Smuttynose Winter Ale

First off, I love all the Smuttynose beers I’ve tried thus far.  I think I mostly love saying “Smuttynose”.  Makes me happy.  Almost as happy as the beer itself.

She seems so happy

She seems so happy

Just look at that woman on the label.  That picture reminds me of shots of my mother taken back in the day.  It’s a very comforting photo.  And a very comforting beer.

I first ran across this Winter Ale at a pub in NYC that served it on draft.  I saw that the manager/owner of the joint was drinking it so I deemed that to be a good sign.  Then I picked up a sixer at the local distributor for some more research.  Heh.  Next up was buying a case of it to bring over to my sister in-law’s house for Christmas Day.  THAT’S how much I liked it.

I find that some Winter Warmers (or Ales) wind up being a bit too sweet or too spicy to be very drinkable after the first one.  Not so with Smuttynose.  It is much lighter and much more drinkable than that.  Maybe they sacrificed a bit of the taste and a bit of the alcohol, but the session-ability of the beer more than makes up for it.  It’s a Winter Ale for the masses.  Just about everyone that I introduced it too loved it.  But then again I run with a weird crowd.

For the technical amongst you, it is classified as a Dubbel but it feels much lighter than that even thought it boasts a 6.8% ABV.  So watch your ass if you are planning on drinking as many of them as I have in the past month or so.  They do sneak up on you.

My Rating: 8 out of 10

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Had an ice-cold Pumpkin Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Co. out of New Hampshire last night.  I don’t recall if I’ve had it in past years so the only thing I can compare it to is the other pumpkins I’ve tried thus far here in 2008.  And I’m a big fan of the pumpkins, so I’ve had a few.

I liked this one a lot.  It started with a stronger pumpkin aroma mixed with some spices than some of the other varieties I’ve started with.  It was also a bit sweeter.  I saw one reviewer over on Beer Advocate call it “pumpkin candy”, and that isn’t far off.  The sweetness was offset a bit by a blast of hops there at the finish.  The result was a very drinkable beer that I could easily see having more than one of over the course of the evening.

While it would probably go well with any number of Autumn dishes (or even a bag of chips), it seems to me like this is an ale better suited to drinking on its own.  Very nice.

My Rating: 7 out of 10.