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Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

181 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.14%

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

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Stoudts changes this recipe annually. We'll be attempting to split apart entries down the road.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 173 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of alexgash


2.2/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Best before 4/7/07
Pours a darkish garnet with barely a trace of head. Just a few large bubbles around the edge. Syrup aromas mix with toasted malt, light cocoa, homebrew, and faint hop spice. Vaguely sweet malts up front. Some toasted grains follow, with barely sweet apple and light chocolate notes near the end. Finish has a modest hop bitterness, but no hop flavor. Mouthfeel is thin and undercarbonated. Tastes off, but not infected.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 00:07:32 | More by alexgash
Photo of k3n


2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle from Tangfoot, best by 4/7/7.

A: Deep mahogany, reddish-brown, 1/2" head dissipates to a thin ring, leaving no lacing. Steady flow of bubbles keeps up the ring.

S: Toasty, malty, burnt coffee, burnt caramel.

T: The label says brewed with cocoa, so I'm really trying to find the cocoa....and not finding it. =( Hits with a bit of acidity in the front, akin to coffee, and then that's about it. Where's my beer?

M: Fizzy. Thin. meh.

D: Not so much. Too bad, the smell was quite inviting, but the beer didn't seem to match up.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2007 05:01:54 | More by k3n
Photo of luvND


2.4/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The 2001 version was a rye ale that I enjoyed enough to buy 3 cases throughout the season and kept several in my cellared collection. I cannot even express my dissappointment in the 2002 version. This brewery is usually money in the bank for at least a respectable beer, but I had a hard time finding anything good to say about this brew. I have to say it actually tastes bad. I cannot tell exactly what it is, but it has been overspiced with something. Invest more wisely in Holiday brew, go with Anchor or Sierra Nevada instead.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2002 19:38:36 | More by luvND
Photo of BACTAdam

New Jersey

2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- No doubt, the color is likened best to cola. I just so happened to have a glass of Diet Pepsi that my wife was drinking right next to it and it was identical. Pours a medium to thin head with some cola like bubbles.

S- I didn't get a strong aroma from this one. Maybe a slight coffee or malty smell.

T- Very disappointed. Tastes of black coffee and not at all complex. Very one dimensional and not what you would expect in a quality winter ale.

M- Has a very thin mouthfeel for its appearance however looks can be deceiving and it appears to look more like a porter than an ale. It sort of tricks you.

D- It's drinkable but kind of boring. I won't be running out to try another one.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 01:55:39 | More by BACTAdam
Photo of lackenhauser


2.6/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice,deep garnet color. Ok head. Low aroma-slight malt but its real small. Ok flavor-malty enough but has no real flavor to me. Slight lingering bitterness. Rather thin body-at 7% I would think there would be more of a feel to it. The whole thing is rather 1 dimensional. I am not sure what it is trying to be. I gotta pass.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2006 03:49:03 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2006 version

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a modest tan head that fails to do much in the lacing department

Smell: Smells a bit musty, frankly, like a dirty clothes hamper, that, and a bit like smoked bacon

Taste: Starts out with a caramel flavor that quickly turns phenolic; in the middle, there is a prickly cedar tone that joins and hangs around, coating the front of the tongue; the finish provides a bit of cocoa

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but very prickly; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not sure what they are shooting for but this one is firing a few blanks, I am sad to say

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 02:04:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of blitheringidiot


2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Winter has passed & Spring has arrived. Time to celebrate the arrival of April 1st, no foolin’, with a taste of STOUDT’S Winter Ale. As the label says, this is a dark copper from a 355 mL brown bottle including a blank ‘best if served by’ box. Winter Ale stormed into my clean, give-away pint with a snowy one finger coating of tan head that settles to a coating as I write, eventually turning into a Picasso painting towards the ending.

The aroma of Winter Ale is bear-ly noticeable, mostly in hibernation. We’ll see how this squall develops.

First taste is tangy, with buttery wood notes. Not hops, but a (guessing, now just free forming) spruce or nutmeg? Slightly into the complex tones. It’s a tongue swisher. Carrots!!! Hard to describe, elusive in the tongue. Cloying, dry tart lemony finish.

Medium bodied and sweet maltiness. Reminds me of almost an A & W rootbeer, but flatter. Not to say that it’s bad, just, flatter.

Not super high in the swig factor. Musty, sticking, tart aftertaste.

Last swigs: This N’or Easter blew in and blew out. Can’t say I grabbed a snow shovel to dig it, but it did plow into my curious tastebuds. Hmm. Worth a sneak peek, weather permitting. Overall, I got snowed, man!

Beer is good. Happy brrrr-ing!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2004 04:07:06 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of malty


2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear cola colored liquid with a beige 1/2" head.

Scents of cocoa, leather, burnt peanuts and fig newtons.

Flavors of leather (for real) very dry and roasted malt profile with apparent cocoa notes. A dry hoppiness is very apparent at the finish. A metallic mineralness and chalky dryness quell any others flavors I might be able to detect.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery and between light and medium bodied. Very dry finish.

Drinkability is OK. Nothing too obtrusive, but it's 'one and done' for me thanks.

Overall a safe and rather strange winter seasonal. The body, mouthfeel and flavor levels were all very limp. I hate to say that if I didn't know this was a fresh batch, I'd swear it had either turned or was starting to go bad. The overall dryness of this ale intrigued me. Glad I tried it, but probably won't try again.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2006 01:46:57 | More by malty
Photo of ZAP


2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm guessing this is about a year old but it tastes fine...pours a bronze like color...little head...nose is decent enoughsome fruity notes...also some spruce tips like sweetness...body is very like...a little fizzy seltzter water like mouthfeel....flavor is weak...almost like a lighter red ale...

Not a recommended Winter Ale....just not very big or ttasty and even if you look at it as a session style ale it falls short....

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2004 05:11:56 | More by ZAP
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Ruby copper hue with a nice off white rather thin cream head nice speckled lacing even spread lattice pattern. Aroma: Herbal hops with a dose of mild holiday spicings, mildly scented malt sweetness topped off with some spruce tones not bad. Taste: Tastebuds are welcomed with a herbal hopped striking sweet candy tone balanced by some spruce pine like tones and spices along with quite a little dose of hops for a winter ale. Mouthfeel: Not as full bodied, label describes it as rich and hearty maybe a bit rich in flavor but definitely not too hearty one of the lighter Christmas ales I've yet tasted, but not bad decent carbonation. Drinkability: Not a favorite just too many other incredible Christmas ales out ther to land in mediocrity with this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2003 19:58:36 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of francisweizen


3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 edition: A dark reddish/brown brew with a small skimming of a white head. Aromas are malty...and...well...that's about it. This is a very uncomplex malty brew with some slight hops in there for balancing purposes only. The taste is malty to an extreme, and boring as well. The mouthfeel is thin for a winter beer and the drinkability is not the best. I almost fell asleep drinking this one!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2004 00:32:02 | More by francisweizen
Photo of marc77


3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light brown / bronze hue w/ a head that quickly recedes into sparse islands of bubbles. Dark caramel and biscuit malt in aroma, along w/ an herbal and mildly spicy hop nose. Hints of dark fruit & roasted grain as well. Fairly tame aromawise. Mild hop bitterness upfront is ceded by lightly acidic, unripe berry - like tartness. Malt character is pedestrian, consiting of understated dark caramel malt sweetness and mild roasted grain bitterness. Subdued prune - like fruitiness. Lightly bodied and a bit thin in mouthfeel. Finishes w/ a lingering spicy hop note & biscuit malt combination akin to black pepper crackers. The finish is the most memorable aspect to this brew. An average winter ale. Thin in body, oddly tart and lacking in malt depth, yet innocuously drinkable. Tastes a lot like Coeur d'Alene Lakeside British Ale brewed with noble hops.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2002 10:17:47 | More by marc77
Photo of jakester


3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Fiorentino's Restaurant in Lancaster. It came in a pint glass.

Arrives a very dark mahogany/brown with a one finger head of tan foam. The head quickly falls to islands and a ring, with no real lacing.

Aroma is raosted barley out the wazoo, notes of coffee, licorice, and barely there herbal hops. The roasted barley dominates, by far.

Flavor is also roasted barley, almost like a dry stout, but thinner. There is a decent level of hop bitterness, and a detectable herbal hop flavor. It's very dry and roasty, and I have to admit I'm a little surprised. There are faint dry fruits present, but they are overwhelmed by the roasted barley. Aftertaste is roasted barley (duh) and very dry.

Mouthfeel is very dry and thin bodied, with a pretty good zing from carbonation. Finish is dry and slightly astringent.

This beer just surprises the hell out of me. As a winter ale, I'm disappointed. It's just a roasted barley beer. Not much complexity, or depth of character.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2006 13:26:12 | More by jakester
Photo of rajendra82


3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This 12 oz. bottle of micro brewed seasonal with a wintry label was new to me in Georgia. The beer poured out deep reddish brown with a translucent body, and finger thick non-persistent foamy head. Sweet smell reminded me of Hershey’s cocoa and Robotussin cough syrup at the same time. The taste was a mix of unusual flavors like coffee, mint, and licorice that didn’t quite work well together. The beer also felt a little too thin on the palette, which should be a cardinal sin for a Winter Warmer. I had high hopes for this one, since it boasts a solid pedigree. Unfortunately, these hopes were not well founded. This is dark enough to last a little bit in the cellar I think. May be a few months there will cause a melding of the tastes.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 05:04:18 | More by rajendra82
Photo of albern


3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure how this beer makes it as a Red Ale, but I'll just review it on its merits. The beer pours a very dark brown, with a tannish head that dissipates pretty quickly. The lacing is spotty at best. The smell is part chocolate, part tobacco, part coffee, part caramel, with maybe a hint of perfumed sweetness. This is a medium bodied beer with only minimal carbonation. The taste is quite bland and not at all exceptional. You will get a good dose of malty chocolates, followed by some caramel, some cardboard-like mustiness, some roasted malts and caramel and coffee. There is a subtle dryness to this beer and the finish and the aftertaste are both quite mild. This one is just okay, nothing more, nothing less.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 21:26:16 | More by albern
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks to DIM for the chance to try this brew. 151 reviews as of this posting. It's definitley winter in NH so let's see what this beer is about. Looks great, mahogany with a nice head. Smell is a roasty dark malt and cocoa note. Taste is where I fell off the bandwagon as this one seemed to me at least to be too burnt. burnt chocolate, espresso, dark malts. Mouthfeel is medium for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 19:04:08 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11/26/2006 $5.99 6 pack 7.00% Best before 4/7/07.


Pours an odd soda brown/orange with a thin film of tan head on top.


Roasted malt, chocolate/cocoa and a touch of coffee.


Thin mouthfeel over a chocolatey/roasted malt backbone, with some coffee notes in the background. Not very complex, but easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 22:24:21 | More by cbl2
Photo of

3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a light brown in color. Medium sized tan head.

Aroma was caramel and toast. Maybe some fruit floating around in there.

Taste of biscuits, caramel. Nicely balanced by hops with a citrus/pine character.

Body was lighter than I expected, medium at best. Carbonation was fairly mild. Overall, very refreshing.

As a winter offering, very light in body and the spices seemed considerably milder than other offerings. Easy to drink, just not very exciting.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2006 15:40:16 | More by
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer


3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served cool from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Boston Lager glass.

Pours with a modest, light tan head that dissipates quickly, and leaves just a tiny bit of lacing on the glass. Dark brown and crystal clear, looks just like Pepsi.

Aroma is very nice, chocolatey and malty, a bit estery.

Flavor leaves me wanting. Not tasting any chocolate, just some toastiness, coffee, esters, slight dark fruitiness, and cola again. Strong carbonic bite in the mouthfeel, otherwise a bit thin.

Drinkabilty is quite average. A bit too fizzy to down quickly. Aroma becomes dominated by esters as it gets warmer, so try to chug it down cold. Might work better as a dinner beverage than having to stand alone here as I review it.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2008 14:29:37 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's very dark with nice ruby hints when held to the light, the only minus is it's lack of head retention.

I pick up scents of roasted dark malts and coffee. It's probably this beer's best attribute.

There's a hint of that roasted quality when I taste it, but I would say it's kind of lacking otherwise. It's smooth but very light. I didn't hate it, but I'll opt for something else for the next round.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2007 02:20:43 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of joepais


3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Dim
Bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of white head that turn to lace. The body was a pitch black color on this brew.

Aromas' of roasted malts, espresso, and a little bit of chocolate fill my nose from this brew. Some sweetness come thru in the aromas as well

Flavors of bitter chocolate and coffee, some malt sweetness, hey it mimics the nose. My expectations were high for this brew but the brew really did need some spices in it. I was wishing for some seeing that it was a winter brew but alas there is none (hint, hint) a little light in the mouthfeel for a porter.

Drinkability was good I easily could drink a few of these. Still a little disappointed in the taste department, especially from such a great brewer's Winter Ale .I'd rate it as a average porter

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 02:09:24 | More by joepais
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Orange-copper body topped by a beige foamy, bubbly head. Nose is yeasty, herbal, and... something I can't quite put a name on. Taste is caramel and toffee, some mixed fruits, and a surprisingingly large hop twang in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a little fizzy. Drinkability is good. Overall, not a bad beer, but not much of a "winter warmer", and a bit of a disappointment coming from Stoudts. And I would not put down contract-brewer Frederick, since I preferred both their Snow Goose and Snowball's Chance this winter,

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2003 20:26:25 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of frazbri


3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stoudts Winter Ale looked very similar to a glass of coke when poured. The head was bigger and creamier than cola, and there wasn't the effervescent carbonation. I tasted bittersweet chocolate with some herbal notes and earthiness. Chocolate, cola and coffee were noticable in the aroma. The ale had medium-high carbonation level and was medium-light in body with a dry finish.

This is a one dimentional ale. The chocolate is a nice change from the cinnamon and spice winter warmers, but I wanted some counterpoint to the chocolate bitterness that was constant from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 00:43:06 | More by frazbri
Photo of slvrmon82


3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown not a lot of light coming through. 1 finger that sticks around for a while, Chocolate and lots of roasted malts. Taste was nice and smoky with a little chocolate essence. However a little bitter at the end for a porter. Mouthfeel was nice and not as thick as I expected. It was a great winter beer but couldn't really have a lot of them.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2008 05:11:42 | More by slvrmon82
Photo of 99bottles


3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A ultra-clear body of amber with moderate to high carbonation. A forceful pours gives rise to a 1.5" head of creamy head which settles like pancake batter quite slowly to a patchy lace of dingy cream color.

Smell: The nose is of sweet malt, and some piney west coast hops. I can't detect any of the winter spices, so commonly found in this style of beer.

Taste: The inital sip is not quite what I expected. From all indications, this was to be a Winter Ale like SN's Celebration. Malty, hoppy, filtered. This has other flavors that beg to come out, and less bitterness, hops and body than Celebration Ale. There are some spices, I believe I tasted nutmeg. There is a nice nut character, reminds me of walnuts that comes from the malts. Otherwise, a carmel base and some dry wood. All this with a slight sweetness like light corn syrup. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than it looks, this actually isn't anywhere near the viscosity of most winter warmers even though it's got a 7% ABV. It's medium bodied to light and well carbonated.

Drinkability: I wouldn't say I'm off the deep end about this one, but it isn't half bad either. It's not quite as heavily spiced and high in alcohol as some other winter beers, but that's not a bad thing. I think it does well and uses its ingredients in a more subtle way, coaxing out flavors bit by bit instead of storming them across the palette. A very average winter beer. Try one of their bottle conditioned ones (Triple, DIPA, and Imperial Oatmeal Stout) for the cold days instead.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2004 20:30:36 | More by 99bottles
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Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) from Stoudts Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.