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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

817 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 817
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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Ratings: 817 | Reviews: 468 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Neecee513

New York

3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 23:16:01 | More by Neecee513
Photo of HBeezley

New York

3.85/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 06:35:42 | More by HBeezley
Photo of hopbar

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 22:59:10 | More by hopbar
Photo of LOCAL

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 23:27:04 | More by LOCAL
Photo of rjochman


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 02:30:37 | More by rjochman
Photo of RedBeerchetta


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 04:13:37 | More by RedBeerchetta
Photo of irish


3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 00:12:53 | More by irish
Photo of BrianOhio


3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 04:07:15 | More by BrianOhio
Photo of lowbrau


3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice amber/ruby color. Very little carbonation. A fairly hard pour left a half finger of head that dissipated quickly. There is a strange sharpness in the smell that I can't quite put my finger on. Body was very weak at first, but came out more as the beer warmed. Hints of maple and caramel. Finishes very clean with little aftertaste. Very smooth mouthfeel, almost too clean. Heavier carbonation would be appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 01:51:16 | More by lowbrau
Photo of fosterific


4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The winter ale poured deep red with a sizable head and a spot of yeast at the end.
The aroma is that of hops and alcohol, with just a touch of wood.
The flavor is dry and nutty, and then ends with a little spice of booze. I also taste chocolate.
The beer feels heavy on the palate, fairly dense and creamy.
This is the perfect beer for procrastinating; it is slow, complex and makes you feel warm and cozy. A good winter ale, just what I needed before going out to shovel, or maybe I will sip a bit slower and savor this one as long as I can.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 22:00:28 | More by fosterific
Photo of deciding39


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz tumbler.

A: Pours a clear, ruby red. A short white head forms and quickly recedes to the edges of the glass. Good lace.

S: A bouquet of yeast & fruit (cherries, plums), sweet malt, and light floral hops. Alcohol and some phenols towards the back.

T: Malty, with lots of ripe-tasting fruit (plums, especially) from the yeast. The Trappist ale yeast used to make this brew gives it its most unique qualities. Very mild, floral hops in the background, along with some phenols (a little 'band-aid' in the finish...but nothing overwhelming). Very interesting!

M & D: Medium/full bodied. Quite smooth and warming, with moderate carbonation. Very tasty...but like many others have pointed out, the ABV seriously limits the drinkability. I'm about done with my second and I definitely feel it. The unique flavors can also become cloying after tossing a couple back.

A really interesting brew. Way more exciting than the ubiquitous, over-spiced holiday ales that seem to crowd the liquor store coolers this time of year. Some may not be into the unique flavors from the Belgian yeast, but you'd be foolish not to give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 04:01:10 | More by deciding39
Photo of HarryPotHead


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first go round with this brewery and it wasn't a bad one....this is a decent but not great winter ale.

A - Pours dark brown / red around the edges into a traditional pint glass. A "not so soft" pour yielded a two finger off-white head that hung around for a few minutes...long enough for me to snap a photo with my phone and send it to a friend who was working late...you know, just to rub it in cause that's what friends do right?

S - Expected more of one. LOL! Nothing real pronounced with this one. Very subtle hints of caramel with an earthy scent. Not overpowering or in your face...nice, but lacking complexity.

T - Again not the most complex. Very "safe" for a winter seasonal. I expected more of a robust character...something that would "put hair on your chest"!

M - Smooth with just the right amount of carbonation....kind of thin though. Could stand to be a little heavier.

Overall - Not a bad beer AT ALL! I enjoyed this beer....as I do most (it is beer...duh!) and I'm ready for another. Very easy to drink albeit one dimensional, but I won't hold that against it. I did expect more for a winter brew but was not disappointed. Nice ABV for the price ($9.99 for six here in Maryland). BEER!!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 23:12:53 | More by HarryPotHead
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 hchinaski


3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap @Wonderland.

Pours a nice dark brownish with a good head, average time to dissipate.

Couldn't pick up a whole lot of smell Some malts and sweetness with a tad of spice.

Decent taste, not extremely complex, but not too heavy on the malts, slight burnt aftertaste.

Good mouth, very smooth.

Very drinkable, hides the alchohol pretty well, considering the abv. while not my favorite winter selection, i could definitely session this one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2008 19:47:54 | More by hchinaski
Photo of danronian


3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 00:32:40 | More by danronian
Photo of lvbs


2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was definitely the loser of our five tastings. Only one of our 11 drinkers gave it an overall rating over 3, and that was mostly because she enjoyed it more than any other winter ale. Most found it too sweet, with not enough bitterness to balance out. Some thought it was just undistinguished, with no clear flavor or identity.

Overall average: 2.6

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 19:41:20 | More by lvbs
Photo of Scourge07


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

A: Deep, murky amber/red-orange color. 1/2-1 finger of a cream colored head that dissipates quickly. Decent amount of lacing on glass upon consumption.

S: Sweet candy, sweet malts, slight bitter scent

T: Again, candy and malt. Very mild hop bitterness. Subtle caramel taste. Not really tasting much chocolate, like some of the other reviewers are. Mild spiciness.

M: The mouthfeel is the best part this beer. It's extremely smooth and creamy, and very enjoyable to drink overall. Moderate carbonation

O: Very nice to drink! I like the sweet flavor, which is delicately balanced by a bit of bitterness from the hops. AT just 5.1%, I could easily see myself enjoying a few of these on a cold winter night by the fire. Only downside is, I was expecting a bit more spice character. Nevertheless, pick it up if you get the chance!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 04:05:23 | More by Scourge07
Photo of hyprlt


3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into bowled tulip glass.

A: head with almost pink hues. did not last very long. dark brown with ruby red points.

S: aromas of dark fruit, seems to be very estery aromas.

T: esters of bananas, tastes very much like a belgian style. didnt realize it was a dubbel until I started typing the taste section. tastes appropriate to the style.

M: very bubbly carbonation. thick body. lingers on the tongue for a while.

O: I didn't expect a winter ale to be a dubbel, but i guess it does fit for the winter time. it is good, and very low in alcohol but too complex for high drinkability, in my opinion. definitely a recommended beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 03:49:11 | More by hyprlt
Photo of myatomicpolygon

New York

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

It's time to check out Smuttynose Brewing Company's (Portsmouth, NH) Winter Ale. Brewed to keep you warm on those cold nights, the Winter Ale uses an Abbey yeast and crystal hops to create a unique spin on the Belgian Dubbel style.

Appearance- pours a deep dark amber into a pint glass with 2 fingers of foam that sticks around for a while with decent lacing and traces of red highlights when held up to light

Smell- toasty malts up front with a bit of bread, fruity esters, and Belgian yeast on the back end when it warms a little

Taste- really mellow and smooth with no spice or hop bitterness, just a touch of toasty malt and slight sweetness with a trace of fruity esters as it warms

Mouthfeel- medium bodied warming and pleasant

Drinkability- this one goes down pretty smooth and easy...and with its ABV at 5.1% and fair price-tag I could drink several of these in an evening

Overall- I like this beer and would happily drink it again. However, I think it's just too mellow and reserved to get high marks especially when compared to its cousins in Belgium

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 19:39:08 | More by myatomicpolygon
Photo of unskinnyhop09

South Carolina

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

a-looks good. dark amber, caramel colored, wintery.

s-spicy. again, wintery. pleasant...but just above average.

t-nothing here to save the world, but it is pleasant all the same. you can taste the spices...the wintery mix, but nothing that is amazing.

m-very light. not the greatest.

d-one could drink 3 or 4 easily. the only thing holding you back from the entire 6 pack is the spicy taste. a few are nice. many more would be too much.

a great intro to the winter category but not the best winter out there

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 23:02:18 | More by unskinnyhop09
Photo of dadonabike


3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours on the red side of amber, leaving a slight head w/ little laceing-nothing clingy. It's a bit cloudy and had some very fine sediment. The carbonation seems to go very quickly.

S: I notice subtle everything. Malts seem very straightforward; barley, and caramel. Hops are gentle, seems like bittering but not much floral. The alcohol goes up the nose a bit but more so when the glass has room to swirl. Don't notice any yeast, if I had known that this was a dubbel I would have expected more.

The taste is malt dominated, then alcohol w/ a touch of hops. This seems very true to the description of a dubbel. The balance is nice but I would enjoy it more perhaps w/ a funkier yeast or just a few brighter notes. I would say this tastes rich but monotone.
It goes well w/ some MN sheep's milk cheese and I would guess w/ an aged alpine or some washed rind cheese.

I like the mouth feel it's a bit thick but smooth and the extra alcohol picks it up a bit. I think it would be nice on a cold night with friends and potatoes, sausage, cheese, etc. Standing by its self though I'd like it to be a bit more exciting.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 04:09:08 | More by dadonabike
Photo of TooleBurger


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

a: amber color with a little bit of a foamy head

s: very winter-appropriate smell, specifically winter fruits used in cooking holiday dinner

t: great taste, started with some fruit then moved to a dab of alcohol and wood at the end

m: thin, but smooth; perfect amount of carbonation

d: very different than other winter ales I have had in the past, perfect on a cold day

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2009 19:50:51 | More by TooleBurger
Photo of speakorspasm


3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 04:30:51 | More by speakorspasm
Photo of BenjaminBlondbeard

New York

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

Smuttynose Winter Ale poured a dark brown from a bottle into my pint glass. A half inch ivory head shrank quickly. In the light the ale is a clean deep ruby brown with sparse but steady bubbles rising to the top.

It doesn't have a strong smell. Some sweet malty notes, caramel, and dark fruit.

Surprisingly it is on the light side of medium bodied beer. There is a nice even carbonation that livens up the intake. It coats the mouth, but is not syrupy. It leaves light lacing on the glass that doesn't stay around for too long.

First tastes are subtle plumb and fig like fruit flavors, and then some sweet roasted malts, with a light hop spice that wraps it all up. The hop spice cuts the sweet malt like a sly bitter ninja; not overpowering, but exacting. It fades away quickly, but lingers in the shadows to enjoy the well balanced finish. The hop and malt flavors linger with now toffee notes, along with the fruit, sweet malt, and very stealthy hop spice.

Not a typical "Winter" ale. I suppose it is more a "Dubbel," as noted in the description on this page. It is very nice for a cold winter night, but not one I would consider for the winter beer hall of fame.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 01:52:48 | More by BenjaminBlondbeard
Photo of wgarton


3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Served in a goblet, shows dark brown with hints of red against the light. Thin head parts to reveal a good lacing around the outside of the glass.

S: Great smell. Apricots, honey, yeast. Very warming.

T: Similar to the smell. Sweet, with little strong taste of alcohol. Leave a toasty honey taste.

MF: My biggest complaint for this beer, over carbonated distracting from the flavor. Fairly thin.

D: Overall, a pretty solid warming winter beer. I wish that it were less carbonated because it could be much better if so. I could have a couple on a winter night.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 01:38:02 | More by wgarton
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 817 ratings.