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

99 Reviews
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Wizard's Winter AleWizard's Winter Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 140
Photo of dfolmste
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark amber color. In the light it harnesses some red and in normal room conditions it takes on a brown. Head is around half an inch with good retention. Lacing clings to the sides and carbonation looks heavy. I like how it takes on a different color in different situations.

Smell: Sweet smell of malt with roasted hop background. Brown sugar and cream matches well with the appearance. Some spices noted as well. Better than your average winter seasonal.

Taste: Good hop profile, more detectable than in the smell. Brown sugar aftertaste. Sweetness hits on multiple levels, more than the malt. Smooth with creamy finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth feel with moderate coating and body. More creamy/buttery than I would like. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Drinkability: For a seasonal this beer is good. It is snowing out right now and this is a complement to the season. Maybe on Christmas I will have another one of these, but I would probably just stick with the winter for this one.

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Photo of tpd975
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Nutty brown with a small head. Tiny bubbles rise to the top with no lacing noted.

S: Faint aromas. Some dark fruit, apples, and mulled spices.

T: Lots of caramel malt up front. A bit of dark fruit in the middle. The allspice comes in at the finish.

M: Medium boided with ample carbonation.

D: Pretty enjoyable.

Overall: Not my favorite style but this one was pretty enjoyable. There was a perfect amount of spice to balance out all the caramel malt. I enjoyed it. One of my favorite winter ales.

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

Another I had on tap at the brewery. One of the beer's I liked the most, and with a bit of polish, this could be an amazing beer.

Appearance was a medium clear nut-brown, only a tad of head the whole time.

Smelled faintly like orange pekoe, some malt is present, maybe some nutmeg.

Was a bit dissapointed with the taste. Taste came out fairly bland and I was hoping/expecting more spice and less malt. Tasted a bit like raisins. Went down with only a tad of bitterness.

Mouthfeel was average, solid carbonation, medium weight, nothing special.

Drinkability is again average, not to bad though, with a bit of work this one could rock.

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Photo of TheBCrew
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass with 2 fingers of off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving some lacing. Light, clear caramel color and an aroma of citrus and butterscotch. Tastes of grapefruit, caramel, and a clean citrus finih. Medium-bodied highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wizards Winter has a good head on its shoulders and doesn't give in to the temptation of dropping into nothingness. Good lacing. Has a (mostly)clear copper color.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, fruits and yeasty.

The taste starts of malty then some fruits and yeast jump on the taste bandwagon.

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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.

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Photo of foxmul924
3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Bottle into Room-Temp Pint Glass)

Appearance: Quickly Dissipating Cream-Colored Head, Dark Amber Color with No Lace

Smell: Malty, Brown-Sugary with Subtle Hop Aroma

Taste: Very Malty and Sweet--Predominant Brown Sugar Flavor with Notes of Nutmeg and Cinnamon. Relatively Smooth with a Lingering Hop Bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-Bodied with Semi-Clean, 'Sugary' Finish. Little too much Carbonation, Though.

Drinkability: Could Enjoy 2-3 Bottles During the Cold, Winter Months.

Other: Average Winter Beer at Best, But Worth a Try.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Musty horse blanket aromas blended with fruity aromas of slight red berries. The malt comes up in the background and is slightly caramel-like. It finishes with notes of oak and some slight vanilla. The mouth feel starts off with a blend of bitterness, and strong carbonation. Finishes dry and sharp. Overall a very interesting beerand can be enjoyed if you really analyze it. Trust me you should. It is worth it.

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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.

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Photo of younger35
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this brew from ncvbc, Walter is the man! This will be the first brew I’ve had from Middle Ages brewing and I look forward to it. Drank from my Big Horn Mai Bock pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a copper orange with a nice half finger bright white head that recedes fairly quickly. Leaves a spotty cap and thin collar with almost zero lacing.
Smell- Lot’s of sweet bready malt along with plenty of spice and vanilla. There is almost a pumpkin beer type spice rack here, reminiscent of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Taste- Lots of sweet doughy malt with plenty of caramel candy goodness. Actually kind of switches between a caramel and butterscotch feel. Plenty of citrus hop here that has ample bitterness. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and an almost woody aftertaste.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with lots of crisp, fine carbonation.
Drinkability- Overall not a bad brew but this is a bit different of a “winter warmer” than I expected. The spice in the nose isn’t present in the taste but plenty of hops are. A good solid beer that I’m glad ncvbc shared, thanks again!

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Photo of Durge
3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A red copper colored brew with a whispy head and thin lacing. The aroma is winelike, heavy with some caramel, and thick cranberry. The taste is of berries and caramel with some pine hops bite. It's aqueous with a touch of licorice and alcohol noted. I also pick up a little bit of the dreaded but all too familiar "cardboard"! It's well carbonated with average drinkability. It's interesting and not bad. I would drink again for sure as a flavorful winter "warmer".

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.37/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, light amber color with a low white head that thinned to a coating, leaving a good deal of lace.

S - sweet aromas of malt and vanilla.

T - mildly sweet tasting brew, rich caramel malt and vanilla bean flavor, slight oak aged bourbon alcohol taste as it warms (both in the glass and the drinker, alike!).

M - medium bodied with very mild carbonation.

D - good brew, easy to drink.

Final Note: Wizard's Winter Ale is a brew that will definitely warm you, enjoy!

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich Copper color with a full creamy head and lots of lacing.

S - Sweet and full of spices

T - Malty with a bit of hops, not overly bitter, not too mild. Just about in the middle

M - Lots of carbonation. not alot of lingering taste

D - My 1st winter ale of the year and it did not disappoint. Could easily sit and enjoy several. Definitely a session beer for late fall, early winter

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.79/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Mahar's in Albany. From notes

A) The one thing I wrote about was the weird mix of dark and light colors in the beer. Maybe from the cask? Nice thick head

S) Malt, yeast. Slight smell of spices.

T: Very "casky" Woody.

M: Low carbonation to be expected from cask. Goes down my throat effortlessly.

D: For a winter warmer this was super drinkable. I have had this in a bottle and the cask blew it away. If you can find it buy it.

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Photo of jackorain
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Nice coppery color with a nice 3/4 inch head that fell to a fairly thick coat that left a nice splotchy lace

S-Butterscotch, fruity sweet stone fruit, caramel malt. Hops are non-exisntant in the nose

T-Big butterscotch and toffee notes, stone fruit jam, earthy hops, faint sour bitterness on the finish. some yeastiness on the finish with a lasting sour twang

M-Light to medium body. Very tight fizzy carbonation. A bit chalky on the finish.

D-I'd move on after this one

Overall-this is not what I think of as a winter warmer. It is not that warming. Alcohol is a little low for me to 'warm'. There is no spicy edge. I am not talking actuall added spices but I except some spicy hop notes like from Target or goldings.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Love the Middle Ages label approach...unfortunately a lot of them are rendered so generically they cross the line from cool fantasy art to medieval cheese. Like Wailing Wench, and certainly this one. But who cares really...it's what in the bottle that counts.

There was sticky residue on the neck of the first bottle opened, the cap popping with zero hiss and a wimpy soap-water "head". Clearly the cap wasn't on tightly. Tasted crappy. I poured it. Second try gave a "that's more like it" creamy head atop a ruby/rust color with a golden shimmer. Not enough lace to mention (oops, I just mentioned it).

Spices in the nose recall cinnamon, nutmeg and, um...not much else. Maybe dark chocolate and caramel if I try real hard.

First flavor impression is a nice toasty one. And shazam!, I swear there's a mild hint of Scotch whisky peeking through. But mostly you'll get your usual Winter Warmer flavors, which means sweet, dessert-y spices. A little bit of wood too. Everything is blended well here, and it's not abhorrently spiced like some in the style (I won't name names, feeling benevolent today).

Decent and even enjoyable, this is hardly mindblowing, and I suppose I can think of other beers I'd rather warm with this winter, but overall it's on the side of quality. Just not the most memorable brew by Middle Ages.

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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."

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer poured a traditional amber ale color with a low head that didn't last.

Smell: The smell was malty with some estery aromas.

Taste: Malty with medium bittereness and hops flavor. A little bit of a metallic after taste. Didn't taste any spices or adjunct flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth.

Drinkability: This beer came across pretty average to me... an average amber ale in my opinion.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good winter seasonal offered by Middle Ages. This winter warmer pours a cloudy burnt orange with a frothy head. Aroma of this brew appear more malty than anything with a hint of grapefruit. There are multiple tastes to this brew including that of citrus from the hops and a roasted nutty caramel flavor from the malts. A great beer to sip on during a cold winter night in front of the wood stove.

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Photo of vhiggins
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy orange color with a beige head.
My first sip was nothing special but as I kept sipping I enjoyed this beer more and more. The aroma is somewhat hoppy with a tad of citrus/butterscotch then finishes with a smooth well balanced taste

It's a very mild tasting beer for a winter ale but still warmed up my chest quite a bit. High drinkability points.

Overall a good Christmas party brew!

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Photo of Viggo
2.5/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear orange/copper, fizzy off white head forms, settles down to a thin layer very fast, few spots of lace. Smell is sweet, some toffee, butter, fruits, yeast and bread. Taste is almost all diacetyl, seems to be a problem with Middle Ages. Little bit of sweet malt, strange medicinal citric flavour, bread, wheat, very dry astringent finish, very unpleasant. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, low carb, heat going down, coats the mouth in not a good way. At least the colour is nice.

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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.

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Photo of EPseja
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz. bottle at just above fridge temperature ina pint glass. No doubt that this might be a wee bit out of it's freshness peak, but at 6.3%, it should be able to hold up from Winter 2005 until now.

A - Pours a hazy, burnished amber-orange color with a creamy off-white head that rises proudly above the rim of the glass. The head has nice retention, hanging around for a nice long while, and never revealing the surface of the beer. Lacing comes in soft, fluffy sheets that hang low into the glass. Very appealing!

S - Orange peel and light cinnamon sprinkled over a medium bodied maltiness. Slight licks of the alcohol lurking within, but only fleeting. Crisp hoppiness lends a snap to the nose.

T - Earthy, homebrew-like maltiness with a yeasty tang. Spices are very subdued and appear almost as an afterthought in the middle. Drying hoppiness in the finish, with a slight vinous alcohol presence. Aftertaste is bready and winter spices are evident.

M - Smooth and creamy going into the mouth. Froths up tto become mouth-filling and overtly tingly. Swallow is voluminous and thick.

D - A decent winter warmer with a very subdued profile and an interesting hoppy crispness. Nicely drinkable and very enjoyable as a one-off for the evening. With a little recipe tweaking, this could be a killer.

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Photo of number1bum
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a case of this at the brewery, on special for $20 because they're trying to get rid of it. I've had it many times and have always enjoyed it. Pours a clear dull redish color with a nice head but little retention. Smell is sweet, almost like honey along with malt. Taste is also sweet but not syrupy sweet to the point where it's undrinkable; has a honey, buttery sweet flavor with the presence of malt but little hops. It's July and I'm drinking it but although it's summer I am still enjoying it.

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Photo of taez555
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark amber body with a small off-white head.

A very fruity nose. Almost smells like the fresh produce section of a grocery store. Definitely a butterscotch sort of smell with touches of caramels and sugary fruit.

Taste is light to medium bodied. Taste is sort of all over the place. Caramel, butterscotch, biscuit, and fresh grainy vienna or munich type malt. Chewy and little bit creamy. Hop taste is present, but not in your face. A little earthy and little leafy. A firm bitterness shows up about half way through the sip and lingers on into the long finish.

Overall not to bad. Kind of a middle of the road winter warmer. Not quite old school american pale ale micro, not quite english pale, not quite winter warmer. It's drinkable, but I've come to expect more from this brewery.

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Wizard's Winter Ale from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.52 out of 5 based on 140 ratings.
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