Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
666 Reviews
For Trade:
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-05-1998

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 666 | Ratings: 1,462
Photo of dfavreau
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this Pale Ale during the Caps vs Pens game 5, Stanley Cup Playoffs. Caps win big and are still in the race. This was a good solid pale ale. The more I have from Smutty the more I like them. The beer had a warm amber color with a nice 1/2 " head-poured a little hard. It had a smokey smell with hints of grapefruit. The taste was deeper and smokier then some other pales I've had which I enjoyed a lot. A nice medium mouthfeel with a creamy head finish. This was a good, solid, easy drinking pale ale with more character and hoppy notes then most pale ales.

 566 characters

Photo of Mitchster
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased as [part of a mixed 12 pack. Brewed with North American 2-Row, Carastan, C-60, Carahell, Carafa II Dehusked. Bittered with Cascade and Galena, flavor hopped with cascade.
OG=12.5° Plato, 5.3% ABV, 62 IBU's.
Pours out to a slightly hazy medium copper, forming a modest yellow head with very good retention and lacing. Carbonation is about 2.5 carbs or so. The nose has a English ESB hoppy fruitiness, but most interesting, reminds me of the dusty/mildewy smell of the old library of my hometown. There is a nice huskiness to the malt with the suggestion of biscuit malt, slightly fruity ferment and fruity hops. Very mild, but very nice. The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, satisfying feel and finish. The taste opens with the fruity floral hops, much more nuanced that Cascade would suggest. I would have guessed English hops and english yeast, but I am wrong. Quite interesting. Very light toffee, medium firm herbal bitterness and suggestion of toast into the finish. No off flavors. I think this would be killer with a touch of biscuit malt and 10 less IBU's.

This is a very nicely done beer with a touch more hops than you would expect for a english pale, or even an ESB, but it's a nicely rounded and balanced pale. Pleasantly surprised. I would probably buy this again.

 1,309 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark amber, hazy, with a one finger high head.

Nose: Nothing to write home about... Dried fruit, toffee, caramel malt, dark syrup and pine.
Taste: Dried fruit, resin, grass, malt, a bit of citrus and some bread.
Mouth: Medium body and carbonation. Prettyy easy drinking. A light bitterness.

I think this is a great "dinnerbeer" because it doesen'r run the show. It sits quiet in the back.
To just drink and fell a great beer... Choose another beer, but to a diner with friends - Great!

 492 characters

Photo of Veejuh
4.69/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This rating is for a fresh one

I have never had zombie dust or any of the ultra rare 'legendary' pale ales, but of all of the fine craft pale ales I have had this one is my favorite (above MO and Peeper).

I consider this (fresh) to be the king, it has everything in perfect proportions for a pale ale.

 303 characters

Photo of drmeto
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

-pours a slightly hazy amber-red with a medium to big, frothy, beige head
-lots of particles visible
-low to medium carbonation visible
-high bitterniss for the style
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-Probably to hoppy for a true-to-style English PA, but still very good

 397 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an IPA glass. Striking burnt orange hazy color with a 2-finger white head that lingered. Not much aroma - some sweet malt but little hop presence. Taste is much better: nice bitter grapefruit up front with a bready malt and soft finish. Medium bodied and not as dry as other PAs. Very nice.

 302 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Amber with a slight haze crowned by a frothy, off-white foam cap that grips the side of the glass. S: Malt and herbal hop aromas with maybe a little hop citrus as well. T: Rich biscuit malt flavors finished with a grapefruit citrus bitter hop finish. F: Medium plus body, medium carbonation with very fine bubbles and a good feel to it. O: A “buy a six-pack and bring it home kind of beer” – this is a good one to keep around.

 435 characters

Photo of Garypuffer
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really like this beer...it doesn't have the hoppy bite of Smutty's Finastkind IPA, but as a English -style pale ale, it's a winner. Always like to have some around, and at $9.99 for a 12-pack at Hannaford's right now, I'll make another visit to get more.

 254 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/3/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, light pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/fruity hops and moderate bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of piney/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice compelxity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balace and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp/sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice American pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,496 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best by date of 09/02/15

Appearance - Pours mostly clear and muddled golden orange in color with a sandstone colored, near finger width head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds across the top. Patches of lace are left on the glass with good stick.

Smell - Toasty, bready malts with light floral and citrus hop notes.

Taste - More hop on the tongue than the aroma leads to believe. Mostly Floral notes with a touch of citrus and spice backed by a huge, slightly toasted, bready malt backbone. Relatively balanced, clean finish with just a hint of grassy bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Silky smooth delivery, going down with stupid ease. Nigh chuggable.

Overall - Lacks the punchy flavor profile of some of the great APA's, but more than makes up for that with its great balance and amazing drinkability. For a beer that's over 20 years old, that's impressive. I know Smutty has just recently began to distribute Finestkind and a few of their bombers to NorCal; I hope this one makes its way there.

 1,064 characters

Photo of StonewallSipper
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Smuttynose 24 pack variety is the best I have had so far. The one with the Shoals pale ale, brown dog ale, Rhye, and Finest kind, I like to buy variety packs, and this is my favorite one so far, thanks.

 206 characters

Photo of kculrich
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a cold tulip. Color of a shiny new penny - pale? not really - nice head with decent retention. Smells of bread, tastes of herbs and pine, nice maltiness but, on balance, tipping toward hoppiness. This is my favorite from the Smutty line up.

 258 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A favorite of mine, pours copper with white head and nice lacing. Aromas of pine and citrus - my kind of hop varieties for sure. Flavor carries the initial hop bite quickly smoothed with a delicious maltiness that keeps me coming back for more. one of my favorite summer sessions.

 280 characters

Photo of seedyone
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

07/31/13 On tap At Rattle N Hum, NYC. I guess I need to brush up on my beer nomenclature. I thought I knew what a pale ale was, but obviously I'm out of sync. This being in the English style, is pushing my low hoppiness tolerance. It's bearable, but a suffrage & since RnH offers sipping, I should have looked before I leapt & found myself neck deep in what might be the longest pint of my life.

 396 characters

Photo of gonzo000
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a beautiful orange color with a 3 finger high white head when poured into a stemmed beer tasting glass. The smell of this beer is funky. The beer is an excellent blend of hops and malt. Very piny bitter on the finish. Very easy to drink. I enjoyed this beer very much.

 289 characters

Photo of Gajo74
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper/amber with a modest head and decent lace retention. For me the aroma was dominated by malt, grain and a tiny hint of honey. The taste was a bit surprising for me in that it features a heavier than normal emphasis on hops, as compared to other pale ales I've had. Indeed, the slightly intense citric (grapefruit) hop taste and dry bitter finish and aftertaste remind me more of an IPA. That I did not detect as much of a malt backbone or sweet flavor to balance out the hops, is the only minor quibble I have with this one. No complaints about feel; lively carbonation is crisp, medium bodied and drinkable. A solid brew.

 636 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: clear; bronze colored; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a thin collar; sheets of lacing;

S: earthy, with caramel in the background;

T: really nicely balanced; caramel, toffee, earthy, piney - all with a moderately bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: goes down easily;

 299 characters

Photo of myelo
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pint on tap

Appearance: Deep hazy copper color with thing off-white head and very substantial lacing.

Nose: Sweet bread malt and flowery, citrus hop aroma.

Tase: initial bready malt followed by moderate spicy and citrus bitterness with a flowery yeast background.

Mouthfeel: medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall: More malty than a typical american pale ale but more American hop flavor/aroma than a British pale ale. So the overall impression is a cross between an English and American pale ale. Nicely done.

 520 characters

Photo of Gperson
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Bottle. I remember one session when I was captivated; now it seems a little too heavily malted, the carbonation at the end distracting, and the aftertaste is metallic.

 168 characters

Photo of buzzarooski
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

LOOK: Copper Orange in Color with 1/2 inch Foamy Beige Head, Moderate Lacing

SMELL: Fruity Scents Combined with Bready Grains, Mild Hops, and Spices

TASTE: Smooth Medium Bodied Flavor, Creamy Malt mixed with Orange Zest, Barley, and a Mild Hoppy Bitterness.

FEEL: Smooth and Creamy but it is lacking Adequate Carbonation, Mild Bitterness After the Swallow

OVERALL: Great Look, Great Flavor, if it had even the slightest bit more Carbonation in would have ranked higher for me. All in All...a Quality Pale Ale.

 513 characters

Photo of Hendry
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Honey colored pour, one finger of khaki head,solid lacing.A bit darker than I was expecting from a "pale" ale. Aroma is of sweet malt and a touch of floral hops. Malty introduction and the hops take over in a drying way. Medium bodied and quite drinkable, but never reaches the level of wow at any point.I prefer a brighter and hoppier APA,this one uses the heavy hand on the malt for my taste.

 395 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from a mixed twelve pack. Yellow color, clear, good head. Aroma of mild cracker, malt, subtle. Flavor was a pretty standard pale ale, well balanced but also kind of boring flavor wise.

 196 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 3/19/15. Probably a month old. Bought last week in NH in a twelvepack sampler that was on sale for an irresistible $10., especially considering the other titles in the pack were Finestkind and Bouncy House IPAs and Old Brown Dog. This was the only one in the pack I had not already tried before.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute.

a: Clear deep amber to copper with an inch thick offwhite head which receded to thin uneven surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Mild caramel malt.

t: Follows the nose along with some hop bite for balance. Dry to slightly bitter finish.

m: Light to medium with ok body and plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A good pale, seems more English at first but the bitterness from hops becomes more prominent later. A good dinner and session brew.

 808 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -7%

Best by 10/15/14.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, citrus zest, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, citrus zest, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that starts out really earthy from the fridge and seems to become hoppier as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle.

 641 characters

Photo of DuaneL
2/5  rDev -47.8%

OK, I guess, if there's nothing else around to drink. This is not my idea of a pale ale. First of all - it's FIZZY. If I want fizzy, I will drink a Coke, thank you. Fizzy really is a turn-off in craft brews. This ale is grossly over-rated by this site, so far.

 262 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 666 ratings.