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Brooklyn Winter Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

967 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 967
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 19
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: 967 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Will_Rivera
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%

Will_Rivera, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of CKav
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%

CKav, Tuesday at 05:07 AM
Photo of BeerSox
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

BeerSox, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of slickmick22
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Malty character with hints of wine.

Clear, copper color, small head disappeared quickly. some lacing.

Malty with some mild alcohol. Kinda bland.
Mouth feel:

Medium body, and carbonation with a mild alcohol tingle on the tongue

Not over impressed with the offering. Drinkable but would not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

slickmick22, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, dark, reddish copper. About a finger of off white head rises. Retention is short with minimal lacing.

S - Nice caramel and butter aroma with a touch of toffee. Brown sugar and indistinct dark fruit as well. The yeast provides a touch of nuttiness also. Not quite as robust and complex as I'd expect from a Scottish ale.

T - Extremely lackluster in this department. Mild sweetness early palate is strangely unaccompanied by the caramel and fruit from the nose. Butteriness comes through and is quickly overcome by very earthy flavors leading into a rough and uncharacteristic bitterness. Finish is somewhat sour with some burnt flavor.

M - On the light side of medium bodied. Carbonation is moderate but combined with the light-ish body is inappropriate for the style.

D - This isn't a bad beer, but it certainly isn't a great Scottish ale. Instead it tastes like some sort of strange hybrid between a weak Scottish ale and a quasi-Belgian style ale, failing in both respects. A strange beer that's either entirely off base or obscenely mediocre. Either way, not something I would have again.

PatrickJR, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of scottyshades
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice rich mahogany color with a nice cream colored head. The lacing is minimal.
S: Very metallic nose...disappointing. Malts are also present but I am not sure how to describe them. Hops are virtually non existent. Also, sweet notes are present, perhaps molasses.
T: Malty flavor profile. The malts are very sweet, and there is a presence of molasses at the end. Hops are not here in the profile, but the sugars are.
MF/D: Eh, drinkable, but not a session beer. Honestly, my thoughts of Brooklyn Brewery have subsided, as each offering I try seems to get worse and worse.

scottyshades, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
2.85/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I can definitely tell this one is a Scottish ale although it tastes more English to me. Nothing special in the appearance, dark gold, the big ivory head was weak, unspectacular and fizzled quick. Toasted biscuit and sweet malt aroma, same in the taste. Nothing complex and a metallic taste in the finish. Very unimpressive, not that it's a terrible beer just mediocre example. Too much carbonation.

natelocc787, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of alkemy
2.85/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange/amber in color with no head. Malty metallic scent. This is accentuated in the taste. Roasted malt present up front, but then something reminiscent of a rusted iron pipe. There's also a faint hint of hops. It's gotta be the style, because I've just never run across a Scottish Ale that I've enjoyed. Short review, but just not a lot to say about this one.

alkemy, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of AltBock
2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a shiny blue and silver label. The label has the big bold white Brooklyn "B" surrounded by small silver stars on a dark blue background. No back label because all of the beer's information can be found on the shiny neck label. There should be a best before date stamped on the neck, but mine was smeared.

When poured into a Flying Fish pint glass, this Brooklyn brew was a dark reddish amber with a 1/2 an inch fizzy off white colored head of foam. This fizzy head of foam actually had good retention. It didn't fizzle away like some. it managed to leave behind an ever lasting off white skim of foam and about 2 to 3 spots of lace.

The aroma of this beer was funky! The aroma was mostly roasted and burnt with malts. It smelled like they roasted the malts first and when they were done roasting, they stuck them back in the kiln to burn them. Swirling around doesn't make the beer any better, but it does lower the roasted/burnt malts. Hiding behind the malts was a hint of sweet yeast and a speck of dark fruits. I didn't care for this aroma one bit.

The taste was a tad bit better than the aroma. The taste was able to lower the roasted/burnt malts, but while doing that, it increased the taste of sweet yeast. Along with the sweet yeast, Brooklyn also threw in a pinch of raisins and a dash of cinnamon. The taste was sweet, but not sweet like candy. This beer's taste would have been better if the taste just chose to go with the roasted or burnt malts. Both of them together don't make for a good taste.

This was a medium bodied sweet Winter Ale with an aftertaste of roasted malts, a hint of raisins, sweet yeast, and a small dash of cinnamon. Finally, the malts chose on which kind of malt it was going with. None of that bad roasted/burnt malt taste. It's just too bad it didn't make up its mind earlier on in the beer.

In the end, I thought this Winter Ale was too sweet with sweet yeast, it couldn't make up its mind whenever to go with roasted or burnt malts, and the aroma was not good. One of these was good enough for me.

AltBock, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of tdm168
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Sawmill Tap Room 12/17/11

Pours a deep amber with a thin lacing of loose white head. There isn't much to say about the smell. Maybe some very, very faint apples and caramel. The taste is simple; red apples and caramel malt. It's medium bodied, but a little overly carbonated.

This is disappointing. Usually Brooklyn can be counted on to feature some solid beers, but this is underwhelming. I'll avoid this in the future.

tdm168, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of weeare138
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best before April 2007...guess I missed the boat on that, so take this with a grain of salt...
Appears a mahogany toned amber with a small, light tan head that quickly fizzles out. Light spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light smoked malt, caramel, toffee, grass, and a hint buttered popcorn that isn't overly appealing.
The taste is of the mentioned aromas with the goodness taking a backseat to the bads. Grass, and diacetyl infused caramel are over the top in this shell of what may have been a decent beer.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bitter of hay and grass, with a slick, somewhat pungent finish. Hmmm. Looking forward to another bottle of this, so I can update this sub-par review.

weeare138, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of treehouse
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

moderately amber...

smells like chestnuts and malt with a bit of clove sweetness..

mouthed: sour sweetness...tangy...real tangy..lemony...roasted malts...some kind of wood in there...the first interesting beer i have had in a while...not an all day drinker though...6.1%....coppery...the alcohol is not brave but also not hidden..it comes between sips...

treehouse, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of jneiswender
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

had this beer from the 12oz bottle. Served cool. Dark amber color and a nice creamy head. Smell lightly smoke (peat). Metallic and woody. Taste is not what I expected. No spice. The combination of malts gives an earthy quality to this. Thick on the tongue and drinkable but not something I would really seek out as a winter pick. Might want to save this as a food beer with Scottish fare. Not as a "winter warmer" like beer.

jneiswender, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of daliandragon
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

daliandragon, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of thlayli87
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Ruby brown with a one finger head that quickly dissipates into a thin ring. No lacing.

S - Caramel malts, light earthy hops with a hint of nuttiness.

T - Rich Malty caramel with a bit of sweetness and nuttiness. Some beef-like savoriness as it warms.

M - Thin and watery. A little undercarbonated. Fairly light bodied and easy drinking.

O - Average winter brew. The flavors are decent but nothing to write home about. Mouthfeel is subpar and thin.

thlayli87, Dec 20, 2012
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12floz. bottle. Gordon´s Thistle glass. Reddish amber color, ruby tints to the light & chill haze appearance. Tan froth & close crown showing fairly good retention & leaving lacing on sides. Intense caramel malt, toffee & candy aromas, hints of sugar cane & molasses. Sugary & toasted upfront. Light body. Moderate but lively carbonation. Watery & sugary with a low herbal bitterness in the middle. Dry sweet/bitter finish & slight herbal liquor notes on the aftertaste.

GONZALOYANNA, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of NODAK
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The aroma wasn't overwhelming at all. Another reviewer said it reminded him of Yuengling, and I sadly have to agree. Smells of faint roasted malt...and even corn, though I know that isn't in this beer.

The taste was completely different, however. There's some lightly roasted malts certainly present on the body....but there's a definite note of smokiness to it as well. At first I wanted to say it was as if somebody put a shot of Scotch in it...it's pretty different. The finish is pretty clean, though, with just a tad of hop bitterness reporting. A small amount of residual smokiness hangs around after the swallow along with a faint grain note.

It's an interesting choice for a winter beer. While others seem to rely on thicker, sweeter beers for winter seasonals, this is not like that at all. I'm not a huge fan of smoky beers and didn't think that this beer was otherwise all that noteworthy...but it's far from bad.

NODAK, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Tiernan
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Tiernan, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of csmartin6
3/5  rDev -16.7%

csmartin6, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3/5  rDev -16.7%

alienlifeforcecube, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of twowheelssoar
3/5  rDev -16.7%

twowheelssoar, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of trocketsauced
3/5  rDev -16.7%

trocketsauced, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of Doppelbockulus
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Doppelbockulus, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of Dduquette
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Dduquette, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a medium brown color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of light roasted malt with some subtle semi-sweet caramel malt. Taste is also dominated by the mix between light roasted malt and caramel malt. Body is thinner then I would have expected and no hops presence could be detected. I thought this one was definitely lacking character and end up being quite boring.

Phyl21ca, Mar 22, 2007
Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 967 ratings.