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Winter Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

38 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 118
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 16.02%
Wants: 1
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ltjska04 on 11-28-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 118
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks a dark, transparent amber in the glass. Looks a little thin, a little fizzy. Smells very sweet, very cinnamon-sugary. Tastes sweet, and again very cinnamon-sugary. Tastes like a Christmas Ale. I'm enjoying this one, would try it again.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I thought this was fantastic. I really liked the murky brownish red look. The smell is cinnamon to the core, and the taste is like cinnamon graham crackers with a oatmeal cookie aftertaste. I'd drink it again for sure.

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Photo of Brenden
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is a red-shaded brown that's almost, but not quite, opaque due to its darkness. Held to the light, it's actually fairly clear. The head is a tan one that reaches about half a finger with moderate retention, holding up a foamy layer that drops some spotting.
Sweetness comes out front in the aromas with immediate spicing as well, strong cinnamon that isn't so strong as to string the nostrils, and a little nutmeg and allspice beneath that off of some nicely toasty malts. Caramel comes out with the malts and molasses is more at the end as far as the smell but adds to the sweetness as a dryness comes in to balance.
As with the nose, spices and sweetness come out evenly up front with a bit of bite and a nice, clean cinnamon finish. There's a nice moderate hoppiness in the middle, not enough to take anything away from the main aspects of it but just a little leaf for added depth.
A little sweetness comes up and somehow stays on the tongue even as it dries. The body is fairly crisp and flows smoothly, losing just a touch of its medium body at the very end of each sip, which lingers with a little leafy dryness even as cinnamon gently nips.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter Ale brewed by Rivertown Brewing Co., with an ABV of 7.50% This brew pours out brown color with a nice off white color head. The smell is rich with flavor and spices. The smell also has a nutty smell to it. Now for the taste, it is rich with flavor. You get spices and a hit of nuts in the aftertaste. There is nothing overpowering in this brew. Winter Ale has a nice balance to it For being a brew with 7.50% , this brew goes down smooth. The mouthfeel is nice. and clean and smooth. Overall I giving this brew a 4 out 5. This is a clean drinking brew. Rivertown Brewing Co. did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. Rivertown Brewing Co.in.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
1.55/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at room temperature.

A: Pours into the glass a sort of ruby-brown, not unlike a watered-down Mr. Pibb. The head is thin and a pale yellowish tan, and dissipates quickly, leaving only a ring. Bubbles rise steadily from the bottom of the glass in the clear brown fluid.

S: This may be one of the least appetizing aromas I've ever gotten from a beer. While there is sweet caramel malt involved, there's something that resembles laundry - the sort of laundry that's been sitting in the hamper damp for a while, but damp with sweat instead of water.

T: And once again, a Cincinnati brewery, proud of its traditional German heritage, chucks that right out the window and hops the ever-living heck out of their beer. Some sort of leafy, nigh tobacco bitterness charges the tongue right out of the gate, biting and clawing and snarling. Somewhere in the midst of that fury, for a brief, shining moment, a burst of sweet caramel malt gets through - and then gets piledriven into hard concrete covered in shards of broken glass by MOAR LEEF HAWP. Throughout the tasting, there's a decided tone of cinnamon to the whole thing, though it seems less involved in the drive-by bludgeoning of malt by hop and more casual bystander who wants nothing to do with the rest of the scene and is just keeping its head down while walking briskly away. The finish is, of course, leafy hops with cinnamon, because why change anything about the flavor at the very end?

M: Sparkly carbonation lends a touch of sharpness to the beer, so the hops aren't just beating the malt senseless, but shivving it in a dark alley for its wallet as well. The finish is watery.

O: Let's just say I am happy that this was one beer of a mix your own six, and move on with our lives. We'll all be happier that way.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This requires an aggressive pour. I got s thin, off white head over a brown body with ruby distinction. No lace noted.

They note cinnamon and molasses on the bottle and they do not lie. Malt, cinnamon and molasses come rolling through on first sniff. Earthy hops back it up.

The malt and spice combination work together to introduce you to a roasty flavor up front. Molasses flavor is in there, and dances with the cinnamon. Very mild earthy hops intermingle with these near the end.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. The carbonation pricks the tongue ever so much but doesn't scream at you. Goes down rather easily.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. No date stamp.

Appearance: Clear dark amber leaning toward brown when on the table. Ruby red notes when held up to the light. Barest thin white head at the edge of the glass. No lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon, molasses dominate with a sweetness under it all that makes one think of a snickerdoodle cookie. With a good swirl of the glass I can pick out a tobacco / cigar like smell as well.

Taste: Cinnamon, molasses again with a cookie like malt sweetness. Again reminds me of a snickerdoodle cookie. Mild bitter finish. Leafy and somewhat tobacco like.

Mouthfeel: Spicy on the tongue, sticky, but still smooth.

Overall / Drinkability: Did not go well with food (at least not what I paired it with - sloppy joes). I think this one may go better with the right type of dessert or just by itself. While it makes me think of winter....I'm actually not finding it to be the type of beer I want to sip slowly and savor to warm me up on a winter's night. More like an interesting winter beer during a party with friends - and yet I don't want another one after finishing it. I'll have to see if it pairs better with some dessert to make it more drinkable, but otherwise I find it interesting, but it's missing something. I almost wonder if it is perhaps too strongly flavored and reminding me of a cookie that I'm missing the beer, which appears to be lost under the other strong flavors.

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Photo of 1mrbeer
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a, dare I say, unique taste.It must be the combination of the molasses and cinnamon,not that that's a bad thing,just different.I noticed the abv is listed on BA as 7.5% but the Rivertown site says it is 8.2%.Even with the higher abv it is well hidden amongst the flavors.I like the fact that it is a local(to me,at least) offering and would recommend it.

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Photo of BigPauly
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I loved this beer, perfect for a winter evening. The molasses comes through along with a hint of spice, cinnamon before the first sip. Not much of a head, small lacing, but that's alright with me. This is a rich amber/ruby colored ale, I used my vintage Falstaff lager glass. At first you have a taste of cinnamon which fades into a spicy sweet flavor. Light mouth feel, with no alcohol bite despite a 7.5%. Like it for the colder nights!

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Photo of Dubious13
4.45/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A; Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass. Minimal head with little retention and no lacing. Copper colored and very clear. Almost luminous qualities.

S: Cinnamon is the dominant smell with earthy undertones

T: Cinnamon and caramel. For being brewed with molasses, it is suprisingly light. Hops are evident but not overpowering. Very complementary to the maltiness. Extremely balanced flavor, excepting that it may be too sweet for some palettes.

M: Medium body, not too dry for an 8% beer, little carbonation.

O: One of the better winter brews I've tried. Extremely balanced and very drinkable. As far as food pairings, I recommend venison or other "gamey" red meat.

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Photo of Brent
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In what has been a pretty lackluster season for winter seasonals, this beer shines above the rest. Bright, almost luminous, copper. Aroma was warmly spicy. Moderate, clean bodied mouthfeel. Spicing is prominent but not overpowering. Natural cinnamon, a touch woody, with some other cookie-like background spice. ETOH is well integrated - a little warming and perhaps lending some pepper to the cinnamon. Overall very well done.

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Photo of patpbr
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first Winter Warmer I have ever Tried.
A brownish color without lacing. Lots of Cinnamon, it really takes over. The taste is Cinnamon, spice, apple, gingerbread. Lots of flavor, just a hint of malt, some syrup . Its more of a flavored beer then I care for. High ABV, Not one I would buy a six of.

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Photo of edfish
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried at the tap room, poured in a plastic cup.
A-Even in a cup had a nice dark orange brown look to it.
S-Man smelled like a Christmas cookie ...very sweet smell
T-Just like it smells, sweet and christmas spice, it is an 8% brew but you don't taste the alcohol until it warms up.
MF- Rich and sweet all the way
O-was a little to overpowering with the sweetness and Christmas spice I think it is a good dessert beer

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Photo of tgorgz
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: Into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

A: Not a whole lot going on here, but the colour's a nice looking one- dark amber honey is what I'd call it.

S: Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice. The cinnamon hits you first, and then you'll get a hint of what can only be the molasses.

T: Good spice going on here. The Cinnamon and clove (slightly) hits you well, and then finish is longer with the molasses undertones.

M: Surprisingly light on the palate. Not as much carbonation as I would have liked or expected. The finish is a little syrupy, but passable.

O: Nothing that makes me go "wow", but certainly a decent beverage. I'd kind of have to be in the mood for something along those lines to go for it again. I may, instead, reach for the Winter Warmer from Long Trail.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a mug. Deep amber in color, with more ruby highlights around the edges. 1 & 1/2 finger off white head that recedes quickly to a spotty layer and no lacing.

Nose is almost predominantly cinnamon, with touches of cooked apple and molasses.

Taste is very much following the nose, with the sugar & spice hitting the tongue first, along with some toasted bread. Unfortunately, there is a very off-putting tartness in the middle that seems out of place. Mildly drying on the finish.

Medium body and carbonation, finishing dry and a little sticky on the tongue.

Overall I'm not impressed. This is the 3rd or 4th offering I've had from this brewery and I've been underwhelmed by each of them. All seem to come out a little thin and bland. Too many good breweries out there for me to keep giving this one another shot. Sorry Rivertown.

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Photo of nukem5
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark rich amber, around a 18 SRM. Sadly not a huge foamy cap but a thin layer of foam.

S: The smell of cinnamon and molasses is very powerful and intense with great malt balance with a light hops.

T: Big sweet malty taste with a super blast of sweet caramel and molasses is very powerful and a great balance of cinnamon and some light hops.

M: Surprising this offering from RTB is light in feel from such a huge taste.

O: Overall a great beer from this to me a first from this Brewery from Ohio, good job guys!!

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Photo of Clowerweb
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz. brown bottle with no visible date, poured aggressively into a pint glass.

A: Pours an amber dark orange/brown color that resembles the color of iced tea with about a finger of head. Not a lot of retention or lacing, so I docked a point, but it's a very nice color regardless, very nice clarity and well filtered.

S: I smell more cinnamon than anything, although this beer isn't very strongly aromatic, but I do catch notes of sweet molasses and earthy malts, perhaps a bit of floral in there as well. Smells really nice, I just wish the aroma were amplified a bit.

T: Cinnamon comes through right away on the front of the palate, mid palate is very sweet with bready malts and molasses and it finishes clean with sweet cinnamon and a light hop bitterness. This is a fairly high ABV beer, coming in at 7.5%, and there is almost no alcohol coming through in the flavor at all, so they get huge kudos from me on that one. Very high drinkability and goes down smooth as silk. I'm really enjoying this.

M: Creamy and full bodied, moderately carbonated, carbonation will stick to the gums and tongue after the finish which I find delightful, leaves a slightly sweet and tingly mouthfeel behind, no astringency despite the higher ABV is a very respectable accomplishment.

O: This is my first Rivertown brew, and I must say, it has so far been a positive experience. The only way this beer could really be improved would be in head retention and lacing, although I I don't really give too much weight to how a beer looks anyway (taste and mouthfeel are the most important aspects of the experience IMO, and this brew comes away solid in both of these areas).

This is a fantastic winter ale, especially for cinnamon lovers, although it's definitely a niche beer, so if you don't like cinnamon or sweeter brews, you probably wouldn't find much enjoyment in this beer.

Overall highly recommended!

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having been rather unimpressed by the majority of these beers, I wasn't planning on buying more of them, but I was told this is pretty good.

A - A deep red body with a nice frothy tan head. Looks pretty good.

S - Caramel and spice (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg?), molasses, a spiced dark fruit cake. Not bad here either.

T - Tastes pretty well in line with the nose. Like a Molasses/cinnamon cake. A touch of funny sweetness, but this is otherwise quite enjoyable.

M - Smooth and light. Doesn't linger too much.

O - Probably the best regular type beer I've had from RT. Looks like they're getting their stuff figured out over there. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean amber in appearance with moderate carbonation and only light lacing.

Nose is curious -- caramel, molasses, cinnamon, candy sugar. Unusual and unique, and certainly not bad!

Taste is another revelation. I get molasses again, taking me back to my youth, enjoying molasses cookies from the local bake shop. Body is heavy here, with a heavy malt presence and an almost coffee cake vibe.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable experience, like no other beer I've ever had.

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Photo of BB1313
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent copper; not much head and lacing, but nice color and retention. The aromas are very faint and only start to develop as the beer warms up. It's not that the aromas are bad, they're just too subtle. It doesn't really smell like it tastes. The flavors are pretty good though. Cinnamon is the main ingredient, and I think they did a great job with the spices. I've had alot of beers brewed with cinnamon, but none have tasted like this. The spices taste very raw and grainy. There's some ginger in nutmeg in the mix as well. There's a spicy bitterness. Mouthfeel is ok, pretty spritzy and on the lighter side. Reguardless, it still drinks pretty smooth. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

I wasn't sure what to expect, this was my first time having something from Rivertown. I do like this, although it has flaws. But at the end of the day it does taste good.

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Photo of wingman14
4.71/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a nice dark orange with an off white head that didn't stick around too long. Smell is dominated by the cinnamon, with some sweet and malty notes as well. A very inviting smell, was hoping the flavor wouldn't overpower and it didn't. The malt and cinnamon work well together for a great taste. A medium mouthfeel, a nice smooth beer, an easy drinker, could easily have a few and the flavor is not going to overwhelm. Overall a good winter warmer, definitely a beer I would get again.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

2.5 A: Clear deep amber color. I could only muster 1/4 of a finger of beige head that fell almost instantly.

3.5 S: Lots of cinnamon (but not too much) that meshes well with the caramel maltiness. Molasses adds another well integrated layer of depth. Simple, but certainly pleasant.

3.5 T: Like the nose. Cinnamon, caramel, molasses. Malts are slightly grainy and this is very clean overall.

4.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Good creaminess for how light the body is. Smooth.

3.5 D: Not a bad winter brew. Very simple, but tasty.

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Photo of shanblur
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No date markings on bottle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Deep mahogany colored beer with red highlights. Minimal white head on the pour and sparse lacing.

S - Cinnamon comes through on the smell. Also a malt aroma.

T - Cinnamon again is the major player, with a gentle sweet malt and minor hops combination.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

A nice beer. Would probably not get again but glad I tried it. Nice integration of the cinnamon.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cinnamon Toast Crunch dry cereal- There! Review over. But to add, it's remarkable in how the malty flavors of light toast, pale caramel, and hearty barley malt frame the backdrop for added spice of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in such a way to evoke an uncanny resemblance to the cereal that I loved as a kid. Where the medium bodied beer carries a caramel-heavy start, the copper colored ale develops into a semi-dry mid palate before utimately falling a bit weak. But the cinnamon and caramel flavor are inviting, if not one-dimensional.

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alright Rivertown! This one works. I know I haven't liked all of their stuff, but this one is very OK. I would definitely buy it again.

As you want in a winter warmer, this has a nice bunch of spice taste. A nice mix of spices, actually, and somewhat unique. The malt and hops characteristics do not seem as complex or interesting, but the are inoffcensive and it is very drinkable. It doesn't taste boozy in the least.

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Winter Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.