Smuttlabs Shebang (Smuttynose Brewing Company)

Style: Double India Pale Ale/Triple India Pale Ale

10.5% ABV

From: Hampton, NH

Brewery’s Note: “Shebang (triple IPA, 10.5%) goes further than Big A; featuring a lupulin cornucopia! Bravo and Zeus were used in the boil additions, while dry hopping is a blend of Summit, Pacific Gem and Falconer’s Flight.  For perspective, Shebang uses about 6 pounds of hops per barrel, while Finestkind is brewed with just over 1 pound per barrel.”

The beer pours a dark, caramelized amber, with a small head of off-white bubbles. The head leaves a tiny archipelago of thin lacing patches across the glass when it is splashed, along with a very thin set of legs. In body, the beer is a dark amber haze, but does let shadows move through from the other side of the glass. Outside of the haze, it seems clean of particles. On the nose, the beer smells of spicy pine, hot booze, and sticky caramel malts. There is a subtle hints of potpourri that mingles with the pine and caramel to give the beer a nice perfumed scent. The smell reminds me a lot of an “old-school DIPA,” but adds the bizarre potpourri nuance to the beer that I can’t decide if I like or not. On the tongue, the beer tastes caramelly sweet, which slowly warms with alcohol, this slowly divulges into stale malt sweetness, and then bristling piney bitters with a touch of acidity and an earthy funk. In flavor, it’s all sticky caramel pudding and bread in the beginning. This is quickly spiced with booze, and then blanketed in sticky pine resin with a big ol’bag of weed in the finish that is dank and earthy. Medicinal bitters enter in the middle of the sip as the beer warms, but the finish and aftertaste are still dominated by a deep, dank weed character that is not displeasing. The aftertaste is of weed and pine resin. In the mouth, the beer feels medium+ in body, with a slight chewiness and a suggestion of weight in the finish. Carbonation is on the softer end, giving the beer a smooth, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. When the beer leaves, the tongue is left sticky with resin, while spittle pools beneath the tongue, and the teeth feel sticky and tingly. Overall, this is a big ol’ dank hoppy beer. The caramel malt gives a nice balance to the sticky caramel malt, making this an old-school hop-bomb along the herbal/earthy/pine-resin lines. As long as you are not looking for juicy, citric hops, then this beer should appease any hop head, while providing a hefty boozy kick. Admittedly, this is not my favorite style, as I prefer my hoppy beers nimble and bright, but I like this none-the-less, and I would never turn down a glass.

 

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