1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,277 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,277
Reviews: 643
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 26
Gots: 60 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,277 | Reviews: 643 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BWH3
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Hazy amber ale accompanied by a good sized off white head which lasts a bit before disintegrating into tiny islands of froth.

S: Wonderfully balanced between pine like hop bitterness, sweet bread like malts and a grassy note.

T: As well balanced as the aroma. The finish is not fruity or overly bitter, but simply clean, dry, and refreshing.

M: Light medium body. Fairly light on the gas. Head retention above average.

D: Not a typical meager pale ale. Well balanced and complex. The perfect basic ale for an American brewery.

BWH3, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of changeup45
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

7/19/2004. Deep amber color which was darker than expected and poured a nice thick tan head and left a lot of lace behind. Pretty smoooth, easy drinking beer, with a decent hop/malt balance but it's lacking a little. There's a wood, piney presence in there as well. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Something I'd definitely have again but not the best from Smuttynose. I love their IPA. I just purchased their variety pack and after this one I am anxious to try the others they have to offer.

changeup45, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of Jettanbass9
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this in a mix pack at Total Wine in Cherry Hill

A - Copper, red highlights as the light passes through and a hazy light head tops this one off. Your average pale ale.
S - Picking up on some metallic notes, toasted malt, caramel and some earthy/floral hops. Great balance between malt and hops.
T - Slightly metallic, high bitterness/low hop flavor, toasted and caramel malts really provide the forefront on flavor. A bit unexpected.
M - A slight bite from the carbonation, that is followed by smooth maltiness in the finish
D - Not exactly something i would want to swing down all day but there are some excellent qualities about this beer. A pint or two to my name is good enough.

Jettanbass9, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle darker than I expected for a pale Ale. Copper with reddish hues and slightly hazy. Pale ale? Really? Floral hops aroma and some grainy sweetness (Malt? Toffee?) Nice lacing but weak retention. Starts with a grainy /chewy malt (lots of gumption) then the bitter and distinctly hopped ending. Sweet breads and some caramel. As it warms the aroma gets strange like pencil erasers (?!), dried apricots. Good mouthfeel, very smooth and balanced. Great New England example of the style

thekevlarkid, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep marzen with a dense clarity. A frothy 1 finger high sandy toned head sits atop with promising restraint. A ravishing furry of carbonation rages within while the outside is adored by a thin Saturn like ring for lace.

S: Toasty pine and citrus meets some lemon pulp. Moderate in strength at first but diminishes rather quickly.

T: Toasty dry specialty grains, almost munich with some dried lemon pulp and wet citrus is up first. Piney notes with a malty base, marries otter? But certainly feels like it with a sandy coarse malty feel. High level of hops and a malt bomb best sums up the flavor.

M: malty, near full bodied dry and toasty with a bubbly texture from the aggressive carbonation.

O: Overall a great compliment to their finest kind, yet a totally different kind of beer. A malt bomby with a deep sense of hops both wet and dry delivers a 1, 2 knockout punch. Case worthy.

beerthulhu, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Kraken
3.9/5  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.

Kraken, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Portsmouth brewery's pub. Poured an orange/amber with a nice head and lacing. Smelled very slightly sour with grain, bready, and with English, perhaps Ringwood yeast. Tastes quite bready, but with some nice bitter, earthy hops. Smooth and creamy in the mouth. This beer is pretty straightforward, but well made and pleasant to drink.

Georgiabeer, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
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

russpowell, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a half inch off white head, decent retention and spotty lacing, the beer is a dark copper in color

s: sweet breakfast bread malts accompany a moderate, pulpy "C" hop aroma with notes of dried lemon, dry leaves, a little toffee or caramel perhaps, nice

m: soft medium carbonation and body, finishes cleanly

t: starts with pale malts and a light sweetness of sugared bread with a relatively big but balanced papery-pine hop flavor, the sugary malt lingers on the palate for a couple seconds until replaced by a growing bitterness and even stronger hop flavor that makes for an extended finish, nice progression here

d: down for a few...an excellent beer that I half feel like rating higher but nothing stands out enough to warrant better scores

part of a mixed 12 from Whole Foods Reston...this whole line has been so damn solid and it may be the most satisfying mixed pack I've come across, notched as best before October '08

blackie, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful looking beer. I've had it many times, but this is the first to sit and think about it review style. A brilliant clear Amber colored beer that leaves behind sheets of lacing. The head formed a creamy/foamy 2 fingers thick head that had nice staying power.

Aroma was nutty and slightly sweet with some slight roasted burnt notes. Very nice

Taste was fantastic and had excellent balance. There was a good amount of roasted goodness and a biscuity malt flavor. There was a slight but nice hop finish that went well with the lingering roasted/burnt toast flavor. Dark caramel notes. A nice bread/cracker finish...

Mouth feel was between light and medium and very nice. This is a very drinkable beer.

Excellent example of an APA.

Reagan1984, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of xare
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had this in Portsmouth on my trip there - wish I had stocked up on all these great beers up there but the trip was taken before I knew about all these breweries!

Appearance was excellent - bottle presented with excellent label that was a bit whimsical but overall, looked very nice.

Smell was of hops and more hops. Very appetizing if you like hops - definitely made my mouth water.

Taste was decent - a bit better than average but I don't think it was that memorable as far as flavor goes.

Mouthfeel was average - you got walloped with hops while drinking this with some carbonation. Other than all the bubbling and "burning", it was pretty smooth. It balanced out.

This beer actually got harder to drink the more time it took. I finished the beer but I would like to get a few more to give it another try - but the drinkability was below average for the one sample I've had so far.

xare, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of TerryW
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical Smuttynose pour. Big head up front that settles to a quarter inch, some lace. Looks like dark tea, tasty appearance.

Not much by way of a nose to this one. Some grapefruit citrus, some dark sweetness, but not overpowering or striking.

Crisp, hoppy beer. Straight up good drinking, but not as distinctive as some other Smuttynose beers. Some nice caramel malt, followed up by tasty hops and a nicely lingering bitterness that stays and stays.

Enjoyable and worth a try. A well made beer.

TerryW, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew has a nice clean clear copper color with moderate white head and nice lacing. The arooma brings to mind grassy malt and cardboard hints of old. The flavor features sharp hops with a dry finish. Very middle ground, mild enough for drinkability but a slight edge. Somewhat aqueous with fair carbonation. Decent.

Durge, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best by August 2008. Poured into my Stone pint glass

A: Clear deep amber with a two-finger thick off-white head. A good deal of carbonation. This one leaves a bit of lace as i drink it.

S: Citrus hops with orange and a mild spiciness. Mild malt presence with caramel and sugar

T: Starts off mildly hoppy with a good dose of orange before a mild sweetness kicks in. The finish is bitter, almost astringent and dry

M: Well carbonated and great drying finish

D: I'd drink another!

DefenCorps, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of Lexluthor33
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper color and has a decent head and good lace.
The aroma is of hops,biscuit notes,grains and grapefruit.
The taste is of hops,bread,burnt malts and sweet fruit.
The finish has grains,cream and a bitter tingle. The mild carbonation is good and the aftertaste is to remember.

Notes: A solid brew with session potential. I did not fall in love with it,but I will buy it again as I feel that for the summer it suits me just right.

Lexluthor33, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of corey0212
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color, darker around the edges, foamy tan head fades, but coats the top of the beer, lots of lacing on the glass. Smell is grassy hops, some biscuit/grain, a whiff of lemon zest. Initial taste is bitter hops, followed by some toffee, there's some bitter grapefruit taste. Pretty chewy APA, lively carbonation, and intense lingering bitterness. I love having this one at the house...seems to go with just about anything you'd put on the table, and you can definitely put back a few.

corey0212, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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

hopsleeroy, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of Nipitato
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a six pack at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Dark - rusty copper hue. Pours with an off white head with a thick moussy stand. Sticky lacing.

S: An uber toasted almost burn taste malt aroma is the defining characteristic here. Virtually no hop aroma.

T: Toasty (burnt) malt flavor noticeable in the taste but not nearly as prominent as in the nose. Slight grapefruit character on the hops side of the ledger. Bitter finish. This is a pretty well balanced, mild brew.

MF: Medium body with medium carbonation. A slightly dry finish.

D, notes: This is good balanced mild American pale ale. Pretty good Drinkability - though the burnt toast taste can be annoying.

Nipitato, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of AltBock
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with a real life picture of what appears to be a run down beach cabin. Under the picture is where it states it's the Samuel Haley house on Smuttynose Island. On the left side on the label is a clearly notched best before date of August 2008.

When poured into Heavy Seas pint glass, "Shoal's" is a very bubbly and slightly hazy golden copper color. At first I thought it was a reddish copper, but that was until I held it up into the light to see its true color. It had a small less than 1/2 inch head of white bubbly foam, but it did leave behind a long lasting bubbly film. If that wasn't enough, it also left behind a fair amount of bubbly spots of lace. Overall, "Shoal's" had a very bubbly appearance.

The aroma was heavy on the burnt side. This bunrt aroma contained lightly burnt malts, burnt citrus hops, and then the burnt aroma ends on a positive note, non burnt orange peel. After about a few minutes, the orange peel completely takes over the entire aroma leaving behind the burnt aroma in the fire where it belongs.

The taste was light, but certainly not light in flavor. The taste was well balanced with burnt malts, bitter citrus hops, dried grapefruit, and a small touch of orange peel. Luckly the burnt malts were on the lower end of the taste and the bitter citrus hops and grapefruit made up for the lost ground the malts burned.

For a Pale Ale, the mouthfeel was medium bodied with a full flavored strong aftertaste of grapefruit, a hint of lemon, and bitter citrus hops. I'm still trying to figure out how this small 5% ABV beer could pack such a strong aftertaste.

I just don't know what to say about this beer. It was just a full flavored medium bodied beer. The thing is that I'm talking about a Pale Ale here. It would ahve been nicer if it wasn't for the burnt malts, but it was still a very good beer with them. Session beer? Hell yes!

AltBock, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of yelterdow
3/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

yelterdow, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of ralree
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep red and cloudy with a nice reddish 2-finger head, dissipates slowly with beautiful lacing. How a beer should look.

S: Brown sugar, roasted malt, smoke, with a nice hop background.

T: Sweet with a great hop flavor. Bitterness from the hops, but also from the smoke. Almost a grapefruit flavor on top. I like it.

M: Pretty astringent - hard to get off the tongue after swallowing, like grapefruit, which is a bit annoying. Carbonation perfect. Medium-light bodied, and not too syrupy.

D: Drinks well - a good summer drink.

ralree, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of joe1510
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Best by: 8/08

There is a noseful of spicy hoppiness that hits right away. A solid toasted malt presence is met with a touch of caramel and lays down a nice foundation. The hops are more prominent than I expected. A spicy hoppiness leads the way but is followed by grassy and floral notes. Every now and then I pick up hints of orange peel which adds another dimension to an already good smelling brew.

The flavor follows the nose closely. A good spiciness kicks things off and leads from beginning to end with the floral and orange qualities showing up mid palate. The grassiness comes about here and there but never in the same spot. All this over is shown over the top of a respectable toasted maltiness with a drizzling of caramel. This is a good beer from Smutty.

The mouthfeel is right where it should be with this beer. Medium bodied with a solid enough carbonation to keep things moving but does show a little stick on the swallow. Finishes a bit dry which accentuates the bitterness which is right down my alley.

This glass is going down very easily and I actually wish I had a few more in the fridge. A solid example of a pale ale on the hoppy side of the spectrum. Very nicely done!

Shoal's Pale Ale is a high quality beer. To be perfectly honest I didn't expect a whole lot from this beer and I am pleasantly surprised. I enjoy my pale ales on the hoppier side of the spectrum and this one hits the spot. Thanks again Israel!

joe1510, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of johnnyirishman
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint glass.

Apperance- Copper color with a decent head and sticky lacing.

Smell- Hops hit the nose first then slight malt to follow.

Taste,Mouthfeel- Hops in the front,with a mild smooth middle, and a slight bitter finish.

Drinkablity- Very good tasty beer

johnnyirishman, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a twelve ounce bottle of this into a pint glass.

A: Poured an orange-amber body with a nice, silky white head with nice retention and lacing along the sides of the glass, all the way until the finish.

S: A fairly malty smell with hints of toffee and burnt caramel. Some earthy and hoppy smells were noted, but nothing too overbearing.

T: A rather hoppy taste, but was very well balanced by the malts. The beer a little more bitter than what I was expecting, but it was fairly nice. There were some earthy and burnt caramel aftertastes as well.

M: A little on the thin side, but still pretty smooth and very nice. Surprisingly, was a little filling as well.

D: A pretty good, drinkable beer. A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste makes the beer definitely an excellent session beer. The well-balanced nature of the hops and the malts in the taste also made for quite an enjoyable experience. Definitely a well-rounded brew and a nice representation of the APA style!

maddogruss, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of jspruit
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this 12oz beer in a trade from johnnnniee and drank it back home in Ireland.

Pours a dark shade of orange, with some hints of amber in it-quite nice to look at actually. Off-white small finger head that turned into some nice lacing.

Yeasty and hoppy notes dominate the aroma, some of an earthly smell too which I enjoy.

Taste was spot on for what I was hoping for in a pale ale. A nice balance of maltiness and hops with some earthy tones.

Goes down relatively smooth, good balance and not too strong on the ABV either. Carbonation is minor but pleasant. I could drink a couple more of these in a session.

This is my favorite style of ale and it definitely lived up to what I was expecting.

jspruit, May 31, 2008
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,277 ratings.