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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

819 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 819
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%

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

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  5.83% ABV

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

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-30-2005)
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Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale on tap at Valhalla in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, offered as "Smuttynose Double" on special for $5 to commemorate the end of the world (May 21 2011)

Appearance: Classic Belgian-style brew, with a big (huge!) head, outrageous lacing and retention. Hazy brown color, very dark and opaque.

Smell: Milk chocolate, dark sugar, a tad of coconut cake. Very dessert-y but delicious! Aromas of hops and caramel.

Taste: Raisin, chocolate pudding. Bitter-but-smooth Belgium chocolate, gourmet. Delicious yeasty-bready finish. Again, a total dessert of a beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation (surprising), full flavor. Sweet, cookie-like, nourishing flavor. Yum!

Overall: A really good American dubbel. Better than Sierra Ovila, which is another example of the American interpretation of the style I recently had. Not too boozy, very flavorful and drinkable.

Props to Smutty and founder Peter Egelston, who responded right away to an e-mail of mine asking about this beer being called "Smuttynose Double" at the bar where I enjoyed it. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2011 05:22:24 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of lordofthewiens


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

On tap at the Manchester Airport, waiting for my flight to Florida.
The beer was a dark brown color with a sizable tan head. A bit of lace was apparent.
The aroma was of brown sugar, sweet fruit, and caramel malts.
Taste of caramel, raisins, a bit of spiciness.
Sweet, substantial mouthfeel.
Not your typical winter beer. A nice take on the part of Smuttynose.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 12:02:40 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of devinoconnor

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2011 17:29:42 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of hustlesworth


4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2010 08:01:59 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of bishopdc0


3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer appears as amber in color slightly darker then your average with a decent head and lace.

The nose is malty with a hint of nutty/pale maltyness.

The taste is malty caramel with a load of pale malt. It finishes with a slight citrus.

The mouth is light and is a very drinkable dubble but this also i think degrades its overall quality taste

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2010 21:34:31 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of glid02


3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy purplish-amber color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malts with hints of raisins and figs.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Dark malt flavors kick things off and are not quite as sweet as the nose would intimate. Coming in shortly thereafter are moderate amounts of dark fruits - raisins mostly with hints of crisp figs - and slight amounts of spices. The spices fade out quickly, allowing the malt and fruits to carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this beer just didn't have much of an identity, it just was. Not a terrible beer by any stretch but not worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2010 13:01:34 | More by glid02
Photo of berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

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

A: Poured with a small, white head that diminished slightly. Bosy is a dark ruby color, very clear. Very nice lacing was left behind in sheets on the sides of the glass.

S: Nice aroma, very malty and sweet, with some fruit notes in there as well.

T: Again, malty and sweet with a nice, smooth finish. Some chocolate is present in there too. The hops provide a nice balance but aren't very detectable. Interesting for a dubbel. Moderate duration for the flavor.

M: Medium-bodied, very creamy, with average carbonation.

D: This beer is very easy to drink, and a nice departure from the typical styles of winter brews.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2010 16:00:30 | More by berley31
Photo of david18

New York

3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see a winter ale at that low an alcohol by volume but pleased because it is winter and it was early in the day. So, perfect. It was as good as I had hoped and now knowing it's a dubbel makes a lot of sense. Good beer with good color, taste and mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2010 21:58:55 | More by david18
Photo of Katahdin


4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a credible amount of head and rich, reddish brown color. The initial smell is a fruity/malty combination that belies the taste to come. The taste is much fuller than one would expect from such a beer and has hints of caramel and fruits with a spiciness in the after taste that is tough to pin down. There is a lingering taste of roasted nuttiness as well. A bit chewy but goes down relatively smooth. A great interpretation from Smuttynose

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2010 19:13:35 | More by Katahdin
Photo of djeffbee


4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Quotations Pub - New Years Day 2010.

A: Deep murky, ruby red with a nice white head. A thin lacing.

S: Roasted, sweet, malty and fitting for a seasonal. Low hop presence, but nice.

T: Roasted, sweet, malty and fitting for a seasonal. Has some character resembling a dubbel, but lower in alcohol. Some nutty flavors in the finish.

M: Fairly thin with a decent finish and good carbonation.

D: Good winter ale, no crazy spices, and with the low ABV it's super drinkable. I think it being classified as a dubbel may be a bit off.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2010 19:00:39 | More by djeffbee
Photo of Slatetank


3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Al's of Hampden in Enola, PA. Served on tap in a pint

A - chestnut brown color w/ good clarity, two fingers of tan cream crest the ale and it has a tiny bead

S - A sweet, nutty and spicy nose w/ slightly yeasty aroma. The odor of subtle toast and honey w/ mild dried fruit scent

M - a lighter medium bodied feel, slightly strong effervescent front w/ a mildly roasted texture in the middle ad gentle alcohol influence w/ a mild sweetness and subtle spice in the finish

T - A crisp roasted and earthy taste w/ subtle fruit notes and spice is mild w/ creamy flavors that meld well. The mild yeasty fruitiness comes in late in the taste w/ a subtle toasted malt which is almost almond-like w/ a mild bready yeast tinge in the flavor. There is a subtle pine hop taste which seems like an afterthought

D - the drinkability is pretty good w/ flavor that is clean and pretty easy to quaff- the flavors of the malts are in focus and satisfies well, but doesn't prompt me to order more than a couple to be honest

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2009 17:27:42 | More by Slatetank
Photo of TooleBurger


3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: amber color with a little bit of a foamy head

s: very winter-appropriate smell, specifically winter fruits used in cooking holiday dinner

t: great taste, started with some fruit then moved to a dab of alcohol and wood at the end

m: thin, but smooth; perfect amount of carbonation

d: very different than other winter ales I have had in the past, perfect on a cold day

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2009 19:50:51 | More by TooleBurger
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured twice from the taps at Skibbo's on East Tremont in the Bronx over the course of a seven days. It was only after tonight that I ignored my pride and simply looked up what a Winter Ale equated into beer styles.

A: Poured into plastic cup to reveal a crimson and brown color which works well for the winter weather in the Northeast. Head from the sample cup looked to be at least a finger size, fading away slowly with not much lacing to mention.

S: The nose is sweet of malts, fruits along with the dubbel style. I read Smuttynose got a hold of a Trappist yeast straing but could not detect along with spices but still alluring nonetheless.

T:Last week when taking a loing sample, I was suprised at the thick and sweet nature of this winter ale. However, upon learning it's a dubbel, it the flavor delivery makes more sense but is enjoyable anyway you shake it. Malt is the first and foremost flavor, brown being the first that comes to midn, then seconded by cocoa, nuts, and some tobacco leaf and a pinch of clove but not enough. An overall estery fruitness of apples and cherries lingers in the pallet.

M: Medium mouthfeel is cloying at first then lingering bitterness and oveall hoppyness at the end. Very easily drinkable with low key carbonation to make it slippery down the throat.

D: I prefer Smuttynose's sweet Winter Ale to the other spicy or hoppy versions. The beer is a combo of true Belgian yeast with west coast American hops to continue to redefining of beer in America. Smuttynose has some gosh darn good talent near their vats.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2009 02:34:16 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Photo of hchinaski


3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap @Wonderland.

Pours a nice dark brownish with a good head, average time to dissipate.

Couldn't pick up a whole lot of smell Some malts and sweetness with a tad of spice.

Decent taste, not extremely complex, but not too heavy on the malts, slight burnt aftertaste.

Good mouth, very smooth.

Very drinkable, hides the alchohol pretty well, considering the abv. while not my favorite winter selection, i could definitely session this one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2008 19:47:54 | More by hchinaski
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Mahar's

A: Copper amber color with a finger of head.

S: Nutmeg spices and malt. Just how a winter should be.

T: The malt actually comes through more than the spices. The balance is good though.

M: Med body with a good amount of carbonation that was still bubbling towards the end of the pint.

D:For a winter beer this was very drinkable. If I was at any other bar I would have had a second.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2007 14:44:39 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of Stimack

New York

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

Had this one on tap at Mahars. Poured to a nice dark amber color with a good sized tan head. Nice retention, left a lot of lacing down the side of the glass. The aromas remind me of berries, caramel malts, with a slight yeast quality. The flavors seem to revolve around the malt flavors giving it a toasted feel with a yeast like biscuit taste. When looking up this brew it really surprised me to see it as a dubbel, as the characteristics of a dubbe did not come out for me. Even with this being said this was a good brew, very nice flavor and quite easy drinking. I would get this one again without question.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2007 13:04:09 | More by Stimack
Photo of tempest


3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Clark's Ale House.

I nice mellow dark Belgian.The flavor isn't too rich or complex, but it's fairly spot on for the Belgian basics. Just sweet, fruit, candy and malt flavors. It's at least as good as Leffe Brune/Brown. If you can find it for a reasonable price, I recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2007 06:22:58 | More by tempest
Photo of Honisbygonis

North Carolina

3.51/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 21:25:33 | More by Honisbygonis
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 17:14:54 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 23:31:38 | More by Act25
Photo of mikalis


4.48/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 21:50:24 | More by mikalis
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 19:03:41 | More by secondtooth
Photo of 57md


4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | 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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 02:46:28 | More by 57md
Photo of champ103


3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 02:42:04 | More by champ103
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 18:56:19 | More by BEERchitect
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.