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Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,638 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,638
Reviews: 716
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.92%
Wants: 58
Gots: 173 | 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:
Beer added by: maxpower on 11-18-2001

Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,638 | Reviews: 716
Photo of droomyster
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark bronze with two fingers of white head with good retention. Aromas are malty and spicy (cinnamon, maybe nutmeg), reminiscent of a mulled cider or an herbal nighttime tea. Flavors are complex, predominantly malty: a touch of molasses and holiday spices backed by a black tea and earthy bitterness. The heavy spicing runs the risk of palate fatigue, making its drinkability good but not great. Overall, an excellent beer; my wife told me to mention that for once, she agrees with my judgment.

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

2007 winter solstice... reddish amber with an off white head that held pretty well and left georgeous lace. nose had hints of caramel, cocoa and roasted malt. taste was well balanced with a slight hoppy backbone and a nice cocoa finish. medium body and a nice, smooth drink. another great brew from one of my old favorites.

Photo of Zraly
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


This winter ale is a bit darker than some of the other seasonals that I have had thus far. The head is super creamy and is touched by a slight tan color. The initial smell was that of berry-fruit.

The first taste is just blissful...a rich butterscotch and caramel flavor just takes control of the mouth. There is a sweet yet smooth nuance of smooth milk chocolate and brown sugar. There is a toasty bread note that finishes off the flavor in the mouth. Nutmeg and cinnamon round out the flavor. This is a dream come true for my love of malty goodness. The hops are rather subtle, but this beer is about composition, not piecemealed flavors. Be one with this beer.

If you like Sierra Nevada and prefer your winter brews to place emphasis on the hops, this one might not be for you. However, in terms of quality, this is the malt counterpart to the Celebration Ale.

Edit December 2006

I recently had this on tap at Capital Ale in Richmond. It was so smooth and enjoyable, relaxing and warm. My interpretation of this beer remains the same; it is of exceptional, consistent quality. Perfect for a cool night and good company.

Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Grebdioz
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of KimenTshom
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of ltdantheman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of CreekyJarls
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Guitars_and_beer
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BodiesLexus
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Shilt
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of mwbrady12
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

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

Amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is dark fruits.Taste is rum,butterscotch,raisins and plum.Overall a good beer with plenty of flavor.I would recommend this beer for any time of year.I can see myself purchasing this beer again sometime in the near future.

Photo of hinemk76
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of beerme626
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very attractive, with gorgeous dark copper color and inviting nose. Taste is fruit heavy with cinnamon also. Tasty. Everything I want in a winter warmer.

Photo of gmfessen
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is an orange-copper color with a robust off-white head. Smell is of dates, grapefruit, juniper and spice. Taste is sweet, with the juniper and spice coming through nicely with a marshmallow like finish. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a creamy carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer and definitely fits the profile of a winter warmer.

Photo of MordorMongo
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Mark
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ale is a nice dark amber, head is off white and disappates to a thin layer, lacing is very sparse. Very smooth taste with caramel and vanilla notes. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Went down very well and this goes well on a cold night. Nice offering as usual from Anderson Valley.

Photo of huysmans
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Poured into an American pint glass; reddish brown with a small white head (less than a finger). Smelled of sour cherry, subtle spice, and malt. The tart cherry certainly came through in the taste; so did caramel, molasses, and candi sugar. Medium-bodied and modestly carbonated. Very tasty and sessionable for a winter warmer.

Photo of mralphabet
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Copper rust in color. Very little head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S: Caramel, sweet molasses, hazelnuts, some faint orange juice.

T: Very sweet malt some molasses and caramel. Hops are very light... Very little bitterness... Very little aftertaste.. lots of caramel !!

M: Very little carbonation, med to heavy bodied.... Very creamy.

D: This is a wonderful beer.... Not as warming as I would have thought... Very sweet beer, well made not over powering.... Wish this was a year round brew... I'm looking forward trying more from AV....

Photo of JMad
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It pours a clear copper color with reddish hues and a thick, foamy, off white head.

In the nose I noticed some caramel and sugar cookie, maybe a slight hint of clove and cinnamon in the background.

The taste is full of caramel malt with a nice warmness from the ABV and a cracker flavored finish.

It s medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a warming finish.

This is a nice Winter seasonal and I'd buy it again.

Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of JLapadura
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of seedyone
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Plain & simple & really good, slightly spiced ale. The creamy head disappeared quickly leaving no lacing. Nose did not match the full flavor. If there is a down side it would be a lack of body. There was some, but for a winter brew I'd like something substantial. When all is said & done, I look forward to next winter.

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Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,638 ratings.