Wassail Ale | Woodstock Inn Brewery

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Wassail AleWassail Ale
BA SCORE
3.57/5
Good
Wassail AleWassail Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Woodstock Inn Brewery
New Hampshire, United States
woodstockinnbrewery.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep ruby hue, A hearty full bodies holiday ale . Very malty with assertive hoppiness combining with alcohol warmth.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#38,379
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
105
pDev:
12.04%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
10
Trade:
0
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 105
Reviews by Kinsman:
Photo of Kinsman
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a nice bright ruby red body and briefly capped by a dense ivory colored head that faded with no lace left behind.

Nice strong malty aroma with lots of caramel and toffee notes. A bit fruity as well.

Sweet and a bit boozy upfront like any good winter warmer should be. A bit of apple fruitiness and some caramel notes to go along. Bold hop flavors come in next with a bit of a herbal character that leaves plenty of bitterness. It's nice to have the hops to balance out such a malty brew but something doesn't fit in right. Not sure what varieties are used so it's hard to say what exactly is going on.

Mouthfeel is thick and a bit creamy. Overall, Wassail is probably my favorite of the Woodstock beers but this bottle doesn't quite do it justice. On cask at the brewpub it was much better (unfortunately no notes for review).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three-fingered cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Flavor some caramel, with a balanced to bitter finish. Lingering bitter aftertaste. High ABV is hidden. $1.50 for a 12 oz bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had 2 pints of this tonight whilst dining with Alewife, Scheister and the Princess at the Woodstock Inn....

Served in a 16oz shaker, it was a clear, deep amber-hued bier, with little carbo rising within. Head was frothy but short, off white and fine. Thinned rapidly, leaving mainly a ring around the rim and some lacing. Aroma was a bit restrained, but displayed some nice malt and some cinnamon, amongst other spicy notes. Body was a solid medium, and the feel across the tongue was nicely smooth.

Flavor was quite similar, to me, of the Sammy Winter Lager. Malty at the start, with a light, toasty sweetness, along with a strong spice backbone. Cinnamon and a smidge of allspice? A touch of orange peel slips in... Floral hops are evident, though by no means pronounced. Finish is somewhat dry, though the spiceage lingers a bit. ABV is supposedly in the 8-9% range, though I hardly noticed its effects. No "heat" felt going down the hatch, yet it did lend a warmth to the body. I see last years review was not too flattering, but I found this to be a decent quaffer.

Prosit!!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

958

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Wassail is one of my favorite beers that are brewed at the Woodstock Inn. I was lucky enough to be at the Inn this year while it was on tap.

The beer pours a clear, brilliant ruby color with a tiny amount of foam on top. Only a few spots of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma is a wonderful combination of vanilla, cinnamon, sweet caramel malt and apples.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is slick on the palate with light carbonation. The flavor begins with sweet caramel malt. In the middle the flavor moves to fruity apples and cherry followed by cinnamon, molasses and nutmeg. It finishes dry with the cinnamon/nutmeg flavors linger on the palate.

With 8% abv this is definitely a sipping beer. It's easy drinking and well balanced. Great for a cold winters night.

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Photo of brewandbbq
2.54/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap after a great day at Loon.
Bartender had no information on this beer other than it's 8.0%abv.
Dark amber in color,off white head,no haze.
Big roasted component in the nose along with malt,spice,sugars and butter.
Medium bodied with a lingering gription on the tounge.
A bit harsh up front with a bitter,slightly hot character in the middle, followed by a lingering bitterness and residual sweetness.
Spicing is a little over the top, first comes nutmeg,clove,maybe black pepper and an astringency liken to licking a cinnamon stick.
Alcohol is noticable but overpowered by roasted malts,unfermentables,spice and butter.
Finish is long and not inviting for the next sip,bitter and slightly hot.
Sweetness lingers on the pallet.
No decernable hops.
Nice lacing all the way down.
Kind of like a big Irish Red fermented with Ringwood and spiked with brown sugar and spice.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean reddish brown beer with a small creamy off with head. The aroma is full of caramel and butterscotch with hints of nutmeg and allspice in the background. A light touch of caramel sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Followed by a one-two punch of a spicy hop bitterness and a slow burn of alcohol. There are hints of butterscotch and cinnamon on the finish

butterscotch?=ringwood? yes?

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Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mouth creamy,caramel malt job. Malt in aroma, and a pinch of cinammon and other common drops of kitchen spice rack and cooking chocolate. Foaming head. Not bad, not too sweet though sweet, but finishable only if very thirsty. A tad of dryness, toastiness.1900th bottle review.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.
Best before 11.2009.

Pours a clean, deep maple beneath a creamy, off-white head that sits up about a half of an inch. Patches of condensed lacing with pretty good strength.

Sweet caramel and toffee aromas with a hefty dose of diacetyl. Mildly phenolic with a dry, nutty profile: almond, faint hazlenut. Notes of ginger, light saffron, and nutmeg.

Buttery caramel malts that impart a mild milk chocolate and toffee flavor. The nutty character is rather pronounced, especially almond flavors which adds a moderate dryness. Stiff, floral hops that impart an earthen, musty flavor profile. Adjunctory wheat preceding the dry finish.

A full, medium in body. Initially a creamy texture that is soon followed by a dry stiffness. Interesting changes in texture while still being able to balance the flavors.

A pretty buttery Winter Warmer that is far less spicy than most. A decent offering, but a little too creamy for my taste. Not bad, but not a Winter Warmer that I will seek out next year.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed from an Opa-Opa pint glass. On the pour, this beer produced a four finger head floating atop a clear brown body.

Aroma was of darker malt, caramel, light spices, and a little bit of fruitcake. I couldn't pick any individual spices out of the mix.

Taste was a bit sweet, with caramel and toffee in the front. Spices and a woody character came through on the finish.

Mouthfeel was pretty average. Not syrupy, and the spices didn't coat the tongue, which was good.

Only average marks for drinkability. As winter warmers go, this one was pretty run-of-the-mill, nothing to make it stand out of the crowd. I was glad it was only a 12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint on Sunday with lunch at Sunset Cantina on Comm Ave. Served in a standard pint glass. Not much head on top. Dark brown or mahogany color. Minimal carbonation. Smelled like cinnamon and some clove spices. Taste was a bit subdued, which I liked more than I expected. With some winter warmers, sometimes there is too much fake spice added. This wassail reminded me a lot of a dark ale, with subtle spices notes here and there. Mouthfeel was a bit unusual, as you could really notice the lack of hop backbone. A bit watery and malty at the same time. A decent winter warmer which I would drink more often during the cold months if it were more available.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.32/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best by November '09, sampled in February '09. Brewed and bottled by Shipyard Brewing Co., 1.079 OG. It pours a crystal-clear dark crimson, with low carbonation and a finger of tan head that reduces to a collar of fine froth. Rich and malty in the nose, with sweet, raisiny crystal malts, lightly floral hops (or yeast esters), cherries and assorted dried fruits. Nice caramelly malts on the palate, with fruity yeast, floral alcohol, some British hops, a light sweetness and a dash of chocolate malt on top of a medium, lightly tingly body that smooths out toward the end. Nice to see a winter warmer that shies away from spices and relies on malty goodness to produce a solid winter beer.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a variety 12-pack on sale for $10 at Beverage King in West Lebanon, NH. Best by date of Dec 2010 stamped on the label. Poured into a chilled pint glass.

Clear reddish-brown brew, 1" of fizzy head quickly settles to a thin layer. Nose of warm spices, muddy hops, brown sugar, hint of lemon peel. Taste is much the same, with a long lemon, orange, and clove finish. Hoppier than it smells and has a bit of alcohol warmth and bite. Lively carbonation keeps it feeling crisp and may help hide the alcohol. Not a bad brew, worthy of trying.

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Photo of bort11
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Vermonthiker for this one.

12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk tulip. Mild 1/4 inch head but leaves some solid lacing. Color is a deep dark amber red.

Smell and taste has a warm and woody aroma, mixed with earthy spices. There is some ginger, orange peel, mild cocoa powder. Nice malty body.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but overall a flavorful sample.

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Photo of lpayette
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby caramel color with a small head that manages some lacing.

The smell slightly favors the sweet side with nutty and slightly herbal notes. Caramel and very mild tobacco.

Upon the first sip I got a really nice and impressive blast of nutty and caramel flavors. After the initial shock. Further sips mellow out the initial shock to the palate and reveal a wide array of flavors. Biscuity, herbal, medicinal, grainy finish, phenols, citrus, clove, banana, a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg(?), a bit buttery (unfortunate), apple cider, tobacco, and if not peat malt, a combination of the above listed flavors to mimic a hint of it. Quite complex, but the flavor profile didn't blend quite right for me.

Overall a very interesting beer that is definitely worth giving a shot. This is the last one of the 4-pack I bought in the winter... I'll pick up some more next year when it comes out. Not a bad representation of the style at all.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wassailing we will go? Pours a darker amber boarder line brown color. A good pour leaves a pretty hazy appearance. A soft white head that did dissipate over time. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is mostly toffee. Straight up toffee with no real distinct malt notes. There are some beer notes with a light alcohol and estery finish. Some light hibiscus and floral notes. A light blend of spices, cinnamon and cloves mostly.

The taste is a bit more palatable. The toffee is the biggest flavor but more malty notes come out. Noticeable caramel and grainy flavors mixes with a very sweet almost brown sugar finish. The yeasty notes come out more as well. Some solvent characteristics as well as some rose like tastes. The spices back down with subtle hints of cinnamon. In the finish there is a slight woody note that blends with a slight herbal hop flavor.

The body is moderate with a sweet finish that is a bit off setting. Almost unattenuated but does feel like it's finished. Carbonation is good. Overall enjoyable, I would have liked more spices in the flavor and a dry finish but still enjoyable for sure.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brownish orange color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of spices along with some fruit, caramel, nuts, a touch of chocolate and some hops.

T: The taste starts out nutty and spicy with some flavors of caramel and fruit along with smokiness in the background. Then there's a decent hops presence that comes in. However, instead of providing balance, it provides a dry bitterness and creates a bitter after-taste.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, even though I don't often drink beers in this style, there are several other Winter Warmers I would choose before this one.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was my nighttime beer when I stayed at the inn. It started out well, with a rich, red/brown color, medium-sized head, nice lacing. Pretty nice, though understated, aroma of some fruit and spice. The taste was of slightly sour fruit, which wasn't bad, but there was a rough, pervasive, fusel alcohol taste. It turned out to be a fairly difficult beer to drink, and I didn't go back to it.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Doomcifer
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of dickieb
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark amber starting with a few fingers of head, and working down to some above average lacing. The smell is malty with butterscotch and a small hint of some spices. The flavor is mostly caramel and malts along with a good hit of bittering hops, and some subtle spices. A buttery aftertaste from what I would assume is the ringwood yeast lingers for a bit. The mouthfeel is average for 5%, and light for the 8% I believe it to be. Drinkable, but the buttery aftertaste would get to me after more than one.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard shaker pint glass. Color was a nice dark reddish brown that let most of the light through. Head was negligable, but left a ring around the top and a small island in the middle. Smell was brown sugary sweet with hints of citrus. Taste reminded me of cinnamon with nutmeg, but the citrus and sugar also kicked through. Mouthfeel was a little off. The beer clung nicely, however it was slightly bitter and acidic on the toungue. It was pleasant to drink, and definitely warmed the body.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Best before Nov. 8th '08, consumed on 12/21/07)
12 oz. bottle> 16 oz. SA boston Lager glass.

A very clear, well carbonated amber-brown color with a solid, one-finger head that dissipates slow but eventually goes away and leaves some long sticky legs it it's wake for a while.

I noticed something right off, the smooth, buttery and sweet malt. Caramel sweet. The aroma is enough to make you realize this malt is going to be sweet and smooth. Underneath is a rightously herbal and peppery spice-cabintet effect that just goes really well with the big malt sweetness. The overall effect is really, really nice.

Oh boy, just as I thought...the malt is huge. Sweet, caramel flavor, and the feel is sooo smooth and buttery...this Wassail has the biggest malt presence I've noticed in any winter-style ale. Of course, there is the herbal, zesty spice part of the brew. It's just the right amount and effect for my taste. I would say this is 60 % malt dominated with the rest of the flavors being shared by a nice spicey, herbal, hopiness and a well-hidden but very warming 8.1 % ABV heat.

Medium to full bodied, very smooth....buttery smooth and rather hefty for the style. overall: Nice.

This is a nice 4-pack, and the BEST Wassail, winter ale, Winter Warmer brrw I've had. Period.

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Photo of ROGUE16
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of nebula1999
4.39/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 offering poured into small chalice. Dark copper color with thin head. Smells of sweet grain and caramel. Delicious and mildly sweet as it washes over the tongue, leaving a faint bitterness in the end. Although some spice is definitely present, I'm not sensing the spice wallop that others speak of. Warming, but not overpowering in its after effects. If not for its 8% ABV, I'd drink this one all night! A Winter Warmer that I will seek out again in years to come.

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Wassail Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 105 ratings