1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Wizard's Winter Ale - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Wizard's Winter AleWizard's Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

131 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 131
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.96%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 11-15-2001)
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wizard's Winter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PEBKAC
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two unmarked, surely a bit past-date bottles into my 25oz glass mug.

Pretty, gurgling pour. Foggy, dull orange/amber body. Big, lumpy, off-white clumps of foam fill nearly half the glass, leaving isolated bits of lace here & there as it falls.

Smell is crispy bran flakes upfront, followed by some butter toffee. Slight banana esters, a touch of peppery hops, & a doughy center keep my attention.

Crusty bread & pinching, leafy greens first come to mind. Mild, pleasing orange rind, dry toast, & a sprinkling of yeast. Not much ugly at all coming from the ringwood yeast.

Feel is nice. Moderately carbonated with a bit of body, but eventually turning thin & very dry.

Not sure why it's sold as a "winter ale", as it's not full bodied, a stout, spiced, aged in xxx, big on abv., etc. etc. Whatever, it's pretty decent alternative to all that stuff when the store is flooded with it. :)

Photo of DmanGTR
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes on 10/25/09

A - hazy burnt orange, short lived off-white head. Diminished to a thin bubbly ring quickly, swirls of bubbles. 2.5

S - nice cereal like sweetness, touch of honey and caramel, faint fruitiness of grapes and a hint of cinnamon. But that required detective work. 3.0

T - Malts dominate flavor with lots of caramel and grainy sweetness. Hop bitterness is uncovered towards the end of the sip, bringing out a hint of spiciness reminiscent of a Belgian pale ale. 3.5

M - Smooth, decently carbonated. 3.5

D - Quite

Photo of Stimack
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew poured to a nice deep amber color with a fair sized creamy light tan, which has good retention and left some ok lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, hops that give some idea of earthiness, slightly burnt brown sugar and a slight orange and buttery scent. Pretty inviting aroma, though it does feel like it is missing a little something. The flavor is good; malt really comes through here highlighting caramel and roastiness. Some fruit flavors come out and I think that could be from the yeast. Beer drinks well but if this was to be a winter warmer where spices should stick out, they where not noticeable, at least to me. Would get this again.

Photo of wiseguy142
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok a Winter Warmer bought in a mix pack in April... stupid Wegmans. Not the first time this has happened to me there.

Pours a great tawny orange/brown with lots of visible carbonation and a frothy off white head that dies down fairly quickly.

Aroma is sweet, lemony/cinnamony. Some aggressive hop character in the aroma. Almost like an aggressive red ale.

Taste is malty but a little bland. Again, a lot like a red ale with a lot of dry British malt flavor and minimal spices. Noble hops or something very subtle. Slightly bittersweet aftertaste- bitter hops with the taste of pure white sugar. Hop aftertaste is a bit unnerving... sort of sour or rotten. Nice and malty but not exactly what I was expecting for a Winter Warmer.

Mouthfeel is nice a medium bodied with a slight slickness towards the end. The extreme, slightly unbalanced malt sort of got to me by the end of this in terms of drinkability. An enjoyable brew.. hopefully next time not at the end of Spring.

Photo of dsa7783
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Appearance: Dark-brown, mahogany, ruby-red hue, minor head, minimal lacing, no carbonation present...
Smell: Rich malts, caramel, ginger(?)...
Taste: Malts, caramel, dark-brown sugars, honey, cloves, maple syrup flavor...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel...
Decent drinkability...

Photo of brentk56
2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A very pretty pour, with a clear amber color and a frothy head with good stickage and lace

Smell: Nooo....butterscotch diacetyl with some tea-like earthy hops

Taste: Butterscotch from the get-go, with some developing earthy hops arriving at mid palate; after the swallow, it is more of the same, unfortunately

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit chalky

Drinkability: I know this brewery likes the Ringwood yeast but here is exhibit number 1 as to what it produces; just not my cup of tea

Photo of HopDerek
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber with red highlights. Two + fingers of foamy khaki tan head has very nice creamy retention and leaves some nice lacing. Smells of caramel, lightly toasted malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and floral hops. Tastes of brown sugar, molasses, and caramel with nutmeg and cinnamon. Some raisin and white grapes follow along with a bit of vanilla, then a mellow bitterness of citrus and fresh cut grass in the finish. Medium in body with good carbonation. Smooth and sweet with a touch of wintery spices and a pleasant lightly lingering bitter finish. Not the most hearty of Winter Warmers, but satisfying and easy to drink.

Photo of dfolmste
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark amber color. In the light it harnesses some red and in normal room conditions it takes on a brown. Head is around half an inch with good retention. Lacing clings to the sides and carbonation looks heavy. I like how it takes on a different color in different situations.

Smell: Sweet smell of malt with roasted hop background. Brown sugar and cream matches well with the appearance. Some spices noted as well. Better than your average winter seasonal.

Taste: Good hop profile, more detectable than in the smell. Brown sugar aftertaste. Sweetness hits on multiple levels, more than the malt. Smooth with creamy finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth feel with moderate coating and body. More creamy/buttery than I would like. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Drinkability: For a seasonal this beer is good. It is snowing out right now and this is a complement to the season. Maybe on Christmas I will have another one of these, but I would probably just stick with the winter for this one.

Photo of tpd975
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Nutty brown with a small head. Tiny bubbles rise to the top with no lacing noted.

S: Faint aromas. Some dark fruit, apples, and mulled spices.

T: Lots of caramel malt up front. A bit of dark fruit in the middle. The allspice comes in at the finish.

M: Medium boided with ample carbonation.

D: Pretty enjoyable.

Overall: Not my favorite style but this one was pretty enjoyable. There was a perfect amount of spice to balance out all the caramel malt. I enjoyed it. One of my favorite winter ales.

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another I had on tap at the brewery. One of the beer's I liked the most, and with a bit of polish, this could be an amazing beer.

Appearance was a medium clear nut-brown, only a tad of head the whole time.

Smelled faintly like orange pekoe, some malt is present, maybe some nutmeg.

Was a bit dissapointed with the taste. Taste came out fairly bland and I was hoping/expecting more spice and less malt. Tasted a bit like raisins. Went down with only a tad of bitterness.

Mouthfeel was average, solid carbonation, medium weight, nothing special.

Drinkability is again average, not to bad though, with a bit of work this one could rock.

Photo of TheBCrew
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass with 2 fingers of off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving some lacing. Light, clear caramel color and an aroma of citrus and butterscotch. Tastes of grapefruit, caramel, and a clean citrus finih. Medium-bodied highly drinkable beer.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wizards Winter has a good head on its shoulders and doesn't give in to the temptation of dropping into nothingness. Good lacing. Has a (mostly)clear copper color.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, fruits and yeasty.

The taste starts of malty then some fruits and yeast jump on the taste bandwagon.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear darker amber brown. No head. Nose is quite malty and caramel toned in a very minimal sense. Seems to be a leafy hint on the back side. Whew. The flavor is...tangy shall we say. The first hit almost goes right back out. The second swig is not nearly so shocking on the tastebuds, but things still aren't working here. Feel is nice, but this just isn't doing it for me. Sorry sweetheart, but you've got to go.

Photo of foxmul924
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Bottle into Room-Temp Pint Glass)

Appearance: Quickly Dissipating Cream-Colored Head, Dark Amber Color with No Lace

Smell: Malty, Brown-Sugary with Subtle Hop Aroma

Taste: Very Malty and Sweet--Predominant Brown Sugar Flavor with Notes of Nutmeg and Cinnamon. Relatively Smooth with a Lingering Hop Bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-Bodied with Semi-Clean, 'Sugary' Finish. Little too much Carbonation, Though.

Drinkability: Could Enjoy 2-3 Bottles During the Cold, Winter Months.

Other: Average Winter Beer at Best, But Worth a Try.

Photo of quasimoto
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Musty horse blanket aromas blended with fruity aromas of slight red berries. The malt comes up in the background and is slightly caramel-like. It finishes with notes of oak and some slight vanilla. The mouth feel starts off with a blend of bitterness, and strong carbonation. Finishes dry and sharp. Overall a very interesting beerand can be enjoyed if you really analyze it. Trust me you should. It is worth it.

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light butterscotch and a very estery yeast.

The taste was upfront spicy butterscotch with a grainy malt and utilitarian hop. A strong ginger element dries the flavor out.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with a very dry and clean finish.

Overall an interesting winter warmer. The flavor was a bit confusing though - almost a cross between a scotch ale and a dubble.

Photo of younger35
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this brew from ncvbc, Walter is the man! This will be the first brew I’ve had from Middle Ages brewing and I look forward to it. Drank from my Big Horn Mai Bock pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a copper orange with a nice half finger bright white head that recedes fairly quickly. Leaves a spotty cap and thin collar with almost zero lacing.
Smell- Lot’s of sweet bready malt along with plenty of spice and vanilla. There is almost a pumpkin beer type spice rack here, reminiscent of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Taste- Lots of sweet doughy malt with plenty of caramel candy goodness. Actually kind of switches between a caramel and butterscotch feel. Plenty of citrus hop here that has ample bitterness. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and an almost woody aftertaste.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with lots of crisp, fine carbonation.
Drinkability- Overall not a bad brew but this is a bit different of a “winter warmer” than I expected. The spice in the nose isn’t present in the taste but plenty of hops are. A good solid beer that I’m glad ncvbc shared, thanks again!

Photo of Durge
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A red copper colored brew with a whispy head and thin lacing. The aroma is winelike, heavy with some caramel, and thick cranberry. The taste is of berries and caramel with some pine hops bite. It's aqueous with a touch of licorice and alcohol noted. I also pick up a little bit of the dreaded but all too familiar "cardboard"! It's well carbonated with average drinkability. It's interesting and not bad. I would drink again for sure as a flavorful winter "warmer".

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.38/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, light amber color with a low white head that thinned to a coating, leaving a good deal of lace.

S - sweet aromas of malt and vanilla.

T - mildly sweet tasting brew, rich caramel malt and vanilla bean flavor, slight oak aged bourbon alcohol taste as it warms (both in the glass and the drinker, alike!).

M - medium bodied with very mild carbonation.

D - good brew, easy to drink.

Final Note: Wizard's Winter Ale is a brew that will definitely warm you, enjoy!

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich Copper color with a full creamy head and lots of lacing.

S - Sweet and full of spices

T - Malty with a bit of hops, not overly bitter, not too mild. Just about in the middle

M - Lots of carbonation. not alot of lingering taste

D - My 1st winter ale of the year and it did not disappoint. Could easily sit and enjoy several. Definitely a session beer for late fall, early winter

Photo of aerozeppl
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Mahar's in Albany. From notes

A) The one thing I wrote about was the weird mix of dark and light colors in the beer. Maybe from the cask? Nice thick head

S) Malt, yeast. Slight smell of spices.

T: Very "casky" Woody.

M: Low carbonation to be expected from cask. Goes down my throat effortlessly.

D: For a winter warmer this was super drinkable. I have had this in a bottle and the cask blew it away. If you can find it buy it.

Photo of jackorain
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Nice coppery color with a nice 3/4 inch head that fell to a fairly thick coat that left a nice splotchy lace

S-Butterscotch, fruity sweet stone fruit, caramel malt. Hops are non-exisntant in the nose

T-Big butterscotch and toffee notes, stone fruit jam, earthy hops, faint sour bitterness on the finish. some yeastiness on the finish with a lasting sour twang

M-Light to medium body. Very tight fizzy carbonation. A bit chalky on the finish.

D-I'd move on after this one

Overall-this is not what I think of as a winter warmer. It is not that warming. Alcohol is a little low for me to 'warm'. There is no spicy edge. I am not talking actuall added spices but I except some spicy hop notes like from Target or goldings.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Love the Middle Ages label approach...unfortunately a lot of them are rendered so generically they cross the line from cool fantasy art to medieval cheese. Like Wailing Wench, and certainly this one. But who cares really...it's what in the bottle that counts.

There was sticky residue on the neck of the first bottle opened, the cap popping with zero hiss and a wimpy soap-water "head". Clearly the cap wasn't on tightly. Tasted crappy. I poured it. Second try gave a "that's more like it" creamy head atop a ruby/rust color with a golden shimmer. Not enough lace to mention (oops, I just mentioned it).

Spices in the nose recall cinnamon, nutmeg and, um...not much else. Maybe dark chocolate and caramel if I try real hard.

First flavor impression is a nice toasty one. And shazam!, I swear there's a mild hint of Scotch whisky peeking through. But mostly you'll get your usual Winter Warmer flavors, which means sweet, dessert-y spices. A little bit of wood too. Everything is blended well here, and it's not abhorrently spiced like some in the style (I won't name names, feeling benevolent today).

Decent and even enjoyable, this is hardly mindblowing, and I suppose I can think of other beers I'd rather warm with this winter, but overall it's on the side of quality. Just not the most memorable brew by Middle Ages.

Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Ringwood Batman! I took a big whiff of this right after the pour and was met with a burst of sweet, sugary fruit aromas. The taste is surprisingly subdued and on the same level as a pale mild maybe. The diacetyl is mild, adding a touch of buttery mouthfeel with most of the flavor focused on pale malts and ringwood. There's a bit of a nutty undertone, but its faint. I also want to mention this beer got some sweet lacing.

This one is actually 6.8% abv and the brewery calls it an "English strong ale."

Photo of rohrbachsfan
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer poured a traditional amber ale color with a low head that didn't last.

Smell: The smell was malty with some estery aromas.

Taste: Malty with medium bittereness and hops flavor. A little bit of a metallic after taste. Didn't taste any spices or adjunct flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth.

Drinkability: This beer came across pretty average to me... an average amber ale in my opinion.

Wizard's Winter Ale from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
80 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.