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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

480 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 480
Hads: 968
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 14
Gots: 61 | FT: 2
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: 480 | Hads: 968
Photo of KTCamm
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark reddish brown, thick retained head of white foam. Sticky. Strong dark fruity nose, some spices. Strong fruity taste. Somewhat of a masked hop at the close. Mellow malty flavor. Almost a red wine flavor too. Really flavorful. Nice spin on winter. (310 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, clear, hazelnut coloring with a sparse, filmy white coating on the surface. Aromas of roasty nut and biscuit in the backbone, with a solid spicing of nutmeg and cinnamon rounding out the sweet, rich flavors. Some fruity highlights in the back of the nose, also. Flavors of deep, dark, old world fruit, including prune and date, with an earthy undertone that keeps the richness in check. Spicing takes a backseat, but is present enough to perk the taste buds out of the sweetness shock by the end of the palate. Sweet and spicy blend on the aftertaste, which is fairly shortlived despite the robust initial flavors. The beer is smooth and round, but the spicing and carbonation does well to keep it light in mouth. Frothy, slightly sweet lingering finish. Very tasty. (831 characters)

Photo of ColdWaffles
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, dark amber with a tannish/off-white head.

Smell: Could be the bottle, but I'm not picking up much. Maybe some vanilla.

Taste: Reminds me a lot of Harpoon Dark. Definitely vanilla, but not much else in terms of spice. It is sweet, but not too sweet. Really makes me want some nice cheddar cheese. This is a relaxer, and something I would definitely enjoy Christmas day if I had cases available in my market.

Mouthfeel: Smooth! Yet still pretty carbonated. Very nice drink. Easily the best quality of this beer.

Like I said, I'd probably have this for the family if it was more widely available in my market. I can imagine this being a good holiday beer for "average" drinkers. I like it well enough either way. (787 characters)

Photo of Chadpaq
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased recently at Lighthouse Beer and Wine in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Must plug this place every time, regardless of how deaf the ears to which said plug falls upon are. Great store.

Dark Amber; translucent; a shiny Tootsie Roll. The creamiest head--a single finger--that receded quickly, but which left a milky, frothy film on the surface like a cup of hot chocolate. O yea, this is a Winter beer.

Chocolatey, in spite of everything. I think I even smell a Tootsie Roll. Subtle; no alcohol. Guess it isn't the highest gravity brew out there, but any minutiae of booze is completely masked. I don't know too much about Dubbels, but I have to believe this is on the more subtle end of their spectrum. In that regard, it's a preference thing. In my opinion, the subtle chocolatey scent works well for this beer.

It really tastes like--and I know I'm dwelling on this, but it really tastes like Tootsie Rolls! Delicious. I've been sipping for ten minutes, and only now am I beginning to feel a little warmth in my chest. This is welcomed, pleasant, and--yes!--subtle. This is no bourbon. There's no alcohol on the palate, but the near-six percent emerges a little after ten minutes' worth of drinking, not on the tongue but in the heart. It's getting colder out there, even in North Carolina. This is the right beer for tonight.

As creamy as the previously-mentioned hot chocolatey film atop the beer would imply. Smooth, subtle carbonation. Thick, pushing viscous. Satisfying. Full, yet somehow, not heavy.

This beer's worth drinking several times over the holidays. (1,574 characters)

Photo of BrownAleMale
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- A cloudy dark brown with a finger and a half of tan head that dissipates into a thin layer on the walls of the glass. Very small amount of spotty spotty lacing.

Smell- A bubblegum scent is what 1st hits me then is followed by a fruity(banana)ester and some carmel and chocolate undertones.

Tatse- Just like the nose Im getting this fruity bubblegum flavor. Im not really getting to much malt flavors, and different in flavor then anything Ive ever had.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a good amount of carbonation and a semi dry finish. Very drinkable!

Overall- Doesnt seem really winter like, but I enjoy the unique flavors. The flavor and smell on this beer might have been the most difficult for me to ID, but it is very tasty! (794 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-nice cloudy brown with a thin cream colored head

S-not much going on except a faint scent of belgian sugars and caramel. maybe a hint of vanilla somehow. not much here.

T-comes in with an oddly aged flavor of peppery grains. it is not a flavor i love. it just tastes off. to me, this tastes like an american dubbel way past its prime. i'm really not a big fan of this.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-I don't like this. it doesn't taste like a good dubbel. it's an odd dubbel, even for an American brewery. I expect more from Smutty. it almost tastes adjunct to me. (595 characters)

Photo of SerialHiker
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, deep mahogany…very dense…some head did form, but only a light layering remained…(4/5)

Smell: Sweet fig, brown sugar…think more sweet brown sugar smell than normal sweet cherry rock candy…apparent alcohol heat…mild malt, caramel, yeast and cream also…overall, a nice aroma…(3.5/5)

Taste: Fantastic taste! Very similar to the nose, candy sweetness, dark fruit, brown sugar, sweet malts and alcohol heat…there is subtle citrus flavor…smooth, rich, dark malt base…a hint of creaminess…warming spices come late, but finish brew nicely…(4/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to full carbonation…really, great feel on my tongue…smooth with very little residual taste…(3.5/5)

Overall: This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas winter warmer seasonals I’ve had to date…outstanding flavor, mixed it just right and I have to say, I like the darker malts used here…nothing is overdone and everyone seems to know their roles…the nose could awaken a bit more and if it were a little heavier, this would be an unbeatable brew…as it is, it’s highly recommended for your next Christmas party and with it’s relatively low ABV, I certainly could drink this all night and be merry (and competent)…(4/5) (1,268 characters)

Photo of TimmyL
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip
A- Nut brown in color, tan head, average lacing.
S- A little light, nothing spectacular.
T- Sweet malt taste. Honey, some brown sugar, caramel. Slight bitter finish.
M- Lighter than I would expect.
O- Decent. Would have again but wouldn't seek out. (276 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a chalice.

L - deep chestnut brown color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring leaving minimal lacing.

S - tootsie roll and earthiness.

T - sweet dark fruit with a hint of chocolate finishing dry and prickly.

F - medium bodied with lively carbonation, it goes down easy.

O - a pleasant brew. (325 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before 04/11/13

A: Pours a ruby red color with a fingers worth of off-white head

S: Get the Trappsit yeast with plenty of dark fruits and maltiness. Has some sweetness from the candi syrup

T: Follows the nose, starts off with the fruitiness and the malts and goes into a light roasty character. Finishes dry

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nice American-style dubbel with a nice Belgian flair. Nothing outstanding about this, but it is a nice winter beer. It is also readily available through the colder months, so that helps as well (572 characters)

Photo of HarryPotHead
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first go round with this brewery and it wasn't a bad one....this is a decent but not great winter ale.

A - Pours dark brown / red around the edges into a traditional pint glass. A "not so soft" pour yielded a two finger off-white head that hung around for a few minutes...long enough for me to snap a photo with my phone and send it to a friend who was working late...you know, just to rub it in cause that's what friends do right?

S - Expected more of one. LOL! Nothing real pronounced with this one. Very subtle hints of caramel with an earthy scent. Not overpowering or in your face...nice, but lacking complexity.

T - Again not the most complex. Very "safe" for a winter seasonal. I expected more of a robust character...something that would "put hair on your chest"!

M - Smooth with just the right amount of carbonation....kind of thin though. Could stand to be a little heavier.

Overall - Not a bad beer AT ALL! I enjoyed this beer....as I do most (it is beer...duh!) and I'm ready for another. Very easy to drink albeit one dimensional, but I won't hold that against it. I did expect more for a winter brew but was not disappointed. Nice ABV for the price ($9.99 for six here in Maryland). BEER!! (1,212 characters)

Photo of BenjaminBlondbeard
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale poured a dark brown from a bottle into my pint glass. A half inch ivory head shrank quickly. In the light the ale is a clean deep ruby brown with sparse but steady bubbles rising to the top.

It doesn't have a strong smell. Some sweet malty notes, caramel, and dark fruit.

Surprisingly it is on the light side of medium bodied beer. There is a nice even carbonation that livens up the intake. It coats the mouth, but is not syrupy. It leaves light lacing on the glass that doesn't stay around for too long.

First tastes are subtle plumb and fig like fruit flavors, and then some sweet roasted malts, with a light hop spice that wraps it all up. The hop spice cuts the sweet malt like a sly bitter ninja; not overpowering, but exacting. It fades away quickly, but lingers in the shadows to enjoy the well balanced finish. The hop and malt flavors linger with now toffee notes, along with the fruit, sweet malt, and very stealthy hop spice.

Not a typical "Winter" ale. I suppose it is more a "Dubbel," as noted in the description on this page. It is very nice for a cold winter night, but not one I would consider for the winter beer hall of fame. (1,173 characters)

Photo of danronian
3.31/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance -Dark beer with a small head that quickly goes away, some lingering foam, but little carbonation rising from the top.

Smell - Roasted smell and somewhat sweet. Not a lot of smell coming off of this beer.

Taste - Smooth, somewhat sweet, but strong. The burnt, malty taste is prominent and fruitiness is secondary. Sweet finish that is pleasant tasting.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with a lot of taste, and little carbonation. The after-taste is burnt and lingering.

This is a good beer that is warming, tasty, but not something I could drink more than one of a night. Good winter beer. (591 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (932 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip at cellar temperature.

L - Ruby brown with a 3-finger bubbly light tan head. Decent retention, but fades without much lacing.

S - A little bit of sweet caramel malt but mostly brown sugar and dark fruit aromas that give just a tiny bit of tartness to the smell. Possibly the tiniest hint of earthy or floral hops.

T - Sugar, cherry, and plum sweetness that just scratches the surface of sour. Finishes with a nice and smooth bitter taste with cocoa and floral hop notes. There’s a little bit of spice at the finish, as well.

F - Medium-bodied, pretty good carbonation, and a really nice dry finish. Sweetness and tartness from the fruits hangs around for a little while along with a pleasant mouth-drying sensation.

O - For the price, the convenience, and the ABV, this is a great Dubbel. It doesn’t look as good as real Trappist Dubbels or have the great aroma and taste nuances of Belgian yeast, but you really can’t go wrong with this one. Very tasty and drinkable beer. (1,017 characters)

Photo of pvsob
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown color with ruby highlights. Large fluffy head (light tan) that has great retention and leaves nice lacing.

S- Figs, caramel, damp earth, bready malt, some clove, black pepper, and Belgian yeast.

T- Toasted malt, faint coffee/chocolate, cherries, hint of ripe banana, raisins, and a slight spiciness in the finish.

M- Medium feel with medium-high carbonation.

O- A rather tasty American version of a Dubbel. Worth a try if you haven't had it before. Recommended. Cheers. (487 characters)

Photo of mscudder
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I recently picked up a case of this beer and after downing a few I decided to sit down and give this Dubbel a proper review. Best before May 2012, poured into a Newcastle Schooner.

A - Hazy light brown poured with a large light tan head. Fair retention, leaving behind some lacing. Has a ruby like hue that really helps its cause.

S - Nothing strong going on in this department. Some malts showing through and some dark fruit, although less than I would like to see. I feel there is a a few spices lingering in the background, but they are far from prominent.

T - Shows up strong with some nice roasted malts up front followed by some sweetness dominated by cherries. The conclusion of the brew is ever so slightly bitter, which adds a bit of complexity. I must say for a Dubbel I purchased on sale for under $5 a sixer, I do not hesitate in saying this is the best taste per my dollar I have ever had.

M - My personal favorite part of the brew. The body is pretty thick for Dubbel, probably on the high medium end. The malts form a fine backbone for the tastes to permeate. Rich and smooth, with a nice little light kick near the end. Superb.

O - Overall this is a fine brew that I relish for the price I got them at. Not the best Dubbel by a long stretch, but I do not think I would be disappointed if a friend offered me one, particularly on a nice winter afternoon. (1,375 characters)

Photo of greenmonstah
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into Belgian flute

A - Pours a ruby-brown with a finger of tan head. Decent retention.

S - Sweet dark fruit -- raisin, brown sugar. Not much else. Cherry cola.

T - Cocoa is introduced to the mix. A bit of nutmeg, brown sugar, and raisin. Not bad. Very pleasant on a cold winter day.

M - Medium body, a bit sticky sweet. Average carbonation. A bit drying in the finish.

O - Overall a good, drinkable beer. Nice for winter. A drinkable, available, and flavorful beer that would satisfy anyone on a cold night. (525 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from my fridge. Poured into a stemmed beer glass. Light leather brown color. Slight head, but that faded quickly. Not much lacing, which was surprising. Smell had a nice aroma of dark fruit and raisins. Taste was a combination of caramel, fig, and brown sugar. Very light though; would have liked a more upfront flavor. And the mouthfeel was on the thin side. This is a nice winter ale brewed like a dubbel. A solid local winter offering. (452 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (best by April 2012) poured into a Tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with a light tan persistent thin (1/16") head across the top. Plenty of persistent lacing in strands, sheets, and islands. When held up to the light, cloudy brown with some orange and coppery notes.

Smell: Mild fruit (raisin) with maybe some mild herbal hops in there. Not a lot going on in the aroma dept even with a good swirl.

Taste: Roasted malt, hints of coffee, raisin, caramel, barest hint of pine hops towards the end. Sweet, but balanced by the bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but borderline fizzy and a bit to spicy on the tongue, although it cleanses the palate. Nice thickness with a bit of a lingering on the teeth but not for long. Bit of a dry finish.

Overall / Drinkability: Nice beer - not a lot going on in the aroma department but good appearance and taste. Interesting combination of flavors and not quite like any Dubbel I've had before, but I will say it works as a winter beer - warming and enjoyable even though the alcohol is just a hair above 5%. Glad I picked one up on sale but not sure if I would buy a six pack of it. That being said, if another one was available I would probably have it again, so good drinkability. (1,259 characters)

Photo of mooseo
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Dark brown-black with a 1" tan head.

S - Roasted malt, brown sugar, allspice. A hint of toffee.

T - Toffee roasted malt up front, followed by dark fruit and Belgian yeast. Very sweet throughout, although not cloying. A slight hop bite towards the end.

M - Lots of carbonation, medium-thick in body. Creamy and slick.

O - I enjoyed this beer. It has a nice Belgian yeast/dark fruit character that is balanced nicely with the roasted malt and spices. Very drinkable brew. (509 characters)

Photo of Yoda22
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear dark amber/light brown. 1 finger of head that quickly dissipates. Some light lacing.

S- Sweet brown sugar scent, dark fruits, not too overpowering. No real hop presence.

T- Toffee / roasted malt up front with lingering sweetness reminiscent of the smell. Good combo.

M- Medium to full body with medium carbonation.

O- Very good all around. A nice winter beer with good balance between the malts and flavors, light hopping that is barely noticeable but must be present to balance things out. (513 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (725 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've passed this over for years thinking it was a spiced winter ale, well today I fixed that and bought a bottle. Pours a deep clear shade of orange garnet with a bubbly beige head that displays remarkable retention but spotty lace. Smells of spice, pepper, and caramel with hints of dark dried fruits. Sweet sugary flavor is highlighted by caramel and sweet reduced fruit syrup. Hints of spice, and Belgian esters, but not to much for my palette. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy mouthfeel. Decent brew, surely not the best dubbel in the world, but very respectable. Time to check out some more brews I've been avoiding. (665 characters)

Photo of brureview
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good everyday winter beer. The most prominent features of the beer are its tangy mouthfeel, and its finish: hints of chocolate with a slight bitterness. The notes in this beer are better brought out when served warmer. Overall, a good daily beer, but not with a distinctive character.

Update 4-6-12: I had a few bottles stored in the fridge for the about two months. Within the last few weeks, I drank both bottles- and there is quite a difference in the taste. The first bottle had an excellent chocolate finish, and the second bottle had a pleasant lemon finish mixed with chocolate.

I also drank both bottles warmer, and the temperature along with sitting in the fridge for two months made a big difference.

I am upgrading my rating of the beer to 4.0 overall. (776 characters)

Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.