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

1,349 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,349
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.26%
Wants: 28
Gots: 95 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,349 | Reviews: 656
Photo of MaxBrews
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into pint

Appearance: Pours with a 1 and a half finger width head that dissipates slowly into a soapy lacing; sticking all over the glass.
Color is a slightly hazy medium amber.

Smell: Big whiff of floral and citrus hops, which is taken over by a big malty background of english pale malt and a little bit of wheat.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Hop crispness right up front, followed by a big malty flavor. A grainy cereal malt but in the way of whole grain bread. This is interlaced nicely with the cascade and chinook hops. The hops provide a nice dry bitterness without drying out the mouth.

Drinkability: Supposedly more English then over-hopped American APAs. Shoals Pale Ale is a malty Pale ale thats not completely shy of hops. A better choice for those who like malty beers rather then hop heads. A great staple of the APA bill.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured ontap into a pint glass. Appearance is deep gold/light copper in color. Nice lace documents every sip/gulp I take.

The nose has just a whiff of hop.

Shoals Pale Ale has a very assertive earthy hop flavor. Malt does little to stand in its way, leafy bitterness reigns supreme.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a drying finish.

This is a very drinkable brew to anyone who likes a hopped up pale ale. Solid stuff here.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a deep bright copper with two fingers of rich, creamy off-white head.

Caramel and nut aroma along with floral hops notes.

Tastes of sweet caramel malts, nuts, and floral hops. Finishes with a slight bitterness.

Medium bodied, drying, and moderately carbonated.

I really enjoyed this pale ale from the folks at Smuttynose. More malty than hoppy but well-balanced.

Photo of thecarster1
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- bottle poured into a pint, one inch cream colored head that was creamy with some rocky bubbles, little to no carbonation, hazy caramel color, terrific lacing, leaves head on glass, very attractive, bonus points for the badass 'make mine a smutty!' bottle cap and simplistic photo on label.

s- floral hop smack, caramel malt, nice citrus as well.

t- floral fruity hops hit in back, creamy caramelly malt comes up front, nice bit of tartness, nicely balanced, more flavor than many of the apas that i've had, very good.

m- great feel, medium body.

d- wonderful, alot of flavor but not too much that you couldn't session this, i could drink aton of these, went down super easily, i will be buying again.

Photo of Tone
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, amber/copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, slight brown sugar, slight earthy malt, and slight citrus (plum?). Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops up front, slight dry hops, slight, roasted malt, earthy malt comes through next, and sweet malt. Overall, a decent pale ale, but more in the style of an English than an American.

Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep golden copper with an off white head leaving loads of thick lacing behind.

The aroma is of grapefruit and caramel, quite noticeable.

Bitter grapefruit with a touch of pine resin is up front in the taste backed by a very strong malt backbone. Caramel in the malt with a bit of toast as well. Very flavorful and very balanced!

Mouthfeel is close to medium, a bit creamy and perhaps the nicest amount of fine carbonation tingling across the tongue I've come across. Finishes smooth.

This is very drinkable even though it has as much hop bitterness as a number of IPAs I've tried. Perhaps a bit more than I prefer in a Pale Ale but very good nonetheless as it is an artfully made beer.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this as part of the Smuttynose variety pack.. not a loser in that bunch, one of my favorite mixed 12's I have access to! This pours a nice orange/amber color, nice fluffy head to it.. moderate lacing. Nice subtle hop aroma, with some bready smells as well. This beer has an amazing mouthfeel and perfect body to it.. just smacks you right on on the tongue and is well balanced. Nice malt backbone and a kiss of hops as it goes down smooth. Super drinkable and a great session beer.. highly recommended, along with other Smutty offerings.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a red-tinted amber with a single-finger head. The smell is mostly some piney hops, I'd guess cascade with a bit of malt and grassy hops. The taste starts off with some good malt that balances the piney hops very well. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some fine carbonation. This is a great version of the style and one of the better Smuttynose beers that I've tried.

Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

every bit as good as SNPA

appearance: nice red amberish color

smell: good hop pine aroma

taste: solid hop flavor for a pale ale, well done

mouthfeel: light bodied, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: overall a great beer and one of the top PAs on the market

Photo of JMD
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich copper color with large pillowy head that lasted through the whole beer. Leaves heavy lacing down the glass. Great looking beer.

S: Citrusy hops and toasted malt. A bit of carmel as well. This aroma is not as strong as I would have liked.

T: Great hop flavor. Grapefruit and citrus just explode in your mouth on the first sip. Nice balance with malt and bread on the backend, but the hops are the star here.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Highly drinkable and packed with flavor. Another great offering from Smuttynose.

Photo of TommyW
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Gold/amber body with thin white head

S- Semi-sweet malts with a medium level of hops.

T- Caramel malts with some hops notes on the finish. Follows the nose pretty well.

M- Full feel and very smooth.

D- Not overly complex and well balanced. Quite enjoyable.

Photo of porterwoobie
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served out of a 12oz can into a standard pint glass.

A: amber, kind of hazy. very thin white head.

S: mild maltiness and hop aroma.

T: good balance of malty character, caramel tones, and hop bitterness. the bitterness lingers on your tongue for a bit after

MF: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, finishes smooth

Drinkability: very drinkable beer. has a good balance between the malts and hops which makes the beer drink easy.

Photo of HopHeadHerman
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from variety pack

A--Copper, very little head

S--Earthy

T--Balanced. Hops of front, malt towards the back. Dissipates almost instantly after it goes down. Impressive

M--The beer has a distinct fullness to it.

D--I can drink this very easily.

Photo of alleykatking
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Got as an extra from Cakanator...thanks for everything Chris!

A- Pours a semi-hazy deep darker amber color. One inch off-white head melts away leaving a soapy lacing that slides down the glass. Overall a good looking beer.

S- Good earthy hops smell to this (piney) that blends in with a sweeter caramel malt backbone. The aroma of this beer seems pretty balanced out except for the hints of alcohol you get every once in a while.

T- Like the aroma this beer is balanced out fairly good. The piney hops come through with full force at first but don't overpower the palate all the way through this beer. The middle has a nice sweet caramel charater that evens out the bitter hop bite. The finish is pretty clean cut leaving a little bitter taste to linger after it's gone.

M- This is a medium-light mouthfeel easily. There is something off with the carbonation I think. Nothing too terrible but you can really tell when the beer fizzs up in your mouth. Leaves a pleasant bitter hoppiness to it on you palate and to be honest it's a good thing. Malty aftertaste makes for a pleasant entire mouthfeel experiance.

D- Like most beers that I can't get around here. I would love to drink this if it was a choice. good all around beer that I would recommend to someone who wants a crisp pale ale.

Photo of dasenebler
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, matte amber. Decent head and great lacing for a pale ale. Aroma is soft, but with plenty of spicy hop background and subtle malts.

Flavor is quite good, I'd put this up against Sierra Nevada any day in the Pale Ale category, and chances are, the Smutty would win. It has a deeper hop profile, some sweet spice, and a slight yeastiness thanks to more permeable filtration. Mouthfeel is medium-light, but this thing goes down so smooth and with as much flavor packed in there as possible. One of the best pales in New England.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy amber color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly leaving nice lacing. The aroma is quite balanced with lively citrus and herbal hop notes, and strong malty caramel notes. The taste has everything the aroma does with the addition of a pleasant, lingering aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very solid APA. It has every good thing an APA can have, and all in ample amounts. I would certainly drink this again.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz. brown bottle into a tulip pint glass. The beer is a rusty amber color with a little more than one finger of near pure white head. Head retention is solid throughout the sample and nice sheets of lace.

The nose has maltiness coming through first followed by a mild hop aroma with a slightly citrus aroma.

Hops hit the palate first with a slight kick in the back of the palate. Mild bitterness, not overly agressive and very soon balances with a firm malty sweetness. Hops delivery an oily resiny punch with some citrus flavors. The beer is overall very well balanced. It finishes a tad sweet with a doughy bready flavor. Despite the balance, hoppiness remains throughout each sip.

Medium body with a prickly carbonation.

A very enjoyable and sessionable pale ale. Balance is spot on but each sips retains enough hoppiness to keep the beer interesting.

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper nd an off white head. The head is pretty thick as well.

S: A caramel maltiness with a slight cascade aroma

T: Malty/caramel flavours with a GREAT BALANCE between the hops and malts. Each one accentuates the other to make it a super easy drinking pale ale.

M: Medium/Light

D: Oh yes.

Photo of Stunner97
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- slight thin white head, dark to amber brown with moderate carbonation

Smell- very malty in smell, with very slight hop bitterness smell at the end, plenty of molasses , caramel, and sugar

taste- Nice flavor with an overall good mix of malts and slightly bitter hoppy finish, very nice long finish and Id say that the balance is the strong point on this one

mouthfeel- cream soft and smooth, nice uncomplicated beer on the palate,

Drinkability- Extremely drinkable, very nice balance with plenty of malts and also a touch of bitter finish which gives it a nice balance, could picture this being a very nice summer barbeque beer, certainly and enjoyable flavorful beer worth trying again

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce single - $2.00 at Venus Wine in Buford, Georgia. Best Before: July 2009.

Appearance: Pours a medium amber-brown body with a full finger of frothy, faintly beige-hued head. Bits of splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Spiced, leafy citrus fruits go head-to-head with some sweetish, toasty malt scents.

Taste: Pale malts with touches of toasted bread, lightly sweet caramel, and a meager dusting of brown sugar. Hint of spice. Touch of fruitiness. Citrusy, leafy hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Pink grapefruit emerges in the latter half now that the hops have sent the sweet malt a-running. Finishes dry and slightly crisp with some lingering hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended as a quality, quaffable pale ale.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle, poured to a pint glass, enjoyed on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. Label notched at best before: J(une) 09. Never gonna frown upon an extra...thanks, John (Wasatch).

A: An almost-clear auburn-orange with a fair amount of slow-rising carbonation bubbles. Head isn't tall, maybe cresting at a finger, but retains a sudsy creaminess around the edges and forms a thin, bubbly lid. Lovely lacing, as if blotted on with a sponge.

S: Caramel sweetness and orange blossom fragrance. Pleasant, mild, appealing. Traces of drier, cracker-y breadiness.

T: A zesty, lemon-y tang that builds, a cracker-like, almost salty, dryness. Hanging spicy hops, black pepper (?).

M: Lemon-like hops cause instant salivation; it's like the waterworks were turned on in my mouth the instant this hit my taste buds. Impressive, memorable. Lasting bitter, dry and fairly clean. Feel is medium, though coating feel lasts and seems to add a little extra weight.

D: Another really good, really flavorful craft brew from Smuttynose. Damn, I wish they were available in Oregon - they're one of my favorite breweries on either Coast (or anywhere in between) at this point.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a medium brown color with a ruby hue in the back. Little head and lacing noticed on the pint glass.

S: Roasted malts, some earthy tones, hops.

T: Malty in the front, they win the show for the most part with just a slight hit of the hop in back.

M: Medium in body, almost a little too thick for my liking in an APA. Sticky on the palate, more mellow than crisp, moderate carbonation, ABV is nonessential.

D: Good for one or two, but a complete session would be out of the question. I would recommend other APA's over Shoal's, but Smuttynose has a good arsenal of beers, should not be too worried about it.

Photo of drtth
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a very dark, almost brown, copper/amber with a 1" fluffy tan head that recedes slowly leaving behind rings of foam. Sipping produces lots of streaked lacing and a couple of sheets of foam. Even with most of the beer gone there is still lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is soft grapefruit and pine from the hops with a bit of caramel malt in the background. Nothing here is strong nor unpleasant.

Taste: The flavor is initially sweet caramel malt that soon moves into the background leaving behind the bitterness of the hops. The bitterness slides in right over the sweetness of the malt in a very smooth fashion. In addition there are different components of bitterness here that seem to slowly bounce back and forth. Just as one starts to get to be almost too much it slides away and another component replaces it. But it is a somewhat soft balanced bitterness. There is a lot of complexity in this pale ale.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium/light bodied and smooth with light carbonation. The finish is crisp and long. It begins with some sweet malt and then tapers off into pine and grapfruit hops which play back and forth as they slowly just disappear.

Drinkability: This is a very nice, very complex pale ale that drinks easily. One sip leads to another and another. I could sit and drink this all night as there is just enough malt to temper the bitterness and create a balanced beer and the hops play back and forth off of each other just long enough to demand attention but not so long as to be unpleasant.

Photo of zoso1967
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Redish amber with light carbonation and a decent white head. Smells of grass and some citrus hops, as well as a slight whiff of malt. Taste is very malty with lots of grassy hops and a caramel toastyness that reminds me more of an ESB than a pale ale. Definitely an English style al. Firmly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is between light and medium. It goes down easy, but I can think of a lot of beers that I would rather be quaffing right now.

Photo of brewmudgeon
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

glad i gave this one another try. like the ipa (which i already liked) this one seemed much better the second and third time. ratings duly adjusted (taste 3.5 adjusted to 4, mouthfeel 3.5 to 4, drinkability 4 to 4.5). [will have to get some more shoals and snpa and let them duke it out]

smuttynose shoals pale ale

a 4 amber with a slight orange cast, moderate head quickly fades to a ring and decent lace.

s 4 citrus hops, similar to the ipa in that department but without the nouget quality

t 3.5 unlike the ipa, which was balanced toward the nougety malt, this one leans a little too far toward dryness and the bitterness has more of a metallic quality.

m 3.5 light to medium body. the carbonation ran out a bit early.

d 4 a decent beer that i would normally pass over for something more balanced or flavorful, but at 5% it's a reasonable sessioner

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,349 ratings.