Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
670 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: 670 | Ratings: 1,484
Photo of Act25
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: definitely unfiltered. Pours hazy amber with large off white head that fades to a coin width and generates lots of lacing maps.

Smell: Clean, almost soapy, caramel malt sweetness with a grassy hay nose.

Taste: All the flavors of the nose, still just a bit soapy. Chewy, dry, bread flavor, matched by a lovely tingly hop bitterness. Salty, and a bit soapy, yet it all works.

Feel: Medium, well carbonated, tingly. refreshing, sessionable, want more.

Notes: Highly original and powerful pale ale, complex, unique and multi-faceted. One of the best? I prefer Dales Pale Ale still for it's piney, tingly, Rocky Mountain (now Brevard NC) style, but Shoals is up there close to the top.

Everything from Smuttynose is a must try and could become a fave for you. Opens up more and more as it warms. Must try. Thrilled to return to this beer.

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Photo of AmitC
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with best before date of 4/16/2013, into a snifter.

Deep amber color with constant haze. Translucent. Just about one finger thick off white head. Decent lacing.

Aroma is of a little grass and a lot of lemon and orange peel. Good amount of hops as well as nicely balanced malts. Aromas of wild weeds and flowers as well.

Taste is nicely balanced as well. All of the flavors of nose plus a good drinkability. Touch bitter finish.

Mouth feel is medium light bodied. Low to moderate carbonation. Smooth easy and very sessionable.

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Photo of Choicetrucks
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer is light caramel in color, it's retains a slight foamy head all the way down to the last sip. It also leaves nice legs down the side of the glass (maybe a wine term but what ever ! ) The beer leaves a warm toasty feel in your head and down the back of your neck. I think an excellent blend of good brewery craftsmanship coupled with a consistent taste from every bottle. Oddly enough, I have had to specifically ask my local grocer to stock this beer ! I asked the folks at Smuttynose to help and they went to work and got me in touch with the local distributor who in turn made sure my grocer had a good supply on hand. If you don't see it in the store ask! I also got a nice T-Shirt for my troubles ! All in all Shoals Pale Ale is a true go to beer. You won't be disappointed as long as you have a tongue in your mouth.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tarnished brassy hue with a bright white head. Piney lemon zest, grassy herbal hop profile on the nose. Notes of dried fruits Apple's and pears sweet malts up front slightly coarse medium mouthfeel lower carbonation than expected for the style. Hit of acidity on the back of the tongue. Finishes dry with a faint bitterness. Very nicely balanced and different than the typical apa.

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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 barczar
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep copper with a frothy one inch cream head that dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of thin lacing.

Earthy, minerally hops, fresh cut grass, onion, pine, and an underlying citrus character form the aroma, along with a hint of bready malt.

Flavor is a bit more malty, with dry, toasted bread forming the backbone. In conjunction with the bittering hops, it comes across a slightly stale. At the forefront is a solid tropical fruit, lemony character that is somewhat fleeting, giving way to earthy hops. Floral notes emerge late.

Body is a touch watery, with fairly high carbonation and a bit of astringency at the finish.

A fairly bitter brew, with enough malt to bridge the gap between initial hop fruitiness and final bitterness. A little too bitter for my liking, and the flavoring hops are kind of fleeting.

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Photo of Swim424
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into goose island pint glass

A-pours a fairly clear copper color. Very fizzy. Sort of like a very copper budweiser (not in a negative way). Had a decent fizzy head that hung around a bit longer than bud.

S-smells kinda like apple juice. Fruity. Sweet. Maybe a touch of hops? very pleasant though.

T- very smooth upfront. Got sweet into the middle, finishing nicely bitter. Fairly carbonated. More sweet than I expected. I really enjoy this beer.

MF-Pretty light feel to it. More carbonation than most pale ales seem to be. Still pretty nice though, everything bends together well.

O-this is pretty good. First beer ive had by smuttynose and its pretty good. Nothing exceptional, but still good.

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

A - Deep copper-orange with a 1/2 inch cap of yellow-tinged dirty white foam. Good frothy lace all over the glass.

S - Tight "herbal"(if-ya-know-what-I-mean) hops with a big wheat cracker malt aroma. Hint of caramel.

T - A wisp of grapefruit and a bit of pine on top of what reminds me of those long tubular wheat cracker-sticks you often get with a salad when you are out for dinner. I haven't seen those in a while. Increasingly citrusy and fruity as it warms. Moving to piney at the finish.

M - Medium bodied. Solid with a very dry and pine-sappy finish. Nice!

Balanced as it could possibly be. Lots of movement from grapefruit and tangerine to increasing dryness with big pine notes. Ultra dry and piney finish tastes outstanding, but could become a bit much if you are planning on sessioning.

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

Rich copper color and clear, small head formation.

Smells of caramel malt, floral hops, and chocolate. I like it—unique.

Complex flavor—chocolate and caramel sweetness plays against floral and spicy hops. The spicy bite makes me think there’s rye in the mix. Body is light but just fine for the style. A little darker overall compared to an American pale ale, meaning the malts have more heft and sweetness, and the hops aren’t just citrusy and bright. Love the dry finish.

Solid pale ale, English or American, that’s worth seeking out.

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

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Darker Hazy Orange color with a fair amount of carbonation. Head pours around half a finger with a soapy look but decent albeit filmy retention.

Smell - Citrus Hops, Yeasts, Caramel and Malts. Nice simple mixture of hops and malt sweetness.

Taste - Citrus Hops, Yeasts, Pine Resin, Malts with a slight hint of...oak? Definitely wasn't expecting that. Much like the scent, it's simple but nicely balanced. The Woodsy flavor adds some dimension to the flavor. Aftertaste is resin-y but it still comes off as dry fairly quickly

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied with some mild carbonation, which adds a boost to the overall flavor and crispness.

Overall - A slightly different take on an American Pale Ale thanks to the oak aspect, but a good one to say the least. Definitely worth checking out if you see it.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I think what they're tring here is for an English IPA ala Bass. Thats my opinion.
Color is amber copper and hazy, looks like chill haze really. The head is white, smallish and lingers just for a moment. Soapy in body. Quite nearly no carbs.

Aroma is malty and I can pick out thin whiffs of graham cracker. Hop bouquet is quite lean.
Taste find a malty goodness sweet and hints of graham.
It is a bit hard to drink being rather harsh into the aftertaste.
A good interputation of the style but not smooth and soft as one might find in an English IPA.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Long time coming, considering how long I've been at this brew.

Nose: caramel kiss, fresh fig, just a bit of grapefruit, tiny bit of pepper.

Taste: bitterness, tongue tingling a bit, lightly toasted grains, probably still too bitter for what I want in an APA. Again, more breadiness. Not bad, Smutty.

MF is very medium/light. Quaffable.

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Photo of rarbring
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clouded amber brew with a warm off-white head, little lacing but good curtains.

Smelling of grass and hay, some peaches and black currant leaves.

Toffee, sweet brown bread, honey and then a pure alkaloid bitterness.

Medium high carbonation, oily with a medium body and an almost coarse bitterness.

A clean nice bitterness, a solid brew.

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Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic, served at fridge temp.

Cloudy, hazy apricot medium amber with a thick french vanilla khakish head that leaves a creamy coating of lacing.

aroma; a beguiling, intoxicating medley of fresh baked sugar cookies, malted milk and vanilla.

Mouthfeel; light and silky.

taste; a smooth maltiness lays a carpet through which the English Hops emerge subtly and leave a faint sting of bitterness.

Notes; hands down the best new (to me) beer I have had in a long time. This is a stunner; balanced, drinkable, tasty, This rivals many brewed in England Ales and will become a staple in my fridge.

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Photo of Gatch
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best Before 9/27/2012.

A: Nice golden-amber in color with a big, fluffy, off-white head. Not much lace or retention.

S: Malt is the star in this APA. Earthy, bready, a bit boozy.

T: But the hops shine in the taste. Great, balanced flavor. Lightly roasted malt and a bit of spiciness are complemented by a good American hop profile.

M: Super smooth and easy drinking. Right amount of carbonation.

O: A well-made, balanced, tasty APA that is now my go-to for the style in New England. Unless I'm in the mood for hops...that'll be Maine Beer's MO.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from a Smutty mixed pack, picked up at Consumer Beverages in Orchard Park NY. Packed in May 2012.

Poured into a nonic. Great looking brew indeed: hazy orange-copper, with a billowing creamy head that displays terrific retention. The pillows of foam also produce sheets and icicles of lacing. First-rate!

Nose is a touch of grapefruit, pale malt, citrus, dry grape.

Sharp opening of dry grain and bittering hops, with a long dry citrus hop finish. Interesting balance to this - more astringent than I would have thought.

Creamy, medium bodied, with carbonation that is sharper than I'd like.

Interesting pale ale, not something I'd go out of my way to get over other Smuttynose stuff, but certainly quite drinkable and worth having again.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before 11/16/12

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a fingers worth of bubbly head

S: A nice balance of malts and hops, with some sweet fruity notes as well as a nice breadiness

T: Follows the nose, very malty and bready along with some fruit notes from the hops. Nicely balanced with a slight lingering bitterness that goes along with the malts into the finish and beyond

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Could be a bit softer

O: A very easy drinking pale ale that seems to fit much more into the English style than American. Plenty of flavor and balance to keep wanting to drink more. Definitely worth a try

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Dark copper, two fingers of head dissipate fairly quickly but leave some very nice lace.

Earthy, a bit musky, caramel, citric and herbal hops.

Tastes more complex than the nose let on. Spicy hops, grapefruit and herbal, even slightly tropical (pineapple?). Caramel and slightly toasted grain show up in the end and bring all the flavors together in the finish. Well balanced.

Medium body, ample carbonation adds crispness, but is slightly overbearing IMO.

Overall: This is pretty great... more flavor and complexity than i was expecting. A few of these would make for a good night.

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Photo of patpbr
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- amber with light head
S- Malts
T- has a dark roast taste with carmal
M- not a lot of carbination but its there. it lingers just a little bit.
O- Only have one and enjoyed it, I would try it again. first brew by smuttynose. Will also make me look there way if i see another style I like

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Photo of StoutishDan
4.73/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6-pack for 8.99 from Total Wine. Poured into a regular pint glass.

A - It pours a hazy amber color. Darker than most pale ales I've seen. The carbonation is medium, no bubbles appear to be coming up to meet the head. After initial larger bubbles, the head settles back into a very creamy small-bubbled head about an finger's width. It looks really delicious! Yep, the head is hanging around. Great lazcing as well.

S - Hops...RateBeer as well as the Smuttynose website calls this an English Pale Ale, but it has much more hop aroma. Grapefruity, sprucy, piney. Really nice. There is a caramely sweetness there form the caramel malt. Perfect balance on the nose.

T - Wow! Definitely understand why people call this an American-style Pale Ale. Definitely has more of a hop character which is common with American Pales. The thick creamy English-style Pale Ale comes through, for sure. More creamy, less dry taste as you'd find with an American Pale Ale. Really good beer. I'm glad I picked up a 6 pack of this. I will enjoy every last one of these!

O - This is probably one of the best Pale Ales I've ever had. I am very impressed with everything that Smuttynose offers. Whatever they're doing, they're doing it right.

On a scale from 1-100 I give this beer a straight up 98. Won't be the last time I buy a sixer or even a 12er of this beer.


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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A dark amber with little clarity. 1 finger of head and sticky lace left on the glass. This is a pale ale? Love the appearance!

S - Some dark malts, nice and hoppy!

T - Wow, amazing pale ale. Some much flavor! Almost like a red. Thick malt backbone and nice hoppy kick.

M - Lots of carbonation. Full bodied.

O - Once again, this beer doesn't come across as a pale ale at all. Its much better! Such a good 5.5% easy drinking beer with an overwhelming amount of flavor. I shall seek this one out again

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

12 oz. bottle.

Mostly clear dark orange-copper body. Finger of dense, creamy, light beige head. Nice lacing. Nose of fruity malts. Some caramel. Floral, slightly citrusy hops.

Herbal, citrus mineral water bitterness up front. Orage zest and grapefruit bitterness. Fruity malt fills in the palate. Floral, spicy bitterness in the finish. Fruity malt lingers. Nice!

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Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brownish copper in color. Nice hoppiness in the nose. Hearty body for an APA. Malty with a decent hop bitter finish.

This offering is a really good hybrid between a classic English Pale Ale and it's hoppier American cousin.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a good pale it's a deep amber color with a 1/2 inch of bubbly head.

S - Smell is also good with toasted malts, Citrus hops, and sweet malts.

T - Taste is very good with Citrus hops and a clean finish. Malts balance very well but it's somewhat forgettable.

M - Light to medium I could see having a few.

Overall its better than the IPA but it just doesn't seem good enough to buy again.

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

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.
best before notched Feb. '13

pours a medium to dark amber tone while yielding a beige finger of foamy head. respectable retention and lacing. good looking beer. nose delivers notes of citric / floral hops with secondary notes of caramel malt and maybe a touch of pine.

more of the same going on in the flavor. moderately hoppy with some balancing malts. there's also a subtle fruity element to it, almost a dark fruit like quality. medium bodied on the palate with average carbonation.

overall a fine pale ale, no wow factor but relatively tasty and enjoyable. might not necessarily seek it out but would more than welcome a revisit.

(originally reviewed: 10-24-2011)

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Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,484 ratings.
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