Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
Very Good
1,491 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: 1,491 |  Reviews: 673
Photo of squilky
2.29/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- This one poured a light amber color. Small head that disappeared quickly.

S- A very citrusy smell, but not in a good way.

T- I found the hops to be overpowering. I didn't detect much malty sweetness to balance out the hops. There was a bitter, lingering, unpleasant aftertaste.

M- A nice amount of carbonation. Felt good in my mouth. The only positive I could find.

D- To me this tasted more like an IPA. It was very strong and bitter. Not to my liking. If you love hops, you will probably like this beer. If you are looking for a nice balance between hops and malt like I do, this isn't the beer for you.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangy amber with a decent off-white head that dissipated quickly. Some lacing.

Smell is mild - citric hops and some toasted malt.

Hops are up front, grapefruity goodness. Some caramel sweetness fights through with just the right amount of toasted breadiness. Slightly dry, clean finish, with some bitterness right at the end, but then it is gone.

Mouthfeel is medium but well carbonated to keep the hops from becoming too cloying. Overall, a real drinker. Been buying this for years. What a solid brew. Can't go wrong with this one. Hop-leaning in nature, but drinkable in both summer and winter.

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Photo of JayNH
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light brown/ deep copper color with a small foamy head.

S- Slightly citrusy hops with a touch of nutty/roasted malt.

T- A very earthy hoppiness, slightly citrus with a touch of toasty malt. A nutty, earthy finish.

M- Smooth, just enough carbonation and a good body to this brew.

D- This is fairly strong tasting and bitter for an APA.

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Photo of Damian
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fluid ounce bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Best before: December 2008
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a crystal clear, deep orangey amber color with a one-finger, bubbly, light tan head that quickly faded.

The aroma was bright and citrusy, yet subtle. Hoppy, with a semi-sweet caramel malt backbone.

The taste was rather mild initially but it became much more intense as the beer warmed. Somewhat malty and sweet (caramel-ish) up front before the hops took over. Citrusy (orange peel was most noticeable) hops came through in the center. The resonating finish was very grapefruit-like with a touch of pine thrown in. Overall, quite bitter.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a lively, spritzy carbonation. Creamy, smooth and supple on the palate.

This is a really flavorful and sessionable pale ale. It definitely falls on the hoppy/bitter side for the style and is thus a "must try" for all hop heads out there.

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Photo of jiggahertz
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Two finger foamy head. Surprised by the color, it is a beautiful rich amber. Decent lacing.

S: Hops, malt, slight dough aroma.

T: Lackluster malt up front, followed by strong hops.

M: Creamy texture, the hops stick around for quite a while. Body is medium and carbonation is high.

D: Good drinkability, at 5% could be a good session beer.

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Photo of drizzam
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation - Served in a 12 oz. brown bottle with a picture of the Samuel Haley House on Smuttynose Island on the label.

A - This definitely surprised me when I poured it...I was expecting a yellowish pale beer and what I got was a more reddish or copper color with an off color head. The head was thick at first but dissipated pretty quickly, leaving a very distinct lacing down the inside of my pint glass.

S - There was a smell of hop explosion as soon as I uncapped the bottle. After pouring it and giving it a chance to breathe, the extreme hoppy smell became pretty muted and became almost more malty to me.

T & M - Bitter and somewhat tingly on the tongue. I thought the tingle was possibly from the carbonation but as I look at it I see that it isn't that highly carbonated.

D - Not a bad brew...this is actually my first Smuttynose and now that I've had it, I would like to sample some more offerings from this fine brewery with the funny name.

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Photo of scootny
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice Pale ale. It pours into my tulip tumbler and produces a thick two finger head that stays. Good lacing as it fades leaving a bubbly blanket on the top. A copperish dark amber with that while clear has a bit of sediment floating throughout the glass.

Aromatics are earthy hops and grains. A sweet malt note plays lightly and touch of yeasty fruit and pine tinged hops combine invitingly.

Taste is toasty malt and light sweet breads with a dry bitterness that coats the mouth. I must quote the Bros, it is tingly and oh so good. The hop bittering lingers and lets just a touch of graham cracker like toasty bread through.

Mouthfeel is gently carbonated with a touch of velvet and cream. that back of the throat is quenched beautifully.

Drinkability is first rate. The stuff almost drinks itself and my glass was gone way too fast.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/20/08. Bottle. Pours a clear brown with a small. Aroma of flowery hops, sweet malt, fruity. Flavor of sweet malt, bitterish finish. Not very hoppy. Not particularly flavorful, but quite drinkable and tasty.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

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Photo of yesyouam
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The off-white head vanishes quickly to reveal a slightly hazy red-amber body. This doesn't look "pale"! The aroma is of light malt and moderate pine and citrus from the hops. It is a straightforward and well-balanced whiff. The flavor is simple-- well bittered from start to finish. It has a thicker body than I expected and a somewhat oily texture. This is more like an ESB that a Pale, but it's quite good.
(rated Feb 10, 2007)

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

12 oz bottle -
Poured a caramel brown, with a 2F cream-colored head. Pretty tight lacing on down the line...

Not much to the smell at first - touch of citrusy hop bitterness, but I did notice some caramel sweetness as it warmed.

First taste, noticed a smokey quality - definite malt depth which tries hard to balance a lightly bitter, lemon rind flavor. Little off, but hey - points for being interesting, nonetheless.

Mouthfeel was crisp - tangy bite. Would make a terrific summa quaffa.

Drinkability is pretty high in my book. Could easily session this pup.

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

Has a picture of the Samuel Haley house on the bottle. I'd like a picture of myself, drinking Shoal's Pale Ale with the Haley house picture on the bottle, in front the of the Haley house. Stuff like that floats my boat.

Pours a dark honey color with retention and sticky lace aplenty. Musty hop stank with sweet malt and sweaty tin.

Leafy "fresh hop" hops complemented by cracker malt. Earthy. Full bodied with a mildly crip bump at the end. Lemon citrus bitter undertones reverberate here and there.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
August 17, 2008

Great hoppy nose, dark amber pour, small thin head. Strong hop presence, some malt and orange undertones. Very good! Smuttynose continues to impress. They're getting up there with Flying Dog for me at this point.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with very little head, beer is a dark brown color. Smell is malty and faint fairly appealing. Taste is warm roasted malt, not too heavy or with too much coffee flavor, fairly hefty, very drinkable. Good palate coverage. A very tasty beer and worth buying again.

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

appearance- poured an amber/orange color 1/2 inch off white head
smell- rich malts up front with some citrus hop aroma also.
taste- a nice blast of the citrus hops and balanced with a nice malt backbone.
Moutfeel- crisp and clean a good bit of carbonation and medium body
drinkability- better than average apa will enjoy again.

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Photo of Gish
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber, good head retention and lacing. Smells spicy and herbal.

Shoals Pale Ale is a bit more clean and refreshing than similar beers. Hop bitterness is fairly muted, definitely a balanced pale ale.

The body is a bit light, it could use a little more in my opinion. A very drinkable pale ale, one of the best in its class!

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Photo of TLove
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shoals Pale Ale is one of my favorite pale ales. It has a beautiful amber color and although a bit bitter to smell and taste, the beer settles very well in the mouth and finishes very well. The amber color is topped with a light head that clings to the walls of one's glass. The taste is very flavorful for a pale ale and is reminiscent of a sour fruit such as cranberry or a light plum.

This is particularly important for a pale ale for a critical drinker of darker, more substantive beers such as those that I usually review because it has a fantastic mouthfeel and really rounds out after the bitterness fades, though the hoppiness doesnt dissipate entirely in your mouth. The finish, thus, is incredibly well-balanced.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - hazey orange/amber color with a off-white head that left lots of lacing.

S - sweet malt and grainy aroma.

T - sweet and malty upfront with a tea-like citrus bitterness on the back end.

F - medium bodied with a silky smooth feel.

D - goes down very easy and is quite tasty.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to DrDogbeer for this one!

Poured an impressively rich golden-amber hue with a solid two-finger pillowy head that slowly faded leaving a heavy collar with ample lacing down the glass.

Aromas of whole-grain bread, sweet caramel malt, and a healthy dose of floral hops. Some interesting and delicious vanilla and toffee aromas waft as it warms, beautifully filling out the aromatic profile.

Taste follows the aroma, with a healthy malt backbone highlighted with some nice piney hops that add some nice hop flavor without turning overly hopped. Hints of floral hops peek in at the finish, as does a bit of that caramel and vanilla malt sweetness. Mild pine and juniper hop bitterness finishes it off nicely.

mouthfeel is excellent. Good carbonation, full body with hints of some creaminess. Subtly bitter finish rounds it nicely and leaves me wanting more. I had to force myself not to drink it too fast.

Overall an impressive and well-rounded apa. There's definitely some strong hop presence, and it leans slightly on the hoppy side of things, although the malt character is strong enough and has enough depth to keep it very nicely balanced. Definitely wish I had more.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a nice half inch of foamy head and good lacing.

S: A very malty, grainy smell, with traces of hops.

T: A nicely balanced malt flavor up front and some hops going down. Also, there was grain, but not overwhelmingly so.

M: A solid amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: As pale ales go, this is a drinkable beer. It's well made and goes down easy.

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

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. The beer pours a pleasant copper color with a 2 finger white head. The aroma is of muted pine cones, it is there with out being overwhelming. The taste is lightly piney, smooth and crisp. The beer is medium bodied and easily drinkable. Shoals is a solid APA.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a not-super-attractive slightly hazy amber. A bit darker than most examples of the style, and head retention is nonexistent. However, there is a spidery lacing left on the glass...

The aroma changes things, however, and the beer starts to morph more into what an APA should be. Lightly resiny, lemony, and faintly grapefruity hopping is the main event here, backed by a hint of coppery metallic and biscuit notes from the malt.

The flavor is exceptional. Muted bread and faint yeast notes give way to American hopping at its finest. Well-balanced but definitely leaning towards the hoppier side of things, a distinct grapefruit-like bitterness comes into play about halfway through and dominates towards the finish.

Well-carbonated and smooth, with a clean, lightly dry finish that makes you want another quaff.

This is an excellent beer. APAs are a hit-or-miss style, and this one definitely hits. You could drink several in a sitting, and would still want another. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of dnichols
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a pit glass.

A: It poured a hazy brown almost dark ice-tea colored body with a half finger tanish head that receded fast leaving a slight cover over the liquid and a curtain of lace around the side of the glass.

S: It had a faint aroma profile with the most dominant oder being sweet toasted malts with hints of spices and hops in the background.

T: It began with a subtly sweet malt base that was swiftly overwhelmed by a burst of piny and spicy hops. It has a zesty refreshing finish that left a slight peppery flavor on my tongue long after I had swallowed. Very well balanced...the malts and hops complement each other well.

M: It is a well balanced medium bodied brew with slight carbonation and a tasty finish that reminds you that you are drinking a APA.

D: It is a wonderful APA with great balance, wonderful flavors and a nice appearance. I could drink this one long (very long) into the night (any night).

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Photo of watkins
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz poured into a pint glass

A: Deep amber-brown with a tight head that dissipates and sticks to the glass well.

S: Toasty grain initially, covering a slight citrusy hop aroma. Slight caramel sweetness present as well.

T: Definite citrus hop flavor on initial taste, followed with some mild hop bitterness. Slightly empty taste compared to the smell of it.

M: Rather light bodied, could use a tad more carbonation.

D: For its price ($10 a sixer), I'd have to go with the Smutty IPA anyday.

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Photo of JasonA
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, amber carmel with a hint or red on the edges. Solid 2 fingers of lasting and lacing head.

Smells light, maybe citris. No sticky, not inspiring.

Boom goes the hops. Fresh, sticky, piney, earthy. Refreshing. Might not be powerful enough. Would love the taste to come out in the smell some.

Sits well. Staying power. No ABV punch.

Would love to have some draft. I bet would go down well on a hot afternoon.

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Photo of sethmeister
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz into pint glass.

Clear copper orange color with a finger and a half of off white head. Plenty of lace.

Scent is citrus, primarily grapefruit, and a fresh biscuity bread note.

Grapefruit hop flavor, perhaps some orange rind, malty fresh bread. Lightly spicy.

Mouthfeel starts out tingly and creamy and somehow ends up seeming juicy.

At 5% a consummate session beer. This is beer I could drink all day long and never tire of.

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 1,491 ratings