Style: American/Hoppy Hefeweizen
Malts: North American 2-Row, Wheat Malt, Munich 10L
Hops: Bittering- Magnum, Flavoring- Sterling, Dry Hop- Crystal
From: Hampton, NH
Brewery’s Note: “Schmutzig is a Bavarian IPA that showcases the interplay between hefeweizen yeast and Sterling and Crystal hops. It’s hoppy like an IPA, but firmly grounded in Bavaria, thanks to its hefeweizen roots.”
First and foremost, I would like to say that I love the new direction that Smutty is going with the Smuttlabs labels. The background textures, and the ladybug are beautiful, simplistic touches that allow for variation on the plain Smuttlabs label. I also think the diagonal, crooked, labeling job is a lovely touch… Especially since a really handsome man hand-labeled all 1,527 bottles… (Not sure if I will be invited back to label more of the beer.)
Schmutzig pours a beautiful, sunburst orange with golden highlights. It forms a head of rocky, eggshell white bubbles with a bit lackluster retention for the hefe style, but the beer still looks gorgeous in the glass, and does retain a good ring of bubbles. In body, the beer is a proper cloudy haze with enough translucence to show shadows from the other side of the glass, but nothing else. On the nose, the beer is expressive of orange juice pith, subtle lemon, clove, and banana smoothie. As you shove your nose into the beer and start to deconstruct it, more of the hop character comes through, suggesting subtle citrus and herbal grass. On the tongue, the beer tastes citrus sweet with good touches of wheat bread as well. The sweetness is balanced by a nice touch of acidity, and a lovely, balanced, and subtle hop bitterness that keeps the beer bright on the palate. In flavor, this beer tastes like pithy orange juice and citrus rind, with a finish of subtler creamy banana and clove spice. Herbal hop bitters enter into the middle of the sips flavors, but could easily be confused beneath the bright citrus juice. This beer is perfect for breakfast. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a sharper, effervescent carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy as a hefeweizen often is, but the effervescence and prickly carb give the beer a bit of a crisper feel, making it far more akin to orange juice in my mouth… Maybe I am just thinking of orange juice too much as I drink this beer. When the beer leaves, the tongue is left feeling a little assaulted from the carb’s scrub, but not in a way that does not invite further sips. The mouth is left fairly neutral overall, with some saliva pooling in the lower jaw line. Overall, I’m biased but I really like this beer. It took a while to grow on me, and I really hope it is given the chance to reach a large distribution rate. This is a beer I would love a six-pack of. This is also a perfect beer to pair with brunch, bacon, and anything you would normally drink orange juice with. It definitely displays hop bitters, but it is restrained and subtle, which meshes perfectly with the hefeweizen character and allows this beer to be very refreshing, and delicious. Another swell beer from the Smuttlab.
Availability: (I’m going to try and start adding this in to the reviews) Limited. Bottles only in Hampton, NH at the brewery. Kegs to select better beer bars within Smuttynose’s distribution pattern (mostly North East)