Winter Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

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BA SCORE
83
good

38 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 38
Hads: 118
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 8.77%
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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 118
Photo of wingman14
4.71/5  rDev +29%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of Clowerweb
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
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! (1,912 characters)

Photo of Dubious13
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
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. (674 characters)

Photo of BigPauly
4.37/5  rDev +19.7%
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! (438 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
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. (427 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (246 characters)

Photo of edfish
4.05/5  rDev +11%
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 (415 characters)

Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (421 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (1,163 characters)

Photo of ltjska04
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tonight we have Rivertown's aptly-named Winter Ale, a winter warmer-style ale brewed with molasses and cinnamon. As suggested by the bottle, I poured this into a snifter at roughly 45F. This beer is a hazy deep red/mahogany color with a tiny head that disappears as quickly as it appeared, leaving barely a ring of slow-rising bubbles around the outskirts of the glass. The appearance is not very impressive. My first whiff of the beer reveals cinnamon as expected. Unexpectedly, the smell follows up with tart cherries; very nice. As it warms this smells like cherry pie in a glass. The flavor reveals more of the cinnamon and cherry; sweet and tart flavors bounce off each other in a playful snowball fight. Oh yeah, we're getting metaphorical. The flavors come out more as the beer warms. The bottle claims a "big, bold, thick-bodied ale" that I won't necessarily disagree with, but while bigger-bodied than other Rivertown brews I've had I'd like to see this one really being fuller and more robust. The carbonation is low and it works for me. There is no indication of ABV but I'd guess it's around the 7-8% range... smooth going down with no burn but it starts to give you that warm holiday feeling towards the end. I could definitely associate this beer with the holidays and drink many of them. It hints at greatness and reminds me slightly of Troegs Mad Elf but unfortunately it doesn't quite measure up to it. Overall a good beer from Rivertown that has room for improvement. (1,485 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass (poured the second half of the bottle into a snifter at the suggestion of the label)

Dull amber color that has enough depth to look a bit like a jar of honey. The puffy, two finger head didn't last long, thinning to an slight, lasting layer after a few minutes. No lace.

This smells like a big old gingerbread cookie. Hints of cinnamon bread underneath. Earthy hops & nutty undertones. Smells good as far as spices go; maybe too much for a beer. Imagine incense sticks prior to being burnt, only good.

Spices are similarly strong to taste; lots of cinnamon & ginger. Eh, they don't seem quite as strong as the nose; perhaps this is due to a more prominent bread notion that envelops said spices. Toasty & dry. Some earthy hops without much bitterness.

The feel is an appropriate medium body yet retains a nimble quality (at least before multiple swigs begin adding layer of lingering spices). The spices impart a sharp dryness which makes for a granular feel, as if over saturated with cinnamon & such. Carbonation is reasonably low & doesn't over-assert the spices. The finish is, no big surprise, dry & wrought with spices.

In the past I haven't been one to gravitate toward overly-spiced beers such as this. However, as far as spiced winter ales go this is easily drinkable & pretty enjoyable. Easily the best I've had from Rivertown. (1,380 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of movingtrain
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle sampled from a small snifter. Rivertown is a relatively new brewery in Cincinnati, and they are making some decent stuff. Not much information out there about them, though--no ABV listed on the bottle or on their website.

Pours an amber/brown color. The head is about one and a half fingers with an aggressive pour, but quickly dwindles to almost nothing. Carbonation looks steady.

The aroma is quite sweet. Actually smells lager-like. Strong malt presence backed by some mild hop bittering, cinnamon, hard candy, vanilla, light chocolate tones, clove, a bit of banana, and brown sugar.

The flavor here is interesting...the molasses hits you right off the bat, lending a syrupy sweet flavor across the tongue. Not sure what the ABV is here, but the beer is rather warming. Warm bread, cinnamon hard candy, plum, raisin, and brown sugar all come to mind. I think the addition of molasses here gives the flavor just enough complexity to make this an oddly balanced, but drinkable beer.

Overall, Rivertown's Winter Ale is, well, good for Winter. It works for the style, and even has a few surprises in the flavor. It is drinkable the night through. (1,165 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of nukem5
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
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!! (528 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (218 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - iced-tea color with a thin, soapy layer of manila. Good staying power for less than a finger of thickness. Nice lace stickiness too, and there was a layer of foam from start to finish.

Aroma - has a caramelly, Coke-like aroma. Light spicing that is hard to identify. It smells like licorice and cinnamon because that's what it says on the label, but without knowing, I might guess clove, cardamom, or anise.

Taste - malty with a touch of roast. The molasses and cinnamon dominate the palate at first, followed by a stiff bite of hops. Quite the heavy hand on hop additions, I'd say. It's a decent counter to the sweeter ingredients. I generally like a little less bitterness in a winter warmer, but this has good balance. Ends bitter but on the wet side.

Mouthfeel - smooth and lightly crisp. Medium body, pretty ideal for the style.

Drinkability - a tasty winter brew from the good guys at RTB. Happy holidays, guys, and thanks for this seasonal easy drinker. (977 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly Hazy, the color is a dark amber with red hues when held to the light. The head is thick and tan.

S: You can definitely pick up the cinnamon. Not as sharp as some cinnamon can get. Sweet with a nice spice back.

T: Sweet at first with a nice strong hit from the cinnamon. There is a nice bready quality to this as well. The finish has a bit of a bitter hit from the hops. Nice overall.

M: Medium in body, fairly high carbonation, and a bit slick on the feel.

D: Good, but a bit of a holiday/ cinnamon lovers beer. I enjoy it, but it is not something I am going to do a night of. Bet it would be wicked to cook with too! (635 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (1,419 characters)

Photo of 1mrbeer
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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. (368 characters)

Photo of BigDRS
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle (with no freshness date) into a mug. The bottle reads "What ales you? Winter ale: Ale brewed with molasses and cinnamon"

Appearance - Poured with very little head and produced no lace. The beer is dark copper/brown in color and looks fairly dull.

Smell - The nose has a very strong cinnamon smell with hints of molasses and cherry.

Taste - WOW CINNAMON - lots of it. The sweetness of the molasses definitely comes through, but plays a secondary role. Fits the bill of a winter warmer as it goes down the throat.

Mouthfeel - Has a slightly mid to light body. Carbonation level is good.

Drinkability - Don't think that I could have more than one in a sitting. This is a beer best paired with a large holiday meal. (737 characters)

Photo of patpbr
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (301 characters)

Photo of cincibrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, appearance is a clear copper color. Not much head, but some lacing. Nose and taste are both pure cinnamon, with the molasses and brown sugar bringing up the rear. No indication of ABV but has a nice tingle in the throat. I can't get the cinnamon out of my nose and mouth but the beers not half bad. A good sipper on a cold night, and would match a Christmas or thanksgiving dessert quite nicely. (417 characters)

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