4AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I’m a big fan of the India Pale Ale style of beers. I think the appeal lies in its paradox taste in that it’s sweet and yet very bitter at the same time. This is true of Smuttynose India Pale Ale, a beer that tastes more like a Belgian White with an extremely hoppy side than a traditional IPA.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
Smuttynose IPA pours to a bright orange color and forms a large, bright white, foamy head. Now, I have seen beers with hazy or pulpy complexions before, but never both at once. Usually, hefeweizens are known for their freshly-squeezed orange juice-like body, but this beer goes a step beyond with particles that float in the middle of the glass and never sink to the bottom. How cool is that?
The aroma is very citrusy with notes of grapefruit, lemon and orange. The beer seems like a breakfast juice cocktail which made me wonder if it would taste sweet and bitter or just plain sour.
With a strong citrusy taste and a bitter finish, Smuttynose IPA is a very flavorful beer. Much like the aroma, the taste is a mixture of citrusy flavors, with grapefruit being the most predominant. Usually, grapefruit is an extremely tart taste, but it’s balanced out well here with the strong hop side.
This beer rates at 65 on the IBU scale and it’s very apparent upon the first taste. The label says it’s dry-hopped and that certainly is an accurate statement. The taste here is a good mix of citrus and hops to give it a sour, lemonade-like, lip-smacking taste.
Normally, when I describe a beer’s finish I usually talk along the lines of smooth or harsh, but this beer doesn’t really fall into either category. The finish is much more dry than anything else, although I’d say it’s fairly smooth for an experienced IPA drinker. Those not accustomed to the style might find the flavor too strong and the finish harsh.
Since this is a good example of a craft beer, it’s probably at least medium in body, right? I’d say Smuttynose IPA fits that role exactly since it is 6.6% ABV and probably has at least 200 calories. I drank two after dinner I wasn’t overwhelmed, but I could definitely feel the effects of each beer as I drank them. It makes a good alternative to dessert, although I wonder if the beer really needed to be quite so heavy in body.
As an appreciator of beer I’m always looking to try new styles, so Smuttynose India Pale Ale was a pleasant surprise to me. I haven’t encountered an IPA with such a citrusy taste before, so at least I can’t accuse it of being unoriginal. It might be a little dry and heavy, but the good taste made it absolutely worth drinking.