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Winter Ale - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

43 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 18.77%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Redrover on 11-04-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scaliasux
1.73/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown. Appears clear. Tall, tan foamy head. Looks good.

Smell - Pretty faint. Some caramelly malt. Might be just a hint of floral hops.

Taste - Not real pleasant. Starts with a chocolately malt, but overpowered by bitter finish. Alcohol flavor is noticable.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, but still pretty crisp. A little bit of carbonated bite.

Drinkability - Can't say I care much for this beer. Not really what I expect in a bock and not, for that matter, very good tasting. The beer, however, is made by a nice little historic brewer in a nice little historic town. (Although the brewery's recently been bought out by Canadian uber-swillery Minhas.)

scaliasux, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of MNJR
1.8/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

MNJR, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of MrTana
2/5  rDev -38.5%

MrTana, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
2.38/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

biboergosum, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
2.42/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Still looking for my first quality Berghoff beer. Let's see if this one does it....

Nope.

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.

BEERchitect, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of WastingFreetime
2.48/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

WastingFreetime, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of CHL
2.5/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

CHL, May 21, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.58/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of bbeane
2.7/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

Cheers!!

bbeane, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
2.75/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

TMoney2591, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of orbitalr0x
2.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Red Bock Winter Ale picked this up as a single 12oz bottle. Pours into my glass a dark reddish brown with good clarity and a half inch of bubbly off white head on top of the brew. Aromas start with cereal grains that are lightly toasted along with some caramel and nutty tones. Light grassy hops. Nothing really going on here.

First sip brings a crisp toasted cereal grain malt that flows down with some caramel accents and light nutty flavors. A bit of a metallic taste as it moves along. This one finishes with some herbal hops on the way down and a light bitterness. Nothing really stands out here.

Mouthfeel is on the light side with a light creaminess and good carbonation. Goes down easy enough. A decent enough brew but comes across too light bodied for a bock. More like a bigger red ale. Either way it doesn't leave me wanting to come back for more.

orbitalr0x, May 09, 2007
Photo of JALIEN
3/5  rDev -7.7%

JALIEN, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, light brown body with a thin white head.

Smell: Weak aroma of dried cherries and caramel maltiness.

Taste: Light caramel malt flavor that isn't overly sweet. Plenty of fruitiness thoughout that makes me think "red" and "berries". Spicy hops hook up with that pervasive fruitiness to give a oddly twangy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Only during the winter, a time well-known for miracles, could a bock and an ale rest side by side in one bottle. 'Tis the season!

ChainGangGuy, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.1/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness info.

a: Pours a dark amber with white head and small patches of lacing.

s: A light aroma of caramel and cherries.

t: Mild caramel malt, slight cherry flavor towards the end with a touch of hops in the finish.

m: Thin, light body, medium carbonation.

d: Not too sweet or filling, pretty light overall. An average bock with some interesting cherry thrown in there. Nothing exciting, an ok winter seasonal.

BradLikesBrew, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear rusty amber hue. Rocky off-white head of two fingers holds very well and leaves stubborn streaks of lacing. Weak nose, hints at toasty malt and a faint apricot fruitiness. First sip is sweet with dark Munich malt and Crystal. Slight roasty tones come through is a semi-dry aftertaste that delivers a propely subtle, spicy german hop profile. The overall flavor is balanced and very much what you might expect from a bock- only more mild than you might prefer. The body is a bit too thin and the carbonation is too crisp. Nice residual caramel and buscuity malt finish with balancing noble flavor/bitterness. If not so restrained, this could be a great beer.

PBRstreetgang, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of Redrover
3.18/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Update 12/30/10 - Was it change in receipe or a reduction in quality control has really hit this beer hard! Almost all aspects of this beer have been degraded. To bad!

Origanl Revuew on 11-04-06 rated A-

The new Berghoff Red Bock Winter Ale in a 12 oz brown longneck with an attractive label (notice the subtle snowflake motif). I'm not sure how it can be both bock & an ale...

The beer pours a clear red with some brown highlights. The head is a creamy off-white. Decent clingy lacing.

The nose is decent. I get malts, some floral spice notes and a bit of caramel and coco.

The beer tastes of sweet malts (Caramel), some plums, and a hint of peat. There seems to be some subtle spicing, but perhaps that is from the hops. A bit of chocolate emerges late. The beer has a fair bit of complexity. The distinctive Berghoff yeast strain hovers in the background.

The beer is smooth with a decent firm mouth. This could be a decent session beer. While I will miss the old winter hazelnut beer, this is not bad at all. I would love to try this on tap.

Redrover, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.23/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a tan, foamy, two-finger head. it left a small amount of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and malt.

T - It tasted quite malty. There was also a vanilla flavor. Overall, it was fairly sweet.

M - It was soft and relatively smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay bock. It doesn't overwhelm you with flavors but is a nice session brew.

zeff80, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of Kunstman
3.25/5  rDev 0%

Kunstman, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of OldhouseRecs
3.25/5  rDev 0%

OldhouseRecs, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of JoyHelfrich
3.25/5  rDev 0%

JoyHelfrich, May 15, 2013
Photo of Bighuge
3.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear mahogany. Thin beige head. Sporadic lace. Nice color. Sweet, syrupy smell. A litte corny. And a little malty. Wish it were MORE malty. Kind of a bready malt base on the palate. Not cloying, which I was somewhat expecting from the aroma. Some molasses and maple syrup. Pretty even keeled flavor profile. Lightly carbonated and medium bodied. Decent enough bock. But that's about it.

Bighuge, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.3/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of ZAP
3.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Burgundy...impressive look to it...regal..

S-Sweet....caramel and dark fruits...a little bit of leather as well...

T-Definitely sweet but not overdone....dark fruits(including berries) lead the way...also the caramel is present...hops lend a mildly spicy leathery note....

M-Thinner than expected....relatively clean feel to it...

D-This is where it gets tricky...based on the comments I made above this should rate higher in this category but overall this has a run-of-the-mill feel to it....it's OK but everything doesn't add up to make this a special beer...decent..a little above average...still I won't buy it again...

ZAP, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of terrabyte
3.48/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, ruby-brown color with a medium sized, cream-colored head.

Aroma is a nice change. Quite heavy with berries. Dark, dried cherries.

Flavor is fun, too. Sweet with berries, maybe black cherries.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated. Not much else I can say.

Drinkability is ok. Less than I expected when I first started drinking it. The sweetness really caught to me. This would be a great beer to pair with meals. Lingonberry or crepes for breakfast, glazed pork for dinner, and any desserts that are based with berries. Would be fun to cook with too, in a similar vein. Definitely a great beer to order once in a while to break things up, but I really don't think I'd order more than 2 in a row.

terrabyte, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of Contagion
3.48/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Contagion, Dec 11, 2008
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Winter Ale from Minhas Craft Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.