Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 1,358 | Reviews: 674 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
3.65/5 rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
A Tale of Two Seasonals…
Package: 12 oz. Bottle labeled 6.9% ABV. 2002 Edition with no additional date.
Cost: $6.99 6-Pack
Presentation: Pint glass at ~45º
Appearance: Coppery color. A bit cloudy. Head was somewhat disappointing, resolving down to ¼” or so, which remained for most of the glass. Nice strings of small bubble from the bottom.
Smell: This had an interesting, but busy smell. Lots of different spice notes competing with each other. A touch of malt sweetness. Fairly enticing aroma.
Taste: The taste did not live up to the aroma. Although the malt presence was good, there was an unpleasant spice element I did not enjoy. Reminded me of a cilantro-soapy taste. Less hoppy than some other Western Micros (especially seasonals), which I normally prefer, but doesn’t work here. Muddy. I wish the sweetness were more upfront. Flavors faded in the middle and finish, which was too dry. Flavors were not well-rounded.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is fine and even; not too flat nor too harsh.
Drinkability: I can’t rate this very highly. I did not find it refreshing enough for regular consumption, nor was it as satisfying or exceptional as so many other rich seasonal brews are.
I’m not a big fan of Anderson Valley’s beers, with the exception of the Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, going back to when the Malt Advocate rated the Anderson Valley ESB equal to Fuller’s. I ran out to try some and was very disappointed. It wasn’t in the same league. Being a big fan of Winter Seasonals, I thought this might be different, but it too falls short of my limited expectations. I drank this back-to-back with a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (which may have been unfair), and this one came off the Sidney Carton to Sierra’s Charles Darnay. It looks similar, has a similar ABV, and a similar philosophy; but ends up almost entirely different. A noble effort, but unfortunately it comes up short.
Backwash: As mentioned, this review is a tale of two Winter Seasonals. Compared to Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, this brew is overmatched. My tastes don’t run to the “hop-head” end of the spectrum, but the execution of the Celebration Ale is far better. If you are looking for Winter Seasonals, do yourself a favor and look to Fuller’s, Young’s, Sam Smith’s; or if you lean toward hoppier offerings, Stone or Sierra Nevada.
Serving type: bottle
01-07-2003 10:37:42 | More by Dantes
More User Reviews:
3.94/5 rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
A- Copper colored with frothy tan head.
S- Carmel malt & Vanilla creme. Pretty decent nose but nothing overwhelming.
T- Creamy carmel & vanilla similar to the nose. Toasted bread, cinnamon and some mild hops that add to the balance. Looking forward what this will do as it warms up a bit.
M- This is where the beer really shines. Creamy & smooth beer that is a good one to swish around.
O- Very tasty beer at a very reasonable price. Anderson Valley continues to produce solid products. Highly recommend giving it a try.
Serving type: bottle
06-05-2014 22:38:41 | More by craft4mike
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,358 ratings.