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Smuttynose Winter Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
84
good
493 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score
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Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smuttynose Winter Ale is a full-bodied, amber beer brewed with a special Trappist ale yeast. Stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double, it features fruity aromas and flavor, balanced by soft Crystal hops. Warming, mellow & pleasantly complex, Smuttynose Winter Ale is your perfect cold weather companion.

30 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 10-30-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
493
Ratings:
1,022
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
11.35%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
86
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 493 | Ratings: 1,022
Photo of StoutHunter
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Smuttynose Winter Ale for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. This one isn't to clear on what style it really is, I guess I'll just have to see for myself, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it goes with the name and it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice brown color that took on more of a copper and crimson color when held to the light with a little bit over a fingers worth of bubbly darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with a fruit aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a big dark fruit aroma with a little bit of raisins and plums sticking out. Up next comes the malts impart some caramel malt and a little bit of toasted malt aroma with a little more caramel and sweetness coming through at the end. This beer has a nice aroma, but it's not too complex.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but it's a little more balanced and a little lighter, it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with those dark fruit flavors being thr first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time no single fruit seems to stick out the most. Up next comes some more sweet malts followed by a little more caramel flavors with more bready and grainy malt flavors than there was in the aroma. On the finish there's a little more sweetness with just a little bit of bitterness with a fruity and dark fruit like aftertaste. This is a nice tasting beer, but just like the aroma it lacks complexity.

M- Fairly smooth, pretty crisp, medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and solid example of the style, BA says it's a Dubbel and it seems to be close to the style, but without any noticeable Belgian yeast it takes more like an amber or brown ale. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, one is enough for me, anymore than that and I would start to get bored with it. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance and mouthfeel, they were both good and the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer was the lack of complexity, it got to be a little bland. I wouldn't buy this beer again and I can't say I really recommend it. All in all I was nice, but nothing about it made it stand out and it wasn't memorable. It's not a favorite from Smuttynose and it's a little above average for the style. It's solid, but with a little more xomplexity, it could be a very nice beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a dark-ish tawny brown, with a small head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like caramel, toffee, slight chocolate, a bit of roasted malt, and very slight hints of Belgian type yeast.

This doesn't feel a whole lot like a dubbel, but luckily it's pretty tasty so I don't really care. Whatever Trappist yeast they used here didn't contribute a lot of character to the beer, maybe some slight clove bitterness, but that's about it. The malt backbone is interesting, though- so that's good. I get some caramel, and toffee, and just a hint of a roasty finish, along with a bit of chocolate, and dark fruit. I enjoyed despite the style bending.

This is medium bodied, with a toasty and somewhat rich mouthfeel, and a good level of carbonation.

A dubbel this is not. I still enjoyed it, though.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not sure I'm in tune with the Belgian dubbel style-ry, as that's one of my favorites, and this bears little resemblance. However, it's not bad, whatever it is. Pours a nice dark brown with thin tan head that eventually fades to a ring. Color is very nice, darker than any dubbel I've seen. Aroma is its weakest area - very flat, with just slight notes of dark fruit and malt sweetness. Nothing bad, just mild. Flavor is much better than the nose, with a medium-light body delivering some nice plums and raisins without ever being dry or astringent. Fairly smooth mouthfeel and decent finish make this okay. I'll try again fresher, since I got this at end of season.

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Photo of TeamDavey
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent winter seasonal. Pours a deep amber. Mouth feel is full bodied without being extremely thick. Taste is warm and mellow. A fine amber that manages to evoke a Belgian without distracting spices or roastyness.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: opaque; cola brown with lighter brown at the edges; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 1 finger khaki head that receded quickly to a thin collar; no lacing;

S: more floral than anything else; a bit of dark fruit in the background;

T: dark fruit for a moment, then somewhat medicinal; mild bitterness at the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: even after warming, not the aroma or flavor I would expect from a dubbel;

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Photo of zinklesmesh
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Practically the perfect winter beer. Pours a nice caramel brown. Minimal head. Smells like dark, dank malts. The taste is big and smooth and delicious. Roasty, chocolatey, tasty malts with a little bit of balancing hop crispness. Warms me with every sip. Kinda reminds me of some Samuel Smith beers.

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Photo of LeRose
3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into SA perfect pint.

The beer poured a somewhat muddy brown with a small beige colored head that did not hang around very long.

Aroma was very muted - no spice notes, mostly caramel, and mixed dark fruit - figs or dates, cherries, plum. Sweet malt.

Taste - things started to unravel a bit. Predominantly dark fruit, some sweetness and initially not a bad tasting if somewhat nondescript brew, lacking the spice notes of a dubbel. Then got a faint taste of cardboard suggesting some oxidation had taken place. Hopefully not the entire six pack has this odd flavor and I can give the beer a better score after further sampling.

Feel is rather thin for a winter ale and the carbonation seemed a tad high. Nice level of sweetness, not sticky at all, but thin.

Overall, I will need to revisit this review if the rest of the six pack turns out differently. I did not think this beer was true to a dubbel. It seemed very fruity and lacking in the spices and mouthfeel I'd expect from the style. The oxidation taste was not quite off-putting but definitely present. Disappointed in this offering.

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Photo of RexBrewman
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into stein. Wonderful frothy head. Color chocolate.
Nice spicey, nutty aroma. Taste has a slight sweetness. Smuttynose winter ale is a bit lighter than most winter/Christmas ales. I really enjoy the flavor. It is one of a few winter ales that I'll have seconds of in one sitting.

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Photo of Myotus
3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 48°F from a 12oz bottle (best by date 20Apr15) into a chalice. Cosumed on 06Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a half fingers worth of khaki foam that halves itself after a minute. Dark brown in color with an amber tint. Rising bubbles are very small and very subtle in quantity. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: A bunch of mild aromas: caramel, figs, black cherries, plums, and cloves.
TASTE: Mild black cherry, fig, and prune flavors enter initially. Mild caramel flavors follow immediately as black cherry flavors grow stronger. Subtle clove and bitter hop flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for black cherry, which continue to grow stronger.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is high. Goes down rough due to the carbonation. Finishes with a mild dryness.
NOTE: Too much black cherry sweetness and carbonation for my liking. I can understand how someone else would like this, but this just isn't my glass of beer (because tea and cups are overplayed).

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Photo of Whiteturtle
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Best by 3/10/16

Eyes: Tan and tawny. A thick 2 finger head. Definitely reminiscent of a belgian dubbel. Head slowly dissipates like a belgian. Carbonation concentrates closer to the glass as the head recedes.

Nose: Bubblegum, pear, cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice. Fresh baked bread. An earthy beechwood smell dominates the rim of the glass. I also get caramelized raisins (if such a thing exists, which if it doesn't I call dibs).

Tongue: Burnt sugar, pumpernickel, and allspice dominate the cheeks first. A heavy cereal grain malt finish. Very little hop presence (the crystal hops are a very mild hop, perfect for this blended style of beer). I'm not getting the funky belgian kick, even with the trappist ale yeast they use. With a touch of warmth notes of almonds, fudge, and nutmeg open up.

Cheeks: When you see that a beer is shooting for a blend of christmas ale and belgian dubbel, you expect a heavy full-bodied beer. This is pretty light, and the spices are pretty faint. I definitely understand why a lot of people compare this to an amber ale. My bottle says 7.5%, if that's true then it is masked very well.

Overall: You really have to let this beer warm up to taste the spices *if you have had smuttynose before, you probably know to let their beers warm up*. The belgian dubbel/christmas ale blend idea is a good idea in my eyes. One could see how those two styles would create a tasty fusion. If you're looking for a solid winter ale that's not loaded with booze and holiday spices, then this is your beer.

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Photo of TigerSoul
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one was on offer at The Office, on fresh draught, served in a pint glass. Nice deep color, not too much foam. First sip was puzzling in that I had understood this was not one of the (many) seasonal winter ales with added spice, fruit or other such flavoring, but it had a definite "added flavors" (especially of spice) character. It was still enjoyable however, Smuttynose typically do not disappoint. We enjoy visiting Portsmouth, NH from time to time and although there's plenty more competition these days, Smuttynose holds up very well with their wide range of offerings. This is a good winter ale to enjoy at the end of the evening, in front of the fire, even with dessert.

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Photo of ilthik
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, rich and a little bit sweet with a lingering spiciness. More of a porter than an ale by the look and the feel of it. Not as much of the "winter spice" as other seasonals, but a very enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of dank203
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

pours thick brown with off white head. aromas are a bit malty oily, a little dark fruit juice, some acidity. the flavor is really not very complex, a hit of roast with malty slightly caramelly notes and a definite hop presence. overally a slightly hoppy and spicy brown ale but nothing to really write home about

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours dark amber to chestnut under a 1” head that dissipates down to nothing but leaves good lacing. S: Fruit, malt and hop aromas T: Fruit, dried fruit, and biscuit balanced by a touch of hops on the finish. F: Medium body and fine soft carbonation. O: A nicely balanced beer with a mild Belgian character.

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Photo of arizcards
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in late December for $1.79. Best by 5/11/15.

Beer poured brown with a tan head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is pretty non-descript, your base malt nose.

Taste is OK, carmelized malts and crystal hops lend this brew to be more of an American amber style than a Belgian Dubbel. I am not catching the usual flavors imparted from a Belgian made Dubbel.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and more creamy than smooth.

Overall this is a serviceable brew but nothing special. Glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of beyah
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Deep amber color1 finger of head which dissipated quickly, leaving moderate lacing bend.
Aroma- Smells a little Belgian figs and burnt sugar
Flavor-Has a Dubbel like flavor and warming a little caramel flavor and Belgian as it warms up
Mouthfeel- Moderate body, just right for the style
Overall- Nice domestic interpretation of a Dubbel

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Photo of Caveworm
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this has got a 1.5 finger thick head with sheer lacing, and a very dark brown transparent body.

The smell is that of astringent malts. No hops are noticeable in this discipline of the review.

This brew's taste is quite similar, with a rich malt element cutting through the mix. I can't really pick up on the fruits mentioned by others.

A smooth and crisp mouthfeel was given by this "Smutty".

Overall, a 3.75 for Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company. I may or may not buy this again.

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Photo of DrewsBrews450
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark red body with a tan head and spotty lace.. A/T toasted malt, syrup sweetness, slight chocolate, earthy bitterness lingers on the back on the tounge.. Smooth body.. Great beer that I could care less what the style is or what it is trying to be, it's just a great beer.

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Photo of Dawn30
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice deep dark amber color. Not a lot of lacing and not a lot of head but tasty. A difference in abv. BA says 5.8. Bottle says 6.4?
Some spicy notes but not bad overall

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Photo of hophugger
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Deep, chocolate brown with decent tan head and minimal lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt, actually quite light. Taste is strong up front with malt and roasted malt. Also, a little alcohol burn as it settles in, and some dry spice at the finish. Mouthfeel is ok, carbonation is right on, and balance is good....

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a dark brown, almost black with red highlights when held up to the light. There is a two finger off white head some of which remains as a collar and light lacing.

The smell is heavy roasted and sweet malts and some spices and maybe a raisin smell in there as well.

The taste mostly follows the nose with sweet and roasted malts dominating. There are some spices on the back end along with some spicy, hoppy bitterness. The beer goes down smoothly and leaves some hop oil on the tongue after swallowing. There is a warming effect that comes in a few minuets after swallowing.

Overall this is a well balanced hoppy and malty Dubbel. I don't normally care much for this style but I would drink this again.

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Photo of 29mikoyan
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Somewhat similar to a Dark Belgian Ale. Nice malt mouthfeel. A taste of dried raisins that fades into dark espresso and then into Belgian chocolate. This is definitely a nice winter warmer. I would recommend this beer for when you are sitting in front of a fire in a lightly dimmed room.

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Photo of shabbtastic
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Nice color and body. Lacing is very visible and stretches what is now half way down the glass.

The label is excellent. It shows an old style setting from the late 50's early 60's enjoying a walk in the snow carrying what looks like a couple gift boxes of scotch. Looks like my aunt but that's besides the point.

Back to the beer. It definitely tastes better as it breaths a little and gets a tad warmer, like most of the Dubbel styles.

The nose is a bit boozy with little hints of cherry.

The feel is full and complex with tastes of fig and malt.

Overall a great beer with an original label.

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Photo of mirp1
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Nobody gave this beer a narrative review. Not a good sign. Smuttynose can make good beer, I've had many of them. However, if their winter offering is a 5.83% "Trappist Ale" that nobody will take the time to write anything about, that tells you something. This may be due to Smutty fans not wanting to badmouth their brewery, which is admirable and understandable. However, a belgian dubbel for the cold season at 5.83% was a mistake. They would have been more honest to make a diet cola instead. What a waste of kettle space. Yes, session beers are in, but not for the winter, and certainly not belgian dubs. The caption shows "warming, mellow,pleasantly complex." Yeah, warming. Should have been released as a brown ale, a bad one at that. You have to nail holiday/winter beers. Did you really think that this would stand out, or didn't you care? The Monks are crying tonight. Sorry.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: April 23, 2014... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky Tavern pint... OCCASION: Easter The Desolation of Smaug on spring break--thanks, Shan!... APPEARANCE: velvety dark amber red body; frothy, creamy off-white head; strong, cloudy lacing... AROMA: doughy, bready malts early; cinnamon, nutmeg and some floral pine resin too--with a hint of clove; a pleasure to breath in...PALATE: medium-bodied, creamy and lively--warming and substantial...TASTE: soft, rounded, almost nutty malted finish; buttery too; more subtle flavors of indistinguishable fruits than the aroma suggests, with the main influence on the taste buds being the malts... OVERALL: a solidly-built, easy-sipping ale that feels right on a windy, cold April night....

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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.