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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,232 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,232
Reviews: 640
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 23
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)
View: Beers (54) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,232 | Reviews: 640 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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)

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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)

Serving type: bottle

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

Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
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.

Taste:
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)

Drinkability:
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 %.

Serving type: bottle

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

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Delaware

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Iowa

4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 16:02:53 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2005 04:02:27 | More by guinness33
Photo of PSUDREW
PSUDREW

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2005 04:29:00 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of carln26
carln26

Missouri

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was on tap at Bison county an poured a bright, clear amber with a medium cream colored head. Hop flower, citrus aroma. Sheets of lace down the side of the glass. Hops up front with the flower citrus in the flavor. Caramel malt backing. Light hop bite. Slightly slick mouth feel good drinkability. This is one of the more hoppy English style pales I’ve had. I had a west coast (Red Tail) in the same sitting to compare, and the Red Tail had much more malt to balance the flavor. If you like the English style, and your hops, go for this beer,

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2005 23:46:02 | More by carln26
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours an amber color with an inch and a half of off-white head. Slightly sweet malty smell. Nice balance between the malt and hops. Slightly tangy flavor. Medium body. Tastes like it may have been sitting on the shelf at the store for a while. Decent American Pale Ale, but not too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 01:34:26 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a tulip pint glass. A bottled on date is notched on the side of the label for November. Plenty of life left on this beer.

Amber in appearance with a nice head on top. Scattered sticky lacings are present on the sides of the pint glass.

Aroma of floral hops, malt sweetness and a drop of caramel.

Sweet malt blends with a hoppy bite and syrupy caramel flavor. Chewy, yet dry mouthful with a snap bite finish. Extremely well balanced and super drinkable.

This is solid American Pale Ale. Good representation of the style. I would expect nothing less from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 23:11:45 | More by Hibernator
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark for a "pale" ale, amber/brown, cloudy, with some sediment at the bottem. Decent head retention and sparse lace. Smells yeasty, fresh bread, toasted malt, with a distinct floral/grassy hop note. Initially malty tasting with a nice hop bite following. Well balanced and highly quaffable. Reminds me more of an amber ale or a hoppy ESB. Lots of chunks swimming around though which makes it lose some points for appearance.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 16:57:37 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Citadel82
Citadel82

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with active carbonation. Starts with a two finger head that recedes to a durable thin layer atop the beer leaving creamy lacework as the beer is consumed. I like this brew, it goes great with Pizza. The taste is very hoppy, Grapefruits and orange zest got nuthin on this stuff. Very quenching on hot day. The hops are quite overpowering of all the other elements. Good mouthfeel, though no malt in evidence at all.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2004 23:48:37 | More by Citadel82
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
bigbeerdrinka

Germany

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep amber color with copper hues and a bubbly white head that leaves a nice lace. Aromas remind me of walking into a bakery, with bread, biscuit, and doughs being most present in the nose. There is also some herbal, grassy hops in the nose. For flavor this brew is very malty with a nice bread like flavor mixed with hints of buttery toffee and just a big of caramel. Following the hops splash their way into the picture giving off a grassy earthy flavor with just a hint of citrus in the mix. The finish to this brew is only slightly bitter but mostly dominated by the hops. Overall this brew had was fairly medium bodied and the carbonation was crisp and delightful. A nice offering by smutty, but personally I don't like the flavor the hops give off in this brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2004 19:28:23 | More by bigbeerdrinka
Photo of masterbruewer
masterbruewer

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a golden brown-amber color with about a half inch tan head. Decent lacing.

The smell was malty for a pale ale with a citrus hop background.

The flavor was chocolate malty at first. Kind of a surprise for a pale ale. The hops kick in a little, but aren't very strong. There is a little bit of bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little syrupy with a hoppy bitter follow through.

Drinkability is high. An interesting flavor profile that stays smooth.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2004 02:40:48 | More by masterbruewer
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,232 ratings.