Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
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English Pale Ale
Ranked #8
Ranked #20,520
3.84 | pDev: 10.94%
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Very Good
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
Notes: Our interpretation of a classic English beer style is copper-colored, medium-bodied and pleasantly hopped. Its flavor is delightfully complex: tangy fruit at the start, with an assertive hop crispness and a long malty palate that one well-known beer writer has compared to the flavor of freshly-baked bread.

52 IBU
Reviews: 676 | Ratings: 1,498 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in Nov 2019. There is a drink before date of 12/2019 on the bottle.

Appearance: Dark amber color with huge tan head. Cloudy IPA, more than others. Head is very thick and there is alot of lacing.

Smell: Strong earthy aroma woth some hops. Some citrus as well. Overall the earthy aroma dominates the other aromas.

Taste: Sweet taste. There is some hops and citrus flavor but with some sweetness like a brown ale as well. This is not as bitter as most other IPAs. Has a nice after taste. Overall a nice balance and very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied. Medium alcohol which matches the 5.6% listed.

This is a good IPA. It has some hops, and other flavors, which makes it interesting. I prefer their Finest Kind IPA which has more hop bite, but this is very drinkable and I would buy this again.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes 11/10/13: Pours an opaque amber but clears as the brew warms producing 2+ fingers of frothy, off-white, somewhat lasting head that leaves sheets and streaks of lacing. Aroma is caramel malt, honey/graham cracker, hints of citrus, grass, apple and onion. Taste is toast and caramel fronted backed by a hoppy bitterness that provides hints of citrus (particularly lemon), pine, grass and pineapple. It finishes finishes with some pepper, a prominent earthy floral hop note and a mineral hint that become the dominate characters of the lightly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with medium-high carbonation, dry and lightly astringent in the aftertaste.

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Photo of l2t
4.74/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

With all the IPAs on the market now, it's getting very hard to find a good pale ale. Shoal's Pale Ale is one of the few I can regularly go to when I want a medium-heavy brew with a nice body that doesn't taste like a packed a wad of hops between my cheek and gum. Don't get me wrong, I've been an IPA drinker for decades but it's gotten out of hand and much prefer a good Pale Ale now and Shoals Pale Ale is perhaps the best I've found.

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Photo of EmeraldMist
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Look - Pours a hazy light amber, fluffy light beige head, lots of lacing all over the glass.
Aroma - Grass, apple, yeast, brown sugar, earthy
Taste - Light fruitiness to start, sweet red apple, subtle citrus, herbal hops lend bitterness and give it a really nice earthy tea flavor, malts come in with slight toast, very light toffee and fresh biscuit. The finish is long with hints of sweet toasted tobacco and dry nutty yeast.
Feel - Medium bodied, not quite creamy, soft carbonation.

Overall - So balanced and so complex. It's not often that I compare beers to cigars, but like a good cigar this beer has loads of flavor, complexity and transitions but keeps the strength reasonable. World class beer for sure.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really great Pale Ale. Malts are prominent here, toasty and very grainy. Love it. Hops give a very fresh and herbaceous aroma to the beer. Bitterness is light and the beer is very smooth and easy drinking. Full body yet easy drinking. Proper pale.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Pours clear copper bronze burnt red-orange with a dense creamy off-white foam head. Smells like dark toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toasted bread, mild smoky roast, some spice, grapefruit, orange citrus, lemon, with floral earthy grass and herbal pine. Tastes like tangy orange citrus, grapefruit pith, lemon, toasted bready malt, mild smoky roast, spice, dark toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, with floral earthy grass and herbal pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and slick with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice English pale ale.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy amber color with beige head. Aroma has grapefruit and resiny hops. Taste starts with grapefruit and orange, followed by an underlying malt sweetness and finishes with medium to intense piney hop bitterness. Light body but the mouthfeel is quite smooth. Really good overall. Classic, well made pale ale with high drinkability.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a Smuttynose mixed 12-pack at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Rhinelander. The bottling code suggests this one is good for another three months. Poured right from the fridge into my Founders pint glass.

L: Pours a slightly hazy deep copper amber with about a half-inch of off-white head that falls pretty quickly to a thin film and ring and leaves mild lacing on the glass. Modest lazy visible carbonation present.

S: Bready and caramel malt notes play against somewhat subtle citrus and earthy hop notes. There's a touch of pine and floral hop notes present, as well. Not a very assertive nose on this one.

T: Tart citrus hop flavor greets you right out of the gates, with muted grapefruit and--more prominently--earthy notes mingling with the bready and caramel malt flavors--the hops are certainly more insistent. The middle continues the citrus and earthy hop astringency and adds to it some delicate floral hop flavor. Just a bit of cracked pepper in the mix, as well. The back end sees the hop flavors taking on more bitterness--the grapefruit, floral, and earthy notes move to something like grapefruit rind. The malt flavors are present throughout and continue to play into the mix at the close.

F: Rides the border of light and medium body. Quite effervescent throughout the life on the palate, this one is astringent, slightly fizzy, and quite bitter in turns. There is some stick to the end, with the bitter lingering into the aftertaste.

O: This is a solid English pale ale from Smuttynose. It's a very nice change of pace for those of us who, like me, tend to stick to APAs and IPAs--those earthy and subtle floral hop flavors are understated, yet very effectively so. Pretty nice balance, though the front end is pretty well dominated by the hop flavor and astringency. If you're looking for a change-of-pace from your normal pale ale routine, give this one a try.

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Photo of dfavreau
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this Pale Ale during the Caps vs Pens game 5, Stanley Cup Playoffs. Caps win big and are still in the race. This was a good solid pale ale. The more I have from Smutty the more I like them. The beer had a warm amber color with a nice 1/2 " head-poured a little hard. It had a smokey smell with hints of grapefruit. The taste was deeper and smokier then some other pales I've had which I enjoyed a lot. A nice medium mouthfeel with a creamy head finish. This was a good, solid, easy drinking pale ale with more character and hoppy notes then most pale ales.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased as [part of a mixed 12 pack. Brewed with North American 2-Row, Carastan, C-60, Carahell, Carafa II Dehusked. Bittered with Cascade and Galena, flavor hopped with cascade.
OG=12.5° Plato, 5.3% ABV, 62 IBU's.
Pours out to a slightly hazy medium copper, forming a modest yellow head with very good retention and lacing. Carbonation is about 2.5 carbs or so. The nose has a English ESB hoppy fruitiness, but most interesting, reminds me of the dusty/mildewy smell of the old library of my hometown. There is a nice huskiness to the malt with the suggestion of biscuit malt, slightly fruity ferment and fruity hops. Very mild, but very nice. The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, satisfying feel and finish. The taste opens with the fruity floral hops, much more nuanced that Cascade would suggest. I would have guessed English hops and english yeast, but I am wrong. Quite interesting. Very light toffee, medium firm herbal bitterness and suggestion of toast into the finish. No off flavors. I think this would be killer with a touch of biscuit malt and 10 less IBU's.

This is a very nicely done beer with a touch more hops than you would expect for a english pale, or even an ESB, but it's a nicely rounded and balanced pale. Pleasantly surprised. I would probably buy this again.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.17/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark amber, hazy, with a one finger high head.

Nose: Nothing to write home about... Dried fruit, toffee, caramel malt, dark syrup and pine.
Taste: Dried fruit, resin, grass, malt, a bit of citrus and some bread.
Mouth: Medium body and carbonation. Prettyy easy drinking. A light bitterness.

I think this is a great "dinnerbeer" because it doesen'r run the show. It sits quiet in the back.
To just drink and fell a great beer... Choose another beer, but to a diner with friends - Great!

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Photo of Veejuh
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This rating is for a fresh one

I have never had zombie dust or any of the ultra rare 'legendary' pale ales, but of all of the fine craft pale ales I have had this one is my favorite (above MO and Peeper).

I consider this (fresh) to be the king, it has everything in perfect proportions for a pale ale.

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Photo of drmeto
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

-pours a slightly hazy amber-red with a medium to big, frothy, beige head
-lots of particles visible
-low to medium carbonation visible
-high bitterniss for the style
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-Probably to hoppy for a true-to-style English PA, but still very good

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Photo of Buck89
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an IPA glass. Striking burnt orange hazy color with a 2-finger white head that lingered. Not much aroma - some sweet malt but little hop presence. Taste is much better: nice bitter grapefruit up front with a bready malt and soft finish. Medium bodied and not as dry as other PAs. Very nice.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Amber with a slight haze crowned by a frothy, off-white foam cap that grips the side of the glass. S: Malt and herbal hop aromas with maybe a little hop citrus as well. T: Rich biscuit malt flavors finished with a grapefruit citrus bitter hop finish. F: Medium plus body, medium carbonation with very fine bubbles and a good feel to it. O: A “buy a six-pack and bring it home kind of beer” – this is a good one to keep around.

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

A-Pours a hazyamber color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has generous citrus and hop hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a nice citrus and hop flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A good IPA

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Photo of Garypuffer
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really like this doesn't have the hoppy bite of Smutty's Finastkind IPA, but as a English -style pale ale, it's a winner. Always like to have some around, and at $9.99 for a 12-pack at Hannaford's right now, I'll make another visit to get more.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/3/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, light pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/fruity hops and moderate bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of piney/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice compelxity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balace and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp/sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice American pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best by date of 09/02/15

Appearance - Pours mostly clear and muddled golden orange in color with a sandstone colored, near finger width head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds across the top. Patches of lace are left on the glass with good stick.

Smell - Toasty, bready malts with light floral and citrus hop notes.

Taste - More hop on the tongue than the aroma leads to believe. Mostly Floral notes with a touch of citrus and spice backed by a huge, slightly toasted, bready malt backbone. Relatively balanced, clean finish with just a hint of grassy bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Silky smooth delivery, going down with stupid ease. Nigh chuggable.

Overall - Lacks the punchy flavor profile of some of the great APA's, but more than makes up for that with its great balance and amazing drinkability. For a beer that's over 20 years old, that's impressive. I know Smutty has just recently began to distribute Finestkind and a few of their bombers to NorCal; I hope this one makes its way there.

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Photo of StonewallSipper
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Smuttynose 24 pack variety is the best I have had so far. The one with the Shoals pale ale, brown dog ale, Rhye, and Finest kind, I like to buy variety packs, and this is my favorite one so far, thanks.

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Photo of papposilenus
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a cold tulip. Color of a shiny new penny - pale? not really - nice head with decent retention. Smells of bread, tastes of herbs and pine, nice maltiness but, on balance, tipping toward hoppiness. This is my favorite from the Smutty line up.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A favorite of mine, pours copper with white head and nice lacing. Aromas of pine and citrus - my kind of hop varieties for sure. Flavor carries the initial hop bite quickly smoothed with a delicious maltiness that keeps me coming back for more. one of my favorite summer sessions.

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Photo of seedyone
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

07/31/13 On tap At Rattle N Hum, NYC. I guess I need to brush up on my beer nomenclature. I thought I knew what a pale ale was, but obviously I'm out of sync. This being in the English style, is pushing my low hoppiness tolerance. It's bearable, but a suffrage & since RnH offers sipping, I should have looked before I leapt & found myself neck deep in what might be the longest pint of my life.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a beautiful orange color with a 3 finger high white head when poured into a stemmed beer tasting glass. The smell of this beer is funky. The beer is an excellent blend of hops and malt. Very piny bitter on the finish. Very easy to drink. I enjoyed this beer very much.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper/amber with a modest head and decent lace retention. For me the aroma was dominated by malt, grain and a tiny hint of honey. The taste was a bit surprising for me in that it features a heavier than normal emphasis on hops, as compared to other pale ales I've had. Indeed, the slightly intense citric (grapefruit) hop taste and dry bitter finish and aftertaste remind me more of an IPA. That I did not detect as much of a malt backbone or sweet flavor to balance out the hops, is the only minor quibble I have with this one. No complaints about feel; lively carbonation is crisp, medium bodied and drinkable. A solid brew.

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1498 ratings