Wassail Ale - Woodstock Inn Brewery

Not Rated.
Wassail AleWassail Ale

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

92 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Woodstock Inn Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-06-2005

Deep ruby hue, A hearty full bodies holiday ale . Very malty with assertive hoppiness combining with alcohol warmth.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by tpauer:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was my nighttime beer when I stayed at the inn. It started out well, with a rich, red/brown color, medium-sized head, nice lacing. Pretty nice, though understated, aroma of some fruit and spice. The taste was of slightly sour fruit, which wasn't bad, but there was a rough, pervasive, fusel alcohol taste. It turned out to be a fairly difficult beer to drink, and I didn't go back to it.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, amber in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, alcohol, tad bit of cherry and fruit cake

Taste: cinnamon, oak, cherry, toasted malt, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with a bittering oak backbone

Drinkability: If not for the abv, could have several. I like the way Woodstock does seasonals--very spicy and complex. perhaps my favorite winter warmer this year.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Best before Nov. 8th '08, consumed on 12/21/07)
12 oz. bottle> 16 oz. SA boston Lager glass.

A very clear, well carbonated amber-brown color with a solid, one-finger head that dissipates slow but eventually goes away and leaves some long sticky legs it it's wake for a while.

I noticed something right off, the smooth, buttery and sweet malt. Caramel sweet. The aroma is enough to make you realize this malt is going to be sweet and smooth. Underneath is a rightously herbal and peppery spice-cabintet effect that just goes really well with the big malt sweetness. The overall effect is really, really nice.

Oh boy, just as I thought...the malt is huge. Sweet, caramel flavor, and the feel is sooo smooth and buttery...this Wassail has the biggest malt presence I've noticed in any winter-style ale. Of course, there is the herbal, zesty spice part of the brew. It's just the right amount and effect for my taste. I would say this is 60 % malt dominated with the rest of the flavors being shared by a nice spicey, herbal, hopiness and a well-hidden but very warming 8.1 % ABV heat.

Medium to full bodied, very smooth....buttery smooth and rather hefty for the style. overall: Nice.

This is a nice 4-pack, and the BEST Wassail, winter ale, Winter Warmer brrw I've had. Period.

Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mouth creamy,caramel malt job. Malt in aroma, and a pinch of cinammon and other common drops of kitchen spice rack and cooking chocolate. Foaming head. Not bad, not too sweet though sweet, but finishable only if very thirsty. A tad of dryness, toastiness.1900th bottle review.

Photo of MaineBirdMan
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into pint glass
No head
Dark copper
floral nose with a hint of citrus
good amount of carbonation
had a musty and peppery taste. There was a warming quality to it (might be why it's a "winter warmer").
Smooth finish. Slightly bitter. Stays with you for a little while.
I was happy that there wasn't a mixture of nutmeg/cinn/orange zest.
Woodstock has some nice labels and this was one of them.

Photo of Kinsman
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a nice bright ruby red body and briefly capped by a dense ivory colored head that faded with no lace left behind.

Nice strong malty aroma with lots of caramel and toffee notes. A bit fruity as well.

Sweet and a bit boozy upfront like any good winter warmer should be. A bit of apple fruitiness and some caramel notes to go along. Bold hop flavors come in next with a bit of a herbal character that leaves plenty of bitterness. It's nice to have the hops to balance out such a malty brew but something doesn't fit in right. Not sure what varieties are used so it's hard to say what exactly is going on.

Mouthfeel is thick and a bit creamy. Overall, Wassail is probably my favorite of the Woodstock beers but this bottle doesn't quite do it justice. On cask at the brewpub it was much better (unfortunately no notes for review).

Photo of puboflyons
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of Oct 2010. Sampled on January 18, 2010. The pour is a ruby-red to brownish tone with only about a quarter inch of beige frothy head that goes away quickly. Nice clarity. Lots of carbonation at first. The lead aroma is malts with a vague hint of fruitiness and firewood. The mouthfeel is in the medium range with a smooth texture. The taste tends to go toward the hoppiness more than the malts. You get a maty aroma and a hoppy taste. It is the best of both worlds. It is not spicy like so many other holiday ales but it has a character of its own that I like.

Photo of scottg
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from cask into a pint glass at the brewpub.

Note: The wassail being served on cask at the brewpub has been aged for 1 year so it is different from the beer in bottles.

Pours a cloudy amber color with orange hues with a one finger off white head with great retention. Caramel, raisins, stone fruit and alcohol aromas. Grape flavors from rasins to green grape, sweet malt flavor, alcohol warmth. Light carbonation, medium body, very creamy mouth coating feel to this beer. Great drinkability, as soon as I finished this one I asked for another. If your in the area, stop in and get one on cask before it is all gone!

Photo of nebula1999
4.39/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 offering poured into small chalice. Dark copper color with thin head. Smells of sweet grain and caramel. Delicious and mildly sweet as it washes over the tongue, leaving a faint bitterness in the end. Although some spice is definitely present, I'm not sensing the spice wallop that others speak of. Warming, but not overpowering in its after effects. If not for its 8% ABV, I'd drink this one all night! A Winter Warmer that I will seek out again in years to come.

Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard shaker pint glass. Color was a nice dark reddish brown that let most of the light through. Head was negligable, but left a ring around the top and a small island in the middle. Smell was brown sugary sweet with hints of citrus. Taste reminded me of cinnamon with nutmeg, but the citrus and sugar also kicked through. Mouthfeel was a little off. The beer clung nicely, however it was slightly bitter and acidic on the toungue. It was pleasant to drink, and definitely warmed the body.

Photo of tekstr1der
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap. I was looking forward to this as it was their strongest offering last visit. Reddish-brown in appearance, with a tan head that quickly dissipates. Aromas of spice and malt, it's appealing. Initial flavor is strange with some medicinal taste, but quickly mellows to a smooth, malty and sweet finish. Not bad, but not great.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An aside: contract brewed by Shipyard. I bought this at a grocery store 2 minutes from the Woodstock Inn brewery to experience local flair only to find it came from Portland Maine. That grinds my gears.

Clear, copper color. Thin head that died an instantaneous, almost miraculous death. Smells like a sweet, nutty, buttery Scotch ale with xmas spice. Roast chestnut and peat malt depth.

Maple syrup and mild peat. Spices compliment the beer as opposed to vice versa. Lingering, cloying sweet aftertaste. A little overcarbonated.

I like it.

Photo of Nascartailgatefa
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on tap at Durgin Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

Light but bright brown in color. Two finger width head, good lacing and head retention.

Sweet and slightly spicy aroma.

Sweet and malty taste again with a spicy finish. Good mouthfeel. Fairly drinkable. I've had better but I have certainly had worse.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brownish orange color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of spices along with some fruit, caramel, nuts, a touch of chocolate and some hops.

T: The taste starts out nutty and spicy with some flavors of caramel and fruit along with smokiness in the background. Then there's a decent hops presence that comes in. However, instead of providing balance, it provides a dry bitterness and creates a bitter after-taste.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, even though I don't often drink beers in this style, there are several other Winter Warmers I would choose before this one.

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed from an Opa-Opa pint glass. On the pour, this beer produced a four finger head floating atop a clear brown body.

Aroma was of darker malt, caramel, light spices, and a little bit of fruitcake. I couldn't pick any individual spices out of the mix.

Taste was a bit sweet, with caramel and toffee in the front. Spices and a woody character came through on the finish.

Mouthfeel was pretty average. Not syrupy, and the spices didn't coat the tongue, which was good.

Only average marks for drinkability. As winter warmers go, this one was pretty run-of-the-mill, nothing to make it stand out of the crowd. I was glad it was only a 12 ounce bottle.

Photo of dickieb
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark amber starting with a few fingers of head, and working down to some above average lacing. The smell is malty with butterscotch and a small hint of some spices. The flavor is mostly caramel and malts along with a good hit of bittering hops, and some subtle spices. A buttery aftertaste from what I would assume is the ringwood yeast lingers for a bit. The mouthfeel is average for 5%, and light for the 8% I believe it to be. Drinkable, but the buttery aftertaste would get to me after more than one.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Best Before Date notched at Oct 11. Pours a dark burnt orange color with a good amount of head. Some lacing. Aromas of toffee, caramel, and malts. Smells very sweet and a bit boozey. Taste has a nice slight alcohol burn upfront followed by the toffee and caramel flavors. Some spice to this beer as well. Warming alcohol finish. Overall this is a pretty good sipper for the colder months. Worth a second look.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle with a buddy. Bottled dated good until November 11. Poured out a reddish brown with little head. Nose was a lot of alcohol, bourbon and burnt caramel. Flavor gives a lot of toasty and toffee malts. A balanced amount of holiday spice character. Brown sugar all the way through to the finish. Cinnamon comes through on the finish along with a lot of bourbon barrel. Body is medium and sugary sweet with a more than average amount of carbonation.

Photo of jlindros
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Haven't had many of the Woodstock beers, in fact I think the Pigs Ear brown is the only one I've had. Well, since this crosses my winter beer review quest, here comes my first Woodstock review.

A: A fluffy head keeps rising for a few seconds after the pour as it settles onto a 2 finger head, with fluffy nougat looking head. It's a brilliantly clear amber red maroon like brown color.

N: Weird, its sweet and fruity! Sweetness from lots of malts and perhaps brown sugar really fly out and bombard you. Then some fruity aromas come out, more like a fruit punch than any specific fruits. A light molasses like syrupy aroma also can be detected.

T: Taste is not so good. It's really sweet, almost adjunct sweet flavored. A sweet molasses flavor really comes out, very much so. Again more strange fruit flavors, this time accompanied by alcohol taste, spice, and warmth. Lots of alcohol presence for only 8%. Some darker malts also taste themselves out, or something. Thick syrupy flavors and kinda bad malty flavors. Some weird nutty spice flavors also get their time in the light. It's not overbearing on spice, but there are some strange ones there, maybe nutmeg and nutty flavors.

M: Semi thick with good carbonation, some syrup, and alcohol spice and warmth.

F: Finishes sweet again and still more of the syrupy molasses like sweet stuff. More alcohol presence with some spice and warmth. It sticks to the mouth and doesn't really go away, pretty gritty. The weird bad malty flavors don't really fade either. Damn this is not really a drain pour, but not an easy drinker. This weird syrupy sticky bad flavor makes it more and more difficult to keep drinking.

Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three-fingered cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Flavor some caramel, with a balanced to bitter finish. Lingering bitter aftertaste. High ABV is hidden. $1.50 for a 12 oz bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a crystal clear, crisp, ruby coloring with a thick, dense, small bubbled head that is a light biege color, and stacks to about an inch and a half. Aromas are malty and rich, with a buttery overtone and some light clove and nutmeg spicing. Light cling to the glass. The beer has a tangy and rich malt profile, with a resiny hopping to balance. Toffee and caramel sweetness, with a slight roasting quality. Hops are light and bitter, with a wet and slick feel. There is a slight booze character that bleeds into the aftertaste, along with a crystal malt profile. The finish is light, with a slight, slick linger. Tasty brew.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Wassail is one of my favorite beers that are brewed at the Woodstock Inn. I was lucky enough to be at the Inn this year while it was on tap.

The beer pours a clear, brilliant ruby color with a tiny amount of foam on top. Only a few spots of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma is a wonderful combination of vanilla, cinnamon, sweet caramel malt and apples.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is slick on the palate with light carbonation. The flavor begins with sweet caramel malt. In the middle the flavor moves to fruity apples and cherry followed by cinnamon, molasses and nutmeg. It finishes dry with the cinnamon/nutmeg flavors linger on the palate.

With 8% abv this is definitely a sipping beer. It's easy drinking and well balanced. Great for a cold winters night.

Photo of dananabanana
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Very dark, you can't see through it. Brown, but ruby shows on the bottom when held up to the light. Off-white head.

S: Somewhat nutty, a little malty. Hops on the second sniff.

T: Bitter right away, but sweetish aftertaste. Nothing too remarkable or out of the ordinary.

M: Well-carbonated.

D: Surprisingly refreshing, which I did not expect from such a bitter beer.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with nice ruby/orange highlights. Stingy off white head dissipates quickly. Smells of toffee almost butterscotch.Some spices and alcohol in the nose as well. Taste is grainy malty toffee, blended with some holiday spices. Lingering nutmeg and alcohol in the finish. Very dry finish. Body is medium mouthfeel is sticky carbonation is crisp. Taste is a bit sweet and the alcohol a bit to present. Overall not a bad brew, just not remarkable either.

Photo of bort11
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Vermonthiker for this one.

12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk tulip. Mild 1/4 inch head but leaves some solid lacing. Color is a deep dark amber red.

Smell and taste has a warm and woody aroma, mixed with earthy spices. There is some ginger, orange peel, mild cocoa powder. Nice malty body.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but overall a flavorful sample.

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Wassail Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.