1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
very good

1,239 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,239
Reviews: 640
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 25
Gots: 40 | 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: 1,239 | Reviews: 640 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tgbljb


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

poured a clear amber color with moderate slightly off-white head. Smell is a pleasant mixture of hops and dark malt. Taste is fruity combined with loads of malt. Finish is full-bodied with a touch of dryness that is a pleasant ending. Good , but not exceptional beer.

08-17-2005 00:11:07 | More by tgbljb
Photo of ILiveOffHops

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

This brew is golden-brown in color with a small but nice coating of head at the top. The head remains as a ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Malty, bitter and slightly hoppy. Smooth and a well balanced beer. Very basic though, with few other interesting flavors. Even so, a nice beer that I will happily enjoy....especially during "Smuttynose month" at Harrington's in Chelmsford, MA.

08-13-2005 03:53:53 | More by ILiveOffHops
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Appearance - A light auburn with a medium head and rings of lacing that cling to the side of the glass indefinitely . The high carbonation maintains the head. Rings of lacing coat the entire glass as the beer goes down.

Smell - Strong of piney hops and nothing else. Closer to room temperature a bit of a malty scent is apparent, but it is subdued by the hops.

Taste - A coffee and hop flavor mesh for a very pleasant bitterness. Not a potent flavor, but very very good. As it warms a bit of malty tones sneak though.

Mouthfeel - Medium viscosity, slightly smooth. The hops make it a bit drying, but all and all resfreshing.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable. It is easy to finish, and I wouldn't mind another. Would go beautifully with almost any (not spicy) meat dish.

08-09-2005 19:17:43 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

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

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

New York

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

Appearance is brown mixed with amber. The head is frothy and white. The lacing is medium.

The aroma is minimal, but has hints of malt mixed with a hop presence.

The flavor starts off mild and progresses to a surprisingly hopy finish. There is also a hint of a nutty presence.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and carbonated nicely.

This is a wonderfully drinkable beer. Give it a try.

07-30-2005 05:11:47 | More by Naes
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.65/5  rDev -4.9%

Presented in a 12oz bottle and poured into a standard pint glass, in this case my Alesmith glass.
Appearance: clear orange color, vibrant carbonation, and a short-lived one-finger off-white head that left little lace.
Smell: fruity sweetness was immediately noticed followed quickly by an earthy malt note and some herbal hops notes.
Taste: sweet caramel maltiness and lighter fruit notes up front. Swings through to a more earthy, almost peat-like, taste before the hops pick up the tempo and produce a slightly harsh bittering bite in the finish.
Feel: medium-bodied, with a drying finish.
Drinkability: decently quaffable yet I've had other pale ales I've liked better. Just a little too much harsh bitterness for my palate when it comes to this style.

07-26-2005 17:53:53 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of misterscooter


4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

A bottle fermentation leaves some sediment in this one, so be aware before you pour. But when you do pour watch the fantastic, thick head form on the top of this copper colored beauty. As the head leaves, a nice lace stays behind and it doesn't dry out very fast.

The smell from the Shoals is quiet and comes to you slowly. I noticed some grass smell in there but not overpowering. Also, the scent of beeswax, or at least a beeswax candle or bar of soap.

As a pale ale, this guy has some great, smooth hops, not at all harsh. The aftertaste is slightly dry. There is also a sweetness in there that adds some spark, almost like a bit of sweet tea has been added.

This is a first rate pale ale and definitely fits in with the fine offerings from Smuttynose. Many pale ale lovers might be surprised by this one. It isn't typical but there are your typical pale ale flavors in there as well as some variation.

07-21-2005 05:07:14 | More by misterscooter
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

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)

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

New York

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

Smuttynose Shoal's Pale Ale

Appearance-pours an amber orange, not all that much head to speak of, but what is there stays put, about an inch, beautiful clarity though.

Smell-Very aromatic, pine hop aroma (Cascade?) with other hop nuances and malt to balance it out, very nice.

Taste-spicy hop at the beginning and then balanced out by some caramel malt finish, huge hop hits on the end of the toungue, very nice.

Mouthfeel-not half bad, hoppy, which I like but it's indeed really harsh.

Drinakbility-decent, only 5% alcohol and if you like hops you will love this beer, enough said.

Overall-a somewhat unique pale ale, I haven't had many like this one, but it is indeed quite good, perhaps a little more malt to balance would've been nice but that's nitpicking, decent job by Smuttynose, I hope I get to try it fresher next time (bottle dated March)

06-21-2005 08:06:32 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of quasimoto


3.53/5  rDev -8.1%

The color was orange/amber and had a off-white head. Very pleasing to look at. The aroma was very very light, with a nice citrusy little hop aroma. I couldnt tell what strain of hops it was it was so light. There is a slight musty aroma going on too as I swirl it around. The taste was a very bitter malt.It was sweet at first but as it warmed alittle it turned very grainy. But not a cheerio good grainy, a wet old spent grainy. It wasn't very sweet at all. very one sided. Pale ales are usually balanced and I didnt find this one to be that. But if that is the taste they are going for, cool. I liked it anyway.

06-15-2005 16:56:43 | More by quasimoto
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

On-tap @ The Linwood Grill in Boston, MA.

Nice amber/orange color with good head retention. Light malty aroma with the hops really cutting through. Slightly citrusy. The taste is loaded with hop bitterness and creates a dryness in your mouth. Unbalanced? Yes. Delicious? Yes. The dry mouthfeel would make it tough to drink many of these in one sitting. But still, a damn good tasting beer and something I would order again.

06-10-2005 15:05:22 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of sliv


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

I bought this one on a whim on a really hot day without AC in my car. I was hoping for something light to enjoy on such a warm, humid evening. I recognized the brewery name, and although I couldn’t swear I’d never had this one, I knew I’d never had it while thinking about what I was drinking.

The beer pours with a slight foamy head which subsides very quickly to a thin layer that sticks to the sides of the glass. It has a rich amber color that is slightly hazy due to active yeast in the bottle.

I didn’t need to take much of a sniff to detect the strong hops aroma, which you pretty much expect in a Pale Ale. The smell was strong, but not unpleasant, with some sweeter floral overtones.

It turned out to be dry with lots of punch from the hops. Not as much as a Bass, but noticeably strong. On the tongue, it was slightly bitter (fittingly) with medium malt grain flavor. The aftertaste was a little sweet.

Mouth feel:
There was a substantial texture to this beer, although it was light bodied. It drank thin, not very viscous. It seemed to be quite well carbonated, and it didn’t dissipate over the ~20 minutes it was in my glass (before I had to open the next one)

I had the beer served cold on a hot day. What’s the question? This one was easy. It was as refreshing as I’d hoped. I finished off three bottles but decided to save the rest for later. I could easily drink this beer all night.

06-09-2005 20:12:55 | More by sliv
Photo of weeare138


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

Appears a dark haze of amber brown with a thick two inch head that lasts. Lots of spotty white lacing leaves stripes and spots all over the glass. Tiny bubbles can be seen arising from the sides of the glass.
Smell is of tame mild hops and crystal malts.
Taste is of creamy, light hops and balanced malt.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight bitterness that follows up the slight malt taste.
Drinkability isn't bad but there needs to be more enticement.

It's ok, dog.

05-23-2005 18:03:39 | More by weeare138
Photo of ithacabaron


3.4/5  rDev -11.5%

Pours a determined red hue into my glass. When held up to the light, it reveals itself to have more of a firey orange color, topped by a small, barely there head. Still, the red color persists. Sort of odd, but eh, I'll take it.

Aroma is very clean and basic -- Low AA american hops on top of a solid English malt body.

Flavor is big time crystal malt (that explains why it's so freaking red!), which manifests itself with a candy apple sweetness, and Maris Otter malt. Soon after this original smoothness comes a notable, but never challenging hoppiness. It's not particularly hoppy, and not particularly bitter, tending overall towards a sweeter profile in all. The finish is a bit drying, and becons you to take your next sip.

Mouthfeel is all right, perhaps a little high.

Drinkability is raised by the dry finish, but lowered by how sweet the offering is overall. I'd err on the side of the sweetness winning this battle.

All in all, a fine pale ale, and I'd have one or two. That being said, this needs a little more balance, as the sweet malt is winning without contest here.

05-17-2005 04:18:47 | More by ithacabaron
Photo of rousee


4/5  rDev +4.2%

A light cherry-amber color--small head, some lace --nice carbonation. Smell is cidery malt with some additional woody nuances. Hoppiness is very pleasant on the tongue-there is a slight burning pine hoppy element and overall this baby is quite smooth and unoffensive. I could see some people not liking it as much as I do because it is not a real assertive flavor. It is very smooth, pleasant and understated which, at times, can be rather enjoyable. Good drinkability too due to reasonable abv %.

05-05-2005 00:00:43 | More by rousee
Photo of far333


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

Orangey copper colored with a thick, frothy, lumpy head that leaves ringlets of lace rising up the sides of the glass. Aroma is light, but has definite biscuity malts, cinnamon and pear. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, moderate to low carbonation, followed by a smooth and even flavor of light malts, toffee, some butterscotch, and understated hops. Finish gets a little hoppier, more tangerine-like. A citric bitter lingers in the aftertaste. Tastes good and very drinkable, though not overly complex.

04-30-2005 00:37:52 | More by far333
Photo of beermanbrian


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

Pours a orange/brown color. Cloudy appearance that can be attributed to the fact that the bottle says it is an unfiltered ale. Very little head or lacing. Darker than i was expecting for a pale ale and also had a nutty taste that kind of reminded of a nut brown. Mild malty and hoppy smell. Slight bitter aftertaste. Mild to low carbonation that lends to a light body. Not what i was expecting out of a pale ale but not bad either. Very drinkable.

04-24-2005 00:45:46 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of Litterbean

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours a wonderful orange color, with a medium sized head that dissipates into a white film. Slightly hazy with minimal sediment.

Smells like warm syrupy malty goodness, with fruity hops coming through to balance it out. Definite hints of maple and sugar.

Tastes sweet. Not really hoppy, which is strange for an American Pale Ale. I was expecting some hop oils and bitterness. More malty than anything. The hops are there but they aren't dominant or aggressive. It's a well balanced pale ale, more along the lines of an English style like bass, only better. I like this take on it. There are malty hints of coffee, syrup, and chocolate. Dry finish with somewhat hoppy bitterness.

A real good beer, and a very drinkable version of a pale ale, which in itself is usually drinkable. Good stuff.

04-02-2005 03:44:08 | More by Litterbean
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%

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.

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


3.63/5  rDev -5.5%

All of the Smuttynose products I have tried have not disappointed. This one keeps the streak alive. This is definitely an IPA (not very hoppy for that type) not an APA.

Pours with a small head, giving off odoriferous sunflower (and believe it or not smells) like the beach. But this is defiantly not a beachy beer.

Slight hoppiness, this does not overpower the wonderful pine taste. This is a beer that makes its presence known. This beer lingers for a while then the true characteristics of the beer kick in.

This is a very good beer. I'll have another.

03-24-2005 23:58:29 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

Red-amber pour with a thin white head. Maltier smell than I expect from an APA, but it's a nice maltiness that makes me want to drink up. The taste is similarly balanced between hops and malt nicely with a caramel malty sweetness rounded out bit a bit of citric bitterness. Very nice brew for the price, another fine offering from Smuttynose.

03-18-2005 02:28:31 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Chadbrew


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

Not much of a head on it. Nice reddish - caramel color, pretty good carbonation.
Smell is sweet and malty. Some decent hops but not overwhelming.
Bit of a bite up front. Nice brief hoppy sensation in my nose then a quick bitter finish, dry aftertaste. Oh yeah... it all happens so fast I almost didn't perceive the nice sweet malt - sharp hops flavor.
The mouthfeel is medium and good, it's over pretty fast.

Another good offering from Smuttynose.

03-16-2005 23:20:03 | More by Chadbrew
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.35/5  rDev +13.3%

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.

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

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%

I haven't sampled this one since I was still living in Boston, which means it's been almost three years, and it's really a shame that I've neglected it for so long. I recall disliking it in the past but enjoying most (if not all) of the other Smutty brews so I constantly avoided it. Stupid me.

It pours a very nice amber colour with a large pillowy head. A plethora of sticky residue is left behind on the glass as well. This is very nice looking stuff.

The smell is a touch sweet, but an earthy maltiness dominates, whilst leaving room for a bit of hop character to penetrate.

While very simple overall, the flavour is solid all around. It's a bit woody and earthy from the malt and hops, with a bit of sweetness, are noticeable throughout, along with a touch of a salt flavour that reminds me a bit of Geary's Pale Ale, aanother favourite of mine. The finish has a dry hop taste.

This one is pretty much spot on and a nice choice for a session brew. Its flavourful but easy drinking. I definitely will be sampling it again soon.

01-20-2005 04:02:27 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of PSUDREW


3.18/5  rDev -17.2%

Pours a nice copper with a thick, rocky bone head . Nice citrus-hoppy noce to it.
Intial, sweet, citrus, hoppy flavor backed by a malty sweetness. Finishes with a sweet/hoppy mixed taste, biterness kept to a pleasent balance. Not the best pale ale I have ever had, but this is a solid competitor, and would be welll served at a summer Barbeque. good job, not great, but worth a taste for sure.

01-19-2005 04:29:00 | More by PSUDREW
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,239 ratings.