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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
82
good

1,059 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,059
Reviews: 557
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 20
Gots: 41 | 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
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Ratings: 1,059 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jadpsu
4.33/5  rDev +19%

Pours a bright and crystal clear copper with a nice off brown head, with slightly better than average retention, along with decent side lace.
S: pine and floral hops most prominant, along with some roasted malts showing up.
Taste: Toasty, bready malts, a little sweet up front, then finishes with some piny hops along with a hint of caramel.
Well balanced, enjoyed this one, very drinkable.

jadpsu, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of bonsreeb85
4.33/5  rDev +19%

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!

bonsreeb85, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of TheJollyHop
4.33/5  rDev +19%

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.

TheJollyHop, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of bgraney
4.33/5  rDev +19%

Clear honey/amber, lots of bubbles, thin white, creamy head.
Bready/biscuit malt aroma with citrusy hop background.
Excellent flavor combination. The maltiness rests on the front of the tongue and the bitter on the back. Like liquid bread with orange or apricot marmalade.
Medium mouthfeel. The flavors have a nice long rest on the tongue without expanding into the nose.
The flavors are not so overwhelming that you can't keep drinking these. Keep'em comin!
An excellent, very well balanced beer.

bgraney, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of 1050Sudz
4.33/5  rDev +19%

2 Below Winter Ale

This beer, as most New Belgium productions, is very well presented.
It pours nicely, leaving a moderately thick head.
It does not look or smell like an ESB, but offers a fantastic malty flavor packed with strong alcohol, winter wonders, and hoppy flavor that leaves a lasting impression.
2 Below is an easy drinker that carries a heavy load.
It is now my favorite New Belgium!

1050Sudz, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of Atron67
4.33/5  rDev +19%

I really like this bitter, a smooth lightly malty and sharp hop bite at the end that is really delicious. a great sipper that i wish was more available around here. a definite huge winner from new belgium. crisp hop presence gives a really nice lingering character.

Atron67, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of drseamus
4.33/5  rDev +19%

2 below pours a nice amber color with a full finger of pure white head that falls within half a minute or so. In hind sight I don't know what I was thinking, but when I saw a winter label with the name 2 below, i expected a spiced ale. Clearly I forgot that Peter runs things over there and there is no such thing as style or expectations. Even before I get the beer to my nose I can smell the pungent piney aroma of hops. I was surprised by the taste though. I expected it to be all hops, but it was actually more balanced than I would have expected. The taste of hops were there, but it was more the floral taste and aroma than the regular bite of the bitterness of hops. There is a sweet matliness that attempts to balance the hops and only falls a little short. Personally, I think that this is labeled incorrectly as a ESB and I think Peter would agree, although he would disagree with the labeling in general and I would disagree with only the specific label applied. If you enjoy the flavor of hops, you're gonna want to drink this beer. I just might do the same again.

drseamus, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of HotterThanHell
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%

Poured this beer in my Texas Tech pint glass with a pretty 3/4 inch head and then took a wif...Liberty hops and then some more Liberty Hops. This craft must be dry hopped with an entire crop. Also just a hint of malt. Nice!

Although I'm not much of a hop head, this beer is fantastic. The best I've had from this Brewery.

The taste is malty with just a little sweetness floating about your mouth, but once swallowed the hops reimpose their dominance on the pallet.

Not real dark for a winter ale, but everything else is wonderful. Not sure what others have given this but I think it should be high 80's and is definitely worth your precious beer drinking time.

Hi TTU94

HotterThanHell, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of ybnorml
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%

A clean yellow/orange colored beer. Has a nice smooth creamy white head and lacing that looks like a milk mustache . The aroma has a strong spicy hop character and an light biscuit malt note with a hint of clove in the background. The start of the taste begins with a light biscuit malt note on the front of your tongue. Followed by that nice spicy hop character on the back edges of your tongue and mouth. That leads to a crisp and refreshing finish.

ybnorml, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of StaveHooks
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%

A - A solid 2 finger off-white head rests on top of a brilliant amber hued body. Thick vertical strips of lacing.

S - Huge cracker based malt, sesame seeds, pine nuts, toasted white bread, almonds, and berry fruit.

T - Excellent cracker malt, with notes of toffee, Granny smith apple peels, butterscotch, and caramel. A slight tang of citrus plays with carbonation to add a zesty bite. Citrus blends with hints of pine to add a freshness. Some nuttiness pokes it's head in. Finishes with a sweet caramel sweetness but has a spicy back to balance everything out.

M - Medium body, perfect carbonation for the style.

The malt is super complex with variations of breads, cracker, and simple caramel to make this beer a standout. The hops play their role but don't get in the way of the excellent malts. This is a must try if you like ESB's!...or any beer. I can't say enough about the malt profile.

StaveHooks, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Pours a clear copper, with a nice off white head that drops fairly quickly. Good lacing.

Aromas of bread, earthy hops, flowery and fruity.

First sip is of earthy and floral hops, sweet biscuity malt, a hint of juicy fruit gum. Short bitter finish. A bit of a carbonic bite.

Mouthfeel is chewy, medium bodied, with a light prickle of carbonation.

Very drinkable winter warmer, with an american hop touch. Good to sip next to a fire on a cold winter night.

JamnesCameron, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%

A: A clear copper/orange color. One finger white foamy head that thins pretty fast and leaves a good coat of lace.
S: Very aromatic. Typical citrus hops and bready malt smell for an ESB, but there are also some interesting spices thrown in that I can't pin down right now.
T: Very similar to the nose. New Belgium's signature bread/biscuit malt flavor is present, but very well balanced with a nice hop presents that has just the right amount of bitterness to it. Those holiday spices work well with this ESB.
M/D: A bit thin and watery, but not a bad mouth feel. Very smooth and easy to drink though.

I don't think a lot of breweries make a winter seasonal out of an ESB. New Belgium did and I think it worked great. This is a wonderful beer that I would recommend.

champ103, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of BrewmasterNPB
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%

This is a refreshing change of pace for most winter brews out there. The Malt flavor is awesome, it's clean but has plenty of flavor. Good balance of toastiness and sweetness. Just enough hops for me, perhaps a little low for the style, but I think that's what the beer is going for.

BrewmasterNPB, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Hoptometrist
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%

Served from the bottle into a goblet.

A- Poured a mostly clear dark orange color, some visible carbonation with soapy off-white head that left some splashy lace.

S- Big floral, grassy, and citrusy hops. Big biscuit malt, toffee, cereal malt, and caramel sweetness.

T- Big biscuit and cereal malt notes, big floral, grassy, citrusy, and piney hope, quite a bit of caramel sweetness, toffee, bready, and light spice esters from the yeast. Moderate to high bitterness on the finish. with a big lingering hop finish.

M- Prickly carbonation, medium to lighter bodied, and semi-dry finish.

O- This winter ale has a ton of hop character and big malt backbone that really balance each other out well. Reminded me a little bit of a much maltier version of Celebration Ale, it seemed like the hop profile and hop bite was pretty similar.

Hoptometrist, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of dcook11
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%

Reviewed out of a pint glass on a semi-chilly November night. I've had this beer out of both a pint glass and a snifter, but I am now reviewing out of the pint.
.
A- An aggressive pour reveals 2 below to be a medium orange color with a two finger head and fantastic spider web lacing. Fine bubbles are present and rise to the top of the glass to contribute to head formation. The head itself is soapy and the lacing is reminiscent of sea foam splattered on the side of a dock. The carbonation is light to medium bodied and begins to dissipate about five minutes after the actual pour. The beer looks very nice in the glass and is very close to being rated a five.

S- Although the snifter reveals more smell, the pint glass does an adequate job of capturing this ESB's pineyness and malt sweetness. The initial sniff reveals a moderate hop aroma that is reminiscent of fresh pine. This pineyness is followed by a malt/cherry odor that seems to almost blend together. The smell is a winner mainly due to its uncanny balance between malt sweetness and hop spice. A definite winner and very sessionable,

T- Hop burn fades into cherry and malt with a very slight bitterness at the termination. The cheery is almost a candied cherry in that it is artificial. Although pleasant, the taste begs one to make the distinction.

M- The mouth feel is light, approaching medium bodied. Very easy drinking, mostly because of how balanced this beer is.

D- The overall balance of this beer make it very drinkable as the hops and the malt blend very well together. The cherry flavor and the bitterness on termination add to the overall enjoyment of the beer.

Although not very complex, 2 below provide the drinker with an enjoyable session due mostly to its impeccable balance and drink ability. Definitely a great choice for fall and winter nights.

dcook11, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of slargthorb
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%

Served in a beer glass like 99% of the beer I drink.
A: Looks medium dark with orangy, reddish hues ( damn, I almost sound like I know what I'm talking about)
S: Smells like Fat Tire (which I love)
T: Tastes like Fat Tire but even toastier and with more alcohol noticable. TASTY!
M: Not too thick - also with the slight creaminess ala Fat Tire
D: I'm loving this; Yes!

This brings me to a comment on Fat Tire bashing. One of the things which makes beer snobs such bores is how they will bash some beer seemingly just because it's become so popular. Fat Tire is loved by many knowledgeable beer 'advocates', and deservedly(sp?) so.
Anyway, New Belgium is making some lovely beers, and this is certainly one of them!

slargthorb, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of mjkingman
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

mjkingman, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of beerbrains
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

beerbrains, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of electricfields
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

A: Pours a clear medium-dark amber color with a bubbly, creamy head. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Smells sort of like Fat Tire. Lots of bready malts, but a little sweeter, with a little bit of spice but nothing overtly "wintery," thankfully.

T: Mild bitter hops balanced really well with sweet nutty malts. A little bit of alcohol comes through in the finish.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is good and stays around for quite a while. I generally don't like this much of it, but it's good here.

D: This is probably one of New Belgium's best beers. While it probably wouldn't be great for a session beer at 6.6% ABV, it tastes good enough you'll never want to use it as one anyway.

electricfields, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of goochpunch
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Pours a copper amber body with rather active carbonation and a thick off white head that settles down to some peaks and plateaus along with lacing all over the place. Hops hit me in the nose first off. Lots of grassy, herbal, and floral aromas. Following that is a whiff of butter followed by smells of bread, both fresh and toasted. Flavor is big on herbal hops up front, with an underlying fruity ester quality. Something about the mix of the hops and malt flavors remind me of watermelon bubblegum just for a second. Follows through with some bready malts and toasted notes. Finishes dry, slightly bitter, with a little alcohol kick and slight astringency. Herbal hop flavor sticks through the entire way. Mouthfeel is amazing. Smooth and of moderate body. This is dangerously drinkable, especially at its alcohol level.

goochpunch, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of TaylorK
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

TaylorK, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of abernethyj
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

abernethyj, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

brandoman63, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of northbayrugger
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

northbayrugger, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of jharris0624
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

jharris0624, Nov 13, 2012
2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,059 ratings.