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Brew Review: Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale

2010 April 7

Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Co. Portsmouth, NH

Style: Saison

ABV: 8.8%

Served: Pint glass from 22 oz. bomber. Purchased at Bert’s Better Beers for $5.99.

Warm weather and baseball are here! Time for me to put away the chewy dark ales and pop open something a little lighter on the tongue. I love Smuttynose. It’s my desert island brewery (you know, if I had to pick one…). Their year-round brews all strongly represent their styles, but the big beer series is where they make history.

Their farmhouse ale pours a slightly hazy golden, with an EPIC 4 finger crown that shows no signs of backing off. The aroma is very fruity, tons of berries, pine, and mineral water. Spring incarnate. The first sip is an instant flashback to a tasting I had of La Fin du Monde by Unibroue, itself actually a Belgian style Tripel. Spices, banana, apples, and moderate carbonation on the tongue. Clean, tangy, and slightly malty finish.

This is a highly drinkable ale, and a wonderful addition to a warm afternoon. This style was created as an inexpensive beer by farmers along the French-Belgian border, who would brew it in the winter to have on warm summer afternoons. Smuttynose once again does not disappoint. I won’t put this in my keepers category, simply because the style isn’t hugely appealing for me. But this is a great ale, one worth trying. A-

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. simonswes permalink
    April 7, 2010

    I take it you live in New Hampshire. Is there a large craft brewing industry there? I haven’t heard of most of the breweries you’ve posted on, but some of them sound like they brew damn fine beer.

  2. April 7, 2010

    Yes indeed, southwestern NH in a little town called Peterborough. To degree, yes there is a good beer scene here, especially over by the coast. But I’d say Massachusetts is the state to live in for the love of beer (if you didn’t already live in California or Oregon).

    I’d be happy to do a swap, or send you a selection of local stuff on good faith.

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