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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Noonan Black IPASmuttynose Noonan Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

76 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 76
Hads: 388
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 5
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerNinja007 on 02-27-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 76 | Hads: 388
Photo of wedge
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with an impressively thick head that very slowly recedes to a sustained milky covering. Initial dark chocolate and piney hop aromas becoming more grapefruity as it warms. A whiff of fresh dark malt. Roasted malt flavor met with a wall of hoppy bitterness. The malt flavor is bittersweet and charred and the hops are hard to categorize because they blend so well with the roast. It's leafy, spicy, and piney and comes across a little aggressive overall, but I'll allow it. Smooth, creamy body and fairly astringent. Solid all around, if not particularly memorable...

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a cream colored head, Reduces to a skim, decent lace.

Dark roasted malt, coffee, and some sweet notes in the notes. Mint? Some citric notes but not real hoppy in aroma.

Charred malt, malt bitterness, hop bitterness that lingers on the palate. Coffee, bitter bread crust. Long bitter finish. I like the balance here.

Medium body, a little acidic.

Overall, very decent for the style. Drinkable and not over done.

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Photo of chinchill
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Growlers Pour House in Charlotte.

Near black, slightly dark even for style, with an above average tan head that leaves a fine coat on the glass when tilted.

Smell is more dark malt than hops, but this tastes like it should: i.e., an IPA with ample dark roasted malts. Unlike the aroma, in tasting these two ingredients mesh better, and are in better balance than in some other black IPAs.

M: slightly harsh; medium body and carbonation.

O: Aroma lacks IPA hoppiness, but the taste is true to style.

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Photo of barczar
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a thick, dense 2 inch cappuccino head that lingers, slowly dissipating and leaving sheets of lacing.

Roast malt, coffee, chocolate, and dank hops form the initial aroma. Hops are fairly subtle in comparison to the malt. Fresh cut grass emerges.

Flavor reveals more hop character than aroma. Citrusy notes of grapefruit open the profile, fading to roast malt and charred breadcrust at the finish, along with coffee bitterness. There's a bit of resin evident. But malt is definitely dominant.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth. There's a bit of astringency present.

A little too roasty for my liking. Burnt is not a flavor I enjoy. Would benefit from more base malt, less roast, and more hop character.

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Photo of alexgash
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle. Best by 9/18/13.

Root beer brown body. Mostly clear. Finger of thick, whipped, dark khaki head. Nice lacing. Pleasant mix of roast and hops on the nose. Roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Piny, herbal, slightly woody hop aromas. Nice.

Roasted malt and coffee bitterness up front. Piny hop notes increase, along with mineral water bitterness. Light chocolate and caramel notes fill in. Hop and roasted malt bitterness take over the finish. Hints of earthy tobacco and licorice. Lingering piny, herbal hop bitterness and a little chocolate malt. Medium body with a dry feel. A very nice black IPA.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very solid black IPA with mild hop flavors and more roasty malt flavors like a stout. Yet, the dryness is there, which I'd prefer to be balanced by more sweetness. If there's one weakness, its that this is just a little thin in feel and taste, but not so much that it feels watery or bland. Would I like a little more body and spiciness or chocolate/coffee? Yes. But this is satisfying anyway. I could easily drink again.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We pour a brew of impenetrable, stouty black. It puts up a hearty two and a half finger head of soapy, khaki colored bubbles, showing great retention. This is easily reproducible. Thick and chunky lacing is left around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be active. The aroma gives brightly sweet citric, grassy, and soapy hops, with additional sugars from bubblegum esters and dried apricots. The malts are a mix of pales, lightly charred coffee malts, and salted barley. Faint booze comes with warmth, as does powdered oat, vanilla extract, floral perfume, milky creaminess, and fine metallics. Our first impression is that the flavoring shows expertly roasted malts, with excellent, juicy balance from the hop camp. The taste opens with surprisingly char-roasted malts, nectarine and apricot fleshiness, orange peel zest, lactic acidity, and fresh grapefruity hops. Bittered soapy hops mix with the depth of coffee and chocolate malts, bringing us to the peak, where char, soured grain, alcohol, and soft caramel sugar sweetness come out. The finish comes with black strap molasses, licorice bite, continued coffee bean acidity, clean coffee malts, white sugar graininess, floral hops, and more juicy grapefruit. The aftertaste breathes of soured coffee char, limey citrus, earthy and soapy hops, roasty chocolate malts, fusel booze, strawberry stems, and big yeasty bite. The body is on the lighter side of medium, while carbonation is the same. Each sip gives fantastic slurp, sip, cream, pop, and froth, with chalky astringency left streaked down the palate. The abv is easy, and drinkability is high.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the feel. Each sip is delightfully slurpable, with appropriate body, soft creaminess, and nice fizziness. The coloring is also robust for the style, and the aroma gives a good deal of complexity through its fusel qualities. The flavoring remains uniform throughout, keeping things smooth, predictable, and flowing. While some may see this as a bad thing, it actually remained easy going and very drinkable. This is a serious take stylistically and certainly in line with some of Smuttynose’s top beers.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In remembrance of popular beer writer and founder of the Vermont Pub & Brewery, Greg Noonan, The respectful Smuttynose clan has put together a bold and fortified ale that bridges the worlds of Porter and Pale.

Deep, dark bark-brown hues stop shy of Stout-like appearance, but pours with a hazy texture. Building upon is a light creamy head of semi-firm foam that dissipates to a sheet to skirt the glass and leaving light lacing in its wake.

Aromas of toast, dark chocolate and dark nuts kick off the beer's character. Light roasted grain scents bring about coffee, wood, and a touch of earthen sod. Moderate citrus notes with grass provide final aromatics heading into taste.

Its hop-forward taste pronounces grapefruit peels, orange zest, and torn pine needles. Supporting malt flavors of bittersweet chocolate, heavy toast, bitter walnuts and an earthen wood, coffee and chicory character rounds out the bitter taste to finish.

Medium bodied to start, its creamy texture quickly fades into an arid dryness that's aided by alcohol warmth and resinous hops. Its dry finish is lightly roasty in aftertaste with mild grain and hop-derived astringency.

As a fan of Greg's writings, I get the sense that this is a forward-thinking ale that which he would have found great comfort.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice array of scents ranging from bitter black malts, roasted malts, and citrus hops. It's bone dry and inviting with lots of complexity. The taste is good as well. It's extremely balanced with excellent malt character and hop flavor. It's goes down silky smooth and finishes dry with a roasted/black malt feel. The hop character add a mild citrus flare and adds a mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer that's interesting and delicious.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced yo a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: roasted coffee, chocolate, pine,

Taste: Same as above with some long lingering bitterness. Pine, roasted coffee, and mocha blended well together.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, tingly bitterness, medium bodied, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid BIPA. I could definitely have another.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Modest head but it leaves a blanket of lace. Dark brown color where no light shines through.

Mild darker malt aromas. Light cocoa with some peppery hop.

Starts off watery but this quickly yields to some strong burnt malt. The aftertaste is a lens of hop and malt bitterness. The body is thin and the carbonation high, but it doesn't detract from the strong finishing flavors.

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Photo of Dope
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by 8/18/13. I believe this to be around a month old.

A: Very dark brown, almost black pour. Big fluffy light light brown head. Fades very slowly, top-notch head retention. Almost perfect wall of lacing. Great looking beer.

S: Decent roasted malt with some pine.

T: Piney hops, mild roasted malt with some char and chocolate. Pretty light but decent wave of bitterness. Very drying finish with lots of piney, resinous hops lingering.

M: Fairly light bodied, not watery or thin.

O: A pretty simple black IPA. Really nice bitterness but flavors are fairly soft, muted and simple. Pretty much expected given the ABV. Not bad though, I enjoyed it. On the bitter end of a black IPA for sure, not much roasted malt here.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a very dark, chestnut highlighted brown-to-black coloring with a frothy, filmy, clingy, light tan head that starts a solid inch, but settles quickly into a lingering surface coating. Solid cling all over the glass as you drink. Aromas of dark roast coffee on a subtle backbone with a heavy dose of floral and fruity hops. Grapefruit and mango blend for the fruity highlight, with a resiny ribbon throughout. Flavors are very bitter and in your face initially. Hop heads rejoice. Resiny and sharp on the forward tongue, with a bitter blast that dries and slightly puckers. The heavy roast and coffee characteristics creep in on the backside of the palate, but the middle of the tongue is locked in to the resiny, fresh hops characteristics completely. The coffee roast flows into the aftertaste, bringing a bit more balance than the palate had during the initial tasting. Floral highlights dance throughout, giving a lightness to the heavy bitterness your mouth is getting hit with. Dry, bitter finish that lingers for a second and then completely vanishes, leaving the palate clean and clear for another flurry of punches from this robust beer. A bit unbalanced, but a tasty brew. Definitely not for those unlearned in the ways of the hops, but as I said before, hop heads rejoice...this one certainly is!

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque black body with brown hues beneath the dark tan, billowing, fluffy head, which is very slow to dissipate leaving a dense, sticky lacing behind.

Fresh grassy and earthy or wood hops greet the nose followed by the roasted and smoky malt.

The flavor offers excellent smoked and toasted malts with hints of chocolate mid-palate and a nice hoppy biting finish that is part woody and part earthy. The flavor is very porteresque meets IPA.

Medium to fuller in body with medium carbonation featuring a semi-bitter, semi-drying finish.

Nice brew and while it may more closely resemble a porter than a Black IPA, it is just as advertised and when keeping in mind what this recipe was when originally brewed, this beer is delicious.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark muddy brown - bordering on black. Has a big frothy caramel colored head with very good retention and lacing.

Smells of roasted malt, caramel, and floral hops.

It has a thick malty mouth that is pulled away from an elusive sweet caramel into burnt bitterness. It is very crisp and refreshing and has some good complexities in the interplay of sweet and bitter, but bitter definitely dominates almost to a fault. There is some nice bitter citrus and pine, but the burnt malt bitterness overshadows the rest. A very good beer none-the-less.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BEST BY 08/18/13

A: Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges and a fingers worth of tan head

S: Nice mix of malt and hops. Get some citrus and grassiness from the hops and a light spicy breadiness from the malts. Slight roast as well

T: Follows the nose. Hop forward to start with a refreshing citrus kick and then moves into some roast and malt character. Finishes with the roastiness and a light bitterness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid black IPA with a nice mix of hops and roasted malts. Balanced, smooth, and easy to drink. A good choice for their new spring seasonal

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Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dense black color with a light tan head. No light gets through the glass. The head is big and frothy with good retention. Thick bands of lacing.

Aroma is strong, malty with some floral hops. Very nice.

Tastes more like a Porter than an IPA. Roasted malt is the primary flavor. There is some floral hops presence and a good bitter finish as well.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich. Just right. Could drink a few of these.

Overall a very solid offering in a style that varies greatly from beer to beer.

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3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$3 for a pint during happy hour
Sampled 26MAR13

[A] Arrives with a solid finger of dense foamy/fluffy head, oatmeal colored. Retention and lacing are well above average. The body is close to black.

[S] Hopping is clearly abundant. Notes fresh pine wood, sawdust and earth. Bitter chocolate and dark roast are layered into the profile nicely.

[T] Woodsy, earthy, spicy hops with more roasted malt flavor than I care for in a hoppy beer. Semi acrid.

[M] Gritty texture, fine, biting carbonation. Semi-aggressive. The body is medium. Light sweetness up front and rather dry on the finish.

[O] Either an aggressively hopped black ale or an overly roasted black IPA - neither of which suit my tastes too well but this is a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown with good clarity. The persistant head is made of mousse-like dark tan bubble. The head settles a half a finger of foam leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: A strong citrus hops aroma mixed with moderate chocolaty, dark grains aromas. The is a medium-strong herbaceous fresh hopped aroma that mixes very well with the malt and citrus. The hops have a light pineapple note to them. A light floral alcohol sweetness.

T: A strong citrus hops flavor and an agressive hops bitterness. There is a moderate amount of chocolate and coffee flavors with just a slight dark grain bitterness. The balance is pretty bitter even with the medium-low malt bitterness. The finish is off-dry and the aftertaste is of citrus hops bitterness with a bit of dark grain.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: I don't understand kids today and I still think these Black IPA are just a well hopped, unbalanced Robust Porter. That being said I like the blend of citrus and chocolate/coffee malt with the agressive hops bitterness going on here. The hops get just a tad harsh on the finish which could be reduced by the use of higher alpha hops, not that I'm complaining.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Pours black with a rich and creamy mocha head. Robust sticky lace soaps the sides of the glass. This smells of a rich blend of chocolate, caramel, coffee and ripe citrus. A floral and lightly spicy feel hangs on the edges of the nose. The taste is similar, with a robust yet smooth mix of chocolate and caramel malts, a firm leafy and spicy green bitterness and coffee flavor throughout that leaves this burnt and roasted in the finish. The feel is medium with soft creaminess that spreads out and prickles the tongue a bit. Nice smooth feel here to this. This was a really nice take on a Black IPA, with a well balanced mix of flavors and a super drinkable body. A well done tribute beer for sure.

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Photo of Brad007
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Always nice to see other NE breweries pay tribute to Greg Noonan.

Pours a dark brown/blackish tint with a huge frothy head into my glass. Very aggressive pour but looks great so far.

Balanced hop aroma that leans more on the malt than the hops. Cocoa and very slight coffee aromas as well.

Rich, almost velvety malt is complimented by coffee, cocoa and piney hops. For some reason, it reminds me of the imperial stout from Smuttynose. Not a bad thing. This isn't as hop-forward as other examples.

All of the flavors linger nicely at the back of the throat. Nothing stands out much.

An interesting tribute to Greg Noonan that if I'm correct, mimics VT Pub's own Blackwatch IPA, which is said to be the (or one of, depending on who you ask) prototype for the American Black Ale style.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle date says "drink this now you dummy, it has been on the shelf for almost a week & is probably all sorts of oxidized and light struck"

The beer pours black (more of a dull dark brown held to the light) with 1/2 an inch of a creamy looking tan head that fades quickly while lacing. The nose is that mocha milk stout-ish upfront followed by some subtle hops...hops which are present only after sniffing this brew harder than you'd have to sniff glue sticks just to get a decent buzz going. More citrusy/floral hop profile, which isn't my favorite mix for the style. Word of advice, let this guy warm a tad before drinking. The taste brings that neglected bitterness to the center stage bumpin disco on my taste buds and just as that glue buzz is fading the big carob/chocolate malt base is there to catch you. This beer works its cascade-y bitterness hard on my unsuspecting palate, front to back, working for dollars, but lacks the generally expected roast/toast/caramel sweetness component. It still drinks smooth and all harshness is derived from the hops. Good black IPA, distinct in its ability to slap your mouth in its face with hops no apologies, but I would have liked a bit more backbone.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

pumped to try this, thought it was gone but blanchards had a six pack still kicking.

A: Pours just off back, cocacola color. big sandy head, died quick, not a ton of lacing.

S: Some roasted malts and hops. A little chocolate and some grassy/citrusy hops.

T: Roasted malts up front, some bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, transitions to more of a dry bitter grassy/piney and slightly citrus/lime hop flavor. Finishes rather dry. Definitely some bitterness to this, high IBU's. some charcoal/smokiness in malt profile too.

M: Creamy/velvety mouthfeel, very smooth. Low carbonation. Would have thought higher abv based on taste.

O: Tasty, very flavorful, kinda like a super robust porter. High bitterness especially for ABV. Worthy purchase and up to the smuttynose standard. Glad I bought it, but in the future I would probably tick something else.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours dark brown. Mild light penetration. Head is a thicker hat of tan foam. Head remains cohesive and leaves mild lacing.

S-Well, its safe to say that the nose is a huge letdown. I really can't get too much of anything. I can tell that its relatively balanced between dark malt and piney hops. Aside from that, its incredibly subdued. About a 4 on my homemade intensity scale.

T-The flavor has a bit more to like. There is some respectable coffee and chocolate but also a solid amount of biting, piney hoppiness. Malt is a bit charred and the hops are a tad soapy. It grows in strength after every sip. By my last few sips I am pretty impressed with this beer's intensity (despite its lower ABV and its boring aroma).

M-Bitter; and the bitterness lasts. No booze. A bit abrasive. Drinks like it was closer to 7%.

O/D-Pretty solid, minus the nose. I may need to come back to this one to makes sure my review is applicable.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep black. Good clarity. Three fingers of rocky tan head retain extremely well. Thick, foamy collars of lacing. Looks great.

S: Citrus forward on the nose with vibrant aromas of tangerine and clementine. A little dank and earthy too. Roasted malt scents of charcoal and dry chocolate. A little woody and nutty.

T: Intense, biting hop bitterness. Grapefruit and lemon juice bitterness hold the tongue in a vice grip. Tangerine and tropical fruits abound. Pineapple juice. Malts do more than hold their own. Bitter black coffee and dark chocolate. Slight acidity. A touch metallic. Deep charcoal and roast. The finish is a deft balance of intense tropical hop bitterness and ashy dark malt.

M: Medium body. Very creamy and lush. Slight prickling carbonation. Very smooth.

O: A fitting tribute to the man who may very well have invented the style as we know it. Great balance between the hops and the roasted malts. A double-whammy of bitterness offered by each as well. An even more enticing buy at the affordable six pack price.

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Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.