Winter Ale - Minhas Craft Brewery
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
2.38/5 rDev -26.8%
355ml bottle, 6% ABV, at Pizza Brew in Calgary.
This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and eventually loosely bubbly ecru head, which leaves some minor sea plume lace around the glass as it quickly abates. Pretty darned pale for a winter ale, I have to say.
It smells weakly of musty, somewhat bready caramel malt, sour, yeasty, and muddled dark fruit, and a wet mineral flintiness. The taste is more of same, but thankfully (?) amped up - grainy caramel malt, stale white bread, a kind of acrid apple and cherry pit 'fruitiness', a weirdly isolated and muted roastiness, and dead floral, musty hops.
The carbonation is moderate in intensity and yet quite frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and rather tacky in its wan attempt at smoothness. It finishes just off-dry, the toast finally connecting with the still understated bready caramel malt, the so-called fruitiness having slunk off somewhere.
It's like the brewer read about all these fancy winter ales that proliferate this time of year, and took a bland amber ale and gave it a slight uptick in underwhelming fruitiness, nothing more. Sigh - this hardly inspires thoughts of warming hearths, knit sweaters, hot tubs, or especially, hope.
02-25-2014 23:49:31 | More by biboergosum
2.48/5 rDev -23.7%
Reviewed from Minhas session notes.
Poured out a dark amber color with deep brown highlights and a one finger fizzy soda styled head that falls apart into a scummy layer in about a minute without any lacing left behind. Smells like a mild melange of lightly toasted malts and a strange sort of wispy 'sweet-tart' aroma garnish that belongs on the nose of a watered-down Flanders, not a Bock! Flavor is likewise comprised of lightly toasted malt and the strange sourness in the aroma is revealed as coming from a sort of overripe mushy plum flavor component, no detectable hopping in aroma or flavor. Texture is kind of thin and somewhat overcarbonated for a bock as well. It almost gets a stinging sensation on the tongue from how soda-like it is...but at least the finish isn't as sweet as most of the other Minhas products I've sampled.
02-16-2012 20:02:23 | More by WastingFreetime
2.7/5 rDev -16.9%
A- Poured into an oversized snifter... starts with a weak off white head that disappears almost as quickly as it appeared. Beer is black in color, with a hint of ruby when held up to the light
S- Hardly any nose... faint notes of some sweet, dark fruity smelling malts
T- Pretty weak. It seems like there is hardly any flavor. Very faint notes of malts and some dark fruits, and maybe some coffee
M- Medium body with light/medium carbonation
O- Not really bad, just very bland and boring. There wasn't a single intense flavor to it... just blah
02-04-2012 00:50:18 | More by bbeane
1.8/5 rDev -44.6%
Berghoff used to be a respected name in beer. But, sadly things seem to have gone wildly off track. This beer is the closest thing to really horrible that I've had since Lazy Mutt, which is another Minhas offering. This is one of the worst beers I've ever had. Smells sickly sweet, sour and pungent. Color is brown. Head is respectable, and about the best thing you can say about this beer. The taste is really awful: SOUR, very metallic, grapefruit rind, lemon candy, motor oil, with some malt begging to cut through the disastrous bitterness. Grainy, gritty mouthfeel with a watery finish. I have never sampled the urine of an animal, but I would bet there is at least one animal whose whizz tastes exactly like this beer. I have no idea what to do with this except pour it down the drain. I could use it to boil some beans, or bratwursts, but it might ruin the food. If I was anywhere near Monroe, WI right now I would take this to the main office and demand an explanation for why this is being brewed, and a refund of my $6 I paid for a six pack of this heinous swill.
02-03-2012 22:23:07 | More by MNJR
3.98/5 rDev +22.5%
Decidedly malty, floral hop
Creamy and wet
milky sorghum malt, well roasted aftertaste, warming spirits
Chilly spring afternoon with a scent of fresh green grass thawing mud on a swift breeze
Solyanka; smoked fish; cucumber salad on black bread; green pepper and pretzels; dill
Berghoff beers tend to have flavour profiles, that change as they sit on the tongue. This brew starts of with biting carbonation and hop, after which the malt runs away with your tongue, leaving a strongly roasted aftertaste. The transitions are not subtle and the individual malt components could be more distinct.
01-30-2012 02:50:27 | More by c1377
2.75/5 rDev -15.4%
Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.
The final piece of my six-part Berghoff puzzle. Desperado is now raging on the tube, and my girlfriend is wondering why I continue to shovel crappy beers into my gullet. I've had the same thought a few times tonight as well. Oh well, it's almost over. The capstone here pours a clear dark ruby topped by a half-finger of dirty white foam. Gotta say, this thing actually looked lovely. After my friend and I marveled at that statement, I took a whiff: caramel, toasted toffee, brown sugar, and dirt. Dammit, here we go again. At least it's not as bad as it could potentially be. The taste is also dominated by a toasted toffee character, along with some flowers, light butter, and some sort of off-fruit flavor, mostly akin to bad apples or old grapes. This could have been good...maybe. Too bad. The body is a slightly light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. If it wasn't also on the thinner side, I couldn't knock it too much, but oh well. Overall, looks can truly be deceiving, and this is proof positive. I'm glad this painful journey is over.
06-01-2011 05:06:07 | More by TMoney2591
2.5/5 rDev -23.1%
Labeled a simply "Winter Ale," and in line with their other new labels. Just as well because it's not very red. Just a dark amber.
The head goes down quickly, and the ringing is persistent. No problems there.
The smell is sweet with toasted malts and no hops noticeable. I had high hopes, but the taste is not good. I enjoy the sweetness, but the dominant taste seems to be metallic, and the malt flavors don't stand up as well as they ought to.
It's not a thin beer (to its credit), but the taste seriously damages drinkability to me.
05-20-2010 23:19:50 | More by CHL
2.58/5 rDev -20.6%
12 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner glass. No date or info but it's probably old due to the old label design.
Thanks to my girlfriend for this bottle in a trade.
A - A tall pour to the center of the pilsner glass brought this clear amber-brown beer's light caramel head to three fingers quickly. Good retention and lots of lacing on the way down!
S - The nose has a strong apple cider aroma right off the bat with persistent toasted malts trying to push through. No hop aroma here. Unfortunately I think this beer fell victim to old age.
T - A toasted malt flavor looms in the background of a thin taste profile that's unfortunately lead by a crisp apple cider flavor. Again, most likely, it has succumb to old age.
M - The feel is thin and watery with a light body and a dry finish. Leaves much to be desired.
D - Not bad but thin and cidery. The flavor and feel I can't see disintegrating that much with age so it's unfortunate it's thin. The cidery thing definitely seem to have crept up though. A drinkable beer as it is but if I was stuck with a six-er I'd try and pawn it off.
11-24-2009 04:37:16 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.3/5 rDev +1.5%
Red Bock isn't red, but it is darker orange than most beer of this style. Maybe that's because it's a Winter Ale. The pale beige cap is of poor quality and is one of the worst looking lids of the past few months. The foam is mealy, soft and unsticky, with nothing more than a few spots of suds making it to the glass.
The nose is essentially average. It has the usual toasted-earthy maltiness and absence of hops, with a bit of a darker vibe, as if a little chocolate malt was used. That would explain the color too. Since Minhas doesn't publish information on their beer (not even ABV), the ingredients list will remain a mystery.
Although Red Bock Winter Ale won't be showing up on any 'best of' lists, it's decent beer for several reasons. It's both sweeter and more bitter than expected (love the contrast), tastes fruitier than most bocks, and actually tastes 'red' in some indefinable way. Good choice of malts... whatever they are.
This MCB offering is midway between a pale bock and a dark bock. It has a more distinctive flavor than the former and stops short of the dark fruit and cocoa of the latter. Come to think of it, this is one beer that tastes exactly like its name.
The same carbonation that made a mess of head and lace are at it again when it comes to the mouthfeel. The bubbles are too prominent and too harsh early, then fade into the woodwork in the bottom half of the bottle. The above score is on the generous side.
Minhas Craft Brewery doesn't have a great track record as far as I'm concerned. Which is why I'm a little surprised that Red Bock Winter Ale is as good as it is. It's worth a look if you're a fan of the style, just don't expect to be blown away.
04-30-2009 12:46:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.7/5 rDev +13.8%
Clear,Chestnut amber with a fizzy ecru head. Smells of bubblegum and faintly of roasted coffee and toffee, definately malt forward. Tastes nutty and malty and fairly well balanced by roasted malt with a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied and more flavorful than most of this style. A good inexpensive quaffer.
04-03-2009 22:36:44 | More by biggred1
2.42/5 rDev -25.5%
Still looking for my first quality Berghoff beer. Let's see if this one does it....
Begins with a very Bock-like image wiht a color that lands between a solid brown and amber. In initial fizzy head falls into nothing right in front of me. No lacing- a dull looking beer.
Aromas favor the wet cereal grain scent, but backed up with a modest malty undertone. Caramels, toasted grains, and light yeastiness persists far behind. Not smelling good either.
Flavors actually have a half-grain/half-malt taste which is better tilted toward malts than the aroma suggests. But the flavors are still light and falter quickly. No hop taste, no esters, no phenols. If it were not for the graininess, the beer would have nothing.
Thin on the malt textures, allowing the graininess to take hold. Unresolved barley sugars sit on the mouth much in the same way that a cola does. Grainy late and increased going into the aftertaste.
Under malted and over sparged. The beer might have decent brewing quality but the quest for the bottom line hurts significantly. The beer should not carry the Bock name, it's no more that the Michelob version that is also a bastardization of the style.
03-28-2009 04:12:03 | More by BEERchitect
3.58/5 rDev +10.2%
Poured from a bottle.
I have to admit before I even begin this review that the name is making it very hard for me to take the beer seriously. Brewers take note; just because you throw four different styles on the label, it doesn't make your beer better. Is this an ale? A red ale? A bock? A winter warmer? I'm confused, a fusion I can get but a four way fusion? anyway on with the show:
Pours a moderate to dark copper with decent head and active carbonation. Clear with no apparent cloud, the head recedes quickly and is very soda like.
Aroma is of dark roasted grain and a touch of sweet. Turbinado sugar and cotton candy. Slight bitter aroma that doesn't come right out and proclaim it is hops, but hints.
Flavor is burnt sugar on top of roastey grain. There is a nuttiness from the grain roast that is nice.
Medium bodied even though the fizz is high, not overly watery, but not chewy either.
Not terribly bad, but I still can't figure out what it is. If this is really supposed to be a bock, then they missed the mark
01-25-2009 20:54:14 | More by wheatyweiss
3.95/5 rDev +21.5%
12oz bottle poured into nondescript pint glass.
A--Well, looks like a decent bock. Moderately creamy head (1 and a half fingers), light reddish chestnut color and clear.
S--Very faint, but a pleasant burnt character. Folgers coffee, but slight malty sweetness. Ghost of black licorice. A dark, dried fruit (dates?) Again, very faint and mild.
T--Ooh...nice! Pleasant flavors are bolder than smell gives away. Exquisitely balanced. Complex flavor spectrum of about 1/2 dozen things. Let me (the amateur) try to find/describe them. Mild burnt character there. Nutty. Mild iron-like metallic well-water. If anything comes close to prominent, it is the dark malt sweetness. But that is immediately complimented/neutralized by mild hop bitter. Something grassy but trending toward modestly floral...black tea? I don't know what the ABV is, but I'm not picking up any booze challenge here.
M--Enough to chew on, but unencumbering, crisp and clean. Good balance here. Good job overall, Berghoff!
D--Yes. Should I find out the ABV is on the high end for your typical bock, I'd come back and move this to at least 4.5.
01-23-2009 05:22:47 | More by larsee01
3.48/5 rDev +7.1%
The coloring is a beautiful dark amber color with crimson shading. There is no sign of cloudiness to it, light passes through with some difficulty. When you look through you can make out objects on the other side. A thin tan head forms when poured into a glass. The head fades quickly to nothing and there is no lacing on the glass.
The smell is an exquisite caramel and chocolate malt combination with a fruit undertone. The fruit smelled like strawberry or raspberry, but that might the combination of the malts mixing with the fruit to alter the scent. There is a mild sweetness to the smell that is pleasing. The taste is much like the scent, a sweet, but not overly sweet, combination of caramel malts and berries. The flavor is a little weak.
It's a smooth, light bodied beer that is very easy to drink.
This is not like most of the winter ales I've drank. The flavor isn't in your face. It's mild and soothing. Something that you can drink just about any time you want. This is one of those beers that I could see myself picking up a six pack of on a whim.
12-11-2008 02:26:32 | More by Contagion
3.68/5 rDev +13.2%
Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured dark amber with a medium foamy head. Smell and taste were dominated by caramel and sweetness. Smooth, perfect carbonation. A pretty good bock, a style I'm generally not in to.
05-11-2008 04:38:37 | More by ibashmuck
Winter Ale from Minhas Craft Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.