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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

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Ratings: 1,331
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 25
Gots: 81 | 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 Metalmonk
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a style category that's overcrowded with competition, the Shoals Pale Ale delivers something above and beyond. This is simply a very tasty pale ale.

The color alone stands apart from so many other ales out there, a nice ruby-toasted burnt copper/golden color, under a big frothy, rocky head. Looks more like the color of a double IPA than a typical pale ale.

Aroma is admittedly pretty normal for the style, spicy hops and a cool malt sweetness. Nice, if a little faint, and certainly typical.

The flavor is where this thing entices. The front of the sip is a puckering hit of grapefruity hops, with a toasty malt sweetness leveling things off nicely. An earthy mineral flavor swings in too. The finish delivers this beer's most unique trait, a somewhat sour hit that offers a tiny explosion that reminds most of those little round cinnamon candies. A bit hot, a bit spicy, but not a tastebud-burner, keeping an easygoing drinkability going.

Bottlecap reads "Make Mine A Smutty!" I concur with the owl.

Photo of Alexmc2
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours an orange-amber with a two finger head. One of the darker APAs I've seen around. The smell is floral hops and hints of fruit and malt. The backbone of this beer is a strong malt character with a good balance of hops. It tastes almost fruity as it warms up and leaves a nice lacing on the glass. In my eyes this brewery can almost do no wrong and this is a solid APA, not boring as some can be. A solid choice for a session beer.

Photo of Braudog
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is what beer should look like ... medium orange with a incredibly mesmerizing swirl of carbonation that doesn’t quit for anything rising into a thin 1/4-inch but cozy blanket of off-white puckered foam. The aroma has an almost merengue character... but with a distinct citrus quality. Creamy from the first quaff, this smooths into a nice silky brew as you go. Tangy, fruity, chewy like an orange rind, but in a mellow, restrained way. Big malty body. Good ale! (#2665, 1/28/07)

Photo of rarevos
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a translucent amber. Much darker than I was expecting for a pale ale. Very light carbonation, and a very slight blanket of white head. Dissipates quickly, becoming a crown and a few islands.

S: Fruity hops, immediately. Very similar in aroma to Southern Tier's Phin & Matt's, another hoppy APA. Both must use cascades, as this has a good bit of grapefruit. There's also a malt backbone that smells caramelly and tea-like.

T/M: The grapefruity cascades present first, and there's a nice bitterness already, like tart grapefruit and lemon rind (both zest and pith). There's a malty middle after the citrus subsides, before moving into a bitter, evergreen-y conclusion. Finish is lightly bitter, and has a long bitter tail. This is a pretty dry pale ale, which is a nice change of pace.

D: I can only think of one store in my immediate environs that carries this (Beers of the World, natch), so if I ever need a last-minute session beer, I couldn't really include this (I never really plan ahead for session beers, for some reason). As it stands, it's still Phin & Matt's for me since I can get it for $5.99 a sixer just up the street. But this is terrific stuff. It's not a normal APA, and that's just fine with me.

I'm starting to really, really like this brewery. First the Robust Porter becomes year-round, and now I find out they make a hoppy, emphatically non-boring APA? Sweet.

Photo of mnj21655
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber copper color with a nice thick 2 finger off-white head and nice lacing. Nice floral hop smell dominates but sweet malts are also present. Taste is first of sweet malts and possibly a bit of caramel. The floral hops quickly take over and there is a nice bitter finish. Decent mouthfeel, possibly a bit overcarbonated but has a nice solid body. Good drinkability, a very enjoyable APA with a nice floral hoppy flavor that should satisy all but the biggest hopheads.

Photo of AChamberlain
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle bought at the Park Slope Food Coop with no freshness date.

A: Pours a deep amber color. Had half inch head.

S: Light hop aroma and a bit of sweet malt.

T: First bitter and tart then some malt.

MF: Fizzy. Medium bodied.

D: Medium drinkability. Very good, very good chance of me havin' some mo!

Photo of oelergud
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy semitranslucent orange body with good carbonation. Great buttes head rocky and light brown, beautiful clumpy lace.
Smell is fresh hay and butter. Very mild hop scent.
Pleasantly hoppy in a mild citric and tangy way. Aftertaste is a long and hoppy nutskin flavor.
Round and mellow mouthfeel with a dry finish. Medium body.
Highly drinkable. Very hoppy for a pale ale.


Photo of pvsob
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy, deep amber color with a half inch head (off-white) that leaves a thin film and some lacing.

Smell - Some hop aroma, but I'm picking up more malt than anything else.

Taste - Starts off with slight hop bitterness, but quickly gets lost in the sweetness of the malts. It finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel - It has a medium mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation.

Overall - An enjoyable APA that has "session beer" written all over it. I would have liked a bigger hop aroma and flavor, but my bottle was somewhat old which may have contributed to the subdued hops. It's still a good APA and worth a try if you haven't had it yet. Cheers!!

Photo of lehows
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden copper color with a large white head that faded down to a trim of white lace. Really good nose with aromas of pine and citrus with flowery notes. Taste is creamy and full with just the right amount of hop bitterness. There is also some malt and other complex accents that puts this brew above a lot of other APAs. Love the bottle art as well. This is one of my favorite pale ales and it's must try for anyone who likes the style.

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

I normally shy away from brews in the pale ale category. I find they're usually fairly light and not very flavorful. I got this brew in a 12 pack a friend brought over last weekend. Wow was I surprised with this brew. A reddish ale, nice florah hop nose, solid malt body and nice hops bite to balance out the brew. Definitely a tasty "pale ale". Serve me up another please.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper red slightly murky body with only a film of offwhite head. Smells hoppy bitter and citrus, as well as some malt. Very planty/piney. Hop flavor is really complex. Malt is there, but this is a hop foward beer. Having said that, this bottle expired October of 06, so I'm sure it's mellowed out. Medium bodied, but little carbonation to speak of. A nice little beer.

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

Pours a hazy amber color. Pleasant floral, hoppy aroma - not much head happening. Very nicely balanced brew with a good solid malt backbone and bold, assertive hoppiness. One of the best American pale ales that I've had the pleasure to experience. I could easily session this beer for an evening.

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

A-Copper color with a off white thick head that dissapeared real fast with little lacing.

S-Smells like a Flowery Bouqet,smells very pleasant.

T-Flowery hops,I cant tell ya what they are but they are good.

M-The hop tate almost explodes on your palate but its very good.It hits all the recepters.

D-I love this stuff, its very good.I reccomend this beer to any hop head.Very good stuff.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, poursa nice amber copper with good head that sticks around, sticking to glass as it shrinksm, lacing sticking to the glass all the way down. Aroma follows the APA mold very well, good sweet malts and as it warmed the hops came out, quite nice. Taste is again a good amount of sweet caramel malts and as it warmed the hops really came out to play, nice bittering at end. Mouth is nicely carbonated, perhaps just a little too much, and good body, slighly warming. Overall, what a lovely APA, I wish I got more than three, could have done well with a case. Mmmm....

Photo of JayQue
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a big slightly off-white head and good lacing. Smell is slightly bready/malty but not very pronounced. The taste is good, very smooth malty taste. Mouthfeel is a hair thin. No unpleasant aftertaste or anything else that would take from it's drinkability. This is a beer that could be enjoyed as a session beer or with food.

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

12 oz brown bottle from a variety pack poured into a chalice. Wispy white lacing atop a cloudy copperish body.

To the nose, sweet breadlike at first, followed by a nice floral undertone in the back.

In the mouth, wonderful spectrum of malt goodness overlayed nicely with a big hop wallop. A full bang on the tongue - it is fully dry and nicely carbonated. It has a unique finish that tends to be very earthy and wet.

Musings: Fantastic, underrated pale. It's quite different that most typical pales and provides a lot of observation and thinking for a simple beer.

Photo of stegmakk
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was nice. Poured a nice brown amber with decent head that lasts and good lacing.

Aroma had a nice mix of malt and hops and nothing was too strong. I would have liked the hops to be a bit more strong.

Taste was good. Initial strong deep roasted malt and piney hop mix. The finish was nicely done with a stronger hops flavor.

Mouthfeel was good.

Drinkability was good. Would have been higher if there was a bit more hoppiness to the taste

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tall mug. The liquid is a dark brown amber, with bright orange highlights and good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers thick, tan, big fluffy foamy and sudsy. Very cool looking beer.

The smell is typical IPA, piney sweet malt, with extra bitter hops..

The taste is about the same, very nice hopy taste with a good malty base.

The mouthfeel is medium body good carbonation, that gives that nice bite in the finish.

The drinkability is good. One solid APA. MK

Photo of loren01
3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a mahogany color, very very flat. Has little floaties in it, not sure what thats all about. Absolutely no head, no lacing.
S: Skunky like hoppiness, not very pleasant
T: Slightly malty, skunky hop bitterness. Alcohol aftertaste
M: Very flat, not carbonated hardly at all
D: Pretty good tasting beer, however was very very flat.

Photo of arizcards
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of the MicroBeerClub shipment received in late July.

Beer poured a nice orange color with an outstanding off white head that is long lasting. Nose is of floral hops and citrusy malts. Taste is very well balanced. It starts with caramel malts and finishes nicely with a blast of citrusy hops. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, medium bodied. Drinkability is near perfect. If I lived where it is available this would be part of my rotating staple brews!

Photo of Xadoor
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange colour. Foamy beige head that subsided to a thin layer of foam. Nice lacing on the inside of the glass. Aroma is very light, hoppy but with some sweet malt aromas as well. Sweet caramal malt flavour to start which slowly gives way to a bitter dry finish. Medium mouthfeel. Nicely balanced. A really great pale ale.

Photo of Hautacam
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber..not much of a head.
Smells of grainy malts and a bit of citrus hop.
Tastes sweet and bitter at the same time..nice balance of piney hops and malty goodness.
Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation.
Pretty drinkable pale ale. This is not one of my favorite styles , but I'm always curious...heard good things about this one.It did not disappoint....but Smuttynose rarely does.

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

Poured a golden Amber color, decent activity, thin white head, dissipated to a small amount thin covering.

smells hoppy and slightly malty.

Taste is a bold hop, and mild malt mix that is hearty and deep.

Feels crispy and refreshing, this medium-body spreads out nicely on the palate and is complex.

highly drinkable, great summer-time brew if you've had enough of the Hefe's this year!

Photo of sloejams
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to rock this stuff often in my Masshole days. Harpoon IPA was always a staple in the refrigerator due to it's easy availabilty and easy price but quite often I'd kick it to Smuttynose's Shoal's. It's weird to think that these beers were hoppy to me back then, with the West Coast hop bombs that now routinely fill my belly. Now I rarely, pick up American Pale Ales when at the shop. But for old times sake, Shoal's really did the trick.

What sets this apart from the IPA is its incredible balance. The toasted malts blend effortlessly with the cascade hops. It has bready malt that you can chew on. With the 5% ABV, it's a fine summer session ale.

Photo of xzqrut
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from the bottle, came out a nice burnt orange, copper color. Beer gave a nice head with decent retention, above average lacing all the way down. Smell was average, some hops with citrus notes. Taste had some sweetness on top, almost caramel esque, with a mild bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel was not too heavy, not too light, pretty drinkable all in all.

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