Wintertime Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wintertime AleWintertime Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

123 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 12.68%
Wants: 6
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  ABV ?

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-11-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 69
Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.22/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a white frothy head that dissipated very quickly atop an orange-red brew, Aroma was a little dissapointing as there were very few fruity esters to detect, but a hint of coriander was very easy to identify. The taste is not like any strong ale i have ever had before as it is rather weak. Hop bitterness is present up front which segues into a maltiness that is both dry and a little sweet. Definite coriander flavor is a little strange and it kind of reminds me of aventinus doppelbock-weizen. Body is very light and this beer seems to have a low alcohol level for the style. Overall this beer is drinkable as long as it is on the discount rack and you have never tried it before. Once you have tasted this brew you might agree with me, or you might find this a refreshing take on the strong ale style.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.33/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: A rather timid ‘home-made’ looking blue label smattered with an icicle font ‘Wintertime Ale’. No strength or freshness listed.

Appearance: A nice brazen copper-orange body that is lucid and well presented with a smooth looking off-white creamy head resting atop. Occasionally swirled, the head is retained as a thick smooth collar. The best part of this beer, until you smell it at least.

Nose: Malts and Walnuts mixed with a strange disinfectant hospital odor.

Taste: Has a sort of ‘Medicinal Feel’ on the tongue, and long after the swallow. If I was feeling rude, I would say that this tastes infected! Otherwise, it certainly cleanses the palate of all know germs. Buy a 6-Pack now and get a special Bobble Head “Oxy Clean” Billy Mays!!! Do it in the next 5 minutes and we’ll super size your order.

Mouthfeel: Leaves a clean Petri-Dish feel. No cultured germs here.

Drinkability: Tough one this – took a while for me to finish the 12 ouncer, I have to say.

Overall: A bit of a ‘let-down’ for a North Coast beer, pretty average really. That’s kind; in fact I’m not impressed. A short Review for a beer I would rather forget. So glad I only got single rather than a 6-Pack!!.

Photo of JayKay412
2.65/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I did not like it.

Photo of sweemzander
2.78/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a deep and dark mahogany brown color. Produced a lovely cap of off-white froth. Great retention and lacing.

(S)- A rich spicy body. Quite woody / bark-like with a hefty bitterness aroma-wise. Subtle sweetness.

(T)- Very very nutty with an almond/walnuts. Relatively dry with a subtle spice and minimally sweet.

(M)- A good carbonation level. It is just kind of mild-medium across the board. The nutty flavors are nice, but just not alot going on. Neither bitter or sweet; neutral?

(O)- With all of the winter seasonals that are out with bold and dynamic flavors, this one is easily forgettable for me.

Photo of BAbaracus
2.8/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy reddish brown with minimal head but decent amount of carbonation. Buttermilk, brown sugar, malt on the nose. Slightly viscous mouth feel, little carbonation, fairly watery. Malt up front, very little on back end aside from more malt, a very little hop presence once several drinks have left a little residue on the tongue. Nothing offensive but hardly worth seeking out. NC seems to do best when they’re dealing with high ABV brews.

Photo of nomad
2.82/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a hazy burnt ruby with little head or lace. Smelled of vanilla, belgian candi sugar, and a caramel scent bordering on rum, as wiffs of alcohol were present. Taste was very thin and never comes together: caramel, figs, rummy notes, and a mild butter with a lactic-sour turn. Hops are tartly acidic, blending with a roastiness to create a coffee-noted finish, but not a tasty one. Had an unctious alcohol flavor at the end. A very thin beer that has these flavors but not greatly so.

The sour-ish hops, the day-old coffee finish, and alcohol drive me away, and the very thin mouthfeel doesn't help either.

Photo of kindestcut
2.86/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first foray into seasonal brews. Unfortunayely, it wasn't winter when I drank this beer so I don't know if I truly received the intended Wintertme Ale experience.

Wintertime Ale poured a pretty, clear amber color which gave me great hope. The head was slight and died a qrelatively quick death.

A very sweet aroma that I think of when I say "malt." There are vague hints of amaretto and hazelnut.

I was a little disappointed with this beer. It was alright, not bad by any means, but not great. The taste is not strong, quite light without a robust or fulfilling body. There is a mild hoppiness that lingers momentarily as well as a slight taste of alcohol.

To tell you the truth, I had no idea what made this brew a "winter" brew. I can no more imagine drinking this in winter as I can during the summer. A good beer but I can't imagine waiting with baited breath for next winter's edition.

Photo of BeerAngel
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very clear amber/orange with a nice 2 finger off-white head. The smell reveals tangy burnt malt with hops and light spicing being slightly evident. The taste consists of a light butterscotch/diacetyl flavor with roasted malts and nutmeg blended with mild hops and still yet a tangy aftertaste. Although maybe meant to be complex, it is not due to poor balance. This beer is a rather strange brew. It is light bodied and finishes watery. This is a rather disappointing brew from North Coast Brewing. Once again, I appreciate Pegasus providing me with a variety of brews to sample. Cheers!

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a stubby 12oz bottle, this brew had a hazy apricot color and a short-lived foamy light tan head. A lightly spicy, musty aroma hovered over the glass, along with a faintly phenolic note. A fruity-sweet taste, of pear and apple, was present initially before a mild coriander note came out with some other spices. The beer finished with a modest hops bitterness and a slight medicinal alcohol bite. The feel was light, thin, and watery.
A rather bland and boring seasonal from North Coast Brewing. I’m somewhat disappointed as I was expected more from the brewery that spawned Old Rasputin.

Photo of ADR
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear umber brown color with a really fugitive head in the pint glass. Some spiciness to the aroma, a sense of nutmeg and estery clove. So far, so good...Flavor was woefully subdued and somewhat off for style. Watery malts, vague approach to a spicy cinnamon/caramel impression and some strange esters as well. Hops are apparent and peppery, more than I would expect. This does not qualify as an excellent Strong Ale to me.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a bit hazy reddish chestnut color with an inch head of off white bubbles at first pour. The head was made up of relatively large bubbles, and looked like it wasn’t going to hang around too long. There are a few floaties in here too.

Aroma: Malt and spicy notes are the first things you notice. There is a bit of a plum aroma here also, as well as what I believe to be a hint of oxidation. As the head falls, and the beer warms a bit, there are some more fruity notes coming out to take over the spiciness that I got earlier.

Flavor: The flavor is dry and nutty. I still get a bit of spiciness, but the oxidative flavors are definitely present in the flavor profile also. I don’t really get any hops in here anywhere...but maybe a tad in the bittering, and maybe a bit of British varieties for flavoring that is taking a beating by the oxidation.

Opinion: I am pretty bummed out. I had high hopes for this beer, but it appears to be stale. There was carbonation, but the malts don’t taste fresh. I am a big fan of North Coast beers...especially their Old Stock, and Old Rasputin. If either of those beers had Oxygen intorduced, it would be obvious right away. This one suffers from it unfortunately.

Photo of BKotch
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice dark amber color, good light tan head with lace. But I'm a bit disappointed with this offering from North Coast, also the brewer of one of my all-time favorites and a beer absolutely bursting with flavor, Old Rasputin. This one is just light on flavor and nose. Not my first choice for a strong ale/winter warmer.

Photo of marc77
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark bronze / light ruby hue topped by a quickly receding ivory - white head that leaves a loose pattern. The aroma is an odd but enjoyable melange of tart fruity esters, buttersctoch, medium caramel malt and gints of raspberry. Subdued floral hop nose. The taste doesn't follow up on the aroma, unfortunately. A combination of hop bitterness and non - descript spice hits the palette upfront, and is followed by generic caramel malt sweetness and nutmeg spice. THe flavors fade abruptly & the finish is left a bit of the bland side. Perhaps I'm accustomed to more robust winter seasonals, but I found this this brew to be far too conservative and perhaps a bit weak in flavor. Decent, but lackluster.

Photo of blitz134
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly murky ruby, caramel color. A little white head formed on pour, but it quickly disappeared and only left a ring around the glass with barely anything else. No head retention and a murky body...ehh...

Raw, candy sugar and slightly darker caramel aroma runs the show. I initially thought this was loaded with alcohol, but that subdued after a while although it is still there during certain wiffs. Kind of reminds me a bit of a cheap whiskey. Has a bit of tobacco and vanilla in this too.

Luckily the body doesn't show the same alcohol character that I thought I detected initially. This one is quite malty with hints of biscuit and a lot of caramel malts. After the swallow nutty and some chocolate malts come out. Has a bit of nutmeg hint to the flavor and a touch of peat as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with relatively low carbonation levels. Coats the mouth okay, but the flavor doesn't linger for too long.

Drinkability is just so so really. Not much that really draws me to this one. The nose especially turns me off. I find that it lacks an overall cohesiveness. There is a lot going on in this, but its just all over the place.

Photo of jzlyo
3.14/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is caramel malts and spices/a small hint of heat. The flavor is caramel/caramel malts, spices, oily and a mix of sour, tart and a hint of heat in the finish.

Photo of cokes
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

ZAP has this one pegged. Seems like a wheat to be too. A pretty thin one at that.
Pours a bronze body with a solid looking head that runs away quickly, screaming something about being promised an Strong Ale.
Smells of clove and some whispers of smokiness. Not a good combination.
Taste consists of wheat-like clove and fruit esters, which is actually somewhat decent. Hops make a appearance, but nothing to brag about. Very little body. Thin and uninspired. Nothing about this says "winter" to me.
It is a brew that could be conceivably quaffed down, due to it's thinness, and not-horrible taste....but there are plenty of more appealing beers that can serve that role.
A let down from North Coast.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a thick copper color with some orange tint. Very small white head with very little lace.
Aroma is sweet malt, light hex nut and some peat.
Flavor is sweet malt, some citrus and a mild roasted taste
Mouthfeel has no real distinguishing characteristic except for a strange sort sort of sour and diacetyl aftertaste.
Drinkability is moderate at best. Compared to some of the other North Coast beer this one is a pass.

Photo of freed
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the second bottle, the first was usurpted by my brother-in-law. Lovely label on a 12oz bottle. Pours a muted but ruddy straw color with almost no head. Aroma is of british style malt. Rusty and fruity. The yeast breadifies the flavor, and its nice. There's not much hop derived flavors though.

Its an average winter ale, though I expected something more from North Coast.

Photo of gnaussea
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours amber with orage highlight. Medium head, mine had no lace. The nose is quite strong of peanut caramel malt. Taste is quite different. The malt predominates, but there is a definite bitter character with a hop that sneaks in on the pallete. The flavor is ended abruptly, and a mild bitter aftertaste remainas, Seems like there is just something missing here. Nice bubbly texture. I appreciate the carbonation, but it seems watered down. Overall, not something I will really look forward to in the future.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.27/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found in the "close-out" section of a local wine-n-beer store for $0.99. Why not? (Note: This beer wasn't listed on their website)

Presentation: 12oz amber bottle with quite the "Christmasy" label...snowflakes and all. No info as to sell by/consume by.

Appearance: A lovely hazy amber color with a tight tannish-colored head. Lace at first seems hardy and persistant, but ran out of gas towards the end.

Smell: It certainly smelled like what I thought a barley wine should be. Lots of complex aromas floating around: Dark fruits, caramel, spices. Perhaps a hint of things to come for the palate?

Taste: This beer took a nose-dive for me here. It really didn't do anything for me. Flavor was rather flat and unappealing. As if there wasn't enough "oomph" to make it stand out. It's complex, with a rather dry and almost bittering effect at the end. No alcohol-induced "warming effect" at all.

Mouthfeel: Not nearly as creamy and full-bodied as I'd expected. Thin.

Drinkability: Nothing I would save for a cold winter's night. Pretty light in terms of drinkabilty. Nothing too heavy on the stomach or palate with this one. I'll buy some more Ol' Rasputin from NCBC and enjoy it.

Photo of sponberg
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep auburn with little head and a nose like a glass of Scotch.

Rather thin, a tea-like flavor with hints of cloves in the background. A buttery, yeasty flavor is present in the middle, but in the end the tea-like character wins out. OK, but there are more characterful winter ales out there that I would drink first.

Photo of StevieW
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm way behind the curve on this one, I was worried about it's freshness, but it seems to have kept ok. It just isn't that flavorful of a beer. Medium clear brown color, with a nice fluffy tan head that leaves like it's 10 minutes late to work. Maybe be some floral, and cinnamon spiceyness to the nose, or I could have just wished it there. Not alot of smells, flavors, and richness I expected. Some decent carmel malt flavors, some faintly expressive hops, but the flavors never really got it together. I can see where others thought it was a wheat beer, with the grainy finish, but it's much to thin for that. I had several Samuel Smith Winter's Welcome's last winter, they were much better. A dissapointment from North Coast, I expected so much more, the other beers I have had from them were great.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty generic-looking bottle for a vague style – really, what is a winter ale? Maybe I’m just not up on the style.

A: Creamy, microbubbled head of beige over a burnt orange body; looks very fizzy, with bubbles constantly rising to support the thin retention. Small webs of lacing.

S: Aromas of malts dominate: moderately thick notes of toffee, almond, fruitcake, and wheat bread crust. Smells a bit metallic, too, like well water or English porter; it’s Old-Worldly, you might say, especially as it rounds out with an earthy peat aroma. No hops to be found.

T: Now this is a bready beer: primary tastes develop into yam, doughy roll, salted pretzel, and smooth, nutty oatmeal. It’s all a little sweet, too – I feel like I’m eating pumpkin bread, or a big slice of marble rye with butter, at least. It’s all pretty thick, but without any powerful flavors – where’s the warming of the winter warmer? Still, some hop flavors do persist in the form of some acidic herbal flavors mixed throughout, though just barely noticeable under the blanket effect of the malts. Finishes clean and a little tannic.

M: With a frothy, semi-thin texture, this one goes down pretty unenthusiastically. Feels less like a session ale and more like it’s missing something.

O: A little better than middle-of-the-road, but not by much. It does make me want to explore the winter warmer style a little more, though; it seems like it could pretty satisfying when done well.

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2003 version served lightly chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear brown colored liquid with a frothy cream colored head. The head dissipates to a small layer of foam after awhile and leaves some impressive lacing for the style.

Smell: Raisin, prune, and maple aromas dominate the nose. Medicinal and piney hop smells are present. A decent sniffer, but I've seen much better.

Taste: A sharp, sweet, and smoky malt flavor that quickly gives way to... um... a nice gap of not much. Then the hops and spices (nutmeg, mostly) realize they're supposed to be on the job (must be a union shop :P ) and do a half-assed job. Faint coffee notes on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy in body with nice aftertastes. Mildly puckering and astringent.

Drinkability: An entry level strong/old ale. I'll let the rest of the 6-er age a bit before I crack 'em open. Still, not a bad beer at all. Would go great with turkey, I'll wager

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, spices, a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. In the taste, big spices, but primarily nutmeg. A spice like bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry nutmeg, clove, and ginger in the aftertaste. Quite nice, but a bit too much spice for me.

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Wintertime Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.