Beer Notes: Smuttynose Winter and Green Flash Le Freak

Smuttynose Winter

I don’t know what took me so long to get a 6-pack of this beer but I don’t have much time to dwell on that because the spring beers are taking over the winter beers on the shelf so I have to stock up. Smuttynose Winter, from my town of Portsmouth, NH pours a dark brown with a light brown head. Look at the smiling face of the woman on the label. How can you say no? The toffee notes stuck with me from the aroma to the taste and beyond. I also smelled some nice chocolate and a little cinnamon spice which was all the more welcoming on during the snow storms we have been getting. This is a nice malty beer with tastes of rich toffee and other dark fruits. The full body on this beer really sticks with you and coats your palate and finishes dry. All in all this is the definition of a winter beer. You can get this wherever Smuttynose is sold but you have to hurry because like I said all the winter beers are soon being replaced too early.

Green Flash Le Freak

Now this was an interesting one. I am a fan of Green Flash and since some of their beers have made their way East I have been trying more from them. Their Hop Head Red won me over at the NH Brewfest and their Double Stout was pretty solid too. Le Freak is described as a Belgian IPA, which is described on the label as a mix between a Belgian Trippel and an Imperial IPA. I give them points for nailing that description. It pours a bright cloudy orange and smells like a Belgian trippel (banana/orange notes) with a little more kick of hops. At first taste its all Belgian, which reminded me of a lot of the beers I tasted at the Belgian Beer Fest in Boston, heavy on the banana. Every other sip contained less and less banana and transformed into a nice smooth Imperial IPA with a nice orange taste. As it warmed it smoothed out nicely and the hops weren’t too intense to handle. At 9.2% abv it’s not the lightest but it’s manageable. It was highly carbonated with a dry finish. If you are not a Belgian beer fan or an IPA fan I would stay away but if you are a fan of one or the other it’s worth a try. I almost gave up on it after the first taste but all in all it’s more an IPA than a Belgian Trippel. Now I have to go out and find some more Belgian IPAs. I recommend!

Two good brews for you to try. What have you been drinking lately?