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Winter Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

736 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 736
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 3
Gots: 53 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 09-24-2001

This beer is not spiced.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 736 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WhiteOak
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Medium brown with some mohogany red color, with a minimal light tan head.

S- Simple but appealing caramel malt aroma with a nutty/hazelnut note.

T- If this beer has been spiced, then none of these elements remained. But there is a predominant sweet, nutty, caramel malt flavor with a faint touch of clover honey. Pleasant flavor -- not inspiring or worthy of contemplation -- but good enough enjoy as a simple, malty brew.

M, D- Rounded in structure with perfect CO2. Quite drinkable, if not complex.

Photo of TheHoppiest
2.76/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer is a nice mahogany color with a cream-colored bubbly head that quickly reduces.

Smells slightly spicy, slightly sour. Despite it's beautiful color, it has a weak barley and malt taste similar to what you'd expect from a lager, with some hints of spice. The malty aftertaste sticks to the tongue, leaving it slightly dry. This beer could benefit from more spice and a different style malt.

Probably would not to have another, especially given all the other great winter ales out there.

On the plus side, the label has festive snowmen carrying six-packs and cases of beer.

Photo of TheDeuce
4.07/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher Winter Ale....on tap at Mudville 9.

Appearance-dark brown to blood red, medium lace head builds and settles with adequate presentation.

Smell-molasses, caramel, sugar, light notes of toffee alcohol warmth, very aromatic.

Taste/Mouthfeel-medium body, sour but heavy feel, sugar up front, molasses surrounds as does alcohol, spicier finish, well balanced and smooth.

Drinkability-on a cold day this did well, no major flaws either.

Overall-solid winter, nothing outstanding but it hits all the right notes and has some nice characteristics, particularly like the spiciness.

Photo of Arenbeer
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle into a Snifter Glass

A- Dark Reddish brown with a thin 1 finger light tan head. Little lacing.

S- Roasted caramel malts with some molasses and brown sugar.

T- Pretty much how it smelled, the roated malts dominate with some wintery spices and molasses.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight bitter dry finish, not bad.


Photo of JMD
3.11/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark chocolate brown with small off white head that fades quickly. Very little lacing.

S: Sweet malty aroma, hints of chocolate and brown sugar. Very faint.

T: Malt is most prominent. Carmel and brown sugar with hints of toasted marshmellows. Not much depth or character.

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

D: This beer is just OK. Not bad, but nothing really stands out and makes me want to buy more.

Photo of Stimack
2.75/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decided that I should try this brew before it disappears as we are hedging towards spring, though it has been snowing for the past three days. This brew poured to a nice deep brown color with some red/ruby highlights. Smaller sized head, light tan, did have pretty good retention and lacing. The aroma here comes across nice as chocolate and roasted malt notes come across. Maybe some cinnamon but that is the extent of the spices that I picked up. The flavor is a disappointment for me as it just seems to be very empty. Sweetness, caramel with a light touch of chocolate but that seems to be about it. Overall I think this one misses the mark, just does not seem to be anything special for a winter brew and the emptiness in the flavor just really brings it down. Will pass up on this one in the future.

Photo of Andreji
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

no. 3 of the american beers tried during the Taste of Paste beer event @ the stag's head.

This one didn't impress me, in fact it was the only american brew i was disappointed with in the night.

Could my choice of a stronger, heartier yeti before it have numbed my palate so? still, i was eager to try something weyerbacher for months now and this was a bit of a let-down at first (not that I'm not gonna give them another chance on their generous repertoire).

Pour is dark, slightly cloudy amber to brownish, seems dirtier than uniformly opaque to me. dirty white head, medium lasting, scarce lacing.

Smell is roast malty, inviting but too subtle at first. discrete alcohol feel but then again, it isn't too strong or extreme, this one.

Taste I was reminded of colombian beer "Colon Negra", because both, in spite of good hints of roast malty sweetness and smokey hop bitter finishes, seemed a bit watered down in between. and the body itself, rather lightish for a winter waarmer, seems to confirm my suspicion.

decent, not fantastic.

Photo of matt062286
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark, clear ruby red. Small light tan head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Overall, rather faint, but traces of black cherries, roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste - The malt profile is dominant in this beer. I also taste some dark fruit sweetness and a hint of chocolate. Very strong coffee taste on the back end. This combination of flavors is quite unexpected but cohesively pleasant. Reviewing this on a cold snowy day makes this one score higher; it is indeed a warmer :)

Mouthfeel - A medium body, moderate to low carbonation.

Drinkability - Tips the scale slightly towards drinkable over sipper. Could see myself having more than one of these in a sitting.

Of the few Weyerbacher beers I've tried, this one is a winner. I'd recommend this as a good example of a winter warmer.

Photo of horshack7
3.06/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apperance: This one pours a deep dark mohogany with amber red hues around the edges. The head is about two fingers thick which is white and frothy.

Aroma: Not much of a hop nose to it. A very light hint of floral aroma but that's about it. The subtliest bit's of maltiness but ceratainly not alot.

Taste: A little bit of maltiness along with a slight dryness. Not alot of spice nor alot of hoppiness. The mouthfeel is a somewhat smooth and creamy but with a little bit of a dry finish.

Notes: I was expecting more spice with a little bit of hops but it was not quite there. It's not too bad of a beer in general. Cheers.

Photo of mgbickel
2.55/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes from a tasting on 01/09/2010

Formed a 1/2 finger eggshell colored head that quickly dissipated leaving pretty much no lace behind. The body a clear amber/reddish color with mahogany edges.

Lots of fruits and spices on the nose...specifically apples, cinnamon and honey.

Wow...nothing from the nose transfers into the mouth. Not bad...but not complex enough for a winter brew. Honey, fruits and a little all spice, but very weak.

Mouth feel is light and thin, with moderate carbonation.

There are a number of winter brews I would choose over this one...

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving type: 12 ounce bottle poured into a standard glass.

Appearance: When poured a slight frothy head appears, however, it disappears quickly leaving a slight patch of foam on top and a weak ring on the sides of the glass. The color is cloudy brown, though, when held up to the light red hues can be seen.

Smell: Though not very strong, aromas of toasted malt are present.

Taste: Nice acidity on the tip of tongue follows roasted malted notes that finishes light. However, the finish does offer some nice subtle flavors, mostly candy like.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light for a winter beer, I would place it on the lower rung of medium body. There is very little creaminess until swirled in the mouth.

Drinkability: It taste is decent, its smell alright, and, because of its light body, it is a winter beer than can be consumed more than one at a time.

I had this beer originally on tap. I quite liked it, though I did have some beers before it. The bottle has not been as good to me as the tap was. It is not a bad beer, but, if I was looking for a lighter darker beer I would try an Austrian or German dark lager, the price would be much less as well.

Photo of nickd717
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Chevy Chase Wine & Liquors in DC.

Pours a clear dark reddish-brown color with a one-finger off-white head.

Aroma is sweet malt, dark fruit, and some winter spices.

Flavor is nice and enjoyable. Almost like winter warmer meets doppelbock. Caramel malt, toffee, raisin, cherry, nutmeg, and other spices.

Medium bodied with a very smooth mouthfeel.

Very drinkable. Overall this is a nicely crafted winter ale, if nothing too special.

Photo of indiapaleale
2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pour - dark, murky brown. Looks like a Scotch Ale as it settles into the glass. It has some red hues when held to the light with a rather thin tannish head.

Aroma - Tootsie Rolls, cocoa, cough syrup, black cherry and some corn syrup. Interesting combination of sweet smells.

Taste - hmmm...after a few sips all I can think of is Tootsie Rolls and cherry cough syrup. This just seems to embody both of those flavors quite a bit. I am trying to shake that but I really can't. Its sweet and almost cloying with some sour fruit flavors that stick on the back of my tongue. For a beer with only 5.6% alcohol, this is a particularly slow drinking beer. It might be the sweetness or it just may be that I am having a difficult time drinking it.

I really do think that some people will really enjoy this beer but I am not one of those people.

Overall - malty yes. Complex, flavorful and enjoyable...I am not entirely sure I can say yes to that. This is sort of cloying and medicinal and hard to finish. Sigh.

Would I buy more of it? - I'm going to say no on this one. Its just not a beer that I am very fond of which seems to be the case for a lot of Winter Warmers.

Photo of albern
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a beer of "what could have beens" because it has definite potential to be a very fine winter warmer. To begin, the beer is just too thin and too subtle to really be taken for more than an interesting brown ale. The beer does have some very subtle complexity and had it more ABV, more punch, more substance and body, this could have been much more, but alas no. What we have is a clear mahogany brown ale with an off white head that retains for a bit and does lace. The nose on the beer is primarily roasted dark malts, maybe a touch of nuttiness, maybe a touch of chicory, a touch of florals.

The taste is nicely balanced but just doesn't have the character and the palate to make this beer come into its own. There are nutty flavors, some sweet dark roasted malts, there is a touch of brown sugar maltiness, there is a touch of hop, maybe a touch of spicy yeast. This beer is a bit disappointing. It is moderately carbonated, a slight drying note or two in the finish and aftertaste. I'm ready to move on.

Photo of magine
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, almost black brew. Off white head that is thick initially, then fades to a lace head. Nice lace.

Brew smells of roasted malts, nutty, spicy. Has a hop smell as well.

Brew tastes very peppery; nice carbonation. Has a malty flavor, with a hop finish. Nice flavor - nice spice.

Very drinkable - very good as a session brew. Nice

Photo of ujsplace
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pub glass.

A: Thick chunky tannish off-white head. The brew is very dark brown in color on the verge of black.

S: Toasted caramel malts and mild hops...

T: Sweet malts - roasted caramel and maybe toffee. Also there is nice spicing here - maybe nutmeg and mild cloves. Faint, mild bitter hops.

M: Medium with nice carbonation.

D: A caseworthy winter brew, a good session brew.

Photo of pzrhsau
4.18/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very deep brown. Almost black but maintains some clarity. Good head with decent retention.
Smell: Strong aroma of roasted malt.
Taste: Nice toasty flavor with an interesting undertone of maple or possibly honey.
Mouthfeel/drinkability: Nice crisp beer. Well carbonated and overall very easy to drink and enjoy during the holidays.

Photo of Minotaur
4.17/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured an exceptionally deep brown-red into a pint glass. Foam the color of chimney smoke bubbles up to a nice froth and hangs for a bit before settling into a thin, grayish skim.

The aroma is a caramel, molasses and nutty scent with hints of gingerbread, nutmeg and clove. It has a much better aroma than many other more heavily spiced ales.

The taste has a dry warmth with a hint of hops underlay. Not as sweet as it smells though the toasty, sweet malts are there. Over that are some thin bread/cake flavors, with the faint hint of the spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg predominantly peaking through). There may be a touch of light citrus in there but its hard for me to pick out. It has a smooth richness that is earthy and warm, but does not have any hallmark unique characteristics that radically set it apart from other warmers except for perhaps its very smooth and inviting nature.

The mouth feel is fruity and chewy but not overly thick. The flavors linger with a bit of bitterness. It is extremely drinkable, perhaps its greatest quality.

Weyerbacher Ales tend to be among my favorite for their sense of standard accessibility. Following suit, this may not be the most unique, mind-blowing, or complicated winter out there, but it is definitely one of the seasonal ales I always find myself returning to for reliability and welcoming sense.

I have had this yearly for the last 4 or 5 years, and I would say this is probably one of the stronger batches in the last 3 years.

Photo of bob3701
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Great white head with a really dark amber body with orange highlights. Somewhat malty aroma. OK lacing. Taste is the issue here. Mind you it does not taste bad and I could easily chug this brew (very smooth) but for looking like such a big beer there is little taste.

Photo of bonkers
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a deep caramel, reddish highlights, with a sticky 2 finger white head. The only thing I detect on the nose is sweet malty notes. The flavor is malt dominant. The sweet bready flavor dominates, enough hops to keep it from being cloying. It has a dry finish. This beer needs a bit more body, but it did pair well with tonights dinner. I do not think I will buy it again.

Photo of gford217
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany that shows a deep, clear copper when held up to light. There is a small creamy white head that recedes to a big collar and swirl in the middle.

The aroma lightly sweet caramel malts and an almost herbal tea-like aroma. It's a pretty mild aroma for a winter warmer actually.

The taste is a bit better than the aroma with the big sweet malt backbone and some very light spices. The finish is slightly dry but it's not too complex overall.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with good carbonation but it's fairly watery overall.

This is a pretty mediocre winter beer that fairly drinkable but doesn't have much flavor or body and is just mainly light malts and a hint of spices.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What exactly is happening on this label? Looks like thirsty snowmen are stealing beer from a mid-winter picnic that some humans are having (they've got a fire blazing too). Mischievous snowmen are running away from the picnic table with six-packs, but there's another snowman heading toward the scene of the crime with what appear to be either 1) cases of beer in white boxes, 2) blocks of ice, or 3) they're stealing the good Weyerbacher beer and dumping cases of Miller Lite off on the humans. Or maybe the humans are crashing the snowman party? I'm totally confused.

Glossy ruby-hued caramel-brown color, with a thinnish head that settles to a bubbly crown in about a minutes. Connect-the-dots lace is pretty cool.

Aroma reminds of porter meets brown ale -- a little bit mineral, a little bit roast, a lot of milky nuttiness. Fruity, wintry elements (ie. spices) do start coming in with a little swirling and warming, but not much, and certainly not as much as your typical version of the style.

Still reminding of a brown ale on the tongue, although with a slightly brighter, more colorful flavor than your typical brown. The base is nutty malt (hazelnut, mainly), sweet cream, and a bit of toasted bread. Some chocolate, a little vanilla. Mild spices come into the mix, as in sweet pie spices, although no specifics come to mind and they're pretty mellow. Not a ton of depth, but I do enjoy this and am glad the sweetness is kept in check. Wha? Grape Kool-Aid in the otherwise nutty/malty/bready finish? Hmmm...

Fairly creamy, although the carbonation nip detracts from the fuller, rounder feel I wanted here and felt would've helped the flavors come through stronger. But no big complaints though.

This is pretty good. Not quite up to the usual Weyerbacher standards, but luckily not over-spiced, over-sweet, underwhelming or any other number of problems that other, lesser winter ales have.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours two fingers of dirty white head, almosst a cream color, the head disolves pretty quickly and it does leave a light lacing on the glass. the color is blackish that allows light to shine through, it has some hues of red when i shine a light on it and some bubbles from the carbonation.

S-some light spice and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and pale malt finishing with some yeasty tones that aren't too pleasant

T-lighter in taste with hints of spice, cinnamon, and some pale malts. all flavors are not big

M-nice mouthfeel being very smooth, it is medium bodied with some carbonation burning the back of the throat

D-nothing really stands out, the best part of the beer is the fact that it is smooth going down but even that is compromised by the carbonation at the end of the sip.

Photo of coalcracker
3.31/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cola-colored with light brown well-formed carbonation.

Smell: Aroma of toffee, caramel, and fig. Some mild spicy notes also detected.

Taste: Light malts that are a bit on the sweet side with a touch of spice. Hop presence is balancing but a bit weak. Finish is clean and light.

Mouthfeel: Feels a little thin for the style.

Drinkability: ABV is mild and the taste profile is pleasant if not a little light.

Overall, ok winter warmer. Thinner than most, but pleasant.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, poured to a pint glass. Big thanks to Metalmonk for sending a cross-country box with a bottle o' this included.

A: Good-looking pour, a roasted umber pour that shows almost clear when held to light, with a plethora of cascading bubbles. Not a tall head, but a reasonably long-lasting one (the lightest tan color), with a 'broken-cobweb' lacing.

S: Not a ton of aroma, and what there is is a fairly humdrum 'malt' - a musty cocoa, brief fruitiness, a vague vanilla and a slight 'rubbing alcohol' hint.

T: Malty with a modest spice, a fine cocoa powder.

M: Not so much 'crisp' as it is 'cooling; a relatively smooth, slightly grainy feel with a spicy-roasted backing.

D: Not bad, an 'everyday' winter warmer of the type I personally lean toward (maltier, spicier, less-jarring hoppiness). Have really enjoyed some Wyerbachers in the past; this one is just an 'OK' as a recommendation, but one I'd drink again given the chance. But given where I live in proximity to PA, that's not happening soon; thanks, Jeff, for the chance to try this one.

Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.