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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,487 |  Reviews: 671
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a Pint glass.Enjoyed on mar´11
Orangish amber.Foggy.White & dense crown,fairly well retention.Brief lacing.Mildy malt aromas & smooth floral hoppy notes on nose.Moderate dry bitterness,citric notes.Balanced aftertaste.Drinkable.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass, good till October 2011.

A great looking orange glowing amber body with some slight haze, and an off white strong head that forms real nice with tiny bubbles. Some brown hues towards the edge. One sexy looking beer. Lots of clumpiness too in the head.

Bouquet is borderline IPA territory. Citrus hop and light malt, with sweet sugars and toast. Hints of caramel, big and strong. Very impressive.

Taste is a great balance mix of toasty caramel, and then mild hop. Hop finish on the swallow, mixing with powdered sugar and toasty malts in the mid palate. Texture is simple and straight forward as well. Slightly dry but not too much.

Overall a complete surprise. A beer that comes off on the nose as a solid IPA but surprises you with its malt and Pale Ale power. The force is strong with this one, this is a very impressive pale ale.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in flared glass

A: very nice clear dark amber, with robust head; carb beads are pretty minimal, but the lacing is nice
S: pleasant, nondescript smell, a bit of hops, a bit of malt
T: A decent pale ale, but with a tinny overtone; floral, grassy, citrus notes are present; the flavor is strong but not intense.

Overall, a decent, solid beer.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from inlimbo77; thank you! Date notching indicates "best before October 2011."

Poured into a Deschutes pint glass, the body appears much darker than expected. It is a murky brown/amber color with about an inch of frothy, off-white head that seems to last forever! Long strands of wet lacing cling to the edge of the glass. It looks much more like an amber ale than a pale, but that makes it slightly more intriguing. Smell is of typical pale ale scents: grass, straw, hay, some floral hops, faint citrus (mostly lemon, touch of orange). Taste is similar, with the grassy notes taking the forefront along with some other grains (wheat, hay). A smooth malt makes up the middle, and it finishes with the hop flavor. Mouth is smooth throughout, the carbonation and hops lightening the body a bit. Overall, I’d probably reach for a slightly lighter pale were I in the sun, but for a shade sipper, this one certainly does the trick.

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

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A: Light copper pour with a 1 inch foamy white head that retained and laced. Active carbonation making its way to top.

S: Earthy smell. Hops, pine, floral. Some malt. Not an impressive blast to the nose.

T: Very crisp with good hop bite and bready malt. The earthy smells come through in the taste.

M: Crisp and light bodied. Carbonation at a good level. Nice aftertaste.

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Photo of bpw28
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: One finger bone white head, hazy copper, very nice lacing, visualable strong carb.

Smell: Surpisingly strong malt, floral, earthy, grassy.

Taste: Strong malt, floral, grassy. Very clean and refreshing. Just enough malt and hop backbone.

Final Thoughts: I love this one. It's very simplistic, but it is done in such a great way. It seems to take ques from both british style PA and american style. Could be one of my favorite Pale Ales.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear copper with a two finger head with a good amount of rising carbonation. Leaves a bit of thin lacing.

S- Citrus hop notes of grapefruit and orange zest with grassy, floral and piney hops, caramel malt, and some spice.

T- Grapefruit and orange zest upfront with some pine, grass, and floral notes and finishes with some caramel malt and spice. Well balanced APA.

M- Medium carbonation and body, with a slightly dry and bitter finish.

O- Another good year-round brew from Smuttynose. A little more malty than most other APA's, but still pretty tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of Samp01
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cloudy amber with a nice off white head. Citrusy earthy hops fill the nose with some light fruity aromas. Taste is nice sweet caramel malt and citrusy piney hops. Palate is nice medium body with good carbonation. Finish is sweet malt, some yeastiness followed by citrusy earthy hops and light fruity ending. Overall a good easy drinking pale ale.

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

A: Medium brown with an amber tint; frothy two-inch head and good lacing

S: Caramel sweetness mixed with grainy malts and brown sugar strike first but then a citrus, tea-leafed, herbal hop aroma takes control through the sweet bready grains; subdued but pleasant

T: Decent citrus and grassy hop presence up front and though there is a decent sweet malt backbone, something doesn't quite hold together perfectly; interesting pale but some herbal qualities here that don't quite mesh

F: Medium body with enough of that oily stickiness that I like letting the beer stick to the roof of the mouth

O: This is a decent pale that in the end ends up working but it has its moments that concerned me a bit

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Photo of Kromes
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A clear light amber color with a thick off-white colored head and good lacing down the glass.

S: A rather weak floral hop aroma with some metallic smells also.

T: A toasted malt and slight caramel flavor that is backed by a fruity, floral hop flavor and bitterness.

M: A lighter mouthfeel with an oily finish. A bit "watery".

O: It's definitely tasty, with some nice muted hop and the mouthfeel is smooth. Not crazy about the aroma....above average beer.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber with one finger of gently retreating seafoam. Low tide leaves some lacing that gently cascades down the glass.

S: A bit of sweet honey and grain.

T: Surprisingly sweet for a pale. There's a honey flavor to this that I hadn't expected. Finishes with a touch of floral hop bitterness. Not a lot of balance between the two.

M: Silky as sealskin and bubbly as the blonde laying on the blue beach towel a few feet away. Which is to say, not very. She's reading a Grishham novel and hasn't smiled since she put the towel down. And yet when her friends showed up she was all smiles, so who the hell knows?

O: Not a bad outing, but there are beaches out there with warmer sand and better views, so to speak.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I get a floral hop smell with bready caramel malts very reminiscent of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The taste is very smooth with the malt dominating the whole first end of the taste with caramel bready and sweet tastes then ending with the bitter herbal floral hop bite with a dry yeasty taste that reminds me of the Yuengling yeast taste but way better.

This is an amazingly balanced pale ale. The hop bite really keeps things interesting but doesnt go overboard. You can really taste the bready malts and caramel malts when you breathe out of your nose on the aftertaste. The hop bite sticks around for a bit as well. Although straight forward its an excellent example of the style. Its right up there with the best of the best Pale Ales and definitely makes the top 3 for me. Although I've had Pale Ales that taste very hoppy this one has a very nice rich malt taste reminiscent of like I said the Samuel Adams Boston Lager but with more of a floral bitter hop bite. Excellent beer.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with best before date marked as September 11'.

Pours a deep murky honey amber color with a nice sized off white fine head that receeds to a thin layer up top. This pale is not transluscent - leading me to believe this will be a fuller bodied brew with some complexity.

Smell is definition of APA, although I am picking up way more malts here than a standard APA - biscuity malts & floral hops. Mild caramel scent as well.

Wow, is all I can say. Just a really solid pale ale. Starts up front with a little bitter prick on the tongue as the caramel and biscuity malts set the stage. On the back end is that classic drying almost soapy hop presence, but it is smooth - unlike some pales that can be just too much. Very balanced brew here, alot going on - very complex for the style.

Body is a medium (5/10) & the liberal carbonation has an enhancing effect on the end-taste.

6pak for $8.99. Great session beer, will be picking this up for beach & pool days for sure.

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

Had this on tap at Ciao 2 in Robinson a small Italian Cafe'...known for a nice small beer selection and a 3 dollar draft happy hora. This place has a beer on draft called 412 ale the local area code brewed by Smuttynose. I've had Shoals in the past and this is definitely a reissue of that same beer with a new label. Which is fine by me I don't see the Shoals Pale ale locally very often so that's fine. Plus it's really drinking great on tap, a pale copper hue with an off white cream head forms fine even lacing. Mild fruity nose with herbal mild citric hops, a very nice baked breadiness going on with each sip. Solid sipper for any occasion, Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied slight trace of hop oils finishes with a mild welcoming bitterness. Overall quality beverage that I will try every time I'm there and if I can get it in sixers better yet.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.68/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear, shiny amber color with no foam or lace. The aroma is of caramel and citrus with a hint of dough. The flavor has caramel, grapefruit, and roasted malt notes. It beging with malt sweetness and is followed by a dry, bitter finish. The mouthfeel is light. Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale is an ok beer, not recommended.

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Photo of JLeege
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 10/11

Appearance- Pours out a fairly clear copper with about a finger of foam, decent retention and a little lace left behind.

Smell- Sweet doughy malts and an earthy hop presence. Not a big nose.

Taste- A malt forward pale, balanced with hops here. Sweet doughyness up front, with notes of light caramel and even a bit toasty. Piney sided hops show up towards the finish with citrusy lemon thrown in the mix.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with medium carbonation level. Fairly smooth, pretty clean.

Overall- It’s a decent pale ale, but unmemorable. It just gets lost in the mix when I have so many top notch pales locally (Daisy Cutter, Alpha King, Zombie Dust, Moon Man). I suppose I prefer a more hop forward pale as well.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice deep copper color, with a nice finger of off white head (very light and fluffy looking), pretty good retention!

S - Smells grainy/slightly citrusy/sour and malty sweet, not too much going on here

T - Mmmm Grainy floral hop bitterness, not very detectable in the nose but a real nice tasting. Nice citrusy qualities as well, a nice dry finish, really nice sessionable brew with a nice taste.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation for the style

O - Overall this beer is delicious and sessionable, awesomeness

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Photo of OStrungT
4.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden copper color, with a thick fluffy off white head. The head fades very slowly, leaving a thick lace.

I detect a mild sweet malt aroma. Slight biscuit and toffee aroma is present. A light floral hop presence is also noted.

This beers has tastes of toffee. Some sweet caramel is present also. A floral flavor is also noticable. It is very mild.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a floral aftertaste. It is high in carbonation.

This beer would make a great session beer. It is low in alcohol, and the flavor is mild and nice.

Overall: This is a perfect summer beer. It is good for a hot Lemoore afternoon. Thanks to inlimbo77 for this nice beer.

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Photo of jman892
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy amber in color with a big, thick, fluffy head, which leaves full lacing.

S - Difficult to pick up any distinct aromas. Very mild sweetness

T - Suprising amount of hops up front, since the aroma was so faint. A little bit of charred toast, and a mild caramel sweetness

M - Well carbonated, clean, crisp

O - Its not too complex, but is drinkable. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing outstanding either

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Photo of Zaradog
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Visual: Huh, so that’s what chill haze looks like. It looks like microscopic little bubbles that do not sink or size… they just stay transfixed wherever you find them. If not for the occasional carbonation bubble rising to the top you would think this was gelatin-ized. It’s a brownish orange color and in my case I only got a one finger head that dissipated in an average timeframe leaving light to moderate lacing.

Aroma: It smells English… I guess maybe that means it is malt forward? Smells similar to a hobgoblin or something like that.

Taste: Ok, I have to admit I didn’t perceive any hoppiness in the aroma, but I definitely get it with the first taste. I like it. Its not a hop bomb by any means, but the hops are definitely there and seem to come in waves. There is a taste you pick up on a draw while inhaling, then it ramps up in the middle of your mouth and then again in the back just as the smell and foretaste are fading. Just when you think, “ok this bitterness is going to be here a while”, it totally fades away.

Mouth Feel: Maybe a little bit too tingly on the tongue, but not enough to detract.

Drink-ability: I here this has a low ABV. I have not looked it up though. Like most craft beers, I don’t think I would drink an entire six pack. But I think I would definitely settle down to 3 of them in a row. I think for me, the first 6 ounces or so might seem a little overpowering, a little on the IPA side. However, pallet fatigue sets in then levels off. The end result for me is a very drinkable beer.

Impressions: I’ll recommend this one to my drinking buddies. And next time we have a tasting that is centered on Pale Ales… I’ll definitely bring this one along. I guess I need to study up on the differences between an American PA and an English PA because in my opinion this definitely seems like it takes aim at the British. Al in all a very good beer though.

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Photo of dataskatt
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber. Generous head and lacing. Smell is not overly strong, but has nice hints of citrus, pine, and grass. Smell and taste is clean and balanced, not too bitter. Taste is nicely balanced between pleasant hops bitter, and off-setting malty balance. Very drinkable! Nothing screams out, just a nicely balanced pale ale with subtle nuances. Yummy! Would definitely buy again!

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance-Amber brown with a ton of carbonation. tan 2 inch head with pretty good retention and average lacing.

Smell-Sweet malts, light hops and citrus.

Taste-Bitter hops kind of like the Finest Kind. light citrus and heavy malts. some flavor gets lost in the carbonation.

Mouthfeel-Creamy. Lots of carbonation. medium bodied, a little hot a prickly going down.

OVerall-Not very impressed with this or the "Finest Kind" drinkable, but ehh..

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

Bottle was from a Smuttynose Variety pack.

Enjoyed in a DFH Pint Glass

A - Pours a very hazy, cloudy deep amber color. Honestly, one of the most foamy heads I've ever seen on the initial pour. Huge three finger head that billowed over the lip of the glass. The head slowly faded to a one finger head. Nice lacing on the side of the glass.

S - A bready, caramel-like sweetness is the dominate smell. Very inviting.

T - A really tasty beer. A nice maltly, caramel sweetness mixed with just the right amount of hops. A slight tanginess at the back end. Very easy drinking. The low ABV means you could easily drink these all night.

M - Medium carbonation.

O - Although not my favorite style, this beer is one that I would seek out again. It's funny how you can tell when a beer is well crafted even if it's not necessarily your normal go-to beer. I will enjoy finishing the remaining bottles in the variety pack. Recommended.


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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-I understand just because its by definition a 'pale ale', the beer does not have to be actually pale in color. However, this brew is much darker than I expected. Pours a darker copper color. A seemingly infinite amount of bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. A thin off-white head forms and leaves splotchy lacing down the side of the glass. The beer is translucent.

S-A fairly light aroma. To me the aroma is quite different. A do get the subtle malt sweetness and the bright citrus hop scents. I also get some charred burnt tones here as well. I would characterize the aroma as light yet individual.

T-Hoppier than the nose. I get some pretty crisp hop notes here. Sweet malts soothe the palate, soon after some fairly assertive hop bitterness takes center stage. The nose and the taste are somewhat different. That hard to characterize flavor found in the nose is present on the tongue as well.

M-Medium bodied. The carbonation is quite noticeable. Fuller than the ABV would lead you to believe.

O/D-I like this beer. It perplexes me. There are a few aspects of this beer that are hard to describe. As a whole I really like this beer. Its sessionable, but has plenty of flavor to keep me interested. I will likely buy another six-pack in order to further dissect the flavor profile found in Shoals Pale Ale.

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

Best by August/September, reviewed 15 May.

Cloudy and very amber. One-finger head, minor lacing.

Smell is pine-y with some caramel sweetness.

Taste is malty and sweet at first, pine and citrus hop flavors enter midway and make the finish bitter. The caramel flavors are present the whole way and linger on the mouth, keeping this one for being overly hoppy.

Mouthfeel medium and smooth.

A good example of the style. Not as hoppy as some, but it still showcases the hops flavors that define the American version of the style.

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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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