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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

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1,091 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,091
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 20
Gots: 106 | 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: dedrinker on 11-03-2006

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: 1,091 | Reviews: 483
Photo of nrpellegrini
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
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 -2.2%
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 -0.8%
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
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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
3.77/5  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
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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
4.08/5  rDev +14%
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
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
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
2.99/5  rDev -16.5%
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 +11.7%
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 +1.4%
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
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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
4.08/5  rDev +14%
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 +13.1%
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 +11.7%
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
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of sstackho
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased from Clarendon Wines in Boston. Pours a medium-dark copper with a bit of head. Decent malty aroma. Initial taste is of malts, but then leads to a slightly tangy bitterness to round things out. I was worried that this was going to be another all-malt-and-only-malt "winter beer" experience, and was happy that this offered a bit more.

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

Dark brown with a lot of red to it. Light passes through, it is very clear. Thin beige head that falls to a ring.

A bit of a spicy smell to it, if I didn't know better I would've guessed cardamon. Otherwise there is a malty butterscotch aroma.

Malt heavy, sweet in an alcoholic toffee kind of way. Finishes with an impression of cardamon again. Not bad.

Body is medium and a little sticky. Carbonation shows strongly. Again not bad.

Nothing bad about this beer, but it just didn't wow me. I don't regret the six pack, but I doubt I'd buy it again.

Photo of hops4me
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a beautiful deep red body with a off white head. The bubbles were very tight and foamy. When the head subsided it left a creamy lace stuck to the walls of the pint glass.

S - butterscotch, cinnamon, caramel...very nice indeed.

T - tastes almost identical to its smell with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. Medium to full mouth feel. The malt is star of this beer.

D - Very high...for me anyway...but I have been known to drink pitchers of barleywine. I really liked this one.

I tasted it before I read the summary of it that stated there was no spice added. I swore there was cinnamon or something added to this.

Photo of TheDeuce
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now a Scottish-style ale.

Poured into a pint glass, very dark with a very carbonated head. Smell is very malty (bottle claims it's Maris Otter malts), taste is very balanced, mix of chocolate and caramel tastes, alcohol well hidden by the malt, a slight semblance of hops in the middle of it all but this is way more malty. Smooth finish, light on the tongue.

One of the best versions of the style I've ever had, many craft breweries try this style and fail but this one succeeds with flying colors. Malty beers aren't really my style but this is an incredible success. Way to go.

Photo of AgingWarrior
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a cold bottle of Winter Ale into a frosted mug. It poured a nice dark amber color with about a one finger head and plenty of lacing.

The smell was a bit of a disappointment in that the aroma was quite faint. Usually the first whiff tells me whether or not I'm going to like a beer or not. With Winter Ale it was hard to tell.

The taste is good. You can taste caramel malts and some other spices in this brew. There is a bit of an alcohol taste that I didn't really like, but it's not over powering.

Good mouth feel, okay after taste.

I could drink several of these beers.

Photo of jackorain
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from the bottle on January 5th, 2005

A-dark brown, nearly clear when held up to the light. 1/2 inch head fell reather quickly and left a little lace.

S-Caramel malt, yeast mollases, hint of coffee and choclate. Overal, the aroma is not string.

T-Big malt caramel and mollases as well as biscuit. A real fruintiness seems to push through in the middle. A mild hop bitterness, pine and green, finished this beer off nicely

Mediium body but a little to fizzy

D-good, I could have a few.

Photo of SpencerT
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was dark cider in color with a 2 finger light mocha head with good lacing.

The aroma was very faint caramel. Would have liked to smell this beer a little more.

The taste was of brown sugar with a caramel notes. Good balance of flavor. A simple ale lacking complexity, but not in a bad way. It is a smooth and creamy ale.

This ale has a good drinkability. I could drink a few more of these.

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

12oz bottle, best before April '08, served in a standard pint glass.

A - clear, amber color with a good size, tan head that settled to a layer, leaving lots of tiny lace bubbles all down the glass.

S - toasted malt aroma.

T - roasty, toasty, malty flavor. Nice malty brew.

M - light bodied, light carbonation.

D - very easy drinking beer.

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Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 1,091 ratings.