St. Benedict's Winter Ale - Stevens Point Brewery

Not Rated.
St. Benedict's Winter AleSt. Benedict's Winter Ale

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255 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 10
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cdkrenz on 10-31-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 255 | Reviews: 120
Reviews by Brenden:
Photo of Brenden
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a pure, clear red orange. Big bubbles cling to the side of the glass. The head grows to about one finger, maybe just a little higher, but is too loose and drops somewhat quickly. The island of foam is made of big bubbles and likewise dissipates. There is a bit left, patchy bits that stay on top of the beer. Some spotty lacing manages to cling to the glass.
Banana and clove in the nose; that's a good sign. It disappears for a little bit and then sneaks back as it warms. Weird. Was my fridge too cold? Doesn't seem that way. Anyway, a bit of toasted malt and some dark fruits make it standard stuff but pretty good, and well-made to style.
The strength comes out in the flavor, and the strong but unoffensive and soft warmth from the alcohol makes for a pleasant experience. Dark fruits seem to mix with soft white flesh fruit flavors, both banana and pear. There's very little bitterness, which is expected, and it's of a mildly herbal quality and balances well.
The feel is on the lighter side of medium with a snappy crispness and is fairly smooth, though it might be a touch too active.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RyanLaCount03
4.17/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall I thought Saint Benedicts Winter Ale was a decent beer. Had it for the first time at my girlfriends cabin in northern Wisconsin back in late December of 2012. The appearance of the beer was good, and the flavor was ok. I thought it was kind of a strong beer at times with the full flavor coming out at times. Would probably buy it again in the winter months.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

This Abbey-style Winter Warmer poured vigorously into the glass forms a thick, cream-colored head that leaves a web-like trail of lacing on the glass. Deep reddish-brown color shows clarity. The aroma is of fresh plums, faint burnt sugar, with a quick whiff of medicinal phenols and a slight spiciness from the hops and alcohol. Beautiful smoothness reaches all corners of the palate with a quick snap of crispness. Solid medium body. All flavors seem to want to smack the taste buds all at once: mellow yet lingering fruitiness of plums and pears, toasted malt and mild burnt sugar sweetness, mild herbal hop bitterness, subtle phenols from the yeast and quick peppery warmth from the alcohol. Finishes a bit dry with some lingering fruitiness and toasted bread flavors.

Very well balanced and pretty damn drinkable, yet big enough to be thrown at just about any holiday dinner. With each sip, and as it gets closer to cellar temperature, it grows on us. A sure pick here for your winter seasonal needs.

Photo of schnjac
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoying in the cold
Pours dark, slightly amber in color with a tan head. The smell is nutty and of red wine, and it tastes of fruit, spice, and licorice, but more so of malt (roasted). Carbonation is mild to moderate with and the overall feel is light. Complex flavors yet very drinkable

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bright ruby tinted copper color with a bright off white cream head forming thick and leaves behind fine lacing. Aroma has hints of christmas spice, cinnamon, allspice, and some citrus ginger. The back end there are some smokey ash tray notes. Nice underlying fruity character going on, brings out some caramel as well. Flavor wise some unrefined malt sweetness, extra juicy with plums/raisin/hints of citrus fruit in the back end. A bit of caramel/yeast spiciness not as upfront with the christmas spices in the flavors as the nose but still evident. A bit cloying unrefined/unfermented malts weigh heavy with each sip. Unnatural carbonation leaves a rough backend to each sip, something I wouldn't drink on the regular. Drinkability is rough, it shows promise from Point brewery to do something a little outside the norm from a regional brewery that big.

Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The label and name (“St. Benedict’s”) both suggest I fine abbey brew, but calling this a ‘winter ale’ suggests it could be almost any style ale.

A – The body is a clear. deep, orange-amber; light carbonation is visible. The thin, off-white head quickly reduces to a nice ring with a few thin patches, but remains capable of coating the glass anew with each sip.

S – Needs to warm a good bit to really bring out the aromas. The spicy aroma is more like that expected from a Belgian winter brew (e.g., Delirium Noel) than from an American winter ale, although there is a definite presence of such typical “winter spices” as nutmeg. Fruity with a hint of cognac. 3.75

T – Largely follows the aroma, but much closer to a Belgian dubbel or winter ale than expected, with the touches of cloves, dried plums, raisins and bananas. If presented as such, I’d have no trouble believing this was an actual Belgian abbey beer. The finish is clean, rich, and nicely balanced, leaving a fine and long-lasting aftertaste that features both dark malts and spices. The spices form a well-chosen and balanced mix, and blend very nicely with the malts and minimal hops; although the aftertaste is eventually dominated by clove, nutmeg and other spices.

M: Near medium body with soft carbonation. 3.75

Overall: One of the best American ‘’Belgians’ I’ve had. (I know, BA follows the label and calls this a “winter ale”). Whatever you want to call it, this is a superb, tasty, well-balanced, and easy-to-drink beer. 4.3

Photo of drewd
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like many others, wondering where the spice & flavor is in this beer to make it a winter ale. There is the slightest bit on the nose, and in the finish, though other than that this remains a dryly sweet brown. Not anything special, but not terrible either. Sometimes you need an average beer, right?

Photo of emsroth
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

App: A deep dark amber with a soft, delicate head.

Smell: Cherries, almonds, and an herbal dryness. What I look for in a dubbel.

Taste: A rather dry dubbel, usually a quality I don't like, but it works with this beer. A touch of fruitiness up front, but the flavor is heavy in the finish with a touch of coffee-like roast and dry, herbal finish. A cherry-stone flavor is present throughout and adds a touch of tart fruit and nuttiness.

Not outstanding, but as I drank I began to taste the complexity of this beer.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, showing ruby highlights when not hidden from direct light. The head is a nice khaki color, and recedes quickly to a thin collar.

S - Mineral water and vinous notes combine to form a menagerie of weird and funky notes. Grape, milk chocolate, nutty wholesome bread, and toasted nuts.

T - Black bread (pumpernickel), toasted nuts ( almonds and walnuts), and a nice backing hint of toffee. Nice!

M - Medium bodied, nutty, and a bit boozy. The noticeable alcohol could be perceived as a flaw, but I think it adds to the nutty flavor... cashews and scotch go quite well together, after all.

D - This is a nice winter ale from a brewer that I usually don't hold in high esteem. Nutty and bready, this is a nice winter brew that doesn't do the whole played out "fruitcake and spice" thing. Drinkable on a feast-type evening, but a bit much for a normal session. Good stuff!

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from a winter mixed case. The bottle does not appear to be date coded. I have not had many of this style to compare this to.

The color is rich and deep, indicative of a full body. This is very rich and traditional in flavor.

The alcohol is well hidden and quite warming. Very delightful.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Mahogany with a bit of foam. Does not look watery. Pretty carbonated.

Smell: Spiced and fruity, kind of like a fresh fruit cake. Cinnamon, cloves, apples, orange, even a bit of mint. Rather unique in my opinion. Thumbs up!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Fairly unrefined, therefore a bit rough. Taste-wise, this beer is relaxingly pleasant. Perfect warming feel!

Drinkability: Given the fact that this beer comes across and seems designed to warm, it's not a session beer. One of these should do the trick.

Overall: I'd say it's flavor and warming effect makes it perfect on a cold night every once in a while.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St. Benedict's appears a bit viscous as I pour it into my glass. We'll see if that's really the case. It brought up a thick head of frothy tan foam which settles in a minute or so. Spots of lace are left about the glass. It's a slightly hazy crimson-tinted copper with glowing orange highlights. The aroma is interesting. I find it fruity and somewhat spicy. I'm thinking dark fruits like plum and raisin, maybe cassis. There's some darkly caramelish malt and cooked brown sugar beneath that. As I drink it, however, the lacing diminishes. Oh well, to the lips we go... fruit and malt combine at the front, and as it warms I find banana and clove. There's not a lot, but it's there. Across the middle it dries and a spice component appears. It rises in the finish, but notes of malt and then fruit are still there, leaving it fairly interesting and complex. Wow, it really is a bit viscous. It's medium-full in body and quite creamy as the carbonation is released. Back to the flavor, I really like the combination of fruit and malt at the outset. It's well combined, and the specific fruitiness that I found in the nose isn't there, it's more generic. Wether that's a good thing or a bad thing I don't know, we're not comparing it to any particular style or other beer. Hedonistically, I like it. And I also like the way the spiciness gently builds across the palate until it becomes most apparent in the dry finish. And not unlike the fruitiness, the spicing isn't quite clear either. I could guess at what's there, but it's not readily apparent and in your face. Perhaps it's just a pinch of cinnamon? Perhaps it's just clove and phenolic from the yeast? Personally I find that a good thing, it leaves you guessing. I think they've done a nice job of blending to get a nice mix that works, and they've kept it restrained enough that the spicing doesn't build on the palate, ruining the beer for you half way through. Sure, the first couple of sips of a really spicy beer can be great, but then you lose interest as it builds on your palate and blocks out the other flavors. This one is balanced enough that it remains focused and drinkable. Based on that I have to give it some really good marks for drinkability; and since I don't find any faults here, I'd have to say it's an excellent winter warmer. Nicely done!

Photo of BeerVikingSailor
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very malty very dark winter brew, poured into standard pint glass....color dark red/brown, moderate, quickly dissipated head, not much lacing...

A: decent look to this one, very dark, typical for Abbey / Belgian style warmer

S: not bad, tons of malt, think there are 3 or 4 types in there, some 2 row roasted chocolate, not very spicy to me, for this style, getting mostly malt smell and not much else

T: Pretty decent tasting brew, not hoppy at all, you get a pretty overpowering malty presence, some chocolate notes in there...I think this is brewed with Belgian type yeast, so there is a little fruitiness in there, pretty complex

M: Not the greatest overall, at least for me, not enough body or balance with hops that you can access easily

D: I could drink a few of these pretty easily, probably would grow on me after a bit, perhaps warming to 50-55 degrees may bring out some other flavors, other than the heavy roasted malts

Not that familiar with the beers from this brewery, but not a bad effort at all!

Photo of lawlerj
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. No best by or born on date.

A - Pours a translucent light brown with a fairly large 3 to 4 finger head from an agressive pour. Head dissipates moderately quicly. It does not appear to be strongly carbonated.

S - Malt dominates the aroma of the bready and caramel variety. There are some spices, with some phenolic and dark fruit notes. A touch of hops, but nothing storng. Standard for the style.

T - Pretty much follow the nose; biscuity malt and caramel notes mixing with a touch of hop character. A bit of fruitiness as well.

M - On the light side of medium bodied. Moderately carbonated.

O - Overall, not too bad. I enjoyed this and I will definitely look forward to it next year.

Photo of Gmann
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a crystal clear amber brown color with a sudsy off-white head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma was of sweet candi sugar and some yeasty clove.

The taste was a tea like malt base sweetened with candi sugar and had some clove and bubblegum notes. Tasted like an English/Belgian mix.

The feel was light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but finishes astringent.

An ok brew. Some decent belgian flavors mixed with a so so english base.

Photo of morimech
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark crimson color with 2 inches of off-white head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. An exciting and complex aroma. A lot of spices such as cloves, nutmeg,and hints of dark fruit like figs and dates. But there is something in the background that lowers the score a little. It is almost like an ashtray aroma. Odd. The flavor is not as exciting. Plenty of spice up front with the fruity flavors in the finish. Again there is something in the background. Definately some ash. Seems out of place in this beer. I would of liked a little more body in this beer but otherwise good. A surprising and good effort from Stevens Point.

Photo of dhannes
4.38/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint.

A=Rich amber color, with creamy one finger head.

S=Fruity and hoppy...inviting.

T=Hearty...hint of spice and citrus. Normally, I don't care for spice and citrus, but this one works for me.

M=Excellent...just the right body...not too heavy, not too light.

O=I paired this with pizza rolls, which did not work well...this would work well with red meat, I think, as well as by itself. Very likely that I will purchase this next winter.

Photo of Samp01
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear dark copper / amber with a small tan head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, some sweet spices and fruitiness. Taste is sweet caramel malt, some breadiness, sweet spices and some light hops. Palate is med to full body, nice carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel malt, some breadiness and yeast, ending with a dry alcohol sweet vanilla bitternes and some nutty flavor. Overall a nice and drinkable holiday ale,

Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on December 3, 2011. The pour is a medium to dark amber, almost chestnut, with slow moving upward carbonation and a thin head. The aroma is spirited with dark malts, sugar, clean, light hops, and black licorice. The body has a smooth creamy feel to it and it falls in the medium range. Roasted malts are up front in the flavor with a mellow balance of hops, yeast and maybe a pinch of nutmeg. An entirely satisfying winter warmer. Not too spiced but basically balanced.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.37/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark cranberry with a pie-crust colored head that was patchy and quick to dissipate. A quickly paced effervesce brings a medium strong show of density that fills the glass with a steady upswelling. The lacing is thin of whispy lashes that streak occasionally across the glass.

S: For the nose we see a prominent display of fruitiness, particularly apples on the open, very bock like in nature. Yeasty mentions of warm canned pears and warm bananas also ring through. Things are wrapped up by a cozy alcohol warmth and caramel spice.

T: For flavor the spicy caramel is upfront with a fruity and yeasty character of apples and forementioned warm canned pears. Sweet toasted caramel adds the base along with some holiday spiciness of cardamnon and oranges. Things get wrapped up with a residual maltiness.

M: The mouthful is slippery and syrupy with a somewhat heavy feel on the tongue. Warm boozy caramel and apples line the tongue with a soft carbonation presence.

D: Easy enough drinkability, but limited and moderate appeal. Very safe and middle of the road flavor will warrant little complaint, though little praise as well. A six pack will probably get boring halfway through. Single purchase recommended.

Photo of vainosuomi
3.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Black color, thin light brown head. Very faint smell, maybe a little fruity. Flavor of roasted malts and sweet fruit. Mild carbonation.

Photo of longbongsilver
3.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mix'n'match pack pick here, let's go. Pours a highly fizzy, translucent red-brown, minimal tan head goes away quick. Smells peppery, with butterscotch and a dry wheat note.

Taste moves more towards caramel with a bit of clove. Not bitter at all, whatever hops were used seem more about aroma than bitterness, though it doesn't go sweet either. Dryness suggested on smell eases back a bit. Goes down relatively thin, though the carbonation would get annoying if this were particularly rich so it's a wash really.

This tastes like what happens when you try to make a Dubbel and under-calculate something in the process. Nothing huge here, though it still works. I wouldn't stab anybody for it, but it's nowhere near a drain pour either. I imagine it's an entry level for the warmer category.

Photo of BierFan
2.88/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear brown with a big light tan head. Okay lacing, subpar head retention.

Smell: Banana and clove smell. I was able to smell the banana as soon as I twisted off the cap.

Taste: More banana and clove in the taste. Something about it seems off, perhaps the cloves have too big of a presence. I can taste some other spice in the aftertaste but I don't know what it is.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. No date or info.

A - The tall but quiet pour releases a thin tan head atop the nice clear red-amber body. Lots of carbonation streaming up still doesn't help the poor retention. Within seconds the fizzy, loose head is gone to nothing more than a weak ring.

S - With each sniff the aroma changes. It starts with a deep malt extract sweetness that's a bit bread-y and moves into honey with dark candi-sugar. Towards the end I pick up a slight banana ester from the yeast. Together with a tiny pinch of bland spice, the nose is rather sweet and uninteresting. Later on I got notes of nuts too.

T - Thankfully the flavor is better than the nose foreshadows, albeit just as sweet. Sweet malts start the flavor out with a bit of honey and candi-sugar and a light banana hint mingles with a low spice addition. The end finishes with a dry, toasty flavor and a quick peek at hops through the feel.

M - Despite the highly carbonated bite to the finish, it's rather smooth and medium-full bodied. The dry finish comes from the malts and hops in conjunction it seems. Also, it could be my empty stomach but maybe there is a little more alcohol than normal.

D - A touch too sweet but balanced somewhat well, it's heading in the right direction. Not a holiday beer I'll be back for seconds on though but worth the try.

Photo of u2carew
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(A) Pours with a thin creamy head then settles to the outside edge of the glass. Dark reddish brown color.
(S) Aroma of bread with some winter spice - nutmeg, clove and slight caramel.
(T) Strong toffee flavor initially then fades with very little umph! Has a touch of caramel and yeastiness in the aftertaste.
(M) Medium body. Crisp, carbonation.
(D) A decent winter brew, but not a stand out.

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St. Benedict's Winter Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.