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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

1,277 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,277
Reviews: 643
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 26
Gots: 60 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,277 | Reviews: 643 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grayburn
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Copper pour with a finger head and nice lacing, I can tell how big my sips (or gulps) are with this beer.

Smells very faintly of hops and barley, light, refreshing smell

Excellent balance, this beer is just a tremendous example of an often over-hopped style. The malt and hops really blend amazingly well in this beer.

Decent mouthfeel, slight lingering bitter, a bit overcarbonated.

I could drink this beer daily, it is an excellent example of a session brew. Excellent job by Smuttynose, I have come to expect nothing less.

grayburn, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Nice copper color, with a thin head that remained throughout the enjoyment of the pint and provided good lacing.

Not too much aroma going on, a little hops.

Taste is good for the style: a bready hop flavor or is it a hoppy bread flavor?

Not too thin in body as some APAs can be; very drinkable a good session beer.

A style that unfortunately gets botched by too many brewer as a weak, thin effort is done quite well by Smutty.

ProudBeerSnob, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is dark amber, with a nice foamy whiter head.

The smell is citrusy, some hints of lemon and maybe some orange. Also has a nice hop flavor as well.

The taste is sweet with touch of malt. Also a bit bitter some citrus flavor and some hops.

A good pale ale, goes down very easy and is quite tasty.

Duhast500, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of deaconoflove
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ap: Rich deep golden/amber hue, a little cloudiness. One finger head that shrank but hung on with nice lacing on the glass.
Sm: Hops and mild citrus.
Ta: Clear fresh hoppiness with strong pleasant grapefruit bitterness through the end.
Mf: medium to light body with some carbonation.
Dr: Very pleasant and refreshing, easy.

deaconoflove, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Dark amber with a slight haze. Nice, large, 3 finger off white head rises. Great retention with moderate lacing. Thick cap persists.

S - Grassy hops with some minor floral notes. I'm not picking up much of anything. Some citrus peel (grapefruit?) is hiding in the background.

T - Dominated by grapefruit peel. Grassy/floral notes from the nose are noticable but this stuff is lots and lots of grapefruit peel/juice. Grainy, barely perceptible malt jumps out a bit mid to late palate, but gives way quickly to a coarse, pith-like bitterness with touches of dirt and earth.

M - Light to medium body with very high carbonation. In fact, the carbonation is too high for my tastes. There's little room for any nuance to pull through and the prickliness adds to the rough and bitter finish.

D - Meh, overall I am not impressed with Shoal's Pale Ale. The hops aren't my cup of tea to begin with, but beyond that the brew finishes too harsh and bitter when I'm thining of a nice, quaffable pale ale. Carbonation is ENTIRELY too high as well.

PatrickJR, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy amber with a thin white head. Lacing goes all the way down the glass.

S - A floral hoppiness and light malts come out right away. Inviting.

T/M - Hoppiness come over the top a little bit and overpower the other light. A few malts and some a slight sweetness make their way into the finish. If the tastes in the finish made their way into the rest, it would've been better IMO. Feels a little thin, but not really watery.

D - Very very drinkable. Goes down easily and very easy to drink alot of.

MunchkinDrinker, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of penguinjive7
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour is a hazy amber with about a half inch of white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a bit of lacing.

Bready malt dominates the smell with a tinge of earthyness.

The initial taste is of pleasant floral hops with the malt found in the smell mixing in after a bit. The flavor profile really isn't that bad until the aftertaste. The finish itself is quite smooth and balanced, but if I take a long pause between sips, there is an odd almost metallic aftertaste.

Overall this brew falls into the OK category for me. It falls just short in every category for my taste buds. While I would say this is quite a drinkable brew, the odd aftertaste would cause me to move on to something else after giving this one a go. Worth a shot, but nothing to write home about.

penguinjive7, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy cooper color with a large, dense and frothy off-white head. Retention is excellent, lacing as well.

S: Some mild malt sweetness - perhaps some brown sugar. Some citric and vaguely floral hops - lemony, some grapefruit also.

T: Light malt sweetness up front - not too much of a presence overall. Hops are floral and citric - with a slowly-developing bitterness into the finish. Again, some light brown sugar and a bit of bready yeast become apparent. Some metallic flavors from time to time.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation on the light side. A lingering, somewhat puckering dryness into the finish.

D: This one looks great but just seems a bit unbalanced in my opinion. Not much of a malt presence, and what is there gets overwhelmed by an overly blunt hop presence and some off flavors.

Clydesdale, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pleasingly thick white head with strong lacing, semi-opaque copper to orange-brown in color, draws in light well. Kind of blunt blow to your nostrils of straw, grain, charcoal ash, the hops aren't as "aggressive" as "relentless," small edge of grapefruity white citrus, some unbuttered biscuit, smooth smokiness as it dissolves. Medium-bodied, the bitterness continues here with mineral water, iron notes and sauna stone smoke. The grapefruit pith clearer, foresty sort of herbaceousness, floor matter. Even the yeast, bread notes seem to get covered up. Carbonation is palpable, however, can't really increase the pacing. The charcoal element there, kind of brings out cocoa bean, burnt chocolate nuances too. Palate punisher.

farrago, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with jwc215. Thanks Joe!

This pours a clear bright amber with a 1 finger head of foam. It has some good lacing.

The smell is mostly of hops...some nice citrus notes going on here. I took more whiffs to see if I could get any malt out of it and lo and behold, there *it* is, light though it may be. I'm hoping it shows up more in the taste as I like me a balanced APA.

The taste is very bitter/hoppy on first sip but again, the malty sweetness sort of creeps up on you like with the smell. I really like the way the citrus translates to flavour here and the more I sip, the more the malty goodness reaches out and adds some balance. This is *still* a hop dominant example of the style but it is working for me. Yum. This is a tasty APA for sure.

The mouthfeel is medium as is the carbonation, and it finishes with a nice hoppy bite with a good long lasting aftertaste.

Drinkability? Very good! That's a lot of flavour that they packed in to this low abv beer. Well done, Smuttynose!

Bitterbill, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of squilky
2.28/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- This one poured a light amber color. Small head that disappeared quickly.

S- A very citrusy smell, but not in a good way.

T- I found the hops to be overpowering. I didn't detect much malty sweetness to balance out the hops. There was a bitter, lingering, unpleasant aftertaste.

M- A nice amount of carbonation. Felt good in my mouth. The only positive I could find.

D- To me this tasted more like an IPA. It was very strong and bitter. Not to my liking. If you love hops, you will probably like this beer. If you are looking for a nice balance between hops and malt like I do, this isn't the beer for you.

squilky, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangy amber with a decent off-white head that dissipated quickly. Some lacing.

Smell is mild - citric hops and some toasted malt.

Hops are up front, grapefruity goodness. Some caramel sweetness fights through with just the right amount of toasted breadiness. Slightly dry, clean finish, with some bitterness right at the end, but then it is gone.

Mouthfeel is medium but well carbonated to keep the hops from becoming too cloying. Overall, a real drinker. Been buying this for years. What a solid brew. Can't go wrong with this one. Hop-leaning in nature, but drinkable in both summer and winter.

OtherShoe2, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of JayNH
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light brown/ deep copper color with a small foamy head.

S- Slightly citrusy hops with a touch of nutty/roasted malt.

T- A very earthy hoppiness, slightly citrus with a touch of toasty malt. A nutty, earthy finish.

M- Smooth, just enough carbonation and a good body to this brew.

D- This is fairly strong tasting and bitter for an APA.

JayNH, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of Damian
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fluid ounce bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Best before: December 2008
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a crystal clear, deep orangey amber color with a one-finger, bubbly, light tan head that quickly faded.

The aroma was bright and citrusy, yet subtle. Hoppy, with a semi-sweet caramel malt backbone.

The taste was rather mild initially but it became much more intense as the beer warmed. Somewhat malty and sweet (caramel-ish) up front before the hops took over. Citrusy (orange peel was most noticeable) hops came through in the center. The resonating finish was very grapefruit-like with a touch of pine thrown in. Overall, quite bitter.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a lively, spritzy carbonation. Creamy, smooth and supple on the palate.

This is a really flavorful and sessionable pale ale. It definitely falls on the hoppy/bitter side for the style and is thus a "must try" for all hop heads out there.

Damian, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of jiggahertz
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Two finger foamy head. Surprised by the color, it is a beautiful rich amber. Decent lacing.

S: Hops, malt, slight dough aroma.

T: Lackluster malt up front, followed by strong hops.

M: Creamy texture, the hops stick around for quite a while. Body is medium and carbonation is high.

D: Good drinkability, at 5% could be a good session beer.

jiggahertz, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of drizzam
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation - Served in a 12 oz. brown bottle with a picture of the Samuel Haley House on Smuttynose Island on the label.

A - This definitely surprised me when I poured it...I was expecting a yellowish pale beer and what I got was a more reddish or copper color with an off color head. The head was thick at first but dissipated pretty quickly, leaving a very distinct lacing down the inside of my pint glass.

S - There was a smell of hop explosion as soon as I uncapped the bottle. After pouring it and giving it a chance to breathe, the extreme hoppy smell became pretty muted and became almost more malty to me.

T & M - Bitter and somewhat tingly on the tongue. I thought the tingle was possibly from the carbonation but as I look at it I see that it isn't that highly carbonated.

D - Not a bad brew...this is actually my first Smuttynose and now that I've had it, I would like to sample some more offerings from this fine brewery with the funny name.

drizzam, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice Pale ale. It pours into my tulip tumbler and produces a thick two finger head that stays. Good lacing as it fades leaving a bubbly blanket on the top. A copperish dark amber with that while clear has a bit of sediment floating throughout the glass.

Aromatics are earthy hops and grains. A sweet malt note plays lightly and touch of yeasty fruit and pine tinged hops combine invitingly.

Taste is toasty malt and light sweet breads with a dry bitterness that coats the mouth. I must quote the Bros, it is tingly and oh so good. The hop bittering lingers and lets just a touch of graham cracker like toasty bread through.

Mouthfeel is gently carbonated with a touch of velvet and cream. that back of the throat is quenched beautifully.

Drinkability is first rate. The stuff almost drinks itself and my glass was gone way too fast.

scootny, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/20/08. Bottle. Pours a clear brown with a small. Aroma of flowery hops, sweet malt, fruity. Flavor of sweet malt, bitterish finish. Not very hoppy. Not particularly flavorful, but quite drinkable and tasty.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of yesyouam
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The off-white head vanishes quickly to reveal a slightly hazy red-amber body. This doesn't look "pale"! The aroma is of light malt and moderate pine and citrus from the hops. It is a straightforward and well-balanced whiff. The flavor is simple-- well bittered from start to finish. It has a thicker body than I expected and a somewhat oily texture. This is more like an ESB that a Pale, but it's quite good.
(rated Feb 10, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of BeerImmediately
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle -
Poured a caramel brown, with a 2F cream-colored head. Pretty tight lacing on down the line...

Not much to the smell at first - touch of citrusy hop bitterness, but I did notice some caramel sweetness as it warmed.

First taste, noticed a smokey quality - definite malt depth which tries hard to balance a lightly bitter, lemon rind flavor. Little off, but hey - points for being interesting, nonetheless.

Mouthfeel was crisp - tangy bite. Would make a terrific summa quaffa.

Drinkability is pretty high in my book. Could easily session this pup.

BeerImmediately, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a picture of the Samuel Haley house on the bottle. I'd like a picture of myself, drinking Shoal's Pale Ale with the Haley house picture on the bottle, in front the of the Haley house. Stuff like that floats my boat.

Pours a dark honey color with retention and sticky lace aplenty. Musty hop stank with sweet malt and sweaty tin.

Leafy "fresh hop" hops complemented by cracker malt. Earthy. Full bodied with a mildly crip bump at the end. Lemon citrus bitter undertones reverberate here and there.

donkeyrunner, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of Vendetta
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
August 17, 2008

Great hoppy nose, dark amber pour, small thin head. Strong hop presence, some malt and orange undertones. Very good! Smuttynose continues to impress. They're getting up there with Flying Dog for me at this point.

Vendetta, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with very little head, beer is a dark brown color. Smell is malty and faint fairly appealing. Taste is warm roasted malt, not too heavy or with too much coffee flavor, fairly hefty, very drinkable. Good palate coverage. A very tasty beer and worth buying again.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of seanpachefddfa
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance- poured an amber/orange color 1/2 inch off white head
smell- rich malts up front with some citrus hop aroma also.
taste- a nice blast of the citrus hops and balanced with a nice malt backbone.
Moutfeel- crisp and clean a good bit of carbonation and medium body
drinkability- better than average apa will enjoy again.

seanpachefddfa, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of Gish
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber, good head retention and lacing. Smells spicy and herbal.

Shoals Pale Ale is a bit more clean and refreshing than similar beers. Hop bitterness is fairly muted, definitely a balanced pale ale.

The body is a bit light, it could use a little more in my opinion. A very drinkable pale ale, one of the best in its class!

Gish, Dec 04, 2008
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,277 ratings.