Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

964 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 964
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 14
Gots: 58 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 964 | Reviews: 483
Photo of Risser09
2.72/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a mexican tulip - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with ruby red highlights. The head rises 3" and is khaki in color. Retention is great and there is some decent lace.

Smell: Small malt aroma. Cereal, yeast, but overall very light.

Taste: Robust, deep flavor of barley malt. Slight cereal grain flavor, toasted walnut nuttiness. Not very sweet. Some alcohol. Mediocre.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Some carbonation.

Drinkability: Probably my least favorite style of beer. Not complex at all and very little aroma. I don't see a reason why you would reach for this beer over another.

Photo of taylor714914
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Wolf. This is nasty. Reminds me of state watered down Ommegang abbey dubbel. The flavors are there, dried fruit, caramel, toffee, but it was thin and bitter. It was a pour, I just couldn't drink it. I'm normally a Smutty fan, but I think they severely missed the mark on this one.

Photo of atlason
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 33cl bottle into plastic party glass, unfortunately.

A: Dark brown, some head and lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee. Basic but pretty true to style.

T: Mostly caramel with a lot of hop bitterness. Feels pretty odd for the style, way too americanized. Beautiful Belgian yeast character.

M: Velvety but not sufficiently carbonated considering the low apparent carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer but not really a traditional Dubbel. It is an American Dubbel, if there is such a style.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
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!

Photo of Budlum
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pouring this ale produces one inch of foamy, light tan head. The head is retained nicely before leaving a thin layer behind. The body is a very rich mahogany color displaying quite a bit of carbonation.

The nose is quite weak but it presents a rich, malty sweetness mixed with rich spices. Hops a very light but noticeable. Overall, this smells a bit like a holiday cookie but it lacks punch.

A maple syrup sweetness is briefly presented before a rich, bready taste. Nutmeg and hops mix for a little excitement but these flavors quickly fall flat. The finish is quite watery with lingering hops and spice. Some cocoa notes appear in the finish as it warms.

The moutheel is quite thin, oily and lacking carbonation.

Drinkability is okay but nothing too spectacular. A somewhat disappointing effort from a good brewery.

Photo of whartontallboy
2.77/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a slightly translucent brownish-red with a thin head of tan bubbles that disappears pretty quickly and with minimal lace. After that, the head is gone. For good. No bubbles at all.

Smell is bubblegum, banana, cotton candy, sugars, and a little bit medicinal.

Flavor is sweet, slightly phenolic, with bubblegum flavors and lots of banana coming through. Not the typical complex-dark-fruit-sweetness that I've come to expect from a dubbel. There's a decidedly toasty/bready malt flavor that sneaks through on the back end, but as I drink it, the lack of carbonation and complexity start to remind me of drinking a really flat cola. It was something of a struggle to finish it.

Overall: A disappointing offering, and I have loved a lot of Smutty's stuff. The phenolics, dead mouthfeel, and cloying sweetness of this one are just kind of off-putting. Not epically terrible, but I wouldn't give it to a good friend.

Photo of Citadel82
2.79/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

Photo of markgugs
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour resulted in a glowing ruby red/mahogany brew, with a nice frothy 1-finger head, mostly beige or cream-colored, starts to dissipate after only a short while, leaving nice wisps of lacing on the glass and clusters of bubbles on the beer's surface.

S: Not offensive, but not overly inviting either. Mildly bready, toffee-ish notes are obvious, not much in the way of spicing or hops.

T/M: Very drying, almost astringent on the palate. Not at all what I was expecting. Short burst of sweet malts up front, followed by a much boozier-than-expected body, a bit thin, and then a very dry finish. Reminds me of what bread would taste like if it was soaked in whiskey. Nothing wrong with the mouthfeel, it's rather velvety actually. Gets better with warming, but overall just not a very well balanced beer.

D: I didn't particularly care for this beer, so I really wouldn't seek it out again. As I mentioned above, it seems too boozy for an under-7% ABV beer.

Photo of outdoorbrewer
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
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

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer was pretty good...reminiscent to me of a rather spiced version of Dead Guy Ale. I wouldn’t call it very "dubbel-ish," but still, I would recommend this beer.

This beer is cherry-wood colored with a lot of fine head. The beer has a hoppy smell. Taste is very spicy, like Lakefront’s holiday beer (but not like a dubbel). Mouthfeel is a bit watery.

Photo of AdamBear
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-nice cloudy brown with a thin cream colored head

S-not much going on except a faint scent of belgian sugars and caramel. maybe a hint of vanilla somehow. not much here.

T-comes in with an oddly aged flavor of peppery grains. it is not a flavor i love. it just tastes off. to me, this tastes like an american dubbel way past its prime. i'm really not a big fan of this.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-I don't like this. it doesn't taste like a good dubbel. it's an odd dubbel, even for an American brewery. I expect more from Smutty. it almost tastes adjunct to me.

Photo of BWH3
2.92/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

Photo of DirtyPenny
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by July 2011. Quick, into my pint glass before it's too late!

A: Short, dishwater/off-white head that melted in under a minute. A cloudy mahogany with red wine highlights.

S: Malt and spices. Getting a mulled wine vibe from this.

T: Yep, a bit of sweet mulled wine, spices and... raisin? Plum? Something definitely dark and fruity. Faint hops and warming alcohol finish each sip. The combination just doesn't quite work. Flavors aren't really complimenting one another, just sort of lining up and taking their turns on the way down. Finish is a little harsh. Moreso after you've had a few sips.

M: Medium and a little like wine-like.

O: Eh. Maybe a fresher bottle would be better? Maybe not. The flavors were richer than they needed to be, and you'd think that time would actually mellow this.

Photo of malprep
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Great look and smell to this winter ale. Taste is a little buttery.

Photo of viverlee
2.99/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The big boys want to lump – at the bottom mind you – this brew with the Abbey Dubbels. I’m going to make my own call here. It’s a seasonal brew with the marketing to match. Plus the spice bite, delicate sweetness, and semi-robust ABV just aren’t there.

STYLE: Winter Warmer

ABV: 5.8%

LOOK: The body really isn’t there either. A rich, oaky brown carries the load. Soft head, softer lacing and retention.

NOSE: Whoppers, raisins, cherries.

MOUTH: Fizz deep in the back of my throat – that’s my first impression. Not the staid malt, not the toffee dash. Odd because I remember liking it more on Xmas Eve and even thinking it better than what it replaced, my local Xmas Ale, Christkindl. Jammy toast and small purple fruits let you know what could be. But overall a little too balanced for this style.

Beeradvocate Rating: 84

ratebeer Rating: 81

Hayward Abbey Rating: 77

Photo of weeare138
3/5  rDev -18%
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.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of sleazo
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.07/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Did not realize this was a dubbel until I saw it on BA- doesn't taste like it. Not particularly active head but it is visibly effervescent. What little head exists is off-white. There is very minimal retention and only a few spots of lacing. Pours a dark brown color almost like cola (opaque but can see light through the edges). Smells of ginger and dark malt. Taste is not overly convincing- weak dark malt flavor almost like a dunkel and a hint of the ginger. The mouthfeel was the most disappointing part to me- watery, weakly carbonated; not the kind of things I want in a beer. Overall this is an OK session beer- definitely not one I would buy again.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a chestnut brown with ruby hues. Thin head with minimal lacing.

Smell is faint with some light fruit and toasted grain. Mild aroma.

Toasted grain and some caramel with brown bread crust and some stone fruit notes. Goes from sweet to tart in your mouth and a bit of a dry finish.

Carbonated but not mouth clearing, this one didn't do it for me. A beer that doesn't have a direction to go in, almost as if it is not sure what it should be. OK, but not great.

Photo of KajII
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a medium brown with a large light brown rocky head that was mostly diminishig and had excellent lacing. The aroma was of toasted bread malts, a horse blanket yeast and a mild resin hop with notes of dried fruit and bananas. It tasted sweet and mild with notes of dried fruit and was qiute malty from start to finish. Mouthfeel was medium in body and watery in texture with lively carbonation. Overall a very nice drinkable brew.

Photo of warmstorage
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce botle, $1.40 as a single, from Paradise Market, Warren, VT. Bottle states "best before" date of April 2007.

Pours a deep ruby, almost reddish brown, with light, limited dense beige head that fades quickly.

Aroma is earthy and slightly sour, perhaps hints of cherries.

Taste is earthy, soil, some burnt sugar, and a tingly carbonation. Earthy hops noticeable. Fruit is definitely there, but hard to place. Yeasty notes are present, but I can't find the pround esters and phenols I might expect in a Trappist yeast. As it warms to room temp (poured a little cold, around 45), it gets slightly tangy and sour, with a more pronounced metallic taste.

A little thin for the style (which I thought might be a winter warmer... Seeing it classified as a dubbel makes sense for taste, for the fruit and burnt sugar, but is definitely a little thin for that style as well.)

Overall, a drinkable beer with some very interesting merits, and something I'd probably buy again to test out, but not something I'm crazy about. Drinkable, for sure, just not great.

Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from trade from forgotten source. Thanks!
Pours reddish brown and clear with a short lived tan head. Smell is nutty, dark fruitiness, caramel with a faint belgian yeast character, perhaps. Taste is dark fruitiness, caramel, a bit of nuttiness, and is pretty good. Full body with a light to medium carbonation. Pretty solid for a style I don't particularly care for normally. Nice winter brew.

Photo of BDIMike
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark copper color. There is very little carbonation and no head at all.
Smell is of weak malts. There is a faint chocolate smell, but a nice plum smell.
Taste is fairly simple. Strong malt taste with a plum aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is too thin for a dubbel and much sharper than I would like as well.
Drinkability is nice. It is not too strong for a dubbel, so that helps. A very average offering for a dubbel. I guess it would not have been that bad as a starter dubbel for someone who had never tried the style before.

Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 964 ratings.