Motor City Winter Ale - Motor City Brewing Works

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Motor City Winter Ale
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BA SCORE
85
very good

16 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 16
Reviews: 4
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 7.16%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Motor City Brewing Works visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: StoutHunter on 01-21-2014

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 4
Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/17/2014. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, apple, spruce, pine, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hop/spruce, and light-moderate fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, apple, spruce, pine, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, apple, spruce, pine, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops/spruce, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly crisp/sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a good strong ale style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops/spruce, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of Ginsaghn
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer served at the brew house yesterday. Spruce tips?! Starts malty finishes clean and crisp for an %8.8 very solid winter beer out of Detroit. More of a winter ale color and spice to the malt and alc content of a barley wine, solid grab.

Photo of BobbyOlson
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really like this beer. I was unsure what the "spice" in the beer was when I was drinking at the pub. Had I known it was spruce I may not have tried. It is not overly spruce and I taste a bit of nutmeg in there too. I will order this again next season!

Photo of StoutHunter
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Motor City's Winter Ale that I got in their new variety pack a couple weeks ago for $20 at The Lager Mill. This beer caught my eye because it says it's brewed with Spruce tips, at first I assumed it would be a lighter ale but once I looked at the back of label I found out it's an 8.8% Barleywine, the idea of a Barleywine brewed with spruce tips intrigues me, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Release. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label isn't that great looking it's just the typical Motor City Brewing emblem with a very dark green background, it's not that eye catching. It poured a nice fairly hazy burnt orange color that took on more of caramel color when held to the light with a fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking, beer, I thought the color was pretty nice.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that has a very slight brown sugar like aroma to it followed by a nice fruity aroma, there's some nice dark fruit aromas but there's also some apple and white grape like aromas. Up next comes a light piney aroma that must be from the spruce tips and it's followed by some sweet malts and light caramel malt aromas with a noticeable alcohol aroma that isn't too boozy. This was a decent smelling beer, but it didn't have all the Barleywine aspects that I look for and it seemed a little simple.

T- The taste seems to be a little different from the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart a pretty generic grainy flavor and toasted malt flavor with a light caramel malt like flavor in the background. In the middle there's an earthy and very light piney flavor that is barely noticeable and it must be from the spruce tips. Up next comes a pretty light fruit flavor with no single fruit sticking out the most with a noticeable amount of alcohol showing up, but it's not boozy. On the finish there's a lighter amount of medium bitterness with a generic malt aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but it wasn't very Barleywine like and the spruce tips were hardly noticeable.

M- Fairly smooth, clean, a little cirsp, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is ok, it's fairly smooth, but it isn't very true to style.


I thought this beer was just ok and I didn't think it was a good example of a American Barleywine, it didn't have most of the things that I look for in the style and I don't really know what style to place this as, but it does remind of stronger amber ale I once I had. I also thought that the Spruce Tips didn't really add anything to this beer. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, clean, crisp and not filling, but the taste didn't do a good job at holding my attention, I got bored with it pretty fast and one is enough for me, I have no urge to drink another one in a row. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it wasn't bad and I thought the color was pretty nice. What I liked the least about this beer was that the spruce tips barely showed up and that it wasn't very Barleywine like, I would say it's pretty close to false advertising. I wouldn't buy this beer again, I didn't really enjoy it and I wouldn't recommend it. All in all I wasn't feeling this beer, it was pretty bland and it wasn't at all what I expected from a Barleywine style ale brewed with Spruce Tips. This isn't my least favorite beer from Motor City, but it's a little close and so far I still think they need to stick with the English styles since those are their only beers that I enjoy. Better luck next time guys, this beer needs some major work or just a name change all together, either way it wasn't that great.

Motor City Winter Ale from Motor City Brewing Works
85 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.