Saturday, December 18, 2010

441. Smuttynose S’muttonator

More from Smuttynose’s Big Beer Series. And sorry, no rhymes for this dopplebock. You’ll live. Smuttynose continues to mock me with their Big Beer Series Subscription possibilities. Damn you, Smuttynose, for being so tasty. Just remember: if you make an exception for me about that whole “no shipping” rule, no one besides you and me will ever ever need to know. Well, besides Elli—I mean, I would have to explain why beer was showing up in the mail. But she already thinks I am magical, so that really wouldn’t count anyway. Our previous slavish devotion to the beers of Smuttynose include Big A IPA, Old Brown Dog Ale, Baltic Porter, Imperial Stout, Shoals Pale Ale, Finestkind IPA and Farmhouse Ale. That Baltic Porter vertical I’m secretly compiling is gonna be the bee’s knees.

S’muttonator is a lightly hazy rich caramel toffee and has an ivory head that starts strong but quickly reduces to a ring with a small island. There is still decent carbonation action after the head dissipates—the color helps foreground the small tight white bubbles adding to the edges of the ring around the glass. In addition, there are orange and ruby highlights that accentuate the rich caramel color. The nose starts with a creamy caramel maltiness, followed by toasty, melanoidin, and raisin aromas; the dark fruit and raisin mix well with the toasty caramel malt—the nose is especially well balanced. Rich malt and caramel are the initial flavors at the front of the beer, with the dark fruit flavor—mainly raisin, plum, and fig—coming out in the middle. There is a light creaminess in the turn to the finish, and a return of malt sweetness along with some alcohol warmth that lingers past the clean finish. S’muttonator has a medium to heavy body with even, smooth mouthfeel; the beer is lightly chewy along with the warmth provided by the alcohol, and the lightly creamy carbonation helps round the beer as a whole. Melanoidin flavors increase with warmth, and a light, almost cocoa-like flavor lingers with the alcohol on the back of the throat. An enjoyable and well-crafted beer; I might age it a bit longer to allow the alcohol flavors to tone themselves down just a touch in the finish, but I did like the balance between malt and fruit in this beer, which was yummy. And yes, that is one of the descriptors that the next revision of the BJCP will be adding to good ol’ category 5C: yumminess. Remember, you heard it here first.

From the bottle: “S’muttonator is a tasty mixture of German ingredients & good ol’ fashioned New England tenaciousness. Our brewers take 30 hours to brew a single batch of this traditional Double Bock. Take your time & enjoy its rich malty & deceptively smooth flavor.”

From the Smuttynose website: “As the name implies, a doppelbock (double bock) is a very malty German lager beer. Typically quite sweet with some roasted malt undertones, doppelbocks range in color from deep amber to nearly black and are normally associated with the winter season. Traditionally, German brewers have used the suffix ‘-ator’ in naming their doppelbock beers; we have, too.”

ABV: 9.5%

Bee’s knees? Puh-lease.


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