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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

1,078 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 480
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 20
Gots: 89 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-02-2006

Brooklyn completely changed the recipe in 2006. It’s now a Scottish-style ale. Brewmaster Garrett Oliver explained to us that: “There are no spices at all. Good British floor malts and hops along with our yeast strain account for all the flavors. It has a Scottish-style cooler fermentation, which pushes malt to the forefront rather than fruitiness.” It was brewed with Scottish Floor-malted Maris Otter, English crystal malts, Belgian Aromatic malt, American roasted malts, American oats and hopped with Willamette.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 480 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by 160Shillings:
Photo of 160Shillings
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: The aroma is full of strong malt; caramel, roasted and rich floor malt, also includes faint esters and surprisingly very faint alcohol as well.
Appearance: Pours with a tan head that collapses into a fine bubbled ring. The color is very dark copper.
Flavor: The flavor begins with sweet malt, caramel and roasted notes. The body is surprisingly full for a beer that the label says has only 6.1% abv, it almost seems sticky sweet. However that is a deception since the palate soon becomes dry and shows full attenuation. The bitterness is appropriated, but does not linger. The finish is unexpectedly dry, short and abrupt. It’s not the finish one would expect from an ale that begins so very rich and sweet. It leaves you easily ready for the next swallow and even the next beer. The esters suggest dark fruits, for those that think they are wine connoisseurs, for beer zealots it tastes like a great Scottish ale.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-low carbonation, without lingering.
Overall Impression: This Scottish ale is everything it should be and nothing it shouldn’t be, a true benchmark for Scottish ale.
Comments: Thank you Garrett Oliver! Brooklyn’s Winter Ale is a wonderful example of Scottish ale. The web says this beer is 6.0% abv, however my bottle says 6.1% abv. The nominal strength is half a percent lower than guidelines for a Wee Heavy, but 1% abv more than an 80/- Scottish Export. All things said, Winter Ale taste like a Wee Heavy. Most importantly it avoids the two most common failings of American craft-brewed beer. First, it’s not too hoppy. Most American craft-brewers, especially those on the west coast, use far too many hops, even in beer styles in which it would be inappropriate. Second, Oliver doesn’t use whisky malt in this beer. Almost every other example of American craft-brewery’s Scottish ale uses this peat smoked whisky malt. This is simply inappropriate for a true Scottish ale. It is Scottish ale, not Scotch whisky. I can’t think of a better example of an American craft-brewed Scottish ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Buffalo Brewpub,poured a rich amber with a thin but well retained tan colred head,picked up some cherry and deep brown sugar notes in the nose with hints of cinnamon and clove.Quite drinkable for the abv% I have to say lighter dark fruit and brown sugar notes up front with that pear note that a few others have noted not overly sweet just about spot on.A highly quaffable winter ale has nice flavors and is easy going down,recommended.

Photo of Tiernan
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Herze
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of csmartin6
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown with a thin white head

S-some nuttiness and burnt toasty notes

T-nutty flavor at first that segued into a dark fruits and caramel with a clean sweet finish

M-thin body with medium carbonation

O-pretty good brew. Nice as a nightcap for a cold winter's night. One of the better efforts from the brewery.

Photo of generallee
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has a "Best Before" date of Apr. 2010 printed on it. The label has the abv listed at 6.1% and there is also a very brief description of the beer on the neck label.

Appearance: The body has good clarity and a deep reddish amber color. On top is a light off white which rises up about two fingers tall before slowly fading down to a thin cap. This thin covering hangs on well and leaves some slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: It has a fairly light nose with nice notes of bready, doughy and lightly toasted malt. Hop aroma also adds a light spicy note as well.

Taste/Palate: The flavor has a good sweet bready and ginger bread cookie like maltiness with light caramel notes. Hop flavor is modest and adds light leafy spicy bitterness to just give some balance to the finish. The palate has a solid medium feel with soft yet active carbonation.

Notes: This is a very solid example of the Scottish ale style and a great winter treat.

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Dark amber, healthy looking lace.

SMELL: Buttery toffee, over ripe fruit, toasted dark bread, faint alcohol, herbal

TASTE: Buttery, smooth, dry toasted bread, nutty, husky, faint roasted malt, herbal hop, fallen fruit, warming esters, semi-dry finish

The yeast has certainly made its mark on this brew, bit of a butter bomb ... the core maltiness is secondary. If by chance I have this one again perhaps it would go better paired with a hearty stew or a sharp cheese to contrast.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hop Devil in NYC, this recent Bklyn offering poured pretty typical darkish amber, tan head, with decent retentive powers showing. Lacing is stringy and splotchy. Malty, slightly smoked nose. Straight forward Scottish style ale, smooth malts, slight smoke, background fruit and sugars. Nice creation, easy drinking wintry brew, well worth a try.

Photo of bcwitt
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, amber, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and caramel

Taste: toasted malt, caramel, hops, and a little spice

Mouthfeel: smooth, sweet start bitter middle and a sweet end, crisp, light bodied, high carbonation

Drinkability: A highly drinkable malty beer. This one reminds me of their Octoberfest with different spices--at least in the maltiness. I could have several.

Photo of dcevans
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Mora2000
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The beer is very clear.

The aroma is toffee with some dark fruit and a little bit of peat character. The beer smells fairly sweet and very malty.

The flavor is very heavy on the toffee with some caramel and grassy notes mixed in. I don't get any smoke or peat character in the flavor. Very clean tasting. Easy to drink. Not too complex or exciting, but there is really nothing wrong with the beer.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of JC333
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured into Brooklyn Imperial Pint. Best by April 2012.

Appearance: Rich reddish-brown with nice light tan head and intermittent lacing.

Smell: At first there was almost no smell, either due to the colder temp or the head blocking it. Then it opened up to include caramel, toffee, bread, cherry, other dark fruit and spicy earthiness.

Taste: Barely sweet caramel, toffee and bready malts are the focus. Not as fruity as the aroma. Ends a little drier with spice and some earthy notes.

Feel: Fairly smooth body that is a little fuller than medium. Moderately low carbonation with a semi-dry finish.

Overall: Very well done Scottish Ale. This is the kind of beer that beer geeks tend to ignore. They shouldn't.

Photo of dankjohn
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%

Photo of Milkysunshine
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of jondeelee
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On the nose, this doesn't appear to be anything special; that is, I can't pick up a distinct or significant bouquet (such as spice, sugar, etc.) that would lead me in any certain direction--it just smells the way I expect a standard ale to.

Luckily, in the mouth this proves to be a much different brew, and is full of unexpected and delightful flavors. The bottle's label notes that this is brewed from "heirloom Maris Otter malts," and the result is a malty concoction with definite fruit flavors, caramels, and just a touch of earthiness--like the incarnate scent of peat moss. Contrary to what might be perceived, this is not a "spiced beer," as no spices were added to the mixture. There are subtle hints of spices, but those come from the brewing process itself. There's also just a hint of yeast in the mix, and the palate is finished off with a well-balanced smattering of hops.

Overall, this is a wonderful winter brew, and despite its lack of added spices, would go down well on a cold December night, especially if that entails snuggling in front of the fireplace with a loved one.

Photo of hotpauko
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of fionn13
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

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Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.