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Winter Skål - Capital Brewery

Not Rated.
Winter SkålWinter Skål

Educational use only; do not reuse.

143 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 143
Hads: 276
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 17.25%
Wants: 8
Gots: 14 | 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: 276
Photo of ibashmuck
1.54/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Fairly uninspiring appearance, "rusty amber". Smells of malt and caramel, and tastes the same. Never a big fan of these types, and this did nothing to change my thinking. Actually managed to get worse with each drink. Really just didn't work for me on any level.

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Photo of beagle75
2.37/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Very clear, light amber color with one finger of off-white foam head that collapses to a large and persistent pad. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Crystal malt is diluted by threads of acetaldehyde and carbon dioxide. A trace of cinnamon adds earthy spice.

T: Begins dry, with early astringency that gives way to much more sweet Munich pale malt. Green plant stems are faint into the middle, with mild acidity, where some elements of fruit punch are suggestive of estery metabolites. Astringency returns alongside over-toasted grain in the drying finish, where mild herbaceous bitterness is present.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, mild astringency is less felt than tasted, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Wisconsin's Capital Brewery is generally pretty good at letting the quality of its beers establish it as a very conservative, but proficient, producer. This beer is a departure, with discordant qualities and a wildly-oscillating level of sweetness that is never able to become comfortable on the palate. It is a seasonal whose useful lifespan has elapsed.

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Photo of hardy008
2.48/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Copper color with a small off white head with fair retention and little lacing. The aroma has light toasted malt and a little caramel. Not a very strong aroma.

The taste has light toasted bread, caramel, and some hop bitterness at the end. Not my favorite American Amber. Would have been better with more caramel flavor.

Light bodied with high carbonation and it finishes dry. Not much to like about this beer. I won't go out of my way to find it again.

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Photo of lurpy1
2.62/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This bottle had been languishing in the back of my fridge, forgotten in the land of misfit beers. Out you come my child! This is your chance to shine.

Frankly, it's pretty hard to impress me with an amber lager. The pour is, however, a beautiful clear amber, with just the right amount of head. From there, though, the beer begins to live down to my expectations. Aromatically, a little grain comes through, not much spice, but overall, this is the smell of spilled beer in the basement of some random frat house. Gah. The taste is flat, watery, vaguely saisonish. And y'know, it seems to get worse as we go. The heavy carbonation doesn't help either.

Maybe I left this in the fridge too long. Best I can say is it freed up some space in the fridge.

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Photo of redpuck
2.7/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

In my usual hit or miss experience with beer from Capital Brewery, this one is a miss. While a crisp beer, the taste really left a lot to be desired.... as in there wasn't any taste. Of course the benefit of that is no lingering bad aftertaste though. All that being said it is a seasonal beer and who knows maybe it's just a bad recipe this year. Personally I'm waiting for Redhook's WinterHook as that consistently delivers year in and year out.

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Photo of terrabyte
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, copper color with medium-sized white head.

Aroma consisted of caramel malts and some sugar. Some lager mustiness.

Flavor consists of a mild caramel base bordering on tangy. As with the aroma, I again pick up a slight amount of lager funk and mustiness. Is this the spice people are talking about? My body is not wired to enjoy ambers.

Mouthful is just fine. Carbonation is good. It has a slight tanginess that I don’t attribute to bitterness.

Drinkability is average. Kind of depressing to drink. Winter is already depressing enough, this only adds to it. Woah, where did that come from? This beer was much thicker than a BMC, but I couldn’t help but think the flavor was similar.

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Photo of AmberMan22
2.99/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap last night at the Echo Tap.

after looking at some of the other reviews, I almost feel like the guy poured me the wrong beer.

Mine was overwhelmingly dominated by a honey taste, though a solid amber style taste was discernible for about the 1st second of every sip. The color looked like a fairly light orange, not dark enough for amber and nowhere near red. I was pretty disappointed with this one, since I felt like I was drinking out of a beehive.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A decent look of pale malt looking, little head.

Not much on the nose, taste has the pale malt and mild hops, a decent session type taste but not much more.

Easy to drink, but not really satisfying, looking for more depth after one, ok in a pinch.

They should call this a nice session beer, not much to satisfy your winter needs.

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Photo of Duff27
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

November 2011 bottle

A- Inch tall white dense head. Beer is a very light ambvr color. Above average head retention and good lacing.

S- Lemon grass in the nose, very bready.

T- Bready sweet malts up front with a just a tocuh of caramel. Skunky bitterness on the tail end...I could do without that part.

M- Medium to medium-thin, adequately carbonated for the style.

D/O- Very drinkable, although just one step above a macro for me. I do not think I would have this again as I wasn't a big fan.

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Photo of crossovert
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz twist off bottle.

It pours an amber/orange, like an oktoberfest.

The smell is clean with a big grainy smell. There is a hint of diacetyl in the smell, it smells buttery.

The taste is very basic, the diacetyl is still there though. It is basic and grainy.

This beer is about as basic as it gets, with little flavor. Like a watered down butterier oktoberfest beer.

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Photo of guityler83
3.07/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a brilliantly crystal clear orange, (think jello) with about a finger of bright white head.

S: Mostly carmel and toffee comes through in the aroma for me with a slight hint of citrus hops. The combination reminds me of a copper penny, not a bad thing per se.

T: Carmel, toffee and copper like maltyness are dominent but not over powering. I can't detect much hop flavor, but the bitterness is nicley balanced to keep the sweetness to a minimum. If i didn't look at the label I would think the winter warmy-ness vibe I get from this beer would make it a 7-8% instead of a 5.8.

M: Very dry mouthfeel, with the carbination about average.

O: While this wasn't what I expected with a name like 'winter skal', I enjoyed it overall and would recomend it to any BMC drinker that wants something more complex without going to far away from the comfort zone.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a darker amber than I was expecting, SRM larger than anticipated, thin head on it. Aroma was nutty, this was one of the nuttiest aromas from an amber ale I've ever had. I have no idea what "skal" means, I wish the cardboard or the bottle was a little more informative in that regard.

Taste, pretty smooth, inoffensive stuff, the nuttiness of the aroma is slightly disappointing for its lack of a coming out party on the taste buds, but its still ok. Real mello, a little bit of toffee and caramel, this is probably a good choice for drinkers who don't like hoppy or very strong beers. Filler beer is how its known at my house. I do have another situation I would recommend it though, if you just came in from the snow, but you're now sitting by a warm fire, I can see this working in the winter like that.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with some kind of a coded bottling date on the bottleneck. A new beer to me, acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. My first beer from Capital Brewery, and I'm excited to have it. My bottle lists a 5.80% abv.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a hazed brassy orange colored body with just over a finger of fluffy off-white head. Some scattered lacing. Looks alright.

S - Smell is bready, yeasty, dusty, and musty. Clean bready amber malt, some soapiness, some fruitiness, some buttery diacetyl, and a hint of some strange minty spicing. Faintly herbal / grassy spice rack sort of notes in there, also.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty spot on - very bready and malty with mild fruitiness. Caramel / amber malts, some burnt sugars, some indistinct hop / yeast derived fruitiness. Mild herbal spicing, but nothing in particular.

M - Feel is crisp, smooth, and clean. Bready maltiness on the palate with some stickiness. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a fairly unmemorable winter lager from Capital Brewery. Not harsh, foul, or offensive, just very simple, and lacking in any depth or complexity. Would probably go well with a meal, I suppose. Looking forward to trying more from these guys.

Capital Brewery Winter Skål ---3.5/5

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Photo of Strix
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale orange color

Weak smell, grains, toasty notes.

Some toasted flavors, and a slight caramel note. The slightest hop notes in the background.

Mouthfeel average.

I was underwhelmed. Easy to drink, but I don't feel I could pick it out of a lineup.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a crystal clear golden red hue. The bright white head burst to a full inch then fades almost as quick. Not much lace at all is left behind.

The aroma is sweet spicy malt at the forefront. Mild hops with a grassy earthy hint. Smells very marzen like.

The flavor is malty spicy hops. A mix of fresh cut grass and wheat biscuit dominate the finish. If I didn't know any better I would say this is a oktoberfest if anything.

Medium to light body. Plenty of carbonation.

Overall I was told this was a great seasonal. Well I beg to differ. This was just another "marzen" to throw on the pile. Nothing really distinguishable about this beer at all.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very clear light amber with 1/2 inch white head that quickly dissipates.
S: Citrus hops and a hint of spice in the background. Faint light caramel and toffee.
T: Fairly bland. Some banana and clove. Caramel malt and citrus hops are way in the background.
M: Heavier and more oily than I was expecting. Distracts from the rest of the beer.
D: All-around average. Not bad, but nothing special. Not a true winter warmer.
Thanks to my bro for this one...beer for Christmas!

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Photo of Atron67
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Poured a copperish light red crystal clear with a thin tan head on top that stayed for a little bit, with not much lacing.

S- light maltiness at the front, slightly sweet, with a little hoppiness in the finish

T- pretty solid, a smooth malty flavor at the start with a light hop finish.

M- light body, high carbonation.

D- the finish becomes a little cloying by the end but otherwise ok

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Photo of hopdog
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and slightly hazy amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel and toasted malts (toasted caramel). Tastes of toffee, toasted malts, some nuttiness, and some breadiness.

Notes from and tasted on: 01/11/06.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.34/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

For some reason, I had this beer on my list of things to try. Exploring different styles, maybe? Tasted 19 January 2013.

Pours, well, certainly amber. Slightly reddish hue, but mostly it's pure clean ambery amber. So clear it's like looking through colored glass. A thin column of bubbles rising up in the center. One finger of off-white head, decent retention, fine lacing. Not bad.

Smell is toasty, biscuity, like a bock. Not exactly what I expected, but not bad. Warm, but kinda thin like crackers. Buttery, too. Reminds me of those petit-beurre cookies I loved as a kid. Very malt-forward, with no obvious hop or yeast aromas.

Taste is kinda, well, it's half of that good stuff above, and half this odd herbal hoppy thin light lager flavor. The flavor shifts between these two versions, 75% of one, then 75% of the other, in a kind of pulsating wave. But I wish it were all just those buttery toasty malts, as the other side just isn't doing it for me.

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium-light body, a little undercarbonated. Not bad.

A decent enough beer, definitely a malt-forward lager, as it should be. But the taste is kind of a mess, with mismatched pieces crashing into each other and battling for dominance.

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Photo of richkrull
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this one at The Rail House in Deerfield, WI.

This was a nice medium bodied beer with goof flavor. Not overpowering. Sweet caramel malt flavor with a bit of a bitter finish. Pretty easy drinking beer, but not one of my favorites. It's worth a try though.

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Photo of beveritt
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label is the typical Capital Brewery type, this one blue. No visible freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 inch of off white head. This settles quickly into a few islands of foam. The beer itself is a bright orange/amber and fairly cloudy. A ring of sediment lines the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt. Slight acidic or sour tang.

Taste: Sweet, caramel malt upfront. Tastes of honey. Very little bitterness in the finish, you almost have to press your tongue against your teeth and look for it.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: Notmally, not my favorite style, seems to be a catch all that catches soem crap. Howver, I found this beer to be malty and substantial.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As I just mentioned in my review of Capital's Oktoberfest, many of Capital's beers taste about the same to me but I do like that "taste" so I generally will give their brews favorable reviews. Some characteristics that I was able to pick out though about this offering was a fair amount of biscuit/bready maltiness and a small bit of holiday spiciness. Maybe some ginger or nutmeg?

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerFMAndy. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a light bronze color and is quite transparent, though no real visible carbonation. Pretty good head with some nice lacing as it goes down. Persistent head with good retention. Nice cap as it eventually falls. The nose has a bit of light toasted bread plus a touch of caramel. Taste has a bit of grain and bread and a mild bitterness on the back end. Finishes pretty dry after a light body with higher levels of carbonation. Drinkability is decent enough. Not my favorite style, but this does a decent job hitting the high notes that I'd consider possibilities here.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light orange/copper color, very clear. Only has a faint head that evaporates quickly leaving it looking a bit dull. Aroma of mild hops and bready, caramel malt hits the nose, with also a hint of peppery, citrus spice. Taste is stronger on the malt side, with a breadiness up front. The finish has a slight nutty sourness, though not bitter. Mouthfeel is light, but not watery. Fairly smooth, it has adequate carbonation. The flavor doesn't get you too excited, but there's not much bad you say about this brew. The alcohol seems pretty low and I would say it goes down pretty easy...

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz delivered to Idaho from Archer Liquors in Chicago (Thanks again Randy for the opportunity). Poured into my small weizen glass after a proper rinsing.

Big chunky white meringue like head.... good lacing.... but funny thing here, is I can smell the hops from here... definately not what I was epecting...but very pleasing none the less. Beautiful Amber with garnet red highlites... nice.

Smell definately leans toward spicey hops... complex caramel and darker malt character.. I could just smell this one for a while.... but for the good of the beer community, I will plow on.

Flavor is spot on fantastic... very balanced malty sweetness... some low raisins and dried fruit for sure. toasted fresh bread... much more pronounced hop flavor and bitterness than other Capital brews I've tried (except the amber lager)... but still much lower than most American interpretations... carbonation and mouthfeel are above average... but barely... maybe a little to bubbly for my tastes.

Overall, Winter Skal is another very good lager... I wish more breweries had the skills to pull something like this off; it's still European in nature, but wth just a touch of the Americas to make it different.

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