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Sea Dog Winter Ale (Cabin Fever) | Sea Dog Brewing Company

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Sea Dog Winter Ale (Cabin Fever)Sea Dog Winter Ale (Cabin Fever)
27 Ratings
Sea Dog Winter Ale (Cabin Fever)Sea Dog Winter Ale (Cabin Fever)

Brewed by:
Sea Dog Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.63%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A big rich winter ale that pours reddish-gold in color with an earthy yeasty nose. The pallet is complex with flavors from malt, hops and yeast well represented. It has subtle sweetness and a nice warming hop finish.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-31-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by blitz134:
Photo of blitz134
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice caramel color, clear, obviously filtered. Light tan head, about and inch that reduced to an eighth inch leaving nice lacing behind. Really nice lacing now that I've gotten closer to the bottom, its almost a solid sheet.

Simple, and kind of light aroma. Fairly clean malt presense, some dark caramel sweetness, touch of esters, and when I initially smelled this from the bottle thoughts of banana phenols came to mind, but once in the glass I don't get that. Very light notes of rough-edged alcohol.

Flavor is much the same, light malting, but there is some there. Light fruity esters and some hints at alcohol. A pick up fleeting bits of diacetyl in the finished along with a light bit of grassy hops and some biscuity malt.

Pretty good mouthfeel, medium bodied, with some residual sweetness that allows the flavor to stick around.

Easy to drink beer, but for a winter warmer I'd like to see this with a bit higher alcohol and a bit less carbonation to smooth this out. As it is, though, it is pretty refreshing and I could drink this at other times of the year.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

In a pint glass the beer was a dark brown color with an insignificant head.
Spice, fruit aroma.
Cinnamon, raisin taste.
A little on the sweet side, but still a good beer to drink.

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Photo of Todd
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle from their mixed 12pak. Best enjoyed before on the side. I hate that goofy looking dog.

Appearance: Semi-hazy, dark, leather stained garnet topped by a creamy, patchy, tan head with ample stick and stay.

Smell: Fruity, faint gum, coarse hop earthiness with a wonderfully complex toffee finish in the nose.

Taste: Smooth and very creamy on the palate, with a touch of prickly carbonation. Hearty, robust malt character that bursts with flavour ... fruity, bit of plum, date sugar, raisin and more toffee with burnt sugar edges. Hops bring a coarse, leafy and raw character to the palate, and it nicely balances by breaking things up. Spicy notes dot the entire experience. Alcohol is hidden in flavour, but not in effect ... it's warming and issues a sense of winter. Earthy, dirty and dry in the finish.

Notes: A classic New England ale with traditional Ringwood qualities all around. One of my top picks for warming up my winter. Some of the characters can be likened to a robust red wine or even a port. Truly complex and tasty.

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Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown long neck with a best enjoyed before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Rich amber with a garnet hue to it ... wonderful creamy lace makes the mouth water.

Smell: Typical Ringwood yeast strain aroma ... fruity with hints of buttered toffee and a faint rustic grain aroma in the nose, quite pleasing.

Taste: Smooth with a medium to full chewy malt body. Fruity esters (juicy fruit) and a mild yet warming sweet alcohol are up front. Handful of toasted grain, malt sweetness and a somewhat hearty hop bitterness which is spicy/herbal tags along for the ride. To round out this brew is a little butterscotch on the tip of the tongue. Nice finish with the usual Ringwood yeast rustic/earthy taste with remnants of hops and malt ... though the hops seem to linger a bit more.

Notes: A good find indeed, very flavour and complex with a warming feeling as you sip. Good amount of alcohol with lots of malt and hop character to hold the brew together. reminiscent of the old stock ale style and a true winter warmer for sure.

 1,052 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This seems to be the 2003 version, as it's now labeled simply, "Sea Dog Winter Ale", and has a label pronouncement that it is "Hand Brewed and Bottled by Pugsley Brewing LLC, Portland, Me". This bottle was from the "Motley Crew" sampler box I picked up somewhere on the Maine coast, in the Portland area. This pours a dark copper body, slightly hazed, with a two finger, beige head that retains well, and leaves considerable sheet and patch lace.

Aroma is quite strong, very malty with a few Christmas spices like mace, nutmeg, and clove, and a good dose of herbal hops. I also sense that strange, earthy yeast, that is apparently wormwood, as well as a note of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, and this seems to be a full bodied ale.

Taste is very complex, with a lot of things going on. A little too much going on here, in my opinon. Big malty presence of molasses and toffee, are in a constant struggle with the bitter, herbal hops and spices. The finish is dry and bitter, as the malt loses steam toward the end. I think the yeast is a factor in the finishing bitterness, as well. The alcohol is hidden very well amidst the complexities.

I've not seen any other reviews of the 2003, version, so I'm not certain if this is the same recipe as in previous years. It's now called simply, "Winter Ale", as opposed to "Winter Stock Ale", but I'm guessing it's the same, or very similar, formulation as the older versions reviewed here.

 1,452 characters

Photo of tigg924
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I believe this is the same beer. Found a bottle in a Connecticut singles shops saying Sea Dog Winter Ale

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, orange-brown in color

Smell: alcohol, rum, toasted malt

Taste: cinnamon, chocolate, earth, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, slightly sweet

Drinkability: For a winter warmer, the spices are a bit muted. In addition the alcohol is a lot more present here than other Sea Dog brews. I would reach for several other winter warmers first.

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Photo of cokes
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark copper. Small pale-tan head doesn't impress initially. But retains a whipped cream like consistancy most of the way down.

Mostly alcohol on the nose. Slight musty yeast and buttery carmel.

Multi-tiered brew here. Starts out carmelly, then comes a fruity sweet rush to the front. This fruitiness sticks around as the flavor turns butterscotch, then just buttery. Finishes with some earthy hops...sweetness remains, (actually amplified towards the finish by the alcohol), and lingers a bit afterwards.

Very smooth in the mouth. It's like...um...butter.

Very respectable winter warmer here. Or a mid-spring warmer as in my case.
Cheers, VENOM.

 679 characters

Photo of EBeckett3
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of tjcamm
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Gusler
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer as it sets in the glass is a pleasant to the eye opaque ruby red color, the head impressive in size, frothy in its consistency. As the head degenerates, it leaves nice sheets of lace to cover the glass. Caramel sweet hits the nose first, followed by the malts some floral aromas also present, a quite sniffable brew it is true. Ambrosial start, the top middling in mouth feel, the finish masterfully hopped, modestly carbonated and a long lasting droughty slightly bitter aftertaste, quite quaffable and with the high ABV, does make it a "Winter warmer".

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle goes just by Winter Ale now and is actually a bit weaker now, only 6.3% instead of 8%, but still a pretty good beer to have during winter regardless.

Pours an amber color with a very ample head.

Smells strong of malt with some other spices that accompany a winter beer.

Taste is quite satisfying with much going on. The first to hit is the malt followed by the added spices and a bitter hop finish.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 version and cheers to my friend jcalbi for the sample.

Strong sweet fresh clove and cinnamon smell. Quite a rich classic smell. Dark iced tea color and cloudy in the glass. Sticky lasting 1/8 inch very light brown head stays with the brew. The head is lasting and small with nice lacing. Rich thick malty sweet taste with great spice (corriander, clove) flavor. Very regal and rich. Coating thick mouth. A great one to settle back with on a winter evening.

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Photo of erosier
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice copper/amber color with a tall and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass very well all the way down. It smells of a roasted malts and some winter spices of nutmeg. The taste is nice as it follows the aroma. It tastes of sweet roasted malts and winter spices that make for a nice winter wamer - nutmeg and cinnamon mostly. There is a slight hop bitterness that rounds out the flavor really nicely. It has a smooth and warming mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation, not too much and not too little. The drinkability is high on this beer as well due to its nice balance of flavors. Definately a good beer for the winter months.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.55/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at brew pub in Northborough, MA.

Light fizzy head barely visible since its filled to the brim, crystal clear copper brown color.

Nose syrupy, like cola syrup, nutty hazelnut like, toasty caramel malts, molasses, hints of spices, hints of the typical sea dog herbal hops.

Taste starts biscuity, toasty malts with plenty of caramel, syrupy, molasses, almost maple like, light nutty, brown malts, hints of apple like fruit, earthy hops with a decent bitterness, and light spicy herbal hops, light booze warmth. Finish is drier but a bit syrupy still, more earthy hops but the bitterness fades a bit, bit more caramel malts, fruits, and nutty.

Mouth is med bodied, light booze, decent carb.

Overall not bad, bit syrupy but typical for winter for the booze it feels slightly thin, the fruit is a boy weird too.

 814 characters

Photo of tfsimpkins
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of rorjets
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of kunzbrew
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red copper color with nice size head that is a creamy tan and very sexy. A very malty nose pours from the bottle with great intenseness. The hops are not as strong as the malt is. The anticipation of the first sip is driving me crazy. Yes it is malty very malty just the way I like it, hints of herbs and spices also hit the palate on the way down the gullet. The after taste is pleasant and rewarding the alcohol is nice and not very overwhelming. This is a great brew and I am mad that they are no longer in business.


 542 characters

Photo of Yeastcakes
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes: pint glass, served 45 deg

Aroma: spices, light hops and alchohol notes
Appearance: Clear, Amber, light quarter-inch head, dissipates to a surface foam
Mouthfeel: Light body and carbonation on the tongue
Taste: cinnamon spicy notes, light alcohol warmth
Overall impression: Great winter beer, good mix of spices and alcohol warmth. Very drinkable.

 354 characters

Photo of jbertsch
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Bierman9
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Dog has an acceptable medium-copper color, with a lasting, fine head and so-so lacing. The nose had some spicy notes, to me, which reminded me a bit of Sammy Winter Lager. Though fairly smooth on the tongue, I found it a bit thin, unfortunately. Malty sweetness intertwines with some winter spiciness to create a decent bier with a buttery finish. I do, though, feel it had the potential to be a fuller, richer Old Ale.

overall: 3.7
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


 518 characters

Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper brown color with a decent off white head that diminishes to a ring and left just a wisp or two of sticky lace.
Aroma of some dark bread and earthy hops, smells a bit sweeter like caramel as it warms.
Very smooth with a fine champagne like carbonation on the tongue. Flavor starts out with a lot of malt sweetness and a creaminess that I have come to realize is typical of Maine beers made with Ringwood yeast. Caramel and toffee, with some hints of brown sugar and molasses. A spiciness in there that is hard to pin down, is it spice or just the way the hops interact with the other flavors? No real alcohol taste to this but a definite warming effect.
Another good Winter seasonal from Maine, I bought just one to try it for the first time today, but I think I see a six pack in my future.

 805 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber-red translucent body that was just a hint of murkyness and about a half an inch of off-white head with good lacing and head retention. Smells like caramel malt and diacetyl. Roasted malt, diacetyl, and alcohol characterize the flavor, as well as some caramel and a hint of fruitiness (banana?). Medium-bodied. Body and flavor have a slight aqueous quality to them. The alcohol is less well-hidden than I'd like or expect, which hurts the drinkability somewhat. The alcohol isn't overwealming though, and despite is small flaws, this is far and away the best Sea Dog beer I've ever had, and I'd definitely get this one again.

 635 characters

Photo of DinoBlueShoes
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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Sea Dog Winter Ale (Cabin Fever) from Sea Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 27 ratings
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