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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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816 Ratings
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Ratings: 816
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  5.83% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 10-30-2005)
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Photo of waughbrew


3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drink by date of February/March 06. Thanks for the date!

Clear dark orange beer with a medium-sized head that is a mixture of big bubbles, smaller bubbles, creamy texture, and oily texture. Color is very attractive, but head and lacing could use some improvement. Aroma has a great combo of spiciness - peppery phenolics, alcohol, and continental hops. The yeast notes remind me of Unibroue and the hops remind me of Prima Pils. Flavor is some caramel sweetness with molasses and raisins. Nothing bad, but it doesn't mesh with the spiciness as well as it should. The feel is slick with some sizzle. The phenolics (a little band-aid) might have contibuted to a small headache that I got after drinking it on two occasions.

For me, doubles (or similar) seem to be the hardest profile to do right. Everything needs to fall right into place or else it ends up being a lackluster drinking experience. This is one that, while being a decent beer, fails to do much for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 23:47:39 | More by waughbrew
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear reddish copper color with a thick 2" head. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma is of dark fruits and some soft spices.

Taste: the flavor follows the nose, as dark fruits and spice like cinammon, clove, and pepper are clearly evident. Plenty of caramel and bitterness is quite up front too. Alcohol is slighty noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium / heavy in body. Smooth with a light crispness at the start and finish. The flavors linger long on the tongue after swallowing.

Drinkability: nicely drinkable and overall a good winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 20:04:51 | More by Gavage
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If this is a Dubbel, it's a unique one. Pours a deep amber with ruby highlights. Nice herbal qualities in the nose, along with a heaping of winter spices - cinnamon, clove, a touch of caramel. Slightly acidic and bitter, with a flavor profile somewhat reminiscent of Anchor OSA. It's that piney, herbal hop profile. Spicy with a solid layering of hops throughout. Carbonation nips the tip of the tongue before fading into oblivious smoothness. A nice seasonal! One I'd certainly go for again.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 01:21:29 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2005 23:44:30 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a light tan head that settles over clear dark reddish liquid tinged with brown. The nose is great, brown sugar, nutty maltiness, hops, fruitiness (very slight banana noted) and light spice. The taste leans towards hoppiness mixing with roast maltiness then some sweetness. The finish is warming, bittersweet and long. A nice surprise this one was!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 00:53:03 | More by beerluvr
Photo of ColForbin

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not knowing this was a dubbel, I poured it into an imperial pint glass. A crystal clear ruby read beer appeared with a huge slightly tan head. Pretty good head retention too, with nearly microscopic bubbles rising throughout the beer, and nice lacing as the head fades. Aroma is belgian spicy esters (coriander and clove, mainly), with a hint of hops (but more hops than one would find in a true Belgian). Not that the hops are out of place - they actually balance out the aroma nicely. Taste is quite complex - some licorice, more cloves, a slightly tart malty middle and a spicy semisweet aftertaste with some bananas and bubblegum mingly with a bit of hoppy bitterness. A slightly slick mouthfeel, leaves a bit of a coating on the tongue. Very tasty brew, and a good take on a spiced winter seasonal that probably contains no actual spices, making it much more subtle (and IMHO) and delicious than some of its more bold cousins (in the winter seasonal category, not the dubbel category).

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 01:00:47 | More by ColForbin
Photo of Jcdolan


3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Six pack of bottles poured into a cool glass mug.

Pours a see through brown amber color with a light fizzy head that disappears quickly.

Smells of an even mixture of malt and hops. Tasts of somthing different that I have never tasted before. Almost a mild fruit with some nice natural sweetness. Possibly a sugary cinnimon rasin taste?

This is a great unique beer that I would and will enjoy all winter. I can't wait to have these with some snowfall in the air.

Feels awsome in the mouth. Nice and smooth. Goes down cool and easy.

This is no doubt

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 02:17:39 | More by Jcdolan
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Snagged a few bottles from Shag, one of the Smutty reps, at NEBF. Great vintage '50's photo of a wintery scene on the label. Pours a clean, clear, deep chestnut hue, with a short, fine, compact tan head. Bubbles mostly cling to the edge, and the carbo within rises slowly and sporadically. A bit of lace clings on the glass, but not a whole lot. Aroma has a light, fruity lean, with suggestions of candy sugar. Winter Ale has a solid, medium-plus body, and passes smoothly and easily over the tongue. Hell yeah!

Flavor has a very pleasing, malty sweetness (though never cloying) plus a light, candy-ish lean. Dark fruit notes abound, with a slight touch of "band-aid" lingering in the background. This, though, hardly detracts from the overall quaffing experience. Hoppiness is just an afterthought here, and the finish is dry and short. There also seems to be a smidge of spiciness present. All in all, a lovely new Smutty offering, especially something in a new direction.


Footnote: I originally added this to the BA database after sampling some at NEBF, yet before my own in-depth review. I thought it resembled a Dubbel. After reading the 1st review here on BA, I emailed Dave Yarrington last night for his style thoughts.

His reply:

"I was thinking it'd be close to a Belgian Double. I'm not too savvy at Belgian style guidelines, but that seems close to what the beer came out being. It will change through the winter as we dial in the recipe. Have you tried it yet? I didn't like the heavy phenolics. I've tried a different fermentation profile to help alter that characteristic. I'll know next week if it helped.



overall: 3.95
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4


Serving type: bottle

11-05-2005 20:05:12 | More by Bierman9
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a stand pint glass.

A- Beautiful dark amber color. Tan head, 1f, good sticky lacing.

S-Dark fruits. Sweet breads , too. Red wine like. The aroma grows as the beer warms.

T- Sweet dark malts and fruits. A little bit of chocolate and spice.

M- Full body and good carbonation. Chewy and dry. Mineral aftertaste.

O- I get some of the Belgian Dubbel connection, but I wouldn't go that far. Not too bad, mine may have been served too cold. The mineral feel holds it back.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2013 01:04:17 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of taylor714914


2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2013 19:38:34 | More by taylor714914
Photo of jlindros


3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Texas bbq in Northborough, MA.

Light creamy head with touch of lacing, hazy mahogany dark brown colored.

Nose slight sweet malty aromas, toasty brown malts, light brown sugar, caramel, sweet molasses and hint of toffee, fairly nutty too almost hazelnut.

Taste starts slightly creamy, toasty brown malts, light caramel brown sugar sweet molasses and toffee but all very light, fairly nutty and toasty as well. Light grassy earthy hops in the back end with some mild bitterness. The hops start to turn herbal and not so tasty as it goes. Finish is syrupy with lingering candy syrup, nutty, toffee, caramel brown sugar and mild bitterness lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, bit syrupy, decent carb.

Overall decent, not great. I wouldn't call this remotely a dubbel, more like a winter brown, some interesting flavors,but a bit too syrupy and too much of the not so great hops.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2013 17:58:10 | More by jlindros
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer was served a dark brown color with a little bit of ruby highlights when held to the light. Upon serving there was a one finger cream colored head that faded over a moderate amount of time to leave a lighter level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was sweet and fruity. Cherries, raisin, and a bit of apple were mixed with a caramel and brown sugar smell. With these aromas was a lighter roasted malt smell.

Taste – The flavor begins with a dark roasted brown bread and dark fruit flavor. While there are flavors of cherry and apple in the taste, they are much lighter then the nose would have let on. While supposedly brewed with no spices light spiced flavors quickly come to the tongue with them initially being of a more allspice and ginger flavor. Toward the end the flavor sweetens a bit with some caramel flavors coming to the tongue. These flavors are accompanied by a bitter cocoa and which when combined with the rest take the taste to its end.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer was average in terms of creaminess/thickness with a carbonation level that was rather average as well. A slightly thicker body may have been a bit better, but all in all the mouthfeel was fine.

Overall – A nice blend of malt, sweet fruit and sugar tastes. It is a rather balanced winter style ale that is well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2013 00:48:37 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Beer-A-Lot


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

A light yet very enjoyable session beer. Much less abv than most dubbels; yet, it has many classic features of that style, including the beautiful color and head, smooth yeasty smell and taste, and good balance. It might be a little light for some, but the taste is still appealing. It's easy to drink a couple of these or more. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2013 02:08:20 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of thecheapies


3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Auburn ale holds a tight bone-white head of maybe 3/4". Medium lace.

Has a Madagascar vanilla aroma with some light cinnamon and coriander and orange peel notes. Smells sweet and mild with a bit of toasty bitterness.

Gooey toffee, caramel, and vanilla are upfront with a backing of citrus peel and wintry spices. Cinnamon and grape and maple and cream soda. Actually, quite the vibe of vanilla cream soda. Toastiness is a secondary element and the hops are very quiet. Just a glass of Christmas-y malty goodness.

Has a spiking carbonation that reaches above the limits of medium. The body is rustled, but allows for some milkiness as it goes down. Pit-of-stomach warmth is very much welcomed as the booze sneaks right past the palate.

What!? This is a Belgian dubbel!? Hey, a good winter warmer this would make, but a dubbel? No dice, grandma.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2012 00:35:05 | More by thecheapies
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown color with a tan head. In the aroma, vanilla, oaky(?), and a nice spice blend. In the taste, vanilla, cinnamon, oaky, and almost creamy. A small spice bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon and almost bourbon like aftertaste. Almost feels bourbon barreled, quite nice.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 15:17:58 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of BrownNut


2.03/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Sometimes a beer has kind of a vomit taste. Not full on vomit, just kind of. This was one of those times. It was from an hours-old growler. I've had a couple of other beers with that prominent flavor note, and once it was with a beer that did not normally have a vomit taste. Is it me? Or is it some particular thing that has gone wrong with the batch? I don't know. But with so many yet to try, I don't want to try this one again to find out.

Serving type: growler

01-02-2012 23:44:20 | More by BrownNut
Photo of drpimento


4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice brew. Served with a thick, light tan, foamy, frothy, expansive head that settled after a bit and plenty of lace. Color is a clear dark red amber. Aroma is malt, fruit, roast, toffee. Flavor is like nose plus more emphasis and carbonic tang, yeast. Body & carbonation are good. Finish is like flavor, of shorter duration, and pleasant. Very easy drinking beer. Easy enough to have another, which I will do.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2011 03:08:14 | More by drpimento
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 11/22/11 notes. Had on cask at FireWorks in Arlington, VA. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. Had a little bit of a reddish tint to it.

s - Smells of bananas, wheat, cloves, bready malts, light spices. Pretty decent.

t - Tastes of bananas, bready malts, wheat, roasted malts, light yeast and spices. A little bit of a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and no carbonation, super smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall a very easy to drink dubbel. Lots of bananas, bread/wheat, and cloves. Would definitely order this one again.

Serving type: cask

11-28-2011 22:02:09 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Boppar

New Hampshire

4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: Dark, dark brown with 1-2 fingers of tan foamy head with big soapy bubbles. Hints of ruby and orange shine through when the light hits it right. This is a fine looking beer!

S: Sweet malts, esters, brown sugar.

T: The taste is much the same as the smell. It opens sweet and inviting with malts, brown sugar, raisins, toffee, and some estery action mid-palate. The sweetness on the nose and palate is rounded out by a well-balanced, medium-dry finish. There are just enough bittering hops to prevent this beer from being overly sweet. Well done.

M: Medium bodied with a slick feel and fluffy, moderate carbonation.

O: Very tasty. Seasonally appropriate.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2011 20:02:51 | More by Boppar
Photo of SunDevilBeer


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

Dubbel??? Always seen this beer as more of a scotch ale. Nonetheless, like it as a winter seasonal since it differs from the mold.

Peat-ish, caramelly scent and taste as it's always been, dark brown in appearance. Slight spice & caramel up front, peat in the finish.

Alcohol is subdued so this is a sessionable beer at holiday gatherings.

Very drinkable - a steady beer when I tire of SN Celebration & Berkshire Cabin Fever.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 22:19:18 | More by SunDevilBeer
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale on tap at Valhalla in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, offered as "Smuttynose Double" on special for $5 to commemorate the end of the world (May 21 2011)

Appearance: Classic Belgian-style brew, with a big (huge!) head, outrageous lacing and retention. Hazy brown color, very dark and opaque.

Smell: Milk chocolate, dark sugar, a tad of coconut cake. Very dessert-y but delicious! Aromas of hops and caramel.

Taste: Raisin, chocolate pudding. Bitter-but-smooth Belgium chocolate, gourmet. Delicious yeasty-bready finish. Again, a total dessert of a beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation (surprising), full flavor. Sweet, cookie-like, nourishing flavor. Yum!

Overall: A really good American dubbel. Better than Sierra Ovila, which is another example of the American interpretation of the style I recently had. Not too boozy, very flavorful and drinkable.

Props to Smutty and founder Peter Egelston, who responded right away to an e-mail of mine asking about this beer being called "Smuttynose Double" at the bar where I enjoyed it. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2011 05:22:24 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of lordofthewiens


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

On tap at the Manchester Airport, waiting for my flight to Florida.
The beer was a dark brown color with a sizable tan head. A bit of lace was apparent.
The aroma was of brown sugar, sweet fruit, and caramel malts.
Taste of caramel, raisins, a bit of spiciness.
Sweet, substantial mouthfeel.
Not your typical winter beer. A nice take on the part of Smuttynose.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 12:02:40 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of devinoconnor

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose's winter ale is very exciting.

Pours a darkish brown color.

Smell is earthy and ale'y.

Taste is very smooth.

Easy drinking.

As far as winter ales and lagers go, this is a nice find because it's not quite as heavy (both ABV and taste) as most others. A nice change of pace for a winter beer while still keeping many of the rich characteristics we like so much with winter ales.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2011 17:29:42 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of hustlesworth


4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- deep dark garnet red when held up to the light, topped with a big belgianese looking tan head. there's already a splattering of lace where the foam (whose surface is becoming increasingly rocky and pitted) has begun to recede. should hold longer for the low abv.

S- toffee and caramel, sugar coated nuts, funky and fruity cherry banana yeast, tart berries, damp wood, a touch of roasted grain, and a bit of peppery spice. some orange, herbal and piney hop aromas as well. if they used a trappist yeast strain, i'm betting it's chimay. a little more power behind the aroma would be even nicer.

T- more roasted malt and hop flavor then i would have expected. nutty, burnt, woodsy, and hoppy blend very nicely together and the hops are laid back enough so as not to be the center of attention. if anything were to stand ahead, i would say it's the roasty toasty malt character and tart fruity flavors, especially in the finish. herbal bitterness kinda creeps in then too, with fruity banana and pepper yeast chillin in the back.

MF- tight fizzy carbonation and a toasty nutty mouthfeel give a solid score to this one and while it's not totally full bodied, it's husky enough to stand against some other high abv versions of the style. coating and resinous on the palate.

D- i don't think i've ever had a 5% dubbel before, but i'm not disappointed with this one. it has some of that belgian flavor and some of that american flavor and a little bit of something mid-atlantic. this one ain't a sipper, and i'm tiltin my tulip up like a champ. definitely worth a try and very unique among the winter ales available to me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2010 08:01:59 | More by hustlesworth
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

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2010 21:34:31 | More by bishopdc0
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.