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.
very good

1,331 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,331
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 25
Gots: 82 | 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: 1,331 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
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.


Photo of jampics2
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

About 6oz from a bottle @ Heinen's Smuttynose VS Sierra Nevada smackdown.

A brown/amber with a touch of head. Looks nice enough.

Malty (caramel and sweet bread crust) with a nice floral and even a touch of citrus hops in the smell. Touch of brown sugar. Just subdued, I'd like a bit more expression.

The taste makes up for the lack of smell though. Really nice caramel and hop presence. Some grapefruit and zesty orange, of course it's nowhere near being overwhelming, but perfect for the style.

Mouthfeel was medium-low and nicely carbed.

Nice beer. Really well crafted, flavorful, and classic.

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

Bottle to a glass.

Beer pours a deep orange, almost auburn color. Nice head that dissipates to thin film of off-white.

There is somewhat of an earthy flower aroma on the nose. The beer tastes exceptionally well balanced. There is just enough bitter to equal out the malt. It's not too full either, and leaves you with a slightly dry aftertaste.

One of my favorite pale ales so far. It's not crazy hoppy smelling like some and it's not super bitter like some pale ales that border IPA's. I'm about to have this with a cheeseburger and fries and I'm pumped.

Photo of Pdiddey3d
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a rich copper color with about one finger of slightly tan head. Decent amount of active carbonation. Very nice lacing as I drink which sticks around for quite a long time.

S: Very nice crisp hop character, slightly piney. Some caramel malts and citrus as well.

T: Great combination of citrus, hops, and toasty malt. Flavor is not what I expected from the nose. Slightly bitter but not unpleasant.

M: Medium bodied beer. A tad bit too much carbonation for me but not a deal breaker by any means.

D: Pretty drinkable beer. Low abv along with a nice hop profile and great taste make this an easily sessionable beer. Very good APA. Worth a try if you get a chance.

Photo of BeckyFreesTibet
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very IPA-like pale ale in almost every way. The appearance is darker than the normal pale ale, as it is honey amber-colored with a thick lingering head. The smell is undeniable hoppy with musty and malty undertones. I was surprised at how present the hops are throughout the taste. It starts out with a piney hoppiness and finishes more bitter.

The mouthfeel is pleasant with moderate carbonation and the beer is overall refreshing and drinkable. There are many other things I'd rather get from NH, especially from Smuttynose, but no major complaints here.

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

A: Beautiful Sunset Copper with a beige head.

S: Fruity, Citrus, Nice Hop Aroma

T: Great hop flavor. nice sharp bitterness but not overwhelming. Somewhat sweet. But overall good balance. Citrus, Caramel, Toasted Malts.

MF: Moderate Carbonation. Not too light, good body.

D: A nice refreshing Pale Ale. On the more hoppy end of things.

Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Amber/gold in color, with a big, generous head of foam
Aroma-Subtle citrus and hop notes
Taste-A bit fruity, with a citrus-rind bitterness throughout. Tasty and snappy with a nice hoppy backbone. Well-balanced and very drinkable. Would make a nice "go-to" pale ale to keep in the fridge.

Photo of morebeergood
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Three bottles of this come as part of the variety pack. Poured into a pint glass. Dark copper colored, with a thin white head. Definitely can notice the hops in the nose. The taste is quite good, for it stays true to the style. There's a nice dose of hops, but also just enough malt in the background to balance things out. Just enough hops to notice, but not enough to overpower. Very smooth on the palate. And with only an abv of 5%, it's quite drinkable. A top notch APA, right up there with the classics of the style.

Photo of projectflam86
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light copper amber color with a thick foam head that leaves nice lacing.

S- A bit musty with some toffee and earthy hops.

T- A crisp hoppy bitterness that gives way to light citrus and floral flavors. A creamy finish with well hidden alcohol and some buttery toasted notes.

M- Medium bodied with ok carbonation.

D- A pretty decent brew but I wish I would have noticed more in the nose...

Photo of MikeBrandman
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep copper body with a red tint to it. Pours with two fingers of white head and leaves a thin cap. Good amount of lacing. Translucent body. Good looking beer.

S - Very strong smell. Purely a hoppy smell. Very exciting for an APA.

T - Taste is just as hoppy. Not overwhelmingly bitter, I'd even go so far as to say it's balanced. Smooth taste that isn't offensive, but a good relaxing APA. Nice grassy, floral taste to the hops.

MF - Smooth and thick. Heavy mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable for a APA. Not quite a sipper, but a good session APA.

Photo of johannasclimacus
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice, hazy orange. Taste is a perfect mix of hop and malt--very earthy hop character and biscuit malt. A small amount of bitterness in the aftertaste, just about the perfect amount. Drinkability is extremely high. This is becoming one of my favorite APAs. I would easily keep several of these on hand, very versatile. I could see myself turning to this beer and some MLB games on warm summer evenings. Overall, an outstanding session brew from an outstanding NE brewery.

Photo of nelnutter
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a Sam Adams glass.

A: Solid finger of off-white head. Stuck around for a while and left nice lacing throughout.

S: Biscuity/toasted caramel malt mostly, with earthy hoppiness.

T: Toast with earthy/piney hops at first, then some slight caramel sweetness, ends with nice bitter, earthy hop bite. Very balanced. Nothing is strikingly fantastic, but nothing's off, either.

M: Medium-bodied with nice carbonation, slightly oily but dried out by the hops at the end.

D: Very solid APA overall. Glad I have a couple more in the fridge. Definitely one I'd ble glad to cross paths with again, but not sure I'd necessarily go out of my way to hunt it down.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is pine and citrusy hops, and some caramel malt. Taste is much hoppier compared to the aroma. The brew tastes similar to the aroma, like pine and citrusy hops and some grain/bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and is well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it's enjoyable to drink and not a bad choice for an occasional session beer. I only bought a single bottle of this, but I'll buy a six pack of this in the future. I think it's a good, sessionable APA.

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,331 ratings.