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Wintertime Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wintertime AleWintertime Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  ABV ?

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.2/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

RenoZymurgist, Aug 03, 2003
Photo of ZAP
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Re-rate 7/15/03

Still think it hasa wheatbock flavor...this is better than I remember though....spicy nose....very inviting....malty flavor with good spiciness....pretty tasty...just not real thick..not bad at all bt many better...bumped up drinkability, mouthfeel and taste .5 and nose 1.0...


I agree with the first two opinions..I expect more out of a old ale...I might be nuts but this tastes like a wheat beer to me. Not a full-fledged dark wheat, but more of an amber wheat...I tried to find some info on this but came up empty. I'd be curious to know if this is a wheat beer. It's not bad, but not my idea of a winter ale. I was very excited to try this, and my grand expectations were not met...still not a bad beer, but I certainly would never buy it in the future.

ZAP, Jul 16, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up on sale for 5 bucks for a six, hell of a summer deal. To bad its not a hell of a good beer. Color is a nice dark glowing amber, one finger high head of creamy tight evennesswhich is dark ivory in hue. Settles slowly leaving a good skim and ring with stringy lace that drips morphing into spots. Smell is of musty fruits, orangish, grassy, earthy in tone, but is quite soft. Taste starts quickly with a sharp feel of very dulled sweet malts and stingey hops, then grabs into a dark orangy twang, somewhat earthy and musty. The flavors meld together well but aren't very strong, its pretty light and uneventful. Feel is a solid medium body, starts strong with a good thickness, thats a little tough to swallow and fades into a creamy smoothness with a very light lingering tang. Could make for a good session beer, but beyond that it may be a passable offering for the style.

tavernjef, Jun 18, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

OldFrothingSlosh, Jun 10, 2003
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.72/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, it's spring, no time to be reviewing winter beers and yet this one remains to be tried. It has a honey amber color and pours to a light head. The tiny bubbles cannot sustain any of the head whatsoever and it is quickly lost.

The aroma is spicy, cinnamon and cloves or allspice.

I am a big fan of spiced beers and really enjoyed this one. It has a great flavor - moderate malty feel mixed with the aforementioned spices. A touch of a hop bite there, just a brief bit of bitterness mixed, I think, with allspice or clove, I can't nail it down. It's a clean beer, just slightly heavy feeling going down, and would have been great by the fire or the Christmas tree while wrapping presents. Oh well, there's always next year, next time I'll buy a few 6-packs instead of just one bottle.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 25, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a lovely ruby red colr, with a thick, creamy white head. Bold, outstanding aromatics: fresh, sweet, creamy, with dark, rustic notes, as well, slightly spicy, with cinnamon, fruitiness, touches of cheries, grapes, bright and lively.
On the palate, warm and tasty, and surprisingly smooth. Full malt, and dazzling hop play. Medium body, and it feels light in ABV, but is aflood with flavor. Quite delicious, but lacking some depth that would push it further.
As far as winter ales go, at the top of the middle, or near the bottom of the top!

feloniousmonk, Mar 30, 2003
Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe this sample is a year old. And I believe it is a Belgian Dubbel in style.

Clear copper color. Thin beige head that recedes to a thin film quickly. The collar is thick however. Aroma is very caramelly. A little bit of dry bitterness apparant on the nose as well. The taste is subdued, but somewhat complex. A dry aspect is apparant as well as cedar tones. Fruitiness is present in small quantities. Musty herbalness also come through on the palate. Caramel sweetness blends with a minute cider-like quality. Drinkability is great. Body is about medium.

Last winter I didn't care for this beer. Thought it tasted like a wheat style beer. This year I had a knowledgeable friend tip me off that this beer is best at a year old and that it was a Dubbel in style. He told me of a store where they were discounted and I cashed in.

Bighuge, Mar 24, 2003
Photo of kindestcut
2.83/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

kindestcut, Mar 14, 2003
Photo of Morris729
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange amber color with a thick and creamy off-white colored head with nice retention that slowly dissipates into a heavy and bubbly lace. Nose is lightly toasted malt and grains, a bit of caramel, and some notes of cloves and nutmeg. Medium in body with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Taste is sweet toasted malts up front followed by flavors of dark fruits, a bit of spice, and alcohol. There is a bite of citrusy hops in the finish. This is a decent brew but is not as good as several other North Coast beers I’ve had. Still, it does pair well with a cold and rainy evening like tonight.

Morris729, Feb 21, 2003
Photo of BeerManDan
4.65/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It poured an amber color with very little foam and nice lace. The aroma was of roasted malts, big time. The taste was of sweet creamy roasted malts with a hint of spices. This is a smooth, creamy, sweet, pleasant beer that is very good, I think. It has a well balance, complex aroma and taste. If you don't like bitterness and like a smooth, mellow, creamy, off sweet, malty beer. This is the one for you!

BeerManDan, Feb 19, 2003
Photo of Mark
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love North Coast beer and I was excited to try this on a dark winter night watching T.V. with Suzanne. I was a bit let down when I discoverd this was a spiced beer. I was expecting a malty strong ale or even a barley wine style. Appearance was a attractive deep clear amber, a nice head lasted and left intricate lacing. Aroma was of spice which as I mentioned above was a letdown. Taste was spice accented, clove mainly I would think. Solid mouthfeel. Drinkability only so so for me, but spice lovers should take to this beer.

Mark, Feb 11, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This really grew on me as I drank it and as it warmed.
Malty, slightly sweet aroma with a slight roast quality. Little caramel and some phenol. Nice complexity. Pretty amber color (like an Marzen), clear large full head with good lacing.
Flavor not over powering with a slight hard water quality. Mostly malt, with good balancing with hops. Taste become richer and more satisfying as drink warmed. Pretty good ale smoothness with richness noted.
As this sat it became more flavorful, almost like it needed to breath (like a red wine). Seems like an ale version of a Marzen with similar malt make-up, but with nice ale smoothness.

garymuchow, Feb 02, 2003
Photo of chilidog
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this seasonal and I got more than I was expecting from it. I found it poured a nice clear red-amber with a slight off-white head that maintained ok. The aroma is of a spicey hop. The taste was well balanced I thought of malt, spice, grain & hop. Not overpowering in one area over another. While not to be overlooked is a slight alcohol warmth to the mouth/chest. A very nice Wintertime brew.

chilidog, Jan 12, 2003
Photo of BeerAngel
2.83/5  rDev -19.8%
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!

BeerAngel, Jan 10, 2003
Photo of sponberg
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

sponberg, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of Pegasus
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Flawlessly clear dark copper color with a large off-white cloud top head and lots of sticky broken lace and good retention. Cloves are quite prominent in the aroma, as well as nutmeg, dark fruits, and toasted malt. Taste begins with strong toasted malt flavor, alcohol, and some spiciness, although less than the aroma would suggest. Late in the taste spicy, mildly bitter but quite lingering hops make their presence known. The finish is dry; mouthfeel seems a bit watery for this style.

Pegasus, Dec 21, 2002
Photo of Brent
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle gives no clue as to the style of the beer, and I spent most of my time trying to tag the character. Yeasty, spicy aroma wafts from the beer - Belgian? Dark Hefe? Very malty, at the start with the beer still quite chilly, caramel jumps up and takes charge of the flavor, but the finish lets in a bit of cereal for an end that that hints of Cracker Jacks popcorn and nuts. Once the beer warmed, a more phenolic aspect asserted itself and it seemed to switch nationality from Belgian to German with clove flavors from the yeast bubbling up. Not a great beer, but a good beer and a nice winter diversion.

Brent, Dec 21, 2002
Photo of ADR
2.98/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

ADR, Dec 18, 2002
Photo of hyuga
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2002 edition. Cloudy amber with a small off-white head that thins quickly. Aroma of dried fruit and subtle spices, as well as some sweeter fruitiness and maltiness. A bit peaty as well. Maltiness is first, a bit grainy, but more wood-like and spicy. Nutty and fruity as well. Winter spices are definitely present. Slight hop character combined with the grain gives it a bit of crispness to balance out the sweetness. Unique, but very much in tune with the season. Medium-bodied and flavorful with complexity from the spices. Hops are more apparent in the finish. Very tasty, but it could get cloying after a while. I think I'll get more of this before the season is over.

hyuga, Nov 27, 2002
Photo of Gusler
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a nice dark ruby red, the head quite small, the lace adequate. Nose is citrus, malts, sweet, nutmeg maybe. Start is slightly sweet, the top is light, the finish has a penetrating acidity, with a pleasing hop bite and a long lasting dry aftertaste A decent beer, drinkable, and a pleasant enough distraction from the "Strong Belgian Ales", that I love.

Gusler, Nov 23, 2002
Photo of DrewS
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper brown with a nice head that fades into a thin layer. The aroma smacks of sweet malt with something else going on that I can't identify. Seems like it wants to be sweet but dries up quickly. Mouthfeel is pretty watery with some stinging carbonation. I really thought it would be a little more smooth and creamy. Flavor is of malt and some spice with noticeable hop bitterness at the end. Frankly, I am a little disappointed with this brew as it is somewhat thin and not remarkably complex. It's ok, but I expected more from North Coast.

DrewS, Nov 14, 2002
Photo of TXHops
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hey BA's--A week or two ago someone posed us a question on the forum: something to the affect: have you heard of Northcoast Festivus Maximus? I followed the thread for a day or two and no one knew what it was. Well, at Central Market tonight I found some--it's Northcoast's annual Winter Time beer. The website still has no mention of it. I'm drinking it now and it's Belgian in style, like it always is. It's the color of Sam Adams Boston Lager, with a slightly more beige head, which isn't interested in hanging around for long. It's got a nose of spicing: maybe nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon? I'm not real good at identifying spice since I try to avoid spiced beer, but I've got some now. It might also have either coriander or bitter orange peel (if not both) as it reminds me a little of the celery-like flavor I always think Belgian Wits exhibit. It doesn't taste or feel too terribly strong: maybe 7.5%? The finish is quite long and reminiscent of cocoa butter suntan lotion. Since I don’t like spiced beer, I’m not an accurate judge of its merits. I’ve tried to be objective, but I can’t guarantee it…

TXHops, Nov 08, 2002
Photo of RBorsato
4.53/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with nice tan head that had some staying power. Sediment evident. Raisiney and light Belgian yeasty aroma. Light raisiney Belgian double malt character. Medium bodied, smooth, creamy (like velvet)...

Going out on a limb here but I think this beer was a really light Belgian double meaning you can drink more than one since the strength is not noticable.... very nice!

RBorsato, Oct 11, 2002
Photo of marc77
3/5  rDev -15%
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.

marc77, Aug 08, 2002
Photo of StevieW
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

StevieW, Jun 08, 2002
Wintertime Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.