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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

481 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 481
Hads: 977
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 16.26%
Wants: 15
Gots: 66 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 481 | Hads: 977
Photo of bjoyce12
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a good little issue from Smutty. What you'd expect in a winter lager but not your prototypical winter. Dark color, good nose, and a definite palate-pleaser in taste BUT much crisper than your average winter. After finishing the first one I thought "This is a nice little beer." A pleasant surprise. Unmistakingly a winter but with a nice Smutty twist. If you're looking for something heavy or powerful, you'll want to pass on this one. If you want a highly drinkable winter this is an excellent choice.

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Photo of fx20736
4.14/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 6 pack from Wegman's Calkins Rd on 12/15/13.

Poured froma 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served at fridge temp.

Appearance: Murky Ochre Brown with honeyed highlights. Thick Khaki head, good lacing.

Aroma: Dates & Figs, Boston Brown Bread

Mouthfeel: a little thin.

Taste: Toasted malt, Brown Sugar, Dates & Figs, grapes.

Notes: very good beer.

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Photo of farrago
4.14/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gets close to two fingers of dark tan microfoam, dimples slightly as it dissipates swiftly, touch of lacing left behind. Some cloudiness to the orange-brown liquid, metallic sort of look, lightens a good bit at the rims. Nutmeg, clove and cola, pinch of dark chocolate, white raisin, apple, pear fruit scents, overall the nose has many elements yet remains demure, if not reticent, ends with suggestions of chocolate-filled croissants as well as peat moss. Medium-bodied, the carbonation contributes lift and steadier pacing, right-sized to the whole. The flavors lean towards the sweet side but the beer remains pretty dry. Green apple, white grape, pear and apricot predominate, light glimmer of orange peel. Cocoa powder, malts, cinnamon and clove spice work well to create an affable first half even as hoppier grassiness and pepperiness rises through the finish. Roasted qualities work, never bitter nor burnt. While not blazing any new trails, different enough to hold your attention.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

WTF, is a 4.5% beer now a dubbel, somebody change that rediculous label on this brew. Best by June 2010 yeah fuckin' right, I had this during Christmas on tap at Sharp Edge in Washington County the Brasserie. Low abv beers are meant to move quick brewed in october or november this is dead by march or april I don't care what Trappist yeast you use. Pours a deep clouded amber mahogany brown hue with a light beige khaki head, nice head retention again another gusher as I cracked it open, WTF? Aroma has a creamy nut and fruit combo let's go with crushed almonds and raisins cooked in a cookie dough maybe an Italiano biscotti. Flavor has a creamy sweetness going on okay I will swallow my words it is a dubbel light slight tart apple raisin combo with a nutty yeast flavor going on it's really a nice session ale a bit of a dryness in finish more power to 'em I didn't enjoy the draft as much. Maybe a 4.5% brew was too young with the yeast in the bottle this brew is drinking nice, I bough this for 2 bucks a bottle. Mouthfeel is medium bodied dry finish on the palate carbonation is even during the drinking experience but was pretty much a volcanic explosion on the opening of the cap.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale is brown in colour and has a nice 5 mm head than fades into a little bit of lacing in a minute or so. The smell is malty with some toffee. The initial taste was quite mild, but quickly develops into malt and roastiness. The aftertaste is roasty with some yeast flavour. This beer is really creamy and goes down very easily.

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Photo of sitarist
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by date of June-09

A- Pours deep brown, I can only see through it if I hold it to the light. One inch tan head, decent lacing.

S- Sexy and inviting. Candied fruits, dates,dark caramel,butterscotch,winter spice.There is an earthy note I cant place?

T- Raisins,figs,caramel,butterscotch. Flavors are thin but complex.

M- Well balanced body,carbonation,and flavor. Almost dances on my tongue. Nice long finish. Just a little thin or Id say perfect.

D- Even with all the sweet complex flavors; I could still throw down a sixer of these.

F.T.- Even though they label says this a winter ale; I could also enjoy this anytime with pasta, lamb, or beef, almost like a Shiraz Wine.

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Photo of engagechad
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a single from Whole Foods in Short Pump/Glen Allen, VA - poured into DFH snifter - drink by may of 2011(now)

Pours a ruby mahogany color with a fat white head, leaves good lacing. Smells malty and spicy (i'm not familiar with the style so i looked it up). Taste follows, incredibly smooth, I found myself having to pace it a bit.

Overall this is a good beer. Worthy of spreading to other folks who may or may not be familiar with the style. Would be a great party beer to bring and have others enjoy.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A - Pours a dark, dark amber with a light brown, tight looking head with excellent retention and lacing

S - Nose is malty, nutty, and slightly fruity. Malts have a caramel quality to them with a sweet, fruity smelling light side

T&M - Very creamy and smooth feeling. Lot's of "English Brown" character with a discernible nutty quality. Caramel malts with bits of dark fruit and tobacco. There is a bit of spiciness that I originally thought may be an alcohol warmth, but that's probably unlikely at 5%. Medium body.

D - Has a bigger feel then it's ABV would indicate. A sessionable winter ale/dubbel/english brown. I'd spend a cold night with a few of these.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a light tan head that settles over clear dark reddish liquid tinged with brown. The nose is great, brown sugar, nutty maltiness, hops, fruitiness (very slight banana noted) and light spice. The taste leans towards hoppiness mixing with roast maltiness then some sweetness. The finish is warming, bittersweet and long. A nice surprise this one was!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange-brown color with a decent 1 finger tan head that fades to just a collar pretty quick.

Smell is hoppy with a syrup-like sweetness. Also get hints of raked leaves, pine sap and maybe some gingerbread. Smells pretty good, and very winter warmer-esque.

Loads of sweet malts and piney flavors. Very smooth with fairly low carbonation. Various spice notes are abundant but not quite identifiable...maybe some ginger snaps and sugar cookies. Very enjoyable brew, my first Smuttynose. I do believe I will be seeking them out in the future.

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Photo of silverking
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a slightly hazy, dark, brownish-red with a light tan head. the head fades slowly leaving a thin ring of foam with beautiful lacing that cascades down the side of the glass after holding for a few seconds. The smell is remeniscent of a glass of red wine. Grape with some plum, cocoa, vanilla, spices, roasty malts and finally hops. The aroma is terrifically complex. It has a rich, thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation. The taste starts off light and fruity, but turns into a hoppy, spicy, earthy brew for the finish. The malt comes through a lot more in the taste. It finishes semi-dry with some dark cocao and coffee notes, along with a sweet yeastiness to round it all out. Definately a home-run from the Smuttynose brewery.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Winter Ale pours a clear, dark ruby color into the glass with a small tan fizzy head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface leaving a few spots of lace behind.

The sweet malty aroma has some notes of cherry and spice (clove? nutmeg?) mixed in. Sort of reminded me of cherry cough syrup. Each sip of this medium bodied beer gives a firm carbonated punch to the tip of the tongue. From there it flows smoothly over the palate releasing all its flavor. The taste is rather sweet. Like the aroma, there's a good amount of cherry and sweet malt with some spice, bubblegum and a hint of hops mixed in. Some of the malty sweetness lingers on the palate when the beer is gone.

This is a good full flavored beer. It's more sweet than spicy like other winter ales, but has a good balance of flavor.

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Photo of StoutSC1
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy , warm, smooth with a suttle kick. Im thinking the ABV is a little over 6%. Went in for the OMB Dunkel , and after some prodding by the sales rep, i came out with the Smutty Winter. !st one straight from the bottle. Second one i poured , jus to get a better look, good aroma and nice red head. Really has body and hugs the glass. After #3 i had to rest my eyes

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

Pours a rust amber color with a nice and bubbly off-white head. Nose is of spicy malt and faint hops. Big taste of spicy citric notes, some bitter malt, and fruit. Good carbonation and mouthfeel. Another wonderful brew from Smuttynose that hit the spot on a cold winter night.

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

Appearance: Pours a very attractive amber color with a modest head and little notable lacing. A tan halo is left around the edge as the beer drops in the glass.

Smell: Dark fruits and a Belgian yeast element. Sweet rich plum pie and grape jelly, caramel and a earthy attribute accompanies some spices in the nose.

Taste: The taste follows in suit with the aromas. Dark fruits, pie Belgian yeast, bread, pudding, caramel and spices. Simple and tasty. It is not large on any front, just approachable and quaffable all around.

Mouthfeel: Very active carbonation is light and lively on the tongue wile a chewy caramel center thick and viscous slide smoothly through the mouth.

Drinkability: This easy drinking brew is one that will sneak up on you. Increasingly quick to disappear from my glass, it kept beer drawn to my mouth like a magnet.

Hope this is helpful.

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

Enjoyed from a bottle at the sterling Sun Singer in Champaign, IL.

A moderate finger of slightly tan froth tops a cloudy mahogany body with cherry-brown trim. Decent amounts of lacing and mediocre head retention are ameliorated by a wonderful color to the beer.

Nice nose filled with biscuit, chocolate, and caramel malts, with some berry and a bit of ginger in tow.

Rich, full taste, very creamy, very malty. The chocolate and biscuit malt stand out, with some caramel in the finish. Good, fruity taste with a bit of a bite and with some dried fruit--date and raisin, along with maraschino cherry. The combination is wonderful and reminiscent of Avery's first-rate Old Jubilation (which is unfortunately unavailable locally this Winter). The taste won't exactly make me forget the magnificence of Old Jubilation, but Smuttynose Winter certainly fits the bill in a pinch.

Nice, creamy texture, with some piney hops and a touch of grit in the end. More hops would make this superb but, as it stands, Winter Ale is a really good, flavorful beer that drinks a bit stronger than the advertised 5.1% ABV. This goes down easy, though, and is easy to knock back a few of these on a cold Winter night.

Very good, and I am glad to have grabbed a sixer of it for the week.

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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 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 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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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.