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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

481 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 481
Hads: 977
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 16.26%
Wants: 16
Gots: 66 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 481 | Hads: 977
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this bottle the other day. I am sampling it at room temp in a snifter. The brew pours a deep chestnut color with minimal beige head foaming up, this fades to nothing immediately. Aroma is some caramel and lite nutmeg spice with just a bit of fruity grape too. Fairly enticing nose. The first sip reveals an average to thick body with very fine and tingly carbonation. Flavor is sweet malt caramel and brown sugar with again a bit of nutmeg. Fairly sweet overall but never cloying or too candylike. The beer finishes with brown sugar and some grainy malt. Quite an easy to drink beer with no hint of alcohol anywhere.
Worth a shot.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.24/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the liquor store a few weeks back. I like Smuttynose's offerings, and seeing this in Jersey, I had to grab it since it's a rarity to find their brews in this neck of the woods. This will be my last winter brew of the season that I consume, and it was a great beer to end on!

Decent pour, with a fair amount of head. Lacing was nearly nonexistent, but the taste and mouthfeel more than made up for it. Lots of caramel and roasted flavors in here - with more toffee than anything else. The rich brown hue of the beer was felt as well as seen - this beer was neither too thick nor too thin, and the mouthfeel was wonderful as it bubbled up and settled in after each sip. Lots of malt, with a leathery undertone to this, and the aftertaste was enjoyable just by itself! A wonderful taste emerged as it warmed up, and it was at the right level - solid, but yet subtle at the same time.

This brew was a great winter warmer, and it didn't seem like a dubbel on the level of Chimay. The undertones in the aftertaste make up for the lack of bitterness, and this was one of the better winter offerings I've had in quite some time. If only I could find more of their products here in Jersey!

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Photo of outdoorbrewer
2.9/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this sixpack thinking in line with a winter ale of deep roasted ale flavors and discovered a Belgium instead.
I'm not a fan of this style and was equally reduced to the taste of sour esters on a Fri. nite
The aroma carried a nice scent of cut lawn that hit the hops plants while mowing
Tasted crystal malts in a doughy blend of alcohol and toffee
Has some bitterness that remarkably doesn't offend and fades lightly sweet
Body is a weakling that takes one step up the water ladder
Each bottle tasted similar with some that were oxidized
All my experiences with Smuttynose were greatly appreciated
This one wouldn't be repeated
nuff said

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Photo of tgbljb
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep mahagony color with initial moderate tannish head, that rapidly fell to a thin ring. No lacing to be found. Smell gives an aroma of dark fruit balanced with a firm yeast scent. Extremely pleasant to the nose. Taste brings strong malt notes, the dark fruits (prunes, raisins) continue, and a nice hoppiness begins to present itself. Leaves a very creamy mouthfeel, and the finish melds the malt and hops in appropriate amounts., and lect a very pleasurable taste in the mouth. A very nice drinking beer, and the taste just got better and better as the beer slowly warmed toward room temperature

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Photo of Higravity
2.13/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Oh hell no. This is a trainwreck of a beer. Looks ok translucent brown with a white head that dies too quick and little lacing. Smells of sweet spices a little raisin with a hint of green apple. The taste is not right I thought I might have got an off bottle but no after dumping the first bottle the second tasted the same. Slight burnt paper taste covered in sweet malt with a fruityness and cinnamon fake flavor. I guess it has a decent body and it is utterly near undrinkable.

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

Pours a deep dark, but clear brown with some red flecks jumping around. Tan head wth lots of lace retention.
Aroma of sweet, dark citrus fruits and some grainy, bready yeasty notes following behind.
Flavors of some darker fruit (raisins and figs come to mind) with a slightly cloying note dominate. Some coriander spicy notes sort of flitter around the sweetness, neither offering a solid balance nor providing complimentary notes.
Mouthfeel is decent with some fullness. A tad too overcarbonated is only really flaw detected.
Drinkability is solid if a bit bland. The early cloying elements seem to settle down a bit and gets a little bit more enjoyable with some warmth.

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Photo of Citadel82
2.79/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not impressed with this one. I generally love the Smuttynose products but this one is not that great.

Pours a slightly hazy redddish brown with little head that fades to zilch and leaves no lacing. Carbonation is faint and does not support any vestige of a head.

Smells nice a fruity treat with apples and some spices. Perhaps a touch of cinnamon.

Taste is musty with apples and some spices, some bittering hops in the middle perhaps some cocoa and a dryish finish. Not a pleasure to drink at all. There are some better dubbels out there for sure. I will give this a another try. If it stil is wanting I may mull it or poach some sausage in it.

Mouth feel is medium light.

I am not finding this brew to be very drinkable...at least tonight.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a murky amber-brown with a creamy eggshell head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Dark fruity and sweet malt aromas dominate. A slight caramel aroma lurks behind the scenes.

Sweet malt upfront followed by a nice fruity flavor. Not quite as bold as some of my favorite dubbels, but still tasty. Finishes malty and a bit sweet.

Nice rich body and creamy texture.

A nice drinkable dubbel, one that I would revisit if available (at the right price)... Of course, there are superior Belgian and American versions to be had...

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Photo of weeare138
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Woody_Obeer for this...
Appears a light orange/amber with small white lacing.
Smell is of light flowers mixed into a red ale that's been brewed with a Belgian yeast strain. Light amounts of banana are detected as well.
Taste is about the same as the aromas.
Mouthfeel is sweet and lightly malty.

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Photo of counselor
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice mahogany color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. The aromas are dried fruit and bread (dare I say fruitcake?) full malty mouthfeel that leaves a candy flavor long after swallowing. There a a number of different flavors melding together nicely, bready yeast flavors and raisin sweet malts, not any hop perception. some real intense dried fruit flavors and the longer it warms, some spice and more and more bisquit flavors.

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Photo of markman
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale:

This Dubbelish ale is kinda growing on me…dark tea colored, rich, malty, a little yeasty, and more than a hint of dark chocolate around the edges and enough bitterness to make ya want another taste. Nice take on a winter seasonal, and very easy drinking.


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Photo of Franchise
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep purple/brown eggplant, I know it isn't purple but it looks like it in the light. It leaves a thin lace head wheat in color. The nose is very fruity black cherries, plum, raisins, grape, very complex with a slight presence of alcohal. The taste is nice starts up front on the palate with a raisin sweetness followed by a grape juice quality. The taste continues with some sight hop bitterness for balance for then finishes refreshing with very light carbonation.

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Photo of littlebibs
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unusal offering from the Smuttynose crew for winter. It was the
old fashioned bottle label that drew my eye, I love to try everything
in this style. Nice color to the ale. poured a slight head and then
gone. Not to much to say about the carbonation either. I do like
the spice style ales, some are over done, some to watery. This
one has a peppery note and that traditional belgium, dry yeasty
thing going on, its not bad, I taste fruits, some sour, bananas &
cloves. Its a flat beer after warming(but it doesn't ruin it, but I
think I would rather have this one on tap.
The warming dry candied after taste stays with you for a while
but its not bad, not great. I prefer shipyards old thumper, magic hats jinx
or dogfish head raison d'etre for some spicey, smokey delicious change of pace during the holidays, but I will still give these a

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice-deep copper color. Really a pretty, almost mahogany hue. Bready and yeasty aroma-quite spicy actually. Big malty aroma-some spiciness to it. Definate belgian type flavor. Mild sweetness though has a somewhat dry finish. Great body-very smooth. A very enjoyable US version of a belgian double. Well worth trying.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark bronze color. Starts out with a big 2 finger head that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice fine foam on the top. Smell of dark fruits - cherries and plums. Taste of candied sweetness with a slight Phenolic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slightly cloying but not overly so. Nice level of carbonation. A nice dubbel, not world class but very nice. Fits the bill for a nice winter beer.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean brownish beer whit red and orange highlights. Has a small tan head. The aroma is a sweet malt with hints of apples and fruit in the background. The taste starts with a dry earthy note that slides into a breif bit of sweet maltiness. Followed by a smooth finish with a bit of tabacco on the back of your tongue.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

You know what, I really dig this brew. Smuttynose is slowly becoming a favorite of mine, and this beer is a good example why.

Pours a nice deep redish-brown color. Solid foam, white-ish in color that dissapates quickly.

The nose is a nice fruity mix of all sorts of berries. very malty, and slightly spicey, to be sure

Nice malty taste, good over all presentation, it is not the "let's throw every spice there is in here" that a holiday brew is, but it is a nice, malty, winter beer that can be drank rather easily. great job by the smutty nose crew

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

clear, dark red overripe cherry coloration. no head, no lace. solid in the glass. just beer, no frills. big, dark fruit nose with some biscuity malt and the slightest hint of cantaloupe. also detecting a bit of campfire smokiness.. very inviting. rough around the edges in terms of carbonation and sharp hops.. although the body screams belgian with a milky, caramelly wave of molasses and cherry puree. brings that dubbel character through without interference from overbearing, bitter coffee malts. an amazing local substitute for the pricier belgian clones like pere jacques. a true northeastern gem and surprisingly in great excess of my expectations.

another victory for smuttynose.

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Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a rich reddish brown color with a small head that disappears quickly.The smell has a nice malt and holiday spice aroma,not too overpowering.The m/f is light and well balanced.The mixture of malt and spice flavors is much better than some winter ales.This is a good beer that I will look forward to every winter.

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Photo of jaluria
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark rust color with intermittent brown hues. A soft head that remained at about 25% of its full size throughout the session and left behind a touch of white lacing. Aromas of malt and Dutch candy seemed to dominate. The taste was an interesting blend of hops and sweet roasted malts with a malty finish that left behind a bready texture. Different spices seemed to come out as well as the beer warmed, indicated that the spices were present in small quantities or overshadowed by the other ingredients. Either way, not a good thing. The alcohol was not dominant in the taste and thus this beer has good drinkability.

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Photo of deciding39
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz tumbler.

A: Pours a clear, ruby red. A short white head forms and quickly recedes to the edges of the glass. Good lace.

S: A bouquet of yeast & fruit (cherries, plums), sweet malt, and light floral hops. Alcohol and some phenols towards the back.

T: Malty, with lots of ripe-tasting fruit (plums, especially) from the yeast. The Trappist ale yeast used to make this brew gives it its most unique qualities. Very mild, floral hops in the background, along with some phenols (a little 'band-aid' in the finish...but nothing overwhelming). Very interesting!

M & D: Medium/full bodied. Quite smooth and warming, with moderate carbonation. Very tasty...but like many others have pointed out, the ABV seriously limits the drinkability. I'm about done with my second and I definitely feel it. The unique flavors can also become cloying after tossing a couple back.

A really interesting brew. Way more exciting than the ubiquitous, over-spiced holiday ales that seem to crowd the liquor store coolers this time of year. Some may not be into the unique flavors from the Belgian yeast, but you'd be foolish not to give it a try.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale

Appearance- dark blood red with a thick head that quickly disappears.
Smell- cherries and cinnimon.
Taste- smooth cherry with a sh!tload of cinnimon maybe a dash of clove dumped in. Alcohol is present in the flavor.
Mouthfeel- smooth and warm. Very bland.

Overall- A incredibly bland ale! What little flavor is so watered down. This would be a decent Winter Ale if they kicked the flavor up a notch or two. Very disappointing from such a good brewery!

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Photo of LarryV
2.43/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I like Smuttynose brews, but this one was really disappointing to me. Supposedly a Dubbel, but seems very distantly related. Pours a very dark brown with a thin head. Spiciness dominates the nose. The spices don't seem to go with this beer, and there's an overwhelming bubble gum flavor that just cloys and annoys. Personally, I don't like the taste of bubble gum in my beer. There's also a cloying underlying sweetness, and the taste of the spices and bubble gum linger for an unpleasantly long time on the palate. A pretty poor offering for a winter ale from Smuttynose, and one that I find a chore to drink. There's many better choices to be made, and I'm surprised that Smuttynose chose this beer as their annual offering.

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Photo of far333
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored with a thick beige head that sits a full inch atop the liquid. The head settles out quickly. Aroma of yeast and toffee, cinnamon, and ripe fruits. Flavor is mild Belgian yeast upfront, followed by brown sugar and caramel, mild malt sweetness, with a fine hop bitter riding beneath. Finishes a little peppery. Full and rich mouthfeel with a slight carbonation tingle in the finish.

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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.