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Wassail Ale - Woodstock Inn Brewery

Wassail AleWassail Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.81%


Brewed by:
Woodstock Inn Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Deep ruby hue, A hearty full bodies holiday ale . Very malty with assertive hoppiness combining with alcohol warmth.

(Beer added by: Todd on 03-06-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nebula1999
nebula1999

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 01:11:25 | More by nebula1999
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best by November '09, sampled in February '09. Brewed and bottled by Shipyard Brewing Co., 1.079 OG. It pours a crystal-clear dark crimson, with low carbonation and a finger of tan head that reduces to a collar of fine froth. Rich and malty in the nose, with sweet, raisiny crystal malts, lightly floral hops (or yeast esters), cherries and assorted dried fruits. Nice caramelly malts on the palate, with fruity yeast, floral alcohol, some British hops, a light sweetness and a dash of chocolate malt on top of a medium, lightly tingly body that smooths out toward the end. Nice to see a winter warmer that shies away from spices and relies on malty goodness to produce a solid winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 20:18:23 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of scottg
scottg

Vermont

4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
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!

Serving type: cask

11-10-2008 17:25:53 | More by scottg
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 01:15:48 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of weazal
weazal

California

4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SMELL: A uniquely delicious aroma! Mostly mouth-watering sweet caramel/toffee and raisins. Perhaps some dates and a hint of bananas. Some yeasty depth.

TASTE: Bold, full sweetness up front. Buttery toffee countered by dry nuttiness and faint hops towards the end. Good, fairly unique, pronounced flavors. Perhaps not the most refined, but enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 07:17:58 | More by weazal
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep copper color with a meager off-white head and fair lacing. The aroma is pretty intense butterscotch clover with heavy malt and lots of honey. Wow! Anxious to see how this meade-like holiday madness translates. And the first mouthful immediately answers with chocolate covered cherries bathed in thick honey. There are still some "scotchy" hints but this is mostly about sweet malty holiday charm around the fireplace. It's a solidly medium bodied brew with a near watery feel, minor carbonation. A fun brew worth enjoying while waiting for Santa. Probably not one to session unless the old fella is content to skip the rest of his route.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 05:57:24 | More by Durge
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 15:10:52 | More by tigg924
Photo of Bassetdawg
Bassetdawg

Maine

3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle, poured into a shaker

Appearance: dark copper color, one finger light brown head, with some lacing

Aroma: mild aroma of sweet malt and a touch of cinnamon and other spices

Taste and Mouth feel: sweet toasted malt flavor, highlighted with cinnamon and spice. It has a smooth mouth feel.

Drinkability: A nice winter warmer, very drinkable, one that only hints at the abv.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 00:33:59 | More by Bassetdawg
Photo of DirtyPenny
DirtyPenny

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle tucked into my Leinenkugel pint glass for a long winter's nap. Well, it's April now, but you get the picture.

A: Cinnamon red/brown with an inch of beige head. Lots of webwork lacing. Head gradually disappears, but a think layer of foam is always left on top.

S: Spices, cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of pie crust and sourdough.

T: Cinnamon and nutmeg into caramel sweetness, with a touch of cough syrup and some chocolate malt bitterness on the tail end. Holy god, 8% ABV!? The booze in this is incredibly well hidden.

M: Creamy, with the resulting foam in each sip making each mouthful feel a little thicker than normal.

O: Purchased a single of this on clearance and wish I'd bought a whole six pack. Really fantastic and flavorful winter beer that I'll be looking for again at the end of the year.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 01:11:15 | More by DirtyPenny
Photo of mountdew1
mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2008 23:28:30 | More by mountdew1
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 21:56:04 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had 2 pints of this tonight whilst dining with Alewife, Scheister and the Princess at the Woodstock Inn....

Served in a 16oz shaker, it was a clear, deep amber-hued bier, with little carbo rising within. Head was frothy but short, off white and fine. Thinned rapidly, leaving mainly a ring around the rim and some lacing. Aroma was a bit restrained, but displayed some nice malt and some cinnamon, amongst other spicy notes. Body was a solid medium, and the feel across the tongue was nicely smooth.

Flavor was quite similar, to me, of the Sammy Winter Lager. Malty at the start, with a light, toasty sweetness, along with a strong spice backbone. Cinnamon and a smidge of allspice? A touch of orange peel slips in... Floral hops are evident, though by no means pronounced. Finish is somewhat dry, though the spiceage lingers a bit. ABV is supposedly in the 8-9% range, though I hardly noticed its effects. No "heat" felt going down the hatch, yet it did lend a warmth to the body. I see last years review was not too flattering, but I found this to be a decent quaffer.

Prosit!!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

958

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2007 02:19:31 | More by Bierman9
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Into a pint glass:

A: dark brown colored body yielding a nice two finger white foamy head. Some nice spider web yet light foamy lacing speckles the sides of the glass.

S: spicy having the normal winter spices up front such as nutmeg, allspice and ginger. There is some light brown sugar in the background.

T: semi-sweet with the previously mentioned flavors and light bitterness coming in through some light hops, mostly balanced.

M: medium, could be ranging closer to heavy . . . hmmm, a mostly one and done in a session, maybe. Some light sharpness a bit here and there, nothing obscure

O: this is a good winter warmer that I would come back to.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 23:57:36 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 05:03:43 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of ncvbc
ncvbc

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby amber in color, light carbonation and a very thin white head that fades to nothing. Smell is nice and malty. A good nutty and buttery scent comes through along with some sweetness of caramel. This is even more pronounced in taste and I like it. A good bready quality to the malt also. Some spicy hints and earthy hops. Good stuff. I find this pretty drinkable. Not the best Winter Warmer but I can dig it.

Thanks to joepais for this as an extra!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 03:19:06 | More by ncvbc
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best by 09/09 and brewed by Shipyard, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Vigorous pour results in only half an inch of frothy off-white head atop a hazy red-brown body. Mediocre retention and light lace. Quite boring.

S: Smooth, sweet, malty aroma; brown sugar and light spice.

T: More intense version of the nose, with added depth of both spice and maltiness. Toasty finish with just a slight hint of bitter hops. Smooth and warming, just right for a winter beer, but not really compelling.

M: Surprisingly thin on body, and a little flat.

D: Good balance of spice and sweetness, with a finish just bitter enough to stave off cloying. Hides the substantial ABV admirably.

Notes: While certainly an imperfect beer in several major ways, it does its job quite well. I've also tried the fresher batch of this that was brewed on-premises, and it was even smoother and richer. Definitely one of the strongest offerings from Woodstock.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 02:32:10 | More by woosterbill
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 19:48:31 | More by puboflyons
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

09' bottle with a December 09' best buy date received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a fairly transparent copper with a 2 finger off white crown that shows moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Light sweet malt, raisin, a touch of floral hops and winter seasonal spices including cinnamon.

Taste: Same as nose but with a dash of cherry sweetness. Not bad at all!

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly well balanced with a rather light body.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 00:28:40 | More by koopa
Photo of Nascartailgatefa
Nascartailgatefa

New York

3.78/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 21:35:57 | More by Nascartailgatefa
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 23:55:03 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of kristiekatk
kristiekatk

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wassail Ale pours the same light brown as the bottle it comes in. A small and fizzy head quickly recedes to a thin, bubbly ring. Its aroma is full of spices, with cinnamon standing at the forefront. Fruits, chocolate and molasses are also in the very sweet mix.

The taste is very similar to the nose; sweet/toasted malts, cherries, scotch and floral hops. Some spices linger in a very stiff and dry finish that is also accompanied by a somewhat bitter aftertaste. At 8% alc/vol, Wassail definitely starts giving you some warmth after a few sips, but hides its alcohol very well.

Slick and smooth and with a medium body, I think if Wassail were a bit heavier, it would have matched the flavor profile and alcohol content a bit better. Though it has a great spice/sweet balance, overall, there is nothing incredibly compelling about it.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 03:21:24 | More by kristiekatk
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean reddish brown beer with a small creamy off with head. The aroma is full of caramel and butterscotch with hints of nutmeg and allspice in the background. A light touch of caramel sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Followed by a one-two punch of a spicy hop bitterness and a slow burn of alcohol. There are hints of butterscotch and cinnamon on the finish

butterscotch?=ringwood? yes?

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 00:41:10 | More by ybnorml
Photo of lpayette
lpayette

Vermont

3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby caramel color with a small head that manages some lacing.

The smell slightly favors the sweet side with nutty and slightly herbal notes. Caramel and very mild tobacco.

Upon the first sip I got a really nice and impressive blast of nutty and caramel flavors. After the initial shock. Further sips mellow out the initial shock to the palate and reveal a wide array of flavors. Biscuity, herbal, medicinal, grainy finish, phenols, citrus, clove, banana, a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg(?), a bit buttery (unfortunate), apple cider, tobacco, and if not peat malt, a combination of the above listed flavors to mimic a hint of it. Quite complex, but the flavor profile didn't blend quite right for me.

Overall a very interesting beer that is definitely worth giving a shot. This is the last one of the 4-pack I bought in the winter... I'll pick up some more next year when it comes out. Not a bad representation of the style at all.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2008 06:37:44 | More by lpayette
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint on Sunday with lunch at Sunset Cantina on Comm Ave. Served in a standard pint glass. Not much head on top. Dark brown or mahogany color. Minimal carbonation. Smelled like cinnamon and some clove spices. Taste was a bit subdued, which I liked more than I expected. With some winter warmers, sometimes there is too much fake spice added. This wassail reminded me a lot of a dark ale, with subtle spices notes here and there. Mouthfeel was a bit unusual, as you could really notice the lack of hop backbone. A bit watery and malty at the same time. A decent winter warmer which I would drink more often during the cold months if it were more available.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2009 22:49:11 | More by morebeergood
Photo of bort11
bort11

Missouri

3.68/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 04:40:34 | More by bort11
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Wassail Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.