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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

241 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 21
Gots: 8 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-09-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 179
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An unusual muddy dark rum appearance with large bubbles. OK drink and hops and spices,burnt toffee, sweetish molasses, oily coffee but kind of doesn't work all together. A typical UK beer brought in by LCBO - their committee of 13 preference. A weak porter? Better warmer.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown/black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, caramel, and some dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a candied dark fruit flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think it tastes better than it smells.

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured into a pint glass with lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The smell is slightly sweet and has aromas of roasted malts.
T: The taste is quite complex and has flavors of caramel, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and toffee along with some hints of smoke. No bitterness from the hops is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a low amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink but doesn't provide a rich malty flavor or alcohol warming like other beers in the style. It tastes more similar to a porter.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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'.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown/black ale with almost no carbonation and therefore no head. Aroma is mostly comprised of roasted malt. Taste is quite simply some roasted malt, with some bitterness at the end and a very light watery finish. The alcohol doesn’t really show and the body is just above the average. Overall, this is not a bad beer but nothing great either; probably an improvement over some other beers I had from this brewery.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of largadeer
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flipping through one of Toronto's ubiquitous dailies last week, I noticed a 'Beer of the Week' column, and they proudly displayed this as the newest thing available in the good ship Ontario. Me, I quite like the vaguely medicine-y shape of St. Peter's bottles, blurring the line between professional and self-proscribed alcoholic 'medicinal' treatments, just like in the bygone days of temperance v. wets...

This beer pours a solid black (at least by the low light of my hotel room), with slight beige edges, and one finger of soapy tan head, which leaves some columnar lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells herbal, and of crusty, dusty, cracker grain, like those Scandinavian cracker-cookies that look like they might be chocolate, but turn out to be dry, dusty, and well, you get the idea. The taste is much better, the herbal notes joined by some dry chocolate, trail mix, and some bitter coffee grounds. The carbonation is soft, the body full and smooth, and it finishes a tad off-dry, chalky, and clean. The elevated alcohol is not noticeable in the least.

A decently drinkable ale, the warming side of things hidden, at best, and the herbal, drying nature of this brew sure suits its packaging.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of smoked roasted malts, dark fruits, chocolate, caramel, some spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and a little smoky up front with flavors of chocolate, dark fruits, caramel and a little spice. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a good dark beer that's worth drinking for a while but there are other beers of its kind that I would choose first.

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a somewhat opaque mahogany brown almost black hue with ruby highlights, large velvet smooth textured beige head forms thick and the lacing is chunky and sporadically spaced. Aromatics are full of herbal tea tannins upfront cocoa in the malt profile with more of that creamy dark chocolate accents flowing. Herbal hops are not over pronounced but meld very nicely herbal qualities of leafy tobacco come out as well as the herbal tea notes. Flavor profile dry dusted dark chocolate with sweet mild fruit components finishes dry with herbal tea like bitterness. Great balance creamy with dark chocolate and a touch of coffee roast quality about it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied texture is so smooth it glides going down and carbonation is tame and really cask like in a sense. Drinkability, a welcome addition to the Winter ales I've come across so far this season. Unique and extremely flavorful compared to the average English ale.

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

1 pint .9 fl oz brown glass bottle acquired for cheap at Total Wine Redondo Beach; I think the price was between $1 and $2. Label is red. I dig the strangely shaped bottle. Pressure cap is branded. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a light tan colour head of gorgeous cream, very good thickness, and quite good (6+ minute) retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a very dark caramel-brown; nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Very light thin lacing as the head recedes. Not horribly vibrant, but then again it's nontransparent...

Sm: Sweet malts. Fruit - fig, bright sugarplum, dates. Caramel and toffee. Brewer's chocolate. Surprisingly Belgian in malt character, with a nice dose of biscuit. Raisin. Light herbal notes. A bit of spice - anise? A subtle, diverse aroma of moderate to fairly high strength. Little yeast character is detectable. I don't get any alcohol.

T: Caramel, toffee, heavy date fruit, biscuit malt, fig, malty sweetness, and light candi sugar. Complex and enjoyable. Pleasant to drink. Balanced if imperfect. Not horribly subtle. A bit too sweet, but still enjoyable. I do get some candi sugar. Balance is okay. Could use more complexity and subtlety. It's a bit wanting. I do like it. A bit of toasted character. Sugary.

Mf: A bit undercarbonated. Smooth. Wet. Good presence on the palate. Depth of flavour is above average.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. A surprisingly tasty winter ale. Well priced. I'd get it again. Not exemplary, but a solid seasonal. I wouldn't want to have more than a bottle a night; it's just so sweet and sugary. But it's a good offering. Hides its above average ABV well.

High C+

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights and a creamy rich tan head that slowly descends to a thin lasting cover. Web-like lacing sticks.

The smell is of earthy, leafy/herbal, earthy- tradional "English" spiciness with prunes and a hint of anise.

The taste is of toffee and dark fruitiness - towards port-like with a hint of anise - towards chocolate. An earthy, leafy, herbal hop bitterness stays in the back, but gives balance to the rich maltiness. As it progresses, prunes come out even more. There is a hint of warmth in the semi-dry finish.

It is full-bodied, but not thick or syrupy.

This has a malty richness with just enough hop bitterness to keep it balanced enough, and spicy enough, for a nice winter brew. This is a fun one, IMO. A solid choice for a winter beer that is more drinkable than many slow-sipper winter offerings, but is warming. Complex, but approachable. A nice take on a traditional English Winter Warmer!

Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like a dark brown ale, where the faintest of light will shine through. Solid head with great retention. Spider web lace on the glass.

Warm molasses-like malt aroma. A strong whiff of alcohol as well. No discernible hop, though.

This taste has elements of three different beers to me. It starts off as a un-hoppy brown ale. Soon, the alcohol makes its presence known and the beer becomes closer to an Old Ale (not quite enough to make it a barley wine). The swallow features a strong black patent malt bite that is reminiscent of a Stout. This finish provides good balance. The body is also quite rich with a minimal amount of carbonation (makes the head even more impressive).

If memory serves me correctly, I imagine I'm rating this the best of the St. Peter's offerings. It is a deceptive beer. I would also describe it as being "very English" in style and flavor. Think Samuel Smith.

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of GClarkage
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of corby112
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red/Chestnut brown color with amber edges when held to a light source and a two finger frothy beige head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with very subtle peppery spiciness. Hints of sweet alcohol, syrup, pepper, dark fruit and faint hops.

The ABV for this beer is pretty high for a British beer but I found it to be well balanced and very quaffable. Lots of roasted malt with peppery spice, candy sugar and dark fruit notes. Hints of plum, raisin, fig, grape and dark cherry. This beer is fuller bodied than expected and I was pleasantly surprised by it's complexity.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of wl0307
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB NOV 06, served cool in a broad-rimmed goblet.
A: pours dark brown colour with reddish hues against light; sparse and thin off-white foams on the top, very low carbonation,
S: beechwood-smoked malts, soothing roastiness, dark and unsweet chocolates with its lightly sour edge, char-coal...plus a savoury note of lightly-burned pork chops--at the back is a very lightly spicy/licorice hint and only a touch of plum-jam dark-fruitiness~~ Very rich aroma yet ever so smooth... just brilliant!
T: smooth, lightly-roasted dark malts along with a profound and settled bitter-nuttiness, which brings on board a never-ending flow of smoked-woody and lightly phenolic flavour... gradually a slightly salty-bitter taste comes through, along with more roasted nuttiness to chew at the back of the palate, while a touch of spice stays low and mild. Superbly lingering bitter-sweet aftertaste. It could score higher if given more complexity, but the flavour profile as it is is already very soothing, almost like a stout without the sour edge of roasted barleys... or, like a light-bodied porter~~
M&D: extremely smooth on the mouthfeel, lightly oily and lubricating down the palate... This winter ale is so flavoursome and vertical in terms of texture. I couldn't help wondering that the recipe of this beer is somehow connected to the same brewery's creamy stout... All in all, this is a very enjoyable, malty winter ale.

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St. Peter's Winter Ale from St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
87 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.