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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

1,302 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,302
Reviews: 645
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 25
Gots: 64 | 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
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Ratings: 1,302 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic Pale Ale that tilts into Amber Ale territory with the malts.

Shoals begins with a medium amber color, mild haze (dry-hopped?), and a firm white head that lasts the session while leaving convincing lace behind.

Aromas seem to be a balance blend of earthy hop resins, American citrus hops, and English floral and spicy hops. Hops certainly take precidence with the nose but does allow a bready, caramelly, maltiness to peak through from time to time.

Flavors of malts take the initial step with graham cracker and toffee taste. Hop flavor follows closely behind with resiny, piney, fresh cut grasses. Citrus rinds gain intensity at mid-palate and increase in bitterness deep into the finish.

Malty and moderately full up front but the beer fades quickly into a dry, bitter, and evaporative feel. A skeleton of hops and malt flavor leave no residual sweetness on the tongue.

A very solid Pale Ale that holds more malt flavor (think Amber Ales) than expected and with an aggressive, and sometimes bitey, bitterness that seems slightly out of proportion to the rest of the beer. Still deserving of high marks. Thanks Stiggs!

BEERchitect, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of rosmhuire
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A: Medium amber coloring with fairly significant head.

S: All hops on the nose. Typical grapefruit. I'm getting a little leery - is this going to be a carbon-copy of their IPA?

T: Wow - I am not disappointed! Definitely predominantly hoppy flavor profile, but not overboard. Super-clean dry finish too.

M: Love the dryness of the aftertaste. This is just a clean, sessionable, ale, which is exactly what an American Pale Ale should be!

D: Exceedingly drinkable - I could drink these guys all night!

rosmhuire, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of hustlesworth
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- oh man does this look english! hazy deep reddish orange amber with an awesome creamy head thats the color of the light edge of a pancake. bubbly and frothy on top, sheets of thick lace and great retention. their website lists wheat as an ingredient which i'm sure contributes to the look of this one.

S- a little on the hoppy side, cascade is is a certainty. mandarin orange, grapefruit, passionfruit, guava. some spicy and pine hop notes in there as well. some caramel and toasty malt as well but mainly just a pleasant non-aggressive hop aroma.

T- good hoppy flavor. not too bitter, but straight hop flavor throughout. i was expecting something a little sweeter, but this one is toasty and dry allowing the hops to stand in front. woodsy with a tea-like bitterness at times, pine and grapefruit hop flavor, and a mild toasted grain backbone. finishes herbal bitter and earthy.

MF- nice level of carbonation and an inescapable dryness, but nothing special when it comes to the malty feel, especially when wheat is thrown in the mix i would have expected something a bit more plush. it's got a bit of a softness to it, but nothing to conjure up images of natural breasts, kittens, or pashmina.

D- tasty for a hop lover, but a little unbalanced on the hop side. more like a light IPA. a great pale ale in my book should have the best of both ends and this one falls short in the grain aisle. not bad by any means, but i could find myself straying to england or the west siiiide.

hustlesworth, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of Bierguy5
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Welcome to Ohio Smuttynose! 12 oz bottle, best before June 2010. Pours a slightly hazy amber color. Rocky off-white head holds together well and leaves some nice patches of lace.

Earthy and slightly floral aroma, with a healthy dose of caramel malt. A few fruity notes blend in.

Caramel malt up front, pretty good character. Earthy hops have a spicy edge which makes it a bit more interesting. A few subtle fruity notes.

Medium body, with ample carbonation. Easy to drink, but not very interesting to me.

Bierguy5, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of puboflyons
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle dated May 2010 and sampled on January 14, 2010. This is one of the staple brews of my homestate brewery Smuttynose. It pours a cloudy amber color with a thin head. It has a rich aroma balanced with a little barley, malts, and an upped dosage of hops. The taste has a tart cleanliness about it with a mild but obvious hoppy ingredient. It warms the insides and is easy to drink.

puboflyons, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange-amber with a white head. The aroma is piney hops. The flavor is grassy hops with a strong malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

This bottle was a few months past its best by date so I think it may have been past its prime. I think this beer could be better than the example I had and I will seek it out again.

Mora2000, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of Cmack15
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 16 oz bottle into a pint glass and got a 1 finger head. Lot of carbonation in this beer. The aroma of this beer is an earthy musty kind of scent. Taste is upfront with the a peppery hop note the slowly fades into a slight malty aftertaste. I am more a fan of citrusy/piney hops so that is why it did not score so well with me.

Cmack15, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of wilbrew
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Very drinkable pale ale. Nothing overpowering and true to pale ale form.

A - Deep clear amber color. Head consists of larger bubbles and dissipates fairly quickly while sticking the side of the glass.

S - Piney hops aroma which is not overpowering.

T - Piney hops flavor which is balanced with a light malt flavor.

M - Smooth carbonation with a slight lingering bitterness from the hops.

D - Very drinkable beer. The six pack did not last very long between my wife and I.

wilbrew, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Clear brownish amber with a big chunky slight off white head that starts sticking to the sides of the glass immediately

S: Floral and herbal hops make up the dominant aroma, but nothing overly impressive

T: Hops are not super strong, they are comprised of floral and herbal again, malt definitely provides counterpoint but not too much actual flavor, the bitterness lingers well after the flavors have faded

M: Just barely shy of medium, dry finish

D: Pretty good, flavors are alright, but nothing that says "drink me now"

Notes: This beer has some good qualities, notably its appearance. The flavors are good, just not super bold or anything. As a pale ale it will obviously not be as punchy as an IPA, but some aspects just fall a little short of excellent.

dpodratsky3, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of KTCamm
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours an amber, medium dark, with 1 finger white creamy foam. Laces down the side. Translucent.

Lightly hoppy smell.

Opens bitter but washes out for a cleaner drink - closes bitter at the finish. Domonant hop taste, that I found a bit harsher than expected. The underlying flavor is good, but drowned in the hop. Strong carbination.

Very average drinkability - the extent of the bittering is a bit offputting.

KTCamm, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of josefnewsong
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber color closer to that of an IPA than an APA, and the taste is like a light IPA as well. Dominant hops flavor with slight malt finish. I was expecting something a bit more typical of the style from Smuttynose, as they normally seem to make great beers without trying to reinvent the wheel.

josefnewsong, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of towersfall
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a nice touch of ruby when held up to the light. Head dissipates quickly and leaves behind a webbing of lacing all down the glass.

Smell: HOPS. Malt can be sensed but they're overpowered by the hops in my opinion.

Taste: Hops greet you upon the first sip with a sick 1-2 combination that's quickly followed by an uppercut from the (caramel?) malts. Great combination of flavors!

Mouthfeel: Crisp with a medium body. Enough carbonation to let out a few good belches :P

Drinkability: Malty APA that's not afraid to expose it's hoppier side. Crisp and pretty easy to drink. I'd probably pick up a sixer of this.

towersfall, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of VTaler
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Brown, Almost the same color of the bottle. Very little head and some lacing. Also very cloudy. When held up to the light it looks like honey.
S - Smells like hops and lots of them.
T - First taste is of dryness. Kind of unusual. Citrus hops with a sour lacing. Also a kind of spicy hop presence. The malt is there but not very present. This overall is a nice beer. Not too bitter and not too heavy. Good example of a English style pale ale. This is how a "pale ale" should taste like. Sour malt but not to sour that is bad.
M - Medium-high carbonation. Leaves a lacing on your tongue
D - nice session pale ale

VTaler, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy amber color with a thick eggshell heading that dissapates to a nice fine lace around the glass.

Smell is malty at first followed by a subtle graininess.

Taste again bigger with malts on the palate. A decent stab of hops enter the picture with an almost THC like crystalization. (I must be getting a little weird now).

Mouth is very smooth with a tingle on the palate from the crystalized hop mouthfeel.Mid bodied with good retention. Finishes with a linger.

Drink is excellent a well balanced beer Pale ale and certainly could be enjoyed by anyone.

TheFightfan1, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of Andreji
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an unusual pale ale in all senses, certainly an unexpected blend.

Pour is, for starters, much darker than i'd expect for an APA. brown-amber deep looking with a short lasting tan head. some lacing and a peculiar arrangement for the creamy film left atop (odd looking rings).

Smell is hoppy by all means. very unsweet, dry grassy smell. straightforward, smokey at a certain point.

Taste is also very different from the usual. THe malt is there, very strong and prevalent, just simply by no means sweet, much leaning towards the hoppier trends of the americans. The very oily body is topped off by a hoppy wooden, oak-like feel which makes it a special kind of bitter i enjoyed very much.

for a dry beer, this is certainly a great pick.

Andreji, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of kurp001
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle bought at Beltway Fine Wine

A moderate pour yields about two fingers of creamy ivory head that holds up pretty well. Body is a very deep amber, darker than I'd expect for a pale ale but very nice.

Smell is mostly citrusy hops and a mild malt aroma in the background.

Hop bitterness is apparent upfront, followed by a biscuity malt presence midway and a touch of grapefruity citrus on the finish.

Mouthfeel medium-bodied; crisp but not overly-carbonated.

A fairly drinkable pale ale, this is a solid but not exceedingly interesting beer. Good to have around, but there are others I'd probably be more inclined to go for.

kurp001, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of mirish72
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby amber/chestnut brown with a one finger head with slight lacing. The first thing that strikes me is this is the darkest pale ale I think I have ever seen.

The aroma is malty with a decent hop profile. There is definitely a toasted maltiness and less hoppiness than I would have expected from drinking several of their other offerings, not complaining, just not what I expected.

Probably wouldn't pick it as my favorite pale ale, but it is very drinkable and a good session beer.

mirish72, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Jayli
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consumed 10/2/09
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!

Jayli, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Red Rock Pizzeria in Washington D.C. Served in a pint glass. Beer is orange, white head, covers the beer completely, some lacing on glass, carbonation steady and moderate sized bubbles. Malty, citrus smell, some pine, nice balanced aroma. Beer tastes great. Bitterness high, definetly malt character, a slight aftertaste. Good mouthfeel, high drinkability.

drabmuh, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of adamette
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Purchased at Wegmans in Jamestown, NY 8 29 09 as a part of a Smuttynose mix pack.

A Dark caramel opaque body under a creamy head. Nice look. 4.0

S Faint smell but what I do get is some muted barley and malt. Hops are limited to just a whisper. Despite the weak smell, enough interest to provide an above average rating. 3.5

T This is difficult for me to assess. There is a big barley and hops presence but not much sweetness. It is nothing if not an interesting beer but my difficulty is in trying to describe it. It is kind of a Pale Ale/Amber/Vienna Lager. Anyway, it is interesting. 3.5

M Moderate with those barley and hops tastes. None of them are too strong. 3.5

D Fair to good. 3.5

Notes: My second Smuttynose is a rather unique beer.

adamette, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of grub
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got one of these as a bonus in a recent trade with jlindros. thanks jared!

12oz bottle. sampled sept 20/09.

pours crystal clear deep amber with a nice thick tan head. the head drops fairly quick but leaves a solid layer of lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit. bit of grapefruit. floral. bit earthy. light alcohol. nutty too.

taste is nice. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. light alcohol. medium-low bitterness level. grapefruit. earthy. nice light floral character too.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. just under medium body.

drinkability is great. great balance. tasty and enjoyable. it'd be easy to sit down on the patio and breeze through a sixer of this one. good stuff.

grub, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Viggo
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear dark amber red, thick white head forms, settles down to a big bubbled ring around the glass, nice layer, nice chunks of lace stick to the glass. Smell is nice, lots of citrus, orange peel, grapefruit, nice biscuity malt and some caramel sweetness, nice malt backbone, good hopping, smell is quite nice. Taste is similar, light and malty, a little bit watery up front, some biscuit in the middle, caramel sweetness, grapefruit and oranges, light floral, rich finish, almost toffee like, not a lot of bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty solid pale ale, aroma is quite nice but the flavour is a little weak up front. Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of thesyko56
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark hazy amber color. One inch thick white head.

S: Sweet malt smell with minimal hop bitterness.

T: Very different from the smell. Hop bitterness dominates but still has a malt finish.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium mouthfeel.

D: A little to strong for a full session beer but easy enough to drink.

thesyko56, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of berley31
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with an average-sized, off-white head... diminished after a couple of minutes to a thin film. Body is a dark golden color, and hazy.

S: Mmmm... APA goodness. Smells quite hoppy, with a little sweetness in there as well. I think I may detect some lemon/lime also.

T: Oh yeah, that's some good APA. Starts off lightly sweet and citrusy, and finishes slightly bitter. Not as bitter as I would have expected from the aroma... an excellent balance as it isn't overwhelming, yet provides a bit of everything, with a good duration.

M: Awesome on the palate as well. Medium-bodied and creamy, it rolls across the tongue perfectly. Average carbonation... just right.

D: A great APA; very easy to drink... this is a beer I could drink at the beginning or end of the night, and several of them. Quite floral, and very satisfying. My first Smuttynose beer, and I'm looking forward to more in the near future (hopefully).

berley31, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of Amalak
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.
A- It has a deep reddish orange color to it, very nice. Great head and lacing. Off to a good start.
S- No scent, which is strange for such a high quality looking brew.
T- Very bitter but with limited other flavor by comparison. The only other taste I got was a burnt smokey flavor.

Amalak, Sep 11, 2009
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,302 ratings.