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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

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1,088 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,088
Reviews: 481
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 20
Gots: 100 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-02-2006

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,088 | Reviews: 481 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gabe23
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of scottg
3.83/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of argock
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of xgrigorix
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of bataround
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
3.51/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of Shumista
3.61/5  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.

Photo of ljbrisson
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of prototypic
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Photo of gford217
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of biggred1
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber with a creamy tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Smells kind of smoky, malty chocolate and coffee. Tastes fairly sweet, caramel and chocolate but with a coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel is fairly thin and mildly carbonated. Very drinkable and tasty mild scotch ale.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Office in Summit, NJ in a 16oz pint glass.

Appearance: Yielded a small one finger head with decent lacing. Dark brown color with reddish highlights throughout the beer. A little bit too thin looking and not as dark as typical winter ales.

Smell: Pretty nice nutty and malty smells came through with light hops aromas. There was a nice fruitiness evident after further analysis.

taste: A little bit thin for a winter style beer IMO. It was too light tasting for a winter style beer but it had some nice flavors. There was some nice caramel and malty flavors comming through. A little bit nutty, and a hint of sweet scotch came through on the backend.

Mouthfeel: Too thin for a winter style beer. It held the 6% abv nicely, but it was still a little bit too flavorless.

Drinkability: for a winter style beer it was very very light and easy drinking. For such a light colored winter beer, it packed a decent amount of flavor and complexities. It can catch up with you if your not careful, but its a good beer to get drunk with while enjoying a nice ale.

Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish tint to this one. Substantial head leads to faint lacing. Nose is somewhat toasty and hints at the malty sweetness to come. A good roasty, peaty hit followed by mild bitterness. Could use just a little more body and a slight drop in the sweets.

Photo of philbe311
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Rich warm reddish copper color... Razor thin eggnog colored head quickly fades leaving very minimal lacing... Coats glass well... Very still with only the slightest bit of carbonation noticeable to the eye...

S - Malt.... Caramel... Faint notes of spice... Raisins... I also pick-up noticeable scents of cherry and grape... Yeasty characteristics... Quite pleasant...

T - Malt... Biscuit... A big spicy kick... Malt reappears on the finish...

M - Not quite what I expected... Medium carbonation... Very dry... Slightly chalky...

D - Solid and enjoyable, but not what I expect from a Scottish Ale... This almost strikes me as more of a Winter Warmer...

Photo of dukedevil0
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of a 12 oz bottle at Beer School at Whole Foods in Lakeview in Chicago, IL on 12/16/08.

A: Darker amber-brown color with very little light tan head and slight lacing.

S: Smells of caramel malts, slight scotch odor, some alcohol...smells somewhat "pale"

T: Tastes slightly bitter, some caramel malts and scotch type flavors...muted or mild flavors...some molasses in there

M: Sort of thin but not too bad.

D: Drinkable and easy to drink... with more flavors than the Bell's Christmas Ale, but they are still muted flavors that don't stick out.

Photo of avalon07
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a mainly clear consistency. There was a quarter inch of head and some good lacing.

S: Smell was dominated by the malt, though some hops emerged.

T: Tasted more of malt than anything, with mild hops. Not the most complex piece of brewing I've ever had.

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Overall, this is an OK beer, but it didn't do that much for me.

Photo of TrevorGW
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark body with reddish tints coming through the glass.

Powerful caramel aroma. Deeply sweet ... great presence from the malt.

Taste is spot-on for a nice crisp winter beer. Dark chocolate offset by a soft creamy butter. Not too sweet, and not too fruity.

A carefully-crafted beer with a fantastic malt profile. One of the more memorable winter beers I've ever tasted. Will definitely seek it out again.

Photo of TagoMago
4.48/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Held up to the light, the beer has a rich, dark, copper-red color. The beer pours with a creamy white head, which lingers to coat the glass with a fine lacing as the beer is sipped.

Smell: Toasted malts with some carmel sweetness. There are some yeasty notes present as well.

Taste: Roasted malts combined with carmel and toffee overtones that provide the beer with a subdued sweetness. There is also a very slightly metallic taste noticed in the finish, which adds rather than detracts from the beer's overall character.

Mouthfeel: The moutheel of the beer is one of incredible smoothnees, making for outstanding drinkability that combines with a nice creamy finish.

Overall: This is very different than most winter brews, though outstanding nevertheless. This beer is very mild in every aspect, yet tasty and very satisfying. Its exceptional smoothness makes this a very easy drinking beer that can easily be enjoyed on a cold winter's night by any beer drinker who prefers maltier beers. I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of dstc
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear deep ruby color with a big off-white head that falls to a minimal head. Thin lacing.

Sweet malt aroma. Also picking up mild alcohol.

Big malty taste that I love in this type of brew. Sweet buttery caramel, bread like.

Medium bodied and low carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Great, easy drinking winter ale. A standard.

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear slightly red amber with a very thin tan head.

S - The aroma is sweet, a little malt,

T - Grainy, bready, caramel, toasted malts, very faint if any spices, at least to my palate.

M - Creamy with a little carbonation, reminds me of an Old Speckled Hen in terms of texture.

D - Goes down well. Not bad at all.

Photo of yesyouam
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a sparkling red ale with a decent khaki head that lasts pretty well and leaves great lacing. The aroma is of deep sweet malt touched with grassy, floral hops. The body is quite full and it has a creamy mouthfeel. There is a slight astringency on the finish. The malt is almost tart and it's well bittered. It tastes like a good Scottish ale. There is a bit of alcohol rumble at the end. I had to have a second one right away!
(rated Mar 5, 2007)

Photo of Strix
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish-brown hue, some head.

Smell is malty, grainy, and toasty.

Tastes very much like whole grain bread. Some buttery, caramelly, and various spicey flavors in there too. English hops in the mix somewhere.

Mouthfeel carbonated, sort of a belgian thing going on, didn't exactly meld with the tastes.

This was fine with my meal, but not particularly memorable either way.

Photo of PatrickJR
2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, dark, reddish copper. About a finger of off white head rises. Retention is short with minimal lacing.

S - Nice caramel and butter aroma with a touch of toffee. Brown sugar and indistinct dark fruit as well. The yeast provides a touch of nuttiness also. Not quite as robust and complex as I'd expect from a Scottish ale.

T - Extremely lackluster in this department. Mild sweetness early palate is strangely unaccompanied by the caramel and fruit from the nose. Butteriness comes through and is quickly overcome by very earthy flavors leading into a rough and uncharacteristic bitterness. Finish is somewhat sour with some burnt flavor.

M - On the light side of medium bodied. Carbonation is moderate but combined with the light-ish body is inappropriate for the style.

D - This isn't a bad beer, but it certainly isn't a great Scottish ale. Instead it tastes like some sort of strange hybrid between a weak Scottish ale and a quasi-Belgian style ale, failing in both respects. A strange beer that's either entirely off base or obscenely mediocre. Either way, not something I would have again.

Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.