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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

1,604 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,604
Reviews: 701
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.92%
Wants: 59
Gots: 152 | FT: 2
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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,604 | Reviews: 701 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Great Lakes Christmas Ale.

A: Medium dark amber color with two-finger, off-white creamy head that lasted a few minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Mild aroma. Sweet malt. Molasses.

T: Wow, definitely vanilla. Moderately sweet and a very faint bitterness. There are other spice in there too. Good if you like vanilla.

M: Smooth and slightly dry. Goes down warm.

O: I liked the Great Lakes slightly better because I wasn't a huge fan of the vanilla. It wasn't bad, just a little bit too much for my tastes.

Photo of DerekP
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Village Draft House on 11/18/11.

Pours a deep amber with a thin lacing of white heard. The nose has notes of sugary, sweet red apples and caramel malt. The taste is red apples, chewy sugary caramel, and note of something herb-like in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, and crisp.

This was a nice little winter warmer though the herb-like quality baffles me a little, and in my opinion it detracts from the overall flavor. Not bad though.

Photo of goblue3509
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color which when held to the light changes to a deep ruby red color with visible carbonation. There is a half finger tan head which leaves a little lace in the form of fingers. The aroma is of vanilla and clove. There are also notes of cinnomon and nutmeg. The taste starts with a toffee and vanilla flavor up front. This gives way to a cranberry and sweet taste in the middle with a slight hop bite. The finish is just slightly watery. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and a little creamy. Overall this was a good beer, the flavor was very pleasing. Also despite a slightly higher than norma abv this beer went down easy and smooth.

Photo of beefandbean22
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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

A: 1/4" tan head that dissipated quickly over cloudy brown liquid.

S: Vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and molasses.

T: Vanilla, caramel, cinammon, and nutmeg with a steady building flavour of molasses throughout. Quite sweet.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and a low level of carbonation.

O: Wonderful smell and taste on this beer which can only be criticized in terms of the appearance and mouthfeel.

Photo of stxSS07
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of keytown
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of jrutigs
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of justporter
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of horrorspecialty
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of eerbayman
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of rel
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved summer solstice, and couldn't wait to try this one.

It pours a deep amber, with a monster head that sticks to itself like the head of a root beer float. Great retention and lacing.

The smell is sweet, but subtle. Some winter spices, the kind that remind me of a fireplace, which I use every day in Miami, grainy malts, no noticeable hop.

The taste is very warming. A lot of vanilla on the front. Afterwords you get those winter spices. The finish is a little hoppy with a burn from the ABV, which is what gives the warming effect.

This is quite creamy, as suggested the huge foam head, and the taste sticks to your gums and tongue.

In terms of style, this seems to have the same little tweak as summer solstice which I have yet to find in other breweries. Keep it up Anderson Valley!

Photo of ficknish
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber. Light bubbles. Good head.

S - Caramel. Toasty malts. Spices. Bread. Raisins. Vanilla.

T - Marshmallow. Vanilla. Toffee. Strong bitter hops. Spices.

M - Tingly. Bitter. Medium body.

O - Loving this beer. Sweet body with homey flavors of vanilla, bread, and spices. Sweetness was well balanced with hop bitterness. Will drink again.

Photo of Flux
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter solstice- Anderson valley- can from fridge poured into pint glass.

A-Brown to amber. Clear. Foamy white to off-white head. Tight bubbles and definite lacing.

S- warm, very low hops, sweet maltyness. Bread-like/ sugar cookie/ toast/ slightly nutty characters, maybe some vanilla. Minimal esters.

T- sweet and malty up front. Reminds me of fig newtons, so I do get faint amounts of fig/ raisins. Nothing that really screams “holiday” i.e. spices. It’s really mellow and balanced as far as the hops aren’t too overwhelming for this delicate beer.

M- medium carbonation. smooth.

O- I really enjoy this beer but it’s kind of a mystery as well. Don’t know if there was anything other than malts, hops and yeast added to this beer but it has a fantastic warmth to it that does well for the season. I can admire a simple holiday beer that isn’t bombarded with ginger, pie spices, or other stuff.

Photo of harrymel
2.73/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Can date: unk

A: excellent cinnamon brown ale with under a finger of off white foam which falls quickly to a central cap and rim of the same. Spotty lace.
S: Smells like marshmallows, malt, caramel, and a hint of copper.
T: Sweet. Very sweet. Vanilla. malts and vanilla and sweet and low.
M: Creamy and full bodied with a semi dry finish.
O: interesting. I remember this beer tasting a little less artificial. Now it tastes like it has a butt load of sucralose or something in it.

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - amber-red in color with a murky sort of appearance. Lots of nice bubble action streaming upwards and forming a thin, yet creamy, head. When held to the light this beer really has some vibrant coloring. Looks good to me!

Aroma - that first whiff really hits you with some sweetness reminiscent of baking bread, brown sugar, caramel and some dark fruits. I pick up some prunes and raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg as well. As this warms the aroma definitely comes on stronger.

Taste - malty and rich with some very interesting flavors hitting the tongue. It's not cloyingly sweet and it some hints of vanilla, orange and just the faintest bit of hops in the finish. Very smooth as far as mouthfeel goes, this is almost creamy in texture. No real spices in this but you almost expect something like cinnamon or cloves to be present. Quite tasty for a style that can vary quite a bit in flavor. Wait a second, this is close to 7%? I didn't expect that based on how easy it was going down! Now comes the warming!

Overall - A nice addition to the AVBC canned family and definitely a beer that will see some action as the cold weather hits the country. Not overly strong nor too sweet - a solid brew that is certainly worth picking up to share with friends and family this winter. Cheers!

Photo of TucsonTom
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A candy-coated malty brew.

A: A nice, dark amber.

S: Sweat chocolate, when cold. As it warms, cream soda aroma grows.

T: Matches the smell, with chocolate being stronger than the cream soda taste when its cold, but the cream soda building as it warms. No real hop presence.

M: Medium.

Overall, a candy store in a bottle. A very good additional to any holiday beer tasting session.

Photo of ely2000k
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Looks festive, deep amber color, a small head that dissipates quickly, but the beer looks really good overall.

S- Smell of vanilla, cloves, faint cranberry and citrus. Love the smell. Perfect for the style.

T- Sweet, nutty vanilla taste and some toffee flavors. I think the taste is pretty much exactly what I am looking for from a winter warmer.

M- Very mellow, good carbonation. No complaints.

O- I honestly think this is one of the better winter warmers I have had. The whole beer is spot on, and is what this style should be about.

Photo of MrTopher
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again, this and the Oatmeal Stout were the only things left from a mixed 24 pack of Anderson Valley brews. The IPA was gone first then the Amber.

A – Pours a dark rich ruby color that has a nice off white head, the color is very inviting and reminds me of the holidays.

S – Nice sweet malt notes, a good caramel smell as well, there is some herb/spice also, again just really warming and inviting.

T – Good herb/spice flavor comes first and then the sweet malt and caramel, it’s pretty close to the smell. Just warms the mouth, not in a hot way but with the use of accents.

M – Right in the middle when it comes to thickness, good carbonation also. Well rounded and an easy to drink beer.

O – Was impressed with this, first experience with this particular beer, but I would buy this to share with non-beer drinkers, its not over aggressive its pretty inviting. And could change a BMC drinker into a craft lover.

Photo of akk101
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass

Minimum head which disapears fast, nice amber red color, sweet aroma. Initial light bitterness that turns into a carmely malt and finishes with a slight aftertaste. Thick full mouthfeel. good winter beer. One of the few that isn't overly spiced.

Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice off caramel very light white head, foamy about a good solid three fingers on the pour. Body is a gorgeous dark ruby and clear garnet with no rising carbonation. Looks real nice love this color.

Nose is a noticeable malt that goes in a very mild grass smelling sense. Slight spices, but mostly just a nice malt sensation.

Taste is a wonderful mix of chocolate and malt and mild spices. I it is almost as if drinking milk chocolate with this big noticeable whipped up chocolate sense. Chocolate angle brings out some mild nut, and I got that warm boozy sense in my stomach. Light spice of nutmeg in the middle. Mouthfeel is perfectly fine nothing to rave about or fault.

Overall I am real impressed with this one. It almost feels like drinking powderer cocoa mix with a slight hint of booze. Not even highly sweet either. Just great!

Photo of schoolboy
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really like some Anderson beers, but not all of them. This goes in the like column. It is a unique winter beer with just a hint of some kind of fruit and little or no spice.

On top of a very clean appearance we have a very smooth drinking beer. The aftertaste kicks in without too much kick or any nasty feel. It has a little bitterness without any in your face hops taste, which would be inappropriate. I would buy this again when I wanted a winter warmer that wasn't spicy or too sweet.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color, not much head at all.Smells quite malty and alcoholic but doesn't really impress me much.Tastes like caramel, cream soda, nuts, malts, a bit of alcohol easily fits what I know of the style. Overall, not bad but not one I feel a need to revisit.

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,604 ratings.