Wizard's Winter Ale
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Wizard's Winter AleWizard's Winter Ale
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English Strong Ale
Ranked #85
Ranked #43,587
3.54 | pDev: 13.28%
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States
Wizard's Winter AleWizard's Winter Ale
Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 146 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.99/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a light amber color with a finger’s worth of white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. Stringy lace. The aroma had some caramel/toffee malt combining with some leather to earthiness. Pleasant ginger and then some woodiness. The flavor keeps the sweet malty tones forward and allows the ginger to come out as it warms. Faint malty to woody aftertaste. Sly wet malty finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sipping quality about it. ABV feels good. Carbonation felt fine. Nice smoothness flowing over my tongue. Overall, nice English strong ale that I would have again and a good style to have in Winter.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with light spices notes is pleasant. Taste is also a nice mix of caramelized malt with some light spices and light toffee notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not the most complex beer out there but not bad for style that is not brewed often enough.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a clear deep amber brown, very light tan head is fine and retains well.

Smells of toasted biscuit and caramel with some toffee and brown sugar.

Tastes of coppery barley and crisp brown sugar and buttered biscuit malts. A light dry hop bitterness is detectable in the finish.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

An above average ale with some nice aroma and body and a decent flavor. Nothing special, but certainly enjoyable and refreshing.

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Photo of Antikythera
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a: pretty light golden/amber with a solid proteiny head that takes a long time to go away.

s: hoppy and tangy.

t: a little tart, especially when it warms up. The fruitiness of the hops doesn't survive long.

m: a little too fizzy, but nice and solid for a winter ale.

o: ultimately a little too lightweight for my tastes, but I'd drink it again.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear orange, two finger head, not much carbonation, with some lacing.

S-Malt, way to much malt, some caramel, bland, no spices.

T-Very malty. Tad caramel, wee bit of cinnamon, nothing else.

M-Light to medium bodied, not much carbonation, finishes flat.

O-A boring bland beer, makes me wonder why I pick up Middle Ages when I see it.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an orangish amber with a 2 finger puffy off white head. Some visible carbonation, head is fairly quick to dissipate. Doesnt leave much lacing.

S: A sweet carmel like malt dominates this for me, also some lighter malts. A dark fruitiness to it but again seems sweet.

T: Carmel malts like the smell, not as sweet as I expected seems to be balanced out by a nice bittering hop. Not offensive but seems a little lacing.

M: Feels a little thin for a strong ale, low carbonation. A little slick. Alcohol is pretty well hidden though.

Overall nothing to write home about. fits well in the winter but could use some more oomph.

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Photo of biegaman
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wizard's Winter Ale has the rich colour and burnished glow of polished oak - we're talking the really expensive stuff too, like rich person furniture. Its bright gloss notwithstanding, the complexion is actually hazy. Although well-bubbled, its head flamed out like a meteor that disintegrates upon entering Earth's atmosphere.

The aroma has the dewy, floral sparkle of freshly-harvested hops. The malts lay down to allow a tiny army of candied citrus shavings and wet leaves to march all over them en route to the nose, to which they bring utmost pleasure. It has a perfume of honeysuckle and violets - less a winter ale, it smells more like a springtime garden.

That lovely floral perfume carries over onto the palate, where notes of lavender and lemon zest intensify. Ruby grapefruit strikes very sharply and comes to dominate the flavor, for the most part trampling the malts in the process. Some nutty toast does persist, however, especially in the aftertaste which is long lasting.

Wizard's Winter Ale is another intriguing hybrid that levels English quality quaffing with American quantity hopping. I'm happy picking hop leaves out from between my teeth, even in the winter, so I like it. Others, however, especially in colder climates like Western New York, might desire a little more malt form their winter tipples. This is hardly substantial.

If I am to put on my Wizard's hat and peer into the future, I don't see myself buying this again. I enjoyed it, but there's just not that much magic to it. It is another beer that fits squarely into the ambit of Middle Ages' abilities, which is to provide nothing less and nothing more than agreeable, if slightly more hoppy English-inspired offerings.

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Photo of busterthecat
2.21/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 12 oz bottle served into a SA Perfect Pint glass at 45 degrees. No bottle date.

A- pours a dull tarnished copper hue from bottle and sits a transparent amber in glass. A good cream white head forms and lingers around as a good film capping.

S- Lightly spiced bready malts, pears, apple. Medium strength aroma. Some buttery note detected.

T- Similar to beer that I fermented too warm giving it an cidery/ off flavor from acetaldehyde. Sharp cidery notes that end dirty. Drinkable, but not good.

M- Sharp on palate, not in a good way. Finishes dry.

O- Perhaps a bad bottle or maybe from last year (no bottle date), but if this is what was intended, it is not good. Got through half the glass before opting to drain pour.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Chilled 12 oz. bottle into a pint mug. Couldn't find a date on the bottle.

Look- Bad case of chill haze. Colored like cream soda with a couple inches of loose-looking white head that stuck around for a decently long time. Didn't leave much lacing. Moderate to heavy carbonation clearly visible during and after the pour.

Smell- Mild lemony hop and lilac. A whiff of vanilla and allspice after the second pour. Agitation brings out a medium alcohol presence.

Taste- Tart lemon, followed by pine, soapy florals, butterscotch, and muted spices. Alcohol is quite present but plays surprisingly well against the other elements. Biting bitter grassy/alcohol aftertaste. As the beer warms, rich buttery flavors and caramel malt become more evident, bringing it up a notch.

Mouthfeel- Soapy smooth to start, medium to heavy body that dulls the lively visible carbonation. Finishes rough, with a lingering metallic/astringent feeling like strong distilled spirits but less fleeting. Warming, but only detectable after the previous feelings dissipate. Sits heavy in the stomach.

Overall- I want badly to like this beer and have since I discovered Middle Ages. Winter styles are some of my favorites, and this is an interesting take. It's definitely got their signature style, and has elements that bring to mind both Kilt Tilter and Swallow Wit, but it drinks something like what I imagine an imperial macro lager to be, which is decidedly painful for me to say. There's something worthwhile there, but it needs to be tweaked before it stacks up against the brewery's other excellent offerings. I definitely recommend drinking it at room temp or just below.

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Photo of leansean88
3.32/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pretty poor head. Bubbly and amber colored. Mostly clear. Sort of looks like cream soda if you ask me.

S - Faint hops and alcohol. It's good, but it sort of reminds me of a lager.

T/M - Alcohol is vividly detectable over the carbonation. Notes of malt with not a whole lot of hop character. Bitter, metallic finish.

O - For what I paid, I'm a bit disappointed. Still, it's better than adjunct stuff by far (not that that says much). Middle Ages has had some good selections, and some that are just okay. I feel like this ale falls into the latter. Still, not sad that I at least tried it. Unfortunately I've got another 5 to try after this round.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a nice winter warmer. smells less spiced and sweet than most, but has a beautiful aroma like a strong red ale, with generous hop additions, a unique recipe for sure. not all that much head on it from the tap, or rather not much retention, and its off clean, pale amber colored. tastes like a winter warmer style, but again not too spiced and sugary. english malts and what feels like dry hopping make this one very layered, oddly sessionable too. english yeast through it, slightly bready, maybe a hint of clove or cinnamon, lightly woody to me too, hearty but not heavy, a nice change of pace in the style, and a beer that warms up super well too, no strong alcohol or esters coming out at temperature. have had this on tap from the brewery as well and it is even better. a great local holiday brew, and a nice warm body buzz, but in a brew you can drink a fair few of. unique as they go, and thats what i like about it. well done, even if a little less refined than the very best beers they make at middle ages.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up during my last trip to WNY. The bottle looks goofy as hell, but you can't judge a book by it's cover, right?

Pours into a pint glass a slightly hazy copper hue with a thick and dense mane of white foam resting atop the rising cascade of effervescence.
The smell is sweet and malty. There are what seem to be the notes of British hop varieties (fuggles, perhaps), and the characteristic sweetness you'd associate with a nice english pale ale. There is also a small hint of something metallic-- a bit off, but nothing terrible.
The taste, while malty and sweet as the nose would suggest, is rather dry compared to what I'd expected from such. There is a bit of harsh assertive carbonic acid behind the gently sweet malt backbone. I'm a bit disappointed in the relatively light body of this beer, as to what I've come to expect from winter beer varieties. It is rather light weight and prickly in texture, though all in all a very decent brew.

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Photo of drseamus
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

On cask at mahars.

Pours with a nice reddish body. Thin wispy head as expected from a cask beer. The aroma has good strong maltiness without much bitterness. This is somewhat different than the taste which has a distinct bitterness. The body is quite thin, even for a cask beer. It ready detracts from the beer. Not their best showing.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Wizard's Winter Ale is a very clear, sparkling copper ale with a thin off white foam that quickly fades to a blotchy, bubbly film and leaves nice lacing. It has a sweet, malty, toasty aroma. It's pretty light bodied, a little flat and a little watery. The finish is a little scratchy. It doesn't taste as sweet as it smells. A pretty strong, green bitterness dominates the taste. It's quite well balanced and no particular flavor really sticks out. The toastiness is prominent and it's perhaps a bit nutty. It's not too bad.

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Photo of BirdsandHops
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip from a bottle.

A: Pours a rich red mahogany with two fingers of creamy white head. Leaves a nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Smells similar to a Belgian dubbel--some bready/yeasty smells in there along with a Belgian spicy sweetness. A bit of banana/candy sugar aroma as well.

T: Tastes similar to the aroma. Some banana sweetness up front with a Belgian yeasty finish with just a bit of bitterness from the hops as well. As it warms, there's a bit of a sour flavor on the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with some creaminess at first but with heavy carbonation helping to provide a bite at the end.

D: Goes down pretty sweet and smooth. Overall it's a pretty decent beer, though in some ways it seems more like a Belgian style dubbel

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Photo of brew3crew
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had during a middle ages tasting.
A-almost like a burnt orange with white head and lacing
S-more sweet than bitter. Little bit of booze
T-some fruit and malt, not so great tasting.
M-medium body and goes down smooth
D-fairly drinkabke, if I wanted to have it again

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours amber brown with a good amount of head that hangs around. Smells bitter and fruity. Like a poorly made lager... Overall, not very tasty. The herbs and spices are covered by a undesirable taste that i can't describe well. Overall an undesirable brew

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Photo of CaptYellow
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Translucent burnt orange. Fairly large head dissipates to a thin head which sticks around for awhile.

T: First taste is bitter at the edges of my tongue followed by the malt. Slight hint of maple. Alcohol is apparent. Clean finish. The balance is fine.

M: Medium body and creamy.

D: Fair. I didn't mind finishing this or wished it was over, but I don't think I'd get another.

S: I think it's worth the price (less than $1.50 a bottle) and I might buy it again in a mixed six pack. I don't think I'd search it out or recommend it, but I'd share it.

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Photo of armock
2.68/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From notes bought the winter mix pack during Christmas and one of these bottles exploded while the case was sitting on my kitchen counter.

A - Poured an amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet malt and dark fruits

T - Dark fruit and alcohol with a bad tasting finish

M - This beer has a thin body with high carbonation to it

D - I won't be picking up any more of this when I go back up to NY it just doesn't taste good and I never heard anything back from the brewery after I sent them an email about my bottle bomb

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two unmarked, surely a bit past-date bottles into my 25oz glass mug.

Pretty, gurgling pour. Foggy, dull orange/amber body. Big, lumpy, off-white clumps of foam fill nearly half the glass, leaving isolated bits of lace here & there as it falls.

Smell is crispy bran flakes upfront, followed by some butter toffee. Slight banana esters, a touch of peppery hops, & a doughy center keep my attention.

Crusty bread & pinching, leafy greens first come to mind. Mild, pleasing orange rind, dry toast, & a sprinkling of yeast. Not much ugly at all coming from the ringwood yeast.

Feel is nice. Moderately carbonated with a bit of body, but eventually turning thin & very dry.

Not sure why it's sold as a "winter ale", as it's not full bodied, a stout, spiced, aged in xxx, big on abv., etc. etc. Whatever, it's pretty decent alternative to all that stuff when the store is flooded with it. :)

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes on 10/25/09

A - hazy burnt orange, short lived off-white head. Diminished to a thin bubbly ring quickly, swirls of bubbles. 2.5

S - nice cereal like sweetness, touch of honey and caramel, faint fruitiness of grapes and a hint of cinnamon. But that required detective work. 3.0

T - Malts dominate flavor with lots of caramel and grainy sweetness. Hop bitterness is uncovered towards the end of the sip, bringing out a hint of spiciness reminiscent of a Belgian pale ale. 3.5

M - Smooth, decently carbonated. 3.5

D - Quite

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Photo of Stimack
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew poured to a nice deep amber color with a fair sized creamy light tan, which has good retention and left some ok lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, hops that give some idea of earthiness, slightly burnt brown sugar and a slight orange and buttery scent. Pretty inviting aroma, though it does feel like it is missing a little something. The flavor is good; malt really comes through here highlighting caramel and roastiness. Some fruit flavors come out and I think that could be from the yeast. Beer drinks well but if this was to be a winter warmer where spices should stick out, they where not noticeable, at least to me. Would get this again.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok a Winter Warmer bought in a mix pack in April... stupid Wegmans. Not the first time this has happened to me there.

Pours a great tawny orange/brown with lots of visible carbonation and a frothy off white head that dies down fairly quickly.

Aroma is sweet, lemony/cinnamony. Some aggressive hop character in the aroma. Almost like an aggressive red ale.

Taste is malty but a little bland. Again, a lot like a red ale with a lot of dry British malt flavor and minimal spices. Noble hops or something very subtle. Slightly bittersweet aftertaste- bitter hops with the taste of pure white sugar. Hop aftertaste is a bit unnerving... sort of sour or rotten. Nice and malty but not exactly what I was expecting for a Winter Warmer.

Mouthfeel is nice a medium bodied with a slight slickness towards the end. The extreme, slightly unbalanced malt sort of got to me by the end of this in terms of drinkability. An enjoyable brew.. hopefully next time not at the end of Spring.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Appearance: Dark-brown, mahogany, ruby-red hue, minor head, minimal lacing, no carbonation present...
Smell: Rich malts, caramel, ginger(?)...
Taste: Malts, caramel, dark-brown sugars, honey, cloves, maple syrup flavor...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel...
Decent drinkability...

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Photo of brentk56
2.72/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A very pretty pour, with a clear amber color and a frothy head with good stickage and lace

Smell: Nooo....butterscotch diacetyl with some tea-like earthy hops

Taste: Butterscotch from the get-go, with some developing earthy hops arriving at mid palate; after the swallow, it is more of the same, unfortunately

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit chalky

Drinkability: I know this brewery likes the Ringwood yeast but here is exhibit number 1 as to what it produces; just not my cup of tea

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Wizard's Winter Ale from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 146 ratings