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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: 976
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: 976
Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in standard pint glass.
Small amount of sediment in bottle; as much as possible was added to glass before consumption.

Beer pours a hazy reddish brown with an attractive if short-lived light brown head.

This is more like your standard Belgian dubbel than like a typical American winter ale. In contrast to the typical (if there is such a thing) American winter ale, this brew has a more fruity aroma and is less spicy in both aroma and taste. The beer is rather low in alcohol and, perhaps, a bit hoppier and less bold than an average Belgian dubbel. In any case, the bottom line is a fine, and distinctive beer, with good balance and drinkability.

Slightly watery mouthfeel.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a thin lacing of offwhite head that has no retention

S - very little to report; some caramel

T - baked apples, caramel, some grains, faintly metallic finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This beer doesn't seem to hit it's mark. For the most part the aroma and flavor try to survive on caramel malt alone with some esters trying to help out in the flavor. Unfortunately, a few off flavors creep in that detract from what this beer could have been. I'm glad I tried it once, but in my opinion there are better winter offerings and better Dubbels on the market.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Pumking chalice. It poured a murky, dark brown color with a thin head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a decent malty profile to it with some caramel, toffee and bread notes to it. It has a little fruitiness to the malts as well. A bit of the yeast spice is present, but it's not overly spicy at all. Decent aroma overall.

The taste starts out with some of the yeast spice coming through. Midway it starts to show more of the bready, malty, caramel, toffee flavors to it. In the finish some more of the yeast spice comes back along with a very moderate bitterness. I get some chocolate coming through in the finish and lingering for a bit after.

The mouthfeel is a little heavy, but good for the style. Carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is decent, the yeast spice and the malty sweetness worked pretty well as a Christmas seasonal. It wasn't the best Dubbel, but it was a pretty good holiday seasonal in relation to all the other spice bombs. Pretty enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a chalice. Good till May 2011, we are good to go.

Pours a nice off tan colored two finger head. Some retention and puck like consistency to it. Body is a nice dark cherry color, with great blood red hues.

Malty sweet denseness of dried fruit cake. Hints of yeasty bread dough. Smells like boxed soft chocolate chip cookies or something. Real neat, kind of enjoyable.

Dense sweet malt with cherries and chocolate. Slightly drying in the palate, but a great body with some good density. Mouthfeel is almost watery but not quite, the bready/malt seems to beef it up just enough.

This is a real interesting take on this style, the low abv makes it real enjoyable and super easy to drink. This feels like a Christmas winter beer for sure, it hints of Black Forest German Chocolate cake with the artificial cherry on top. Great beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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

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Photo of Gavage
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've passed this over for years thinking it was a spiced winter ale, well today I fixed that and bought a bottle. Pours a deep clear shade of orange garnet with a bubbly beige head that displays remarkable retention but spotty lace. Smells of spice, pepper, and caramel with hints of dark dried fruits. Sweet sugary flavor is highlighted by caramel and sweet reduced fruit syrup. Hints of spice, and Belgian esters, but not to much for my palette. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy mouthfeel. Decent brew, surely not the best dubbel in the world, but very respectable. Time to check out some more brews I've been avoiding.

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Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Clark's Ale House.

I nice mellow dark Belgian.The flavor isn't too rich or complex, but it's fairly spot on for the Belgian basics. Just sweet, fruit, candy and malt flavors. It's at least as good as Leffe Brune/Brown. If you can find it for a reasonable price, I recommend it.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Winter Ale pours a rich brown in color. Very malty, sweet and cake-ish. Just a hint of hops overall bready and doughy. Full bodied and robust, a little heavy for a winter warmer (not a dubbel at all) but still quite nice. Refreshing that this offering isn't an over-spiced holiday ale, in fact this was rather refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, clear, hazelnut coloring with a sparse, filmy white coating on the surface. Aromas of roasty nut and biscuit in the backbone, with a solid spicing of nutmeg and cinnamon rounding out the sweet, rich flavors. Some fruity highlights in the back of the nose, also. Flavors of deep, dark, old world fruit, including prune and date, with an earthy undertone that keeps the richness in check. Spicing takes a backseat, but is present enough to perk the taste buds out of the sweetness shock by the end of the palate. Sweet and spicy blend on the aftertaste, which is fairly shortlived despite the robust initial flavors. The beer is smooth and round, but the spicing and carbonation does well to keep it light in mouth. Frothy, slightly sweet lingering finish. Very tasty.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicly crafted beer, if a little safe. If its a dubbel, its apretty mild version, but still firly satisfying and a nice chngeo pace from some o the other winter brews. Pour a very dark brown with a reddih glow to it and fairly good clarity, but you can't relly see through i unlss you hold it up to the light. Some light aroma of Belgian yeast with a slight bit of toasted grain come throuh on the nose. Similar inthe taste- sort of like a classic brown ale bu with light Belgian yest notesand the barest touc of sweetness. Very restrained earthy an citrusy hops. I like it as a basic winter sipper.

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Photo of Zorro
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish brown beer with a good light brown colored head.

Smell is sweet malt and lightly spiced. Dark bread scents with cinnamon and ginger.

The taste starts out malty and a little sweet but not as much as I might have thought from the smell. Dark bread and lightly spiced this is sort of like toned down German Christmas cake. Mildly bitter this is more or less spiced Brown Ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

A good drinkable ale that I could see drinking next holiday season.

Sampled through the effortsBentkentk56 and Secret Bunny 09 BIF.

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Photo of weeare138
3/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to NJpadreFan for this one.

Poured into a SA glass a nice brownish color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, nice sticky lacing remains. The nose is malty, slightly yeasty, slight hints of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty/yeasty, dark fruits, and some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a some what different Dubbel, but very tasty, recommended.

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Photo of Duff27
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Half-inch fizzy tan head on a brown beer. Minimal head retention and nearly no lacing.

S- Off vanilla, cola whiffs. "Dessert-y"

T- More cola, grapes, and to a lesser extent chocolate. Well integrated flavors. Drinks stronger than 5.1% Growing on me the more I drink it.

M- Smooth tiny-bubbled carbonation. Good mouthfeel...maybe my favorite part about this brew.

D/O- Yeah, I know it's after the "Best Before" date...I took a chance on a single and I don't think it turned out that badly. Didn't know what style or ABV this was when I bought it...hoping for an 8% winter warmer but this didn't disappoint.

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

Trying the Smuttynose Winter ale. The beer pours a clear copper color with a medium sized head that laced alll the way down my glass.
The scent of this beer was very sweet malt that included characteristics of belgian ale yeast. The taste was pretty mild and had great malt character. The mouthfeel was a good medium body with decent carbonation. I highly recommend this winter sensation.

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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 barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tossed in as an extra from donkeyrunner..thanks
Poured a rich reddish brown color with a small head that disappears quickly.Nose has a nice malt and holiday spice aroma,not too overpowering.Taste is light and well balanced.The mixture of malt and spice flavors is much better than some winter ales.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one-finger cream head that fades quickly, leaving little lace. Nice clear red/amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose has a malty/yeasty overtone. Starts with sort of sweet flavor but is complex with a little spice. You notice the yeast in the finish. $7.49 for a 6-pak 12oz bottles from Hannaford's Concord, NH.

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Photo of akorsak
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from a mixed six pack at Al's of Hampden.

A: The dubbel is an auburn color, showing off orange and brown hues. Dark enough to be opaque, the ale is just light enough to allow for shadows. A thin off-white head left minimal patches of lace.

S: The nose is pleasant, mildly sweet with raisins appearing prominently. Light coffee notes are also present, surprising me.

T: The bready malt base really stands out in the first sip, followed by the dark sweetness of the dubbel. Coffee and carob mix with raisins and a subtle Belgian yeast strain. I like the English mild description that augustgarage used.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet and malty, a warming taste that fits nicely in the season. I'm not in love, but it's a good beer for a cold January night.

D: I like that this dubbel won't put me to sleep. A nice beer for tonight.

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Photo of corby112
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy amber with some lighter golden amber hues when held to a light source and a one finger beige head that settles into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Malty aroma with some peppery spice and dark fruit notes especially dark cherries.

Spicy peppery flavor up front that lingers over the medium malty body into a medicinal cough syrup flavor with some dark fruit notes, mostly cherries, raisin and plum. Nice subtle dry hops in the finish.

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