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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

1,254 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,254
Reviews: 642
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 26
Gots: 50 | 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: 1,254 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Higravity
2.15/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a hazy copper-oragnish with a white head and a little yeast floating around. There was almost no smell except for the yeast breadiness. Right away I am glad I didn't get the whole six pack and only mixed it in with some other. The taste was bland and lifeless some bittering no real flavor and the malt was uninteresting. It had a decent body, but I wouldn't drink this again. Smuttty can't seem to make a good pale ale. I think they need to switch the yeast and dry hop some of their offerings as both of their Pale ales suuuucked.

Higravity, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was an attractive copper color, with a decent head and some very nice lacing. It had a sweet odor with a hint of fruitiness (?orange). The taste was tart/hoppy and rather nondescript. It had good mouthfeel, and good drinkability. Overall, though, just an average beer.

lordofthewiens, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of nomad
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hot damn, where have I been? I love Smuttynose beers but have passed over this one too many times due to tired and erroneous thinking - not another pale ale, they're all the same...

Pours a copper you could describe four different ways so I'll leave it as copper. Amazing head well supported and leaving a Berlin Wall of lace. A truly beautiful pint.

Smells of lemon, earthy roots, thick fudgy malt, tart esters, slight hop-borne fruitiness, and a round air that fills good British bitters.

Taste is exactly what I look for in a bitter, and that's what this tastes like, a merry-go-round of big flavor in a small beer: lemon, licroice, tart esters, earthy and fruity balance of hops, sweet and full malt later, and a biscuity finish. Each sip brings a different entry point on the revolving array of flavors. Thinner mouthfeel unfortunately, but very easy to drink because of it.

This is fantastic session ale, full and varied in flavor, an easy pair with food and a glory on its own, too.

nomad, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of kbnooshay
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Their labeling system could use a little work. Did they use arial for the font? Jeeze.

Anyways this poured a gorgeous hazy orange amber with cool whisps of yeasts as it settles. The head is short lived but nice and white/creamy. Very nice malty smell w/citric hops in the back. Mmm. Awesome hop bitterness in the taste, awesome floralness that balances beautifully with the roasted caramel malt flavors. Paler tasting than amber though, but the malt is there enough to be appreciated. medium to full mouthfeel. Very complex and weird pale ale but very fun. I need to get my hand on soem of their other beers now. Moderately drinkable.

kbnooshay, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of scriabin
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It has been quite a while since I have enjoyed this fine ale, but this is one of my all time favorites. I have a special affection for this one because I got it frequently in my younger days and it introduced me the pleasures of quality brews. I haven't looked back since. The beer itself has a lovely brown color, with a slight hint of copper. The flavor is very smooth and hoppy, with some floral undertones and other subtle flavorss that keep one curious with each taste.

scriabin, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of Lnedrive14
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Cambridge Common:

For me, it's just average. I love the Smutty IPA, but felt that this lacked that beer's complexity. Pours a dark amber and smells fairly basic. Little bit of hops, no real fruit or anything. I love hops, but in my opinion, this beer was too hoppy without enough counterbalancing from other flavors. This, I felt, decreased its drinkability.

All in all, a fine beer, but I'd take Alpha King any day.

Lnedrive14, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of LPorter33
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Crisp looking light amber. Good 1/2'' head which fades down to a thin line. Respectable lacing.

Smell = Nice hops presence with some sweet, honey like malt in the background. Smells nicely balanced.

Taste = Great tasting APA. Strong, deep flavor. Well balanced, clean and fresh tasting. Hops are storng presence but there's just the right amount of sweetness from the malt which blends perfectly together to create an extremely drinkable APA.

Overall = A solid APA all the way around. Definitely recommend this oen.

LPorter33, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of akahn
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark in color for a pale ale; sort of an amber, with some red showing when held up to light. On that note, not that much light shows through; this beer is quite cloudy, but no suspended particles or anything like that. Pours a foamy, rocky cream-colored head. Forms rings of lace around glass.

Smell: Hops dominate definitely the nose, but not a very strong smell overall. I started to notice a bit of maple as I drank.

Taste: Slightly bitter and acidic. Very dry. Piney hop flavor rather than citrusy flavors found in others. A relatively subtle hop profile. Hops are complemented by smooth, slightly sweet malt flavors. Leaves a bit of a puckering after-taste in the back of my mouth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very round, smooth. A bit slick.

Overall, I find this to be a very pleasant beer. Unlike some of this style, I don't find hops and malt jumping out at me separately and competing or trying to balance out, in this beer they simply compliment each other, as does the moderate carbonation

akahn, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of Jcdolan
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 mixpack of bottles

Poured into a cold mug (Boston Bruins Mug!)

Pours an intriguing dark copper color with an impressive off-white, creamy head that lasts for almost the entire majority of the beer and leaves its footprints down the whole glass as it is drank.

Smells of nice piney hops. A hint of malt is also noticeable but mostly a hopy smell.

Has a sweet delectable tast at first, then the hops make themsleves pleasantly evident. It finishes off with a nice sweetness and minor lingering hops.

This beer is quite pleasant when in the mouth. Nice and smooth and goes down even smoother.

Smuttynose has made a very drinkable beer with their Shoals Pale Ale. At the moment I would be hard pressed to think of another 5.00 ABV beer that can compete with this one.

Jcdolan, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz., best by 2/2006 - served chilled in a nonic. Pours a copper color with a 1 finger yellowish/tan head that doesn't leave much lacing. Smells of grapefruit and pine from the hops and perhaps tobacco and metal. Grapefruit/pine hops with a nice bitterness on the palate, joined soon by biscuits/toastiness. Hop oils linger nicely. A solid pale ale and one that reminds me of their IPA.

mmmbeer, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This starts out with a nice amber color,a little lighter than most,and the head was a little small but lacey.This has a decent flavor,but for it's type it's not too hoppy for my taste.This is a little lighter than other pale ales,but it's not bad and I could see myself having more than one.This is an "OK" beer,but not the best from Smuttynose.

jmz62565, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of bjohnson
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thin white head that holds nicely and leaves lacing down the glass. Aromas of bready and biscuit malts coupled with a slight twang of hops in the background. Good carbonation and is very drinkable. One of the better sessions beers out there. This review is for bottles, but grab one on tap if you can and play shuffleboard at the brewery!

bjohnson, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice cloudy amber with a short head and leaves a bit a lacing on the way down.

Full hops aroma with a hint of malt. Almost floral, but can't be described any way other than hoppy. This beer's smell alone should get any hophead's mouth watering.

Like the smell, the taste is a solid hops kick followed by a mellow grain finish that's just a touch bitter. Very straightforward on the palate, you want hops? Here they are.

Has good carbonation and goes down easy.

Considering the price and availability, I'd go to this if I ever needed a sure-fire APA. It's not terribly complex, no fruit and maybe only a tiny bit of diacetyl. It's good hops in a bottle. Even the burps are pleasant.

tempest, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of chilidog
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With the Haley House on the label, its a good way to show it to be a nice house beer. If it were available around me, a house beer it would be. Its that good of a beer.
It pours a nice, clear amber with a fair one inch head. Carbonation is good. The aroma starts out with hop on the nose with a grain malt background.
The taste also, with a nice crisp hop start, leaves a tangy hop bitterness within the mouth. There is also a malty grain, salt & pine in the the taste. An outstanding drinkable beer.
Got via trade.

chilidog, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of wedge
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice clear brown color with hints of amber. Head is off-white and dissipates quickly. Aroma is subtle and clean - a light hop spice, nuts, dark malts. Taste is initially sweet, rich in the middle, with a pleasant hoppy finish. Super-well balanced. Medium body, suitably carbonated with a dry finish. Quite drinkable.

I always enjoy this brew, very flavorful - and that smooth balance...mmmm. A fine pale ale, nothing crazy or complex, just a damn good "anytime" beer.

wedge, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

tgbljb, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of ILiveOffHops
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

ILiveOffHops, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

mrasskicktastic, Aug 09, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

brentk56, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of Naes
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Naes, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Boilermaker88, Jul 26, 2005
Photo of misterscooter
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

misterscooter, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
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)

feloniousmonk, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of TheDeuce
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)

TheDeuce, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of quasimoto
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.

quasimoto, Jun 15, 2005
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,254 ratings.