1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

1,343 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,343
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 28
Gots: 91 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,343 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jkrich
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with freshness date on label: poured a hazy, amber-brown with orange highlights. The slightly off-white head quickly recedes leaving some decent lacing.

There is a very nice spicy, somewhat perfumy hop aroma as well as some malt. This is pleasantly aromatic with a very balanced aroma.

The initial flavor is softly fruity (unlike the grapefruity taste) as well a little sour on the palate. The sourness does not detract from the taste. I was surprised that the malt was not as noticeable based on some of the previous reviews. There is a faint sweet, doughy taste in the background.

The ale is medium bodied with a refreshing, slick and clean mouthfeel. The carbonation is restrained.

This is a good alternative to the numerous hop heavy pale ales available. I have yet to be disappointed by this brewery.

Photo of beer2day
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reddish gold pour with one finger medium cream head. No retention but very nice lace.

Herbal hop nose. Underatated, but nice. Lots of malt presence.

Nice hop presence right up front. Good bready malt body for balance. Very flavorfull for a pale. Earthy hop finish with a touch of pine.

Feel is slightly heavy for the style but very nice.

Definite repeater.

Photo of Lldeegan
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber color with an off-white, sudsy head, very pretty beer. I expected a lighter beer from the name, but it still looks delicious, especially that sticky lacing on the side of the glass.
Great smelling beer, one of those aromas that without hesitation you take that first sip, which has everything you want in a beer of this style: Great malt presence, I can even smell what it was like on brew day with all the grains in the mash tun, giving that hot cereal smell. In addition to the great malt aromas, the floral hop notes shine and creates a nice balanced aroma that begs for the first sip.
There is a very lively carbonation on the palate and a bitter hop flavor in the front as a result of Chinook and Cascade hops (both very bitter American varietals). The hop resins roll over the tastebuds with a sweet malt presence that balances it all out before the floral hops come back for a moderately bitter, snappy finish.
Great flavors, neither the malt nor hops are overwhelming, and this beer definitely won't bore you and at the same time it won't fatigue your tongue. It's a good sessionable beer, making it great for a warm weather BBQ or with pizza. This is a really good go-to beer for craft beer enthusiasts and also a good full flavor beer to introduce your friends to who don't drink much besides the big brands.

Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.83/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark amber, more red than brown with a beefy, reddish white head that won't quit.

S: Very clean and crisp, malty but not sweet, strong but not overpowering.

T: Excellently balanced, this is maltier than it is hoppy. Biscuity, but slightly bitter. Not at all sweet, and just as clean and crisp as the smell suggests.

M: Full-bodied, slightly chewy but smooth. A great feeling.

D: Extremely drinkable, the bitterness is not overly dry so this one goes down real easy.

This is one of the best pale ales around, right up there with Whales Tale in my book, and a favorite standby of mine.

Photo of Soonami
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shoals Pale Ale by Smuttynose is commonly available in their Variety 12-pack as well as in 6-packs. This beer that I am drinking is stamped with a "fresh until date" of Feb 2011, which means this must be a fairly fresh sample.

This pale is a dark reddish copper color with just sturdy head that dissipates to a thing layer that leaves fine webbing inside the glass. The smell is has pine and grapefruit in the nose as well as a caramelized, crackery malt aroma. The beer is assertively bitter with a resinous spruce bitterness that dominates, followed by a bready sweetness and finishing with an pleasant astringent grapefruit. The mouthfeel is smooth and carbonation appropriated. This is an easy drinking beer that is enjoyable even as it warms up.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. best before november 2010. from a 12pack sampler that was packaged in may 19 2010.

pours murky with a touch of sediment. a nice orange amber color with a little more than a one finger head. great retention and some really nice sticky lace.

has a nice hop aroma with a nice malt balance to it. hops are citrus with a touch of spice. caramel, slightly biscuity malt.

a really enjoyable taste. a hoppy pale ale for sure, but still has somewhat of a balance. citrus, with a little bit of pine and a touch of spiciness. the malts are what make this beer for me. caramel with a little bready biscuit.

medium to light body. good carbonation for the style. hops are noticeable on the palate, but nothing blowing my teeth out.

a great sessionable beer, now one of my top pale ales. and one of my top offerings from smuttynose that ive tried so far. a great beer from a great brewery, definatly worth a try.

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

Presentation: It was poured into from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tall Pilsner glass. The label has a freshness date but no ABV%.

Appearance: From the pour I got a rich amber colored beer with a tall white head on top. The head has very good retention and excellent lacing. It leaves nice lace rings on the glass at each sip level.

Smell: The aroma has an inviting mix of sweet bready and light caramel maltiness with solid citrus and herbal leafy spicy hops.

Taste/Palate: There is a good solid hop character with nice crisp citrus and spicy notes laid over a study foundation of bready malt that matches the bitterness from the hops. There is a touch of caramel sweetness in there as well. The finish is long and slow with a good balance of hops and malt. Its palate has a good medium to full body and a firm yet yielding texture.

Notes: For me this is a well done Pale Ale.

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an amberish copper, and an off-white, kind of pink looking head.

S: Very floral, but also a whiff of fruit, cherries mainly. Met with sweet malt, the hops are very much present.

T: Has a clean hoppiness to it, but not too bitter, good sign in an APA by my standards. Mainly floral hops like the nose would lead on, but has a decent citrus hop taste as well. Lastly there is a nice balance of faint cherry maltiness to this Smutty offering.

M: Medium to light body, not overly carbonated, but not entirely smooth.

D: It's a decent APA, the hint of fruit can make it or break it for people, though it really is faint, kind of turned me off. Overall, enjoyable!

Photo of feelmefoam
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shoals Pale Ale pours a brown color similar to that of the beer bottle itself with a little orangey-redness thrown into the mix for good measure. The beer supports a finger of creamy, slightly tan head that hangs around for a good while before simmering down into the beer. Leaves some pretty nice lacing hanging around the glass, too.

Pretty nice smell, but it's a little bit weak. A nice citrus fruitiness and a smidgen of caramel maltiness are noticeable. Smells good, but it just doesn't jump out at me enough.

The beer redeems itself with the flavor. Nice, juicy citrus hop up front that don't seem to have any self-confidence problems. A tasty, well-hopped front-end followed by a smooth, maltier tail-end adds up to a pretty awesome drinking experience.

Solid mouthfeel, too. Medium-bodied, with only a minor amount of carbonation that shows up if you roll the beer around in your mouth a bit... these make for a mouthfeel that isn't quite creamy but it damn sure is smooth.

Overall, this is a very good APA, probably my next favorite after Sierra Nevada's offering. Well-put-together, good-looking, and feels good going down. Now if I can just find a woman with similar qualities haha. Another solid one from Smuttynose! These dudes don't disappoint.

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

Pours a dark amber color that borders on brown. Head is off white in color, with great lacing and good retention.

Aroma has nice fruity yeast esters with strong English influence, some sweet malt, and herbal and woodsy tones showing a slight hop note.

Flavor follows with that wood character found in the nose, as well as some dry leaves. Malt is simple, full flavored, an the focus of the flavor of this beer with some really nice dark fruit tones. Bitterness is solid, and brings a slight fruity hop flavor to the finish. Mouthfeel is very dry with solid carbonation. This is one of my favorite English-American Pale Ales. Really the only thing that makes this American style is that is above 2.5% ABV.

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

12oz bottled June 30, 2010.

Pours hazy burnt orange/copper/amber with a two finger light beige head that leaves some drippy rings of lacing but holds only a faint cap and ring.

Aroma is grassy, herbal, and floral hops, caramel malt and strong bready presence. Moderate strength, but gets better as it warms.

Flavor is very similar to the nose, grassy, floral hops with some added citrus balanced against bready, caramel malt, finishes with a strong bitterness to balance against moderate sweetness from the malt. Refreshing and very flavorful.

Medium bodied, medium (although occasionally prickly) carbonation. Drinks very nicely.

Mmmmm this is some tasty stuff. I generally like the less malty American-style Pale Ales, but this bad boy may sway me to the dark(er) side. This is very hoppy too which is a plus for me, but not a surprise since it is coming from the brewer of my favorite IPA.

Photo of Sam21
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sharkey's Bar and Grill on Block Island, RI. Jotted down a few notes after dinner.

Appearance - Reddish brown with a great off-white head. Great retention and lots of active carbonation.

Smell - Bready malts and hops. Balanced and inviting.

Taste - Great balance between hops and bready malt. Citrus mingles nicely with malt before the juicy hops assault the taste buds in a moderately bitter finish. Bitterness lingers for a good while.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full bodied. Lots of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability - Great American pale ale. Smuttynose sure knows how to make fantastic beers. The hop presence tastes similar to their IPA but that doesn't detract from this beer at all. Definitely one of my favorite pale ales.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass on 12/24/09

Best before Feb. 2010

Thanks to smutty33

Dark copper, burnt orange color. Tobacco brown highlights. Mildly hazy with a few specks of drifting sediment. One finger head holds for a while, ultimately leaving a thin layer of retention. Impressive lacing.

Mild, yet distinctive citric hops offer aromas of orange & lemon. Maybe a touch of grapefruit. Hints of pine with stray floral wisps. Followed by biscuit & toasted malts. It's a choice balance with a penchant for hoppiness. Though not the most potent, it's an appealing aroma nonetheless.

As foretold by the nose, this is indeed a tasty beer. Reasonable amount of piney bitterness upfront with hints of floral hops throughout. Citrus hops are less apparent than in the nose, making way for the pine - not a bad thing. Baked bread & toasted malts comprise a solid backdrop; even-keeled, yet unobtrusive.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Some resiny grit is appreciated. Bitterness with hints of toasted malts linger on the finish. Faint citrus, too.

Excellent drinkability. A well-crafted APA that tips the scale towards the hoppy side. Definitely worth a shot; seek it out.

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

Pours a hazed light copper color with a small cap of white head, moderatle blotches of lacing. Scent is rather light, touch of grassy hops with touches of citrus and pine, light carmel and bready sweetness. Taste is lighter yet balanced, a nice bitter and somewhat fresh grassy, citrus, piney bitter hop presence with a light yet solid presence of dried grain and light carmel. Lighter side of medium bodied, somewhat dry. A decent, lighter pale ale.

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

This beer pours a murky deep copper color with a one finger tan head that recedes to a film. Nice spotty lacing is left on the glass. Nose is of citrusy hops with caramalized malts. Taste is fruity up front with the citrus hops adding to it, middle in finish is malts, toasted malts in the middle to balance out the hops and the finish is sweet malts caramel with a touch of toffee. Light to medium body, higher carbonation - you could see the carbonation bubbles dancing in this beer, crisp feel, slightly bitter aftertaste and goes down nice and easy. Highly sessionable beer!

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

A. Poured a cloudy, amber copper color with a nice one finger white No lacing on the glass.

S. Cereal, grains, faint hops, grass citrus.

T.Nice sweet maltiness, slight citrus flavor, nice bitter hop finish.

M. Medium bodied medium carbonated.

D. A great tasting beer, perfect balance and verry refreshing.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Just the slightest bit darker than I expected for a "Pale" ale, but not overly dark. Golden/amber color with slight haze from particles inside. An off-white, trying to by orange head appears and hangs out around the edges for the entire beverage. Not a heck of a lot of lacing to this though, just around the top of the glass. Smell is very good. Cascade hops dominate the nose at first, citrus and floral aromas. You can also tell by the smell that it is well malted, pale roasted malts. The taste is outstanding, perfectly balanced malt/hop combination. There is a nice sweetness from the roasted, and I'd say caramelized malts. The distinct hop flavors follow, a slightly bitter citrusy taste that complement each other perfectly. This Pale Ale can easily be drank all year round. The mouthfeel is good. It's medium bodied with a good carbonation feel. The start of sweetness and the bitter finish feels clean. This beer is close to as drinkable as can be without being perfect. As mentioned earlier, it's a year round drinkable pale ale. A good introduction on what pale ales should be like. A home run by Smuttynose in my opinion.

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

12 oz bottle notched with the freshness, J(2)10. Nice scenic photo on the label.

Pours a slightly copper orange. Off-white, sticky head. Smell is invigorating, like an ocean breeze, but with a little bit of funk. Taste is grapefruit pulp, almost chewy, with a nice earthy backdrop. The citrus permeates the finish. Finishes fizzy and dry. Darn tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of DrewKid4
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served: bottle to .25L Heineken glass.

A: Reddish Brown pour with small creamy head. Color is more dark orange on the bottom of the glass and brown on the top which I haven't noticed a transition often.

S: Seems like a combination between the hoppy smell of a pale ale (of course), but with an equally apparent citrus smell like a weizen.

T: Perfect amount of hops for an American Pale Ale. Undertones of sour citrus. Good taste that doesn't dissipate quickly.

M: Good bodied, better feel than the most recent pale ales I've had or reviewed.

D: Great for a beer after work or with the guys. Not one you drink too much of, but great for any time.

Photo of uustal
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the better heads on a Pale Ale. Hoppier than most of its variety. Good amount of citrus and grapefruit hop that to start. Turns sweet caramel malt that finishes smooth, but once you think the beer is done with you, comes back with a little dryness. Great flavor overall.

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

Rocky, sudsy head leaving some spotty, streaky lacing. Close to the typical British pale ale color - reddish brown. Just a bit hazy.

Nice moderately hoppy aroma - a touch floral and lightly fruity.

Definitely a British bitter quality that dominates the flavor. I feel like this falls neatly between a bitter and a hoppier American pale style - not as hoppy as many West Coast pales. Medium malt character.

Drinks smooth. Fairly refreshing. Finishes clean and slightly dry. Nice subtle hop essence left behind.

This is a good sessionable beer. Nothing particularly outstanding or unique - just a well-crafted ale.

Photo of Pittsburgh
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pour on this beer, major head, comes down after a bit, turns into a light lacing around the top of the glass. Dark brown, light brown beer, tastes very light, similar to most pale ales, but has the brown color and malt flavor to more of a degree than I have had in a pale ale, a welcome change in that I thought the beer had good flavor, a little something extra added to it. Still has the bitter taste, mostly at the finish, goes down smooth, tastes almost sweet at the beginning as you are drinking then finishes bitter. I like the balance, I like the different flavors that come out as you drink it, all in all, very good, definitely something you could have a fair share of and still be ok. Nice offering.

Photo of Natural510
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best-by Sept '10

Pours a lovely amber-copper with creamy, off-white head.

Scent is a bit muted; malty with notes of caramel & tart fruit. Hops present themselves well.

Initially bitter, eventually sweet and finshes dry. In other words, the hops, malt and yeast work well together, leaving a finely balanced English-style pale ale.

Body & drinkability fully in-line with the style, leaving very tasty pale which can be drunken in abundance. Looking forward to trying more offerings from this brewery.

Photo of Zekezilla
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I keep trying this brewery but I'm disappointed every time. I've mostly tried various pale ales and I just find them very bitter with an unpleasant (aspiriny) aftertaste. Maybe it's just me and something with my palate because I'm clearly in the minority here. Lots of people seem to love their beer; I'm just not one of them. Need to move on and try something new now.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Pint Glass (Best before date on bottle)

Appearance- Pours a honey dew copper with a creamy one fingered head. An appearance of light caramel, viewed from the bottom or up-close shows a lovely sea of sediment. Like a tree stump the glass shows its age in drinks taken.

Smell- Hops, what a wonderful smell, they jump out of the glass at me with a wonderful floral and citrus odour. Hints of spice and malt present themselves on an after thought.

Taste- The flavour from the hops that are used in this beer, Cascade and Chinook, are absolutey lovely. A fruity hop presences followed by a tart grapefruit flavour is accent by the sheer cripness of this beer. The malt provides this pale ale an excellent backbone on which to present and carry the hop flavour.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, medium bodies almost chewy ale, I feel like I am eating a freshly baked loaf of ciabatta. A very aesthtically pleasing and well-rounded ale.

Drinkability- Scrumptious, the hop presences of this ale hearkens memories of an IPA. Certainly a wonderful take on a fantastic style by one of my favorite breweries.

Cheers

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,343 ratings.