1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

2° Below Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,067 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,067
Reviews: 558
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 21
Gots: 42 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,067 | Reviews: 558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cphughes
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

cphughes, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of Huffaroma
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Huffaroma, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

grahamboudreaux, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of bill_rue
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

bill_rue, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of Meibs
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Meibs, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of dataskatt
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a mug. A beautiful medium amber color with a generous head. Lots of lacing. Smell is hoppy with a nice spicy undertone. Smells a bit like cloves. I could smell this all day! Taste is also really good. Hoppy, but balanced, and with a nice warm spicy finish. Reminds me a little of Great Lakes Burning River pale ale, except this has way more spice in the taste. Interesting brew, and very drinkable. Mouthfeel is just right...not to light, not too heavy. Even with a little higher alcohol content, I could easily have several of these. Nice winter brew. I would definitely recommend!

dataskatt, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of dhbiker0889
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

dhbiker0889, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of JohnnyMc
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

JohnnyMc, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of BJasny
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

BJasny, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of NatetheGreat
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this was an awesome brew! I anticipated a good beer, but not one of the best beers I've ever had. I don't mean to sound over-enthusiastic, but this was exceptional from top to bottom (literally!).

A: big head with lots of bubbles, light amber colored beer; very appealing.

S: the nose begins with a burst of vibrant citrus fruit, sweet and sharp, and finishes with crisp pine. enticing aroma.

T: smooth and mellow; perhaps a tad sweet. certainly tamer than the aroma. some toasted grain and caramel sweetness. didn't wow me but was very good.

M: incredibly smooth and balanced; not watery but also not too syrupy or thick.

D: with this great brew, highly drinkable and just a wonderfully pleasant surprise. one of the best winter ales I've had.

Drink this beer.

NatetheGreat, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Huge fluffy beige head on top of a transparent amber brew. Leaves the most lacing I've seen on a glass in a long time.

S- Smells like spicy American hops on top of rich chocolatey malts

T- The hops dominate the taste of this brew. Clearly dry hopped, the beer has a distinct piney flavor

M- A bit slick, but overall good feeling with balanced carbonation

D- Drinks great for me, but hops might be a bit much for some folks.

EnojysAnyBeer, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of 1fastz28
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a really great looking reddish amber color with a big white head on it. has a wonderful mixture of hops and biscuity maltiness to it, really looks and smells great. taste is just as impressive, the hops and malt conteract eachother wonderfully. has a rich full flavor to it, just awesome all around. mouthfeel and drinkability are great too

1fastz28, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of nicnut45
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Beer poured a beautifully clear medium copper color with two fingers worth of head that fades into a thick silky head with heavy and light patches of foam on top.

Smell - This is possibly one of my most favorite smelling beers. The hops smell FRESH. Resiny, sticky sweetness. Almost reminds me of steaks and fresh cut grass at the same time. I dont think my limited grammer can do this beer justice to its smell. Its awesome.

Taste - Hops are prevalent at the first taste but I notice as the beer warms up you notice more of the malt. Lemony, spicy hops with a bit of that fresh cut grass taste you get from the smell. Nutty toasted malt taste a lot like fat tire with more hops. I will say this too, I have had the most pleasing almost exotic like belches from this beer. Give it a shot you'll see what I mean.

Mouthfeel - This beer feels a little above average on mouthfeel. Its not really heavy like Tripel and nowhere near a light...falls in between. I would say maybe a bit heavy for the style but not bad at all.

Drinkability - I could drink these all night. I would buy it again. Not really a session beer though. Pretty high alcohol content for an E.S.B. All in all I was not too impressed with fat tire or New Belgium brewing after all the craze, but this beer changed my mind.

nicnut45, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of secondtooth
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transparent golden-red appearance, with big bubbles and yellow lace.
Aroma is bold, with accents of floral, fruits, and bread. Appealing!
Flavor is complex and original -- a balanced mix of snappy hops and a wonderful sweet malt character that conjures fresh berries somehow.
A great mix that amply combines the best attributes of a pale ale with a Belgian seasonal. Lovely and delicious!

secondtooth, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of Tolnik
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a good finger width head reducing down to a light lacing of foam. Good deep amber. Great smelling hops beer and barley odor. The beer tastes of fresh hops with hints of rye. This is a great seasonal beer that New Belguim pumps out each and every year that I cannot wait till it comes out.

Tolnik, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served nice and cold, per written instruction. It warmed to 55° area by end of glass.

Nice amber color, clear and crisp. The head is as large, or larger, than the liquid. Nice head retention and lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smells quite hoppy, floral and grapefruit-like. Malt body, highly overshadowed by hops.

Nice blend of flavors. Light malt base superimposed with mellow hop flavors, floral mainly. Roasted malt undertones. Not overly sweet. The malt doesn’t seem to contribute much to the flavor, but is nonetheless an integral part of the experience. Light touch of alcohol hiding in the back.

Smooth with mild oral foamation and almost no carbo-sting.

Drinking 2° Below is like drinking the nectar of some plant, some wonderful tasty plant. The flavors complement each other almost perfectly. Extremely refreshing. This is a jewel of a beer. I could drink it all day. Well done New Belgium.

MrHungryMonkey, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of baos
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes:

Friend walks in with a growler of this fresh from the Mountains. I jumps up and downs und serve it in my 2 pinter that looketh like the one pinter. Beer has traveled 15 hours and 3 finger head with a shit ton of lacing that lasts the whole day through. I mean the whole glass through. Nice copper body with perfect clarity. Sterling and Liberty hops with nice roasted malty warmth fill the nostril-domis. I predict this motherfucker is gonna taste yummier than chuck. It does, the hops and malts are balanced pretty near perfectly. Enough dry hopping that brings the horse-hoofed malt taste away and finishes with a super nice bright and dry Christmas green hop gremlin. Mouthfeel is light and very nicely carbonated, again balancing the malt hop bitterness. A great present from a special fwend!

baos, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of Fatduck
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crisp copper color, not exactly what I was expecting. Fluffy white head that lasts. It smells almost like a crisp winter morning with a fresh layer of snow. Reminds me of outdoor hockey games. Tastes like a wonderful simple bitter with a well balanced flavor. Im not really sure why its a winter beer, but its good.

Fatduck, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of industrialswill
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Bright golden amber, frothy head.
The smell warned me of the possibility of clove ahead, but overall it has a nice smell to it.
The first thing that hit me at first gulp was the maltyness...almost to the point of tasting like chocolate. Thankfully, there is no flavor of clove. I'm totally in love with this beer and am very glad to add it to my list of daily options

industrialswill, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of diabecktic
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This light copper brew pours with a very nice creamy, white head that's ~2 fingers thick. Retention and lacing are both excellent, and I can see a little bit of carbonation slowly rise throughout the translucent body.

The aroma is largely hoppy and spicy with a nice sweet base that helps add balance. As far as specific notes go, I can pick out cloves, caramel, dark fruit (perhaps raisin or plum), toffee, and nutmeg.

Crisp hops are apparent in the early portion of the tasting. As the beer sits in my mouth, the dark, roasted malty sweetness progressively intensifies. The aftertaste resembles something like clove and toffee. The balance between each flavor is excellent.

The crispness experienced during tasting eventually leads to a dry sensation. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden during the smell and taste portions of the test, but I think its lingering effect is likely responsible for the aforementioned sensation. The elements which are responsible for the dark sweetness likely account for the moderately heavy body.

Excellent balance, body, and taste all make this an extremely drinkable beer. I never would have guessed that this beer was 6.6% ABV, so you might have to be careful if you feel like drinking several of these during a setting. For all of its complexity, the beer isn't dense enough to hurt this aspect of the tasting.

I liked the New Belgium beers that I had tried in the past, so I expected this beer to be good; however, it was MUCH better than I could have ever fathomed. The complex flavors, excellent balance, and adequate body make this an outstanding beer to enjoy during the coldest months of the year. As the style suggests, this beer is both "extra special" and "bitter" - I urge you to try this if you haven't done so already.

diabecktic, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber with a creamy 2 finger head. Awesome spiderweb lacing.

S- Bready, toasted biscuit on the front of the nose. A piney hop with hints of vanilla in the back.

T- Nice balance of hops on the front. Opposite to the smell. The malts are bready and toasted but in the middle. Mellow and nutty. Earthy with hints of caramel.

M- Nicely balanced, creamy with a crisp finish.

D- Very nice and complex. Mellow and nutty throughout with a slight sweetness. The sweet and hoppiness are very nicely balanced. Very good winter beer.

JayS2629, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of RJLarse
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a six pack of 2° Below Winter Ale at a grocery store. I had seen it on the shelves for a couple of weeks, and figured to give it a try. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a rich amber color and is crystal clear. A foamy three finger off whit head forms and is very resilient. The head is rocky and created ridges and valleys as is breaks down. There are curtains of lace on the side of the glass.

The smell is floral and fruity. There are fruit fragrances like peaches, and some evergreen scents like Juniper.

The taste is very good. Some roasted caramel malt flavor and a multi-dimensional, zippy, bitter hop taste. The flavors are difficult to describe and well balanced.

The mouthfeel is light crisp and clean.

This is a very drinkable beer. They say it has a warming aftertaste, and is a winter ale, but it would be good year around. This is a nice easy drinking, full flavored, hopped up brew. I will definitely be having more of this beer.

RJLarse, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of endincolorado
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber color with nice, frothy off-white head, good head retention and moderate lace.

Aromas of fragrant floral hops with some grassiness and inviting, bready, caramel malt.

Flavor is delicious, with a some clean fruity flavors that remind me of melon and grass, as well as a crisp, flavorful biscuitty malt character.

medium body- creamy and satisfying. Appropriate carbonation.

Would love some more if it were more readily available in Ohio. A greatly balanced session beer.

endincolorado, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of TCMike
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good stuff. Poured into a mug. The aroma is medium, and of a typical ale, but with a piny hops note. The head was only 1 finger, and dissipated quickly. It was a medium gold color. The taste starts out with a good ale flavor, and then a few extra spices thrown in, followed by a medium piny taste. The hops, although, obviously present in a good portion, did not produce much bitterness. This is a very drinkable beer. Think Fat Tire with less malt, and mor hops.

TCMike, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of jyeast101
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a slight white head. Smells of sweet tarts. A slight hint of hops and flowery notes last. First taste is not as tart as one would seem, but the bite of hops is there. This beer warms the belly. A highly drinkable offering from New Belgium that changes with each taste. As the beer gets warmer and is exposed to more air, the more it develops or becomes more complex. 3rd taste. It's starting to settle down. Not as much of a bite. This year's version is better than last year. Much better. This time of year in FC, this beer is a great choice.

jyeast101, Dec 27, 2007
2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,067 ratings.