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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

1,216 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,216
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 22
Gots: 36 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,216 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xare


3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had this in Portsmouth on my trip there - wish I had stocked up on all these great beers up there but the trip was taken before I knew about all these breweries!

Appearance was excellent - bottle presented with excellent label that was a bit whimsical but overall, looked very nice.

Smell was of hops and more hops. Very appetizing if you like hops - definitely made my mouth water.

Taste was decent - a bit better than average but I don't think it was that memorable as far as flavor goes.

Mouthfeel was average - you got walloped with hops while drinking this with some carbonation. Other than all the bubbling and "burning", it was pretty smooth. It balanced out.

This beer actually got harder to drink the more time it took. I finished the beer but I would like to get a few more to give it another try - but the drinkability was below average for the one sample I've had so far.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2008 22:55:22 | More by xare
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical Smuttynose pour. Big head up front that settles to a quarter inch, some lace. Looks like dark tea, tasty appearance.

Not much by way of a nose to this one. Some grapefruit citrus, some dark sweetness, but not overpowering or striking.

Crisp, hoppy beer. Straight up good drinking, but not as distinctive as some other Smuttynose beers. Some nice caramel malt, followed up by tasty hops and a nicely lingering bitterness that stays and stays.

Enjoyable and worth a try. A well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 01:42:10 | More by TerryW
Photo of Durge


3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew has a nice clean clear copper color with moderate white head and nice lacing. The arooma brings to mind grassy malt and cardboard hints of old. The flavor features sharp hops with a dry finish. Very middle ground, mild enough for drinkability but a slight edge. Somewhat aqueous with fair carbonation. Decent.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2008 15:54:55 | More by Durge
Photo of DefenCorps


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best by August 2008. Poured into my Stone pint glass

A: Clear deep amber with a two-finger thick off-white head. A good deal of carbonation. This one leaves a bit of lace as i drink it.

S: Citrus hops with orange and a mild spiciness. Mild malt presence with caramel and sugar

T: Starts off mildly hoppy with a good dose of orange before a mild sweetness kicks in. The finish is bitter, almost astringent and dry

M: Well carbonated and great drying finish

D: I'd drink another!

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2008 01:37:08 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper color and has a decent head and good lace.
The aroma is of hops,biscuit notes,grains and grapefruit.
The taste is of hops,bread,burnt malts and sweet fruit.
The finish has grains,cream and a bitter tingle. The mild carbonation is good and the aftertaste is to remember.

Notes: A solid brew with session potential. I did not fall in love with it,but I will buy it again as I feel that for the summer it suits me just right.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2008 23:18:36 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of corey0212


4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color, darker around the edges, foamy tan head fades, but coats the top of the beer, lots of lacing on the glass. Smell is grassy hops, some biscuit/grain, a whiff of lemon zest. Initial taste is bitter hops, followed by some toffee, there's some bitter grapefruit taste. Pretty chewy APA, lively carbonation, and intense lingering bitterness. I love having this one at the house...seems to go with just about anything you'd put on the table, and you can definitely put back a few.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 21:03:22 | More by corey0212
Photo of hopsleeroy

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 bottle poured into pint glass

A-Copper with decent white head that laces glass nicely
S-Floral, pine hops, musty earth, slightly sweet
T-Slightly sweet bready malt, floral hops(reminiscent of perfume), grapefruit,
M-Medium body, good carbnonation that tingles a bit, slightly creamy in mouth
D-Not a huge fan of the flavor and probably wouldn't reach for too many

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 03:59:52 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of Nipitato


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a six pack at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Dark - rusty copper hue. Pours with an off white head with a thick moussy stand. Sticky lacing.

S: An uber toasted almost burn taste malt aroma is the defining characteristic here. Virtually no hop aroma.

T: Toasty (burnt) malt flavor noticeable in the taste but not nearly as prominent as in the nose. Slight grapefruit character on the hops side of the ledger. Bitter finish. This is a pretty well balanced, mild brew.

MF: Medium body with medium carbonation. A slightly dry finish.

D, notes: This is good balanced mild American pale ale. Pretty good Drinkability - though the burnt toast taste can be annoying.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 17:22:32 | More by Nipitato
Photo of AltBock


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with a real life picture of what appears to be a run down beach cabin. Under the picture is where it states it's the Samuel Haley house on Smuttynose Island. On the left side on the label is a clearly notched best before date of August 2008.

When poured into Heavy Seas pint glass, "Shoal's" is a very bubbly and slightly hazy golden copper color. At first I thought it was a reddish copper, but that was until I held it up into the light to see its true color. It had a small less than 1/2 inch head of white bubbly foam, but it did leave behind a long lasting bubbly film. If that wasn't enough, it also left behind a fair amount of bubbly spots of lace. Overall, "Shoal's" had a very bubbly appearance.

The aroma was heavy on the burnt side. This bunrt aroma contained lightly burnt malts, burnt citrus hops, and then the burnt aroma ends on a positive note, non burnt orange peel. After about a few minutes, the orange peel completely takes over the entire aroma leaving behind the burnt aroma in the fire where it belongs.

The taste was light, but certainly not light in flavor. The taste was well balanced with burnt malts, bitter citrus hops, dried grapefruit, and a small touch of orange peel. Luckly the burnt malts were on the lower end of the taste and the bitter citrus hops and grapefruit made up for the lost ground the malts burned.

For a Pale Ale, the mouthfeel was medium bodied with a full flavored strong aftertaste of grapefruit, a hint of lemon, and bitter citrus hops. I'm still trying to figure out how this small 5% ABV beer could pack such a strong aftertaste.

I just don't know what to say about this beer. It was just a full flavored medium bodied beer. The thing is that I'm talking about a Pale Ale here. It would ahve been nicer if it wasn't for the burnt malts, but it was still a very good beer with them. Session beer? Hell yes!

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2008 21:33:16 | More by AltBock
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served at just a few degrees over fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass. Best by October of 2008, this is a fresh example.

Appearance- A fine looking American Pale Ale... a solid, medium gold beer supports three full fingers of head, which pops and hisses away for an eternity. The craggy, sticky lacing is glued to the surface of the glass... just terrific. Appetite whetted.

Smell- Lemony fresh hops (reminiscent of Lemon Pledge furniture polish at first) tease the nose right at the outset. There's an indication of malts in the form of bready, light aromas... but it's all about the citrus here. Not grapefruit, like a Sierra Nevada or DFH pale ale though... lemons baby.

Taste- The tongue is taken hostage immediately, with an all-encompassing total grip. While this will undoubtedly please those seeking a fast hop attack, it leaves something to be desired with regard to balance. I'm not getting much more at all here... it's a two-dimensional rendition of the style. The finish and ultimate aftertaste is an eternity of drying, wincing bitterness that really needs a malt profile too.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- At first, this beer definitely barks in the mouth... the carbonation borders on aggressive and begins to relax with a few swishes. The swallow is pretty good, but the hellacious hop finish takes what could be a great ending and obscures it. The resulting belches are rough and again bring the heavyhanded use of hops in this recipe into the headlights.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2008 02:05:39 | More by yelterdow
Photo of ralree


4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep red and cloudy with a nice reddish 2-finger head, dissipates slowly with beautiful lacing. How a beer should look.

S: Brown sugar, roasted malt, smoke, with a nice hop background.

T: Sweet with a great hop flavor. Bitterness from the hops, but also from the smoke. Almost a grapefruit flavor on top. I like it.

M: Pretty astringent - hard to get off the tongue after swallowing, like grapefruit, which is a bit annoying. Carbonation perfect. Medium-light bodied, and not too syrupy.

D: Drinks well - a good summer drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2008 23:45:27 | More by ralree
Photo of joe1510


4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Best by: 8/08

There is a noseful of spicy hoppiness that hits right away. A solid toasted malt presence is met with a touch of caramel and lays down a nice foundation. The hops are more prominent than I expected. A spicy hoppiness leads the way but is followed by grassy and floral notes. Every now and then I pick up hints of orange peel which adds another dimension to an already good smelling brew.

The flavor follows the nose closely. A good spiciness kicks things off and leads from beginning to end with the floral and orange qualities showing up mid palate. The grassiness comes about here and there but never in the same spot. All this over is shown over the top of a respectable toasted maltiness with a drizzling of caramel. This is a good beer from Smutty.

The mouthfeel is right where it should be with this beer. Medium bodied with a solid enough carbonation to keep things moving but does show a little stick on the swallow. Finishes a bit dry which accentuates the bitterness which is right down my alley.

This glass is going down very easily and I actually wish I had a few more in the fridge. A solid example of a pale ale on the hoppy side of the spectrum. Very nicely done!

Shoal's Pale Ale is a high quality beer. To be perfectly honest I didn't expect a whole lot from this beer and I am pleasantly surprised. I enjoy my pale ales on the hoppier side of the spectrum and this one hits the spot. Thanks again Israel!

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 22:42:05 | More by joe1510
Photo of johnnyirishman


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint glass.

Apperance- Copper color with a decent head and sticky lacing.

Smell- Hops hit the nose first then slight malt to follow.

Taste,Mouthfeel- Hops in the front,with a mild smooth middle, and a slight bitter finish.

Drinkablity- Very good tasty beer

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2008 22:01:01 | More by johnnyirishman
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a twelve ounce bottle of this into a pint glass.

A: Poured an orange-amber body with a nice, silky white head with nice retention and lacing along the sides of the glass, all the way until the finish.

S: A fairly malty smell with hints of toffee and burnt caramel. Some earthy and hoppy smells were noted, but nothing too overbearing.

T: A rather hoppy taste, but was very well balanced by the malts. The beer a little more bitter than what I was expecting, but it was fairly nice. There were some earthy and burnt caramel aftertastes as well.

M: A little on the thin side, but still pretty smooth and very nice. Surprisingly, was a little filling as well.

D: A pretty good, drinkable beer. A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste makes the beer definitely an excellent session beer. The well-balanced nature of the hops and the malts in the taste also made for quite an enjoyable experience. Definitely a well-rounded brew and a nice representation of the APA style!

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 19:55:57 | More by maddogruss
Photo of jspruit


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this 12oz beer in a trade from johnnnniee and drank it back home in Ireland.

Pours a dark shade of orange, with some hints of amber in it-quite nice to look at actually. Off-white small finger head that turned into some nice lacing.

Yeasty and hoppy notes dominate the aroma, some of an earthly smell too which I enjoy.

Taste was spot on for what I was hoping for in a pale ale. A nice balance of maltiness and hops with some earthy tones.

Goes down relatively smooth, good balance and not too strong on the ABV either. Carbonation is minor but pleasant. I could drink a couple more of these in a session.

This is my favorite style of ale and it definitely lived up to what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2008 09:25:51 | More by jspruit
Photo of scottg


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Smuttynose Variety Sampler.
Best before August 08 on the bottle.
12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thin tan creamy head that dissipates quickly, the lacing coats the glass. Citrus and pine hop aromas are complimented by malt. Up front taste of pine hops lead to sweet malt and grapefruit flavored hops, grassy and earthy. There is a dry, bitter finish. Silky mouthfeel, medium body and carbonation. The flavors of the hops are highlighted while the bitterness is well balanced leading to an exceptionally drinkable American Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 16:27:41 | More by scottg
Photo of indiapaleale


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light auburn color with a big fluffy head that hugs the rim of the glass very tightly. The clarity of this beer is very nice and the bubbles that float to the head make it a really good looking pour.

Smell is fresh malty, hop crispness, grass, hay and some earthy tones. Its smells a bit like bread dough that is rising in a bakery.

Taste is actually quite hoppy with some astringency from the malt. This one does have some wheat in it so maybe that is where that comes from? Not a lot of aftertaste or bitter notes like in the IPA, the finish is more malty sweetness than hoppy bitterness. Pretty tasty stuff!

A great candidate for a cask...

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 01:05:53 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of Flashy


4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now if this doesn't beat most American Pale Ales and IPA's. Prefer this Smuttynose IPA as well. Just a good drinking beer.

Appearance: Amber, darker than I would think. Beautiful white head that stayed the whole 5 minutes it took me drink this.

Smell: Malt up front, with a bit of hops in the background.

Taste: Earthy hops, which tastes stronger after you drink it and lingers.

Mouthfeel: Full body, with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability: One of my desert island beers. Full bodied, great tasting, good looking.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 22:42:33 | More by Flashy
Photo of cameraman


3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A medium to light amber color, with a half inch white colored head, that dissolves away quickly. A grassy, citrus fragrance followed by a mild malty, biscuity scent. A bready, nutty flavor at the front of the palate. Then a grapefruit, citrus flavor, followed by a grassy, earthy flavor. A thin feel at the start, getting mildly heavier as it crosses the palate. It finishes dry on the back part of the palate. A solid pale ale, it has the balance of malt and hops for this style.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 00:26:57 | More by cameraman
Photo of missginsu

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The frothy, creamy head dissipates after just a minute to suds that cling to the side of the glass. The brew itself is a pretty light brown with a hint of red. Smells a bit molasses-y, but honestly, I have a bit of a cold, so there might be more there that I'm missing.

A sip is crisp with a nicely bitter, dark grain bite at the midsection and back of the tongue.

It's dry and it seems to have a nice roundness as it rolls across the mouth. Since it feels light-bodied and not terribly sweet, I think I could enjoy a few of these without feeling weighed down.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 01:48:12 | More by missginsu
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium amber with a small white head that leads to actually a fair amount of lacing.
Smells of grainy, medium malts with a true hoppiness present.
Kind of reminded me of an almost smell of something very clean. Weird, I know.
Taste is sweet, with a light malt tang at first but quickly overtaken by a big hit of bitterness that just will not quit. Minutes later I am still enjoying the bitterness as is numbed my palate.
Very solid beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 19:33:00 | More by dmamiano
Photo of praufs01


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber with a creamy off white head.

Aroma - Light hop and caramel smell.

Palate - Smooth, light carbonation.

Flavor - Sweet burnt sugar taste followed by a nice acidic hop that fades to a slightly metallic aftertaste.

Final thoughts - Very good ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 16:49:11 | More by praufs01
Photo of animal69


3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got me some smutty's up in hea' ; this one pours a slightly cloudy light copper color w/ a fluffy white head which lasts a bit leaving a decent lacing all the way down my nonic ; a strong pine and catpiss-like citrusy hop aroma, some toasty malts present under the hops ; a full, well balanced flavor more accentuated by the hops, but a crisp, nutty malt taste about midway keeps it in check with a good, dry finish ; a light-med body made creamier by the co2 makes this lil' 5.0 seem pretty rich ; overall a very good brew, so good, i'm gonna put this one on my top ten session list...

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 04:47:34 | More by animal69
Photo of MrRetardedMonkey

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a two-finger, creamy, pillowy light tan head, leaving lots of sticky lacing as it slowly fades. Pretty good retention.

Nose is a little faint, but I'm picking up some floral hops with some light citrus notes, and some pale, doughy malts.

Taste is pale, bready malts up front, followed by some floral and citrus hops and a slightly bitter, semi-dry finish. Very well balanced.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Very crisp and clean.

Great drinkability, great session beer. I'm glad this is one of my local offerings.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 22:09:26 | More by MrRetardedMonkey
Photo of MiScusi


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by March, 2008. Just barely getting this in before it's best by date.

A- Pours a really clear yet dark shade of orange. There was some fine sediment into the bottle which made its way into beer. The offwhite head pours frothy and settles into a nice frothy little cap, great lacing.

S- Smell hits mainly bready with a distinct hop smell that I can't pinpoint. I want to say "old" hops but I don't know if that's accurate... it's a somewhat earthy/spicy/peppery hop smell I guess.

T- The taste starts our with a pale malt and earthy taste that reminds me of DFH 60 Minute IPA. It then ends in a peppery hop finish. The malt imparts almost an oktoberfest-like toastiness and sweetness but not totally. I just realized what this reminds me of a lot is Firestone's Double Barrel Ale. The 60 minute holds a lot more hops than Shoal's but Shoal's has a more light and earthy flavor similar to Double Barrel.

M- Pretty light, nothing to complain about here, the carbonation level seems fine if not just slightly high.

D- This beer really reminds me of Firestone Double Barrel Ale and while I wouldn't go back to it that often it's a nice beer at the appropriate time.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 05:59:02 | More by MiScusi
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,216 ratings.