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

1,275 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,275
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: 1,275 | Reviews: 643 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Flashy
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now if this doesn't beat most American Pale Ales and IPA's. Prefer this Smuttynose IPA as well. Just a good drinking beer.

Appearance: Amber, darker than I would think. Beautiful white head that stayed the whole 5 minutes it took me drink this.

Smell: Malt up front, with a bit of hops in the background.

Taste: Earthy hops, which tastes stronger after you drink it and lingers.

Mouthfeel: Full body, with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability: One of my desert island beers. Full bodied, great tasting, good looking.

Flashy, May 17, 2008
Photo of cameraman
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A medium to light amber color, with a half inch white colored head, that dissolves away quickly. A grassy, citrus fragrance followed by a mild malty, biscuity scent. A bready, nutty flavor at the front of the palate. Then a grapefruit, citrus flavor, followed by a grassy, earthy flavor. A thin feel at the start, getting mildly heavier as it crosses the palate. It finishes dry on the back part of the palate. A solid pale ale, it has the balance of malt and hops for this style.

cameraman, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of missginsu
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The frothy, creamy head dissipates after just a minute to suds that cling to the side of the glass. The brew itself is a pretty light brown with a hint of red. Smells a bit molasses-y, but honestly, I have a bit of a cold, so there might be more there that I'm missing.

A sip is crisp with a nicely bitter, dark grain bite at the midsection and back of the tongue.

It's dry and it seems to have a nice roundness as it rolls across the mouth. Since it feels light-bodied and not terribly sweet, I think I could enjoy a few of these without feeling weighed down.

missginsu, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of dmamiano
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium amber with a small white head that leads to actually a fair amount of lacing.
Smells of grainy, medium malts with a true hoppiness present.
Kind of reminded me of an almost smell of something very clean. Weird, I know.
Taste is sweet, with a light malt tang at first but quickly overtaken by a big hit of bitterness that just will not quit. Minutes later I am still enjoying the bitterness as is numbed my palate.
Very solid beer for sure.

dmamiano, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of praufs01
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber with a creamy off white head.

Aroma - Light hop and caramel smell.

Palate - Smooth, light carbonation.

Flavor - Sweet burnt sugar taste followed by a nice acidic hop that fades to a slightly metallic aftertaste.

Final thoughts - Very good ale.

praufs01, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of animal69
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got me some smutty's up in hea' ; this one pours a slightly cloudy light copper color w/ a fluffy white head which lasts a bit leaving a decent lacing all the way down my nonic ; a strong pine and catpiss-like citrusy hop aroma, some toasty malts present under the hops ; a full, well balanced flavor more accentuated by the hops, but a crisp, nutty malt taste about midway keeps it in check with a good, dry finish ; a light-med body made creamier by the co2 makes this lil' 5.0 seem pretty rich ; overall a very good brew, so good, i'm gonna put this one on my top ten session list...

animal69, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of MrMonkey
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a two-finger, creamy, pillowy light tan head, leaving lots of sticky lacing as it slowly fades. Pretty good retention.

Nose is a little faint, but I'm picking up some floral hops with some light citrus notes, and some pale, doughy malts.

Taste is pale, bready malts up front, followed by some floral and citrus hops and a slightly bitter, semi-dry finish. Very well balanced.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Very crisp and clean.

Great drinkability, great session beer. I'm glad this is one of my local offerings.

MrMonkey, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by March, 2008. Just barely getting this in before it's best by date.

A- Pours a really clear yet dark shade of orange. There was some fine sediment into the bottle which made its way into beer. The offwhite head pours frothy and settles into a nice frothy little cap, great lacing.

S- Smell hits mainly bready with a distinct hop smell that I can't pinpoint. I want to say "old" hops but I don't know if that's accurate... it's a somewhat earthy/spicy/peppery hop smell I guess.

T- The taste starts our with a pale malt and earthy taste that reminds me of DFH 60 Minute IPA. It then ends in a peppery hop finish. The malt imparts almost an oktoberfest-like toastiness and sweetness but not totally. I just realized what this reminds me of a lot is Firestone's Double Barrel Ale. The 60 minute holds a lot more hops than Shoal's but Shoal's has a more light and earthy flavor similar to Double Barrel.

M- Pretty light, nothing to complain about here, the carbonation level seems fine if not just slightly high.

D- This beer really reminds me of Firestone Double Barrel Ale and while I wouldn't go back to it that often it's a nice beer at the appropriate time.

MiScusi, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of dacrza1
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Smutty winter sampler...off-white single-finger head on an Octoberfest-type hue; lacing is of cirrus clouds...crunchy hops aroma-- not unlike their powerful IPA--welcoming and yeasty...medium-to-full body with slight effervescene; formidable mouthfeel...bright, punchy hops that splash the throat with an intense flourish early and vibrant tongue action; clean and crisp, malty and mellow late--complex...approaches the wonder and awe of Sierra Nevada's offering... I will seek this out in the barbecue season, as I can see this complimenting the grill fare well...

dacrza1, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a cloudy dark amber hue with a light tan one finger head that leaves stringy lacing as it descends down the glass. Herbal hops and a bit of grain. The flavor pretty much mirrors the aroma. Both the aroma and flavor are pretty light. Light bodied with some fizzy carbonation.

This is an okay pale ale, nothing special. Great for a local choice, but I wouldn't seek it out anywhere else.

BeerSox, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of Riggsy
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Sam Admams glass.

A: Pours a nice bronze color, not crystal clear, but with decent clarity. Frothy white head which receded to a nice lace topping.

S: Piney/citrusy, like grapefruit hops at the front, subtle caramel malt notes accompany.

T: More pine/citrus hop bitterness dominating in the taste. Maybe bordering on IPA bitterness, but nothing wrong with that. Not a lot of malt backing it up.

M: Medium-light bodied, hop bitterness leaves it dry in the finish, medium carbonation.

D: A pale ale for the hop-centric, I'd like a little more balance, but otherwise solid.

Riggsy, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a decent head, some patchy lacing.

Smell is mostly controlled by the hops, slight citrus aroma, decent malt backing to balance it out.

Taste is very similar to the smell, good balance, but an otherwise slightly above average pale ale.

deltatauhobbit, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of hyland24
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tall pilsner glass.

The beer poured a cloudy amber with a two finger fluffy white head.

The smell was hoppy right off the bat withfloral/citrus scent in the back.

The taste was a strong hop flavor with a faint citrus sweetness that finishes very dry.

This beer is light to medium bodied with a crisp dry feel although it did leave a slightly oily feeling in the mouth after it was swallowed.

This is a good beer and definitely worth trying especially if you are a fan of that spicy hop taste.

hyland24, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of Moxley
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time beer reviewer. Purchased a six pack of this beer from our local Whole Foods here in the Bronx.

The first thing I did was smell the beer after I poured it into a tall tom collins glass. It had a very pleasant, sweet smell with hints of citrus, especially grapefruit.

It looked like sparkling apple cider, a little cloudy, with a nice off-white head that settled quickly, lacing the glass as I drank.

The mouthfeel, I don't know if I'm getting this right, but I thought it was crisp and clean feeling with enough body to let you know you're drinking a quality beer, but not overpowering, with hints of sweet-then-sour citrus.

This is definitely a summer beer that I think would be perfect at a bbq and could definitely be considered a session beer.

Moxley, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of msolar
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice head that dissipated quickly and evenly with very little lacing. Poured a nice deep amber color. Smells very similar to their Old Brown Dog Ale but more floral and citric. Good tasting beer with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Good mouthfeel - just full enough to make it a great sessions beer.

This beer is what I expect a pale ale to be. This would be a great summer BBQ beer.

Noteable; I just purchased it last week and it's "Best Before" date is Jan '08 - just over a month prior.

msolar, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of Drewcifer
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish-orange, somewhat murky, with a finger or two of fluffy off-white head. The head settles quickly, but leaves some very nice lacing.

Aroma is malty with earthy hops over top.

Taste is slightly sweet, bready malts underneath a slightly bitter piney/citrusy hops.

Decently carbonated, light/medium bodied, a little slick in the mouth.

Overall, a fairly drinkable brew. Not the greatest APA around, but certainly above average.

Drewcifer, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single, 12 oz bottle copped from Total Wine and More in West Orange for $1.49...
Nice, hazy, cloudy, murky, caramel-colored appearance with a rather impressive head that soon receded leaving a nice lacing...
Smell was replete with fresh florals, slight hops and citrus with some slight grapefruit...
Semi-sweet, light, clean, refreshing taste with a subtle flavor that is very satisfying without being overbearing or too much to handle... For an American Pale Ale, this was a good representation, although not the best I've come across...
Slightly watered-down mouthfeel with a decent-level of drinkability due to the fact that there were no cloying or interfering flavors present...
Overall, this would make for a good session brew on a hot Summer day... Worth a try...

dsa7783, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of cdkrenz
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Cloudy cherry red color with an 1/8 of an inch of eggshell-white colored head.

Smell - Very nice hop-filled aroma. There's even an added hint of spice.

Taste - It is obviously strong in the hops department. The flavor is tasted on the back outsides and back middle of my tongue.

Mouthfeel - There's a subtle coarseness that really adds a nice feature to the beer. Interestingly I can actually feel this beer all the way down to my stomach.

~ All those who like a good hoppy pale ale should try this Smuttynose. It's a sure thing. I look forward to my next Shoal's.

cdkrenz, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of Slynger
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shoals pours a nice clear orangey amber color with quickly settling off-white head that leaves some patchy lace-work.

Lots of floral and citrus hops in the aroma with a toasted malt backbone, and light amount of caramel sweetness.

Light-medium body that is slick and oily, yet retains refreshing carbonation. Toasted and bitter flavor. Grapefruit zest and earthy-grassy bitter hops dominate, with a light caramel and lemony sweetness.

A very good pale ale with bunches of hops. Not quite to IPA level of hoppiness, but a damn fine APA.

Slynger, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Fizzy, a finger and a half of off-white head. Sticky on the sides of the glass. A slightly red-orange tone.

S: Floral hop aromas coupled with soft, sweet malts.

T: Piney hops, moderate bitterness. Not overdone, but not incredibly complex, either.

M: Semi-syrupy, though a bit slick. Enough to leave a decent aftertaste that lingers for some time.

D: Easy to drink, but about average. Not anything amazing, and not something I could really see myself going out of the way for - in terms of pale ales, at least.

Proteus93, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with a short but thick off white/tan head that laces the sides of the glass very nicely. The aroma is mostly of floral and earthy hops that blend for a nice bitter aroma layered over a sweet malty smell. The taste is really good as well. It deliveres on what a pale ale should be. Sweet roasted malts layered with floral and earthy hop bitterness that blends well together. Nothing more needed from a pale ale and this one certainly delivers. It has an good crisp mouthfeel and it is certainly a drinkable beer. I would recommend this one for sure.

erosier, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color with and off-white head. In the aroma, a small citrusy hops. In the taste, small grapefruity/ citrus hops, and a smooth, sweet malt. A small bitter and medium bodied mouthfeel and a semi dry, tea like hoppiness. A very nice hop presence, good body and a very nice malt balance.

OWSLEY069, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of albern
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this is a nice pale ale, much more of a British style pale than your typical American variety. The beer is clear amber with a whitish bubbly head, retention, and a little lacing too. The smell is your very prickly hop aroma with some yeast bite in there too. The smell is good, but it is less balanced than the taste implies. The taste is robust and very good. This is a complex brew with a nice prickly, carbonated, wide mouth hoppy dryness that tastes like it comes from the sea. There is some saltiness in this beer a bit more malt in the finish. The one word that comes to mind with this beer is just simply robust. There are some nice flavors in the malt, perhaps a little nutty flavors hidden in the background, and a prickly mouthfeel. There is ample carbonation and a modest aftertaste. This is well worth seeking out. I just reviewed a Flying Dog Pale and Smuttynose is hands down a better beer, just by way of a back to back comparison. L'Chaim.

albern, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of eberkman
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an old standby for me, but one that for some reason I've never reviewed.

Pours a nice orange-amber into a pint glass with a fairly sticky short white head. Aromas of grassy hops and sweetness from the malt. The taste is a clean, well balanced, slightly toasty and oh so subtly toffee-like maltiness rounded out by a serious bitter hoppy punch at the end. Very clean finish that leaves you wanting to take another gulp. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with just the right level of carbonation to bridge the gap between spritzy and leaden. Highly sessionable -- the hoppiness makes it a great thirst quencher, the balance makes it enjoyable over the long hall, and it's just complex enough to keep your interest for a while without overdoing things. Very well crafted.

More importantly, it's a highly versatile dinner companion.

eberkman, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of pwoods
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to NJpadreFan for this brew.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a pint. Best before April '08

A: Pours a very clear amber. 1 finger of pearly white head forms and slowly descends. Some decent lacing.

S: A nice balance between crisp floral hops and a clean, slightly sweet malt. Straight forward but pleasant.

T/M: Malts a nicely sweet and hops are balancing. Hops have a nice light hop leafy resin that still maintains a sessionable bitterness. Hops linger just briefly before leaving the palate clean. Body is medium light and carbonation is moderate.

D: This would be a great session brew. Very pleasant and very easy drinking... just like an APA should be.

pwoods, Jan 22, 2008
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,275 ratings.