I’ve come to enjoy Smuttynose beers over the years, and don’t really have a problem trying something new from them. Its usually a safe bet that whatever beer it is, its going to be at the minimum – decent.
That said, I still have to make an effort to actually notice Smuttynose beers on the shelves as their labels are more like graphic camouflage to me. Of course the trend for craft beer is to have outrageous and often stupid-looking labels to garner attention.
Oddly enough, the weird, almost quaint photographs and plain fonts on the Smuttynose labels do well to set them apart. Still, I always seem to walk by them in the store.
Well, enough about that.
I grabbed the Smuttynose Summer Weizen because as I mentioned, there’s a good chance I’ll like the beer, even though I’ve never tried it before. In addition, I noticed an little twist to this beer on the label. ‘Brewed with camomile flowers’? Isn’t that the stuff people drink in tea to calm their stressed-out selves down? Ok, I’m up for that.
Strangely, the Smuttynose website doesn’t mention the hippy flowers in the beer…“Light, tasty & full of character, our summer wheat ale is brewed with a combination of domestic and continental wheat and barley malts, lightly hopped & fermented with a Belgian wit yeast, resulting in a delightfully tangy & refreshing flavor.”
Sounds good, right?
For what its worth, here’s what I thought of this 5.5% ABV brew from New Hampshire!
Smuttynose Summer Weizen looks appropriately refreshing in my glass – a mostly clear, straw-colored beer with a very stable, very foamy head.
The aroma was very subtle, so much so that nothing really impressed me about it. I mean it was basic. Wheat, light malt aromas and while I didn’t specifically notice any camomile, (whatever that smells like) it definitely had a slight floral thing going. Again, nothing bad but nothing special.
Taste was much the same, maybe a little grassy even. In spite of the plagiarized description by the Smuttynose people from above, I did not find the beer to be ‘delightfully tangy’ but painfully unremarkable.
So, there you have it. In retrospect, I’m really happy I only purchased a single of this beer to check out instead of a whole six pack. Its a beer style that I enjoy, especially in the Summer, but unfortunately this one from Smuttynose won’t be found in my shopping cart in the future.
Hey, they can’t all be good beers, right?
Remember, your mileage may vary. Just because I didn’t like a beer, doesn’t mean you won’t! Also, you should never listen to anything I say anyway!
Scott – TheBrewClub