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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

963 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 963
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 18
Gots: 39 | 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: 963 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrStark

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -14.4%

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.

01-10-2010 05:57:23 | More by MrStark
Photo of thedrewski86


3.78/5  rDev +5%

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.

01-05-2010 23:56:31 | More by thedrewski86
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -8.9%

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.

01-04-2010 16:58:29 | More by rfgetz
Photo of TheFightfan1


3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

01-03-2010 18:55:02 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of buschbeer


2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

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.


01-02-2010 17:43:15 | More by buschbeer
Photo of alkemy


2.85/5  rDev -20.8%

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.

01-01-2010 21:52:07 | More by alkemy
Photo of Ladybugger


4.33/5  rDev +20.3%

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.

01-01-2010 20:02:04 | More by Ladybugger
Photo of ToasterChef


4/5  rDev +11.1%

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.

12-31-2009 20:48:32 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of shererjt


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

12-31-2009 01:41:25 | More by shererjt
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev +5%

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.

12-31-2009 01:25:54 | More by soupyman10
Photo of jgasparine


3.48/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

12-28-2009 16:10:26 | More by jgasparine
Photo of WeezyBoPeep


2.73/5  rDev -24.2%

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.

12-26-2009 22:35:09 | More by WeezyBoPeep
Photo of natelocc787


2.85/5  rDev -20.8%

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.

12-23-2009 19:55:35 | More by natelocc787
Photo of dedrick

New York

3.4/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

12-18-2009 23:13:38 | More by dedrick
Photo of kels


3.8/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

12-18-2009 00:59:42 | More by kels
Photo of taigor

New York

3.3/5  rDev -8.3%

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.

12-17-2009 17:42:58 | More by taigor
Photo of Pencible


4/5  rDev +11.1%

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.

12-14-2009 19:05:08 | More by Pencible
Photo of tanousa


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%

A- Pours a nice redish-copper color with a two fingers lace that disipates slowly, nice look.

S- not too much going on here , some roasted malts showing.

T- little bit of toasted malts , some smoky flavors , but thats it.

M- A little bland , nothing to rave about. Ok carbonation.

D- drinkability is good, I guess you can hace two or three until you crave something more complex.

12-12-2009 02:58:08 | More by tanousa
Photo of BeerPhan86

New York

3.3/5  rDev -8.3%

A - Pours a light red-brown with a two finger tan head.

S - Caramel, malt, some spice. Has the buttery aroma that most Scottish ales share.

T - Toasted malt with light cherry flavor. Slightly sweet and nutty. Very boring and not a whole lot going on. No hops that I can detect. Finishes buttery.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation.

D - Very drinkable because there just isn't a whole lot going on flavor-wise. Seems to happen with many representations of the style, though.

Overall not as complex as I would have liked and really doesn't warrant the price for a six pack. Pretty dull, but I say that about most Scottish ales. Meh.

12-12-2009 02:07:38 | More by BeerPhan86
Photo of curasowa

New York

3.05/5  rDev -15.3%

Pours a copper color with just a thin bit'o head that settles into a ring. The aroma is pretty muted on this beer; all I really pick-up is some faint grassyness and some slight crispness. The front end is very crisp and pretty thin - not a whole lot of flavor. The middle offers a lot more malt flavor, but then it finishes pretty thin with some lingering from the malts. Overall, the balance isn't great on this one; too much carbonation, not enough body. A rare miss from from Brooklyn.

12-12-2009 01:11:31 | More by curasowa
Photo of Brenden


3.83/5  rDev +6.4%

The color is a mahogany-like reddish brown that even has a slightly coppery orange hue in the light. It pours out a fairly thick head of between one and two fingers that subsides to a sturdy foam after a short time. Light to moderate lacing remains on the glass.
The aroma is pleasant if not simple but lacks a strength. A malt base gives off some notes of caramel, along with caramelized sugars and a lightly smoky note. Fruits linger somewhere behind, and hops are evident as well, adding an earthy and mildly herbal note.
The taste follows suit, though the hops presence comes a bit more to the forefront. A light sweetness holds the flavor together. There's also some undertones of wood as well as smoke, and a clear diacetyl flavor is present. There's a slight taint in the semi-dry finish and a very subtly metallic tinge throughout.
The mouthfeel is just slightly lighter than to style, at the lighter end of medium, with just enough crispness to keep it from being bland and a light to moderate carbonation.
This could be served as a good gateway beer, neither too heavy for a beginner or too light to give a proper impression. After this one, though, bigger brews should follow. This is also plenty good as a session beer.

12-11-2009 21:50:38 | More by Brenden
Photo of nickd717


3.6/5  rDev 0%

12oz bottle from Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits in DC.

Pours a reddish-hued brown color with a smallish white head.

Aroma is cherries, caramel, nuts, and spice. Smells more or less like it should, I think.

Flavor is pleasant but not anything too great. Malty with caramel, nuts, cherries, and very mild spicing. You know, Garrett, I get it. You like making balanced, good beers, often in the in the English tradition. But what good are those beers when there are 19.5% ABV bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts made with 20 malts? Just kidding, all beers have their place, and this is a fine one.

Medium body with average carbonation. Not too interesting on the palate.

Drinkability is fairly high. Goes down pretty easy.

12-11-2009 17:50:48 | More by nickd717
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.4/5  rDev -5.6%

On tap at the brewery, December 09.

Deep, dark but clear copper colour. Head is a filmy white, which looks oddly light for the rest of the body. Some lace around the edges from the collar of film. Some static bubbling when swirled. Looks nice.

Meaty characters. Some fragrance, surprising notes of cumin. Spicy and pleasant. Even a hint of vanilla. Unusual, but quite pleasant, and the characters work well together.

Bit too bland on the palate. Some spice and a bit of acidic seltzer character. Light copper again which seems prevalent in their beers. Finish has some metallic bitterness and is very dry with an extremely sparkling mouthfeel.

Pretty nice and drinkable, but a little bland and disappointing considering the promise of the nose. Nice enough though.

12-08-2009 04:54:10 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of bob3701

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -11.7%

I'm usually a big Brooklyn fan and maybe me expectations were high but I was disappointed in this one. I thought one of their weaker efforts. It started out well pouring with a clear rich amber color and a nice thick head. It also laced great, marking every sip. But as good as it looked I thought the taste lacked any character. Slightly bitter finish. Don't get me wrong it is a well made ale and most seem to like it, just did not excite me.

12-06-2009 22:45:21 | More by bob3701
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a dark copper with a small head with minimal retention

Aroma is of roasted malts

Taste follows the aroma. Not much other than the roasted malts with a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a bit sharp from the carbonation..I like it. It counters well with the maltiness. Drinkable.

Only problem is that the sweet malt flavor profile is rather one dimensional. There isn't much else going on. I could have a couple...but might get bored of it.

12-04-2009 06:33:58 | More by kshankar
Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 963 ratings.