Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
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Style:
English Pale Ale
Ranked #8
ABV:
5.6%
Score:
86
Ranked #19,027
Avg:
3.84 | pDev: 10.94%
Reviews:
675
Ratings:
1,497
From:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
 
New Hampshire, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  46
Gots
  161
SCORE
86
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
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Reviews: 675 | Ratings: 1,497
Reviews by LarsBrekken:
Photo of LarsBrekken
4/5  rDev +4.2%

More User Reviews:
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 BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-copper with a generous number of fine particulates on close inspection. The pale orangish, light caramel colored head is firmly creamy and looks to be quality made. In addition, it leaves fairly extensive moth-eaten curtains of lace as it recedes. This is a great looking pale ale.

Shoal's has a classic APA aroma, with plenty of power and plenty of hops. If I didn't know that Cascade and Chinook were in use, I might have been able to guess. The nose consists of white grapefruit zest, with an overlay of brown sugar and spice. Very nice.

This is a wonderful pale ale, in large part because it's hoppier than most. Malt keep its head down and out of the way, yet still imparts a modicum of balancing caramel sweetness. This beer is all about hops, though. It doesn't venture into IPA territory, but it's a near thing. Again, classic 4-C (or in this case, 2-C) flavor abounds. While it might not reach the zenith that hopheads crave, the flavor burst is more than adequate for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium with a lightly resiny, lightly slick, lingering finish. There's an active amount of carbonation that never becomes intrusive; a neat trick and a characteristic of well-brewed beer.

Smuttynose is one of the Northeast's finest breweries. Shoal's is further evidence of that fact; not that more evidence was needed. Ignore the Smutty website where they call this an English style pale ale. It's a true blue, dyed in the wool, All-American pale that displays its hop bill with pride. A very nice effort. Thanks to far333 for providing.

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Photo of smcolw
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Coudy, dark copper color with a slightly yellow-white head that has excellent retention and lace.

The aroma is an excellent blend of malt and hop. The hop is floral and inviting. The malt is sweet and "round". Very inviting!

Darker malt (crystal) in flavor is the initial taste. This is followed by a strong bitterness that intensifies after the swallow. The beer is thick; coats the palate. I'm only a tad bit let down after the aroma, but that may be because it held awesome promise. This is a very good, delicious pale ale. I'd love to smell the brewery.

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Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice, long-lasting white head that leaves behind plenty of lacing

Smell: Smells a bit like an amber, with lots of rich malt body and a touch of piney hops presence in the background

Taste: The initial caramel-flavored malt gives way, by mid-palate, to a blast of pithy and piney hops; the finish is crisp, bitter and slightly salty; underneath, there is a characteristically English fruity malt flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with a nice bit of carbonation

Drinkability: This is one excellent, if different, pale ale; a bit like a hoppy amber

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

A classic Pale Ale that tilts into Amber Ale territory with the malts.

Shoals begins with a medium amber color, mild haze (dry-hopped?), and a firm white head that lasts the session while leaving convincing lace behind.

Aromas seem to be a balance blend of earthy hop resins, American citrus hops, and English floral and spicy hops. Hops certainly take precidence with the nose but does allow a bready, caramelly, maltiness to peak through from time to time.

Flavors of malts take the initial step with graham cracker and toffee taste. Hop flavor follows closely behind with resiny, piney, fresh cut grasses. Citrus rinds gain intensity at mid-palate and increase in bitterness deep into the finish.

Malty and moderately full up front but the beer fades quickly into a dry, bitter, and evaporative feel. A skeleton of hops and malt flavor leave no residual sweetness on the tongue.

A very solid Pale Ale that holds more malt flavor (think Amber Ales) than expected and with an aggressive, and sometimes bitey, bitterness that seems slightly out of proportion to the rest of the beer. Still deserving of high marks. Thanks Stiggs!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and some amber + apricot highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dense foamy beige head that reduces to a large patch of thick film covering almost the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly sweet malts with notes of both caramel and toffee as well as a moderate amount of hops - pine/resin and herbal.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of slightly sweet caramel malts with just a touch of toffee sweetness in there as well. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of herbal and pine hops which contribute a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: Well balanced between the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness of the hops while still be a touch more flavorful than other APAs, certainly this one was well ahead of it's time. Easy to drink and sessionable.

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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 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 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 NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shoal's pale ale is copper-amber in color with a short head of creamy white foam that holds fairly well before dropping to an average collar and whispy surface covering. It leaves a ring or two of thin lace at the outset and then the occassional whisp and splash.

It has a limited aroma for a pale ale, showing only a bit of malt and nary a hop.

The flavor is clean with a little bit of yeast character (mild fruitiness), caramelish malt, and grassy and leafy hops. It's backed by a solid bitterness, and it finishes dry with some lingering caramel malt and leafy hops.

A basic, "go to" pale.

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.83/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark amber, more red than brown with a beefy, reddish white head that won't quit.

S: Very clean and crisp, malty but not sweet, strong but not overpowering.

T: Excellently balanced, this is maltier than it is hoppy. Biscuity, but slightly bitter. Not at all sweet, and just as clean and crisp as the smell suggests.

M: Full-bodied, slightly chewy but smooth. A great feeling.

D: Extremely drinkable, the bitterness is not overly dry so this one goes down real easy.

This is one of the best pale ales around, right up there with Whales Tale in my book, and a favorite standby of mine.

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Photo of asabreed
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A hazy copper and amber color depending on which version of light I'm having go through it. Nice shreds of lacing in bird figures you used to draw on art class, those lofty M-shapes. Head stays above the glass after it starts to dissipate and leave the lacing.

Smell: Pretty awesome balance between fruity aromas, citrus-edged hops, and toasted husk, grain, and malt characteristics. All of them come together very harmoniously.

Taste: The hops and citrus are there at first, then the fruity and citrus characteristics with some lemon, slight grapefruit, a bit of apple skin and cherries. The fruit mixes nicely with the husk-like and toasted malt. And still, by the end, the hops end up lingering, with a slight saltiness and sourness. This is a bold pale ale with tons of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation, or so it seems, though nothing gets in the way as far as astringency or slickness or anything as such, which I imagine ends up catering toward the flavor even more.

Drinkability: An extremely solid version of the style that I could end up easily making into a session brew. An insane amount of flavor, which, as it should, gets better as it warms, with an ABV that almost anyone can deal with. Impressive stuff.

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Photo of Atron67
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- can tell from the start that its different because the color is a darker amber than you would normally see from something called a pale ale, very lacey tanish foam forms upon pour

S-- Very hoppy smells delicious slight malt

T- light body malt to start turning to a nice (cascade? maybe another heavy alpha) hops flavor.

M- a bit on the medium side for a pale ale, nice but not as crisp as some other pale ales that are a favorite of mine

D- a good choice in any situation, enjoyable

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Photo of VTaler
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Brown, Almost the same color of the bottle. Very little head and some lacing. Also very cloudy. When held up to the light it looks like honey.
S - Smells like hops and lots of them.
T - First taste is of dryness. Kind of unusual. Citrus hops with a sour lacing. Also a kind of spicy hop presence. The malt is there but not very present. This overall is a nice beer. Not too bitter and not too heavy. Good example of a English style pale ale. This is how a "pale ale" should taste like. Sour malt but not to sour that is bad.
M - Medium-high carbonation. Leaves a lacing on your tongue
D - nice session pale ale

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Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a Pint glass.Enjoyed on marĀ“11
Orangish amber.Foggy.White & dense crown,fairly well retention.Brief lacing.Mildy malt aromas & smooth floral hoppy notes on nose.Moderate dry bitterness,citric notes.Balanced aftertaste.Drinkable.

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Photo of SysopChris
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Flashy
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now if this doesn't beat most American Pale Ales and IPA's. Prefer this Smuttynose IPA as well. Just a good drinking beer.

Appearance: Amber, darker than I would think. Beautiful white head that stayed the whole 5 minutes it took me drink this.

Smell: Malt up front, with a bit of hops in the background.

Taste: Earthy hops, which tastes stronger after you drink it and lingers.

Mouthfeel: Full body, with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability: One of my desert island beers. Full bodied, great tasting, good looking.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of KC9LDB
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of DonFrap
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of RyanAU
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of CTague
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of yelterdow
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served at just a few degrees over fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass. Best by October of 2008, this is a fresh example.

Appearance- A fine looking American Pale Ale... a solid, medium gold beer supports three full fingers of head, which pops and hisses away for an eternity. The craggy, sticky lacing is glued to the surface of the glass... just terrific. Appetite whetted.

Smell- Lemony fresh hops (reminiscent of Lemon Pledge furniture polish at first) tease the nose right at the outset. There's an indication of malts in the form of bready, light aromas... but it's all about the citrus here. Not grapefruit, like a Sierra Nevada or DFH pale ale though... lemons baby.

Taste- The tongue is taken hostage immediately, with an all-encompassing total grip. While this will undoubtedly please those seeking a fast hop attack, it leaves something to be desired with regard to balance. I'm not getting much more at all here... it's a two-dimensional rendition of the style. The finish and ultimate aftertaste is an eternity of drying, wincing bitterness that really needs a malt profile too.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- At first, this beer definitely barks in the mouth... the carbonation borders on aggressive and begins to relax with a few swishes. The swallow is pretty good, but the hellacious hop finish takes what could be a great ending and obscures it. The resulting belches are rough and again bring the heavyhanded use of hops in this recipe into the headlights.

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Photo of angrybabboon
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Review adapted from notes taken 9/4/11

Appearance: Somewhere between a dark gold and amber, with some yellow - white head, nice lacing

Smell: Kind of strange - mild floral, herbal, and grassy hops - notably earthy, kind of smells like dirt - pale malts are pretty dull, but they are there

Taste: Also strange - very earthy, almost salty - the hop profile is very weird, grassy - malts are decent, pale with some toastiness, some sweetness - but the weird characteristics are too prominent - overly earthy, too much minerality - gets better as it warms, but not by much

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation

Overall: This just does not work for me

I tried this beer in early 2008 and it was a drain pour. In 2011, I finally tried it again. While I did finish the beer, I still taste too much grass and salt. I don't understand it, as I really have enjoyed everything else I have had from Smutty.

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1497 ratings