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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

933 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 933
Reviews: 461
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%


Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Todd on 12-02-2006)
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Ratings: 933 | Reviews: 461 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition, thanks to crushinator. Te aroma is consistent with the Scottish style, malty and peaty. It drinks very smooth, even creamy above average mouthfeel. There is lots of lace. It is very drinkable for the style, which is a swallow at a time.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 00:12:02 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange-caramel with more than a little carmine red; a truly wonderful color for a Scottish ale. The golden beige cap is pretty special as well. It looks like a large scoop of brown sugar mousse due to its frothy creaminess. No more than a smattering of melty lace can't begin to dampen my enthusiasm for the appearance.

The nose isn't so tremendous. It fits the style I suppose, but nothing about it makes it stand out from the Scottish crowd. It's toasted malty, lightly fruity and smells like it'll be on the sweet side rather than the bitter-dry side. A little smoked malt would have done wonders. Hold the phone. Warming opens things up considerably and makes a bump in score an easy call.

Winter Ale is delicous beer. I still think a little smokiness or even a hint of peatiness would have been great, but it's hard to argue with what has been created. As the style dictates, malt is large and in charge. The malt bill (listed above) sounds like roll-call at the U.N. Whatever their countries of origin, I like the end result of their cooperative efforts.

The flavor profile is reminiscent of well-toasted brown bread spread with apple butter and brown sugar, then drizzled with light molasses. Malt lovers should go gaga over this one. As expected, there's a sneaky sweetness that is just kept in check by spicy Willamette hops. I love the diminishing sweetness that gradually segues into a finishing bitterness.

The mouthfeel is yet another indicator of quality. Its mouthfilling creaminess allows the various flavors to find every nook and cranny on my expectant taste buds. It's probably unfair to expect more chewiness from a 6% ale, but that doesn't mean I can't dream.

Brooklyn Winter Ale is one of the best domestic Scottish ales in recent memory and is one of the best beers from this brewery that I can remember drinking. I wish now that I had grabbed a sixer rather than a single because I'd like nothing better than to crack open a second bottle right this instant.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2007 14:49:10 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour was very nice, rich dark copper colored amber with a good amount of cloudiness thrown into it. Rich looking color here with a creamy off white head that reached a height of very close to two inches before settling back down into a creamy filled side glass look.

The aroma was richly sweet, and it was obvious from the start that this was a malt filled monster for sure. Some light, earthy hops, but mostly a bready and earthy malt profile that was subtly sweet. The flavor carried this over very well, and was very one sided for a scotch ale. None of the big, rich notes that I am accustomed to, rather it was bready malts with hints of grains and light earth notes that stole the show here. Really decent profile as the medium body lacked a touch of carbonation but it was still not showing up really flat in anyway. An easy gulper I had no issue with throwing down this bottle with no time at all.

Overall it was not bad, rather ehh, but still better then a lot of the style. I would not really have a problem with trying this one again if it was sent to me. Definitely an interesting take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 03:27:40 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a tight pillow of a head that leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Buttery caramel

Taste: Starts out with a caramel flavor that develops as woody notes join in, mid-palate; after the swallow, the buttery diacetyl kicks in to join the caramel flavor as does a moderate balsa wood, earthy bitter character; slightly metallic on the finish

Mouthfeel: Just a tad thicker than medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An English take on a Scottish Ale, me thinks; not one I would return to in a hurry

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 20:18:46 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a medium brown color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of light roasted malt with some subtle semi-sweet caramel malt. Taste is also dominated by the mix between light roasted malt and caramel malt. Body is thinner then I would have expected and no hops presence could be detected. I thought this one was definitely lacking character and end up being quite boring.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 19:47:49 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always beleived that the Scottish Ales were the best Winer beers. They are full of character, sweeter, heavier, maltier, more emphasis on dark fruits, spicier, earthier, and a little 'dirty'. This beer fits to the tee. Smells very malty with a light raison / date aroma, with an earthy, pine-ey scent. Tastes also very malty sweet with complexities of fruitcake and pine to spice it up a little. Finishes with a mild 'campfire' smokiness and earthiness along with the established pine-hop flavors. A really nice beer for those cold days ahead.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 20:22:10 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber with a tannish head.

S: Some sweetness and some caramel/toffee.

T: Much like the smell, but adds in some of the spices.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

D: Fairly drinkable, but something about it just doesn't fit. Overall, a pretty decent beer, though.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 02:42:40 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured rather dark amber in color with a thin white head. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There is a moderate sweet aroma of toasted and caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the aroma and has lots of malty sweetness with notes of caramel flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and rather creamy and smooth.
D: This beer is one that can be quickly consumed. It's rather sessionable, particularly during the colder weather months.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 01:36:04 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich mahogany-hued body with a inch and a half of creamy, off-white head. Random lacing.

Smell: Aroma of toasty dark caramel sauce and brown sugar with a thin backdrop of fruit and a leafy, spicy hop character.

Taste: Pleasing maltiness with a taste of dark caramel, brown sugar, and breadcrusts. Slight apple and pear fruitiness. Hop character that's lightly floral and spicy with a mild, restrained bitterness. Very minor hint of wood. Slightly drying on the finish, though it does remain quite malty with a lingering brown sugar taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Everso slightly creamy on the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Certainly recommended. Yet another quality brew that's both tasty and easily drinkable from Brooklyn Brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 00:50:23 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2006 02:50:46 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

It's starting to feel a touch like Winter out there, so might as well embrace the season with the "appropriate" beer, eh? It pours a slightly hazy tawny-russet topped by a relatively short-lived finger of dusty tan-cream foam. The nose comprises caramel, mandarin orange syrup, light spruce, very light honey, and a particularly small twinge of Laffy Taffy-style strawberry hidden in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with a touch of graham cracker to round things out. I may or may not detect a pinch or two of nutmeg and brown sugar as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a very lightly chewy feel. Overall, a pretty nice beer, nothing exceptional, but a nice Winter quaff, if you're in the market for such a thing.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 03:42:54 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brooklyn's Winter Ale pours a clear, crimson-accented mahogany body beneath a creamy head of ivory foam. The head retention is good and it leaves behind a generous sprinkling of spots and splashes on the glass.

The aroma is malty with a deeply-caramelized and scorched sugar character. A minor fruitiness is present, but the woody, leafy, and somewhat grassy hops tend to over-ride it.

It's fairly full in body, perhaps medium-full, but clearly dextrinous; and creamy smooth across the palate except for the gentle caress of the fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, but with a more complex maltiness. It's not just caramelish, there's an almost grassy or hay-like character to it. Then comes the caramel character, and immediately following that, the soft fruitiness and scorched sugar character just as the earthy, mineralish, woody, and leafy hops rise. It's bitter, but moderately so, lending just enough to help the hop flavors subdue the sweetness of the malt and lead into a lingering, leafy, mineralish and drying finish with some residual notes of almost burnt brown sugar.

It's well-brewed and the alcohol never really steps onto the palate, although you can sense it's there. There's enough character to keep it interesting, and although it does build a little on the palate it's not sweet. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 22:14:17 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Winter = Scottish? Nae, I say! (Or maybe change the name?)

This beer pours a clear, dark copperish amber hue, with two fingers of fizzy, tightly foamy beige head, which leaves but a few random specks and arches of wasting lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of caramelized toffee, some crisp gingerbread, a wee bit of besotted fruit, and a mild air of noble earthy hops - rather inviting, to say the least. The taste is sweet, but in somewhat tempered manner, the dark bready malts, brown sugar, and overripe fruitiness barely offset by some roasted nuttiness, mildly herbal hops, and subtle booziness.

The bubbles are a bit tingly, but generally all right, the body a decent medium weight, and slightly afflicted by a flinty edge that muddies up any idea of straight ahead smoothness. It finishes a lot closer to the dry side - earthy, leafy hops stepping up to support the persistent alcohol warming, amongst a more or less steady crystal maltiness.

A tasty enough brew, lots of satisfyingly hearty sweet bits, and none too complicated for warding off the lingering eponymous (for now) seasonal melancholy.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 02:00:09 | More by biboergosum
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color with a thin tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of smoky malts, caramel & vanilla along with some hops.

T: The taste is creamy and malty with flavors of vanilla, caramel and a touch of dark fruit. The malt character is very hearty and the hops presence is mild but complimentary. The after-taste is sweet and bready.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, it's an excellent sipper but I could put away a few of them. This was one of those beers that I had at the totally right time, late night, clod & snowy, the wife had fallen asleep and I was watching TV. Putting the "right beer at the right time" situation aside, I can objectively say that this was a very good beer and one of the best that I've had in the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 04:27:57 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

2.6/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 04:49:18 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up in NC

Pours an effervescent caramel with a thumb of tan head. Zero head retention or lacing

S: Malty bread notes caramel, a touch of brown sugar, Apricot notes once warm

T: Caramel, some apricot& pear notes mis with brown bread up front, much dryness too. A touch of leafy hop mixes with apricot as this warms. Finishes jammy with woody hop notes, a touch of figs as well

MF: Semi-chewy, slight carbonation, body thins out as this warms

Nothing special here. The last few beers I've had from Brooklyn have been yawners. I won't give up on them, but it may take soimething really interesting to make try them any time soon

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 03:02:02 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry caramel aroma that's pretty nice, but nothing spectacular. The taste is decent as well. It has a very dry crystal malt flavor with little hop character. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average beer, but a lousy Scottish ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 00:20:07 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #42 top Scottish Ale, served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is dark amber with a mild haze, thin lazy tan head of small bubbles, low carbonation no lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is malty, sweet, a little bready, smells exactly like a scotch ale.

Beer is medium in body, not as sweet as the aroma would imply, it is a little bitter, dry on the finish, oddly peaty on the midpalate, decent, I like it, probably not a repeat though.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 04:08:52 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 22:27:49 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, white, foamy head. It left pretty decent lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled fairly grassy, mossy and a little herbal.

T - It tasted of mild caramel sweetness. It had a nice grassy and earthy kick from the hops.

M - It was crisp, sharp and dry. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good scottish ale. I like this take on a winter ale, because it wasn't just a winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2009 22:09:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice looking deep red color. The head was fizzy and white. The lacing was minimum. The smell of the beer had a lot of malts on the nose, it was also pretty sweet smelling. The taste had lots of malts in there, big caramel flavors and some toasted bread aromas. The taste was of brown sugars and malts. The aftertaste was sweet and dry. The mouthfeel was smooth and semi-thick feeling. Overall this beer was pretty good all around I thought.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 21:57:12 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by April '08:

Pours clear medium brown with a thin white head that leaves minimal lacing.

The smell is of toffee with a vague smoky touch.

The taste is of toffeeish malt with a slightly earthy balance. It remains sweetish throughout. There is a vague hint of smokiness in the middle that does not hold on. Goes towards a Scottish ale, but doesn't really make it. Something rather bland about it, though nothing particularly "off". Finishes somewhat abruptly.

Thin side of medium-bodied. Smooth. Alcohol well-covered (almost too much for a winter ale).

Easy enough to drink, but uninspiring and not too much of a Scottish (other than some maltiness/earthiness - but not much of the peat smokiness characteristic of the style). Not much of a winter ale, either. For a real winter treat from this brewery, try the Monster Ale - or better yet, the Black Chocolate Stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 15:28:03 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear lighter ruby with no head. Nose is a bit syrupy sweet with some malty character there as well. Flavor is earthy. I think that is the top classification here. Beyond just saying "earthy", it also has a slight sweet edge and a caramel tone to it as well. Feel is good for the style. Slightly thick and syrupy with little carbonation coating the tongue. This is a fairly drinkable brew. I won't go so far as to say it is the best interpretation of the style, but it is still fairly good.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 23:33:01 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber (like maple syrup); clear. Solid head that eventually dissipates to a single layer of bubbles. No lace.

Strong vanilla aroma, masks all of the other smells. It appears to be a very malty offering.

Quite dry but there is a notable alcohol warmth. Very creamy with a low level of carbonation. Nice but minor hop at the swallow. Overall, this is a very full bodied malty ale with a lot of vanilla.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 21:21:29 | More by smcolw
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a seasonal red color with zero head. dont know if time passed between the pour and the serve, but absolutely no head. not flat, just awkward in the glass. i wont hold it against this beer too heavily, because im sure the bottled version is more lively. smells a bit sweet and ambery, with a faint holiday spice thing going on in the finish. not spicy, but spiced, cinnamon is definitely there in spirit at least. mouthfeel is fuller bodied which is nice here. worked well with barbeque but would also certainly excell after dinner with or as desert. not my favorite brooklyn beer, but it has a role

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2011 02:51:47 | More by StonedTrippin
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Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 933 ratings.