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Summit Winter Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

514 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 514
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 10.48%
Wants: 12
Gots: 51 | 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: 514 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of daliandragon
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a dark stubby bottle with a plain label and no born on date. Dark brown color with a ruby tint at the bottom of my pint glass and thin but resiliant tan head. Chocolate malt is the main ingredient in the aroma with a strong dose of coffee and a hint of alcohol. Not overly strong nose, I wish it had a bit more muscle so you don't have to stain to get a whiff.
Well balanced from the first sip with a pleasant coffee aftertaste. Creamy aftertaste comliments the coffee flavors and there is a pleasant nuttiness here as well. The carbonation is nice and low, the way I like it. Mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking.
This is a pretty good beer in the winter, or any other time.

Photo of jlh8643
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle with no date. Dark brown body topped with a fair tan head that drops down to a thin film. Leaves only faint traces of spots of lace. Aroma is slightly nutty, some roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is more of the aroma with a slick lactic sourness is the only way I can describe. Some hop bitterness on the back end. Finishes with some chocolate on the back also. Not a great beer but not bad either.

Photo of jj21
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep Brown color, little-no head or lacing. Subtle roasted aroma, not overpowering as I expected. Very smooth for being as bitter as it is (If that makes any sense). Lingering spiceyness. Not too exciting, not much action. Very drinkable because of mellowness.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a deep ruby brown forms a nice tan bubbly head leaves behind specks of scattered lace. Aroma has a touch of chocolate with herbal grassy hop components and an overall sense of creaminess comes to me. Taste has a solid tight flavor milk chocolate, dark roasted malts herbal bitterness touch of pine bready tones in the finish winter warmer a bit under six percent seems pretty tame overall but nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated smooth and creamy textured. Drinkability, pleasant winter ale once again just a bit mild for me to truely dig, dig.

Photo of Brent
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presenting this beer as a winter specialty ale seems a bit odd - I could understand if this was just a way of saying "seasonal," but the brewery is calling it a winter warmer, which it seems not to be. A pretty decent porter/stout-ish beer, yes, but not hefty or big enough to be a winter warmer.

Okay, all that aside I did like this beer. Poured black with a thin sheet of head. Aroma hinted at milk chocolate. Well moderated roasted malt flavors, with bit of chocolate and a hint of sorghum. Seemed to ride the line between a mild porter and sweet stout. Reserved but very pleasant.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lazy Chameleon in Powell, OH. Clear dark reddish brown with a thin beige head and decent lacing. Nutmeg and malt aroma. Medium-bodied with sweet malt and caramel flavors, and some spices as well. Pretty tasty but the flavor is very short-lived. The finish is roasted malt with a bitter follow-through. Above average, however nothing really makes this beer stand out in the sea of similar winter ales.

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

appearance: The pour creates a low, white tan head that quickly dissipates. The beer is a deep mahogany color.

smell: Not a whole lot going on. Some moderate toasted and roasted malt flavors, a little woodiness, a light sweetness, and a low hop presence.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body a light medium.

taste: Some roasted flavor and a moderate bitterness that dries up the finish. Really not much more.

drinkability: Not a great beer, but not hard to drink.

Picked up a bottle while visiting Madison, WI. The neck of the bottle is printed with a best by date of February 03, 2006. Pretty boring considering the style it is categorized under...definately more of a brown ale.

Photo of dirtylou
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's west side

appearance: a deep garnet pour, bubbly beige head, not a whole lot of lacing...looks a tad thin

smell: light and sweet, lightly toasted malt, plum, cherry, a touch of chocolate, mild coffee ground, a little caramel, earthy aromas

taste: lightly toasted sweet malt, caramel, dry chocolate, very faint coffee, some nice fruit...cherry, plum, a little raisin. Not a whole lot going on but an easy drinking brew

mouthfeel: somewhat creamy, but very light, light acidity feel to it

drinkability: very much so

Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark red brown with a creamy tan head. Lots of streaky lacing around the glass.
Smell is of Black Patent, and Caramel malts with some chocolate nuttiness coming through.
Taste is of the same aromas. English Ale yeast is utilized in this brew. Seems like a red ale that has been tweaked a bit darker with some mild dosage of quality hops.
Mouthfeel is smooth, sugary with the nuts and chocolate lightness grazing over the tongue.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights. Thick white foamy head disappears too quickly. Some patchy lace left on the sides of the glass. Roasty aroma, almost like coffee. Malt flavor is a touch roasty, but seems shallow. This falls off on the back end. Some bitterness along with the malt. Medium body, carbonation is low. Overall, sort of like a brown ale/porter. Good change of pace for winter warmers, but I would have liked more roasty flavors that the nose seemed to be getting at. Still, a pretty good winter brew.

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

I got a variety case of Summit right before Christmas at Westy's near Harrisburg and this was the first one I tried.

The Winter Ale pours a nice dark deep brown color, very chocolately looking. The smell has some very nice toasted malty character to it. Coffee aromas.

The taste is very much like the smell, toasted, coffee flavor. This beer is easy to drink and nice at temp above what the frig keeps it at. I could see having a few of these on a cold winter night, or day, or morning.

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

Aroma presents with a strong malty character that's dark in nature but not roast and also shows a fruity sweet quality that's a little yeasty.
Dark brown that's reddish in the light. Head is tannish and leaves quickly.
Nice dryness with the heaviness of the malt, which is contrasted by some fruity qualities. Nice complexity and interesting blending.
Feel seems to vary some throughout the drink. At times it seems moderately heavy while at others times a bit thin. Carbonation is moderate and somewhat fine.
This is not a classic, but nicely done. There is a cleanness to this that makes it lager like, which is not a bad thing.

Photo of kmpitz2
2.76/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep mahagony color with ruby hues. A finger of tan head falls moderately slow to a full coat over top. Very pretty brew. Nose is not as great. There is a breadyness that borders on what I associate with sock-like aromas. I also get some molasses, but I really do not like the aroma of this beer. Flavor is pretty well the same as the aroma. It has a sort of fruity-spice...almost like cherry, but not in a good way, with molasses. It just rubs me the wrong way. The feel is a very light moderate with a moderate carbonation. I am very underimpressed with this brew. It does nothing to draw me in with the nose or flavor. The feel is weak and its just not all that good.

Photo of edbeered
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a very dark amber. The head is minimal, but good lacing on the glass indicates ample amounts of malt used. The smell is fruity with burnt malt. The taste is rich and plummy, with a hint of pure malt and cherry. Not a lot of hop presence is felt. The mouthfeel has that characteristic Summit crispness. This is one of my favorite winter ales.

Photo of Bierman9
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Where'd I get this? Unsure. I think it was picked up last December in Green Bay while visiting there. The 12oz bottle seems to have a "best by" date inked onto the bottle; says Mar '06, best I can tell.

Has a luscious, deep mahogany hue, with ruby highlights within the clear liquid. Hardpour brought on a creamy, tan head, yet it thinned rapidly to a fine layer of tight bubbles. Doesn't leave much lacing, though. Lovely aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar plus hints of spice. Body is a solid medium, with a pleasing, velvetty smoothness across the palate. So far, so good.

Taste is caramelly sweet at first, though not quite as sweet as the aroma intimated. Has some roasty, bittering qualities, and is verry dry! A touch of spice, perhaps cinnamon, makes a cameo. Though not complex in the least, imo, I do like the nice balance of the initial sweetness with the roasty and hop-induced bitterness at the finish.


overall: 3.75
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


Photo of Xadoor
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber brown. Head dissipated quickly to a thin layer with nice light lacing. Aroma was only slight, but roasted malt and coffee was detectable. The taste is full of soft chcoloate, coffee and roasted malt flavours. The higher ABV is slightly noticeable and l provides a bit of warming affect, something that I certainly enjoy and expect in a winter warmer. Mouthfeel is full and rich. A very delicious and drinkable beer, particularly on a cool winter evening.

Photo of dciskey
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with slight ruby twinges and an off-white head of about one finger. The head decreases quickly but leaves a nice ring the whole time, with some lacing on the sides. Bottle says "enjoy by Feb 10" on the glass itself, above the label.

Smell is roasted malt and chocolate, with a touch of nuttiness. Oddly the first time I smelled it the aroma was pretty strong, but after that I had trouble really finding it, even with some agitation. It's easier to pick up the scent as the beer warms a little, though. Taste is similar to the aroma, with some spicyness and just a bit hops in there. Pretty dry, almost nutty at the end. Nice complexity in there, especially as it warms up.

I've had Summit's Extra Pale Ale many times (just never been inspired to review it), and it always strikes me as especially smooth/creamy. This beer is the same way. From looking at the bottle, it doesn't look like they bottle condition their brews, but whatever they're doing to carbonate them, it's working well. This beer is a bit like a brown, a bit like a porter, and I'm a fan of both styles. Between the taste and the creamy mouthfeel, this is quite the drinkable beer. I wish it were a little less drying to the palate (though I don't mind the lack of sweetness--why is that also called "dry"?), but the other aspects make me want more. Definitely worth a try; I got the six pack on sale at Binny's for $5.99, and I might head back to get another one to stock up.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark, deep mohagany brown color with very little head. A little light barely seeps through the edges of the glass. The nose is a little weak. I notice roasted malt smells paired with maybe a slight berry smell. Nothing too strong. The taste is malty and a bit sweet with adjuncts. I've had better. The mouthfeel is also quite thin for the style. Drinkability is okay, I wont have any trouble with it, but it wont be hard to pick something else instead of this one next time.

Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.