Smuttynose Brewing Co – S’Muttonator Doppelbock

Smuttynose is one of those companies I have actually begun coming back to time and time again.  Some people refer to these types of breweries as go-to breweries.  For me it is slightly more dependent on the style of beer we’re talking about, but I will always seem to grab a new beer from a few different of my favorite companies.  I like to look at the things coming out of Dogfish, Founders, Bells, and a few others.  I didn’t really consider Smuttynose to be a go-to brewery right away; however, I do tend to buy quite a few different beers that come out of Smutty.  Smuttynose and I got off to a slightly rough start.  I did a review of their Maibock and really wasn’t a huge fan of it.  Of course, I seem to have experienced something a lot different from everyone else who has consumed the beer, but I have enjoyed nearly every other beer I have purchased from them since then.  I actually really loved their robust porter and had to fight to the urge to buy their Baltic porter.

Doppelbock isn’t exactly a style of beer I seek out a whole lot, but I do definitely enjoy it.  I’ve had a few that I consider pretty good before.  I really enjoyed the Ayinger Celebrator, Troegs Troegenator, and Spaten Optimator.  Doppelbock, or Double Bock, is a stronger form of the German bock beer.  Bock’s are already considered fairly strong German lagers.  Obviously anything that is considered a double of that would have to be stronger.  They are known as a very dark and full-bodied type of beer that some consider to be a meal in a glass.  Evidentially, from what my little bit of research tells me, these were considered liquid bread.  They were consumed by monks back in the day when they were fasting.  They weren’t able to eat solid food, but they could consume high calorie beer as a substitute.  I would have to question the sobriety of the monks at this time.

This beer came highly recommended by a good friend and fellow beer lover.  Therefore, despite not really searching out a lot of doppelbocks, I really had to give it a try.  Smuttynose bills this beer as a mixture of German ingredients and New England tenaciousness.  I am not entirely certain what the tenaciousness part is, but I’m excited to find out.  Having a 97 bro ratting on beer advocate definitely helps as well.

This one pours our a really dark brown with some hints of auburn in there as well.  The picture still really doesn’t show a whole lot of the auburn qualities, but trust me it’s there.  One things the picture does help with is the large amount of white head that develops on top of the beer.  It has a really nice light white fluffy quality to it.  You can really see the hazy quality to the beer for sure, but you really don’t see a whole lot of carbonation in the beer.  Agitating the beer does allow you to see the carbonation quality.  This is especially true around the edges.  There isn’t a ton of lacing around the edges, but you do get a little bit of it.

The smell definitely has the really rich sweet qualities I read about in the research.  I pull out some ample fig and raisin sweetness that comes with a deep rich dark fruit quality.  There is definitely a bready yeast scent here as well.  Combined with that yeastiness is a lot clove and spice.  I am pulling out a little light hopping that I think could be also connected to some of that yeast I’m pulling out.  Finally I get a little sugary sweetness like brown sugar and molasses.

There is a huge sweet malt character that starts off this beer.  The maltiness is characterized by a sweet dark red fruit flavoring.  There is definitely a lot of fig and dates in the flavor profile.  I get a very slight hit of hops before the really bready yeast qualities enter in.  This ample bread feel is spiced up with a lot of clove that really adds a lot of character to the beer.  As the spicy clove taste tapers off, you get a sugary sweetness like brown sugar to finish it off.  The sweetness has a really smooth and velvety quality to it, but there is still a lot of little hits of spice in there on the finish as well.

While this beer is a little heavy, it has a lot of carbonation and yeast to make it feel slightly lighter than expected.  The spice in the beer allows the very sweet malty richness of the beer to be broken up.  I really like how this beer is both smooth and spicy at the same time.  It definitely keeps your taste buds interested for sure.  The aftertaste does have a lot of booze on it, but it has a lot of smooth sugar and spice to not make you focus on it.

While I still have a lot of stouts and heavy beers to work through, I do feel like it’s getting about time to have some ample hops here.  If you’re still in the heavy beer mood, you definitely need to check this one out.  This beer has a ton of character to it, so it will keep you interested past the heavy booze quality.

Teacher Grade: A

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