Smuttynose Winter Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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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 BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine crimson- and orange-infused bronze; a great color for a winter beer. The pale tawny crown contrasts nicely with the liquid on which it rests and demonstrates a fair amount of character as it slowly fades away. Unfortunately, lace is limited to a short, tattered collar.

The nose reminds me of an especially malty, especially fruity English ale more than a true dubbel. Apparently, SBC has brewed this beer with an authentic Trappist ale yeast strain, although I'm finding it hard to appreciate it on smell alone. I don't detect any added spices either. It's a bit short on complexity and distinctiveness, but still isn't bad for a winterish brew.

Whereas the nose had me wondering what on earth the brewers were thinking when they dubbed this beer a dubbel, it tastes quite a bit like one. And a tasty one at that. It's much more malty than hoppy, and has that cocoa-like, roasted walnutty, tobacco leaf, 'brown' malt flavor that is characteristic of the style. It's also fruity, in the manner of severely bruised apples and leathery dried cherries.

Winter Ale isn't nearly as yeasty-spicy as the best Belgians, but at least I can appreciate those tendencies on the palate. There's a pinch of clove and possibly cinnamon as well. Added spices probably wouldn't have been a good idea since they would have masked what yeastiness manages to come through unscathed.

The finish is long, not lingering, and shows off the modest bitterness and flavor of the Crystal hops. Although the mouthfeel isn't much bigger than medium, it's a good sort of medium, an easy drinking sort of medium. The carbonation is subdued enough to keep things smooth and borderline creamy. This is one of those beers that's gone before you know it.

Winter Ale is a bit of a pastiche (an amber ale that uses Trappist ale yeast and American hops, then calls itself a dubbel), but it works somehow. I'll just chalk it up to the brewing talent at Smuttynose and be done with it. The only thing that really matters is whether or not the beer is delicious. It passes that test with flying colors.

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

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a finger width of medium tan head that retains into a smooth, creamy looking layer that left moderate lacing. The aroma is thick with heavy malt, sweetness, spices, and just a touch of alcohol.

The taste is rich malts and sweetness, spices, and a dark fruit element that allows things to end with a combo of tartness and hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied wiht a thick, creamy feel.

This wasn't bad. I liked the full, rich tastes of the malt and spices that leant themselves well to Winter imbibing and that nearly 7% ABV was very well hidden and kept things fairly drinkable. A solid effort from Smutty!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being from New Hampshire, Smuttynose had better deliver a brilliant winter ale, and they do!

The 2006 release pours a hazy, deep-chestnut body with amber-orange highlights beneath a short head of creamy yellowed-tan froth. The head retention is very good, and it leaves some nice craggy rings and spider-webs of lace about the glass.

The body is medium and it's lightly zesty with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The nose displays caramelish and biscuity malt, and a softly yeasty fruitiness with a spicey, clovey, and even lightly smokey side to it.

The flavor again suggests spice and smoke and fruit over a soft bed of grainy, biscuity, and caramel-drizzled maltiness. It's sweet but dryish due to the spice and mild touch of alcohol, as well as the underlying bitterness - kind of like a gingerbread cookie! It finishes with a swirl of clove that tickles the tongue, and some lingering honey-glistened grainy and caramelish malt.

Overall, a beautiful beer! Rich, satisfying, complex, drinkable... what more can you ask for?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before: July 2010.

Appearance: Pours out a fairly clear, dark brown-amber body with a ½-inch cap of off-white foam, but this settles out pretty quickly.

Smell: Aroma of generously toasted bread crusts, cocoa powder stirred up with cloves, crushed nuts, and dark caramel, with a thin undercurrent of fruitiness.

Taste: Sweetish tastes that first send me thinking 'brown ale': toast, dry caramel, mild cocoa, and unsalted nuts. Hint of dried fruits. Slight, spicy phenolic accents. Light complimentary bitterness imparted by the Crystal hops. For me, the Trappist ale yeast was most felt on the smooth finish, where the spiciness was allowed to linger a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Though the Trappist ale yeast character never really jumped out at me, I still found it to be a pleasant blending of styles, making for a pretty tasty beer. I've had a couple doses of SWA (people quickly recognize the beer acronyms BCS and KBS, so let's get SWA started) now, but I may head out to get another helping before the impending close of the winter season.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour was really well done here with a nice amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting. Comes across almost like an amber ale to me, has that bready maltiness and caramel flavor I associate with it. A bit thin on the feel but the carbonation really saves it and gives it that little bit of pop to pull you in. Soo nicely done that it goes down like candy and really just a smooth and really nice drinking beer.

Overall this one kinda confusues me. A bit light for a dubbel I have to admit but it was still a really well done beer. Needs a little bit more to make it excellent but this is really nice none the less.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in standard pint glass.
Small amount of sediment in bottle; as much as possible was added to glass before consumption.

Beer pours a hazy reddish brown with an attractive if short-lived light brown head.

This is more like your standard Belgian dubbel than like a typical American winter ale. In contrast to the typical (if there is such a thing) American winter ale, this brew has a more fruity aroma and is less spicy in both aroma and taste. The beer is rather low in alcohol and, perhaps, a bit hoppier and less bold than an average Belgian dubbel. In any case, the bottom line is a fine, and distinctive beer, with good balance and drinkability.

Slightly watery mouthfeel.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, some Belgian yeast, a little spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of Belgian yeast, caramel, spice, tart fruit and a little chocolate. The hops presence is mild but complimentary. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, decent representation of style, it might not be your prototypical winter seasonal, but it's still a pretty nice beer. I could certainly drink quite a few of these in an evening.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Al's of Hampden in Enola, PA. Served on tap in a pint

A - chestnut brown color w/ good clarity, two fingers of tan cream crest the ale and it has a tiny bead

S - A sweet, nutty and spicy nose w/ slightly yeasty aroma. The odor of subtle toast and honey w/ mild dried fruit scent

M - a lighter medium bodied feel, slightly strong effervescent front w/ a mildly roasted texture in the middle ad gentle alcohol influence w/ a mild sweetness and subtle spice in the finish

T - A crisp roasted and earthy taste w/ subtle fruit notes and spice is mild w/ creamy flavors that meld well. The mild yeasty fruitiness comes in late in the taste w/ a subtle toasted malt which is almost almond-like w/ a mild bready yeast tinge in the flavor. There is a subtle pine hop taste which seems like an afterthought

D - the drinkability is pretty good w/ flavor that is clean and pretty easy to quaff- the flavors of the malts are in focus and satisfies well, but doesn't prompt me to order more than a couple to be honest

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Randomly picked this up last week, engaged by the semi-kitsch label. It pours a clear ruby-garnet topped by a short finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises red grapes, dusty toffee, rye bread, figs, clove, honey, very light orange peel, a touch booze, and a few drops of coffee. The taste holds notes of rye bread, light cocoa, light mint, toffee, brown sugar, clove, black pepper, figs, and a bit of red wine. The body is a meek medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one I'm going to look for during it's appropriate season.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear (but opaque) very dark reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and significant amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a few small patch of thick film and a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer along with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of slightly sweet malts with notes of toffee and caramel. There is also a light to moderate presence of dark fruits (plum and fig), spices, and Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of sweet malts with notes of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. That is followed by light flavors of dark fruits (plum and fig), spices, and Belgian yeast. Veyr light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Quite flavorful and much easier to drink than a lot of others in the style considering the rather low ABV. Definitely an enjoyable brew and one I would definitely grab again. An interesting take on the winter beer with the introduction of the Belgian yeast (kind of a hybrid styled beer). Both the aroma and flavor of the beer increase in intensity + complexity as the beer warms up.

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Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice off white head with some staying power, little lace. The color is reddish orange dark amber. Clear.

Pearlike sweetness in the aroma...can also detect higher levels of alcohol.

I like the prickly tartness behind the sweetness I expected. It makes this beer a little more complex, just like the slight hop in the background. Good full body.

While Dubbels are not my favorite style, I do like this one because it stays interesting for me. I wouldn't drink it all night but I would certainly enjoy as a change of pace from my typically hoppy ales.

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Photo of billab914
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Pumking chalice. It poured a murky, dark brown color with a thin head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a decent malty profile to it with some caramel, toffee and bread notes to it. It has a little fruitiness to the malts as well. A bit of the yeast spice is present, but it's not overly spicy at all. Decent aroma overall.

The taste starts out with some of the yeast spice coming through. Midway it starts to show more of the bready, malty, caramel, toffee flavors to it. In the finish some more of the yeast spice comes back along with a very moderate bitterness. I get some chocolate coming through in the finish and lingering for a bit after.

The mouthfeel is a little heavy, but good for the style. Carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is decent, the yeast spice and the malty sweetness worked pretty well as a Christmas seasonal. It wasn't the best Dubbel, but it was a pretty good holiday seasonal in relation to all the other spice bombs. Pretty enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 11/22/11 notes. Had on cask at FireWorks in Arlington, VA. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. Had a little bit of a reddish tint to it.

s - Smells of bananas, wheat, cloves, bready malts, light spices. Pretty decent.

t - Tastes of bananas, bready malts, wheat, roasted malts, light yeast and spices. A little bit of a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and no carbonation, super smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall a very easy to drink dubbel. Lots of bananas, bread/wheat, and cloves. Would definitely order this one again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

WTF, is a 4.5% beer now a dubbel, somebody change that rediculous label on this brew. Best by June 2010 yeah fuckin' right, I had this during Christmas on tap at Sharp Edge in Washington County the Brasserie. Low abv beers are meant to move quick brewed in october or november this is dead by march or april I don't care what Trappist yeast you use. Pours a deep clouded amber mahogany brown hue with a light beige khaki head, nice head retention again another gusher as I cracked it open, WTF? Aroma has a creamy nut and fruit combo let's go with crushed almonds and raisins cooked in a cookie dough maybe an Italiano biscotti. Flavor has a creamy sweetness going on okay I will swallow my words it is a dubbel light slight tart apple raisin combo with a nutty yeast flavor going on it's really a nice session ale a bit of a dryness in finish more power to 'em I didn't enjoy the draft as much. Maybe a 4.5% brew was too young with the yeast in the bottle this brew is drinking nice, I bough this for 2 bucks a bottle. Mouthfeel is medium bodied dry finish on the palate carbonation is even during the drinking experience but was pretty much a volcanic explosion on the opening of the cap.

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Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

best before end of January 2007

Pours brown with a thin patch that just barely covers the top. Soon, it becomes a partial patch.

The smell is of roasted grains. Some alcohol. Coriander/clove hints add some spiciness. Enough to make aroma decent - but that's it.

The taste is of spiced, sweet malt. Caramel mixes with Belgian-style sweet candy-like spices.This tastes like a blend of an American Amber and a Belgian dubbel. (Not what I was expecting from a beer labeled as a Winter Ale, but....I went with it.) A burnt toast flavor interferes.

The body holds up nicely and has a nice, smooth feel.

It goes down pretty easily, but not what I, personally, would look for in a "winter ale", though the alcohol does leave a bit of a "warming" effect (though it seems to rely too much on the alcohol for this.) I do give Smuttynose credit for trying something different. But, it's a decent amber ale with a Belgian twist - interesting to try, and a decent effort...but, doesn't turn out to be anything special. Decent, but a burnt toast flavor keeps this one back...It seems like it can't decide between an amber and a Belgian and lurks somewhere in between. In the end, it's okay, but nothing great. I expected more from such a good brewery.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've passed this over for years thinking it was a spiced winter ale, well today I fixed that and bought a bottle. Pours a deep clear shade of orange garnet with a bubbly beige head that displays remarkable retention but spotty lace. Smells of spice, pepper, and caramel with hints of dark dried fruits. Sweet sugary flavor is highlighted by caramel and sweet reduced fruit syrup. Hints of spice, and Belgian esters, but not to much for my palette. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy mouthfeel. Decent brew, surely not the best dubbel in the world, but very respectable. Time to check out some more brews I've been avoiding.

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Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a thin lacing of offwhite head that has no retention

S - very little to report; some caramel

T - baked apples, caramel, some grains, faintly metallic finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This beer doesn't seem to hit it's mark. For the most part the aroma and flavor try to survive on caramel malt alone with some esters trying to help out in the flavor. Unfortunately, a few off flavors creep in that detract from what this beer could have been. I'm glad I tried it once, but in my opinion there are better winter offerings and better Dubbels on the market.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a chalice. Good till May 2011, we are good to go.

Pours a nice off tan colored two finger head. Some retention and puck like consistency to it. Body is a nice dark cherry color, with great blood red hues.

Malty sweet denseness of dried fruit cake. Hints of yeasty bread dough. Smells like boxed soft chocolate chip cookies or something. Real neat, kind of enjoyable.

Dense sweet malt with cherries and chocolate. Slightly drying in the palate, but a great body with some good density. Mouthfeel is almost watery but not quite, the bready/malt seems to beef it up just enough.

This is a real interesting take on this style, the low abv makes it real enjoyable and super easy to drink. This feels like a Christmas winter beer for sure, it hints of Black Forest German Chocolate cake with the artificial cherry on top. Great beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, best before date (March, 07) notched on the label. Pours dark honey amber, pretty clear, sporting a dark tan head, that leaves scattered slippery lacing, nose on this one is of smokey raisins and some malts. Smokey, oily offering, I dont get too many "Dubbel" feelings here, this hits my taste buds and other senses as a smoked up, wintery brew. Dry finish, cant say I'm in love with this stuff, perhaps as a cold weather nightcapper

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, clear, hazelnut coloring with a sparse, filmy white coating on the surface. Aromas of roasty nut and biscuit in the backbone, with a solid spicing of nutmeg and cinnamon rounding out the sweet, rich flavors. Some fruity highlights in the back of the nose, also. Flavors of deep, dark, old world fruit, including prune and date, with an earthy undertone that keeps the richness in check. Spicing takes a backseat, but is present enough to perk the taste buds out of the sweetness shock by the end of the palate. Sweet and spicy blend on the aftertaste, which is fairly shortlived despite the robust initial flavors. The beer is smooth and round, but the spicing and carbonation does well to keep it light in mouth. Frothy, slightly sweet lingering finish. Very tasty.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying the Smuttynose Winter ale. The beer pours a clear copper color with a medium sized head that laced alll the way down my glass.
The scent of this beer was very sweet malt that included characteristics of belgian ale yeast. The taste was pretty mild and had great malt character. The mouthfeel was a good medium body with decent carbonation. I highly recommend this winter sensation.

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Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Clark's Ale House.

I nice mellow dark Belgian.The flavor isn't too rich or complex, but it's fairly spot on for the Belgian basics. Just sweet, fruit, candy and malt flavors. It's at least as good as Leffe Brune/Brown. If you can find it for a reasonable price, I recommend it.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a pale and crystal malt scent along with a fruity Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a dry, hoppy flavor that is laid over a malt bill of Belgian pale and crystal malts. It's robust with some roasted notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine seasonal brew. It's tastey and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear reddish copper color with a thick 2" head. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma is of dark fruits and some soft spices.

Taste: the flavor follows the nose, as dark fruits and spice like cinammon, clove, and pepper are clearly evident. Plenty of caramel and bitterness is quite up front too. Alcohol is slighty noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium / heavy in body. Smooth with a light crispness at the start and finish. The flavors linger long on the tongue after swallowing.

Drinkability: nicely drinkable and overall a good winter beer.

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Photo of Duff27
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Half-inch fizzy tan head on a brown beer. Minimal head retention and nearly no lacing.

S- Off vanilla, cola whiffs. "Dessert-y"

T- More cola, grapes, and to a lesser extent chocolate. Well integrated flavors. Drinks stronger than 5.1% Growing on me the more I drink it.

M- Smooth tiny-bubbled carbonation. Good mouthfeel...maybe my favorite part about this brew.

D/O- Yeah, I know it's after the "Best Before" date...I took a chance on a single and I don't think it turned out that badly. Didn't know what style or ABV this was when I bought it...hoping for an 8% winter warmer but this didn't disappoint.

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