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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA | Smuttynose Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
77 Reviews
THE BROS
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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPASmuttynose Noonan Black IPA
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerNinja007 on 02-27-2013

BEER STATS
Reviews:
77
Ratings:
389
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
20.98%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 389
Photo of brother_rebus
2.54/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

So thin. No foreward taste of much. It all kinda blends. I do like the carbonation of it though- it's kinda like Sri Lanka: not as latent as a stout or porter, still stays in touch with India.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Once upon a time, I was taken to task by another user on this site for name-dropping. Tough bananas, pal, since people now name-drop ME! My point being that I was very fortunate to meet Greg Noonan following the Vermont Brewers' Festival in 2004 and so I raise my glass as a toast to him. It is my hope that he will save me a seat at the bar alongside of him.

Unquestionably, this is one of my least favorite beers styles, and do not expect any quarter just because a beer luminary's visage and name grace the label. I just want to be up front about this.

My pour went off without a hitch and the resulting pseudo-cascade was a pleasure to watch. It settled into a finger of dense, light-tan/mocha-colored head with great retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44) and I have to ask if anyone really registers any beer as "black". Although it was dense enough to prevent any light penetration in the glass, I could see what it looked like during the pour. Nose had the dark, deep-roasted, burnt/smoky scent that I dislike in this style. I got a faint grassy mintiness from the hops, but the malts were getting in the way. Bah! Let nothing stand between a hophead and tasting his/her hops. Mouthfeel was dense, thick, especially for an IPA of any stripe. Nice. The taste, however, was a different story, or better put, it was more of the same. Man, I just cannot get past the roasty malt characteristic that defines this style. I kept tasting charcoal and not in what I would define as a pleasant way. Finish was dry, smoky, almost stout-like, but where were the hops? I weep for the hops that go into these recipes as they have given their all for naught. Nice lacing, by the way. Next!

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Photo of barczar
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a thick, dense 2 inch cappuccino head that lingers, slowly dissipating and leaving sheets of lacing.

Roast malt, coffee, chocolate, and dank hops form the initial aroma. Hops are fairly subtle in comparison to the malt. Fresh cut grass emerges.

Flavor reveals more hop character than aroma. Citrusy notes of grapefruit open the profile, fading to roast malt and charred breadcrust at the finish, along with coffee bitterness. There's a bit of resin evident. But malt is definitely dominant.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth. There's a bit of astringency present.

A little too roasty for my liking. Burnt is not a flavor I enjoy. Would benefit from more base malt, less roast, and more hop character.

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Photo of chinchill
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Growlers Pour House in Charlotte.

Near black, slightly dark even for style, with an above average tan head that leaves a fine coat on the glass when tilted.

Smell is more dark malt than hops, but this tastes like it should: i.e., an IPA with ample dark roasted malts. Unlike the aroma, in tasting these two ingredients mesh better, and are in better balance than in some other black IPAs.

M: slightly harsh; medium body and carbonation.

O: Aroma lacks IPA hoppiness, but the taste is true to style.

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Photo of jlindros
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Surprised... well actually I guess not, but interesting how many beers there are dedicated to Greg Noonan.

Pours a nice creamy thick 1 finger head that fades very slowly, with tons of thick lacing, over just about pitch black beer.

Nose brings a blend of dark roasty choc malts and citrus hops, orange peel, fruity citrus hops all around, and a caramel dark chocolate creamy malt, Not much else going on.

Taste is just as simple, two track mind of two flavors that don't combine well... citrusy orange peel hop, little pine but barely, quite bitter too. Then malts, dark malts, little roasty, dark crystal malts, etc, with a bit of a creamy taste. Nothing else really. Finish adds more bitter piney citrus hops, a little sticky syrupy dark malts and faint caramel.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall very basic black IPA with citrus, pine, and roast and caramel, which IMO don't blend well, nothing special, very two poled beer and don't combine well. Not very enjoyable.

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Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee, roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts, light hops, a touch of smokiness, mild and easy drinking. Feels light in the mouth and overall, not a bad beer, but a little less hoppy than I would have liked for this style.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 6/28/13

Appearance: While I'm tempted to say this is black, it's really more of a dark, dark brown - pours with a big, creamy beige head - leaves a nice, above-average web of lacing

Smell: Roasty and chocolatey, with some hints of citrus - on the mild and balanced side for this style - nicely roasted malts, chocolate malt, and some roasty coffee - a bunch of dark chocolate and baker's chocolate - a vague hint of grass and grapefruit hops

Taste: Roasty and chocolatey, as the smell would suggest - roasty and lightly burnt malts - chocolate malts - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, and some semisweet chocolate - above average bitterness - some oily grapefruit rind, but not much hop character - some burnt coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, extremely dry finish

Overall: Good, but very far from legendary

The biggest problem with this beer is the name. As Greg Noonan is often credited for inventing this style, a black IPA named after him should be very exceptional. This is good, but I wouldn't call it exceptional.

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Photo of dar482
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a very dark black color with tinges of brown in the light, a creamy off white head. A very stout looking beer.

The aroma has tons of roasted malt, chocolate, roasted coffee, but then has light hops to uplift the aroma. Slight citrus, pine, and herbal.

The flavor follows of lots of porter quality in the front. Roasted malt, roasted coffee, semi sweet chocolate. Then onto tinges of orange and grapefruit peel essence. The beer then transitions to heavy bitterness. A piney, earthy, herbal, and woody quality. The finish leaves again a leafy and woody rugged bitterness.

In general, the beer is roasty porter with heavy bitterness. It does not exactly hit where I want “black IPA,” although I prefer a bit more citrusy IPA than roasted malt quality. However, it still packs tons of flavor for 5.7% ABV.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In remembrance of popular beer writer and founder of the Vermont Pub & Brewery, Greg Noonan, The respectful Smuttynose clan has put together a bold and fortified ale that bridges the worlds of Porter and Pale.

Deep, dark bark-brown hues stop shy of Stout-like appearance, but pours with a hazy texture. Building upon is a light creamy head of semi-firm foam that dissipates to a sheet to skirt the glass and leaving light lacing in its wake.

Aromas of toast, dark chocolate and dark nuts kick off the beer's character. Light roasted grain scents bring about coffee, wood, and a touch of earthen sod. Moderate citrus notes with grass provide final aromatics heading into taste.

Its hop-forward taste pronounces grapefruit peels, orange zest, and torn pine needles. Supporting malt flavors of bittersweet chocolate, heavy toast, bitter walnuts and an earthen wood, coffee and chicory character rounds out the bitter taste to finish.

Medium bodied to start, its creamy texture quickly fades into an arid dryness that's aided by alcohol warmth and resinous hops. Its dry finish is lightly roasty in aftertaste with mild grain and hop-derived astringency.

As a fan of Greg's writings, I get the sense that this is a forward-thinking ale that which he would have found great comfort.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Best before 08/04/2014.

Deep black opaque body, just a hint of dark red along edges for the body color too. Head is a bit out of control booming. Giant fistful on the pour. Super soapy, cocoa tan in color and big clumpy aggressive appearance. Lots of lacing and big retention while it settles. There's some pretty good amount of trub chunk in this glass too.

Bouquet hits more towards the roasty character with a faint hint of grapefruit and pine hop. Some sweet juicy fruit action slightly. Slightly char and even a hint of campfire smoke, but quite tiny on the nose. Overall not too bad.

Palate matches fairly straightforward what the nose senses. Mild senses of hop juicy pine and some grapefruit rind. Light roast character hinting toward coffee in the mid palate. Finishes clean, if possibly a little oily with a good long hop aroma and presence. Palate feel is a little weak, but flavors do manage to coat quite a bit.

Overall it's alright in the realm, but there's some better out there. No worries this drinks easily.

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Photo of dsjohns85
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a single 12 oz bottle from a local shop. Poured into a tulip.

Black appearance. Left about a quarter inch in the bottle, but still had tons of off white blobs floating around the sides of my glass. Not appealing. Totally opaque overall. No highlights when help up to light. Off white head. Poor head retention. Quickly faded.

Aroma is predominately mocha. Think chocolate and coffee drink. You can catch hints of cut trees, resin. On return, hints of citrus fruit, mostly towards grapefruit are found.

Flavor is up front roast. Burnt toast and some coffee flavors mostly. Not sweet at all. The bitterness is firm and present. Not harsh at all. Small hop flavors come through, mostly citrus towards lemon.

The beer is well carbonated. No tannin bite. The roasted malts might have contributed a bit of an acrid feeling. Pretty light body.

A solid example of a Black IPA, although in my opinion way too close to a stout with its roast. Honestly, I would consider this beer basically a stout with a light body. While the hop character is present, it doesn't take the main stage as an IPA should. It is a good data point for this emerging style.

 1,149 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color with bits of ugly sediment floating in the glass. The body isn't a looker, that's for damn sure. The head makes up slightly - a three finger khaki shade with a soft texture and good retention. Lots of lacing is left behind. I have no idea how to score it: the body is ass-ugly, but the head looks great.

S: Very roasty. Lots of espresso and brown sugar, with lesser chocolate notes. The hops are very well integrated within everything; once this opens up, I'm getting a bit more in the way of pine and citrus. More along the lines of a hoppy porter/stout than Black IPA, but still a very good aroma nonetheless.

T: Oh man, this one is roasty. Huge roasted malts and espresso give it a tongue-gripping start, while bitter, piny hops build up subtly on the finish. There are slight touches of chocolate here and there, but otherwise there's no sweetness to be found. Like a lot of Smuttynose offerings, it's bitter in all the right ways.

M: Very light and very crisp - most regular IPAs wish they could be this easy going down. And it's really, really, really dry. There isn't a whole lot of carbonation, so the dry finish is really doing its job here.

O: Rather than punching me in the face with hop bitterness, the IPA portion of this beer integrates so well with the roasted malts, it makes me wonder if I'm really drinking a glass of cold espresso. I'd love to see this tribute become a year-round offering.

 1,474 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, nearly black in appearance, with ruby highlights. Thick, tri-finger of foam and a pleasing tree-line lace.

Nose is chocolate malts, with maybe a slight hint of citrus hops sharpness. Overwhelmingly, though the aroma is chocolate and roastiness.

Taste is definitely bitter and roast up front, with the bittersweet cocoa notes coming in around an astringent, acidic hops character. Solid and enjoyable, though not a favorite.

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Photo of ChiChi
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out thick, heavy and beastly. Yes, a beast of a beer. Many qualities of a good stout, as far as Black IPA's are concerned, this is way heavier and stronger. Aftertaste of bourbon. Heavy malt taste leaves the palate slightly dry. Nice glass lacing, The Noonan is a complex brew that gets better and takes over with every sip. I can't find any foods to pair it with yet, because this beer is almost like a meal in itself.

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Photo of argock
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. 1223 and other digits stamped on bottleneck, presumably a Julian date for May 2, 2013. Gifted to me by my father-in-law Erv.

A: Black black with active 2-finger foamy dark beige head with rocky retention and crusty lacing at the top of the mug.

S: Very chocolatey and roasty aroma, about even parts of each with an orange citrus hops note. Dark malt otherwise provides some date fruitiness but there is no acrid notes present.

T: The flavor is very chocolatey, with a little less roasted malt in the flavor profile compared the aroma, although still it is a substantial component. The slightly sweet chocolate works well with the orange citrus hoppiness, which is moderately bitter. The alcohol is well-hidden. The roast and chocolate work together well with the orange to leave an orange-filled semisweet dark chocolate impression.

M: Slightly tacky with medium body and a little too much carbonation.

O: A pretty good American black ale -- definitely a sweeter take on the style and one tha I enjoyed more than most from this style. Pretty smooth with a good balance of roasted and chocolate character and a muted dark fruitiness to prevent it from being too sweet. Another solid brew from Smuttynose.

 1,265 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Modest head but it leaves a blanket of lace. Dark brown color where no light shines through.

Mild darker malt aromas. Light cocoa with some peppery hop.

Starts off watery but this quickly yields to some strong burnt malt. The aftertaste is a lens of hop and malt bitterness. The body is thin and the carbonation high, but it doesn't detract from the strong finishing flavors.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours dark brown. Mild light penetration. Head is a thicker hat of tan foam. Head remains cohesive and leaves mild lacing.

S-Well, its safe to say that the nose is a huge letdown. I really can't get too much of anything. I can tell that its relatively balanced between dark malt and piney hops. Aside from that, its incredibly subdued. About a 4 on my homemade intensity scale.

T-The flavor has a bit more to like. There is some respectable coffee and chocolate but also a solid amount of biting, piney hoppiness. Malt is a bit charred and the hops are a tad soapy. It grows in strength after every sip. By my last few sips I am pretty impressed with this beer's intensity (despite its lower ABV and its boring aroma).

M-Bitter; and the bitterness lasts. No booze. A bit abrasive. Drinks like it was closer to 7%.

O/D-Pretty solid, minus the nose. I may need to come back to this one to makes sure my review is applicable.

 929 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 9/18/13. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with a kakhi head which fades and leaves decent lacing. The aromas are full of roasted malts and has subtle hints of pine and grapefruit. Smells nice, but doesn't smack you in the face. The flavors are dominated by dark chocolate, giving it a nice bitterness. Burnt/char overload. Earthy hops. Hints of soap. Bold flavors. Finishes dry with hints of citrus and smoke. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied. Active carbonation. Good stuff.

This is full flavored and actually has some depth to it. Stout/porter/chocolate lovers will appreciate this one. It's not a mind blower, but it's well crafted. Solid brew.

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Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another new Smutty that I just noticed on the shelves recently. Best by 09/18/13.

A- Poured from the bottle into a pint glass with a black but not oily thick body. A nice dark tan cap forms on the beer to about three fingers in height (slimmer glass). Good head retention with a thick, foamy texture. Big thick rings of lace wherever I stop my sips.

S- Dark roasted grains with a nice hop presence. I get some citrus, pine and floral notes from the hops used here. The malts are nice and roasty but not overpowering like a stout with hints of cocoa.

T- More malt character and flavor comes through in the taste for me. I'd say it is roast forward here as opposed to the nose being slightly hop driven. Dark bitter roast grains, cocoa, slight burnt sugar and some nutty hints come to mind. Hops open up nicely after some time with orange peel, pine and flowery notes.

MF- Moderately thick feel to a fairly creamy overall body. Carbonation is at a moderate level and gains a very silky feel when agitated. Good, clean hop and roast bitterness in the finish.

Solid Black IPA with a good orange peel and dark grain flavor.

 1,124 characters

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (bbd 8/13/14) into a pint glass, dark brown almost black with a large thick tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: black patent malt, dark and toasty, coffee, only light hops

T: bitter burnt flavors up front coupled with substantial hop bitterness, flavor stays bitter throughout, coffee, pine resin hops, espresso

M: medium with higher carbonation

O: quite bitter overall with little malt sweetness, focus is on heavily roasted malt

 480 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours almost bible black with a long lived frothy head.
There's plenty of hops bitterness with an underlying toasted malt hint.
The flavor stance is vibrant on the palate with what I would expect from an IPA.
There's a long finish but I wish the entire mouthfeel and flavor cross-section had "more of". Nevertheless I found this beer as an interesting and enjoyable IPA.
Certainly worth your "beer-time" on a bottle or two.

 424 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Ny Pizza. Pours black with an inch of khaki head. Fair amount of lacing. The aroma is a nice mix of hops and roasted malts. Hints of chocolate. The taste is chocolate and coffee with roasted malts. Less of a hop presence than I expected from the nose. Still there are some piney hop notes. Roasted malts and chocolate at the finish. Charcoal as well. Lots of carbonation. Overall, solid Black IPA but maybe a bit too roasty.

 434 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fresh bottle from Premier Gourmet. Spot on black IPA, emphasizing the roast and yet still citrus hop supporting it. Above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Not the best black IPA I have had,owing to some burnt parts, still well crafted and worth trying. Dry finish.

 269 characters

Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass a deep dark chocolate brown with a half finger beige colored head atop that lasted for quite awhile.Aromas of earth,bitter chocolate,and citric hops,it does smell like a hopped up porter.Roast and earthy notes upfront with mild brown sugar-like sweetness,a shot of pin resin and sharp grapefruit in the finish.Not overly complex but flavorful,this seemed a bit more porter-like than many of the style i have had.

 446 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is black, solid, head is tan 1/2 inch after pour, then dissipates to a good top and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell is a great mix of toast, bread, biscuit, lighter caramel and chocolate, and roast; hops are light and earthy.

Taste is more roast forward, a little biting from roast and hops, other malts are biscuit and caramel, no chocolate in the flavor; hops are earthy, light pine in flavor.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant, some lingering bitterness from the roast, but good for lighter beer; lingers more on the back of the tongue with lighter flavors on the cheek, nice carbonation and a near creamy feel from the wheat/biscuit malts.

Overall, a very solid brew, great roasty flavor, cleaner hop profile and a creamy undertone form the nose and mouthfeel

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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.
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