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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

971 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 971
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 20
Gots: 41 | 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: 971 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of strictly4DK
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my Duck Rabbit pint glass.

A - Pours dark amber and translucent. Thinner appearance than most scottish ales. 1 finger white head, pillowy at first but recedes to a thin film. Small amounts of lacing.

S - Hints of peat smoke and malty sweetness. A few whirls of the glass gives off some fruit and spicy hops.

T - And, wow, there's the advertised maltiness. Coffee, nutty, and toasty. Hints of candy, fruit esters, light smoke, honey, and molasses. Balanced exquisitely by the spicy, herbal Willamette hops. Very complex and nothing offensive.

M - Thin bodied, carbonation is low and tends to a creamy mouthfeel. Sweet malts and herbal hops linger on the palate.

D - ABV is fairly low but for some reason this beer will sneak up on you. Probably the big flavors soothing you into a beer euphoria. Not the most remarkable scottish ale but solid in every respect.

strictly4DK, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" American pint glass.

AppearanceL Pours copper with many bubbles along the sides of the glass and a fairly large off-white head that dissipates slowly and leaves little lace.

Smell: Very malty. Sweet caramel aromas with hints of fruits and candy.

Taste: Bready flavors up front, finishing with heavy malt sweetness and very light bitterness. Sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and sort of chewy, with a sticky finish.

Drinkability: A very good, tasty, drinkable beer. Perfect for winter.

Mosstrooper, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of goblet
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

got a six pack of Brooklyn's winter ale and poured one of the bottles(best before apr 2010) out into a glass.

it looks dark reddish brown, clear with a big cloud white foamy head that fades slowly to a ring around the glass.

sweet caramel malt type of an aroma ,with some fruits like plums and apples in the background . toasted malts and grains scent this smell very nice and soft on the nose.

a healthy dose of light and toasted malts.the flavor is a bit bitter from the yeast and alochol.grains and oats boast the taste up a notch.

a rather light body feel ,a slght bitter aand grainy after taste.

if you can find it pick up a sixer and find out how drinkable it can be.its smooth rich malts speaks for itself nice and freshing.. cheers.

goblet, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of jbphoto88
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange in color leaning towards the red side of things. The beer pours crystal clear and has a strong head that firmly rises and caps with authority.

The nose I find to be lacking compared to the healthy start from the pour. I find it to be grainy and on the gritty stale side of things. Lightly in the distance is the sweet smell of caramelized sugars.

Taste on the other hand is quite nice. Gone is the grittiness, replaced with a malty backbone and a touch of fruitiness and caramel. Hop character is out the window. I can't taste a single hint of the green little guys and thats ok with me. I like the focus on the malts especially for this style.

The mouthfeel is also right on for the style. There is a nice balance between crisp carbonation and luscious soft body. The result is a smooth creamy beer with a light sizzle on the tongue. A pleasure to drink with the feel of it and the lingering warm caramel malts in the finish. A nice beer that I'd like to drink all year long despite the name.

jbphoto88, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of wahhmaster
4.28/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent copper-brown color with lots of carbonation bubbles. It has a thick creamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves copious lacing.

Smell: Caramel and sweet-smelling malts come through strongly in the smell. Hints of fruit and toast also come out subtly.

Taste: Malty with a nice caramel finish. Has a nice hoppy bitterness to it and this is well-balanced by a malty sweetness. Leaves a slightly bread-y aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with kind of a creamy texture. Has a nice carbonation bite to it as well.

Drinkability: A great beer and one of my new favorite winter seasonals. I wish this one were easier to find in my area and a little cheaper but this is really good. I'll certainly be trying to find more by the end of the season.

wahhmaster, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of theghost3
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent light bronze with a 2-finger off-white head. Some head stayed throughout, but there is only minimal lacing.

The smell is sweet malts with just a hint of grassy hops. Flavor is strongly caramel with some faint oak & earthy hops; very subdued. Mouthfeel is not as carbonated as I expected. Crisp, medium-bodied.

This is an excellent winter beer. It's not the assault on the senses that some Scottish Ales can be, but it's solid in it's own right. Goes great with pot pie.

theghost3, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of damndirtyape
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle (best by 04/2010) poured into a tumbler.

Appearance: Coppery orange color, plenty of carbonation coming up through the glass after pouring. Nice thin off-white head that covered the top of the beer the whole way down. Not a lot of lacing to speak of - some towards the bottom of the glass but even this was short-lived.

Smell: Nice and malty. Some hints of roasted malt in there and some molasses towards the end of the inhale.

Taste: Malt up front, then a faint hint of cherry (stronger when the beer is cold), followed by a mild bitter finish. Some nice lingering aftertaste in the mouth - reminded me more of a Vienna lager than a scotch ale at the end. Not that this is a bad thing mind you.

Mouthfeel: Despite the carbonation in the glass, not too much carbonation on the tongue. Just thick enough to go down smoothly, but not watery.

Drinkability: Definitely very sessionable and I could see myself having another had I bought more than one. Went well with vegetable soup and bread (a cold winter dish) but I could see this going very well with a hearty stew as well.

damndirtyape, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of thistle3189
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good A good represintation of the style.

A: Red with a good head to start retention and lacing not great.
S: Malty
T: malty as well not as big as I would have thought.
M: Nice, Lighter than I would have thought.
D: I could drink a few of these.

thistle3189, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of MrStark
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is a clear deep amber with one-finger off white head that dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell is basically sweet malts and a hint of spices but nothing that really stands out.

Taste is of slightly sweet malts that seam kinda burnt. There is a bit of spicy feel from the hops making it pretty dry and crisp. But there is just nothing here to impress me really.

Mouthfeel is is medium bodied with a somewhat heavy amount of carbonation giving a good bite to the tongue.

Drinkability is ok. The flavor is not particularly complex in my opinion and there isn't much here to make me want to have another, but I'd drink it if I had to. Its not terrible, but I've had much better examples of the style.

MrStark, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of thedrewski86
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, nice clear, dark amber color. Not much head at all. No lacing. Smell is spicy, malty and fruity. Taste is very much the same: cinnamon, apple and malt. Biscuit undertones. Good taste for a winter brew. They call this a Scottish ale, I guess that's okay but Robert the Bruce is unbelievably better. This is not bad though. Drinkability and carbonation are good.

thedrewski86, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with ruby highlights. Minimal head on this one. Smell is of sweet malts with slight nods to grass and earth. Taste is more mellow than scent dictaed, but slightly muddled earthy and sweet malt taste with very little complexity seems messy. Metallic and herbal presence confuse the palate. Hops lead to a bitter finnish at the end. Medium bodied, slightly overcarbonated for the style. Muddled and messy for the style, needs more flavor and charachter.

rfgetz, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug. Pours a clear ruby color with a white heading that immediately fizzed out before I sat down. No lacing and very flat looking.

Smell is very malty. Mainly of sweet and rich caramel aromas.

Taste is a little bit deceptive from the nose.Not sweet at all. Dry and rich in malts. There is a spicey chracter from the hops that lingeries for a bit afterwards.

Mouth is medium to full bodied.Decent carbonation and again a bit of a lingering.

Drink is decent.Nothing really jumping out at me but a good winter ale. Just a malty beverage.

TheFightfan1, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
2.5/5  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.


buschbeer, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of alkemy
2.85/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange/amber in color with no head. Malty metallic scent. This is accentuated in the taste. Roasted malt present up front, but then something reminiscent of a rusted iron pipe. There's also a faint hint of hops. It's gotta be the style, because I've just never run across a Scottish Ale that I've enjoyed. Short review, but just not a lot to say about this one.

alkemy, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of Ladybugger
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cellar-temperature bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is a beautiful clear tawny brown with many rising bubbles visible. Head is thick and tan, long-lasting, with very small bubbles. The smell is malty and slightly toasted, mildly yeasty. This beer is delicious! It tastes of caramel and toasted malts, and finishes sweet but clean. A lingering maltiness follows in my mouth. The carbonation lends crispness and keeps the beer from feeling heavy or thick. Despite the higher alcohol content, this beer is very smooth and mildly warming, without any harshness or heat. This beer is very drinkable - I could spend a long winter evening drinking pint after pint.

Ladybugger, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. The beer has a beautiful, clear rust color, with a thick tan foam head. There is an earthy hop aroma. It has a good malty flavor, with a distinctly cream ale feel. It's very good; heavy body and not too much carbonation. This is a fine Scottish style ale, one that I want to drink more of.

ToasterChef, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of shererjt
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium, clear copper with a fairly large light tan head. Nose was mostly malt, some crystal, maybe some biscuit/toast. Medium body. Balance definitely toward the malt--probably overly so. Fairly clean. Sweet finish that dominates the mouthfeel. Bit of creaminess there as well. Drinkability is good but I think a little more balance would make it better.

A solid effort but not really one of my favorite winter/Christmas ales.

shererjt, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of soupyman10
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber brew with a small head that dissolves down to nothing fairly quickly.

Toffee malt and some spiciness. Not a lot going on.

Somewhat dirty toffee malt with a touch of spicy citrus hops. Nice flavor although not a particularly complex brew.

Body is good with particularly busy carbonation that works well.

Fine beer with a weak nose, but a solid flavor that works around the holiday season well.

soupyman10, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of jgasparine
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- An gentle pour from the bottle yielded a substantial khaki head, which quickly receded to reveal good edge lacing. The body was a well-carbonated medium amber color.

S- Fruity malts are muddled with some faint herbal hop aroma. Nothing too impressive about the nose.

T- A replicate of the nose. Spicy and fruity malt character are muddled with some herbal hops... which turn into a sustained bitter finish. The flavors are not BAD, per say, but they seem to be non-complimentary; muddled.

M- Medium body. Well attenuated with some coarse carbonation. Nothing impressive.

D- Despite being underwhelming in the aroma, taste and mouthfeel departments... this beer does seem to go down smooth nonetheless. It is low enough in alcohol that it's almost sessionable.

jgasparine, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

WeezyBoPeep, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
2.85/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I can definitely tell this one is a Scottish ale although it tastes more English to me. Nothing special in the appearance, dark gold, the big ivory head was weak, unspectacular and fizzled quick. Toasted biscuit and sweet malt aroma, same in the taste. Nothing complex and a metallic taste in the finish. Very unimpressive, not that it's a terrible beer just mediocre example. Too much carbonation.

natelocc787, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of dedrick
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice color: rich reddish amber. Medium bodied ale.

S - Kind of pungent, musty odor. Not anything wonderful.

T - This beer has not been too appealing. The taste is kind of a sour, short lived one. I'm not saying it's terrible but very average. I could easily mistake this for a number of similar ales. This isn't bad, just ordinary and is very much lacking some character. A bit weak also.

M - Decent mouthfeel, smooth, warm to go with the wintery aspect.

D - Certainly drinkable.

dedrick, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of kels
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a nice coppery-red shade of brown with fairly good clarity and a short, white, frothy skim floats atop. There's a decent amount of visible carbonation running throughout, and any scant, white lace that sticks to the walls of the glass immediately slips down back into the beer. Just the look of the beer makes it seem a little thin.

Aroma is very light with caramelly sweetness and that slight earthiness that tends to characterize this style. It is hard to detect, but comes through just enough.

The beer overall is a nice balance of flavorful and refreshing. It definitely has some of the signature Scottish ale flavors: caramel sweetness from malts that borders ever-so-slightly on smokiness and a little bit of earthiness from the hop selection and the subtle essence of peat. In this particular beer there is also a pronounced graininess in the aftertaste - like the bready taste often present in doppelbocks. It adds a heft and heartiness to this beer that presents as very crisp and light due to the high carbonation and moderate mouthfeel.

Definitely a highly drinkable beer. The feel is very enjoyable, and the flavors and aroma are mild enough to please pretty much any beer drinker.

kels, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of taigor
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap poured into pint glass.

A - Poured orange-amber color with minimal head that left very slight lacing around the glass.

S - Almost absent, slight hints of malts.

T - Roasted malts with slight hints of fruits and yeast at the end.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very warming and refreshing beer. Good choice for seasonal holidays.

taigor, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear dark copper with some tan head. It smelled like roasted barley and bread crust, with sweet caramel and some copper and vanilla. It tasted like copper and caramel and bread crust, with some vanilla and roasted barley. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a very nice, clean tasting beer with good holiday flavors that weren't overdone. It had great body too, and was very easy to drink. Nothing too exciting or unique, but this is a solid winter seasonal.

Pencible, Dec 14, 2009
Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 971 ratings.