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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

841 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 841
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 8
Gots: 24 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 841 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%

Tilted dark with significant white head. Some brown flecks of spice including cardamon and allspice. More spice than yeast aroma. Not that strong alcohol. Medium mouthfeel, cross-style Belgian and winter warmer. Neither hits the spot of either, but certainly not unpleasant.

Sammy, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

djrn2, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.7%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

zestar, May 31, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%

A: The beer poured very dark brownish-amber in color into a goblet. A light amount of carbonation is visible and there are just a few bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There is a light aroma of malty sweetness, caramel, dark fruits and spices in the nose, which becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: A moderate amount of sweetness from the malts dominates--but does not overpower the taste, which also has notes of brown sugar and dark fruits along with some hints of spices. The taste becomes more complex as the beer warms up. A slight amount of hop bitterness is perceptible, mostly in the finish. It doesn't taste like a true dubbel, but is an interesting interpretation of the style.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and rather smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight bit of dryness in the finish.
D: Given its low alcohol content, the beer is very drinkable yet it still manages to pack in a lot of flavor.

metter98, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a modest head; not that much lacing

Smell: Malty caramel aroma

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor that, after the swallow is joined by some complex herbal sweet tones and a phenolic finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but rather flat

Drinkability: OK, I guess, but definitely not a dubbel

brentk56, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +6%

Pristine crimson- and orange-infused bronze; a great color for a winter beer. The pale tawny crown contrasts nicely with the liquid on which it rests and demonstrates a fair amount of character as it slowly fades away. Unfortunately, lace is limited to a short, tattered collar.

The nose reminds me of an especially malty, especially fruity English ale more than a true dubbel. Apparently, SBC has brewed this beer with an authentic Trappist ale yeast strain, although I'm finding it hard to appreciate it on smell alone. I don't detect any added spices either. It's a bit short on complexity and distinctiveness, but still isn't bad for a winterish brew.

Whereas the nose had me wondering what on earth the brewers were thinking when they dubbed this beer a dubbel, it tastes quite a bit like one. And a tasty one at that. It's much more malty than hoppy, and has that cocoa-like, roasted walnutty, tobacco leaf, 'brown' malt flavor that is characteristic of the style. It's also fruity, in the manner of severely bruised apples and leathery dried cherries.

Winter Ale isn't nearly as yeasty-spicy as the best Belgians, but at least I can appreciate those tendencies on the palate. There's a pinch of clove and possibly cinnamon as well. Added spices probably wouldn't have been a good idea since they would have masked what yeastiness manages to come through unscathed.

The finish is long, not lingering, and shows off the modest bitterness and flavor of the Crystal hops. Although the mouthfeel isn't much bigger than medium, it's a good sort of medium, an easy drinking sort of medium. The carbonation is subdued enough to keep things smooth and borderline creamy. This is one of those beers that's gone before you know it.

Winter Ale is a bit of a pastiche (an amber ale that uses Trappist ale yeast and American hops, then calls itself a dubbel), but it works somehow. I'll just chalk it up to the brewing talent at Smuttynose and be done with it. The only thing that really matters is whether or not the beer is delicious. It passes that test with flying colors.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

BEERchitect, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%

The pour was really well done here with a nice amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting. Comes across almost like an amber ale to me, has that bready maltiness and caramel flavor I associate with it. A bit thin on the feel but the carbonation really saves it and gives it that little bit of pop to pull you in. Soo nicely done that it goes down like candy and really just a smooth and really nice drinking beer.

Overall this one kinda confusues me. A bit light for a dubbel I have to admit but it was still a really well done beer. Needs a little bit more to make it excellent but this is really nice none the less.

mikesgroove, May 02, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Best Before: July 2010.

Appearance: Pours out a fairly clear, dark brown-amber body with a ½-inch cap of off-white foam, but this settles out pretty quickly.

Smell: Aroma of generously toasted bread crusts, cocoa powder stirred up with cloves, crushed nuts, and dark caramel, with a thin undercurrent of fruitiness.

Taste: Sweetish tastes that first send me thinking 'brown ale': toast, dry caramel, mild cocoa, and unsalted nuts. Hint of dried fruits. Slight, spicy phenolic accents. Light complimentary bitterness imparted by the Crystal hops. For me, the Trappist ale yeast was most felt on the smooth finish, where the spiciness was allowed to linger a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Though the Trappist ale yeast character never really jumped out at me, I still found it to be a pleasant blending of styles, making for a pretty tasty beer. I've had a couple doses of SWA (people quickly recognize the beer acronyms BCS and KBS, so let's get SWA started) now, but I may head out to get another helping before the impending close of the winter season.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%

This brew poured out as a nice looking brown color. The head was very big and had a generous amount of lacing. The smell was a little spicy but nothing over the top. The other aroms were a little on the earthy side. The taste was a little like the smell spicey and earthy, not really picking up much blegian yeast though. The mouthfeel was pretty nice, it was medium bodied, it could have probably been a little thicker. overall This beer wasn't too bad. I wouldn't have guessed it was an Abbey Dubbel if I had been blindfolded.

Knapp85, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%

Poured into a goblet a very deep brown a thin quick to fade light brown head set atop no lace left behind,alot of diferent things going on in the nose somewhat medicinal and herbal with notes of chocolate and dark fruit as well.Seemd a bit sharp in the mouth and not real full,flavors seem a bit dumbed down somewhat yeasty with cola-like flavors and dark fruit but they really dont assert themselves much.The sharp mouthfeel becomes more assertive as I drink more really making it less drinkable.Eh not my thing here I dont drnk many of the style but I look a well made dubbel,Iam sorry but this falls a bit short.

oberon, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Randomly picked this up last week, engaged by the semi-kitsch label. It pours a clear ruby-garnet topped by a short finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises red grapes, dusty toffee, rye bread, figs, clove, honey, very light orange peel, a touch booze, and a few drops of coffee. The taste holds notes of rye bread, light cocoa, light mint, toffee, brown sugar, clove, black pepper, figs, and a bit of red wine. The body is a meek medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one I'm going to look for during it's appropriate season.

TMoney2591, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -18.5%

JAHMUR, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%

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?

NeroFiddled, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, some Belgian yeast, a little spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of Belgian yeast, caramel, spice, tart fruit and a little chocolate. The hops presence is mild but complimentary. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, decent representation of style, it might not be your prototypical winter seasonal, but it's still a pretty nice beer. I could certainly drink quite a few of these in an evening.

TheManiacalOne, May 22, 2007
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

RblWthACoz, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of nickfl
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

A - One finger of off-white foam settles quickly to a ring of loose bubbles and leaves virtually no lace. The body is dark brown and hazy with some amber highlights.

S - Some spicy yeast aromas of clove and pepper over caramel malt and toffee. Light fruit notes of plum and red apple with perhaps a bit of coriander.

T - Peppery yeast with lots of dark, sugary malt up front. Notes of caramel, toffee, and molasses mesh nicely with clove, pepper and other spicy yeast flavors. Finishes with an increased emphasis on the malt, lots of caramel with strongly toasted notes and some cola-like character as well as mild hops to balance. Lingering dark malt flavors coat the palate and are complimented by pepper from the yeast.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable and well balanced, this has an impressive amount of flavor considering its modest alcohol content. Its flavors heavily favor sugars and malt but do well in those departments with a complex amber profile. The hops stick to the background, but do contribute enough to the finish to keep the beer balanced. The yeast complexity is a bit weak, and if it were actually a dubbel this would hurt the beer, but it is sufficient to identify this as a Belgian style beer. Overall, this is quite enjoyable and a nice choice of style for a seasonal winter beer.

nickfl, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%

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.

WVbeergeek, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a finger width of medium tan head that retains into a smooth, creamy looking layer that left moderate lacing. The aroma is thick with heavy malt, sweetness, spices, and just a touch of alcohol.

The taste is rich malts and sweetness, spices, and a dark fruit element that allows things to end with a combo of tartness and hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied wiht a thick, creamy feel.

This wasn't bad. I liked the full, rich tastes of the malt and spices that leant themselves well to Winter imbibing and that nearly 7% ABV was very well hidden and kept things fairly drinkable. A solid effort from Smutty!

Kegatron, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%

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

Slatetank, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%

the color of this one is deep copper redish, pretty clear, with a few inches of finely laced tan foam. the nose is richly malty, complex, ranging from american amber to english caramel and beyond. there is a toffee sort of sweetness too, and more alcohol hanging around than the abv gives away. the flavor confirms that this is definitely a malt heavy beer, which is nice in this context without all the usual spice that typifies the style. like a christmas cookie or loaf of bread, rummy, tasty. the sweetness does not linger on in the finish, and it actually ends on a dry note. the flavors a good, but they all seem a little muted to me. not the depth of flavor i am used to in these often very robust beers. lots of body and an appropriate level of carbonation. not my favorite of the winter releases, but an easy drinking brew nevertheless.

StonedTrippin, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of jlindros
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%

Tap at Texas bbq in Northborough, MA.

Light creamy head with touch of lacing, hazy mahogany dark brown colored.

Nose slight sweet malty aromas, toasty brown malts, light brown sugar, caramel, sweet molasses and hint of toffee, fairly nutty too almost hazelnut.

Taste starts slightly creamy, toasty brown malts, light caramel brown sugar sweet molasses and toffee but all very light, fairly nutty and toasty as well. Light grassy earthy hops in the back end with some mild bitterness. The hops start to turn herbal and not so tasty as it goes. Finish is syrupy with lingering candy syrup, nutty, toffee, caramel brown sugar and mild bitterness lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, bit syrupy, decent carb.

Overall decent, not great. I wouldn't call this remotely a dubbel, more like a winter brown, some interesting flavors,but a bit too syrupy and too much of the not so great hops.

jlindros, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +8.7%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +8.7%

The beer pours a hazy ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a pale and crystal malt scent along with a fruity Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a dry, hoppy flavor that is laid over a malt bill of Belgian pale and crystal malts. It's robust with some roasted notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine seasonal brew. It's tastey and highly drinkable.

WesWes, Feb 26, 2007
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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.