1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
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 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 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 dananabanana
dananabanana

Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2009 15:05:53 | More by dananabanana
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2008 20:31:57 | More by lordofthewiens
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 brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

2.53/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2005 22:41:45 | More by brewandbbq
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 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 albertjr21
albertjr21

New York

3.65/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 02:27:08 | More by albertjr21
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 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 Kinsman
Kinsman

California

3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
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).

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 01:17:30 | More by Kinsman
Photo of DrinkingDrake
DrinkingDrake

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 01:01:15 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of connecticutpoet
connecticutpoet

Connecticut

3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 05:03:26 | More by connecticutpoet
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 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 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 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 BeerNinja007
BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 00:28:26 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of MaineBirdMan
MaineBirdMan

Maine

3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2010 18:04:10 | More by MaineBirdMan
Photo of mostpoetsdo
mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 21:43:30 | More by mostpoetsdo
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 donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 20:31:20 | More by donkeyrunner
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Wassail Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.