Single Digit Dubbel Belgian-Style Dubbel Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Single Digit Dubbel Belgian-Style Dubbel AleSingle Digit Dubbel Belgian-Style Dubbel Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Smuttynose Winter Ale

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

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Reviews: 501 | Ratings: 1,056
Photo of woodychandler
4.26/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

II recently began working at Molly's Carryout & I was tasked with rearranging the Mix & Match sections of one of the coolers when I came across some bottles that I knew that I had never reviewed. This was one of them, so I brought it home & set it aside until now.

From the bottle: "Make mine a Smutty!"; "Crafting fine beers in NH since 1994"; "Come visit our brewery and Hayseed restaurant at Towle Farm in Hampton, NH. And visit us online at for events, releases and great Smerchandise in our e-store. As always, thanks for saying: Make mine a Smutty!"

A Pop! of the cap, a quick aggro pour & I was ready to go! My actions garnered me two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, light-tan head with reasonable retention that left nice lacing behind as it fell. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity & mahogany highlights. Nose was rich, sweet, & very malty with a marshmallow-like scent that seemed to jump out at me, along with dried, dark fruits like raisins, prunes & cherries. Mmm. Mouthfeel was big and fluffy on my tongue & while I may have colored my perception by mentioning marshmallow, it did come to mind. The taste was more of bready malt & fruits than marshmallow, however. I got a lot of cherry/cerise/kirsch flavor coming through & it made me think of a yellow cake with cherries. It was definitely dessert-like in terms of its taste(s), which was kind of a nice change of pace for me as a hophead. I am going to characterize the finish as sweet, although an argument could be made for semi-sweet, especially given the ABV & the yeast's activity to get it there.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.57/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle

Pours maroon red with a creamy frothy khaki colored foam head. Smells like plums, grapes, raisin, cherries, banana, clove spice, apricot, caramel, dark toffee, brown sugar, molasses, toasted bready malts, mild chocolate, apple, pear, some citrus, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like plums, grapes, raisin, cherries, banana, peppery clove spice, apple, pear, apricot, caramel, dark toffee, brown sugar, molasses, toasted bready malts, mild chocolate, some citrus, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, thick and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice dubbel.

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Photo of Holderness
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Darker than most dubbels, but with the same tan, two finger head and moderate lacing quintessential of the style. Malt, smoke, and a Scotch ale-like sweet booziness lead the nose, with hints of currants, raisins, maple, and chocolate. Taste is more like a porter than a Belgian ale: it lacks the yeastiness and subtle malt flavors that make a dubbel a dubbel. Lots of chocolate and smokiness. Velvety mouthfeel, almost like a less viscous version of melted ice cream.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with a thick tan head. Scent of bready malts, chocolate and some slight coffee. Honestly, all very faint on the nose. Ok. So a nice flavored beer for this style. I'm calling it a smoother, thicker, more well balanced version of Fat Tire(does anyone relate?). Decently carbonated with a sweet/really slight bitter feel. Smooth beer for the style. Maybe not my thing but well done.

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Photo of brureview
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is not the Winter Ale as I remember it.
It seems to be a different beer, and I'm not sure if
the malt profile is different. The winter ale tasted like a winter ale.
This beer has a lot more character.

Poured dark chocolate brown in an Orval chalice.

Very pronounced aroma of chocolate, some vanilla.

The aroma transition well to the taste. Deep chocolate, malty, and some vanilla.
Light bitterness, mellow body.

Overall, quite excellent and drinkable.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at Amsterdam Ale House, NYC.
Poured a dark mahogany and ruby color. A modest head quickly dissipated but a thin frothy crown retained well. Nevertheless, not as foamy (heady?) as other authentic Belgian Dubbels.
In the nose I'm first hit with dark fruit and sweet Belgian candi syrup. Later on, there is a toasted biscuit aroma.
When it first hits the tongue it is rather sweet and even a little boozy. A lot of the candi syrup and dark fruits from the aroma come through in the taste. In particular, I detected plums and raisins. For an instant, the sweetness threatened to be cloying, except that shortly thereafter, the spicy phenols took over and balanced things out rather nicely. I particularly noted clove and bubblegum. The taste was also bready and nutty. After the initial taste, the alcohol was well masked.
The mouth feel was medium to chewy. The finish became moderately but increasingly dry. There was even a subtle hops bitterness in the aftertaste. There was a nice creamy and cocoa like coating.
I thought that this was a nice interpretation of the Dubbel style. I would have it again.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a sweet mahogany with a light haze. Red glinting highlights and a tan unifrom head that was creamy on top and fell fast. Nose is malty richness, a touch of sweetness, buttered toast, plummy dark fruits and pear.

Drinks rich and fruity. A touch of boozy sweetness that I can see only because it is under carbonated. This beer demonstrates all the interplay and complexity of the style but has no bubbles. Soft sweet bread and luxurious pear. Hops are sweetly herbal and never show off in this beer. They tickle the middle with softness and show up just under the alcohol to bitter the finish. That is skillful attention to this style. Light milky cocoa. Not much bitterness except a short moment of medicinal alcohol to pepper the swallow. Again the only reason I can see that is because it does not have good carbonation. The yeast is nutty and there is light caramel. All the flavors are so perfect! This is exactly the beer that Smuttynose should make over and over until they perfect it. It's got every element of the style and is a handsome dubbel.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.50] The bottle has a best by date (05/06/2017). The bottle does not list the ABV. Brown mahogany color with 1 finger of khaki head.

S: [3.75] Leather, banana, brown bread and hints of cocoa.

T: [3.75] Has a Scotch Ale flavor to me. Peat, leather, toffee, cocoa.

M: [3.50] A little under medium body and lower carbonation. Feels a little thin.

O: [3.75] Belgian is a huge gamble for me. I hate Belgian yeast strains. That said this beer has none of that Belgian yeast funk. It is decent. Like I said above - to me this tastes like a Scotch Ale. Not listing the ABV ticks me off. I'd guess 6.6%. I'd drink this again (I wouldn't avoid it) but probably wouldn't search it out either.

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Photo of SydFlash
4.88/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Checks off all the boxes for a good dubbel - most importantly a tasty blend of spices and not too sweet. Very mild bitterness and lingering caramel flavor. I highly recommend.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tall glass: color is amber with copper edges and a bit dense; head is light tan with fine bubbles and some lacing.

Smell is a little sweet, light caramel and toffee, very feint belgian yeast aromas, feint earthy hops.

Taste is similar to the aroma with light caramel and toffee, hints of belgian yeast esters but very subtle. The flavor leans towards dubbel but very light and easy flavors. Bitter dryness appears at the end.

Mouthfeel is sweet upfront, moderate caramel but not quite cloying the dryness is there but still sweeter than anticipated.

Overall a nice ale in the realm of dubbel style but it leans towards the sweeter/less dry side with less pronounced yeast flavors.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look is Dark dark brown. Off white head.
Aroma is barley, cherry, plum. Doesn’t jump out at you.
Taste is molasses, lots of malt,...aftertaste is burnt sugars.
Feel is heavy, sticky.

Good warming winter beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Smuttynose Winter Ale for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. This one isn't to clear on what style it really is, I guess I'll just have to see for myself, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it goes with the name and it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice brown color that took on more of a copper and crimson color when held to the light with a little bit over a fingers worth of bubbly darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with a fruit aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a big dark fruit aroma with a little bit of raisins and plums sticking out. Up next comes the malts impart some caramel malt and a little bit of toasted malt aroma with a little more caramel and sweetness coming through at the end. This beer has a nice aroma, but it's not too complex.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but it's a little more balanced and a little lighter, it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with those dark fruit flavors being thr first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time no single fruit seems to stick out the most. Up next comes some more sweet malts followed by a little more caramel flavors with more bready and grainy malt flavors than there was in the aroma. On the finish there's a little more sweetness with just a little bit of bitterness with a fruity and dark fruit like aftertaste. This is a nice tasting beer, but just like the aroma it lacks complexity.

M- Fairly smooth, pretty crisp, medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and solid example of the style, BA says it's a Dubbel and it seems to be close to the style, but without any noticeable Belgian yeast it takes more like an amber or brown ale. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, one is enough for me, anymore than that and I would start to get bored with it. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance and mouthfeel, they were both good and the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer was the lack of complexity, it got to be a little bland. I wouldn't buy this beer again and I can't say I really recommend it. All in all I was nice, but nothing about it made it stand out and it wasn't memorable. It's not a favorite from Smuttynose and it's a little above average for the style. It's solid, but with a little more xomplexity, it could be a very nice beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a dark-ish tawny brown, with a small head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like caramel, toffee, slight chocolate, a bit of roasted malt, and very slight hints of Belgian type yeast.

This doesn't feel a whole lot like a dubbel, but luckily it's pretty tasty so I don't really care. Whatever Trappist yeast they used here didn't contribute a lot of character to the beer, maybe some slight clove bitterness, but that's about it. The malt backbone is interesting, though- so that's good. I get some caramel, and toffee, and just a hint of a roasty finish, along with a bit of chocolate, and dark fruit. I enjoyed despite the style bending.

This is medium bodied, with a toasty and somewhat rich mouthfeel, and a good level of carbonation.

A dubbel this is not. I still enjoyed it, though.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not sure I'm in tune with the Belgian dubbel style-ry, as that's one of my favorites, and this bears little resemblance. However, it's not bad, whatever it is. Pours a nice dark brown with thin tan head that eventually fades to a ring. Color is very nice, darker than any dubbel I've seen. Aroma is its weakest area - very flat, with just slight notes of dark fruit and malt sweetness. Nothing bad, just mild. Flavor is much better than the nose, with a medium-light body delivering some nice plums and raisins without ever being dry or astringent. Fairly smooth mouthfeel and decent finish make this okay. I'll try again fresher, since I got this at end of season.

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Photo of TeamDavey
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent winter seasonal. Pours a deep amber. Mouth feel is full bodied without being extremely thick. Taste is warm and mellow. A fine amber that manages to evoke a Belgian without distracting spices or roastyness.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: opaque; cola brown with lighter brown at the edges; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 1 finger khaki head that receded quickly to a thin collar; no lacing;

S: more floral than anything else; a bit of dark fruit in the background;

T: dark fruit for a moment, then somewhat medicinal; mild bitterness at the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: even after warming, not the aroma or flavor I would expect from a dubbel;

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Photo of zinklesmesh
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Practically the perfect winter beer. Pours a nice caramel brown. Minimal head. Smells like dark, dank malts. The taste is big and smooth and delicious. Roasty, chocolatey, tasty malts with a little bit of balancing hop crispness. Warms me with every sip. Kinda reminds me of some Samuel Smith beers.

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Photo of LeRose
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy mahogany color with a short beige head that falls quickly. Some nice reddish hues when held up to the light.

Aroma is rich in malt, dates and figs, sweetness, and I swear I smell toast.

The taste opens or me with fruit and sweetness, but not too much. A little boozy for seven percent. Nice, bready malt flavors carry through, just a bit of bitterness, and a hint of chocolate. A bit nutty and some caramel as it opened up.

The beer us not carbonated enough and as a result lacks life.

The flavors are spot on overall, but the lack of carbonation hurst this beer. I think it would be top notch if it were suitably bubbly. As it, it tastes good, but could be outstanding.

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Photo of RexBrewman
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into stein. Wonderful frothy head. Color chocolate.
Nice spicey, nutty aroma. Taste has a slight sweetness. Smuttynose winter ale is a bit lighter than most winter/Christmas ales. I really enjoy the flavor. It is one of a few winter ales that I'll have seconds of in one sitting.

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Photo of Myotus
3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 48°F from a 12oz bottle (best by date 20Apr15) into a chalice. Cosumed on 06Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a half fingers worth of khaki foam that halves itself after a minute. Dark brown in color with an amber tint. Rising bubbles are very small and very subtle in quantity. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: A bunch of mild aromas: caramel, figs, black cherries, plums, and cloves.
TASTE: Mild black cherry, fig, and prune flavors enter initially. Mild caramel flavors follow immediately as black cherry flavors grow stronger. Subtle clove and bitter hop flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for black cherry, which continue to grow stronger.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is high. Goes down rough due to the carbonation. Finishes with a mild dryness.
NOTE: Too much black cherry sweetness and carbonation for my liking. I can understand how someone else would like this, but this just isn't my glass of beer (because tea and cups are overplayed).

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Photo of Whiteturtle
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Best by 3/10/16

Eyes: Tan and tawny. A thick 2 finger head. Definitely reminiscent of a belgian dubbel. Head slowly dissipates like a belgian. Carbonation concentrates closer to the glass as the head recedes.

Nose: Bubblegum, pear, cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice. Fresh baked bread. An earthy beechwood smell dominates the rim of the glass. I also get caramelized raisins (if such a thing exists, which if it doesn't I call dibs).

Tongue: Burnt sugar, pumpernickel, and allspice dominate the cheeks first. A heavy cereal grain malt finish. Very little hop presence (the crystal hops are a very mild hop, perfect for this blended style of beer). I'm not getting the funky belgian kick, even with the trappist ale yeast they use. With a touch of warmth notes of almonds, fudge, and nutmeg open up.

Cheeks: When you see that a beer is shooting for a blend of christmas ale and belgian dubbel, you expect a heavy full-bodied beer. This is pretty light, and the spices are pretty faint. I definitely understand why a lot of people compare this to an amber ale. My bottle says 7.5%, if that's true then it is masked very well.

Overall: You really have to let this beer warm up to taste the spices *if you have had smuttynose before, you probably know to let their beers warm up*. The belgian dubbel/christmas ale blend idea is a good idea in my eyes. One could see how those two styles would create a tasty fusion. If you're looking for a solid winter ale that's not loaded with booze and holiday spices, then this is your beer.

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Photo of TigerSoul
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one was on offer at The Office, on fresh draught, served in a pint glass. Nice deep color, not too much foam. First sip was puzzling in that I had understood this was not one of the (many) seasonal winter ales with added spice, fruit or other such flavoring, but it had a definite "added flavors" (especially of spice) character. It was still enjoyable however, Smuttynose typically do not disappoint. We enjoy visiting Portsmouth, NH from time to time and although there's plenty more competition these days, Smuttynose holds up very well with their wide range of offerings. This is a good winter ale to enjoy at the end of the evening, in front of the fire, even with dessert.

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Photo of ilthik
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, rich and a little bit sweet with a lingering spiciness. More of a porter than an ale by the look and the feel of it. Not as much of the "winter spice" as other seasonals, but a very enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of dank203
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

pours thick brown with off white head. aromas are a bit malty oily, a little dark fruit juice, some acidity. the flavor is really not very complex, a hit of roast with malty slightly caramelly notes and a definite hop presence. overally a slightly hoppy and spicy brown ale but nothing to really write home about

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours dark amber to chestnut under a 1” head that dissipates down to nothing but leaves good lacing. S: Fruit, malt and hop aromas T: Fruit, dried fruit, and biscuit balanced by a touch of hops on the finish. F: Medium body and fine soft carbonation. O: A nicely balanced beer with a mild Belgian character.

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Single Digit Dubbel Belgian-Style Dubbel Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 1,056 ratings.
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