When you think of New Hampshire brewers, what companies come to mind? Well of course, we have a Bud plant in Merrimack and Sam Adams is everywhere. And there are now over 60 breweries of all sizes around the state. But one of the more popular beers you’ll find on the shelves or in restaurants and bars has a friendly-faced logo on every label.
Of course, I am speaking about Smuttynose Brewing Company at 105 Towle Farm Road, in Hampton, NH. The address is important because they have finished a major renovation to their new brewing headquarters. They have free tours which is probably the most informative in the entire state. And of course at the end of the tour, you can taste their lovely creations… a lot! It is definitely worth a visit to the Towle Farm facility. You can find out more about their offerings on www.facebook.com/Smuttynose or at their website smuttynose.com
S’muttonator (Heritage Series) brings the great taste of the 22 oz bottled version of this historically great beer to 12 oz four packs. Through the years S’muttonator has had different alcohol percentages but this year, they settled at 8.5% ABV. So what is this S’muttonator you might ask? It’s style is a Double (or Doppel in German) Bock which is a stronger amber ale. Bock is German for goat or ram so the label has this image emblazoned on it. Generally speaking, a double bock has a fuller maltiness profile. The other piece you will notice is the term ‘Double Decocted’ which is a brewing process that helps to derive particular flavors out of the grains. This is why this beer is so amazing.
This beer pours a brilliant copper orange with a slight off-white head. Roasted malts and caramel grace your approach. The full mouthfeel of this malty brew really helps greet your senses on your first sip. The balance brought by just the right hop bittering against the malt profile helps to make this a very complex and enjoyable beer. With a dryer and crisper finish than you would expect, this double bock will win your praise.
With the many other offerings from Smuttynose, you will always find it at Case-n-Keg, 5 Mill St, Meredith. Most on BeerAdvocate.com have rated this beer 3.50+ to 4.5 out of a score of 5. Officially, they rate this at 90 out of 100 which a ‘Outstanding’ notation. The Bros gave it even higher marks yielding a 96 which gives it a ‘World Class’ rating. Smuttynose has a wild history of making beautiful brews and S’muttonator is added to that list in a big way!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to firstname.lastname@example.org