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

1,245 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,245
Reviews: 641
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 25
Gots: 48 | 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: 1,245 | Reviews: 641 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of carln26


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

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,

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

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

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


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -10.2%

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.

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


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

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


3.48/5  rDev -9.4%

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.

11-09-2004 02:40:48 | More by masterbruewer
Photo of 99bottles


4/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

11-01-2004 20:46:14 | More by 99bottles
Photo of twelvsies


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

10-21-2004 16:55:56 | More by twelvsies
Photo of putnam


3.48/5  rDev -9.4%

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.

10-18-2004 22:14:23 | More by putnam
Photo of wailingwench

New Mexico

3.08/5  rDev -19.8%

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.

10-03-2004 18:38:47 | More by wailingwench
Photo of blitheringidiot


4/5  rDev +4.2%

12 oz'er with an informative label explaining "unfiltered ale - yeast sediment is natural," a freshness notch indicating "Brewed in March" and a blurb about the house on the label "Samuel Haley House on Smuttynose Island.

Delectible looking misty, deep copper & bronze hued pour into me pint with a sand colored frothy sticky head coating. A few small bubbles flow up.

Medium grassy hop aroma meets me nose first, with malts peaking out. Warmed up gradually, some esters became detectable.

First swigs: Bold balanced brew with the hops beating out sweet caramel malts. Well balanced flavor that vacilates back 'n forth to caramel nutmeg malts & laid back maybe American and English hops, followed by a long buttery root beer finish.

Plenty of carbonation blends with a medium bodied buttery pale. This is quite quafable. The first few sips practically took out half the brew.

Last swigs: Straight "four flush" balanced nutmeg noted pale.

Beer is good. Happy balanced beering.

08-17-2004 02:52:32 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of Sixpoint

New York

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Appearance: I give this beer 3.5 despite possilby being too dark for an American Pale Ale. Generally, I like to see darker APAs... they tend to be more full-bodied and caramely, which adds a nice touch.

Smell: My harshest criticism of this beer is that it lacked a nice hop aroma. A pale ale should definitely provide a nice bouquet of fresh hops... all I could detect in my sample was malt.

Taste: Overall, I must say the beer was pretty well balanced. However, there wasn't enough bitterness to counter the malty body the beer emphasized.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation and fuller-bodied than most pales. My favorite characteristic of the beer.

Drinkability: Overall, a nice session beer, but nothing I would seek to find in a store or on tap at a bar or restaurant.

08-14-2004 01:50:00 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of kegerator


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

This was a nice offering.
poured a orange amber color with a nice 1 inch head that left good lacing throughout.
Smell was all hop, floral, with some citrus tones
taste was about the same with slight hint of malt in the back but not enough to say it was a good blend.
mouthfeel was crisp and medium bodied.
overall a very drinkable, pleasant brew.

08-10-2004 13:13:16 | More by kegerator
Photo of NEhophead


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

Off white 1" head that is very frothy. Settles but doesn't completely disappear leading to lots of nice lacing. A very crisp and clear auburn color.

Good hop, floral, and citrus aromas along with a medium bodied sweetness.

Nice hop flavors that encompass the palate but don't overwhelm. The floral qualities come through at the end combined with a sweetness and bitterness.

Well hopped but not overpowering. Light and crisp mouthfeel without feeling thin or watered down.

Dead on for the style: very similar to Sierra Nevada's Pale IMO. Thirst quenching Pale that I wouldn't mind drinking all night.

07-22-2004 12:53:42 | More by NEhophead
Photo of waughbrew


4.22/5  rDev +9.9%

A coppery color, a little too dark to call itself "pale." Smell has some fruitiness to the hops, but in a restrained way and is overshined by the big bready malt aroma. Flavor carries through with the beautiful toasted biscuit maltiness. Crisp bitterness is well balancing, and the finish is pleasurable enough to make you want another sip.

I was very surprised by this, because I don't remember the bottles being that impressive. This was very nice. Much more English than American, but neat that it has influences of both.

Edit: The owner of Smuttynose says this is an ESB, which is much more accurate to its taste than "American Pale Ale".

07-12-2004 12:54:42 | More by waughbrew
Photo of mschofield


3.43/5  rDev -10.7%

Pours a browned amber, topped with a two finger light-tan head, leaves rings of puffy lacing.
Malty aroma, toffee, earthy and a touch of herb.
Toffee and wood in the taste, a good amount of citrus rind - the bitterness especially feels like citrus rind. Toffee, a touch of flowers, a bit spicy, and a note of burnt caramel.
Medium bodied and dry.

07-09-2004 00:40:08 | More by mschofield
Photo of taez555


3.58/5  rDev -6.8%

This beer poured a red/tan body with a thick frothy tan head.

The nose was a big malt attack. Some sharp alcohol, slight citrus and caramel as well.

The taste was a really big earthy/citrus hop accompanied by a large malt taste. A chunky almost salt-water sort of medium body. Really a firm present malt taste. The hops in this beer have a definite natural, possible dry hop, taste to them. The earthy/citrus dirty leafy hop dominant over any hop bitterness. It ends with a decent lingering bitterness.

The first time I had this beer I was really impressed, the more I drink it I’m just not sure. It’s a lot bigger than smaller micro brews, but it just doesn’t seem to balance well. I like the bigger than average malt flavor, and the hops are right there, but… I just can’t put my finger on it. A great session beer, but maybe not my first pick.

06-29-2004 08:45:12 | More by taez555
Photo of abcsofbeer


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a cloudy, dark amber. The bottle says "This ale is unfiltered". The head is minimal and quickly disappears with very little lace to line the glass. The aroma is very hoppy for a pale ale. The taste is not abundantly hoppy, but hoppy, nonetheless. There is a hint of apple spice.

Mouthfeel is very nice on the roof of the mouth with a nice bit of carbonation. This is a very good pale ale, solid and very tasty. Highly recommend.

06-16-2004 02:02:06 | More by abcsofbeer
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,245 ratings.