Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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480 Reviews
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Reviews: 480
Hads: 968
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 15
Gots: 61 | 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
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Reviews: 480 | Hads: 968
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

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Photo of sleazo
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.07/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of KajII
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.1/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.1/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of kels
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

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Photo of AwYeh
3.17/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark, cloudy amber with less than a finger of off-white head.

S: Aroma is sweet and fruity, of plums and raisins.

T: Taste also features these fruit flavors alongside those of caramel and butterscotch, but without being particularly sweet. Not as intense of a flavor as I was expecting from a dubbel, but not bad. Rich maltiness and light bitterness also noticeable; the bitterness particularly on the finish. Nice balance of bitterness with traditionally sweet flavors.

M: Body is medium, creamy, with average carbonation.

D: One of these is good for me, but not a hard beer to get down.

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Photo of cbl2
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 3/06.


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


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


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

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Photo of lowbrau
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice amber/ruby color. Very little carbonation. A fairly hard pour left a half finger of head that dissipated quickly. There is a strange sharpness in the smell that I can't quite put my finger on. Body was very weak at first, but came out more as the beer warmed. Hints of maple and caramel. Finishes very clean with little aftertaste. Very smooth mouthfeel, almost too clean. Heavier carbonation would be appreciated.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a dark mahogany hue with one finger of sudsy khaki head.

Smell -- Toasted grain, caramel, burnt sugar, dates, earthy hops. Far more akin to a Scottish Ale than a Belgian Dubbel. Smells good, but it's not at all to style.

Taste -- Rich malty flavors up front with whole grain toast, brown sugar, dates, and some sweetness from the crystal malt addition. Belgian yeast is present, though not especially forceful in the flavor profile: mild earthiness and clove. Hopping is nice and gentle, lending some earthy/spicy character. Lingering flavors of toasted malt and hay. Again, tastes great, but nowhere near to style.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with ample frothy carbonation. At least it feels like a Belgian Dubbel.

Drinkability -- I really liked this beer. A lot. However, it's not really much of a Dubbel. The Belgian yeast is somewhat detectable, but it drinks more like a Scottish Ale with the toasted and caramelized malt flavors. Had it been called a Scottish Ale, or even a Winter Warmer I would've been glad to give this better scores. Still, it's a tasty beer that I would recommend highly.

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Photo of hophugger
3.22/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Deep, chocolate brown with decent tan head and minimal lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt, actually quite light. Taste is strong up front with malt and roasted malt. Also, a little alcohol burn as it settles in, and some dry spice at the finish. Mouthfeel is ok, carbonation is right on, and balance is good....

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Photo of mklinger
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass. A 1 inch head formed of tan with hints of orange & dissipated quite quickly. The beer is a deep red color, not brown but red with brown highlights. A bit hazy with good visible carbonation.

Lots of caramel sweetness in the aroma mixed with some dark fruits and a hint of alcohol. This smells like a stronger beer than it is -- odd that. No real hop aroma to speak of.

Sweetness and again a bit of alcohol in the first taste. Also some lingering hop bitterness -- just to balance out the sweetness some. This beer drinks quite dry though. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for a Winter Ale (though not so much thin for a dubbel which this is described as). I really don't get much Belgian yeast character out of this as you'd expect for a "dubbel". Slight astringency on the finish.

Enjoyable though not exceptional beer. A session winter ale?

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with orange highlights. Somewhat opaque. Big tan head displays decent retention nd leaves a thick film behind.
Smell is roasted malt, wet cardboard and a hint of hops.
Taste is malt, peat, hops and cocoa.
Slightly warming, slightly dry. Medium body and effervescence. Pretty good as a brown ale but nothing really makes it special for winter. There should be more body or some spices or something, anything to make it stand out.

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Photo of speakorspasm
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smuttynose just hit Milwaukee so I was excited to try this. Not sure what style this was when I bought it, but obviously turned out to be a dubbel. The body is deep chestnut and ruby red with beautiful clarity/ The head was made up of very fine carbonation activity. The wonderful Belgian phenolic aroma was evident as soon as the pour began. Fruity spiciness filled the nostrils quite well. The taste was very "dubbelish" with its dry, semi-sweet maltness. A small amount of hop bitterness shine through. It seemed a bit too spicy even though I doubt any additional winter-type spices were added. The mouthfeel was a little harsh off the start. Although the dryness is always welcome in a dubbel, it seemed a bit cloying. I believe this would be great after a year in the cellar. I will definately save a 6 pack for next winter. Overall, good, but not yet conditioned to its finest.

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Photo of BrianOhio
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a very dark, almost cola like look. Only when you hold it up to a light do you see a mahogany hue. Head is maybe 1 finger and dissipates quickly.

First wiff and I was like what, is this a Belgian Ale? I wasn't expecting that type of a malty aroma from a winter seasonal.

Flavor definitely reminiscent of a Trappist, but the nice surprise for me is not the overly sweet finish I tend to find in Belgian Ales. The hops, while not over powering, provide a really nice balance that I prefer of something in this style.

Overall I'm on the fence, but right now I'm liking this more than I did at the start of this review. After trying this single, I think a 6 could be in my future. A nice beer.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle to tulip glass.

A: A very dark brown with a tan head around two fingers thick. Holding it up to the light reveals a deep red, yet you really can't see through this one.

S: Sweet and fruity, a touch of bready yeast. Not really getting anything that hints at winter or typical seasonal ingredients. Very slight spice notes.

T: Dark fruits are present along with some cocoa nibs. The winter spices are more evident on the palate, which is nice. Finishes a bit bitter.

M: Carbonation has just a bit too much bite and the beer itself is a bit thin.

D: The beer doesn't lack decent flavors, it just seems an elementary stab at a winter ale. Thin and over carbonated for a dubbel.

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Photo of iceball585
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, cloudy, very thin tan head that quickly dissolved to a thin ring

S- Dark fruits, caramel malts, dark chocolate, hint of spices

T- Roasted malts, dark fruits, spices, cocoa, toffee, brown sugar, alcohol

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, smooth, fairly oily finish

D- Worth trying

This beer has a decent auroma although it is slightly lacking in flavor. There just isn't really a lot going on in this beer.

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Photo of changeup45
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter Ales are not my favorite style but this was alright. Poured a dark amber color, small off-white head and some lace. Slightly sweet fruity, vanilla aroma. Somewhat spicy tasting with a sweet maltiness and some fruit. A decent, warming, winter brew.

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Photo of JWU
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- a very cloudy amber with a thin light tan head.

S- yeasty fruity esters, with some light candy sugar sweetness.

T- Certainly a belgian yeast here. Some yeasty funk, very light fruitiness, and sweetness.

M- light to medium, light but fizzy carbonation. A metallic dryness on the end.

O- Okay, but nothing special. Smutty certainly does better beers.

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Photo of hchinaski
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap @Wonderland.

Pours a nice dark brownish with a good head, average time to dissipate.

Couldn't pick up a whole lot of smell Some malts and sweetness with a tad of spice.

Decent taste, not extremely complex, but not too heavy on the malts, slight burnt aftertaste.

Good mouth, very smooth.

Very drinkable, hides the alchohol pretty well, considering the abv. while not my favorite winter selection, i could definitely session this one.

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Photo of TimmyL
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip
A- Nut brown in color, tan head, average lacing.
S- A little light, nothing spectacular.
T- Sweet malt taste. Honey, some brown sugar, caramel. Slight bitter finish.
M- Lighter than I would expect.
O- Decent. Would have again but wouldn't seek out.

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