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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,331 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,331
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 25
Gots: 82 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-05-1998

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,331 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dreadnatty08
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy medium caramel color with plentiful off white head, great tracing as well. Deep malt forward aroma with quite a bit of complex bready, slightly roasty notes. Good spruce and citrus notes as well hinting to its hop character. On the palate it's a very balanced, very drinkable beer. More of those complex malty notes come through, the hops are certainly noticeable but not to the extent I was hoping. Still, a thoroughly enjoyable beer.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber color. Large head. Thin retention but nice lacing.

Smell - Flowery hops, caramel malts, and grapefruits.

Taste - Smooth flowery hops, grapefruit and caramel. Some nuts and toffee that I didnt detect in the smell.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Full carbonation. Little oily in the mouth.

Drinkability - Refreshing and easy to drink. Session able.

Photo of Atlas1
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Number two (after the Portsmouth Lager) from the summertime Smuttynose Variety Sampler that I purchased today. I had the Shoal's on tap in my kegerator a while back, but it's been quite some time since I had a bottle of it.

Pours a hazy brown/amber color with a decent, fullbodied head that dissipates too quickly, but does leave some sticky-looking lace. The nose is both floral and fruity (dates, dried banana, maybe some raisins), with some sweet caramel notes in there, and candied sugar as well. The taste is clean and refreshing, with sweet malts up front, fruity esthers in the middle, and a cool, dull bitterness in the finish. Smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel with an excellent dry hop finish. This is the way American pale ales should be. And at 5% ABV, a quality session beer to boot!

Photo of Admiraldinty
3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy amber in appearance with a 2 inch white head.

Smell: Clean, malty nose.

Taste: Some malt, but mostly grainy dryness. Hops are a little subdued for my liking.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin, but soft at the same time.

Drinkability: Not bad, but a little disappointing. I don't think I'd get another sixer.

Photo of pittvkyle7
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- really nice looking, darker amber color, with big creamy head, that almost completly fades to some good lacing.

s- mostly hops and slightly fruity, maybe dark fruits but I can't pin it. The rosted malts are present to.

t- like the nose but more so. Great bitterness, piney but kind of floral too. The rosted malts is what makes this beer even though I feel the hopd dominate. In the middle of the taste is this great burnt flavor folowed by a bitter finish.

m- thin, but coats the mouth just enought o not be watery, gooe carbonation.

d- very drinkable

Photo of sleazo
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a rich clear brown with a one finger head. The head is fluffy and settles down to a nice 1/2 finger. Wispy lacing along with the small head stop this from looking great.

S-Dominant smell is a slightly grapefruit hop. However it is very light on the nose with a twinge of seawater(?)

T_Rather subdued roasted malt competes with the piney hops for dominance but neither really wins. This is rather tame on both sides of the ball.

M-Very thin bodied with a med/low level of carbonation. Needs more body.

D-Very plain Jane style APA. I drink a lot of APAs and this one really isnt doing mich for me. There just isnt enough flavour going on. It is not bad and there is nothing off with it but I like a little more malt and/or hops for the style.

Photo of BBM
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish copper color into the pint glass. A nice, foamy white head lay atop the beer. Aroma was fruity, flowery, and just a bit sweet. Overall pleasant.

The taste is hoppy, as you'd expect from an APA. Floral, pine, and citrus hops all expose themselves, but a healthy malt profile rounds out the flavor nicely. Mouthfeel is medium, and a bit carbonated. This is a highly drinkable ale, even if it is a bit bitter. Overall this is a great summer sessioner and perfect for the 4th of July. A very fine example of an APA from Smuttynose.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

I got this beer at a recent swap with some friends. I typically like to try a beer twice before making judgment, but I was only able to walk away with one.

A - It poured a little darker than I expected with a thin head that quickly dissipated. There was some carbonation and overall it looked inviting.

S - The first thing I noticed was fruit. My wife said it smelled like peaches, I thought more like apricots. This is an improvement since my wife usually says "it smells like beer". We also noted the malty smell as well. We were both eager to try it.

T - Wow. My first sip was decent. Tasted the hops, a hint of fruit. I then took a swig. This is where everything went wrong. The aftertaste stuck to the back of my tongue and wouldn't let go. Perhaps I'm not used to APAs (I've only had a couple, ever) and I will admit I'm a novice and I'm still getting my feet wet, but this is definitely a taste I didn't like. My wife agreed. I went back to sipping and was able to enjoy it much more.

M - I felt the carbonation, but again didn't like the way it stuck to the back of my tongue for so long.

D - This is not the beer for me. Aside from my personal taste, it wasn't too heavy or light, and had a nice balance of flavors (with that sole exception). I'll have to try more APAs to see if this is a common theme or not. I would try it again, but I wouldn't want more than 1 a night.

Photo of mshallah
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is available to me in New Hampshire in 6-packs, 12-packs, on tap and in growlers. 12oz bottle for review. Beautiful amber beer with a perfect foam of head. Tiny bubbles cascade with the pour. Smell of sweet malt and citrus. Essence of caramel. Sweetness is there at the very start and gets bombarded with citrusy hops in flavor and aroma. Expert use of dry-hopping. Malt continues on in an undercurrent of flavor. This pale ale is bigger than many IPA's. Lip smackin' hop juice. Smutty's flagship brew is cheap by the 12-pack in many NH grocery stores, so this is a fridge staple. Support local brews, you will be rewarded.

Photo of fank2788
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
This beer pours a hazy brown tinged copper with a very small white head which doesn't do much of anything in the glass. The smell is surprisingly hoppy, this is just a pale ale, not an IPA right? To be fair the hop aroma is nicely balanced by malt. The taste is very nice. Again the flavor is led by citrus hops but quickly gives way to nice rounded maltyness. There is also a strong salty presence, maybe a bit off but I kind of like it. The mouthfeel is nice the right level of carbonation and very dry finish invite another sip. Drinkability too is good definitely different from your typical west coast pale ale but the change is welcomed.

Photo of mcarroll10177
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark gold with a big white head, tons of lacing on the glass

S- hops hops and more hops some fruit in the background

T- not your typical APA a bit sharper in the hop profile and more bitter in the finish

M- perfectly balanced with some nice carbination

D- a good beer but a bit bitter for the style. So I had to knock it down a few. A good beer but not my favorite for the syle.

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

Shiny light orange. Looks quite hazy. Head goes away but leaves a foamy top layer. Big-time carbonation. Thick lace

Nice, sweet pale malt smell with a nice first wave of sweet citrus hops. Also a bit flowery. Malt has a little bite in the nose; gets sharper.

Nice pale malt. The hops are an accent only. Has a combination of flowery and nutty. Has a roasted quality I didn't expect. Yeast shows up as it warms. Sweet/flowery at the end.

Drya nd medium-bodied, and a tad ashy. It's a good pale. Malty, a little sharp. Dry, but also light and drinkable.

Photo of scarletfire79
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a wheaten brown, great head retention and lacing. smells of sweet hops and slight citrus. the taste is awesome, great hop bite. more hops than some ipa's some breweries put out. very very nice. smooth finish. there are some hints of citrus and a slight honey sweetness. good balance, very smooth, awesome offering from smuttynose.

Photo of Applesauce1
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked this up Whole Foods in Arlington, VA while visiting 'Stank.

Appearance: copper-orange color with a nice 3/4" white head on the pour; looks nice
Smell: hops
Taste: hoppy, but not overly done; a little bit of malt sweetness in the aftertaste to balance it out
Mouthfeel: a little thin
Drinkability: could do two or three in a night

Overall, a good beer, and I would have it again.

Photo of Brad007
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance- Medium copper in color with a decent head that lasts about a minute or two.

Smell- The hops definitely shine through this beer. I would say I can detect hints of Cascade and a soft, piney essence.

Taste- Sharp taste in which I can detect somewhat that's piney and has hints of grapefruit.

Drinkability- I would say that this beer is quite drinkable for a pale ale if not the best example of one.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of adowney523
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a pint glass. Color is amber with ample carbonation and a nice off-white head with great retention.

Smells toasty and estery.

Lots of citrus fruit in the taste. Malt is toasty. The finish is piney and grassy.

Very drinkable and refreshing. I liken this to Ipswich Original Ale.

Photo of Beertron
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Time for another "import." This is my first Smuttynose. I've heard good things about the brewery but nothing about this beer in particular. I've a sucker for a good PA, so here's hoping. Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A - Woah! A standard pour gave me 3 inches of dirty white head (I swear, sometimes the urge to make a wisecrack is just too much to bear) and I almost poured this over the top. Head dissipated very slowly, leaving tight lacing on the sides and retaining a thin head until the very last sip. Two interesting notes: 1- This gave off a few huge bubbles and made for one of the rockiest heads I've ever seen, with the bubbles closest to the glass going away first and leaving that funny looking dimpled foam cyclinder. This has a much elevation change as the state of Colorado. 2- When halfway done with this bugger, I was noticed that the leftover lacing at the top of the glass was actually darker, more dirty-looking, than the pure white towards the bottom. I wonder what causes this...

S - Strong scent of pink grapefruit -- I can smell it three feet away. It's not overpowering -- its actually quite soft and pleasant -- its just unmistakable. There is a bit of piny scent here from the hops as well. The yeast comes across as dark and bready and there's a prominent foggy, musty smell that is fascinating. Again, it's actually very pleasing, kind of like the smell of an old blanket/quilt. Hmmm. I kind of get the impression that this beer smells quite similar to the inside of the cabin pictured on the label.

T - There's some good balance going on here. The hops are balanced amongst each other so that it doesn't taste overly citrusy, floral or pine-like, and the malts do a good job of standing up to the hops so that they are focused and not trying to do an IPA impression (think Alpha King). Again, there's an intriguing mustiness that I can't quite pin, kind of foggy or mossy. Also, this has a faint saltiness to it that's making me jump up and down with the food possibilities.

M - The hops provide for the expected bitter dryness, but not nearly as much as expected. Here, however, the mustiness finally presents itself in a negative manner, almost giving the feeling of hard/stale/bad water. It's certainly not enough to break the deal though.

D - Yep. The hops leave just enough dryness to make you want another drink but not so much that you'll soon have to go maltward. That slightly off-putting mouthfeel aside, I could easily drink 4 or 5 of these without tiring of it. I would probably start out with it for a meal and then just keep going.

F - The salty aspect of this brew lets it set up shop next to a host of salty and/or briny foods. Long-aged cheddar (like Hook's 10-yr here in WI or Grafton Village's Stone House 6-yr closer to this beer's homeland) will be the match made in heaven, but there's a lot more options than just that. A host of good European olives (like kalamatas or nicoises) would make for a nice snack with this, as would nearly any pickled food, fish included. Mustard, deli meats, [non-citrus] cream sauces...I could go on and on. I won't. Here's what I'd do: Grilled turkey breast and aged-cheddar sandwich with good yellow mustard and olive tapenade.

O - This is an great example of this style and unique at the same time. It doesn't get too hoppy, it has that intriguing musty quality, it's balanced enough to make for a nice session beer and it loves food. I'm impressed.

Photo of
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

Clear, dark gold color. Large, rocky, ivory colored head.

Nice crisp hop scent, citrus and floral. Pepper. Earthy, just a bit. Hint of caramel and peach.

Big hops tastewise for a pale, mainly citrus/herbal -lemon. Touch of caramel. Crackery flavor in there as well. Maybe too one dimensional/unbalanced towards the hops, but not by much.

Medium in body. Low to medium carbonation. Dry.

Overall, a very nice APA, especially if you are partial to hops. At 5% ABV, quite sessionable as well. Will be revisiting as the weather warms...

Photo of BuckSpin
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11oz bottle in a classic conical pint glass

Nice hops up front on the nose, oily citrus (soft grapefruit), pine. Head is sticky, a solid 2 fingers of a light, warm ivory hue of tight foam that laced nicely down to a 1/4" of retained covering.

A nice, rich brassy orange amber hue in color, warm, slightly clouded, a few lonely bubbles rise quickly to the head.

Surprisingly smooth & creamy on the tongue. I was expecting more of a hop bitterness from the nose. Lightly peppery, it has a nice bittersweet malt quality that seques to a more pronounced hop presence on the palate. Its easy to drink, moreso than a lot of Pale Ales I've had, almost a strong ESB. The finish is cool & creamy, a little dry, slight hop pop and then gives way to a bittersweet (actually more bitter) aftertaste that coats, not films over, and begs for some food. My mouth is now primed wonderfully for a variety of items. I could see this working well with a large genre of culinary cuisines, with summer grilling immediately coming to the forefront, but that grilling could be a burger, a hot dog, a steak, chicken, veggies, etc. A nice sharp cheddar would be great right now, or just some no nonsense cheese pizza.

A very easy to drink Pale Ale, and while not my forte this was good. I am impressed at the coating that screams for food, and will certainly revisit this one later this summer, perhaps a nice grilled beefburger with melted cheddar. Keep this one in mind for pairing with summer fare.

Photo of demcorhip
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly ruddy, almost brownish, amber ale. Thin off white head formed on top of this mildly carbonated ale. Essentially no lacings formed.

While not much to look at the aromas are much more interesting. Caramel, nuts, and a citrus and floral hop aroma.

Very tasty, bread crust, caramel, and nuts make for a flavourful malt contribution. Decent dose of citrusy hops with flavours of orange and grapefruit. More floral and earthy hops also present.

A pale ale with flavour, depth, and substance. Almost medium bodied, its rich and tasty malts are balanced by a decent amount of old and new hops, with citrus bitterness as well as a more floral and earthy hop touch. A mild tea like astringency also present.

A very nice, drinkable ale which would be a pleasure to session. A nice stepping stone to the much hoppier american IPAs for the beer novice. Will be enjoying a lot more of this nicely crafted pale ale this summer.

Photo of cichief
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a mixed 12-pack.

The beer poured a beautiful deep amber, crystal clear, and with a half inch of cream colored foam. It smelled of hops, spice and a little fruit. The taste was rather muted, but balanced. It felt great, nice and smooth on the tongue. I could drink this beer everyday.

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

12oz bottle into an English pint glass.

A---It poured a brilliant copper with orange hues and a thick creamy white head.

S---Two row base malt, apricot and subtle floral hops.

T---Cracker, slight esters, caramel and smooth bitterness up front. Finishes dry with a little citrus hop flavor.

M---Medium bodied.

D---Easy drinking and session able pale ale.

Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a small head.

Aromas are sweet, grassy, and malty.

Beer has a really malty and full up front taste. Tastes slightly smokey, crisp, and with just a touch of bitterness from the hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite good for a low ABV Pale Ale. Very full flavored and a well rounded beer.

Drinkability is good. This is a nice malty Pale Ale. Very session worthy.

Thanks for the bottle MuenchenerKindl.

Photo of Atron67
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- can tell from the start that its different because the color is a darker amber than you would normally see from something called a pale ale, very lacey tanish foam forms upon pour

S-- Very hoppy smells delicious slight malt

T- light body malt to start turning to a nice (cascade? maybe another heavy alpha) hops flavor.

M- a bit on the medium side for a pale ale, nice but not as crisp as some other pale ales that are a favorite of mine

D- a good choice in any situation, enjoyable

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,331 ratings.