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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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 Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A floral hops aroma, a nice amber colour. Otherwise, a metalic taste and very dry not bitter not very flavourful at all. Bubbles, head fizzed out quickly. Could not finish. Harsh carbonation. Some malts, but didn't work for me. Missing a lot. Maybe works on tap.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 01:55:52 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-copper with a generous number of fine particulates on close inspection. The pale orangish, light caramel colored head is firmly creamy and looks to be quality made. In addition, it leaves fairly extensive moth-eaten curtains of lace as it recedes. This is a great looking pale ale.

Shoal's has a classic APA aroma, with plenty of power and plenty of hops. If I didn't know that Cascade and Chinook were in use, I might have been able to guess. The nose consists of white grapefruit zest, with an overlay of brown sugar and spice. Very nice.

This is a wonderful pale ale, in large part because it's hoppier than most. Malt keep its head down and out of the way, yet still imparts a modicum of balancing caramel sweetness. This beer is all about hops, though. It doesn't venture into IPA territory, but it's a near thing. Again, classic 4-C (or in this case, 2-C) flavor abounds. While it might not reach the zenith that hopheads crave, the flavor burst is more than adequate for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium with a lightly resiny, lightly slick, lingering finish. There's an active amount of carbonation that never becomes intrusive; a neat trick and a characteristic of well-brewed beer.

Smuttynose is one of the Northeast's finest breweries. Shoal's is further evidence of that fact; not that more evidence was needed. Ignore the Smutty website where they call this an English style pale ale. It's a true blue, dyed in the wool, All-American pale that displays its hop bill with pride. A very nice effort. Thanks to far333 for providing.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 16:02:53 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the pour was a nice medium to light amber color with a thick head of white that sat on top throughout the entire session, nice lacing down the glass.

aroma is light, nice little notes of citrus, hints of apple, pears, light grasses and a smooth, even flavor or light fruity yeast. as i take the first sip i get the clean, crisp flavor right off the bat. really nicely done. clean and light hops, a good strain of yeast and very nice carbonation all lead to a solid pale.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 00:09:02 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice, long-lasting white head that leaves behind plenty of lacing

Smell: Smells a bit like an amber, with lots of rich malt body and a touch of piney hops presence in the background

Taste: The initial caramel-flavored malt gives way, by mid-palate, to a blast of pithy and piney hops; the finish is crisp, bitter and slightly salty; underneath, there is a characteristically English fruity malt flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with a nice bit of carbonation

Drinkability: This is one excellent, if different, pale ale; a bit like a hoppy amber

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2005 21:44:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a small bubbly off-white head with average retention. Aroma is quite hoppy with a nice floral touch. Taste is also hoppier then expected with a great presence of citrus hops. Body is about average for the style with some low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2006 17:23:56 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic Pale Ale that tilts into Amber Ale territory with the malts.

Shoals begins with a medium amber color, mild haze (dry-hopped?), and a firm white head that lasts the session while leaving convincing lace behind.

Aromas seem to be a balance blend of earthy hop resins, American citrus hops, and English floral and spicy hops. Hops certainly take precidence with the nose but does allow a bready, caramelly, maltiness to peak through from time to time.

Flavors of malts take the initial step with graham cracker and toffee taste. Hop flavor follows closely behind with resiny, piney, fresh cut grasses. Citrus rinds gain intensity at mid-palate and increase in bitterness deep into the finish.

Malty and moderately full up front but the beer fades quickly into a dry, bitter, and evaporative feel. A skeleton of hops and malt flavor leave no residual sweetness on the tongue.

A very solid Pale Ale that holds more malt flavor (think Amber Ales) than expected and with an aggressive, and sometimes bitey, bitterness that seems slightly out of proportion to the rest of the beer. Still deserving of high marks. Thanks Stiggs!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 04:36:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours amber with a bit of a light head and not too much in the way of lacing. The nose brings out some pale malts as well as some light citrus and floral hops. The taste really combines the citrus hop flavors and pale malt quite well. Really befitting of a good APA. Good bitterness and a nice body. Drinkability is high and on par with some of the better East Coast APAs.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2010 00:25:12 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is rather hazy copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with notes of toffee and hints of pine resin hops.
T: The taste seems to have more hop flavors compared to other pale ales and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness but is well balanced and also has flavors of caramel malts and hints of malty sweetness. The bitterness particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is packed with lots of malty and hoppy flavors but is extremely well balanced and also very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 01:37:37 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce single - $2.00 at Venus Wine in Buford, Georgia. Best Before: July 2009.

Appearance: Pours a medium amber-brown body with a full finger of frothy, faintly beige-hued head. Bits of splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Spiced, leafy citrus fruits go head-to-head with some sweetish, toasty malt scents.

Taste: Pale malts with touches of toasted bread, lightly sweet caramel, and a meager dusting of brown sugar. Hint of spice. Touch of fruitiness. Citrusy, leafy hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Pink grapefruit emerges in the latter half now that the hops have sent the sweet malt a-running. Finishes dry and slightly crisp with some lingering hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended as a quality, quaffable pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 04:16:06 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2006 20:29:18 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shoal's pale ale is copper-amber in color with a short head of creamy white foam that holds fairly well before dropping to an average collar and whispy surface covering. It leaves a ring or two of thin lace at the outset and then the occassional whisp and splash.

It has a limited aroma for a pale ale, showing only a bit of malt and nary a hop.

The flavor is clean with a little bit of yeast character (mild fruitiness), caramelish malt, and grassy and leafy hops. It's backed by a solid bitterness, and it finishes dry with some lingering caramel malt and leafy hops.

A basic, "go to" pale.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2006 03:24:42 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: lightly hazed, amber/copper color, creamy, stable head. Lookin' good...

Aroma: malty, sharply fruity, sweet, hops get louder over time, but play it cool at the front. Nice enough.

Taste: Full bodied, bold entry on the palate, flush with fruity flavor. Bright, brash taste, quickly drying on the tongue. This feels like a meatier ESB, and doesn't taste like any pale ale, American, British, or otherwise...more of an amber ale, actually, especially with the lopsided malt-to-hop quotient.

Drinks down smooth, with plenty of flavor all the way through. Another meeting with a Smuttynose ends far from disappointment.

(thanks to Dave, for this one)

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2005 08:16:42 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a becker pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of smoky which is bit uncharacteristic of the style, with caramelized malt, a little hops and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste is on the malty side but not overly sweet, with a decent burst of hops bitterness, along with some citrus. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, good representation of style while still being a little different. This is a very good beer to stick with for a whole evening.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 14:32:46 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jwc215 for this one, Cheers Joe!

Pours an effervescent & chill-hazed copper with 3+ fingers of rocky pearl white head. Very good head retention & above average head retention

S: Biscuitty malt & citrussy hops in abundance

T: Grapefruit & lemon hops, a touch of grassyness up front. Herbal hops, dryness, a bit of biscuitty malt show up as this warms. Finishes with grapefruits, leafy hops, a bit of apricot & honey

MF: Medium body with minimal carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks easy, not a great APA, but worthy of sixer during a BBQ or football game

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 03:56:30 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a frothy white head that fades for some nice lacing. The aroma is bitter hops and pale malts. The taste is decent. Bitterness hits hard with the first sip then is taken over by a fair balance of pale and light crystal malts. The body is low to medium. This is a good drinking beer, but not a favorite of mine.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2003 11:48:52 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Red Rock Pizzeria in Washington D.C. Served in a pint glass. Beer is orange, white head, covers the beer completely, some lacing on glass, carbonation steady and moderate sized bubbles. Malty, citrus smell, some pine, nice balanced aroma. Beer tastes great. Bitterness high, definetly malt character, a slight aftertaste. Good mouthfeel, high drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2009 05:26:04 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 22:13:31 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jwc215


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours copper with a white, bubbly head that lingered for most of the drink. The carbonation is light to moderate. The aroma is a bit faint, but some presence of fruits and a hint at a floral aroma were evident. The taste was quite appetizing. After tasting it, I quickly realized that this would be a good beer to accompany a meal. It has a light toffeeish, fruity flavor that is present, but not overwhelming. It is lightly hopped, though more malty than hoppy, which works well with this style. It has a refreshing, medium mouthfeel, which makes it quite quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 05:42:00 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a foggy golden brown with no head. Nose is mild hops. Strong, but nowhere near being overdone. Just plain ol' orange-like hop scent. Smooth, hoppy flavor. Just nice and even and it doesn't drop off or leave. It stays constant and leaves a nice reminder in your mouth. Feel is good. Low bubble on the tongue, but a nice hearty liquid feel. Very drinkable, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 01:06:55 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Ciao 2 in Robinson a small Italian Cafe'...known for a nice small beer selection and a 3 dollar draft happy hora. This place has a beer on draft called 412 ale the local area code brewed by Smuttynose. I've had Shoals in the past and this is definitely a reissue of that same beer with a new label. Which is fine by me I don't see the Shoals Pale ale locally very often so that's fine. Plus it's really drinking great on tap, a pale copper hue with an off white cream head forms fine even lacing. Mild fruity nose with herbal mild citric hops, a very nice baked breadiness going on with each sip. Solid sipper for any occasion, Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied slight trace of hop oils finishes with a mild welcoming bitterness. Overall quality beverage that I will try every time I'm there and if I can get it in sixers better yet.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 20:37:37 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with orange tones. A nice 1" head produced some very light lacing through the drink. The aroma is of malt, light citrus and some hops. The flavor is of caramel, honey, light fruit, and decent bitterness. A very simple pale ale. The body is somewhat heavier for this style. Decent carbonation.

The mouthfeel is a balance of smoothness and crispness, with a slightly dry aftertaste. The malt lasts on the tongue for a bit.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2004 23:17:52 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Coudy, dark copper color with a slightly yellow-white head that has excellent retention and lace.

The aroma is an excellent blend of malt and hop. The hop is floral and inviting. The malt is sweet and "round". Very inviting!

Darker malt (crystal) in flavor is the initial taste. This is followed by a strong bitterness that intensifies after the swallow. The beer is thick; coats the palate. I'm only a tad bit let down after the aroma, but that may be because it held awesome promise. This is a very good, delicious pale ale. I'd love to smell the brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2004 21:23:06 | More by smcolw
Photo of tempest


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice cloudy amber with a short head and leaves a bit a lacing on the way down.

Full hops aroma with a hint of malt. Almost floral, but can't be described any way other than hoppy. This beer's smell alone should get any hophead's mouth watering.

Like the smell, the taste is a solid hops kick followed by a mellow grain finish that's just a touch bitter. Very straightforward on the palate, you want hops? Here they are.

Has good carbonation and goes down easy.

Considering the price and availability, I'd go to this if I ever needed a sure-fire APA. It's not terribly complex, no fruit and maybe only a tiny bit of diacetyl. It's good hops in a bottle. Even the burps are pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2005 22:38:38 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a 12 oz bottle poured into a Celtic Fury glass. The ale is cool (and warming).

Appearance: The ale is a deep amber color with orange tinges that emerge in the light. There is a nice head that leaves a good lace through the glass.

Smell: The ale has a light piney hop aroma, so light that I really had to search for it. There is also a nice caramel-like malt aroma.

Taste: As I sip the ale, a biscuit-like bread flavor emerges from the malts. That flavor does not overpower, nor is it too sweet. It slowly melds into a medicinal hop flavor (let the ale sit on your tongue and warm up and you'll find it). That hop flavor lingers for a while after the ale is swallowed.

Mouthfeel: The ale is well-balanced although I find the hop choice to be a little too astringent and mediciney.

Drinkability: Except as noted above with the hops, this beer is very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2006 02:20:44 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium


3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Portsmouth Brewing Company

Clear copper pour with a small white head that sank to a ringlet. Decent aroma, good balance of citrusy hops and sweet malts. Basic and simple in smell and taste. On the palate, sweet malts, crisp citrus hops, toasted grains. Not much else to say. Light-medium body, and pretty easily drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2013 23:08:07 | More by Rifugium
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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,165 ratings.