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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
Very Good
1,488 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,488 |  Reviews: 672
Photo of mlazzaro
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This used to be one of my staple beer as I first got into the "craft" beers. I since have been exploring as many beers as I can, but decided to revisit this one, and it really is as good as I ever remember it. That is a huge endorsement, because in the past five years my knowledge, preferences, and palate have evolved dramatically, and still I find the shoals to be quite enjoyable.

A darker amber-brownish color. Hurtin' head retention, but otherwise looking very appetizing. Judging by the nose, I feel like this beer has American hops, with an U.K. yeast stain. Malty sweet and bitter, with yeasty finish (maybe slightly oxidized). Not the least bit scorching like an IPA might seem. Smooth but powerful bitterness. I like that they have bottle conditioning. Good beer, nice for a good session.

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Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Grapefruit pith, bready malt, some grassiness,

L: Light burnt orange, off white head that dissipates slightly. Solid lacing.

T: Fruity malt with a soft bready sweetness. Grapefruit rind like medium bitterness leads to a chalky pithy dry finish.

M: Medium bodied, solid medium carbonation.

A really solid pale ale, very dry and bitter, quite different from SNPA, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of samie85
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a burgundy-hued light brown color with two fingers of white head.

S-Caramel with a bit of pine and some very mild orange notes.

T-Caramel malt with some bitter pine and a little dry orange on the finish.

M-On the light side of medium-bodied with low carbonation and a slick feel.

D-A really easy drinking nice pale that's nicely balanced between the bitterness and malts.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this (and some other Smuttynose sixes) in a warm case stack at the local Teeter in NC. First I have seen Smutty in these parts. Hopefully not the last, as I need to try the IPA.

A - Pours a hazy orange amber, half finger head which holds for a while, then dissipates into a thin lace.

S - Hints of citrus, particularly grapefruit, with some herbal notes

T- Hop presence, but not overpowering. Citrus/grapefruit flavors. Some earthy/salty hits on the back top of the mouth and tongue, which is kind of odd, and kind of takes away from the overall taste, which is pretty solid.

M - Solid mouthfeel, good carbonation, not overly watery or syrupy.

D - Definitely drinkable, could be a session beer. The salt factor could be a distraction, but it's worth a try.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasant enough amber color with a thin off-white head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma has some piney and citrusy hops upfront, along with a strong caramel and toasted bread maltiness, as well as some fruity esters, and a trace of alcohol. The flavor is similar, with citrusy and piney hops in the forefront along with some caramel, fruity esters, toasted bread and some alcohol The mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability is very good. This is a solid pale ale, not particularly complex but executed flawlessly.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a six pack from Table and Vine. Slight amber-color to a general copper look to the drink. Heavy patching on the sides. I could sense a tangy citrus aroma, but it seemed a little subtle. Decently bitter taste to a balanced hoppy taste. Pretty light and crisp to me; very enjoyable. Overall, a decent APA.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass: nice creamy, light tan head thats frothy and clings the glass well; color is a pale amber with light bubbles.

Smell is mild, bready and biscuity malt notes, with mild hop fruity bitterness.

Taste is bitter front, with biscuity malt, notes of bread and hop bitterness on the piney side.

Mouthfeel is good, nice bitter cling to the tongue and cheeks.

Drinkability is very good, i like the biscuity notes.

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Photo of albertjr21
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is from a bottle that is good until Feb 11' and is being consumed on 2.9.11. Into a pint glass this holds a murky and heavy orange-amber color that would soon border into brown. Nose carries a hop aroma between moderate and strong with a nice anonymous mix of well blended citrus. Upfront there's a sweet and sour bright bitter hop feel that glides over the palate into an almost creamy malt feel into a deep resonating aftertaste of hops that's generously supported by a robust malt backbone. Cheers to an APA with some extra kick...

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Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

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

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

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Photo of CHickman
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours very cloudy copper/brown in color with a 2 finger foamy tan head that lasted a while and faded very slowly; left great lacing clinging to the glass, sliding down very slowly. A lot of particles floating in the brew.

Smells of toasted grains, sweet malt, caramel, citrus hops, piney hops, grapefruit, wet bread, biscuits, herbs, hay and toast; nice hints of hops come through the rich roasted malts.

Tastes like it smells, with roasted grains, biscuits, sweet malt, citrus hops, piney hops, grapefruit, coriander, grass, hay, light yeast, light caramel, toffee, wet wheat bread, herbs, and a hoppy bitter finish that's on the dry side.

Mouthfeel was creamy, light and on the watery side, with average carbonation, a medium body and an overall feel like an English Pale Ale.

Drinkability was average for me, as it went down pretty easy but the flavor just didn't blow me away. A good beer, not a great beer.

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Photo of madjr80
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from th bottle into a perfect pint glass. Plenty of head retention with foam sticky to the sides of the glass. It had a dark color for an apa, and a very earthy finish. The first sip is quite hoppy, but is slightly sweet on the way down. This a great session or sipping brew.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampler pack from Wegmans was one of two so I had to get it.

Last four bottles, time to make notes.

Poured more foam than I'd remember having last week. Thick, stable and tinted. Dark color makes for an inviting look. Love darker beers, not real big on the pale ale. It isn't pale.

Sweet smelling, hop, spice.

Tempered from the fridge, smooth bitterness. Long on the bitter end of things. Mildly watery, not sure if it's a flaw but very bitter.

Drinkable. Think of this one as the spicy Chinese food beer.
Medium body, clean flavor. Dry and complex.

Well worth picking up a six pack.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that got me started in my love affair with Smuttynose Beer. I'd like to quit my job, move to New Hampshire and work for Smuttynose.

A beautiful pour with a nice foamy head that left some nice lacing. The ale itself is auburn/orange-ish and very opaque (not filtered I assume).

The aroma is citrus hops and malty sweetness. The hops are more in the sweet tangerine and orange aroma like Bell's Two Hearted Ale category rather than the pure bitter hops of others like Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA.

The flavor is a balanced mixture of sweet malts and (now in taste) bitter hops. Don't get me wrong there's plenty of bitterness for a pale ale; it actually comes across somewhat like an IPA, but then the malts are so well done it doesn't turn you off at all. The best way I can describe the taste is that there are a whole bunch of stuff in this beer. They certainly didn't skimp on ingredients. Thus, the mouth feel is quite full for an APA. But again that is balanced by a higher than average carbonation which keeps it in the refreshing category.

Drinkability is exceptional. I want another, but alas I'm out and everything's closed.

I have to put Shoals Pale Ale in an elite group with the very best pale ales. I am so happy we get a great selection of Smuttynose beers here in Atlanta.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a rustic ruby, copper, and orange peel color . Theres a head of about one finger thickness. The bubbling is right were it should be and there's a large island of filmy foam lingering on top of this beer for awhile.

The hops and malt play with each other well on the aroma. Spicey and bitter orange peel aromas mix well with a well toasted loaf of bread.

The taste starts with some nice caramel toasted bread and spicey orange hops. Teh middle has the hops turn into a faint tropical fruit. You can really feel the carbination well in the palate. The mouthfeel is a little dry, but more slick on the lingering finish. A nice session APA from NH.

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

Another solid product from the Smuttynose folks.

Pours a nice rich copper color.

Smell is earthy with almost a metal or copper flavor.

Very drinkable pale ale that goes down smooth. Easy to have a couple.

A good choice for summer as it's an easy drinking beer.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pale copper color with little to no head.

S: Heavy citrusy hop aroma with a decent caramel malt note.

T: Dry hop bitterness upfront fading to a slight caramel malt note.

D: Not all that bad but not great either. Kind of middle of the road here.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy amber hue with golden highlights and two fingers of sudsy beige head. Beautiful.

Smell -- Toasted malt, biscuits and jam, grassy and floral hops, a bit of metallic twang. Not entirely thrilling, but at the same time inoffensive.

Taste -- Golden toast, biscuit, fruity esters, floral hops. Lingering flavors of pine resin and biscuit.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with medium carbonation. Finish is dry and tannic. Downgrade.

Drinkability -- Balanced, easy-drinking. I like it, moreover. There are some flaws keeping it from being better-than-average. Since Smuttynose hasn't even been around IL long enough for me to get a bottle past its prime, I'll assume it's the beer and not my specific bottle.

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Photo of DrStiffington
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Head disappears quickly. Has a fairly dark, amber color, with a malty, slightly sweet smell. The taste follows the smell, more malty than hoppy. I remember really liking this beer on tap a few years ago at a restaurant in Cape Cod. Out of the bottle it is a good, not great beer. With low alcohol you could have many of these, but I prefer dividing my time with the other beers in the mix-12 this came with. Pale ales, in my experience, are not bursting with taste, so this is a good representative of the style.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an off white 2 finger head. Fairly clear dark golden color, darker than i expected for a "Pale" ale. Smells faintly of some grassy hops, a touch of caramel. Tastes some malt sweetness up front, with a transition to a strong earthiness, grassy and some graininess. The finish has some lingering bitterness which is a bit of a turnoff. Medium carbing, medium body with a good bit of creaminess in each sip. $1.80 a single.

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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 DAllspaw
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything you would want in a session pale ale. Nice piney hops, biscuity malt and solid bitter finish. Frankly, a bit more bitter than I would expect, but no complaints here.

A very solid every day beer. I would actually prefer over some higher abv pale ales, which are fantastic, but not suited for many (like Celebration Ale).

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Photo of Wamesit
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy, cold, amber. Thin white head that fives way to a good amount of lacing.

S - Sweet malts with some grain in there. A very slight hoppy aroma arrives if given time.

T - A great blend and balanced Pale Ale. Dry biscuity malts are elevated by the sweetness; not exactly caramel or honey. Quintessential malts flavors all around. The hoppy finish really takes this ale to the next level.

M - Medium. Light, but present, carbonation.

D - High level of drinkability here. Great APA.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours brilliant copper with a creamy off white head that leaves slight lacing.

Aroma is minerally with a strong basement mustyness. Hints of bready malt.

Taste is sweet, bready caramel malt. However, this is overshadowed by the strong metallic mineral quality. Nutty and earthy. Finishes with dry yeasty basement funk.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a bit of diacetyl oily residue.

Overall, a drinkable but not great APA. Surprisingly metallic and musty.

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

Poured a nice clean amber with a light white head.

The smell was thin with a touch of bready malt and some light citrus hops.

The flavor followed the smell perfectly with a nice crisp malt body with a touch of sourdough bread followed by a nice bit of light dry pine and lemony hops. Mild and balanced.

The mouthfeel is light and a touch dry.

Pretty decent session style Pale Ale.

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Photo of Snamnoum
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - two fingers of creamy off white head with great retention and a beatitude of sticky lace.

Smell - piney green hops, yeast, pale malt, and alcohol

Taste - hops and malt open with big promise but fade rather quickly. Was left wanting for more, especially from Smuttynose. Somewhat bitter metallic finish.

Mouthfeel - light/medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Slightly thin feeling

Drinkability - very drinkable, light and quite refreshing. I wanted to taste a little more body after the nose started so promising but in the end still a very good brew.

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 1,488 ratings
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