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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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952 Ratings
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Ratings: 952
Reviews: 482
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 14
Gots: 54 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 952 | Reviews: 482
Photo of homebrew311
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into NB snifter.

A: pours a deep maroon with ruby highlight, not much light passage, tannish brown head, decent lacing

S: nose has candied grape qualities along with a slightly buttery (not like diacetyl) middle and candied sugar on the end

T: taste features mellow banana and spice along with grapes and cherries, a bit of sweetness in the middle is countered with yeast on the end, the yeast gives the beer a slightly chalky taste on the end

MF: medium body, high carbonation

O: some nice things going on here, doesn't quite achieve the authentic Belgian dubbel flavor, a little lacking in the balance department.

Photo of jaluria
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark rust color with intermittent brown hues. A soft head that remained at about 25% of its full size throughout the session and left behind a touch of white lacing. Aromas of malt and Dutch candy seemed to dominate. The taste was an interesting blend of hops and sweet roasted malts with a malty finish that left behind a bready texture. Different spices seemed to come out as well as the beer warmed, indicated that the spices were present in small quantities or overshadowed by the other ingredients. Either way, not a good thing. The alcohol was not dominant in the taste and thus this beer has good drinkability.

Photo of myatomicpolygon
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's time to check out Smuttynose Brewing Company's (Portsmouth, NH) Winter Ale. Brewed to keep you warm on those cold nights, the Winter Ale uses an Abbey yeast and crystal hops to create a unique spin on the Belgian Dubbel style.

Appearance- pours a deep dark amber into a pint glass with 2 fingers of foam that sticks around for a while with decent lacing and traces of red highlights when held up to light

Smell- toasty malts up front with a bit of bread, fruity esters, and Belgian yeast on the back end when it warms a little

Taste- really mellow and smooth with no spice or hop bitterness, just a touch of toasty malt and slight sweetness with a trace of fruity esters as it warms

Mouthfeel- medium bodied warming and pleasant

Drinkability- this one goes down pretty smooth and easy...and with its ABV at 5.1% and fair price-tag I could drink several of these in an evening

Overall- I like this beer and would happily drink it again. However, I think it's just too mellow and reserved to get high marks especially when compared to its cousins in Belgium

Photo of rustan
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy ruby brown that become progressively translucent. Off white head doesn't hang around and leave very little lacy

Smell is overripe fruit, malty sweetness, yeast

Taste - as above with notes of raisins and granny smith apples

Mouthfeel - medium, full carbonation

Drinkability - warming and balanced. good showing for this year's winter seasonal.

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
A: Nice deep amber colored brew. Thin but smooth light brown head. Minimal lacing, but a nice ring of head around the top of the beer.
S: Sweet and earthy malts, and a tiny bit of oily hops. Some mild wintry spices mixed in.
T: Pretty good subtle mixture of malts and spices. Not too heavy on anything, and some nice synergy. The finish has a nice cinnamon nip.
M: Satisfying. Kinda sweet at times, but the lingering spicy finish is good.
D: All around good. No hint of the alcohol content.

Photo of scriabin
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I love a good dark winter ale, and I've always enjoyed Smuttynose. I don't know if I got a bad batch or what, but it seems that this one could be better than it was. It has a lovely dark brown hue and a nice smell, but it seemed a tad undercarbonated. Although it had a great, complex flavor, the somewhat low fizz took away from the enjoyment. I'm chalking it up to bad luck - I'm going to give this one another try.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fair winter ale, with a nice flow to it.

Presentation: 12 oz brow capped bottle. Label offers a 50's? 60's? photograph of a lady holing presents under a snowstorm. It has an vaguely notched "best before" side scale, maybe May 2011s. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Ruby brown pour, good ecru head, fair retention with good surface memory, and some lacing.

S - Pleasing if a bit subdued and uncomplicated nose, malty with a nutty and remotely spicy insinuation.

T - Nice malty sense, caramel, toffee, not much if any spiced insinuation here.

M - Light to medium body with small carbonation albeit providing a somewhat crisp finish.

D - Uncomplicated but it drinks pretty well.

Notes: Nothing to rave about or to seek out in and of itself. But it is unremarkably pleasing.

Photo of RedBeerchetta
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't get over the Bazooka Bubblegum nose. It's distinct, and not welcome. It looks better than free bubblegum, though. Deep brown, purplish. Little head that dissipates pretty much entirely. A welcoming looking beverage during the holidays.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Nice balance of sweetness, nuts, and silkiness. Doesn't stick to the tongue too long. Satisfying.

Taste is reminiscent of a good brown ale but heavier on sweetness, as I'd want in a Winter brew.

A very enjoyable brew during the holidays. A bit more complex and enjoyable as it gets warmer.

Photo of SABERG
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dmorgan310
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Act25
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fine example of American winter warmer, but only reminiscent of Belgian dubbel.
Lacks the fruit and aroma of the real dubbel.

A: Not the Belgian head, but still a great looking walnut body with a lasting, lacing head.
S: pecan and almond doiminate, over a caramel malt body. Finishes with pepper and spice.
T: Follows the smell, but stronger, bolder (yet not as bold a Belgian). A little too sweet and not drying enough, lacks the intensity and complexity. A cousin to Dubbel, not a dubbel ganger.
very cola like in the finish.
MF: Med to full body, elevated carbonation.

Not as zesty, pin-point, champagne like as the Trappists. But as good as any other US Winter Warmer like Widmer Brr.

Smuttynose does a consistently GOOD job, again. Consistent. Love this brewer.

Photo of Chime
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, best before date (March, 07) notched on the label. Pours dark honey amber, pretty clear, sporting a dark tan head, that leaves scattered slippery lacing, nose on this one is of smokey raisins and some malts. Smokey, oily offering, I dont get too many "Dubbel" feelings here, this hits my taste buds and other senses as a smoked up, wintery brew. Dry finish, cant say I'm in love with this stuff, perhaps as a cold weather nightcapper

Photo of josefnewsong
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very drinkable double, but lacking in flavor. Has roasty and nutty characteristics atypical of the style. slightly on the watery side. its not anything mind blowing but it is unique and not as cloying as dubbels can tend to be. a good solid brew, but nothing to write home about.

Photo of Kudashov
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a pint glass .We have The The on the Hi-Fi . "Mind Bomb " is a great album . Johnny Marr is my guitar hero . As for the beer ...

A- Nice dark brown color with a two finger head . Very hazy , murky .

S- Raisins , fruit .

T & M - wonderful flavor and nice lacing on the glass after a few healthy gulps . Too bad Kappy's only had this one single . An absolute joy to drink . Another winner from Smuttynose . Pure pleasure drinking this . Too bad the Celtics are not as good as this . They are down by 10 as I review this .

D- No question . Great .

Photo of cvstrickland
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decanted into a pint glass Smutty's Winter Ale is sparkling clear and richly reddish-copper with a quickly-fading cap of light beige foam. The short collar that remains leaves no lacing gracing the glass, and, as usual in such circumstances, that makes me just a little sad.

The smell is sweet and malty with a fair bit of sugary candy. A mild spiciness and a touch of soft dark fruit becomes more prominent as the drink warms.

The taste is brown-sugary with diluted layers of dark cane syrup and mellow, steely caramel, but it is toasted grains with a dark, almost maple-smoked note that form the backbone of the flavor profile. A touch of dryness in the finish puts a respectable end to the quaff, mostly cleaning up a lingering semi-seco malty syrupiness.

The drink is heavy-medium in body with a fine spritz of carbonation. An inoffensive beer, but not one of my favorite dubbels.

Photo of Matthew
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've always enjoyed smuttynose's beers so decided to give their winter ale a try. Pours a dirty copper color with a medium sized head.
The aroma of this beer is not very strong but you can definately pick the characteristics of belgian ale yeast. Some banana and other mild fruitiness.
Pretty mild tasting considering the style. The flavors that are true to the style are mild as they are in the nose. This is still a pleasant tasting beer and I enjoyed drinking it.

Photo of corby112
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy amber with some lighter golden amber hues when held to a light source and a one finger beige head that settles into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Malty aroma with some peppery spice and dark fruit notes especially dark cherries.

Spicy peppery flavor up front that lingers over the medium malty body into a medicinal cough syrup flavor with some dark fruit notes, mostly cherries, raisin and plum. Nice subtle dry hops in the finish.

Photo of HarryPotHead
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first go round with this brewery and it wasn't a bad one....this is a decent but not great winter ale.

A - Pours dark brown / red around the edges into a traditional pint glass. A "not so soft" pour yielded a two finger off-white head that hung around for a few minutes...long enough for me to snap a photo with my phone and send it to a friend who was working late...you know, just to rub it in cause that's what friends do right?

S - Expected more of one. LOL! Nothing real pronounced with this one. Very subtle hints of caramel with an earthy scent. Not overpowering or in your face...nice, but lacking complexity.

T - Again not the most complex. Very "safe" for a winter seasonal. I expected more of a robust character...something that would "put hair on your chest"!

M - Smooth with just the right amount of carbonation....kind of thin though. Could stand to be a little heavier.

Overall - Not a bad beer AT ALL! I enjoyed this beer....as I do most (it is beer...duh!) and I'm ready for another. Very easy to drink albeit one dimensional, but I won't hold that against it. I did expect more for a winter brew but was not disappointed. Nice ABV for the price ($9.99 for six here in Maryland). BEER!!

Photo of hosehead83
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Brownish-red in color, with a moderate head of tan foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt
Taste-Sweetish , toasted malt, slight citric notes, caramel.
Overall, not too bad. A rather middle-of-the-road offering from a pretty decent brewery.

Photo of alexgash
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Darkish, murky, garnet-amber. Small, yet persistent, light rose-tinted khaki head. Nice lacing. Nose is a mix of fruit, caramel, and spicy yeast. Light banana and tropical fruit. Raisins. Caramel roll. Definite Belgian-y yeast.

Lightly toasted malt up front. Tangy, sweetish fruit fills in. Tropical-y and banana-y. Caramelly, biscuity malt underneath. Yeasty finish is spicy with a hint of bitterish banana aftertaste. Medium bodied with a lively feel. Not bad, overall, but could use a little oomph to help bring a little more complexity and bring everything together better.

Photo of ONUMello
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown with a 1.5-finger head
S: Brown sugar, caramel, fig, roasted malts, something bitter that's not hops
T: Matches the nose perfectly, nicely balanced though the flavors are less bold than I expected
M: Medium-bodied with a pleasant carbonation
O: Not necessarily something I'd search out regularly but very solid overall, I'd definitely drink more

Photo of BeefyMee
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a nice tan head. Smells super malty with big notes of brown sugar and dates, and now and then a waft of wet grain. Tastes sweet and rich like dark fruit, which for some reason makes it seem more boozy than it is. There's also some smokiness and an eventual bittering hop presence on the back of the tongue. That hop presence is very minimal though. This beer is a malt machine. It seems like some kind of Scottish dopplebock hybrid (Scotchbock?), but it's classified as a dubbel here. Interesting. Whatever it is, it's another good brew from Smutty. Keep em coming.

Photo of rjochman
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown with a hint of red color. Has a very small amount of brownish white head that dissipates very quickly. Leave little to no lacing on the glass. The smell has toasted malts with a sweet brown sugar tones as well. Taste goes with the smell and has a good amount of spice to it. Has medium carbonation and creamy feel to the texture. Pretty drinkable and a good winter ale.

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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 952 ratings.