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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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

925 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 925
Reviews: 478
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 13
Gots: 51 | 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: 925 | Reviews: 478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice looking brown color. The head was very big and had a generous amount of lacing. The smell was a little spicy but nothing over the top. The other aroms were a little on the earthy side. The taste was a little like the smell spicey and earthy, not really picking up much blegian yeast though. The mouthfeel was pretty nice, it was medium bodied, it could have probably been a little thicker. overall This beer wasn't too bad. I wouldn't have guessed it was an Abbey Dubbel if I had been blindfolded.

Photo of oberon
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before: July 2010.

Appearance: Pours out a fairly clear, dark brown-amber body with a ½-inch cap of off-white foam, but this settles out pretty quickly.

Smell: Aroma of generously toasted bread crusts, cocoa powder stirred up with cloves, crushed nuts, and dark caramel, with a thin undercurrent of fruitiness.

Taste: Sweetish tastes that first send me thinking 'brown ale': toast, dry caramel, mild cocoa, and unsalted nuts. Hint of dried fruits. Slight, spicy phenolic accents. Light complimentary bitterness imparted by the Crystal hops. For me, the Trappist ale yeast was most felt on the smooth finish, where the spiciness was allowed to linger a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Though the Trappist ale yeast character never really jumped out at me, I still found it to be a pleasant blending of styles, making for a pretty tasty beer. I've had a couple doses of SWA (people quickly recognize the beer acronyms BCS and KBS, so let's get SWA started) now, but I may head out to get another helping before the impending close of the winter season.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the color of this one is deep copper redish, pretty clear, with a few inches of finely laced tan foam. the nose is richly malty, complex, ranging from american amber to english caramel and beyond. there is a toffee sort of sweetness too, and more alcohol hanging around than the abv gives away. the flavor confirms that this is definitely a malt heavy beer, which is nice in this context without all the usual spice that typifies the style. like a christmas cookie or loaf of bread, rummy, tasty. the sweetness does not linger on in the finish, and it actually ends on a dry note. the flavors a good, but they all seem a little muted to me. not the depth of flavor i am used to in these often very robust beers. lots of body and an appropriate level of carbonation. not my favorite of the winter releases, but an easy drinking brew nevertheless.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Randomly picked this up last week, engaged by the semi-kitsch label. It pours a clear ruby-garnet topped by a short finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises red grapes, dusty toffee, rye bread, figs, clove, honey, very light orange peel, a touch booze, and a few drops of coffee. The taste holds notes of rye bread, light cocoa, light mint, toffee, brown sugar, clove, black pepper, figs, and a bit of red wine. The body is a meek medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one I'm going to look for during it's appropriate season.

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being from New Hampshire, Smuttynose had better deliver a brilliant winter ale, and they do!

The 2006 release pours a hazy, deep-chestnut body with amber-orange highlights beneath a short head of creamy yellowed-tan froth. The head retention is very good, and it leaves some nice craggy rings and spider-webs of lace about the glass.

The body is medium and it's lightly zesty with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The nose displays caramelish and biscuity malt, and a softly yeasty fruitiness with a spicey, clovey, and even lightly smokey side to it.

The flavor again suggests spice and smoke and fruit over a soft bed of grainy, biscuity, and caramel-drizzled maltiness. It's sweet but dryish due to the spice and mild touch of alcohol, as well as the underlying bitterness - kind of like a gingerbread cookie! It finishes with a swirl of clove that tickles the tongue, and some lingering honey-glistened grainy and caramelish malt.

Overall, a beautiful beer! Rich, satisfying, complex, drinkable... what more can you ask for?

Photo of nickfl
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of off-white foam settles quickly to a ring of loose bubbles and leaves virtually no lace. The body is dark brown and hazy with some amber highlights.

S - Some spicy yeast aromas of clove and pepper over caramel malt and toffee. Light fruit notes of plum and red apple with perhaps a bit of coriander.

T - Peppery yeast with lots of dark, sugary malt up front. Notes of caramel, toffee, and molasses mesh nicely with clove, pepper and other spicy yeast flavors. Finishes with an increased emphasis on the malt, lots of caramel with strongly toasted notes and some cola-like character as well as mild hops to balance. Lingering dark malt flavors coat the palate and are complimented by pepper from the yeast.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable and well balanced, this has an impressive amount of flavor considering its modest alcohol content. Its flavors heavily favor sugars and malt but do well in those departments with a complex amber profile. The hops stick to the background, but do contribute enough to the finish to keep the beer balanced. The yeast complexity is a bit weak, and if it were actually a dubbel this would hurt the beer, but it is sufficient to identify this as a Belgian style beer. Overall, this is quite enjoyable and a nice choice of style for a seasonal winter beer.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, some Belgian yeast, a little spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of Belgian yeast, caramel, spice, tart fruit and a little chocolate. The hops presence is mild but complimentary. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, decent representation of style, it might not be your prototypical winter seasonal, but it's still a pretty nice beer. I could certainly drink quite a few of these in an evening.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

WTF, is a 4.5% beer now a dubbel, somebody change that rediculous label on this brew. Best by June 2010 yeah fuckin' right, I had this during Christmas on tap at Sharp Edge in Washington County the Brasserie. Low abv beers are meant to move quick brewed in october or november this is dead by march or april I don't care what Trappist yeast you use. Pours a deep clouded amber mahogany brown hue with a light beige khaki head, nice head retention again another gusher as I cracked it open, WTF? Aroma has a creamy nut and fruit combo let's go with crushed almonds and raisins cooked in a cookie dough maybe an Italiano biscotti. Flavor has a creamy sweetness going on okay I will swallow my words it is a dubbel light slight tart apple raisin combo with a nutty yeast flavor going on it's really a nice session ale a bit of a dryness in finish more power to 'em I didn't enjoy the draft as much. Maybe a 4.5% brew was too young with the yeast in the bottle this brew is drinking nice, I bough this for 2 bucks a bottle. Mouthfeel is medium bodied dry finish on the palate carbonation is even during the drinking experience but was pretty much a volcanic explosion on the opening of the cap.

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a finger width of medium tan head that retains into a smooth, creamy looking layer that left moderate lacing. The aroma is thick with heavy malt, sweetness, spices, and just a touch of alcohol.

The taste is rich malts and sweetness, spices, and a dark fruit element that allows things to end with a combo of tartness and hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied wiht a thick, creamy feel.

This wasn't bad. I liked the full, rich tastes of the malt and spices that leant themselves well to Winter imbibing and that nearly 7% ABV was very well hidden and kept things fairly drinkable. A solid effort from Smutty!

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of jlindros
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Al's of Hampden in Enola, PA. Served on tap in a pint

A - chestnut brown color w/ good clarity, two fingers of tan cream crest the ale and it has a tiny bead

S - A sweet, nutty and spicy nose w/ slightly yeasty aroma. The odor of subtle toast and honey w/ mild dried fruit scent

M - a lighter medium bodied feel, slightly strong effervescent front w/ a mildly roasted texture in the middle ad gentle alcohol influence w/ a mild sweetness and subtle spice in the finish

T - A crisp roasted and earthy taste w/ subtle fruit notes and spice is mild w/ creamy flavors that meld well. The mild yeasty fruitiness comes in late in the taste w/ a subtle toasted malt which is almost almond-like w/ a mild bready yeast tinge in the flavor. There is a subtle pine hop taste which seems like an afterthought

D - the drinkability is pretty good w/ flavor that is clean and pretty easy to quaff- the flavors of the malts are in focus and satisfies well, but doesn't prompt me to order more than a couple to be honest

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a pale and crystal malt scent along with a fruity Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a dry, hoppy flavor that is laid over a malt bill of Belgian pale and crystal malts. It's robust with some roasted notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine seasonal brew. It's tastey and highly drinkable.

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

best before end of January 2007

Pours brown with a thin patch that just barely covers the top. Soon, it becomes a partial patch.

The smell is of roasted grains. Some alcohol. Coriander/clove hints add some spiciness. Enough to make aroma decent - but that's it.

The taste is of spiced, sweet malt. Caramel mixes with Belgian-style sweet candy-like spices.This tastes like a blend of an American Amber and a Belgian dubbel. (Not what I was expecting from a beer labeled as a Winter Ale, but....I went with it.) A burnt toast flavor interferes.

The body holds up nicely and has a nice, smooth feel.

It goes down pretty easily, but not what I, personally, would look for in a "winter ale", though the alcohol does leave a bit of a "warming" effect (though it seems to rely too much on the alcohol for this.) I do give Smuttynose credit for trying something different. But, it's a decent amber ale with a Belgian twist - interesting to try, and a decent effort...but, doesn't turn out to be anything special. Decent, but a burnt toast flavor keeps this one back...It seems like it can't decide between an amber and a Belgian and lurks somewhere in between. In the end, it's okay, but nothing great. I expected more from such a good brewery.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another solid offering from Smuttynose here.

Not as good as some of their other stuff, but it is much better the average beer I must say. Pours a nice dark reddish/brown, with a nice head to it. Smell is faint, which is a tad disappointing. Taste is great though... very smooth with a nice touch of the Belgian sugars at the end and its all smooth and makes for a nice drinkable winter brew. This is 6.8& ABV? That should be a crime.. tastes like a tasty soda.

Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice off white head with some staying power, little lace. The color is reddish orange dark amber. Clear.

Pearlike sweetness in the aroma...can also detect higher levels of alcohol.

I like the prickly tartness behind the sweetness I expected. It makes this beer a little more complex, just like the slight hop in the background. Good full body.

While Dubbels are not my favorite style, I do like this one because it stays interesting for me. I wouldn't drink it all night but I would certainly enjoy as a change of pace from my typically hoppy ales.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear (but opaque) very dark reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and significant amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a few small patch of thick film and a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer along with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of slightly sweet malts with notes of toffee and caramel. There is also a light to moderate presence of dark fruits (plum and fig), spices, and Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of sweet malts with notes of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. That is followed by light flavors of dark fruits (plum and fig), spices, and Belgian yeast. Veyr light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Quite flavorful and much easier to drink than a lot of others in the style considering the rather low ABV. Definitely an enjoyable brew and one I would definitely grab again. An interesting take on the winter beer with the introduction of the Belgian yeast (kind of a hybrid styled beer). Both the aroma and flavor of the beer increase in intensity + complexity as the beer warms up.

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, best before date (March, 07) notched on the label. Pours dark honey amber, pretty clear, sporting a dark tan head, that leaves scattered slippery lacing, nose on this one is of smokey raisins and some malts. Smokey, oily offering, I dont get too many "Dubbel" feelings here, this hits my taste buds and other senses as a smoked up, wintery brew. Dry finish, cant say I'm in love with this stuff, perhaps as a cold weather nightcapper

Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.