Wintertime Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

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67 Reviews
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Wintertime AleWintertime Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 11-11-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
124
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
17.23%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 124
Photo of ColdPoncho
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Been curious about this since I saw it for the first time a few months ago, pulled the trigger on a single. It was a big day for me.

A - Medium garnet body, quite clear, a big tan head with good staying power.

S - Heavy on caramel and dark fruits. This is English Barleywine territory. Malt forward, maybe fruitcake? A little one-dimensional, but nice job.

T - Surprisingly bitter, but its got a nice deeply roasted malt character as well. An interesting malt dimension and hop pairing. It's pretty complex. This is nice. A little weird, but nice.

M - drying, full-bodied.

O - this beer is kind of strange, it seems to span several styles (winter warmer, english barleywine, amber ale) and its flavor profile is not really traditional as far as I can tell, but i think it's interesting and good.

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Photo of beer2day
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Do not see this listed on the North Coast web page anymore.

Pours a dark orange with a good bit of red there too. 1/2 finger of tan head. Very faint retention and thin lace strands.

Nose is spice and dark fruit. Fruitcake comes to mind, but without the sweetness. Nutmeg and allspice, with figs, prunes, and a touch of raisin. Understated, though.

Flavor is thinner than expected. The same fruit and spice is there as in the nose. Fig/raisin combo with more allspice than nutmeg. A hint of cinnamon. Very mild finish. Nice, but not memorable.

Feel is a bit on the thin side as well. Some thickness from the fruit, but not as much as expected.

Overall, nice enough for the style but not one I'd get again.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, spices, a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. In the taste, big spices, but primarily nutmeg. A spice like bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry nutmeg, clove, and ginger in the aftertaste. Quite nice, but a bit too much spice for me.

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

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a solid one inch light tan head that lingers.

Citrus, toasted breadcrust, and molasses sweetness form the aroma.

The flavor follows suit, adding a bit of a perception of cranberry at the finish. Malt sweetness and toasted bread form the backbone, with lemon underlying the profile. The finish is slightly dry. There seems to be some spice in the aftertaste, along with a touch of chocolate.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a bit of astringency.

Overall, not your typical winter warmer. Very drinkable beer. The citrus seems a little overpowering, though.

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

Evading the notion that winter ales have got to be heavy, rich, malty; and then being beaten over the head with every spice in the cabinet- North Coast prefers a saner taste of softness and is smoothly palatable.

Copperish brown in color and with rosy purplish highlights, the beer reminds me of lavender as it pours from the tap. Nearly brilliantly clear, the beer streams those tiny creamy bubbles to the top where a magnificent whipped head forms. It's off white foam casts on the glass with light lacing and firm retention. It's a fine looking ale!

Fruity aromas pull from the rim with the distinct scent of grape candy. Softer notes of powdered sugar lean against mild cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg spices for a balanced scent of moderate intensity. It's inviting scent seems to carry low offense and makes diving right in very easy.

It's effortless taste carries over the grape hard candy character and borrows complementary notes of cherries, blackberries, and mild licorice. Although its culmination carries a taste of black jelly beans, the beer is much less polarizing than those often avoided morsels. Light cinnamon and fennel seem to be the balancing agents that seem to supplant hop bitterness for a smoother and spicier session.

Though medium bodied, the beer has a lighter attitude from the taste and texture of cotton candy- where the taste of sweetness exists but it evaporates well before the finish. Creamy carbonation seems to carry with it any malty weight and allows a mild peppery warmth to satisfy the palate, stomach, and mind.

The complexities of the beer may be few, but it's focus on sugarplum and grape gives it a standout quality that's both charming and welcomed, especially when pinned up against stronger and more hearty winter warmers this time of year.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from"stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper in color, with a nice-looking cap of tan foam.
Aroma-toasted malt note
Taste-Toasted malt,caramel, subtle cinnamon. Smooth and nicely balanced. Quaffable and tasty. A pleasant, easy drinking offering from North Coast.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty generic-looking bottle for a vague style – really, what is a winter ale? Maybe I’m just not up on the style.

A: Creamy, microbubbled head of beige over a burnt orange body; looks very fizzy, with bubbles constantly rising to support the thin retention. Small webs of lacing.

S: Aromas of malts dominate: moderately thick notes of toffee, almond, fruitcake, and wheat bread crust. Smells a bit metallic, too, like well water or English porter; it’s Old-Worldly, you might say, especially as it rounds out with an earthy peat aroma. No hops to be found.

T: Now this is a bready beer: primary tastes develop into yam, doughy roll, salted pretzel, and smooth, nutty oatmeal. It’s all a little sweet, too – I feel like I’m eating pumpkin bread, or a big slice of marble rye with butter, at least. It’s all pretty thick, but without any powerful flavors – where’s the warming of the winter warmer? Still, some hop flavors do persist in the form of some acidic herbal flavors mixed throughout, though just barely noticeable under the blanket effect of the malts. Finishes clean and a little tannic.

M: With a frothy, semi-thin texture, this one goes down pretty unenthusiastically. Feels less like a session ale and more like it’s missing something.

O: A little better than middle-of-the-road, but not by much. It does make me want to explore the winter warmer style a little more, though; it seems like it could pretty satisfying when done well.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark reddish amber with 1 finger off white head.

S- Roasty malt, toffee, nuts, and almost a hint of mint

T- Cinnamon up front, metallicy in a way. Toffee and dark malt.

M- A little dry, full, high carb.

Overall- Decent beer. Not outstanding, not offensive

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I guess this is being brewed again. New bottle with no sediment.

A - A nice clear dark ruby brown. Head is just a 1/4 inch but pulls back to an attractive lace ring with great lacing. Tons of bubbles throughout this brew.

S - Candied sugars and fruity yeasts with some caramel malt. I guess I get some sweet vanilla and oak if I concentrate.

T - Getting some smoky peat and chocolate which is nice. Hops are kind of acidic giving a drying character next to the peat. Almost taste like an oak barrel with caramel malts. Not bad.

M - Pretty on par for a winter warmer. Medium and chewy.

Overall it kind of reminds me of "New Holland Charkoota Rye" but with not so much drying peat and rye. Not really sessionable and too drying for my taste. Not worth a revisit.

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Photo of blitz134
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly murky ruby, caramel color. A little white head formed on pour, but it quickly disappeared and only left a ring around the glass with barely anything else. No head retention and a murky body...ehh...

Raw, candy sugar and slightly darker caramel aroma runs the show. I initially thought this was loaded with alcohol, but that subdued after a while although it is still there during certain wiffs. Kind of reminds me a bit of a cheap whiskey. Has a bit of tobacco and vanilla in this too.

Luckily the body doesn't show the same alcohol character that I thought I detected initially. This one is quite malty with hints of biscuit and a lot of caramel malts. After the swallow nutty and some chocolate malts come out. Has a bit of nutmeg hint to the flavor and a touch of peat as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with relatively low carbonation levels. Coats the mouth okay, but the flavor doesn't linger for too long.

Drinkability is just so so really. Not much that really draws me to this one. The nose especially turns me off. I find that it lacks an overall cohesiveness. There is a lot going on in this, but its just all over the place.

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Photo of Chaz
3.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Is everybody clued in to North Coast yet? You all should know 'em by now, as the brewers of Old Rasputin and Old Stock Ale (a fine interpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout and an excellent 11% sipper respectively) I'd gather we all know what they're capable of and respect their approach to bigger styles. Locally, the first time Wintertime hit the shelves it was apparent that beer geeks were expecting a massive holiday offering from North Coast - perhaps a barleywine ala Old Stock or even a beefed-up version of Pranquster. But no, North Coast threw
a curve ball and everyone seemed to miss the pitch: this beer
was fresh and showed plenty of legs for aging. Stylistically it's only a nose away from a wee heavy, but as a winter warmer / old ale it works, too. Yet it sat at a relatively high price-point and didn't catch on at all, sales wise, so we had a beer that didn't seem "ready" to drink a year ago, with plenty of stashes around town, but after a year it tasted fantastic! Closer to a Belgian Dubbel style after a year, and a better buy for the money than most of the imports. Definitely worth picking up a sixer when you have a chance.

 1,153 characters

Photo of BAbaracus
2.8/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy reddish brown with minimal head but decent amount of carbonation. Buttermilk, brown sugar, malt on the nose. Slightly viscous mouth feel, little carbonation, fairly watery. Malt up front, very little on back end aside from more malt, a very little hop presence once several drinks have left a little residue on the tongue. Nothing offensive but hardly worth seeking out. NC seems to do best when they’re dealing with high ABV brews.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a bit hazy reddish chestnut color with an inch head of off white bubbles at first pour. The head was made up of relatively large bubbles, and looked like it wasn’t going to hang around too long. There are a few floaties in here too.

Aroma: Malt and spicy notes are the first things you notice. There is a bit of a plum aroma here also, as well as what I believe to be a hint of oxidation. As the head falls, and the beer warms a bit, there are some more fruity notes coming out to take over the spiciness that I got earlier.

Flavor: The flavor is dry and nutty. I still get a bit of spiciness, but the oxidative flavors are definitely present in the flavor profile also. I don’t really get any hops in here anywhere...but maybe a tad in the bittering, and maybe a bit of British varieties for flavoring that is taking a beating by the oxidation.

Opinion: I am pretty bummed out. I had high hopes for this beer, but it appears to be stale. There was carbonation, but the malts don’t taste fresh. I am a big fan of North Coast beers...especially their Old Stock, and Old Rasputin. If either of those beers had Oxygen intorduced, it would be obvious right away. This one suffers from it unfortunately.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1997 Vintage,similar label as displayed but biege in color.
Vigorous pour revealed minimal head, leaving behind scattered irregular bubbles. Dark amber in the body of the glass with ruby hips.
After a few good swirls, this baby woke up after a 8 year nap.
Complex nose filled with subdued malt,cherries,cocoa,almonds.
Belgian character shining through,hints of coriander,orange peel,cloves. Lingering wine-like aroma.
Flavors fell short of the promising aromatics.
Vineous,fruity and light spice.
Very Grand Cru-ish.
Dried up cherries and dusty malt blended with red wine.
Minimal oxidation, not a detraction.
Thin/medium bodied,barely carbonated at this point.
Too bad it wasn't in a 750 ml, it would have held up a little better, but overall not too bad for a vintage brew.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.27/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A small, light beige head; a cloudy, amber-brown beer. Lightly spotty lacing. Sweet milk with slight chocolate/hazelnut and alcohol in the nose. Milk chocolate in front; tingly toffee malt in the fruity, buttery middle; nice, dry, hoppy, nutty, milk chocolate finish. This is a really good, light, chocolatey, fruity, malty beer. Very milky. I like it a lot.

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Photo of yeagerbm
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice looking beer, thousands of tiny sediment particles suspended in the deep amber liquid. I read a few other reviews and was surprised that none of them even mentioned what I thought was the predominant character of this beer- smoked malt. Also has a bready-slightly sweet caramel touch to it. Mouthfeel is nice, very smooth feel, but not as smooth taste. It comes off a little rich to be considered a very drinkable ale, however I think it would go nice with some nice meats and cheeses.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan head. Copper colored beer.
Aroma of floral hops and toasty caramel malt. Bit earthy.

Toasty caramel malt backbone. Floral hops provide the balance. Bit earthy yet fruity.

Good body to the mouthfeel.
Good drinkability.
Overall, a solid winter seasonal. Thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for the bottle!

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a thick copper color with some orange tint. Very small white head with very little lace.
Aroma is sweet malt, light hex nut and some peat.
Flavor is sweet malt, some citrus and a mild roasted taste
Mouthfeel has no real distinguishing characteristic except for a strange sort sort of sour and diacetyl aftertaste.
Drinkability is moderate at best. Compared to some of the other North Coast beer this one is a pass.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.33/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: A rather timid ‘home-made’ looking blue label smattered with an icicle font ‘Wintertime Ale’. No strength or freshness listed.

Appearance: A nice brazen copper-orange body that is lucid and well presented with a smooth looking off-white creamy head resting atop. Occasionally swirled, the head is retained as a thick smooth collar. The best part of this beer, until you smell it at least.

Nose: Malts and Walnuts mixed with a strange disinfectant hospital odor.

Taste: Has a sort of ‘Medicinal Feel’ on the tongue, and long after the swallow. If I was feeling rude, I would say that this tastes infected! Otherwise, it certainly cleanses the palate of all know germs. Buy a 6-Pack now and get a special Bobble Head “Oxy Clean” Billy Mays!!! Do it in the next 5 minutes and we’ll super size your order.

Mouthfeel: Leaves a clean Petri-Dish feel. No cultured germs here.

Drinkability: Tough one this – took a while for me to finish the 12 ouncer, I have to say.

Overall: A bit of a ‘let-down’ for a North Coast beer, pretty average really. That’s kind; in fact I’m not impressed. A short Review for a beer I would rather forget. So glad I only got single rather than a 6-Pack!!.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown ale.

Smell is spicy with a bit of chocolate malt smell. There is also a herbal and apples smell here.

Taste is fruity and strong, and a bit sweet. There is a slight lemon tea flavor to this.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable, all most tastes like a Belgian ale.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured to a crisp warm-brown color with lots of carbonation. Its smell is very mild but nice. The head is thin but has good retention. Its flavor is a little bit plain, but still nice. The hops are very subtle and linger ever so lightly in the aftertaste.

This stuff is pretty drinkable for what it is.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a stubby 12oz bottle, this brew had a hazy apricot color and a short-lived foamy light tan head. A lightly spicy, musty aroma hovered over the glass, along with a faintly phenolic note. A fruity-sweet taste, of pear and apple, was present initially before a mild coriander note came out with some other spices. The beer finished with a modest hops bitterness and a slight medicinal alcohol bite. The feel was light, thin, and watery.
A rather bland and boring seasonal from North Coast Brewing. I’m somewhat disappointed as I was expected more from the brewery that spawned Old Rasputin.

 601 characters

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

This is the second bottle, the first was usurpted by my brother-in-law. Lovely label on a 12oz bottle. Pours a muted but ruddy straw color with almost no head. Aroma is of british style malt. Rusty and fruity. The yeast breadifies the flavor, and its nice. There's not much hop derived flavors though.

Its an average winter ale, though I expected something more from North Coast.

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Photo of nomad
2.82/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a hazy burnt ruby with little head or lace. Smelled of vanilla, belgian candi sugar, and a caramel scent bordering on rum, as wiffs of alcohol were present. Taste was very thin and never comes together: caramel, figs, rummy notes, and a mild butter with a lactic-sour turn. Hops are tartly acidic, blending with a roastiness to create a coffee-noted finish, but not a tasty one. Had an unctious alcohol flavor at the end. A very thin beer that has these flavors but not greatly so.

The sour-ish hops, the day-old coffee finish, and alcohol drive me away, and the very thin mouthfeel doesn't help either.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 version. I had this beer 3 years ago and it was wonderful. Rich, malty and flavorful. It slipped some last year and since they don't list it on their website, I called the brewery. Was told it was indeed a different recipe 3 years ago but was reformulated last year at a lower alcohol level to enter the North Carolina market. It was described to me as more of a Belgian Brown than a Strong Old Ale. That all being said...
It poured a light amber with a miniscule head that disappeared immediatly. Left ok lace. Aroma of sweet malt, raisins, prunes and a slight smokiness.
Tangy, sweet, smoky, almost peaty malt flavor. Very earthy. Not much of a hop presence and a bit of fruitiness and cocoa in the finish. Medium body, carbonation and a slight tartness make for a very drinkable beer.
I think a "session" winter beer would border on an oxymoron but nonetheless, if there is one this would be it. I was a little disappointed but still love NCB's beers.

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Wintertime Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.
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