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.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,086 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,086
Reviews: 558
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 22
Gots: 48 | 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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,086 | Reviews: 558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dgrauwiler
1/5  rDev -72.5%

dgrauwiler, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of dheldman
1.5/5  rDev -58.8%

dheldman, Today at 01:21 AM
Photo of Silenus89
1.93/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

POured from 12oz bottle to pint glass

A. Copper/amber color with one finger head

S. Earthly, floral hops

T> Citrus and pine hops and with a bitterness i didnt enjoy at all. Finished with harsh alcohol taste

MF. Medium body with light/medium carbonation

D. The first half of the beer tasted pretty good then from there on it went downhill. Wont get this again

Silenus89, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of ATXRyan
2/5  rDev -45.1%

ATXRyan, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of skyisland
2/5  rDev -45.1%

skyisland, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of RedWeizen83
2/5  rDev -45.1%

RedWeizen83, May 27, 2013
Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -45.1%

jophish17, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of leedorham
2.1/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear amber with an off-white thick creamy head.

This smells hoppy and has a very grassy-hoppy-oily aroma. Not making me puke but not entirely pleasant.

The taste is the same. Grassey-piney-dandelion green taste. I assume there is malt in this beer since it is a winter ale but I can't taste it because of the dominance of the oily vegetable drawer hop taste. No balance to the taste at all. Although it gets more tolerable towards the end and there are some pleasant spicy notes I can't say I am happy I bought 6 of these. Maybe if your a serious hop head you'll disagree but I am wishing I had tried another brewers winter offering. It looks good. I'll give it that.

leedorham, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of sendbeer
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%

sendbeer, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of therealnod
2.3/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Bought a 12pk of this. I should've known better.

A: Exceptional. Very nice brilliant copper with a good foamy head. I was excited.

S: Well, it smells biscuity (go figure). There's something in the background lurking that's bothering me.

T: And there it is. Sweet corn. I'm not kidding, and it's awful. I read another review that mentioned a taste that felt like it came from adjunct grains, and I got that impression exactly (before reading the review, of course). I really wish this was as bitter as some have found it...I'll take too bitter over this any day.

M: Well, pretty good, but why would I really care at this point?

D: Since I bought a 12pk...ah screw it, it isn't drinkable, but I'll drink it anyway.

Notes:
I gave it another shot (actually, this is it's other shot) while warmer, and, well, the sweet corn taste finally gives way to some bitterness, but I can still pick up a faint whiff of the aroma, and I know it's there in the taste, and it's distracting to me. Definitely don't drink this below cellar temp, but if you do, I would drink it close to freezing (as it suggests on the label...shoulda known).

therealnod, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of Beaver13
2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Beaver13, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of charlesw
2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

So here it says it's an ESB but you can see form the name/image that NB is marketing this as some kind of winter warmer. Well... I guess ESB is probably pretty close. Other than the too-pale color and the too-bitter mouth. This might make a decent brew for a hot summer day - a lawnmower beer - but it's way not enough anything for a day below 50F for me. Ah, right, other than bitter. But I'd definitely say that the bitterness was all of of proportion - unless, again, this is for the sweaty hot days of summer. Just change the label and marketing and you'll be all set.

charlesw, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of kkipple
2.4/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Buddy brought this back from his travels in the arid wastes of Colorado.... I have no idea what "style" this is supposed to be... hm.

2 Below is: very clear, still, sunset-gold in color with a small uneven white head that brings to mind mountain tops and hippie chicks.

Smells QUITE strange: malty, but with a bad cooked cabbage / sulfur note and a very dirty, grainy quality like someone pitched a shovelful of filthy hops into the boil. In addtion, the hops are all earth and dirt with only a faint citrus scent. Hmm....

Yeah, this just tastes weird. Grainy and sweet, metallic and dirty, iron and mild hop bitterness and that hideous cabbage flavor again... is this an ESB? A Winter Warmer? There's some lame spice in there somewhere but I can't be bothered to tease it out. Drain pour.

Bad bottle? Damaged in transit? Who knows. This wasn't good. I'll try it again if possible cause I know New Belgium can do better than this.

kkipple, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of Monsteruss
2.42/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Foam was white in color, thin and a little lacey. It had a dominate hops and citrus aroma with hints of anise and wheat. The color was a beautiful orange amber. The taste was a complete translation of the smell, a complete balance of hops and citrus with spices. Mouthfeel - medium bodied and crisp. Drinkability - not to bad. To me a simple balance of hops and citrus with some added flavors. Ok session.

Monsteruss, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of SuperNova777
2.42/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Notes from 10/28/10

A:Pours a see thru amber color with a small white head that quickly falls leaving
litterly no lacing.

S:Nose is not really getting much action but a little bit of roasted malts and that is about it

T:Not much happening again, a little hint of roasted/bready malts in the middle. A
small hint of hops is and nutty flavor is left on the backend.

M:Fairly thin with a little with a little too much carbonation.

D:Not really impressed or enjoying this one at all. They talk about dry hopping on the
description but I don't get any of that at all, mostly a lot of roastiness and a little bit of metallic taste as well. Just another below average that was a freebie from my N. Belgium rep, thank goodness

SuperNova777, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of apbarwood
2.48/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brownish-orange color with a decent amount of rocky, white head. The aroma isn't offensive but not all that great either. Not much complexity. All I really get is a bit of hops and a fruity, almost raspberry quality. They lost me on the first sip. The hops come through in unpleasant ways as far as I'm concerned as there's an almost metallic bitterness. Needs a lot more malt to balance things out. The fruitiness from the aroma is still there but it tastes like watered down berries. Light body, pretty unremarkable mouthfeel overall. In general, this one was very forgettable and not one that I'd recommend. I think even Fat Tire is better than this one and I'm no fan of FT. Pick something else.

apbarwood, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of MoyaHoya
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

MoyaHoya, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of Csnowbrown
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

Csnowbrown, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of simonmoyse
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

simonmoyse, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of stairwell2811bre
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

stairwell2811bre, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of HoppedUp13
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

HoppedUp13, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of bayougutter
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear light orange- amber with a two finger white soapy head. decent retention and lacing was ok.

Smell of bready yeast, slight malt aroma, and a little citrusy alcohol. Not bad, it just left me hanging.

Taste is bready malts followed by some citrus hops. A little confusing at the end with some metalic alcohol. Not so good.

Mouthfeel is ok with crisp dryness on the end.

Overall I didn't like very much, but didn't hate either. It's one of those.

bayougutter, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of greencovesteve
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

greencovesteve, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of KevdoggNasty
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

KevdoggNasty, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of showell
2.53/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I really had high hopes for this one when I bought it. Though fat tire is not my favorite beer, it is nice for a "session beer". I tried 1554 a while back and really loved it, so I thought that another New Belgian might be in order. I won't be buying it again. It starts out okay... sort of like an overly hoppy fat tire, but after a while the bitterness just becomes overwhelming. I read on one of the reviews that it's better warm, so I'm going to try that. Maybe it will change my mind on it, but I rather doubt it.

Well, I tried it warmer, but I didn't like it that way either. This just isn't my favorite beer. Sorry if you really love it, but it's just not my thing.

showell, Jan 05, 2009
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,086 ratings.