1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

841 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 841
Reviews: 469
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 8
Gots: 24 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 841 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Notacraftdrinker
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Notacraftdrinker, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of wahhmaster
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Orval-branded chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a thin fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately. The head leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Has a fruity smell to it (mostly grapes and apples). Smells similar to most Belgian (or Belgian-style) beers. The smell is kind of weak though.

Taste: Initially tastes of fruits with a slight hop bitterness. Finishes sweet with a touch of caramel. Also has a nice touch of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin with a lot of carbonation. Still not too bad.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer and probably a good winter seasonal. Nevertheless, it feels like it's missing something and isn't living up to its full potential.

wahhmaster, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.2/5  rDev -13%

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.

ALESwhatCURESya, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of taylor714914
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%

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.

taylor714914, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of AwYeh
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%

A: Pours a dark, cloudy amber with less than a finger of off-white head.

S: Aroma is sweet and fruity, of plums and raisins.

T: Taste also features these fruit flavors alongside those of caramel and butterscotch, but without being particularly sweet. Not as intense of a flavor as I was expecting from a dubbel, but not bad. Rich maltiness and light bitterness also noticeable; the bitterness particularly on the finish. Nice balance of bitterness with traditionally sweet flavors.

M: Body is medium, creamy, with average carbonation.

D: One of these is good for me, but not a hard beer to get down.

AwYeh, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of sonofliberty2
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

sonofliberty2, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.79/5  rDev +3%

Into a pint glass (also had in a chalice, nothing changed):

A: dark brown colored body with a tan head which quickly dissolved, the lacing doesn't last either

S: some toasted malt and nuts, super light hops only after a bit of warming, subdued "Belgian yeast"

T: aggressive malty sweetness, not as balanced ....hmmm?

M: medium with some slight harshness of carbonation on the tongue, smooth clean aftertaste and finish

O: good dubbel for me, but unsure how true "dubbel" fans feel about this ... hmmm?

BeerKangaroo, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of jmathis
3/5  rDev -18.5%

jmathis, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of erlenmeyer
4/5  rDev +8.7%

erlenmeyer, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of sitarist
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%

12oz bottle, best by date of June-09

A- Pours deep brown, I can only see through it if I hold it to the light. One inch tan head, decent lacing.

S- Sexy and inviting. Candied fruits, dates,dark caramel,butterscotch,winter spice.There is an earthy note I cant place?

T- Raisins,figs,caramel,butterscotch. Flavors are thin but complex.

M- Well balanced body,carbonation,and flavor. Almost dances on my tongue. Nice long finish. Just a little thin or Id say perfect.

D- Even with all the sweet complex flavors; I could still throw down a sixer of these.

F.T.- Even though they label says this a winter ale; I could also enjoy this anytime with pasta, lamb, or beef, almost like a Shiraz Wine.

sitarist, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of dtomes
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

dtomes, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of beerphan
3.9/5  rDev +6%

12oz bottle -> american pint
best before March 2010 in notched on the label

Pours a clear deep copper with a wispy white head that settles down to a small island of dish suds. Patchy droopy lace dissolves quickly.

Nose: caramel, candy

Starts sweet with candied sugar and molasses. Thick malts continue to dominant with some chocolate, plum, and more sweet candy. Herbal hop presence on the back end with a welcome balancing bitterness. Good full body, finishes dry.

Highly quaffable dubbel. Thanks 4sburgh and the empire beer club.

beerphan, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of Mack
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Mack, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Did not realize this was a dubbel until I saw it on BA- doesn't taste like it. Not particularly active head but it is visibly effervescent. What little head exists is off-white. There is very minimal retention and only a few spots of lacing. Pours a dark brown color almost like cola (opaque but can see light through the edges). Smells of ginger and dark malt. Taste is not overly convincing- weak dark malt flavor almost like a dunkel and a hint of the ginger. The mouthfeel was the most disappointing part to me- watery, weakly carbonated; not the kind of things I want in a beer. Overall this is an OK session beer- definitely not one I would buy again.

Hopdaemon39, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Jmamay22
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%

Pours a dark brown with ruby red and violet highlights. The head is the color of heavily creamed coffee and settles to a thin cap.

Smells of American hops, which was surprising. The hops are not overpowering and give way to a vague scent of dark fruits.

The taste begins with an initial impression as being soft and lacking flavor, but builds quickly. A short flash of bitterness gives way to raisins and dates with a sour flavor. From here a sweet sugary molasses takes over. Finishes smooth full of spices. such as cinnamon and clove.

Mouthfeel is smooth and the carbonation is fine. Fairly drinkable, but the spices wear on me. Not bad, but not Smuttynose's finest. Altogether a strange mix and a mash up of a winter warmer and dubbel. I would have preferred more of a yeasty flavor and less of a spiced flavor.

Jmamay22, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of kshankar
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Appearance is a brown with a nice tan head...also has some streaks of red going through it if you hold it up near a light.

Aroma: Some hops, little spices, some sweetness, and some darker fruits.

Taste: Darker fruits, little spice, some hop presence..the dark fruits produce slight sweetness, but not overpowering

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice carbonation. Goes down well

Drinkability: Taste is good, mouthfeel is good...so this works out

Tastes fine..I was expecting a winter warmer, not a Dubbel, but hey, still good for a winter offering. Worth trying.

kshankar, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of JasonTaverner
4/5  rDev +8.7%

JasonTaverner, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of Franchise
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

Pours a deep purple/brown eggplant, I know it isn't purple but it looks like it in the light. It leaves a thin lace head wheat in color. The nose is very fruity black cherries, plum, raisins, grape, very complex with a slight presence of alcohal. The taste is nice starts up front on the palate with a raisin sweetness followed by a grape juice quality. The taste continues with some sight hop bitterness for balance for then finishes refreshing with very light carbonation.

Franchise, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of BDIMike
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%

Pours a very dark copper color. There is very little carbonation and no head at all.
Smell is of weak malts. There is a faint chocolate smell, but a nice plum smell.
Taste is fairly simple. Strong malt taste with a plum aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is too thin for a dubbel and much sharper than I would like as well.
Drinkability is nice. It is not too strong for a dubbel, so that helps. A very average offering for a dubbel. I guess it would not have been that bad as a starter dubbel for someone who had never tried the style before.

BDIMike, May 02, 2008
Photo of ColdWaffles
3.9/5  rDev +6%

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, dark amber with a tannish/off-white head.

Smell: Could be the bottle, but I'm not picking up much. Maybe some vanilla.

Taste: Reminds me a lot of Harpoon Dark. Definitely vanilla, but not much else in terms of spice. It is sweet, but not too sweet. Really makes me want some nice cheddar cheese. This is a relaxer, and something I would definitely enjoy Christmas day if I had cases available in my market.

Mouthfeel: Smooth! Yet still pretty carbonated. Very nice drink. Easily the best quality of this beer.

Like I said, I'd probably have this for the family if it was more widely available in my market. I can imagine this being a good holiday beer for "average" drinkers. I like it well enough either way.

ColdWaffles, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of ILiveOffHops
5/5  rDev +35.9%

ILiveOffHops, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of tenacioustomato
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

tenacioustomato, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of jpd026
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

jpd026, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%

A-Pours a mahogany-red w/light head. Mild retention.
S-Toasted malt, apple, cherry, light cocoa,
T-Slightly sweet toasted malt, fruit emerges midway w/primarily cherry, light spice, and the finish reveals a little hops, chocolate, more spice, and more rich, sweet malt.
M-Lighter-bodied, carbonation has a sharp little bite. Overall balance is there, and finish is slightly dry.
D-Good flavor, easy to drink, and very enjoyable. I would buy again.

BoitSansSoif, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.35/5  rDev -9%

"Best by 4/28/14" printed on bottle.

A weak pour delivers half a finger of manilla colored yeast. The body is a dark rosy brown. Lace initially makes an attempt but dries up pretty quickly.

Dark fruit, malt, earthy aromas all appear. The nose is rather laid back.

Sweet dark malt combine with a graininess. A little xmas spice comes in with the earthy taste. More xmas spice as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium/heavy bodied.

CFHMagnet, Dec 07, 2013
Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.