Winter Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
3.95/5 rDev +8.2%
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.
02-09-2011 06:20:49 | More by Ryan011235
3.95/5 rDev +8.2%
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.
11-28-2010 03:36:13 | More by ltjska04
3.93/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
02-05-2011 23:08:07 | More by movingtrain
3.93/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
11-29-2011 19:50:00 | More by BEERchitect
3.85/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
01-20-2012 22:59:08 | More by secondtooth
3.83/5 rDev +4.9%
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!!
02-16-2012 06:17:50 | More by nukem5
3.75/5 rDev +2.7%
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.
12-29-2010 03:20:17 | More by brewdlyhooked13
3.73/5 rDev +2.2%
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!
02-03-2011 02:16:46 | More by Beejay
3.73/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
01-22-2012 21:16:02 | More by ColdPoncho
3.71/5 rDev +1.6%
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.
11-16-2013 23:11:06 | More by damndirtyape
3.66/5 rDev +0.3%
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.
11-07-2013 18:31:50 | More by 1mrbeer
3.65/5 rDev 0%
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.
12-11-2010 21:50:36 | More by BigDRS
3.6/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
11-25-2012 23:56:16 | More by patpbr
Winter Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.