Smuttynose Imperial Stout: What Happened?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by geocool, Jan 28, 2013.

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  1. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Does anyone know why this beer has not been brewed since 2010, and is not on the list for the 2013 Big Beer Series either? Will it ever be made again? What happened?
  2. SawDog505

    SawDog505 Poo-Bah (2,935) Apr 9, 2010 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    It was brewed in 2011, they did a Belgian Stout blended with part barrel aged in 2012. Yes why it isn't on the books for 2013 is a tragedy. Probably won't see it until January of 2014 :slight_frown: That was my gait way stout in 2010. I have 2010 and 2 2011 in my cellar.
    smutty33 likes this.
  3. Gosox8787

    Gosox8787 Meyvn (1,058) Jan 24, 2009 New Hampshire

    Are you sure it hasn't been brewed since 2010? A couple of reviews seem to indicate 2011 bottles and that seems more consistent with my memory of when it was last on the shelves. I noticed the listing on their website only has '08, '09 and '10 but that isn't necesaily 100% I'm sure.

    My only guess is that they didn't want to brew too many of one style (imperial stouts) and the Zinneke basically filled the quota for this year. I definitely enjoy their Imperial Stout a lot more than most of their Big Beers (including Zinneke), so it's a shame that it's not being done yet. I assume it's not retired from that it's still on their website. Also, the Big Beer Calendar for 2013 doesn't look complete yet, so maybe it might be considered for last this year.
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  4. bramsdell

    bramsdell Aspirant (278) May 27, 2011 North Carolina

    I had a 2008 of this two weeks ago. It was divine.
    smutty33 likes this.
  5. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Yeah, I was just going by that list on their website. I had a few I was aging that I drank in 2012 and have been waiting to buy more ever since.
  6. GodlessWatermelon

    GodlessWatermelon Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2012 Maryland

    I grabbed a bottle of this on a whim about 2 years ago. Never seen it since. I have a Zinneke in the collection now, but I've been holding out for the Imperial Stout since I first had it.
  7. nathanjohnson

    nathanjohnson Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2007 Vermont

    It's not terrible, so it's not made anymore. What the fuck happened over there? Who thought the sperm-ed Homunclus was a good idea? Zinneke was atrocious.
  8. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (520) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Don't forget Gravitation!

    As long as they don't mess around with Baltic Porter, by far their best beer (and I love Smutty IPA), I'll be happy.
    jaxon53 likes this.
  9. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yes, Zinneke is so bad I thought I would reply to echo this truth. Yucccchhhhh!
  10. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (627) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I have been jokingly boo-hooing for a while now about this as I remember when smutty announced the IS was going on a short hiatus.Thank goodness,I have stock piled this one.I have 09's,10's and 11's that should hold me over.:wink:

    I know this decision had to do w/making room in the production schedule,but damn it is "one" of the most popular beers they make.

    While I'm at it,I need a 2008 for a vertical!

    I sure hope the Imperial makes a return in 2014 (Hint for J.T. if he reads this.....:wink:)

    Cheers All........
    seplo likes this.
  11. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (627) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Had a 2009 a few weeks back and it was lovely.

    seplo likes this.
  12. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (473) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Homunculus was decent, but Zinneke is an abomination.
  13. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    That beer kind of died in my eyes anyway when the went from the uber hoppy model they brewed in the past to the more popular sweeter/cloying style of IS the last time they brewed it.
    jaxon53 and smutty33 like this.
  14. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Thanks for the heads up -- I've only ever had the older, hoppy ones.
  15. Errto

    Errto Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2009 Connecticut

    I feel like - in theory, anyway - it ought to be possible for an RIS to be neither cloying nor uber hoppy, but perhaps not.
    fullmetal1381 likes this.
  16. iwantmorehops

    iwantmorehops Aspirant (232) Sep 25, 2010 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I had such high hopes too, had the potential of 3 of my favorite things about beer, belgian yeast , dark malts, and bourbon barrels, but something went wrong....
    cavedave likes this.
  17. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Ugh, so tragically true, every word, horribly wrong. It concerns me that some folks at the brewery had to have tasted this and said, "Ummm, that's delicious, they are gonna love this baby."

    From my review
    "Some would argue a Belgian Wheatwine Stout BSDA is a bad idea. I would agree with them. "
  18. iwantmorehops

    iwantmorehops Aspirant (232) Sep 25, 2010 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    A very serious concern, especially for a brewery usually so consistent that I bought two bottles of Zinneke right off the batt. I'll give the second bottle a year to do something I suppose, not really even a loss if it gets worse.
    Thoroughly enjoyed a Rising Tide Polaris the other evening, so I know its not the wheat. :wink:
  19. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Stumbled upon a few bottles from 2010 about a month or so ago.
    Drank one and loved every sip.

    I have to agree, why they brewed/released Zinneke and Homunculus over the Imperial Stout is beyond me.
    At least they still brewed the Baltic Porter, which shames so many other Imperial Stouts imo.
  20. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    I'm pretty sure they made a 2011. It's very possible they avoided it in 2012 because there were so many bottles from previous vintages floating around. It's now fairly well cleared out (though I'm sure you could still find it if you look in less traveled stores), so it is a bit disappointing they won't make it in 2013.

    This is a great beer that ages very well.
  21. wd09601

    wd09601 Initiate (143) Jul 29, 2012 Maryland

    I miss the old extremely hoppy stout.
    smutty33 likes this.
  22. adowney523

    adowney523 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I liked the hoppy version a lot in the past too. I thought it was great with a year of age on it. I also miss being able to regularly find Imperial Stouts for $5/bomber. The Tap's Joshua Norton has been my substitute.
  23. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (214) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    If you're hankering for some the '08, they have consistently had it at the brewery in the retail shop/area. I can say from experience it's fantastic.
  24. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (473) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I often wonder about this. Many highly respected breweries release awful beers from time to time, and I'd love to know how it happens. The brewmaster at Smuttynose is very accomplished, so it's hard for me to believe either that his test batch of Zinneke tasted like the final product and he liked it, or he liked the test batch but didn't make the final product match it. Barrel-aging is a bit of a wild card, maybe that's where it went wrong and they decided that releasing it was a better option money-wise than dumping it, since suckers like me bought 2 right off the bat based on Smutty's reputation and the description on the bottle sounding delicious. We'll never know.
    cavedave and Dope like this.
  25. seplo

    seplo Aspirant (271) Sep 8, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    One of my favorite Imperial Stouts and it a damn shame it wasnt brewed this yr. Had the Zinekke and i had it when it was a short batch and even though its good its no Imperial Stout.I pray to God that its brewed in 2014. Well i guess Baltic Porter will have to hold me over:wink:...CHEERS
    smutty33 and jaxon53 like this.
  26. DrDemento456

    DrDemento456 Poo-Bah (3,414) May 15, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Homunclus was good but fully agree on Zinneke. What a waste of bourbon or stout base.
    cavedave likes this.
  27. InfinityonTrial

    InfinityonTrial Initiate (77) Mar 31, 2012 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    There must have been a pretty big bottle variation because I thought Zinneke was pretty decent.
  28. Dope

    Dope Poo-Bah (2,384) Oct 5, 2010 Massachusetts

    I have a bit of a jaded opinion on this one. I feel these sorts of things go one of two ways:

    1) Brewer makes test batch(es) and likes them. They do a big batch and it comes out "meh" or "so-so". They release it anyway to recoup costs of all of the materials and brewing time and in this case, the (partial) use of bourbon barrels. Who wants to dump what could presumably be a huge batch of beer just because it's possibly middling? That would be a big loss for the brewery and would demotivate lots of brewers from trying new things.

    2) Brewer makes a unique beer that some people like and some people don't. They release it on the premise that they want to make something different and experimental and after all - who knows how it will be received by the public? Example: 90% of DFH beers. Even consistently awesome breweries do this stuff. See Stone Belgo-Anise IRS. It probably came out exactly how they wanted, don't you think? They just wanted to do something different and unique.

    Just my opinion. I highly doubt someone at Smutty tasted a beer like Zinneke and said "Kate the who? This is the best stout evar!"

    cavedave likes this.
  29. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    I think a lot of craft brewers don't have market testing and focus groups, they make something they like and hope others will like it too. Oftentimes their instincts are correct, sometimes they aren't.
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