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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 TLove
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%

(From Notes)

Great session beer, supremely drinkable.

Maroon brown appearance with 1 1/2 finger cream head. Subtle smells of brown sugar, sweet malts, and crisp fruits such as apples, caramel, and molasses, which pour over to the taste. Nice, malty tastes with a touch of apple and citrus. Crisp and extremely drinkable, with a rounded, well-balanced taste all the way through.

Really great late fall beer that really exceeds my expectations, even from Smuttynose. Not as well-constructed as some other and not really fit to be considered a "dubbel", but worth the small investment.

TLove, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of Zorro
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%

Clear reddish brown beer with a good light brown colored head.

Smell is sweet malt and lightly spiced. Dark bread scents with cinnamon and ginger.

The taste starts out malty and a little sweet but not as much as I might have thought from the smell. Dark bread and lightly spiced this is sort of like toned down German Christmas cake. Mildly bitter this is more or less spiced Brown Ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

A good drinkable ale that I could see drinking next holiday season.

Sampled through the effortsBentkentk56 and Secret Bunny 09 BIF.

Zorro, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass.

Pours a dark copper, clear, with a one finger creamy off-white head.

Nose is oddly a little hot, very estery, sweet, fruity, a bit hard to pin down. Not impressive.

Flavor starts out with an odd, fruity dark malt note. Slightly yeasty, a bit of anise, lightly roasty. As it progresses, the slightly hot fruity notes come out more, with notes of cherry and currant hiding out alongside a weird almost buttery flavor - diacetyl in a dubbel? Really?

Mouthfeel is a bit undercarbonated, kind of light and slick. Odd beer, from a brewery that I normally put way up on a pedestal. Felt like it never really grabbed an identity. The oddly buttery diacetyl note killed it for me, without that, add another letter grade at least.

JohnQVegas, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of bsend
3.9/5  rDev +6%

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

The beer pours a rich dark brown color. A nice 1 finger white head forms with a correct pour. Holding it up to the light is awesome. Instead of being opaque you get an absolutely gorgeous amber color.

The beer smells good too! We are treated to deep malt, sweet brown sugar and fruit (New England Fall apples mostly).

The taste is great too. Light on the alcohol for the 6.8% abv, the rest speaks for itself. Wonderful play of sugar mixed harmoniously with the malt. A nice tasting winter brew.

The mouthfeel is just average. I would expect a little more viscousity and complexity but I was still treated to a decent experience.

The drinkability it there. Next time I see a 12 of this in the winter I will pick it up. A session beer for sure.

Final Thoughts - I keep changing my thoughts on Smutty Nose. This beer is wonderful. Definitely different from some of the winter offerings. Smutty Nose, I am beginning to love you more and more every day.

bsend, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of sprucetip
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%

I wonder how many Smutty's have been consumed in Alaska? This one was honored by being poured into a Midnight Sun goblet, where it looked very inviting. It was medium brown, but deep copper when held to light, and clear. Decent tan head with retention faded to a film and ring. Spotty lacing. SMELL is of a bunch of things at once. Sweet caramel malty, lightly roasty, grainy, nutty, fruity esters and it has some legs. TASTE is smooth and balanced. Sweet caramel malty flavors are backed and balanced by a respectable hop presence. It is a bit boozy, nutty and fruity. Tasty and fairly complex. FEEL is moderately strong tingling early on, too much I thought. It seemed to fade later. Body is medium full with a pleasant rich texture emerging before the clean finish with some restrained bitterness and dryness. OVERALL yum. Very easy to toss this one back. Many of the categories were close to being scored one step up. I liked it alot.

sprucetip, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%

Thanks goes out to Wasatch for this one in our last trade!
12oz bottle.

A: Deep red/brown with a light tan cap of about half an inch or so, doesn't stick around long, slightly cloudy. Really nice mahogany in color. Big time gobs of lacing all around this beer. Nice looking beer.

S: Roasted caramel malts, sweet burnt sugars, brown sugar, slight booze smell too, has a few hints of red apples. Nice smelling beer.

T: Caramel sweetness, big time roasted malt character, lots of sweetness in this one, a faint hint of citrus hops at the end. Really a tasty beer. I really like this. Not too much of anything not lacking either. Hits all the notes I need it to.

M: Nice thickness, nice carbonation as well, slightly dry, slightly sticky. Nice.

D: I could sip on a few of these. I don't know if a dubbel is the proper classification for this, but it is tasty. I really have enjoyed this beer. Thanks John!

pokesbeerdude, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of cdizinno
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Bottle conditioned with best before date of May '09

A: Dark mahogany with thick tan head that leaves lacing wherever it touches.

S: Sweet malt and brown sugar aromas. Hint of spicyness from hops but mostly malts.

T: Sweet malty taste. Very mild licorice and very, very light spicy twang.

M: Very smooth light carbonation. Medium bodied.

Very good. I would definitely try again as with most Smuttynose brews I have tried.

cdizinno, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours with a finger of tan head that is quite fizzy. Lots of visible carbonation and pretty good clarity. Deep amber color with brown/burnt orange... copper highlights. The head does fade to a thin cap rather quickly.

Aroma is deep caramel, some spicy pepper and perhaps cinnamon.

Very interesting flavor. I see this is listed as a Dubbel and don't see many characteristics that are normal. Deep caramel, brown sugar.. toffee, some deep fruits. Not as much spice in the flavor as in the aroma. Interesting. Deep malts tones that keep coming. Hops play a subtle and background role in this beer. I actually enjoy it, but not sure I'd ever guess it was a Dubbel..

Mouth feel is really full bodied and bold. Certainly one for in front of the fire. Carbonation is light and just provides a delicate tingle on the tongue.

Really nice and enjoyable. I could have a couple of these after coming in from the snow,

Interesting beer, not sure it's one I'd seek out if I wanted a Dubbel, but I could see ordering one after shoveling snow for a couple of hours.

Reagan1984, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of scottbrew4u
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%

A: Hazy and dark amber in color with a closeness to brown. Tan head quickly settles back after a hard pour.
S: Caramel, toffee, burnt sugar, licorice and roasted malt are the main aromas. Hint of spicy bitterness from hops but malt pull most of the weight.
T: Roasted malt with touches of chicory, dried plums, vanilla and burnt sugar dominate. Light nuttiness is a welcome addition to this malt dominated beer. Spices? Don't notice any for this winter ale but it is supposedly a Dubbel and that would explain flavor profile. Slight bitter flavor but hops are definitely subdued.
M: Smooth light carbonation and medium body with a slight alcohol warmth toward the end.
D: Unassuming dubbel with good easy drinkability without being overpowering. Nicely balanced dubbel by an american brewery!

scottbrew4u, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

Durge, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

twiggamortis420, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of schroederm
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%

In a tulip:

Awesome garnet color, decent head. Oak and dark cherries in the nose along with a smokey character. Very, very malty start that is followed by an average bitter. Great fruitiness to it. Too much carb for me, but in line with the style, and a good viscosity mitigates this a bit.

Overall: A little too sweet for me. Reminded me an awful lot of the Mad Elf, which is a completely different style but has many of the same tastes.

schroederm, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of marcpal
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%

I had a bottle of this in Vermont this past weekend and led me to pick up a six to see what I really thought- a bit unsure. I don't think it is the best Smutty has, but worth a try.
12oz bottle poured into shaped Dogfish pint glass.
Bottle Graphics: 5/10.

A: Dark red with a nice puffy white cloud head. Superfine thin lacing.

S: Roasted flavors, fitting for a seasonal. I find it bizarre in that it has more of a smell of an autumn beer or oktoberfest with some spices tied on, nutmeg maybe.

T: The taste comes through nicely. Not too sweet but the right amount to balance the warming effect and give it some life. The nuttiness in the finish is the high note. Winter spices add some character.

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

D: A different take on a winter ale. Good, just not great. Sweet but do not think it should be classified as a dubbel at all.

marcpal, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%

Ok, first: What's with the picture of somebody's Grandma on the label? It's just creepy. Stop it.

Pours a nice deep mahogany/brown with a thin buttery head that reduces to almost nothing, but leaves a thin froth that stays. Almost no lacing to speak of.

Smells sweet and malty with hints of buttery toffee.

Starts out with earthy malt & molasses. There's some dark fruit like raisins or black cherries in the middle. Finishes with a strong alcohol bitterness. Hops are in there, but are pretty muddled; they don't really have a chance to come through. As it warms the spices become more prominant. Especially cinnamon and nutmeg.

Full bodied and slightly creamy.

Overall it's not bad, but it doesn't hold a candle to the other Smuttynose products I've tried. There's a bit too much unblended alcohol in the finish. At 6.8% it shouldn't be that harsh in my opinion.

Hoagie1973, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of YankChef
4/5  rDev +8.7%

12 oz bottle poured into chimay goblet

appearance: raisiny purplish blue in color with a sort of burnt orange tint to it... strange. Thin head formed and was quickly gone. Sediment big time as well this guy is cloudy

aroma: interesting aroma, slightly spicy with hints of fruit like dried currant and definitely some pear... bosc?

taste: big and sweet and with just enough hops to balance it out. Slightly chewy and i would definitely say that the pear carries over into the flavor as well. As dark as this beer looks, there isnt a lot of roasty type flavors its actually rather light with the flavors in a thick beer if that makes sense and the alcohol is there to warm you as any winter beer should.

Overall: Maybe this brew has been changed over the years but i found it to be quite enjoyable and it seems to be rated a bit low IMHO. But then again within the style of dubbel there are certainly much better brews out there. Very enjoyable winter brew

YankChef, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of mcarroll10177
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%

An all around solid winter beer.

A- amber brown with a tan head and medium carbination

S- malt with fresh floral notes

T- balanced malt with some cinnaminn spice

M- not over carbinated and just heavy enough for the style

D- a solidly balanced beer that gets my thorugh the new england winter nights

mcarroll10177, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of kkipple
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%

Grabbed this at Sam's in Lexington, a new Smutty? Sure!

First off, this ain't a Dubbel - it's an American Winter Warmer if anything... no Belgian yeast character here to speak of.

What a weird one. It's growing on me... a deep red clay color, clear, minimal head after a few moments, no lace. Not much nose cold, but warm it opens up to a fair amount of brown sugar, russet apples, prunes and some vague spice (orange peel, musty pear?) and a touch of nuttiness. A sweet and smooth, easy, fruity smelling beer.

Tastes like.. hm... sweet malt initially, lots of indeterminate spice and esters, but there's some orange in there, some apple and biscuity malt, a slickness on the palate that's strange but not bad, and a good amount of residual sugar. Finishes out sweet (raisins) and roasty with a little citrus-sour. Body is medium with rather predictable carbonation. A fruity, sweeter than average winter warmer.

This is decent. Recommended if you like the style. It's all around a little weird, but don't let that stop ya from trying one.

kkipple, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of TooleBurger
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%

a: amber color with a little bit of a foamy head

s: very winter-appropriate smell, specifically winter fruits used in cooking holiday dinner

t: great taste, started with some fruit then moved to a dab of alcohol and wood at the end

m: thin, but smooth; perfect amount of carbonation

d: very different than other winter ales I have had in the past, perfect on a cold day

TooleBurger, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of Bung
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

Bung, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of fosterific
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%

The winter ale poured deep red with a sizable head and a spot of yeast at the end.
The aroma is that of hops and alcohol, with just a touch of wood.
The flavor is dry and nutty, and then ends with a little spice of booze. I also taste chocolate.
The beer feels heavy on the palate, fairly dense and creamy.
This is the perfect beer for procrastinating; it is slow, complex and makes you feel warm and cozy. A good winter ale, just what I needed before going out to shovel, or maybe I will sip a bit slower and savor this one as long as I can.

fosterific, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Brown with reddish rust color on the edges. A finger of tan colored head forms with moderate to short retention; falls to a thin patchy cap with a thicker collar. Minimal lacing.

S - Heavy on the fruity aromas. Bananas, figs, currants, apples, and plums are all coming through but somewhat subtlely. Mild chalky/phenolic aroma with a boozy hint.

T - Sweet fruitiness hits first with hints of banana and indistinct dark fruit. Light undertone of caramel. Some sweet spice seems to be hiding in the corners. Dark fruits fade and segue into nutty yeast flavor; almonds and dusty chalk both come to mind. Phenolic presence grows into plastic-like taste before the bitterness takes hold. Late palate sees a peak of slightly leafy and very earthy hops and the alcohol flavor peaks. Earthy bitterness with slight fruitiness lingers in the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. I thought it was a bit too thin at first but as the brew warms the mouthfeel improves.

D - A unique beer that's difficult to pin a style on. I suppose "dubbel" fits it well enough but it's definitely much softer and much more mild. Great mix of flavors going on here and extremely drinkable.

PatrickJR, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%

Poured twice from the taps at Skibbo's on East Tremont in the Bronx over the course of a seven days. It was only after tonight that I ignored my pride and simply looked up what a Winter Ale equated into beer styles.

A: Poured into plastic cup to reveal a crimson and brown color which works well for the winter weather in the Northeast. Head from the sample cup looked to be at least a finger size, fading away slowly with not much lacing to mention.

S: The nose is sweet of malts, fruits along with the dubbel style. I read Smuttynose got a hold of a Trappist yeast straing but could not detect along with spices but still alluring nonetheless.

T:Last week when taking a loing sample, I was suprised at the thick and sweet nature of this winter ale. However, upon learning it's a dubbel, it the flavor delivery makes more sense but is enjoyable anyway you shake it. Malt is the first and foremost flavor, brown being the first that comes to midn, then seconded by cocoa, nuts, and some tobacco leaf and a pinch of clove but not enough. An overall estery fruitness of apples and cherries lingers in the pallet.

M: Medium mouthfeel is cloying at first then lingering bitterness and oveall hoppyness at the end. Very easily drinkable with low key carbonation to make it slippery down the throat.

D: I prefer Smuttynose's sweet Winter Ale to the other spicy or hoppy versions. The beer is a combo of true Belgian yeast with west coast American hops to continue to redefining of beer in America. Smuttynose has some gosh darn good talent near their vats.

Brianmerrilyn, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of sleazo
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%

A_Pours a cloudy brown with bits of amber in there as well. A small head dissipates into a wisp of a cap.

S_Mild malt and caramel aroma not unlike a Scottish ale. Slight spice in the background.

T_A bit sweet up front with the caramel malt taste shining through. There is a mild cherry component lurking ever so slightly. Hops manage to make their presence felt in a vaguely grasslike aftertaste.

M_Mildly thick and syrupy with a low carbonation.

D_Pretty much average all around. A decent winter ale but nothing too memorable. For a dubbel it lacks the Belgian kick.

sleazo, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of JoeBloe
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

agree with what's been said - this beer is quite unremarkable, but not bad - i'd be happy if this was offered as an alternative to bmc at recent parties - seems a bit expensive for what you get - one of those ' let me buy a 6 and hope it's good' purchases that i don't actually regret, but i won't be buying this again any time soon.

JoeBloe, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of kshankar
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Appearance is a brown with a nice tan head...also has some streaks of red going through it if you hold it up near a light.

Aroma: Some hops, little spices, some sweetness, and some darker fruits.

Taste: Darker fruits, little spice, some hop presence..the dark fruits produce slight sweetness, but not overpowering

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice carbonation. Goes down well

Drinkability: Taste is good, mouthfeel is good...so this works out

Tastes fine..I was expecting a winter warmer, not a Dubbel, but hey, still good for a winter offering. Worth trying.

kshankar, Jan 12, 2009
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.