Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

664 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 664
Hads: 1,449
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 35
Gots: 149 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

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: 664 | Hads: 1,449
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.

 710 characters

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.

 801 characters

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.

 550 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Darker Hazy Orange color with a fair amount of carbonation. Head pours around half a finger with a soapy look but decent albeit filmy retention.

Smell - Citrus Hops, Yeasts, Caramel and Malts. Nice simple mixture of hops and malt sweetness.

Taste - Citrus Hops, Yeasts, Pine Resin, Malts with a slight hint of...oak? Definitely wasn't expecting that. Much like the scent, it's simple but nicely balanced. The Woodsy flavor adds some dimension to the flavor. Aftertaste is resin-y but it still comes off as dry fairly quickly

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied with some mild carbonation, which adds a boost to the overall flavor and crispness.

Overall - A slightly different take on an American Pale Ale thanks to the oak aspect, but a good one to say the least. Definitely worth checking out if you see it.

 843 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I think what they're tring here is for an English IPA ala Bass. Thats my opinion.
Color is amber copper and hazy, looks like chill haze really. The head is white, smallish and lingers just for a moment. Soapy in body. Quite nearly no carbs.

Aroma is malty and I can pick out thin whiffs of graham cracker. Hop bouquet is quite lean.
Taste find a malty goodness sweet and hints of graham.
It is a bit hard to drink being rather harsh into the aftertaste.
A good interputation of the style but not smooth and soft as one might find in an English IPA.

 549 characters

Photo of CheezyBlaster
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Long time coming, considering how long I've been at this brew.

Nose: caramel kiss, fresh fig, just a bit of grapefruit, tiny bit of pepper.

Taste: bitterness, tongue tingling a bit, lightly toasted grains, probably still too bitter for what I want in an APA. Again, more breadiness. Not bad, Smutty.

MF is very medium/light. Quaffable.

 341 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clouded amber brew with a warm off-white head, little lacing but good curtains.

Smelling of grass and hay, some peaches and black currant leaves.

Toffee, sweet brown bread, honey and then a pure alkaloid bitterness.

Medium high carbonation, oily with a medium body and an almost coarse bitterness.

A clean nice bitterness, a solid brew.

 342 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic, served at fridge temp.

Cloudy, hazy apricot medium amber with a thick french vanilla khakish head that leaves a creamy coating of lacing.

aroma; a beguiling, intoxicating medley of fresh baked sugar cookies, malted milk and vanilla.

Mouthfeel; light and silky.

taste; a smooth maltiness lays a carpet through which the English Hops emerge subtly and leave a faint sting of bitterness.

Notes; hands down the best new (to me) beer I have had in a long time. This is a stunner; balanced, drinkable, tasty, This rivals many brewed in England Ales and will become a staple in my fridge.

 627 characters

Photo of Gatch
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best Before 9/27/2012.

A: Nice golden-amber in color with a big, fluffy, off-white head. Not much lace or retention.

S: Malt is the star in this APA. Earthy, bready, a bit boozy.

T: But the hops shine in the taste. Great, balanced flavor. Lightly roasted malt and a bit of spiciness are complemented by a good American hop profile.

M: Super smooth and easy drinking. Right amount of carbonation.

O: A well-made, balanced, tasty APA that is now my go-to for the style in New England. Unless I'm in the mood for hops...that'll be Maine Beer's MO.

 550 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from a Smutty mixed pack, picked up at Consumer Beverages in Orchard Park NY. Packed in May 2012.

Poured into a nonic. Great looking brew indeed: hazy orange-copper, with a billowing creamy head that displays terrific retention. The pillows of foam also produce sheets and icicles of lacing. First-rate!

Nose is a touch of grapefruit, pale malt, citrus, dry grape.

Sharp opening of dry grain and bittering hops, with a long dry citrus hop finish. Interesting balance to this - more astringent than I would have thought.

Creamy, medium bodied, with carbonation that is sharper than I'd like.

Interesting pale ale, not something I'd go out of my way to get over other Smuttynose stuff, but certainly quite drinkable and worth having again.

 760 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before 11/16/12

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a fingers worth of bubbly head

S: A nice balance of malts and hops, with some sweet fruity notes as well as a nice breadiness

T: Follows the nose, very malty and bready along with some fruit notes from the hops. Nicely balanced with a slight lingering bitterness that goes along with the malts into the finish and beyond

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Could be a bit softer

O: A very easy drinking pale ale that seems to fit much more into the English style than American. Plenty of flavor and balance to keep wanting to drink more. Definitely worth a try

 636 characters

Photo of jmarklan
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Dark copper, two fingers of head dissipate fairly quickly but leave some very nice lace.

Earthy, a bit musky, caramel, citric and herbal hops.

Tastes more complex than the nose let on. Spicy hops, grapefruit and herbal, even slightly tropical (pineapple?). Caramel and slightly toasted grain show up in the end and bring all the flavors together in the finish. Well balanced.

Medium body, ample carbonation adds crispness, but is slightly overbearing IMO.

Overall: This is pretty great... more flavor and complexity than i was expecting. A few of these would make for a good night.

 627 characters

Photo of patpbr
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- amber with light head
S- Malts
T- has a dark roast taste with carmal
M- not a lot of carbination but its there. it lingers just a little bit.
O- Only have one and enjoyed it, I would try it again. first brew by smuttynose. Will also make me look there way if i see another style I like

 291 characters

Photo of StoutishDan
4.73/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6-pack for 8.99 from Total Wine. Poured into a regular pint glass.

A - It pours a hazy amber color. Darker than most pale ales I've seen. The carbonation is medium, no bubbles appear to be coming up to meet the head. After initial larger bubbles, the head settles back into a very creamy small-bubbled head about an finger's width. It looks really delicious! Yep, the head is hanging around. Great lazcing as well.

S - Hops...RateBeer as well as the Smuttynose website calls this an English Pale Ale, but it has much more hop aroma. Grapefruity, sprucy, piney. Really nice. There is a caramely sweetness there form the caramel malt. Perfect balance on the nose.

T - Wow! Definitely understand why people call this an American-style Pale Ale. Definitely has more of a hop character which is common with American Pales. The thick creamy English-style Pale Ale comes through, for sure. More creamy, less dry taste as you'd find with an American Pale Ale. Really good beer. I'm glad I picked up a 6 pack of this. I will enjoy every last one of these!

O - This is probably one of the best Pale Ales I've ever had. I am very impressed with everything that Smuttynose offers. Whatever they're doing, they're doing it right.

On a scale from 1-100 I give this beer a straight up 98. Won't be the last time I buy a sixer or even a 12er of this beer.

Stoutish

 1,356 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A dark amber with little clarity. 1 finger of head and sticky lace left on the glass. This is a pale ale? Love the appearance!

S - Some dark malts, nice and hoppy!

T - Wow, amazing pale ale. Some much flavor! Almost like a red. Thick malt backbone and nice hoppy kick.

M - Lots of carbonation. Full bodied.

O - Once again, this beer doesn't come across as a pale ale at all. Its much better! Such a good 5.5% easy drinking beer with an overwhelming amount of flavor. I shall seek this one out again

 509 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Mostly clear dark orange-copper body. Finger of dense, creamy, light beige head. Nice lacing. Nose of fruity malts. Some caramel. Floral, slightly citrusy hops.

Herbal, citrus mineral water bitterness up front. Orage zest and grapefruit bitterness. Fruity malt fills in the palate. Floral, spicy bitterness in the finish. Fruity malt lingers. Nice!

 365 characters

Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brownish copper in color. Nice hoppiness in the nose. Hearty body for an APA. Malty with a decent hop bitter finish.

This offering is a really good hybrid between a classic English Pale Ale and it's hoppier American cousin.

 225 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a good pale it's a deep amber color with a 1/2 inch of bubbly head.

S - Smell is also good with toasted malts, Citrus hops, and sweet malts.

T - Taste is very good with Citrus hops and a clean finish. Malts balance very well but it's somewhat forgettable.

M - Light to medium I could see having a few.

Overall its better than the IPA but it just doesn't seem good enough to buy again.

 403 characters

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

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.
best before notched Feb. '13

pours a medium to dark amber tone while yielding a beige finger of foamy head. respectable retention and lacing. good looking beer. nose delivers notes of citric / floral hops with secondary notes of caramel malt and maybe a touch of pine.

more of the same going on in the flavor. moderately hoppy with some balancing malts. there's also a subtle fruity element to it, almost a dark fruit like quality. medium bodied on the palate with average carbonation.

overall a fine pale ale, no wow factor but relatively tasty and enjoyable. might not necessarily seek it out but would more than welcome a revisit.

(originally reviewed: 10-24-2011)

 707 characters

Photo of viverlee
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

STYLE: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.4%

LOOK: Fire hydrant brown, rich copper, hearty. The head dissolves quickly but the lacing lets you know there’s some there there.

NOSE: Untoasted wheat bread, lemongrass, light floral.

MOUTH: Malty, bawdy, lemon, essence of grapefruit with a crispy finish. Almost pucker. Untapped potential.

BA Rating: 87

Hayward Abbey Rating: 82

 372 characters

Photo of CircusBoy
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, beer is a slightly hazy copper orange with a half inch white fluffy head that sticks all around the glass.

Aroma smells of a combination of piney and citrus hops, along with a grassy and earthy smell.

Initial taste is of strong grapefruit followed by pine and wood flavors in the aftertaste.

Pretty good mouthfeel and actually feels like a bigger beer. The flavor of the hops are powerful and hang around for a while.

Overall this is a very good Pale Ale that has been in my fridge many times and will be there many more.

 551 characters

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

Smell is very floral straight away and maintains that floral, piney hop goodness. Pretty strong aroma for the style. Good!

Taste isn't much of a surprise then. Definitely floral all around and that's the dominant taste of this one....again, not a surprise for the style but well done. A bit of grain comes in at the finish to give a semblence of balance....finish is pretty clean with a bit of bitterness hanging around to close it out...but overall there isn't much left after the swallow.

Pretty unsurprising APA but very well done.

 536 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up in the multi-pack for a party. The other guys didn't do their part of drinking the beer I provided. So, now I have to suffer through this beer. Just kidding, this is a really good pale.

This is a spot example for pales. The coloring is a medium brown, and the head is fluffy and plentiful. The smell and flavor is consistent light hoppiness. You get a little malt, and a light citrus feel. This is an extremely drinkable pale.

I will have to pick more of this up. It makes for a very good summer pour.

 522 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L - Medium-to-dark amber color with a 4-finger dense, creamy, bubbly white-tan head. Great retention and lacing. Crystal clear with a few bubbles. Looks perfect.

S - Bready, caramel, and nutty malt with earthy, almost musty, and citrus hop aromas. Can almost smell some hop spiciness in the aroma.

T - Follows the nose. Sweetness is up front with caramel, bread, nut, and citrus flavors followed by a pleasant grapefruit hop bitterness. Maybe a bit too much malt for my liking in a pale ale, but not bad.

F - Medium-bodied, not a whole lot of carbonation, creamy and chewy mouthfeel, and a slightly dry and bitter finish. Grapefruit bitterness and sweetness lingers for a bit but not for too long.

O - This is a tasty and very sessionable beer. Nothing really exciting as far as aroma, taste, and mouthfeel go, but just a pretty solid beer. I’d like to see more hops from a pale ale, but they’re definitely still there. As I said before, great session beer.

 1,027 characters

Photo of match1112
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: clear amber body with a inch of off white head.

s: hops, caramel, malty, grains.

t: caramel sweetness with a touch of grainieness and a nice level of hop presence.

m: med body, good carbed. dry bitter finish.

o: very good apa. good clean crisp beer. really like it, nothing bad to say.

 292 characters

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.