Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

1,556 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,556
Reviews: 691
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.18%
Wants: 59
Gots: 123 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: maxpower on 11-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,556 | Reviews: 691 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MadScientist
2.58/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Light copper, good clarity and a very thin, off-white head

S: Moderately-strong caramel malt with moderate light-fruit aromas of peaches and apples. There is a pipe tobacco like aroma, with a bit of vanilla. I don't smell any spice although that be in line with a winter warmer as apposed to a Christmas Ale. There isn't any hops though maybe a light earthiness that is caught up with the tobacco.

T: It tastes only slightly better than the smell with the pipe tobacco up from mixed with a moderate sweetness. There is a light raisin and apricot type of fruitiness. The hops bitterness is pretty mild leaving the balance is slightly sweet. The finish is of a slight citrus peel flavor.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: An uninspiring beer that I would not recommend. It kind of comes off like a homebrew made from old extract having that extract twang mixed with poor fermentation temperature control fruitiness.

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has some character. It's got a sort of caramel apple thing going on. The flavor is very full and it definitely stands out from the others in its category. A chewy mouth but also plenty of bubbles. I wouldn't say it's an easy drinker - much like its summer counterpart AV goes for full-bodied and unique over supreme drinkability - but it's well worth getting a six pack during the season.

Photo of liqman612
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of GreenGlowingMonkey
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of ssimpson89
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of jmathis
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of cvalleskey
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of csmartin6
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of DWolf
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of IcemanCometh
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of wattoclone
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of rdoggg
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of mbs11
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of brealbg
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of StoutHunter
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a can of Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale last week for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. I've had pretty good history with Anderson Valley and since it will be the Winter Solstice in a little bit I decided to give this beer a try tonight, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date. Poured from a 12oz can into an imperial pint glass.

A- The can has that typical Anderson Valley look to it with a slight winter theme to it, not too bad. It poured a muddy caramel color that took on a some amber hues when held to the light with a finger and a half of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a little bit of lacing. This is a nice looking beer, but I would have liked a little more head.

S- The aroma starts off with loads of malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness and impart some brown bread, caramel, brown sugar, and some lightly toasted malt aromas. After that comes a nice dark fruit aroma followed by a medium amount of spices with nutmeg and allspice seeming to stick out the most. The aroma was nice with a good amount of spices but it could have a little more complexity to it.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts of with loads of malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart some caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and lightly toasted malt flavors. After that comes a really light amount of dark fruits that barely sticks out and is followed by some lighter spices with nutmeg sticking out the most. On the finish I get a light amount of earthy hops that impart a pretty light amount of bitterness with a sweet and malty aftertaste. The taste was nice, I liked the balance but I could have gone for just a little more spices.

M- Pretty smooth, very creamy, on the slightly fuller side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation that was just a little prickly. The mouthfeel was nice, but I could have gone without the prickly carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and an above average example of a Winter Warmer, it had pretty good balance between the malts and spices and didn't get to carried away with either of them. This beer had good drinkability, it was pretty smooth and the flavors did a decent job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these but after that the thickness might become too much. What I liked the most about this beer was how well rounded it was, it really didn't have any weak points. What I liked the least about this beer was that the spices didn't shine through a little more, I think that would take this beer to the next level. I would buy some more when it's released next year, but I don't think I'll be rushing to the store and clearing them out of Winter Solstice, but I do recommend giving this beer a try, I think it would appeal to a wide range of people. All in all I thought this was a nice beer, It's not my favorite Winter Warmer but it was still a nice beer that enjoyed drinking. This was another solid beer from Anderson Valley, good work guys.

Photo of Zkman87
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Lukass
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of GFD400
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of SurlyHotdog
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

Photo of Escsolo
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Mark5252
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of GRPunk
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a nonic pint.

A- A sloppy pour created a 2-1/2 finger tan head. The clean, amber body showed moderate-heavy carbonation. The head sustained at about 1/2 finger and left nice, foamy rings about the glass.

S- I got a decent shot of spice at the pour. Sweet malts, caramel-like, dominate. A little muted at first. Malts suggest Hawaiian bread and gain strength with time. Light hops seem pretty fresh, maybe noble variety?

T- really nice and malty. Lots of caramel and brown sugar, some residual sweetness going on. Light spice. Taking a stab, I'll guess cinnamon, something like clove-like, maybe some ginger.

M- Moderate-heavy carbonation. Slight warming, almost in "stomach feel." A little bite from hops and carbonation. Fairly full bodied.

O- A robust, malty ale, great for cold weather drinking. Nice to have spicing dialed down, allowing traditional ingredients to shine.

Photo of mooseo
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Muddy amber-brown with a medium white head.

S - Fresh baked bread, caramel, toasted grain and light floral hops. Subtle but nice.

T - Toasted bready malt, nuts, brown sugar, and light earthy hops. Hints of vanilla cream and nutmeg in the finish.

M - Extremely soft, smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Love the mouthfeel on this one. Lots of sweetness but the hops lend some balance. A pretty good, drinkable winter ale.

Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a solid half inch beige head that dissipates slowly leaving sheets of lacing.

Caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon comprise the aroma initially. Notes of allspice, toasted malt, and dark fruit emerge. Aroma is initially subtle.

Flavor is an overload of malted milk balls, with currants , cinnamon, and chocolate surfacing mid palate and lingering into the slightly dry finish.

Body is a touch on the heavy side, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

Overall, I'm amazed at how closely the flavor resembles malted milk balls. There's a fruitiness that follows, so it's a little different. Not am overly spicy seasonal, which I appreciate.

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,556 ratings.