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Alaskan Winter Ale - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Winter AleAlaskan Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

740 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 740
Reviews: 344
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 30
Gots: 48 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 740 | Reviews: 344 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Donkster46
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jaysauras
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

L: Pours a light orange, amber color with a rather thin soapy head to it. Looks almost like a glass of green tea at first glance. Small champagne like bubbles pool on the bottom and gently float to the top which was a nice thing to gaze upon. Little to no lace upon drinking.

S: faint floral smell with a touch of honey sweetness. There is a fruity citrus to it as well which certainly comes from the noble hops.

T: The taste is fairly remarkable, especially since I was expecting a more complex old ale style. Be that as it may I won't take away from it as if I were comparing it to a standard old ale. Where the smell and the look was a bit on the flat side, the taste is very pleasant. There's a nice crisp caramelly sweetness that hits you up front, followed by a combo of honey, citrus jams , buttered biscuit, and of course, spruce. I thought at first that the spruce tips were just going to be a bit of a gimmick, but you can taste them in the middle portion of the sip and they brought a very unique flavor to the brew. I love the finish on it which is where you really taste the old ale style. There is a slight warming of alcohol followed by a bit of berry and malts.

F: It's crisp and refreshing. Very light on and bubbly on the tongue and definitely a beer you could have two or three of without growing tired of.

O: It isn't the most appealing of brews at first glance by scent or sight. However, the flavor is unique and it is a very drinkable beer overall. I was kind of thrown for a loop with it being classified as an old ale (think Hibernation ale by Great Divide), which are generally darker, fruitier, and more complex. This drinks like a Kolsch or Summer ale almost with a slight hint of more wintery oriented brews. Great taste, but lacking in the overall niceties you want from an all-around strong old ale. The characteristics are there, but not enough in my opinion. For my first Alaskan beer though, I am fairly satisfied and could easily drink a few of them in one sitting. Will have to check out more of their selection.

Photo of Kuaff
4.51/5  rDev +22.6%

Approximately cellar temperature, assuredly in my snifter.

Well the head is sorta nothin' and disappears to nearly nothin'. The color is pretty, however. A radiant, rich golden amber.

Smells pleasantly of honey, marmalade, white bread, cloves, and ginger. Also a tinge of cinnamon and some sweet, fruity citrus.

The flavor again hits with the honey and marmalade, transitioning oh so nicely into this blend of kinda tangy orange, sweet and yeasty bread, and lightly bitter hops. The finish gets a little astringent and resiny and is where I feel the spruce tips might be making their mark. Well-put-together!

Its feel is hangin' out in the medium to full zone, which works well here.

Very nice. While I wasn't sure at first, I also pick up on tartness that really reminds me of wild Alaskan blueberries (which I'm very familiar with) in both aroma and taste. I don't don't know where it's coming from, but I like it. Overall, this is an ale that doesn't overpower in any area, but is balanced and integrated as well as unique. Subtlety is key, using only the tips, and not the whole tree!

Photo of maniaczak
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of midlifec
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Mister_Faucher
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of PacNWDad
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours golden red and clear, with only a bit of head that dissipates very quickly. Little if any lace on the sides of the glass. Aromas of roasted malt, banana, baked apple, bread, a wee bit of piney hops. This is a very sweet beer (as a winter ale should be), with some tanginess from the spruce. Lightly carbonated. The spruce gives it a bit of a drier character than you would expect with a winter ale. Not a very long finish. Overall an enjoyable beer, although I am not particular fond of spruce tips as flavoring.

Photo of Jared326
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%

Photo of zachgroves
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured a clear amber body with no real head. It looks alright, though not the best for the style. Scents of fruity esters, apple, sweet malt with aromas of brown sugar, sweet spices, especially cinnamon and light bubblegum. Overall impression of aroma is of a sweet Old Ale that is quite appealing in its overall profile and true to the style. The spruce tips do not show up in the aroma which is disappointing. Flavor begins malty sweet with notes of brown sugar, apple and brown bread, with a light spiciness of cinnamon and a very light resinous bitterness, likely the spruce tips. This moves into a middle with more abundant cinnamon, as well as a light a alcohol presence. Finish is lightly sweet with notes of apple, sweet malt and brown sugar mingling with cinnamon and sweet spices and balanced by a light presence of alcohol and a slight bitterness. Aftertaste is lightly bitter with notes of cinnamon, alcohol, what I assume is spruce and grainy malt. Overall impression of flavor is of a nice Old Ale, spicy and sweet, but not cloying and with a nice bitterness in the background. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with medium-light carbonation. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a very smooth, easy to drink beer. Overall this is a rather nice Old Ale. It is sweet and spicy as the style demands, and despite it's 6.4% ABV it shows its alcohol well, which is pleasant for a winter's night. It is smooth and easy going down and quite pleasant.

Photo of Filabee
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of TheBeerTruck
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of TrueMetalJake
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of mrebeka
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of JasonEdelson
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of uturn
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of atone315
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of anvilx
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of mpenske
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Lifit
3.68/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Lukebell15
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of SourPat91
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Alpha309
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of TaylorBrake
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Alaskan Winter Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 740 ratings.