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Winter Skål - Capital Brewery

Not Rated.
Winter SkålWinter Skål

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

143 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 143
Hads: 275
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 8
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Capital Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 143 | Hads: 275
Photo of Bighuge
4.83/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Edit as of March 23, 2002: I still consider this an incredible lager, but after rating many more brews, I am going to try and stay away from rating any beer perfect. So I will adjust my ratings accordingly.

This is just an outstanding lager. It IS my favorite lager of all time. It has a beautiful appearance and smell, delicious taste and a smooth clean finish. Could drink a lot of these in one sitting. (416 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lighter amber in color and clear. Medium and fizzy head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is very pleasant and complex with qualities of malt and hops, plus alcohol and an almost spicy quality. Has the thinner quality of a lager, yet a heartiness to it. Taste is complex too with the hop bitterness dominating, but the caramel malt helping to rounding it off and make it very smooth. Pretty dry finish and that remains for a lingering aftertaste. This is as complex a lager as I have tasted. It has the Vienna qualities of a lager with maltiness and smoothness of a California Common. (595 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.54/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is a clear amber with a thin off-white bubbly-foamy head that fizzed away after a minute and had some light patchy lace. Smell is very nice, its a sweet fruity delight of green grapes along with a bit of apple and peach and has a smoothing sweet malt backing. The smell and taste was very close to Hales Wee Heavy Winter but just a tad lighter. The taste is mild and light with a clean, sweet, smooth malt with a very slight and mildly bright hop thats citrusy/tangy, just a bit of green grapes and apple; all very subtle and smooth. Feel is light bodied and silky smooth, has a interesting light tang hold that reminds me of a wet wine and gets barely dry in the finish. This is very drinkable and is a very subtle, intesting beer. Yep, I liked it. Thank you, may I have another. (786 characters)

Photo of tapman
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, rich amber color with a small 1 finger off-white head. Lacing and the top of the beer are especially lovely after a good swirl, with a thin layer of bubbles forming Rorchach images on the surface of the brew.

Smells of rye bread, malty with a tang of bitter mixed in. I attribute the bitterness to American hops which I'm very confident make up the hop character in this brew. A lot of toffee in the malts, also a bland fruitiness underneath, perhaps a light apple cider.

Honey, toffee, biscuit bread, bright and savory hops are what I find in the taste. Different than the nose, this brew has an interesting malt character, nice hop balance. Roqufort-esque dry yeast finish also is very pleasant (if you've never had a Roquefort 6,8, or 10 then you havn't lived.) Finish is also a little bitter, but what can you expect from a lager. Also the bread tastes a little stale in the finish, but I think tht's due to the hops.

Crisp and bubbly, mouthfeel is a bit chewy and not at all watery for the style. Try rolling around in your mouth...velvety smooth.

I'm not a big fan of lagers. The American Macro market has destroyed my respect for the style, especially after going to Germany and finding that their standard lagers, while better than a Bud, are still lacking in every category. Recently, however, I've been privy to some outstanding lagers changing my opinion. So if you think my review is a bit high for this one, just know that I'm reviewing 80% for the style and 20%personal taste. It accomplishes something many lagers try to achieve. The hops are still important, but there is a great malt character for such a traditionaly hoppy and thin style of beer. Very nice. (1,694 characters)

Photo of budgood1
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours out of the 12 oz. twist off bottle a clear copperish colour, with a slight chunky head which leaves slight wisps of lace. clean malty aroma, grainy and a bit grassy from the hops. straight forward lagerish traits...quite malty and sweet, but not cloying to any degree. malt sweetness is delicately balanced by a nice soft floral hoppiness that is ever so slightly bitter in the back end. medium to above medium body with a full round easy going mouthfeel. finishes malty sweet making the overall drinkability top notch. quite quaffable and sessionable. a definite hearty lager that would pair well with some sausage and cheese on a cold winter's eve.

some may find this offering a bit boring for a winter seasonal, but the obvious quality and craftmanship of this well endowed amber/red lager is to be appreciated. this beer is incredibly approachable and just tastes damn great.

definitely recommended. (911 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich and satisfying, Capital Brewery's Winter Skal delivers a straght-forward Oktoberfest/bock-like lager that's captivating and drinkable! It's clear auburn body rests gently beneath a short head of off-white foam that drops steadily to an average collar and leaves only traces of lace about the glass. It's distinctly malty in the aroma with only a hint of floral hops in the background. The body is decidedly medium, and combines with its moderate carbonation to leaves it silky smooth and creamy across the palate. Rich, grainy, Munich malt dominates the flavor. It's well-balanced by a firm bitterness and tempered by its mild, floral and spicy hop flavors. The alcohol never becomes apparent; and although it's not particularily complex, it never fails to satisfy. An exceptional winter seasonal that doesn't have to rely on spices or fruit to earn it's place at your table or gathering. (893 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice head that isn't overly persistent. Sweet malt melds with floral hops and caramel notes in the nose. A lovely gold-amber color. Starts with a nice hop bitterness, builds into a medium-low bitterness, then RAPIDLY downshifts into malt city. Finish has notes of biscuit, caramel, and floral hop.

A very excellent balance of hop and malt; enough hops to keep you satisfied, and a strong enough malt to really impress you. One of my favorites from Capital. (466 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-rate 1-1-06

Hell of a beer...similarin some ways to SA Boston Lager but better and similar in other ways to Elliot Ness (right in the same ball park)...leans more ot the red lager side of things....Not many better than this for style(call it a viennna/red lager mix)....

6-1-03
One of the better lagers I've had...The first time I had it I was disappointed...I expected a hearty old ale...this is just a lager but a special one...it is not spiced or anything like that but I would put the quality of this lager up against anything brewed...sweet almost vienna style maltiness, but balanced with a perfect husky hoppy finish...just a splendid beer.. (658 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deeply bronzed golden hue with pale-yellow foam.
Malted aroma gummi bears and black cherries in the air, along with metal and toast.
Munich malts and black cherries up front. Bock-ish, sort of. Stays static, yet enjoyable for a while, then fades to touches of blackened toast topped with caramel. Turns grainier midway. Rides out like the setting sun across the steppe. Grassy, herbal and lingering.
Medium smooth body with intermediate carbonation.
This is a personal local favorite and a nice winter session.
A marzen on skis.
And especially gorgeous on tap. (572 characters)

Photo of Murph
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper with a red tinge to it and a nice creamy off white head that trails all the way down the glass. Nicely toasty malt is the only aroma that my cold filled nose will let through. Great mellow toasty maltiness throughout that seems to just glide across your tongue with some subtle earthy hops at the end. Smooth and soft as it glides across my palate this brew is a joy to drink. I haven't been reviewing much lately but this brew may have turned that trend around. Very tasty and not heavy or cloying I could drink this all night long. A big thanks to Bighuge for sending it my way. (605 characters)

Photo of dstc
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt orange color with a small tan head. Head falls to about nothing. Very thin lace.

Nice malt aroma with hops hurried in there as well. Smells like it could be good.

Rather full flavor. Nice malt taste followed by tangy hops that really bring the tongue alive. I can see drinking a few of these in one setting.

Somewhat full and smooth in the mouth with a slight bite on the tongue.

I find this to be very drinkable. Would be one I would like to have on tap and sit and drink a few. (500 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliant orange-copper with a creamy white head.

Aroma is grainy and sweet with a metallic edge.

Taste is very malty, initially with light fruit accents that slowly blend to an earthy nutty maltiness. Herbal hop finish with a pleasant peppery bite and a return of the metallic character from the nose.

Mouthfeel is light, clean and crisp.

A very nice lager here. I picked it up on a whim while traveling in Wisconsin. A great session beer. Flavor is smooth and subtle. (481 characters)

Photo of bahua
4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was on a business trip to Madison, WI, and I stumbled across the Come Back Inn. They had this on tap for cheap, so I gave it a whirl.

I felt the need to review something local to Madison, and I chose Capital's cold-weather offering, Winter Skål.

It pours a color that is surprisingly light for a winter beer, but with a deep copper-brown hue, it's still handily darker than most beers one will commonly see. I think it should also be said that winter, if it's considered an entire style, is my favorite beer style, and if it isn't a beer style, then it's my favorite time to get a beer.

This beer gets right down to business, biting the tongue with a sharp, burning fizziness as it enters the mouth. This biting subsides as the beer slides closer to home, and is evocative of honey and a light sweetness as it takes the plunge down the throat. It may have been my imagination, but the beer, as it journeys along the tongue, shooting off new, impressive flavors as it moves, like a wagon full of ignited fireworks, seems to produce a sensation of a sort of rolling. The beer- the flavor, that is, has its own character that feels like it's determined to make you keep enjoying the beer well after the last of it has been carefully swallowed. Also, it burps well. (1,273 characters)

Photo of botham
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. pours a clear amber color with two fingers of off white head, leaving a clean glass behind.

aroma is sweet and malty, with caramel malts presiding. a grainy base serves welcome to a touch of citrus and fruity yeast. no hops present.

taste is of caramel malts, with a bit of citrus here as well, rounded out by notes of coriander and cinnamon. aftertaste is of lingering caramel and a touch of citrus.

mouthfeel is very smooth, with a light to medium body. low CO2 and alcohol add to the smooth character, with a creamy texture.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth and refined brew that does not need to be bold or rich. it is solid and well proportioned, making it a perfect winter brew. cheers! (742 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A cold looking icy-light blue oval label which contains a picture of a domed building which always reminds me of the great dome of Wrens masterpiece, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and politely reminds me I’m still very much a foreigner after only 30 months in the USA. The label sits affront a 12 fluid ounce long neck brown bottle. A similar, but smaller scale neck label, complete with the usual health crap. I even noted that the silver crown cap was a ‘twist-off’ one – I usually miss these.

Appearance: A very nice looking lucid copper pan colored body that poured with a very appealing head, which quickly formed after the pour. A nice smooth looking uniform ½” beige covering that slowly pops and sputters to a thin halo like head after a decent amount of time. Some light lacing.

Nose: The nose was perhaps the most disappointing aspect for me at first. So much so that I ended up writing this part last after returning to it, the first time round I had only one word – malty. After the last part of the bottle warmed, and was poured, it improved no end. Spicy malts with some light pepper hints and a dark fruity aspect.

Taste: A very tasty beer that has a solid malt backbone. Balanced in the middle with a light bitterness, it drinks well. Light spices mix with fruity traits at times. This could easily make for a great session beer I’m sure – well for me at least it would.

Mouthfeel: Lots of well-aerated carbonation in the mouth, but is smooth and it lends a lively feel to this Lager in the mouth. Average body, with a nice feel that is more than sufficient to support the taste profile, and assist the quaffability of this offering.

Drinkability: Wow, the 12 ounces disappeared in no time whatsoever. I wish I had some more of this. A very enjoyable drinking Lager.

Overall: Big Thanks to BigHuge for this one, my fourth Capital Brewery beer and another good one. Worth keeping an eye out for this one. (1,954 characters)

Photo of ethosx19
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a malty spicy smell. The taste is big on caramel malt and the hops start to come through as it warms. I can see why others might call this a lager rather than an ale. Whatever it is, I enjoyed it and I'm sure I will enjoy the remaining three. (259 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, Riley's

I tasted this at the brewery when it first came out and enjoyed it

appearance: clean and very much clear amber-orange pour, thick and fluffy white head, spotted lacing

smell: bready, heavy caramel malts, sweet and slightly peppery, some nice red apple

taste: quite smooth and balanced...sweet caramel malts, red apple, grapes, bready, toasted malts, slightly peppery spice taste, herbal and earthy

mouthfeel: medium bodied, smooth, refreshing

drinkability: session (503 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber-gold with frothy off-white head.

Smell: Biscuit, caramel, cherry and spicy & floral noble hops.

Taste: Great fruity malts (cherry and some other stuff) with layers of bread, toast and biscuit. Lightly spicy, floral and bitter on the finish.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body, nice dry and crisp finish.

Overall: Not exactly sure why this is a winter seasonal. But I am sure that this is an excellent Vienna-like lager - well balanced with tasty malts but a nice, dry hop kick. Capital knows how to make lagers with the best of them. (625 characters)

Photo of Beertracker
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Capital's Winter Skål (pronounced "skoal" ) which is the Norski word for "cheers" is best served at cool cellar (40-45°F) temperatures from a house logo pint glass or Willibecher. Skål pours up with ample carbonation that creates a creamish white head that prominently sits atop a bright ochre-burnt orange body. The moderately rich malty aromatic nose has a nice cracker toastiness that's very appealing. There's just a hint of fruitiness & hop spiciness...otherwise very clean! The flavor is dominated by a soft maltiness that's laden with toastiness that seems almost exaggerated for the gravity then gives way to a firm spicy bitterness that creates a respectable clean, dry finish with some alcohol. Medium bodied with a lovely creaminess. Very enjoyable overall! Capital's Winter Skål is a finely crafted Vienna-style lager that would've made Anton Dreher proud. Suggested food pairings include browned Currywurst (curry sausage) smothered in Senf (sweet mustard) with pommes frites (thick-cut, double fried potatoes), Finnan haddie (smoked haddock) with cheese scalloped potatoes or some traditional Choucroute garni (sauerkraut, sausages & potatoes). Here's to Kirby Nelson and his finely brewed lagers!

CHEERS! Beertracker (1,238 characters)

Photo of jsh420
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours clear bright amber orange with a 1+ finger white head that left some lacing

smells well spiced with carmel/bready malts in the background

taste is solid - again spice hits you up front but the spice is not some gimmicky holiday atrificial flavor - it blends well with the bready malts

mouthfeel is light crisp some bite to it

drinkability is good - if you want a easy drinking holiday lager this will fit the bill (423 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orange honey topped by a small, but thick, off-white head. A small layer of bubbles is retained for the majority of the time I spent with this beer. Scant blobs of lacing were left on the glass.

Smell: Biscuity, orangey, and mild banana aromas. Very clean.

Taste: Lightly toasted bread and mild nutty flavors with banana esters on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very well carbonated. Quite crisp and refreshing. Not quite medium in body.

Drinkability: A great session beer. Capital Brewing knows how to make some damn fine lagers. Another reason to move to the Midwest, I say.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for the trade. (689 characters)

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium honey with a slight, quickly receding head. Active bubbles rise to the top of the glass.

Aroma is of roasted malts, crystal or perhaps pales roasted with a sweet grainy, bready chewy backing.

Flavor is deeply caramel malt with a sweet bready ride, nutty with a nice honey finish. Sweetness is nicely done and the nutty, grainy flavors punch up as the beer warms. Nice hop after hit that doesn't compete with the star here which is the malt. The roasted nutty flavor bounces to an almost burnt candy sugar flavor, like someone forgot the caramel on the stove. Cracker Jacks and Honey roasted nuts.

Mouthfeel is medium and dry.

Very nice offering from Capitol, well worth a try. (695 characters)

Photo of malcontent
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear, vibrant amber body with a thin but even head.

It's a simple style, but this beer just exudes malt. Sweet apples and honey with a little buttered bread to boot.

Ends up drinking like a good amber lager; squeaky-clean (almost too clean) amber malt body, a definite noble hop presence on board for a long, bready finish.

Clean and crisp with just enough body. Actually a really nice lager. I'd be happy to drink this for an evening. (447 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange-amber with a sticky, light khaki head. Nose is filled with caramelized vegetables, brown sugar, faint spice, and spicy, vegetal hops. Taste is much like the smell. Very vegetable-y, yet sweet with caramally malts. Hops provide ample balance--spicy and green. Finish is sweetish with light bitterness. Nice, light carbonation enhances the full, thick mouthfeel. Robust amber lager but goes down easily. (417 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Mostly clear golden amber. Creamy off-white layer of foam.
Slightly spicy aroma with a hefty use of Vienna malts. What's the abv here? I can't pick up a hint of alcohol in the flavor..just a tasty, rich toffee malt with some hops playing as it's loyal sidekick. Remarkably smooth...this goes down like Paris Hilton after a couple drinks..
A believable take on German brewing that really hits the spot. (420 characters)

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Winter Skål from Capital Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.