long.

Smell: I get the typical vanilla and coffee, though the coffee is not very strong in intensity yet still strong in character. The chocolate is bitter, reminiscent of somewhere around 75% cacao. A little bourbon booze bite faintly hit me at the end

Taste: sweet malty bready vanilla up front. The bourbon barrel smoothness comes through with very faint rich vanilla cream and toastiness.The hops are prominent yet not offensive, they work their way through the malt enough to balance out the sweetness. Hops are green and grassy. The mocha leans more towards dark french almost burnt coffee with that 75% cacao.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium to light bodied, slightly creamy.

Overall Impression: An awesome beer for sure. I love what the belgian yeast did to this beer. Generally when I’ve tasted something aged in bourbon barrels there is a huge sweetness that tends to also be present. I’m delightfully surprised that isn’t here. I mean there is sweetness but it’s very well balanced.

Food Pairings: fondue with little mushroom skewers, BBQ with a heavy rich bbq sauce, I kind of want to reduce this and pour it over strawberry gelato. Gingerbread men sandwiches stuffed with a vanilla bourbon cream. lamb in a bicuit, roasted pork belly, hearty chilli with sour cream.

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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.

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Photo of corby112
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pitch black, cloudy and opaque with a one finger light beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy, roasted malt aroma.  Some piny resinous hops countered by dark chocolate malt, toast, coffee bean and oatmeal.  Decent amount of roast but sweetness and fudge/dessert like characteristics are dominant.  Still slightly hop forward.

Medium bodied with a decent balance of earthy hops, roasted malt and alcohol sweetness.  Dry piny bitterness up front with resinous oils and grassy pine needle flavor. This is countered by sweet chocolate, toffee and caramel as well as burnt toast, dark chocolate, oatmeal and roasted coffee bean.  Prominent boozy sweetness and heat in the finish.  Decently balanced but a touch too hot for my preference.

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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.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark cola color with some purple-red tones. Another overpour. Head is a thin cap that barely fits in the glass. Rising carb visible through its translucency.

Alcohol-soaked prune, raisin, caramelized pear, dark candi sugar, phenols, medium roast.

Belgian chocolate, medicinal minerality, prune, bitter red grape skins, roastiness, and a flair of aged hops in the finish. A little too phenolic; heavily medicinal, which mixes astringently with the bitterness and semi-sweetness. Distant bourbon nuance. Very distant, but there. Redefined as something that is no longer whiskey.

Feels a little heady, but not heavy. Thinner than appropriate, and with some spry carb at work.

So-so, but I like the idea behind the interpretation. Lots of dark fruit and dark chocolate in the marriage. Not terribly far off.

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Photo of jlindros
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours light fizzy head covering, semi clear mahogany dark color.

Nose Belgian esters, phenolic and glue like phenols unhappy yeast, light Belgian chocolate, dusty oak, faint cocoa dust, cola syrup.

Taste starts with some cocoa, Belgian choc, light caramel and syrupy flavors, fairly sweet, light booze, back to esters, slight phenolic glue again but not as much as the nose, very faint oak, no bourbon, little yeasty flavor and light biscuit. Finish is sticky syrupy, little earthy herbal hop, biscuit, bbq sauce like flavor with syrupy sweetness, little cocoa, light phenols lingering.

Mouth is med to bigger bodied, decent carb, little slimy.

Overall not very good. Off flavors, unhappy yeast like it got too hot during fermentation, yeasty too, very little barrel, slimy, too estery, just overall not pleasant. Smuttynose really seems to be going in the wrong direction these days, their new beers haven't been very good, and even their old beers seem like they are losing a little something.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Very dark brown on the pour, nearly black. One inch of tan head quickly settles, but can be revived with a few strong swirls of the glass. Light wispy, spotty lacing.

S: Aroma is fruity and yeast forward. Banana and subtle apricot esters. Taffy. Caramel. Subdued roasted malt scents of chocolate and charcoal. Very slight phenols. Light prick pf alcohol. Muffled hints of toasted oak, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Caramel and cola. Candi sugar. Belgian yeast gets a little lost in the shuffle, but it adds some fruity and vaguely spicy notes. Mild darkfruit esters of plum, blackberry, and fig. Banana taffy. Chocolate covered raisins. Roasted character builds on the mid-palate. Charcoal, wood, and dark chocolate cake. Slight jab of spicy alcohol and peppery phenol. Barrel character finally comes out toward the end. Drying woody oak and a kiss of bourbon on the finish.

M: Medium thick body, but deceptively light on the palate. Creamy and slightly chewy. Little to no carbonation.

O: A pretty good beer, but it's just a little too restrained across the board. A bolder stroke here or there would make all the difference.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle conditioned in 2012
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours an opaque black body with a thick coco tan head that last for a short bit. There are strands of microbubbles trailing up the side of the glass.

S- The yeast ester aroma of raisins fades away quickly with some more full black roasted malt aroma and a fusel alcohol heat note finishes.

T- The dry roasted black malt has some dark tootsie roll flavors as the beer opens. There is a roasted black bitterness in the finish with some mellow alcohol heat. Some faint burnt toast notes and slight hints of dark fruit esters come through when it is pretty warm.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a tight fizz and a gentle alcohol heat lingers.

O- This beer has a nice black roasted malt flavor but it is otherwise a bit thin and a bit to hot in alcohol. There isn’t much yeast characteristics that it really needs for support or any other hop or malt flavors to add depth to the beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Black in the glass, one finger tan head and clear ruby while pouring.

S-Roasted malt, coffee, clove, slight bourbon, vanilla and darker fruits.

T-Roasted malt and darker fruits that do not completely balance with each other. Not much bourbon either. Malt is too burnt as well.

M-Light to medium bodied but not much carbonation.

O-Smutty missed the mark on this one, their regular Imperial Stout is good, this one, not so much.

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Photo of jegross2
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing the Zinneke from Smuttynose Brewing Company out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Score: 86

Winter 2012-13 vintage bottle served in a Dogfish Head snifter and enjoyed on 02/12/13.

Appearance: Molasses color with thin layer of beige head. Poor lacing, poor retention. 3/5

Smell: Roasted malt, cocoa, banana and subtle bourbon. A little fruitiness too. Roast more prevalent in nose than elsewhere. 3.75/5

Taste: Roast ones upfront, then chocolate and banana throughout. Only the faintest sweet bourbon flavor. A little fruitiness in the finish too. Chocolate and banana are the main characters on the palate here. Malty in a good way. Slightly growing roast towards the finish as the beer warms. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good level of carbonation for the style. Moderately dry finish. 3.75/5

Overall: For the price, this beer is really solid. It is better than I expected, certainly something I would drink again, but it is not a beer I would recommend you particularly seek out.

Cost: $5.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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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.

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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

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Photo of mountdew1
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a medium snifter. Color was a completely black opaque with a 1 finger light brown head. Aroma was a sweet fruity floral. A small bit of brown sugar lactose in the back. Seemed like an overly sweet barleywine. Flavor was mellow and balanced up front, but shifted to a slightly bitter oaky finish. Very good in the mouth, coated well with just a bit of carbonation. Overall a good stout, perhaps didn't benefit as much as expected from the aging, but not at all bad.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is kind of an odd one. Seems almost like a Belgian rauchbier, at first impression. I get a minimal to none impression of barrel aging on this. I mean, I guess I do get a mild sense of it, but it's kind of a glob of flavor and nothing specifically defined. It's a nice drinker, just not something I can really pinpoint as far as specifics or intent. Always nice to try something new from Smutty though.

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Photo of Chaney
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in an Elysian tulip because I don't (yet) have a Smuttynose one.

A: Poured a dark, dark chocolate brown color, with only a slight mocha head that died down rather quickly. Barrel-aging (partial) at its finest.

S: Nothing miraculous or earth-shatter, but I did get a whiff of some dark malt with a bit of roast and some raisons.

T: Much more bitter than I was expecting. Like many have stated, this isn't anything amazing, but it's still good. I even noticed the Belgian yeast strain after a few sips.

M: Bitter for sure, Belgian-like (the more I dug in), and with a serviceable carbonation bill. Lotsa lacing.

O: Good, not great. However, this one is pretty easy on the wallet.

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Photo of far333
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown colored with a low light brown head that settles out quickly. Low aroma of roasted malt and cocoa. Very rich flavor of deeply roasted malt, a bit of roast bitterness, cocoa, espresso, root beer, and molasses. Punctuated with a Belgian yeast type funk with clovey esters. Full mouthfeel, not too creamy, finishes slightly dry. Bitter roast lingers. Good beer, but the clovey funk detracts a bit for me.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a "The Smuttynose Big Beer Series" branded snifter

Pours a dark espresso brown with a two finger beige sea foam-like head that is reminiscent of heads found capping Belgian dubbels and quadrupels. Fades fairly quickly. Big fruity Belgian yeast, vanilla, cocoa power, hints of oak and bourbon booziness. Dark chocolate covered plums, fig, caramel maltiness, vanilla, and toasted oak. Very light bourbon accents appear midpalate. Finishes pleasantly dry with dates and black cherry and some continued chocolate accents. Medium, very drinkable body. Slick, with lively carbonation. Consider me impressed as this brew delivered a level of complexity that wasn't expected. Very drinkable, complex, and extremely unique. Not to mention, at $5.99 a bomber the value for the quality this brew delivers is fantastic. Highly recommended.

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Smuttynose Zinneke (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 401 ratings.
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