Wassail Ale | Woodstock Inn Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
82
good
48 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Wassail AleWassail Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Woodstock Inn Brewery
New Hampshire, United States | website

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.

Added by Todd on 03-06-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
99
Avg:
3.59
pDev:
17.83%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 99
Photo of GWaters
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a standard brown 12 oz bottle.
Best before November 2009

Served in a Sam Adams Sensory Glass at Cellar temperature.
Cellar @: 40-45°F
Not recommended for extended cellaring, unless ABV exceeds average range

Pour: Unlike many of the review I have read, I found this beer to pour with a really nice foamy head. The foam was thick, and just eclipsed the rim of my glass - 2 fingers. The foam capped a clear mahogany colored liquid, with very little evidence of carbonation other than the foam on the top.

Smell: The scent of spicey caramel and toffee jumps right out with a strong alcohol scent. A dark piney backer in the scent brings brings in the thoughts of a winter ale, cold nights and warm fireplaces. As the foam and agitation subsides, nutmeg is more noticable, and points out it was there before, but the other scents covered it.

Taste: Strong burnt alcohol flavor bites the tongue right away. Notes of spicey nutmeg and caramel are hinted but washed out by a piney/alcohol bite. Not a very pleasant flavor, but it could wake you out of a winter slumber. If you don't discount this ale early on, it will reward you with other characters as you adjust to the strength of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: A dry medium bodied ale. The dryness of teh alcohol, and strength of teh spice doesn't make this a soothing experience, but then again it wasn't designed to be. In a word - edgey!

Drinkability: For the Whisk(e)y drinker this is a tasty exuberant ale. There is a lot of energy here, but it could be construed as harsh, and the faint of heart need not apply. In either case, I don't see this as a "go to" or a session ale. This my friends is a warmer, and will warm you, but that is the soul purpose. I guess it is sold in 4 packs for a reason.

 1,765 characters

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.

 1,036 characters

Photo of dananabanana
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Very dark, you can't see through it. Brown, but ruby shows on the bottom when held up to the light. Off-white head.

S: Somewhat nutty, a little malty. Hops on the second sniff.

T: Bitter right away, but sweetish aftertaste. Nothing too remarkable or out of the ordinary.

M: Well-carbonated.

D: Surprisingly refreshing, which I did not expect from such a bitter beer.

 373 characters

Photo of Hokies
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep amber color with a very thin head and no lace. Aroma is filled with roasted malts, butter and some cinnamon spice. The spices dominate the taste with some sweet malt and then a very faint hop bitterness kicks in at the end. This is actually a nice winter warmer except the spices are a little to much after a while.

 366 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Barb's Beer Emporium in Concord. Pours a translucent brown body with no head to speak of. Smells nutty, slightly spicy, and buttery. Nut and spice dominate the flavor, with fairly strong suggestions of butter and alcohol. Medium in both mouthfeel and carbonation. That, in conjunction with the flavors being a bit more harsh than I would expect for the style, makes this a bit of a sipper. Overall, an okay winter warmer, no more, no less.

 456 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with nice ruby/orange highlights. Stingy off white head dissipates quickly. Smells of toffee almost butterscotch.Some spices and alcohol in the nose as well. Taste is grainy malty toffee, blended with some holiday spices. Lingering nutmeg and alcohol in the finish. Very dry finish. Body is medium mouthfeel is sticky carbonation is crisp. Taste is a bit sweet and the alcohol a bit to present. Overall not a bad brew, just not remarkable either.

 465 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I know it says unknown ABV on here but on the Woodstock Inn website it lists the Wassail as 8% ABV so this is a pretty hefty guy.

It's a strong beer and tastes like one. It lives up to its name and certainly warms you but I feel the alcohol taste overpowers any spicy/wintery taste the brewery was going for. The most appealing part of this beer is the amazing deep red color it pours and the nice aroma. Taste is a bit harsh but not too bad.

 443 characters

Photo of scottg
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from cask into a pint glass at the brewpub.

Note: The wassail being served on cask at the brewpub has been aged for 1 year so it is different from the beer in bottles.

Pours a cloudy amber color with orange hues with a one finger off white head with great retention. Caramel, raisins, stone fruit and alcohol aromas. Grape flavors from rasins to green grape, sweet malt flavor, alcohol warmth. Light carbonation, medium body, very creamy mouth coating feel to this beer. Great drinkability, as soon as I finished this one I asked for another. If your in the area, stop in and get one on cask before it is all gone!

 623 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 1,111 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 276 characters

Photo of lpayette
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 937 characters

Photo of ncvbc
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby amber in color, light carbonation and a very thin white head that fades to nothing. Smell is nice and malty. A good nutty and buttery scent comes through along with some sweetness of caramel. This is even more pronounced in taste and I like it. A good bready quality to the malt also. Some spicy hints and earthy hops. Good stuff. I find this pretty drinkable. Not the best Winter Warmer but I can dig it.

Thanks to joepais for this as an extra!

 459 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev +10%
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.

 506 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.05/5  rDev -15%
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.

 868 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.91/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of bort11
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 363 characters

Photo of dickieb
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 518 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

 338 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
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?

 392 characters

Photo of Bassetdawg
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle, poured into a shaker

Appearance: dark copper color, one finger light brown head, with some lacing

Aroma: mild aroma of sweet malt and a touch of cinnamon and other spices

Taste and Mouth feel: sweet toasted malt flavor, highlighted with cinnamon and spice. It has a smooth mouth feel.

Drinkability: A nice winter warmer, very drinkable, one that only hints at the abv.

 407 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 1,290 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
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

 1,175 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
2.54/5  rDev -29.2%
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.

 887 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Wassail Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe