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Wintertime Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wintertime AleWintertime Ale

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

119 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 5
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: 119 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of esdeebrew
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.99/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Been curious about this since I saw it for the first time a few months ago, pulled the trigger on a single. It was a big day for me.

A - Medium garnet body, quite clear, a big tan head with good staying power.

S - Heavy on caramel and dark fruits. This is English Barleywine territory. Malt forward, maybe fruitcake? A little one-dimensional, but nice job.

T - Surprisingly bitter, but its got a nice deeply roasted malt character as well. An interesting malt dimension and hop pairing. It's pretty complex. This is nice. A little weird, but nice.

M - drying, full-bodied.

O - this beer is kind of strange, it seems to span several styles (winter warmer, english barleywine, amber ale) and its flavor profile is not really traditional as far as I can tell, but i think it's interesting and good.

Photo of beer2day
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Do not see this listed on the North Coast web page anymore.

Pours a dark orange with a good bit of red there too. 1/2 finger of tan head. Very faint retention and thin lace strands.

Nose is spice and dark fruit. Fruitcake comes to mind, but without the sweetness. Nutmeg and allspice, with figs, prunes, and a touch of raisin. Understated, though.

Flavor is thinner than expected. The same fruit and spice is there as in the nose. Fig/raisin combo with more allspice than nutmeg. A hint of cinnamon. Very mild finish. Nice, but not memorable.

Feel is a bit on the thin side as well. Some thickness from the fruit, but not as much as expected.

Overall, nice enough for the style but not one I'd get again.

Photo of freewill35
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Nunya
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Lukass
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of Blueribbon666
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of tastymug
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Mattbrew_Nelson
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a solid one inch light tan head that lingers.

Citrus, toasted breadcrust, and molasses sweetness form the aroma.

The flavor follows suit, adding a bit of a perception of cranberry at the finish. Malt sweetness and toasted bread form the backbone, with lemon underlying the profile. The finish is slightly dry. There seems to be some spice in the aftertaste, along with a touch of chocolate.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a bit of astringency.

Overall, not your typical winter warmer. Very drinkable beer. The citrus seems a little overpowering, though.

Photo of rhays30075
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Evading the notion that winter ales have got to be heavy, rich, malty; and then being beaten over the head with every spice in the cabinet- North Coast prefers a saner taste of softness and is smoothly palatable.

Copperish brown in color and with rosy purplish highlights, the beer reminds me of lavender as it pours from the tap. Nearly brilliantly clear, the beer streams those tiny creamy bubbles to the top where a magnificent whipped head forms. It's off white foam casts on the glass with light lacing and firm retention. It's a fine looking ale!

Fruity aromas pull from the rim with the distinct scent of grape candy. Softer notes of powdered sugar lean against mild cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg spices for a balanced scent of moderate intensity. It's inviting scent seems to carry low offense and makes diving right in very easy.

It's effortless taste carries over the grape hard candy character and borrows complementary notes of cherries, blackberries, and mild licorice. Although its culmination carries a taste of black jelly beans, the beer is much less polarizing than those often avoided morsels. Light cinnamon and fennel seem to be the balancing agents that seem to supplant hop bitterness for a smoother and spicier session.

Though medium bodied, the beer has a lighter attitude from the taste and texture of cotton candy- where the taste of sweetness exists but it evaporates well before the finish. Creamy carbonation seems to carry with it any malty weight and allows a mild peppery warmth to satisfy the palate, stomach, and mind.

The complexities of the beer may be few, but it's focus on sugarplum and grape gives it a standout quality that's both charming and welcomed, especially when pinned up against stronger and more hearty winter warmers this time of year.

Photo of hosehead83
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from"stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper in color, with a nice-looking cap of tan foam.
Aroma-toasted malt note
Taste-Toasted malt,caramel, subtle cinnamon. Smooth and nicely balanced. Quaffable and tasty. A pleasant, easy drinking offering from North Coast.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
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 rcjennings
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of kbrown
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark reddish amber with 1 finger off white head.

S- Roasty malt, toffee, nuts, and almost a hint of mint

T- Cinnamon up front, metallicy in a way. Toffee and dark malt.

M- A little dry, full, high carb.

Overall- Decent beer. Not outstanding, not offensive

Photo of Lee45102
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of DrDemento456
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I guess this is being brewed again. New bottle with no sediment.

A - A nice clear dark ruby brown. Head is just a 1/4 inch but pulls back to an attractive lace ring with great lacing. Tons of bubbles throughout this brew.

S - Candied sugars and fruity yeasts with some caramel malt. I guess I get some sweet vanilla and oak if I concentrate.

T - Getting some smoky peat and chocolate which is nice. Hops are kind of acidic giving a drying character next to the peat. Almost taste like an oak barrel with caramel malts. Not bad.

M - Pretty on par for a winter warmer. Medium and chewy.

Overall it kind of reminds me of "New Holland Charkoota Rye" but with not so much drying peat and rye. Not really sessionable and too drying for my taste. Not worth a revisit.

Photo of jsurfs82
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of blitz134
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
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 Chaz
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Is everybody clued in to North Coast yet? You all should know 'em by now, as the brewers of Old Rasputin and Old Stock Ale (a fine interpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout and an excellent 11% sipper respectively) I'd gather we all know what they're capable of and respect their approach to bigger styles. Locally, the first time Wintertime hit the shelves it was apparent that beer geeks were expecting a massive holiday offering from North Coast - perhaps a barleywine ala Old Stock or even a beefed-up version of Pranquster. But no, North Coast threw
a curve ball and everyone seemed to miss the pitch: this beer
was fresh and showed plenty of legs for aging. Stylistically it's only a nose away from a wee heavy, but as a winter warmer / old ale it works, too. Yet it sat at a relatively high price-point and didn't catch on at all, sales wise, so we had a beer that didn't seem "ready" to drink a year ago, with plenty of stashes around town, but after a year it tasted fantastic! Closer to a Belgian Dubbel style after a year, and a better buy for the money than most of the imports. Definitely worth picking up a sixer when you have a chance.

Photo of BAbaracus
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
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 SkeeterHawk
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Wintertime Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.