1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,351 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,351
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.26%
Wants: 30
Gots: 100 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-05-1998

Our interpretation of a classic English beer style is copper-colored, medium-bodied and pleasantly hopped. Its flavor is delightfully complex: tangy fruit at the start, with an assertive hop crispness and a long malty palate that one well-known beer writer has compared to the flavor of freshly-baked bread.

52 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 1,351 | Reviews: 657
Reviews by thesyko56:
Photo of thesyko56
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark hazy amber color. One inch thick white head.

S: Sweet malt smell with minimal hop bitterness.

T: Very different from the smell. Hop bitterness dominates but still has a malt finish.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium mouthfeel.

D: A little to strong for a full session beer but easy enough to drink.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amazingly I have never tried this beer until today I have been srounded by it but never gave it a shot, a very nice pour a nice clear copper with a fluffy white 2 finger head that left globs of lacing behind as it settled.Balanced aromas biscuity caramel malt intertwined with a little citrus hop.Flavors are nice but seem to me missing something to put into a higher category somehwat dry biscuity malt base with the hops providing a grassy-like finish.This beer needs more braun its all finess the flavors are nice but could be better,it is an easy going quaffer though and good for a warmer summer day like today.

Photo of RoyalT
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one came out of the tap very dark, almost brown, with a nice head that showed good retention.

Smell – The classic citrusy hops were held up by a significant, dark malt backbone.

Taste – This one is interesting. The citrus hops were out in force and very bitter. The malt backbone from the nose showed up at the tongue as well. They somehow managed to keep all signs of sweetness out of this recipe, though.

Mouthfeel – This ale was medium-bodied and had a fluffy carbonation that was unusual for the style.

Drinkability – A very unique Pale Ale and a pleasure to consume.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky deep copper color with a one finger tan head that recedes to a film. Nice spotty lacing is left on the glass. Nose is of citrusy hops with caramalized malts. Taste is fruity up front with the citrus hops adding to it, middle in finish is malts, toasted malts in the middle to balance out the hops and the finish is sweet malts caramel with a touch of toffee. Light to medium body, higher carbonation - you could see the carbonation bubbles dancing in this beer, crisp feel, slightly bitter aftertaste and goes down nice and easy. Highly sessionable beer!

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 bottle poured into pint glass

A-Copper with decent white head that laces glass nicely
S-Floral, pine hops, musty earth, slightly sweet
T-Slightly sweet bready malt, floral hops(reminiscent of perfume), grapefruit,
M-Medium body, good carbnonation that tingles a bit, slightly creamy in mouth
D-Not a huge fan of the flavor and probably wouldn't reach for too many

Photo of JMD71
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very thin head when poured. Had a very rich, dark copper color. Looked very appetizing before taking the first sip...

Smell: Very malty aroma with floral, hoppy overtones. Smells delicious...

Taste: A solid malty flavor complimented by a nice hop finish. Some hints of citrus noted from the hop content.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, slightly cloying, but crisp in the end. Nice balance & body.

Drinkability: Very drinkable & refreshing. Good after a day's work.

Comments: I enjoyed this very much. I found it to be a subdued version of the IPA (as expected) but not as bitter. The hop flavor resonates like an IPA, but is a plae ale. If I blindly tasted the IPA & Pale Ale, I would have thought the IPA was a DIPA & the Pale Ale an IPA.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a picture of the Samuel Haley House, located on Smuttynose Island. "This ale is unfiltered - yeast sediment is natural.", runs down the side of the label. Good news for homebrewers. Yeast propagation!

Appearance: Chill hazed amber with a thin white head.

Smell: Clean, malt sweetness with a grainy nose.

Taste: Chewy with a very dry grain flavour, pulled by a big tingly hop bitterness. Salty, due to hard water perhaps(?) yet this seems to complement the nice dryness of the brew.

Notes: Not your typical pale ale, boldly complex and extraordinarily unique. Perhaps truer to the original style than most pale ales of modern day. We love this beer.

Photo of JasonA
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, amber carmel with a hint or red on the edges. Solid 2 fingers of lasting and lacing head.

Smells light, maybe citris. No sticky, not inspiring.

Boom goes the hops. Fresh, sticky, piney, earthy. Refreshing. Might not be powerful enough. Would love the taste to come out in the smell some.

Sits well. Staying power. No ABV punch.

Would love to have some draft. I bet would go down well on a hot afternoon.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was an attractive copper color, with a decent head and some very nice lacing. It had a sweet odor with a hint of fruitiness (?orange). The taste was tart/hoppy and rather nondescript. It had good mouthfeel, and good drinkability. Overall, though, just an average beer.

Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured into from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tall Pilsner glass. The label has a freshness date but no ABV%.

Appearance: From the pour I got a rich amber colored beer with a tall white head on top. The head has very good retention and excellent lacing. It leaves nice lace rings on the glass at each sip level.

Smell: The aroma has an inviting mix of sweet bready and light caramel maltiness with solid citrus and herbal leafy spicy hops.

Taste/Palate: There is a good solid hop character with nice crisp citrus and spicy notes laid over a study foundation of bready malt that matches the bitterness from the hops. There is a touch of caramel sweetness in there as well. The finish is long and slow with a good balance of hops and malt. Its palate has a good medium to full body and a firm yet yielding texture.

Notes: For me this is a well done Pale Ale.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a nice head form. A little darker then a westcoaster would expect for a pale. The head slow dissipate to lace the glasses edge.

Pale malt with a hint of grass and citrus. The crystal malt finishes the nose to explain the color and designate it as an english pale

Carbonation fills the mouth, the taste is pale with a large amount of crystal malt taste and finishes sweet and slight bitter

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the better pale ales in the NE, right up there with Ipswich and Cisco Whale Tale. Perfect mix of hops and malt with all of the yeasty by products a big strapping boy like me needs.

Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours a dark shade of amber, slightly hazed. Medium offwhite head with good retention and ample patch lacing.

Aroma is mostly toasted caramel, accented by earthy and spicy hops with a hint of florals.

Medium body and carbonation.

Solid caramel malt base that is easily overpowered by the bitter hops. Hops are earthy and leafy with a vague citrusy note that seems to be orange. Finishes dry and earthy.

A decent American pale ale but only slightly above average.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an off white 2 finger head. Fairly clear dark golden color, darker than i expected for a "Pale" ale. Smells faintly of some grassy hops, a touch of caramel. Tastes some malt sweetness up front, with a transition to a strong earthiness, grassy and some graininess. The finish has some lingering bitterness which is a bit of a turnoff. Medium carbing, medium body with a good bit of creaminess in each sip. $1.80 a single.

Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange-amber with a white head. The aroma is piney hops. The flavor is grassy hops with a strong malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

This bottle was a few months past its best by date so I think it may have been past its prime. I think this beer could be better than the example I had and I will seek it out again.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from a Smutty mixed pack, picked up at Consumer Beverages in Orchard Park NY. Packed in May 2012.

Poured into a nonic. Great looking brew indeed: hazy orange-copper, with a billowing creamy head that displays terrific retention. The pillows of foam also produce sheets and icicles of lacing. First-rate!

Nose is a touch of grapefruit, pale malt, citrus, dry grape.

Sharp opening of dry grain and bittering hops, with a long dry citrus hop finish. Interesting balance to this - more astringent than I would have thought.

Creamy, medium bodied, with carbonation that is sharper than I'd like.

Interesting pale ale, not something I'd go out of my way to get over other Smuttynose stuff, but certainly quite drinkable and worth having again.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the AOBF 5/24/03.

Cloudy-amber in appearance. Impressive chalky-white head is very thick and laces the glass. Aromas are malty sweet, with a candied fruit hovering in the background. Taste is sweet as well, with a slight citrus bittering effect at the end. Flavors and aromas in general are very mellow and very tasty. Smooth mouthfeel and quite easy to drink. Yet another very nice cask-conditioned ale sampled at the AOBF.

Photo of RTEdmunds
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

Good sized foamy head, and a slight reddish tinge. Solid lacing.

Hoppy presence in the nose. Earthy and a hint of caramel.

Quite malty, tastes roasty and sweet. A nice bittering finish. A bit of spiciness as well in the background.

Medium bodied, with a yeasty sort of chewiness to the texture. Carbonation is moderate.

Good brew, very enjoyable/sessionable. In some aspects it reminds me a bit of an amber ale.

Photo of Kraken
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another review from notes. God its nice to have the internet back. Purchased a variety 12pack of Smuttynose was able to review 2 before 12pk vanished.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into 20oz pint glass. Firm pour results in a nice 2 finger head that poofed fairly rapidly, leaving a lite skim. No real lace. Color is much darker then I anticipated, a very dark amber.
Smell- Wonderful hop and dark caramel malt.
Taste- Very hop forward as is to be expected. Firm malt backbone, dark and caramelly goodness. Balanced. Very nice hop bitters in conclusion.
Mouthfeel- Good, darker malts help out keeping this from a one noter
Drinkability- Very high. You could really session this one on a hot day.

Appearence is a bit dark but this is a very tatee beer.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. best before november 2010. from a 12pack sampler that was packaged in may 19 2010.

pours murky with a touch of sediment. a nice orange amber color with a little more than a one finger head. great retention and some really nice sticky lace.

has a nice hop aroma with a nice malt balance to it. hops are citrus with a touch of spice. caramel, slightly biscuity malt.

a really enjoyable taste. a hoppy pale ale for sure, but still has somewhat of a balance. citrus, with a little bit of pine and a touch of spiciness. the malts are what make this beer for me. caramel with a little bready biscuit.

medium to light body. good carbonation for the style. hops are noticeable on the palate, but nothing blowing my teeth out.

a great sessionable beer, now one of my top pale ales. and one of my top offerings from smuttynose that ive tried so far. a great beer from a great brewery, definatly worth a try.

Photo of Thrasher
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great New England beer. Darker amber than most pales but closer to original hue from back when pale ales were the alternative to pitch black stouts. Thick, long-lasting head and fragrant aroma with hints of sweet malts, flowers, and yeast. This is a big, thick chewy pale ale, balanced by hops that add clarity and singularity to the flavor. There is also a burnt woody flavor deep down that might just be the outskirts of the hop flavor but I found unique. Lingering aftertaste also has hints of this.

Photo of far333
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orangey copper colored with a thick, frothy, lumpy head that leaves ringlets of lace rising up the sides of the glass. Aroma is light, but has definite biscuity malts, cinnamon and pear. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, moderate to low carbonation, followed by a smooth and even flavor of light malts, toffee, some butterscotch, and understated hops. Finish gets a little hoppier, more tangerine-like. A citric bitter lingers in the aftertaste. Tastes good and very drinkable, though not overly complex.

Photo of yankeeheel
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice ruby with little to no head. Lacing is non-existent. Smells of a bit of fruit and yeast.

The taste is rather subtle in it's malts. Quite a bit of plum in the background. Perhaps a little too hopped up at the finish for me. Moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall a average, though slightly dark, pale ale.

Photo of BadBadger
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This "Pale Ale" pours a nice amber color. There is a nice foamy head which lasts for the duration. The smell is nothing spectacular. The tase however is rather pleasant, nice malts and hops. This beer is worth giving a try if the opportunity presents.

Photo of Soonami
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shoals Pale Ale by Smuttynose is commonly available in their Variety 12-pack as well as in 6-packs. This beer that I am drinking is stamped with a "fresh until date" of Feb 2011, which means this must be a fairly fresh sample.

This pale is a dark reddish copper color with just sturdy head that dissipates to a thing layer that leaves fine webbing inside the glass. The smell is has pine and grapefruit in the nose as well as a caramelized, crackery malt aroma. The beer is assertively bitter with a resinous spruce bitterness that dominates, followed by a bready sweetness and finishing with an pleasant astringent grapefruit. The mouthfeel is smooth and carbonation appropriated. This is an easy drinking beer that is enjoyable even as it warms up.

to view more.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,351 ratings.