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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

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1,074 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,074
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 20
Gots: 87 | 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: 1,074 | Reviews: 479 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kinger
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

06 Edition Winter Ale - 6.0% ABV. This is a pretty standard ale nice to drink, but lacking in the bells and whistles department. Generously sweet malty scent some light pepper is there. Nice color but the off white head soon left and couldn't be brought back. Medium fullness and easily drinkable, nice clean finish. Good tasting ale, sweet malts, slight and I do mean slight bitter hop presence. Nothing out of the ordinary, think I'll stick to their imperial stout.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep amber color with a big head rising above it that did leave some lacing. The appearance itself indicates winter. Malt and an inviting freshly baked bread aroma dominate the nose with a sweet caramel and nutty butter linger behind the scenes. On the palate the beer is soft and smooth, almost coating the palate. Light for a winter ale, but not too light. The tastes backup the aroma with bready malt and round rich caramel. The beer finishes with needed and well executed balance provided by the hops in the form of both spice and bitterness. The exit of the beer leaves behind a comforting warm feeling like a warm blanket on a chilly night. The Scottish influence is noticeable in the malt. Definitely another strong brew from Brooklyn Brewery.

Photo of thespaceman
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Darker brown in color, nice sized head with great lacing.

Smell: Extra toasty and malty, a nice caramel and butterscotch nose accompanies this malty brew. Buttered toast and a tinge of fruit florals throws this in the right direction.

Taste: A nice deep, rich, estery and alcohol taste, with a nice drop of roastness and flavor in the hops. A good combination hops that brings out the warming feeling of a good Scottish Ale. A little thinner then expected but the maltiness in the backbone proves it's worth.

Mouthfeel: Deep carbonation, thick when it first meets the tongue and then becomes wet when it sits.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this with some fresh white fish with spinach and tomatoes and this was one a perfect go along. Good for holiday meals yet daring enough to drink all night and keep your attention. A stand up beer for Brooklyn right below the Chocoalte Stout.

Photo of Clydesdale
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep copper color with a big, creamy, light tan head with good retention. Lacing is solid.

S: Caramel malts, some buttery notes. Some faint hops.

T: Rich caramel malts, with some roasted characteristics. Leafy hops provide a bit of a bite for balance. Some buttery flavors and a bit of alcohol apparent as well.
Perhaps some faint spice flavors.

M: Medium bodied, with a creamy feel.

D: This one tastes good, but it doesn't have much to make it stand out from the crowd. It seems solid but unspectacular, much like the other Brooklyn offerings I've tried so far.

Photo of eagles22
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: 2 finger white head brownish copper color

smell: malts, dark carmel and also a little hint of whiskey and light coffee

taste: heavy roasted malts, carmel also toffee

mouthfeel: very moist, wonderful after taste leaves you wanting more

drinkability: for a 6% beer this is very drinkable easily could put down 7 or 8 of these in a sitting ...this beer is worth a try

Photo of asabreed
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Best by April 2009 stamped onto the neck.

Appearance: Brownish amber with nice clarity. Not much retention, though, in scant places, and a head that doesn't last too long.

Smell: More sweeter malt flavors, as related to an Oktoberfest seemingly more than a Scottish Ale. Not much hops, as expected, but there's not much variation to the malt aromas, some caramel, smoke, faint chocolate, but all blending into a kind of malt base with little distinction. It's still pleasing, but I wish there was more going on.

Taste: A nice malt base with caramel, toasted grain, mild chocolate, a bit of molasses, and a slight amount of sour and mildly bitter hops at the finish to get things in order.

Mouthfeel: An odd balance of richness with not enough carbonation it seems to make it balanced, so it seems a little slick, though not necessarily cloying, which is a good thing.

Drinkability: I thought I'd tried this before, but I was wrong. That said, I'm glad I did, and it's enjoyable, but there are better, more flavorful winter brews out there. One of the Brooklyn brews I'll leave for others to try, especially with the Black Chocolate Stout always around this time of year.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich mahogany-hued body with a inch and a half of creamy, off-white head. Random lacing.

Smell: Aroma of toasty dark caramel sauce and brown sugar with a thin backdrop of fruit and a leafy, spicy hop character.

Taste: Pleasing maltiness with a taste of dark caramel, brown sugar, and breadcrusts. Slight apple and pear fruitiness. Hop character that's lightly floral and spicy with a mild, restrained bitterness. Very minor hint of wood. Slightly drying on the finish, though it does remain quite malty with a lingering brown sugar taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Everso slightly creamy on the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Certainly recommended. Yet another quality brew that's both tasty and easily drinkable from Brooklyn Brewery.

Photo of daliandragon
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I remember trying the first Brooklyn winter three years ago and only being mildly impressed and none too surprised that they completely changed the recipe the following year. This new and improved version features a maroon rust body with little haziness and a tan head that doesn't stick around long. Nose is basic caramel malt with a touch of alcohol, smoke, and toasted.

The taste has a similar malty base with a bitter center but the two flavors seem to be fighting more than melding together. There also are some yeast and metal notes that don't quite ring true for me. I don't get any smoke, or spice, or any the typical Scottish qualities. I think I like the winter warmer version better. Not for me, thanks.

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Until I saw that it is a Scotish Style Ale I had a hard time putting this one together, it makes sense now.

Pours a clear orange/ dark brown color with a decent off white head that slowly fades. Smells of very sweet malts. Taste of dark sweet malts, maybe some dark fruit in there. Not a complete scotish ale, lacks the full taste and mouthfeel. It comes across and little weak at the end. Great drinkability though, I liked this beer a lot it was tough to decifer.

Photo of glid02
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as a single at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark copper/light brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes pretty quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. There's not much lacing.

Smells good. Lots of smoky and caramel aromas up front. As the beer warms the fruit tends to poke its way through more.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A smoky caramel flavor up front with a mild spiciness. As with the smell a fruity taste comes through as the beer warms, and as I finish the beer it tastes very similar to Brooklyn's Brown. There's a light dry finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness, although it could be a bit thicker. The carbonation is good and it goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. At first when the malts and smokiness is still in charge it's very easy to drink. As the fruitiness makes its way through I don't think it's as good.

Overall this beer is worth a shot, but it's only slightly above average.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear goldish-copper with a modest but creamy head that settles without lace.

S - Very nice aromas of peat, malt caramel and raw honey.

T - Malt and caramel with a nice touch of honey and leather.

M - Creamy, not too dense and enough carbonation to keep it interesting.

D - Food friendly and more than drinkable.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, rich brown with orange edges. Tan head drops quickly, leaves bo lace.
Smell is malty, pepper, yeast, peat, orange peel, spices.Good balance.
Taste malt, yeast, peat,pepper, spices,alcohol (light), oak. Well balanced throughout.
Warms the throat, smooth with a medium effervescence, a smooth finish. Malty, spicy/orange aftertaste. good stuff, nice at room temp.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a rich reddish copper body capped with a thick finger of light khaki foam that recedes slowly and leaves scraps of lacing on the glass.

Smell is spicy and malty with notes of smoky cloves.

Taste is rich and malty with a touch of caramel, blanketed with a tangy fruit-rind-style bitterness. A fruity note of juicy plum takes over the drink as it warms a bit.

The drink is soft, lightly-carbonated and fullish in body, keeping the drinkability pretty low for me.

Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition, thanks to crushinator. Te aroma is consistent with the Scottish style, malty and peaty. It drinks very smooth, even creamy above average mouthfeel. There is lots of lace. It is very drinkable for the style, which is a swallow at a time.

Photo of Durge
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beauty is a creamy brown color with a very solid off-white head and the lacing is also very solid. The aroma is grassy hops and mild caramel. It has a nice mellow caramel flavor with herbal hop bitterness. It has a bit of Dr. Pepper flavor which I really like, Moxie almost. A very smooth mid-body ale. There's a bit of chocolate hint and plenty of toffee. Very flavorful but minimal alcohol so it is plenty drinkable. Very pleasant.

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep chocolate brown with a decent sized head that settles into a nice lace.
The aroma is of sweet malts,dark fruits/raisins and smoky caramel.
The taste is of big malts,hops,fruits and caramel & chocolate tones. The alcohol comes through and the beer is good even as it warms.
The overall feel is medium carbonation that is well balanced with the hops. The finish is slightly grainy and dry with some spice and a tad of bitterness.

Notes: A good brew and perfect for the winter or an early,cold morning. There were some light metallic notes detected,but nothing too distracting or anything that made this experience bad.
I had one at about 5am and it was like having some chocolate malt before bed. Good Filling.

Photo of stumac
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this barley, hops, yeast, and water mixture poured up nice generic brown color. little carbonated head that died real quick. not much aroma. just some subtle malts. some smoked peat would have been nice. taste is kinda boring. just lots of deep malts without a very full body. not very apparent hop character. typical. i feel the dark cherries and figs trying to come out to play but the heavy malts wont let them. Definately English style malts. medium bodied. low carbo. im not a big scottish ale fan but this is no Traquair for sure.

Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Brooklyn tulip tumbler. Pours a coppery brown with light reddish hues. A thick finely carbonated light tan head develops and slowly fades leaving bits of lace all the way down and a light covering atop the fluid. A decent amount of carbonation is evident.

Smell is of roasted sweet malt, light floral hops and yeasty bready dark fruit esters. Hints of caramel and toffee. Spicy notes in the mix and faint sourness.

Taste is like the nose. Crisp but chewy malt goodness, dark fruits, spicy notes with a light but sharp hop bittering in the finish. Breadyness becomes more biscuit like in the middle with a lingering bread in the finish that comes behind the hops. A light sourness in the front and gentle tannic aspect at the end to tie it all together.

Mouthfeel is medium light with lightly active carbonation.

Drinkability is great. A great cool weather companion day or night. More please.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep transluscent chestnut hue, tall spongy off-white head that slowly recedes.

Chewy toffee malt on the nose, closely accompanied by dark dried fruits: dates, figs, raisins. Molasses and some brown sugar. Some husky spices in the background.

The flavour is similar to getting knocked down and rolled up in a carpet of rich dark malt. Dried fruits once again, brown sugar, and a deep warming alcohol that turns a bit tart on the finish and aftertaste. The finish is a warm spicy affair, soothing and comforting, a nutmeg character tends to stand out the most.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and sticky, I can almost feel lacing left on my palate.

Well then, for a winter warmer this one sure has a firm handshake. As for being a Scottish ale, it is still big on the malt without being cloyingly sweet, very palatable. Still, I'm good after one of these, more than full and satiated.

Photo of Viggo
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a mostly clear copper brown, nice thick light tan head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, no real lacing. Smell is very crisp and malty, earth, bread, caramel, some spicy alcohol, touch of milk chocolate, some citrus, floral, not bad. Taste is light, very fruity, strawberries, bread, light caramel, some spiciness, sweet brown sugar and floral finish, bit of alcohol, some iron, very caramelized finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, a bit warm, but easy to drink.

Photo of canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Turns out this is a decent Scottish ale which is ok since a Winter beer can really be anything as long as it is hearty. Tastes a little like our local Nelson Faceplant. The beer is mid brown with not much of a nose. The flavour is quite malty but the beer is very balanced( a Garret quality). A very pleasant drinking beer for these still cold evenings.

Photo of Dodo2step
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my weizen glass and the head is only about a finger if that and doesnt have too much power to it. Head is light caramel in color and dissipates very quickly The beer itself is a nice dark coppertone/caramel color.

The smell is that of a deep malt and reminds me of vinegar. I can also lightly smell some sort of spices and caramel.

The taste is a smoky caramel flavor with a light roasted malt that finishes off the back end. Very tasty and delightful if i do say so myself.

Feels malty in the mouth but packs a nice punch to it. Refeshing and enjoyable.

This would be a nice beer to sit back and relax with while watching a football game. It is a little malty but it is smooth and if you like smokey flavorings this a good one.

Photo of Graham5161986
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear, reddish, dark-amber colour with a 1 finger, frothy, tan head and lots of visible rising carbonation bubbles. The head retention was good and it leaves a beautiful sticky lace

S: fruity, malty, slight chocolaty sweetness

T: rich, sugary fruitiness, a bit of chocolaty malt, a slight hop character and a slight presence of alcohol that creates a nice warming sensation.

M: thick and creamy, gorgeous, spicy-crisp carbonation and a very creamy, smooth, throat-coating finish.

D: another great from Brooklyn. This hefty brew makes for a very enjoyable winter drinking experience - perfect after a long day of homework :-). While it is pretty heavy, it's still a pleasure to drink and I'm pretty sure I could down a couple of these, especially since it's ABV isn't too high. I look forward to my next one.

Photo of alexskovan
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber with a sturdy fine-grained head. Rich nutty aroma, with caramel and butterscotch notes. A very warming, inviting aroma. Tastes like it smells, deep, rounded, satisfying. A really fine beer, balanced and solid. Something to warm you on a winter night.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Hazy dark red-brown, with a mild off-white head and lacing. Lacing is very runny and doesn't stick substantially. Carbonation is mild but present throughout.

Aroma is very sweet, buttery toffee/caramel and alcohol very prevalent. Slight hints of spice, perhaps from the yeast, perhaps from the hops.

Taste reveals a strong spicy, earthy hop bitterness that was almost nonexistant in the aroma, a pleasant surprise. Caramel and toasted malts still present, and alcohol rounds off the finish.

Mildly carbonated, and rather creamy. The strong alcohol presence keeps it from feeling too light (but is rather warming - good winter ale quality), but the creamy mouthfeel and bitter crispness keep it from feeling too heavy. A good middle of the road feeling.

Drinkability is nice, a good seasonal ale. Not particularly my style, but decent for what it tries to be. I don't regret buying it, but I don't know if I'd buy it again.

Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.