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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: 973
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 16.26%
Wants: 15
Gots: 64 | 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: 973
Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear burgandy. Nice looking thin beads of carbonation surface at a good clip. Thin beige head leaves some sporadic lace. Nice aroma of cherry juice, raisins, prune, belgian yeastiness and breadiness. Yes, very nice. First impressions are of bread pudding, poundcake and rum. A little raisin. A little chocolate. All in all, a pleasant blend. Mouthfeel is very agreeable. Light carbonation and light body. Easy drinking, tasty beverage.

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

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, butterscotch/caramel, raisins/dates

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with butterscotch/caramel and some dates/raisins. There is also a bit of a cherry flavour and some hay. It ends with a malty/fruity aftertaste with some light lingering bitterness.

Overall - Not what I was expecting, but still pleasantly drinkable. There is some nice fruit flavour mixed with a good amount of malts. Not something I'd be on the look out for next winter, but still solid.

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

Very deep ruby color when held to the light, and a cola brown brown when held from the light. The head is just shy of two fingers after the pour, but has a thin film of light tan foam after a few sips till the end.

The aroma has some tart X-Mas notes mingling with Mildly roaseted and heavily toasted malt notes.

The taste starts with a tart brown ale of roasted malts. The middle hash a more mild roasted malt flavor, and a more heavy toasted malt flavor with X-Mas spices lingering in the fore- and background of the palate. There's some spice notes, but very faded and light. The palate overall is somewhat tart, but mostly roasty and toasty malt. Not a bad seasonal session.

This is NOT a Dubbel by the way!!!

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Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: Dark red/ruby red color with a one-finger head of foam.

Aroma: Sweet and malty on the nose. A small, faint hint of chocolate.

Taste: Thick and rich upfront. Sweet but feels balanced. Smooth in the middle and fades to a mildly sweet aftertaste. Smooth. A hint of raisin in the middle as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, sweet and malty. Not too dry at the back of the throat.

Verdict: Nice and drinkable! Has the hallmarks of the style as well. I think it's solid. Drinkable.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got to love best before dates! Was questioning this one but best before April 2011!

A - Pours a nice hazy brown color, almost amber but the head is a lovely bubbly inch with nice lacing.

S - First impression kind of like a light old ale. Tons of caramel and toffee sweetness but mild spices of cinnamon but hard to tell.

T - Wow it came off pretty smooth. All the taste of a regular warmer but with very little spice which may sound dull but came off rather well. Caramel, toffee, mild sugar, slight cherry and a hint of cinnamon at the end makes it a good brew. Malts overpower the hops also making it pretty creamy.

M - Came off kind of medium. Went down pretty easy.

D - As far as winter warmers go this beer is a pretty nice tick. Easy drinking and not to much spice, yet not really needing it I could have a couple a sitting. Very good guys!

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Photo of claspada
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves some thin lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with ligh caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate malt base with some Belgian yeast, a little spice and a touch of hops that emerge as it warms.

The tastes begin with malty flavors of caramel and a little chocolate. The yeast adds some spicy and some fruity ester notes. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied for the style with medium carbonation. There could be a bump in that for sure. Finish is fairly crisp, clean and dry.

Overall this is a decent representation of style but really is fairly one noted. It is definitely not your prototypical winter seasonal or Dubbel for that matter but I have definitely had worse. Kind of tastes like an American Amber fermented with a Belgian yeast. Decent but I'll stick to something else during the winter months.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet glass with almost no head but a brownish body that light couldn't really penetrate. A rather weak smell, but caramel and vanilla aromas come through with some other light spicing (no real hop or maltiness in the smell). The taste, on the other hand, has a stong malt base. My guess would be roasted (could be some coffee) malts with minimal spices. Very smooth, so low on the hops but some caramel/honey mixed in, with a dash of bread on the backend. A rather full-body, sweet beer that reminded me a little bit of bubblegum.
Not what one would expect from a winter warmer, and a rather simple beer, but I could easily down a few of these one night.

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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.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer had a brown color when poured into a goblet. Consistency was thick and cloudy. Not a huge amount of head, but some good lacing.

S: A malty, slightly spicy aroma with sugary notes.

T: A solid taste of malt, caramel and dark fruits. A decently well constructed taste, though not exactly what you expect from a dubbel.

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a good, drinkable beer. Not the best dubbel I've had, but well done nonetheless.

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

A-Pours brown but when held up to the light, there are some reddish hues that emanate. Head is manilla color. Frothy consistency. Laces excellently. Strapping rings of lace mark the beer's progress after every gulp.

S-One of the nuttier smelling beers I have encountered. Almond and hazelnut. Dark fruit, caramel and hints of cocoa. Well roasted. This Winter Ale smells likes how a Winter beer should smell.

T-Chocolate syrup flavor bursts out initially. Much more chocolate than I found in the nose. Nuts are still there, and in heavy doses. Nut covered chocolates. Very sweet. Roasted flavors are there too. Tootsie-Roll flavor. Kinda changes sip by sip. As it warms I notice more fruitiness.

M-Light side of medium bodied. Carbonation is noticeable and more aggressive than anticipated. Slightly dry.

O/D-Pretty good in terms of a Winter seasonal. Would I ever buy a six pack of this beer before a six pack of SN Celebration Ale? NO. But this is a nice buy if you're looking for a smooth, interesting dark seasonal beer to experiment with. Decent price for a six. Love the artwork on the bottle too.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a dark ruby-brown with cranberry colored highlights when backlit. Two-fingered off-white head settled into an oily skim of foam. Lacing consisted of concentric rings adhering to the glassware as the brew was consumed. Smell of malt and subtle scent of candied dark-fruit (not sure what though) and yeast. Taste similar to nose with more pronounced dark fruit flavors (plums, prunes, raisins) present, but not particularly sweet. Nice mouthfeel, but somewhat more watery than other dubbels I have sampled, ending with a pleasant malty finish. A nice seasonal, although at 6.8% abv, a little on the high-side for a session brew; however, I could definitely quaff 2 or 3 in a sitting.

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

Comes out of the bottle a clear, warm, dark coppery brown with a fairly thick cream-white head. Aroma is strong and malty with a fruity undertone and a hint of spice. Malty flavor has a spicy undertone and a hint of fruit, mainly apple. Texture is fairly smooth with a nice tingle to it. Not Smuttynose's best, but worth a try anyway.

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

The color is a dark mahogany brown with a respectable off-white head and great lacing. The aroma is grassy oatmeal malt, sour mash sort of deal. The taste is a relatively smooth wheat with some charcoal under a fine carbonation. A medium drinkable brew with a dry paper edge. Alcohol is medium and overall I give this one an average grade, not bad.

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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 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 drpimento
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice brew. Served with a thick, light tan, foamy, frothy, expansive head that settled after a bit and plenty of lace. Color is a clear dark red amber. Aroma is malt, fruit, roast, toffee. Flavor is like nose plus more emphasis and carbonic tang, yeast. Body & carbonation are good. Finish is like flavor, of shorter duration, and pleasant. Very easy drinking beer. Easy enough to have another, which I will do.

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Photo of ZAP
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clouded amber colored...nice head and lace.

S-Caramel, and earthy hops on the nose

T-Nice caramel maltines...also some breadiness....a good earthy hop element and also some sweet cocoa powder (lighter impression)...very tasty..definitely leans malty

M-Medium bodied...a little slick and sweet....carbonation is medium at best.

D-One of the better winter offerings out there....certainly top 25%...Never feels like a huge sipping style beer but there is no doubt this has some depth to it....

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Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Notches on the label indicate best before April 2012.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head that's not one to retain long before reducing to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mound of surface foam in the center. Above average lacing.

S- Has that glassy smell that I find in most dark Belgians. Also a touch of nutmeg-like spice.

T- Nice, toasty notes along with suggestions of dark fruit and raisin. Pretty much your standard dubbel but done quite well. Hints of caramel.

M- Lush and full but not necessarily thick. Medium carbonation.

O- Not too high in alcohol for a dubbel, but that's OK. It's great if you just want a dark Belgian that's easy to drink.

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Photo of Bung
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. A dark red/amber pour, but a good amount of light can get through. Miniscule white head. Sweet malt, raisin, biscuity aromas. Tastes a bit more red fruity than the nose, but still with some sweet malt and a bit of spicyness. Light medium bodied, finishes with a hoppy cleanliness. Drinkability is solid, the slight uptick in abv could make that a bit dangerous. Really not sure how this is a dubbel, but for me that is good since I don't care for them. Not a bad little winter warmer at all.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer was served a dark brown color with a little bit of ruby highlights when held to the light. Upon serving there was a one finger cream colored head that faded over a moderate amount of time to leave a lighter level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was sweet and fruity. Cherries, raisin, and a bit of apple were mixed with a caramel and brown sugar smell. With these aromas was a lighter roasted malt smell.

Taste – The flavor begins with a dark roasted brown bread and dark fruit flavor. While there are flavors of cherry and apple in the taste, they are much lighter then the nose would have let on. While supposedly brewed with no spices light spiced flavors quickly come to the tongue with them initially being of a more allspice and ginger flavor. Toward the end the flavor sweetens a bit with some caramel flavors coming to the tongue. These flavors are accompanied by a bitter cocoa and which when combined with the rest take the taste to its end.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer was average in terms of creaminess/thickness with a carbonation level that was rather average as well. A slightly thicker body may have been a bit better, but all in all the mouthfeel was fine.

Overall – A nice blend of malt, sweet fruit and sugar tastes. It is a rather balanced winter style ale that is well worth a try.

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Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber in color, moderate carbonation, cloudy, 1/3 inch head

Smell: toasted malt, bread, and tree bark

Taste: toasted malt, bread, sweet caramel, cinnamon, and small hops

Mouthfeel: semi-sweet, medium body with moderate/high carbonation

Drinkability: A good dubbel that I could have two or three of. I do like the breadiness of it. I would get this again.

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

The color is a hazy brown with mahogany hues. The head rests at just more than one finger. Retention is good and some patchy lacing sticks to the glass.
Some sweetness with a grains backing is on the nose, and there's a weird spiciness going on. That could possibly be attributed to a light spicing combined with the Trappist yeast. There is a touch of dark fruits here as well. Interesting is the proper word, I think.
This is nicely malty, with plenty of toasty breads. The funky spice-yeast combination is a little off, though. Otherwise it's a good brew, but I think too much thought went into making it winter-specific. There's a touch of clove and a light nip of alcohol as well.
Carbonation is at a medium level, which works for this one, keeping it from being flat and bland without making it spritzy. The body is medium with a nice thickness to it.
I'll take another, but there are winter-specific beers I'd pick up first.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown color with a tan head. In the aroma, vanilla, oaky(?), and a nice spice blend. In the taste, vanilla, cinnamon, oaky, and almost creamy. A small spice bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon and almost bourbon like aftertaste. Almost feels bourbon barreled, quite nice.

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