Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Tuesday Tasting: Smuttynose Brewing
Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample some New Hampshire ale at a spot in South Carolina.
Smuttynose Brewing has long been a favorite of mine going back to the days that I would find myself in the Portsmouth area on rare business trips to New England. It is easy to miss the fact that New Hampshire has a chunk of Atlantic coast, wedged between Boston and the land of lobster otherwise know as Maine. Portsmouth is an easy stop along the highway. Portsmouth Brewing, the first brewpub in the state, is a sister company to Smuttynose. The pub a welcoming place on cold, icy winter evenings.
The Grapevine in Baxter Village, a relatively new development in Fort Mill, S.C., hosted a tasting of six Smuttynose beers this evening. Dave & Melanie Sills run the place, which has a nice selection of wines and beers for on-premise and off-premise consumption.
The six Smuttynose ales featured included:
Shoals Pale Ale: This copper colored beer is fairly light and accessible by American pale ale standards. Hits of fruit and mellow hop notes.
Finestkind IPA: You get a good amount of direct hops in this beer. Nice aroma, slight haze to the golden color. Not a big IPA for major head, but a well built beer.
Robust Porter: Nice dark ale with ample amounts of malt. The coffee character hits in the nose and continues in the flavor profile. Nice cocoa finish.
Scotch Ale: This 8.2 percent alcohol by volume beer drinks very smoothly. There is a nice background peat character to the beer.
Really Old Brown Dog Ale: This beer has a slightly red hue and a fruity nose. It drinks much stronger than the stated 7 percent alcohol by volume. The flavor characteristics suggest aging in wine casks. Something to ponder on a cold evening.
Finestkind IPA Cask Ale: This brew came fresh from a firkin tapped at the end of the event. The beer gave off a lovely flowery hop aroma, but was very smooth and mellow. Classic English real ale qualities. Light and smooth.