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Smuttynose Winter Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 493 | Ratings: 1,024
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a murky amber-brown with a creamy eggshell head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Dark fruity and sweet malt aromas dominate. A slight caramel aroma lurks behind the scenes.

Sweet malt upfront followed by a nice fruity flavor. Not quite as bold as some of my favorite dubbels, but still tasty. Finishes malty and a bit sweet.

Nice rich body and creamy texture.

A nice drinkable dubbel, one that I would revisit if available (at the right price)... Of course, there are superior Belgian and American versions to be had...

 559 characters

Photo of weeare138
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Woody_Obeer for this...
Appears a light orange/amber with small white lacing.
Smell is of light flowers mixed into a red ale that's been brewed with a Belgian yeast strain. Light amounts of banana are detected as well.
Taste is about the same as the aromas.
Mouthfeel is sweet and lightly malty.

 309 characters

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 markman
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale:

This Dubbelish ale is kinda growing on me…dark tea colored, rich, malty, a little yeasty, and more than a hint of dark chocolate around the edges and enough bitterness to make ya want another taste. Nice take on a winter seasonal, and very easy drinking.


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Photo of Franchise
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep purple/brown eggplant, I know it isn't purple but it looks like it in the light. It leaves a thin lace head wheat in color. The nose is very fruity black cherries, plum, raisins, grape, very complex with a slight presence of alcohal. The taste is nice starts up front on the palate with a raisin sweetness followed by a grape juice quality. The taste continues with some sight hop bitterness for balance for then finishes refreshing with very light carbonation.

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Photo of littlebibs
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unusal offering from the Smuttynose crew for winter. It was the
old fashioned bottle label that drew my eye, I love to try everything
in this style. Nice color to the ale. poured a slight head and then
gone. Not to much to say about the carbonation either. I do like
the spice style ales, some are over done, some to watery. This
one has a peppery note and that traditional belgium, dry yeasty
thing going on, its not bad, I taste fruits, some sour, bananas &
cloves. Its a flat beer after warming(but it doesn't ruin it, but I
think I would rather have this one on tap.
The warming dry candied after taste stays with you for a while
but its not bad, not great. I prefer shipyards old thumper, magic hats jinx
or dogfish head raison d'etre for some spicey, smokey delicious change of pace during the holidays, but I will still give these a

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice-deep copper color. Really a pretty, almost mahogany hue. Bready and yeasty aroma-quite spicy actually. Big malty aroma-some spiciness to it. Definate belgian type flavor. Mild sweetness though has a somewhat dry finish. Great body-very smooth. A very enjoyable US version of a belgian double. Well worth trying.

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

Nice dark bronze color. Starts out with a big 2 finger head that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice fine foam on the top. Smell of dark fruits - cherries and plums. Taste of candied sweetness with a slight Phenolic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slightly cloying but not overly so. Nice level of carbonation. A nice dubbel, not world class but very nice. Fits the bill for a nice winter beer.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean brownish beer whit red and orange highlights. Has a small tan head. The aroma is a sweet malt with hints of apples and fruit in the background. The taste starts with a dry earthy note that slides into a breif bit of sweet maltiness. Followed by a smooth finish with a bit of tabacco on the back of your tongue.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

You know what, I really dig this brew. Smuttynose is slowly becoming a favorite of mine, and this beer is a good example why.

Pours a nice deep redish-brown color. Solid foam, white-ish in color that dissapates quickly.

The nose is a nice fruity mix of all sorts of berries. very malty, and slightly spicey, to be sure

Nice malty taste, good over all presentation, it is not the "let's throw every spice there is in here" that a holiday brew is, but it is a nice, malty, winter beer that can be drank rather easily. great job by the smutty nose crew

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

clear, dark red overripe cherry coloration. no head, no lace. solid in the glass. just beer, no frills. big, dark fruit nose with some biscuity malt and the slightest hint of cantaloupe. also detecting a bit of campfire smokiness.. very inviting. rough around the edges in terms of carbonation and sharp hops.. although the body screams belgian with a milky, caramelly wave of molasses and cherry puree. brings that dubbel character through without interference from overbearing, bitter coffee malts. an amazing local substitute for the pricier belgian clones like pere jacques. a true northeastern gem and surprisingly in great excess of my expectations.

another victory for smuttynose.

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Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a rich reddish brown color with a small head that disappears quickly.The smell has a nice malt and holiday spice aroma,not too overpowering.The m/f is light and well balanced.The mixture of malt and spice flavors is much better than some winter ales.This is a good beer that I will look forward to every winter.

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Photo of jaluria
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark rust color with intermittent brown hues. A soft head that remained at about 25% of its full size throughout the session and left behind a touch of white lacing. Aromas of malt and Dutch candy seemed to dominate. The taste was an interesting blend of hops and sweet roasted malts with a malty finish that left behind a bready texture. Different spices seemed to come out as well as the beer warmed, indicated that the spices were present in small quantities or overshadowed by the other ingredients. Either way, not a good thing. The alcohol was not dominant in the taste and thus this beer has good drinkability.

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Photo of deciding39
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz tumbler.

A: Pours a clear, ruby red. A short white head forms and quickly recedes to the edges of the glass. Good lace.

S: A bouquet of yeast & fruit (cherries, plums), sweet malt, and light floral hops. Alcohol and some phenols towards the back.

T: Malty, with lots of ripe-tasting fruit (plums, especially) from the yeast. The Trappist ale yeast used to make this brew gives it its most unique qualities. Very mild, floral hops in the background, along with some phenols (a little 'band-aid' in the finish...but nothing overwhelming). Very interesting!

M & D: Medium/full bodied. Quite smooth and warming, with moderate carbonation. Very tasty...but like many others have pointed out, the ABV seriously limits the drinkability. I'm about done with my second and I definitely feel it. The unique flavors can also become cloying after tossing a couple back.

A really interesting brew. Way more exciting than the ubiquitous, over-spiced holiday ales that seem to crowd the liquor store coolers this time of year. Some may not be into the unique flavors from the Belgian yeast, but you'd be foolish not to give it a try.

 1,151 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smuttynose Winter Ale

Appearance- dark blood red with a thick head that quickly disappears.
Smell- cherries and cinnimon.
Taste- smooth cherry with a sh!tload of cinnimon maybe a dash of clove dumped in. Alcohol is present in the flavor.
Mouthfeel- smooth and warm. Very bland.

Overall- A incredibly bland ale! What little flavor is so watered down. This would be a decent Winter Ale if they kicked the flavor up a notch or two. Very disappointing from such a good brewery!

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Photo of LarryV
2.43/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I like Smuttynose brews, but this one was really disappointing to me. Supposedly a Dubbel, but seems very distantly related. Pours a very dark brown with a thin head. Spiciness dominates the nose. The spices don't seem to go with this beer, and there's an overwhelming bubble gum flavor that just cloys and annoys. Personally, I don't like the taste of bubble gum in my beer. There's also a cloying underlying sweetness, and the taste of the spices and bubble gum linger for an unpleasantly long time on the palate. A pretty poor offering for a winter ale from Smuttynose, and one that I find a chore to drink. There's many better choices to be made, and I'm surprised that Smuttynose chose this beer as their annual offering.

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Photo of far333
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored with a thick beige head that sits a full inch atop the liquid. The head settles out quickly. Aroma of yeast and toffee, cinnamon, and ripe fruits. Flavor is mild Belgian yeast upfront, followed by brown sugar and caramel, mild malt sweetness, with a fine hop bitter riding beneath. Finishes a little peppery. Full and rich mouthfeel with a slight carbonation tingle in the finish.

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Photo of Foxman
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured a ruby chestnut brownish red, clear and bubbly. A short finger of off-white head dwindled rapidly to the merest pips of pop. Some little lacing slipped soon earthward.

The aroma delivers a dusky fog of roasted malt, rife with cherries and vanilla cream, but all made very sedate by the thick ether of alcohol.

The first sip delivers the first push of toasted malt sweetness, barely developing a cherry/caramel impression before a vague but strident dark crusty bitterness blunts the presentation. A sinus-singeing blast of alcohol hollows out the middle, but with little there to backfill, the finish is short and not sweet, but rather distant and unremarkably, generically bitter. It takes a few hesitant steps, but it falls short of any real interesting blend.

Medium bodied, but the only thing that real,ly has much of a feel is the mouth-drying effect of the alcohol.

I wanted to be wowed, or at least like it a lot, but I came away disappointed, a rarity with Smuttynose. the flavor is jerky and divided, not to mention rather shallow for the style, and the alcohol plays as big a part of the character as anything else. And that's another thing: the ABV seems to rule the roost with an iron claw, latching on and humbling the flavor and aroma, and seriously minimizing the drinkability. And so,it's so-so...and so it goes.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Basic looking 12 ounce brown glass bottle sealed with a brass crown cap which had the Smuttynose logo on it. Main label looks just like that in the BA Database. Best Before March 2006.

Appearance: Dark brown body, clear and strikingly translucent with a lovely ruby-red orange aura. Broken pale tan head retains a thick halo ring and leaves spotty lacing. Carbonation is extremely fine and well dissolved. Head retention is solid and a gentle swirl helps to retain a great presentation throughout the drink.

Nose: Fruity with a mellow sweetness. Yeasty breaded aromas and some darker fruits in the back end.

Taste: Malty start with piques of yeast and dark fruits. Mild sweetness throughout but never annoying or even detracting. Spices flitter with hops amidst some low end caramel foundations. The dissolved carbonation tends to leap out towards the end. Lengthy burps ensue, and leave trace elements of chewed raisins. Not sure what style this is supposed to be, sort of a yeasty dark wheat ale, I like it though.

Mouthfeel: Pleasing feel, smooth but with some brazen carbonation it is lively on the tongue at times.

Drinkability: Took a little while to grow on me, but it did, maybe it was the unique nature of the style for a Winter Ale. Nevertheless I enjoyed this one and could have managed another. Wonder what strength it is, feels like I could creep up on you after a while.

Overall: A really nice offering, and whilst it didn’t wow me as a Winter Ale, it did surprise me, in a nice way. Tasty stuff.

Thanks to UncleJimbo for the Bottle!!!

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Photo of wedge
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark ruby color with a small tan head. Light spicy malty aroma - pepper, banana, clove - very herbal. The flavor is similar to the smell - spicy with phenolic notes all over a light sweet maltiness. Fairly full bodied with active carbonation.

A nice winter seasonal. A belgian style beer in a mixed 12...I wasn't expecting that, but what a great idea. Perhaps a bit high in the phenols but the spicy quality balances it out. They should kick up the complexity and move it to the Big Beer series.

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At first this looked almost black, but as I got to the end of the glass, I realized it was a deep brown/amber...almost like gingerbread. The gingerbread appearance wasn't surprising, because it has a cakey sweetness with spices that reminded me of gingerbread. (Think of cinnamon and other flavors your mom bakes with.)

The mouthfeel was a tad thin, and there wasn't much head or lacing, hence the 3.5s for mouthfeel and appearance.

The flavors are really nicely blended and tasted great even on the final sip, by which point the beer was almost warm, since I was sipping slowly. This was perhaps the best winter warmer style beer I had this season. Triumph's Winter Wonder was great too, and similar in many respects, so I'd like to drink the two head-to-head to make my final determination.

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Photo of jakester
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet. Best before date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a pretty clear ruby red with brown tints around the edges. A light tan head forms on top, then quickly vanishes to a scant ring around the glass. No real lacing.

Aroma is big malt combined with spices like nutmeg, cinammon, and cloves. There is also a detectable yeasty, musty smell there; some nice Belgian funk.

First flavor is a smoked malt character, quickly followed by dark, sweet caramel malt. Then you can taste cinammon and nutmeg and cloves(?). It's fairly sweet, with a lingering smokey/spicy aftertaste. Hop character is very low.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, with a lingering sweetness. Carbonation is low to medium. Finish is a long oily slickness, pleasant.

I guess this is a Belgian Dubbel. It fits the criteria, but I don't remember having one like this. It IS a very good winter ale, however. Very malty, the spices meld with it really well, and a low hop character. And I swear, this has smoked malt in it, a nice touch, to say the least. Highly recommended.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Winter Ale pours a clear, dark ruby color into the glass with a small tan fizzy head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface leaving a few spots of lace behind.

The sweet malty aroma has some notes of cherry and spice (clove? nutmeg?) mixed in. Sort of reminded me of cherry cough syrup. Each sip of this medium bodied beer gives a firm carbonated punch to the tip of the tongue. From there it flows smoothly over the palate releasing all its flavor. The taste is rather sweet. Like the aroma, there's a good amount of cherry and sweet malt with some spice, bubblegum and a hint of hops mixed in. Some of the malty sweetness lingers on the palate when the beer is gone.

This is a good full flavored beer. It's more sweet than spicy like other winter ales, but has a good balance of flavor.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from one of my favorite breweries. Best before date is April of 06. Pours out a reddish-amber color with very little head that does not last. There is one tiny stream of bubbles that makes it way to the top.

Smell is candy sweet with hints of malt, spices and some hops in the background. From the first sip, the one big suprise is the smokey notes. Cherries, dates and malt dominate. A hop ending with some spices round it out nicely. Very low carbonation level. The smoke notes are something I did not expect at all.

An interesting take on a "winter ale" from Smutty. It is great to see someone trying something new with this style.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a dark copper-orangish almost pink with a very clear and clean body, followed by a meduim white head which lasted a good while.
I got my nose in there a good ways and really only came away with some sweet fruits, maybe candy sugar and mild hops. Nothing I would seriously compare to a true Dubbel in intensity, but a good try nonetheless.
The taste was more of the same. Sweet and sour fruits, raisin, candy sugar and malt, mild hops, finishing dry. Some alcohol.
This was refreshing and clean, a good try at a Dubbel. I have to make an obvious statement here that might not seem so obvious. This is a Dubbel style, made by a good American craft brewery, and it's their take on the style. They're not trying to be, lets say, a trappist, but brew in the style, which I feel a lof of the people I see review miss. Maybe I'm letting Smuttynose off easy, but I applaud the try, and although I have yet to get something outstanding from any of their brews including the Big Beer series, I'm continually impressed with their effort and creativity in their takes on traditional (and non-traditional) beers.

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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 1,024 ratings.
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