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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
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Reviews: 481 | Hads: 977
Photo of dank203
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

pours thick brown with off white head. aromas are a bit malty oily, a little dark fruit juice, some acidity. the flavor is really not very complex, a hit of roast with malty slightly caramelly notes and a definite hop presence. overally a slightly hoppy and spicy brown ale but nothing to really write home about

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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 arizcards
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in late December for $1.79. Best by 5/11/15.

Beer poured brown with a tan head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is pretty non-descript, your base malt nose.

Taste is OK, carmelized malts and crystal hops lend this brew to be more of an American amber style than a Belgian Dubbel. I am not catching the usual flavors imparted from a Belgian made Dubbel.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and more creamy than smooth.

Overall this is a serviceable brew but nothing special. Glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of beyah
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Deep amber color1 finger of head which dissipated quickly, leaving moderate lacing bend.
Aroma- Smells a little Belgian figs and burnt sugar
Flavor-Has a Dubbel like flavor and warming a little caramel flavor and Belgian as it warms up
Mouthfeel- Moderate body, just right for the style
Overall- Nice domestic interpretation of a Dubbel

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Photo of Caveworm
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this has got a 1.5 finger thick head with sheer lacing, and a very dark brown transparent body.

The smell is that of astringent malts. No hops are noticeable in this discipline of the review.

This brew's taste is quite similar, with a rich malt element cutting through the mix. I can't really pick up on the fruits mentioned by others.

A smooth and crisp mouthfeel was given by this "Smutty".

Overall, a 3.75 for Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company. I may or may not buy this again.

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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 Dawn30
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice deep dark amber color. Not a lot of lacing and not a lot of head but tasty. A difference in abv. BA says 5.8. Bottle says 6.4?
Some spicy notes but not bad overall

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Photo of hophugger
3.22/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Deep, chocolate brown with decent tan head and minimal lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt, actually quite light. Taste is strong up front with malt and roasted malt. Also, a little alcohol burn as it settles in, and some dry spice at the finish. Mouthfeel is ok, carbonation is right on, and balance is good....

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a dark brown, almost black with red highlights when held up to the light. There is a two finger off white head some of which remains as a collar and light lacing.

The smell is heavy roasted and sweet malts and some spices and maybe a raisin smell in there as well.

The taste mostly follows the nose with sweet and roasted malts dominating. There are some spices on the back end along with some spicy, hoppy bitterness. The beer goes down smoothly and leaves some hop oil on the tongue after swallowing. There is a warming effect that comes in a few minuets after swallowing.

Overall this is a well balanced hoppy and malty Dubbel. I don't normally care much for this style but I would drink this again.

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