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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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816 Ratings
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Ratings: 816
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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Ratings: 816 | Reviews: 468 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Amalak

New York

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

This has a black cherry look to it with a big, foamy, off-white head that leaves a ton of lacing. Basically, opaque.

There's a bit of a graham cracker taste underneath that mixes well with the malt. It's very crisp and basically smooth, with a mild carbonation to it. There's something a bit off, that detracts just slightly. I can't put my finger on it. But it's a bit stale. Yet, it's flavorful and worth a go.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 02:21:45 | More by Amalak
Photo of Scourge07


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

A: Deep, murky amber/red-orange color. 1/2-1 finger of a cream colored head that dissipates quickly. Decent amount of lacing on glass upon consumption.

S: Sweet candy, sweet malts, slight bitter scent

T: Again, candy and malt. Very mild hop bitterness. Subtle caramel taste. Not really tasting much chocolate, like some of the other reviewers are. Mild spiciness.

M: The mouthfeel is the best part this beer. It's extremely smooth and creamy, and very enjoyable to drink overall. Moderate carbonation

O: Very nice to drink! I like the sweet flavor, which is delicately balanced by a bit of bitterness from the hops. AT just 5.1%, I could easily see myself enjoying a few of these on a cold winter night by the fire. Only downside is, I was expecting a bit more spice character. Nevertheless, pick it up if you get the chance!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 04:05:23 | More by Scourge07
Photo of homebrew311


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

Poured into NB snifter.

A: pours a deep maroon with ruby highlight, not much light passage, tannish brown head, decent lacing

S: nose has candied grape qualities along with a slightly buttery (not like diacetyl) middle and candied sugar on the end

T: taste features mellow banana and spice along with grapes and cherries, a bit of sweetness in the middle is countered with yeast on the end, the yeast gives the beer a slightly chalky taste on the end

MF: medium body, high carbonation

O: some nice things going on here, doesn't quite achieve the authentic Belgian dubbel flavor, a little lacking in the balance department.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 02:12:08 | More by homebrew311
Photo of dorianmarley


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose have the best labels, period. They look like ads from a 1960's Esquire.

Appearance is dark brown/red, with a tan pancake head and nice lacing.

Nose is sour and somewhat stale.

Taste is cocoa, toasted malt, and a candy tartness. Tastes like a winter porter, but without the porter mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel is chalky, like crushed cocoa; fades into a nice creaminess. Medium carbonation.

Overall, the smell is wack but the taste is great. A hardy brew for winter months.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 04:45:00 | More by dorianmarley
Photo of akk101


3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - Dark brown color, short lived head. Bottle labeling isn't the most appealing

T - Slight hop prescence

M - A drinkable beer but lacking in carbonation

O - Not bad. I feel that overall flavor and aroma are light. Nothing really stands out. This beer would best be suited as a winter session ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 02:17:57 | More by akk101
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 05:42:25 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of JustinAniello


4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown with a three finger foamy head. Reddish copper shows when being held to the light. Subsides to nice cap and light lacing.

S - Milk chocolate and malts takes up the majority of the aroma. I feel there are spices there, but I can't tell which ones.

T - Caramel at first with a mild milk chocolate that grows as you swallow. A cherry flavor far in the background, now that I have tasted it, I would say there is a little in the scent as well. Slight hop bitterness on the aftertaste.

M - Moderate body and carbonation, good for the style.

O - This is a very good winter beer. Nice flavor, while still having some subtle undertones of fruit. Good to warm up on a cool winter night.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 00:36:39 | More by JustinAniello
Photo of Duff27


3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Half-inch fizzy tan head on a brown beer. Minimal head retention and nearly no lacing.

S- Off vanilla, cola whiffs. "Dessert-y"

T- More cola, grapes, and to a lesser extent chocolate. Well integrated flavors. Drinks stronger than 5.1% Growing on me the more I drink it.

M- Smooth tiny-bubbled carbonation. Good mouthfeel...maybe my favorite part about this brew.

D/O- Yeah, I know it's after the "Best Before" date...I took a chance on a single and I don't think it turned out that badly. Didn't know what style or ABV this was when I bought it...hoping for an 8% winter warmer but this didn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 04:31:06 | More by Duff27
Photo of TMoney2591


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 05:14:53 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of DirtyPenny


2.9/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by July 2011. Quick, into my pint glass before it's too late!

A: Short, dishwater/off-white head that melted in under a minute. A cloudy mahogany with red wine highlights.

S: Malt and spices. Getting a mulled wine vibe from this.

T: Yep, a bit of sweet mulled wine, spices and... raisin? Plum? Something definitely dark and fruity. Faint hops and warming alcohol finish each sip. The combination just doesn't quite work. Flavors aren't really complimenting one another, just sort of lining up and taking their turns on the way down. Finish is a little harsh. Moreso after you've had a few sips.

M: Medium and a little like wine-like.

O: Eh. Maybe a fresher bottle would be better? Maybe not. The flavors were richer than they needed to be, and you'd think that time would actually mellow this.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 00:06:33 | More by DirtyPenny
Photo of Knapp85


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 20:00:10 | More by Knapp85
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 JohnSki13


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

Purchase over the winter along with a number of other beers. This is my first review of a beer. We’ll see how it goes.

Appearance – Poured into a pint glass. The beer is a deep mahogany/carmel color. Lacey head with a slight cream or light beige color. A medium amount of carbonation remains after sitting in the glass for a few minutes. A thin trace of the head remains as well.

Aroma - Sweet, malty aroma which is a bit of what I expected when pouring this beer. Not overbearing but definitely a strong presence. A slight scent of raisins and figs can be picked up in the ackground.

Taste – A sweet and malty aroma with a slightly burnt taste. Very mild hop presence with a slight bitter taste in the beginning of the sip. The malty flavors fade away leaving the hop and slight burnt aftertaste (This is not a bad thing). A balanced combination of flavors in this beer give this beer a complex but not overwhelming taste.

Texture – The carbonation catches the tongue and inside the mouth and sticks with the beer throughout the sip.

This beer is a bit on the lighter side of winter ales I have had but I tend to think a lot of the winter ales I have had tend to be a bit overspiced so this beer I enjoyed. The beer is a little bit much for a session beer but I can see myself having a few of these in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 04:58:35 | More by JohnSki13
Photo of engagechad


4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a single from Whole Foods in Short Pump/Glen Allen, VA - poured into DFH snifter - drink by may of 2011(now)

Pours a ruby mahogany color with a fat white head, leaves good lacing. Smells malty and spicy (i'm not familiar with the style so i looked it up). Taste follows, incredibly smooth, I found myself having to pace it a bit.

Overall this is a good beer. Worthy of spreading to other folks who may or may not be familiar with the style. Would be a great party beer to bring and have others enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 14:19:35 | More by engagechad
Photo of DrinkingDrake


3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lighter brown with a subtle redness. A thick amount of light tan head. Head dissipated quickly and left a ring around the glass. Caramel and lightly chocolate malt and toasted biscuit. A fruity backing that is faint. A light earthy hop aroma.
The flavor is more complex than expected for how light the mouthfeel is. Some earthy prune/grapes underneath a biscuit/toasted chocolate base. A dry finish with not that much hop character. Just a dryness that doesn't cloy and with a lighter body a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 03:19:45 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of gford217


3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany that shows through clear copper with a thick beige head on top. Lacing and retention are impressive.

Sweet fruity nose, lots of esters, but not nearly what you'd expect from a dubbel. Hints of spices with caramel malts.

Lightly roasted caramel malts with some fruity yeast, but, again, it's much more a brown ale than a dubbel. Chocolate and faint dry spices in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied for a dubbel and very roasty with less carbonation than I was expecting.

This is a good beer but not really in the conversation of solid dubbels. Nice winter brown though.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 03:26:16 | More by gford217
Photo of ngeunit1


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

A - Pours a cloudy dark reddish-brown color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head retention is very good leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet lighted toasted caramel malts and some dark fruit aromas. There is also some spices and some yeast with a touch of brown sugar in the background.

T - Starts off with some light fruit flavor and some sweet roasted caramel malts. There is also some spices in the background. Through the middle some yeast and some hops come through with just a touch of brown sugar sweetness. The finish is a mix of caramel malt sweetness and some light fruits that lingers with a touch of spice.

M - Feels medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly dry with just a hint of syrupy feeling in the finish. Smooth and crisp.

D - Very drinkable. The flavor are nicely balanced and the spices do not get out of control. Overall a really nice winter beer that is more than just spices. Could have used a touch more body.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 23:04:03 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 00:12:18 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of happy4hoppybeer


4.53/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark brown, at first appears black,but when held up to light,is shiny and is exposed as a very dark brown/copper, with thin white head,leaving moderate lacing.

Smell is dry, very thin. Faint traces of roasted malt,little else.

Very good sweetness hits the tongue. Sweetness of nice, pleasant roasted dark malt. Maybe some light toffee/caramel to go with it. A pleasant medium,highly carbonated body,with flavors coming through the heavy carbonation.

Not sure if this is a dubbel or not, as it does not claim to be one on the label and I never had a dubbel before,but regardless a very good and tasty yet sessionable brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 20:53:29 | More by happy4hoppybeer
Photo of rinhaak


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

12 oz. bottle poured in a tulip glass.

Pours a dark red - almost like a rich grape juice - with a nice one finger head. The nose is strong with hops, pear, malts, and vaguely sour berries. A complex beer in the mouth, it has a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel. Spicy hops balance out coffee malts. It's just a hair sweet, and there are hints of black cherry, baking spices, and the tiniest taste of citrus. A nice long malty finish concludes the beer.

A lovely winter session ale that I could drink all night. Well balanced, it really warms the soul.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 01:05:57 | More by rinhaak
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 05:39:35 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of smakawhat


4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a chalice. Good till May 2011, we are good to go.

Pours a nice off tan colored two finger head. Some retention and puck like consistency to it. Body is a nice dark cherry color, with great blood red hues.

Malty sweet denseness of dried fruit cake. Hints of yeasty bread dough. Smells like boxed soft chocolate chip cookies or something. Real neat, kind of enjoyable.

Dense sweet malt with cherries and chocolate. Slightly drying in the palate, but a great body with some good density. Mouthfeel is almost watery but not quite, the bready/malt seems to beef it up just enough.

This is a real interesting take on this style, the low abv makes it real enjoyable and super easy to drink. This feels like a Christmas winter beer for sure, it hints of Black Forest German Chocolate cake with the artificial cherry on top. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 20:59:25 | More by smakawhat
Photo of rjochman


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown with a hint of red color. Has a very small amount of brownish white head that dissipates very quickly. Leave little to no lacing on the glass. The smell has toasted malts with a sweet brown sugar tones as well. Taste goes with the smell and has a good amount of spice to it. Has medium carbonation and creamy feel to the texture. Pretty drinkable and a good winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 02:30:37 | More by rjochman
Photo of vandemonian


4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale is brown in colour and has a nice 5 mm head than fades into a little bit of lacing in a minute or so. The smell is malty with some toffee. The initial taste was quite mild, but quickly develops into malt and roastiness. The aftertaste is roasty with some yeast flavour. This beer is really creamy and goes down very easily.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 04:14:05 | More by vandemonian
Photo of SickGnar


3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Robust brown, trending dark with burnt umber highlights. Rather cloudy and hazy. Rocky, light tan head with decent lace.

S: Estery & fruity nose with mostly dark fruits. Just hints at being Belgian. Toasty bread crust, toffee, and roasty malts with an underlying light crystal sweetness.

T: Quite fruity - red plums, raisins, prunes and hints of tart cherry. All layered over toasty, toffee, and bread crust malts. Roasty, but less so than color might indicate. An underlying caramel and light molasses sweetness. Belgian yeast note is rather restrained, mostly fruity with really light peppery / spicy notes. Hops are mild, coming through in the finish as herbal & woody.

M: average body with tightly bubbled & lively carbonation. An ever so slightly semi-sweet finish yet slightly powdery too.

D: Robustly malty, fruity & smooth. Very approachable and almost dangerously quaffable. Almost dessert like in the flavor profile, but with out being heavy or even particularly rich. Balanced, hearty, yet refined - more emphasis on malty & fruity with a rounded sweetness and a rather restrained Belgian character (more Belgian amber than an actual dubbel).

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 12:37:53 | More by SickGnar
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.