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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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,538 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,538
Reviews: 690
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.18%
Wants: 56
Gots: 115 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,538 | Reviews: 690 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

The Bears are winning at the moment, so hopefully swigging from their glassware will magically keep the momentum going in the right direction. The beer inside pours a clear rose-amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, mandarin orange, lightly-buttered biscuit, and a hint of powdered sugar. The taste brings in more of the same, along with cinnamon, light nutmeg, and a bit of ginger. The overall effect comes close to resembling a gingerbread cookie. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a very nice winter brew, one that throws out a bunch o' spice without overdoing it. Good stuff.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

easily the best winter warmer ive had this season. bordering on epic for the style this is so awesome. pours an unfiltered looking maple color with a standard one inch head. smells very unique, fruity hops, vanilla, and english malts. taste is extraordinary, vanilla up front but not sweet, caramel and fruit middle, glorious rounded out west coast hop finish, but not bitter in the least. mouthfeel is gold! fizzles and cascades in the mouth highlighting its complex flavors one by one, and the body is exactly what you need in a warmer that you want to drink all day, the heavier side of medium. its just a perfect winter beer, and honestly i hope i can find it again, brilliant brew

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/burgandy color with a one-finger, tan head. It didn't leave much lacing.

S - It smelled of malt, spice and vanilla.

T - It was fairly malty and spicy. It also had a sweet, bready-quality.

M - It was relatively soft and creamy.

D - A pretty good beer. An interesting blend of flavors and tastes.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 - cellared for almost 4 years... lost at the back of the cabinet.

The appearance remains the same... it's a clear reddish brown with a creamy off-white head. The nose is similar as well; malty with caramel and a hint of vanilla, as well as some yeasty fruitiness. It seems to have lost a bit of carbonation, but it's always been a smooth, delicately carbonated and malty beer. In the flavor, the maltiness seems to have dwindled a bit, but its orange-like citrus flavor remains along with some spicy hops. The bitterness has softened, and it's remarkably drinkable! You could easily quaff a pint or two of this before the strength of the alcohol snuck up on you. That's not to say that it's improved, however. This is a beer best enjoyed fresh!!! (Note: I've kept the numbers the same for this beer because I don't want to bring its ratings down, but when scored properly I only came up with a 4.15).

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long-neck bottle with no freshness date though on the neck is the year 2001. Blurb about the beer on the back label.

Appearance: Bright reddish amber hue, light tan head is fluffy and dissipates into a pasty big bubbled lace.

Smell: Fresh dipped caramel apple comes to mind, lots of malt sweetness in the nose with hints of fruit and a mild hop.

Taste: Full and chewy in the mouth with a vague hoppy juicy fruit and sweet dark bread maltiness capture the taste buds attention. Both toasted and roasted flavour flexes within the bold caramel taste. Mildly estery and warming to the body. Tight and clean bite of hop bitterness cuts through some of the malt leaving a spicy trail of flavour into the finish of residual sweetness.

Notes: Top shelf for American Winter brews, balanced for a muscular brew and a must buy for winter seasonals. 6.9% abv.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Was happy to see this one back in stock at the Sharp Edge, because when I went to order it earlier during Christmas break it was already kicked on tap. So, the bottle I cracked had 2002 on the label, and It poured a great deep ruby brown red that seemed the head wasn't trying to form. I started in on taking a couple small whiffs, and then I inhaled it all. This beer contained a niced mild hop character, yet I could smell some nutmeg and other seasonal spices flowing in the air, all complemented with an amazing aroma of maple syrup. At the first taste an awesome malty sweetness arose to my palate, along with the balancing of the hops. I thought the maple syrup flavor was the most noticeable extra curricular flavoring that stood out to me, and it defintely formed an awesome winter seasonal beer that is in my top five for it's category. The body of this beer was great nice and chewy almost felt like I was eating some pancakes. Great, enjoyable, and different. What can I say Big Tony likes.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is pretty faint but contains caramelized malts, nuts, some spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, spices and a little bit of fruit. Then there's a strong breadiness that comes in from the hearty malt character. However it's not quite as heavy as most in the style which I consider to be a good quality. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this beer is on the lighter side of a style that is usually kind of heavy which makes the beer a bit more poundable than most other winter beers and it also doesn't have as much of the "gingerbread cookie" kind of feel and flavor that other get knocked for. Overall it's a decent beer with flavor and substance.

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

A - Two and a half fingers of tan head on top of an amber brown body with excellent clarity. The foam settles slowly and leaves nice, thick lace in it place.

S - A light aroma of caramel malt with some toffee. Some peppery spice notes and a hint of yeasty fruit.

T - Some light caramel up front with a huge note of buttery toffee. Some spice cake flavors in the middle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Finishes with lingering spice and brown malt flavors as well as light, balancing hop bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Thick and rich malt character dominates this beer's character and helps to spread out and spicy flavors and keep the beer drinkable. The aroma is somewhat subdued, but the flavor is full of rich toffee and malt that provides an excellent background for the mellow spice and yeast notes. Overall, this is a very nice example of a style that can be, and too often is, ruined by excessive specialty grain character and spice.

Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper ruby, with a couple fingers of rich and foamy off-white head. This retains with a big frothy finger, which just drenches the sides of the glass with thick sticky lacing. The aroma smells lightly grassy with some festive feeling spices. Bready sweetness and a touch of dark fruitiness, like cherry, mix in as well. This has a bit of a gingerbread feel to it in the nose.

The taste is dark fruit, sweet doughy sugars, and spices, with a bit of green citrus working itself into here as well. Flavors are here but this lacks some pop. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with soft and creamy carbonation and just a light crispness on the tongue. This is really easy feeling in the mouth overall.

Eh. I liked the flavors that were present in this but I just wish that there was more to them. They just lacked robustness and a reason to go back after each sip of this. The easy feeling body kept this in the game some but otherwise, this was fairly forgettable.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at prezo

Pours a nice creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing, over hazy copper dark peach orange color.

Nose loaded with malts like a light barleywine, caramel, toffee, molasses, plenty of reddish candy malts, light bready, toasty, hints of winter spices, little grainy and hint of earthy hop.

Taste loaded with sweeteners but not super sweet, tons of toffee and caramel, candy from candy apples, molasses, rich candi sugar almost. Lots of reddish malts, little toasty and bready, again very malty almost barleywine like without the booze, although just a hint. Light earthy hops are there but barely, with very light holiday spices, and hint of dark fruit plum fig like. Very smooth and tasty. Finishes a bit sweet still, plenty more caramel, toffee, candy, reddish malts, etc. hint of bitterness and earthy hops lingering, light spices as well.

mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied, decent carb.

Overall very nice, great malts and sugar flavors although sweet but not crazy sweet at all, hints of hops and spices, very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 offering pours an orangey copper with 3+ fingers of sand colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness

T: Cakey with hints of tangerine & honey up front. Dryness, a bit of toffee, berries, cherries, a kiss of herbal hops & caramel all show as this warms. Finishes dry with more caramel, yummy

MF: Medium bodied, a bit chewy & sticky with low carbonation

Drinks very easy, this I could session on! Another winner from an old school California brewery

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of oline73
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark reddish amber with very little off white head.

Smell: Strong smell of caramel with some dark fruit and spices as well.

Taste: Very sweet with a lot of caramel. There are also hints of dark fruit with a bit of bitterness at the end as well as some alcohol. The caramel sweetness dominates the flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium body. There isn't much carbonation here. Seems like it wants to be dry but it never gets there.

Drinkability: I think it could use a bit more carbonation, but the taste is quite good, I really like the caramel flavor. I would drink this again.

Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -22.7%

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

The color took some time to categorize, not quite violet and muddier than red, magenta? Off-white head, and an aroma full of sweetness, soft and candyish. Light texture, but an immediate sensation of syrupy, caramely sweetness. Strong vanilla component, too. Not as spicy as I'd been informed. Dazzling finish, though, which sits and swims in the mouth for as long as it pleases. I held back on high marks, though, for the vanilla candy aspect was just not for me.

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pretty serious vanilla takes over most of the flavor. Quite aromatic with more of the same. Amber color, decent lacing in the glass. Malty but very spicy. Strong cinnamon adds to the excess of flavorings. Rather cloying sweetness conflicts with the bitterness in the aftertaste. Seems to be a taste like butter, along with candied nuts. I have to admit that as off-putting as this at first, your taste buds get used to it. But not enough to drink the whole can.

In the swell new red, blue, and black 12 oz can.

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of WesWes
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a fine malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts. It has an earthy/breadlike aroma that is quite pleasant. The taste is decent. It has a pretty complex palate of malts along with a bitter hop finish. It is a bit piney and warm on the way down. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium/full bodied brew with good carbonation. This is an above average winter warmer that could use more body and a little less carbonation.

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for this one...

Pours slightly clouded/hazed orange-amber with a thin head that becomes a lasting, swirling patch.

The smell is of caramel and juicy fruits.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with warming spiciness (and cinnamon?). A nice fruity hop backing is there, adding depth and balance to the sweet maltiness. Mild alcohol warms, but does not interfere.

Reaches full-bodied. Silky smooth. Malty flavor lingers.

Very drinkable for style. A tasty winter treat!

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,538 ratings.