2° Below Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing
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Ratings: 1,002 | Reviews: 557 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jmalex:
4.05/5 rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Thanks again to my buddy Tim for lugging this one back from North Carolina over Thanksgiving. What a good opportunity to try these beers from one of the few breweries that don't ship to PA.
APPEARANCE: Pours into my New Belgium globe glass a crystal clear copper gold with 2 fingers worth of fluffy white head on top. It drops slowly to a full cap with constant help of the nucleation sites in the glass. Lacing comes in sheets creating a picture perfect ale.
SMELL: Some really fresh herbal hops really stand out initially. They combine with a strong spiciness and some mild fruity esters to create a beer with quite a bit going on.
TASTE: Quite unique, yet oh so reminiscent of none other than Fat Tire. The signature toastiness is there in full force. But the fresh hops lend a killer balancing act to cut the sweetness of what seems like a decent bit of malt sweetness. Some esters are quite present here in the flavor as well (English? You never know from a place called "New Belgium").
MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied, but a lower than desired carbonation makes the beer seem slightly watery. Though if it was attempting to be English-style, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
DRINKABILITY: Quite high. It doesn't quite remind me of winter, but this is one of the fastest-drinking seasonals I've had all winter. Well done.
Well, it was definitely nice to sit down and review a beer again after a week's worth of sickness. And even nicer to start off with a fine beer such as this one. I look forward to the days when New Belgium finally enters the Philadelphia market (the day will come eventually). This one may well find its way onto my shopping list when the weather starts getting cold.
Serving type: bottle
01-12-2010 00:55:07 | More by jmalex
More User Reviews:
3.68/5 rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Appearance - Pours a quick finger of off-white eggshell head, body is a brilliant transparent light golden orange, lively carb action in the body, thick broken foam rings left after each quaff.
Smell - dark toffee, robust wheat bread, sweet dark fruits like ripe plums, warm brown sugar, and just a slight whiff of floral hops and trace minerals.
Taste - Wow - very much like the nose, but an absolute balanced symphony - flavors are so well blended that it's harder to separate the flavors like you can in the smell - flavor starts heavier towards the brown sugar/toffee/wheat bread crusts and semi-sweet plum, floral hops join moments later, and then there is a spicy yeast flavor accompanied by some earthy mineral flavors. Finishes slightly bitter and dry with dried flowers, breadcrusts and minerals.
Mouthfeel - The large flavors and light sweetness give this a medium mouthfeel, carb is just medium and smooth on the tongue but then gives some extremely crisp, bright edges along the sides and back of the tongue. The feel at the front and center is wonderful, but almost has a slight harshness at the back, making you look forward to the next sip.
Overall - For whatever reason, I just personally like alot of the "typical new belgian" flavors that I find from the similar yeast and malt profiles used in their beers - at least it certainly tastes like it. This in many ways is like an amped up Fat Tire, and that's not a bad thing in my book. I believe this is a seasonal release, check it out if you get the chance.
Serving type: bottle
03-22-2014 03:02:03 | More by blackcompg
3.43/5 rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
12 oz. bottle, with best before date of February 09, 2014 printed on the label. Acquired as part of the mixed folly pack at the local Jewel. A new winter seasonal to me from New Belgium, and since it was cold as hell today, it seemed more than appropriate.
Poured into a clear balloon snifter.
A - Pours a very nice burnt coppery orange with some nice clarity and about two fingers of fluffy doughy tan head. Thin scattered lacing. Looks pretty nice.
S - Smell is of brown bread, crackery caramel malt, crisp musty yeast, a touch of indistinct spicing, & some hop derived fruitiness comes through with hints of mango, grapefruit, pine, & melon. A light aroma, but pleasant enough.
T - Taste is of caramel malt, brown bread, touch of brown sugary sweetness, & roasty malty nuttiness. Touch of piney / grapefruit hop bitterness on the finish. More nutty and malty than anything else, but the citrus hops lends a nice touch.
M - Feel is crisp and clean, with mild stickiness / bitterness on the palate.
Overall, a decent enough winter ale for what it is. Moderate abv and easy drinking for the style. This was the first year I encountered this beer, and I would have it again.
New Belgium 2° Below Winter Ale ---3.5/5
Serving type: bottle
03-16-2014 21:49:41 | More by mfnmbvp
3.86/5 rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet.
A - Medium gold color with orange highlights; very clear. Head is white and made of extremely fine bubbles. It is just a wisp on top of the beer, but makes lots of lacing on the glass.
S - Fresh hoppy aromas of citrus and tropical fruit with only a bit of pine and grapefruit. Behind that is some bready malt, and sugar. Maybe some spices like gingerbread, but very, very restrained.
T - Flavors emphasize hops, with tropical fruit, pine and grapefruit at about equal levels. There is some gingerbread malt in the background, but it can't compete with the hops. No yeast characteristics show through. Fairly one dimensional.
M - A little thin-bodied. Strong hop bitterness. Restrained carbonation. Slight alcohol presence.
O - A good beer, but a little disappointing to me when billed as a winter warmer/ESB. I think it could use more malt presence to provide balance and complexity. Still, it is clean, well-made and enjoyable.
Serving type: bottle
02-25-2014 04:04:09 | More by Radome
2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,002 ratings.