Tag Archive: Smuttynose

Smuttynose: Murrikan Mild (USA: Mild: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold. Thin white bubbled head.

Nose: Stewed banana and pineapple. Tangerine. Light hops.

Body: Slightly thin front. Tangerine and then sour grape sharpness. Slight peach syrup. Mainly white grapes. Maybe cooking apples.

Finish: White grapes. Light hop feel. Little to no bitterness. Apple.

Conclusion: Ok, aren’t milds usually dark? Like brown to black dark? Bah, next you will be telling me there is such a thing as a black IPA or some madness like that.

This beer seems unfortunately to not only be mild but also slightly thin with an almost watery character at times. A pity as the slightly sour grapes and tangerine character is pretty appealing, just oft lost to obscurity.

Indistinct and thus slightly forgettable. A great pity as smuttynose usually turn out a good mix.  Then again, mild is a surprisingly hard style to do well, doubly so it seems when you flaunt all the prior expectations of how to do the style.

It keeps just enough flavour to not be awful, but doesn’t qualify as good. Ah well.

Background:  A Smuttynose beer brewed just for a UK beer festival. Woo. I would say in your face America, apart from the fact it isn’t very good. Which kind of ruins my gloating. Damnit. Well I may have put USA as the place of origin as that is Smuttynoses home turf, but it seems this beer was actually brewed in the UK, at the Wadworth brewery. Now I had to double check the beer style, as I was convinced it would turn out not to be a mild after all. However general opinion is, despite its light colour, that it is a mild. Go figure. Smuttynose impressed me with their Big A IPA so when I heard they were doing a beer for Weatherspoons beer festival I thought I would check it out. Now I respect Weatherspoons for bringing a reasonable range of ales and bottled beers to a wide audience for a cheap price. I just usually don’t like going there. The atmosphere just isn’t my scene. However they do get some good beers in so I do keep an eye on the place.

Smuttynose: Big A IPA (USA: IIPA: 9.2% ABV)

Visual: Hazy, slightly bitty golden amber with a large off white bubbled head.

Nose: Hops, sweet, orange and grapefruit with some passion fruit thrown in, Fudge and lots of wheat, fantastically rich and slightly bready.

Body: Lots of grapefruit and hops, caramel and toffee, Smooth behind the main hop punch. Treacle, custard cream centres then even more hops and some vanilla.

Finish: Hops and bitterness, really bitter. Bitter chocolate, orange and then grapefruit yet again.

Conclusion: A powerful well hopped IPA with the unique selling point being the odd and enticing toffee and fudge lacing through the nose and body that is otherwise a hop assault, confusing your expectations and whetting anticipation.

The bottle version tasted here doesn’t have quite as distinct contrast at the tap version, a pity as the tap version benefits massively from the more polarised contrast. The bottle version still has it to some degree though, but takes longer for it to hit, with the sweetness breaking out half way through the bottle as you get used to the hops. It makes for nice mid point surprise rather than the up front tantalising of expectations of the tap.

Either way this is a recommended IPA experience for something a tad different.

Thanks to Chris Murphy for introducing this to me on tap at the beer festival, otherwise I would have missed this gem.

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