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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
87
very good

1,366 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,366
Reviews: 674
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.18%
Wants: 39
Gots: 59 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,366 | Reviews: 674 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Segelstrom
Segelstrom

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

10-12-2013 23:53:05 | More by Segelstrom
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

02-12-2013 01:33:50 | More by matjack85
Photo of mwbrady12
mwbrady12

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

07-16-2013 23:02:23 | More by mwbrady12
Photo of Pinnerjo
Pinnerjo


2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

01-07-2013 00:02:57 | More by Pinnerjo
Photo of jaswilson2
jaswilson2

South Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

11-12-2013 16:33:59 | More by jaswilson2
Photo of JohnnyK
JohnnyK

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

11-14-2013 01:23:51 | More by JohnnyK
Photo of SurlyHotdog
SurlyHotdog

Illinois

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

12-19-2012 01:46:44 | More by SurlyHotdog
Photo of aleyeast
aleyeast

South Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have long been a fan of this winter seasonal and would venture a guess that five years ago or so, it was in the top of my list for must haves in the winter. Lately, at least the last two years, this beer has been dominated by vanilla which I don't personally find attractive in the beer. To me, vanilla is a flavoring, not a spice. It definitely feels creamy to drink, but that may be the vanilla flavor lending that sensation. Overall, the beer is well made and consistent, but I feel the key to good spiced beer is balance and moderation. I also believe this recipe has changed over the years.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2006 14:55:56 | More by aleyeast
Photo of ChrisMon02
ChrisMon02

Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

06-27-2013 23:40:58 | More by ChrisMon02
Photo of Jinxxor
Jinxxor

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

01-20-2012 20:22:05 | More by Jinxxor
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

2.55/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a murky amber color with a small tan head and moderate lacing on the glass. The aroma is somewhat malty and very sweet. The flavor has a hint of some sort of nut. It is very full bodied, but I don't think it fits my taste well. It rates about average in my book. There are also a lot of spices in the flavor. This beer is not very drinkable but it leaves an ok taste on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2003 18:14:36 | More by clvand0
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

2.58/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Light copper, good clarity and a very thin, off-white head

S: Moderately-strong caramel malt with moderate light-fruit aromas of peaches and apples. There is a pipe tobacco like aroma, with a bit of vanilla. I don't smell any spice although that be in line with a winter warmer as apposed to a Christmas Ale. There isn't any hops though maybe a light earthiness that is caught up with the tobacco.

T: It tastes only slightly better than the smell with the pipe tobacco up from mixed with a moderate sweetness. There is a light raisin and apricot type of fruitiness. The hops bitterness is pretty mild leaving the balance is slightly sweet. The finish is of a slight citrus peel flavor.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: An uninspiring beer that I would not recommend. It kind of comes off like a homebrew made from old extract having that extract twang mixed with poor fermentation temperature control fruitiness.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 02:11:24 | More by MadScientist
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

2.6/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2004 release. Heady ruby. The graphic design on the bottle is seasonal and gorgeous: the beer's color is remarkably similar to the outlay of the "themed" elements: foothills covered in snow, hollyberry replacing the hop trellises, the bear-ish creature done up for the season. The giant, rocky head and unbelievably sticky lace are noteworthy but seem on par with this great brewery's offerings.

The nose hints at oaky vanilla and slightly sour banana. The malts are sweet and there is a slight stamp of cascade hops in the mix.

Wow, this is downright awfully done. Natural flavor? All I can taste is a tub of butter and some overzealously gooey malt characteristic.

Pass - this year's is much worse than last.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 19:07:41 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of WMBierguy
WMBierguy

Maryland

2.6/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I normally like special winter ales, but I just couldn't get into this one. The spices use in this holiday brew were too strong. The end result was an ale that tasted as if it were brewed with potpourri. Not a very drinkable beer, and I won't be getting this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 06:24:47 | More by WMBierguy
Photo of PatandDavid
PatandDavid

Massachusetts

2.65/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Redbones...My first thought was, wow this tastes like caramel candy. After about a fourth of the glass, I wondered where the taste went. It pours a nice amber color, no head, no lace either. The overwhelming taste of caramel that first appealed to me quickly vanished. It wasn't particularly hoppy, malt taste was there, not omnipresent though...I've never had a beer where the flavor went so quickly, I don't think my taste buds were overwhelmed, but maybe so. After each sip, there was a wee whisp of caramel, but not like at the first few sips. While it wasn't a bad tasting beer, I had no urge to get another. The flavor just didn't last.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2002 02:27:17 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz from the Boise Coop for $1.50/bottle poured into a shaker pint. Listening to Renaissance Worldwide Singapore "David Morales Mix".

Sweet cherry juice and crystal clear. Sticky lite tan head.

Malty aroma with vanilla and butter undertones. No real hops ... sorta overpowered by the spices.

I really hate saying this, but it reminds me of a vanilla cream soda .... and not the soda-shoppe kind, more like the artificial bottled kind.

This is a tough review for me to write. I love the Boont amber (almost certainly my favorite amber ale). But this one is going to take a hit. I know from my notebook reviews, I am hyper-critical of diacetyl; and I am only getting a little butter from this beer, but combined with the vanilla ... wow ... The diacetyl is hyper accentuated. I think they should move away from the spices (at least the vanilla) and balance more with a low but still solid flavoring of citrus hops.

Sorry. I will buy this brew again, mainly for comparison ... but I will probably wait a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2007 10:38:57 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of gentlebubbles
gentlebubbles

Massachusetts

2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap at Redbone's

Luminous honey-gold, served with barely any head, just cream-colored foam skimming across the surface. Syrupy scent. Cinnamon spice mingles with the malt. Lingering syrupy body and a weird medicinal aftertaste that refuses to leave like an unwanted guest.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2004 17:46:07 | More by gentlebubbles
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
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.

Serving type: can

11-12-2011 06:53:32 | More by harrymel
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

2.73/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to swnicholoson for throwing this into an excellent trade this spring!

I have never had a beer that smells like ass before. Interesting. It made me think about a drain-pour before the glass touched my virgin lips. Another first. This is the first time the smell of a brew has interfered with my enjoyment of said liquid.

Thank Zeus, the taste is nothing like the smell (although my wife recoiled in horror & poured her half into my pint glass). Taste very spicy, like cadmun & cinnamon & apple tizzy poured into a beer-like substance. Not something I want every day, but pleasant enough. I think a roaring fire & bearskin rug would make it better.

Hard to drink much of it, though. I can see why it's a 'winter warmer' as my belly is warming already. Huh. Not quite sure what to think of this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2008 02:43:22 | More by maximum12
Photo of maxwelldeux
maxwelldeux

Washington

2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

06-03-2013 02:38:24 | More by maxwelldeux
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

08-14-2013 15:05:50 | More by ShanePB
Photo of sendbeer
sendbeer

Georgia

2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

12-05-2012 05:18:18 | More by sendbeer
Photo of plinythederek
plinythederek

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

02-27-2013 02:23:52 | More by plinythederek
Photo of Stinger80OH
Stinger80OH

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

07-06-2012 00:44:00 | More by Stinger80OH
Photo of ricke49
ricke49

Oregon

2.75/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First two things I noticed: for an essentially 7% abv brew there was no hint of alcohol (not even enough to qualify as a "warmer" style brew). Secondly, was strong vanilla essence. Too strong for my taste - almost cloying. Would have appreciated a more assertive hop profile.

Very low on any flavor that I would consider 'beer'. I had to ask "is this beer?" (or perhaps some adult style crème soda?). At least when I drink Jubelale I get a nice lip smack from the hops...I guess I'm spoiled. Not a very exciting brew, and when this 6-pack is gone, I'll not be acquiring more.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 00:07:09 | More by ricke49
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,366 ratings.