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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: 13.37%
Wants: 20
Gots: 88 | 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 sstackho
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
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 -2.5%
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 +12.3%
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%
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 -0.8%
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 +1.4%
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 +4.7%
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 +19.8%
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.

Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a good sized foam. Leaves behind some nice lacework as it settles. Has a amber brown color.

Smells of sweet malt, licorice, earth, wood and alcohol.

Tastes of roasted malts, sour fruits, spices (I know they don't put any in) and caramel.

Photo of BeerSox
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear copper amber hue. A tan one finger frothy head slowly settles to a thin cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

The aroma is light, mostly a sweet caramel smell.

Along with the aroma, the flavor is very light. Not as many of the sweet characteristics are there as in the aroma. For a scottish ale, it seems like the burnt sugar flavors are missing, leaving mostly just the biscuity malts. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is the lingering malts.

This beer is okay, but I wouldn't consider it a outstanding example of a Scottish Ale. It's drinkable, but if you're looking for a Scottish Ale you should pass on this one. Not Recommended.

Photo of tgbljb
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper color with mioderate off-white creamy head.
Smell is so light as to be virtually undetectable. Slight hints of alcohol.
Taste has some nice notes of caramel, whicjh become more pronounced as the beer warms. There is a slight bitterness at the end, that compliments the caramel nicely.
A very subdued beer, but still enjoyable.
Note : This beer's profile improved noticably as the beer warmed. Probbaly would be at its best at cellar temperature, or even a bit above.

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

Deep coppery amber body with a firm, dense pad of beige head. Sweetish, caramelly malt aromas blend with faint vanilla, and a hint of peat malt. Toasted, nutty malts up front. Big caramel and sugar cookie sweetness follow, with bits of milk chocolate, vanilla, and whiskey. Mild herbal bitterness in the finish. Medium-bodied with a very creamy feel, especially in the finish. Nice.

Photo of armock
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a dark amber color with an off white head

S - Is of malt fruit and some spice

T - Much like the smell malt with fruit and spices

M - There is a lot of carbonation in this one but its ok in this beer

D - This seasonal is good but not great its worth a try if you get the chance but there are better winter beers out

Photo of iceball585
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-clear, half finger thick white head that lowered to a thin cover

S- Spices (cinnamon and cloves), dark malts, maple syrup, hint of fruits

T- Toasted malts, winter spices, molasses, wheat, sweet, dark fruits, mild dry hop finish

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, creamy then turns to a slightly dry finish

D- Definatly worth trying

Very interesting for a scotch ale. In fact it tastes like a combination of a winter warmer and a scotch ale.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brooklyn- Winter Ale

A- Dark red with a big creamy thick head. Good messy lacing.
S- Moss and malt. Some funky earthy barnyard smells.
T- Creamy malt, syrupy molasses, licorice, hay/ straw, even a touch of cherry.
M- Creamy malt with a bitter tangy finish. Highly carbonated.

Overall- Tone down the carbonation a bit and you have a winner.

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

Poured from a bottle with 04/08 drink by date. This very clear amber colored beer is topped by a two finger tan, creamy head. The head leaves a huge amount of sticky lace. There is a good amount of carbonation too.

The aroma is abundantly sweet with some spicy apple and other fruits thrown in. The hop flavor is minimal for this style but there is a small amount that is nicely blended with the sweet malt.

The flavor is a nice flowery spice accompanied by caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very easily drinkable. Excellent beer from Brooklyn.

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

Pours a clear lighter ruby with no head. Nose is a bit syrupy sweet with some malty character there as well. Flavor is earthy. I think that is the top classification here. Beyond just saying "earthy", it also has a slight sweet edge and a caramel tone to it as well. Feel is good for the style. Slightly thick and syrupy with little carbonation coating the tongue. This is a fairly drinkable brew. I won't go so far as to say it is the best interpretation of the style, but it is still fairly good.

Photo of lightindarkness
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz 2007 bottle in a nonic

A - A deep reddish brown with some creamy off-white head.

S - Enticing smells full of roasted malt: caramel, maple syrup, with hints of nuttiness and spruce.

T - Up front strong roasted malt with slight caramel. Finishes with a dry nuttiness. Not too much depth, sitting high on roasted flavors and some crisp bitterness that turns a little sour.

M - Somewhat full bodied, yet remaining clean and crisp.

D - Okay. The slight sour characteristic and dry nuttiness aren't particularly satisfying, leaving me looking for a little more depth. A pretty good Scottish Ale with a great winter appeal.

Photo of srrn
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured a nice deep mahogony/garnet. Smells of roasted malt and I think I detected Belgian yeast (is this the Belgian aromatic malt? my palate/nose is not usually sensitive enough to catch something like this). Taste is spot on for the style and is almost perfect, sweet, then a bit of earthiness and a dry slightly bitter finish. This otherwise very nice beer fails in the mouthfeel and carbonation for me. My favorite Scottish ales have a sort of thick/luxurious (but not RIP thick of course) mouthfeel without a soda type fizziness. This is a winner on all other counts for me.

Photo of kenito799
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

20 oz pour at Ulysses, NYC.

Dark chestnut brown with nice ivory head, leaves some frothy lace.

Aroma is malty malt, brown sugar, a little caramel. The flavor is all about the malt, but there is a good subtle balance of bitterness, just enough to counter the caramel roasted maltiness, strong hop flavors don't really come into play. Therefore the effect is not at all a sweet beer, but a mild, soft comforting brew. Well made and quite drinkable.

Photo of dsa7783
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby-red dark color from a 12oz bottle with minimal or no head... definitely a reddish-tint towards it... the smell is sweet, with a cognac aftersmell full of cinnamon sweetness... taste is sugarey and sweet, slightly malty with a lingering aftertaste... not bitter at all, the sweetness shines through this drink... definitely pleasing and goes down very easily like candy... mouthfeel is likewise good and the drinkability is up there, just a little sweet, but with a nice alcohol glow... great selection for a winter warmer - candied and sweet and very palate-pleasing... definitely recommended while supplies last...

Photo of beeroclock
3.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the Sam Adams pint glass. Deep red hues swirl within the copper liquid, a 1 finger head tops it off. Decent lacing. Smells of caramel and plums. Taste is slightly sweet. Some brown sugar and caramel. A little hop aftertaste, but very faint. Decent carbonation. Good brew, could have used some extra spices, but overall easy to drink.

Photo of jdg204
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was in the City the other day and got a chance to expand my Brooklyn Brewery knowledge with their Winter Ale offering.

Appearance - Dark copper color with a nice frothy head that stuck around.

Smell - Nice light dark fruits with a heavy malt.

Taste - Deep malt flavor comes through the strongest with some dark fruits and spices filling in the blanks, very nice indeed. Almost has a wheat undertone as well.

Mouthfeel - Flavor is pretty strong making this a bit of a sipping beer, but this brew still goes down smoothly with a great aftertaste.

Drinkability - This was one of my first Brooklyn's and definetly my first Scottish Ale and a good experiece all around. Don't let the poor ratings fool you, this was a quality brew. Definetly looking forward to more Scottish and Brooklyn Ales in the near future.

Photo of ndekke39
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 12 oz. bottle... pours a clear copper with a thin, white head. Good retention. Light aromas of maple syrup, nuts, toasted malts, some caramel or toffee. Not a lot of spice in this one. Tastes much of the same - mainly a nutty character. No real bitterness to it. Light-to-medium mouthfeel. This beer is labeled as a winter beer, but it really is like a decent Scottish Ale. Overall, very easily drinkable. Some complexity to the aromas, but nothing mind-blowing about the taste.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a red Solo cup, unfortunately.

A: Poured a dark, rich copper-brown covered by a pillowy head of one-finger white foam. Faded slowly into a decent lace from what could be seen.

S: Smell was definitively malt, with a light, buttery toffee odor coupled with a very faint hop backbone. All in all, mostly sweet and roasted grainy malt.

T: Taste is sweet; drying in the finish, and slightly cloying and caramel up front. It gets the tongue a bit more than I'd like for drinkability's sake, but then so does a Sam Adams Winter Lager.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and tasty. The thick, brown sugar after effect is enough to coerce you into having another.

D: Due to the manageable ABV and good taste, the Brooklyn Winter is a seasonal worth looking beyond the "winter warmer" for, as it's very good. You could put down 3 or 4, easily.

Brooklyn will most likely never disappoint, and the winter lager is a very nice addition to the holiday schedule. Will most likely get again, and recommend it to others.

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