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Winter Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

740 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 740
Reviews: 373
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 3
Gots: 52 | 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: 740 | Reviews: 373
Photo of edskirk3
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, it's that time of year again. I have a 12oz brown bottle with zero freshness information. Ale pours a very deep ruby red. When not backlit, it just looks brown. About a finger of froth here. Appears to retain well and possess much stickiness.

Smells sweet with brown sugar and caramel. Maybe a trace of chocolate.

It has some viscosity to it. Not a lot of carbonation going on. It's quite malty. Sweet toffeeish flavors meld with a light cocoa presence and a soft roasted character. Maybe some molasses? This seems to be more of an English Mild or Brown Ale. If there's any hops in here, I'm not tasting it.

This so-called Winter Ale is pretty tasty and I wouldn't refuse another. Perhaps a bit too strong to have more than a few, though.

Photo of JDK
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep red amber with very little head
Very light lacing
Rich chocolate malt smell with a slight spicy raisin
Light carbonation that ended a little flat
Tastes of chocolate malts with very light hints of various spices
Overall I think it's worth a try along with your other Winter Ales

Photo of tempest
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.69/5  rDev +7.6%
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

Photo of GreenWBush
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Late ’05 release, refrigerated. No label info, and no internet nearby, so I’m shooting in the dark here. Looks a bit like a stout; good deal of ruby on the edges makes me think maybe not. Poofy foam cap.

Nose strikes me instantly familiar; I’m thinking “dark lager” ala SA Winter. Toasty-grain here, mild and woody English hops reinforce this notion. Appears to be spiced.

Goes down the beer-hole as a halfway point between OSA and SA Winter. Which is a compliment of interpolation but not necessarily creativity. Seems increasingly English with consecutive gulps.

Creaminess is good, soda-ishness not so much. Not obtrusive. For a winter’s night by the fire, yes. Otherwise, no.

Photo of smcolw
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Photo of jjayjaye
2.79/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark brown color with interesting ruby hues. The light tan head fades quickly and doesn't leave any lacing. Through the darkness you can see that you're in for an active, carbonated experience.

The nose hits me wrong. There is something about it that reminds me of Brooklyn Winter, and it turns me off. Past that, you can smell standout roasted malt and chocolate.

The mouth is highly fizzy. Medium bodied. I get an underlying bitterness and an associated lingering burnt/smoke-like perception. I'm challenged to describe the flavor; there are some foods that you either like or you don't. This rest of this pint isn't happening...

Photo of garymuchow
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep caramel aroma typical of many in this style. A bit of an earthy quality and a toasted note too. Lightens up in time to a somewhat non-distinct aroma of little complexity.
Pours a brownish tint with some ruby highlights. Brightly clear. Head is initially full, but is settles somewhat swiftly to a tan cap. Nice coating of head remains on glass as drink is taken and then it runs back to the beer.
Malty flavors dominate with caramel again, but also a toasty pushing roasty quality. Hint of fruitiness in a dark vein. In the end rather dry with only a mild bitterness. The lack of sweetness seems more inherent in the malt more than a result of the hops.
Thinness takes away from idea of it being a satisfying winter warmer. Carbonation is adequate and a little prickly.
Malt dominated drink with moderate heaviness in malt flavors, but lacking complexity

Boy, this bottle goes good with one of the bigger storms of the past several years. Thanks JB.

Photo of cabsandking
2.64/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights and beige cap that quickly fades to some spotty lacing. Aromas of sweet malts, fruity, slight citrus, and faint cinnamon like spice. Tastes of toasted malts, odd similarities to coca cola, caramel, butterscotch, slight sour fruits in the background and chocolate notes in the end. Some bitterness is noticeable and seems out of place. Medium carbonation gives it a frothy mouthfeel which is more than I’d like. This brew seems like an attempt at an English Porter but didn’t hit the spot for me as the flavors are all too mild and subdued.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a dark reddish brown color with a finger of light tan foam. Slight lacing left on the glass. Smells of roasted nuts and malt, as well as raisins. tastes of caramel malt, prunes, and warm spices such as cinnamon. A notch below medium in body with decent carbonation. Not a bad winter beer, but not my favorite.

Photo of MmmIPA
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a Brooklyn pint glass.

Lucious brown/red body with a off white head.Bubbles racing to the top of the glass.Some nice lacing on the top of the glass.

Smells like coca cola and carmel malts.I cant smell any hops in here.

I taste roasted malts and basically all malt with no other hops etc...

It sorda has a thin taste to it but its tasty and easy going down.I dont know how many I could drink of them in a session.The carbonation is easy on your mouth.

I had this in the begining of the season and I didnt like it.Im guessing my palate was pretty new to all the beers I had been trying at the time.But now its pretty good,Ide have again but I wouldnt go out of my way to have it again.If it was offered to me I would drink it.Its solid though and it taste like coca cola so thats plus.

Photo of Nipitato
3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liqours in Westborough, MA.

A: Pours a deep amber/ruby color accompanied by a thin off white head that dissipates rapidly.

S: Unimpressive for a winter warmer. Biscuity malty notes predominate. As beer warms fruity esters come out. These esters have raisin/plum character. No noticeable spice or seasonal characteristics.

T: Mellow balanced taste. Some dried fruit raisins. Strong malt flavor of caramel and chocolate. No spice flavors. Predominantly malty.

MF: Medium body. Low carbonation. Full satisfying finish.

D: Almost like a brown ale with even less hop character. Easy to drink and tasty but not really a great winter warmer.

Photo of pavandal
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Little head appeared on top of this as I poured it into my pint glass. Some bubbly floating on top, like an oily layer. Beer was a brown/deep amber.

The smell on this was excellent. Hints of raisins and dark chocolate dominated the nose.

Taste was alright. Lots of sweet fruity flavors and a nice dark chocolate overtone, just as was in the nose. No hopiness to note, I could have done with some in a brew this sweet. It's not deathly sweet or anything, but it's just enough to make you want something to bitter it up a little.

The beer was thin, not a big bold malty monster like so many of these winter warmers are, nor is the alchohol content very high. Not to bad.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.92/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mymrnnjckt for adding this one in our trade...
Chestnut in color...with half a finger of white head, which fades rapidly with very little, thin lacing.
Nice in the nose as it warms to room temperature...some carmelized sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar and a sweet malt backbone.
Taste is again, not very special until it warms, but once it does, the flavor is quite good.
Brown sugar mainly with some roasted malt flavors and even some floral hops to bitter up the back-end just slightly.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied...carbonation could be a bit less.
Overall, very easy to consume and a nice beer to quaff this time of year.
As usual, a solid offering from the folks at Weyerbacher.

Photo of plaid75
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a mildly sweet caramel malt , a mild chocolate malt and a goiod burnt grain.

The taste was soft and malty. Chocolate, caramel and black malts were noticable. Mild bitter coffee as well. A bit muted flavor wise.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness.

Overall a very drinkable ale. Nothing really too exciting here however.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
2.4/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 45 degrees.

A - From opening the bottle to the pour, sounded and looked the same as if I were pouring a Pepsi into my Duvel glass. A lot of carbonation at first, but it fizzed out pretty quickly. I will say that as it warmed up, it took more of an amber color, but stayed more on the brown side for awhile.

S - Smells stale and musty. Expected some kind of balance (i.e. sweet and spice), but nothing there.

T - Just nothing. I literally can't believe this taste...I keep thinking there has to be something there. I get a mildly malty flavor, but there's nothing backing it up.. My wife described it as club soda with alcohol, and that's not too far from the truth.

M - Not bad...no carbonation present in the glass, but a pretty bubbly finish gives it some life. A little alcohol in the aftertaste and a lighter-medium body.

D - Not enjoyable, to be blunt. The worst winter selection I've had this year...not any representation of Weyerbacher at all. I'm not going to hold it against them at all because of their other fine products.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear brown with an amber hue. The head was moderate and tan, rising slightly and lasting enough to trace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a strong impression of caramel and a nutty character. The aroma almost had a candy sweetness presence.

The flavor was vegetal and not well done at all. The flavor contained some caramel and a bit of roast flavor. The beer was never sweet and seemed a bit old in flavor. As it warmed the beer exhibited a lightly tart character.

The finish was dry with lasting light roast and vegetal characteristics lasting far too long and far too strong into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a fairly low carbonation level. Skip it.

12 ounce bottle.

Photo of fank2788
3.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

dark brown to mahogany color very clear with nearly no head with no head retention or lacing. Smell is slight roasted malt and belgian yeast smells and not much else. The taste is roasted malt with a smoky overtone almost no spice or bitterness is present. The taste improves slilghtly as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is thin reminding me of sam adams winter lager which isn't a good thing in this case. Drinkability is ok but there are many better winter beers available.

Photo of Neehan
3.17/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very dark brown from the bottle with minimal head and just a bit of lacing. It smells of nice, wintry malts with brown sugar and spices. This is repeated in the taste, but with a good deal of alcohol coming through in the taste as well. A well-balanced mouthfeel with a touch of warmth for the winter. Solid drinkability. This presents as a typical winter warmer but with an extra kick of alcohol.

Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Pours a low, khaki colored head with decent retention of the remaining ring. The beer is a deep chestnut brown in color.

smell: Smells almost like a really malty brown. Plenty of sweet, buttery toffee malts along with a woody, earthy aroma. Some light milk chocolate and maybe even a little spicy root. Herbal hops.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is low, and the body a full medium.

taste: Pretty good...earthy and malty. Nutty and sweet, toffeelike malts with notes of milk chocolate. The flavor is there, but for some reason doesn't seem to manifest itself on the tongue; so it comes across as lacking at times. Low, spicyish hop flavor and a gentle, cleansing bitterness in the finish.

drinkability: quite easy

Photo of jdg204
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bad boy up at the Weyerbacher brewery itself, which is well worth the visit. I have to say I'd probably have rated it higher if it was propositioned as an Irish Ale (like Smithwick's) and not a Winter Warmer. I just expected a bit more spice and complexity from a Winter Warmer, but it's actually not that bad an Ale.

Appearance - Nice dark brown color.

Smell - Not a huge nose though there is a nice roasted smell. Seems like there should be some spice odor but none is present.

Taste - Has a very nice roasted malt flavor and there is some subtle spice flavor but I expect more from a Winter brew.

Mouthfeel - Pleasant mouthfeel, decent aftertaste.

Drinkability - Like I said, would be decent as an Irish Ale, but I just expected something richer from a Winter brew.

Photo of mmmbeer
2.76/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. It pours a deep mahogany with an inch of ecru head that doesn't lace too well. The smell and flavor are essentially the same, with toasted/caramel, smoky? malts with light hop flavor and bitterness on top of a medium body that leaves a short finish. Average at best, and not much of a winter warmer as it reminded me more of an oktoberfest, which is strange because their oktoberfest did not taste like what it claimed to be. I'd say skip it.

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz into a pint glass, this beer was brought over by a friend, so cheers to him.

Pours a very clear and very dark red with a decent head that falls to a thin foam. Some pretty decent lacing follows the beer down the glass.

Smells sour and fruity. A rather light, earthy aroma, only a few hints of spice.

Taste is earthy, roasty and malty, with hints of fruits and nuts. Oddly I get a little bit of what can only be described as papery. No huge hop presence obviously, this is a malt showcase, but there's a little there to add balance.

Mouthfeel is smooth and drying but a little too light.

Drinkability is ok, I could have a few of these with a nice winter meal, some comfort food. A pretty decent offering from a kind of hit-or-miss brewery.

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Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 740 ratings.