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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 AChamberlain


4.1/5  rDev +13.9%

Oh man is this good. So easy to drink. I wish I bought more. I poured it from a 12 oz bottle. I gave it a vigorous pour as I saw suggested somewhere. The head was thin, but nice. Deep amber colored and smelled of sweet malts. The taste was just like the smell and it felt great going down. I can't wait to pick up more. Hmmm, maybe tonight. The only negative I can think of was the thin head, but that's minor and did not affect the beer too much.

01-04-2007 21:56:08 | More by AChamberlain
Photo of Budlum


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%

Pouring this ale produces a modest, foamy, tan head that quickly dissipates leaving only a thin ring behind. The body is a glowing mahogany and red displaying excellent clarity.

The nose of this beer starts rich with a sweet, malty smell. A very smoky mix of peat and cigar smoke combine for a unique combination. There is a buttery smell much like movie theater popcorn that mixes with maple syrup as well.

A quick, spicy rush blends with a moderate sweetness to start this beer. Smoke flavors of faint peat and cigarettes add quite a few deep flavors to an already strong barley flavor. A slight, dry hoppiness mixes with the smoke before another sweet flavor before the finish. The finish holds long after a sip with a mix of smoke flavors. Very enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is quite spicy and carbonated even though there was no outward appearance. This feels quite buttery in the mouth as well.

Drinkability is very good. This is a delicious beer with a depth of flavor that is still easy to enjoy. An excellent winter beer to serve to friends.

01-03-2007 23:33:01 | More by Budlum
Photo of edchicma


4.08/5  rDev +13.3%

Pours a nice caramel, yet with a minimal head. Smell is definitely malty and smoky, with a hint of vanilla. Taste is smoky, with a strong malt backbone, light alcohol hints...definitely a Scotch Ale. Mouthfeel is slightly chewy and full-bodoed. Very easy on the drinkability scale, with a smooth quality that is rich in a refreshing way.

01-02-2007 00:00:33 | More by edchicma
Photo of ultrastrong


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%

Pours into the glass calmly, not much carbonation. In order to kick the head, the pour needs to be vigorous and down the middle of the beer. A medium caramel colored head appears with smallish bubbles indicating a strong ale. The head falls apart and disappears within two mintues. Swirling the glass brings the head back up. The look of the ale indicates good weight, small bubbles rise slowly and create the head. The ale is a beautiful amber color, very clear with no cloudy notes. The bouquet is mostly hop dominated: some musty wet dog notes, wet stone/concrete and in the background is subtlely sweet caramel malt aromas. In the mouth, the ale is a medium weight ale with great balance between sweet malty notes and bittering hops. There’s not much complexity but the nice hop finish make this a good drink. This is a winter beer that you can have perhaps more than one.

12-31-2006 04:09:56 | More by ultrastrong
Photo of bigdeuce


3.9/5  rDev +8.3%

This is a damn good brew. Scottish ale? I don't know about that. Tastes more like a winter ale or lager. Decent head and lacing, with some toffee undertones. Chocolatey malts shine through with a little hoppiness at the end, not much. There is some marachino cherry in there somewhere. Can drink many of these and I wish I had one more.

12-25-2006 05:33:40 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of arguemaniac


3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours a beautiful, deep chestnut color. The heavy roast of the palate is complemented by a nice dryness, along with delicious notes of toasted toffee, some nuttiness and caramel malt. Roasted grain dominates the finish. One of the better “winter warmers” I’ve tried this season; it’s dry and fairly subdued (unlike so many of the sickly sweet and over-spiced seasonals out there these days) and features some very tasty roasted, grainy flavors. Recommended.

12-25-2006 03:27:27 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of malcontent


3.18/5  rDev -11.7%

Pours a murky brown with a stable if unspectacular head.

Good array of aromas; raisons, butter, whole wheat bread and some mild alcohol. Nice.

Slightly sweet and then a bit tart. Indistinguishable flavors that border on bready, malty and fruity but never really settle on one. A lemon peel bitterness on the finish.

Way to thin whether it's aiming to be a Scottish Ale or a Winter Warmer. Nothing to write home about here and while it's not bad, when a brewery releases a beer near the end of the year I usually look for a lot more than this.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the taste.

12-22-2006 04:31:09 | More by malcontent
Photo of spiffylubes


3.73/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from 12 oz bottle, BB April '07. Poured a fairly clear, bright amber/red with little head which dissipated quickly to leave a slight amount of lacing. Strong malty smell, can't pick up much else. Taste is a slight sweetness, some smoky malt, with a slight spicy hoppiness in the back of my throat. Aftertaste is sweet. Good even amount of carbonation. Very very smooth mouthfeel, but somewhat average. However, I could drink a couple of these, the flavors balance out very nicely and its very smooth.

12-22-2006 02:02:02 | More by spiffylubes
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev 0%

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber with an off-white very low head which was persistent enough to trace on the glass.

The aroma was malty with caramel and toffee most prevalent. The caramel and toffee with a moderate level of diacetyl ruled the aroma.

The flavor was malty with mostly caramel and toffee once again and some diacetyl presence. Nothing complex existed about the flavor, simply a straightforward beer with enough bittering to balance the malt.

The finish was dry with a lasting tinny metallic hop flavor into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a fairly low level of carbonation. Nothing to seekout.

12 ounce bottle.

12-21-2006 22:52:31 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Applesauce1


3.9/5  rDev +8.3%

I picked up the 2006 Brooklyn Winter Ale at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH. An April 2007 freshness date is on the side of the bottle.

Appearance: dark amber color with a nice 1+" off-white head off of my aggressive pour
Smell: coffee flavored ice cream from the malt; maybe even smell a hint of alcohol
Taste: yea, this is good stuff; i was expecting a very sweet flavor but its not that sweet; very balanced; hints of fruitiness with this beer (maybe a raisin flavor); a pretty complex winter warmer
Mouthfeel: medium bodied
Drinkability: well, im going through this one kind of fast, so ill give it a 4

This is a good beer, especially if you want a winter warmer thats not very spicy. I like the spicy beers also, but this is a nice change.

12-21-2006 04:37:32 | More by Applesauce1
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.98/5  rDev +10.6%

On tap at the Hop Devil in NYC, this recent Bklyn offering poured pretty typical darkish amber, tan head, with decent retentive powers showing. Lacing is stringy and splotchy. Malty, slightly smoked nose. Straight forward Scottish style ale, smooth malts, slight smoke, background fruit and sugars. Nice creation, easy drinking wintry brew, well worth a try.

12-21-2006 04:20:18 | More by Billolick
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev +1.4%

Winter 2006. Best by: April 2007.

AP: Amber brown color with crimson hues. Looks substantial with a slightly off-white head that dissipated quickly to a thin, scattered cap.

Nose: A nutty, bready and mildly caramalized malt flavor at first then finshes with a leafy and mildly spicey hop. This is a good tasting Winter brew.

MF: This medium bodied ale feels substantial and heavy on the palate.

Da: One of my favorite "winter" brews for the year of '06.

12-19-2006 17:53:10 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of Minkybut


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%

Beer was poured into a tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer was dark and had a mildly thick head that went away fast. Smell had all kind of different interesting notes. Some like Christmas tree, some other exotic spices I could not get a grip on. Interesting beer, but to complex for me. Will not buy again.

12-17-2006 18:25:08 | More by Minkybut
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.93/5  rDev +9.2%

Poured a deep amber hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a solid clean malt with a light floral hop.

The taste was upfront malty, yet not overly sweet. Very good clean malts. A touch of flowery hop complimented the grain profile.

The mouthfeel was of medium fullness with a slightly dry finish.

Overall an easy drinking Scottish Ale. Very nice malts.

12-12-2006 04:01:37 | More by plaid75
Photo of mnj21655


3.73/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a clear amber/copper in color with a minimal khaki colored head and some lacing. Smell is of malts with a hint of floral hops. Also somewhat earthy. Taste is dominated by malts. Floral hops make there presence known at the finish along with a hint of spices. Medium body and low/moderate carbonation. Good drinkability, a very enjoyable winter beer.

12-11-2006 21:20:43 | More by mnj21655
Photo of BeerFan

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

This is for the '06 version, which is a scottish ale. Available in 6 packs this year. It is different than last year's Winter Ale, which was a spiced winter ale in the old wassail tradtion. It is also different than the previous draft-only Brewmaster Reserve Scotch Ale.

Pours a clear and dark reddish-amber with a tan head. Tiny layer of foam remains through the whole glass. Decent lacing. Smell of sweet, caramel toasted malt. Taste is not sweet at all. The Maris Otter malts give a nice biscuity taste. Minimal taste of hops, but they are there to balance things out nicely. Medium-bodied for this 6% beer. Very easy to drink. Good example of a scottish ale.

12-10-2006 00:03:12 | More by BeerFan
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.28/5  rDev -8.9%

I was able to have this brew on tap the other day. It was poured to a dark amber color with a smallish head but did have some retention and left a little lacing. The aromas seemed to have a somewhat odd fruit scent that was very noticeable needless to say I had a very hard time pin pointing it. Unfortunately this was the most noticeable scent to hit my nose and the folks with me also seemed to have a hard time getting by it. The taste was ok, not my favorite “seasonal” that I have had but overall it was a nice drink. Was a brew that I would not throw back quickly, more of a slow sipper. I was able to pick up some of the odd fruit (think it is fruit) taste that I noticed in the nose along with a solid malt taste. Over all I guess this brew was not what I was expecting, was it good, yeah but some of the flavors just seemed a little odd, could it have been the keg?

12-08-2006 21:52:15 | More by Stimack
Photo of geexploitation


3.93/5  rDev +9.2%

Pours clear and dark, with different shades of browns, mahoganies, and caramels visible from different angles. Minimal off-white head that fades to a collar pretty quickly. Smells of caramel malt and a touch of pungent fruits, but the nose is pretty slight, even for the style. On the palate, very smooth malts, slick even, play well with a small amount of balancing bittering hops. Slight English ale sourness on the finish. Very smooth in mouthfeel, with only minimal carbonation. Overall, a good Scotch ale, especially for the price.

12-07-2006 03:18:57 | More by geexploitation
Photo of jmz62565


3.88/5  rDev +7.8%

Pours a clear mahogony with a smallish head that quickly disappears. The smell is alittle light with Christmas spices,cinnamon, nutmeg,brown sugar, along with sweet malt, and dark fruit. The taste is sweet malt, pine hops, and the above mentioned Christmas spices. The spices are more sublte in this compared to other Winters. The m/f is light with all flavors mixing well. A damn good winter, my only complaint is that this needs more of an alcohol kick.

12-05-2006 06:33:57 | More by jmz62565
Photo of BEERchitect


3.98/5  rDev +10.6%

Always beleived that the Scottish Ales were the best Winer beers. They are full of character, sweeter, heavier, maltier, more emphasis on dark fruits, spicier, earthier, and a little 'dirty'. This beer fits to the tee. Smells very malty with a light raison / date aroma, with an earthy, pine-ey scent. Tastes also very malty sweet with complexities of fruitcake and pine to spice it up a little. Finishes with a mild 'campfire' smokiness and earthiness along with the established pine-hop flavors. A really nice beer for those cold days ahead.

12-03-2006 20:22:10 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Bierguy5


3.88/5  rDev +7.8%

6.0 % ABV, Best before April 07. Dark amber clear liquid. Thin off white head disappears very quickly. Big malty, earthy aroma, right on target for a Scottish Ale. Deep caramel malty backbone, a bit of sweetness at the front end. Malt is balanced well by some earthy flavors, and a bit of nuttyness. Dry in the finish. Medium body, with appropriate carbonation. Very drinkable, especially at 6%. Pretty nice, worth a try.

12-02-2006 14:51:27 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of andjusticeforale


4/5  rDev +11.1%

This poured out of the bottle deeper and richer than I expected. There was a slickness to the beer that trumped any creaminess and made the head settle to close foam quickly.

Obvious from the very beginning is a big rich maltiness. One thing they accomplish is that the molasses and sweetness is subtle and never takes over the beers character. There is some nice flavoring hops, very subtle and not bitter, right in the middle to finish, and there is a real nice flavor push at the end that ends with just enough dryness to keep from being cloyingly caramel.

They say on the bottle that this isbig enough to pair with the roast meats and rich dishes of the holiday season. I agree, but it is drinkable enough to have a few without anything at all, except company.

12-01-2006 12:48:56 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%

Clear deep auburn glow with a poofy orange tinted tan head. Head fades fast to a ring of creamy retention. Nose brings forth a healthy dose of malts and is quite fragrant. Malts smell smooth and sweet, lightly toasted. Very nice spice flavors. Allspice, mild cinnamon, clove, pumpkin, cooked almonds and orange citrus for balance. The flavors follow the aromas. British indeed. Bitterness is moderate and just right. Nice bitter tingle in the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and has a comfortable feel but body could be heavier. This would probably go very nicely with the right holiday meal or dessert. Drinkability is great.

Yummy winter beer. The spicing is just right and not overdone.

12-01-2006 03:57:24 | More by tastybeer
Photo of

3.6/5  rDev 0%

12oz. bottle.

Crystal clear, light brown to copper color. Large, rocky, tan head on top.

Very malty, with some balance from the hops which were grassy. Earthy and spicy. A bit of alcohol popped in as well.

Malt was dominant and biscuity in character. Hops put in a good show at the finish. Again grassy in character. Phenolic, almost medicinal taste, but not problematic. Beer was almost like a scottish ale (didn't know it was one when reviewing....). Spice and pepper at finish.

Medium + in body. Carbonation seemed higher than needed, almost made beer too zingy. Somewhat drying.

A very good winter beer. I enjoyed it. Mouthfeel and probably overall would have scored higher if it was just a bit less carbonated.

11-30-2006 19:47:02 | More by
Photo of scooter231

New York

4/5  rDev +11.1%

Deep chocolate color with red pigments running throughout, almost opaque. Smells roasted, toasted, chocolatey and coffee-y. Bitter but not very. Some sweet maltyness, and a bit of a fruity odor. Taste is sweet without being cloyingly so. A slightly burnt coffee flavor that balances well with the sweetness. A big punch of breadyness and biscuityness hits you near the end. Mouthfeel is chewy and smooth without being too thick. Overall a nice winter warmer, balanced and tasty and not too heavy.

11-29-2006 04:09:59 | More by scooter231
Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 963 ratings.