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Winter Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Winter AleWinter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

621 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 621
Reviews: 354
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.66%

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is not spiced.

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-24-2001)
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Ratings: 621 | Reviews: 354 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An initial creaminess in mouth. Chestnut colour. Highly carbonated. Some astringency at finish. A play of caramel, mollasses, nutmeg, clove, cinammon and chestnut, pinch of chocolate malt. Some flavour altogether that makes it quaffable. Not overally cloying, but on sweet side.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2006 06:27:51 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark bronze-like brown with a significant infusion of crimson when brightly backlit. The dark beige cap is soft and presents a rumpled surface of gently exhaling bubbles. Very little lace graces the glass.

I know that the winter warmer style is a pretty loose one, but this beer doesn't smell like a winter warmer to me, it smells like a brown ale. It's much more malty than hoppy (maybe a little fruitiness if I'm being generous) with chocolate as the dominant aroma. It isn't a bad nose, it's just nothing special.

Brown ale and light porter comparisons are still in play. The maltiness is now more weakly roasted rather than strongly toasted, although there isn't quite enough of it, as evidenced by the overly light body/mouthfeel. The flavor profile is on the simple side with a glancing blow of bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley and... not much else. The beer is neither sweet nor bitter with a thinning, dry, moderately charred finish.

Winter Ale is a different take on the winter warmer style. In fact, I'm not sure what makes it a member of that club other than Weyerbacher's say so (and the crazed snowmen on the label). As a brown ale, it isn't bad, but is nothing that I'd go out of my way for. Thanks to blitheringidiot for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2005 14:51:14 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby red brown with a big cream colored head, that was thick and long lasting. Smelled deeply of malt and spices, nutmeg and almost a cinnamon. Taste was a little thin. The spiceness was definatly there and actually felt a bit warm going down. Great mouthfeel as the carbonation was pretty much perfect. Very very drinkable, in fact could put down alot of these as it is definaly not that thick and goes down very easy.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 23:14:08 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep, ruby red clear body with a very modest head; little to no lacing

Smell: Dried dark fruit and a slightly resinous odor

Taste: Starts out promising with dark fruit and toffee flavors that quickly fade and are overtaken by a smoked wood tone that is a little surprising; not necessarily unpleasant, but I was expecting more of a holiday spice characteristic

Mouthfeel: A bit thin; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: At first I thought this was going to be so much more than it turned out to be. Not enough flavor and a bit too thin to reach the heights of one of the better winter warmers.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 21:47:30 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with very light toffee notes. Taste is also a nice mix of caramelized malt with light warming notes of toffee. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed with great drinkability factor. I don,t know if I enjoyed this one more because I spend a couple hours at the ring before but it is quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 03:41:50 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Thorpe429


3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the RFD in DC. Served in a pint glass.

Pours dark, dark brown with a very thin off-white head that recedes quickly and leaves behind just a bit of a thin collar. The nose is pretty plain with some slightly-roasted malt as well as a bit of caramel and very light pepper.

The flavor is over-roasted, especially considering the style. The finish is bitter but in the wrong way, bordering on astringent. There is a lift sweetness kicking around throughout. A bit of lift spice and caramel. The finish is odd and paper-like. I was able to drink this fairly quickly, but I couldn't say that I would have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2010 02:12:14 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and poured with a finger high off white head that quickly faded away but left lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with hints of spices.
T: The taste has flavors of toasted malts and malty sweetness along with some notes of caramel.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink but nothing stands out to make me want to try it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 05:01:16 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, chestnut brown body with a tall, foamy, light beige head.

Smell: Earthy, malty nose with restrained notes of both roast and Tootsie Roll-style chocolate, as well as spiced fruitcake topped with chopped roasted nuts.

Taste: Predominately malty with flavors of dark toffee, hot chocolate mix, nuts, and a couple bread crusts. Light fruitiness. Hint of earthy molasses. Spicy hop component and a mild bitterness. Flavors dries out on the way to the finish. Final hints of nuts and molasses at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I could stand to have a bit more "mmph" here, but I still dug it. Ultimately easy to drink and easy to enjoy with an overall pleasing sweet maltiness.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 02:47:11 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am not overly impressed with to many of the beers I have had,this one was one of the better offerings I think.Pours a deep brown with some definent red tint in there with a nice creamy looking head.The aroma is very chocolaty and sweet smelling with some faint hop aromas as well.Taste is real nutty with some bitter chocolate tones in there along with a fruity finish.Not a bad beer I would get again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2004 20:19:45 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown with ruby highlights and a short creamy tan head that drops but keeps a thin creamy surface covering and leaves some spotty lace. The nose offers some dark cocoa and a touch of roastiness, as well as a light metallic note. It's quite English in character. Its medium body combines with a very fine carbonation to produce a mouthfeel that's lightly creamy and smooth. The flavor expresses a gently fruity and toffee-ish malt with a soft touch of chocolate and a mild roasty edge that's infused with earthy hop flavors. A firm bitterness balances the malt and dries the finish that lingers with a faint note of black licorice. The slightly higher level of alcohol is exceptionally well cloaked. Very nicely done with a good drinkability although it only truly reveals its full malty character when enjoyed at cellar temperature.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2003 17:42:45 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: full blackness and utter opacity marks the color, and the head is a big, bold thing, large, fluffy cream-toned head.
Aroma:dark, with deep, nutty, spicy notes, earthy, and highly carbonated, peppery.
Taste: lush malt warmly greets the tongue, smooth, yet bitter and spicy tones interject. Carbonation continues to be high, and the feel on the tongue is sometimes to close to a cola or such. Body is medium or so, but feels lighter than it ought to be. Texture possesses an oiliness at times, that goes beyond smooth and into slick.
This winter ale could use a great deal of improvement if it means to strive further in providing true drinking pleasure. As it is, it's a nice little brew, nothing great, and not offending, neither.
Thanks to MenekiNeko for helping me to try it on.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2003 02:53:25 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell


3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in NC late July, based on notes

Poured chestnut/red with 2 fingers of tan colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Cocoa, nutmeg& loads of brown sugar

T: Chocolatey, a bit of iron & roasted malts uo front. Baker's chocolate, some chalky dryness in the middle. Finishes with caramel, licorice & dryness

MF: Silky with low carbonation, but starts to get a touch astringent at the finish

Drinks good, but too pricey at $ 9.00 a sixer

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 04:35:27 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, rich, and malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It has a bit of a fruity yeast aroma along with some mild hop smells. The taste is decent. It has a creamy crystal malt flavor that is not too intense, but is quite enjoyable. It is dry on the finish with some bitterness and a strange mustiness. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an interesting beer. It has decent flavor and complexity, but it doesn't blow my hair back.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2005 02:13:19 | More by WesWes
Photo of zeff80


3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left minimal trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of seasonal spices and bready malt.

T - It tasted of nutmeg and cinnamon with a bready caramel malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with clean finish.

O - This is an okay winter warmer. Certainly worth a try from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 03:04:40 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In my new quest to review all winter ales I can this year, next up on the list is the Weyerbacher Winter Ale. I'm a fan of most Weyerbachers, except their seasonals seem to be not of my style. And since this is a seasonal, I'm a little worried.

A: Pours a huge 2.5 finger head that pops down semi quickly. It's a very dark raisin brown colored hazy beer with little light coming through, showing the many bubbles rising up.

N: Hmm, pretty much as I expected for a winter warmer. Lots of winter style spices, some nutmeg, nutty aromas, sweet syrupy malt aromas, I almost expect a touch of alcohol, but it never comes as its only 5.6%. Not sure if it's jsut me, but usually a winter warmer is a little higher in abv since its trying to warm you, esp with the heavy malt sweetness. This must have started with OG of 1070 but ended with 1025 or so.

T: Starts with more almost adjunct type flavors for sweetness. Its syrupy but not super sweet. Some spices but not super spicey. A little nutty flavors, semi light and watery at the same time. A little bit of rich fruit as well.

M: Semi thin, a little watery, good carbonation.

F: Finishes really week too. The flavor just disappears and its almost like drinking water. However, with everything gone almost instantly, I'm ready for another sip right away. Perhaps its good that its not a heavy abv beer as I could get in trouble drinking this fast. A decent session beer though. The spices aren't as overwhelming as I thought they would be.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 03:58:33 | More by jlindros
Photo of Knapp85


3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a ruby red color with a tan colored head that has a pretty good lacing. The aroma is a bit spicy with seasonal herbs in the mix with sweet malts. The taste is a pretty good, there is a sweet malt start to it that finishes off with the spices kicking in. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side, not oily but kind of heavy, which makes this a pretty nice winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 04:41:24 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium brown with plenty of clarity. A thin/patchy head tops it off.

The smell is of roasted caramel, toasty bread, some nuttiness. Smells like a typical brown ale (with maybe a touch of porter). Lacks the spiciness of a winter ale.

The taste is of slightly burnt toast and caramel. There is some piney spiciness, but not much. It remains sweet and malty in character with a touch of charcoal in the finish.

Medium-bodied, and not quite as smooth as I would like.

Well, I'm not convinced that this is a true "winter warmer", but as a brown ale it's not bad. Nothing I would seek as a winter ale, though.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 15:25:07 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear fairly dark brown. Light tan head. Maltt nutty nose. Flavor is a bit bitter with a sweet tang that I'm not too fond of really. It isn't all that bad really. Decent enough earthy, leafy tones. Feel has a slight bite on the carbonation and the liquid is fairly thick. Overall not bad. Middle of the road, really.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 16:26:32 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby brown with a nicely formed tan moccha colored head, nice evenly spread lacing good appearance. Aroma: Some mild anise like notes, dark chocolate malts, and mild spices a very reserved but solid profile here. Taste: Mild soft tones of chocolate and spritzy fruit undertones, a bit of a one sided flavor profile all malt not any hop character detectable for me. Mouthfeel: Sturdy carbonation with a silky characteristic to it medium bodied winter ale not as robust as I yearn for but nonetheless still very tasty. Drinkability: A pleasant surprise wasn't expecting too much from this brew but it turns out to be a solid all around session winter brew, nice effortless just enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 02:34:26 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of smcolw


3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A small but long-lasting head--off white color, but leaves no lace. The liquid is reddish brown and clear.

Lots of powdered cocoa in the aroma; some alcohol warmth.

The taste mimics the smell. This is a relatively thin beer with a high carbonation. Some hop bitterness although most of the rougher flavors come from the darker malts. I wonder if there is a touch of black patent in this brew.

This is a tasty brew that reminds me more of a English brown ale than a winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 00:22:35 | More by smcolw
Photo of tempest


3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh, it's just kind of plain and sweet. The malt reminds me a bit of a scotch ale, but a bland one at that. I've said it before, but I think Weyerbacher's house yeast is holding them back, it consistently seems to add nothing to the beer and masks otherwise fine malt flavors. At least it's decent to drink, just uninspiring.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2007 02:38:10 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak


3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased at the brewery during their open house last week.

A: The ale is predictably dark, a caramel brown color that shows off red highlights. A sizeable head on the first pour attempt measured two fingers and quickly settled down to a white foam sealing the beer in the glass.

S: The ale has a fruity body, spiced up a touch. Lots of caramel malts form a chewy foundation.

T: A very filling sip, this beer is malty to the extreme. Banana flavors emerge, giving the ale a darker (not dunkel though) weizen-like taste. The banana flavors meld with the caramel malts to create an interesting sweetness. A touch of hops adds bitterness to settle the ale down a bit. Alcohol is practically non-existent, making this a good sipper.

M: The mouthfeel is hearty malts, interesting fruit flavors and a bit of hops. A nice mixture that relaxingly sits on the palate.

D: Very drinkable, this ale won't knock your socks off but you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 19:09:08 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

App: dark almond, clear, minimal head and lacing

Nose: sweet, malty,, faint spices

Taste: eh, this one doesnt do much for me, too much like coke cola, thin ,malty, sweet, very faint spicing in background.

MF: thin, slight prickly sensation

Drink again? I can think of a bunch of other WWs that I'd look for ahead of this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 03:04:33 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a dark brown body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thin wispy head that swirls around on top of the beer.

S- This beer has notes of chocolate and biscuit with a soft cocoa nibs hint and a very faint maple syrup smell when it warms.

T- This beer has a light toasted malt with chocolate malt flavor up front that has some nice complexity. There is a soft pot caramel note as it warms but it is not strong at all. The finish is a light carbonic acid tang to it.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light creaminess in the finish.

D- This beer has a smooth but layered flavor that is a bit mysterious to the complexity. There are notes of chocolate malt but lots of other secondary flavors are in the background.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 22:58:51 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Deep amber almost black color Almost fizzy carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted almost burnt chocolate. Starts and finishes with a roasted chocolate/coffee flavor. Nice on a day when the temperature is 1F. $1.55 for a 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2005 00:39:13 | More by jdhilt
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Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 621 ratings.