Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPASmuttynose Noonan Black IPA

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

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

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 389
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.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smuttynose makes great dark beers and even better IPAs, so this seems to be a sure thing. You never know until you try it, though, so cheers!

Best before 08/04/2014, five months after the date of this tasting.

A: Pours pitch black with a lofty head of fizzy tan foam, two fingers high. The head condenses into a wafer-thin layer of soft retention, leaving very little in the way of lacing – just a few thin strands here and there.

S: A blend of porter scents – baker’s cocoa and spent coffee grounds, more tight and acrid than rich – and sweet berry fruitiness. That tinge of raspberry and lemon I’d suspect is due to the hops, but wherever it came from, it’s quite welcome.

T: Begins with the toasted sweetness of brown sugar, semisweet chocolate, and acrid burnt toast; it’s like an over-baked chocolate chip cookie, all buttery and crisp. Then, within seconds, the bitters light up the palate. This beer has certainly earned its “IPA” moniker – it’s massively hopped. The rest of the palate is dominated by a lemony, grassy hop flavor, shining so bright in this dark palate that there’s little left at the end but an American IPA. It’s an inoffensive dryness, too: bold, sure, but not puckering as much as it is crisp. Finishes in that manner, with a light (but lasting) citrus rind taste.

M: Quite a light body for an IPA, which is accentuated by all that hoppiness and a dry, bubbly carbonation. Goes down like Founders All Day IPA: a lawnmower beer with a crisp hop bite.

O: This is the best blend of styles I’ve had in a long time, and that’s because you can taste the transformation from porter to IPA – experiencing that evolution on your palate is really interesting. It’s something you don’t come across with every hoppy black ale you try, or sometimes it’s there but it just doesn’t work; here, though, the transition to a brisk, hoppy pale is so stark and refreshing that you can’t help but enjoy it. Grab a six-pack if you can, because one won’t be enough.

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Photo of 57md
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown to black color with copper edges. The finger of beige head quickly dissipated down to a thin layer of film that retained for awhile and left nice lacing on the glass. The nose has mild roasted notes and mild hoppy notes, but the roast is more prevalent. The roasted malt also is quite apparent in the flavor profile as well. The finish is dry and mildly hoppy.

This is a rare black ale that accentuates roastiness over hoppiness. It is more closely related to a classic Baltic porter than an American Black “IPA.” I liked this beer more and more the further down the glass I got. An excellent, but definitely different kind of black ale.

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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 scotorum
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by 7/23/14

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

a: Black with clear ruby highlights when seen through light. Two inch tall tan head receded very slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark chocolate.

t: Dark chocolate and smoke up front with plenty of hop bite. Smoke in the aftertaste. Tastes like a hoppy stout or porter.

m: Moderate.

o: Dunno who the Noonan guy is on the label and in the title but whatever he has to do with this brew he did ok. This might qualify as a Baltic or American porter. And a pretty good one.

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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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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 Digimaika2
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(4.25) A: Root-beer brown with a very attractive creamy mocha coloured head. Commendable retention and sticky lacing down the glass.

(3.75) S: Caramel, roasted qualities including dark fruits & some cocoa, slightly herbal, and citrusy. Good mix of pleasing aromas from both the lighter and darker side of things.

(4.0) T: Citrus, caramel, herbal-like, lighter cocoa, and faint raisins. A heavy bitterness with less dryness in comparison. This is quite easy to drink with lots of flavour but not in an overbearing way. Very good.

(3.75) M: Lighter bodied with a moderate-lower carbonation. Smooth and creamy with a
relatively clean texture.

(3.75) D: This is a solid and easy-drinking black IPA that I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brew appears a dark brownish black color with some dark ruby highlights and a three finger head that falls slowly with fine bubbles and thick sheets of tan lacing.

The aroma consists of dark baker's chocolate and some light, slightly citrus hop.

The flavor is dark and roasty with dark chocolate then transitions to some moderate hop bitterness that's both citrus and pine. Somewhat dry finish.

The mouthfeel is medium carbonation and creamy with a bitter finish.

A nice black IPA that has some great roast and assertive fresh hop flavor. Good job Smuttynose!

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Photo of Bierman9
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Yet another lovely weekend day.... Laxing out in the 'Zebo with Mr. Noonan...

Poured a bottle into a nonic... It is a deep, opaque ebony-chestnut hue. Head is creamy, fine and tight, and beige colored. The foam sits at about 1/4" before slowly ebbing to a decent layer. Lacing is pretty nice as well. There are distinct roasty notes first evident, along with some florality. It is a bit less than medium, and rather light and airy on the tongue.

Whereas the nose was more on the malty side, the flavor really kicks off with hoppiness. There is some semi-sweet choco here, plus some very roasty, almost burnt malt hitting the palate. But that is quickly overwhelmed by a pronounced florality, with some earthy notes mixed in as well. It is almost rindy, and that aspect lingers long in the aftertaste. Overall it is quite tasty and refreshing. A fitting tribute to an esteemed New England brewing pioneer. Prosit!

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


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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.

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Photo of babaracas
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear very dark brown, opaque in the glass. Two fingers thick dense khaki colored foam, sheeting for a couple of inches down the glass. Smell: mild roast and chocolate, light berry fruitiness, pine. Taste: pine, grapefruit peel, dark but not high cocoa chocolate. Creamy upfront, prickly carbonation, medium bodied. Finish is piney and otherwise neutral (as in the abv's a little low but it's attenuated to the right spot). Straightforward but tasty and low-impact. Best by 9/13.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Review from notes, on tap at the White Birch fest this past Aug. Pours a solid dark brown bordering on black with a smallish tan head that shows moderate retention and minimal lace. Smells of earth and pine, with a chocolate and caramel maltiness that does a fair job standing up to the hop onslaught. Taste is sweet caramel and a bit roasty and chocolaty behind lots of earthy pine and citrus. Medium body and carbonation level with a resinous and slightly chalky mouthfeel. I went back to this several times that night, this is a great brew, it should be a full time beer!

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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 metter98
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: When viewed from afar, the beer is black in appearance but closer inspection reveals amber hues at the bottom when the glass is held up to a light source. It poured with a half finger high tan head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a thin collar around the edge and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts and notes of pine resin and citrusy hops are present in the nose.
T: A moderate amount of bitterness stands out in this beer, which has underlying flavors of dark malts along with notes of pine resin hops and hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this to be a very nice beer if you are looking for lots of bitterness without the accompanying hop flavors. It's quite drinkable.

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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 barnzy78
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, pours a cola-like black with a frothy, tan head, excellent retention & lace. Piny hops, roasted malts, chocolate, and faint anise on the nose. Nice blend of roast, pine, dank citric grapefruity bitterness, faint chocolate, anise, and coffee on the palate with sharp, lingering bitterness, medium body. Overall, just what I expect from a well rounded American Black Ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 5/20/2013 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

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

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, some hops, dark chocolate and coffee.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character and flavors of dark chocolate and coffee. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in to create a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

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

O: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very good hoppy dark beer to drink for long time.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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Photo of Bucktron18
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with freshness date.

Pours almost black. Dark amber hughes with a thick light tan head that sits on top like a dollop of whipped cream. Great lacing. Some chunky off white sediment sits in the center (I'm assuming this was bottle conditioned otherwise I would have some serious problems. Looks much like Finest kind with a stiff pour in that regard). Smells of roasted malt which don't overpower the hops, but do make them harder to pick out. Taste is bitter from the start with some bitter roasted notes that blend almost seamlessly into a middle and finnish of seriously bitter hops. Grapefruit rind and some faint grassy piney notes. Finish is bitter and lingers. Mouthfeel is great. Low-medium carbonation with a smoothness all the way through.

Overall a great black ale with some serious bitterness from start to finish.

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Photo of Omnium
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours deep dark ruby brown, with a nice 2 finger light brown head and good lacing.
S - Roasted coffee beans, chocolates, pine, some dank hops, and toasted grains.
T - Big time flavor, good blend of hops and roasted grains and malts. Citrus and pine from the hops meets a great melding of chocolate and coffee beans, the magnum hops in this really make it aggressive in the bitterness.
M - For as bitter as it is, it doesnt linger too long, but you'll notice it for a little while, still somewhat creamy.
O - Smuttynose usually flies under the radar, but this is a stellar black IPA, and needs more credit, it is seriously aggressively like a good ipa, but definitely complex, and not too overwhelming. Definitely worth having again.

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Photo of Thads324
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the darkest of blacks. Big pillowy tan head that is sticky and unwavering.

Smells like lots of roasted malts. Hints of coffee, cocoa and musty earthy hops. Nothing overpowering but very good.

Starts light with some brown ale flavors, some piney and earthy hops kick in with a hint of citrus. Good bitterness in the middle but not overpowering. Ends with medium roasted malt flavor with mild coffee and toasted grains. A bit of toffee to go with the grassy hop flavor at the end.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation that carries the bitterness well. Too much flavor for any semblance of alcohol.

A full flavored brew with great balance and taste. I bought a single, but I'd like to get more sometime this week. Good stuff!

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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 389 ratings.
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