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Summit Winter Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

266 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 266
Hads: 529
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 10.48%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Summit Winter Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 266 | Hads: 529
Photo of KTCamm
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown with reddish background. White foam sits and is fluffy. Caramel nose. Other light winter spices. Taste is a light malt, with dark fruit infused caramel. Getting some raisin hints in there. Plums. Medium body, maybe a touch too sweet. Above average.

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Photo of frankiepop
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, this ale looks like what a winter ale> Winter ale supposed to look like. Darker richer color, but I could not really get an aroma from this ale. taste was a lttle weak. I did not detect any real spices. I do detect some spearmint. Ok texture but a little watery. Theres a bit of a well roasted maltiness.

Underwhelming beer. Goes with underwhelming music. Try Wynton Marsalis' J Mood cd or Joe Walsh - Ordinary Average Guy .Maybe a recording of the radio show Prarie Home Companion by Garrison Keillor who writes about a small town in Minnesota where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and the kids are ALL ...ABOVE AVERAGE...

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Photo of wiscokid920
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A- Dark, nearly black, mahogany in color. Half finger head that fades to a rim around the glass.

S- Heavy toasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted nuts.

T- Huge roasted malt flavor featuring dark chocolate. Ends with a nice nutty and coffee flavor.

M- Very nutty throughout the entire sip. Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O- A nice balance of roasty malts, chocolate notes, and coffee bean finish. A nice drinkable winter warmer that does the trick.


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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a dark brown beer with a off white head of one and a half fingers. The head had a decent level of retention, fading over time to give a decent level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is heaviest of caramel malt. Notes of chocolate and dark fruits are also mixed within giving it an overall rather sweet smell. With this is a light roasted nut aroma which rounds out the smell rather nicely.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and chocolate flavor upfront. Some toffee sweetness then enters the taste mixed with a nutty flavor. As the taste advances further the chocolate seems to get even stronger with a tiny bit of coffee, herbal hop and spice join the taste. In the end a roasted and sweet flavor are left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the light to medium side with a rather moderate carbonation. The lighter body makes for an easier drinking style, but with all the roasted and dark flavors of the brew it may have been a bit better with some chewiness and/or creaminess.

Overall – A nice blend of chocolate, sweet, roast, and spice flavors. While in some ways it drank more like a porter then a winter warmer it is a good easy drinking brew.

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Photo of Jparker37
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint.

A - Medium sized light tan head falls to a small cap. The beer is dark brown and when held to light has beautiful clarity to its red highlights. Little bits of lacing were left on my glass.

S - Complex dark caramel tones with chocolate edge. Faint fruity undertone.

T - Chocolate malt with an edge of roastiness to it. Never shows much sweetness ever. Hops strike a great balance to the later half of the flavor. Finishes clean with a hint of those dark malts in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, semi-dry.

O - This beer has many great qualities, none of which are warming abilities. Beautiful on the eyes and great aroma dimension. Flavor is a little understated but has good feel. However, I never really sensed any spices to the beer nor at 6.1% does it really warm me up. Reminds me of a good brown porter. Nevertheless, I am satisfied that this beer was included in my 12 pack sampler.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.31/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
6.1% ABV, 36 IBUs, numbers on label.

A - Beautiful caramel amber highlights shine through the deeper brown body in the more volumetric center. A pillowy ivory head billows up from a vigorous pour which shrouds the pint in lave as the well-retained head plateaus to a lumpy pile.

S - The aroma has an interesting blend of both crisp toasted malts and some more hearty bread-like Munich sweetness. Just a pinch of spice accompanies a muted grassy hop nose that works well with this beer. A lingering metallic scent which comes in and out of the background doesn't help this beer though.

T - Crisp, inviting toasted wheat bread greets a doughy caramel-drizzled sweetness that lingers through the finish where lightly roasted notes add light coffee blend hints and a touch of chocolate the beer. Herbal spice comes from the European hops which add a nicely balanced grassy flavor. A fine winter warmer with fantastic complexities.

M - This medium-bodied ale carries a wonderfully smooth, almost creamy nature and crisp, dry bite that accompanies a faintly earthy, herbal spiciness that lurks long after the swallow.

O - Summit's Winter Ale provides a smooth body with moderate heft for a satisfying cold-day brew that incorporates English hops wonderfully for a balanced flavor and touch of spiciness. This beer avoids being lumped with the over-spiced and sometimes overplayed holiday beers but manages a subtle nod to them for a nice winter treat!

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Photo of jimmah120
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date, into juice glass

Look is a dark amber red, clear, with a small off-white head. Smell is campfire, cinnamon, gingerbread, and some dark fruit. the taste is a lot of toasted grain, with some holiday spice and a hint of dried dates. feel is an evenly carbonated medium with a slight astringency.

I'm not typically a fan of winter warmers, but this one is tasty. I didn't like it at first, but it's grown on me.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been waiting months for this to come out again. Let's hope it holds up to my memory of it!

Appearance: Dark hazelnut but translucent when held up to the light. Fizzy light brown head that dissipated but will hopefully leave lacing.

Aroma: A little bit of coffee and nuttiness. Toffee, caramel. Just a nice malt bomb.

Taste: Rich and roasty malts of coffee and dark chocolate with some nice caramel and that toffee from the nose. In the ballpark of an English Brown Ale. Not as impressive as I remember it, but my palate has developed quite a bit over the past year. The aftertaste gets me every time, roasted hazelnut, coffee, and chocolate flavors stay with you after every sip.

Mouthfeel: Between thin and medium in body. Good drinkability. Just a tad over carbonated for my taste.

Final Thoughts: So it didn't live up to the hype that I've given it in my mind. However, it's still a great beer and worthy of a place in anyone's fridge during the winter. Would I drink it again? Of course, I'll probably seek it out on tap next time.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer came on-tap in a tall glass, and appeared cloudy brown in colour with a tannish tinge to the head. Ale smelled malty, toasty and nutty, very much in line with a standard winter ale. It tasted richly malty upfront, and then smoothly transitioned into a roasty flavour and slight hop finish. Lingering bitter aftertaste on the palate, but overall smooth and flavourful.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a clear, dark brown with a stable half finger collar and medium levels of lacing on the glass. Medium body, smooth texture, and lighter side of medium carbonation levels.

Smells of lightly toasted and toffee malts, with lighter amounts of herbal character. Tastes of a blend of chocolate, toasted, and toffee malts with some light spice and nuttiness. Not too fancy, but not bad either. Falls somewhat on the sweeter side in terms of balancing.

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Photo of beagle75
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, dark amber color with an incomplete residue and peripheral ring of parchment-tinted bubbles. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Rustic roast shows woody chicory and whole coffee beans. Fruit is faint but dark and slightly vinous.

T: Begins dry, with earthy and herbaceous hop flavors up-front that transition to soft roasted malt. Acidity seems moderate in the presence of other qualities, with dark dried plum fruit peeking through during the middle. Bitterness is detectable, appropriate, elevated above other lesser flavors such as umami and diacetyl in the short watery finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly creamy and acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a winter warmer worth considering for those that shy away from the heavily-spiced contributions. Instead, this beer is malt-focused and dark, tasting like an under-strength Baltic porter. Expect it to serve in a range of pairing roles, from porter to dubbel to strong stout.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger off white head with excellent retention on a dark brown body with a little light passing through. Thick, circumferential lacing. Aroma is very malty with dark fruit, chocolate and sugary notes. Flavor is also malty with strong smokey sense, toffee and nutty. Medium to thick body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth. Overall a nice member of the genre, one of the more flavorful and full bodied.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Brown with a surprisingly transparent look. Head is pretty fluffy and slightly brown and has a 2 1/2 finger width.

Smell - Caramel, Toffee, Chocolate, Figs with just a small touch of Vanilla. Reminds me of a cross between a Strong Ale and Porter

Taste - Rich Chocolate, Toffee, Coffee flavors with some barley and yeast notes. Not really tasting the figs in here. Taste is more porter than Winter Warmer

Mouthfeel - Pretty light in body for a darker ale and the carbonation is on the mild side. It's fairly smooth and it's got a pretty crisp and refreshing feel to it.

Overall - For a beer, it's pretty decent in terms of flavor and it's easier to drink than some other beers. As a Winter Warmer, there are better beers of that style in particular out there.

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

On tap st Stout's Pub into a very clean pint glass.

A: Deep auburn, soft off white head. Very nice lace.

S: Dark toffee, rye. Toasted nuts.

T: A roasted malt profile holds up a very savory, bready presence. Rich but not overwhelming. Alcohol blends into overall profile.

M: Good. Light viscosity. A little oiliness.

O: Why does everyone expect spice in a winter warmer? This is a very good example of the style overall. Roasty and warming. Very comforting and I can have more than one. Very palate friendly.

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Photo of thain709
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2011/2012

A - Pours a dark brown body with crimson hues around the glass...light brown head that only stands one finger tall...it recedes to a spotty head but leaves decent lacing

S - Dark fruits, sweet caramel/toffee, earthy, maybe some hops lingering

T - There are some wintry flavors in this one...the beer is very earthy to start things off...dark fruits, raisins especially, stand out in the middle...there is also a caramel sweetness in the middle which leans towards a date flavor...a nutty flavor rolls in towards the finish...the beer finishes with a coffee/chocolate roast flavor

M - Medium bodied...comes across thin at points...earthy

O - This brew was made for winter...bold wintry flavors but somethings missing...a decent brew for this time of year

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Photo of kojevergas
2.71/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle into stemware in Minneapolis, Minnesota, over Thanksgiving holiday. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream lacing, good thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a solid black. Nontransparent.

Sm: Nuts and cream. That's it. A mild strength aroma.

T: A nutty body with some pleasant cream up front. No spice is present which is a bit awkward for a winter ale. Some very light candied sugar comes through - more toward the climax. The caramel is well handled. All around, it's a bit too simple. I'd like to see more boldness or inspiration, maybe some toasted malt and spice would do it well. It's well balanced, all things considered. The build is just boring.

Mf: Smooth with just enough coarseness to bring out the flavour, and rather wet. Suits the flavours to an extent, but certainly isn't tailored to them.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. As my first Summit beer, it makes me want to try other brews, but I won't be getting this again unless it's on draught and there's nothing better.


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Photo of jadejaws
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard unchilled beer glass.
A-Dark Chocolate look.
S-Smells faintly of chocolate and dark caramel.
T-Starts very faint and doesn't overpower the palette. The tastes start to develop but never finish as strong as a winter ale should. It is an above average beer and the taste is good, but I expected more spice in this style.
M-Decent carbonation and doesn't stand out particularly in this category.
Overall- A good winter ale if not a little weak in its category. Other beers represent this better, but this isnt something you should pass up on.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep crystal clear ruby, with several fingers of light tan head that settles down into a thickish ½ finger of froth. This leaves back a robust looking sticky latticework of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells floral and citric and works well with the roasted nuttiness of this, which is coming off as more of a coffee flavor as this warms. Some stickier feeling caramel and cocoa notes sit along the back, as some light spice is sprinkled throughout. Everything is working nicely together here.

The taste is quite flavorful, with green citrus, sweet caramel, and a light cocoa presence that trails a bit of lingering toastiness into the backend of the profile. The finis is dry, with bitter fruit and spice trailing the most. Them mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a light crispness on the tongue that then segues into more of a smooth creaminess along the back. This is coming off as just a little too thin feeling in spots.

This was decent, with a lot going on with it flavor wise. I was actually looking for a little stronger spice character out of this to help set it within the Winter Warmer style, as this came off a bit more to me like an American Porter at times. Never the less, I still enjoyed this for what it was. I’m glad I picked a bottle up.

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted last winter - reviewed from notes that were lost and recently found:

Pours dark brown with a creamy tan head that holds up well before becoming a lasting thin cover. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of toffee and chocolate with light roast and a mild mint spicing.

The taste is of chocolate with some toffee. Light roast and slight mint come through in the finish. The wintry spicing is mild, but nice.

It is medium-to-full bodied. Slightly thin for a winter ale in the middle. Enough taste lingers through the finish.

This is an easy-drinking, pleasant mild winter ale. Not overly spiced - which is fine by me!

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Photo of KevinBrewer
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Vibrant brown color with a fluffy tan head that maintains a substantial cap, leaving sheets of lacing behind.

N- Deep nutty toasted malts with some toffee and a hint of vanilla. Also some cocoa powder character.

T- Similar to the nose, sweet nutty toasted malt hits you right off the bat. Subtleties of toffee and chocolate malt add a nice depth to the malt profile. The hop presence is minimal, just a light grassiness to keep the malt from becoming too sweet. The bittersweet finish leads to a lengthy aftertaste of fresh toasted grain, nutty malt, and a hint of grassy hops.

M- Medium-light bodied, moderate carbonation, and a bittersweet finish.

O- This beer goes down way too quickly. It's sweet as a nut, and a real joy to drink.

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Photo of brycelarson
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I like this beer.

Poured into a glass it had a medium tan head - oatmeal colored. The beer poured a lovely dark amber red color with a finger and a half of head. Moderate lacing as the head dropped.

The nose was sweet, hardly any hops aroma. Nice caramel, lots of malt with just a hint of yeast.

The flavor is mostly malty sweet. Nice hearty beer. It finishes quite smoothly - most likely oats. The last hint is a slight acid finish just enough to clear out the malt.

Really nice body on this beer. I'm a fan or malt - and this delivers.

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Photo of powellmg
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish-brown color with an off-white, creamy head. Malty, nutty aroma. Rich, nut and coffee taste. Some caramel sweetness balanced well by hops bitterness. Slight harshness in the taste. Moderate-low carbonation.

Overall, a very enjoyable, very seasonal beer.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a dark brown and/or amber color into a pint glass. Produced a good, creamy head which eventually dissipated during the drink and left behind solid lacing.

Smell: Earthy, nutty, maybe some caramel or chocolate in there as well. Certainly a good smelling brew!

Taste: Excellent taste with a complex flavor. Roasted flavors, caramels, nuts, and maybe even chocolate spice the taste of this beer. I was highly impressed with the taste.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, medium weight brew. Not super heavy, but not light either.

Overall: I believe this is an excellent brew. I was a little unsure of it when I picked it to round out my mix-and-match sixer, but I was pleasantly surprised. I had no idea it was as dark as it was and was caught off guard after the pour. When I smelled this beer, the complex aroma really hit me, and I was impressed. I would certainly recommend this beer.

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Photo of ncsutton
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

A - Rich dark amber color

S - Earthy undertones with some toffee and caramel scents

T - Tastes like a good winter ale should, it has some good caramel tastes and some good roasted malts as well

M - Medium bodied brew, some carbonation but not a ton

O - To me this is a good brew, it has the warming affect that a winter ale should it taste a lot like a normal ale with some caramel undertones

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Photo of bnes09
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with deep ruby hues when held to light. Pours a creamy head than recedes to a thin film and forms sticky lines of lace.

Mild roasted aroma of almonds, light roast coffee and grilled duck.

Flavor of beef stock is highly apparent. Some roasted flavor. Hint of molasses sweetness. No spices as some examples of the style have. Fairly well balanced.

Low carbonation. Smooth feel. Medium body.

Not bad. Beef flavor is a little weird but it is still pretty tasty and easy to drink.

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