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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
84
good

480 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 480
Hads: 968
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 14
Gots: 61 | FT: 2
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 SteveS1
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look- Dark brown/cherry translucent with a tall frothy brown head. Decent retention, good lacing.

Smell- Light citrus fruits, cereal malts, tart berries. I have a tough time smelling the belgian yeast.

Taste- Sweet on the tip of the tongue, blends into citrusy hops mixed with a bready malt. Bitter hops in back and finishes tart. Yeast present in aftertaste.

Feel- Medium-to-heavy bodied, a little sticky, mild carbonation.

Drink- I would have said this was a standard, if not tasty, winter ale if I hadn't read that it had belgian ale yeast in it. Complex enough to satisfy you craving for a hearty ale. Fairly drinkable, but I would switch to even warmer winter stouts after one of these. (695 characters)

Photo of Chadpaq
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased recently at Lighthouse Beer and Wine in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Must plug this place every time, regardless of how deaf the ears to which said plug falls upon are. Great store.

Dark Amber; translucent; a shiny Tootsie Roll. The creamiest head--a single finger--that receded quickly, but which left a milky, frothy film on the surface like a cup of hot chocolate. O yea, this is a Winter beer.

Chocolatey, in spite of everything. I think I even smell a Tootsie Roll. Subtle; no alcohol. Guess it isn't the highest gravity brew out there, but any minutiae of booze is completely masked. I don't know too much about Dubbels, but I have to believe this is on the more subtle end of their spectrum. In that regard, it's a preference thing. In my opinion, the subtle chocolatey scent works well for this beer.

It really tastes like--and I know I'm dwelling on this, but it really tastes like Tootsie Rolls! Delicious. I've been sipping for ten minutes, and only now am I beginning to feel a little warmth in my chest. This is welcomed, pleasant, and--yes!--subtle. This is no bourbon. There's no alcohol on the palate, but the near-six percent emerges a little after ten minutes' worth of drinking, not on the tongue but in the heart. It's getting colder out there, even in North Carolina. This is the right beer for tonight.

As creamy as the previously-mentioned hot chocolatey film atop the beer would imply. Smooth, subtle carbonation. Thick, pushing viscous. Satisfying. Full, yet somehow, not heavy.

This beer's worth drinking several times over the holidays. (1,574 characters)

Photo of viverlee
2.99/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The big boys want to lump – at the bottom mind you – this brew with the Abbey Dubbels. I’m going to make my own call here. It’s a seasonal brew with the marketing to match. Plus the spice bite, delicate sweetness, and semi-robust ABV just aren’t there.

STYLE: Winter Warmer

ABV: 5.8%

LOOK: The body really isn’t there either. A rich, oaky brown carries the load. Soft head, softer lacing and retention.

NOSE: Whoppers, raisins, cherries.

MOUTH: Fizz deep in the back of my throat – that’s my first impression. Not the staid malt, not the toffee dash. Odd because I remember liking it more on Xmas Eve and even thinking it better than what it replaced, my local Xmas Ale, Christkindl. Jammy toast and small purple fruits let you know what could be. But overall a little too balanced for this style.

Beeradvocate Rating: 84

ratebeer Rating: 81

Hayward Abbey Rating: 77 (890 characters)

Photo of jporf911
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pub glass. Bottle notches indicate Best Before April 2011.

Appearance- 3.5 out of 5. This beer pours a foamy dark reddish-brown reminiscent of Pepsi-Cola. Held up to the light, it appears more mahogany. The foam, however, quickly fades to leave a half-finger of head and lackluster carbonation bubbles. It's almost like the winter lethargy from long, cold days of darkness has demotivated the bubbles as they struggle to float like moose in freezing water. Pretty average overall.

Smell- 4 out of 5. A rich canvas of scents greeted my nose as soon as I cracked off the cap. Once the beer warmed up a bit, fruity esters (red apples and raisins, mostly) cinnamon and vanilla, and malty cereal grain wafted up. It's almost like bottled fruitcake without the unidentifiable chunks of gelatinous goo and social stigma. The hops are faint and herbal. I'm excited for the first sip.

Taste- 3 out of 5. The first sip isn't so exciting. It's decent but nothing to rave about. A disconnect exists between the intensity of smell and taste with similar notes that are unfortunately weaker on the tongue. On the plus side, there are a ton to explore: bread crust, caramel-apple, cinnamon, and vanilla, especially. The roasted malt is balanced by mild hops that briefly bite the back of the tongue before leaving a noticeable lack of aftertaste. Not bad, but not as strong as I would like. If a Belgian Ale had an illegitimate affair with a bottle of water, this would beer would be the result.

Mouthfeel- 3.5 out of 5. Mostly medium by rather thin for the style and the identifiable tastes, which is a little disconcerting. That thinness may reflect the the significantly below-average ABV. Dubbels are usually between 6.5 to 9% alcohol; whereas, this one is only 5.1%.

Drinkability- 3.5 out of 5. It's like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you're at the bar or the beer store and want something decent and affordable to fight off the winter blues, then this would be good for a session because of the lower ABV; however, if you want intense taste and fulfilling feeling, go for a traditional Dubbel or an actual Belgian Strong Dark Ale. On the other hand, if you dislike the sweetness of those styles, this beer may be a good middle ground for you.

Overall, a C+. (2,320 characters)

Photo of Katahdin
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a credible amount of head and rich, reddish brown color. The initial smell is a fruity/malty combination that belies the taste to come. The taste is much fuller than one would expect from such a beer and has hints of caramel and fruits with a spiciness in the after taste that is tough to pin down. There is a lingering taste of roasted nuttiness as well. A bit chewy but goes down relatively smooth. A great interpretation from Smuttynose (450 characters)

Photo of djeffbee
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Quotations Pub - New Years Day 2010.

A: Deep murky, ruby red with a nice white head. A thin lacing.

S: Roasted, sweet, malty and fitting for a seasonal. Low hop presence, but nice.

T: Roasted, sweet, malty and fitting for a seasonal. Has some character resembling a dubbel, but lower in alcohol. Some nutty flavors in the finish.

M: Fairly thin with a decent finish and good carbonation.

D: Good winter ale, no crazy spices, and with the low ABV it's super drinkable. I think it being classified as a dubbel may be a bit off. (540 characters)

Photo of LOCAL
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (483 characters)

Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tis the season to get Smuttynosed, Winter Ale style! And let's make it a 'double'!

Dark ruby red sporting a off white/tan head with skimming retention and alright fading lacing.

What the hell, beer. Smell already! The dark fruits and a hint of florals are way too hidden. I'm just struggling like a virgin here. I'm massively disappointed in this nose. I'll give it an extra point just because maybe I have something lacking on this end.

Slight dark fruits, melon?, raisins, nuts. It's tasty, creamy, slightly acidic, medium bodied and mighty good.

Drinkability is really damn good. I'm surprised by how big the gulps I'm taking are (slow down big fella...) and that's a testament to it's taste and feel. You'd be doing good if you give this one a go. (756 characters)

Photo of Heischman
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer/Brewery - Smuttynose Winter Ale 2010 (Aged 1 year)/Smuttynose Brewing Company
City/State- Portsmouth, New Hampshire
STYLE – Dubble
ABV – 5.1%
IBU – 30?
DATE – 04 DEC 2011
SERVING TYPE – 12 OZ bottle
GLASSWARE – Schooner
APPEARANCE – SRM OF 40 thin almost no head
AROMA- Sweet plum and some nice roastedness as well with a hint of brown sugar
TASTE – Sweet with a nice caramelized brown sugar and hints of plum. Finishes with a nice soothing roasted malt
MOUTHFEEL – Good carbonation nice and warming, feels like more ABV than 5.
CONCLUSION – A good standing Winter brew. I am lucky this was shared with me.

-JH- (639 characters)

Photo of outdoorbrewer
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this sixpack thinking in line with a winter ale of deep roasted ale flavors and discovered a Belgium instead.
I'm not a fan of this style and was equally reduced to the taste of sour esters on a Fri. nite
The aroma carried a nice scent of cut lawn that hit the hops plants while mowing
Tasted crystal malts in a doughy blend of alcohol and toffee
Has some bitterness that remarkably doesn't offend and fades lightly sweet
Body is a weakling that takes one step up the water ladder
Each bottle tasted similar with some that were oxidized
All my experiences with Smuttynose were greatly appreciated
This one wouldn't be repeated
nuff said (655 characters)

Photo of trekbiker3000
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice brown color but very little head. The aroma was sweet and carmel-like. A complex taste of sweet, bitter and toasted malt. The aftertaste is a definite smoky malt taste. This is a full bodied brew with a nice even carbonation. The aftertaste lingers in the mouth with the smoky malt flavors. A good beer to serve on a cold day, but the complexity of flavors and smoky aftertaste make this too much of a beer to have more than one or two. (443 characters)

Photo of Nezzy
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chose this beer for my thanksgiving meal and wasn't disappointed in the pairing.

Appearance: dark amber with red, mahogany, brown colors and even the slightest bit of orange. Not too opaque with little to no head and no lacing.

Smell: sweet with the malts coming through the strongest.

Taste: It reminds me of a cross between a pumpkin ale and a stout. You get spices like cinnamon and nutmeg but its mixed with the malts reminding me of a stout.

Mouthfeel: good amount of carbonation but its light

Drinkability: I'm not sure if I could drink this beer after beer however, paired with a good meal its a really good beer and one I would definitely drink again. (664 characters)

Photo of BrewStoutMagic
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is very nicely dark colored ale. Aroma has a light chocolate roastiness.Taste is a fine malted toffee, chocolate ale.Overall this is very nice, but make sure it has been refridgerated for a while.Otherwise the malt taste will be more like your drinking a robust tootsy roll.It does get better.I'd be happy to drink more.Glad I gave it a chance. (349 characters)

Photo of towersfall
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep ruby with a bit of cloudiness. Heat is off-white and dissipates rather quickly but leaves nice lacing throughout the session.

Smell: Spices and dark fruit. Somewhat traditional to the style albeit nothing spectacular.

Taste: Toasty malts with dark fruit packs the opening punch but is quickly followed by some good ole yeasty goodness. No hops, but the malts balance that out.

Mouthfeel: Lighter but still holds its own. The aftertaste is certainly toasty.

Drinkability: By the books mild dubbel. Nothing impressive, but nothing horrible either. Satisfying brew, but much more could be done for this beer to actually stand out, (650 characters)

Photo of speakorspasm
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (1,163 characters)

Photo of 29mikoyan
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Somewhat similar to a Dark Belgian Ale. Nice malt mouthfeel. A taste of dried raisins that fades into dark espresso and then into Belgian chocolate. This is definitely a nice winter warmer. I would recommend this beer for when you are sitting in front of a fire in a lightly dimmed room. (287 characters)

Photo of velo343
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Very dark, almost opaque brown with a deep red tint. A pillowy, snow white head, tons of lacing.

Smell - Lots of phenols, most notably cloves and bubblegum. Dark fruits, like plum, figs, and raisins also come through strongly.

Taste - A classic dubbel flavor, but a bit subdued. Some caramel flavor, raisins, a very mild hop flavor behind the sweetness. Fairly thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Not quite as strong flavors as many other dubbels, but still pretty good. Very smooth and easy to drink. (563 characters)

Photo of BeerLover48Fan
4.77/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chestnut brown in color with one finger of creamy pale mocha colored head which falls quickly leaving no lace.

The scent is almost imperceptible to my nose at first but I finally get a very mild belgian yeast and some cloves.

Taste is sweet and nutty to start, with a touch of spice - mainly cloves - to follow and a nice yeasty sour finish. There's a mild smokiness here as well which I'm really enjoying.

Rich medium mouthfeel with light tingly zesty carbonation.

Drinkability is very good.

This beer seems to have characteristics of a brown ale, a winter warmer, and a belgian dubbel but doesn't strike me as being distinctly any one of the three. Whatever it is it exhibits typical Smuttynose quality and is quite delicious. I'll be buying more. (759 characters)

Photo of rjochman
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown with a hint of red color. Has a very small amount of brownish white head that dissipates very quickly. Leave little to no lacing on the glass. The smell has toasted malts with a sweet brown sugar tones as well. Taste goes with the smell and has a good amount of spice to it. Has medium carbonation and creamy feel to the texture. Pretty drinkable and a good winter ale. (395 characters)

Photo of Neecee513
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into tulip glass.

A: Medium head, good head retention, dark brown color.

S: Fruity banana and warm spice aroma.

T: Malty with a dry finish. Still some banana and caramel notes.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium body.

D: OK beer, nothing too exciting, but I would definitely consider this beer again. (316 characters)

Photo of HBeezley
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Basically, this is one of my favorite winter ales so far. Not at all something that will give you some awe inspiring session or blow your beer world away. But...sitting down, after a long days work, on a cold december night, this beer hits the spot. Just what I want to be drinking right now! (292 characters)

Photo of hopbar
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack of 12 oz. bottles from Sal's Bar and Liquor in Wash. Twp., NJ.

A: In a pint glass, amber / red color with a small head that disappeared quickly.

S: Sweet malty smell, almost with hints of cranberries.

T: Crisp & sweet with a relaxing, long-lasting aftertaste. A little hoppy on the aftertaste but real good.

M: Solid carbonation; not very thick.

D: Definitely will be drinking this again this winter. Also, would like to cellar a few. (473 characters)

Photo of RedBeerchetta
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't get over the Bazooka Bubblegum nose. It's distinct, and not welcome. It looks better than free bubblegum, though. Deep brown, purplish. Little head that dissipates pretty much entirely. A welcoming looking beverage during the holidays.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Nice balance of sweetness, nuts, and silkiness. Doesn't stick to the tongue too long. Satisfying.

Taste is reminiscent of a good brown ale but heavier on sweetness, as I'd want in a Winter brew.

A very enjoyable brew during the holidays. A bit more complex and enjoyable as it gets warmer. (560 characters)

Photo of irish
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty dark amber, without a big head. Smells surprisingly weak, with some caramelized sugars coming out.

The initial taste is pretty strong and lets you know its there, in a positive way. Its clearly an attention-getter. However, its got a bit of an odd lingering bitterness way back on the side of the tongue. Its an odd combination or perhaps hops and sweet malt that is just a bit too strong on the palate.

On the other hand, winter beers in general want to take your mind off the cold, and give you some robust flavors and a bit of alcoholic warmth to occupy your senses. And this beer does that indeed. (619 characters)

Photo of BrianOhio
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (700 characters)

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