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Summit Winter Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

507 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 507
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 10.48%
Wants: 11
Gots: 42 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 507 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of herman77
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown/reddish with minimal light tan head. When held up to a light, it is pretty clear. A little bit of lacing.

S: Sweet caramel, light roasted malt, coffee. All these aromas are pretty light though.

T: Taste follows pretty close to smell. Ever so slight hop bitterness. Pleasant, but nothing is taking control.

M/D: Medium to light body. Carbonation seems pretty average. Drinkability is okay, nothing too special

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with some sort of stamp on the label that reads 92721045, perhaps brewed day 272 of 2009? Pours a nice, dark crimson color with a very nice display of tall, tan foam. Retention is good and lacing is even better. A very fine looking winter warmer.

Nose is sweet and malty with some bittersweet chocolate and roasty hints of coffee. Does not smell like it is heavily spiced, maybe just a touch of cinnamon if any. Low on fruitiness and hops. I like it.

Taste follows suit pretty well with the roasty malts more prominent but still maintaining plenty of sweetness. There is some bittering, leafy hops on the finish...almost minty even. The dark malts are pretty nice, but there is not much depth here, pretty much a one trick pony. Not bad, I would not mind having another one of these sometime down the road.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 02-12-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Dark in color, 1 finger of foam which dispensed rather quick, good lacing ring present

S - Spices, chocolate/coffee malts. Faint hop aroma

T - It seemed that coffee dominated this brew. Not very strong though but the most pronounced! Some sweetness followed with a slight hop presence but nothing that stood out!

M/D - Medium bodied brew. Big coffee taste that keeps smooth as it goes down. Slight taste of sweet and spices, chocolate is the biggest flavor with some spices mixed in. Overall I enjoyed the brew and more than likely have again

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my Minnesota bro Nick for turning me on to this beer. A good winter warmer appearance, a light brown, thin head.

Taste, muted sweetness, kinda like a thin porter, but also with aspects of a red. A very enjoyable not quite maltbomb kind of beer, which is rare for me to like.

Mouthfeel, makes me think I'm getting a little cherry and tree in my beer. Very little, but its neat its there. Enjoyable to drink, relatively inexpensive. Exceeded expectations.

Photo of Fitzgerald
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ordered a 16 oz. tap of Summit Winter ale at O'Malleys. It came in a huge glass, I think I might have ended up with the 23 oz. tall glass which was a good thing. I have bought this winter ale in the six pack and have always enjoyed it, this was my first taste of it on tap and it was even better. Came to the table with a good two inch creamy tan head and some nice lacing , the color was a nice ruby brown.

The smell was kind of earthy with a little spice.

The taste was hint of chocolate, raisins and a little nutty.

Had a full texture not watery at all with a little warmer after taste.

Very good drinkability but at this size one was enough with dinner.

Photo of tapman
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Orange-amber hue with small bubble, eggshell colred head which quickly dissipates. Typical for the style. Soft head = lighter beer?

Toasty, roasty, a hint of dark berries with a cinnamon spice (though not necessarily cinnamon aroma) with a slight creaminess. Toast and chocolate are also apparent This is at 40F temperature. When it warms there are some fusel alcohol and wet cardboard, but these are not unexpected from the style as far as I'm concerned.

I love the taste of this brew. A honey malt taste, sweet and pastry-like, as it warms the toffee stands out a lot, which isn't great, but is balanced by the rest of the brew. Hops are low and a little earthy hop flavor is found early in the finish, along with some dry cinnamon. I would have appreciated this beer more if it was a little bigger, but that's the American in me. It is just what I am used to in a "winter warmer".

Mouthfeel is thin and plain. No worse than average, but disappointing for the style.

A decent winter brew, I could session this easily. However, I am so used to the BIG winter brews that this lighter offering feels slightly off. If you would have lied to me and called this a German spring something or other I might have liked it better. That's psycology for you.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer arrived with a ruby caramel color with a wisp head, pretty typical for a winter ale. The aroma was primarily composed of light malt notes, but not much more. Medium and smooth as it moved across the palate. Some husky and grainy flavors up front. A slight bitterness provides balance and finishes this thing off.

This beer is not very assertive in the flavor department. I would like to see a bit more flavor with a touch of complexity.

Photo of coalcracker
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours dark amber, good head and head retention.
Smell: Aroma of light spices, some dark fruits. Overall has a sweet quality.
Taste: Taste most pronounced at the middle of the first sip- chocolate and/or light coffee noted along with some spices- such as nutmeg, coriander perhaps. Hops pull through towards the end and are very mildly bitter. A bit of astringency arises at the finish as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light mouthfeel. Fairly smooth.
Drinkability: Average. ABV seems a little high for the body.

Overall- an ok winter warmer. It seems as if every winter warmer I've had this season have had completely different taste profiles. I guess each brewer has their own interpretations of this style. Nothing offensive here- nothing outstanding.

Photo of evanackerman
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a deep ruby, near brown with a sizable head, very attractive.

Aroma is mostly of prunes and alcohol, kind of weak.

Taste is dominated by deep roasted malt, dried figs/prunes, a touch of hop bitterness in the finish. very solid flavor profile.

Mouthfeel seems a bit thin to me, carbonation also light.

Overall, a very solid offering and a welcome component of the winter sampler pack, nothing that blows your socks off but definitely a pleasant pour.

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

Poured into a 12-oz mug, this shows a nice reddish-brown color, not quite opaque, with a small off-white head. The nose has a lot of roasted notes, with sweet caramel. The roast is less prominent to taste, but still a main component, together with some modest cocoa, caramel, and more bitterness than I expected (though no hop flavor comes through). The body is a little thin, given the strength and maltiness.

Photo of blackearth
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN. Pours a dark reddish brown body with a thick light-tan head and leave good lacing. Aroma is of chocolate malt and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Flavor is dominated by nutty sweet malts. Good drinkability, but this is really a nut brown ale and not what I would call a winter ale.

Photo of david131
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear, deep brown with some amber highlights. The off-white head is thin, but rather creamy looking.

S- Some caramel, chocolate, and toffee. Really appealing actually.

T- Slightly sweet malt with flavors of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. Maybe just a touch of oats? Clean and dry on the finish.

M- Nice carbonation and clean.

D- An all around good beer that fits the style excellently. This is my first outing with Summit and I am impressed.

Photo of kjyost
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had in Minneapolis at the Cheesecake Factory in an inviting 22oz glass...

Came with a lasting think head, and an invitingly opaque brownish hue that seemed jet black in the darkness.

The aroma did not leave me any lasting impressions, but the beer had a rich deep malty kick coupled with a nice hoppiness about it. It was a fantastic beer to pair with a strongly flavoured dinner, such as I was having, but I would not consider it for more than a beer or two with dinner as it was too heavy on the palate for more than a couple of beers in a few hours.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It is a darker brown with an off white head of about a finger that dissipates quickly.

Smell: It smells of sweet malt and spices. A little bit of caramel.

Taste: The majority of the flavor seems to be coming from a roasty flavor, with a bit of sweetness and caramel. It is a little nutty, but there really isn't much spice going on here. Just a tiny bit of bitterness in the finish, which feels almost a touch chalky.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is good and the it has a medium body, but I really don't like the finish here.

Drinkability: I don't plan on buying this beer again. It wasn't really offensive, but it just didn't seem to bring anything special to the table. However, I wouldn't object to drinking it if offered.

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

pours a a dark chocolate brown with a small head and a little sticky lacing the smell was some cocoa and chocolate with some hops and malts and toffee..the taste was some cocoa and coffee and some currant fruits mixed with grassy hops with a caramel malt finish ...overall this drank like a light porter or stout maybe a brown it was good a little thin for the category..but drinkable and worth a try

Photo of bsp77
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Reddish chestnut brown with small off-white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Toffee, spicy English hops, molasses, cherry and plum. A rich sweet malty smell that only somewhat remains throughout.

Taste: Somewhat sweet toffee and fruit malt backbone, with notes of molasses, nuts and spicy hops. Could have used a little more spicy hops, but overall a nice malt character.

Feel: Relatively low carbonation, smooth and creamy somewhat full body.

Drinkability: Despite being called a Winter Warmer here, this is really a rich, sweet and malty Brown Ale. Summit also calls it a Brown Ale. Quite nice overall, but a little dull for a Winter Ale.

Photo of botham
2.87/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Pours a deep chestnut/chocolate brown color with rich garnet highlights and one and a half fingers of dense tan head after a hard pour. No lacings on the glass and good retention.

There is little for the nose, with the only notes being a touch of caramel and spice, with a metallic tinge. Not promising.

Taste is much better than the aroma would suggest, with caramel and roasted malts up front, along with light notes of chocolate and light spice. Well proportioned with a filling and warming quality. Could use a bit more roasted malt quality, but still good.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a malty and bready texture, along with a smooth finish.

Drinkability is decent. For a winter brew this gets the job done, but it is easily forgotten due to the base quality of the overall pour. It lacks any defining qualities.

Photo of nghab
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Note that this is a 2006 bottle (20th anniversary neck label) consumed in 2009. I like to hold a few bottles of various potentially "age-able" beers to see how they are years later. Bottle reads "enjoy by 031007"

AROMA: Rich and malty, chocolatey, smooth, inviting, no notable hop character. Oxidation, if any, is minimal

APPEARANCE: Dark brown colour, good clarity, delicate espresso crema-like head that eventually dissipates.

FLAVOUR: Malty, smooth chocolatey flavour, not much grain bitterness, a bit of "coffee and cream," hop bitterness has fallen over time but the beer is still nicely balanced, some cherry-and-chocolate notes in the background possibly as a result of some slight oxidation.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body, maybe a little warming but not really very alcoholic, carbonation medium or lower

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A very nice porter-like winter warmer that has held up quite well in my basement and may have gained a little complexity. I'm (so far) resisting the temptation to go downstairs and open another one.

Photo of beeragent
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - The beer pours a dark copper, forming a very thin tan head. Light spots of lace stick to the glass.

S - Smell appears to consist of sweet malts and spices. Not overpowering, but noticeable.

T - Follows the aroma closley, mainly a nice buttery malt flavor with a hint of spices.

M - Medium/Heavy body. Good thickness and very smooth. No carbonation.

D - Good flavor. Not too complex but still interesting enough. Slightly higher alcohol level may keep some from drinking this all night, but still worth having one or two. This is probably my favorite beer by Summit Brewing so far.

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a shorty bottle into a tulip.

Pours a dark ruddy brown with a smallish head that stays adequately.

Aroma is of deeply roasted, nutty malts. Malt smells burned and there is not much discernible in the way of hops.

Flavor is nutty roasted malt. Sweet and malty the flavors of sweet cream and vanilla sneak in. Middle shows a tiny bit of hop, but not really enough to balance the huge malt flavor here. Syrupy sweet and on the edge of being cloying. Not a bad flavor if a little sweet. Some more hop and this beer would be great.

Mouthfeel is a little disappointing compared to the flavor this beer has. A little thicker would be nice.

Photo of DrMalt
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Tan 3/4 " head. Porterlike dark brown,with a hint of red.

S - Not alot of noticable arome. Some hint of spice.

T - Very caramelly but surprisely missing an element of bitterness from the dark malts. Some undertones of nutmeg and/or clove.

M - Some what thin bodied. Little toasty or chocolate from the grains.

D - Overall a good rendition of a winter warmer but just not something that makes my tastebuds dance. Had many winter warmers this season and was the least impressive.

Photo of Wisconsin
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a one finger head that is tan. The body is a very dark brown, almost black in appearance.

S - Syrup, molassis and some chocolate all hit your nose. The smell is not overly strong but decent.

T - Molassis, chocolate, malts and roasted undertones.

M - Molassis, chocolate with a nice transition of roasted malts and grains.

D - Smooth overall. I could have a few in sitting.

Photo of hellbilly
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

bottle by way of moelikebeer...

the pour is very porter-esque... ruby dark brown with a creamy off white to grayish head. sporadic drippy lacing noticed.

the aroma also reminds me of a porter... without a whole bunch of character... coffee, lactose, mild sourness, brown sugar and faint pepper.

there's a light sourness on the palate as well... especially toward the finish. flavors of chocolate, coffee nuttiness, brown sugar, malt and mild spice are noted. light to medium bodied with prickly carbonation and a somewhat harsh mouth feel. this seems to me a weak porter masked as a winter warmer?

Photo of hughesm4
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The initial poor and smell i thought this would be a really good winter beer. Then I started to drink and I thought the taste was alright. Then I got to the aftertaste in the mouth and there was really nothing special about it. No hops, chocolate or coffee taste, or spices. I was dissappointed.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Murphy's pub in Champaign. Pours a reddish-brown with medium thick off-white head that lingered well and left good lacing. Both the nose and flavor were a very good mix of caramel, coffee and licorice, with the taste more dominant than the aroma. As the beer warmed, the licorice became more overpowering than the other elements, which led to a tingly mouth and warming finish. Not a bad winter warmer at all.

Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 507 ratings.