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Beer #54 – February 23, 2010: Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA

February 23, 2010

Beer: Smuttynose “Finest Kind” IPA

Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Style: IPA (India Pale Ale)

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Price: $8.99 / 6-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Glass mug

Strength: 6.9 % ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Overall, a very dry and bitter rendition of the IPA style… which can be a good thing, but means it might not appeal to the masses.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a very hazy, orange-amber hue with bubbles rising in the glass, and a big, white head that clings to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Herbal, orange blossom, with a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than a lager, but not quite a syrupy thick as other IPAs.

Taste: An initial orange and mild sweetness, quickly turning into an earthy middle of chewy malt, black tea, oak and cracked pepper.  This builds into a deep bitterness, tree bark, the white flesh of a grapefruit, all finishing with a lingering dryness.

Pairing: I’d love to try this with a coconut curry… the hops and spice melding, with the creaminess of the curry contrasting the dryness of the beer.

Trivia: Who are those two guys on the label?  They remind me of “Bartles & James”.  If anyone knows the story behind these fellows, please let me know.

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