Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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480 Reviews
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Reviews: 480
Hads: 968
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 15
Gots: 61 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  5.83% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-30-2005

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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 480 | Hads: 968
Photo of MattBrooks
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recall first trying this beer last year on its debut. I remember liking it, but really wanted to try it again. It smells like Christmas in your glass. It's brown, malty, a little spicy and totally quaffable. A sixer of this will go very fast. By comparison, it's heavier than the Sam, but not as spicy as the Harpoon. It has balance and depth, with a hearty finish.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown color with a tan head. In the aroma, vanilla, oaky(?), and a nice spice blend. In the taste, vanilla, cinnamon, oaky, and almost creamy. A small spice bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon and almost bourbon like aftertaste. Almost feels bourbon barreled, quite nice.

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Photo of ZAP
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clouded amber colored...nice head and lace.

S-Caramel, and earthy hops on the nose

T-Nice caramel maltines...also some breadiness....a good earthy hop element and also some sweet cocoa powder (lighter impression)...very tasty..definitely leans malty

M-Medium bodied...a little slick and sweet....carbonation is medium at best.

D-One of the better winter offerings out there....certainly top 25%...Never feels like a huge sipping style beer but there is no doubt this has some depth to it....

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark amber, with only a finger or two of off white lacing that quickly disappears leaving only a little lacing. I smell some malty scents, and a few other faint scents, but not much. For this style, I might consider this on the more carbonated side. The main flavors I notice are, again, the caramel malts, and a very little bit of fruit flavors, maybe apple, and a touch of hoppy bitterness at the end. This beer isn't too filling, and its taste is solid if not exceptional, so I think it could definitely be a session beer.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

clear, dark red overripe cherry coloration. no head, no lace. solid in the glass. just beer, no frills. big, dark fruit nose with some biscuity malt and the slightest hint of cantaloupe. also detecting a bit of campfire smokiness.. very inviting. rough around the edges in terms of carbonation and sharp hops.. although the body screams belgian with a milky, caramelly wave of molasses and cherry puree. brings that dubbel character through without interference from overbearing, bitter coffee malts. an amazing local substitute for the pricier belgian clones like pere jacques. a true northeastern gem and surprisingly in great excess of my expectations.

another victory for smuttynose.

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Photo of jakester
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet. Best before date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a pretty clear ruby red with brown tints around the edges. A light tan head forms on top, then quickly vanishes to a scant ring around the glass. No real lacing.

Aroma is big malt combined with spices like nutmeg, cinammon, and cloves. There is also a detectable yeasty, musty smell there; some nice Belgian funk.

First flavor is a smoked malt character, quickly followed by dark, sweet caramel malt. Then you can taste cinammon and nutmeg and cloves(?). It's fairly sweet, with a lingering smokey/spicy aftertaste. Hop character is very low.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, with a lingering sweetness. Carbonation is low to medium. Finish is a long oily slickness, pleasant.

I guess this is a Belgian Dubbel. It fits the criteria, but I don't remember having one like this. It IS a very good winter ale, however. Very malty, the spices meld with it really well, and a low hop character. And I swear, this has smoked malt in it, a nice touch, to say the least. Highly recommended.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- deep dark garnet red when held up to the light, topped with a big belgianese looking tan head. there's already a splattering of lace where the foam (whose surface is becoming increasingly rocky and pitted) has begun to recede. should hold longer for the low abv.

S- toffee and caramel, sugar coated nuts, funky and fruity cherry banana yeast, tart berries, damp wood, a touch of roasted grain, and a bit of peppery spice. some orange, herbal and piney hop aromas as well. if they used a trappist yeast strain, i'm betting it's chimay. a little more power behind the aroma would be even nicer.

T- more roasted malt and hop flavor then i would have expected. nutty, burnt, woodsy, and hoppy blend very nicely together and the hops are laid back enough so as not to be the center of attention. if anything were to stand ahead, i would say it's the roasty toasty malt character and tart fruity flavors, especially in the finish. herbal bitterness kinda creeps in then too, with fruity banana and pepper yeast chillin in the back.

MF- tight fizzy carbonation and a toasty nutty mouthfeel give a solid score to this one and while it's not totally full bodied, it's husky enough to stand against some other high abv versions of the style. coating and resinous on the palate.

D- i don't think i've ever had a 5% dubbel before, but i'm not disappointed with this one. it has some of that belgian flavor and some of that american flavor and a little bit of something mid-atlantic. this one ain't a sipper, and i'm tiltin my tulip up like a champ. definitely worth a try and very unique among the winter ales available to me.

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Photo of jakdracula
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought one bottle as part of a mixed set, tasted it, and went back and bought a case.

Just a great beer, not too heavy, very drinkable, and just delicious.

I'm not a big fan of hops, and this has a great malt flavor, just the right amount of hops to keep it well balanced.

Not high in alcohol, and very refreshing.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear burgandy. Nice looking thin beads of carbonation surface at a good clip. Thin beige head leaves some sporadic lace. Nice aroma of cherry juice, raisins, prune, belgian yeastiness and breadiness. Yes, very nice. First impressions are of bread pudding, poundcake and rum. A little raisin. A little chocolate. All in all, a pleasant blend. Mouthfeel is very agreeable. Light carbonation and light body. Easy drinking, tasty beverage.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
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 BuckSpin
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11oz bottle in a small snifter

Lively, beautifully classic Belgian nose of spices like clove, nutmeg, pepper, its yeasty, raisins and dark caramel, grandma's fruitcake soaked in your grandfather's whiskey nip, crisp, sharp, a little sweet, inviting...a great nose.

Color is an intense deep, warm crimson or cherry stained mahoghany, slightly orange, just beautiful in its lite murkiness as a vertical parade of bubbles rise carefree from the glass center. The head was a short 2 fingers of crisp, active, mixed dark ivory hued foam that lightly crackled, danced, then faded to a filming cover with solid curtainesque lacing. So far this beer is delighting every sense it can without using one's tongue...very nice.

Its creamy & smooth initially, a light spiciness, bittersweet in a pleasing mascerated fruit way, an odd sweetness and bite like when you 1st tried your neighbor's rum balls at a party (but weren't supposed to because of all the booze in them which is why you had to). Its lite but nicely balanced against the bittersweetness. There is a rising of the malted barley on the palate, then a slightly mild yet syrupy sweet finish and a little warmth on the teeth as a echo. The aftertaste coats the mouth with malts and subtle sugars to help balance the warming of the alcohol.

Damn, what a little find this is! I wish I would have been drinking this all winter! It was very easy to drink as well. I knew that a Dubbel was a very atypical choice for a winter seasonal, but this is quite a nice beer. Some nice cheddar would be great with it. This will definitely become an annual part of my winter cellar, and I highly recommend this little sleeper. A great bang for the buck for those Belgian fans. Definitely check this out.

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Photo of Boppar
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: Dark, dark brown with 1-2 fingers of tan foamy head with big soapy bubbles. Hints of ruby and orange shine through when the light hits it right. This is a fine looking beer!

S: Sweet malts, esters, brown sugar.

T: The taste is much the same as the smell. It opens sweet and inviting with malts, brown sugar, raisins, toffee, and some estery action mid-palate. The sweetness on the nose and palate is rounded out by a well-balanced, medium-dry finish. There are just enough bittering hops to prevent this beer from being overly sweet. Well done.

M: Medium bodied with a slick feel and fluffy, moderate carbonation.

O: Very tasty. Seasonally appropriate.

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Photo of 29mikoyan
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
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 GnomeKing
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At first this looked almost black, but as I got to the end of the glass, I realized it was a deep brown/amber...almost like gingerbread. The gingerbread appearance wasn't surprising, because it has a cakey sweetness with spices that reminded me of gingerbread. (Think of cinnamon and other flavors your mom bakes with.)

The mouthfeel was a tad thin, and there wasn't much head or lacing, hence the 3.5s for mouthfeel and appearance.

The flavors are really nicely blended and tasted great even on the final sip, by which point the beer was almost warm, since I was sipping slowly. This was perhaps the best winter warmer style beer I had this season. Triumph's Winter Wonder was great too, and similar in many respects, so I'd like to drink the two head-to-head to make my final determination.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the liquor store a few weeks back. I like Smuttynose's offerings, and seeing this in Jersey, I had to grab it since it's a rarity to find their brews in this neck of the woods. This will be my last winter brew of the season that I consume, and it was a great beer to end on!

Decent pour, with a fair amount of head. Lacing was nearly nonexistent, but the taste and mouthfeel more than made up for it. Lots of caramel and roasted flavors in here - with more toffee than anything else. The rich brown hue of the beer was felt as well as seen - this beer was neither too thick nor too thin, and the mouthfeel was wonderful as it bubbled up and settled in after each sip. Lots of malt, with a leathery undertone to this, and the aftertaste was enjoyable just by itself! A wonderful taste emerged as it warmed up, and it was at the right level - solid, but yet subtle at the same time.

This brew was a great winter warmer, and it didn't seem like a dubbel on the level of Chimay. The undertones in the aftertaste make up for the lack of bitterness, and this was one of the better winter offerings I've had in quite some time. If only I could find more of their products here in Jersey!

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Photo of KTCamm
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark reddish brown, thick retained head of white foam. Sticky. Strong dark fruity nose, some spices. Strong fruity taste. Somewhat of a masked hop at the close. Mellow malty flavor. Almost a red wine flavor too. Really flavorful. Nice spin on winter.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed this out of blind faith for the brewery. Their Big Al is enough to make you try the rest of theirs.

What a nice surprise. Not knowing what style it was, I liked the faint, fruity aroma (very faint) and the nice dark color. But I thought I was getting something of a different style - maybe an English dark ale or something - not something closer to my tastes. This works as a unique ale. I guess "dubbel" is an appropriate style name if that is what it is (right yeast), but it really doesn't taste a lot like one, just a little.

It's a bit too drinkable for the style, and not fruity enough, but it is very good, and a great value. I am going to seek out a bunch more to have around the house for the holidays. It is easy to drink and tasty.

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Photo of drpimento
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice brew. Served with a thick, light tan, foamy, frothy, expansive head that settled after a bit and plenty of lace. Color is a clear dark red amber. Aroma is malt, fruit, roast, toffee. Flavor is like nose plus more emphasis and carbonic tang, yeast. Body & carbonation are good. Finish is like flavor, of shorter duration, and pleasant. Very easy drinking beer. Easy enough to have another, which I will do.

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Photo of mrhiccups
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer upon a whim, as I usually drink IPA's, saw this brew in the front of the store, and decided, "What the hey". and gave it a shot. Drank this straight from the bottle, so I cannot comment on the appearance, but the smell is reminiscent of raisins, bread, malt and some spices, perhaps cinnamon, but very faintly. Goes down smooth, and has no unpleasant aftertaste to it whatsoever. An overall satisfying session beer, will definitely try this one again, gave me a nice brief break from my IPA's.

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Photo of DrewsBrews450
4.21/5  rDev +14.1%
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 mcarroll10177
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An all around solid winter beer.

A- amber brown with a tan head and medium carbination

S- malt with fresh floral notes

T- balanced malt with some cinnaminn spice

M- not over carbinated and just heavy enough for the style

D- a solidly balanced beer that gets my thorugh the new england winter nights

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being from New Hampshire, Smuttynose had better deliver a brilliant winter ale, and they do!

The 2006 release pours a hazy, deep-chestnut body with amber-orange highlights beneath a short head of creamy yellowed-tan froth. The head retention is very good, and it leaves some nice craggy rings and spider-webs of lace about the glass.

The body is medium and it's lightly zesty with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The nose displays caramelish and biscuity malt, and a softly yeasty fruitiness with a spicey, clovey, and even lightly smokey side to it.

The flavor again suggests spice and smoke and fruit over a soft bed of grainy, biscuity, and caramel-drizzled maltiness. It's sweet but dryish due to the spice and mild touch of alcohol, as well as the underlying bitterness - kind of like a gingerbread cookie! It finishes with a swirl of clove that tickles the tongue, and some lingering honey-glistened grainy and caramelish malt.

Overall, a beautiful beer! Rich, satisfying, complex, drinkable... what more can you ask for?

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard American ale glass, this very well made dark ale reveals the truth that a so-called "winter warmer" does not necessarily require high alcohol strength. Instead, it is all about the depth of the body. And I can think of few things better matched for a cold day of freezing rain than to return home and have this marvelous ale. Perhaps it is the Abbey yeast strain that imparts a bit of magic, but there is no denying the balanced beauty of this recipe, where the restorative power of malt is in full display.
Calling this Dubbel, as BA designates, it is a bit of a stretch. Smuttynose says nothing of the kind on the label; it is just called winter ale. with a smiling lady holding packages, standing in front of a snow covered automobile.
This is one of this season's very best offerings.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to find out this is a dubbel. Dark brown with traces of red around the edges. Off-white to tan head that fades, but leaves some lacing. Subsequent aggressive pours created large heads. Nice looking beer.

Smells of dark fruity sweetness. I pick up the Belgian yeast aroma and perhaps the malts. Tastes sweet, but not too sweet. The yeast is there as well as some alcohol which adds a little spice. It gets a little bit sweeter as I go and as it warms. It does warm me up a bit. After having a few more I grew to really like the taste.

The mouthfeel is creamy, moderate to full with some carbonation. Decent drinkability. I'll grab another as soon as this one's gone.

Updated after finishing the 6-pack. My favorite winter warmer this year.

On the border of being a little too sweet, but a little spiciness and alcohol save it.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose's winter ale is very exciting.

Pours a darkish brown color.

Smell is earthy and ale'y.

Taste is very smooth.

Easy drinking.

As far as winter ales and lagers go, this is a nice find because it's not quite as heavy (both ABV and taste) as most others. A nice change of pace for a winter beer while still keeping many of the rich characteristics we like so much with winter ales.

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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.