Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery
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Ratings: 959 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by 160Shillings:
5/5 rDev +38.9%
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.
Serving type: bottle
03-03-2012 02:11:22 | More by 160Shillings
More User Reviews:
3.1/5 rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3
First striking thing is Brooklyn's insistence on printing date codes in dark ink on amber bottles with dark contents. Zero visibility under fluorescent lights in the store, and that's with plentiful lighting at a supermarket, let alone in the darkness of some beer cave. I could barely discern the digits when I got home, but ended up not bothering with it out of frustration. Suffice it to say, it was about to be a total shelf turn on a Waldbaum's shelf--the only one that was moderately drinkable.
Liquid is discernably brown, semi-translucent, with very little light head and no lacing. Hard to see the carbonation. Didn't taste a whole lot of it either.
Nose is clean. Too clean. A whiff of straw is about all I noticed--a feint fungal, yeasty smell that's more at home with barleywines and porters.
The taste was very much the same. Nothing striking. A bit of sweetness, slight metallic aftertaste. Tasted more like a mix of a thin porter with Oktoberfest than a winter ale. Barely any hint of spicing or hops. Just not a good beer.
Medium to heavy body, but not really strong alcohol. If they aimed this to be mediocre at everything, they certainly succeeded.
I initially thought this was just an old bottle, poorly stored. But, judging from other reviews, the reaction doesn't appear to be atypical. Still the best choice of the lot at a Queens Waldbaum's but I'd have to be really desperate to buy it again.
Although Brooklyn has had some hits, most of their product is mired in mediocrity. Frankly, I've never been able to understand the following. I could have picked up some rare bottles at what approached $30 for a 750cc, but, with their history in mind, it just didn't sound like a good idea. A few more beers like this one, and I'll be done with them for good.
Serving type: bottle
05-28-2014 04:00:19 | More by VictorWisc
Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 959 ratings.