Smuttynose Winter Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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493 Reviews
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Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smuttynose Winter Ale is a full-bodied, amber beer brewed with a special Trappist ale yeast. Stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double, it features fruity aromas and flavor, balanced by soft Crystal hops. Warming, mellow & pleasantly complex, Smuttynose Winter Ale is your perfect cold weather companion.

30 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 10-30-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
493
Ratings:
1,024
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
16.49%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
86
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 493 | Ratings: 1,024
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

"Best by 4/28/14" printed on bottle.

A weak pour delivers half a finger of manilla colored yeast. The body is a dark rosy brown. Lace initially makes an attempt but dries up pretty quickly.

Dark fruit, malt, earthy aromas all appear. The nose is rather laid back.

Sweet dark malt combine with a graininess. A little xmas spice comes in with the earthy taste. More xmas spice as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium/heavy bodied.

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Photo of EtOHMD
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (freshness date before 9/10) into a pint glass.

Rich, deep copper, opaque in the middle, clear on the lower edges. 1/4 finger thin head which dissipates immediately.

Aroma is sweet, but faint.

Taste is decent, caramel apple, malty. Hints of barley-wine / medicinal towards the end.

Feel is thin, moderate carbonation on the back end. Much harsher than would be expected for the ABV (was surprised when I actually checked it).

Not that filling (especially for a winter seasonal). Could go for a few.

I have had this beer before I started rating, and my memory was that this was a better beer than it actually is I guess. Interesting.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Reddish walnut in color with a one-finger, light tan head. Recedes quickly to little lacing.

Nose is primarily dark fruits, slightly roasted coffee. Some sweetness in there as well.

The fruits come through in the taste. Also getting just a little nuttiness, as well as some caramel sweetness. Little to no hop presence.

Mouthfeel is creamy, slightly sticky. Medium body, low carbonation. Sweetness lingers in the mouth.

Overall not a bad beer, just lacking in complexity when judged against other dubbels. Would drink again, just wouldn't go out of my way to get it.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Orval-branded chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a thin fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately. The head leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Has a fruity smell to it (mostly grapes and apples). Smells similar to most Belgian (or Belgian-style) beers. The smell is kind of weak though.

Taste: Initially tastes of fruits with a slight hop bitterness. Finishes sweet with a touch of caramel. Also has a nice touch of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin with a lot of carbonation. Still not too bad.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer and probably a good winter seasonal. Nevertheless, it feels like it's missing something and isn't living up to its full potential.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ok, first: What's with the picture of somebody's Grandma on the label? It's just creepy. Stop it.

Pours a nice deep mahogany/brown with a thin buttery head that reduces to almost nothing, but leaves a thin froth that stays. Almost no lacing to speak of.

Smells sweet and malty with hints of buttery toffee.

Starts out with earthy malt & molasses. There's some dark fruit like raisins or black cherries in the middle. Finishes with a strong alcohol bitterness. Hops are in there, but are pretty muddled; they don't really have a chance to come through. As it warms the spices become more prominant. Especially cinnamon and nutmeg.

Full bodied and slightly creamy.

Overall it's not bad, but it doesn't hold a candle to the other Smuttynose products I've tried. There's a bit too much unblended alcohol in the finish. At 6.8% it shouldn't be that harsh in my opinion.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best by date 04/09/2014. A new seasonal beer to me from Smuttynose, this one a dubbel, a style I am not too familiar with. Going in unbiased, and keeping my expectations open.

Poured into a Coca-Cola goblet.

A - Pours a smooth caramel color; a ruby-amber color in the glass. One finger of beige head. Rich and creamy appearance, but fairly simple.

S - Smell is very subdued. Light caramel / amber malts, cranberry, plums, raisins, some cream, & some alcohol fumes.

T - Taste follows the nose: light caramel maltiness, and some dark fruit presence - black cherries, figs, plums, & raisins. Dry brown bread, and maybe a hint of rum raisin. I'm not really getting much in the way of yeast or funk.

M - Feel ends fairly sticky and dry. Thin bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a fairly tame beginner's dubbel from what my previous experience with these beers has told me. A more moderate, drinkable 5.83% abv suits this beer well. Suitable for those looking to get into the style. While not offensive and definitely drinkable, this probably isn't a beer I would want again.

Smuttynose Winter Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into my Fisherman's Brew pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red with a fizzy off-white head that goes away quickly. Looks kind of like dark cherry soda.

Smell: Picking up apple and a bit of dark fruitiness, plus that familiar Belgian "spiciness" that I can't come up with a better description for. It's all pretty weak.

Taste: The dark fruit comes out more than the apple, the opposite of the smell. A little bit of toasty malt. A hint of nutmeg. No hops to speak of. Pleasant enough, but not really special.

Mouthfeel: Thin with very low carbonation. Fits the style okay, but it's not my favorite feeling.

Drinkability: It goes down light and smooth. Nothing about it is offensive, but it doesn't stand out from the crowd at all, which is remarkable for Smuttynose, which is usually one of my favorites. I'd drink it if I were in beer purgatory, but I can't think of a situation where I'd be able to find this but nothing better was available.

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Photo of LOCAL
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a goblet

Poured a dark red/brown with a thin coco brown head that went away almost immediately. No lacing to speak of. Smelled of sweet malts and hints of dark fruit. Taste starts off slightly tart with sweet malts and traces of dark fruits present, maybe raisins or prunes? Mouthfeel is somewhere in between a standard amber and belgian with the tiny bubbles in the carbonation sneaking in there. Drinkability: Seems like I could have a few of these this evening.

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Photo of counselor
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice mahogany color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. The aromas are dried fruit and bread (dare I say fruitcake?) full malty mouthfeel that leaves a candy flavor long after swallowing. There a a number of different flavors melding together nicely, bready yeast flavors and raisin sweet malts, not any hop perception. some real intense dried fruit flavors and the longer it warms, some spice and more and more bisquit flavors.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wierd beer.

Pours a thin beige head with excellent retention that is still foamy at the bottom of the glass. Opaque red tinted brown color.

Smells of vingar-ish malt, grapes, and mild alcohol.

The taste is first sourdough bread then mineral water wierdness then a pleasantly unwierd malt extract flavor. Thin mouth and low but lively carbonation.

At first this tasted like a homebrew gone awry but it mellowed out and came together as it warmed up. I recommend this one out of the cellar instead of out of the fridge.

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Photo of danronian
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance -Dark beer with a small head that quickly goes away, some lingering foam, but little carbonation rising from the top.

Smell - Roasted smell and somewhat sweet. Not a lot of smell coming off of this beer.

Taste - Smooth, somewhat sweet, but strong. The burnt, malty taste is prominent and fruitiness is secondary. Sweet finish that is pleasant tasting.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with a lot of taste, and little carbonation. The after-taste is burnt and lingering.

This is a good beer that is warming, tasty, but not something I could drink more than one of a night. Good winter beer.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber with a thin with a thin tan head.

S - Dark fruit, raisins and a strong banana aroma.

T - Fruity with biscuit, raisins and banana. Some burnt flavors are present and not very enjoyable.

M - Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

D - Not bad but nothing special either.

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Photo of JohnSki13
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchase over the winter along with a number of other beers. This is my first review of a beer. We’ll see how it goes.

Appearance – Poured into a pint glass. The beer is a deep mahogany/carmel color. Lacey head with a slight cream or light beige color. A medium amount of carbonation remains after sitting in the glass for a few minutes. A thin trace of the head remains as well.

Aroma - Sweet, malty aroma which is a bit of what I expected when pouring this beer. Not overbearing but definitely a strong presence. A slight scent of raisins and figs can be picked up in the ackground.

Taste – A sweet and malty aroma with a slightly burnt taste. Very mild hop presence with a slight bitter taste in the beginning of the sip. The malty flavors fade away leaving the hop and slight burnt aftertaste (This is not a bad thing). A balanced combination of flavors in this beer give this beer a complex but not overwhelming taste.

Texture – The carbonation catches the tongue and inside the mouth and sticks with the beer throughout the sip.

This beer is a bit on the lighter side of winter ales I have had but I tend to think a lot of the winter ales I have had tend to be a bit overspiced so this beer I enjoyed. The beer is a little bit much for a session beer but I can see myself having a few of these in one sitting.

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Photo of mnrider
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz. Brown Bottle. Has Freshness Date.

A: Pours a dark brown color with hints of red around edges. An off-white
head starts one finger high and quickly turns to a thin layer. Foamy lacing
slides down glass.

S: Light creamy caramel. Other light spices and fruits are mixed in.

T/M: Smooth and full bodied. Dark fruits are mixed with yeast and just
a hint of hops. Roasted malts are also present and somewhat create a
balance in the beer.

O: This Winter Ale is easy to drink and a good choice for the winter months.
However overall the beer is on the plain side and leaves me wanting a little
more on the taste side of things. Still worth a look.

Cheers!

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Photo of hchinaski
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap @Wonderland.

Pours a nice dark brownish with a good head, average time to dissipate.

Couldn't pick up a whole lot of smell Some malts and sweetness with a tad of spice.

Decent taste, not extremely complex, but not too heavy on the malts, slight burnt aftertaste.

Good mouth, very smooth.

Very drinkable, hides the alchohol pretty well, considering the abv. while not my favorite winter selection, i could definitely session this one.

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Photo of TimmyL
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip
A- Nut brown in color, tan head, average lacing.
S- A little light, nothing spectacular.
T- Sweet malt taste. Honey, some brown sugar, caramel. Slight bitter finish.
M- Lighter than I would expect.
O- Decent. Would have again but wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of Mit
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a-pours a nice cloudy dark amber colour. Minimal to no head.

s-very belgian smelling. Nice sweet malts followed by a smokiness..

t-lighter than a usual belgian. Still sweet but it def has a bitter edge that keeps the sweetness from overpowering. Some fruity notes, dates, figs...molasses

m-def good for it's abv.

d-really drinkable. The bitterness keeps you coming back to this beer.

I was on a winter beer bent this year and this was one of the nicer ones that I tried.

 476 characters

Photo of iceball585
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, cloudy, very thin tan head that quickly dissolved to a thin ring

S- Dark fruits, caramel malts, dark chocolate, hint of spices

T- Roasted malts, dark fruits, spices, cocoa, toffee, brown sugar, alcohol

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, smooth, fairly oily finish

D- Worth trying

This beer has a decent auroma although it is slightly lacking in flavor. There just isn't really a lot going on in this beer.

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Photo of changeup45
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter Ales are not my favorite style but this was alright. Poured a dark amber color, small off-white head and some lace. Slightly sweet fruity, vanilla aroma. Somewhat spicy tasting with a sweet maltiness and some fruit. A decent, warming, winter brew.

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Photo of JWU
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- a very cloudy amber with a thin light tan head.

S- yeasty fruity esters, with some light candy sugar sweetness.

T- Certainly a belgian yeast here. Some yeasty funk, very light fruitiness, and sweetness.

M- light to medium, light but fizzy carbonation. A metallic dryness on the end.

O- Okay, but nothing special. Smutty certainly does better beers.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle to tulip glass.

A: A very dark brown with a tan head around two fingers thick. Holding it up to the light reveals a deep red, yet you really can't see through this one.

S: Sweet and fruity, a touch of bready yeast. Not really getting anything that hints at winter or typical seasonal ingredients. Very slight spice notes.

T: Dark fruits are present along with some cocoa nibs. The winter spices are more evident on the palate, which is nice. Finishes a bit bitter.

M: Carbonation has just a bit too much bite and the beer itself is a bit thin.

D: The beer doesn't lack decent flavors, it just seems an elementary stab at a winter ale. Thin and over carbonated for a dubbel.

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Photo of speakorspasm
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Color is a deep rich reddish brown. Head is small and makes a quick exit.

S: Smell is spicy and rather sweet. There's maybe a hint of cocoa backing it up. Very inviting.

T: The taste follows the nose closely. Spicy-sweet malts open backed up by a sweet cocoa/coffee backbone. There is a slight biscuity feel as well. None of the warming alcohol notes you might expect, even though it clocks it at a stout 6.8 abv. Overall, the taste is pleasant but lacks any real complexity.

M: Light carbonation here. Actually comes across as remarkably light, given my expectation for the style. I'd really like a bit more heft here. Still, it's a pleasant beer and the lighter mouthfeel fits the less-complex taste.

D: The lighter feel of the beer makes this a smooth, downable brew. Normally A Dubbel is something to sit with, to sip and to ponder... I can just drink these. I guess whether that's good or bad depends on the situation.

* Overall, this is a decent beer that I'm happy to be drinking. Really nothing amazing given the number of great beers that fit within this style, but nothing wrong with going local.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smuttynose just hit Milwaukee so I was excited to try this. Not sure what style this was when I bought it, but obviously turned out to be a dubbel. The body is deep chestnut and ruby red with beautiful clarity/ The head was made up of very fine carbonation activity. The wonderful Belgian phenolic aroma was evident as soon as the pour began. Fruity spiciness filled the nostrils quite well. The taste was very "dubbelish" with its dry, semi-sweet maltness. A small amount of hop bitterness shine through. It seemed a bit too spicy even though I doubt any additional winter-type spices were added. The mouthfeel was a little harsh off the start. Although the dryness is always welcome in a dubbel, it seemed a bit cloying. I believe this would be great after a year in the cellar. I will definately save a 6 pack for next winter. Overall, good, but not yet conditioned to its finest.

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Photo of BrianOhio
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a very dark, almost cola like look. Only when you hold it up to a light do you see a mahogany hue. Head is maybe 1 finger and dissipates quickly.

First wiff and I was like what, is this a Belgian Ale? I wasn't expecting that type of a malty aroma from a winter seasonal.

Flavor definitely reminiscent of a Trappist, but the nice surprise for me is not the overly sweet finish I tend to find in Belgian Ales. The hops, while not over powering, provide a really nice balance that I prefer of something in this style.

Overall I'm on the fence, but right now I'm liking this more than I did at the start of this review. After trying this single, I think a 6 could be in my future. A nice beer.

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Photo of LeRose
3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into SA perfect pint.

The beer poured a somewhat muddy brown with a small beige colored head that did not hang around very long.

Aroma was very muted - no spice notes, mostly caramel, and mixed dark fruit - figs or dates, cherries, plum. Sweet malt.

Taste - things started to unravel a bit. Predominantly dark fruit, some sweetness and initially not a bad tasting if somewhat nondescript brew, lacking the spice notes of a dubbel. Then got a faint taste of cardboard suggesting some oxidation had taken place. Hopefully not the entire six pack has this odd flavor and I can give the beer a better score after further sampling.

Feel is rather thin for a winter ale and the carbonation seemed a tad high. Nice level of sweetness, not sticky at all, but thin.

Overall, I will need to revisit this review if the rest of the six pack turns out differently. I did not think this beer was true to a dubbel. It seemed very fruity and lacking in the spices and mouthfeel I'd expect from the style. The oxidation taste was not quite off-putting but definitely present. Disappointed in this offering.

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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.
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