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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

661 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 661
Hads: 1,424
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 34
Gots: 139 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 661 | Hads: 1,424
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber with a large off white head - good retention and nice lacing.

In the nose is grass, citrus, and malt.

There is a nice grapefruit punch up front followed by round full malt backbone that coats the mouth and lands in the back. A very solid pale ale with a nice play of citrus hops and bread malt notes.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This bottled foamed all over when I opened it, but luckily I was able to clean up and put that behind me.

It is slightly dark for a pale ale, which I don't mind. Nice head.

Smells like ... Cascade hops? Love it. Some fruitiness.

Taste has plenty of malt backbone. That being said, great hop profile. Not much bitterness, but I don't like bitterness! This is great. Caramel backbone. Fruity hops. Strong orange, grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Maybe too thick for a pale ale, but I like it.

Best Pale Ale I've had yet?? Quite possibly.

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Photo of Michaelcbyrnes
4.74/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: copper, golden red with foamy white head a good lacing.
S: balance of hop and malt aroma. Spicy herbal hop mixed with a sweet caramel malt
T: sweet malt start with a finely balanced hop finish. This is a well balanced pale ale presenting both a strong malt character of caramel and malty grain and a pleasant hop flavor, earthy and herbal. Very nice.
M: smooth full and round moving to a dry lightly bitter finish.
O: this is a very well crafted beer, with a near perfect balance of malt and hops.

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Photo of Steff_Wantz
4.76/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: dark copper colored, unfiltered look with white head of foam

S: dough-like smell with a delicious hopped aroma

T: very smooth, drinkable, fruit like hints at first with a nice yeast and malt taste at the end.. crisp finish

M: covers your palate very smoothly tingles at the end and pleasantly lingers

O: Overall this beer is delicious! Smuttynose amazes me time and time again with their ability to brew every beer to perfection. I have yet to taste liquid brewed by Smuttynose that I do not enjoy. The overall packaging of their brews are very attractive and keep me wanting to try all of their creations.

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Photo of delta490
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- a cloudy amber, with a thick foamy taupe head. Big lacing and a hint of carbonation.

S-herbal and earthy. Interesting and not as off-putting as that might sound and it slowly warms into a pleasing malt aroma.

T- nothing dirty in here. Delicious balance of the malt backbone and the hops. I didn't pull any specific flavors but what I tasted was good.

M-just right. Not too thick or thin.

O- a tasty and well-made pale ale that hits all the points you want.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with best by date of 10/04/2013 printed on the bottle. My first beer in a while from Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a dark burnt sienna orange color with mahogany highlights. Pretty dark for an APA. One finger of doughy khaki foam. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is pretty nonexistent, if you ask me. Faint whiff of earthy hop presence, and maybe some malt. Citric hop crispness begins to creep out more once the beer begins warming.

T - Taste is pretty bland, but well constructed. Bready malts steal the show here, with some crisp carbonation, corn, graininess, hint of orange rind, and a kiss of earthy hop bitterness on the finish.

M - Crisp and bitter with a dry finish. Some hop bitterness & citrus juice lingering on the palate. A fitting end.

Overall, not the most memorable of all beers, but I can appreciate the well-crafted classic simplicity of this beer. Crisp, light, and refreshing; definitely an easy drinking session beer, and not an overpowering hop bomb like many of today's "pale ales".

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale ---4/5.

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

Pours a clean amber, with a thick head of sudsy, off-white foam. Delicate, lovely lace.

Nose is piney hops. Very enticing.

Taste is well-hopped with more of the pine tone and a sour grapefruit citrus finish. A superb pale ale that's certainly well-hopped (and better than many IPAs out there). I'd easily pick this up again.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

P- McNeilly 6 pack shop in Pittsburgh

A- gorgeous amber tones that is clear with a quick dissipating one finger head.

S- aromatic with sweet malts, citrus and pine hops and some bready yeast on the back end of the nose.

F- bready malts with pine hops come out first and then the citrus/grapefruit hits the back of the tongue.

M- a medium-full bodied beer that is filling. Usually a pale ale would on the light-medium bodied side. This is good though.

O- another good brew from smuttynose. I think they are climbing up my list. A def top 5 brewery that I will try any beer from.

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Photo of ChrisL24481
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 1.5 finger-width, off-white/light khaki colored head. Slowly dissipates and leaves lacing around the glass. The beer is dark orange and raising bubbles are visible.

Aroma - A nice balance of hop and malt aromas. The hops are little stronger on the nose.

Taste - Similar to the smell; toasted bread and earthiness from the hops.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, decent carbonation in the front, bitterness and stickiness on the finish.

Overall - A refreshing pale ale that is a solid go-to on a summer day.

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Photo of zac16125
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shoal's Pale Ale
12oz bottle into a pint glass
Best by: 8/11/13

A: Pours a hazy dark amber with 2 fingers width of tan head. Good retention before dissipating down to a thin film. Leaves lots of dense lacing.

S: Citrus, sweet malts, a bit of pine, doughy/bready malts, hop spice. Nice aroma, pretty mild though.

T: Spicey hops, a bit of pine, caramel malts, an almost smokey character, bready/doughy yeast, citrus.

M/D: Fuller bodied, appropriate carbonation, drinkability is average.

O: Overall, an enjoyable beer. Nothing crazy, but well above average. Id drink this again.

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Photo of becktone
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Eye: Pours a nice clear copper color with an off white creamy head which has excellent retention and lacing. To start with however, I had a bunch of foam in my glass, half the glass was foam and half was beer. It has receded now to a reasonable size and as it has it leaves decent lacing. It was prolly just a bad pour on my part, as I pour the rest of it in the size of the head doesn't increase, ergo nothing is wrong with the beer as far as carbonation goes.

Nose: Classic American Pale Ale aroma. Nice balance between malt and hops. I would like the hops to stand out a bit more. The aroma is nice, but I feel that something a little more pungent would help. Overall its just kinda nondescript and weak(potency wise). The hop aroma that I do get is lightly floral.

Tongue: Nutty malt flavor with a light body and a good amount of bitterness that sits on the back of the tongue for a good minute. Hops are lightly floral and aren't in your face ripping it off. This is a nice beer. Body is medium-light and carbonation is on par for the style. Bitterness lingers as aforementioned. No complaints.

Drinkaility: This is one that I'll enjoy drinking, but I just have had too many others that I'd prefer over this one. Founder's for one, Sierra Nevada, or Oskar Blues are all APAs that I'd do again before I come back to this beer. To me, this beer is like Stone Pale Ale, Its good, and I'll come back to it, but I'd really have to be in the mood for this beer.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Third Smuttynose beer today, and it’s confirmed: life is great. Cheers.

Best-by 12/03/13, nearly five months after the date of this tasting.

A: Hazy burnt orange with a two-finger head above. The bubbly tan foam steadily disintegrates, compressing into a creamy retention; in the process, it leaves tracks of webbed lacing all over.

S: The spice and citrus of American hops come through in a fine display of lemon-pepper character, with supporting blueberry, peach, and floral aromas. A jammy sweetness to the malt backbone comes through with notes of applesauce and baked pineapple with cinnamon. Definitely a summer style.

T: Begins with the hot-weather hop flavors of crisp lemon and juicy peach and tangerine. Refreshingly tart, they line up well with the light, cobbler-like quality in the malt: tastes of grape jelly, cooked pear, buttery pie crust, and subtle caramel-nougat (like a Cow Tail) broaden the palate into something a little more substantial. Still, the finish is all about hops, peppery and dry with hints of clove and orange zest.

M: For a low-alcohol pale ale, this has quite a chewy body – there’s a pretty hardy body on this one. Carbonation is slight, making the hops less of a centerpiece and allowing balance to be the operative word here.

O: A balanced pale ale that leaves nothing to the imagination: very straightforward brewing. If I wanted a six-pack of something from Smuttynose, it would definitely be Finestkind, but this is a great example of tasty lawnmower beer. I’ll file this under “For hot days only…”

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Photo of xnicknj
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

on tap at a friend's party - served in neon pink plastic cup

Hazy amber pour with a frothy, two-finger creamy head resting on top, slowly fading into some patchy chunks of lacing on the cup.

Grassy and citric in the nose with dashes of crisp hops. Plenty of toasted bread, a little doughy with biscuit and light sweetness.

Crisp and softly hoppy up front with a snap of citrus peel. Doughy and bready with a sweet lacing of caramel. Biscuits and toasted bread crust with a dry, clean finish.

Lighter medium body, slightly higher carbonation, crisp and dry on the tongue. Fairly refreshing, clean and just above average pale ale.

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Photo of utopiajane
2.69/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours deep copper, not quite clear with one finger of creamy head that faded to a thin skin on top. Average lace. Darker than most pale ales the nose is clean and simple. Some hay, grass, earthy with an undertone of citrus. Malt is strong and rich, carmel sweet, cracker and toasted bread. Taste is big malt and hop bitter. Malt is toasty, bready biscuit and robust leaving the sugary sweetness behind in the nose. Hops stand up slick and resiny. There’s a kind of salty taste as well. Lingers dry with a metallic aftertaste and a bitter mouth coating. This is a heavy and full bodied pale ale whose bitterness is not for the weak. Drinks more and more bitter. I actually gave up.

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Photo of brureview
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured an translucent red-copper color with a one finger head into a pint glass.
The color is quite attractive and enhances the drinking.

The pleasant aroma was not strong, with a little fruit.

The mouth feel was lightly carbonated.

The taste was fruity and malty. This pale ale, inspired by British ESB style, has an excellent finish: malty, hoppy, balanced, and crisp.

This is one of better pale ales I have tasted. Usually, pale ales can be lackluster in their aroma and taste, and the finish is usually too carbonated. In this ale, there is a balance of hops, malt, fruit, and crispness.

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Photo of timn
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Very hazy copper color, with not much head.

S: Light hoppy aroma with some sweetness to it.

T: Taste is well-balanced, with a very slight sweetness. The hops are quite noticeable but not overpowering, and the bitterness balances well by the sweetness. Nothing here blew me out of the water, but this was a solid beer overall.

M: Fairly unremarkable mouthfeel. Light-to-medium with some carbonation.

O: Overall, a good, not great beer. This is a nice choice if you like hops, but not the sometimes overwhelming hoppy bitterness that some pale ales have, or for someone trying a pale ale for the first time.

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Photo of Act25
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: definitely unfiltered. Pours hazy amber with large off white head that fades to a coin width and generates lots of lacing maps.

Smell: Clean, almost soapy, caramel malt sweetness with a grassy hay nose.

Taste: All the flavors of the nose, still just a bit soapy. Chewy, dry, bread flavor, matched by a lovely tingly hop bitterness. Salty, and a bit soapy, yet it all works.

Feel: Medium, well carbonated, tingly. refreshing, sessionable, want more.

Notes: Highly original and powerful pale ale, complex, unique and multi-faceted. One of the best? I prefer Dales Pale Ale still for it's piney, tingly, Rocky Mountain (now Brevard NC) style, but Shoals is up there close to the top.

Everything from Smuttynose is a must try and could become a fave for you. Opens up more and more as it warms. Must try. Thrilled to return to this beer.

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Photo of AmitC
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with best before date of 4/16/2013, into a snifter.

Deep amber color with constant haze. Translucent. Just about one finger thick off white head. Decent lacing.

Aroma is of a little grass and a lot of lemon and orange peel. Good amount of hops as well as nicely balanced malts. Aromas of wild weeds and flowers as well.

Taste is nicely balanced as well. All of the flavors of nose plus a good drinkability. Touch bitter finish.

Mouth feel is medium light bodied. Low to moderate carbonation. Smooth easy and very sessionable.

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Photo of Choicetrucks
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer is light caramel in color, it's retains a slight foamy head all the way down to the last sip. It also leaves nice legs down the side of the glass (maybe a wine term but what ever ! ) The beer leaves a warm toasty feel in your head and down the back of your neck. I think an excellent blend of good brewery craftsmanship coupled with a consistent taste from every bottle. Oddly enough, I have had to specifically ask my local grocer to stock this beer ! I asked the folks at Smuttynose to help and they went to work and got me in touch with the local distributor who in turn made sure my grocer had a good supply on hand. If you don't see it in the store ask! I also got a nice T-Shirt for my troubles ! All in all Shoals Pale Ale is a true go to beer. You won't be disappointed as long as you have a tongue in your mouth.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tarnished brassy hue with a bright white head. Piney lemon zest, grassy herbal hop profile on the nose. Notes of dried fruits Apple's and pears sweet malts up front slightly coarse medium mouthfeel lower carbonation than expected for the style. Hit of acidity on the back of the tongue. Finishes dry with a faint bitterness. Very nicely balanced and different than the typical apa.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Portsmouth Brewing Company

Clear copper pour with a small white head that sank to a ringlet. Decent aroma, good balance of citrusy hops and sweet malts. Basic and simple in smell and taste. On the palate, sweet malts, crisp citrus hops, toasted grains. Not much else to say. Light-medium body, and pretty easily drinkable.

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Photo of barczar
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep copper with a frothy one inch cream head that dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of thin lacing.

Earthy, minerally hops, fresh cut grass, onion, pine, and an underlying citrus character form the aroma, along with a hint of bready malt.

Flavor is a bit more malty, with dry, toasted bread forming the backbone. In conjunction with the bittering hops, it comes across a slightly stale. At the forefront is a solid tropical fruit, lemony character that is somewhat fleeting, giving way to earthy hops. Floral notes emerge late.

Body is a touch watery, with fairly high carbonation and a bit of astringency at the finish.

A fairly bitter brew, with enough malt to bridge the gap between initial hop fruitiness and final bitterness. A little too bitter for my liking, and the flavoring hops are kind of fleeting.

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Photo of Swim424
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into goose island pint glass

A-pours a fairly clear copper color. Very fizzy. Sort of like a very copper budweiser (not in a negative way). Had a decent fizzy head that hung around a bit longer than bud.

S-smells kinda like apple juice. Fruity. Sweet. Maybe a touch of hops? very pleasant though.

T- very smooth upfront. Got sweet into the middle, finishing nicely bitter. Fairly carbonated. More sweet than I expected. I really enjoy this beer.

MF-Pretty light feel to it. More carbonation than most pale ales seem to be. Still pretty nice though, everything bends together well.

O-this is pretty good. First beer ive had by smuttynose and its pretty good. Nothing exceptional, but still good.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep copper-orange with a 1/2 inch cap of yellow-tinged dirty white foam. Good frothy lace all over the glass.

S - Tight "herbal"(if-ya-know-what-I-mean) hops with a big wheat cracker malt aroma. Hint of caramel.

T - A wisp of grapefruit and a bit of pine on top of what reminds me of those long tubular wheat cracker-sticks you often get with a salad when you are out for dinner. I haven't seen those in a while. Increasingly citrusy and fruity as it warms. Moving to piney at the finish.

M - Medium bodied. Solid with a very dry and pine-sappy finish. Nice!

Balanced as it could possibly be. Lots of movement from grapefruit and tangerine to increasing dryness with big pine notes. Ultra dry and piney finish tastes outstanding, but could become a bit much if you are planning on sessioning.

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

Rich copper color and clear, small head formation.

Smells of caramel malt, floral hops, and chocolate. I like it—unique.

Complex flavor—chocolate and caramel sweetness plays against floral and spicy hops. The spicy bite makes me think there’s rye in the mix. Body is light but just fine for the style. A little darker overall compared to an American pale ale, meaning the malts have more heft and sweetness, and the hops aren’t just citrusy and bright. Love the dry finish.

Solid pale ale, English or American, that’s worth seeking out.

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 661 ratings.