Port Townsend Winter Ale | Port Townsend Brewing Company

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Port Townsend Winter AlePort Townsend Winter Ale
14 Ratings
Port Townsend Winter AlePort Townsend Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Port Townsend Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by RedDiamond:
Photo of RedDiamond
2.68/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It's unusual for a Port Townsend beer to disappoint me as much as this one did. In fact, it's hard to distinguish what the intended target is here. Aside from some wayward sugar malts, the beer's main character derives from its unintended sourness and its tart and taxing flavor. I can't even tell where this beer wants to go. There's no professed maltiness or spice. Just an anemic, cinnamon colored body in the old ale style. Pass.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.12/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one poured a dark orangish-brown in color and sported a fluffy, retentive, off-white head.

Smell – The toasted grains are big and sweet. They are kicked up a notch by the big spicy aroma. The spices are powdery and dark and mixed with a serious hop compliment.

Taste – The toasted malts are huge at the taste. They are soaked in big caramel taffy and a drying resiny hop compliment. The spices are lighter at the tongue and difficult for me to identify.

Mouthfeel – This is much bigger than medium but not full in the body. The dryness of this ale from beginning to end will have you licking your chops.

Drinkability – It doesn’t look that big, but boy what a surprise. This is a big, almost full Winter Warmer that you’ll have to sip slowly.

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Photo of nsabo
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I assumed "winter ale" implied "winter warmer;" it didn't.
This beer can't seem to figure out what it wants to be: tangy/fruity/sticky hops, then caramel malts, then hops again. The hops end up taking over my palate and after a few sips this almost drinks like an IPA (albiet a malty one).
I'm sure age would help sort things out a bit, but fresh from the tap it's disappointing.

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Photo of Braz
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of mactrail
3.99/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ahhh, the kiss of hops that greet you at first sip. This is not an IPA by any stretch, but it just has a nice hoppy aroma and taste for a winter brew. This one is back for 2013 and rated at 7% ABV and 65 IBUs.

Dark amber color in the Ciney snifter. Modest foam with a little swirling in the glass. Not overly carbonated. Dark fruit and some burnt raisin toast flavors. Spicy notes and a tangy finish. More hops zinging on the tongue and a bitter aftertaste.

This is really quite a decent winter beer. It's a nice combination of the rich malty flavors with lots of hops. That mellow and slightly fiery flavor is one I'll look for again next year. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at the Bellingham Food Co-op.

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Photo of jletts
4.23/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I purchased two of these at the brewery in Port Townsend when I first started my cellar and it has now been a year since that first review. So here goes #2.

2006 Port Townsend Barley Wine Style Ale, poured into a 16oz snifter.

First impression: A nice mahogany color with a thin but attractive burnt-crème head. Subdued but well-balanced carbonation created a creamy first sip with a silky but somehow still slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Very nice. Notes of sugar and sour cherry-vanilla hit the nose in the effervescence. The aroma centered on currants, plums, raisins, alcohol, and a little oak; some nice layers in there, though subtle at times. The flavor, however, was not subtle at all. Mountains of raisins, brown sugar, dark peat, and burnt caramel all made appearances. The hops finished it off, though somewhat muted behind layers and layers of dark complex malt. A very nice ale when aged.

Notes: A somewhat simple and one-dimensional beer (see previous review) became much more interesting after just one year in the cellar. I'll be cellaring this one again.

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Photo of ProudGreen89
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Im a sucker for anything winter so i picked up one of these bad boys, always nice to try local brews.

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint

A-darker amber body with an off white head that leaves a little lacing, pretty mediocre for a winter ale but still appealing.

S-sweet malts, bready, fruity, you can smell the tartness, apricot or similar.

T-hmm..this beer is a little confusing on the pallate, its not bad, its just like this beer has A.D.D; You get a nice full and rich sweet malt flavor, gets REALLY sweet after that and then out of nowhere an abrupt tartness comes along that makes you wanna smack your lips and drink a glass of water to wash it down but then a nice bitter hoppiness presents itself and thats basically what youre left with near the end. Im not saying its a bad taste but it didnt leave me wanting more right away either. Id say with a more subtle tartness and cut back on the sugars, this beer would be great.

M-medium and a little chewy, somewhat low carbonation which i did like and its refreshing at the end.

D-i dont think i could go for 2 of these in one sitting, its quite an adventure the first time around, the tartness mixed with the breadyness just didnt quite hold together. Its...ok, nothing id be too excited to try again anytime soon. Not to mention there was a little too much malt in it for an ale, i would have liked more hops than malt.

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Photo of loren01
2.45/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark amber color small head slight lacing down the glass
S: Sweet, fruity (apple/pear)
T: Bready maltiness, brown suggary. Tart, slightly sour fruity flavors. Big time hop bitterness as well.
M: Medium bodied, dry and astringent
D: Would not buy this again, not a good winter beer.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was bought in June which i think actually made this beer nice and aged. The nose is fairly malty with a whiff of baked bread. the colour is mid dark gold with a rocky head. As the beer
warmed up the nuances arrived one by one till i got a well made ale
that had no real quirks but rather a full body and a great finish. Another nice brew from these underappreciated brewers.

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Photo of ccrida
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber (cellared for ~ 3 months) poured into my Meantime snifter, Port Townsend's Winter Ale is dull murky bronze with lots of proteins floating around. Large light tan head is pretty dense and long lasting in spite of the larger bubbles scattered throughout it, and it leaves thick, foamy lace. I got distracted and when returned, all the floaties had settled out, but the large head still remained (~1/2 hr), and it was looking really nice. However, just picking up the glass immediately roused them all again.

Smell is, sweet crystal and bready malts, spicy and some sugary fruits as well, a touch of alcohol, pretty good.

Taste is a bit on the thin side, and is not as rich as the nose, which reminds me of an English strong ale, with light caramel and bread notes. I wonder if this isn't last years, as they're no date to be found. Pretty smooth and rounded though, just not that exciting, the some leafy bittering hops on the finish providing a drying contrast without overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is ok, this went down pretty easily. On the otherhand, it did nothing for me, and is a pretty average strong ale.

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Photo of ncherf
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of dragonWhale
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The description of this beer on the menu at the Skep called it an Old Ale..I'd have to agree after trying it again.

A glory-be dark amber, pillowy head that transforms into stains upon the glass.
It smells sweetly caramel with some funk. Peering with my nose into the glass, I get a bit of raisin.
Malty flavor with some grapefruit acidity. Still bringing it on the funk, which unleashes a surprising tongue-lashing of what's gotta be a little brett. I wouldn't be surprised, and certainly not if this is from one of the PT open fermentation tanks.
Solid..I assume the funk to be an intentional portrayal of the "old ale" style, which works pretty well for this beer. The funk is slightly confusing, but breathes life into this ale when it warms.
Honestly, I probably should've let it rise to a little higher temp in the glass before finishing it..so it goes.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a bubbly, frothy, white head.

Smell: Sweetish-smelling, bready maltiness with a cup of apricot juice.

Taste: Bready malts with a flash of sugary sweetness. Then, the flavor jumps into a suspiciously tart apricot juice taste. A fair kick of hop bitterness holds until the still rather worrisome tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not very pleasant and a bit awkward to finish. I'd swear the respectable reviewer below had an entirely different beer, perhaps the Port Townsend Barley Wine, but who can say for sure.

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Photo of blackc5
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber at about 46F.

A - A nice reddish coper with ample head. Very good lacing as well.

S - Lots of sweet and bready malt, caramel, and a mix of spices.

T - Very malty no doubt. Bready and sweet, with a fair dosage of spice. Burnt caramel and just a bit of hops on the backend. Fairly complex, but not exactly successful.

M - Medium bodied and fairly smooth, there seems to be significant carbonation. Perhaps a bit too much in my bottle.

D - It was ok, but one bottle was enough and definitely not one of the better beers from PT in my opinion.

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Port Townsend Winter Ale from Port Townsend Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 14 ratings