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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
-
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 Hibernator
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Best before April 2007
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours a deep brown with hazy highlights toward the bottom of the glass. A fluffy head forms up top and provides nice trails of sticky lacings.

Whiffs of caramel malts, cloves and aromatic yeast.

Strong presence of sweet Belgian sugars and that unique, funky Belgian yeast quality. Thick and syrupy mouthfeel with a touch of spices. Juicy tasting with fig and prune flavors. (484 characters)

Photo of Winter
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruddy brown with a tan head. Plenty of lacing down the side of my goblet. Aroma of caramel with hints of spice and brown sugar. Belgian yeast is apparent along with a whiff of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and softly carbonated. Grainy and bready malt flavors are combined with hints of dark chocolate. Intriguing yeast influences the flavor throughout. The finish has a light spiciness to it. Very smooth and drinkable for a dubbel. Alcohol isn't overwhelming at 6.8% either. A 'must-try' winter warmer. (522 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

best before end of January 2007

Pours brown with a thin patch that just barely covers the top. Soon, it becomes a partial patch.

The smell is of roasted grains. Some alcohol. Coriander/clove hints add some spiciness. Enough to make aroma decent - but that's it.

The taste is of spiced, sweet malt. Caramel mixes with Belgian-style sweet candy-like spices.This tastes like a blend of an American Amber and a Belgian dubbel. (Not what I was expecting from a beer labeled as a Winter Ale, but....I went with it.) A burnt toast flavor interferes.

The body holds up nicely and has a nice, smooth feel.

It goes down pretty easily, but not what I, personally, would look for in a "winter ale", though the alcohol does leave a bit of a "warming" effect (though it seems to rely too much on the alcohol for this.) I do give Smuttynose credit for trying something different. But, it's a decent amber ale with a Belgian twist - interesting to try, and a decent effort...but, doesn't turn out to be anything special. Decent, but a burnt toast flavor keeps this one back...It seems like it can't decide between an amber and a Belgian and lurks somewhere in between. In the end, it's okay, but nothing great. I expected more from such a good brewery. (1,251 characters)

Photo of jockstrappy
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich chestnut brown color with ruby highlights, accompanied by a 1" tan head that sticks to the glass all the way down. Aroma is mainly cloves, with hints of raisin and sweet malt. Taste follows suit, with cloves very noticable, followed by more subtle notes of raisin, plum, sweet malt, and a little yeast at the end. Light on the palate, rinsing away fairly clean for the style, with only a slight lingering malty aftertaste.

Not a bad beer by any means, just not quite my style. If you're a belgian fan, this one's all you. Enjoy! (544 characters)

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

Pours a brown color with patches of red where the light shines through. The head is off-white but doesn't stick around too long.

Smell is of sweet spices, coriander, and varied floral aromas.

Taste is a mix of coriander, cinnamon spice, chocolateyness, a bit of an alcohol kick, and a bitterness that rounds it all out nicely. A nice winter ale for sure. (360 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I admit I'm biased. I brew a winter spiced ale every year or so and am sort of particular when it comes to brews with the winter ale tag. IMHO this style of beer should be darker, spicy, malty, medium bodied give or take a bit depending on the ABV and not be overwhelming in any one area so as to diminish drinking as a session brew at a holiday party.

So, now that you know my bias, this one hits the mark. I'll leave the color and etc for the many other reviews already noted. If you have a chance, pick up some and enjoy! (527 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear burgandy. Nice looking thin beads of carbonation surface at a good clip. Thin beige head leaves some sporadic lace. Nice aroma of cherry juice, raisins, prune, belgian yeastiness and breadiness. Yes, very nice. First impressions are of bread pudding, poundcake and rum. A little raisin. A little chocolate. All in all, a pleasant blend. Mouthfeel is very agreeable. Light carbonation and light body. Easy drinking, tasty beverage. (436 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, best before date (March, 07) notched on the label. Pours dark honey amber, pretty clear, sporting a dark tan head, that leaves scattered slippery lacing, nose on this one is of smokey raisins and some malts. Smokey, oily offering, I dont get too many "Dubbel" feelings here, this hits my taste buds and other senses as a smoked up, wintery brew. Dry finish, cant say I'm in love with this stuff, perhaps as a cold weather nightcapper (444 characters)

Photo of maundythirsty
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bright, cloudy amber beer with healthy tan-tinged head. Laces nightly. Smells spicy and alcoholic.

Tastes malty, with lingering herbal and slight citrus bitterness. Light to medium mouthfeel. Little carb. Quite boozy.

Interestingly strong bitter flavor, but not a whole lot more to it. (291 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being from New Hampshire, Smuttynose had better deliver a brilliant winter ale, and they do!

The 2006 release pours a hazy, deep-chestnut body with amber-orange highlights beneath a short head of creamy yellowed-tan froth. The head retention is very good, and it leaves some nice craggy rings and spider-webs of lace about the glass.

The body is medium and it's lightly zesty with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The nose displays caramelish and biscuity malt, and a softly yeasty fruitiness with a spicey, clovey, and even lightly smokey side to it.

The flavor again suggests spice and smoke and fruit over a soft bed of grainy, biscuity, and caramel-drizzled maltiness. It's sweet but dryish due to the spice and mild touch of alcohol, as well as the underlying bitterness - kind of like a gingerbread cookie! It finishes with a swirl of clove that tickles the tongue, and some lingering honey-glistened grainy and caramelish malt.

Overall, a beautiful beer! Rich, satisfying, complex, drinkable... what more can you ask for? (1,052 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with ruby-red highlights and a finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing. Smells like banana with hints of yeast and citrus. Tastes like banana, citrus, and nut. Medium-bodied, but a little lighter than I was expecting for the style. A pretty nice dubbel though, but not the best I've had. (337 characters)

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

12 oz. bottle with a best before date of January 07 poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Medium brown/amber. Mild cloudiness like a glass of iced tea with a splash of OJ. Off white creamy head of about two fingers in depth. Smells of sweet caramel malt, spicy banana and alcohol. Taste is similar to a lightly sweetened tea cake with raisins in it. Nice hop presence and is balanced out by a nutty caramel malt backbone. Mouthfeel is creamy on the tongue, with medium carbonation. Another fine beer from Smuttynose. This is my first winter beer of the season and it won't be my last. Would like to sample this on tap with a few others in this style on a 30-40 degree evening. (680 characters)

Photo of MattBrooks
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recall first trying this beer last year on its debut. I remember liking it, but really wanted to try it again. It smells like Christmas in your glass. It's brown, malty, a little spicy and totally quaffable. A sixer of this will go very fast. By comparison, it's heavier than the Sam, but not as spicy as the Harpoon. It has balance and depth, with a hearty finish. (367 characters)

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

Clear auburn with some reddish highlights topped by a very light brown head. The foam receded to a thin cap and left behind just a bit of lace. Malty caramel aroma with a light, bready yeast quality and a hint of fruit. There was a bit of spice in the nose at first, but this disappeared quickly. Low bitterness with not a lot of hop character - malt is dominant in this brew. It has an earthy, nutty, caramel and cocoa flavour with mild fruit rounding it out in the finish. Moderately low, well-integrated carbonation with a body that's lightish, but far from thin. Mild alcohol warmth with a bit of dryness. Quite tasty. Definitely a step above a lot of other winter brews. (675 characters)

Photo of mattf311
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, like a dubble should. It smells and tastes of chocolate and slightly of coffee. Don't get me wrong its a good beer but the chocolate/coffee taste is a little too disjoint from the rest of the beer's flavor. This takes away from the complexity and cohesiveness of the beer. It has a nice mouthfeel though. Its adequately carbonated and drinkable. I could have a few of these in an evening. (408 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, courtesy of UncleJimbo, into a pint glass. Not much head formed and what did left a small small white ring around the top of the beverage. Appearance is a muddy, light chocolate color.

Aroma is mostly caramel malts. Nice and rich. Lots of dark fruit aromas. Toasty and bready as well. Some phenols rear there head and a strong, rubbing alcohol aroma is also present. Doesnt really smell like other dubbels I have had.

Taste is pretty malty and caramelly, toasty and bready. Alcoholic taste. Not very balanced and a bit of a mess.

There is a nice body on this beer, I will grant that. Medim to full bodied. Other than that, pretty average and not really to style, in my opinion. (716 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a modest head; not that much lacing

Smell: Malty caramel aroma

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor that, after the swallow is joined by some complex herbal sweet tones and a phenolic finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but rather flat

Drinkability: OK, I guess, but definitely not a dubbel (342 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, from one of the first batches, sampled fresh.

This dubble poured a clear, light coffee-brown color with tan foam that settled. The smell was sweetly malty with a touch of Belgian candy sugar and a light vinous aroma. The taste was full of Begian malt with some light candy sugar, though not overly sweet. The hoppiness was mild. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and lightly sweet with medium body and good carbonation. The finish was hoppy and the sweet flavor lingered in the aftertaste. This was a very nice, Belgian style ale (not sure if it is a Dubbel, but I like it). Quite enjoyable. (610 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 3/06.

Appearance:

Pours a brilliant red-brown with a quarter inch of tan head that slowly settles.

Aroma:

Slightly sharp and bitter with an off-pumpkin pie aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Malty pumpkin sweet with an astringent finish. Body is thin and somewhat insipid. How is this a dubbel? (312 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice off white head with some staying power, little lace. The color is reddish orange dark amber. Clear.

Pearlike sweetness in the aroma...can also detect higher levels of alcohol.

I like the prickly tartness behind the sweetness I expected. It makes this beer a little more complex, just like the slight hop in the background. Good full body.

While Dubbels are not my favorite style, I do like this one because it stays interesting for me. I wouldn't drink it all night but I would certainly enjoy as a change of pace from my typically hoppy ales. (557 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper, ruby-brown color with an ok white head. A little white ring remains when it fades. Smells like spiced fruits, sweet caramel and a hint of banana. A little bit of soft smokey chocolate. Taste is malty with slight cocoa, fruit and spice. Pretty good. Nice crisp carbonation, medium body, and slick mouthfeel. Friendly beer with an easy drinkability.

Good interesting twist on the dubbel that I'm sure I'll pick up again sometime. (438 characters)

Photo of edchicma
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purs a beautiful dark copper with a beautiful head. Smell is hoppy, fruity..very nice. The taste is a very nice combination of sweetness and tartness. Sweet on the front with a good malt backbone through mid-palate, hoppy light on the finish. Mouthfeel is a similar balance between oily and dry..very good. The drinkabilty factor is high. Overall very smooth with an excellent dry finish. (388 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass clear amber born with a tannish head which rose slightly and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a strong banana when first opened and then an estery fruit presence. (For some odd reason the fruit reminded me of a big old tub of GoJo that my father used to keep around in the shop.) The aorma contained some dark fruit aroma, raisins most notable and a toasty biscuit character. (And GoJo)

The flavor was burned caramel most notable with a fruity character and a bit of raisin flavor. The flavor was toasty and burned with a bit of bready/biscuit character.

The finish was even heading toward dry with a lasting dark caramel and fruit into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a decent carbonation. A bit of a mess, not something I would seek out.

12 ounce bottle. BBF M 06

Note: Someone else mentioned smoke in their review. The burned flavor and aroma may have been smoke but to me they were just phenolic and not well done. The GoJo aroma came from the fact that every hand that had dipped in the stuff had been welding prior to cleaning the hands. Burned and smoky... (1,143 characters)

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.94/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Keag Market in So. Thomaston, they had a few six packs of this sitting in the fridge so why not try one. Pours a beautiful dark brown. though the smell is a bit odd, not sure how to nail it until I tasted it. This is different, a bit like dried fruit, sweet malt and licorice. mouthfeel is allright. Overall drinkability? Well very different, not appealing at first although it seems like something I could like as I have five more of these. If so and edit of this will be on hand, but right now, this is just way different.

After drinking the rest I'm not too keen on the licorice flavor. This may be just a weird batch. I am willing to try this again. (674 characters)

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

Pristine crimson- and orange-infused bronze; a great color for a winter beer. The pale tawny crown contrasts nicely with the liquid on which it rests and demonstrates a fair amount of character as it slowly fades away. Unfortunately, lace is limited to a short, tattered collar.

The nose reminds me of an especially malty, especially fruity English ale more than a true dubbel. Apparently, SBC has brewed this beer with an authentic Trappist ale yeast strain, although I'm finding it hard to appreciate it on smell alone. I don't detect any added spices either. It's a bit short on complexity and distinctiveness, but still isn't bad for a winterish brew.

Whereas the nose had me wondering what on earth the brewers were thinking when they dubbed this beer a dubbel, it tastes quite a bit like one. And a tasty one at that. It's much more malty than hoppy, and has that cocoa-like, roasted walnutty, tobacco leaf, 'brown' malt flavor that is characteristic of the style. It's also fruity, in the manner of severely bruised apples and leathery dried cherries.

Winter Ale isn't nearly as yeasty-spicy as the best Belgians, but at least I can appreciate those tendencies on the palate. There's a pinch of clove and possibly cinnamon as well. Added spices probably wouldn't have been a good idea since they would have masked what yeastiness manages to come through unscathed.

The finish is long, not lingering, and shows off the modest bitterness and flavor of the Crystal hops. Although the mouthfeel isn't much bigger than medium, it's a good sort of medium, an easy drinking sort of medium. The carbonation is subdued enough to keep things smooth and borderline creamy. This is one of those beers that's gone before you know it.

Winter Ale is a bit of a pastiche (an amber ale that uses Trappist ale yeast and American hops, then calls itself a dubbel), but it works somehow. I'll just chalk it up to the brewing talent at Smuttynose and be done with it. The only thing that really matters is whether or not the beer is delicious. It passes that test with flying colors. (2,074 characters)

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