Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,390 | Reviews: 674 | Display Reviews Only:
3.76/5 rDev -3.1%
A nice winter warmer from these guys. Smells of toffee, bready malts and fresh honey biscuits.
Taste is spot on with the nose, along with caramel and some dates. Sweet and thick in the mouthfeel, but surprisingly I don't get much spice, which I expected from a winter warmer.
Mouthfeel was outstanding. Overall this is a beer I could sit down and drink a few of
11-27-2013 17:18:39 | More by taylor714914
4.47/5 rDev +15.2%
Perhaps the best surprise of the winter season 2007.
Appears a dark brown with ruby accents. The color of the beer is dark and there is a degree of unfiltering. The head retention is excellent and pours a 1 1/2 fingers, brown eggshell in color and melts down to a thin film that remains for the duration of the drink. Mouthwateringly beautiful.
Aroma is of chocolate and caramel malts with hints of toffee and brown sugar. The hops are spicy and tangy and are reminiscent of a mixure of different American cascade hybrid hops.
Everything that is in the smell is present in the taste so I don't think I need to write it again. However, also present are notes of licorice, nutmeg, and allspice not found in the nose. Hops are also a bit spicier than in the nose which gives this beer an amber ale character. Also is a bit of astringency in the aftertaste, probably due to high hop resins. Not horrible, but a small price to pay for the high hop and high malt that finds a balance without overpowering each other.
Mouthfel is decent, but there is a sticky dryness in the finish, and not a good, wine-like one. Body is full and the texture is pleasing so I don't mind it too much.
A very delicious and unique beer. Definitely worth a try if your looking for a great winter beer. Not much of a session brew, but what are you going to do.
01-02-2008 02:06:15 | More by tapman
3.73/5 rDev -3.9%
12oz bottle -> american pint
Pours a clear dark copper with a small wispy head that disappears rather quickly leaving behind small puddles of dish suds. Random blotches of lace. Carbonation appears sparse and thin.
Nose: some light malts, toffee, cararmel
Medium body and super sweet. Caramelized caramel candy sweetness dominates along with some chewy biscuit. Some holiday spice is evident, but not bold in any way. A bit of pepper on the sweet malty finish.
Another one i have a few of every year, but never in big numbers. A winter classic.
12-19-2010 02:52:33 | More by beerphan
4.43/5 rDev +14.2%
Appearance- brown to amber with bit of cloudiness, white lacing stays along the top of the beer through out drinking, low carbonation
Smell- very nice nose of malt spice and slight hop, inviting
Taste- beautiful balance of malt, spice, and hop, just purely beautiful balance
Mouthfeel- smooth and refreshing feel
Drinkability/overall- overall this is far and away the best winter warmer i have ever tasted, its just so tasty, the balance is superb, has spice and malt and some hop but all so perfectly balanced, usually im far from winter warmer guy but this is the cream of the crop to me and the one to seek out
01-13-2012 11:09:31 | More by Stunner97
4.36/5 rDev +12.4%
Poured from a 12 oz. can in stemmed English ale glass
Pours a maple syrup-colored amber capped with an off-white billowing head. Excellent retention with plenty of lacing. Big caramel aroma rounded out by plums and notes of brandy. Toffee, black cherries, plum and various stone fruit notes. Biscuity notes midpalate Finishes with caramel covered black cherries. Medium body, smooth, silky mouthfeel; moderate carbonation. Wonderful winter warmer, one of the best available.
02-08-2013 06:35:33 | More by chanokokoro
3.8/5 rDev -2.1%
A - Pours copper in color. With some effort I got a head that was just shy of half inch. Retention was good. Lacing was average.
S - Caramel and bread are first to come through on the nose. There is some spice in the background but it is mild. Smells like it could be cinnamon. Alcohol is present but so far in the background that it just becomes really hard pick up.
T - Caramel is the primary flavor that I'm getting. Mid taste is made up of spices (cinnamon and honey) and fresh cooked bread. There is a very small amount of hop bitterness on the end. Complexities start to show up as it warms giving it a much better balance of flavors.
M - Light bodied with good carbonation. Could be too light bodied for a 6.9% Winter Warmer.
D - It does go down very easy so the drinkability will get a good score. I've had this several times and I'll end up getting it again.
03-11-2008 03:22:44 | More by csmiley
District of Columbia
4.05/5 rDev +4.4%
Appearance: Dark copperish red color with a nice off white head..good retention.
Aroma: Caramel, malts, mild on the spices in comparison to other warmers
Taste: Caramel, toasted malts, sweetish, and some spices to balance out..maybe a tad bit of cinnamon..all the flavors working extremely well with each other
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy...kind of syrupy as well, really coats the inside of your mouth..goes down well
Drinkability: Tastes good, mouthfeel is excellent...a really good beer here. Recommended.
01-13-2009 05:07:04 | More by kshankar
4.1/5 rDev +5.7%
This beer pours a cloudy orange/grey weird but that is what it looked like and leaves a very small white head. The nose of this brew is nice, sweet vanilla, citrus, herbal notes (pine as well). The taste is so smooth you could almost chug it cause of the small amount of carbonation, the malt presence is done to perfection the caramel flavor in this brew bounces around your palate for a few minutes then is subdued by just a touch of bitter and winter spices to round out the finish.
01-17-2006 14:06:33 | More by Franchise
3.78/5 rDev -2.6%
Pours a brilliantly clear dark russet - crimson hue with a loose 1/2" head that audible as it dissipates.
I can smell it clear as day from my pint glass 3 ft. away. Very sweet dark roasted malts with great amounts of vanilla. I swear this smells just like 'Sugar Babies' candy.
Sugary sweet dark roasted malts with strong vanilla that carried straight through the scent. There's a slight spiciness that reminds me of nutmeg, but more resembles those warm candied almonds you get from the mall - maybe a hint of cinnamon, but it's hard to tell. Very faint hop presence, which adds no flavor but a hint of dryness towards the finish.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied. Fine carbonation at a minimal level.
Drinkability is good. I let mine warm to 55F and it's just fine.
Overall a very sweet winter seasonal whose main flavor component is vanilla. I usually but a 6 pack and give a few away, and that suits me until next year. Very well crafted and no faults found here - not my bag though.
01-09-2006 02:45:30 | More by malty
4.43/5 rDev +14.2%
Obscure amber with a modest, dusky sand colored head. Slow rising carbonation. Looks "heavy" for some reason. Nutmeg and cinnamon scents lurk behind a pleasantly surprising west coast citrus blossom aroma. Some sugary malt comes forward in the smell, too. Nice mixture of scents! Vanilla and caramel take front stage in the taste, with some spicy nasturtium-esque floral hop flavors that weave back and forth between citrus and spice. Cheerfully light-to-medium body, just a tad slippery but overall smooth mouthfeel. This is an eminently quaffable beer, any time of year. Label claims that this one is a gold medal winner of some sort, and I'm inclined to agree with whoever judged that competition. Easily one of my favorite winter seasonals!
12-22-2006 01:13:28 | More by orfeu
3.6/5 rDev -7.2%
12oz brown bottle with 2006 on the neck label. Pours a deep copper color with red hues, a 1 finger head, OK longevity and good lace. Nice malt and caramel aromas mixed with a bit of spicyness. Big malt and caramel flavors mixed with an odd, not bad, but an odd spice I can't quite put my finger on. It wants to cry out cinnamon and nutmeg etc but its not quite there. Finishes with a somewhat surprising hop flavor. A nice seasonal but not one I can drink a bunch of at one sitting.
11-19-2006 03:16:48 | More by sabrills70
3.38/5 rDev -12.9%
This ale is brown/dark amber in color and has a small off-white head.
The aroma is not much to speak of, but has a slight amount of spice and hops.
Its flavor has some spice, cinnamon, a slight alcohol presence and some caramel malt.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.
12-19-2005 01:36:31 | More by Naes
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,390 ratings.