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Alaskan Winter Ale - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Winter AleAlaskan Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

648 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 648
Reviews: 332
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.86%
Wants: 22
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 648 | Reviews: 332 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TucsonTom:
Photo of TucsonTom
TucsonTom

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev +10.1%

A very interesting, unique and tasty offering.

A: A light amber, with no read head. Doesn't look like much.

S: Hardly any smell to it at first, but the smell seemed to increase as it warmed up: sweet and spruce.

T: The taste is where Winter really shines. Again, the taste is more muted when cold; gets more interesting as it warms up: sweet fruit, spruce, other spices. Very unique.

M: Average, with no carbination.

I can understand why other reviews question this beer's categorization as a Winter Warmer. It isn't something that I would sip by the fire to warm me up. But it IS a great winter session beer for watching sports. It's unique and growing taste makes it an 'A' beer in my book.

11-07-2011 17:21:40 | More by TucsonTom
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

Poures a burnt orange color with a slightly off white head that is gone pretty quickly leaving no lace behind as it settles,very muted aromas I picked up some toasted cracker malt but no hopping or spruce tip aromas wich I expected maybe a touch of caramel as well but very light.Flavors are not as muted but dont really stand out much either a dry malt base with some buttery notes wich become stronger as I drink more only a touch of the pine flavors hit in the finish.I realley prefer Siletz spruce ale compared to this,Its not horrible but somewhat run of the mill.

12-16-2005 03:09:55 | More by oberon
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

2.6/5  rDev -29.3%

Appearance – This one has a very light and clear orange body, which is not what I’d expect from a Winter Warmer. The head came up big but went down rather quickly.

Smell – The nose here has a light, malty sweetness that’s almost more like an Abbey Tripel. I don’t know where this one is coming from.

Taste – The malt flavors come out first and foremost at the taste. There’s a big, almost yeasty orange flavor in there. The floral hops provide a bit of a compliment, but mostly this one is sweet and malty.

Mouthfeel – Actually kind of smooth but way too thin for the style. I’d guess this one to be medium-bodied at best, and probably not that.

Drinkability – This went down OK, but it sure as hell wasn’t a Winter Warmer.

Comments – I hate to be the low-ball here, but I thought this was an inferior effort at the style. If you want to make a malty pale ale, just call it a malty pale ale.

12-20-2003 03:45:14 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Turbo
Turbo

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

10-06-2013 01:15:30 | More by Turbo
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Bright copper color sports a fine clarity; a perfect crowning from a two-fingered head drops a curtain of lace on the glass. Slight fruitiness in the nose of fresh peaches and pear. Maltiness ranges from cracker to cake batter with a subtle balance of hops and spruce, making for a lovely aroma. It's big on smoothness and has a nearly full body. Fruity, with a ghost-like bubblegum tone. There's a dry malt character for the most part with a hint of light caramel and toasted bread within. Light prickle of hop bitterness lets a quick flash of pungent spruce come through. Alcohol has just a touch of warmth accompanied by a peach orchard flavor. The spruce comes across with a hint of earthiness as well. Finishes dry with a thick, dry, cracker maltiness and a faint linger of spruce.

A different spin on the Winter Warmer, and it's refreshing to see that the spruce is not overdone. Very tasty and very drinkable, which makes this an excellent Sunday dinner beer.

09-20-2010 18:47:33 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

This beer poured a nice copper color but had no head to speak of really, just kind of flat. The smell was very sweet with spices and an overriding maltiness that was a bit overpowering. Flavor-wise, the beer was pretty thick and malty sweet with just a hint of the mentioned spruce tips and just a bit of hops at the very end to add a touch of bitterness. I guess I like my winter beers a bit more hoppy and not so sweet as this one. Recommended if you are a malthead.

10-22-2007 09:55:47 | More by Dmann
Photo of Kappakoosh
Kappakoosh

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

12-26-2013 02:31:18 | More by Kappakoosh
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.13/5  rDev -14.9%

12 oz bottle. Pours a golden copper with a creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet toasted malts and spices.

The flavor is sweet sugary malts with some piney spices and some vegetal notes. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, it's too sweet for me, with some off-notes. I'd prefer more spicing.

10-29-2008 02:58:45 | More by Beaver13
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
SmellsofMahagony

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

05-09-2013 02:41:06 | More by SmellsofMahagony
Photo of 77apm
77apm

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

05-19-2014 06:37:05 | More by 77apm
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +8.7%

Presentation: 12 oz short brown twist off bottle, a drink before date is on the label.

Appearance: Bright orangey amber (tawny) with a off white lacing that does just fine sticking to the glass.

Smell: Clean maltiness with a hint of citric hop and piney note as well.

Taste: Smooth and a touch chewy, moderate carbonation and full bodied. Solid maltiness, faint buttery diacetyl. Ample hop bitterness, citric twang is underneath the malt. Mild pine or spruce flavour throws a complexity middle to end. Malt sweetness is around for a long time, residuals show off a semi-sweet brew.

Notes: A solid yet serene winter seasonal, the spicing of the hops and spruce are balanced at most … this holds the beer character to a sturdy strong or old ale fashion.

11-11-2002 18:40:05 | More by Jason
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.48/5  rDev -5.4%

12 ouncer, w/o freshness/vintage/bottling date info. Pours typical amber, clear under a large, retentive and loose, initially fluffy dark tan head and leaving all kinds of thick lacing. Mild sweet maple infused nose. I'm not getting much spice or the advertized spruce here. Just a malty ale, lacking in much complexity or intrigue. I'm getting more maple, toastyness and thats about it. One and done for me of this one.

02-16-2009 23:49:42 | More by Billolick
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +23.6%

A huge thanks to beernut7 for this bottle...
Pours a clear bronze color w/ a full finger and a half or tan head w/ a gentle pour...lacing is tight and goes nowhere.
Aroma packed w/ vanilla, caramel, sweet malt and a definite spice to it...says its brewed w/ spruce tips...smells simply fantastic.
The taste is one juicy-fruit of a brew...served damn near room temperature and this one has such an incredible flavor. A nice addition of hops, but by no means bitter.
Mouthfeel is a bit thicker than average...drinkability is quite high, in fact...it doesn't really quench the thirst, it pulls you in to drink more and more. Alcohol is real well hidden to the very last sip.
By far, the best winter I have experienced and I would really enjoy this one during the winter months...trade anyone?

06-29-2005 00:51:57 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.8/5  rDev +3.3%

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is full of honey, dark fruit, toffee, caramel and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is similar. The spruce comes through in the flavor, adding a bit of a herbal, minty quality. I also get some honey and the associated sweetness, as well as some grape and cherry notes. The alcohol is not present in the flavor, which makes the beer quite easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice winter beer.

10-08-2012 03:11:14 | More by Mora2000
Photo of adgrant
adgrant

Wyoming

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

01-23-2012 19:45:10 | More by adgrant
Photo of ryancl
ryancl

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

08-03-2012 02:03:20 | More by ryancl
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

3.08/5  rDev -16.3%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear burnished gold (much lighter than expected) with little head and next to no lacing.

Smell: Very fruity, with caramel and cherry. Don't detect any hops or spruce tips, for that matter.

Taste: Aahh, very sweet! Cherry, caramel and dark fruits run amok. There is some very light English-style hops and pine (or make that spruce) on the finish.

Feel: Medium bodied with a strange spritzy carbonation. No dryness on the finish whatsoever.

Overall: I really don't understand why they made this so damn sweet. Should have finished drier or added noticeable hops or maybe actually made something noteworthy with those spruce tips. I am starting to feel that the 12 ounce offerings from Alaskan are just not worth my time or money anymore.

10-30-2011 21:55:03 | More by bsp77
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

2.88/5  rDev -21.7%

Nice deep gold pour and aroma of malts and trees. The flavor is good, but the spruce tips are kind of strange. Deep and malty, with some caramel, but then a blast of turpentine. I wish they would have just thrown in more hops instead, the spruce was not a good substitute.

12-04-2008 19:14:04 | More by magictrokini
Photo of NilocRellim
NilocRellim

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +8.7%

11-10-2012 19:36:35 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of rhinonau
rhinonau

Wyoming

5/5  rDev +35.9%

10-28-2013 15:25:54 | More by rhinonau
Photo of mkrass
mkrass

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

12-24-2012 05:32:12 | More by mkrass
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid four finger off white head with good retention. A good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Lots of bready caramel and toffee malts. Has some noticeable hints of a fruity, spicy raspberry like scent which is probably the spruce tips. Pretty sweet smelling overall.

Taste: Sweet like the smell leads. Lots of sweet and bready caramel and toffee malts. The spruce tips are pretty noticeable with some piney spice and hints of berries. Finishes with some spicy hops. This brew is pretty sweet but well balanced by the spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Crisp and very smooth. Finishes a bit dry. Berries linger around in the mouth aftertaste.

Overall: A pretty solid winter warmer. The spruce tips add a interesting twist.

12-04-2011 06:46:38 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Thrasher
Thrasher

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +14.1%

An amber ale with small head and some lacing. Aroma of caramel malts, apple pie, and minty evergreen (from spruce tips). The malts are big, rich, satisfying and incredibly sweet without being too cloying. I am wary of spiced winter brews and unusual ingredients such as spruce tips but the evergreen quality actually works with the beer quite well. The hops create a surprisingly dry finish. The mouth puckers at the end of each sip, but the beer is not excessively bitter like many highly hopped beers. It's more like a tartness similar to apple juice or white grape juice. A very satisfying finish to a very satisfying beer.

12-08-2003 03:44:49 | More by Thrasher
Photo of monkeybeer
monkeybeer

California

4/5  rDev +8.7%

A- Golden red / brown Hue with a amber good head nice lacing

S- Dark malty smell with a woody under tone. Slight sweet Carmel smell

T/M- rich sweet malty taste with a slight hint of spice and spruce. Very slight hoppy (bitter aftertaste)

D- I love Alaskan amber and tried this fro the first time last year (took me till this year to review). It is very drinkable especially on a cool night. I looked forward to this coming out so I will have to get my fill before it disappears until next year. Good thing that this is just the start of the season for this beer

10-22-2007 02:35:55 | More by monkeybeer
Photo of Jester1011
Jester1011


4.52/5  rDev +22.8%

08-19-2014 02:36:13 | More by Jester1011
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Alaskan Winter Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 648 ratings.