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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

477 Reviews
THE BROS
75
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 477
Hads: 1,104
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 21
Gots: 127 | 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: dedrinker on 11-03-2006

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 477 | Hads: 1,104
Photo of adamjhepler
1.84/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Pretty average at best, just not the biggest fan. Respectable but not enjoyable. After slowly drinking it i taste the overused winter taste notes that bore me. (159 characters)

Photo of psoriasaurus
2/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Drain pour. Body and color of a soda, with sickeningly sweet nose and flavor. Honestly, I could barely stomach a couple of ounces. A pretty big disappointment from the normally solid brewery. (191 characters)

Photo of AleEvangelist
2.12/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a rich copper. Almost no head retention.

Aroma: Aroma is sour malt/sour apple. No hops to speak of. Some alcohol fumes when inhaled deeply.

Flavor: Malt, but nothing distinctive. Slight sourness throughout, but pronounced on the finish. No hops in the least, sadly. Almost as though they were attempting to avoid hops, which is lamentable. The malt its too sour, almost like they're using a lambic yeast, or trying to make a saison.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation on the palate, but doesn't cut the sweetness enough. Not cloying, due to the sourness. Still some syrup mouthfeel.

Overall: Not overly pleased with this beer. Hard to actually determine what they're trying to do with it. Is it a saison? Does it want to be a scotch ale when it grows up? Unfortunately, it does none of these styles well. (819 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
2.14/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Deep brown-red, with a muted off-white head.

Somewhat malty and bready on the nose - one would like to find spices in a winter ale, but they're not significant if there at all.

The first thing I get on the tongue is a bit of alcoholic astringency. At first, I thought it was just the beer combining with something I'd eaten. But after this third beer on a third different occassion, I'm convinced it's the beer. And it overwhelms any underlying flavors that might be redeeming.

Good carbonation, carrying with it the burn of alcohol through to the back of the throat.

Unfortunately, this first beer I've had from Brooklyn will be put into service as one to cook with through the remainder of the winter. (711 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

Brooklyn Winter Ale
2012/2013 recipe indicates this is a scotch ale

Looks very pale for the style but with good clarity. Laces the glass well and looks pretty decent, but rather pale. Smells like buttery toffee. In the taste, buttery and toffee like. Some grassy hops. Mild scotch style malts, but overall more akin to a uninspired English pale ale than anything. Light to medium bodied. Overactive yeast strain coats the mouth. Overall, a less than average beer with way too much diacetyl and butter to be palatable. Heavily rated scotch ale (over 600 reviews), the recipe must have been better in the past. This is a below average offering in every way. Avoid. (664 characters)

Photo of devinoconnor
2.36/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Living in the NYC metro for the past 5 years, I've always wanted to like Brooklyn Brewery's beers, but the reality is it's pretty tough. The lager is OK, but I was excited to try their Winter Ale.

Unfortunately, it comes up real short. The taste is stale and boring. Almost like a water-down version of a good winter beer.

Avoid. (332 characters)

Photo of champ103
2.41/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear dark copper color. A large white head rises to over two fingers, and recedes to a ring in a second. Some light sticky lace is left behind.
S: Very light toasted caramel malt. Grain and yeast.
T: Cereal and grain is the dominate flavor here. Light caramel sweetness and yeast. This does not do much for me. Really bland.
M/D: A lighter body than I would like. Medium carbonation that is thin and watery. Not hard to drink, I just don't really want to come back for more.

This is really bland. I was looking forward to this because I love Scottish Ales. This is not a good example of the style. No peat, smoke, or any real toasted flavor. Besides Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, I have had nothing that I really enjoy from them. Not something I would recommend. (771 characters)

Photo of phisig137
2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- pours a clear copper light brown color, with a one finger head. Poor retention, no lace, and continuous bubble from the bottom make this look like a watered down cola.

S- Toasted malts, layers of sweetness, and a bit of movie theater butter.

F- Quite disappointing. Smack of thin sweetness up front, followed by a faint rather fake tasting spice, that I can only guess was supposed to be nutmeg. Riddled with Diacetyl.

M- thin, overcarbonated

D- decent at best

Overall, I'd have to say that this is Brooklyn's worst beer by FAR. Normally I enjoy the brews from the genius that is Garret Oliver. That being said, I just can't get behind this one. Perhaps this is just another beer that is used to "pay the bills" and not wow us beer geeks. Either way, I'll just skip this one next time, and stick with black chocolate stout, as well as wait for Monster to show up.... (876 characters)

Photo of JizackFH
2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - This beer pours a clear dark ruby brown color. It has a 2 1/2- finger cream colored head, that left some decent lacing on the glass.

S - smells of sweet toasted malts up front. There are also notes of caramel and syrup.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. It is of toasted malts up front, and there is also some caramel sweetness and a touch of fruitiness. I am also getting a bit of a sourness. The flavors all seemed a bit muted as to what I was expecting.

M - Light body and medium to high carbonation. It goes down fairly easy, but is a bit watery.

D - The drinkability isn't so good here. The flavors were pretty muted and it was a bit watery. I just wasn't at all what I was expecting from a winter beer. (726 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): Pours a clear amber with a nice 2 to 3 finger head, not a lot of retention and lacing. Malt heavy smell. A little bit of graininess coming through. Tastes malty as the smell gives on, very light up front. A bit of earthiness comes through. Maybe a touch of hops. Light to medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. This one didn't put it together for me. (401 characters)

Photo of Lupe
2.51/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear deep amber with a fluffy off-white head that settles to a thin cap and leaves minimal lacing.

Light biscuit and toffee aroma with a hint of smoke. Stale hops are also present. Overall pretty mild and clean.

Starts off with a nice initial dose of toffee, but then it starts to taste off. It gets sour and has a metallic twang. Watery and has lots of buttery diacetyl. Has a hint of smokiness that gets lost in the middle. Pretty bland and just tastes off.

Way thinner than expected and slick. Somewhere between light and medium in body. I lost interest halfway through, so that says something about the drinkability.

By far the worst offering from Brooklyn I have had. Seems like a there is a disparity in the reviews - perhaps there are some bad batches floating around. Wouldn't try again - there are better Scottish Ales out there, and way better offerings from Brooklyn. (890 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
2.54/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured my overly chilled beer into a pint glass to little head. It is copper in color. It smells burnt. That's about how it tastes, too. I just get burnt malt taste, even after it warmed up. I really don't care for this beer. It is my first one in this style so I'm guessing that's the reason for my not liking it. I hate to give a beer a bad review but I'm just not digging this beer.

Cheers! (396 characters)

Photo of orangedive
2.58/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice appearance. Maroonish brown color. 50% opaque.

S - Not bad. Malty with hints of caramel and toffee.

T - Taste is okay. Not at all spectacular or complex. Tastes a bit like an extract home brew English Ale. Not impressed.

M - Not bad. Soft but not overly pleasant.

D - It's drinkable and goes down easy, but there's not much more to say than that.

Overall, I was disappointed in this beer. I expect a lot from Brooklyn given their history of great beers, but this one failed to meet my expectations. Maybe it needs a year or two to age.

It does have that "Brooklyn" taste that all of their beers have--something to do with their water perhaps, but still this one is struggling.

PS - As I've drunk this beer and it's warmed, it's gotten better (smell & taste wise), but that still doesn't change my opinion posted above. (836 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
2.58/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark ruby amber with a full finger orange-tan head that fades slowly. Clear with an effervescence that is keeping the head alive. Not a lot of lacing. A smoked citrus zest smell. Quite a bit of tingly carbonation and a taste reminds me of an English Bitter only slightly smoked. It tastes similar to the 2005 variety only toned down an order of magnitude. I can't finish it. (382 characters)

Photo of DeadGuyRyan
2.59/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep yet transparent browns with great hints of red.

Smell: Smells of malt and syrup definitely a scotch ale slight hints of spice. Hoppy and perfume as well.

Taste: Over all similar to the smell caramel hints in the beer I was not really impressed with the taste it came off as unbalanced and did not really leave a lasting impression or aftertaste.

My first brooklyn ale in a way kind of what I expected but I want to see what else they have to offer. (486 characters)

Photo of ilthik
2.6/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I was excited to try a Scottish ale from Brooklyn Brewery, but this left me disappointed. This is a light, bland ale without the bite I expect from this style of beer. (167 characters)

Photo of emerge077
2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Unintelligible batch code printed on the base of the bottle: "4121878113133".

Coppery red color, softly textured offwhite foam on top, leaving a delicate hanging ring of lace around the edges. A feeble skim floats on the surface. It appears murky, but has a good level of clarity in the light.

Smells a little faded, fruity ale yeast, mild sweet shortbread.

Some astringency and syrupy maple sweetness, lingering aftertaste of toasted bread and dried fruit. It has the odd twang of oxidation somehow. Medium bodied and pretty sweet at first. The astringency and odd fruity tanginess are somewhat off putting, wouldn't try this again. (638 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep amber hue with a nice bright white head. Smells of dark fruits and malts with a slight hop presence.

Flavors are mild, some dark fruit. Super clean, medium to light in body and very crisp. Slightly toasted tastes come through eventually adding to the fruit character a bit. For having no added spices it has a nice spice like character to it.

Easy drinking with mild flavors but not the best scotch ale I've had. Nor is it a beer that necessarily reminds me of winter. When it comes to winter scotch ales ill take the hibernator by long trail any day. Not saying this is a bad beer, but for a seasonal release not something im gonna search out. (651 characters)

Photo of mcgwire756
2.66/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bowlmor in NYC.

This beer poured a dark reddish color with a little bit of head. Smelled like typical ales and not very strong. Not impressed at all. The taste was thin and not very flavorful like other winter offerings. I could drink this beer easily, but for a seasonal release I expected more. I would pass on this beer. (335 characters)

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
2.72/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a single at WFM. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice looking ale. Deep crimson with a brownish amber tint. Very little head.

S: Caramel, earth, malt with hints of garbage. What the heck?

T: Watery, thin, over-carbonated. Some malts and caramel attempting to show their beauty, but failing.

Drinkability: Not so good. I can't see drinking more than just one to try it.

Value: Way overpriced for a product that will be sure to annoy the budget conscious beer drinker. (472 characters)

Photo of wcintula
2.72/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tumbler pint. Toffee colored beer with a quick receding head. Smells and tastes very malty with a strong toffee-like flavor. No hops noted in smell or taste. Pretty thick body, velvety feel on the tongue, booze well-hidden. I won't go back for more of these. (272 characters)

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle to pint glass.

A: A creamy textured, sandy colored head 3 1/2 fingers high is produced on a pour staright down the middle of the glass. Very long lasting. The body has remarkable clarity showcasing its dark amber-tawny color. Thick web-like lacing is left from the head, with only a spare amount being contributed from the body of the beer.

S: The malt bill is the highlight of the aroma and it is fairly dynamic. A combination of toasted toffee, molasses and cookie is supported by the light chocolate underneath. Notes of worn leather solidify the yeast presence. The hops play the background as expected, providing hints of herbs and resin.

T: Dark fruits of prunes, dates and red raisins come forward on the palate with more discreet suggestions of toffee and buttered rum. Brooklyn's Winter Ale is heavily sweet, presumably from high a level of unfermentable sugars, which makes the lack of bitterness seem grossly out of scale.

M: Instead of a rich mouthfeel, the body suffers from being too thin plus a texture that is slick and oily. A more aggressive level of carbonation would have been helpful, as would have a more bitterness.

D: Twelve ounces is enough for me. (1,186 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Short one finger fuzzy tan head sits atop a extremely dark brown carmel colored body. Nose indicates a syrupy sweet malt base with a almost German style wheat smell. The taste screams scotch ale as you take first sip, dark fruit, raw wheat, and a vegetable like tone that I cant quite place. Overall the palate lacks the richness and balance that I like in some scotch styles. Dont get me wrong it is drinkable and not bad. Sharp sour twang to the mouthfeel. Different for a winter ale. (486 characters)

Photo of slickmick22
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Malty character with hints of wine.

Clear, copper color, small head disappeared quickly. some lacing.

Malty with some mild alcohol. Kinda bland.
Mouth feel:

Medium body, and carbonation with a mild alcohol tingle on the tongue

Not over impressed with the offering. Drinkable but would not buy again.

Serving type: bottle (366 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear copper amber hue. A tan one finger frothy head slowly settles to a thin cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

The aroma is light, mostly a sweet caramel smell.

Along with the aroma, the flavor is very light. Not as many of the sweet characteristics are there as in the aroma. For a scottish ale, it seems like the burnt sugar flavors are missing, leaving mostly just the biscuity malts. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is the lingering malts.

This beer is okay, but I wouldn't consider it a outstanding example of a Scottish Ale. It's drinkable, but if you're looking for a Scottish Ale you should pass on this one. Not Recommended. (689 characters)

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Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 477 ratings.