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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

951 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 951
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 17
Gots: 33 | 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)
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Ratings: 951 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Birmingham


3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a 12 oz bottle

Malt character with hints of winy/sherry tones

Clear, deep red with brown tones, off white head which dissipated quickly and mild lacing

Strong malt flavors with some sherry/winy flavors

Mouth feel:
Medium body, low carbonation with a mild alcohol tingle on the tongue

Overall Impression: Taste seemed off with possibly oxidized. I will need to acquire another six pack to determine if mine was contaminated.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2009 03:53:33 | More by Birmingham
Photo of williamherbert

New York

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

Glassy and clear dark cherry red color. Half finger of bubbly head.

The aroma is German hop at first, which is kinda odd I think. Confectionary sugars and dark cherry balance out the almost pilsner-like aroma.

Taste is heavy brown sugar and cherry liqueur. Some heavy roasted flavors as well, reminsicent of a Scottish ale. The brown sugar and cherry dominate.

The feel is thick and syrupy. Smooth and buttery. It's a decent, sweet ale. I would like a tad of a burnt balance but I'll take this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 02:01:08 | More by williamherbert
Photo of DefenCorps


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

I had this back in 2006, missed out in 07 and am revisiting it in 08( well, 09). Into my Sam Smith imperial pint

A: A brilliant deep copper with exceptional clarity and a solid three-finger thick head that slowly recedes, leaving some patchy lacework. Solid!

S: Rich with toffee and nutty malts with some butterscotch. Not much hop character but there's some leafy, earthy character present. Solid.

T: Pretty darned solid. A great balance of flavors with toffee, nuts and butterscotch present, with the nuttiness leading the way. Finishes a little dry with some toffee flavor on the finish

M: Medium light, solid carbonation and a pleasant finish

D: At a little over 6%, I couldn't drink more than 3-4 of these in a short evening. Which means it's pretty drinkable

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 01:34:18 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Amalak

New York

3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had a bottle of this and it's a decent, malty ale, but I was a little disappointed. It was brown, with a slight head that dissipated quickly. It had a nutty scent, but somewhat stale.

Very alcohol tasting to be honest, and lots of bite...too much bite. It is too strong, in my opinion, not enough balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 04:20:56 | More by Amalak
Photo of talkinghatrack

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - clear dark auburn with a two finger head. Have a quick sip and enjoy the foamy head before it fades to a thin cover.

s - nothing very strong. Toasty, malty, some light spices. I really have to stick my nose in deep to pick up anything. Offers a little bit of noticeable alcohol once it warms up but not enough to be offputting like other beers can get.

t - Toasty and malty here, too. Some citrusTangy finish. Nice earthy flavor the whole way through. I'm getting a clear metallic note that I sometimes encounter - almost a copper taste. It must be one of the grains involved.

m - Almost creamy with a medium body

d - With a fair amount of carbonation and nothing overpowering on the taste, this could stretch into a session beer. In fact I picked up a six pack after having it on draft last weekend (not the first beer of the night) and it holds up nicely. The tangy, slightly bitter finish reminds you to take one more sip.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 23:23:15 | More by talkinghatrack
Photo of AltBock


2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a shiny blue and silver label. The label has the big bold white Brooklyn "B" surrounded by small silver stars on a dark blue background. No back label because all of the beer's information can be found on the shiny neck label. There should be a best before date stamped on the neck, but mine was smeared.

When poured into a Flying Fish pint glass, this Brooklyn brew was a dark reddish amber with a 1/2 an inch fizzy off white colored head of foam. This fizzy head of foam actually had good retention. It didn't fizzle away like some. it managed to leave behind an ever lasting off white skim of foam and about 2 to 3 spots of lace.

The aroma of this beer was funky! The aroma was mostly roasted and burnt with malts. It smelled like they roasted the malts first and when they were done roasting, they stuck them back in the kiln to burn them. Swirling around doesn't make the beer any better, but it does lower the roasted/burnt malts. Hiding behind the malts was a hint of sweet yeast and a speck of dark fruits. I didn't care for this aroma one bit.

The taste was a tad bit better than the aroma. The taste was able to lower the roasted/burnt malts, but while doing that, it increased the taste of sweet yeast. Along with the sweet yeast, Brooklyn also threw in a pinch of raisins and a dash of cinnamon. The taste was sweet, but not sweet like candy. This beer's taste would have been better if the taste just chose to go with the roasted or burnt malts. Both of them together don't make for a good taste.

This was a medium bodied sweet Winter Ale with an aftertaste of roasted malts, a hint of raisins, sweet yeast, and a small dash of cinnamon. Finally, the malts chose on which kind of malt it was going with. None of that bad roasted/burnt malt taste. It's just too bad it didn't make up its mind earlier on in the beer.

In the end, I thought this Winter Ale was too sweet with sweet yeast, it couldn't make up its mind whenever to go with roasted or burnt malts, and the aroma was not good. One of these was good enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 18:27:23 | More by AltBock
Photo of cdrummer


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Medium copper hue with rich off-white head. Minimal lacing.

S: Subtle bready sweetness and musty malt followed by brown sugar and molasses.

T & M: Very malt and smooth across the tongue with a slight touch of hoppy bitterness in the finish. Full bodied and robust. The carbonation helped keep the sweetness from from being overwhelming and transitioned the flavors of bread and molasses into a warming, spicy finish.

D: This is a great session beer that pairs really well with thicker foods like stew. It can take spice and help deflect it a bit as well as enhance its underlying sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 03:52:45 | More by cdrummer
Photo of aubuc1


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

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip glass

Pours clear brown with a thick offwhite head.

Smell is a slightly hoppy, malty

Taste is tangy. Very good balance of hoppy with malt. Not biscuity, but light bready.

Good full mouthfeel and a very drinkable beer. I was surprised with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 01:20:21 | More by aubuc1
Photo of hopmonkey

New York

3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Malty with up-front caramel flavors. Something a bit off with the smell; a bit sick-sweet, which compounds the sweetness of the beer. Nice carbonation. Sweetness moderated by dry bitter finish, but the finish is overbearing. Probably would not buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 20:44:27 | More by hopmonkey
Photo of cjgator3


3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish amber color with a nice creamy off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is very malty with some caramel and brown sugar.

T- The taste like the aroma is very malty with hints of caramel and just a hint of hops in the finish. It is a little sweet, but not overly sweet.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Brooklyn Winter Ale is a pretty solid Winter seasonal that is pretty tasty and worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 04:28:36 | More by cjgator3
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a Christmas gift basket from Bob--thanks! Reddish brown body that allows some light to pass... consistent effervescence... hints a t a malty character... three-finger head is brown and settles with arches in its lacing... malt and a bit of something skunky (!) after cleaning a basement yesterday, this beer seems to reflect that dampness... medium-bodied, throat immediate impact... a bit of fizz but not bubbly... a reasonable aftertaste, compact but true... malts are predominant, giving this winter warmer a hardy, strong base with some fruit esthers late--a pleasant pint... a solid offering from Brooklyn, malty but not overstated... the hops are conspicuously restrained, mellowing its flavor... I'd six-pack this at a later date...

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 04:26:59 | More by dacrza1
Photo of Only23

New York

4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Its very clean goldenish coper look. Had about 1/2 inch of head that quickly fades.

Taste- A nice caramel sweet tastes that fades to a clean finish.

Mouth - Smooth and warming.

Drink - Extremely easy. A great winter! I will definitely pick some more up

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2009 21:24:19 | More by Only23
Photo of Aenema


4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear mahogany with a quickly dissipating quarter inch head.
Smell - Roasted, bready malt 4.5
Taste - Very similar to the smell; bready and biscuity with roasted malt. I get a touch of smoke on the finish. 4
Mouthfeel - Light, crisp feel. Rather thin. 3.5
Drinkability - Drinkable throughout the night, though I would probably change gears.
Overall - An enjoyable winter beer to check out.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 04:36:55 | More by Aenema
Photo of gabe23

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear, deep copper color with a tan head that fades quickly to a thin layer. Decent lacing.

S - Mild aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar, and some dark fruit tones (raisin or dates?).

T - Sweetness up front with toasted malt and caramel, fading to a slightly dry, bitter finish.

M - Slick with medium to low carbonation. Just a bit of warmth as it goes down.

D - I'm a fan of Scottish Ales, and this is a very good one. While some lean too much on the malt sweetness, I find this ale to be a great balance. I could easily session with this beer, and I plan on picking up more before winter is over.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 01:13:08 | More by gabe23
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a fluffy head. Substantial mouthfeel; chewy malts that are cut by flinty hops halfway through, all with a bit of pepper. Finishes spicy.

Nice medium-bodied holiday ale, especially for having the spice without additives. Better than average as a Scottish ale, too.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 20:20:43 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of scottg


3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear amber color with orange hues and a one finger off white head with good retention and patchy lacing. Aromas of toasted malt, apricot, caramel. There is a biscuity flavor up front with some chocolate and a tea like hop middle with the sweet malt and fruity yeast flavors in the finish. Medium carbonation and body with a very dry finish. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 17:35:59 | More by scottg
Photo of argock


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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date evident.

A: Reddish-mahogany hue with 1-1.5 finger off-white head with impressive frothiness and good staying power. Icicles of lace crown the top of the glass.

S: Strong caramel, pear, grain, and leafy aromas reminiscent of a marzen

T: The flavor is sweet and crisp like a marzen, but with more body and bigger flavor. Caramel, soft fruits, and leafy hops flavors dominate.

M: Very lush mouthfeel with crisp carbonation. Aftertaste is caramelly and fruity.

D: A good beer that seems like an amped-up marzen by its aroma and flavor. profile.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 02:55:13 | More by argock
Photo of xgrigorix


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap.

Presented in a shaker pint. Deep ruby highlights on this brown coloured beer. Thin off white head.

Rich malty nose. Some cereal, along with some toasted notes as well.

Big malt monster of a beer. No hop flavour, but just enough bittering hops to keep this from becoming cloyingly sweet. Medium body, moderate carbonation. A bit strong in the ABV department, but still a nice sipping beer for the winter season.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2009 14:20:11 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of Reagan1984


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

One of my last beers of '08 A pretty good one.

A beautiful 2 ½ finger off white creamy head topped this amber brew. Excellent clarity & excellent retention. No visible carbonation. A good amount of lacing remains.

The aroma is all malt and slightly sweet caramel.

Flavor certainly followed the aroma and remains well within the bounds of the style. Toasted malts, light caramel and a touch of roasted nuttiness. Not too much, but a slight bread like tone as well. Some very light spices. Pretty good.

Mouth feel was medium bodied and a little slick.. Muted carbonation.

Rather drinkable. It's good... not epic or memorable.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 13:44:33 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of bataround


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Dark amber in color with a solid white head. Nice cling on the glass.

Smell- Nice clean straightforward malt smell.

Taste- Malty and clean. Solid.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The ingredients expressed themselves for a fine seasonal and drinkable beverage.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 20:24:00 | More by bataround
Photo of nrbw23


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice clear rich copper color. Head is nice, big and has great retention. Head leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Bit of a let down here. About the only thing I can pick up is some caramel malts.

T- Malty here for sure. Bready, touch of smoke and caramel malts. Something also that's sweet just can't put my finger on it.

M- Medium body, good carbonation but just seems a little on the watery side.

D- Not too bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 11:26:35 | More by nrbw23
Photo of Shumista


3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a tulip shaped glass.

A- Brooklyn Winter Ale pours a medium dark reddish brown, with a small off white head.
S- Sweet caramel malt that's the only thing I smell really.
T- Sweet caramel and toasted malts, light bitterness at the end. Something in the flavor reminds me of maple or hazelnut.
M- Medium bodied, good amount of carbonation.
D- Very high, could put these away one after another.

Overall a very drinkable solid winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 05:33:40 | More by Shumista
Photo of ljbrisson


3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown into my goblet with a finger-width sandy, bubbly head which quickly disappeared and reappeared briefly after a bit of agitation. I think the lack of head may be more because of a flaw with the pour or my glass. Aroma is malty, a little spicy despite the change in recipe, with raisin and caramel. Mouthfeel is light and slick, with some sandpapery carbonation action which was surprising based on the completely inactive appearance of the beer. Taste is nuts, caramel, toffee, dry wood, very malty and with a little hop presence, with a very dry finish. Drinkability is good due to the inoffensive nature of the brew. This is my first Scotch ale. Overall this is a solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 01:41:22 | More by ljbrisson
Photo of prototypic


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

Appearance: This is one hell of a nice looking beer. It's a darker shade of brown with a twist of a light berry color. It's very clear and is topped with an immaculate vanilla head that's nearly three fingers tall. It stuck around quite a while and left a very attractive web of lace lining the glass.

Smell: The nose is good, but not quite spectacular. It's very heavy on toasted and caramel malts. Smells a little sweet, but not overly so. There's a light toasted nut aroma that's enticing. There's enough hops to mention there presence, but they come across as light. Smells a little grainy. No alcohol presence is apparent. All in all, good.

Taste: As I suspected, toasted and caramel malts rule the day. They're on the sweet side, but are very flavorful. It is somewhat spicy. It's not to a large degree, but it's there. I can't identify the spices, but they're noteable. There is a little bit of a toasted nut flavor that emerges, but it's very faint. Hops have a decent presence. They provide a little bit of a buzzy bitterness, but they're clearly secondary to the primary malt presence. There is a slight grainy taste on the tail. No alcohol is noted. It finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It has a medium body and a nice, smooth feel. Carbonation is relatively light and is nicely done for this beer. I like the feel a lot. Drinkability is very high. This is a very satisfying beer that's abv is low enough to drink without much reservation.

Brooklyn's Winter Ale is a winner. There's not a great deal to complain about here. It's not quite on the level of Black Chocolate Stout as far as their winter arsenal goes. But, it's impressive all the same. I think a little more of a hop presence would slightly improve it. But, I can't complain too much. I'm too busy being impressed. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 03:46:41 | More by prototypic
Photo of gford217


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

Bottle courtesy of Secret Santa, lackenhauser, poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear reddish amber with lots of bubbles and a short-lived head that recedes to a collar quickly.

Brady malts dominate the nose with hints of smoke and an overarching toasted character. Slight fruitiness and hops in the background but not much.

The taste is much sweeter with more caramel on top of the bready malts, definitely hints of fruity esters accentuating the malt presence. The finish is massively sweet and lingers for quite a while.

The mouthfeel is smooth, almost buttery with moderate carbonation.

This is a drinkable scottish ale and a nice winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 22:39:59 | More by gford217
Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 951 ratings.