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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.

1,059 Ratings
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 sulldaddy
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

Cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a mostly clear copper hue with some streams of carbonation rising to the surface. Fluffy beige head of 2 cm foams up and fades slowly as the beer sits. Head is almost faint orange tint to it. The head leave very tightly packed lattice as it slides down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is some grainy malt and caramel, maybe some light fruitiness and a hint of grassy hops.

First sip reveals an average to light body and fine gentle rolling carbonation. Very easy to drink this smooth brew.
Flavor is mild but I get some grainy malt and caramel that mixes with just a bit of grassy mildly bitey hop on the finish. Actually kind of dry too, which I didnt expect.

Overall the beer is mild and very easy to drink. Not a bad choice for this fairly warm evening.

sulldaddy, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of beeritron
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

I served this beer right at the recommended temp of 38 degrees. I think for this medium bodied ale, a warmer temp allows more flavor to come out. After the initial sip I let mine sit for 15 minutes, allowing the spiced flavor to become more complex. 2 Below pours out of the bottle a very clear, amber color with a full, off white head. The head lingers just on the surface as the beer becomes less and leaves a nice lacing on the inside of the glass. The aroma is sweet, reminiscent of homemade pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day. There is also a noticable smell of pears and earthiness that I just can't ignore. No real hop presence in the smell, but the spices noted, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves, are pleasant. The taste is good with a sweetness similar to spiced rum. The hops create a bitterness that balances, but there is not a noticable hop flavor. The 6.6% ABV bites just after the swallow. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, but thicker than you would think for such a clear beer. It floats around the cheeks and dances over the tongue, warming the throat as it is swallowed. I really enjoyed this beer on a chilly desert night, surrounded by good friends.

beeritron, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of b5d106
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

A= A dark golden amber. Nice two finger head.
S= Very biscuity with some hop spiciness in there.
T= Follows the smell with some fruit notes and bitterness in the finish.
M= Nice carbonation and good mouthfeel.
D= Flows pretty easy, but the alcohol content is pretty high.

Notes: This beer seems very similar to Fat Tire. That same biscuit flavor is very apparent. Tasted like a heartier version of the New Belguim classic.

b5d106, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of NCSUdo
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

12 oz bottle

A: Crystal clear amber under a rather large white head. A lot of lace and really good retention. Damn good looking beer.

S: Toasted malt and some earthy hops, a little bit of plain ole malt character as well.

T: Toasted malt. Some sourness. A moderate amount of bitterness and a peppery hop character. Slight medicinal/herbal character as well. This one is slightly off balance.

M/D: Medium body, carbonation is a little hight but not bad. Drinkability is a little low due to taste being off balance but the beer still maintains a good amount of drinkability.

NCSUdo, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of July2Nov
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

A: nice golden hue that resembles apple juice, with a 2 finger froth.
S: Malty with a roasted nutty scent as an undercurrent.
T: Starts off with a sharp metallic taste that quickly delivers with a roasted toffee finish.
M: leaves the palette with a smoky and warm aftertaste.
D: during the winter time, I could see cuddling up to this to get the internal organs warmed up. Hell, even in the summertime I would take this out for a bottle or two.

July2Nov, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of Fish113d
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours a nice amber color with a finger thick tan head that forms on top. Nothing fancy, but nice overall appearance.

Aroma is of grassy & biscuity hops aroma, along with a slightly grapefruit also. Again, nothing fancy, just a solid aroma.

Flavor follows the aroma. A bit of grassy, herbal hops flavor along with touch of sugary candy toward the finish. A strong bitterness takes over with this one, and it makes me pucker just a bit. Very nice!

Smooth body (medium) along with enough carbonation to make my tongue tingle. Drying finish.

Fairly drinkable. It's not my favorite style on the planet, but I do enjoy an ESB from time to time. This one fits the style pretty well, minus just a bit more bitterness that would help it I think. Maybe some golding hops would help it?

Fish113d, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of Night
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours copper / brilliant orange; flecks of vermilion. Foamy and bubbly blonde-white head, medium in size. Lacing forms two wide, intricately drippy arcs. Frosty looking. Aroma is warm and lightly hoppy with a spicy sweet touch: toast, suds, apples, caramel, sweet grass, liquor. Mouthfeel is not quite juicy with a very light carbonation. Flavor is dominated by a subtle bread malt woodiness with overtones of peach, citrus, flour, and dust. Earthy for sure. Malts and hops are balanced in pretty good stride here. A touch of bitter cinnamon spice comes in at the finish. Aftertaste is light and a touch syrupy, with a gentle bitterness.

Night, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of Kevin-Wieken
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

2° Below Ale
New Belgium Brewing, Colorado
---from bottle to pint glass---

Bright and clean copper, two fingers of ivory head, excellent lacing.

Bright floral aroma, pine, bready.

Spicey herbal flavors give way to bready, bready and caramel malts, finishes with some bitter hoppy notes – reminds me of bitter apple skin.

Light to medium body, good carbonation, good lingering bitter calls for another sip.

I like this. Looks bland, but surprises you after every sip. A good bitter beer. Bready (did I already say that?) I like the apple notes. I could drink a few of these and be happy.

Kevin-Wieken, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of RustythePelican
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

I poured this from the bottle into a pilsner glass; it is a nice-looking beer, copper-caramel colored with a small head. Smell was mild with hints of pine, suggesting more hops than this beer has.

Taste is mild and grassy, with a brief hop bitterness on the finish. This tasted a little thin to me for something advertised as a "winter ale" - more of a boozy Fat Tire to enjoy at an after-sunset cookout. Mild flavor and low carbonation makes this an easy drinking beer; I'm not sure if this is accurately categorized as an Extra Special/Strong Bitter, but it's a decent beer nonetheless.

RustythePelican, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of webbcreative
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured a lighter than expected orange color with 1 finger white head, that left good lacing.

Aroma is toasty, with a minimal floral hop presence.

Flavor is toasty, and just a little sweet, and has a mild bitter finish, for an ESB it should really be more pronounced.

Mouthfeel is pretty good for me, nice medium feel.

Overall, this is a easy drinking beer, which I would expect from an ESB, but come on - where are the hops man! Hop bill needs to be reworked to get more Bitterness, Aroma, and Flavor. Malt although tastes good, needs to be punched up a bit more, they have a good base, but there needs to be more of it. But I could easily throw back 4 of these while watching a game or something.

webbcreative, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of Morris729
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours a clear golden amber color with a creamy white head. Nose is herbal and grassy hops at first, but as the beer warms, aromas of chocolaty caramel malts become more pronounced. Quite nice, actually. Taste is toasted malt and toffee with a touch of fruitiness followed by a hop bitterness. A decent brew with the aroma being the highlight.

Morris729, Dec 04, 2006
Photo of olmatty
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

Appearance- Pours a light orange amber with a low white head and little lacing

Smell- Fresh and spicy hops and lightly sweet malts

Taste- Big on the earthy, spicy hops up front for a winter. Malts are lightly caramel sweet. Hops finish mildly.

Mouthfeel- Crisply carbonated and moderately thin body.

Drinkability- Tasty and overall nice. But, in my mind more of a spring of fall brew. Not enough body and too much hop for winter style. Like a hoppy Fat Tire.

olmatty, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

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

dirtylou, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

12 oz bottle into one of those new and rather nice looking New Belgium balloon goblets that just came out. Big thanks to my buddy Bubba83 for the hookup with both of these in a recent trade.

Pours a crystal clear amber with 2 fingers of creamy looking off-white head. Retention is really good with a nice aggressive flare-up that leaves some solid lacing that sticks. The aroma puts it right out there nicely, with a big scent of buttered bread, light fruity character, and some dry smelling floral notes.

The taste isn't quite as bold as the aroma but is still pretty full flavored with some bready and buttered biscuits, a splash of citrus, and a moderate amount of solid feeling dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth and creamy retention. The creaminess really helps bring the bready aspects of this out well. Despite the easy carbonation, there is still a some beef to the overall feel that keeps this from being overly drinkable.

Good take on a Strong Bitter here, with more of an assertive hoppiness than I would have thought and I actually didn't mind the beefier feel, as it added some warmth to the glass and made for some good winter drinking. Solid.

Kegatron, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of Stoneman78
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

A- Pours a clear orange with amber highlights, head is big, white, and creamy and mostly sustaining, the lacing appears watery but does stick to the glass
S- Smell is dominated by the trademark New Belgium roasted and biscuity malts, tones of hops, fruit, spices, and sweet candy as well
T- Taste is dominated by biscuit malts and sweet spices and herbs building to dry bitter hops that round out the finish
M- Medium-bodied and smooth with an almost creamy texture, plenty of carbonation
D- Very smooth and drinkable "winter ale", the alcohol is well-masked and the malts are well balanced with the hops, this is a nice offering and is distinctly NB, but I was expecting a bit more weight/complexity/warmth from a self-proclaimed winter ale

Stoneman78, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of kilustration
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

A: Pours a nice amber. Decent head...

S: Mild aromas.

T: No doubt a hint of caramel.

M: Medium to heavy

D: Drinkable in moderation.

Overall a nice change of pace beer. I would suggest a try if you get the chance, worth the time/dollars. Different from the mountains of Colorado.

kilustration, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of DogFood11
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

Poured into a long stemmed pils glass it forms a meaty eggshell white head that leaves coat lacing. Light copper body with medium sized carbonation. Highly filtered, clear body.

some syrupy spiced quality to this but overall it is in the backdrop and not annoying at all. This is probably the best offering from New Belgium in my opinion. Fairly clean malts which is a shocker if I take their other products into consideration. Sweet but once again not overdone. Slightly roasted malt presence is welcomed and then it ends up with a hop twister of the east coast variety.

Notes: I've made no bones about it that I can't get into brews from this brewery. This one stands out as the "best" offering I've had to date from New Belgium. It left behind that musky malt presence I find in its Fat Tire etc....Reccomended

DogFood11, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

Had this one at happy hour at a BBQ spot in the Northwest Denver recently, and thought it was pretty solid. Poured a medium amber color with a somewhat rocky white head. Aromas of citrus, floral hops and caramel. Medium bodied, somewhat hoppy, with toffee and caramel on the finish.

emmasdad, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of Cylinsier
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

12 oz.

Pours a medium honey gold, thin white head holds as a film.

Smells of brown sugar and mild spices.

Tastes of mild hops and subtle brown sugar malt sweetness.

Body on the fuller side with mild carbonation.

Good bitter ale, not great but very good, worth trying. Sort of mild.

Cylinsier, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of blackcompg
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

blackcompg, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of rgctlc
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

New Belgium's release in the Myrtle Beach area has been marketed towards gateway craft beer drinkers. You don't expect any extreme hop blasts or malt bombs or alcohol kicks with their beers so I wasn't expecting anything other than a nice holiday beer. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the hops up front with the sweet malt body followed by a nice clean finish. Definately more character than I expected. Not too heavy, and has kind of a belgian trippel vibe to it. Gets better as it warms and is very drinkable. All in all, a very decent offering.

rgctlc, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

thanks to babydoc for this bottle also

A - transparent dark orange, with a half finger of light tan head with slow scant carbonation

S - the spiciness hits first, a ginger/nutmeg spiciness that compliments the season, the hop/malt profiles are rather strong and are well represented

T - thinner than i expected, but not in a bad way, musty, spicy and hoppy all at once, but a good musty, like an archaic scroll vault musty, not pile of wet cardboard in a garage musty, and a little caramel note on the aftertaste

M&D - thin, light on the tongue, very easy down, and easy palatable, a nice brew, you cold easy make a session beer, even in the summer

sinstaineddemon, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

Nice orange-red color with a foamy, thick white head. Smells alright, hmm. Tastes liek a little hops then some maltiness, good and seems hoppy for an ESB which is just fine with me. Overall quite easy to drink and a nice beer to drink while shooting a game of pool which is exactly what I did.

ArrogantB, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of Jakeonaplane
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

Jakeonaplane, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of warriorsoul
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%

A huge "thankyou" to jpm30 for this one...
Honey orange in color with a full finger of bright, white head...sticky, web-lacing is created as it disappears.
Nice aroma...spicy hops, sweet caramel malt, and some honey.
Taste is quite unique...heavily malted with a peat flavor. Grapefruit, pine, orange, corriander, and even what tastes like carroway seed.
Although the start hits the pallet sweet, this is one bitter brew and sucks away any moisture your tongue may be holding onto....finishes with no off flavors and quite dry. Alcohol is nowhere to be found in this glass.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is where I like it to be....not a session beer for me, but a nice offering for the season.

warriorsoul, Dec 13, 2006
2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,059 ratings.