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2° Below Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
2° Below Winter Ale2° Below Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,049 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,049
Reviews: 557
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 20
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,049 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jmalex:
Photo of jmalex
jmalex

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

01-12-2010 00:55:07 | More by jmalex
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%

Poured a deep rich golden with a touch of amber tint a tight one finger head set atop leaving a broken ring of lace behind as it settled pretty slowly.Like the hop spike in the aroma like grapefruit rind sitting over top a hefty caramelly malt base,the flavors dont quite match the nose but its well balanced between a brown sugar-like biscuity malt base and earthy,citrusy hop just neither really stand out enough on their own.Not a bad cold weather beer nicely balanced and a nice aroma.

12-17-2006 20:20:48 | More by oberon
Photo of mojohawk21
mojohawk21

Missouri

3/5  rDev -17.6%

01-04-2014 02:38:08 | More by mojohawk21
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +24.5%

Appearance - This is a real beauty shop. The head is thick, retentive, and clinging to the inside of the glass. The body is a heavy orange with a nice brownish tinge.

Smell - The malts here are very deep and rich. The yeasty base that underlies all good ESBs borders on perfection. This is more of an English-style nose but much more powerful.

Taste - This has a bit more caramel flavor than I predicted from the nose. It is rich and thick like the malt and yeast. There's little sweetness here, but what there is seems mostly like cane sugar. All of these characteristics work extremely well together in making an awesome flavor profile.

Mouthfeel - This is a big medium-bodied with some good bitterness that doesn't overextend itself. The mild carbonation fits perfectly with the flavors and body and the smooth buttery finish is awesome.

Drinkability - This was like velvet liquid. It was stiff enough to earn the ESB moniker yet easy enough to go down freely. It's probably one of the best-drinking ESBs that I've ever had.

02-22-2008 02:51:00 | More by RoyalT
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
JudgeRoughneck

Louisiana

4.05/5  rDev +11.3%

Beer shows up a beautiful clear copper color with billowy puffed head that is completely gone by the time I'm halfway done. Nose I get big hop aroma here. Definately makes me think of homebrewing, smells just like hop pellets I've used when they come out of the fridge. Its odd that this beer has retained that raw aroma. Guess thats what happens when you dry hop with Liberty. I also get a lucious fruity backend in the aroma, but it isn't typical ale fruit, its more like a peach or apricot (some fruit of "the fuzzy family"). Also has a nice kick of hop spice. Kinda funky but very appetizing.

The taste is a sweet but resinous/ piney kind of base with faint spices, and peach or apricot and maybe pineapple all popping in and out in turns. Great depth of malt flavor with signature New Belgium toasted complexity. Hop spice lingers in aftertaste. As the pint warms and I dink more, I find that dry-hopped Liberty aroma really coming through in the taste. I feel like I'm practically drinking those hop pellets. Its beginning to beat down some of the fruit and while I find this flavor interesting as a brewer, it gets a little pushy for me as a drinker. I feel this would be worthy of the title "Double ESB" since it's flavors are so big and work together on a basis of contrast, rather than the subtle synergies of traditional examples of the style.

Mouthfeel is thick but has some carbonation and is approprite. Very good, very different beer, but I would really struggle to get more than one of these down in a night. Its kind of exhausting. This is a beer I like to revisit year-to-year. It is so unique and it is actually an effective winter brew despite staying just on the light side of the style spectrum.

01-28-2006 05:52:40 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Photo of SIRIUS2
SIRIUS2

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%

Poured into a pint glass from 12 oz. bottle. Pours clear amber in color with very abundant head of dense white foam. Retains foam well and leaves behind plenty of lacing down the glass. Very attractive looking brew.

Plenty of hops on the nose, a bit of grass with citrus, but not overpowering. There is malt here too, something light to moderate.

First pull has nice weight and comes forth with hops the most noticeable, but necessarily bitter. After just a second on the tongue, the malts come forward and there is a nice balance there. The tastes are a bit dry overall, and there is a quick clean finish with a slight bitter linger. Like many of the New Belgian brews, this seems a bit heavier after a few swigs than first thought.

Very nice brew! If you are fan of hops but don't like to 'chew' them through your beer experience, give this a shot. Very enjoyable and recommended.

12-13-2009 19:50:03 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours into my glass a clear amber with a fizzy half inch of head and great clarity. Aromas of toasted grain malts with some fruity caramel aspects as well. Spicy, somewhat citric hops are well placed.

First sip brings a toasty, bready caramelized malt upfront that's carried by some fruity flavors as well. A spicy, citric hop moves in on the way down with some bitterness coming through.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy with a sharp prickly carbonation. Goes down pretty easy. Overall a pretty good brew but it doesn't really end up wowing me.

01-28-2008 00:00:06 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of danthehopslamman
danthehopslamman

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

08-13-2012 18:04:45 | More by danthehopslamman
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

2.38/5  rDev -34.6%

12 oz bottle, best before 2/9/07. Pours a clear amber with a large fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is toasted toffee malts and minty hops.

The flavor is more of the same - toasted toffee followed by a crisp minty hoppiness. I can't describe the aftertaste, there's something subtle that leaves me not wanting more - the more I drink, the less I like it. More bittering hops and less toffee would be a welcome addition. The mouthfeel is medium with sharp carbonation.

Overall, this was OK - not something I would search out. It tasted like a minty Fat Tire.

11-29-2006 05:25:15 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Twifiter
Twifiter

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

10-15-2012 20:47:35 | More by Twifiter
Photo of Beerswag
Beerswag

California

3/5  rDev -17.6%

05-05-2013 10:17:38 | More by Beerswag
Photo of Doppelmax
Doppelmax

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -17.6%

I'm not a fan of belgium style beers so with some trepidation I purchased this hoping it would be a decent winter type ale.
Nice head and lace on the glass. Medium amber but hazy. Strong hop smell, kind of piney I thought. The flavor seemed a bit strong on the hops and for my taste could have had a more pronounced malt flavour. Lots of carbonation, average body. It was ok but personally I wouldn't buy it again.
I like my winter ales more malty and darker.

01-26-2007 22:59:20 | More by Doppelmax
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

12 oz bottle pours a clear amber body with a tiny offwhite head that quickly drops into some patchy lacing. Aroma is toasty caramel and earthy hops. Light medium body is well carbonated. Tase has lots of earthy hops bitterness with a toasted caramel malt presence underneath. A hint of pear fails to fully emerge. Nicely drinkable but pedestrian.

01-14-2008 15:29:43 | More by merlin48
Photo of mrquartetman
mrquartetman

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +12.1%

I'd read a few reviews of this beer before tasting it and expected to be underwhelmed.

Not at all. This is a really good winter ale. It has a slightly hoppy nose, but does not hit the tongue with hop until late in its sojourn across the palate. It is a very malty, sweetish beer that gets estery as it goes, and then the very subtle hop enters the picture.

The hop doesn't die off, it just sings a harmonic note in the background, an offset to the sweetness. This is very cleverly done.

Someone suggested that this is just a heavier Fat Tire. Not to me. It is its own fine self, and a good warmer to keep around all winter.

11-11-2007 06:26:33 | More by mrquartetman
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%

A huge "thankyou" to jpm30 for this one...
Honey orange in color with a full finger of bright, white head...sticky, web-lacing is created as it disappears.
Nice aroma...spicy hops, sweet caramel malt, and some honey.
Taste is quite unique...heavily malted with a peat flavor. Grapefruit, pine, orange, corriander, and even what tastes like carroway seed.
Although the start hits the pallet sweet, this is one bitter brew and sucks away any moisture your tongue may be holding onto....finishes with no off flavors and quite dry. Alcohol is nowhere to be found in this glass.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is where I like it to be....not a session beer for me, but a nice offering for the season.
Solid.

12-13-2006 01:30:59 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +9.9%

Orange-amber with a white head. The aroma is fairly hoppy. I get some pine and grassy hops as well as some toffee malt. The flavor is much maltier than the aroma. I get a bunch of toffee and some nuttyness, as well as some grassy hops. Very low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice, malt Extra Special Bitter that is very easy to drink. Nice to see a winter ale that isn't full of spices.

12-30-2010 23:38:48 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mattster
mattster

Texas

3.38/5  rDev -7.1%

Opened 12 oz bottle of 2º Below, poured into Nonic glass.

Pours a light foamy head. The color is a nice clearly translucent dark amber brew,

Smells of malts and very light herbaceous smell. Taste is sweet, but hoppy. Nice smooth finish, but nothing worth waking the kids or calling the neighbors over. Is a very easy drinker. Not a bad brew, but nothing major.

03-19-2008 13:06:22 | More by mattster
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a tall glass.

Appearance: Clear light copper with a large off-white head and some nice lacing.

Smell: Biscuit, caramel, heather-like herbs, citrus and metal.

Taste: Sweet caramel, biscuit and slight citrus upfront before turning more bitter with a strong herbal and metallic finish, which leaves a slightly unpleasant aftertaste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, slightly creamy but a strange finish.

Drinkability: Interesting hybrid type beer. I am going to steal the "German ESB" term from BuckeyeNation (although I like it better than him), as it seems to have Marzen qualities to it. It also really seems as if they add Heather to it. Good, not great, beer overall. If it wasn't for the aftertaste, it would have been better.

01-20-2010 22:52:40 | More by bsp77
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.35/5  rDev -8%

Pours light orange, just as the bottle says. Grass, pepper, and hops in the nose. Smooth flavor, though the flavors seem to compete. Good malt character you expect from an ESB, but a lot of hops that you expect from a west coast IPA. Its like the beer doesn't know what it shoud be. When cool, its a malty IPA. As it warms, the ESB qualities emerge. Doesn't really matter, its still a pretty good beer.

12-10-2008 22:22:02 | More by magictrokini
Photo of possumteeth
possumteeth

Illinois

3/5  rDev -17.6%

01-28-2014 16:07:48 | More by possumteeth
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

11-15-2011 03:10:02 | More by bpfrush
Photo of masikon
masikon

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -16.2%

This beer poured to a transparent tennessee burnt orange with a fuzzy off white head about 2 fingers deep. A very visually pleasing beer with a lasting head that sticks around and pretty bubbles of corbonation that keep on rising. Unfortunately appearance is really this beer's strongest point. nose is plain and uninteresting with some mildly fruity notes. taste is almost exactly like a mack and jacks african amber for those who have tried it. puckers the mouth, a light mouthfeel and inoffensive taste brings up the drinkability score, overall not a beer I would drink again.

11-26-2005 07:41:35 | More by masikon
Photo of Mantooth
Mantooth

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -17.6%

01-06-2014 00:02:54 | More by Mantooth
Photo of Dinkel
Dinkel

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

02-17-2013 14:56:55 | More by Dinkel
Photo of smc143
smc143

Missouri

3/5  rDev -17.6%

A friend brought me some New Belgium Brewery's 2 Below, which was really quite tasty. It was my first beer of the night, and I dug it a lot. Since this is an ESB, I expected it to be a little more aggressive than your average beer in terms of hops and alcohol content, but nothing overpowering. It is really not bitter at all, but balanced between hops and malts. I drank it right out of the bottle, like a classy broad, so I didn't really look at color or head, but it is a basic copper colored ale, and it was quite quite tasty.

10-05-2008 03:17:04 | More by smc143
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2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,049 ratings.