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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,039 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,039
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 20
Gots: 74 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,039 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wmtxbb
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap from a bar in downtown Chicago

Appearance: Decent finger sized head on top of a dark caramel colored brew.

Smell: Soft dark malts and a little bit of hops.

Taste: Crunchy caramel, bubble gum, and toffee. Very malt forward, followed by tartness at the end. Alcohol presence is well hidden.

Very solid beer by Brooklyn brewery; easy to drink.

Photo of seanyfo
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle poured into standard pint sleeve.
BBE end of feb 2011

A- Dark toffee mahogany body with excellent clarity, with 3 finger creamy head reducing to a 1 finger layer with good lacing.

S- Slightly metallic, caramel malt dominates, biscuity notes come through underneath.

T- Malt dominates but is understated, a little alcohol in the finish although i may be mistaking this for a trace of hop bite - this is unclear. Finish i would say is medium dry.

M- Low carbonation, medium body

D- Looks good, smell good, but perhaps a little lacking in richness on the palate and moutfeel a little thin. Pleasant enough though!

Photo of treehouse
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

moderately amber...

smells like chestnuts and malt with a bit of clove sweetness..

mouthed: sour sweetness...tangy...real tangy..lemony...roasted malts...some kind of wood in there...the first interesting beer i have had in a while...not an all day drinker though...6.1%....coppery...the alcohol is not brave but also not hidden..it comes between sips...

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a tawny amber with a decent head. Some slight lacing. Decent clarity.

Good toasted malt aroma, some over-browned bread crust, and some mild spice.

Some dark brown bread crust mingled with some burnt or over-caramelized sugars, a touch of spice, some toffee. A winter warmer meets a scottish ale. Bitter and sweet are almost in balance, but not quite.

Medium to medium full body.

Overall, not a bad drink. It went down faster than expected, but not a great interpretation of the style. Something missing and a bit off here. Ok, but I won't look for this again.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

About the only thing I'll agree with here is the "Winter" tag. Can't see drinking this any other time, save for maybe Thanksgiving - but then again I'd much rather be drinking their Post Road Pumpkin. It's (this Winter Ale...) cold, clear, pale light-burgundy hue hints at its supposed style.

Smell: a weird hybrid of spicy (phenolic) German bock maltiness and English dark mild fruity esters. On the weak-side, and if you chose to stop or continue based on the appeal of its smell, I wouldn't hesitate to push this aside.

Too much Belgian fruitiness to classify this as a Scottish ale, sorry. That said, it's okay. A bit minty, is that? The malt presence is big and full, mildly muffin, and quite alright, but the dry, vanishing, vaguely chalky finish (which IS British-ish) and a vaguely perfumy, herb-like, lightly pungent lingering spice in the aftertaste preclude the enjoyment of whatever goodies the malt had to offer. Reaffirming what I stated before, the flavor profile categorically says "Winter Warmer", but of a Belgian bent. Scottish ale?...hmph.... A wee too much cinnamon/brown sugar tones (only a few specks) for that.

Interesting - I'll give 'em that. I let it warm up long, and it brought out the best. A little too muted and restrained.

2.63/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Photo of Thads324
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber color with a small amount of off-white head. nice and clear and just looks really rewarding. The aroma is bready and sweet with a hint of smokiness. Little to no hop aroma is present. There is a bit of burnt toffee at the tail end. Taste starts solid and sweet, then hits with the light hop in the middle, followed up by a smoked malt bomb that stays through the end of the swallow. The mouthfeel is good but not great, lingers and feels full bodied, but it almost seems like the carbonation is separated from the flavor of the beer, like a carb drop homebrew. Just a little weird in my opinion. drinkability is great for a 6% beer.

An ok option for someone looking for something new, but nothing to rave about and lacks the solid caramel I love from scottish styles.

Photo of Mora2000
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
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 JizackFH
2.42/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 1/15/11 notes. Had on tap at the brewery.

a - Pours an amber, copper color with an inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, light fruit and spice.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, roasted malts, light chocolate.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good scotch ale that is above average and pretty easy to drink. Would order again.

Photo of aepb1
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Translucent amber body with a foamy white head and decent lacing

S- Caramel malts and some fruits in there too just not real strong

T- Same as nose, caramel malts and moves into a fruity sweetness in the end

M- Medium body, good carbonation

D- Very easy to drink and revisit

Photo of mcgwire756
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle stamped best before May 2011.

real dark amber color, with thin white head that fades fast. smells malty with just a touch of christmas spices. not overpowering.

sweet and spicey, but not too overwhelming like some winter warmers. but kinda weird aftertaste. higher carbonation, medium body.

Photo of BB1313
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown with a nice fluffy and head and decent lacing. Lots of caramel, toffee, malts, and grains. Those flavors take over the aromas. Chocolate is slightly noticeable in the taste along w/ the caramel and toffee. There's a nice bready taste to it. Although the hops are noticeable, they're minimal. Mouthfeel is nice, creamy and smooth; medium-bodied. Drinkability is pretty good, I wouldn't mind tossing a couple of these back, plus it has a relatively low abv. This beer definitely has an English influence.

Middle of the pack beer. Although this one might now wow you, it's a nice beer to enjoy on a cold night.

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

Wife picked this up in a pick six for me.

A- Pours dark copper color. Thin white head on top.

S- Caramel malt nose to it. Hint of roasted nut maybe mixed in. Very faint citrus hop aroma buried within.

T- Heavy malt flavor. Caramel malts seem to dominate. Citrus hop comes in at the end to provide some bitterness.

M- Medium body. A little spice to it, but still smooth.

D- Interesting Scottish style beer. Not bad. I would be ok if I had another one or not.

Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So there's hops and malts in beer. And in winter beers there are malts and fruits and spices. And this is basically all malt. Who cares. I'm a malt whore.

In enjoying this on tap at Amity Hall where I'm trying my damndrst to drink 101 beers by my 30th birthday. And I must be in a good beer mood off the Knuckle Samdwich from yesterday, because i'm ready to forgive this one for it's lack of sexy appearance (barely any head, no lacing) and fairly bland smell (subdued malts, tinge of fruit, tiny interesting lingering complexity). I'll do that because of a good mood and because the taste is fairly solid. Malts. A nice combination of caramel, pear, and a tiny hoppy bite.

Very drinkable because of its smooth and crisp light to medium body, Brooklyn's winter offering does not stand out. But it also doesn't dissapoint.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I guess they're calling this a Scotch Ale...Hate to sound like a broken record, but McEwan's is the benchmark here, folkie folks...Better be durn good.

This is an extra from awesome trader Brian44556...Pours a vibrant red-amber, emphasis on the red here. Decent cap of foam forms and disappears quickly. Just a rim is left and the lacing is average...Nice, robust malty aroma profile. Very malt-centric, with a touch of cinnamon and/or allspice in the way back. A bit of sweetness in the nose also. Flavor is a nice blast of goodness. Right upfront is a ton of malt tang. The carbonation is very spritzy and soda-like, lending this a quaffable quality that I like. The beer itself evolves into more of a soda-like beverage, and I get a hint of hop at the end. Malt is king here, however, and the nice caramel notes carry throughout the drink. The finish is actually a tad thinner than I would have guessed and leaves me wanting something with a bit more body to it. Overall and ok brew, but not great by any means.

What I like most: The brilliant malt tang in the flavor profile.

What I like least: The low ABV 6% and the thin finish.

Verdict: If it's a beer priced in the $7-$9 sixer range, it's worth it, but this isn't great or astounding beer.

Photo of albern
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This isn't a particularly good Scottish Ale, if that is what the brewer was aiming for. The beer pours a slighly rubyish brown that is clear as can be, with a small slighly fizzy head that dissipates quickly. There is no lacing going on and there is not head after a short while. The nose is sweet malt and floral with some slightly charred toffee notes.

One of the other reviewers used a term I hadn't heard before but I like very much, "scorched sugar" hits in on the head. The beer has loads of upfront malts, some warming notes, some caramels that tend to bite, some charred notes as well. I like the scorched sugar characterization best. What is lacking here is the smoked character, peaty qualities of a Scottish Ale. There aren't any. This is an okay beer I'm not coming back to anytime soon. It's medium bodied, and some of the malty charred sweetness hangs on the tongue a little longer than I would prefer.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I haven't had a Scottish Ale in quite some time so this was good to have. Sweet on the nose. Dark, ruby. Not much head. Not much lace.

Traditional Scottish Ale tastes. Sweet like the nose. Not cloying at all though. Mouthfeel seemed just a tad astringent. Very drinkable. I would like to have this with some red meat.

Photo of mdcrouser
2.1/5  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.

Photo of beerphan
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
- screened on the bottle
APR 2011 2930

Pours a clear bright amber with a small head that diminishes rather quickly leaving only a Pangaea puddle of lace. A few dots of lace stick to the glass the rest slides back down atop the brew. Carbonation is mild but steady.

Nose: Malts, a little peat

Big rich and smooth body, this ale gots some thickness. Chewy caramel, biscuits and toffee. Herbal bitterness is short and not the slightest bit distracting. This guy is all about the thick malts as any good Scottish Ale would aim to be.

Impressed with the rich sweetness of this brew. Glad to see another winter release that doesn't rely of heavy doses of spice. I really like this beer, but the richness lessons the drinkability in my opinion.

Photo of mjw06
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm a big fan of the Brooklyn Brewery, but was not a fan of this selection for every reason opposite of why I'm a fan of Brooklyn. This brew is completely unimaginative and void of character. I was lost for words when attempting to encompass any of above categories other than it had a cherry red color with a small off-white head. The taste was blah with not one note that stood out to me or was worth mentioning.

Is it close to style? Most likely. But being close to style and being good are two different things. I'm certain there are many more winter ales out there that are worthy of your time, and many more selections from Brooklyn that are too, this is not one of them.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, finger of head, thin lacing.

S - Chocolate, toffee, roastiness.

T - Cocoa, nutty, oatmeal, ends with deep roasty maltiness.

M - Medium body leaning towards creamy, flavors explode and recede fast but roasty malts stick out on the aftertaste.

D - Great drinkability, great winter ale.

Photo of DeadGuyRyan
2.55/5  rDev -29%
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.

Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 1,039 ratings.