Review of Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

25 May

Hello everyone.  Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  For today’s review I’m going to be trying the Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale produced by the Smuttynose Brewing Company located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

I’ve been in the mood for a solid Pale Ale lately and I sure hope this one satisfies my desire.

Let’s get to the website,, and see what they have to say about this brew.

Our interpretation of a classic English beer style is copper-colored, medium-bodied and pleasantly hopped. Its flavor is delightfully complex: tangy fruit at the start, with an assertive hop crispness and a long malty palate that one well-known beer writer has compared to the flavor of freshly-baked bread.

Nice.  Let’s pour.


This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 5.6%.

It poured a hazy, caramel to amber color with some burnt orange highlights around the edges.  The crown was off white, small, but smooth and slightly creamy.  The retention time was solid and the lacing didn’t look too bad either.

The nose released tones of caramel sweetness combined with some toasted grains.  Earthy, floral hops intermingled with some hints of pear and apple.  It had an almost yeasty/doughy kind of smell too.  Well balanced and very nice.

The taste let the malts shine.  Sweet caramel and toffee coalesced with toasted breads, dough and grains. More of the fruity apple and pear goodness also.  The earthiness stepped up as it began to warm, which aided even more in “rounding” off the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, crisp, dry and semi-refreshing.  The carbonation was of medium strength and a sturdy amount of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy between sips.

Overall, I was most impressed with this beer.  Super well balanced all around, not extremely complicated and very easy to drink.  It totally hit the spot.  It didn’t seem as hoppy as some of the other Pale Ale’s that are being produced today, but that’s ok with me.  The malt forward profile was well suited and thoroughly enjoyed.  I had no trouble at all in putting a couple of these down during my tasting experience that’s for sure.  I’d highly recommend giving this classic a try if you have the opportunity.  It’s one that shouldn’t be passed up.  It’s, simply, a well made, proper, “old school” Pale Ale.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.0 out of 5

Grade:  B+

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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Country: USA, Smuttynose


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