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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.

838 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 838
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 8
Gots: 23 | 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: 838 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LeftyBWS


3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
A: Nice deep amber colored brew. Thin but smooth light brown head. Minimal lacing, but a nice ring of head around the top of the beer.
S: Sweet and earthy malts, and a tiny bit of oily hops. Some mild wintry spices mixed in.
T: Pretty good subtle mixture of malts and spices. Not too heavy on anything, and some nice synergy. The finish has a nice cinnamon nip.
M: Satisfying. Kinda sweet at times, but the lingering spicy finish is good.
D: All around good. No hint of the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 05:43:54 | More by LeftyBWS
Photo of BirdFlu

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'll begin by stating that I was a bit disappointed after buying a single of this and looking it up on BA to see it was, in fact, a dubbel and not a winter warmer... I find the title (and ESPECIALLY the picture on the label) quite misleading in that you expect some winter warmer action and are then led astray.. but anyway....
it pours dark with a slight ruby/light brown hue in the light that passes through. Light-colored head quickly dissipates. Resembles cola.
Smells malty but not liek a doppelbock or imperial stout or anything like that. Nor too roasty, either. Just a little bit sweet with maybe a hint of dark fruitiness.
Taste is a little sweet as well. A bit fruity with strong notes of grape, especially in the aftertaste. A little tart. Its not bad, but nothing groin-grabbingly delicious either.
Mouth is light, also somewhat soda-like. Lots of carbonation. Easily sippable but not much body.
Overall its easy sippin. Goes down easy and refreshing, if you're thirsty. Its nothing too complex though, if thats what you're lookin for. So I was a little disappointed in that aspect.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 07:32:53 | More by BirdFlu
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decanted into a pint glass Smutty's Winter Ale is sparkling clear and richly reddish-copper with a quickly-fading cap of light beige foam. The short collar that remains leaves no lacing gracing the glass, and, as usual in such circumstances, that makes me just a little sad.

The smell is sweet and malty with a fair bit of sugary candy. A mild spiciness and a touch of soft dark fruit becomes more prominent as the drink warms.

The taste is brown-sugary with diluted layers of dark cane syrup and mellow, steely caramel, but it is toasted grains with a dark, almost maple-smoked note that form the backbone of the flavor profile. A touch of dryness in the finish puts a respectable end to the quaff, mostly cleaning up a lingering semi-seco malty syrupiness.

The drink is heavy-medium in body with a fine spritz of carbonation. An inoffensive beer, but not one of my favorite dubbels.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 15:38:23 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of tjkurz


3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance deep dark chestnut not much head or lacing. Probably shouldn't have poured into imperial pint - just see now it is a dubbel. Malty with boozey earthy finish though mild. Okay mouthfeel nothing more than average body and carb which makes it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 20:53:52 | More by tjkurz
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tossed in as an extra from donkeyrunner..thanks
Poured a rich reddish brown color with a small head that disappears quickly.Nose has a nice malt and holiday spice aroma,not too overpowering.Taste is light and well balanced.The mixture of malt and spice flavors is much better than some winter ales.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 19:56:18 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer had a brown color when poured into a goblet. Consistency was thick and cloudy. Not a huge amount of head, but some good lacing.

S: A malty, slightly spicy aroma with sugary notes.

T: A solid taste of malt, caramel and dark fruits. A decently well constructed taste, though not exactly what you expect from a dubbel.

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a good, drinkable beer. Not the best dubbel I've had, but well done nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 13:56:07 | More by avalon07
Photo of ljbrisson


4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a maple-syrup brown into my goblet with a single-finger tan head that quickly fizzled out to nothing. Aroma is very malty, with fruit, apricot, breadiness, reminded my wife of barley malt that she is going to use to make some fresh bread. Light but sticky, slippery body with some good carbonation. Taste is caramel, dates, brown bread, toffee, lots of malty sweetness with a bit of a hop bite toward the finish. Sweetness is balanced out well with the bitterness. Drinkability is very high due to the good balance and tolerable ABV. Overall I like the taste of this beer although I am unfamiliar with the style; a good introduction to Smuttynose offerings.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 20:47:12 | More by ljbrisson
Photo of RedBeerchetta


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't get over the Bazooka Bubblegum nose. It's distinct, and not welcome. It looks better than free bubblegum, though. Deep brown, purplish. Little head that dissipates pretty much entirely. A welcoming looking beverage during the holidays.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Nice balance of sweetness, nuts, and silkiness. Doesn't stick to the tongue too long. Satisfying.

Taste is reminiscent of a good brown ale but heavier on sweetness, as I'd want in a Winter brew.

A very enjoyable brew during the holidays. A bit more complex and enjoyable as it gets warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 04:13:37 | More by RedBeerchetta
Photo of TheycallmeTim

New York

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

A--An aggressive pour yields a two finger dense cola-flavored head and an almost textbook mahogany reddish-brown body. Looks like a glass of bing cherry juice. Head dissipated to skim rather quickly and left only a few traces of lace in the glass.

S--Lots and lots of plum, and not much else--maybe a hint of clove or a deeper incense aroma? But, again, kinda one dimensional. This is a dubbel? I poured this into a chalice for that nose? I'm Ron Burgundy?

T--Wait. What? A little of the plum lasts but it mostly just tastes like a fruity brown ale, with caramel malts stealing the stage followed by a hop presence that seems to belie the style. I actually like the idea of spicing up a winter beer with some hops, but I don't see /any/ of the yeast that would mark this as a Belgian style in the flavor profile.

M--Yuck. Watery. Not my thing at all, though the active carbonation does liven and lighten it up.
D--This is a stronger beer than I realized, and pleasantly warming, rather than a knock to the head. If I want a DIPA or a Russian Stout I'll buy one; thank you Smuttynose for keeping this in bounds at a little under seven percent. Other than that the beer is smooth enough to pack away a few.

I really, really wanted to like this beer because a) I've been impressed by everything else from Smuttynose and b) the label hands down gets my vote for most awesome. But I was left wondering if this was actually a dubbel, or a hopped up brown ale, or, I dunno, a Belgian dark...Maybe just call it a winter warmer and be done with it.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 20:42:16 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of albern


4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really nice brown ale, I'm not so sure about the Belgian dubbel label, however, as it doesn't really have the yeastiness or character of that style. Nevertheless, this is a really fine beer. It pours a nice clear mahogany color with a tannish head, a bit foamy, that settles into a nice retention and small lace. The aroma is roasted sweet malts, a slight chocolatey whiff and maybe some tobacco. The nose on the beer is quite good, characterful, and nicely pungent. This has all the makings of a nice enticing beer.

The taste will not disappoint. This is medium bodied beer, modestly carbonated, with a nice heavy fruit flavored base, some roasted maltiness, a sweet caramel flavor throughout, and just enough of a hoppy bitterness in the finish to top this very good beer off. There is a nice malty and hop balance to the beer. There is almost a sweet nutty partially roasted quality to the beer that is complemented very nicely by the character of the hop. I had this beer a few weeks ago and I specifically sought it out to review. I'm glad I did. A great beer out of Smuttynose Brewery. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 17:54:26 | More by albern
Photo of czfreeman


3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a mahagony-red tone, leaving little to no head..suprising as Smuttynose claims to use a Trappist yeast strain
Smells of light raisin aromas,touch of mustiness,little bit of that Belgian goodness,but only in moderate amounts.Doesn't smell so much like a Dubbel as a good winter brown ale, time to taste.
mmm Suprisingly delicious! Bruised fruits, bitter-cocoa mustiness,sweet-spicy phenols,tobacco,maple,browned malts. This is much better upon drinking.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, leaning to the lighter side. Not a lot of complexity-Belgian how-did-they-do-that? bt nonetheless a decent Dubbel.If you've never tried this style of beer, give this a shot to experience a solid American brewery's take on a Belgian classic. I enjoyed this beer and will drink it again this winter season.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 07:23:21 | More by czfreeman
Photo of HeyItsChili


3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a medium to small light tan head.

S - Sweet malty goodness, toffee, spice, citrus.

T - The notes hinted to in the aroma are present in the taste as well. Little sense of hops in there.

M - Medium bodied and creamy with some carbonated crispness.

D - Very drinkable, not overpowering too overpowering. A nice winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 21:40:19 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of BeerSox


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass (D'oh!)

Deep mohogany hue with a one finger tan head that settles to a thin cap.

Light spiciness in the aroma along with a bit of caramel.

Along with some dark caramel, there is a bit of smokiness in the flavor to compliment the spiciness of the aroma. The slightest amount of dried dark fruit is in there as well. Full bodied. Somewhat of a smooth feel.

I poured this into a pint glass, but I'm glad I did. This is a very drinkable Dubbel (assuming that's what it actually is). Low on the phenolics. Tastes more like a Winter Warmer or something.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 00:18:52 | More by BeerSox
Photo of rustan

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy ruby brown that become progressively translucent. Off white head doesn't hang around and leave very little lacy

Smell is overripe fruit, malty sweetness, yeast

Taste - as above with notes of raisins and granny smith apples

Mouthfeel - medium, full carbonation

Drinkability - warming and balanced. good showing for this year's winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 03:31:22 | More by rustan
Photo of mcowgill


4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Fairly clear coffee, amber color with a nice thick creamy tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Belgian candy sugar, raisins, and yeast, pretty nice

T - Sweet malty belgian flavor with a nice hop mix.

M - Nice carbonation and creamy feel.

D - This is very drinkable for 6.8%. I'm a big fan of the Smuttynose products. Love the labels!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 01:03:34 | More by mcowgill
Photo of wgarton


3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Served in a goblet, shows dark brown with hints of red against the light. Thin head parts to reveal a good lacing around the outside of the glass.

S: Great smell. Apricots, honey, yeast. Very warming.

T: Similar to the smell. Sweet, with little strong taste of alcohol. Leave a toasty honey taste.

MF: My biggest complaint for this beer, over carbonated distracting from the flavor. Fairly thin.

D: Overall, a pretty solid warming winter beer. I wish that it were less carbonated because it could be much better if so. I could have a couple on a winter night.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 01:38:02 | More by wgarton
Photo of MrMonkey

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut with ruby highlights and a thin and bubbly off-white head that fades quickly to a sticky ring. Very little lacing.

Smells of prunes, toasted bread, a hint of burnt caramel, some spent coffee grinds, and yeast.

Taste is much like the nose with prunes, dark candied sugar with a hint of green apple, and some toasted bread. Burnt caramel and spicy, earthy hops lead to a finish that is dry, slightly bitter, and yeasty.

Fairly light bodied, with a lot of carbonation, which is a bit distracting.

Not my favorite offering from Smuttynose, but a good brew nonetheless that I'm sure I will enjoy throughout the season.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 23:11:51 | More by MrMonkey
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wierd beer.

Pours a thin beige head with excellent retention that is still foamy at the bottom of the glass. Opaque red tinted brown color.

Smells of vingar-ish malt, grapes, and mild alcohol.

The taste is first sourdough bread then mineral water wierdness then a pleasantly unwierd malt extract flavor. Thin mouth and low but lively carbonation.

At first this tasted like a homebrew gone awry but it mellowed out and came together as it warmed up. I recommend this one out of the cellar instead of out of the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 21:10:39 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark cherry brown color with a nice size head and good lacing action.
It had an aroma of grape hints/fruits and candy with a touch of alcohol.
The taste was sweet and slightly burnt. Some hints of fruits,vanilla dash and mild hops.
The overall feel was rich and creamy with a light-heavy body and low carbonation. The alcohol was subtle.

Notes: No,it was not complex nor did it have the depth for the style. This was a replica and it still tasted pretty good. You still have to pour this in a goblet/chalice or it will not taste as good.
I thought of it more as a winter warmer type than the style it is listed as,but no disrespect as it was good.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 05:11:53 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of BWH3


2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: A walnut brown with red rose shades at its margins. Head is tan and single finger depth that vanishes rapidly with only a thin ring left to remind you of its existence. Still and clear.

S: A malt sweetness unique to dark munich with its melanoidins and a slight sherry aroma. Toasted nut combined with nutmeg and cinnamon spices. Hops and yeast give a fruity and floral scent. The aroma profile sounds magnificent, however most of these flavors are faint.

T: A toasted nut and bread dough sweetness briefly greets the palate. Then hello hops bitterness arriving way to early with a mineral flavor that clears the sweetness but does not last long either. A slightly salty taste in the pharynx and a spicy heat in the stomach finishes the tasting.

M: To be brief, too thin, too still, and too little head retention.

D: I got really excited about this beer when I picked it up. I got even more excited when I learned it was similar to a Dubbel. Unfortunately, this beer does not approach the level of richness, complexity, and class of a dubbel. Big deductions for mislabeling this one. In all, I have enjoyed many Smuttynose beers, but this is certainly one exception.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 19:38:11 | More by BWH3
Photo of droomyster


3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I gotta be honest, this beer is not bad, but that fact that Smuttynose's website calls it "stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double" bothers me. I don't care what kind of yeast it has, it simply does not rise to level to of a dubbel - it lacks the complexity and finesse on every level. That said, it's really not bad in and of itself. It pours an attractive clear brown with little in the way of foam. It has a faint aroma of sweet malts and cloves and tastes like a sweetened brown ale. It's finely carbonated medium body and pleasant flavor make it eminently drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 04:56:49 | More by droomyster
Photo of JayNH

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A deep red/brown color, cloudy with little head.

S- Sweet and fruity. Slightly spicy with a scent of alcohol/solvent.

T- Sweet but burnt. Hoppiness is mild.

m- A little thin, mild cabonation.

D- Very drinkable.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with this brew. Almost porter/stout-like burnt flavor but more malty and sweeter. I will definately buy more of these.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 23:56:43 | More by JayNH
Photo of scarletfire79

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice brown, minimal head and lacing. kind of a slightly burnt sweetness in the aroma. sweet malt was the first phrase that came to mind. the taste is smooth and balanced. the balanced taste and smooth finish make this highly drinkable. another solid brew from smutty.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 16:16:32 | More by scarletfire79
Photo of hero27


3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle
Best before April 2009

Acquired in trade with IBUnit63, thanks again!

Pours a rich mahogany with a thin head of tan froth.
Aroma of biscuity malt & light spice.
Belgian-inspired candied malts drive the flavor..given a big push by some dark fruit & spicy hops..mild earthy yeast on the back end as well.
A solid winter brew from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 05:28:37 | More by hero27
Photo of speakorspasm


3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Color is a deep rich reddish brown. Head is small and makes a quick exit.

S: Smell is spicy and rather sweet. There's maybe a hint of cocoa backing it up. Very inviting.

T: The taste follows the nose closely. Spicy-sweet malts open backed up by a sweet cocoa/coffee backbone. There is a slight biscuity feel as well. None of the warming alcohol notes you might expect, even though it clocks it at a stout 6.8 abv. Overall, the taste is pleasant but lacks any real complexity.

M: Light carbonation here. Actually comes across as remarkably light, given my expectation for the style. I'd really like a bit more heft here. Still, it's a pleasant beer and the lighter mouthfeel fits the less-complex taste.

D: The lighter feel of the beer makes this a smooth, downable brew. Normally A Dubbel is something to sit with, to sip and to ponder... I can just drink these. I guess whether that's good or bad depends on the situation.

* Overall, this is a decent beer that I'm happy to be drinking. Really nothing amazing given the number of great beers that fit within this style, but nothing wrong with going local.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 04:30:51 | More by speakorspasm
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.