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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.

864 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 864
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 11
Gots: 28 | 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: 864 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Slatetank
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
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

Slatetank, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a slight ruby highlight. Foamy tan head falls to about nothing. Very thin lace.

Sweet malt smell that is somewhat metallic.

Nice malt taste. Better as it warms. Alcohol is even present a bit.

Nice mouthfeel, somewhat full.

Fairly easy to drink. Decent beer and nice for the price.

dstc, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Cyberkedi, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Winter Ale poured very dark brown with a one-finger head. It left nothing behind on the glass.

The smell and taste were sweet and caramelly. It doesn't have the spices or heaviness associated with winter ales. There was very little hops bitterness. The feel was smooth, with little-to-no carbonation and, again, no bitterness.

At the end of a long blustery weekend, it was a pleasure to drink; however, Smuttynose Winter Ale also would be good at the end of a hot summer day. It's an enjoyable easy-drinking ale, but not a special winter ale.

MetalHopHead6, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of righthereisay
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up the nice festive bottle at a 6 pack shop.

Smelled nice, a little fruity/spicey.

Nice brown sugar/raisin taste. Smooth. No bitter aftertaste. Nice. Not too powerful.

Medium bodied, not too much carbonation.

These could go down quick. Nice Christmas beer, although I'm not sure why anyone would call it a Christmas beer other than the label. But hey, it's more Christmas than Bell's Oberon.

righthereisay, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of Celt44
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a reddish-brown and semi-transparent. Nice frothy head with minimal lacing..

Aroma - Very malty. A few spices break through....clove, nutmeg..hints of cinnamon

Taste - Malty with hints of spice. Hints of raisons and plums...

Mouthfeel - Very smooth for the style...

Overall an OK Winter-style beer. Not my favorite but very drinkable!

Celt44, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of nickfl
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of off-white foam settles quickly to a ring of loose bubbles and leaves virtually no lace. The body is dark brown and hazy with some amber highlights.

S - Some spicy yeast aromas of clove and pepper over caramel malt and toffee. Light fruit notes of plum and red apple with perhaps a bit of coriander.

T - Peppery yeast with lots of dark, sugary malt up front. Notes of caramel, toffee, and molasses mesh nicely with clove, pepper and other spicy yeast flavors. Finishes with an increased emphasis on the malt, lots of caramel with strongly toasted notes and some cola-like character as well as mild hops to balance. Lingering dark malt flavors coat the palate and are complimented by pepper from the yeast.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable and well balanced, this has an impressive amount of flavor considering its modest alcohol content. Its flavors heavily favor sugars and malt but do well in those departments with a complex amber profile. The hops stick to the background, but do contribute enough to the finish to keep the beer balanced. The yeast complexity is a bit weak, and if it were actually a dubbel this would hurt the beer, but it is sufficient to identify this as a Belgian style beer. Overall, this is quite enjoyable and a nice choice of style for a seasonal winter beer.

nickfl, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of Traquairlover
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Good clarity in a medium dark red oak brown, forms a small light tan head that quickly settles into a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and a light tracery over perhaps half of the surface area.

S = Caramel, mixture of cocoa and maple syrup, very light peppery bite of yeast.

T = Nice sweet flavors of cocoa, buttered cinnamon toast, caramel, hints of pepper and other warm spices with a nice offseting bitterness in the finish.

M = Medium-light body, good mouthcoating, light effervescent carbonation level keeps the mouth interested without overpowering it.

D = THis is a realy good drinkable little beer on a cold Winter's day.

Traquairlover, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of towersfall
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep ruby with a bit of cloudiness. Heat is off-white and dissipates rather quickly but leaves nice lacing throughout the session.

Smell: Spices and dark fruit. Somewhat traditional to the style albeit nothing spectacular.

Taste: Toasty malts with dark fruit packs the opening punch but is quickly followed by some good ole yeasty goodness. No hops, but the malts balance that out.

Mouthfeel: Lighter but still holds its own. The aftertaste is certainly toasty.

Drinkability: By the books mild dubbel. Nothing impressive, but nothing horrible either. Satisfying brew, but much more could be done for this beer to actually stand out,

towersfall, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of CharlatanSin
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into my Fisherman's Brew pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a fizzy off-white head that goes away quickly. Looks kind of like dark cherry soda.

Smell: Picking up apple and a bit of dark fruitiness, plus that familiar Belgian "spiciness" that I can't come up with a better description for. It's all pretty weak.

Taste: The dark fruit comes out more than the apple, the opposite of the smell. A little bit of toasty malt. A hint of nutmeg. No hops to speak of. Pleasant enough, but not really special.

Mouthfeel: Thin with very low carbonation. Fits the style okay, but it's not my favorite feeling.

Drinkability: It goes down light and smooth. Nothing about it is offensive, but it doesn't stand out from the crowd at all, which is remarkable for Smuttynose, which is usually one of my favorites. I'd drink it if I were in beer purgatory, but I can't think of a situation where I'd be able to find this but nothing better was available.

CharlatanSin, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of m1ked
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler at WF Bowery beer room.

A- Poured from the growler into my Delirium Noel tulip. Pours a slightly murky ruddy coppery garnet brown. When held up to the light, you can see a bright copper. Minimal foam on the pour, with a thin white halo, and wispy cloud in the center. Looks alright.

S- Smells of rich raisins, concord grapes with a touch of bubble gum. Some ginger snap cookie, some pear and actually some stone fruit.

T- Similar to the nose with the raisins, white grape juice, some brown sugar, a little tobacco. Interesting blend that starts off medium dark flavors that has some brighter flavors mingled in there. Some lingering candied orange peel that lingers.

M- Medium bodied, with prickly effervescent carbonation throughout the swallow. While it keeps the flavors percolating, it also makes it feel less like an actual dubbel.

D- Christmas beers, while fun & seasonal are not always my cup of tea. This beer does not strike me as a typical x-mas beer, nor a typical dubbel...but this is a tasty an interesting beer from Smutty. I would recommend this beer.

m1ked, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of josefnewsong
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very drinkable double, but lacking in flavor. Has roasty and nutty characteristics atypical of the style. slightly on the watery side. its not anything mind blowing but it is unique and not as cloying as dubbels can tend to be. a good solid brew, but nothing to write home about.

josefnewsong, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of farrago
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gets close to two fingers of dark tan microfoam, dimples slightly as it dissipates swiftly, touch of lacing left behind. Some cloudiness to the orange-brown liquid, metallic sort of look, lightens a good bit at the rims. Nutmeg, clove and cola, pinch of dark chocolate, white raisin, apple, pear fruit scents, overall the nose has many elements yet remains demure, if not reticent, ends with suggestions of chocolate-filled croissants as well as peat moss. Medium-bodied, the carbonation contributes lift and steadier pacing, right-sized to the whole. The flavors lean towards the sweet side but the beer remains pretty dry. Green apple, white grape, pear and apricot predominate, light glimmer of orange peel. Cocoa powder, malts, cinnamon and clove spice work well to create an affable first half even as hoppier grassiness and pepperiness rises through the finish. Roasted qualities work, never bitter nor burnt. While not blazing any new trails, different enough to hold your attention.

farrago, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicly crafted beer, if a little safe. If its a dubbel, its apretty mild version, but still firly satisfying and a nice chngeo pace from some o the other winter brews. Pour a very dark brown with a reddih glow to it and fairly good clarity, but you can't relly see through i unlss you hold it up to the light. Some light aroma of Belgian yeast with a slight bit of toasted grain come throuh on the nose. Similar inthe taste- sort of like a classic brown ale bu with light Belgian yest notesand the barest touc of sweetness. Very restrained earthy an citrusy hops. I like it as a basic winter sipper.

Georgiabeer, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Very dark cola color with a small, quickly dissipating brown head that leaves little lacing.

Smell: Smells of apple, peach, and grapefruit with a bit of spiciness and slight sourness.

Taste: Apple juice with sweet roasted malts, rounded out by a mild hop bitterness at the end that lingers in the back of the throat. Hints of spices.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin, but with balanced carbonation. Thin, refreshing finish.

Drinkability: I must say, this really doesn't seem like much of a dubbel. Still, a very drinkable beer and good for sessioning during the winter. Not quite a disappointment, but still could be so much better.

Mosstrooper, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of wahhmaster
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Orval-branded chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a thin fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately. The head leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Has a fruity smell to it (mostly grapes and apples). Smells similar to most Belgian (or Belgian-style) beers. The smell is kind of weak though.

Taste: Initially tastes of fruits with a slight hop bitterness. Finishes sweet with a touch of caramel. Also has a nice touch of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin with a lot of carbonation. Still not too bad.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer and probably a good winter seasonal. Nevertheless, it feels like it's missing something and isn't living up to its full potential.

wahhmaster, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of scottg
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
best before May 2010

Pours a light brown with garnet when held to the light with a one finger off white head that settles quickly with very little lacing. Raisin, stone fruit, sweet malt, and subtle apple aromas. Sweet malt flavors up front-brown sugar, cherry, raisins lead to a blend of spices in the middle-ginger, nutmeg, cloves which quickly disappear back to the sweet malt and citrusy hop finish which continues into the aftertaste. Medium carbonation and body, goes down smooth with a syrupy finish. Solid drinkability.
This beer has everything a winter beer should have: big malt, holiday spices, and solid hop character. The spices are there in the middle but do not overpower this beer at all and more importantly are not lingering afterward.
Not your classic Dubbel, but as the website says: brewed "stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double" so that is ok with me.

scottg, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of kels
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice deep, rusty reddish-brown, fairly opaque, with just enough clarity to view glimpses of ruby highlights within. A short, tan, bubbly head rests atop the fairly thin-looking liquid. Spots of slippery lace hang along the sides of the glass briefly before sliding back down into the beer.

Not a great amount of aroma from this beer. A little bit of raisiny sweetness accompanies a dry roastiness, but that's about it.

The sweetness of the caramelized malts serves as the backbone of this beer. There is a distinct earthy aspect to the profile that reminds me a little of soil or moss, or strangely enough, even mushrooms. There raisiny sweetness of the smell is echoed clearly in the taste. A slight spice comes through in the aftertaste, along with a hint of metallic. For the darkness of the flavors in this beer, the feel is actually more moderate and somewhat lightened by the good carbonation. There's a stickiness from the sweetness and a slickness in the finish.

Drinkability overall is okay, but I'm not sure I'd buy this one again. It isn't bad, but it has some funky flavors that stick out and diminish the overall enjoyment.

kels, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of FickleBeast
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Smuttynose pint glass

A - pours clear amber with one finger of foam that clings to the glass.

S - I pick up some spicy yeast aroma, with a malty sweetness

T - malty, with a slight hoppy bite. There is a bit of holiday spice, but it is very subdued. definitely on the malty side of the spectrum, with a little yeasty kick.

M - moderately carbonated, decent body.

D - overall a pretty good beer. well put together - nothing seems out of balance here.

FickleBeast, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of Nezzy
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chose this beer for my thanksgiving meal and wasn't disappointed in the pairing.

Appearance: dark amber with red, mahogany, brown colors and even the slightest bit of orange. Not too opaque with little to no head and no lacing.

Smell: sweet with the malts coming through the strongest.

Taste: It reminds me of a cross between a pumpkin ale and a stout. You get spices like cinnamon and nutmeg but its mixed with the malts reminding me of a stout.

Mouthfeel: good amount of carbonation but its light

Drinkability: I'm not sure if I could drink this beer after beer however, paired with a good meal its a really good beer and one I would definitely drink again.

Nezzy, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz bottle marked May-10. Sampled on November 20, 2009. It pours a rich mahogany brown with about a half inch creamy beige head. Kind of atrractive. Full bodied aroma of caramel malts with a bit of fresh hops on the tail end. The mouthfeel is medium to heavy with a creamy sensation to it. There is a nice comfortable balance of malts and hops. Not as yeasty as most Dubbels I have tried. It is slightly bitter and warming. Very nice overall.

puboflyons, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of magine
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

Pours a dark brown with a hint of ruby shining through. Has a fast fading head that is off white. It settles into a lace island. Minimal lacing.

Brew has a caramel malty, dark fruit smell.

Brew tastes malty, has an inital peppery mouthfeel and spice to it. But has a dry finish. Can taste some spice in there, is a somewhat understated taste.

The brew is light on the palate and drinkable, just isnt going to make me rebember it to "have to" try later on down the road. I expected much more when I picked it up.

magine, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of corby112
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy amber with some lighter golden amber hues when held to a light source and a one finger beige head that settles into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Malty aroma with some peppery spice and dark fruit notes especially dark cherries.

Spicy peppery flavor up front that lingers over the medium malty body into a medicinal cough syrup flavor with some dark fruit notes, mostly cherries, raisin and plum. Nice subtle dry hops in the finish.

corby112, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of TLove
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 864 ratings.