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

179 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 179
Hads: 242
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 8.21%
Wants: 20
Gots: 9 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 179 | Hads: 242
Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark ruby red colour, finger of head with some retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Dark cocoa, vanilla, spiced rum, pineapple and a hint of espresso.

T - Sweet caramel, spices are coming through; cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice. Leafy, herbal hops, a tad medinical, with the sweet caramal and cocoa malt lingering on the finish.

M - Good body carbonation, goes down smooth and finishes wiht a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty winter warmer, doesn't overload the palette with spices, yet doesn't come across too mild. An easy drinking ale that boasts a solid flavour profile and a uniqueness that comes with the style. (628 characters)

Photo of Stocean1
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass there was only a half inch light cocoa head that disappeared instantly to a thin colllar of fine bubbles. The body is nearly black with some deep brown highlights on the edges and is nearly devoid of any lacing.

S - toasted malt, leafy hops, dark raisins, licorice

T - sweet malt,leafy herbal hops, bitter rye bread, licorice and dark fruit, with a pleasant smoky wood coming through in the finish. Definitely some booze and perhaps a hint of cinnamon. Cloves.

M - This is a creamy smooth brew especially given the complex flavors present. Some carbonation and pleasantly bitter in the finish. Sweet but not cloying. Some spicy notes but they are subdued and do not dominate the palate.

O - a spectacular winter warmer that I will hit annually. (777 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO, production code given is H1811 so I am guessing August 18th of this year.

Pours a deep black-brown colour, though realistically it's dark enough that 'black' is sufficient. Ruby red highlights under the light. There is a thin, creamy tan-coloured head on top, but it fades quickly and doesn't leave much behind - just a thin, filmy cap and a collar of cream around the edge. The aroma is heavy on roasted biscuit malts, a bit nutty with some toffee, molasses and bittersweet chocolate/coffee grind notes as well. Some muted spicy, herbal qualities in the background, with a bit of ethanol.

The taste is also pretty malt-forward, with roasted biscuits and bittersweet baker's chocolate being quite prominent. Hints of walnut, coffee grounds, and perhaps figs or prunes... some sort of dark fruit anyway. Sweet, but balanced with lots of traditional leafy, floral, bittering English hops. The spiciness is subtler than in most American warmers and not the focus of the brew, but notes of cinnamon and herbal minty licorice add another layer to this one. The booze is barely noticeable, but complements the flavour nicely, blending with floral bitterness, roasted coffee and tree bark in the aftertaste. Good mouthfeel, not quite 'full-bodied' but getting there. The moderate carbonation provides just enough bite to keep it feeling crisp without masking flavours. Easy to drink, but complex enough to sip and enjoy slowly.

I seem to really like English warmers, mostly because they don't smack you in the face with a 10-pound sack of spices. St. Peter's Winter Ale fits that mould quite well, and may in fact be a new favourite in the category for me, though I doubt fans of spicy American warmers will concur.

[Updated Nov 7 2014]

Another 500 mL bottle. I haven't had a bottle of this one in a few years now, but it only took two sips to immediately be reminded of why I gave it such a good grade in the first place. This is an awesome malt-forward, strong, dark ale with a luxurious mouthfeel, and it remains one of my favourite beers in this style overall. A must-try, in my opinion.

Final Grade: 4.31, an A grade. (2,153 characters)

Photo of rarbring
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is clear dark brown, a high tan head that settles slowly, leaving some lacing and a few curtains.

Sweet syrup, cereal, bread and oranges.

Starting with sweet brown bread, some honey and syrup, some mild burned notes, nuts and apples.

Medium low carbonation, slightly spritzy bubbles, soft with a big body, a slight dryness.

In all a very decent winter warmer. (372 characters)

Photo of Kartoffeln
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque brown so dark it's nearly black, with a sizeable, tan head of pillowy, creamy froth. Good retention, gradually dissipating to a thick ring of foam and leaving some frothy lacing.

S: Mildly sweet chocolate, biscuit, and roasted malts with notes of black coffee, cocoa, and a hint of smoke. Cinder toffee and butteriness. Dark and candied fruit aromas, hints of clove and licorice, and ethanol.

T: Sweet chocolate and biscuit malts with a slightly smoky, charred character of roasted barley complemented by cocoa notes. Cinder toffee, juicy dark fruit, and faint brown spice notes. Earthy, woody hops towards the finish with a slight lactic tang, a cranberry note, and a bit of booziness.

M: Medium-bodied with low, creamy-smooth carbonation. The woody hops and lactic tang balance the robust, sweet flavour profile as much as can be expected. Remarkably easy-drinking for the richness, it avoids feeling cloying or too heavy.

D: A very English winter warmer that happens to nail down everything I personally like about the style. St. Peter's winter ale is one of those rare beers that retains everything that characterises a style but adds distinctive changes that complement the style's characteristics to produce something uniquely delicious. Well worth seeking out. (1,290 characters)

Photo of helmstreet
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in Ommegang BPA tumbler.

A- small, tan head, dark body

S - sweet, light, somewhat estery and buttery

T - hop sharpness that mellows into bready caramel and ends slightly toasty.

M- creamy without being heavy.

D - a really nice winter ale. Subtle, but not too cute. (279 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.17/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes.

A - Poured almost black with a dark brown hue. One finger of tan head faded fast. No lace and no retention.

S - Dark fruit, licorice, interesting. Medicinal or herbal notes and a slight alcohol element.

T - Mild herbal notes, fruits, breads. Sweet.

M - Very mild carbonation, medium body, sweet finish.

O/D - Seemed sahti-ish. Not bad. Not overly tasty though. Couldn't get into it. (400 characters)

Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coca-cola brown colour, one finger of off white head, some lace left behind. Smell is malty, lots of roast, rye like spice notes, chocolate and nutty scents as well. Taste is full of roasted malt, chocolate, lightly lactic, medium bitterness throughout, spicy rye like notes as well, faint coffee in the finish. Medium carbonation, full body, medium feel. This is really good and full of flavour, one of the better winter warmers showing up in Ontario right now. (470 characters)

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

500 ml bottle poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured dark brown with some streaks of ruby and settled almost black with half a finger of light brown head that quickly disappeared.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, a touch of spice.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, dark caramel, nuttiness and a good bitterness that is especially evident in the finish.

M - Medium body, silky. Light carbonation. (402 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. Some ruby highlights around the edges. A large tan head rises to over two fingers. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malts, baked bread, chocolate. Very nice in the nose.
T: Again, very nice. Toasted malts with a toffee like sweetness. Baked bread and finishes with a nice bitter chocolate bite.
M/D: A medium to full body. Medium carbonation, but overall very soft in the mouth. So easy to drink. A great winter warmer.

This holds up very nicely in the bottle. I wish I could have this on cask. I am sure that would be a great treat. Still, as is, something I would highly recommend and something I am sure to buy more of before the season is over. (701 characters)

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. (690 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Near black. Gigantic, thick creamy head that stays for some time. Lots of cling lace that would need a chisel to remove.

S - Earthy malt. Cocoa. Some bitter hops note in there.

T - Taste matches smell pretty well. Very earthly, with a base like cocoa feel. Sweetness is slapped down with just enough malt. Nice clean finish.

M - Creamy, good balance, good carb. Nice.

D - I could have a few of these. Reminds me of the British family of beers for sure. It's a good one. (477 characters)

Photo of Swedes21
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chilled glass

Appearance - beer pours a dark brown colour with a faint amount of head. Head is an off-white colour and there is some decent lacing. Beer appears to be fairly clear when held up to light, hard to tell carbonation levels.

Smell - i can smell coffee, burnt caramel/toffee and malts. Besides that, its a pretty simple smell.

Taste - very "chilled" taste to this early, then the coffee and caramel/toffee kick in. I found the sweetness doesn't come through on this beer.

Mouthfeel - slight added carbonation levels increase the taste and add a velvet feel. I found the sweetness came through a bit more near the end.

Drinkability - Found this to be an OK beer, nothing special. Good try wouldnt seek again as their are better beers out there in this category. (787 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, part of the winter release. 500ml into a balloon tulip.

Poured a dark burgundy, bordering on black. A finger of tan head fades to some big bubbles, and retains a collar of head with minimal lace. Nose of dark fruits, milk chocolate, plum, figs, bit of roastiness and some warm winter spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) which aren't prominent, but are interwoven amongst the others. Taste has more of the dark fruits and chocolate battling for supremacy on the palate, with some roastiness in there for good measure. Good smooth mouthfeel, with a quick hint of the alcohol in the finish. Solid drinkability, a winner. (631 characters)

Photo of prg1976
2.9/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown, with off white head.

Smells malty. Bread, caramel.

Tastes is the same as the aroma. Malty. Not very complex, not much going on.

I'm guessing this is more like a porter. 6.5 abv doesn't usually make for a winter warmer. Overall, just not much there. Liquid bread. (285 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours a pleasant dark brown, colour is definitely on point, but only about half a finger of head forms and disappears within seconds.

Smell: Difficult to pinpoint, and as strange as it sounds, all I could smell is a typical "beer" aroma which smelled bitter. Not that this is a bad thing, difficult to describe though.

Taste: Pleasant, not too weak, not too strong, just above average, your typical Winter Ale.

Mouthfeel: Guinness. No, Really.

Drinkability: If you are offered one, or the other beers available seem sub-par, this beer is acceptable. Toss it into your basket if you like ales and you're at the store picking something else up, but it is not worth actively seeking out.

Note: I realize that this review may seem harsh, but if you have not tried it and you do spot it somewhere, feel free to pick it up, you may be surprised. (856 characters)

Photo of OldGrowler
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A typical ale/porter/stout variety. Slight roast, moderate malt, not complex enough to carry the bitterness. Unpleasant aftertaste. Metallic notes didn't impress me. Nothing outstanding. The spicy malty smell was the best part. I much preferred the Peter's English Ale. (269 characters)

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

Aromas are very heavy with lots of chocolate on the front. Caramels and some toffee also comes through.
The taste differs from the nose slightly. It starts out with a fairly strong coffee essence, then followed by lots of chocolate flavors with the caramel complimenting that profile. Some slight herbal bitterness in the finish from either the dark roasted grains or some light UK hops. Full malt flavor. Really nice sweetness up front. Some nearly burnt roast that leads to a long dry finish. The heavy malt flavors contrast atypically with the lighter body. A nice example of the winter warmer style. You can always rely upon the English to do a classy style correctly. St. Peters is one of the few English breweries which you can consistently rely on to deliver an authentic, quality AND fresh product to the states (second only to Sam Smith). Extremely drinkable and worth the purchase if located. (902 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle from the LCBO, pours a pleasant dark brew, almost black with hints of mocha brown and a slight ruddy redishness. Thin head which dies to placid, a vigorous swirl can only generate a thin cover of bubbles.

Nose is some light roast, cocoa, caramel, a hint of earth. Taste follow suit with a noticable cherry flavor which borders on syrupy/medicinal, a hint of anise. Caramel, fruit bread, plums, cocoa, roast - not a stout but some of the characteristics of an English stout. It's quite quaffable, a little thin bodied, creamy but low carb. Decent but not as impressive as other offerings from this brewery. (619 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear dark brown colour with a reddish hue. There is a small frothy beige coloured head and can't see much carbonation. There is some faint lacing and the head only lasted for a few minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, port wine, toffee, chocolate, coffee

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low to average amount of carbonation and the beer feels very creamy on the tongue. Most of the taste is made up of malts mixed with port wine and toffee. There is also a slightly metallic flavour and notes of chocolate and coffee. The beer finishes with a malt and coffee after taste with just a touch of sweetness.

Drink - The alcohol is extremely well hidden and this is a great winter warmer. It reminded me a little bit of a scaled down version Unibroue's Trois Pistols. Worth seeking out, especially during the colder months. (880 characters)

Photo of ludachris
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep and opaque nut brown body that borders black is topped by about a finger's worth of big soapy bubbles that sit on a thin sheet of tan coloured head, quickly receding to a thin bubbly ring of lace.

Rich and roasty in the nose, with a dry coffee-like character being paired with fine and gooey dark chocolate and hints of cherry syrup and spice. A subtle mineral water quality reminds me that this beer is of English origin. I also pick up on a little bit of booziness which is surprising considering that it's only 6.5% ABV. Complex and hefty; more reminiscent of a stout in comparison to any other Winter Warmer I've had, but I'm not complaining.

Right off the bat I get a good amount of dry dark chocolate, but the beer quickly switches gears into a much more dry and roasty character that drags out just passed the finish. Towards the end is where I pick up on suggestions of chocolate covered cherries, various spices, and that English mineral quality that goes nicely with the dryness of the beer.

Medium bodied, crisp, and dry with a good balance and prickly carbonation. An easy quaffer with the added pleasure of a subtle warming feel in the stomach.

A good twist on the more spice-forward Winter Warmers I've had, possessing a lot more characteristics of an English Stout. If this was indeed a stout, I could think of several stouts that I'd purchase before this one, but I like it as a unique WW. This style has yet to really blow me away, but keep them coming for the season! This one's a great start. (1,523 characters)

Photo of kwjd
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown colour with thin tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Almost no lacing on the glass. Smells of mild roasted malt, earthy hops, caramel and and chocolate. Flavour has mild bitterness and bigger on sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel. This really reminds me of a porter. (283 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1liter bottle into a pint glass. Pours very dark, an impenetrable black with a slow developing tan head that reduces as slow as it grows.

Has a bready malt aroma, almost biscuity, with toffee notes with coffee notes and chocolate.

Has a very traditional winter warmer taste; yeast and biscuity malt, buttery toffee and nutmeg, with a mildly bitter finish.

Medium bodied, the bitter profile begins to catch you and tighten the tongue.

A nice example of the winter warmer style. You can always rely upon the English to do a classes style correctly. (567 characters)

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. (652 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass. Best before December 2010.

A: Very nice! Ruddy dark-brown, with a thick, sturdy head. What appears at first glance to be a black beer is betrayed by soft edges. Held up to the light, one can just barely see shadows on the other side of the glass. Lacing clings to the sides. I approve!

S: Sweet molasses-malt and equal amounts of springy hops.

T: Almost sour fruit spars with the expected molasses, caramelised taste. Carbonation and hops are not far behind. Mostly malty in character, but disturbingly tart. The aftertaste is light, reflecting a diminished version of all the aforementioned flavours.

M: Nothing notable -- some fizz, some spark. Meh.

D: Alcohol is definitely noticeable, surprising considering the relatively low ABV. Not sure from whence the odd sourness comes, perhaps it's because I'm flirting with the Best Before date, maybe it's just the style. At any rate, it detracts from an otherwise pleasant ale. It is true winter outdoors (0° C and five inches of snow on the ground) and that does make this beer feel more appropriate. Based on this tasting, I can't recommend it. (1,147 characters)

St. Peter's Winter Ale from St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
87 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.