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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: 65 | 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 shabbtastic
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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 -45.8%

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 +3.3%
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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Photo of Honisbygonis
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Visual upon pour: dark reddish brown, with medium carbonation and nominal aroma

Taste: nice initial smack, "zingy" flavorful (w/o ingredient specifics, since not a HB judge) taste with CO2 dissolving effect, and aftertaste lingers adequately as you'd expect.

Not too wintry as of the sampling since a nice 80s spring day in the southeast.

Not outstanding, but stands true.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review taken from notes: Early December 2013

12 oz brown bottle with the usual Smuttynose odd labeling of random people or events. This particular label displays a woman strolling through the winter's snow all bundled up and seems to be enjoying gracing Smutty's winter seasonal bottling. Can't argue with that. I guess it takes a bit of respect to appreciate labels like what smuttynose slaps on their brews, but its really a part of what they are. An enjoyable yet appropriate winter labeling. Poured into a 12 oz Stemmed tulip. Belgian style!

A - dark amber color with hints of a near purple cloud effect to it. Creamy head pours quite large and its color fits perfectly with its dubbel colored body. Head thins out to a splotchy but still creamy ring of lace leaving pretty good stick though it disappears soon after it starts to stick.

S - lovely dark fruit aroma up front followed by some sweet caramel malt and Belgian style yeast while finishing with a straight out of Belgium spice in the back.

T - dark fruits, Belgian yeast and spices. Earthy character with some more on the toasted sweet caramel malts.

M - medium bodied and smooth. An easy drinker and highly session like dubbel. Wonderful texture that stays true to Smutty's quality and style. Just a great drinking dubbel for any winter occasion.

O - may I just say that I love dubbel's and I enjoy seeing an American brewery pull one off. Though this wasnt intended on slamming you with a massive Trappist inspired 8% dubbel. This is a creation of its own and one Smuttynose can be proud of. One we can sit down during the cold winter months and drink all night long with friends and family. Yes, a tasty treat during these brutally cold months but still allowing for a Cadillac of a brew. Easy going and flows perfectly. These were Smutty's intentions and I look forward to this for years to come.

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Photo of Act25
3.69/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of mikalis
4.44/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the best winter ales I've tried in a long time. Smooth mellow taste, very drinkable, no weird flavors like many winter ales these days. The only problem is it is disappearing fast along with the winter but this beer could work all year long. I hope they can repeat.

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Photo of secondtooth
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby, with a nice sudsy head of off-white bubbles. Lovely lattice-like lacing.

Nose is caramel malts, with a hint of fruit and some light spice. Subtle and pleasing to the olfactory unit.

Taste is pleasant as well, and complex to boot. I get some fruity malts and yeasts that collide with cinnamon and nutmeg touches. This is an easy to enjoy ale that works perfectly on a wintry, snowy morning! Prost!

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Photo of 57md
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with copper edges. The finger of head dissipated rather quickly and only left a trace of lace behind. The nose is distinctly malty. The flavor profile is rather malty with a slightly sweet finish. The mouthfeel is somewhat sticky. This offering is not quite full-bodied, but certainly not thin at all.

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Photo of champ103
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a garnet red/brown color. A tightly packed white head rises to over two fingers with spiderweb looking lace left all the way down the glass.
S: Starts out great. Dark fruits of cherries and plums, even some banana like esters. Toasted malts. Then a pronounced metallic aroma takes over, and grows as this warms.
T: Again, dark fruits and esters. Toasted malts. Really nice at first, but again as this warms a tiny metallic flavor takes over.
M/D: A medium body and moderate carbonation. Slightly sticky and syrupy. Not hard to drink at all. A decent warmer.

If not for the metallic character, this would be superb. I will certainly need to give this a few more tries to see if it is just an off bottle.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Trappist-style Belgian Dubbel Ales generally possess the wintry flavors that are common to desserts like fruit cake, cobbler, nuts and crusty richness. Smuttynose discovers this link and devises a Belgian inspired ale to grace their portfolio during the winter months.

Smuttynose Winter Ale kicks off with a russet brown and hazy pour. Lightly yeasty, its body allows for a softly diffused glow to permit. It settles with a froth head pulling from its body and capping the session with firm retention and a smattering of lace.

Bold earthen sweetness leap out immediately, first with the caramel and bready-sweet richness from malt, but soon a weave of pecan and almond complement the sweetness with a richness all its own. Then come the fruits- apples, cherries, dates and figs just ahead of mild pepper and vinous spice to round out the beer's scent.

To taste, much the same transpires as its crusted bread and caramel medley capture the attention of the taste buds. Nutty and fruity with those pitted, stone fruits- the ale takes on fruit cake-like proportions with its threads of brown sugar and burnt toffee. The ale finishes with a spicy balance that's lightly winey, woody and scantly cola-like.

Medium-full in body, the ales creamy sweetness is slow to recede and the beer lumbers across the middle in order to deliver that full "wintertime" weight. Its late tangy acidity triggers its finish while spices and alcohol provide a rummy aftertaste.

I think Smuttynose is right on target, using a Belgian Dubbel base recipe for its own Winter Warmer. The problem is that the Trappist Belgian monks got there first. The Smutty-version is denser, richer and heavier... a far departion from the drier, zestier and exuberant examples from those monasteries.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear (but opaque) very dark reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and significant amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a few small patch of thick film and a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer along with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of slightly sweet malts with notes of toffee and caramel. There is also a light to moderate presence of dark fruits (plum and fig), spices, and Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of sweet malts with notes of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. That is followed by light flavors of dark fruits (plum and fig), spices, and Belgian yeast. Veyr light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Quite flavorful and much easier to drink than a lot of others in the style considering the rather low ABV. Definitely an enjoyable brew and one I would definitely grab again. An interesting take on the winter beer with the introduction of the Belgian yeast (kind of a hybrid styled beer). Both the aroma and flavor of the beer increase in intensity + complexity as the beer warms up.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a stand pint glass.

A- Beautiful dark amber color. Tan head, 1f, good sticky lacing.

S-Dark fruits. Sweet breads , too. Red wine like. The aroma grows as the beer warms.

T- Sweet dark malts and fruits. A little bit of chocolate and spice.

M- Full body and good carbonation. Chewy and dry. Mineral aftertaste.

O- I get some of the Belgian Dubbel connection, but I wouldn't go that far. Not too bad, mine may have been served too cold. The mineral feel holds it back.

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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 MarkQ617
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first review of a Smuttynose. Sort of a syrupy mouthfeel that was a little strange. Hoppy flavor with maybe some coffee notes. Nice amber color, full body. Some dark fruit and sugar aromas comes through on the nose. Nice beer to enjoy by a fire, good stuff.

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Photo of taylor714914
2.73/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Wolf. This is nasty. Reminds me of state watered down Ommegang abbey dubbel. The flavors are there, dried fruit, caramel, toffee, but it was thin and bitter. It was a pour, I just couldn't drink it. I'm normally a Smutty fan, but I think they severely missed the mark on this one.

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Photo of barczar
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with caramel highlights and a dense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Toasted, bready, nutty caramel malt is accompanied by soft Belgian yeast fruit esters. There's an offputting metallic character at the finish.

Flavor reveals lightly chocolatey, toasted bready malt at the base, with muted cherry and apple esters clashing a bit. The finish is fairly minerally and bitter, with notes of spice. The metallic character shines through.

Body is moderate, with moderate to slightly spritzy carbonation. Light alcohol warmth is present.

Odd combination of flavors. There's a decent malt base, but the yeast character is just not of good quality. Metallic notes are offputting. Too bitter for my liking.

I was hoping time to warm would help. It brings out more yeast character. Unfortunately, it also brings out diacetyl and vegetal notes, though the metallic character subsides. Just seems stale.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The bitter cold here today definitely calls for a winter ale. Cheers.

The best-before date is 04/21/2014, which is four months after the date of this tasting.

A: Fizzy, low-ABV head stands at a solid half-inch for a minute or two; nice khaki color to it. Body is a tawny amber, mildly hazy.

S: Leads on a metallic note with backing scents of nut and vanilla taffy, like a British pub beer. Though light to start, the residual sugar scents become deeper and more pronounced as the beer warms; over time, aromas of peat, nutmeg, and milk chocolate begin to appear. Quite welcoming, if a bit tame.

T: This is certainly one flavorful, enduring palate; the nose definitely doesn’t do it justice. Nutty, slightly sweet tastes inhabit the front of the palate – pumpernickel, roasted chestnut, whipped cream – with a touch of roasty, chocolaty mocha. It begins to stiffen up into something earthy and more peaty toward the middle, taking this beer to a climax of soil and brown sugar, and raisin (very traditional). Finishes with a welcome black pepper and lemony hop zest over a savory (but short-lived) breadiness.

M: Creamy and filling, but with a sprits of effervescent carbonation to keep it drinkable. Goes down with more heft than you’d expect for a 6% beer.

O: This is one of the best winter beers I’ve tasted in quite a while. I’d be more than happy with a six-pack of this…and the more I think about it, the more I realize I could say that about any of the Smuttynose beers I’ve tried.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some dark fruits, a bit bready. Taste is some hops up front, then malts, a touch of caramel, not as much fruit as the smell. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The color had an almost amber hue but it tended towards a medium brown. The head was thin but foamed up well and slowly disappated to a film.

The aromas were dry but a kilned barley malt was most evident. There was a caramel malt scent but it isn't sweet, just dry and almost stale.

The flavor is dry with a lot of barley, kilned grain and caramel malt, unsweetened. There's almost a smokiness to this, a strong roasted character but as with the scent it's a tad stale.

The feel holds a lot of dryness with a slight astringency. The carbonation is less than moderate as it has a thinness but it's not weak.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

"Best by 4/28/14" printed on bottle.

A weak pour delivers half a finger of manilla colored yeast. The body is a dark rosy brown. Lace initially makes an attempt but dries up pretty quickly.

Dark fruit, malt, earthy aromas all appear. The nose is rather laid back.

Sweet dark malt combine with a graininess. A little xmas spice comes in with the earthy taste. More xmas spice as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium/heavy bodied.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best by date 04/09/2014. A new seasonal beer to me from Smuttynose, this one a dubbel, a style I am not too familiar with. Going in unbiased, and keeping my expectations open.

Poured into a Coca-Cola goblet.

A - Pours a smooth caramel color; a ruby-amber color in the glass. One finger of beige head. Rich and creamy appearance, but fairly simple.

S - Smell is very subdued. Light caramel / amber malts, cranberry, plums, raisins, some cream, & some alcohol fumes.

T - Taste follows the nose: light caramel maltiness, and some dark fruit presence - black cherries, figs, plums, & raisins. Dry brown bread, and maybe a hint of rum raisin. I'm not really getting much in the way of yeast or funk.

M - Feel ends fairly sticky and dry. Thin bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a fairly tame beginner's dubbel from what my previous experience with these beers has told me. A more moderate, drinkable 5.83% abv suits this beer well. Suitable for those looking to get into the style. While not offensive and definitely drinkable, this probably isn't a beer I would want again.

Smuttynose Winter Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of philbe311
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A lush rich creamy whipped late to develop three plus fingers worth of light-to-medium khaki colored head... Rock star retention... The color is a murky and is a notch darker than medium brown... A good bit of carbonation is present under close examination... Small bubbled sluggish carbonation at the bottom of the glasses accelerates to a moderate pace by the time it reaches the top... Rings of lacing cling to the sides of the glass...

S - The nose of mild but pleasant... Multifaceted and no single aroma dominates... Toasted malt... Brown sugar... Plums... Fig... A very subtle spiciness... Many of the expected Belgian yeast components are missing... None the less, this one is very pleasant and inviting...

T - A bit of the Belgian yeast presence that was missing on the nose emerges on the palate... It's at the forefront along with the brown sugar... Buried a layer or two beneath the surface is the toasted malts, dark bread, and dark fruit components... Some cinnamon and assorted other spices rise on the finish...

M - The creamy forth greats your lips first... On the lighter side of medium bodied... Moderate carbonation... Even and consistent... There is a touch of dryness on the finish... Perhaps a bit thin... A bit more thickness or lushness would go a long way...

D - Not sure about the stye classification... I would consider this one a brown ale with some faint Belgian characteristics rather than a Dubbel... Regardless, it's an interesting and satisfying brew... Not world class by any means, but it's slightly different and interesting enough to impress me... A nice take on the winter seasonal...

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 12 oz. bottle into a 12 oz tulip. Best before date 4.29.13

Look- Deep brown, finger and a half of dense off-white head, excellent retention, good lacing.

Smell- Nondescript, nutty, raisin. Mild but pleasant

Taste- Brown bread, light treacle, nutty, graham cracker, ginger. Light stone fruit, red delicious apple. As it warms, it takes on a rounder, toastier flavor that suits it nicely.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, light-medium carbonation. Smooth, juicy feel.

Overall- Does what it's aming to do and I'd certainly buy it again; not something I'd pick up all the time, but as a Winter seasonal it's a solid offering.

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