Wassail Ale - Woodstock Inn Brewery

Not Rated.
Wassail AleWassail Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

48 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 94
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 7.48%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 94
Photo of brewandbbq
2.54/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap after a great day at Loon.
Bartender had no information on this beer other than it's 8.0%abv.
Dark amber in color,off white head,no haze.
Big roasted component in the nose along with malt,spice,sugars and butter.
Medium bodied with a lingering gription on the tounge.
A bit harsh up front with a bitter,slightly hot character in the middle, followed by a lingering bitterness and residual sweetness.
Spicing is a little over the top, first comes nutmeg,clove,maybe black pepper and an astringency liken to licking a cinnamon stick.
Alcohol is noticable but overpowered by roasted malts,unfermentables,spice and butter.
Finish is long and not inviting for the next sip,bitter and slightly hot.
Sweetness lingers on the pallet.
No decernable hops.
Nice lacing all the way down.
Kind of like a big Irish Red fermented with Ringwood and spiked with brown sugar and spice. (887 characters)

Photo of jlindros
2.76/5  rDev -23.5%
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. (1,667 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.91/5  rDev -19.4%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Barb's Beer Emporium in Concord. Pours a translucent brown body with no head to speak of. Smells nutty, slightly spicy, and buttery. Nut and spice dominate the flavor, with fairly strong suggestions of butter and alcohol. Medium in both mouthfeel and carbonation. That, in conjunction with the flavors being a bit more harsh than I would expect for the style, makes this a bit of a sipper. Overall, an okay winter warmer, no more, no less. (456 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I know it says unknown ABV on here but on the Woodstock Inn website it lists the Wassail as 8% ABV so this is a pretty hefty guy.

It's a strong beer and tastes like one. It lives up to its name and certainly warms you but I feel the alcohol taste overpowers any spicy/wintery taste the brewery was going for. The most appealing part of this beer is the amazing deep red color it pours and the nice aroma. Taste is a bit harsh but not too bad. (443 characters)

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a variety 12-pack on sale for $10 at Beverage King in West Lebanon, NH. Best by date of Dec 2010 stamped on the label. Poured into a chilled pint glass.

Clear reddish-brown brew, 1" of fizzy head quickly settles to a thin layer. Nose of warm spices, muddy hops, brown sugar, hint of lemon peel. Taste is much the same, with a long lemon, orange, and clove finish. Hoppier than it smells and has a bit of alcohol warmth and bite. Lively carbonation keeps it feeling crisp and may help hide the alcohol. Not a bad brew, worthy of trying. (548 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (655 characters)

Photo of GWaters
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a standard brown 12 oz bottle.
Best before November 2009

Served in a Sam Adams Sensory Glass at Cellar temperature.
Cellar @: 40-45°F
Not recommended for extended cellaring, unless ABV exceeds average range

Pour: Unlike many of the review I have read, I found this beer to pour with a really nice foamy head. The foam was thick, and just eclipsed the rim of my glass - 2 fingers. The foam capped a clear mahogany colored liquid, with very little evidence of carbonation other than the foam on the top.

Smell: The scent of spicey caramel and toffee jumps right out with a strong alcohol scent. A dark piney backer in the scent brings brings in the thoughts of a winter ale, cold nights and warm fireplaces. As the foam and agitation subsides, nutmeg is more noticable, and points out it was there before, but the other scents covered it.

Taste: Strong burnt alcohol flavor bites the tongue right away. Notes of spicey nutmeg and caramel are hinted but washed out by a piney/alcohol bite. Not a very pleasant flavor, but it could wake you out of a winter slumber. If you don't discount this ale early on, it will reward you with other characters as you adjust to the strength of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: A dry medium bodied ale. The dryness of teh alcohol, and strength of teh spice doesn't make this a soothing experience, but then again it wasn't designed to be. In a word - edgey!

Drinkability: For the Whisk(e)y drinker this is a tasty exuberant ale. There is a lot of energy here, but it could be construed as harsh, and the faint of heart need not apply. In either case, I don't see this as a "go to" or a session ale. This my friends is a warmer, and will warm you, but that is the soul purpose. I guess it is sold in 4 packs for a reason. (1,765 characters)

Photo of Hokies
3.32/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep amber color with a very thin head and no lace. Aroma is filled with roasted malts, butter and some cinnamon spice. The spices dominate the taste with some sweet malt and then a very faint hop bitterness kicks in at the end. This is actually a nice winter warmer except the spices are a little to much after a while. (366 characters)

Photo of dananabanana
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (373 characters)

Photo of MaineBirdMan
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (422 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (276 characters)

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light, but bright brown. Very thin white head.

S: Malty sweet with a hint of spice.

T: Very similar to the nose. Malt and caramel mostly, the spices come as an aftertaste, compared to up front like other winter warmers I've experienced.

M: Pretty smooth, well carbonated, but it works in its favor.

D: Was surprised to see 8% ABV, not insanely high, but masked well and enjoyable. (388 characters)

Photo of tekstr1der
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (330 characters)

Photo of dickieb
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (518 characters)

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
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). (841 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.
Best before 11.2009.

Pours a clean, deep maple beneath a creamy, off-white head that sits up about a half of an inch. Patches of condensed lacing with pretty good strength.

Sweet caramel and toffee aromas with a hefty dose of diacetyl. Mildly phenolic with a dry, nutty profile: almond, faint hazlenut. Notes of ginger, light saffron, and nutmeg.

Buttery caramel malts that impart a mild milk chocolate and toffee flavor. The nutty character is rather pronounced, especially almond flavors which adds a moderate dryness. Stiff, floral hops that impart an earthen, musty flavor profile. Adjunctory wheat preceding the dry finish.

A full, medium in body. Initially a creamy texture that is soon followed by a dry stiffness. Interesting changes in texture while still being able to balance the flavors.

A pretty buttery Winter Warmer that is far less spicy than most. A decent offering, but a little too creamy for my taste. Not bad, but not a Winter Warmer that I will seek out next year. (1,036 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
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. (543 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
3.64/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wassailing we will go? Pours a darker amber boarder line brown color. A good pour leaves a pretty hazy appearance. A soft white head that did dissipate over time. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is mostly toffee. Straight up toffee with no real distinct malt notes. There are some beer notes with a light alcohol and estery finish. Some light hibiscus and floral notes. A light blend of spices, cinnamon and cloves mostly.

The taste is a bit more palatable. The toffee is the biggest flavor but more malty notes come out. Noticeable caramel and grainy flavors mixes with a very sweet almost brown sugar finish. The yeasty notes come out more as well. Some solvent characteristics as well as some rose like tastes. The spices back down with subtle hints of cinnamon. In the finish there is a slight woody note that blends with a slight herbal hop flavor.

The body is moderate with a sweet finish that is a bit off setting. Almost unattenuated but does feel like it's finished. Carbonation is good. Overall enjoyable, I would have liked more spices in the flavor and a dry finish but still enjoyable for sure. (1,111 characters)

Photo of bort11
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (363 characters)

Photo of albertjr21
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a snifter on 6-18-12.

A: Reddish brown color under a light tan head.

S: Toasted rich malty aroma with notes of gingerbread cookie, raisin, cherry, peppermint.

M/T: Malt body dominates with a naturally sweet and dark bready flavor complemented by a fruity and peppermint like cool taste. (300 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (465 characters)

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Wassail Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.