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2° Below Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

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

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1,157 Ratings
no score

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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 atsprings
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a crisp orange with a thin diminishing off-white head. Aroma is bitter hops and caramel malts. The taste is a nice balance of bitter Earthy hops and sweet caramel malts that maintains its balance all the way to the finish. The beer is on the light side of medium with it's 6.6% well hidden. This one is an enjoyable beer for a cold night.

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This winter beer smells of resiny pine, with some malt sweetness.

Pours a deep amber with a one finger head; nice lacing left behind.

Initial bitterness fades to a very pleasant sweetness. There is a hint of alcohol warming at the end. Notes of spice and orange, with some hints of biscuit. This beer is very well balanced. The alcohol is very well masked, and the upfront hoppiness is perfectly matched by some subtle, lingering sweetness. Carbonation is low/medium which transcends to a silky smooth mouthfeel. There is some tang at the end of the swallow from the hops. When I was sensing for particular toasted notes I was able to find them, however I probably wouldn't have noticed them had I not been trying to look for them.

Overall, this beer is the perfect winter seasonal. A little bite with some equal sweetness. Definitely conjures up some feelings of warmth and happiness.

Photo of northaustin
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a very clear yellowish copper with about two fingers of fairly even white head that has good retention and lacing.

big hop presence in the nose. mostly piney and citrusy. mixes pretty well with a nice subtle winter warmer type malt smell in the background.

taste: very nice balance of piney flavored hops and a fairly light malt presence. also pretty bitter.

mouthfeel: it does have a big hop bite and could perhaps be considered a little over carbonated. still nice though.

drinkability: the price is right on this beer and it is very sessionable. i think even alot of non-beer folk could enjoy this one.

Photo of projectflam86
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear copper color with a decent foam head that leaves some lacing.

S- Earthy spicy hops with a hefty amount of toasted malt.

T- Mimics the nose quite well. Quick hoppy bitterness that fades into rich caramel toasted malt. Chestnuts, butterscotch, toffee, spice, and grains are all present.

M- Creamy medium body with nice carbonation.

D- Nice easy flavor that was quite different than I was expecting.

Photo of Japerrault
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful golden amber with a thick, creamy white head, which lasted very long and left nice lacing.

S: Spicey, piney hops, sweet fruity aromas as well.

T: Lightly sweet, with the flavor of the hops showing through as mild sweet grapefruit and spruce. Toasted grain in the finish. No bitterness.

M: Nice smooth mouthfeel not watery at all. Well carbonated.

D: No bitterness, mild sweetness, good mouthfeel, pleasent aroma and flavors all add up to an easy drinking beer.

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

always a favorite local seasonal of mine, finally going to give it a rating, here she goes...

A - clean and clear copper with good head retention and lacing

S - rich caramel malt,apples, butterscotch, nuts and a light kiss of floral hops.

T - very nutty and produces a light sweetness intitialy. just enough hops on the follow through. balance is sublime.

MF - medium bodied and low on carbonation

D - this brew continues to be a winter warmer favorite of mine. exceptional balance and flavor make this a no-brainer winter season session brew!

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

on tap, malt house

cell-phone notes

appearance: the seasonal from new belgium served in a large new belgium goblet. light amber body, full foamy beige crest

smell: nutty, fruity - apple primarily, toasted malt

taste: some similar characteristics as fat tire - heavy nutty flavor, apple sweetness. dry, toasted malts and toasted grain. not overly memorable

mouthfeel: medium body

drinkability: good

Photo of GreenCard
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: light copper, great clarity, nice layer of off-white suds with good head retention

Aroma: biscuity malt with strawberries, passion fruit, and a floral hop scent

Flavor: medium-sweet, toasty malt balance with a leafy accent that I initially thought was some kind of spice (like kaffir lime leaf), but no such thing listed on the label; finishes semisweet with a lingering hop greenery aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, soft texture, and a gentle warming in the throat

Other comments: This is kind of a "sleeper hit" of a beer. Looking at it you don't expect much, but then you're treated to a nice flavor complexity and a really palatable beer.

Photo of srkeefe
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall, this beer is average. I found it drinkable and enjoyed the color and flavor. A little weak on the body.

I bought a six pack and I am going to drink all 6.

I drink a lot of Fat Tire and enjoy the New Belgium products. Will try it again when the snow flies to see if my opinion changes.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Best Before: March 5, 2010.

Appearance: Pours out a brilliant, amber body with an airy, fluffy, white head.

Smell: Toasty, spicy nose with, on occasions, the toast and spice aspects coming together at just the right time to give me the impression of gourmet cinnamon powder. Also, some hints of dehydrated herbs and a distant, vague fruitiness.

Taste: Initially, it's a sweetish combination of caramel and toasty malt tastes rounded out with an ill-defined hint of supporting, juicy fruitiness. Then, in comes the spicy, herbaceous hop character imparted by the Sterling and Liberty with a notable hint of coarsely-cracked white peppercorns. Drying finish with an enduring spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: One of those odd ales that falls between the cracks -- it's not a great representation of an ESB and doesn't perform too well as a Winter Warmer. Though, as just a pleasant, easy-drinking beer, it's alright.

Photo of wcudwight
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper in color with a thin wispy head. The head never really developes but what does develope holds it's retention well.
Interesting aroma that's part sweet homemade bread and part earthy spiciness.
Flavor is just as interesting. Lot's of caramel malt or toffee flavors with just enough spicy earthy hoppiness to add interest. For such a varied flavor profile it works and comes off very nice. I can't believe the balance of this beer.
Mouthfeel is medium and neither adds or detracts much.
Very tasty beer that I will be getting more of. Thanks Fugazme.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear copper color, white head settling fairly quickly. Nose is less fruity, caramel malt, spice, nutmeg and very tasty A nice malty brew, with just enough hops to balance everything out. Mouthfeel is fairly mild, not too complex. Drinkability is high due to its taste and smoothness.

Photo of Soneast
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Leave it to New Belgium to release a non-standard seasonal.

The pour produced a clear, copper colored liquid with some reddish hues and a pretty large off-white colored head, that seemed to have pretty average retention.

The aroma certainly does emit a nice hop character, sort of spicy and somewhat citrusy but there is a pretty strong malt presence as well, mostly caramel or toffee-like notes.

the flavor is a lot more malt-forward, with a fairly strong toffee flavor as well as some breadiness, with the hops following suit right towards the end, with an spicy, somewhat earthy punch, which hints at a strong bitterness but the beer ultimately finishes sweet.

Fairly easy to drink and quite unique,and I feel that it is very well balanced. This is not a bad choice and overall it tastes pretty good.

Photo of homebrew311
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into NB globe.

A: appears reddish golden, foamy 2 finger heady forms, head sticks around, thick lacing

S: spicy hops, earthy hops, and a bready grain profile

T: hops are the highlight of this beer. The hops have a piney and spicy profile which is followed by caramel malts and bread flavors. The alcohol also comes through slightly hot on the end

M: Sharp, bubbly, high carbonation

D: This is a winter seasonal that is hopped up! I think this is one of NB's stronger offerings as it provides that hop craving one may have during the winter months. The drinkability isn't the best as it is a bit sharp and hot. Nice warming beer though!

Photo of rpjonesga
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I thought that the most interesting think about this beer was the dry hop aroma. Even without reading the label, you would instantly know that this was dry hopped. I also noticed that the smell and flavor improved as the beer warmed up. I enjoyed it much more 15 minutes after I poured it than I did immediately out of the bottle.

Overall, I think that this offering from NB is very similar to many of their beers...good but not great! I would have liked it to have a bit more body and substance beyond the nice hop aroma.

I will probably buy it again but it definitely won't be something that I seek out.

Photo of weazal
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

S: Instantly bright, crisp, piny hops...almost effervescent.

T: Hops aren't as in your face in the flavor. More of a tangy maltiness with just faint traces of mildly bitter pine hops in the background. The flavor doesn't overwhelm or fill the palate. It seems half absent, you kind of have to work for it. This, however, creates an easy, more drinkable sensation.

Photo of originalsin
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up on a whim--looks like I won't be seeing Hoptober around until next year. Oh well.

Pours a caramel color with a nice off white head that settles quickly and laces relatively well.
Of all the beers I've ever smelled, the smell of this one reminds me most of some sort of weed. Odd, as I don't smoke, but there's a lot of grassy and herbal resin notes here.
Taste is of toasted malts and burnt caramel with a dose of cherry. Nothing too special, and likely not something I'll pick up again. I'd like to try it on tap, though, so maybe sometime in the near future.

Anyway, cheers. 2 left in my 6 pack and then it's off to bed.

Photo of MOB210SA
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good looking 1 1/2 finger bone color head dies to about 1 finger.

Bright clear, golden amber with some nice amount of cascading lacing

A fruity almost peach taste that has a malty/biscuity aftertaste

mouthfeel was light but an enjoyable NB.

Drinkablility goes down easy and not my favorite type of beer but im sure plently would find it enjoyable enough. I could finish a 6 pretty easily but i wouldnt want to by myself so the scores getting knocked down a notch.

Not the best, but decent IMO.

Photo of 1759Girl
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance> Slightly hazy, lively, small head dissipates slowly.
Smell> Hoppy and sweet. Quite inviting.
Taste> Surprisingly more complex than I like for a bitter. Malty, sweet, hoppy, far more resin than I expect in an esb, but it softens to a sweet but alcoholic hang.
Mouf> too sudsy
Drinkable> not to shabs

Photo of dickroop
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at the NB Hub in Denver Int'l Airport. The ale is a clear reddish tan with generous head and lacing. Nothing extra special to look at but moderately inviting. The brew was light on aroma, just a hoppy smell one notch stronger than faint.

The taste was (to me) a bit unusual for an ESB - I call it "bitter fruity". The hops were not distinctive, but there were flavor notes of juniper berry and cherry. The malt was probably the best part and it was pretty plain

Mouthfeel had a distinctive pucker to it, medium bodied, some malt stickiness, and definite alcohol warming in the mix. It made for a drinkable beer, but a mysterious experience overall. I'd have it again, but it makes me yearn for more hops.

Photo of NorCalYeti
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

taste- brite, acidic, light, complex maltiness

color- rosy-copper

clarity- clear

smell- sour apple and chocolate

body- soft mouthfeel, light-medium hop/malt balance

appearance- light white head, light carbonation

overall impression- interesting brite beer

notes- sterling and liberty hops with tawny-roasted malts. dry hopped during fermentation. brite hoppy palete. serve this beer at 37 degrees. this review is for a 2008 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: tulip

serving temp.- 38.1 degrees

Photo of ghostofpaulman
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A:looks almost identical to fat tire.amber red with creamy beige foam.

S:spicy and skunky like high grade marijuana!

T:Biscuity like fat tire.also matches the smell with a marijuana like taste.

M:Fairly light but just a little too carbonated.

D:I could polish of a sixer with no problem.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Belgium's 2º Below Winter Ale pours a clear orange-amber body beneath a creamy off-white head that holds remarkably well and leaves sheets of thin lace behind.

The aroma delivers a solid maltiness that's bready, doughy, toasty and caramelish with a suggestion of spice that's probably just hops... it's spicy, peppery, and kind of earthy and grassy.

The flavor follows suit and the hops are a bit more floral and spicy. The bready and toasty malt remains, and it's very well balanced by a firm bitterness. It's very well rounded, and it finishes with a touch of lingering bready and caramel-drizzled malt and a bit of drying spiciness.

Overall it's a really nicely done malty beer that never gets sweet, and isn't too bitter. Additionally, it's really pretty unique in that it kind of suggests spices where there are none. Quite nice!

Photo of willjschmidt
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours an golden amber color.

S: Nice hop aroma with some malt in there as well.

T: Doesn't really fit the listed style. Floral and cirtusy hops overlayed over the bready malt. My friend said "tastes like a hoppier version of Fat Tire." I more or less agree.

M: Medium-bodied.

D: A very average beer, wouldn't buy again.

Photo of natelocc787
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance-Dark Golden-Caramel colored. Nice head! Nice lacing and retention seems good. Nice beige creamy topping.

Smell-hoppy! Spices are present like cinnamon and hops are dominant. Think carbonated cherry bourbon. Fruits are there, spices are there, hops are there...hhmmmm can't wait.

Taste-watery and light-this brings nothing that the smell suggested. Hops and alcohol. Medicinal almost. Herbs and florals. Not very bold. Hard to believe after that powerful nose.

Mouthfeel-medium bodied with less carbonation than expected. Watery.

Drinkability-The nose gives an english pale ale type aroma as the glass comes to you but then a weird mixture of beer ingredients hits the taste buds in well... a different way. It tastes like somebody threw a mystery recipe together and this is what came out.

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