Wassail Ale | Woodstock Inn Brewery

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82
good
104 Ratings
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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.

Added by Todd on 03-06-2005

BEER STATS
Ratings:
104
Reviews:
49
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
11.94%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An aside: contract brewed by Shipyard. I bought this at a grocery store 2 minutes from the Woodstock Inn brewery to experience local flair only to find it came from Portland Maine. That grinds my gears.

Clear, copper color. Thin head that died an instantaneous, almost miraculous death. Smells like a sweet, nutty, buttery Scotch ale with xmas spice. Roast chestnut and peat malt depth.

Maple syrup and mild peat. Spices compliment the beer as opposed to vice versa. Lingering, cloying sweet aftertaste. A little overcarbonated.

I like it.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best by 09/09 and brewed by Shipyard, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Vigorous pour results in only half an inch of frothy off-white head atop a hazy red-brown body. Mediocre retention and light lace. Quite boring.

S: Smooth, sweet, malty aroma; brown sugar and light spice.

T: More intense version of the nose, with added depth of both spice and maltiness. Toasty finish with just a slight hint of bitter hops. Smooth and warming, just right for a winter beer, but not really compelling.

M: Surprisingly thin on body, and a little flat.

D: Good balance of spice and sweetness, with a finish just bitter enough to stave off cloying. Hides the substantial ABV admirably.

Notes: While certainly an imperfect beer in several major ways, it does its job quite well. I've also tried the fresher batch of this that was brewed on-premises, and it was even smoother and richer. Definitely one of the strongest offerings from Woodstock.

Cheers!

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.32/5  rDev +20%
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 jlindros
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Haven't had many of the Woodstock beers, in fact I think the Pigs Ear brown is the only one I've had. Well, since this crosses my winter beer review quest, here comes my first Woodstock review.

A: A fluffy head keeps rising for a few seconds after the pour as it settles onto a 2 finger head, with fluffy nougat looking head. It's a brilliantly clear amber red maroon like brown color.

N: Weird, its sweet and fruity! Sweetness from lots of malts and perhaps brown sugar really fly out and bombard you. Then some fruity aromas come out, more like a fruit punch than any specific fruits. A light molasses like syrupy aroma also can be detected.

T: Taste is not so good. It's really sweet, almost adjunct sweet flavored. A sweet molasses flavor really comes out, very much so. Again more strange fruit flavors, this time accompanied by alcohol taste, spice, and warmth. Lots of alcohol presence for only 8%. Some darker malts also taste themselves out, or something. Thick syrupy flavors and kinda bad malty flavors. Some weird nutty spice flavors also get their time in the light. It's not overbearing on spice, but there are some strange ones there, maybe nutmeg and nutty flavors.

M: Semi thick with good carbonation, some syrup, and alcohol spice and warmth.

F: Finishes sweet again and still more of the syrupy molasses like sweet stuff. More alcohol presence with some spice and warmth. It sticks to the mouth and doesn't really go away, pretty gritty. The weird bad malty flavors don't really fade either. Damn this is not really a drain pour, but not an easy drinker. This weird syrupy sticky bad flavor makes it more and more difficult to keep drinking.

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Photo of nebula1999
4.39/5  rDev +21.9%
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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Photo of morebeergood
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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 GWaters
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
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 dananabanana
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of Hokies
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of scottg
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
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!

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
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 Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
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 lpayette
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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 ncvbc
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

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Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
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 -19.2%
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 bort11
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
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 dickieb
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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 jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
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 ybnorml
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
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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Wassail Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
3.6 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
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