Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA

Now, for a review that I know my beer buddy, iCarly has been waiting for. I got this beer in a mixed six-pack. I hadn’t heard much about this one except for a press release here and there on one of the many beer related news sites that I follow. iCarly told me basically that this beer was awful. I was skeptical, I mean, I doubted it could be that awful. So, I went into this tasting with an open mind, despite the fact that my buddy really knows her stuff.
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ABV: 5.7%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Noonan is our interpretation of a New England original, the Black IPA. Dark like a porter, but hoppy like an IPA, this seemingly contradictory beer style originated in 1994, in Burlington, Vermont by brewer Glenn Walters and under the watchful eye of Greg Noonan. Greg was many things, a brewing pioneer and author, founder of three brewpubs, 2005 Russell Scherer award winner and genealogist. When Greg passed away suddenly, Smuttynose’s brewing team wanted to brew a beer in his memory and this was the result. We hope you find it a worthy tribute as well. Noonan (the beer) looks like an ordinary porter or stout, until you get the pint up to your nose. You can’t avoid the big whiff of piney, herbal and citrusy American hops, but there’s virtually no roasted character. Ponderous, huh? When you take a sip, you’ll notice that the beer doesn’t taste a lot like a porter either. Instead of the expected astringency imparted by dark grains, you’ll find a depth of caramel malts and more American hops. Don’t worry that’s by design; it’s also what we love about the beer.”

Random: I could really go for a brew on the beach right now. I’m probably saying this because I really want to be out of work.

This brew poured with a one finger, tan-colored head that took forever to dissipate. Seriously, forever. I could have written a symphony waiting for the head to go away. Anyways, it left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown color that was almost black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was roasted malts, a touch of milk chocolate and then weirdness. The only way I could describe said weirdness was a medicinal note that was just off. Well, the taste couldn’t be that bad, right? I got roasted malts, then some grapefruit hops and then that medicinal note. The roasted malts were borderline burnt and dominated the hops in a rather unpleasant way as well. The medicinal note reminded me of liquid cough medicine that I hated as a child and remarkably, still hate as an adult. The finish was again, the unpleasantness that was present in the taste. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. As you could tell from the review, I had to side with iCarly on this one. This brew had no real redeeming qualities to it except for the fact it had alcohol in it. I would avoid this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

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