Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Winter Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

39 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 121
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 28.02%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 39 | Hads: 121
Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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 Jesse13713
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A transparent cherry-hued ale. Light red and a slight brown. No head or lacing in the glass.

Smell - Light malt and spice. Faint hints of light fruit.

Taste - Tastes very heavily like maraschino cherries. A bit medicinal in a way. This is a very dessert-like beer that actually tastes like I'm eating strawberry shortcake. It becomes a bit repetitive, but not bad overall. Lightly spiced.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Medium to heavy-bodied. Makes your mouth water. Well balanced, though it can taste a bit artificial and medicinal at times.

 557 characters

Photo of BeerBuckeye
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very clear deep amber/light mahogany. Not much of a head here and dissipates quickly.

S - A bit of a nutty smell, some notes of caramel, apple, and molasses.

T - Quite a bit of cinnamon actually, definitely some molasses in there as well, some bite from the alcohol. Cloves and nutmeg also present here. Balance is a little spice-heavy though.

M - The cinnamon seems to dry the mouth quite a bit, as if you were eating some cinnamon. It's pretty thin actually for having been brewed with molasses.

Overall - It was only average. The balance seemed way off and heavy on cinnamon. I

 597 characters

Photo of stercomm
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Very hazy straw color, little to no head, no glass lacing at all.

S - Some citrus, a gingerebread like flavor, some earthiness.

T - Very refreshing, lemon zest, bready some spice. Clean finish.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation

D - Not a bad summer brew, very refreshing, good flavors

 324 characters

Photo of PDXHops
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle courtesy of Ryan011235, poured into a Duvel tulip (back in February). Hazy amber with a short lived bubbly head and nada in the way of lacing.

The advertised cinammon and molasses are certainly present in the nose, along with a generous helping of bready malt and a citrusy undertone of citrus. Hints of toast and chocolate, too. Tastes more or less like I expected. I'm not a huge fan of huge spicing in winter warmers, but a decent sting of bitterness and ample carbonation seem to keep the cinammon in check here. Pretty nice depth of flavor; I especially dig the earthy hops in contrast with the tangy molasses. The bready and toasty malts don't take the molasses overboard. Better than your average spiced beer for sure.

 742 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
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 movingtrain
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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 Beejay
3.75/5  rDev +3%
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 bamadog
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I guess I'll give Rivertown another shot. Review is from notes taken on 12/30/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a dark coppery color with some burnt orange aspects to it; starts with a scant 1/4 finger off-white head that fades immediately to nothing other than a thin pond of skim and a thin ring around the surface; body is very clear and shows some faint carbonation;

Smell: OK, we've got quite a bit of warm and spicy cinnamon in there, and perhaps even a hint of some cocoa; a bit of toasty and grainy barley as well.

Taste: Yep, lots of cinnamon -- I like cinnamon and all, but this may be a little bit overdone -- still though, not too bad; beyond the cinnamon, I do believe there is just a touch of cocoa (probably from some chocolate malt?); bit of a slight, toasty graininess underneath it. Overall, it's one of the more drinkable RTB beers, but not something to go out of your way to get.

Mouthfeel: Body is just lighter than medium in weight, and the carbonation is much better in the mouth than one would think based upon looking at it; a moderately thick, semi-dry and very sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth; the gums are left a little tingly from the carbonation, and the belly is left warm from the slightly overdone cinnamon.

Drinkability: I can handle one or two of these, but the spiciness does become more overbearing as I continue to drink it, and it tastes kind of like freshly ground cinnamon has been poured into it... for RTB, it's good, for other and better established breweries, it would be subpar.

 1,592 characters

Photo of gmfessen
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Winter Ale is an amber sweet-tea color with a soapy tan head. The nose is all malt and spice; thick, bready with molasses and cinnamon - there is also a faint whiff of alcohol at the end. Gingerbread followed by hot damn! The taste starts out as malty sweet but transitions to overly bitter and dry. The cinnamon does not seem to be overdone but doesn't help the cause on the finish either. Mouthfeel is medium and slick yet drying on the finish. Overall, not a beer I will be going back for.

 534 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
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 cincibrew
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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

Photo of BigDRS
3.64/5  rDev 0%
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 ltjska04
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
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

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Winter Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.