Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
1,487 Ratings
Smuttynose Shoals Pale AleSmuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
smuttynose.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,487
Reviews:
671
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
10.94%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
163
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,487 |  Reviews: 671
Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Jspriest
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Blue Point shaker pint.

A: Pours an amber/light red colour with two fingers of white head.

S: Juicy grapefruit and lemon hop aromas with some bready and slightly English smelling malts.

T: The citrus aroma of the hops mixes with a more medicinal flavour and balances out the sweetness.

D: It is refreshing and quaffable and is fruity and balanced.

Overall: I tend to like my APAs on the dry side, but this one, with its sweetness and balance is very enjoyable as well. Its a solid APA and would make a great lawnmower beer or a more neutral pairing with dinner.

 599 characters

Photo of barleyroad
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is amber in color with a slight cloud to it. Smell is right hoppy in a good way. Mouthfeel is nice, this beer leave the mouth well and has the right hop for a Pale Ale. Taste is, well, good for this style of beer. They got it right, your standard Pale Ale. Over all we like this and feel it is the right beer for some good wings.

 340 characters

Photo of Crundy
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy amber color with a thin cream colored head

Smell: Slightly malty, citrus perhaps lemon or orange hops, some pine and yeast and alcohol

Taste: Hop bitterness, pine, some citrus, very slight sweet malt

Mouth feel: Light bodied, smooth, very little bite, slight bitter aftertaste

Overall: It doesn't wow and its a little bland, there is an initial burst of flavor but it dies quickly. not terrible but not good either.

 436 characters

Photo of rel
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really not much to say about this beer. It's pretty much an american style amber, on the hoppy side. For me this experience was more about pairing the beer with dinner. I was surprised to find the confusion online regarding pasta/tomato sauce and beer pairings. My find, amber beers with a good balance of hops and malt work perfectly.

To the beer.

Pours a nice amber color with a little head and no retention or lacing.

Smell is of flowery hops and toasted malts. Some caramel.

Taste is of flowery hops and toasted malts, well balanced with a slightly dry bitter finish.

Light to medium bodied with a good tingle.

Like I said, right down the middle, amber... not pale.

 675 characters

Photo of TobiasGoth
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An amber ale, pulling towards the orange and red part of the spectra. Topside there’s a finger of frothy light tan collar. In the liquid I see a few lonely bubbles making their way to the top. The label on the bottle asks you to please take heed to any yeast remains at the bottom of the glass container, though I see none of it here.

Smell There’s a fowl odor, kind of like a sour, old and smelly kitchen cloth. May-hap like a stainless steel kitchen coutertop wiped with one of those clothes. There’s also an acidity, that of citrus. I pick up some flowery and perfumed notes too. The nose also contains some bread and yeast notes. The odor hits me like when dropping an effervescent tablet of vitamin or paracetamol into a glass of water.

Taste Doesn’t come forth as head on as many other pale ales I’ve had. In fact it doesn’t come across as an APA at all. Very musty and earthy, something like Nils Oscar Kalasöl (a cereal/grainy lager). Not much aroma hops present which is usually typical of the style. A metallic/gassy taste bringing back the kitchen cloth and counter-top. Also acidic and citric flavors. A short and mild bitterness appears half way through.

Mouthfeel A surprising body with a great carbonation that grows and changes, only improving with time. Rich and smooth liquid. The after taste is sweet, fizzy, dry and not completed balanced, but I like it.

In conclusion Hm, me and Joao discussed the beer’s label while reviewing it and realized that the label and beer do have some distinct similarities such as being a rural, dirt brown, wood grey and grassy green in the way it looks and tastes.

This is an okay pale ale with maybe too many acidic, earthy and metallic elements. Thinking about it, if this was labeled as an English Pale Ale I would’ve approached it differently and perhaps given it another rating altogether.

 1,868 characters

Photo of perrymarcus
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 be more than up for a revisit.

 675 characters

Photo of Schneic8
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug. Best before date of Nov. 2011.

Appearance: Nice deep copper color that poured a nice off slightly off white head. It has mild carbonation.

Smell: Has a deep smell with caramel and bread tones. I also get citrus and floral smells as well.

Taste: Good balance of hops and caramel flavors. I also taste fruit and floral flavors, similar to the smell. It is not too bitter and has a great taste.

Mouthfeel: Good crisp feel that sits well. It goes down smooth with little after taste.

Overall: A very good beer that I will drink. I am a big fan of the Smuttynose beers I have tried and this one is as good as the others. It is easy to drink and has a good tastes and flavors.

 711 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Piccadilly in Champaign, IL.
Best before November 2011.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Pours a 2cm head of very light tan, small and medium sized bubbles. Head dissipates to a 0.5cm cap on top of the body throughout the entire time beer is in the glass. Body is an opaque, fairly dark, copper-orange color. Carbonation still visible, supporting the persistent head. Lacing is in many different shapes, quite extensive. A little dark, but very nice overall.

Aroma of rich toasted malt flavors with some light pine and floral hop aroma combinations. Good, but would have liked to see a bit more hop from an APA.

Taste features strong presence of pine-y hops alongside a less-generous, but still present, caramel malt sweetness. Aftertaste is largely of lingering hop bitterness that extends for quite a long time. Maybe a bit too malt-forward and single-hop flavor for some, but I can appreciate this.

Medium to medium-heavy body, a bit excessive for the style. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, a delight, carbonation not overpowering, just right for the body's heft.

A well-balanced APA, hoppy, but not too much so. Aroma could be a bit more complex, but it's well-balanced and I wouldn't want to jeopardize that. Body could be thinned just a bit for the style's sake, though I'm happy with it as is. Overall, very drinkable.

 1,357 characters

Photo of BigCheese
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from a mixpack

A: Lovely pumpkin amber color with a thin head that leaves some lacing. Darker color than their IPA.

S: Some Pine Hop aroma, tad of raisins, pick up hints of booze surprising considering the alcohol content.

T: Nice, very well balanced. Some molasses from the malts, but a solid amount of pine-y hops. Hop flavor stays with you a lot. Good hop flavor thats pretty subdued.

M: For a pale ale its a tad heavy, not in a bad way, but the depth of flavor matches the drinking profile. Not quite a session beer but I could certaiinly put away a few of these.

O: Didnt expect a lot from this but for a low abv low price pale ale its one of the best I can recall. A bit hoppier than your typical PA and nothing wrong with that. A beer drinkers pale ale. Cheers.

 780 characters

Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A:Pours a deep golden/copper color eith a moderate head that fades slowly. has nice lacing.

S: Mellow aroma of roasted malt, caramel and fresh grain.

T: Starts with a crsip bite with a mild caramel sweetness. Nice bitterness in the background with a dry finish.

F: Medium body, Crisp, smooth and well balanced.

O: Good Pale Ale. This is not a beer that will knock your socks off but a solid brew that hangs in there with the best.

 435 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: hazy, deep amber-orange color; pretty dark for a pale ale. Head is a thin layer of frothy ivory foam. Not too bad.

Smell: bready, biscuity and slightly caramelly malt aroma. This beer seems way heavy on the crystal malt for a pale ale. Again, not bad, but not really style-appropriate nor is it really my taste. Hop aroma is light and floral, which is pretty nice.

Taste: caramel malt flavor with a pretty well-balanced bitterness. Hops are floral and a little bit earthy. Pretty well put-together but it just doesn't float my boat.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-light body with a pretty decent carbonation. I like it.

Overall: this is a pretty "meh" beer for me. Totally decent, but really not my cup of tea.

 768 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Full Sail Pale Ale.

A: Hazy medium amber color with tiny bubbles and a three-finger, off-white, rocky head that lasted a while. Great lacing.

S: Earthy and pine hops. Sweet caramel malt.

T: Light sweetness and fair amount of hop bitterness. Fruit flavors and gassy pine hops. Bitter aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Pretty smooth. Not bad.

O: This beer looked great, but I felt the aroma and flavor were a bit too much earthy hops. I think this is personal taste though. I liked the Full Sail Pale Ale slightly better.

 597 characters

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

A: Amber color with one finger tan head that leaves little lacing. Poured into a goblet.
S: Malt, earthy, sweet aromas
T: Malty with initial sweetness of dark fruits followed by earthiness and finished with mild hop bitterness.
M: Medium bodied with active carbonation.
O: Very enjoyable beer. Will definitely drink another.

 327 characters

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

The Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale reminds me alot of Sierra Nevadas Fresh Hop ale. The appearance is only lacking in teh head department....very thin, white in color. The color is a rich amber and thebeer is clear. The smell is of hops that leans more towards pine than citrus....guessing casscade??? The taste mirrors the smell... a fresh hop that is balanced by malt. Tyhe mouthfeel is very good and cou;d drink a fair amount.

 425 characters

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

A: pours a dark gold/brown, almost a mahogany into a Duvel tulip with a finger of tan head that thins ever so slightly.

S: a lot of orange zest, earthy, piney and a great malt caramel backbone.

T: sweet oranges and malt are well balanced. Some nice dark fruits like plums, figs and dates. Very earthy.

MF: medium body, sweet, good effervescence.

O: a bit sweet for a Pale Ale but a good beer

 399 characters

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

pours a dark brownish orange with moderate haze

malty and woody hops hint of walnut

hoppy pine flavor with some malt towards the end

medium body

overall this is a unique APA... really questions the style but a good beer for sure... give it a try if you see it.

 265 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Portsmouth Brewery and served in a pint glass. The beer is a bright copper coloring, very light, with a thin white head that clings very well. The nose is caramel malt, but light, with a steady, dry hopped background. The flavor is grapefruit sweet, with pepper and oregano spicy hops throughout. Great blend into an aftertaste of citrus, and a clean, smooth finish.

 387 characters

Photo of cneville
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of mixed six I purchased.

Pours a nice copper color with a head that fades after a couple of minutes, but leaves a good lacing. Smell is bready, but not overwhelmingly so, with an underlying sweetness. Taste is my favorite part here--very crisp bite, with a good bitterness and some faint floral notes. Balanced very well. Lots of carbonation, but finishes smoothly. Overall, a very strong example of the style and one I will have again.

 467 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale is a pretty cloudy, copper colored brew, which supports a small tan head. Pretty nice amount of lace sticks to the glass.

Pretty standard scent for an American Pale Ale. Nice amount of malts followed by a floral hop aroma.

Taste starts off with a caramel malt base, followed by a variety of fruit notes. Bit of apple, maybe a pear, followed by some orange and grapefruit tones, which is finished off with some grassy hops. Fair amount of bitterness. Medium bodied, winds up with a dry finish.

 523 characters

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

Appearance: This brew pours a deep amber with a creamy tan head.

Smell: More bready then malt at first, then the caramel malt becomes more prominent.

Taste: Solid. This has a great bite to it with a firm maltyness, and a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, with a medium body.

Overall: This is a great example of a pale ale. I would be drinking this on a regular basis if I lived up there in New England.

 416 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first Smuttynose - Thanks to Charliedvrs for the great trade

Notes from 08/25/11
12oz to pint glass

A: Shoals Pale Ale pours a darker amber color with some lighter orange highlights to it. A tad murky. Thin khaki head fizzled out fairly quickly with some minimal lacing.

S: Nose is heavy with bready caramelized malts and some light citrus and pine. I pick up a bit of fruity ale yeast character too.

T: A malt forward pale ale with some nice lingering bitterness. Lots of caramel malt. Bready biscuit. Classic citrus & pine hop notes. Slight tart fruity yeast bite. Very reminiscent of a SNPA.

M: Real light n creamy texture with a slight gritty chalkiness to it. Like some sand from the Shoals made it's way into the brew. Probably my one big mark against this beer.

D: Very drinkable pale ale and again very similar profile to SNPA.

If I were an East Coast guy this would easily make it into my rotation.

 918 characters

Photo of mralphabet
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured a very hazy deep amber color, hint darker than copper.... good finger and a half of head that settled to a nice ring... very nice lacing.

S: I'm getting a nice floral hops right up front, then a slightly bready sweet malt.

T: Splash of hops right up front... floral with a hint of tart grapefruit.... then a quick turn to sweet caramel malt in the mid palate... finish comes back with the floral hops.... the aftertaste settles up pretty clean.

M: Medium bodied... with a medium carbonation. Little thicker than more APA's I've had.

O: I'm not a big hops guy.... but I would have to say this one was pretty balanced.. ABV was good so you could session this one. Worth looking for if you like the style.

 753 characters

Photo of
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - amber with an off-white head that has very good retention and leaves good lacing as it recedes.

Smell - Citrus and floral hops over sweet caramel malts and toasted bread.

Taste - Bread and caramel malt, but not too sweet, with substantial bitterness and a smooth, dry finish.

 290 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.