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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

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very good

1,310 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,310
Reviews: 646
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 25
Gots: 69 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,310 | Reviews: 646 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MMAJYK
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Bright rust color; transparent. Head is 1/4", composed of loose bubbles, and lacing is mediocre.

S- Light honey, some biscuit, caramel, and herbal/floral hop aroma.

T- Light malt backing mingling well with the bitter hop. The hops are earthy and dirt-y. The same biscuit is there along with a dry cracker taste.

M- Light in the mouth and high carbonation. Just a little bit on the watery side, though.

D- One of the more drinkable offerings I have had from Smuttynose. I like the refreshing factor relating to the high carbonation, and I also like the dry finish. I could session this without a doubt.

Photo of Chugmonkey
4.88/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mmmm, mmm, mmm. Dang! I assumed this would be another boring pale ale. Wrong! Big rocky off-white head, deep auburn color, tons of lacing - beautiful beer.

I assumed it would be super caramelly, but the color is deceiving though. There is a bunch of caramel, but not overpoweringly sweet. Nice hoppy aroma, plenty of hop flavor to balance the sweet maltiness. Finsishes with a surprising crispness instead of a filling sweetness. Bitterness is perfect. I get way more malt & hops flavor than a bitter bite.

I love this beer. What a great balancing act. I think I'm going to move to New Hampshire.

Photo of hops4me
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer alot for two reasons. It is not over the top in aroma and flavor. Very solid in those aspects. It has the malt backbone to balance the good hopping qualities it has.

Pours a hazy amber with two finger of head. A little bit of lacing as the suds subside to just a film. Smell is pine and citrus. Taste is hops. Grapefruit right there with fresh mown grass. Slight honey malt flavor to balance it all out. The body is medium to just a hair on the light side of medium. Just about right. The balance and mouthfeel make this very drinkable. I will definitely buy again.

Photo of mangledorf
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another good beer I've found from Smuttynose. Not quite as tasty or full as the IPA.
Pouring this one into a glass, a rich amber, light brown mass rolled beneath a lengthy white froth.
Not necessarily the strongest or most pleasing smell, but the the slight hoppy taste wins back anything lost.
This is a pleasing, accessible beer.

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An ordinary pale ale.

It was hard to compare this beer because I just had the Old Dog Brown Ale, but I got the gist of it. Nothing wrong with anything about this beer, it just didn't stand out. Good spices and hops, not too overpowering to kill my mouth. I wouldn't go looking for this one, but if it were available I'd grab one.

Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to csmiley for this one.

Appearance: This one pours a very clear, copper/bronze color. The head is off-white and extremely generous for an APA. It stands a nice two and a half fingers tall. It stuck around for quite a while and left thick, sticky sheets of lace on the mug.

Smell: The nose is very enticing (especially for an APA). Hops are nice and strong up front. They a mix of piney and citric qualities primarily. Perhaps a touch of floral in there, as well. There's a little citrus grapefruit and orange, but it's a somewhat mild aroma here. It has an interesting peppery smell to it that really adds some zeal and depth. A little on the earthy side.

Taste: Confirmed...it delivers. The hop flavor in this one is excellent. It's piney and bitter. There's a touch of citrus and earthy qualities to them. Citrus flavors are mostly grapefruit and orange. There are some caramel and pale malts present, but they're not strong enough to substantially negate the hop flavor. This one's skewed bitter (better?). I like that aspect of this one a lot. It is a little grainy and earthy. The spicy pepper flavor is a nice touch and adds more depth than you ordinarily find in the style. It finishes dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied, but really is bordering on medium. It's very smooth and refined. Another quality that's typically lost in a lot of APAs. Drinkability is very, very high here. With its smooth feel and low abv, how could you not drink this all night? I'm close to awarding a "5" here.

This is another fine release from Smuttynose. Can those guys do anything wrong? This is a very approachable, sessionable beer that's chock full of flavor. It's easily among the top APAs I've ever tried. I really hate that Smuttynose isn't distributed in Ohio. Perhaps one day. This would be a staple in my fridge if that were the case. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

Photo of irishkyle21
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The IPA that they brew at Smuttynose is delicious and one of my favorites so I was exited to see how their APA fared. Shoal's pours with a nice foam lots of sticky Brussels clinging to the glass. There's a slight haze within the coppery colors.

The nose reminded me of Sgt Major's IPA from Scotch Irish. Citric spicy hops, toffee and pale malt.

Hops are the main show on the palate but they don't run a mok thanks to the caramel malts. I found the mouthfeel a little watery. Very nice APA but I would take their IPA over it.

Photo of bkilpatr
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 08/27/08.

Pours a burnt orange amber color with about two fingers of beige head. The head dropped slowly leaving sticky lacing around the glass. Aroma is plenty of hops with a touch of butter.

Taste starts with a bunch of sweet caramel malt and a bit of a buttery taste. Finishes with a somewhat bitter floral hop taste.

Feel is light-medium body. Fairly smooth with a crisp and dry finish. Drinkability is also good. It's balanced though a bit on the sweet side.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Ten Penny Ale glass.

A: Pours a reddish copper color with a hazy look to it, likely from the unfiltered elements left in the bottle. A nice white head of foam retains well, leaving some soapy lace behind.

S: Smell is a pretty good balance of sweet, toasted caramel malt aromas and a distinct, piny hop spice.

T: Taste is sweet malt up front, soon dominated by the tingly pine and herbal hop bitterness which washes over the back of the tongue. The finish is sweet and slightly dry, with a toasted grain and hop flavor. Nicely balanced.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied yet crisp and tingly from the hop representation.

D: A drinkable beer indeed due to balance and modest ABV. Not the most breathtaking, but a nicely hopped version of an APA and one of good quality.

Smuttynose's Shoal's Pale Ale is a former award winner and one could definitely see why. It's a well balanced beer with unfiltered elements adding character and depth to an already well crafted brew.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,310 ratings.