Archive for the ‘Smuttynose Brewing Company’ Category

We’re back to another beer that Val picked out, so I waited for a night where we could both sample it. She wasn’t a huge fan, and as for me? Well, read on…

rockyroad

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Remember when you were first introduced to Rocky Road ice cream? Remember how you couldn’t believe some magical genius had mixed those amazing flavors into one ice cream? We sure do. That’s the feeling we’ve recreated with Rocky Road, Smutty’s first dessert stout. An indulgent blend of ooey-gooey Fluff™ amazingness and the rich goodness of cacao nibs are blended into a full bodied sweet, stout beer. Before bottling, we age this elixir on amaretto soaked oak chips to impart an amazing flavor harmony. Don’t worry if you spill a drop of Rocky Road – we know you’ll lick it right up. Cheers!”

Random: I want to get my hands on Off Color Dino Smores and compare this to it.

The beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It went away quickly, and left no lacing on the glass. The body was an inky black color with no carbonation visible. The nose had milk chocolate up front and quickly went into coffee and smoke. I didn’t get any marshmallow on the nose. The taste had a lot more roastiness and smoke than I expected. It was quite bitter and was lacking the sweetness that I wanted. There wasn’t any lactose in the taste to speak of. Espresso was there as well with vanilla. What was lacking here was the marshmallow and the milk chocolate sweetness from the nose. It had a medium thick body with just enough carbonation. A bomber was $7.99, which came to $.36 per ounce. The finish was quick with coffee and vanilla. To me, this was incorrectly advertised. I wanted a stout with a significant marshmallow note, and this just didn’t deliver.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Since we went to Smuttynose last year, I feel like I’m seeing their Smuttlabs beers pop up everywhere. This is the latest one that I’ve found.

chestnutsaison

ABV: 8.7%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Chestnut trees are of moderate growth rate (for the Chinese chestnut tree) to fast-growing for American and European species. Their mature heights vary from the smallest species of chinkapins, often shrubby, to the giant of past American forests, C. dentata that could reach 60 m. Between these extremes are found the Japanese chestnut (C. crenata) at 10 m average; followed by the Chinese chestnut (C. mollissima) at about 15 m, then the European chestnut (C. sativa) around 30 m. The Chinese and more so the Japanese chestnuts are both often multileadered and wide-spreading, whereas European and especially American species tend to grow very erect when planted among others, with little tapering of their columnar trunks, which are firmly set and massive. When standing on their own, they spread on the sides and develop broad, rounded, dense crowns at maturity. The two latter’s foliage has striking yellow autumn colouring.”

Random: My grandmother used to make chestnuts when I was younger.

The beer poured with a small head that was less than a half a finger high. It was white and dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, tan color with moderate carbonation. The nose had limited amounts of nuts, but was a basic saison base with yeast, clove, and biscuit malt. The taste was confusing to me. If you’re going to call a beer a “chestnut saison,” I would assume that chestnut would be a prevalent flavor. I had to really stretch to even imagine it. It had sweetness up front and then bready malt. There was some sugar to it with apricot and the booze was noticeable. Right at the end of the sip, I got a touch of metal. Spice came through as the beer warmed with clove. The body was on the thicker side and the carbonation was light. It had a quick finish with the metal note and clove. A bottle of this was $8.99, which came to $.53 per ounce. This beer was a miss for me. It needed to tone the booze heat down and actually have chestnut.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

When Val and I visited Smuttynose, this one the one variation in the “Short Weisse” series that I wanted to have, but couldn’t manage to get my hands on. I found it in New York and brought the bottle home to review.

smokedpeachshortweisse

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Berliner-style wheat ale with peaches and smoked malt.”

Random: Grilled peaches are one of my favorite things to have at the end of the summer.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow color with light carbonation. The nose was filled with over-ripe peaches, very light smoke and white vinegar. Lemon pith came through as well, but this is the first beer I’ve had in the series that had a remarkable vinegar note. The taste started with mesquite smoke. It quickly transitioned into authentic peach notes, but they were much more tart than the nose. It also had an apricot note, which was to be expected since most breweries use apricot to enhance peach flavors in beer. It also had lemon juice and was moderately sour, but wasn’t overwhelming. After a few sips, I picked up some lactobacillus notes that gave the beer some depth. The body was thick for the style with high carbonation. There was a note of alcohol too, which given how high the ABV was for the style, wasn’t surprising. The finish was long with smoke and fuzzy peach skin. I bought this one for $6.99 ($.41 per ounce). I found this beer to be really unique, but my biggest problem with it was that each flavor was disjointed from the previous one, making the beer a bit muddled for me. I thought that I was going to love this beer, given my affinity for peaches, but it was just mediocre.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Apparently this beer is no longer just released at the brewery. I’m not sure if this was a change just for this year, or they will be distributing it going forward.

smistletoe

ABV: 8.5%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website. “Ridiculously complex ribbons, flashy wrapping paper and scenic gift bags are some of the best parts about Christmas presents, but nothing is more of a let down than when the actual gift doesn’t live up to the promise of its presentation. This Christmas, why not offer a delicious New Hampshire-brewed gift that does both? Smuttynose Smistletoe is the inaugural Christmas beer from the Granite State’s leading craft brewer. Available in two different 750ml screen-printed bottles (ceramic or champagne-style) which is a radical departure from our signature photograph-centric label design. Like the entire output of Santa’s workshop, each bottle has been lovingly filled by hand. The beer itself is a festive take on Bière de Garde, a more robust variant of the farmhouse ale family tree; brewed with sweet cherries, black currants and plums then aged on lightly toasted American oak. But act fast, because even jolly ole St. Nick won’t be able to deliver this beer to your house as it’s far too limited (and he can’t fly with alcohol on the sleigh). The special edition ceramic bottle will only for sale at our brewery at Towle Farm in Hampton, NH. But don’t worry – we don’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice, as long as you’re over 21. Join us in celebrating Christmas the Smuttynose way and if you play your cards right, you might just get a holiday kiss under your Smistletoe… Merry Christmas!”

Random: The bottle is really cool. It stood out on the shelves.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass, but a slight crown. The body was hazy and a bright ruby color. There was light carbonation visible. The nose had tart berries and currants. It also had vanilla and toasted oak. The taste had some spice, specifically clove and nutmeg. Then, berries came through. Specifically, I picked up sour cherries and raspberries. It also had some oak and vanilla. The body was on the light side. It had high carbonation. The booze was very well-hidden. The finish was lengthy and filled with tart berries. A bomber of this set me back $11.99, which came to $.55 per ounce. This was a nice beer, but could have used a bit more balance and had too many flavors going on.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

This was a beer that my parents brought me back after an antiquing trip in Massachusetts. For awhile, the Smuttlabs series was difficult to get in New Jersey (at least where I live). When they told me that this was on the shelf at a beer store they were at, I was interested to give it a try. I hadn’t heard any feedback, good or bad, about it, nor was it available at the brewery when I was there.

blueberryshortweisse

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Trivia: This was released in April of 2015.

Random: This is another brewery that doesn’t list much information, at least for their Smuttlabs series.

This beer poured with less than half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light purple color with no visible carbonation. The nose had some blueberry with very little tartness. I kept sniffing the beer, trying to pick up something else, and I really couldn’t find much. The taste had lemon zest and blueberry tartness. After a few sips, I got some white grapes too. The body was light with very high carbonation that was seltzer-like. It had a quick finish with the same lemon and blueberry notes. This was $6.99 for a bottle, which came to $.58 per ounce. This was a bit more expensive than the cherry version and in a corked and caged format. Price aside, I wasn’t a big fan of this beer. I wish that the tartness as well as the blueberry notes were more intense on this beer. In all fairness, I waited a while to drink this, so some of the flavors may have dropped off. I’m willing to give it another try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

I first tried this beer on tap at the brewery and brought a bottle back to Jersey. I thought it was alright at the brewery, but didn’t have enough of it to do a formal review. The time has come.

cherryshortweisse

BV: 4.9%

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Smuttlabs crew can’t stop making Short Weisses! Next up is a Cherry version, which joins our Strawberry, Blueberry, Smoked Peach and an unfruited version. It’ll be available August 22 in the Smerch Store in 500 ml bottles and on tap at Hayseed and in the tasting room. Tastes are free and bottles are $8 each. Bottles will be distributed to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and North Carolina.”

Random: Their tasting station at the brewery was in a corner next to their fermentors. I didn’t think it was the best place for a tasting station.

This beer poured with less than a finger of off white head. It dissipated instantly and there wasn’t even a hint of it by the time I took the picture. The body was a clear, pink color with high carbonation visible. The nose had some tart cherry notes with lemon zest and wheat along for the ride. The taste was tart, although not intensely so with notes cherries and lemon flesh. The wheat wasn’t apparent on the taste. There was light funk on it, which would make it a nice beer for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with the style. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a long and tart finish with cherries. The bottle was $8, which made this beer $.47 an ounce, which is more than I would want to pay for it. This beer was good, but it didn’t knock my socks off. It’s not worth searching out.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

It’s getting closer and closer to Christmas. I usually wait until the very last-minute to start my Christmas shopping and I wrap gifts like a blind child. It always annoys me how much time I put into wrapping gifts and how little time that it takes to unwrap them. I have an aunt whose gifts look like they were wrapped professional. I don’t have the time nor the desire to do that, but I do give her a lot of credit. My parents and sister usually coordinate wrapping paper to the person that the gift belongs to, which I have tried on occasion, but then I still end up getting tags to put on the gifts. Now that you’ve heard all about my aversion to gift wrapping, it’s time to talk about beer.

kungfuhobo

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: The website calls this beer a “track-side kolsch” and says that it is best with beans.

Random: This was another beer that I picked up in Maine.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. If left a very modest crown on top of the clear, straw yellow body. Light carbonation was present. The nose was very subtle with hay and grain. There was a vegetal hop note as well. The taste had a herbaceous hop note with hay and cracker. It had a slight, yet pleasant bitterness. The body was medium thickness for the style with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with the same slight bitterness and hay. This tall boy was $2.25 a single ($.14 per ounce), which isn’t a bad price for the beer. I liked this beer. It had nice flavor and went down easily. It wasn’t the best that I’ve ever had, but worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0