1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,646 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,646
Reviews: 719
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.92%
Wants: 59
Gots: 177 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 11-18-2001

Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 1,646 | Reviews: 719
Photo of puboflyons
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on April 22, 2015. That may be a month after Spring began on the calendar but I had two inches of snow in my back yard 10 days ago.

A handsome looking medium amber-reddish colored pour with a off-white head that lingers.

The smell is luscious with its sweet malts, nutmeg, black licorice, allspice, and currant notes. Hops seem to be in the background but add a cleanliness to it all.

The body was medium to better than medium.

The taste is a nice sweet caramel malt flavor with some o the same spices pick up on the nose. A mild hop bite to finish. In some respects I liken this to an Abbey Dubbel without the clove.

Photo of EMV
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a clear deep copper with minimal white head.

S: Sweet vanilla bean on the nose, malts, and spices. Cinnamon and sugar.

T/F: Definitely on the sweet side... with a strong vanilla and caramel presence, somewhat reminiscent of cream soda. Moderately carbonated and smooth. Strong malt backbone and dry at the finish. Cloves and cinnamon in the background. No significant hops.

O: A nice winter warmer from Anderson Valley. A little sweet and vanilla-ish, but there's enough going on with the flavor to keep it interesting. Best served at cellar temperature. Great on a cold winter night.

Photo of mchegash
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got as part of a build-your-own 6-pack at Kroger a month ago. Have no clue how old it is.

Appearance - 4/5
Beautiful, medium-dark red-orange-brown color, fairly clear (although dark, so not a ton of light comes through). Very tiny particles can be seen throughout the beer. A half finger of light beige head which dissipates down to a relatively thin layer. Extremely minimal carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 4/5
Delicious spices, vanilla, cinnamon, licorice. A little bit of booziness as well. Got a whiff of "Big Red" gum smell (spicy cinnamon gum).

Taste - 4.25/5
Delicious mellow vanilla/chocolate taste (yes, both), the spices are lighter in the taste than the smell, but still present. Medium-dark malt flavor. An almost bourbon-like booziness. Overall there is a great coherence to the taste which I don't know how to describe. It's hard to describe all the flavors I taste, becuase there is really one homogenous yet very complex flavor present. Great taste, very happily surprised.

Mouthfeel - 4.25/5
Medium-full in body. Smooth and creamy yet with a nice medium-light intensity carbonation kick.

Overall - 4.25/5
Overall this was a fantastic beer. Glad to have randomly tried this, would have otherwise missed out on a great beer.

Photo of kitch
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle which has a best before 10 June 2016 sticker on it (seems a bit long too me…)

A: Poured into a pint glass a slightly hazy deep amber colour. One finger tan head which disappears slowly.
S: Strong vanilla, caramel and malt in that order followed by some light toffee.
T: Very much like the nose. Prominent vanilla and toffee followed by caramel. Not too sweet which I like.
M: Full bodied, creamy with some light carbonation.
O: This one surprised me in a good way. Although the aroma was a bit weak, the taste was nice as the vanilla, toffee and caramel tastes mixed well together. I would buy this again, but definitely for the winter while its cold and not during the warm spring as it is now.

Photo of AuntBea
4.66/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great flavor but, not to overpowering.

Photo of gildo9
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.75

NICE SPICY FLAVOR , VERY DRINKABLE

Photo of ohiobeer29
2/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A decent winter ale solid brew drinkable

Photo of syrup6
4.84/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing seasonal beer. I try to get it every year.

Photo of Stevebillyard
4.66/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great flavor and smell love the malt

Photo of BradMacMullin
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

My friend Mike Sondel recommended this. Mike has the taste buds of a hammer. Why do I listen to him. This is another beer I repeatedly get and don't like. It tastes metallic and odd to me - but enough of the positives. Note to self. Don't order this, and get new friends

Photo of KevChiTown
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad spiced ale. Vanilla, cinnamon, yet still a malty sweetness. Not really a winter warmer, no burn. Good seasonal ale.

Photo of beerme626
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very attractive, with gorgeous dark copper color and inviting nose. Taste is fruit heavy with cinnamon also. Tasty. Everything I want in a winter warmer.

Photo of WoostaBia
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasty beer. Smells of ripe red grapes, molasses and toffee. Tastes of sweet malty start with a warm alcoholic burn in the back. Awesome beer, will definitely become a winter staple.

Photo of Maltyduo
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A bit bitter and alcohol note for my taste. Decent malt forward subtle hop character, but not my type of warm fuzzy winter

Photo of SierraFlight
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass. Golden-red clear liquid with tall, fluffy tan head that leaves sticky sheets on the glass. Aroma is caramel malt, vanilla, winter spice, citrus, and fruity esters. Flavors begin with malt-forward sweetness, esters, toffee and caramel, are supported by a mild hop bitterness, and finishes with spice and lingering sweetness. Full bodied, creamy, thick texture, soft carbonation, and a little booziness on the finish.

Photo of Lard_City
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sweet, fruity and malty. Spicy but we'll balanced.

Photo of bfrank8
2.35/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap, did not agree with me, after taste. Typically not a fan of spiced beers.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is not strong but has spicy and malty hints. Pours a clear, dark mahogany with a thick and fluffy buff head. Hearty flavor has malty, gingerbread and honey notes, sweet but subtle, hints of cloves and cocoa, very tasty and very much the Winter Holidays! (Bleep Christmas - I celebrate the Winter Solstice!) Texture has good body and plenty of fizz, and a dusty gingerbread hint. Happy whatever-the-heck-you-celebrate-in-December!

Photo of Tracey_Daniel
4.84/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Delish! I loved it! Very smooth and good.

Photo of uspbacchus
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - pours a nice dark toffee color. Decent head with a decent retention. Fairly long lacing
S - malty smell with hints of caramel, bread.
T - follows smell, but caramel much more pronounced.
M - appropriate carbonation, appropriate feel.
O - extremely enjoyable beer, always one of my winter favorites

Photo of Barnoloid
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decent winter warmer style ale. The spices are a little on the sweet side here, and there is a sugar & spice feel that can be a little overwhelming. Definitely a solid body and high maltiness here.

Photo of classixIII
2.91/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drinkable but just an average Winter Ale. Extremely light on the nose lightly spiced.

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

S - apple juice, caramel

Photo of Fastwalker19
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best seasonal ale of the year for me.

Photo of SpectrePLUS
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Just aw'ight. Taste kind of lingers... Not great, but I'll finish the two singles I bought.

to view more.
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,646 ratings.