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Summit Winter Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

266 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 266
Hads: 528
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 11
Gots: 62 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-08-2001

OG 14.6° Plato
36 IBUs
Malts: Harrington, Caramel, Carafa II
Hops: Willamette, Fuggle, Tettenanger
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 266 | Hads: 528
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant dark chestnut under a 1” rocky light tan foam collar that provides intricate lace. S: Malty aromas with coffee and chocolate. T: Tastes drier than it smells. The foamy liquid enters the mouth and dissolves into a light chocolate with a pinch of roast. Just the right mix of chocolate and light coffee. F: Creamy smooth, a marvelous soft texture with fine soft carbonation. O: A good winter warmer. With more alcohol it could be a great one. (462 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: April 25, 2015... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: saying goodbye to the last of the winter bees in the fridge... APPEARANCE: dark mahogany body; effervescence is tough to gauge; thick, creamy off-white head holds firm long after pouring; tracings are symmetrical and clear... AROMA: an alluring mix of bright, citric scents, nutty malts and floral aromas--caught me off-guard with its complex array; some damp berry and ... PALATE: begins with an ESB's smoothness, but returns to the teeth with a whiplash bite; medium-bodied, creamy, soft,, and flirting with a porter's cola-like presence... TASTE: a reasonable blend of malts and fruits---cranberry, pear especially--merge with vanilla, some playful hops, pepper and cola... OVERALL: not as warming as the aroma suggests; the profile overall is useful but not memorable--finishes with rocky malts and the enjoyably creamy aspects of root beer... (920 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a soapy, tan head that laces madly. Citric hops and toasted malt aroma. Deep, deep burnt umber color. Starts with a toasted malt, a touch of sweet malt, and a little citric hop bitterness. A flash of more citrus as it builds to a low medium bitterness. Then toasted malt comes back to meld with the hops i the finish.

This is pretty good. A nice subtle version of the style; sweet, hoppy, toasted flavors are balanced off one another pretty well. The only thing that really surprises me is the slightly thin mouthfeel. (526 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark toffee brown color with a very webby lacing from the head, which is cream colored and very fluffy. Looks darn close to a root beer float.

Aroma: Cranberries, a little spiced dried currant, banana peel. Heavy toffee and caramel malt aromas. A little bit of honey biscuit/caramel roll going on there too. As the head recedes there is a slight hop aroma.

Taste/mouthfeel : very creamy, and then a sharp stabbing rush of carbonation livens up the brew. It's hard to describe the taste... definite earthy flavors, very root-y, some dried plum and orange, honey, followed by a grassy hop. I'm really at a loss for words. It IS good, though.

Overall : this is a decent beer, and although I am at a loss for words in describing it, it's something I'd have again. It's very fruity and earthy. A nice Belgian dark ale. (825 characters)

Photo of drtth
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown, almost black, with a touch of red so a lot like mahogany. The 1/2" light tan head soon recedes to leaves a ring, a thin layer of foam and speckles and legs of lacing when sipping.

The aroma is a nice mix of dark fruits, light spices and malt character but without any one thing standing out from the others.

As expected from the nose, the flavors are lightly sweet with good malt character, some molasses, and those touches of fruit and spice.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with a touch of crispness from the moderate carbonation. The finish is dry and lightly spicy leaving a lingering spice note that fades away or that disappears with the next sip.

Overall this is a nice balanced beer that doesn't go overboard in any direction but still lets you know it is well made. Unlike some spiced winter warmers the spices are an integral part of the flavor rather than something that dominates it. That said, however, if I were going to stock up on a Winter Warmer I think I'd still give the Lancaster Brewing Winter Warmer the nod in preference to this one, if only because I like the way Lancaster Brewing have used both British and American hops and because of the the greater warmth from the higher ABV. (1,225 characters)

Photo of Act25
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruddy chestnut body with tight 1 finger head that fades too fast, but laces well.

S: Nose of a light porter (just finished Sierra N porter). But less powerful, and more is expected from a winter warmer. Malty, roasted barley, dark caramel, a bit of faint hop grass... lacks power and depth.

T: More carob and weak coffee, and some plum in addition to the aroma profile. Malty, roasty, and prune juice. evens out in the grassy, hop addition of the finale.

F: Too light for the style, not as clean finishing as I'd like. SN Porter blows this away.

Summit Porter is better. (581 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Is Summit CANning everything that they make? As the founder of The CANQuest (TM), a CANcerted effort to drink and review EVERY CANned beers in existence, I certainly hope so!

From the CAN: "Proudly Brewed in St. Paul, Minnesota"; "Cozy Up to a Dark, Nutty Brew with Hints of Cocoa and Spice"; "Mother Nature doesn't want your empties. Please recycle."

I am watching the inaugural College Bowl Championship Game tonight in the grip of a Winter day. The tab fought me, briefly, but the Crack! was deafening. I got a light spritz as a result and now my curiosity was piqued to CANduct an inverted Glug. The pseudo-cascade came up pretty quickly, requiring that I back off, but not before the formation of three fingers of dense, rocky, light-tan head with good retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with obvious clarity and garnet highlights. Nose had a definite cocoa/chocolate bent, underlain by a light cinnamon spiciness. Interesting. Mouthfeel was medium with a softness approaching creaminess. Interesting x 2. The taste was cocoa sprinkled with cinnamon and infused with peppermint. I had one of these recently at Starbucks! I am not trying to be funny or ironic, but this reminded me very much of their Winter Peppermint Mocha. Finish was semi-dry, thanks to its inherent spiciness, but I could also called it semi-sweet just as easily. A brilliant way to wrap up the day just as the first quarter ends! (1,442 characters)

Photo of Taybeh
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a can into an imperial pint glass

A: Deep brown/black with tinge of ruby at the edges when held to the light, and a finger of khaki foam that subsides in a minute or two
S: toffee and roasted dark malts, faint dark chocolate, some tinges of citrus hops (orange maybe)
T: follows the nose, though there's also quite a bit of nuttiness and even some raisins in there, midway; the earthy and very faintly citric hops give a little zesty liveliness to the lingering back; nothing too complex, but very pleasant.
M: medium carbonation, wet, for the style this is fairly light and very easy to drink.

Overall: Like Summit's other standards, I've been drinking this one with gratitude for many years...alongside of the EPA, the Great Northern Porter, and the Maibock, it is an old dependable when out and about at places that aren't beer-centric. Good stuff. (860 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour, dark tawny amber with a light mocha head.
Malty with a slight vanilla edge on the nose.
Taste is malty with a nice toasty element on the aftertaste. Finishes dry, toasty.
Crisp, smooth, average body.
Great seasonal, along the lines of a toasty brown ale. (270 characters)

Photo of MNAle
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into a tulip pint. Dark brown, 1/2 inch tan head with a "drippy" lacing. Moderate to light carbonation. Pleasant malt-fruit-tinged aroma. Thickish body and mouth feel. Take a drink and the hops bitterness hits first, followed by lightly roasted malt flavor. Then more bitterness comes through, but not overly so. This remains a nicely balanced ale front to back. Aftertaste is a mild lingering bitterness fading on the tongue. (433 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Winter Ale pours a dark amber color with a small but lacing head. There is a mild spicy aroma. The taste is very full, good sharp malty backbone, with some noticeable hints of sweet spices. Good feel, good body. Overall a nice easy drinking warmer. (252 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This one has some age on it. Got lost in the cellar.

Pours a fairly clear deep burgundy, with a frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Sweet molasses, cocoa, and cola form the initial aroma. There's a touch of dates and raisins, which probably developed with time.

Flavor reveals tart cherry and prunes underlying a chocolate and deeply toasted malt base. Slightly sweet, but the nutty, dry finish counters well. Reminds me somewhat of chocolate covered cherries.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with noted alcohol warmth in the finish.

Would like to try this fresh, but it's great with some age on it. The spices have probably dwindled, which suits my palate well. The tart note is slightly overwhelming, but this is a good brew. (767 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled tonight also on 5/18/14. Bought this bottle in the clearance section for just 50 cents! Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F and poured into a handled glass stein.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black in color with a small off-white head. Lots of ring lacing was seen with each sip. Sediment was left in the bottom of the bottle after the pour. The aroma is of roasted malt, cocoa, caramel and some spice. The taste even has more going on with a slight nutty finish. Very smooth to drink with low carbonation. Very tasty brew! Really liked this one. (558 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A rocky tan head with good retention crowns a clear, deep ambre body. Thick, patchy lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Dark caramel and toasted malts dominate the aroma, like a freshly-baked dark bread. Restrained herbal hops are also present.

Taste: Roasted malts and moderate herbal hops dominate the taste, although there is +more to this as well, bitter cocoa, coffee, and earth. Although the herbal hops are prominent, the dark, roasted malt manages to shine, leaving a more striking impression. Finishes with mild, earthy hops, dark bread, and a subtle note of alcohol.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very full, quite pleasing.

Drinkability/notes: A superb example of the style, would pair well with roasted meats, like beef brisket, or bratwurst. It seems ideal for a cold winter day, whether in Texas or Minnesota.

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

(973 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Dark brown with a tan head, with nice retention and lacing. The aroma is very nice with caramel, cocoa, and roasted malt. Very nice for a cold winter night.

Has a nice mildly sweet flavor with caramel, cocoa, roasted malt, a little bit of coffee, and a subtle nutty flavor. Pairs very nicely with a French Dip sandwich.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Somewhat creamy as an on tap offering. Smooth and easy to drink. Very nice on tap. Will have to pick up some bottles of this. (506 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Summit winter ale pours with a ruby brown color thats quite dark.
On the pour i wasn't able to get much of a head going at all. Basically surface smudes and such.
The aroma was quite malty with subtle hints of spices.
The malts in the taste have a vienna feel. Very grainy and toasted. I think I almoat taste some smoke in there also.
The feel is course and gritty on the palate.
It was a good beer...
but I really didn't dig it too much. (438 characters)

Photo of Kevin-Wieken
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Summit Winter Ale
Summit Brewing Company, Minnesota
---from bottle to stemmed porter glass---

Appearance
Dark copper, more red around the edges, three fingers of creamy/light tan head that will seemingly last forever, good lacing.

Smell
Pretty weak on the nose. Nutty.

Taste
Caramel-y malts with hints of light coffee. Bright citrusy hops shine at the end of each sip.

Mouth-feel
Much lighter than expected. Dare I say watery? Malt flavor lingers, god amount of bitter for this beer.

Overall
Better and worse than I thought. Tastes great, but mouth feel is a bit off. Looks gorgeous. (591 characters)

Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out quite black with a half finger beige head with not too much retention. Smell is of dark fruit, prunes, with a slight bit of sweetness. Really no hops I sense from the nose. This is all the malt bill. Taste is a bit mellowed down from the smell except there is a tiny hop presence that isn't noticeable at the first part of the taste but definitely in the end -- nothing too bitter to be sure as this is really balanced well. Mouthfeel is fairly light. Overall I really liked this beer more than the last time I had it. Summit typically puts out good beers at least with their normal releases. (602 characters)

Photo of Hergestridge
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is chestnut brown. Nice head - frothy, foamy and dense on the lips and mouth.
Mouth feel is creamy, rich, cool with sweetness and a slight (very slight) cocoa taste and aroma. This is beer #2 that I've tried from the Summit Winter Pack offering. It's head and shoulders above the 1st tasting of the Summit Red Ale.. Excellent Entry and a 6 pack will be on my stocking stuffer list to St. Nicholas. Top Rate!!
sMc
Carry On Citizens!!! (446 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, a few months past BB date, served in a snifter.

Pours clear but nearly opaque ruby-brown. The light tan head settles down to a thick ring and partial top coat but leaves full coating on a robust looking the side of the glass.
Aroma: rather floral and unlike the flavor, a little boozy. Also more spicy than the taste.,
T: Nicely rich with chocolate, dark bread, dark fruit and a touch of coffee. More coffee in the lingering dark roasted malt aftertaste. Very good use of light spicing but a touch too sweet before the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium-full bodied; very smooth with soft, medium carbonation. Semi-dry finish sometimes felt just a little too thin.

O: very enjoyable and flavorful that resembles a Belgian porter. Recommended. (755 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/19/2013. Pours moderately cloudy reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, chocolate, light roast, brown bread, light raisin, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark and nutty malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, brown bread, light roast, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Light earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark and nutty malt notes; with very nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice winter warmer style. All around nice balance and robustness of dark/nutty malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one. (1,259 characters)

Photo of ToddT
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L- Clear dark brown topped with an off white head, head is sticky and long lasting and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Toasted malts and a hint of nut and spice. Aroma is quite mild on this one.

T- Nice roast malt and chocolate flavor to start, grassy hops balance this out and lead to a dry finish with a hint of spice.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, a little bit of creaminess make a nice addition to the mouthfeel.

O- Nice winter treat, not overly spicy and the 6.1% ABV is well hidden. Not the best winter warmer I've ever had but a solid one. (560 characters)

Photo of MikeAAL
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer. Very sweet.

Dark brown colored body with a tan creamy head.

Smells like caramel, nut and malts.

Tastes malty, nutty, some chocolate and coffee.

Thick mouthfeel with light carbonation and very creamy.

It'll definately warm you up on a cold day. (274 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop-top with nice, simple label and best-by date of 2/26/13. Poured into a 16oz English-style nonic.

Appearance: Nut brown color, with great clarity and bright burnt orange highlights when held up to the light. Nice antique-ivory cap with good retention.

Smell: Nice American take on an English-style. Up front this is nutty, with dry toasty chocolatey malts and a light fruitiness. Not tons of depth, but fairly pleasant. This is sort of like a richer American-style brown ale.

Taste: Nutty flavors up front, followed by some fruity esters, a (surprising) hint of alcohol, and some very mild chocolatey roast on the finish. Very mild fruity hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: The one disappointing part of this; a bit too light for 6% and the style.

Overall: This doesn't seem QUITE like a Winter Warmer in the English sense, and a bit more like a really solid American Brown Ale. For between $8.00-9.00, this wouldn't be bad to pick up once a year if you're in the mood for a toasty, nutty brown ale, though this doesn't QUITE scratch the 'Winter Warmer' itch.

B 84-5 (1,092 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 12 September 2012, per the code on the bottle. Tasted 19 January 2013.

Pours a deep rusty reddish brown. I can just see through it at the edges, where it's quite red. One finger of cream-colored head, good retention. Lacing is fantastic. Gobs of it ringing the surface, reaching up the inside of the glass.

Smell is warm and woody, toasted and nutty. It's all about the malts, with little obvious spice presence. As I continue to smell it, I get more wood and nuts, like sniffing the outside of a walnut. A bit of ripe dark stone fruit (plums or cherries) tries to sneak in from the back, but it's about 10% of the smell.

Taste is meh. Blah, blah. Woody malts (very woody actually, a bit like chewing on bark). A mild bitterness throughout, that doesn't feel like it belongs. But really, not much flavor at all. Odd.

Mouthfeel is better. Medium-bodied, mouth-filling, with carbonation that fizzles and sizzles. Warming, and perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the beer.

Not one I'll be seeking out again. Not bad, but not really good either, IMO. Just doesn't have much flavor, or much aroma. Woody, nutty, but in faint ways that don't do it for me. (1,163 characters)

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Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.