Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
1,487 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

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Ratings: 1,487 |  Reviews: 671
Photo of carolinabeerguy
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best before February 2011 notched on label.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel color with a very small 1/4 finger white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Bready malt with light hints of citrus and pine. Fairly earthy. Not as hoppy as I would have liked.

Taste: Lemon zest up front followed by bready malts and a hint of sweet citrus in the middle then ending with pine and grapefruit at the finish. Aftertaste is bitter with just a hint of earthiness. Much hoppier flavor than the aroma indicated. Surprisingly well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. You could down a few of these without much trouble.

Overall: Pretty good beer overall. While not the best pale ale out there, it's worth a shot.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with less than 1 finger of white fluffy head, retention is ok.

The scent was of citrus, some light grain, floral aroma.

The taste was of citrus and some spice, perfect hop presence for an APA, notes of bready malt.

Light bodied, smooth and refreshing, a little dry, moderate carbonation.

I thought this was an excellent APA. It was full of flavor and well balanced. Overall a very enjoyable beer, I would definitely get this again.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - gold-orange color. Nice fluffy white head. Great look here. I like!

S - Nice hoppy, citrus-rindy. Fresh smelling. Earthy.

T - Just a great pale ale taste. Classic pale ale in flavor and couldn't be more honest to the style in this regard. Very hoppy, light, rindy. Pine and yeasty breads. Taste like baked bread that was liquified and injected with delicious citrusness and served to order in a bakery. Delicious.

M - Light to medium, dry, carbonation is medium and appropriate.

D - Great drinkability. This is a great, great, great pale ale. Will be getting this again in the future many a time. Just so true to the style and it doesn't get much better done than this. I'm impressed.

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Photo of mweso2000
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque copper color with a head that quickly dissipates. Smells of mild hops, citrus and malt. The taste is a little underwhelming. Mild hop taste and finishes with a malty backbone. The taste does not linger though. Medium body and very drinkable. It would be easy to have a few. I like this beer, but it does not compare in my book to Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours copper (somewhat on a darker side of Pale ales) with a lasting off-white head. Aroma and flavor are dominated by citrus, piney hops. Some sweet malt in the background. Light to medium, tangy body. Long, dry, bitter finish. Nothing is wrong with this brew, but personally, I prefer a little more balance in my Pale Ales.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle picked up as a single for $1.69. drank from my samuel adams perfect pint glass. no freshness information on the bottle, but its a new brewery to the area and i wasted no time grabbing this one.

A- this one pours out a darker than expected amber colored body with a small head made of tightly knit off-white colored bubbles. the head lasts almost the entirety of the glass and leaves behind a solid wall of lacing. very nice.

S- the nose is fairly simple, but that isnt necessarily a bad thing. the first thing i can pick up on are sweet caramel malts with a little bit of toffee in there also. after that comes a decent hoppy punch. mostly grapefruit and pine, but i smell a little bit of spicy hops also.

T- the taste follows the nose. it starts off with a little bit of toffee and sweet caramel malts. the hops i could smell come through loud and clear in the taste. plenty of pine and grapefruit. there are also some spicy and herbal notes. not bad at all.

M- light to medium bodied with a solid level of carbonation. not too dry, not too sweet. nicely bitter.

D- i enjoyed this one more than i was expecting to. so far, its been my favorite beer from this brewery. theres alot of taste packed into this little 5% abv beer. i could easily see myself having several of these before getting sick of them. check this one out if you havnt.

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Photo of tone77
2.88/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brown color with a small head. Smell is strong with hops. Taste is also dominated by hops, more than most pale ales, no real malt balance to speak of. Feels medium bodied and bitter in the mouth and has below average drinkability. Overall a good pale ale for serious hop heads, otherwise very mediocre.

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Photo of mainlyale
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really wanted to like this beer because I love the Portsmouth area. I wasn't disappointed. I poured from a bottle - a dark amber beer with a big light tan head that stays for the first several sips ( or gulps). The smell was sweet with good balanced hop aroma. The taste was also somewaht sweeter than expected - I enjoyed this beer a lot and will keep it in stock for those lazy winter evenings by the woodstove.

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Photo of Genuine
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured copper in color with a good 2-3 finger white fluffy head, left some lacing but not as much as I usually like. Not bad, nonetheless.

Smell - hops it you first, malts are definitely present and can be noticed.

Taste - It's hoppier than some other pale's i've had, but the flavor doesn't last long. It's there to pop up, say hi, and then it leaves. It doesn't linger, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the drinker.

Mouthfeel - Medium, kind of slick. I really like the carbonation of this one.

Drinkability - No problem having a few of these on a hot summer day/ warm summer evening. Great pale ale.

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Photo of DJED69
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, something made me buy a six of this brew over the past weekend after years of ignoring it. Glad I did. This pale ale pours a nice copper color with a one inch head that fades to a lasting cap. Nose is a nice mild malty, bready, hop mix. Where this brew shines is taste. Really good! Competes with Sierra Nevada in my book and that's high praise. Perfect blend of hoppy bitterness, malt and some bready yeast flavors. None over the top---very harmonious. An excellent drinking pale ale that should not be passed over.

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Photo of Star80
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see Smuttynose at my local store, this one I know is fresh cause Chicagoland just started carrying the brand. Pours out a deep, kinda dark copper color with a thinning but still thick head. The beer is also slightly cloudy, and I like that sort of thing. Anyways, the smell is really nice, of almost resiney, citrusy, spicy hop goodness. I cannot wait to taste this beer...yes, it even smells dry hopped. Wow, first impression is very hoppy yet SMOOTH, and balanced. The aftertaste also has like that, second layer of alpha acid hops making it quite three-dimensional. But, gosh, the malt base keeps it together, with vague toastyness, and this beer is remarkably well crafted, an astonishing Pale Ale, ranks up there with classics like Sierra Nevada. Nice lacing all around my glass. Moutfeel is smooth as well, not overly carbonated, not too thick. Just right. Soo, this one vaguely reminds me of SNPA, but in fact smoother and more complex hop taste. I could imagine this being a delicious beer with hot wings, spicey Indian food you name it. I look forward to being able to enjoy more of this beer in the not too distant future and will seek out more of their offerings at the store.

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

12oz bottle with a Best Before Date of January 2011. Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a thin ring of head. Some lacing. Aromas of caramel, malt and some hops. Taste has a bit of a hop flavor to it. Some caramel and malts. Slight bitterness. Pretty decent Pale Ale. Not too much of a taste or flavor of hops but a nice caramel flavor.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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 spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a murky amber/light brown colour with a frothy beige head. I can't see much carbonation due to the murkiness of the beer, and there is some really nice lacing. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - hops, malts, caramel

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and the most noticeable flavours are hops and malts mixed with some caramel. There is also a yeast flavour and a nuttiness. The beer finishes with a bittersweet aftertaste.

Drink - An above average beer, but not one of the best pale ales I've tasted. Still worth seeking out.

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4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass: from notes
A: Pours a two finger head that is a off white color and hold very well. The body is a bit of a malty amber, on the darker side for an APA. A bit of haze is present, among the steady carbonation bubbles.
S: A very upfront herbal and earthy hop aroma, that is coupled by a nice malt presence. This aroma is medium in intensity.
T/M: On the front, the beer has a very thick and creamy feel as it enters the mouth, but the overall body is not overly thick, but has a nice and consistent feel to it. The hops kick in and deliver a nice and smooth bitterness that is achieved by the malt backbone that prolongs the lingering taste. Spices of hoppy bitterness are on the finish, that conclude with a dry sensation.
D: This is an all around great APA, not too hoppy, but just enough and the malt presence is good. I feel that for the high quality in flavors and overall intensity there should be a bit more ABV in this beer, but sessioning this one would be easier, the way it is.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice dark copper color with some nice reddish hints and a nice off-white dense head after a vigorous pour. The head is about 1 inch tall and is very dense and sticky with some medium sized bubbles intermingled around the small ones.

S - Aroma starts off with some nice grassy hops with some slight pine and nice slight citrus notes. There is a delicious bread malt backbone to the nose that compliments the hops well. Seems fairly balanced smell-wise.

T & M - Toasty grain starts off this brew with some nice earthy and malt backbone. There is some cereal and some slight caramel hints. This is then well balanced with some nice grassy and piney hops. They are not too intense but just present enough to deliver a nice dry feel from the middle part till the end. This is a IMO a pretty solid APA with some good balance between the malt and the hops and a nice dry bitter finish with some nice citrus and pine resin on the back end as well. Crisp with a lighter feel. As it warms it has a nice English feel to the malt and to the hops almost like a slightly American EPA.

D - This one scores high on drinkability. If it where available in MO I would be looking for it often. I quite enjoy it.

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Photo of Dougal
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

excellent pale ale.... enough hops to give the mouth a pleasant taste and not too much to make it cloying. the taste has chocolate notes to it, carbonation is not high but it is very smooth and makes for an enjoyable experience. the malt and hops work perfect and drinkability is very high

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Photo of SkunkWorks
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Look: unfiltered, which I love. Hazy, orange-amber beer with a thin white head that retains forever and leaves some of the craziest lacing I've ever seen. I have to give it an exceptional mark for the look on this.

Smell: A little malty sweetness with the classic APA smells of hops.

Taste: pretty hoppy. Not much maltiness but it balances out the hops enough. Very nice.

Feel: medium bodied tending towards light. It has a good amount of carbonation but it doesn't overdo it.

Drink: high. This could easily be sessionable.

Overall, this is a very solid APA and definitely worth a try. It kind of feels like Finest Kind Lite and that certainly isn't a bad thing. Cheers!

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

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a slightly murky dark orange with a thin diminishing head that leaves slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is crisp citrus hops and pale malts. The taste is a nice amount of crisp citrus hops in front of sweet pale malts. The beer is quite light and crisp with smooth carbonation. This is a very enjoyable pale ale, one I would certainly have again.

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

12 oz. bottle with freshness date on label: poured a hazy, amber-brown with orange highlights. The slightly off-white head quickly recedes leaving some decent lacing.

There is a very nice spicy, somewhat perfumy hop aroma as well as some malt. This is pleasantly aromatic with a very balanced aroma.

The initial flavor is softly fruity (unlike the grapefruity taste) as well a little sour on the palate. The sourness does not detract from the taste. I was surprised that the malt was not as noticeable based on some of the previous reviews. There is a faint sweet, doughy taste in the background.

The ale is medium bodied with a refreshing, slick and clean mouthfeel. The carbonation is restrained.

This is a good alternative to the numerous hop heavy pale ales available. I have yet to be disappointed by this brewery.

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Photo of beer2day
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reddish gold pour with one finger medium cream head. No retention but very nice lace.

Herbal hop nose. Underatated, but nice. Lots of malt presence.

Nice hop presence right up front. Good bready malt body for balance. Very flavorfull for a pale. Earthy hop finish with a touch of pine.

Feel is slightly heavy for the style but very nice.

Definite repeater.

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Photo of Lldeegan
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber color with an off-white, sudsy head, very pretty beer. I expected a lighter beer from the name, but it still looks delicious, especially that sticky lacing on the side of the glass.
Great smelling beer, one of those aromas that without hesitation you take that first sip, which has everything you want in a beer of this style: Great malt presence, I can even smell what it was like on brew day with all the grains in the mash tun, giving that hot cereal smell. In addition to the great malt aromas, the floral hop notes shine and creates a nice balanced aroma that begs for the first sip.
There is a very lively carbonation on the palate and a bitter hop flavor in the front as a result of Chinook and Cascade hops (both very bitter American varietals). The hop resins roll over the tastebuds with a sweet malt presence that balances it all out before the floral hops come back for a moderately bitter, snappy finish.
Great flavors, neither the malt nor hops are overwhelming, and this beer definitely won't bore you and at the same time it won't fatigue your tongue. It's a good sessionable beer, making it great for a warm weather BBQ or with pizza. This is a really good go-to beer for craft beer enthusiasts and also a good full flavor beer to introduce your friends to who don't drink much besides the big brands.

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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 Soonami
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shoals Pale Ale by Smuttynose is commonly available in their Variety 12-pack as well as in 6-packs. This beer that I am drinking is stamped with a "fresh until date" of Feb 2011, which means this must be a fairly fresh sample.

This pale is a dark reddish copper color with just sturdy head that dissipates to a thing layer that leaves fine webbing inside the glass. The smell is has pine and grapefruit in the nose as well as a caramelized, crackery malt aroma. The beer is assertively bitter with a resinous spruce bitterness that dominates, followed by a bready sweetness and finishing with an pleasant astringent grapefruit. The mouthfeel is smooth and carbonation appropriated. This is an easy drinking beer that is enjoyable even as it warms up.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. best before november 2010. from a 12pack sampler that was packaged in may 19 2010.

pours murky with a touch of sediment. a nice orange amber color with a little more than a one finger head. great retention and some really nice sticky lace.

has a nice hop aroma with a nice malt balance to it. hops are citrus with a touch of spice. caramel, slightly biscuity malt.

a really enjoyable taste. a hoppy pale ale for sure, but still has somewhat of a balance. citrus, with a little bit of pine and a touch of spiciness. the malts are what make this beer for me. caramel with a little bready biscuit.

medium to light body. good carbonation for the style. hops are noticeable on the palate, but nothing blowing my teeth out.

a great sessionable beer, now one of my top pale ales. and one of my top offerings from smuttynose that ive tried so far. a great beer from a great brewery, definatly worth a try.

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,487 ratings.
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