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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
-
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 beagle75
2.37/5  rDev -36.6%
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. (1,125 characters)

Photo of lurpy1
2.62/5  rDev -29.9%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with an inch of foam that leaves a few strands behind

Smell: Fruity, almost like Juicy Fruit gum, with holiday spice aromatics

Taste: Juicy Fruit gum with holiday spice cake elements arriving by mid-palate; somewhat sweet and grainy in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Well it sure is different so I will grant them kudos for creativity but I cannot say that I would care to try this again (467 characters)

Photo of Duff27
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
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. (497 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a standard amber in color with a one finger head that lasts impressively for nearly five entire minutes but doesn't leave much lacing at all on the sides of my glass. Smells of sweet toffee malts seasoned with cinnamon and turmeric with a dollop of herbal hops / spicing. Really nice. In flavor, there is a warm nuttiness combined with the caramel malts and your full daily recommended nutritional allowance of noble hopping. At room temperature, it presents a mild Simcoe-styled "caramelized onion garnish" on top of the mid-sip. Finishes semi-dry and crisp with a subtle powdered ginger-like spicy heat that lingers gently for a minute or so, could use a tad bit more carbonation however.

The main memorable feature I am left with is that here is a 'spiced winter' themed brew that keeps things restrained and subtle on the spicing. It does not taste like pumpkin pie spicing nor like spicy chinese takeout, as other heavily herbed/spiced winter warmers often do. So, if you prefer your spiced beer lighter on the spice factor than most, this is the easy-drinking brew for you. (1,112 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served in a FFF 15th Anniversary pint glass.

A: Pours a clear amber, very bubbly and lively throughout, with a one finger, white colored head forming on the pour. The head had some nice retention as it receded to a thin collar, but no substantial lace was left on the glass.

S: The smell was very mild, but solid. Pale malts with a little bit of nuttiness and a little bit of roast. There was some mild citrus flavors in the background.

T: The taste was much like the nose. Pale malts that were slightly grainy in nature with a little bit of caramel sweetness as well. Mild citrus rinds and light hoppiness round it out.

M: Medium bodied with a very lively mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little much for a beer that supposed to remind me of winter.

O: This beer had some decent flavors, but it could have benefited from a little more caramel malt flavors and a little less carbonation. Overall a solid beer though. (931 characters)

Photo of chetripley
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always on the lookout for a smooth winter type beer and something from the Midwest and was happy to find both in this one.
Poured from the bottle into my Guinness tulip. It had the look and aroma of a Sam Adams Winter Lager, and I was thinking it was going to taste similar, but it really turned out a lot different. Smooth and balanced, and very drinkable. Malty flavors, a little hops, no extras. It was a pleasant alternative to the other winters out there that I think try too hard to be bold or unique and ended up being too strong or too spicy.
Good job, Capital. They do things a little different there (try an Autumnal Fire some time) and I like it.
Plus, they sell it everywhere-Mariano's, Binny's and Jewel Food Store. (729 characters)

Photo of hardy008
2.48/5  rDev -33.7%
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. (455 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Crystal Corner (Madison). [This is just a placeholder… Come back and finish this review for real…]

[From your review on lakefront River West Stein] Thin, off-white head. Orange-amber beer, w/ very little carbonation visible. Mild, "clean" lacing that leaves nothing behind on the sides of the American pint glass.

Bready malt and Mild-mannered hops balance out well. It's a pretty hot day on the sidewalk of this restaurant, and served ice-cold, even the toasted-bread flavor come off as refreshing. Caramel and nut flavors emerge if you squint and seek them out. The hops assert themselves in the throat after one swallows.

There's hardly any carbonation on the tongue. But I could have called this "smooth", as this lack of carbonation is not a drawback here.

Excellent summer beer for a malt lover. (825 characters)

Photo of plfahey
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance-Warm, inviting amber with great clarity and a moderately small ivory-cream head which shows decent retention.

Aroma-Sweet grainy, cereal malt with slight toasty biscuit, light butter toffee, and a hint of caramel. Hopping is extremely light in the aroma. Smooth and rather clean.

Flavor-Smooth caramel and cereal grain malt sweetness up front with toasted toffee. Moderate bitterness and spicy liberty hops with a little bit of floral fruit and woodiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel-Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth. Easy drinking.

Easy drinking and pretty tasty. Refreshing and quite crushable for a beer with this much character and personality. I don't usually reach for lagers in the winter, but this is pretty tasty. (787 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 TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tall pokal at The Firkin.

Freshly-tapped kegs are always attractive when skimming the board, right? This example pours a clear garnet-amber topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises toasted biscuit, toffee, light brown sugar, and a few pinches of allspice. The taste brings in more of the same, along with more brown sugar, some cinnamon, some light maple syrup, and a twinge of ginger. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a decidedly dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice winter brew, nothing amazing, but a nice, easy-going brew with some mild spicing. (609 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at the Pig & Fiddle in Edina. Not a bad beer, but it's an American amber lager with holiday spices added. It's not a bad mix, but I'd enjoy the beer just as much without it. The malt gives a dry, crisp bready caramel with a hint of toffee. The lager feels a little off and lacks the fruity esters of a winter warmer. Though I guess if we're calling it an amber lager, it does alright. Worth a try. (408 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap while out for a fish fry. It arrived quite chilled in a standard pint glass.

A) A pretty dark amber. There wasn't much head, maybe half a finger. The head dissipated rather quickly. No lacing noted.

S) Mostly malt, slightly sweet. There was a hint of spice, but I could not distinguish the type.

T) Again, the malt is really at the front of the flavor. There is a hop presence, earthy/grassy, some bitterness. As mentioned above, it was served well chilled. There was some light spice that came through as it warmed.

M) The lighter side of the medium body spectrum. This is well carbonated. Nice finish, slightly dry and crisp.

O) Another highly enjoyable lager from Capital Brewery. (703 characters)

Photo of mjpolzin
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
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? (381 characters)

Photo of EpicWI
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Deep amber in color. Even with an fairly aggressive pour there's very little head.

S. Malty, with a hint of hops. Most distinctive is a strong spice scent.

T. Sweet, and again malty and spicy, with the hops much more prominent than in the smell. The smell and taste greatly compliment each other.

M. Nothing incredibly distinctive here. Stronger carbonation than I prefer.

O. A great wintertime beer. I can see myself enjoying several of these next to a fire on a sleepy snowed-in weekend. Couldn't see myself drinking these outside the late fall/winter months (but it's a seasonal brew anyway. (603 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The capital city brewery winter skal is a decent beer. The appearance was a rich amber with very thin white head. The scent has spice and malt which was decent. The taste had ginger/nutmeg which provides a nice wintery delight. The mouthfeel was decent and would be perfect of cold nights. I recommend this for those that want good flavor without being to heavy. (362 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found a six-pack of this at the Piccadilly off State street in Champaign, IL.

Pours a 2cm, off-white head of fairly large bubbles. Recedes to a moderate ring around the glass, remains for the entire session. Lacing is of little, light clumps around the edges. Body is a light orange-amber color, transparent, and with modest carbonation.

Scents of rich caramel malts, light herbal hops, and, curiously, some cinnamon or cinnamon-like thing.

Taste is similar to smell: fairly dense caramel malt, which ends rather abruptly and transitions to mildly bittering, herbal hops.

Body is fairly heavy, I could see this being just right for the wintertime. Carbonation somewhat light, but still suitable. Finish fairly dry, in touch with the lingering hop bitterness.

A very nice amber lager in general, I could definitely see myself having more of these with the right season. (873 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spending a few days in the TN mountains with some friends, and one of them brought a sixer of this. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear dark amber with a thick 2-finger beige head. Light lace left behind. Nose is bready with light yeast, sugar. Faint floral hops noted as well.

Good crisp mouth, that mellows to a moderate fullness. Toasted caramel, toast, light juicy hops. Finish is bready and full. This is a pretty good lager here. Not one of my favorite styles, but a good representation. I'm continually impressed with Capital. Keep it up. (562 characters)

Photo of richkrull
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear bright red color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of toffee, and caramel with a very faint hint of herbal hops. The taste is very sweet with a ton of caramel. The faint hop character that is noticeable in the aroma is not present in the taste, and I think that is a real shame as it might have helped things from becoming as cloying as they are. The mouthfeel is full bodied and sticky with low carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer that I'm sure a lot of people would really like, but I can't see myself drinking it again as it is just far too cloying for my tastes. (657 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (632 characters)

Photo of SykDoc
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a clear amber color forming a 1/8 inch off-white head that reduces leaving a nice partly cloudy lacing. Carbonation visible and no sediment.

The aroma is a spicy and earthy hops combined with a minimal amount of malt in the background.

The taste is solid with a blend of spices, earthy hops, and a caramel malt that pops out first followed by the hoppy bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a reasonable level of carbonation. It is fairly smooth and leaves a short lived dryness.

Overall, this is a reasonable beer. It is not something I like to have too many of but has become somewhat of a ritual in the early winter season. (689 characters)

Photo of dhannes
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

A=Nice reddish amber with a thick, foamy head.

T=A crisp, somewhat bitter flavor with strong hops, and a touch of herbs, perhaps cloves? First half of the glass was much more enjoyable than the second half, which had a less enjoyable flavor and seemed like it had more alcohol.

M=Nice...not too thick, not too watery...just right.

D=Again, was very drinkable at the outset but flavor turned funky as I drank more.

2/13: Revisited this beer and lowered all my previous rankings by .25. (488 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - mahogany red, with brown. almost no head at all

S - intense aroma of malts, spices, and bread.

T - bread, with spices, little bite on the finish.

M - Medium body, with slightly less than average carbonation.

D - Considering I'm not a huge fan of amber ales/red lagers, this is a interesting change. Solid and worth a try; nothing earth-shattering here, but give it a go. (379 characters)

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