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

BA SCORE
81
good
141 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay
Read the review
Wizard's Winter AleWizard's Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States
middleagesbrewing.com

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 11-15-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
141
Reviews:
100
Avg:
3.52
pDev:
13.64%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 100
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

fruity ringwood Yeast and multiple hops and good dose of malt. Peaty. More sweet than bitter, but dry finish and acidic citrus there. Nutmeg and cinammon Decent warmer and drinkable in bottle form..
Unique for this brewry coppery color, less aggressive hops so maybe shelf life less.

 284 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. tastes like a winter warmer, but again not spiced and sugary. english malts and what feels like dry hopping make this one very sessionable. have had this on tap from the brewery as well and is even better. a great local holiday brew, and a nice warm body buzz.

 400 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.72/5  rDev -22.7%
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

 523 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

 396 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P ours a light brown with a definant orange hue with almost no head but that was expected,aroma very orangy and also some chocolate thrown in there as well. Nice big malty beer with a caramel taste emerging right away with deep fruitiness that pierces right thru every other flavor the alcohol becomes more prevelant as it warms.A real nice winter brew pretty warming and flavorful.

 382 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very cloudy, almost muddy. The slightly off-white head features large bubbles that fade quickly, leaving a thin film of incomplete foam. Appearance wise, this would be better in a earthenware vessel.

Lots of sweet caramel smells--similar to melted candy sugar. Rich aromas. Very low levels of hops.

More dry and astringent than the aroma would lead me to believe. The initial taste is fairly smooth and rich. The swallow features a stong bite of hop flavor, but the aftertaste quickly dies. Fairly thin body with high carbonation.

This is a complex beer. Normally, this alone would have me giving it a much higher score. However, there are some flaws (in my opinion) that detract from its potential greatness.

 718 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish bronze with orange peel highlights. The head is light beige with a yellowish hue and is creamysoft, yet sticky enough to lay down a decent amount of lace in interconnected rings. It also has a pretty impressive lifespan, making aroma assessment difficult at first.

The nose is malt-dominant with butterscotch and buttery toffee front and center. Hops are tough to appreciate aroma-wise and the spices, if they're present, are weak at best. If forced to guess, I'd say that something 'sweet' was used, such as nutmeg or mace. I love aromas in the brown sugar/butterscotch/caramel family, so this is a nose that appeals to me.

Wizard's Winter tastes pretty much like it smells. Chocolate/carob notes are present on the palate to a greater extent than they were in the nose and the beer is more bitter and less sweet than anticipated. It's also more spicy... cinnamon perhaps? The body/mouthfeel starts out medium in heft, but loses its way a little by mid-mouthful and finishes somewhat thin and harsh (especially for the style).

Because WWA seems like one of those beers that will meld and smooth out with warming, I'll let it sit for a spell. <time passes> The flavor does improve as the temperature rises, but the body doesn't really respond as I had hoped it would. I wish the faint metallic flavor would fade, but it isn't bothersome.

Wizard's Winter Ale is a pretty good winter warmer. Even though the body/mouthfeel could be improved, there isn't much else with which to find fault. Thanks to HappyHourHero for the bottle.

 1,554 characters

Photo of Jason
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Patchy white lace, hazed tawny hue.

Smell: Butter Scotch candy and peach preserves. Slightly estery in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Very smooth and creamy with a solid malt palate, hop bitterness is followed by a mildly astringent grain. Thin layer of diacetyl and fruitiness in the middle. Chalky yeast. Finishes sweet with more buttery undertones.

Drinkability & Notes: If this brew cleaned up its act it would be damn good … sadly it did not win me over at all.

 547 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby caramel amber brown thine cream head specks of lacing. Aroma: English style malts winter warmer like caramel and butterscotch touch of earthy hops, with a slight spicy character. Taste: English varieties of malts give off a nice mix of toasty butterscotch sweetness and finishes with a mild bitterness, overall tame but well crafted English style winter warmer. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied slightly sticky perfect carbonation. Drinkability: Pays homage to other English brewers with a very nice rendition of a traditional old ale, tasty wouldn't pass sampling this one again in the future.

 603 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear darker amber brown. No head. Nose is quite malty and caramel toned in a very minimal sense. Seems to be a leafy hint on the back side. Whew. The flavor is...tangy shall we say. The first hit almost goes right back out. The second swig is not nearly so shocking on the tastebuds, but things still aren't working here. Feel is nice, but this just isn't doing it for me. Sorry sweetheart, but you've got to go.

 421 characters

Photo of malfunxion
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.99/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

 699 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slighlty hazy amber color with a wispy, spotty residue head. The aroma was mellow with some bitterness and spice. The flavor followed suite, as the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg most notible), orange zest, and malt were all well tamed and mellow.

This was medium bodied, had a slight crispness and dryness on the tongue. Dryness continued during the aftertaste. Overall an average drinkability due to the boredom that settled in before I finished this off. A good beer for a newbie expanding his/her tastebuds.

 517 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Ringwood Batman! I took a big whiff of this right after the pour and was met with a burst of sweet, sugary fruit aromas. The taste is surprisingly subdued and on the same level as a pale mild maybe. The diacetyl is mild, adding a touch of buttery mouthfeel with most of the flavor focused on pale malts and ringwood. There's a bit of a nutty undertone, but its faint. I also want to mention this beer got some sweet lacing.

This one is actually 6.8% abv and the brewery calls it an "English strong ale."

 511 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a 1/4" off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet malty scent with the fruitiness of Ringwood yeast. The taste is good. It is a smooth drinking malty brew with light hopping and a fruity yeast finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good seasonal. It has great malt character; a fine sessions ale.

 413 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light butterscotch and a very estery yeast.

The taste was upfront spicy butterscotch with a grainy malt and utilitarian hop. A strong ginger element dries the flavor out.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with a very dry and clean finish.

Overall an interesting winter warmer. The flavor was a bit confusing though - almost a cross between a scotch ale and a dubble.

 497 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

 1,713 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12ozer, purchased at Oliver's Beverage, Albany, NY, as part of a group of Middle Ages singles.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, frothy 1" light tan head formed, which laced well. Brew is an amber hue and has a pleasant malty aroma, almost smells like a bag of pellets from my parent's grain bin. Taste is surprisingly up-front with hops that were not apparent in the nose, and rounds out with the grains that I expected. Not often you get surprised like that. reasonably well balanced with malt and hops, but the malt wins the battle here by the time of the swallow. Mouthfeel is a little rough, but overall a nice brew.

 627 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of n2185
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
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

 766 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a nice looking shade of scarlet red. Some very slight chill haze is perceived. The beer is topped by a creamy and dense, long lasting ivory white head that leaves some nice rings of lace. The aroma is full of carmelized sugar. Also very fruity and a bit smoky and some butterscotch as well. The flavors of this beer do very little for me. Average is what I think. Diactyl is present lending a butterscotch flavor. There are also caramel tones. Some fruity off shoots from the yeast I believe. Mouthfeel is fairly high on the carbonation. Body is medium at best. For a strong ale, this lacks depth and flavor.

Gotta give some props to Davo for shipping this sample to me.

 686 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Wizard's Winter Ale from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.52 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.