Winter Solstice - Indigo Imp Brewery
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
2.95/5 rDev -0.7%
Rich cherry red with bright orange edges. A generous amount of fine carbonation isn't up to the task of maintaining the fizzy crown for long. The foam is harsh and unsticky, which leaves the glass almost spotless. Other than a fantastic hue, there's nothing impressive about the appearance.
The aroma is sour, as expected. Otherwise, Winter Solstice doesn't smell much like a winter warmer/holiday ale. The Cascade hops are nonexistent and the orange peel and cinnamon are barely noted, if at all. The beer has some serious work to do on the taste buds.
I'm not feeling it. WS tastes like a caramel malted sour beer with a generic spiciness. It's a mishmash of flavors that doesn't come together well at all, not even with warming. It isn't horrible beer, but neither is it delicious, complex or interesting beer.
Far be it from me to give advice to a brewer, because I don't know the first thing about the business. Having said that... I think this whole wild yeast thing is the wrong tack to take. First, it isn't resulting in good beer. Second, it's hard to believe that sales are very high for beer of this sort, especially with a world-class outfit like Great Lakes in town.
Bottom line: different can be good, but it has to be *good* different. And it isn't in this case. Flavors include heavily toasted-earthy-nutty malt, steely caramel, sour-rancid fruit and a finishing tang of orange peel. There's very little cinnamon, which is probably just as well.
The mouthfeel is nowhere near where it should be for a winter seasonal. It's too thin and the bubbles are harsh and fizzy rather than soft and caressing. Bottle-conditioning might not be the right choice, unless it can be improved upon in future releases.
I would like nothing more than to see a new craft brewery succeed in my former home of Cleveland, Ohio. Unless some serious changes are made, though, I don't see Indigo Imp going the distance. Hopefully, I'll be proven wrong.
03-26-2009 13:16:22 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.05/5 rDev +2.7%
Had this one as an extra recently. I had never heard of it before, but needless to say the waxed cap look of it was outstanding to say the least! Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/28/2009.
The pour was the best part with a nice orange tinted light amber. Lots of carbonation was apparent in this one right away as it worked its way up to the top creating a nearly perfect looking head of white that lasted for a few brief moments before settling back down into a bare top with some light lacing along the sides and the bottom of the glass. The aroma was light and very different from what I was expecting to see to be honest. Light apricot and spice notes were prevalent here for sure. But as it warmed the aroma faded to next to nothing which was a little bit off putting. As I went in for the taste I experienced the same thing, Light fruit notes that were pitted against a light cinnamon spice. It was akin to a winter warmer but much, much lighter. Very light feels on this one as well as the carbonation which were both again very light. An easy drinker but to be honest I am not sure why I would want to have more then one glass,
Overall it was decent, just not my thing. If bottle looks were any indication on the overall results this thing would be tremendous, but otherwise it was just an average, lack luster beer.
04-30-2009 12:59:41 | More by mikesgroove
3.03/5 rDev +2%
Appearance: Pours a hazy, brown body with a small head that quickly fizzles away.
Smell: Tart-scented nose with notes of caramel, citrus, and dull, earthy spices.
Taste: Amalgamation of dusty caramel maltiness and an obstinate tartness. Subtle hints of spice, fruit, and citrus can be found amongst the overall taste flavor. Light hop bitterness. Finishes predictably tart.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonated.
Drinkability: Ok, listen up, so Indigo Imp beers are fermented in open fermentation tanks allowing for all sorts of wild yeasts (and imps) to permeate the final beer. That explains alot. Personally, I'd prefer the bottles to more clearly state this fact, as there's a mighty fine line between "intentional" and "oops!"
01-04-2009 21:50:18 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.25/5 rDev +9.4%
Eww. This is an amber? Disaster. Jump ship! Jump ship! Okay. It isn't that bad, but as an amber, we're nowhere near where we should be. This is very carbonated and, I want to say, frothy. It seems like a Belgian amber almost. Well. Anyways. There are a lot of malts and it has a fruit tone to it. Oh. Did I say that the nose reminded me of kool-aid at first? Well, now I did. Maybe if the beer was classified in a different way I wouldn't feel the same. It's still a fairly tasty beer.
08-24-2012 05:30:29 | More by RblWthACoz
2.38/5 rDev -19.9%
A semi clouded amber brown hue with a nice light khaki head pours thick initially but as the head dwindles rather quickly the bubbles are really fizzing away. Aroma has immediate citrus peel and spice combo going on, a bit of caramel or vanilla complementing the fruit and spice. Straight up pine and cinnamon bark bitterness a bit of wet cardboard and tobacco leaf. The spices and carbonation level numb the palate, mild caramel or powdered dry dark chocolate notes hint but this is a strange bird that I am not really feeling. I much rather drank the more sour ales like the Blonde and the Jester. Mouthfeel is unpleasant with the palate numbing effect and heavy carbonation that makes for a pretty lackluster experience. Drinkability is not good for me, some may dig but I'm not feeling it. I like the spontaneous open fermentation and the orignality of these brews but this one I would and could pass on.
03-25-2010 04:11:41 | More by WVbeergeek
2.63/5 rDev -11.4%
I received this as an extra in a trade but I can't remember who sent it. Pours a cloudy very dark amber/chestnut brown color with dark golden burnt orange hues when held to light and a thin fizzy yellowish head that quickly fades into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.
The aroma is kind of bland with hints of citrus peel, peppery spice, subtle earthy hops, pale malt and alcohol sweetness.
Thin bodied and very sweet with a prominet citrus peel flavor along with pepery spice, subtle hops and caramel malt. Surprisingly not too watered down, a touch syrupy with a slight dry finish.
12-25-2010 01:44:50 | More by corby112
3/5 rDev +1%
Indigo Imp : Winter Solstice
Pours a murly brown, with no head and little sign of carbonation. Aroma of caramel, spice and vegetal notes. In the taste, cocoa, nutty malt and a touch of spice on the back end. Carbonation is between low and non-existant. Overall, mellow flavors, with a bit more carbonation this would be better.
12-02-2011 04:41:09 | More by Stinkypuss
2.8/5 rDev -5.7%
Buckeyeboy brought this one over... Thanks for a "new to me" brewery... Jeremy is good people.
Pours with tan/yellow head.. hazy amber brew.
Nose is lite orange with some cinnamon..
Flavor is pretty odd.... sour.. I don't know if it is off or not, but there is an orange juice element that I just don't dig... the spices dig into the palate too much for me.... Seems pretty flimsy.
Lite/medium body and okay carbonation.
Ehhhh. I drain poured this one.
Thanks Jeremy.... Interesting, but not good by a long shot.
07-26-2010 07:59:03 | More by JohnGalt1
2.79/5 rDev -6.1%
I was able to find a wax top of this at my local mix six place for $1.75.
A - Quite hazy for an amber looks more like an old ale with a deep brown hue. Head is almost not existent with just a mild lace ring.
S - First smell was mild with some caramel and toffee malt but in the glass I am getting a Flanders red sort of tart brett smell. Other than that funk it mostly smells good.
T - OW wow is this sour like infected sour. Brett seems to have completely taken over and the rest of the body is hollow and watery like a fruit punch. What a fail on an amber/red ale!
M - Not sure the ABV but it drinks like a light beer but not as crisp. The zero carbonation makes it worse.
Overall I am not sure why you would distribute this let alone wax the freaking top. To be fair it was quite cool since they even put a string in the wax for easy removal. Not sure what they were keeping the air out from since this beer is a disaster. Drain pour/avoid!
01-19-2013 02:38:45 | More by DrDemento456
2.95/5 rDev -0.7%
Thanks to obrienej for dropping this into as an extra into a trade for my first BA BORIS. Always good to be introduced to a new brewery.
Pours is nice, brilliant ruby red that's very clean & clear, crackling audibly w/carbonation. Smells like a nice American red: muted hops with a background of spices.
Oh...my...god. The spices in this creature are simply overwhelming. Spices run riot! Call in the stun tank! I like my spicing in winter beers as a sly wink & a nod, tastes like this one was spiced with a fire hose. The ending hops make a noble effort to restrain the merriment, & move this a bit towards champagne territory, what with the bubbling & light fruits added to the spicing.
Winter Solstice suffers on the back end, though. The carbonation is revving out of control - I can seriously hear it from a few feet away. And the over-spicing (I imagine this being worked in the mash tun with a eight-foot paddle of cinnamon...) means that this is one & done.
This one has some promise, but some subtlety would be very welcome. For those who like their beer spicy & fast.
01-03-2010 02:42:38 | More by maximum12
3.8/5 rDev +27.9%
A-deep reddish copper color with a thin bubbly light tan colored head. Solid retention and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass
S-the nose is actually very strange. A lot of things going on here. It has some cinnomon, a peppery spice, very grainy, grassy hops, touch of pine.
T-the taste is a lot more focused and works much better than the nose. There is some sweet caramel, notes of cinnomon up front. Grassy hops, a touch of pine, lemon, and citrusy hops come in next. It is spicy towards the back and also has some nutmeg to match the cinnomon
M-very smooth and slightly creamy. A good bit of carbonation and a medium body on this one.
D-the nose scared me, it was all over the place and didn't work well together. The taste was much better and seemed like a decent winter warmer. Classified as a red ale, not sure why.
02-19-2010 23:29:12 | More by cpetrone84
3.45/5 rDev +16.2%
Winter Solstice pours a reddish amber color. It's quite hazy, and looks particularly scarlet when held to light. A cream colored head sits on top and is about a finger or so tall. It's quick to recede and leaves a very light lacing in its wake.
The nose is just okay. It's a little light on aromatics. Caramel and toffee scents seem to be the centerpiece. It's a little sweet smelling. There's a hint of a yeasty scent. Perhaps a little bit of a sour note, but not much. I was expecting this to smell much more sour or tart. Eh. There's a slight spicy scent. Cinnamon is there, but not much else.
The flavor's a little better than the nose. It's enough to warrant a score bump. The base is caramel and toffee. It's a little sweet, and has a nice flavor. There's a bit of sour flavor, but it's much less than I expected. I was anticipating something in the vicinity of vinegar-esque, but it's not even close to that neighborhood. Cinnamon is in the mix, and adds a slight holiday feel to it. There's a slight hoppy edge near the finish. It adds a nice bitter kick. Alcohol is blended well. It's pretty straight forward, but really isn't all that bad.
Winter Solstice has a medium body that is quite smooth. Carbonation is light. The feel might be this beer's strongest asset. Drinkability is above average. The flavor is pretty good, and it goes down rather easy. I could handle a bottle or two.
Winter Solstice is my first experience with Indigo Imp beer. It's not bad by any stretch, but isn't all that great either. It needs a little something to add some pizzazz. Perhaps a little more of a sour flavor, more hops, or more holiday spice flavor would ramp it up. It's not bad, and is definitely worth a try in my book. Needs some work to be a staple in the holiday seasonal club though.
12-05-2010 03:58:14 | More by prototypic
1.9/5 rDev -36%
Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 11/26/10
Dense, cloudy copper/amber color. Countless bubbles cling the inside of the glass. Boasting an outrageous three finger plus barrier of foam, the head crackled as it receded. It was audible from a foot away, sounding like Pop Rock & rain on a window sill. No lace; no retention by the end.
Smells of fermented orange juice, caramel, toasted cinnamon bread, rotten orange rind citric hops, a touch of musty yeast & earthy notions. Neither particularly bad nor good. Had something of a plasticine aroma when I open the bottle, though it's absent once poured.
Wow, this tastes really weird. A dull malt bill of toasted bread & caramel is aggravated by brash spices & carbonation. Cinnamon, tea leaves & orange something. A little bit of hoppy bitterness. Everything about the taste is cluttered & muddled; in turn it's rather unpleasant. It doesn't help that the taste can best be summed up as artificial & rotten.
Masquerades as medium body; perhaps there is some truth to it though the feel becomes watery & incredibly thin mid way through. Carbonation is vigorous on the front end; it subsides a little but is ample throughout. Waxy finish with notes of putrid orange rind, processed spice & plastic.
At first I thought this would be a solid offering from Indigo Imp; while cold it tastes ok, if a little bland. As it warms, the aforementioned penchant for the artificial & rotten takes hold. This doesn't even come close to the dregs of Northeast Ohio's best winter brews.
11-28-2010 01:28:36 | More by Ryan011235
3.15/5 rDev +6.1%
Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks to Tifore (Tyler) for the bottle.
A- Pours a murky amberish brown color. One finger off white head has low retention. Light spots of lacing on the sides of the glass.
S- There is a light citrus undertone to this that gets overtaken by a huge chocoalte malt drive. Some other earthy hops in the backend but very light. Pretty much balances out the malts as far as aroma goes.
T- Caramel and toffee malts in the front end of the beer. Some light orange peel flavor that dies alomst as soon as it comes. There is some light peppery notes in the middle of the beer with a hint of chocolate like malts. Ending is earthy flavors along with a sweet alcohol.
M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is light but works for the beer. Caramel and toffee malts left on the palate. This is in the aftertaste as well with sweet alcohol and faded hops. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors are bland but blended well for what it was. No off flavors that others have talked about..a clean bottle free of metallic or sour notes.
D- This beer was drinkable but a little lackluster. I expected a little more from the beer itself but it ended up being just a average drinker. I would like to try this again but as far as right now goes it is average at best.
01-12-2011 16:46:31 | More by alleykatking
3.15/5 rDev +6.1%
Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought as a single for $1.39 at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio last week. This is the fourth and final Indigo Imp beer that I have tasted and rated, a Cleveland Brewery that is just getting under way (they are about a year old maybe). Poured into my Great Lakes Christmas Ale goblet (Sorry Indigo Imp, it is the most appropriate glass that I have). Message on label says: "Bottle conditioned real ale brewed with spices and the "with" is underlined for emphasis.
A Real nice, abundant light brown creamy head of about 3 inches over an opaque brown body that glows with edges of orange in front of direct light. Really nice look for this truly unfiltered ale. 4.5
S Not sure that my nose picks up too many of those "spices" but I certainly get some medium roast malt and an "amber" smell. There is a nice, subtle sweetness that I picked up after repeated sniffs too. Hops are minimal to moderate. 3.0
T/M Firstly this is a mature tasting beer. I can clearly tell that it is "unfiltered" and it is clearly a craft beer. All of that being said, to me this is a rather weak tasting, slight medium roast malt beer that seems to be struggling for an identity. There is a fair amount of carbonation which is a positive but the taste is just a bit....flat.... There is also a creamy aspect to the feel which I do like. 3.5
D My interest is lacking to consider this "drinkable." 2.
Notes: There are not only better beers within the style but also within the brewery (See Gatekeeper!).
01-10-2010 23:17:56 | More by adamette
2.88/5 rDev -3%
12 oz. bottle that was sealed with blue wax. In every Indigo Imp six pack, there is one of these wax sealed bottles. I believe it's more of a gimmick than anything else. The label depicts an Imp wearing a blue and white scarf sitting on top of a snow falling Winter scene. This Winter scene has the name of the beer covered in snow. To the left of picture is the Government warning and to the right of the picture is a description of the beer, information about the brewery, proper serving temp, and pouring instructions. The only piece of info missing is some kind of best before date.
When poured into a Bell's Brewery pint glass, "Winter Solstice" was an overly carbonated murky apple cider brown color with a fizzy 1/4 of inch tan colored head of foam. Despite its small size, it actually had decent retention that left behind a crescent moon shaped skim of foam and a few spots of lace around the glass. If you took off the head of foam, you could easily pass this beer off as apple cider. Well, that is if you only look at it from a short distance.
This beer loved the spices! There were so many that it would take forever to write them all out, so I'll just give you a small sample. The most notable spices were allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In between all the spices was the strong scent of orange peel. I've never had a beer before that was so into the orange peel. If you're lucky, you might get a subtle whiff of toasted malts somewhere near the tail end of the aroma.
To me, this beer tasted like they replaced the malts and hops with orange peel and spices. It was just a spicy beer. The taste was exactly like the aroma, it was spicy with allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then stuck in the gaps of all the spices, was a ton of orange peel. I couldn't see how the taste of hops would improve the taste any, but certainly the appearance of malts would have done the taste a little justice. Tone down the spices and orange peel and add a touch of malt.
All the spices and orange peel in the taste made for a medium bodied beer. This medium bodied beer had a, you guessed it, spicy aftertaste filled with nothing but spices and orange peel.
As you can tell for my words, I didn't care much for this beer. It was way too spicy and it contained far too much orange peel. Even though it had a wax seal, I fully doubt this beer will age very well. Drink it fresh to get it out of your life. Hopefully this beer is a winter seasonal because there's no way a mediocre spicy beer could sell very well in the Spring and Summer months.
03-07-2009 21:37:23 | More by AltBock
3.04/5 rDev +2.4%
2013 12 oz. bottle with new name: "Winter Soul"
Pours a slightly hazy amber red, no real head to speak of despite an aggressive pour. Basically a hint of white lace for a split second.
Smells of crisp apples, cinnamon, orange peel, mild pine hop, and biscuit malts.
Tastes of tart apple and orange juice, mild spice, and a hint of hop.
Medium to thin body with minimal carbonation.
This beer is weird. I'm not sure if it's supposed to taste like this or what, but it doesn't taste like any other beer I've had. It's not terrible, just very different. It's like a fruit juice more than anything. Not sure I could recommend it to anyone.
11-23-2013 21:46:36 | More by Cylinsier
2.08/5 rDev -30%
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Thanks to readbaron (maybe) for bringing this along.
Appearance: This is a murky brown copper color with plentiful black flecks of particulate. A large-bubbled white head fades to a wispy ring.
Smell: Wow, this is pretty bad. Cooked vegetables and some stinky feet go along with caramel malt. Light spiced and heavy bready malt.
Taste: The flavor starts with a full caramel sweetness, then some soft cinnamon and general spiciness. No real hoppy flavor here. The finish is reminiscent of steamed cauliflower.
Mouthfeel: The body is unnecessarily light, with a medium carbonation and a tingly mouthfeel. Sticky on the lips.
Overall: This is pretty bad. The flavor is not as bad as the aroma, but an absence of bad flavor is hardly a compliment.
09-09-2011 03:15:47 | More by KickInTheChalice
1.35/5 rDev -54.5%
Another installment from Ryan011235 in the It Ain't All Columbus IPA and Edmund Fitzgerald Up Here series of Ohio reality checks. 12 ounce bottle/LaChouffe tulip. (I find myself slightly disappointed that this Imp offering isn't wax-dipped for that extra touch of fanciness.) Slightly hazy deep amber with a head that quickly pulls a disappearing act. No lace.
The pleasant combo of caramel and honey aromas is beaten down by canned frozen orange juice and a vaguely medicinal smell. Tangy to dang near the point of complete sourness; anything else going on here is pretty much drowned out. Fizzy carbonation aplenty. A complete mess. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Imp, but the open fermentation thing? It's a disaster.
10-10-2012 23:07:35 | More by PDXHops
4.33/5 rDev +45.8%
Got this from a trade...
A: Looks pretty tasty. Almost like an iced tea color. Little white head that disappears quickly. Looks highly carbonated
S: Smells of iced tea. Smells very sweet, but very tasty.
T: Good flavor. Tastes like a combo of iced tea, grapefruit, and pear. I like the taste of this one. It's kind of like a light IPA. Tastes very refreshing.
M: A little too much carbonation on this one. Nothing special in this department.
D: Goes down very easy. Tastes great and has not much harsh, except for the mouthfeel, going on about it.
All in all, this one definitely surprised me. I saw some reviews and expected to be disappointed, but I was pleasantly surprised instead. Very refreshing brew without a harsh IPA taste. If you want something refreshing but less hoppy, then this is your brew.
12-23-2009 05:18:54 | More by steve8robin
Winter Solstice from Indigo Imp Brewery
72 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.