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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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668 Reviews
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-05-1998

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Reviews: 668 | Ratings: 1,472
Photo of Sammy
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A floral hops aroma, a nice amber colour. Otherwise, a metalic taste and very dry not bitter not very flavourful at all. Bubbles, head fizzed out quickly. Could not finish. Harsh carbonation. Some malts, but didn't work for me. Missing a lot. Maybe works on tap.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -7%

Best by 10/15/14.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, citrus zest, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, citrus zest, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that starts out really earthy from the fridge and seems to become hoppier as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is rather hazy copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with notes of toffee and hints of pine resin hops.
T: The taste seems to have more hop flavors compared to other pale ales and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness but is well balanced and also has flavors of caramel malts and hints of malty sweetness. The bitterness particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is packed with lots of malty and hoppy flavors but is extremely well balanced and also very sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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 brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Phyl21ca
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a small bubbly off-white head with average retention. Aroma is quite hoppy with a nice floral touch. Taste is also hoppier then expected with a great presence of citrus hops. Body is about average for the style with some low carbonation.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this as part of the Smuttynose variety pack.. not a loser in that bunch, one of my favorite mixed 12's I have access to! This pours a nice orange/amber color, nice fluffy head to it.. moderate lacing. Nice subtle hop aroma, with some bready smells as well. This beer has an amazing mouthfeel and perfect body to it.. just smacks you right on on the tongue and is well balanced. Nice malt backbone and a kiss of hops as it goes down smooth. Super drinkable and a great session beer.. highly recommended, along with other Smutty offerings.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours amber with a bit of a light head and not too much in the way of lacing. The nose brings out some pale malts as well as some light citrus and floral hops. The taste really combines the citrus hop flavors and pale malt quite well. Really befitting of a good APA. Good bitterness and a nice body. Drinkability is high and on par with some of the better East Coast APAs.

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Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amazingly I have never tried this beer until today I have been srounded by it but never gave it a shot, a very nice pour a nice clear copper with a fluffy white 2 finger head that left globs of lacing behind as it settled.Balanced aromas biscuity caramel malt intertwined with a little citrus hop.Flavors are nice but seem to me missing something to put into a higher category somehwat dry biscuity malt base with the hops providing a grassy-like finish.This beer needs more braun its all finess the flavors are nice but could be better,it is an easy going quaffer though and good for a warmer summer day like today.

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Photo of nickfl
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - One and a half fingers of off white foam, settles quickly but leaves a nice layer of lace as it does. The body is a clear, amber-brown color.

S - Spicy, pine and citrus hops and a brown malty note to back it all up.

T - Both malt and strong hop bitterness up front, notes of rosemary and grapefruit. Malty flavors in the middle with toasted notes. The finish dominated by soapy bitterness and some vegetal hop flavors.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry, astringent finish.

D - A bit disappointing. The hop aroma is ok, but the flavor is bland and the bitterness is quite soapy. There is enough malt present to help keep it balanced, but it is too dark for an APA, and despite its darkness it is not complex. I wouldn't recommend this one.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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 NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
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 chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle dated "best by" 3/2011 served in pint glass. Very small amount of sediment added mid-tasting.

pours a clear copper with a moderate off-white head. Head has good retention.

This is a relatively hoppy APA that also has a robust malt base. High caramel component in both the aroma and flavor. Bold and crisp with excellent finish. The flavor is rich and a little earthy. Excellent sweet/bitter balance, with a mildly bitter close and aftertaste. Taste rating approaches 4.5.

O: This is about as good as an APA gets. Super choice to introduce macro-lager drinkers to a more flavorful craft beerm or to prepare PA drinkers for an IPA.

{revisited, with no need for rating changes, in Feb. 2012)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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 ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce single - $2.00 at Venus Wine in Buford, Georgia. Best Before: July 2009.

Appearance: Pours a medium amber-brown body with a full finger of frothy, faintly beige-hued head. Bits of splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Spiced, leafy citrus fruits go head-to-head with some sweetish, toasty malt scents.

Taste: Pale malts with touches of toasted bread, lightly sweet caramel, and a meager dusting of brown sugar. Hint of spice. Touch of fruitiness. Citrusy, leafy hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Pink grapefruit emerges in the latter half now that the hops have sent the sweet malt a-running. Finishes dry and slightly crisp with some lingering hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Recommended as a quality, quaffable pale ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a becker pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of smoky which is bit uncharacteristic of the style, with caramelized malt, a little hops and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste is on the malty side but not overly sweet, with a decent burst of hops bitterness, along with some citrus. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, good representation of style while still being a little different. This is a very good beer to stick with for a whole evening.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Portsmouth Brewing Company

Clear copper pour with a small white head that sank to a ringlet. Decent aroma, good balance of citrusy hops and sweet malts. Basic and simple in smell and taste. On the palate, sweet malts, crisp citrus hops, toasted grains. Not much else to say. Light-medium body, and pretty easily drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the pour was a nice medium to light amber color with a thick head of white that sat on top throughout the entire session, nice lacing down the glass.

aroma is light, nice little notes of citrus, hints of apple, pears, light grasses and a smooth, even flavor or light fruity yeast. as i take the first sip i get the clean, crisp flavor right off the bat. really nicely done. clean and light hops, a good strain of yeast and very nice carbonation all lead to a solid pale.

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Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jwc215 for this one, Cheers Joe!

Pours an effervescent & chill-hazed copper with 3+ fingers of rocky pearl white head. Very good head retention & above average head retention

S: Biscuitty malt & citrussy hops in abundance

T: Grapefruit & lemon hops, a touch of grassyness up front. Herbal hops, dryness, a bit of biscuitty malt show up as this warms. Finishes with grapefruits, leafy hops, a bit of apricot & honey

MF: Medium body with minimal carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks easy, not a great APA, but worthy of sixer during a BBQ or football game

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the better pale ales in the NE, right up there with Ipswich and Cisco Whale Tale. Perfect mix of hops and malt with all of the yeasty by products a big strapping boy like me needs.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
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 smcolw
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
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 billab914
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Starr Hill shaped glass. It poured a deep amber color with a modest, frothy, off-white colored head to it. The head settled to a thin layer and mostly clung to the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of bready, malty flavors to it with the hops coming through as more herbal and earthy. Just a hint of citrus is there along with a bit of caramel.

The taste has a pretty nice balance of hoppy and malty. You get some citrus at first but the malty, bready flavors start to come through soon after. In the finish some herbal, bitter hops help balance out the bready and malty flavors. I get some hints of caramel throughout it as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some nice flavors and was a very easy drinking beer. It wasn't nearly as hoppy as a lot of the popular APA's, but the balty flavors it brought instead were pretty nice. nicely balanced and easy drinking beer overall.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Ciao 2 in Robinson a small Italian Cafe'...known for a nice small beer selection and a 3 dollar draft happy hora. This place has a beer on draft called 412 ale the local area code brewed by Smuttynose. I've had Shoals in the past and this is definitely a reissue of that same beer with a new label. Which is fine by me I don't see the Shoals Pale ale locally very often so that's fine. Plus it's really drinking great on tap, a pale copper hue with an off white cream head forms fine even lacing. Mild fruity nose with herbal mild citric hops, a very nice baked breadiness going on with each sip. Solid sipper for any occasion, Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied slight trace of hop oils finishes with a mild welcoming bitterness. Overall quality beverage that I will try every time I'm there and if I can get it in sixers better yet.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My main man, Tone77, dropped by last night to take a load of Kvass from me (along with a myriad of CANs) and in return, he laid a whole buncha bottles on me, including this one. Between a protest on the Capitol steps in the blazing heat and the debrief at a local watering hole after, followed by some Kvass at home, this is my last beer for the day before beddy-bye.

My pour resulted in just better than a finger of thick, dense tawny head with good retention. Color was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose smelled nicely of piney hops and I wonder if anyone has considered hops potpourri or air freshener ... There was also an underlying caramel malty sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a just-right amount of hops for before bedtime. It made me want to go inside The Samuel Haley house on Smuttynose Island, look for a bed that would be just right (not too hard and not too soft) and lie down. The lacing in the glass was nothing short of beautiful as I drank. It was maybe a little more malty than the brewer had intended (best before March 2011), but I was satisfied with the intermingling of malt and hops on the tongue. The finish was soft, smooth, eminently drinkable and ... Zzzz.

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,472 ratings.
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