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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

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very good

1,165 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1165
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%

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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-05-1998)
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Ratings: 1,165 | Reviews: 639 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of B967ierhunter177


1.65/5  rDev -57%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear, shiny amber color with no foam or lace. The aroma is of caramel and citrus with a hint of dough. The flavor has caramel, grapefruit, and roasted malt notes. It beging with malt sweetness and is followed by a dry, bitter finish. The mouthfeel is light. Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale is an ok beer, not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 03:25:55 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of Higravity


2.15/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a hazy copper-oragnish with a white head and a little yeast floating around. There was almost no smell except for the yeast breadiness. Right away I am glad I didn't get the whole six pack and only mixed it in with some other. The taste was bland and lifeless some bittering no real flavor and the malt was uninteresting. It had a decent body, but I wouldn't drink this again. Smuttty can't seem to make a good pale ale. I think they need to switch the yeast and dry hop some of their offerings as both of their Pale ales suuuucked.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2006 15:05:26 | More by Higravity
Photo of squilky


2.28/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- This one poured a light amber color. Small head that disappeared quickly.

S- A very citrusy smell, but not in a good way.

T- I found the hops to be overpowering. I didn't detect much malty sweetness to balance out the hops. There was a bitter, lingering, unpleasant aftertaste.

M- A nice amount of carbonation. Felt good in my mouth. The only positive I could find.

D- To me this tasted more like an IPA. It was very strong and bitter. Not to my liking. If you love hops, you will probably like this beer. If you are looking for a nice balance between hops and malt like I do, this isn't the beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 03:31:48 | More by squilky
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a fine white head that stays, leaving a some lace. Very light carbonation. Clear amber colored light bodied, starts malty/hoppy, finishes hoppy. Nose is indistinguishable no floral hops, no malt nada. This a lawn mower beer, maybe it is better on tap.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2003 23:57:23 | More by jdhilt
Photo of utopiajane

New York

2.64/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours deep copper, not quite clear with one finger of creamy head that faded to a thin skin on top. Average lace. Darker than most pale ales the nose is clean and simple. Some hay, grass, earthy with an undertone of citrus. Malt is strong and rich, carmel sweet, cracker and toasted bread. Taste is big malt and hop bitter. Malt is toasty, bready biscuit and robust leaving the sugary sweetness behind in the nose. Hops stand up slick and resiny. There’s a kind of salty taste as well. Lingers dry with a metallic aftertaste and a bitter mouth coating. This is a heavy and full bodied pale ale whose bitterness is not for the weak. Drinks more and more bitter. I actually gave up.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 08:40:28 | More by utopiajane
Photo of PorterLambic


2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly cloudy due to a good of sediment being left in the bottle. Dark orange/amber color. Small head drops fairly fast leaves little lace.
Smell is hops, slight malt, floral with a mustiness and wet cardboard note. Not off-putting but....
Taste is strongly hoppy with adecent malt backing. Nothing else at all.
Medium bodied, fairly strong effervescence up front, dry finish with a strong hop aftertaste. Knock on taste due to lack of any complexity. Knock on smell due to musty/cardboard notes though the balance was good overall. A decent beer but a little too IPA for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 18:03:10 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of zoso1967


2.8/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Redish amber with light carbonation and a decent white head. Smells of grass and some citrus hops, as well as a slight whiff of malt. Taste is very malty with lots of grassy hops and a caramel toastyness that reminds me more of an ESB than a pale ale. Definitely an English style al. Firmly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is between light and medium. It goes down easy, but I can think of a lot of beers that I would rather be quaffing right now.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 00:30:59 | More by zoso1967
Photo of tone77


2.83/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brown color with a small head. Smell is strong with hops. Taste is also dominated by hops, more than most pale ales, no real malt balance to speak of. Feels medium bodied and bitter in the mouth and has below average drinkability. Overall a good pale ale for serious hop heads, otherwise very mediocre.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 18:15:21 | More by tone77
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

2.83/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Review adapted from notes taken 9/4/11

Appearance: Somewhere between a dark gold and amber, with some yellow - white head, nice lacing

Smell: Kind of strange - mild floral, herbal, and grassy hops - notably earthy, kind of smells like dirt - pale malts are pretty dull, but they are there

Taste: Also strange - very earthy, almost salty - the hop profile is very weird, grassy - malts are decent, pale with some toastiness, some sweetness - but the weird characteristics are too prominent - overly earthy, too much minerality - gets better as it warms, but not by much

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation

Overall: This just does not work for me

I tried this beer in early 2008 and it was a drain pour. In 2011, I finally tried it again. While I did finish the beer, I still taste too much grass and salt. I don't understand it, as I really have enjoyed everything else I have had from Smutty.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 07:09:49 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of Zekezilla


2.93/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I keep trying this brewery but I'm disappointed every time. I've mostly tried various pale ales and I just find them very bitter with an unpleasant (aspiriny) aftertaste. Maybe it's just me and something with my palate because I'm clearly in the minority here. Lots of people seem to love their beer; I'm just not one of them. Need to move on and try something new now.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 21:02:13 | More by Zekezilla
Photo of yeahnatenelson


2.93/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy amber hue with golden highlights and two fingers of sudsy beige head. Beautiful.

Smell -- Toasted malt, biscuits and jam, grassy and floral hops, a bit of metallic twang. Not entirely thrilling, but at the same time inoffensive.

Taste -- Golden toast, biscuit, fruity esters, floral hops. Lingering flavors of pine resin and biscuit.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with medium carbonation. Finish is dry and tannic. Downgrade.

Drinkability -- Balanced, easy-drinking. I like it, moreover. There are some flaws keeping it from being better-than-average. Since Smuttynose hasn't even been around IL long enough for me to get a bottle past its prime, I'll assume it's the beer and not my specific bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 02:43:44 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Amalak

New York

2.98/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.
A- It has a deep reddish orange color to it, very nice. Great head and lacing. Off to a good start.
S- No scent, which is strange for such a high quality looking brew.
T- Very bitter but with limited other flavor by comparison. The only other taste I got was a burnt smokey flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 22:18:26 | More by Amalak
Photo of beerguy101


3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium orange brown color. Medium head. Aroma is fruity and sweet. A light bodied Pale Ale. Malts are nutty and slightly sweet. Hops are grapefruity and piney. Middle of the road Pale Ala. A touch thin and a little watery. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of grapefruit.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2003 03:18:57 | More by beerguy101
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served at just a few degrees over fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass. Best by October of 2008, this is a fresh example.

Appearance- A fine looking American Pale Ale... a solid, medium gold beer supports three full fingers of head, which pops and hisses away for an eternity. The craggy, sticky lacing is glued to the surface of the glass... just terrific. Appetite whetted.

Smell- Lemony fresh hops (reminiscent of Lemon Pledge furniture polish at first) tease the nose right at the outset. There's an indication of malts in the form of bready, light aromas... but it's all about the citrus here. Not grapefruit, like a Sierra Nevada or DFH pale ale though... lemons baby.

Taste- The tongue is taken hostage immediately, with an all-encompassing total grip. While this will undoubtedly please those seeking a fast hop attack, it leaves something to be desired with regard to balance. I'm not getting much more at all here... it's a two-dimensional rendition of the style. The finish and ultimate aftertaste is an eternity of drying, wincing bitterness that really needs a malt profile too.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- At first, this beer definitely barks in the mouth... the carbonation borders on aggressive and begins to relax with a few swishes. The swallow is pretty good, but the hellacious hop finish takes what could be a great ending and obscures it. The resulting belches are rough and again bring the heavyhanded use of hops in this recipe into the headlights.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2008 02:05:39 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a beer mug with a nice clear copper color and a 1/2 inch white head. Scent of hops and floral undertones. Thin lacing adhered to the side of the glass during the tasting. More flavors of hops and somewhat crisp in the mouth with a slightly bitter finish. Not an unpleasant APA. but I wouldn't drink more than one or two in a sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2007 01:52:15 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Blakaeris


3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours brilliant copper with a creamy off white head that leaves slight lacing.

Aroma is minerally with a strong basement mustyness. Hints of bready malt.

Taste is sweet, bready caramel malt. However, this is overshadowed by the strong metallic mineral quality. Nutty and earthy. Finishes with dry yeasty basement funk.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a bit of diacetyl oily residue.

Overall, a drinkable but not great APA. Surprisingly metallic and musty.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 00:07:39 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of sinistrsam


3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a medium-amber with a small white head. The aroma was mostly hops with some mild malt; generally well-balanced.
The taste was somewhat disappointing; it was lots of malt and hops, but both faded rather quick and didn't present themselves very uniquely. The feel was the most disappoiting part in my mind; very dry and almsot watery, and despite the hops and malt, not as full-bodied as I had hoped.
I love SN, but this was one of the more mediocre beers I've had from them.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2007 23:07:58 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of wailingwench

New Mexico

3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eye Candy: Translucent swirling hazy orange. Off white pillowy head that quickly gave way to excellent lacing. Plenty of hop clumping on top

The Nose Knows: Honey sweet up front with some rich malts thrown in, citrusy hops to finish. Very sniffable. I particuarly enjoyed the honey.

Tongueland: The citrus hops were very bitter and overpowered the honey that I enjoyed from the nose. The hop bitterness was way overdone. Wish there was more of a balance.

Bender Factor: I could not drink more than 2 of these without a couple of glasses off water. Very dehydrating. I was informed that Smuttynose recently changed their recipe. I remember sampling Shoals at Empire Brewing Festival in Syracuse (2004). What I consumed last night was different in a bad way.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2004 18:38:47 | More by wailingwench
Photo of sleazo

New York

3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a rich clear brown with a one finger head. The head is fluffy and settles down to a nice 1/2 finger. Wispy lacing along with the small head stop this from looking great.

S-Dominant smell is a slightly grapefruit hop. However it is very light on the nose with a twinge of seawater(?)

T_Rather subdued roasted malt competes with the piney hops for dominance but neither really wins. This is rather tame on both sides of the ball.

M-Very thin bodied with a med/low level of carbonation. Needs more body.

D-Very plain Jane style APA. I drink a lot of APAs and this one really isnt doing mich for me. There just isnt enough flavour going on. It is not bad and there is nothing off with it but I like a little more malt and/or hops for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 02:00:58 | More by sleazo
Photo of Bighuge


3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murky looking deep copper body. Thin off white head. Lace is moderate. Aroma is light and minty. A little piney as well. Flavorwise, this is a very run-of-the-mill type of APA. A little hoppy. Some caramel malts in the background. But nothing really makes me sit up and take notice. Fairly crisp in the mouth. Medium to medium-full in body. Bitterness is quite subdued. Nothing wrong with this, but really not a lot right about this either.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 02:45:16 | More by Bighuge
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2006 20:17:35 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of viverlee


3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

STYLE: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.4%

LOOK: Fire hydrant brown, rich copper, hearty. The head dissolves quickly but the lacing lets you know there’s some there there.

NOSE: Untoasted wheat bread, lemongrass, light floral.

MOUTH: Malty, bawdy, lemon, essence of grapefruit with a crispy finish. Almost pucker. Untapped potential.

BA Rating: 87

Hayward Abbey Rating: 82

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2012 22:44:52 | More by viverlee
Photo of pbrian


3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heartier pale ale than most. I usually enjoy the diacytal(sp?) that Ringwood beers throw off, and it's cetainly acceptable in this style but I found it to be over the top in this brew. Perhaps the 4+ months in the bottle had gotten to the better of this. Would happily try a fresh draft of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2002 11:01:48 | More by pbrian
Photo of Ego

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

haven't had this in some time so I decided to give it a whirl this evening... also it is time to stock up on lighter stuff for the spring (whenever the goddamn nice weather is going to finally come!)

one full finger of clean white head, amber hue with brown tones, lots of active carbonation climbing up from the bottom of the glass keeping the head at attention, the lacing is great, sticky and uniform, this is a good looking glass o' beer.

kind of hard to detect and a bit non descript, a little bread, some hop florals, but again, everything is hard to sniff...

taste etc...
very bready and biscuity, then at the end is a nice little blast of hop bitterness that gets washed pleasant with some grainy sweetness. mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side as the carbonation really doesn't seem to hold this together well, not much else going on here for me... this is nice enough but somehow seems a bit underwhelming beside the nice hop bitter notes (actually it tastes more bitter than some beers with big IBUs, but only momentarily)

so so. I remembered liking this more last time. This was brewed in March of this year so I know it is fresh... well, they can't all be winners. this isn't terrible but there are so many other more dynamic APAs out there... I will revisit this as I usually trust this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2006 02:32:33 | More by Ego
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours an amber, medium dark, with 1 finger white creamy foam. Laces down the side. Translucent.

Lightly hoppy smell.

Opens bitter but washes out for a cleaner drink - closes bitter at the finish. Domonant hop taste, that I found a bit harsher than expected. The underlying flavor is good, but drowned in the hop. Strong carbination.

Very average drinkability - the extent of the bittering is a bit offputting.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 13:28:37 | More by KTCamm
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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,165 ratings.