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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

969 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 969
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 20
Gots: 41 | 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: 969 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BEERchitect, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Bierguy5, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of andjusticeforale
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

andjusticeforale, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

tastybeer, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of scooter231
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

scooter231, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

Pours a clear chestnut brown with a small eggshell head that fades. Little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is malt dominated with a nice nuttiness and a light nutmeg/cinnamon spiciness.

Caramel malt uprfront with a nice nutty flavor followed by a nutmeg/cinnamon spiciness that rides through the finish and even lingers a bit afterwards.

Medium body, light carbonation.

A decent winter brew, but just a bit too spiced for my taste. By the time I finished the bottle, I was looking for something else.

MaltyGoodness, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle served in a nonic pint glass.
Best before 04.2007.

Clean oak with highlights of mahogany and auburn. Carbonation-filled, off-white head that doesn't last. Spotted and condensed lacing with little strength.

Sweet, caramelized brown sugar; toasted malt character with hints of clean biscuit and tea. Clean aromatics reminiscent of a lagered Marzen with just a faint hint of nutmeg and spice.

Sweet, toasted maltiness giving hints of mild toffee, unbittered tea, and a diacetyl-brushed breadiness. Hints of powdered spices: nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon; that taste natural and don't overwhelm the malt character's own sweet, creamy presence. An aftertaste of mild tea, light caramel, and nutmeg.

Medium in body; creamy with a faint powdery quality from the spices that provide a nice coating on the palate; good balance.

In a sea of over-spiced Winter Warmer, Brooklyn has produced a well balanced, domestic version of the style. Not a great beer, but stylistically on the money.

NEhophead, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of Darkale
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What an odd beer this is. I purchased a six pack because I have fond memories of Brooklyn's Brown Ale, and I find myself coming back to this beer, though it's not entirely pleasant.

Spare head, after you've poured it, it degenerates to just a pale tan around the rim of the glass, and very little lacing. Body is a cheery cherry brown. Aroma is dubbel-like, faintly like raisins, slightly sweet and dusty. Malty in taste, not quite chewy, with a hint of cinnamon and hops. I would not want two back to back, but I find myself liking the faintly metallic aftertaste, the spice, the way that it slowly warms, and changes as it warms. I like a beer that challenges me, that won't be immediately appealing. This would be a great beer with turkey and other holiday flavors. A good introduction to the style.

Darkale, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of BBM
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap. Tis' the season! The beer pours a rich dark amber color with a small white head. Good retention and lacing. The nose isn't too potent, but there are notes of dark fruit, some spice, and syrup.

The taste was what I expected it to be; a standard winter beer. Dark fruits, slight spices, and sweet malts backed up by the bitter alcohol finish. This thing really does pack a punch on the backend. I also found swishing it around for a second or two is not a good idea. The flavors leave as fast as they come, and this one is best sipped right down the gullet. But even at 6% ABV, this beer is pretty sessionable. An enjoyable, if fairly standard, winter ale. Still not quite as good as my current fav, Sam Adams.

BBM, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of jameaterblues
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at my local beverage warehouse about a week and a half ago...for details check the BeerSpy.

Poured into a pint glass.
A-About half a fingers worth of slightly copper/white colored head...a rich brown color, light visible bubbles, and a flowy sticky lace.

S- Big rich and sweet, roasted, slightly spiced....cinnomon, ginger, sugars, and just a touch of pine or grass. and light alcohol as it warms.

T- Nice roasty malts, slight sweetness, and a light spice...no distinct spice but a little spice from the hops.

M/D- Medium bodied, moderate carbonation...Overall a decent winter ale....seems like a slightly older more odd brother of their okoberfest. Good, but not outstanding...I don't know if makes me wish that I had tried the slightly stronger abv version of the previous years..

jameaterblues, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Buffalo Brewpub,poured a rich amber with a thin but well retained tan colred head,picked up some cherry and deep brown sugar notes in the nose with hints of cinnamon and clove.Quite drinkable for the abv% I have to say lighter dark fruit and brown sugar notes up front with that pear note that a few others have noted not overly sweet just about spot on.A highly quaffable winter ale has nice flavors and is easy going down,recommended.

oberon, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's that time of year again and it's the first time Brooklyn Brewery has brought NC this winter warmer. Very typical to the style, but I prefer Sam Adams my home homebrew a bit better. Hints of coriander, cinnamon, plums? with a bit of hotness to it. A bit of a bitter aftertaste. Not bad, but there's better ones out there in my opinion.

Backer2004, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark amber-red with a foamy off-white head. Toffee and caramel hit the nose first, followed by a little dark spice, but not too much, which I like. Kind of like gingerbread cookies. The flavor seems bold after the soft, delicate aroma: bready, sweet malts, warmly spiced, and faint lingering vanilla. Even a brief suggestion of chocolate. Alcohol seems to slip in between all the flavors which kind of breaks the balance a little. As quickly as the flavor comes, it seems to end just as abruptly...which is actually making me drink this faster. Medium-full and slick, yet crisp. Somewhat abrasive on the tongue.

This is a solid Winter seasonal - not too spiced. This is a good thing.

wedge, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drink by April! Hurry!
I'm kinda likin' this. The scent is herbal and sweet. Drinks a bit like a spiced porter. The spices make for some nice accents as opposed to being overwhelming. Some nutmeg is in there, maybe some corriander and/or clove. Maybe a hint of cinnamon... but again, they are there as accents. All around, it reminds me of an amped up brown ale; Dogfish Head's Indian brown comes to mind. Big malty flavor with a solid backbone of hop bitterness.
For the style this is pretty good stuff; this is pretty good stuff on the whole within the darker, sweeter yet hoppy end of the spectrum.

ommegangpbr, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of far333
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored with a thin and finely bubbled head that doesn't rise too high but sticks around a while and runs a sheet of lace around the insides of the glass.

Light aroma of cinnamon and malt. Smooth and even mouthfeel with moderate to low carbonation leads to flavors of caramel and toasted malt and understated cocoa, some currant and smoke and a bit of hop bitters riding beneath. Finishes a bit tannic and powdery.

far333, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of Hibernator
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn Winter Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Best before April 07 clearly notched on the side label
6.0% ABV
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a chestnut brown with ruby highlights on the bottom of the glass. Little spots of sticky lace cling on the side of the glassware.

Malty nose with whiffs of dairy and allspice.

Syrupy-sweet flavor with hints of cinnamon, dairy, butterscotch and juicy malts. There is certainly a thick malt backbone. A rather hearty beer is some aspects, but I feel like the butterscotch kick is a tad much. I'm not sure if this flavor was intended or not, but it detracts from the beer.

Overall a solid winter brew from Brooklyn, but was expecting more.

Hibernator, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep copper color with an off-white head. Some lacing probably would have stayed but i have been swirling the glass constantly, so I cant tell.

S - Strong deep caramellish/plum aromas. Some slight nutty aromas, rasin, apricot, and some pear. very nice

T - The flavors transform into a malty rasin flavor. Slightly toasty, and the nutty aroma transfered to it. For such a low alcohol beer, there is a strong alcohol aroma.

M - Slight carbonation on the front, but mellows out to a medium bodied nice little ale. The alcohol warms the back end of it.

D- Nice winter wamer. Seems more like a nice scottish ale, but I like it.

quasimoto, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of dedrinker
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure this is the same version othere have tried. Mine was 6% abv, and totally new to my local area as of 11/1/06. Purported to be a Scottish style ale, it is dark mahaogany, smells of authentic Maris Otter malts, but the taste backs down where the aroma steps out. Chewy sweet malt, barely balanced by restrained hops as per the style. A little more yeasty/ fermentation complexity would be appreciated by me if the style is a malt-accented ale. Otherwise a solid attempt at a traditional style beer, which is what I understand Garret Oliver's chief aim is with his beers. He is certainly the chap to give it one of the best tries that any Yank can.

dedrinker, Nov 03, 2006
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Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 969 ratings.