Summit Winter Ale | Summit Brewing Company

274 Reviews
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Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
OG 14.6° Plato
36 IBUs
Malts: Harrington, Caramel, Carafa II
Hops: Willamette, Fuggle, Tettenanger

Added by Todd on 12-08-2001

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Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 554
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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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tea brown color with an impressive ecru head; leaves some dots of lacing behind

Smell: Earthy malt tones with a hint of caramel and chocolate; somewhat nutty

Taste: Caramel, up front, with a hint of malted milk underneath; by mid-palate, both nuts and earhty hops make an appearance; a bit more hops appear in the finish but this is primarily about the malt bill

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I have a hunch that the recipe for this might have changed as older reviews characterize this as an amped-up porter; this year's version is much more like a moderately-hopped nut brown ale; rather enjoyable, overall

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Irish pint glass.

The beer is a deep ruby mahogany. The head is off-white, and very thick and creamy. It slowly dissipates, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

The beer smells delicious -- sweet caramel, roasted malts, cinnamon and a hint of cherry?

The taste is complex with roasted malts, toffee, caramel all coming through with a slight bitter hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall I'm really impressed with this one. It has a great flavor profile, appearance, and it doesn't over use the spices.

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

The pours without much head, but had nice lacing. The appearance is dark brown with a slight orange.

The smell is sweet with lightly roasted malts and strong presence of caramel and toffee.

It's a nice taste. It's bitter and isn't wintery, but it's okay.

The mouthfeel is like air.

Overall, it's an interesting beer. I think it would satisfy a party of people who only like light beers with the other half only liking dark beers. bleh

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Photo of Dave128
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at a Fridays at the MSP airport while connecting to Seattle. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark amber in color. A rigorous pour yields a 2 to 3 finger of brownish foam. Lacing is pretty good.

S - Nothing special. Grainy and slightly hoppy.

T - I don't know if I would consider this a winter warmer, the taste is like a well hopped dark amber ale. Good though.

O - It's a good ale to have in the cold, but doesn't quite live up to my winter warmer standards.

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

A: Looks like a pour of coke less the ice and bubbles. Dark rich color.

S: Nothing too over powering, some light coffer and chocate with some hints of roasted malts.

T: A little sweeter than I thought it would be. Chocolate is stronger than the scent would lead you to believe and adds a nice sweetness.

M: Medium bodym not to dark with a very light carbonation.

O: Nice winter ale, nothing too special here though.

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Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a tapered pub glass it pours a dark copper mahogany, fluffy tan foam layers on the surface and lasts for a bit. Spindly lacing is left on the sides of the glass. Thin skim across the surface lasts for the duration of the glass.

Initial aroma of cola or sarsaparilla, later some gingerbread, low key on the spice though thankfully. Not sweet, somewhat complex with some molasses too as it warms.

Mild malt toastiness, molasses, cocoa powder, light malty flavors, not sweet or bitter really. Light bodied, nearly watery but stops short. Easy going, nothing really stands out about it, but it has an autumnal character and is easy enough to drink.

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Photo of EmergingZymurgy
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle, a deep ruby color with minimal head and almost no lacing. Tastes dark and roasty with chocolate and some toffee tones. Smells of chocolate and caramel. Has a medium body, and dries out slightly at the end. It has a roasty, dry aftertaste and sits on the back of the palate.

It tastes very porter-ish. Not very winter warmery, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown that is almost black with a tint of ruby red and orange. Lots of rising bubbles and a big five finger lightly tan head with good retention. Lots of sticky lacing around the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of sweet and lightly roasted malts with lots of caramel and toffee. Has some nuts and a subtle spiced quality. Also some hints of chocolate and dark fruit. Some light hints of earthy hops in the background.

Taste: Very malt forward like the nose leads. Sweet biscuity and lightly roasted malts with caramel and toffee. Hints of nuts, chocolate, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a bit of dark fruit. A moderate taste of earthy and grassy hops peaks through in the finish. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Somewhat sweet but finishes a bit on the dryer side. Very smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid winter warmer. Very good use of malts. Sweet but balanced.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed alongside RJ Rockers First Snow Ale.

A: Clear dark red-amber with two-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Great lacing.

S: Dark fruit and roasted malt.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Very nice roasted flavor. Coffee and subtle dark fruit.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth and warm.

O: This tastes and feels like a winter warmer to me. Roasted, malty, smooth, and warm. I liked this better than the First Snow Ale.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours dark brown with a bit of reddish hue. There is a good head and quite a bit of lace. The nose is sweet caramel and some mild spice as well as dark fruits. The taste is slightly sweet with a nice malt character. Good, light spice. Finish is a bit dry but, a nice balance between normal beer and an overspiced seasonal. A solid winter warmer!

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

(A) Pours a really dark brown. When held to the light it has a brilliant ruby color. Somewhat thin head.

(S) Roasted grain and a bit of hops. Biscuit. Some sweetness. Weak fig.

(T) Decent amount of roasted malts paired with some other sweetness. Faint cinnamon. There's some decent hop bitters at the middle-end of the flavor.

(M) Kind of grainy. Medium body. It has some carbonation bite to it.

(O) It's a decent winter brew. Has some good flavor for a winter beer. Nor overly spicy or hefty on the cinnamon. Good, solid amber ale.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.31/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Brown-garnet with a one finger tan head that retains fairly well.
S- Sweet and slightly nutty. Just a touch of toffee.
T- At first it's got a brown sugar type flavor. Caramel and a nutty finish.
M- Medium light body and a smooth carbonation.
O- It's an ok tasting beer but there are enough better Winter Warmers out there I'd probably pass on this in the future.

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

Light brown head just sort of sits on top of a deep red amber colored ale.

Slight hoppy nose with maybe a little malt in the background leads into a pretty decent rich but light coffee taste.

This beer has a nice medium body that leads into a smooth and slightly bitter aftertaste.

A pretty decent beer, worthy a spot on your to do list.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown body, trace head floating, zero lacing

S: caramel, malt, toffee, nuts

T: mild malt, hint of chocolate, roasted flavor, mild bready finish

M: medium/light body, low carbonation

D: not bad, fine winter warmer newbie beer.


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Photo of dali27
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark brown in color, almost a cola-like. Really nice light tan head that lasts a while. The color combination is very good looking.

S: I smell caramel and mild roast. The smell is very subtle in this beer.

T: Mild malty taste, with also mild caramel/chocolate flavor. Ends with a bit of a boozy taste. There is nothing too overwhelming here about the taste.

M: Thin with mild carbonation.

D: Easy to drink with food, or using this as intended as a winter warmer.

Mild is the word that I would use to describe this beer. There is nothing spectacular about it, and at the same time I would not hesitate to try again. Really reminds me of a slightly muted version of Summit's Great Northern Porter, which is a beer that I love.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/21/11 notes.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with an inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, spices, bready malts, fruit, and toasted malts..

t - Tastes of caramel malts, roasted malts, tooasted malts, and light spice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A nice winter warmer with some nice caramel malts. Would have again.

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

A - Dark garnet brown color with a decent sized, foamy, light, frothy, off white head. Nice retention leaving a nice creamy lace.

S - Roasted barley and caramel are quite strong. Sweet but a good amount of spice. A touch of earthy and floral hops.

T - Roasted barley, caramel and some baker's chocolate. Quite porter like. Mid sip some earthy hops come out and maybe a touch of floral hops. A touch of nuttiness. Spice shows up later in the sip with an earthy and slightly wintery spice flavor. Similar to a hoppy porter.

M - Fuller side of thin body with average carbonation. Smooth, but a little thinner than I would like.

D - Goes down easy enough, but it isn't overly interesting. Doesn't quite do the warming job that I would really like in a winter warmer, but not a bad beer to sip on a couple on a cold night.

Notes: Reminds me of a slightly hoppy and spiced porter. Mayber a slight English taste (hops or yeast possibly). Not bad, but nothing really engaging or intriguing.

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Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.