The fourth release in the Big Beer Series from New Hampshire's Smuttynose Brewing Co., Homunculus is labeled a Belgian-style golden ale. It's really more like a Belgian IPA. In fact, Homunculus -- Latin for "little human" -- was modeled after Houblon Chouffe (whose mascot is a gnome -- hence the homunculus), which some of us consider to be the greatest of all Belgian IPAs.
So Homunculus has a lot to live up to.
And live up it does. Bright golden-orange with a small head that quickly dissipates into a thin sheen, Homunculus boasts a hoppy, bready aroma that shows off its Belgian yeast and array of hops. Notes of bananas and tangerines burst forth in a taste that is more aggressive the Belgian IPAs brewed in Belgium. At the same time, the alcohol content -- 9.9 percent by volume -- is well hidden.
And, yes, that's what you think it is on the label. (Little human, indeed.) You can't accuse the folks at Smuttynose of taking themselves too seriously.