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St. Peter's Winter Ale - St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd

Not Rated.
St. Peter's Winter AleSt. Peter's Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

227 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 227
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 18
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 227 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gmcfarre
4.28/5  rDev +10%

16.9 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Well, the bottle sure looks nice. After pour, this beer looks a lot like a coke: dark brown carbonated body with nice 1 inch tan head. Head lasts well with moderate lacing when tipped.

S - Clean, lightly roasted grain with a touch of nuttiness. Raisin and dark fruits accompany. Mild hop presence with a slightly floral scent. Smells "English" - I guess that means the use of traditional English malt and hop varieties is evident.

T - Starts sweet and slightly tart with strong fruited flavors. A bit roasted and lightly nutty. Bitterness really picks up as it finishes, making this a well rounded brew whose focus never strays from the sweet grain flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a mild carbonation and oily mouthfeel. Doesn't dry much in the aftertaste, but leaves some sweetness on the tongue.

D - A very drinkable version of a classic English Winter ale. Don't expect much spice, but this is certainly full flavored with an easy drinkability. Recommended.

gmcfarre, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of Dalem
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

Dark brown in the glass while when held up to the light it takes on a very dark and rich ruby red color. About a 1/4 inch head that fades pretty quickly. Sweet malt and chocolaty scent reminding me of something between malted milk balls and oatmeal cookies. In other words "YUM!" but a "YUM" in smell doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna be the same thing in the taste department. Luckily this does not let ya down.
A huge roasted malt warmness is right up front then followed by a tinge of fruitiness (I'm thinking berries or plums. It's either somewhere in between or I can't decide which) with a toffee smoothness in the middle. Nice medium body and light on carbonation. Though this is not as strong or heavy as I expected it's far from being thin. An alcohol pinch shows up in the throat but the balanced complexities of the malt and hops intermingle make this a nice glass of something to sip on such cold evenings such as tonight.

Dalem, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of gabeerfan
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with some medium brown highlights near the bottom of the glass. About a finger's width head that never disappeared completely. Left spiderwebs all the way down the glass.
Smells of dark roasted malt, caramel, dark fruits, and alcohol.
Tastes like it smells, but more so. Dark raisins for a split second, then some caramel/toffee, then the dark malts and finally some hops going down.
Very smooth mouthfeel almost nitro because of the small bubbles.
Very drinkable and at 6.3% a couple bottles won't end the evening early.

Perfect for a cold winter's evening.

gabeerfan, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Roasted chestnut brown with sepia highlights... that becomes black cherry when backlit with bright sunshine. The golden ecru cap is immensely attractive. It has the texture of clotted cream and is beginning to deposit thick sheets of lace on the upper third of the glass. What a great way to start.

The nose is less impressive. For starters, it's weak. Winter Ale smells like an English porter with an extra shot of earthiness and no added spices. Not that all winter warmers need spices, but this one needs something to pull it above the ranks of the merely average. Note: it opens up just enough with warming to earn a score increase.

Rarely have I experienced such a disconnect between a beer's aroma and its flavor. This ale is very, very tasty right out of the chute and should be even better once it loses the slight chill that it started out with.

There are cream stouts, so why aren't there cream porters? SPWA tastes like a cream porter. It has a moderately roasted malt base (with a minimal char) that allows the top notes of vanilla and fruity English hops to stand out in beautiful fashion. Maybe it's the power of suggestion, but the beer does taste winterish.

It also tastes English in a 'chocolate and dark caramel sauced figgy pudding' kind of way. The balance between malt and hops, sweet and bitter, is impeccable. As always, sweet rules early and bitter rules late. Fewer hops would have resulted in a lesser ale. Though it's no great feat at such a relatively low ABV, alcohol plays no role on the taste buds.

The mouthfeel is a little lighter than it should be, but it deserves some slack since it's perfectly (read: subtly) bubbled. Too much carbonation has ruined more than one potentially great beer.

Where the hell did the 'flask' bottles go? This rounded bottle is still nice and hefty and still features some embossing, but it's a step down from what was a distinctive part of drinking St. Peter's beer.

Winter Ale doesn't supplant Cream Stout as my favorite offering from these guys. That said, it's pretty close to being that beer's equal. Good thing there's a ready supply on local shelves, because there's no doubt that a few more bottles of this beauty will be consumed before winter is done.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +2.8%

A - Poured a very dark brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of roasted malt with caramel scents

T - Is good roasted malt with a caramel taste a little smoky taste as well

M - Fairly light carbonation and pretty smooth

D - This is an easy to drink brew has a good taste and smooth make this a beer thats worth drinking sometime

armock, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

The head retention on this beer is pretty amazing, some of the thickest lacing I have seen in a while. There must be a small percent of torrified wheat in this brew. Dark coffee brown color with some ruby highlights. Toffee, some salt water taffy and a ghost like anise in the nose. Very smooth and creamy in a medium body. Sweet caramel and toffee flavors, burnt raisins in the back with a mild char note. Little bit of toasted malt and fruitiness middle to end. Big woody hop flavor has a modest bitterness. Mineral and a tad salty in the drying finish.

Yeah, this is one kick ass winter warmer. Comes in silent and then drops this complex malt bomb on the palate. This one is for the traditionalist.

Jason, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of Tim2000
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

500 mL brown bottle, can't make out manufacturing date.

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass.

Roasted, nutty aroma with some caramel notes.

Starts off sweet with lots of honey and molasses. Hints of hazelnut and chocolate towards the middle with a nice bitterness building up until the end. Long, lingering aftertaste that combines caramel and bitter black tea. Alcohol is present and gives a bit of bite to the beer. Quite full-bodied with low carbonation.

Well balanced and packed with flavour. Definitely a winner.

Tim2000, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of GimmeAles
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

Served at cellar temp. A cool, high-shouldered St. Peter’s bottle, sadly it seems they’ve done away with the cool, oval-flask style bottle in favor of a similar (but not as unique), round one. A simply, classy salmon shield, ringed in Gold with the distinctive script announces a special seasonal on the label.
Pours a brooding sable into the snifter with only the faintest ruby edges coming through in the light. Lovely. Subdued, mildly active carbonation never managed to cap the beer, even with firm pour. Light ring of beige foam stays to the end though.

Wafts of caramel and toasted grain first greet the nose. Closer inspection reveals a hint of smoke, and subdued, vinuous fruit, skunk, vanilla, and hazelnuts. A soft, subtle, but very complex nose.

Flavours are of toasted husk, caramel and gently smoked wood. Biscuity and nutty with leather and tobacco also present (maybe a good cigar-beer here). Just enough hop bitterness to balance the malts, though no distinct hops character really comes through.

Light and smooth mouthfeel for a ‘strong’ English beer. Finishes fairly dry but with a pleasant lingering caramel sweetness. A fine ale indeed – done in the subtle, classy way that all St. Peter’s brews are. Warming me nicely on this cold, wet January evening.

GimmeAles, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of grub
4/5  rDev +2.8%

500ml bottle with a note attached explaining why it's not in the typical st peter's oval bottle. these are ok, but not nearly as neat as the regular ones. sampled jan 9/08.

pours deep brown and nearly opaque with a small dense cream coloured head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of lace.

aroma is good. nice roast. big dark chocolate. coffee and espresso. touch of smoke. light alcohol. big biscuit malt base. light bready character too. light caramel sweetness. great fruity esters.

taste is good. tastes more like an english porter than a more generic "winter warmer". solid roasty character. toasted white bread. big bready malt. touch of caramel sweetness. light caramel sweetness. low bitterness level, more bittersweet chocolate than hops. bit of floral hops. light fruit.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. alcohol is hidden very well. i'm going to have to stock up on this one before it leaves the lcbo.

grub, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of baggio
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

Intended to drink this on x-mas eve but kind of forgot it....

A: Blackness with a finger thick & creamy head.

S: Liquorice, Roasted malts, Pepper, Ripe dark fruit, cafe latte.

T: Espresso, roasted malts, dark chocolate, fruits a plenty.

M: Very drinkable with a nice aftertouch of roasted malt and bitter hops. Medium carbonation.

A very drinkable brew indeed. Lacks some spices to be a christmas-beer but it's a very good stout/porter-clone. Goes down way easily. Give it a go!

baggio, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

A fine offering with a balance of malt, alcohol, and spiciness. The malts are complex, but difficult to put a handle on; caught somewhere between a Brown Ale and a Bock in flavor, but with a lighter body expected from either. Alcohols keep the beer thinned, but compliment with a sweet powerful dryness. Hopped for mostly balance, while offering a hint of pine and grassy notes. A standard brown hue with near clarity. Any other spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, or allspice) remain muted and compliment the esters and phenols well. Medium maltiness and bitterness that linger into the aftertaste with a hint of nuttiness, cocoa, coffee, and spices that carry into the next sip. Not a bad offering, but nothing tangible to celebrate either. There is a fine line between 'complex' and 'hodge-podge'.

BEERchitect, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of stephendr
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

one pint .9 oz. glass bottle- color of deep amber, with a medium tan colored head - nose of roasted malts, slight coco, and mild hops – taste of roasted malts, dark roast coffee, some toffee, and mild hops - body is medium, and round , and with medium low carbonation – aftertaste of sweet malts, coffee, dry, and lingering

stephendr, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours quite dark, nearly black with some tinge of red. Decent head at first that fades relatively quickly. Aromas of gingerbread and bitters and lots of bready malt. Taste is similar- not sweet at all, in fact there is a bitter current throughout and a savory spiciness. Quite bready, almost crackery. Very smooth and easy to drink, though there is some alcohol warmth as well. A pleasure.

Georgiabeer, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%

16.9 oz. British bottle,

A: Pours black, with a full tan head, nice retention, some lacing left in the glass.

S: Roasted malt, burnt sugar, molasses, and maybe a bit of licorice and pine needles.

T: On the first sip, I wasn't too impressed with it, it had mainly a burnt sugar taste, with this "dark" bitterness that seemed out of place and caught me off-guard. After a while I got more into it. Overall, it's got a nice mix of flavours, burnt molasses and hops mostly, though there is a spice character to this beer hinting of nutmeg or cinnamon, a bitter quality, though I don't know if this beer is spiced or not.

M: Quite light on the tongue for a 6.3% beer, kind of thin as well, I mean this is a beer you could guzzle if you wanted to, oily as well, some resin.

D: A fair beer from St. Peter's, I've had better beers from them before, an OK offering, not just up to par with some of the better Winter beers out there.

Halcyondays, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of drinkininthewood
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Let me start off by saying that this is no winter ale. But it is an excellent Dark ale.

Served from a 500ml brown bottle into a pint glass. Some odd code on the back which I cant understand.

A- Pours dark brown almost black, with a brown head which only appears if you pour aggressively. Head diminishes quickly leaving a layer of big bubbles and some lace spots on the glass.

S- Is generally of roasted malts with some hops, and dark chocolate.

T- Is of the same, mainly nice roasty malts with hints of coffee and dark chocolate, dark fruits ( mostly plums ) mid-way, and grassy hops make up fairly good balance in the end.

M- very nice texture, smooth and oily on the tongue and nicely carbonated. Somewhat chalky as well.

D- Very drinkable, sessionable even.

Overall why the hell isn't this available year round? Drop the winter ale thing and just call it St. Peters Dark Ale....This is their best offering and should be their flagship brew.

drinkininthewood, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of CanuckRover
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

Kind of boring looking really. Really dark, burnt caramel. Next to no head, ditto for the lacings.

Burnt caramel on the nose with some fairly strong dark fruit notes, blackcurrants. Some spiciness but it comes accross rather unpleasantly, maybe the alcohol isn't hidden well enough for my taste.

Tates better than it smells. Nice nutty taste, roasted chestnuts along with the blackcurrants I mentioned above. Very tasty malt, buttery and pretty complex, hovering between a nice English ale and a good stout. Some wintery spices, bit of a fruitcake taste. Unfortunate medicinal finish.

Really like the mouthfeel. Nice and creamy in the mouth but it goes down really well. I think I could drink a couple of these. Not bad stuff.

CanuckRover, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

A clear deeply brown colored beer with a good long lasting light brown head. Lots of ruby red color when held up to the light.

Smell is quite buttery to the nose with a mild amount of spice in it. Malt and molasses form the next level of scent along with some Fuggles hop. Fair amount of ginger and cinnamon in the scent but it doesn't really remind me of anything else except really muted spice drop candy.

The taste begins sweet and malty with a Fuggles hop aftertaste. Bit of chocolate and coffee in the taste and I would call this a coffee beer. Spice flavor here is quite mild and really isn't that significant a factor.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Certainly easy to drink but for its high price it could be better. Mild ale needs stronger flavors.

Zorro, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

12/13/07- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with no freshness info. Lovely antique style bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Coca Cola color, not quite black. I guess super deep caramel color would be a good way to describe it...or burnt caramel. About a 1/2 inch head which fades quickly and leaves minor lace streaks behind.

Smell- The nose that really sticks out is anise and a Dr. Pepper-like scent. Peppery I gues you would say.

Taste- About like the color. A burnt caramel background which is lightly hopped. As you work through the beer you get some traditional holiday flavors of clove and spruce tree like flavors. Even in deeper I got a good chunk of anise and a eucalyptus menthol like flavor. Odd, but interesting for sure.

Mouthfeel- Pretty smooth with a lower than average carbonation level. Light hopped aftertaste, more woodsy time flavor if anything.

Drinkability- Seems like an OSA type flavor. Pretty good with flavors all over the place. Not sure I could pound more than one of these in a day though. More of a once a season treat beer. I did like it though.

GClarkage, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev +2.8%

st. peters has changed there bottles to a completely round one, thought that was interesting, pours a deep dark mahogany with a slight tan head.
the aroma is rich malty, dark fruits like raisins, a little spice.
the flavor is rich mad malty with a nice toffee flaovr with a hint of caramel, some burnt dark fruits with a hint of smoke, with a slight lingering grassiness.

plaztikjezuz, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of kmo1030
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

deep dark brown with a thin light tan head that laces a little.
it's got a burnt carmamel and toffee malt aroma, with dark fruitiness, mostly plum and prune type smells. i'm not grabbing any hops out of here.
the taste contains bitterweet burnt chocolate, with the same plum and prune from the aroma. the burnt bitterness is actually a balancing influence. it's got some smoke that actually almost borders on a peat-y character. molasses comes out with warmth playing of of the already present caramel charactrer.
the mouth feel is a little light, but ends up lending a little bit to drinkability actually.
decent drinkability, but the burnt bitterness wears on you somewhat, not enough to significantly detract though. my only critique is that this beer is sort of loosely constituted, that is to say that the flavors don't seem to gel well, and don't work as a cohesive unit. well worth a try though, especially since it's a pretty cheap one and done beer purchase.

kmo1030, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%

Appearance: Pours a very dark mahogany body with a full, foamy light beige head.

Smell: Fruity, caramel malt aroma with a pinch of roast and spice.

Taste: A somewhat tart, berrylike fruitiness pairs with a malty sweetness and a taste of brown sugar atop burnt toast. Hard to place spiciness. Faintly floral hop flavor with a moderate bitterness. There's a pinch from the alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I can't say I really cared for it. I just wasn't the carnival of wintertime smiles I was hoping for.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of largadeer
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Appearance - Dark brown, almost black - looks rather stoutish. Pours with a sizable head with decent lacing but fairly weak retention.

Smell - Sweet and malty; notes of caramel and coffee.

Taste - Very toasty, a bit burnt even; notes of roasted nuts with a caramel sweetness. A long coffee finish with sharp bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with mild carbonation. Very coating and slightly oily.

Notes - Good if somewhat unexceptional. Not a beer I would seek out often, but it's good for the season and I definitely enjoyed it.

largadeer, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.8/5  rDev -28%

This beer was OK (but hardly remarkable), but had an oddly tangy aftertaste that would keep me from recommending it.

This beer poured a red-brown translucent color with a minimal head. Aroma was a mild malted-milk ball aroma. Flavor was malty with an unusual spiciness that had a tanginess that reminded me more of aftershave or bug repellent than it did of the holidays. Mouthfeel was OK, but didn't really stand out in my mind.

I wasn't thrilled with this beer, and there other winter beers I would much prefer to this one. Also, the green packaging of this beer baffles me and has led to me avoiding it altogether up to now.

I'd weakly counsel you to avoid this beer. I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

BeerBelcher, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of flowerysong
4.2/5  rDev +8%

Appearance: Opaque black with a serviceable brown head.

Smell: Huge malt nose. Very sweet, mainly roasted malts with a hint of fruit.

Taste: Smooth and nutty, with a touch of caramel on the front and coffee-like bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, mild carbonation. A bit of alcohol.

Drinkability: Quite high. It's not mindblowing, but it's definitely tasty.

flowerysong, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Pours a dark brown/black color with a thin head. Aroma is somewhat roasted with hints of chocolate and coffee in the nose. Taste is smooth, roasty and very nice. Chocolate hints at the back of the throat and only a slight spiciness. Goes down very well. This has to be a porter or milk stout of sorts. Very roasty, smooth and better than I thought it would be. I would definitely buy this beer again.

Brad007, Nov 26, 2007
St. Peter's Winter Ale from St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
87 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.