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Winter Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

639 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 639
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.66%
Wants: 1
Gots: 20 | 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:
This beer is not spiced.

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 639 | Reviews: 355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oxmasterscream
2.6/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A very clear, deep cherry brown with a tan, frothy head that gradually falls to just a ring. Looks like a cherry coke.

Smell: Mainly roasted malts with earthy and spicy notes and a hint of cherry. All smells are very faint.

Taste: Mainly malty and slightly spicy with a sour ring just before a barely bitter finish. There's something woody and earthy in the profile that just doesn't work. Another BA described it as "wet cardboard" and it's right on the money. It's even metallic at times.

Mouth: Full-bodied with lots of carbonation. Thick and chewy. Nothing exceptional.

Drinkability: Low due to the negative flavors. Mostly a bore, sometimes a challenge, to drink.

oxmasterscream, Nov 14, 2004
Photo of edchicma
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Weyerbacher drives me crazy...some of their brews can be great (Heresy for example) and some can b eless spectacular. This falls into the latter category. It pours an extra dark amvber, with little head. Th enose is light with hints of malt and a brandy-like aroma. The taste is a bit pungent for my palate...there was malt on the front with a somewhat bitter finish. Mouthfeel was a bit too full and overly astringent. Drinkability suffers by not being overly smooth and catching a bit on the swallow.

edchicma, Nov 10, 2004
Photo of SixpointJMH
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a nice ruby/amber colour with a chucky and soapy looking tan head that is decent sized but only minimally sticky. the smell is a nice combo of malt, wood and sweet caramel for the most part. there is a slight hint of spice and chocolate as well. the flavour balance is waaay off here. malt dominates but in a weird, wet cardboard kind of way. the chocolate and sweet caramel notes from the smell would be welcome but are pretty much nonexistent. hop flavour is pretty much invisible as well. very weird as this one started with much promise. the body is too thin as well, i felt. some tweaking needs to be done here and some flavour other than malt needs to be pumped into this one.

SixpointJMH, Nov 07, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear ruby brown with a vanishing tan head. Looks like a big porter sitting in the glass.

Smell: licorice and raisins with an alcohol base. Very stout-like in smell.

Taste: Bitter chocolate, carmel, and coffee. Definite smoky undertones. More towards the woody/earthy spectrum of my taste buds. Really enjoyable and complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick with almost too much carbonation. Very complex.

Drinkability and overall: nicely done! I really enjoyed this one. It has a lot of porter-like characteristics to it. I will definitely be back in January for this one.

mattcrill, Oct 03, 2004
Photo of cbl2
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Note: 2003-2004 seasonal


Deep ruby brown with a half inch tan head.


Smoke and chocolate (cocoa) predominate the aroma.


Slightly smoky flavor with sweet plum characterisitcs underneath, followed by a chocolatey finish that is coupled with mildly bitter hops. Good.

cbl2, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of sublimesipping
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My winter reminder hangs around at the end of the lenten season. This beer has exceptional mouthfeel and wonderful cold weather drinkability. It has truly helped to place me in the midst of roaring fires, warm chestnuts, and long auburn hair. I've created many excetional memories with this beer and would reccomend this for a mainstream solitice party. For the more discerning drinker, this beer speaks of dark roasted malt, dark roasted malt, dark roasted malt. It tastes of dense mince meat pie. It promises of peat fires of irish ancesetors. A complex and satisfying beer. Here's celtic and pocono mud in yer eye!

sublimesipping, Apr 14, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown(looks like a Pepsi) with a short lived ivory head. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is the highlight of this seasonal ale and features malt, almonds, nutmeg, and a number of other Christmas spices.
Mouthfeel is lively, with coating roasted malt and herbal hops. Very strong in the mouth.
Roasted malts dominate the taste, with a prominent coffee note up front. Toasted hazelnuts and cinnamon are also prominent. Finish is dry, roasted coffee, additional hazelnut or chicory, and a white pepper aftertaste.
I think this was my last winter seasonal ale, and it was a good one. My palate is tired of Christmas spices, and ready for some spring seasonals. I might have given slightly higher marks to this one a couple months ago.

merlin48, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep red, almost black color with two fingers of off-white head. There is lots of lace left. The smell contains roasted malt, caramel, toffee, and a bit of alcohol. The aromas are a little light though. The taste is heavy on the malt side, fairly sweet with caramel, honey, and molasses. Just a touch of alcohol and hops on the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability isn't too bad as well. A fair winter warmer.

SheepNutz, Mar 21, 2004
Photo of IrishRedRock
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this on draught, and must say I think this here bottle tastes much better and has much more flavor. Pours a deep chestnut brown with a thin laced head. Nothing too striking in the nose, a bit of malt and chocolate. Flavor is much more chocolatey than I recall the last time I tasted this. There isn't much more complexity past this, although the balance of malts and hops is well done, considering it isn't so hard to pick out either. Lightly carbonated but has a slightly thin feel to it. A nice beer, but this brewery has done and will do much better. Worth a try, but not one to search hard for.

IrishRedRock, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany red color with 2-finger off-whie head. Head leaves nice rolling patterns of lace on the pint.
Aroma of sweet malt, maple and brown sugar and sweet ripe dark fruits.
Flavors of dark caramel, sweet dark ripe cherries and plums and a hint of brown sugar and cinnamon. No discernible bitterness although sweetness is truncated by something. Bit unbalanced IMHO.
Mouthfeel is sweetness throughout with some moderate spice towards the finish.
Drinakability is very nice, beer is tasty, easy to drink and warming.

CRJMellor, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of BCMan
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a good looking brew and is interesting to taste but unfortunately interesting doesn't always mean good. I was pleasantly surprised with the dark drown color with a redish tint when exposed to the light. Even with an aggressive pour very little foam was generated and what was faded instantly. This beer smells just like it tastes...a little sweet and of chocolate and caramel. The flavor was also surprising. It was festive but a little weak. For a winter beer I like for it to warm me at least a little. A good brew to offer at a party but not if you're treating yorself.

BCMan, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of Wildman
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very dark red amber color and formed a light tan gamy head that left little lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and chocolate is present. A flavor of malt and some coffee elements, but fairly weak in flavor, even at warmer temperatures. The body was pretty light for the style. The finish was bitter and astigent. Really was not terribly impressed with this one.

Wildman, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark tan head. Beer is mahogany to brown in color.
Aroma of dark fruit, and sweet, lightly roasty malt.

Taste shows a sweet, lightly roasty malt backbone. Dark fruit. Hint of chocolate. A bit of spiciness. Decent hop balance, not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery.
Good drinkability.

Overall, a solid winter seasonal.

PhantomVodoo, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew is a dark red colour with a small white head. The aromas are of spices and roasted malts. The taste follows suit. The mouthfeel is thin and watery and the drinkability is OK. Another sub-par offering from Weyerbacher. A local brewery, that unfortunately, never really captures my attention...

francisweizen, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark dark brown with a very creamy eggnog colored head. Smells mildly piney with a bit of evergreen and smoke.

Tastes like OSA light. Little bits of spice and evergreen but much less pronounced and far more delicate. A little bit soft for a winter ale. Has a very solid mouthfeel and a bit of a sweet/dry ending. Not a bad session brew.

yankeeheel, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of byrd
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good sized foamy tan head that rises right to the rim of the glass. Head reduces moderately fast to a good foamy lace. The color is a very deep reddish brown with some garnet highlights. Some carbonation can barely be leen rising up from the bottom. The aroma is earthy with some roasted and chocolate notes. Some about the aroma I can’t quite place. Mouth feel is a bit thin to medium. The flavors seem a bit watered down, but are similar to the aroma. Note much sweetness to this brew. There’s a slight malt noticeable, but a tartness picks up and lasts until the end. The finish is quite dry and hoppy with some light roasted notes. There also seem to be a slight cola flavor to this brew at times. The carbonation is light. Not a brew that I’ll be putting on my must have list. I can finish this one, but don’t really want another.

byrd, Jan 15, 2004
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of beerinator
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown to black. Tannish head with pretty good retention.

Aroma: Raw nutty aroma. Roasty toasty nutty.

Taste: Very little hop bitterness, but also not too sweet. Roasted toasted, with a quick trip down the tongue. Fast finish, with little aftertaste. Nut Brown.

Notes: Pretty good beer. Not a whole lot of body. Doesn't seem to have the heft that most winter seasonals have.

beerinator, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Weyerbacher Winter Ale

Appearance- Dark red/ black with a thick creamy tan head.
Smell- roasted nuts, chocolate, hops.
Taste- like a brown ale. Some roasted nuttyness, some ashy smokiness.
Mouthfeel- pretty smooth up front with a slight carbonation in the back. Warm on the tongue.

Overall, a decent Ale. To me its a brown ale slightly better than Smuttynose- Old Brown Dog Ale but not as good as NewCastle.
It's drinkable but I like the label art better!

NJpadreFan, Jan 06, 2004
Photo of pezoids
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I don’t think I have been blown away by a beer from this brewery yet. Their brews seem to be middle of the road attempts, that could be much better. Not saying this beer is bad. This one poured out a cherry amber color with a small, but creamy tan head. The aroma has cherry tarts and almost a waxy chocolate smell to it. Overall, pretty subtle and bland.

The taste is pleasantly dry with some bitter fruits coming out, but it’s more bitter than sweet. Dry and light body that seems to need something. This isn’t a bad holiday or winter ale by any means, but just nothing extraordinary, or highly flavorful.

pezoids, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The black body is very cola like and this impression is enhanced by the initial large beige head. Unfortunately the head passes quickly and leaves no lace to mark it passing.

The nose is spicy and earthy giving a large sense of pulpy fruits. The flavor is very filled with lacquery malt notes and nutty elements as well, as if from almond extract. The mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery. Decent drinkability, but not a session brew.

AtLagerHeads, Jan 02, 2004
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.

feloniousmonk, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
2.95/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in the 12 oz bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber, with a nice layering of white head. The smell is a light sweet malt. The taste is a VERY light sweet maltiness with a bit of hops to it. Mouthfeel is slightly thin. Drinkability-wise, wouldn't really want another.

I feel really bad bashing a Pennsylvania brewery, but unfortunately not a lot of Weyerbacher's beers have really impressed me, and this seasonal is no exception. Doesn't seem at all to be an old ale at all, and this isn't going to be one I'm going to look forward to next year.

beergeek279, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I didn't know what to expect when I opened this one. Weyerbacher always has that effect though, you never exactly know what you are going to get, which is good sometimes. In this case, it was bad. It seemed to me that this one had an identity crisis. It was quite hoppy, but at the same time had elements of Imperial Stout. This was perplexing to me and I wasn't a huge fan. One thing though, is that the warmer it got, the less hoppy it was. That was kind of neat. This brew to me was just "blah". Nothing really stood out in my mind about it.

JISurfer, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of Bighuge
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Such a nice deep cherrywood/mahogany tone to this beer. Clarity is very good. A good sized brown head is erected on the pour and it has a bit of retention. Soon though, there is a thin coating a a creamy color. This provides some droopy lace. There's some chocolate and cherry on the nose. And a toffee like malt presence. Nice aroma. There's a warm toffee malt sensation on the palate. Maybe some biscuity malt character as well. Fruity tones are quite sublte and accent delicately. Cherry, rum and raisin. A drying sensation is noted on the aftertaste as well as a slight lingering alcoholic taste. Carbonation is moderate and the body seems to be about medium, medium-full maybe. Nice selection.

Bighuge, Dec 16, 2003
Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 639 ratings.