It has been a crazy year for Smuttynose Brewing Company. After issues with debt the brewery was put up for auction by a bank and eventually they found new ownership that was fortunately committed to keeping and growing the brand. Smuttynose is stuck in a tough spot along with many other regional brewers. These mid sized breweries get stuck between the big beer acquisitions/crafty brands and the rapid proliferation of local breweries. I think the Smuttynose brand has a lot going for it starting with a range of quality year round and seasonal releases headed by one of my ten picks for the New England Craft Beer Hall of Fame. They also have Smuttlabs, a side project that focuses on experimental beers. I’ve always liked the concept of Smuttlabs, it is important to reach the customers that want to always try new releases. Smuttlabs is back up and running under the new ownership and one of their first releases is Lady Stardust, a New England style IPA. Smuttynose Lady Stardust is available now at the brewery and out for a limited amount of distribution (thank you to the marketing department at Smuttynose for providing a sample!).
Smuttynose Lady Stardust pours hazy yellow with a small white head. The aroma features some hops, fruity and floral on the nose. The flavor is hop forward, notes of orange, papaya, pineapple and peach along with a crisp bitterness. This is balanced by some light malt, touches of cereal and crackers. Lady Stardust is light bodied and easy drinking, but packs a little punch at 6.9% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. This is an interesting take on the NEIPA style, the flavor is good and I don’t mind the lighter body, it’s a nice change of pace from the thicker turbid versions. I could have used some more aromatics, but overall I enjoyed the beer and I am glad to see new beers coming out of Smuttynose and Smuttlabs! Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
Previous Smuttynose Reviews:
Smuttynose Single Digit Dubbel, Smuttlabs Trucco, Smuttlabs Thelema, Smuttynose S’muttonator Dopplebock, Smuttynose Vunderbar Pilsner, Smuttynose Bouncyhouse IPA, Smuttynose Durty Brown Ale, Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA