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Summit Winter Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale

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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 BioBilly
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I will drink many more of these this winter. it is one of my favorite Winters. I usually not a big brown ale guy but something with the spice just makes it work for me. I live right next to Blu Max in Burnsville but I decided that to stick to an old favorite tonight rather then somethig new.

Photo of becktone
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Eye: Very dark red in color with garnet highlights. Head is a tea-stain tan color. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Nose: Big malty sweet presence. A little bit of alcohol sneaks through. Strong notes of chocolate and roasted malts are present.

Tongue: Very very good. I had a few of these last night but didn't notice the very very good chocolate flavor in here...almost like a vanilla chocolate flavor-real refreshing. Also a roasted flavor that I noticed right away. Warms a bit as it goes down, just right there on the back of the throat. Taste really reminds me of cappuccino.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Lighter carbonation with a bit of a heavier body and a nice warming sensation give this brew a good mouthfeel. The body seems to be just right for the style. This is a brew that I'll definitely be buying in the future; however I'll prolly not buy it till the winter rolls round again. And even then I'll try some other warmers before I come back to it, but I definitely will come back. It just tastes so good.

Photo of beveritt
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 1 inch of tan head. This settles into a thin layer and some lacing. The beer itslef is a brown, with a slight hint of red or mahogany.

Smell: Sweet, caramel malt. Hints of brown sugar and molasses.

Taste: Roasted barley like bitterness upfront mixes with a little taste of sweet, caramel malt. Reminds me of a porter in many ways. Medium level of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: Not as spicy or high ABV as I normally expect from a winter warmer, but a good beer nonetheless.

Photo of shadow1961
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Summit Winter Ale pours out a thin white head over a coffee colored
brew. The nose reveals coffee and vanilla notes. The flavor is dark
malt, caramel, and coffee up front, with a bit of hop in the finish. The
mouthfeel is light, clean, and a bit astringent. Altogether a nice take
on the British Winter Warmer style- dark, but not so heavy as a porter.
Good stuff.

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

a: pours a dark brown kinda hazy color with about a half inch worth of head that dissapears fast and leaves a little lacing very inviting
s: aroma is not overpowering but i can percieve nuts and chocolate
t: nuts and chocolate the sweet malts are represented much more than the hops not really balanced but deffinatly nice
m: medium to full bodied carbonated but not overly

overall this is a very good beer that i really enjoyed

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

Very dark brew, with a nice tan head that disappears a bit too quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.
Nose is good but not overpowering, mostly malty, with notes of caramel, chocolate and coffee.
Smooth and medium bodied, it is "maltier" than Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome that I had the same night, it has some hops to balance, but it is still heavier on the malts, and perhaps more noticeable alcohol making it a lot more "winter warmer" than the other.
Easy to drink, not spectacular, but a good beer indeed, definitely better (and cheaper) than Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome.

Photo of pweis909
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, cloudy/hazy, with a bit of white frothy head that had no lasting power.

S: No too aromatic, but if I try hard, I perceive nuts and cocoa.

T: Yeah. I still get nuts. I want to say pistachio. And chocolate. More sweet than bitter. A little metallic at first.

This beer has some interesting traits, but none of them totally wowed me, and I hate the way I always get metallic tastes from Summit bottles.

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

Ruby brown pour, with a tan head that leaves some lace.

The aroma is dominated by cocoa, figs and nutmeg.

Ripe plums, caramel, some chocolate and a wee bit of hop bitterness. Some what buttery, also.

This is probably the best beer I've from Summit. Pretty clean, and fairly drinkable, although there seems to be some alcohol warmth, despite the (relatively) low alcohol.

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

12oz brown bottle

Summit Winter Ale was a dark red-brown color with good clarity. The off-white head was short and creamy, leaving some nice lacing behind. The aroma was malty and toasty. The taste was sweet malt, roasted grain, and some bitterness with a dry finish. The body was medium with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was good. It's a nice winter warmer that's not overloaded all of the spices.

Photo of bruachan
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

she's roasty smelling. is this going to be a porter?

it's fairly dark; chestnut or mahogany. the head mostly comes to an end but i still the glint of lacing in its eye

the aroma is laden with roasty coffee or mocha aromas (which i can't help but think smell peripherally of vomit). nothing burnt, just roasty. there's a hint of hop, too. sweet

ooh...nice. somewhat sweet with some hop overlaying hoppy chocolately brown ale. good balance. i must comment that sub-6% hardly seems very warming, though i enjoy this beer

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

Into a pint glass, pours a dark blackish color with ruby hues, a decent sized off-white head thats shrinks pretty quick and some pretty nice lacing. Aroma is spicy, if anything, pretty tame. Taste is better, spiced nicely with a nice malting, a little roasty with some brown sugars perhaps, light hopping, and a nice caramel/toffee/coffee through the middle. A good medium body and nicely carbonated, while still smooth and slightly creamy. A good MN beer, a yearly partaking, a good winter warmer.

Photo of umustdrink
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Quarter inch head, good retention. Deep brown color. Good lacing.

S - Smell is fairly faint but it's mostly caramel with hints of cinnamon and cloves.

T - Roasted malts with a hint of cinnamon, cocoa, cloves. Lots of spiciness going on here.

M - Fairly uniform mix of creamy and crispness from sipping to swallowing.

D - I like this beer a lot and I would recommend it to anyone.

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

pours a slightly burnt amber with a thin beige head that disappears in an instant.
the aroma is maltynot much in the hop aroma dept.
the flavor is malty but not to heavy, has a good hop spice but not over powering, nice full flavored brew. this beer is on style.

Photo of dfried
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown toffee like color with some red highlights, thin off white head that is mainly a ring and film. Malty aroma, quite sweet, caramel and brown sugar. Some almost sherry like qualities, a touch of dark fruit. The taste is pretty sweet as well, a bit cloying. A lot of caramel and brown sugar again. Some bitterness from hops, but not all that noticeable.

Verdict: I would like to see a more rich body, it is a bit too sweet, and the flavors didn't meld all that well. Not a pour outer or turn downer, but I was not impressed.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark reddish-brown. There was a light tan head which was retained well.

This beer smelled faintly of dark malt and coffee.

When I took a sip, I got faint coffee notes with an aftertaste of chocolate. It is a bit subtle, but quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel of this beer is (like the taste) understated. It isn't watery; its substantial without being overly sticky.

Drinkability is OK; I'd have another two of these.

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

I've been drinking this beer too long now to be disappointed, but a funky off-flavor in the tap pour I had last night made me wonder. Pours the same crimson-amber I remember so well, with a rocky dark tan head. Nose is pungent, verily oozing the contents of its unctious nut-brown-on-steroids self into the air that surrounds my tiny head: so far so good! Lace that stretches from here to next year, really impressive when poured into the right glass (bulb in this case) and speaking of right glass did anyone else notice the new logo-embossed bottles? I thought so . . . nice touch in the packaging department and definitely adds to an already great beer and solid brewery. The nose offers toffee, rum, and some dates, along with a fair amount of bitterness and carmalized/roasted malts ala the Great Northern Porter (and that's a good thing as GNP has been my favorite Summit brand since day 1.) The diacetyl doesn't bother me here and never has, as I've found it to be a consistent part of Summit's stylistic interpretation for years. A bit creamy on the tongue, with evidence of the alcohol both present and welcoming. Not a "thin" brew . . . if anyone ever calls this beer thin please give them a bowl of oatmeal to go with it! It *can* be a bit sweet for some, in fact I'd go so far as to say treacly-sweet at one moment, but offset by a slightly-smokey, roasted malt bitterness the next. This bitterness lingers quite a bit, the way a nice hop bitterness does, and acts as the counterpoint to the fruity notes (cherry, plum, and cocoa as it warms a bit . . . ) Fruity in the right way, roasty and toasty in the right ways (malt and alcohol), Summit Winter is a great beer that has probably been outshined by other beers-of-the-moment in the past ten years or so, but it's been consistent, year after year, for almost as long as I can remember - reason enough for me to buy a case every winter!

Photo of budgood1
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a clear but very dark mahoghany colour with a slight head without much lace. a very spicy and malty/doughy character in the nose along with some northwest hops. fullish medium body and mouthfeel. tastes of alcohol spiciness, which seems quick to warm the senses. the malt profile is hard to nail down...some very slight caramel and chocolate notes are discernible. dough and yeast...again the spice and alcohol notes come through in the end along with a hop bite finish that dances on the tongue.. like a liquid candy bar and overall a nice winter warmer that seems appropriate for the season.

Photo of hylton44
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark, DARK chocolatey brown; almost completely opaque. Caramel-colored, good-sized head. Smell was not as prominent as I would have liked. Taste was like like biting on a delicious old plank. Earthy and a touch of roasted nuts, with just a warm, homey feel to it. Nice bitterness, not overwhelming. Hearty, full mouthfeel. Thick, syrupy finish; which was really nice for this beer. I plan to have a few of these on hand all winter...

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

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle. 20th anniversary neck label. No abv or freshness info.

Appearance: Pours very dark brown with a bit of ruby around the edges. Thin head, but very good retention.

Smell: Malt dominated, with a bit of English hops.

Taste: Nicely balanced - good malt flavor and a bit of spicy english style hops.

Overall impression: Very well balanced and drinkable. A nice counter to many of the spiced winter beers on the market.

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger espresso foam colored head with some retention, not much lacing. Body is deep, deep brown.

Smell - malt bread, chocolate, nutty.

Taste - much like the smell. Hearty malt bread with chocolate and nuts, with black pepper on the spicy finish. Very good.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, and smooth.

Drinkability - this is a very hearty and very good beer and is very sessionable. This shoud be available year-round.

Photo of russpowell
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06 version poured chestnut with a 4 fingers deep tan head. Some lacing & head retention

S: A little toasted malt

T: Roasted malts & a litle choclate. Finishes dry & choclatey, This struck me as more of slightlty amped up porter

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, but not the most engaging winter warmer

Photo of bigdeuce
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was surprisingly a nice brew. Lots of chocolatey malts and some odd fruity flavors going on in this beer. Very similar to Medocino's 2005 winter ale. Full bodied not much lacing and a decent head on the pour. Pours a dark, dark colour, blackish red. Very underpriced and a nice brew here, oh and on top of that all, this was a 2005 edition.

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

Poured from a stubby 12oz. bottle into an Inperial pint glass. Dark brown body with thin, brown head. Some lacing.

The aroma is chocolate malt and ripe olives, of all things. Unique.

Caramel and chocolate malts with no real hop presence until the end. There's a small hop bite as the drink finishes..

Well balanced mouthfeel. Dry start with round, full finish.

Refreshing, and goes very well with savory foods like lamb stew. Solid drinkablity. I'll get some more of this next winter.

Photo of ryantupy
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a well bold spiced beer that poured a deep brown color with small head. Its smell was of roasted malts, bold spices, and dark fruits. It's amazingly smooth for its stlye of beer and yet it is still on the bitter side. The finish kinda lingers of drak fruits and spice. Its is a very drinkable beer since it is so smooth and tasty.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Probably the best beer that I drank from the Summit variety pack. Though a bit sweet and wort-y, it's a solid brew with nothing to really complain about. Typical of Winer Warmers, the beer has a big molassas sweetness with a nutty, spicy, hoppy flavor and aroma. Creamy and almost thick to the mouth. Finishes a bit too sweet. The alcohol helps to thin the beer in the end. I rather enjoyed this beer.

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