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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 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 gmfessen
2.55/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
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

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.09/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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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 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 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 stercomm
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
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

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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 bamadog
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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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 PDXHops
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of cincibrew
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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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 BigDRS
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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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 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 Beejay
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

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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 brewdlyhooked13
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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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 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 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 movingtrain
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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