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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: 15
Gots: 65 | 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 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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Photo of Mit
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a-pours a nice cloudy dark amber colour. Minimal to no head.

s-very belgian smelling. Nice sweet malts followed by a smokiness..

t-lighter than a usual belgian. Still sweet but it def has a bitter edge that keeps the sweetness from overpowering. Some fruity notes, dates, figs...molasses

m-def good for it's abv.

d-really drinkable. The bitterness keeps you coming back to this beer.

I was on a winter beer bent this year and this was one of the nicer ones that I tried.

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Photo of mnrider
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz. Brown Bottle. Has Freshness Date.

A: Pours a dark brown color with hints of red around edges. An off-white
head starts one finger high and quickly turns to a thin layer. Foamy lacing
slides down glass.

S: Light creamy caramel. Other light spices and fruits are mixed in.

T/M: Smooth and full bodied. Dark fruits are mixed with yeast and just
a hint of hops. Roasted malts are also present and somewhat create a
balance in the beer.

O: This Winter Ale is easy to drink and a good choice for the winter months.
However overall the beer is on the plain side and leaves me wanting a little
more on the taste side of things. Still worth a look.


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Photo of brewcrew76
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber with a thin with a thin tan head.

S - Dark fruit, raisins and a strong banana aroma.

T - Fruity with biscuit, raisins and banana. Some burnt flavors are present and not very enjoyable.

M - Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

D - Not bad but nothing special either.

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Photo of JohnSki13
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchase over the winter along with a number of other beers. This is my first review of a beer. We’ll see how it goes.

Appearance – Poured into a pint glass. The beer is a deep mahogany/carmel color. Lacey head with a slight cream or light beige color. A medium amount of carbonation remains after sitting in the glass for a few minutes. A thin trace of the head remains as well.

Aroma - Sweet, malty aroma which is a bit of what I expected when pouring this beer. Not overbearing but definitely a strong presence. A slight scent of raisins and figs can be picked up in the ackground.

Taste – A sweet and malty aroma with a slightly burnt taste. Very mild hop presence with a slight bitter taste in the beginning of the sip. The malty flavors fade away leaving the hop and slight burnt aftertaste (This is not a bad thing). A balanced combination of flavors in this beer give this beer a complex but not overwhelming taste.

Texture – The carbonation catches the tongue and inside the mouth and sticks with the beer throughout the sip.

This beer is a bit on the lighter side of winter ales I have had but I tend to think a lot of the winter ales I have had tend to be a bit overspiced so this beer I enjoyed. The beer is a little bit much for a session beer but I can see myself having a few of these in one sitting.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of danronian
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance -Dark beer with a small head that quickly goes away, some lingering foam, but little carbonation rising from the top.

Smell - Roasted smell and somewhat sweet. Not a lot of smell coming off of this beer.

Taste - Smooth, somewhat sweet, but strong. The burnt, malty taste is prominent and fruitiness is secondary. Sweet finish that is pleasant tasting.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with a lot of taste, and little carbonation. The after-taste is burnt and lingering.

This is a good beer that is warming, tasty, but not something I could drink more than one of a night. Good winter beer.

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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 mfnmbvp
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best by date 04/09/2014. A new seasonal beer to me from Smuttynose, this one a dubbel, a style I am not too familiar with. Going in unbiased, and keeping my expectations open.

Poured into a Coca-Cola goblet.

A - Pours a smooth caramel color; a ruby-amber color in the glass. One finger of beige head. Rich and creamy appearance, but fairly simple.

S - Smell is very subdued. Light caramel / amber malts, cranberry, plums, raisins, some cream, & some alcohol fumes.

T - Taste follows the nose: light caramel maltiness, and some dark fruit presence - black cherries, figs, plums, & raisins. Dry brown bread, and maybe a hint of rum raisin. I'm not really getting much in the way of yeast or funk.

M - Feel ends fairly sticky and dry. Thin bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a fairly tame beginner's dubbel from what my previous experience with these beers has told me. A more moderate, drinkable 5.83% abv suits this beer well. Suitable for those looking to get into the style. While not offensive and definitely drinkable, this probably isn't a beer I would want again.

Smuttynose Winter Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into my Fisherman's Brew pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a fizzy off-white head that goes away quickly. Looks kind of like dark cherry soda.

Smell: Picking up apple and a bit of dark fruitiness, plus that familiar Belgian "spiciness" that I can't come up with a better description for. It's all pretty weak.

Taste: The dark fruit comes out more than the apple, the opposite of the smell. A little bit of toasty malt. A hint of nutmeg. No hops to speak of. Pleasant enough, but not really special.

Mouthfeel: Thin with very low carbonation. Fits the style okay, but it's not my favorite feeling.

Drinkability: It goes down light and smooth. Nothing about it is offensive, but it doesn't stand out from the crowd at all, which is remarkable for Smuttynose, which is usually one of my favorites. I'd drink it if I were in beer purgatory, but I can't think of a situation where I'd be able to find this but nothing better was available.

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Photo of LOCAL
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a goblet

Poured a dark red/brown with a thin coco brown head that went away almost immediately. No lacing to speak of. Smelled of sweet malts and hints of dark fruit. Taste starts off slightly tart with sweet malts and traces of dark fruits present, maybe raisins or prunes? Mouthfeel is somewhere in between a standard amber and belgian with the tiny bubbles in the carbonation sneaking in there. Drinkability: Seems like I could have a few of these this evening.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ok, first: What's with the picture of somebody's Grandma on the label? It's just creepy. Stop it.

Pours a nice deep mahogany/brown with a thin buttery head that reduces to almost nothing, but leaves a thin froth that stays. Almost no lacing to speak of.

Smells sweet and malty with hints of buttery toffee.

Starts out with earthy malt & molasses. There's some dark fruit like raisins or black cherries in the middle. Finishes with a strong alcohol bitterness. Hops are in there, but are pretty muddled; they don't really have a chance to come through. As it warms the spices become more prominant. Especially cinnamon and nutmeg.

Full bodied and slightly creamy.

Overall it's not bad, but it doesn't hold a candle to the other Smuttynose products I've tried. There's a bit too much unblended alcohol in the finish. At 6.8% it shouldn't be that harsh in my opinion.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Reddish walnut in color with a one-finger, light tan head. Recedes quickly to little lacing.

Nose is primarily dark fruits, slightly roasted coffee. Some sweetness in there as well.

The fruits come through in the taste. Also getting just a little nuttiness, as well as some caramel sweetness. Little to no hop presence.

Mouthfeel is creamy, slightly sticky. Medium body, low carbonation. Sweetness lingers in the mouth.

Overall not a bad beer, just lacking in complexity when judged against other dubbels. Would drink again, just wouldn't go out of my way to get it.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Orval-branded chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a thin fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately. The head leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Has a fruity smell to it (mostly grapes and apples). Smells similar to most Belgian (or Belgian-style) beers. The smell is kind of weak though.

Taste: Initially tastes of fruits with a slight hop bitterness. Finishes sweet with a touch of caramel. Also has a nice touch of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin with a lot of carbonation. Still not too bad.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer and probably a good winter seasonal. Nevertheless, it feels like it's missing something and isn't living up to its full potential.

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Photo of EtOHMD
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (freshness date before 9/10) into a pint glass.

Rich, deep copper, opaque in the middle, clear on the lower edges. 1/4 finger thin head which dissipates immediately.

Aroma is sweet, but faint.

Taste is decent, caramel apple, malty. Hints of barley-wine / medicinal towards the end.

Feel is thin, moderate carbonation on the back end. Much harsher than would be expected for the ABV (was surprised when I actually checked it).

Not that filling (especially for a winter seasonal). Could go for a few.

I have had this beer before I started rating, and my memory was that this was a better beer than it actually is I guess. Interesting.

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Photo of oberon
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet a very deep brown a thin quick to fade light brown head set atop no lace left behind,alot of diferent things going on in the nose somewhat medicinal and herbal with notes of chocolate and dark fruit as well.Seemd a bit sharp in the mouth and not real full,flavors seem a bit dumbed down somewhat yeasty with cola-like flavors and dark fruit but they really dont assert themselves much.The sharp mouthfeel becomes more assertive as I drink more really making it less drinkable.Eh not my thing here I dont drnk many of the style but I look a well made dubbel,Iam sorry but this falls a bit short.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

"Best by 4/28/14" printed on bottle.

A weak pour delivers half a finger of manilla colored yeast. The body is a dark rosy brown. Lace initially makes an attempt but dries up pretty quickly.

Dark fruit, malt, earthy aromas all appear. The nose is rather laid back.

Sweet dark malt combine with a graininess. A little xmas spice comes in with the earthy taste. More xmas spice as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium/heavy bodied.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer appears as amber in color slightly darker then your average with a decent head and lace.

The nose is malty with a hint of nutty/pale maltyness.

The taste is malty caramel with a load of pale malt. It finishes with a slight citrus.

The mouth is light and is a very drinkable dubble but this also i think degrades its overall quality taste

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of barczar
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with caramel highlights and a dense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Toasted, bready, nutty caramel malt is accompanied by soft Belgian yeast fruit esters. There's an offputting metallic character at the finish.

Flavor reveals lightly chocolatey, toasted bready malt at the base, with muted cherry and apple esters clashing a bit. The finish is fairly minerally and bitter, with notes of spice. The metallic character shines through.

Body is moderate, with moderate to slightly spritzy carbonation. Light alcohol warmth is present.

Odd combination of flavors. There's a decent malt base, but the yeast character is just not of good quality. Metallic notes are offputting. Too bitter for my liking.

I was hoping time to warm would help. It brings out more yeast character. Unfortunately, it also brings out diacetyl and vegetal notes, though the metallic character subsides. Just seems stale.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a dark brown, almost black with red highlights when held up to the light. There is a two finger off white head some of which remains as a collar and light lacing.

The smell is heavy roasted and sweet malts and some spices and maybe a raisin smell in there as well.

The taste mostly follows the nose with sweet and roasted malts dominating. There are some spices on the back end along with some spicy, hoppy bitterness. The beer goes down smoothly and leaves some hop oil on the tongue after swallowing. There is a warming effect that comes in a few minuets after swallowing.

Overall this is a well balanced hoppy and malty Dubbel. I don't normally care much for this style but I would drink this again.

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Photo of plaid75
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy deep amber hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a candied aroma with an earthy grain.

The taste was upfront candy sweet with earthy hop and yeast undertones. There was a slightly medicinal dark fruit element as well. Some metallic flavors came through.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness.

Overall a decent dubbel and a good winter brew. The drinkability is average based on some of the off flavors.

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Photo of jiggahertz
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark chocolate brown beer with a solid finger head dissipating quickly, decent lacing throughout.

S: Roasted nutty malts, faint nose.

T: Malts are there but overall it's dry throughout, with a sweeter finish.

M: Full bodied, higher carbonation.

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Photo of Foxman
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured a ruby chestnut brownish red, clear and bubbly. A short finger of off-white head dwindled rapidly to the merest pips of pop. Some little lacing slipped soon earthward.

The aroma delivers a dusky fog of roasted malt, rife with cherries and vanilla cream, but all made very sedate by the thick ether of alcohol.

The first sip delivers the first push of toasted malt sweetness, barely developing a cherry/caramel impression before a vague but strident dark crusty bitterness blunts the presentation. A sinus-singeing blast of alcohol hollows out the middle, but with little there to backfill, the finish is short and not sweet, but rather distant and unremarkably, generically bitter. It takes a few hesitant steps, but it falls short of any real interesting blend.

Medium bodied, but the only thing that real,ly has much of a feel is the mouth-drying effect of the alcohol.

I wanted to be wowed, or at least like it a lot, but I came away disappointed, a rarity with Smuttynose. the flavor is jerky and divided, not to mention rather shallow for the style, and the alcohol plays as big a part of the character as anything else. And that's another thing: the ABV seems to rule the roost with an iron claw, latching on and humbling the flavor and aroma, and seriously minimizing the drinkability. And so,it's so-so...and so it goes.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle best by April 2011. Served at cellar temp.

Pours hazy reddish-brown with a large foamy light beige head that leaves lots of lacing behind and holds a light foamy cap.

Aroma is quite yeasty, some bread, toffee, dark fruit underneath, maybe a bit of cardboard/oxidation as well. Gets a bit better as it warms further. Good strength.

Flavor is dark fruits, cherries, candi sugar, toffee, caramel, hint of chocolate, some bread & yeast, rather sweet, mildly hopped.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit creamy, medium carbonation.

Solid brew, didn't care much for the aroma but the flavor makes up for it.

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