2° Below Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing
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Ratings: 1,034 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
"We like to think we beat winter at its own game with 2º Below Winter Ale- a bright, warming blast of Sterling and Liberty hops along with tawny roasted malts. By pushing our 2º Below into a final, nearly freezing state, its ample structure develops a brilliant clarity. Dry hopping during fermentation creates a bright, hoppy palate and a cheery warm afterglow." Brewed in the style of an English ESB. Previously a winter seasonal as recent as 2010-2011, this was re-released once more in the winter 2013 folly pack as a one-off. Available in 12 oz. bottles and on draft.
Poured from a 12 oz. Bottle to a New Belgium globe glass. Served north of 51º Fahrenheit.
(Appearance) Pours a golden cream white head of a frothy, silky consistency over a very mildly hazy copper orange body with otherwise brilliant clarity. Carbonation is moderate, plentiful and vivacious. Retention is superb and lacing is light and sticky. 4.25
(Smell) The presence of hop characters in this beer is very distinctive, very fruity, floral and underripe citrus presence on top of a biscuity, lightly toasted caramel grain malt base. Bitterness is modest and the sweetness is equally tame- overall the balance is enjoyable. Potency is medium-high. 4
(Taste) The balance is even more evident in the flavor. A pronounced biscuit caramel and toffee malt base provide a distinctively English malt build, whereas the hop profile, slightly less potent than in the aroma, still generates a flavorful assembly of fruity, floral and earthy hop notes, nothing too contradictory to style nor distractingly bitter, the beverage is drinkable and very well balanced. 3.75
(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, fluffy, very clean. Carbonation generates a very mild frothiness and little crispness for a tame mouthfeel. The body is medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is equal parts bitter and sweet, just ideal for the style and drinkability. Alcohol presence and off-flavors are at a bare minimum. It should be noted that while many English style ales have a range of Diacetyl and mineral characteristics, 2º Below for the most part avoids this in favor of more approachable flavors. 4.25
(Drinkability) This beer blew me away the second time I had it, just so much more to expect over a no-frills ESB, the fruity and zesty hop profile works wonders for turning up the flavor in this beer. Highly drinkable, gracefully balanced and quite the quaffable ESB, perhaps in name only. Now if they could only decide to keep a seasonal around for more than a year at a time, I'd get it at every chance. This is arguably my favorite of the winter seasonal selections that New Belgium has put out, and I hope they return to bringing old favorites back in the near future. 4
New Belgium Brewing Company's
2º Below Ale
Serving type: bottle
05-01-2014 02:39:25 | More by Jadjunk
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
2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,034 ratings.