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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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888 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 888
Reviews: 471
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 12
Gots: 31 | 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)
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Ratings: 888 | Reviews: 471 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mklinger
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass. A 1 inch head formed of tan with hints of orange & dissipated quite quickly. The beer is a deep red color, not brown but red with brown highlights. A bit hazy with good visible carbonation.

Lots of caramel sweetness in the aroma mixed with some dark fruits and a hint of alcohol. This smells like a stronger beer than it is -- odd that. No real hop aroma to speak of.

Sweetness and again a bit of alcohol in the first taste. Also some lingering hop bitterness -- just to balance out the sweetness some. This beer drinks quite dry though. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for a Winter Ale (though not so much thin for a dubbel which this is described as). I really don't get much Belgian yeast character out of this as you'd expect for a "dubbel". Slight astringency on the finish.

Enjoyable though not exceptional beer. A session winter ale?

Photo of njmoons
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well after seeing the label I had to give it a try. It's like a beer for you Mom's unmarried sister coming for Christmas. Cracked me up.

As for the beer. It's OK.

It starts great. Looks good and has one of the best aroma's I have smelled in while.

But it suffered under in the taste test. A lot of complex flavors but they are overshadowed by the hops. I think this would be a great beer if another/or more moderate level of hopping was use. Yes, I know you hop heads will disagree, and I had no trouble finishing the beer.

Nice mouthfeel, maybe a little light for a winter ale.

The hop overpowered what seem a nicely complex beer for me.

Photo of berley31
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a small, white head that diminished slightly. Bosy is a dark ruby color, very clear. Very nice lacing was left behind in sheets on the sides of the glass.

S: Nice aroma, very malty and sweet, with some fruit notes in there as well.

T: Again, malty and sweet with a nice, smooth finish. Some chocolate is present in there too. The hops provide a nice balance but aren't very detectable. Interesting for a dubbel. Moderate duration for the flavor.

M: Medium-bodied, very creamy, with average carbonation.

D: This beer is very easy to drink, and a nice departure from the typical styles of winter brews.

Photo of sitarist
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by date of June-09

A- Pours deep brown, I can only see through it if I hold it to the light. One inch tan head, decent lacing.

S- Sexy and inviting. Candied fruits, dates,dark caramel,butterscotch,winter spice.There is an earthy note I cant place?

T- Raisins,figs,caramel,butterscotch. Flavors are thin but complex.

M- Well balanced body,carbonation,and flavor. Almost dances on my tongue. Nice long finish. Just a little thin or Id say perfect.

D- Even with all the sweet complex flavors; I could still throw down a sixer of these.

F.T.- Even though they label says this a winter ale; I could also enjoy this anytime with pasta, lamb, or beef, almost like a Shiraz Wine.

Photo of adamette
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I bought for $1.50 as a single from Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago. "best before" July, 2010 indicated on left side of label. Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

A Light brown creamy head over a brown body which glows a translucent mahogany in front of direct light. Some minimal lacing. 3.5

S Light to medium roast malt, possibly some light chocolate scents and some minimal hops. 3.0

T Nice light brown ale of medium roast malt, some hops. I do not taste the hint of chocolate that I thought that I picked up in the smell, maybe that was just a toasty, roasty smell. Solid tasting brown ale. 3.5

M Light to medium feel in a solid brown ale. 3.0

D Good. This beer went down very easily indeed. 4.0

Notes: This is classified as a Dubbel? Tastes more like a brown ale to me.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of david18
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see a winter ale at that low an alcohol by volume but pleased because it is winter and it was early in the day. So, perfect. It was as good as I had hoped and now knowing it's a dubbel makes a lot of sense. Good beer with good color, taste and mouthfeel.

Photo of irish
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty dark amber, without a big head. Smells surprisingly weak, with some caramelized sugars coming out.

The initial taste is pretty strong and lets you know its there, in a positive way. Its clearly an attention-getter. However, its got a bit of an odd lingering bitterness way back on the side of the tongue. Its an odd combination or perhaps hops and sweet malt that is just a bit too strong on the palate.

On the other hand, winter beers in general want to take your mind off the cold, and give you some robust flavors and a bit of alcoholic warmth to occupy your senses. And this beer does that indeed.

Photo of Katahdin
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a credible amount of head and rich, reddish brown color. The initial smell is a fruity/malty combination that belies the taste to come. The taste is much fuller than one would expect from such a beer and has hints of caramel and fruits with a spiciness in the after taste that is tough to pin down. There is a lingering taste of roasted nuttiness as well. A bit chewy but goes down relatively smooth. A great interpretation from Smuttynose

Photo of beerphan
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> american pint
best before March 2010 in notched on the label

Pours a clear deep copper with a wispy white head that settles down to a small island of dish suds. Patchy droopy lace dissolves quickly.

Nose: caramel, candy

Starts sweet with candied sugar and molasses. Thick malts continue to dominant with some chocolate, plum, and more sweet candy. Herbal hop presence on the back end with a welcome balancing bitterness. Good full body, finishes dry.

Highly quaffable dubbel. Thanks 4sburgh and the empire beer club.

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With a rather poor first impression with Smuttynose, and not being a Dubbel fan, I came into this review with low expectations. But, I was pleasantly surprised. Here is my review:

A: Pours a hazy, dark reddish brown. Has a nice glow when held up to the light. Head is just a light ring of roam around the edges. No lacing to speak.

S/T: The aroma is fruity, malty and spicy. A little caramel and brown sugar present. Taste is pretty decent and full, for such a low ABV brew. Lots of caramel and brown sugar upfront. The fruit is right there as well. Some raisin along with apple or maybe pear. A bit of spice in the backend.

M/D: Mouthfeel is pretty light. Somewhat fizzy. Drinks well due to the low alcohol. Not something I would session, but a good starter beer for the night.

I find this beer much more complex and enjoyable than their IPA. Not the best Dubbel around, but still a decent offering from Smuttynose. Worth a shot.

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark brown with some auburn/reddish highlights and a rather thin head. Its a but murky looking when held to the light and almost opaque.

Aroma - this beer has the aroma of many Belgian beers I've tried. The yeast provides a very original smell and the sweet malt aroma combines to really make you think Belgium. Toffee, brown sugar and a little sour/funk/earthiness.

Taste - sweet but not too sweet, dry but not too dry. Lots of fruity/estery notes. Apples, grapes and pear j uiciness combined with some toasty flavors. The yeasty earthiness provides that unique flavor reminiscent of many Belgians. Its a dubbel and it definitely tastes like one however it tastes a lot fresher than almost all of the Belgian dubbels I've had in my life. I can thank proximity to the brewery for that I guess.

Overall - great dubbel with lots of flavor even if it is a sub 5% beer. There aren't enough of these. Super easy drinking and a great example of the style done on this side of the Atlantic.

Would I buy more of it? - probably as part of a mixed pack but no need to buy a whole six-pack. Decent stuff but there are too many other beers out there.

Photo of beer2day
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with strong red tints. Very nice large bubbled two-finger head rests atop my pint glass. Laces very well.

Nose is dark brown sugar, biscuit, caramel, weak cocoa, and very faint spices. There's a bit of an unfinished quality to the nose, though, like there is something missing. Hard to put my finger on it, though. Enough bread and yeast come through to downgrade this some.

Sweet, malty hit on the tongue. Tart fruit kick in at the finish - mainly cherries with plums underneath. Bitters come up at the very end and finish the beer quite nicely.

Feel is about right for the style, especially considering the slightly lower abv.

Pretty easy to drink on a cold night. Would be easy to down a couple of these.

Photo of Clydesdale
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a somewhat hazy chestnut-red color. The fairly tall head has a light tan color and a dense, foamy texture. Retention is solid, with a fairly impressive matrix of lacing left on the glass.

S: Some fairly sweet caramel aroma is accompanied by some lightly tangy fruity/yeasty notes. There are mildly leafy/spicy hop characteristics as well. A nutty note is also present.

T: Some dark/caramel malt flavor, with a fair amount of sweetness. Hints of cocoa, nuts, and some overripe pears. A pleasant spicy/leafy hop flavor adds a nice balancing bitterness. Hints of cinnamon and smoke are also available.

M: Medium-full bodied, with light, creamy carbonation. A hint of chewiness adds a pleasant touch.

D: I'm struck by one word for this beer: pleasant. While not a world-class dubbel, this is a well-brewed, appealing winter brew with very nice balance. I wasn't especially impressed with Smuttynoses's Star Island Single, but their dubbel is a beter effort to be sure.

Photo of mrhiccups
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer upon a whim, as I usually drink IPA's, saw this brew in the front of the store, and decided, "What the hey". and gave it a shot. Drank this straight from the bottle, so I cannot comment on the appearance, but the smell is reminiscent of raisins, bread, malt and some spices, perhaps cinnamon, but very faintly. Goes down smooth, and has no unpleasant aftertaste to it whatsoever. An overall satisfying session beer, will definitely try this one again, gave me a nice brief break from my IPA's.

Photo of akorsak
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from a mixed six pack at Al's of Hampden.

A: The dubbel is an auburn color, showing off orange and brown hues. Dark enough to be opaque, the ale is just light enough to allow for shadows. A thin off-white head left minimal patches of lace.

S: The nose is pleasant, mildly sweet with raisins appearing prominently. Light coffee notes are also present, surprising me.

T: The bready malt base really stands out in the first sip, followed by the dark sweetness of the dubbel. Coffee and carob mix with raisins and a subtle Belgian yeast strain. I like the English mild description that augustgarage used.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet and malty, a warming taste that fits nicely in the season. I'm not in love, but it's a good beer for a cold January night.

D: I like that this dubbel won't put me to sleep. A nice beer for tonight.

Photo of augustgarage
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from ShogoKawada (thanks!) from this great East Coast brewery. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Trappistes Rochefort goblet.

Dark, almost bole colored body with rufous and bronze highlights, capped by a small, trembling, soapy beige head of foam. Modest retention, and sticky lacing.

Malt, toast, faint raisin, and a slight spicy aroma akin to cinammon and flowers (must be the Crystal hops).

Not much yeast to speak of on the palate - instead more of the same subtle spice and clumsy malt which brings to mind more of an English Mild than it does a Belgian Dubbel. Slight trail-mix (fruits and nuts) blend suggested in the finish. Maybe a hint of diacetyl.

Fairly effervescent, and a bit creamy which offsets the light-bodied nature of the beer.

The low ABV makes this a truly sessionable winter warmer, but weighed against style, this is another domestic bastardization of a Trappist classic.

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice head on this brew, and an interesting hue for a 'Dubbel', as well.

S - Brown malt, slight yeasty ester, big piney hop.

T - It basically tastes as it smells, with a richness conveyed through the yeast and alcohol.
Well balanced.

M - Medium-bodied brown ale, nothing special

D - Drinkable, but not preferable in particular.

Photo of djeffbee
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Quotations Pub - New Years Day 2010.

A: Deep murky, ruby red with a nice white head. A thin lacing.

S: Roasted, sweet, malty and fitting for a seasonal. Low hop presence, but nice.

T: Roasted, sweet, malty and fitting for a seasonal. Has some character resembling a dubbel, but lower in alcohol. Some nutty flavors in the finish.

M: Fairly thin with a decent finish and good carbonation.

D: Good winter ale, no crazy spices, and with the low ABV it's super drinkable. I think it being classified as a dubbel may be a bit off.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Body is a murky medium brownish red hue that pours with a 1-2 finger head. Head fades to a thick collar. Some lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-Nose is mild but has the typical spices of a winter warmer with cinnamon and nutmeg faintly noticeable.

T- Flavor has winter ale written all over it. Mild spices suck as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg upfront. These are the highlight of the flavor and you can taste them the whole way through. A hint of floral hops and the associated bitterness afterward.

M- High carbonation and light body with a slightly chalky consistency.

D- This is a good, classic example of a winter/ Christmas beer. Its certainly spiced but not cloyingly so. Worth a try

Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Winter pours much darker than I anticipated, a deep coppery amber that glows softly, a whitish heads builds quickly and falls quickly leaving some creamy lacing that sheet back down the sides of the glass.

The aroma is soft amber malts and mellow fruits with a faint spicy scent.

The flavor is mellow fruit and soft bready malts. Apples,pears and plums all fully ripe and sun warmed mixed with raisins. A light spiciness weaves in and out as well with a muted hop background. Warming is very important for this beer if it has been chilled to refrigerator temperatures.

Mouthfeel is medium, lightly creamy, soft and very smooth.

Smuttynose may not be a high ABV winter warmer but it is a warming and comforting beer nonetheless. It's like an old flannel shirt or your favorite chair throw. I often lament that we do not get as many seasonals as we should so I am glad I picked up this from Smuttynose!

Photo of bob3701
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Nice dark amber color with little head that rapidly disappears and no lacing. Nice light spicy aroma. Great sweet and spicy flavor but in no means is it overbearing. Dark fruit flavors (plum?)nutmeg and clove in it. Slight sour finish. This was a very wonderful surprise.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Poured a nice bubbly deep reddish amber...thin head with loose lacing.

S - Some fruits and spices. Not overly strong odor.

T - Nutmeg jumps out at me along with plum. Pleasant after-taste. Pretty tasty.

M - Even carbonation with a good balance of flavor.

D - This is a pretty drinkable beer. Not my favorite, but I wouldn't turn one down. Certainly worth a try.

Photo of burnstar
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark murky copperish brown with a small off white head that recedes quickly. Smell is spicy and fruity malt with a bit of a yeast note. Nice malty flavor with some fruit and spicy complexity. Toasty and caramel. Some herbal hops also. Nice underlying sweetness. Pretty balanced and tasty. Medium bodied and smooth. Very easily drinkable. A solid winter beer.

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

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

Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 888 ratings.