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Wassail Ale - Woodstock Inn Brewery

Not Rated.
Wassail AleWassail Ale

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

92 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | 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 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 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 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 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 weazal
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of Durge
4.01/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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 koopa
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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 mostpoetsdo
3.45/5  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.

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 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 woosterbill
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

Photo of mmmbeer
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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 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 morebeergood
3.7/5  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.

Photo of GWaters
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Photo of NEhophead
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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 Hokies
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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.

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