1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,397 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,397
Reviews: 675
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.18%
Wants: 40
Gots: 65 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grumpygerman
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

grumpygerman, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of bushbeer75
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can

Anderson Valley Winter Solstice filled my glass mug with a clear dark amber color that formed a one finger tan head that left minimal lacing. The nose is of malt, caramel and a hint of fruit. The taste matches the nose, however is stronger. The flavor of caramel and toffee is dominant with light warming spiciness. The body is lighter, almost a little watery for the style.

Winter Solstice is a Winter Warmer that is lighter in spiciness and body than what I am accustom to in this style, however the Ale is very drinkable.

bushbeer75, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

strongaf, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of beerpadawan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

beerpadawan, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

ejimhof, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

harpus, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of WastingFreetime
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from old session notes.

Poured out a coppery-edged dark bronze color with a fairly stable single finger of tan head but no real lacing of any significance. Very dark fruit-filled aroma combined with the scent of cinnamon-dusted toffee apples. Tastes like a nice piece of whole grain toast with a bit of melted butter and a bit of mixed berry fruit jam spread on top. The light sprinkling of brown sugar doesn't really appear until after the glass has been allowed to warm up somewhat. Spicing is somewhat light and muted, but what is there comes across as a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Medium body and lightly carbonated. Be warned, this one falls on the sweeter side of the balance scale.

WastingFreetime, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

danthehopslamman, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of GaryMarkle84
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

GaryMarkle84, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of UncleBuccs
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

UncleBuccs, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of JasErwin
5/5  rDev +28.9%

JasErwin, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of beagle75
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a nonic glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with one finger of diminishing light beige foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Caramel is well developed. Mixed fruit is cooked but not spiced; butterscotch underscores more obvious qualities.

T: Begins off-dry, with remarkably transformed malt that is bold but not at all grainy. Fermentation qualities from the smell develops early; honest yeast esters followed by a trace of complementary diacetyl. Acidity is restrained into the middle where malt and yeast features grow in complexity, intensely toasty and a bit vinous, but become more nuanced in intensity. Fruit darkens considerably by the end, sweetens up a bit with the affectation of brown sugar, and spices in the form of black pepper, nutmeg, and lesser cloves are exhibited for the first time.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: More old ale than winter warmer, this beer makes an impressive collection of English ale qualities. This should come as no surprise to those who have crossed the path of Anderson Valley's ESB. While not perfect, it delivers a combination of features that are rare in American-brewed ales, much less those packaged in a can.

beagle75, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of nsabo
2.1/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The smell is awesome - cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and everything nice. Pretty stoked to sip it!
Hmm, tastes way too sweet. I don't drink soda, but this tastes like what I remember a cream soda tasted like. I've heard nothing but praise for this brewery and believe what I hear, but this still tastes like artificial flavors were added. Very faint piney hops, vanilla, white wine that’s been sitting out uncorked for a while, and honey.
Definitely a dessert beer, but even then, this is way too sweet for me.

nsabo, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of hanlonrn
4/5  rDev +3.1%

hanlonrn, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of buckyp
4/5  rDev +3.1%

buckyp, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of Stinger80OH
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

Stinger80OH, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of buiter
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

buiter, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of avaldivia
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

avaldivia, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a nice reddish amber with an off-white 2 finger head. Good retention; the resulting lace thick and sticky.

Smell - Aromas are subtle. Whiffs of sweet malt, and faint vanilla.

Taste - Creamy. Caramel, with notes raspberry and chocolate coming in mid-taste and into the finish. Aftertaste fades with a cream vanilla quality.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Smooth and creamy. Goes down nice and easy. Carbonation lends to a slight tickle on the back of the tongue.

Overall - Delicious, though a bit light for a Winter Warmer.

TheSixthRing, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

crob3888, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of diehl07
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

diehl07, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of DerwinWentworth
4/5  rDev +3.1%

DerwinWentworth, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of mkdeezy
4.5/5  rDev +16%

mkdeezy, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of wakajawaka76
4/5  rDev +3.1%

wakajawaka76, May 30, 2012
Photo of Blargimus
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. For the life of me, I cannot find a bottling date on this bottle, but it's a winter seasonal so it's either 6 months or 18 months old.

Pours a very hazy brown, maybe a finger of white head that fades very quickly.

Very sweet smell, maple syrup and graham cracker. A hint of nuttiness. No hop smell, but that might be due to age.

Taste is also quite sweet. Heavier on the nuttiness, lighter on the graham cracker. More bitterness than I expected, but not real hoppiness.

Pretty thick for a brown ale, and creamy level of carbonation.

At 6 months old, this is solid. I'd like to try it a little fresher.

Blargimus, May 30, 2012
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.