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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

695 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 695
Hads: 1,655
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 64
Gots: 184 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 695 | Hads: 1,655
Photo of Barnoloid
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decent winter warmer style ale. The spices are a little on the sweet side here, and there is a sugar & spice feel that can be a little overwhelming. Definitely a solid body and high maltiness here. (197 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (348 characters)

Photo of irishevans
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: medium/dark copper color with off white head that quickly becomes a film.
N: vanilla, caramel, mild notes of dark fruit and cinnamon.
T: dark fruit, caramel, lightly toasty, vanilla, mild nutmeg and cinnamon.
M: thick and velvety without being so much so that it sits heavy in your gut. Nice fizzy balance from the carbonation.

O: a pleasant winter warmer, with an even more pleasant price tag. Will in all likelihood be getting this again. (448 characters)

Photo of HawkFalco
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold 12 ounce bottle into a cold pint glass.

Poured a beautiful deep copper color. Formed one-finger caramel colored head which didn’t last long.

Tastes: Smooth, mild, malty sweetness (not overly candy sweet) is nicely balanced with a hoppy finish. Vanilla and spice in the nose not intrusive in the taste. Very nicely balanced but could use a touch more of ...something?

Feels: Medium bodied, good carbonation gives a touch of crispness.

A very pleasant easy to drink winter warmer. Not overly ‘seasonal’ with all the fruit and spice that belong in my holiday pies. I could easily sip a couple of these. I will be buying more. (646 characters)

Photo of uvachief
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured cold from a 12oz can into a pub glass. Full 2 fingers of head that linger. Golden copper hue. Sniff fruit, citrus, unidentifiable spices, sugar, guessing caramel. Taste citrus, hops and seasonal spices like a hint of pumpkin pie, nutmeg and brown sugar but very light. Little hidden bitterness as it goes down very drinkable. Could throw a 6 pack back and take a long winter's nap. Like it...a lot. (412 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a barely clouded copper with a creamy white head that settles down to almost nothing. The aroma malty and light, with hints of caramel, and some light spice notes. The flavor is nice, and close to the taste notes, with hints of toffee, fruits, spices, and caramel. It's not a huge amount of any one flavor and not particularly deep, but all together it is quite enjoyable. The body has a nice weight to it and a nice smooth finish. (437 characters)

Photo of M_J_Z
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Had this on draft last night at The Hourglass Brewery in Longwood, Florida.

I enjoyed it, but it's missing the crispness/bite that make others of the style really good. (For example, Cigar City's Winter Warmer.) Granted, CC'S WW has a higher ABV, but it's the same style as Anderson Valley's. AV's version also seemed a little thin, though it wasn't watery or anything.

This could use a little more "punch," but its very drinkable. Not quite a 4-star beer, IMO, but I'm thinking it's somewhere in the 3.5-3.75 range. I would order it again. (542 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +3.6%

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

Dark and malty.with a nose that evokes holiday fruit cake and sweet breads. Flavors ate surprisingly deep, with dark fruits and a hint of pumpernickel and caramel. Spices frame the more prominent flavors, staying in the background and not getting in the way (as it should be!). Bread pudding made with dark rum and dark bread comes to mind.

Test is a big player. Lots of bread dough in this one.

Full body with a gooth tooth to it. (478 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

Pours a finger of head on a hazy dark straw body.
The aroma is caramel and
The taste has a malty sweet start, mild lemon bitter, spices in the middle and finishes with a short sweet note.
The texture is smooth.
It has a great balance and warmth. (246 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

A: Pours a deep brown-red with a nice tan head.

S: Nutty toasted malt, mild caramel and a bit of cranberry.

T: Toasty, sweet nutmeg and molasses, dry yeastiness, brown bread.

M: Medium-bodied with light carb.

O: This is a tasty winter warmer that's on the sweeter side, closer to a doppelbock than anything. (311 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a rubyish light brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Slightly sweet, biscuity malt aroma with a hint of spice.

T- Mildly sweet malt with some spice laying on top. The flavors are pretty laid back for a winter warmer which is a nice change of pace while still accomplishing that candy-like essence.

M- Has the tiniest layer of syrupy residue on the tongue. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A satisfying winter warmer at an above-average ABV. I would buy this again. (740 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle--2014 and fresh.
A yearly favorite, this fine ale pours a brownish red with a nice medium off white head and
some great lacing. Nose of vanilla, fresh baked bread, caramel, and light cinnamon. Flavors
are as always VERY nice. Sweet malts to the front and sides and a nice bready background.
Vanilla and light cinnamon blend in harmony with a light hop balance that gives way to a very
nice mouth feel that is moderately carbonated and highly drinkable with a sweet aftertaste.
An ale that is the better sum of it's parts, THIS is the one I look forward to every single year.
As a side note this bottle ages nicely for a few years producing even greater depth of
character. A must for the experienced as well as the inexperienced.

CHEERS! (771 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, dark, cloudy, mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed a few wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Toasted malt, freshly baked bread, brown sugar, caramel, some floral notes of clover and hops.

Taste: Beautiful! Very toasty and bready up front, like toasted English muffins, followed by some caramel-like sweetness, some black pepper, coriander, and just a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth, as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. Some good carbonation to slightly tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.9%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an excellent beer, and another one from Anderson Valley!! I love the toasty/malty flavor backed with the caramel. I’m definitely getting some more of this! (981 characters)

Photo of craft4mike
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Copper colored with frothy tan head.

S- Carmel malt & Vanilla creme. Pretty decent nose but nothing overwhelming.

T- Creamy carmel & vanilla similar to the nose. Toasted bread, cinnamon and some mild hops that add to the balance. Looking forward what this will do as it warms up a bit.

M- This is where the beer really shines. Creamy & smooth beer that is a good one to swish around.

O- Very tasty beer at a very reasonable price. Anderson Valley continues to produce solid products. Highly recommend giving it a try. (524 characters)

Photo of ZorroZ
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving type: can poured into glass
Appearance: Beautiful, medium chestnut colour. Upon pouring, forms an incredibly rich, foamy head, albeit one that dissipates quickly.
Smell: Not much of a smell, surprisingly, considering what came next
Taste: Oh, WOW. Nicely malty, with little hops bite, but a lovely overall taste that almost disguises the fairly high ABV.. Just a little bit of the taste remains on the back of the tongue after a sip.
Overall: I'm *really* enjoying this six pack! (487 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a cheater pint.

A: Beautiful deep ruddy copper and very clear. Thick two finger head subsides quickly into a very delicate ring. no chill haze, moderate carbonation with wispy lacing, looks like caul fat clinging to the glass.

S: nice malty presence. Some cinnamon notes and raisin and figs, like a cinnamon raisin bagel.

T: follows nose plus some caramel or toffee like notes. Smoooth on initial uptake. More malt notes come out on swallow.

M: Velvety smooth on finish with that characteristic bagel notes peeking up. spicy on side of tongue with the perfect carbonation. Very pleasant.

O: this is probably the best of the winter warmers, imo. The spices do not overtly dominate and punch you in the craw. It really is very well balanced and quite malty without being obnoxiously spiced. A go to in winter for sure. (850 characters)

Photo of hopmashian
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Adams glass it's head disappeared quickly. Color was deep amber with a faint chocolate and raisin odor. Taste was pretty much the same with a slightly bitter taste of unsweetened chocolate. Mouth feel was thick like porter or stout and low carbonation. I didn't like the spices so I won't try this again. (325 characters)

Photo of fitzy84
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a six pack from a local store here in Springfield. Beer poured with a very dark brown-amber and cloudy appearance with a thick head that dissipated quickly with thin lacing on the sides. Powerful noise of vanilla, cinnamon, and a buttery caramel flavor. The taste had more of a bitter citrus flavor than I could smell mixed with some bready malts. The mouthfeel was creamy, which definitely made this a very relaxing, almost dessert-like drink for the evening. Definitely a great winter warmer. (501 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish copper with a finger of beige head that retained rather well and left some nice lacing. The nose is bready and has caramel notes as well. The flavor profile begins with a subtle sweetness from the malt and ends with a pleasant dryness. The body is medium - not super heavy, but too thin either. (315 characters)

Photo of Seanniek91
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from a bomber into a Krombacher Pils glass stein.

Appearance- Murky reddish/brown/amber with one finger of white head that left a ring around the top.

Smell- Caramel malts, bready yeast, tart apple. There's some spice, but it's not overwhelming.

Taste- Malts, apple, stone fruits, very light spice. Very fruity and full feeling, but not overwhelming. No booze taste.

Mouthfeel- Pretty well carbonated with medium body. Easy to drink and not boozy, which I find is common in this style.

Overall- Solid Winter Warmer considering that I generally don't like the style. Fruit forward and easy to drink. I think it's 8 degrees outside right now. (654 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice, color is an opaque amber, light tan head presents about 1/2 inch thick from the growler pour, some lacing and a light ring lingers.

Smell is light chocolate, some toffee, hints of fruit, light bitterness.

Taste is very pleasant, nice cleaner malt flavors: chocolate, toffee, toast and maybe some caramel on the finish; some fruitiness, some spice but non distinguishable.

Mouthfeel is solid, good tongue presence and lingering flavors, some drying from the strength or bittering hops

Overall, this is a very good, full flavored winter warmer style, cleaner malt flavors and good hop bitterness blend well. (632 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Hogan's Hideaway in Rochester, NY.

Pours a medium dark brown, with not much head or lacing.

This one smells pretty good- some brown sugar, caramel, slightly floral aromas.

The taste is similar. It seems liberally spiced- but I can't distinguish all of them. I do catch some brown sugar and cinnamon, along with candied fruit flavors, and caramel malt. There is some slight grassiness as well.

Medium bodied, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. There is a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, not too bad. It's nothing to write home about, but it was enjoyable in the moment. (589 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is my second offering tasted from Anderson Valley. It's a fairly simple winter warmer, a bit light for my liking given the genre. Not too much spice flavor, not a particularly complex flavor profile. Reddish amber color with plenty of foam. Fairly average, just not what I'd hope for in a warmer. (301 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance
Brownish red with 2 fingers of off-white head. Good retention and excellent clarity with low carbonation.

Nose
Cherry, molasses and caramel.

Taste
Rich caramel and biscuit with dollops of molasses and hints of candy sugar. Notes of cherry, sugar cookies, cinnamon and nutmeg. Finishes with a hint of spruce.

Mouthfeel
Medium-light bodied, crisp and subtly sticky.

Overall
Goes down pretty easy. Anderson Valley kept the spicing light which is nice. (502 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz : tulip

Clear, amber red with a foamy, off white head.

Sweet, caramel malts, very light spicy, woodsy hop accents in both the nose and taste.

Medium body, foamy carbonation.

A decent beer overall, but the flavors seem a bit subdued at times, with nothing particularly exciting in this one. (298 characters)

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 695 ratings.