Review: Finestkind IPA, Smuttynose

Finestkind IPA
Smuttynose Brewing Co. — Portsmouth, NH

  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Bitterness:  73 IBU
  • ABV:  6.98%
  • Malts:  Two-row, Pale Ale, C-60
  • Hops:  Magnum, Simcoe, Santiam, Centennial
  • Dry Hops:  Amarillo
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle (Full Disclosure: sample provided by brewery)

Description:  "You could say, then, that Smuttynose IPA is a physical salute to the glory of the American hop grower.  The citrusy hop flower comes from a mixture of Simcoe and Santiam and is pleasantly balanced by a smooth bitterness from the Magnum hops.  The beer itself is light bodied and crisp with a golden color that will throw a slight haze, as we bottle it unfiltered.  At 73 IBUs, this is definitely not a training-wheels IPA, but is meant for hop lovers looking to satisfy their craving in a way that's not easy to find.  We think they'll be quite pleased." — Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  This is part of my Ode to IPA Day series.  Smuttynose beers are not available in the Northwest.  In addition to this IPA I'm now tasting, I recently sampled Smuttynose's Big A IPA, an Imperial.

The tasting:  Gold in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipated slowly.  I noticed some particles of sediment floating in suspension.  Aroma of caramel malt, grassy hops, light floral hops, and some honey sweetness.  In addition to being dry hopped, four hop varieties were used in this beer.  So I was surprised by the subtle hop aromas.  While light in aroma, the hops were not denied in flavor.  Grapefruit hop bitterness dominates, but there are also light notes of piney and grassy hops.  Underneath is a malt base of caramel and bread that provides a light sweetness.  Finestkind IPA is light to medium bodied and has moderate carbonation. It finishes dry with long lingering grapefruit hop bitterness.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   Although weak in hop aroma, Finestkind has strong, but not overwhelming, hop flavors.  I've grown tired of hop bombs and I appreciated this beer's balance.   This is the third Smuttynose beer I've tasted, and I have enjoyed each.  If you live in Illinois, Ohio, or the East Coast, this is a beer you should consider.  

Have you tried Finestkind IPA or any other Smuttynose brews?

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  1. I live in southern Ohio & found Smutty Nose on tap at a local bar... I absolutely love Fastestkind IPA. It has a nice hop backbone but its not as in your face as some other IPA verities I’ve tried. I would recommend giving Fastestkind a try, I do my best to keep a few bottles on hand anymore.

  2. finestkind there Andrew.. Smuttynose, like the island


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