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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.
very good

237 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 237
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 237 | Reviews: 178 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HamJam
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
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 jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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 hegelec
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 500 mL bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Lovely dark, nearly opaque brew with ruby highlights. A single finger of tan head, decent retention. Very good lacing.

Aroma is primarily of roasted malts -- rich chocolate and coffee. The profile seems similar to a nice porter. A little agitation yields juicy, dark fruit smells -- especially cherry. Very enticing.

Taste follows aroma, very deep, malty and a little smokey. Modestly sweet, but very well balanced with hop bitterness. Very tight! A touch more floral hops flavour is now obvious. The finish is bitter and somewhat dry and metallic. A hint of butterscotch in the aftertaste. This is a tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is luxurious. Fairly low carbonation, so smooth and creamy. Moderate fullness, but not nearly overwhelming. Slight warming sensation from the higher alcohol. I could indulge in a pint or two of this without being too weighed down. A good sign.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours dark brown, almost black with a red tone. The long-lasting head is large, creamy offwhite and leaves lots of lacings.

S: Rich chocolate toghether with sweet roasted malt. Bitter hops and dark dried fruits.

T: Rich chocolate, roasted malt and coffee (black and strong). Bitter hops are also present in this well balanced brew.

M: The aftertaste is long-lasting and hold a dry bitterness. The body is full and the carbonation is mild.

D: A nice beer that I've desceibed like I would describe a stout - but it's nothing lika a stout - strange...
A really nice winter warmer with a little extra.

Photo of baiser
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an ale packed with flavour, and alcohol. A great winter ale. Only downside was the appearance. Not much of a head. Soapy appearance much like alot of other st peter offerings, no lacing. Colour was a dark ruby red, almost opaque.

Aroma of roasted malts, raisins, coffee. Taste was superb. A rich, complex beer. Full of burnt coffee, smoke, caramel, licorice and molasses. Alcohol is warming. Mouthfeel is slick, moderately carbonated. Drinkability is alright, the smokiness is a bit much after a while.

Photo of bryehn
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown with a cola-like nut brown colour visible around the edges. The small tan coloured head burns off quickly, leaving behind a thin, but long-lasting collar and little to no lacing.

Deep, multi-layered aroma. Smells of roasted malts, coffee, dark fruits and berries, chocolate, grasses, anise, a hint of smoke and wet wood.

Tastes of bitter coffee, roasted malts and chocolate, with a sweet fruit and berry undertone. The finish has a solid bitterness to it.

Full-bodied with a moderate carbonation level. Very creamy on the tongue. Coffee and chocolate permeate the aftertaste, along with a very subtle fruitiness.

Smells and drinks more like a stout than anything. Very drinkable, yet satisfying winter warmer. The aroma, taste and aftertaste are all very similar, but every sip seems to be a different mix of chocolate, coffee and fruit.

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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 TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pint, 0.9 fl oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Deep ruby (almost garnet) red, small tan head, light lacing.

S = Sweet fresh uncooked bread dough, light scents of spices as if some winter treat were cooking in the other room, very light but warming smells.

T = Sweet flavors of soft doughy not quite fully cooked biscuits sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar but also with a slight perfectly balancing bitters that shows up at mid-palate and lasts well into the long finish.

M = Smooth foamy feel of medium body with very good mouthcoating.

D = An easy drinking Winter warmer that I look forward to in the cold months.

Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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 srandycarter
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of biegaman
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The distinctive green flask reveals sooty, coffee bean brown contents that don't seem to be very friendly with the light. Discovering its clarity comes as a slight surprise. This thing is flat as the prairies; I'm beginning to understand that St. Peter's Brewery does head retention about as well as the oil companies do environmentalism.

I know this goes by the 'winter ale' moniker but I'm going to go ahead and call it a porter so as to have more of a stick to beat it with. In truth, that's how I perceive it and besides, it makes a fine porter; it has a definitive coffee-like character, in regards to both its roastiness and its flavour, and it is layered with hints of bittersweet chocolate too.

And in tasting the beer you really hit the motherload of those coffee and chocolate flavours. As appreciated as they are, however, there are plenty others that vie for the taste buds' attention: stale mint, cinnamon cane, dark toffee, chewing tobacco, pine bark and an ample amount of leafy, pungent, typically English hops. Mmm mmm.

And all the aforementioned play a part in the mouthfeel, too. The hops lend a very herbal bitterness. The malts add elements of smoke and heavy roast. The hints of pine and cinnamon procure a wintry spiciness. The lack of carbonation was terribly distracting at first but in the end doesn't seem to detract anything from the beer's enjoyment.

St. Peter's Winter Ale certainly has an oddness against its counterparts, I will say that much, but strangely it works - and I'm happy to have a full pint of it. I can't offer any food pairings but might I suggest an armchair by a fireplace, frosty windows and the company of fragrant evergreen? This is definitely a guest you want in your house for the holidays.

Photo of whynot44
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark cola brown with ruby highlights and a modest tan head that retains fairly well and manages some nice lacing.

The aroma is dark caramel malt, dark fruit, molasses, a hint of nuts and chocolate. The taste is dark bread, plums, toffee, carmel, dark chocolate, coffee and spices. The finish is fairly dry, spicy, with a bit of hops bite and a definite alcohol note.

Medium bodied, smooth, drinkable, but really more of an after dinner sipper. Altogether a very nice cold weather brew. Could be good following winter activities.

Photo of mintjellie
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, almost black, with ruby highlights. A fingers worth of somewhat retentive tan head leaves behind a spotty lace. Mild aroma of coffee, cocoa powder, and plums. Tastes of black coffee and bakers chocolate. Plums provide a fruity counterpoint. Moderate roasted malt bitterness lasting long into the aftertaste. Medium bodied with low carbonation; smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Opened it a bit too soon after taking it out of the fridge, so it took a bit of time to open up. Once it opened up it was quite easy to open up to it. It's not a big beer. It's fairly simple too. The flavour has a certain depth to it though, the sort of simplicity that goes a long way.

This beer is similar to their cream stout, but drier. Coffee is a little bit more prominent, and chocolate less so. If you we're to give this to me blind, I'd probably think this stout. Regardless of what it is, this is a tasty beer. I had one for the first time last Christmas, and I have no idea why I didn't pick up more at the time; I'll be sure to pick up more this time around.

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pors a dark reed beer that relaly doesnt let through light. There is a thin foam thats rappidly dissolved.

Smell is bread, dried frutis and some figs. There is some sourness to it combined with a surypy sweetness, really fruity and rich.

Taste is mainly coffee and malts that has a nice bitterness to it. There are som roasted tones with traces of carbonation, fruits and spices. Well balanced and buttery smooth.

A nice beer with good taste, has a nice sting to it.

Photo of bmwats
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500 ml. bottle into standard pint.

A: Very dark brown. Pours a slight, bubbly, brownish head. Dissolves quickly and almost completely, but not much to begin with, anyway. Just a little beer ring lacing remains as you drink.

S: Coffee roasted malt, dark bittersweet chocolate, a little butterscotch, and just a little pungent peatiness.

T: Deep roasted malt with just a touch of sweetness. That pungency is much stronger on the palette than in the nose (but not in a bad way). Strong alcohol, maybe bourbon, note.

M: the pungency introduces itself in the front, and lingers throughout. Despite the rich and robust flavor, it doesn't feel heavy on the palette. Has a certain light, refreshing quality. Kinda' weird.... because it's a bit unexpected.

D: Good sipping brew to savor and enjoy.

Good atmosphere. Bold, intimidating appearance, although nothing too exciting, and not much in terms of a head or lacing. Nose is great though. Great combination of deep, rich roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate hints. Flavor follows suit. Deep, rich, and robust, and a clean palette with a good balance of tones. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Photo of kristiekatk
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the fat little bottle this beer comes in. Makes me think that I’m drinking an olde timey home remedy for something. Let’s say gout.

St. Peter’s pours a deep ruby, almost black, with a head that fades into a thin and bubbly ring. The aroma is all malted milk balls and roasted malts, very porter-ish. There’s also a good tinge of leafy hops, molasses and burnt caramel.

Vanilla, fruit, and English hops dominate the front end of this beer, resting on a roasted malt base. A lot of char notes mixed with the hops provide for a great balance between sweet and bitter. The mouthfeel is slick and well-rounded, though it feels a lot lighter than what I would like it to be.

Overall, I’m not exactly sure what is overly winter-y about this beer, but I did enjoy it and think it would taste great paired with a warm winter meal.

Photo of dacrza1
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4.25

Date Rated: April 5, 2013...
Glassware: Victory Hop Devil nonick...
Occasion: The Hobbit on DVD--this will be a good pairing...
Appearance: cold black body (not quite a necromancer) with gray, dirty-snow-colored head that sinks swiftly into a thin halo...
Aroma: malty and robust--a roasted ale more in line with a porter than a special ale...
Palate: medium-bodied and porterly, almost soda-like in its slickness--more a Gamgee than a Baggins; not a fan of the consistency, admittedly...
Taste: wine-like astringency finishes what becomes a softly warming, fruity/grape flavor--late hints of vanilla suggest complexity...
Overall: an earnest strong ale that gave me a heightened, mellow ripple trough the body as it finished--like besting Gollum in a game of riddles...

Photo of case4816
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into snifter glass a very dark brownish, red colour. like strong tea. Very bubbly head that thinned to an almost non-existent lacing.

S- Very heavy smell with lots of chocolate on the front. Caramel and some coffee also comes through, as well as a little of the alcohol. Also a light hint of some cinnamon.

T- Fairly strong coffee essence, lots of chocolate flavour with the caramel complimenting that profile. Cinnamon comes through, as well the alcohol comes through quite strong, with some light coffee on the finish that is noticeably bitter.

D- I'm going to get a few more of these for sure. Very enjoyable to drink; a very delicious winter beer.

Photo of bobsy
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful dark red pour, which is almost off-black until you hold it up to the light. A finger of creamy light tan head forms and then drops to a collar and fine film, leaving some spots and streaks of lace behind. Chocolaty, herbal aroma with the hint of pitted fruit and coffee grounds. There's definitely something almost stout-like or porteresque to it.

The flavour also has a strong chocolate element, but is more than capably backed up by coffee, honey, and a certain spiciness. Kind of similar to a stout, in that its flavour profile seems to lean towards deeply roasted malts, and the tastes associated with that. There's a nice peppermint tinge to the finish, which makes this refreshing and intriguing. Smooth, almost oily mouthfeel, with little carbonation.

This is a prime example of a winter warmer and one of the most drinkable examples I've come across. The sweetness is in check and the spices don't run wild, in fact its so similar to a stout I probably wouldn't be able to pick it out of a lineup. Highly drinkable and recommended.

Photo of scottoale
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml. olive green embossed bottle with foiled labels and no freshness date. It pours a very dark brown with ruby red highlights when held to the light. A thick and creamy 1/2" tan head adorns the liquid, but settles eventually.

Sweet malty nose comprised of toffee and caramel, some oak, vanilla and tannins in general. A bit earthy as well. The taste is truly the same as the aroma...nice sweet complexity of malt and roastiness, even slightly smokey at times with butterscotch, toffee and caramel flavors from the start, right down to the bitter char of a finish. A great tasting English style winter brew. Classic.

Medium bodied with a smooth creamish feel in the mouth, just the right carbonation for this style, the alcohol is barely detectable and just slightly warming...drinkability for sure!

Very enjoyable brew.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

St. Peter’s Winter Ale has a thin, off-white head, a very dark brown (essentially black) appearance, some visible bubbles steams on the side of the glass, and not a whole lot of lacing left behind. The aroma is of rich, dark-roasted barley malt, black cherries, sugar, a bit of chocolate, and maybe a trace of added spices. Taste is of all that, with a fruit cake note, some bitterness, and a bit of charcoal. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy and slick, and St. Peters’s Winter Ale finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and moderately drinkable. Overall, this is quite delicious.


Photo of Fatehunter
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two and half fingers of light tan head on a just-short-of-black body.
The aroma is roasted malt, black licorice and caramel. Great depth here.
The taste is strong on the black licorice, backed up by the roasted malt. There’s a mild bitterness to balance out the malt sweetness.
This has a heavy body with low carbonation. The texture is oily.
A wonderful ale.

Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

St. Peter's Winter Ale from St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
87 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.