Style: Grisette/Table Beer/American Farmhouse Pale Ale
Bottled on: 11/4/14
From: Hampton, NH
Brewery’s Note: NA… You guys should really start providing little blurbs about these.
The beer pours from the bottle the color of a lightly dehydrated man’s piss, and sits in the glass as a similar, oranging yellow color. A small head of eggshell-white bubbles forms above the glass and then quickly fizzles away, leaving some strands of dry lacing on the glass. Smuttlabs’ beers have all seemed to lack head retention with me, which admittedly could be my terrible glassware, but it’s interesting to note. The body of the beer is cloudy, and near opaque, though some shadows do escape through from the other side of the glass. There seems to be a lot of tiny particulate floating around, which is exactly as a farmhouse ale should look. On the nose, the beer smells initially yeasty, like a good sourdough starter. Hints of lemongrass, and lemon juice work their way into the scent, and there is a mint scent hiding beneath the rest of the aromas, which must be the hops. A ghost of bubblegum esters also dances on the nostrils, but are soft and blend with the other scents, making them much more appetizing than the ‘bubblegum saisons’ on the market, which I tend not to enjoy. The aroma is soft and subtle, as should be expected from a beer of this size. It is also crisp and bright, which speaks of a refreshing beverage to sip. On the tongue, the beer tastes herbal bitter with a balancing bready/yeasty sweetness throughout the sip. Light citric acidity brightens the mouth from the initial sip, and slowly peters away as the beer closes with a nice herbal, spicy bitterness. Sight salinity and a definite mineral character also tango on the senses towards the finish, providing extra layers of subtle complexity. In flavor, the beer begins with herbal lemon grass and hay, blending slowly with yeasty sourdough bread, very faint fruity esters, and then finishing with a beautiful wash of mineral water, saline solution, mint, and lemon. The aftertaste is of grass, mint, and faint yeasty bread. In the mouth, the beer feels thin bodied, with a light effervescence, but a below average carbonation. The beer feels clean and crisp, but could use a tad more bubbles scrubbing the tongue. When the beer leaves, the tongue feels slightly damp with spittle, while the sides of the mouth feel bright and clean from the refreshing character that the beer instils. Overall, I really like this beer. Rumor is, this will become one of the staples of the slowly growing Smuttlabs line-up, and it is an excellent beer to have as the Smuttlabs house beer. Clean, simple, light funk, nice brightness. This is what a table beer should be. I do want the carb just a tad higher to help keep the beer as light as it is, but really I just want this beer in a twelve-pack on warm spring day… Is it too early to be thinking of warm spring days? This beer is good.