It’s been a while since we have written about our friends at Smuttynose. What better way to kick things back off then with the latest brew in the Big Beer series: Zinneke.“Zinneke” (pronounced zinn-eh-kuh) combines Belgian, American, and English influences to create a unique style stout that is perfect for the early winter days and delivering a flavorful and enjoyable beer. To make the beer Belgian it had to of course be “Belgianized.” The brewers altered the stout’s grain bill, toning back the roasted and caramel malts so the Trappist yeast can do its job, giving the beer those fruity qualities that you find in Belgians. The final part of this equation was to let the beer rest in bourbon barrels giving the stout vanilla and toasted oak notes to compliment its ingredients.

I’m sure some of you are wondering about the beer’s name. Zinneke was originally a way to describe the mongrel dogs that lived around the River Zenne during the Middle Ages. The multi-cultural residents of Belgium’s capitol city have since reappropriated the term as a tongue-in-cheek nickname for themselves.

I say it time and time again here – I am not the biggest Belgian fan, but if one of my favorite breweries is putting out something within the style I am more than likely to try it. Smuttynose has done a great job with this one delivering another flavorful and drinkable beer. If you are a Smuttynose fan you won’t want to pass this one up, check your local beer bars and bottle shops. Like all Smuttynose Big Beers this one will age nicely, so if you are tempted, grab a few extra bottles and stash them away for the future.