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Summit Winter Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

444 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 9
Gots: 17 | 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:
OG 14.6° Plato
36 IBUs
Malts: Harrington, Caramel, Carafa II
Hops: Willamette, Fuggle, Tettenanger

(Beer added by: Todd on 12-08-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Summit Winter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 255 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of skybluewater
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep garnet color. Chocolate milk colored head recedes and leaves minimal lace. Smell isn't very pronounced, caramelly malt mostly. Taste is very nice, soothing, with some caramelly flavors at first. Like a brown ale, there's some chocolate here, but unlike a brown, there's also a bit of spice.

I really like this brew. It's actually the one that finally got me into drinking craft beer (last winter). This one's sure too warm the soul on a howling winter night.

skybluewater, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" of tan head over the reddish mahogany brew. Head hangs around for awhile, and lacing is excellent. Aroma is mainly dark malts. Taste is also darker malts, mainly caramel I think, with some coffee and chocolate for added enjoyment. Mouthfeel is good, albeit a bit thin-seeming. Drinkability is enhanced by the somewhat thin body, and the malty flavor keeps me wanting more. Not sure how much of a wamer during the winter this is, but I like it as a brew, and that's what counts.

ppoitras, Sep 02, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A diamond in the rough plucked from the .75 cent barrel - amongst Skyy Light and Huber Bock, my expectations were quite low but this beer trumped my low-set bar...

Summit Winter Ale evacuates a dark amber that comes off black in common household/bar lighting. It has a frighteningly white head for the color of the body of the beer, and a polite amount of lacing.

The nose is sour grapes, hints of raisin, soggy fudge, chocolately wet paper.

This beer tiptoes the line betwixt a sludgy porter, light stout, and respectable dark ale. There is a nice amalgam of roasty malts, twangy cocoa, tummy warming alcohol, and a crisp and substantial nuttiness imparted from the hops.

A brilliant winter drink with somewhat of a Guinness mouthfeel. Lingering roastiness will keep you warm on a winter night, and this one even survived with flying colors into the hot summer months.

GreenWBush, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of marburg
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very clear, color of oxidized iron and glare off of varnished wood. Smallish head.

Crisp nose of allspice slathered in wet malty goodness. Oven-crisped sugar.

Gooey malt flavors; ripe, juicy plum; caramelized sugars; allspice; moderate bitterness. A dark, roasted ale -- certainly short of a stout or porter but lacking the extreme (though good) spiciness of some other Christmas or Winter ales.

marburg, Apr 19, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a lacey tan head receding over clear dark maroon liquid hinting at brownish highlights. The nose is pleasantly roasty with light coffeeish notes, lightly fruity too. Taste starts sweet with underlying dryness felt, yet a little thin in the mouthfeel dept. Some nuttiness tasted also. Moderate hoppiness. Finishes with little in the way of "oomph"...nice, but nothing to shout about.

Thanks CRJM.

beerluvr, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour a deep maroon with a relatively large tan head. Thick rings of lace are deposited to the glass.
Aroma of caramel, toffe and some nuts.
Flavors or toasted dark wheat bread, caramel and hint of peanut (?) and maybe some sour green apple hit.
Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and smooth with a lightly bittered finish.
Drinkability is very, love to get this one of draught.

CRJMellor, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of alexgash
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brick-red with a creamy off-white head. Not much going on with the nose; caramel, some vanilla, trace elements, slight hops--it's hard to tell. Taste starts with toasty caramel malts with slight fruitiness. Hops are minimal but do the job. I wouldn't mind it if Summit beefed this up a touch; it might really help it gain some complexity. Creamy, medium bodied, and not a bad session winter ale.

alexgash, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks darker than I remembered it. Almost looks like a stout, with it's black opacity. This is a very heavily spiced beer, which makes me wonder why it isn't in the Herbed/Spiced beer category. It tastes strongly of cinnamon and nutmeg, in fact, they pretty much dominate this beer. Covers up any traces of alcohol or hops (I don't know if that is a good thing). Not a beer to session, would make you feel sick to your stomache in no time. It would be good on a cold winter night, though.

TastyTaste, Jan 26, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Squat looking brown glass 12 ouncer which arrived in a rather nice beer parcel from Oakdale’s finest BA, BigHuge. A plain looking label with not much in the way of appeal, the basics are there: Brewery, Beer Name and the legal Government Warning bollocks. But no strength or freshness date.

Appearance: Deep brown body with a ruby hue when backlit. Dark cherrywood hints peak through the broken creamy looking light tan head which formed a nice ½” thick uniform covering at first, but this soon faded leaving a thin looking lacing. Finely dissolved bubble carbonation quickly joins the underside of the head when the glass is tilted, and the head replenished when the beer is gently swirled.

Nose: Earthy malts with a smoked caramel aroma. Wholemeal bread and some yeast at the back end.

Taste: Light roasted whisky malt beginning that has a smoked feel that is somewhat short lived and fades by the middle. I can’t help but think of Single Malt Scotch Whisky when I immediately taste and swallow this beer. The middle has a creamy feel and the ending is lightly warming with that gullet-peat-malt punch you get from a good Scotia Whisky. Nice.

Mouthfeel: This has a very smooth velvet feel when in the mouth, so much so that you retain the beer just that bit longer than you normally would before swallowing. A creamy feel pervades the middle of the beer, a good drinking beer that wraps the tongue with mild warmth, whilst coating the cheeks with smoked earthy peat like malts.

Drinkability: Easily taken down, another one of those 12 ounce bottles that I had all but drunk by the time I got to the Drinkability part of my Review, which I guess speaks for itself, so I’ll stop rambling.

Overall: I really enjoyed the warming Scotch Whisky-like alcoholic malts and the earthy organic peat malt feel in the ending that this Winter Ale has. Very nice. Lovers of Single Malt Whisky should try this one. Cheers Joe!

TheLongBeachBum, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of jtfest
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured darkish brown with red hues and a moderate tan head. Not quite opaque, but very dark in the glass. Really very little aroma at all -- neither good nor bad, just -- not there. A substantial mouthfeel with a smooth and oddly delicate spicy taste makes up for the lack of aroma, though. Nicely carbonated, this is an easy drinking winter brew that I found friendly even if I didn't fall in love with it.

jtfest, Jan 20, 2004
Photo of maxpower
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark reddish-amber color, has a nice thick off white head that leaves some lace in my glass. Nutty caramel aromas. Bready chocolate-caramel flavors, medium body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, a decent winter brew, but nothing to write home about.

maxpower, Jan 15, 2004
Photo of ManekiNeko
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle served at cellarish temperatures in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Dark clear maroon topped with a small and creamy ecru head that pretty much doesn't go away. Thick fingers of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Nutty roasted toffee malts dominate the nose. Kind of a one note wonder.

Taste: Toasted bready malts and not much else. Mildly sweet with some apply kinda thangs going on.

Mouthfeel: Creamy thick medium body.

Drinkability: A study in toasted malt flavor. Gets sort of tiring after awhile. This really didn't do much for me.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for the sample.

ManekiNeko, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of jahred
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this (thanks to incongruity, again!) at my recent winter beer tasting. Pours a dark brown color with a medium head and a nice malty, hoppy (and somehow minty) scent.

Tastes of orange and piney hops, with a chalky aftertaste. I'm not quite sure what it is, but something didn't quite fit together in this beer. The beer is rather thin, and perhaps I was expecting something else from a winter/old ale (and something unknown that I can't quite describe).

jahred, Jan 10, 2004
Photo of jwilli7122
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear, dark brown with a slight reddish tint. Medium sized tan tead.
Smell roasty and sweet, quiet coffee and heavy caramel. Taste is toasted, slightly sweet at first, then bitter with hints of chocolate (but always mellow, never rich) - followed by a nice coffee aftertaste that lingers but isn't overpowering. Very smooth, not overly thick. toasted, but not all that bitter.

jwilli7122, Dec 20, 2003
Photo of JeffreyG
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah winter in Minnesota. Cold weather, black ice, snow and more cold weather. Luckily we have some solidly enjoyable winter brews available and Summit Winter Ale is no exception. Color is dark and inviting with a nice creamy head with acceptable retention. Smell is of roasty malt with a touch sweetness. Taste is an enjoyable slight spicyness on an ample bed of malt. Mouthfeel is full but not overt. A very drinkable beer for winter and I look forward to it each year.

JeffreyG, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, ruby-tinted mahogany beneath a short lid of creamy off white foam that drops shortly but maintains a wide collar, whispy surface covering, and leaves some craggy streaks and spots of lace with each sip. The nose is limited but clean; and it offers a touch of roastiness above some mild, grainy malt. The body is decidedly medium and it's very fine, restrained carbonation leaves it creamy and smooth in the mouth. In fact, it's very similar to a engine-pulled cask ale or a nitro-pour. It really needs to warm a bit before its flavors come out, but when they do some dark caramel with an almost burnt-sugar edge and some subtle chocolatey notes join with its mild roastiness in the flavor. A touch of fruitiness and some sublime spice lend a bit of additional character; and its firm bitterness also combines with its roastiness to leave it dry in the finish. Quite interesting. It's very much like a blend of a toned-down stout and some richly malty, caramelish ale. Very nice!

NeroFiddled, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of flaminghomer
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer looks pretty good. a dark reddish brown, barely transparent. it has a good head, it's a little sticky.

i pick up a small amount of roasted malts in the smell.

taste really isn't that great. don't get me wrong it's good. it tastes like quality, but nothing really stands out. like the other winter ales i have had this season it is mild and drinkable but lacks character. this might be the last winter ale i'll buy.

flaminghomer, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of daledeee
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is a pretty good brewery overall. I had this brew last year but never rated it.

Pouring yields a pretty good tawny head with lace and a very dark clear brown. I couldn't see through it.

The nose is the big dissapointment about this beer. There are hints of coffee and chocolate but the overall nose is unpleasant. I know this beer is fresh because it taste good but the nose is off. Smells like Lacrosse lager which is a cheap session beer. At the very outset of the pour it smells worse.

Taste is good with bitter chocolate malt and coffee. Lingering strong coffee afterwords. Mouthfeel is good.

I would write the smell off as an anomoly but I had the same impression last year. Must not be that bad; I bought it again.

daledeee, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of bditty187
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany hue with shinny ruby highlights around the edges of the pint glass. Light brunette head, served about a finger in height, very sturdy retention. A good amount of lacing was produced, even if it was unorganized, as I sipped away. To the eye, it is a dark, mysterious looking beverage. Appealing. The nose is very pleasant with dark yet restrained fruits upfront, quickly followed by light butterscotch and chocolate, straightforward maltiness. Fairly good potency sparks the invitation. The depth on the tongue is solid with a pleasant chocolate maltiness found up-front and then a delicious hoppy bitterness is introduced in the middle (yummy!). The finish has a lovely buttery English Old Ale twist on the end. The palate is respectable and very enjoyable to quaff, however it failed to blow me away. The carbonation is low, which would work better if the body were a little fuller. Still worth trying if you have not, I’ll gladly drink it again. This was my first Nebraska bought Summit product!

bditty187, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of winomark
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, almost black with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Dark roasted malt that is quite muted. Almost on aroma.

Taste: Roasted, slightly smoky malt is dominating. Some coffee tones and hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation lends to a lightness on the palate. Flavorful, lingering finish.

Drinkability: Not a favorite of mine. Not enough sweet malt for a winter brew, IMO. Won't try again.

winomark, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice deep dark cherrywood color with a deep ruby red glow, head starts about a finger high of dark tannish color, fades fast to a lighter almost ivory colored skim and lace which is in stringy sheets. Aroma is mild of light roasted coffee or old coffee lightly burnt-like roasted malts, notes of dry hops, dried wood, and plastic-like ethonal/alcohol notes. Taste is mild and plain with light notes of burnt roasted malts, a touch of old coffee and nutty dryness mixes over the top and in the finish. Has some woodish, dry hop notes. Nothing stands out but the dryness, which is a bit uneven and not all that good as it goes down. Feel is a bit thin with a drying texture midway through to the finish which coats the mouth and tongue with a dry spongy, spiked, lightly harsh cotton mouth. A slightly weak, boring, and a pretty unpleasant glass of beer. Smooth this out, get rid of the harsh dryness and texture and i might be interested in it again. Was hoping they changed this one much like the O-fest. But now I remember why I always skip by this one every year. I'll stick with the porter.

tavernjef, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of Indybeer
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Poured a deep copper color with red highlights, a smallish head, but plenty of lace. Aroma is muted, with a slightly sweet scent. Taste is weak malt, thin and watery, with not much of an aftertaste. Still not a bad tasting beer. This is a good session beer, due to its mildness.

Indybeer, Sep 02, 2003
Photo of frank4sail
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt caramel with a touch of cocoa in the nose. Deep scarlet color with a staying sticky pale tan lace. Dominant taste of burnt wood chips and spiced malt (nutmeg?). After that the flavor is flat on the tongue. A medium mouth leaves a slightly nutty dry tongue. The brew is solid, I am just distracted by the burnt dryness of the brew.

Cheers to Budgood 1 for the Sample!

frank4sail, Jun 22, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date.

This ale poured a clear, coffee-mahogany brown with creamy tan foam that lingered quite a while and left a coating and lacing on the glass. The smell was very nice: yeasty, chocolate, coffee, caramel malt, citrus, bread, and roasted malt. The smell lasted throughout. The taste was very mildly sweet caramel malt with floral and bitter hops, with hints of citrus and yeasty bread. The mouthfeel was smooth and crisp with some hop astringency. The body was medium, and the carbonation was moderate. This was a very nice and pleasant dark ale. I enjoyed it and wish I could have another.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for this one.

UncleJimbo, Apr 29, 2003
Photo of elmocoso
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, this beer is a deep red ruby color when held up to the light. It lacks head, but with the little ring around the edge and the carbonation islands on the surface and the color combo, this beer ends up looking like a cherry cola, not a bad one though.

There is a very malty smell to this one and a hint o' alcohol present also. par for a winter warmer. There is also a fresh sweetness that I can not place.

The taste is pretty good. Nice and balanced and it hits the tongue just right. I can also feel a warming in the belly after a few sips. I like to feel a warming in the belly.

This ends up being a pretty good beer. A special thanks for felonious for making it possible.

elmocoso, Apr 17, 2003
Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.