Brad (364) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - MAY 25, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz Bottle: Couldy red/amber, perfect carbonation leads to a large fully lasting tan head. Aromas typical to IPA’s only much larger in my opinion, strong fruity and spicy hops, pine, some malts. Flavor lives up the awesome aroma, being dominated (of course) by the hops, strong and sweet, overpowers the malt only slightly. Lasting dry bitter finish. Lacing left me looking at my empty glass, beautiful. Good stuff!
lagermonkey (725) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAY 9, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From the 22oz bomber.
Pours a clear bright gold with a big lacy creamy white head. Smells of sweet hops and nothing else.
Hops taste is prominent. Very very hoppy and not much else. Can’t taste much malt here. Light bodied with a big hops bitterness. Persistent hoppy aftertaste. Bold beer, if uncomplicated. Very drinkable, especially for 8%.
This beer has but one mission: batter your palette with hops and it does it well. Would be nice if the malt stood up better but still a very tasty IPA.
jtw (1140) - farmington, Michigan, USA - MAY 8, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
big 22 oz bottle thanks to clark. tons of sediment on the bottom, but somehow pours pretty clean. exactly as you would expect a IIPA to be--strong, hoppy, citrusy and resiny/piney. some malt and alcohol but primarily hops. good stuff but really unremarkable.
Ernest (6727) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 3, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly lasting.
Body is hazy medium amber.
Aroma is moderately malty (cookie), moderately hoppy (grapefruit, resin, apricot).
Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium body, velvety texture, lively carbonation.
Nice...juicy and luscious.
MikeT (76) - Hollis, New Hampshire, USA - APR 28, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 3, 2008 Nice golden pink color with a clean white head that stood up and laced the glass down to the last sip. Pleasing aroma of hops, but not a strong scent. Wow what a great balanced taste of malt, citrus and hops that fineshes with a meium bitterness and slight alcholol. Good strong beer from a brewer that’s becoming one of my favorites.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 28, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured a beautiful, cloudy yet glowing orangish brown. Nice frothy head about 3/4" tall. Scattered lace, like mountain peaks. Aroma is grapefruit, floral hops, honey and sweet potato pie: altogether, nearly flawless. Flavor is sweet and hoppy, fulfilling all of the aroma indications. Creamy and full-bodied. Smuttynose could put on a clinic with the way they nailed the carbonation levels and hops-to-malts marriage. Finish is dry and bitter / sweet. There’s a little burn on the throat. I want more more more. HUGE thanks to tpkenned for sending Big A my way!
dberger624 (1028) - Phila, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 22, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at O’Flaherty’s in Bristol, Pa. Nice floral aroma. Good hop bite. Finished on the dry side.
MarkBarnes (390) - Waterville, New York, USA - APR 18, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2005 Sampled 04/18/05 in a chilled 22 oz. "bomber." This brew is amber/cidery in color, and has a decent head with ample lacing. Raising the glass to the light reveals its particulates suspended and oddly inert, like stars in the heavens.
This is only my second experience with both an Imperial IPA (the other being Stone Ruination), and with an offering from this brewery (Smuttynose IPA being one of my favorite brews). My first thought is that they don’t call this a "big" beer for nothing (i.e., If you can only have "one," this wouldn’t be a bad one to have).
As a "session" man, I found it to be a challenging drink. (And, I feel as though the higher-alcohol % brews tend to be unduly favored in the ratings here.) My only negative thought was that the mouthfeel was a bit too "slick," but perhaps that’s a trait of the style?
I do, however, appreciate the "bigness" and quality of this brew; and I look forward to sampling more of the products of this New Hampshire brewery.
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 17, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bottle: Hazed gold! with a beautiful fluffy, off white head. Sweet piney grapefruit aroma with strawberries and a tad bit of pepper. Thick lace coats the glass…strong sappy bitterness n the lightly grainy, but soft palate. Finish is strongly bitter with light alcohol and pine needles; a bit one dimensional, but tasty and great with this spicy Indian food.
Probiere (992) - Iowa, USA - APR 3, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I really, really like this brewery. Everything they do, they do with lots of malt. Yet once again, I wonder what is the difference between this and Bigfoot? Highly hopped, nicely malty, 9% beers. Hmmm, oh well. This was probably not as hoppy as a true-hop head would like, but I found it very well balanced, with loads of fruit malt meshing with piney/citrus hops in the aroma. The mouthfeel was full without being sticky. Sloshing it around in your mouth, a lot of pure caramel goodness seeped out. Finish bitter with slight alcoholic aftertaste. Another winner from Smuttynose. Note: rate of 2004 version, which many have noted is better than the 2003