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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

1,253 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,253
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
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Ratings: 1,253 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sliv
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.

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.

sliv, Jun 09, 2005
Photo of weeare138
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.

weeare138, May 23, 2005
Photo of ithacabaron
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.

ithacabaron, May 17, 2005
Photo of rousee
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 %.

rousee, May 05, 2005
Photo of far333
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.

far333, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of beermanbrian
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.

beermanbrian, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of Litterbean
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.

Litterbean, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
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.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Mar 24, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
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.

whartontallboy, Mar 18, 2005
Photo of Chadbrew
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.

Chadbrew, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 02, 2005
Photo of SixpointJMH
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.

SixpointJMH, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of PSUDREW
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.

PSUDREW, Jan 19, 2005
Photo of carln26
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,

carln26, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
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.

beveragecaptain, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
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.

Hibernator, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of AlexJ
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.

AlexJ, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of Citadel82
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.

Citadel82, Nov 27, 2004
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
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.

bigbeerdrinka, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of masterbruewer
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.

masterbruewer, Nov 09, 2004
Photo of 99bottles
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: This beer pours a deep orange-tan with an inch of white head, average retention, and active carbonation.

Smell: The nose is full of sharp and spicy coniferous scents. Pine like, but not in a Cascade manner. Some carmel sweetness.

Taste: This is a solid pale ale. It has nice aromatic hops, with minimal bitterness in the finish. The hops and thier oils impart a nice leafy flavor which counters the sweetness of the malts used. Round, sweet, slightly biscuity malt character. Imagine soaking up sugar just as it carmelizes with a biscuit. Nice pucker to the finish, but as I said, not immensely bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light in the mouth, high carbonation helps. Quite nice when cold.

Drinkability: I thought it was good. This isn't mind blowing, but it is a nice solid PA, and capable of being a good session beer.

99bottles, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of twelvsies
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pale ale that definately pushes the boundaries of the style. Appears darker than the average pale ale, yet still see- through, and with a nice puffy tan head. There's a "Smuttynose Scent" that I pick up on here, it's also present in thier Brown Dog Ale, but I can't exactly put my finger on it. Get the mix pack, you'll understand. It's almost piney, or woody, but not in a hoppy way, if that makes sense. Taste is good. This is the perfect example of a beer where the hops and malt are very well balanced and niether takes charge, allowing other flavors (fruits, nuts, berries) to come out, making for a complex brew. Very smooth and easy to drink. Good for Smuttynose.

twelvsies, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of putnam
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red rose and brown colors form the core. The foam has less durability than the Portsmouth Lager's did. Deeply concentrated brown sugars and malt in the aromas remind me of some sort of baked artistry involving walnuts, butter and vanilla. Then, of course, there is the nuance of green resin. Its relative proportion is bound to depend on how accustomed to hops and other herbs one is. On the palate the piney, citric qualities are surer while the malts form a glossy coating of brandy, nuts, poppy liqueurs and tanned coconut flesh. Sharp, tangy tannins and mercurial alcohol flavors detract from the experience.

putnam, Oct 18, 2004
Photo of wailingwench
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eye Candy: Translucent swirling hazy orange. Off white pillowy head that quickly gave way to excellent lacing. Plenty of hop clumping on top

The Nose Knows: Honey sweet up front with some rich malts thrown in, citrusy hops to finish. Very sniffable. I particuarly enjoyed the honey.

Tongueland: The citrus hops were very bitter and overpowered the honey that I enjoyed from the nose. The hop bitterness was way overdone. Wish there was more of a balance.

Bender Factor: I could not drink more than 2 of these without a couple of glasses off water. Very dehydrating. I was informed that Smuttynose recently changed their recipe. I remember sampling Shoals at Empire Brewing Festival in Syracuse (2004). What I consumed last night was different in a bad way.

wailingwench, Oct 03, 2004
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,253 ratings.