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 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 claspada
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves some thin lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with ligh caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate malt base with some Belgian yeast, a little spice and a touch of hops that emerge as it warms.

The tastes begin with malty flavors of caramel and a little chocolate. The yeast adds some spicy and some fruity ester notes. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied for the style with medium carbonation. There could be a bump in that for sure. Finish is fairly crisp, clean and dry.

Overall this is a decent representation of style but really is fairly one noted. It is definitely not your prototypical winter seasonal or Dubbel for that matter but I have definitely had worse. Kind of tastes like an American Amber fermented with a Belgian yeast. Decent but I'll stick to something else during the winter months.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip at cellar temperature.

L - Ruby brown with a 3-finger bubbly light tan head. Decent retention, but fades without much lacing.

S - A little bit of sweet caramel malt but mostly brown sugar and dark fruit aromas that give just a tiny bit of tartness to the smell. Possibly the tiniest hint of earthy or floral hops.

T - Sugar, cherry, and plum sweetness that just scratches the surface of sour. Finishes with a nice and smooth bitter taste with cocoa and floral hop notes. There’s a little bit of spice at the finish, as well.

F - Medium-bodied, pretty good carbonation, and a really nice dry finish. Sweetness and tartness from the fruits hangs around for a little while along with a pleasant mouth-drying sensation.

O - For the price, the convenience, and the ABV, this is a great Dubbel. It doesn’t look as good as real Trappist Dubbels or have the great aroma and taste nuances of Belgian yeast, but you really can’t go wrong with this one. Very tasty and drinkable beer.

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

A- Dark brown color with ruby highlights. Large fluffy head (light tan) that has great retention and leaves nice lacing.

S- Figs, caramel, damp earth, bready malt, some clove, black pepper, and Belgian yeast.

T- Toasted malt, faint coffee/chocolate, cherries, hint of ripe banana, raisins, and a slight spiciness in the finish.

M- Medium feel with medium-high carbonation.

O- A rather tasty American version of a Dubbel. Worth a try if you haven't had it before. Recommended. Cheers.

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Photo of mscudder
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I recently picked up a case of this beer and after downing a few I decided to sit down and give this Dubbel a proper review. Best before May 2012, poured into a Newcastle Schooner.

A - Hazy light brown poured with a large light tan head. Fair retention, leaving behind some lacing. Has a ruby like hue that really helps its cause.

S - Nothing strong going on in this department. Some malts showing through and some dark fruit, although less than I would like to see. I feel there is a a few spices lingering in the background, but they are far from prominent.

T - Shows up strong with some nice roasted malts up front followed by some sweetness dominated by cherries. The conclusion of the brew is ever so slightly bitter, which adds a bit of complexity. I must say for a Dubbel I purchased on sale for under $5 a sixer, I do not hesitate in saying this is the best taste per my dollar I have ever had.

M - My personal favorite part of the brew. The body is pretty thick for Dubbel, probably on the high medium end. The malts form a fine backbone for the tastes to permeate. Rich and smooth, with a nice little light kick near the end. Superb.

O - Overall this is a fine brew that I relish for the price I got them at. Not the best Dubbel by a long stretch, but I do not think I would be disappointed if a friend offered me one, particularly on a nice winter afternoon.

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

12 oz bottle into Belgian flute

A - Pours a ruby-brown with a finger of tan head. Decent retention.

S - Sweet dark fruit -- raisin, brown sugar. Not much else. Cherry cola.

T - Cocoa is introduced to the mix. A bit of nutmeg, brown sugar, and raisin. Not bad. Very pleasant on a cold winter day.

M - Medium body, a bit sticky sweet. Average carbonation. A bit drying in the finish.

O - Overall a good, drinkable beer. Nice for winter. A drinkable, available, and flavorful beer that would satisfy anyone on a cold night.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from my fridge. Poured into a stemmed beer glass. Light leather brown color. Slight head, but that faded quickly. Not much lacing, which was surprising. Smell had a nice aroma of dark fruit and raisins. Taste was a combination of caramel, fig, and brown sugar. Very light though; would have liked a more upfront flavor. And the mouthfeel was on the thin side. This is a nice winter ale brewed like a dubbel. A solid local winter offering.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (best by April 2012) poured into a Tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with a light tan persistent thin (1/16") head across the top. Plenty of persistent lacing in strands, sheets, and islands. When held up to the light, cloudy brown with some orange and coppery notes.

Smell: Mild fruit (raisin) with maybe some mild herbal hops in there. Not a lot going on in the aroma dept even with a good swirl.

Taste: Roasted malt, hints of coffee, raisin, caramel, barest hint of pine hops towards the end. Sweet, but balanced by the bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but borderline fizzy and a bit to spicy on the tongue, although it cleanses the palate. Nice thickness with a bit of a lingering on the teeth but not for long. Bit of a dry finish.

Overall / Drinkability: Nice beer - not a lot going on in the aroma department but good appearance and taste. Interesting combination of flavors and not quite like any Dubbel I've had before, but I will say it works as a winter beer - warming and enjoyable even though the alcohol is just a hair above 5%. Glad I picked one up on sale but not sure if I would buy a six pack of it. That being said, if another one was available I would probably have it again, so good drinkability.

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

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Dark brown-black with a 1" tan head.

S - Roasted malt, brown sugar, allspice. A hint of toffee.

T - Toffee roasted malt up front, followed by dark fruit and Belgian yeast. Very sweet throughout, although not cloying. A slight hop bite towards the end.

M - Lots of carbonation, medium-thick in body. Creamy and slick.

O - I enjoyed this beer. It has a nice Belgian yeast/dark fruit character that is balanced nicely with the roasted malt and spices. Very drinkable brew.

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Photo of Yoda22
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear dark amber/light brown. 1 finger of head that quickly dissipates. Some light lacing.

S- Sweet brown sugar scent, dark fruits, not too overpowering. No real hop presence.

T- Toffee / roasted malt up front with lingering sweetness reminiscent of the smell. Good combo.

M- Medium to full body with medium carbonation.

O- Very good all around. A nice winter beer with good balance between the malts and flavors, light hopping that is barely noticeable but must be present to balance things out.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Notches on the label indicate best before April 2012.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head that's not one to retain long before reducing to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mound of surface foam in the center. Above average lacing.

S- Has that glassy smell that I find in most dark Belgians. Also a touch of nutmeg-like spice.

T- Nice, toasty notes along with suggestions of dark fruit and raisin. Pretty much your standard dubbel but done quite well. Hints of caramel.

M- Lush and full but not necessarily thick. Medium carbonation.

O- Not too high in alcohol for a dubbel, but that's OK. It's great if you just want a dark Belgian that's easy to drink.

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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 brureview
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good everyday winter beer. The most prominent features of the beer are its tangy mouthfeel, and its finish: hints of chocolate with a slight bitterness. The notes in this beer are better brought out when served warmer. Overall, a good daily beer, but not with a distinctive character.

Update 4-6-12: I had a few bottles stored in the fridge for the about two months. Within the last few weeks, I drank both bottles- and there is quite a difference in the taste. The first bottle had an excellent chocolate finish, and the second bottle had a pleasant lemon finish mixed with chocolate.

I also drank both bottles warmer, and the temperature along with sitting in the fridge for two months made a big difference.

I am upgrading my rating of the beer to 4.0 overall.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown color with a tan head. In the aroma, vanilla, oaky(?), and a nice spice blend. In the taste, vanilla, cinnamon, oaky, and almost creamy. A small spice bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon and almost bourbon like aftertaste. Almost feels bourbon barreled, quite nice.

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

A: amber, red color. 1 finger khaki head, thick lacing all over glass.

S: fest lager yeast, milk chocolate, toasty and bready.

T: bitterness, oktoberfest, sweetness chocolate, toastiness.

M: rich, full bodied. Sweet finish.

O: nice fest style winter warmer. No spiciness, smooth, malty like a typical brown ale. Nice.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass (also had in a chalice, nothing changed):

A: dark brown colored body with a tan head which quickly dissolved, the lacing doesn't last either

S: some toasted malt and nuts, super light hops only after a bit of warming, subdued "Belgian yeast"

T: aggressive malty sweetness, not as balanced ....hmmm?

M: medium with some slight harshness of carbonation on the tongue, smooth clean aftertaste and finish

O: good dubbel for me, but unsure how true "dubbel" fans feel about this ... hmmm?

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.07/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Did not realize this was a dubbel until I saw it on BA- doesn't taste like it. Not particularly active head but it is visibly effervescent. What little head exists is off-white. There is very minimal retention and only a few spots of lacing. Pours a dark brown color almost like cola (opaque but can see light through the edges). Smells of ginger and dark malt. Taste is not overly convincing- weak dark malt flavor almost like a dunkel and a hint of the ginger. The mouthfeel was the most disappointing part to me- watery, weakly carbonated; not the kind of things I want in a beer. Overall this is an OK session beer- definitely not one I would buy again.

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Photo of GardenWaters
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark plum-like color with a tan head which quickly dissolved. Some lacing present.

S: Toasted malt and dried fruit. Hop presence nearly undetectable.

T: Big notes of malty sweetness with fruity/nutty accents. Moderate carbonation/bitterness compliment the sweetness of this beer very nicely. Nicely balanced and would make a good session-beer.

M: Light-bodied and well rounded. Goes down smooth and finishes clean.

O: Overall, this is a pretty tasty beer and is very drinkable. I've been looking for a good winter ale all season, and this one didn't disappoint. Though there's nothing particulary memorable about this brew, I would definitely drink it again, no doubt.

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Photo of rodney45
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark hazy brown with an off white thick head that laces the glass rather nicely.

S: Heavy malt and canned peaches.

T: Big malt notes, with hints of vanilla and toffee. Slight resin flavored hops come through secondarily, but get overwhelmed by the Belgian yeast profile (pizza dough and cloves).

M: Moderate body, and moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter.

O: This is a perfect beer to be drunk sitting by a warm fire, or on a leather chair watching the night snow fall outside, warm, cozy and everything being just quite right. Malt character is the name of the game here, not as balanced or adequately hopped as I would have liked, but it will do nicely.

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

Enjoyed from a bottle at the sterling Sun Singer in Champaign, IL.

A moderate finger of slightly tan froth tops a cloudy mahogany body with cherry-brown trim. Decent amounts of lacing and mediocre head retention are ameliorated by a wonderful color to the beer.

Nice nose filled with biscuit, chocolate, and caramel malts, with some berry and a bit of ginger in tow.

Rich, full taste, very creamy, very malty. The chocolate and biscuit malt stand out, with some caramel in the finish. Good, fruity taste with a bit of a bite and with some dried fruit--date and raisin, along with maraschino cherry. The combination is wonderful and reminiscent of Avery's first-rate Old Jubilation (which is unfortunately unavailable locally this Winter). The taste won't exactly make me forget the magnificence of Old Jubilation, but Smuttynose Winter certainly fits the bill in a pinch.

Nice, creamy texture, with some piney hops and a touch of grit in the end. More hops would make this superb but, as it stands, Winter Ale is a really good, flavorful beer that drinks a bit stronger than the advertised 5.1% ABV. This goes down easy, though, and is easy to knock back a few of these on a cold Winter night.

Very good, and I am glad to have grabbed a sixer of it for the week.

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Photo of BrownNut
2.1/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Sometimes a beer has kind of a vomit taste. Not full on vomit, just kind of. This was one of those times. It was from an hours-old growler. I've had a couple of other beers with that prominent flavor note, and once it was with a beer that did not normally have a vomit taste. Is it me? Or is it some particular thing that has gone wrong with the batch? I don't know. But with so many yet to try, I don't want to try this one again to find out.

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

Color is a transparent brown with shades of maroon. The dense off-white head id dense and long lasting. Smells like bread, with a hint of citrus. The taste is sweet and roasty malts, followed by pine and citrus hops flavors. Nicely balanced and complex, quite flavorful. Nice mouthfeel too. Solid beer all around.

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

A - Pours a darker reddish/mahogany with mocha colored 1 finger head.

S - Some dark fruits, burnt sugar, bready malts. A faint bit of sweet nut, like hazelnut.

T - Starts a bit chocolatey, that fades into a touch of cinnamon, and then that sugary fruit taste. It finishes with again a bit of that sweet hazelnut. I actually found this to be a pretty solid, more complex beer than I was expecting.

M - Pretty smooth, good amount of carbonation, almost wine-like.

Overall - I was pretty impressed. A fairly solid, wintery dubbel. Another good beer by Smuttynose.

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

Poured into a snifter.

A: Clear, dark red-brown color with one-finger, tan head that left a nice film. Good lacing.

S: Roasted malt and chocolate.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Roasted malt flavor. Dark fruit.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Just above average Dubbel.

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