Monday, November 8, 2010

Smuttynose Brewing Co. - IPA; Pale Ale; Big A IPA

The Smuttynose Brewing Co. is out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

IPA - 1.  Pours a very light copper in color, slightly cloudy.  The aroma is light hops with a much more intense malt background.  The flavor is more malt than hops, what hops are present are light, fruity, citrusy.  This is a few months past its best before date, which is generally not good for an IPA.  I can sense a potential in here, I think my hops have just gone past their prime in this one.  2.  Here is my second try on this beer.  I have a fresh one that was sent to me.  This pours a glowing copper in color and is cloudy, nearly translucent.  The aroma is hop forward, a bit fruity, floral, aromatic, airy, a bit of pine resin.  The malt is also noticeable in the back of the aroma, like a spicy rye.  The taste is a delicious fruity and floral hops, tropical fruit, a bit of cantaloupe, hanging perfectly on a solid yet unobtrusive malt background.  The finish is quite bitter and dry.  The freshness makes a big difference on this one.  This is really good.

Shoals Pale Ale - Pours a dark copper to amber color.  The aromas are balanced and subtle.  There is some caramel, malt, fruit and floral.  The flavor is predominantly malty but with notes of fruit and floral hops.  The finish is bitter.

Big A IPA- This beer pours a hazy, cloudy burnt orange in color.  There is a half-inch of foamy and thick off-white head.  The aroma is nasty, sweaty gym socks and vomit.  This is a beer past its prime.  The taste is much better than the aroma, but still not that good.  It is malty in a stale bread kind of way, bitter, a memory of fruit.  There is a grapefruit peel bitter astringency.  I would try this again fresh to see how it compares, but this bottle is six months old and not pleasing to me.

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