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2° Below Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,157 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,157
Reviews: 569
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 24
Gots: 80 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,157 | Reviews: 569
Photo of PhillyNole
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Drbarriga
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Jordanmtate
3.02/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of FitgerFanatic
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of 45nDown
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Pantalones
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank my first two from the Folly pack before I started doing reviews, and have had the weirdest craving for this beer the past couple days (ever since my taste buds and nose started really recovering from this cold I've had lately, oddly enough) so I figured... hey, why not have another? Seems like an appropriate time for it--though it's not quite "2 below" outside, it is definitely the coldest it's been in my area since last January (hit the mid-teens earlier today)... good night for a winter-themed beer I suppose.

Looks, like every other beer I've had from New Belgium, very nice. Sort of a dark coppery sort of color, hovering between dark orange and light orangey brown, with a nice fluffy-looking not-quite-white head of foam on top and constant upward streams of tiny little bubbles from a few spots around the glass. Starts to shrink away after a bit, leaving a trail on the side of the glass as it ends up as just a thin covering on top.

The smell is pretty interesting. Shortly after opening the bottle, a sniff came up mostly fruity; after pouring, there's fruitiness and nuttiness and some other things going on--leaning toward fruity when the foam's still on top, with the nutty part coming out stronger as it fades away. I almost want to say that it starts to remind me a bit of tea as it warms up a little. Gets a bit less pleasant later on, unfortunately, so I had to drop my score a bit.

Taste is kinda like the smell in a way, but different. The nuttiness (which reminds me of Fat Tire actually--probably not too surprising considering that they're made by the same people and all) is definitely present, but there seems to be a lot of other stuff going on too, enough that I'm almost having difficulty putting into words everything I'm noticing (I assume there are some flavors in here I'm not familiar with, so I can taste them and think "hey, that's something different" but I don't know quite how to describe them in words, though I'll try as best I can.) On some sips I picked up an almost citrus fruit-like flavor, but just a hint of it, and that particular flavor seemed to vanish after a short while; sometimes I get a little bit of a pine-like flavor which I know has got to be from one of the hops involved--it's not exactly like the pine-type flavor I noticed in Ranger and Rampant (even aside from not being as strong), and it's not always there like the nuttiness, but something in there reminded me a bit of pine. There's also a sort of... I guess "dried leaf-y" sort of thing going on sometimes which is pretty interesting when combined with the nutty flavor; seems to come out more as I'm getting into the later half of the glass, replacing (or maybe blending together with?) the bits of pine I noticed earlier. The fruitiness from the initial smell (and sometimes the nuttiness as well) returns in burp form after drinking my way through half the glass.

Feels pretty nice also. Goes down pretty easy but at the same time feels more substantial than a lot of drinks--definitely not watery, but doesn't feel excessively fizzy either. There's a definite bitterness going on (is it weird that I count bitterness as more of a sensation in the mouth than a taste? maybe so, but it seems like the "bitter" flavors and the feel of "bitterness" itself aren't quite the same thing), but the bitterness is never overwhelming or unpleasant at all even by the end of the glass. I almost get the feeling that I could drink another one right now, and I don't usually have two beers in one sitting. Balanced, I guess you could say.

And speaking of feelings, I am definitely starting to notice the effects of the alcohol as I get near the bottom of the glass, even though I had a ham-and-cheese sandwich just an hour or so before. Yep, this definitely has more alcohol than the average beer--but just like the other things going on it's balanced, not some crazy amount of alcohol that would get me insta-drunk after one bottle, just enough to make its presence known. I suspect I would be pleasantly "warm and fuzzy" if I went ahead and drank my last remaining bottle after this one's gone. I already feel warmer now (with my heater off) than I did earlier (with the heater on, and a full glass of beer in front of me rather than a near-empty one.) Tonight was definitely a good night for this beer.

Interestingly, it seems like every time I have this beer I notice more going on than I did the previous time--the first time I enjoyed it but I had difficulty distinguishing different flavors; the second time I could tell there was both a nutty taste and a vague "something else... must be hops" going on; and now, on my third bottle, I'm noticing all kinds of smaller details I never really did before. It's so odd how this one didn't really stand out to me much on my first bottle, but by the third bottle it might just be my second-favorite beer from the variety pack. I'm hoping that trend continues, as I still have one more left in the fridge!

Photo of Nickpd
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of rolltide8425
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beerhere_NWI
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Theniz
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MattM
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of fishstick_pete
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jmartinger
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of JordanHageman
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of boartfield1
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of blindtiger24
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Golden / copper, clear, active carbonation, thin bubbly head.

S: Roasted malts, cereal grains, burnt toast, maybe some cocoa or granny smith apples.

T: Big malty flavor, slight esters of banana and clove, caramel apples, a little hop snap of bitterness as well.

F: Sweet and warm on the tongue. A little sticky but overall is clean and smooth.

O: Great for sitting by the fire in yuletide!

Photo of northcoastwolf
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of n2492004
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of scootny
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 12 oz bottle. A light terracotta liquid with a Creme fresh head. Light toasted biscuits and mild Belgo-funk fruitiness. Toffee tinged sweetness, herbaceous hops. Taste follows like a winters Fat Tire. Well balanced malt body with a dry graininess. Light caramel sweetness. Herbal earthiness with a light hop bitterness clinging to my palate. Feel is nicely weighted for winter with a light creaminess'. Smooth and drinkable it is a satisfying and delicious brew.

Photo of ryancl
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BTodd
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Golfer3Aces
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Photo of Markbienvenu
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MaxOhle
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,157 ratings.