Winter Ale | Shipyard Brewing Company

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Winter AleWinter Ale
110 Ratings
Winter AleWinter Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 96
Reviews by pbrian:
Photo of pbrian
4.7/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At first, I couldn't put my finger on this one. I detected treacley notes with a warming finish so was leaning towards old ale. Now I read that it's made with wheat. Hmm. Anyway, who cares? This is a great winter brew that I will definately be getting more of.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mikesgroove
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the pour was a wonderful shade of amber with a good level of carbonation that was easily visible through the glass. nice head of white that comes up to around two inches and settles own with a moderate amount of lacing.

aroma of nicely rounded hops, light citrus mixed with a caramel sweetness that is simply sublime. near perfection here with every whiff. taking the first sip only reinforces this as each sip is better then the next. really just clean, crisp notes of citrus hops, caramel, bready malts, and a touch of apple like tartness cross the palate and leave a clean, sparkling finish that begs you to drink more.

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Photo of birchstick
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured a reddish copper / brown with a nice one finger head that dissipates quickly

S - smells of caramelly malts, spices, and some spruce

T - tastes starts with buttery caramel malts that are quickly pushed aside by a lot of spices, most notabely some nutmeg. Next, I got some piney resin with some spruce. This tastes like it could be an Anchor Steam Our Special Ale, which is a good thing.

M - full bodied with light carbonation, pretty good

D - this is a pretty good Christmas Ale. I don't really know how this fits into the ESB category, but whatever, it is a good beer. I would recommend this drink to share with others at Christmas.

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber with not much head to speak of though,the aroma is malty sweet but with a definant hop background that comes thru pretty well.A really appetizing brew here,a nice malty taste with a nice zippy hop flvor in the middle with a real bready malt taste in the finish that lingers well.A real nice intergrated beer I will have to get a six pack of this winner.

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Photo of Todd
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle, with freshness date scored on the label. Nice Maine coast picture.

Appearance: Beautiful clear copper colour with orange hues, and an off-white creamy, sticky head that retains well.

Smell: Raw leaf hops in the nose along with caramel malt and the distinct aroma of Ringwood yeast.

Taste: Smooth, rich, full bodied. Very complex. Large dose of sweet caramel malt, with a touch of toffee. Goes a bit crisp then introduces a hoppy beer with amazing depth of flavour; citrus rind, spice notes, raw leaf, sweet orange. Nice fruitiness to boot. Finishes sweet, a bit nutty and somewhat dry/grain.

Notes: Brewed with 5 malts: malted wheat, pale, crystal, munich and caramalt. And, 5 hops: Fuggles, Goldings, Progress Tettnang and Mount Hood ... All of which makes for one interesting and highly complex winter brew for the gods. Hot damn this is one fine beer!

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Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Impressive head retention that leaves a caked on sticky mess within the glass. Good clarity on a sunrise orangey reddish hue.

Comlexly inviting aroma of buttery, malty, hoppy and fruity aroma. Medium to full bodied, just as smooth as it is crisp with a lush malty mouth feel. Maltiness is expressively toasted and sweet upfront with a buttery and light juicy fruit middle … finishes with a long bitter and flavourful hoppiness.

A strong arm of malt and hops beats on the palate as the buttery diacetyl soothes, wild flavours with a straight lined chaotic balance of malt, hops and everything else in-between and easy drinking at that.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden brown with a tan head. Decent retention. Smells weakly of dark malt and nuts.

Quite a decent winter beer. Very malty with lots of caramel and nut notes. Toasty without being astringent. Mildy hopped, the sign of a good winter beer to me. Mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability is quite nice. I think this beer would benefit from some cask aging.

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Photo of ADR
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark bronze color and clear, 1/4 inch head is fine-bubbled and has an attractive ESB orange color. Laces in looping drips. Nice aroma, vaguely brown sugar with a bit of pear to accompany it. Dry and gravelly mouthfeel and taste, malt is decent and somwhat cider-like but there's a bit of overbearing ashy hop tone that's beyond floral in character -- and coming on mid mouth to finish. Body is just shy of medium, aided by typical Shipyard diacetyl. Gets a little better on warming but I still don't connect well to the overall profile of many Shipyard brews.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok..this is unusual for a Winter Warmer...more like a hoppy Red.
Poured a golden dark reddish amber with a tan 1/2 finger head that melted to thick lacing.
Aroma was primarily corriander and sweetness (malts)
First impression in taste was "where did all of those hops come from"? Intense citrus bitter hops....after a few swallows, the flavors begin to blend and I am hit initially with sweet malt...lightly toasted, corriander spices, a touch of cinnamon, followed with an orangish hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is thick from carbination and slightly carmel smooth.
Aftertaste of spices and light orange peel...very drying and very quenching.
I'm glad I didn't find this until is a perfect summer quenching brew...can session very easily and, yes, I want fact this review is based on my second.

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Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Essentially copper. Gleaming rather orange. Pale khaki foam on top.
Fruit-laden nose of apricot, rapsberries, cherries and apples. Mixed with toasty malts and gobs of diacetyl.
Enters the mouth buttery, yet well-measured. Caramel-drenched Red Delicious apples provide counterpoint. Quite fruity, with berry traits a forceful secondary. Layered on buttered english muffin backing. Hopping is herbal (tea), metallic and persuasively bitter, without being forceful.
Medium firm in a hefty, glassy texture.
Well put-together, and well-quaffed.
Quite a solid version.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: This beer should be enjoyed at cellar temperature, or just below to bring out its fullest character. It's quite English in nature, and it should be enjoyed as such.

Shipyar's Winter Ale delivers a slightly hazy, copper body with a ruby cast and glowing orange highlights. Its creamy tan head holds well, and it leaves strings of spotty lace about the glass. Caramelish malt dominates the nose, accented by yeasty character (some iron, berry-like fruitiness, diacetyl) and a touch of leafy hops. It's smooth and creamy across the palate with a medium, dextrinous body and very fine-bubbled, slightly restrained carbonation. There's no surprise in the flavor as it's already been revealed by the nose. But it is richer than might be expected. The malt is full, but not overly sweet nor caramelish; and the yeasty fruitiness and diacetyl smooths and rounds it out into a very drinkable balance. That's not to say that it's solid bitterness and low-key hop flavors aren't doing their job, but they come into play across the middle and into the finish. It's dry in the finish with some lingering butter and fruit.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a solid looking light tan head over clear russet/amber liquid. The nose is quite malty/fruity and fresh. Taste is biscuity maltiness, nothing too heavy though, followed by a touch of sweetness and then some hoppy bitterness. Finishes up very tasty with a sweet note that closes things up.

Thanks to Stevie W. for the bottle!

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was not impressed with this offering. Tasted like an ale someone had roped some nutmeg in. Nice scolor and head, but couldn't hide the taste. The shipyard should stick with Prelude, this is just average.

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Photo of GentleKnight1
4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was on a business trip to Portland, ME when the shuttle Columbia burned up (2003), and had this ale on several evenings in the hotel. It was an awesome brew, but I have difficulty rating it now, twelve years later. However, given that I still remember it 12 years later (and the bartender let me take some cardboard coasters with me) is a testament to it. Well done, Shipyard. Brew some more !!!

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Copper in coloring, short head left no lacing as it receded. Smells of sweet malt and bread, but very subtle. Tastes of sweet malt, well balanced. Medium in body with good carbonation. Relatively easy to drink, overall a good beer.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahogany hue, thin, yet rocky off-white head. A hoppy, fruity aroma. Up front, appears to be a full bodied have a seat beer; toasted malts combined with some hop detection. Buttery, some raisins, brown sugar and light coffee beans noted. Smooth and slick throughout; a bit dangerous. A touch of bitterness on the palate that hangs; a great session winter brew.

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Photo of edchicma
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coppery appearance with quickly dissipating head. Smell was very lightly malty and taste was equally uncomplicated...bitter finish was there, body was ok, but not as rounded as I would have liked. The bitter afetretaste was fine, but there was little before it to get excited about. Easy enough to drink, but so is water and soda. Not my favorite, but I may review againas I am getting over a cold and my taste buds may not be 100%.

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Photo of Sailracer
1.5/5  rDev -59.1%

Photo of TAMU99
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well, for a "special brew" I expected better.

Kinda average brown color with a medium head and thin lace.

Acidic almost non existent smell.

Taste - flavorful malt but these are overpowered by the hops, too many bitter/acid flavors -This is supposed to be a RED ale and it's WAY too bitter...its just too much. (But I'm not a bitters fan.) Nonetheless, these aren't good bitters.

Mouthfeel - eh, it's beer

Drinkability - If you like sucking on that white stuff inside a grapefruit, then drink more of this. Otherwise, it's just too much to be called drinkable

Want a good red while in Maine have a CASCO BAY RIPTIDE RED!!!

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Photo of TheJudge
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark amber, with a good white head that held for the entire glass. The smell was very hoppy, which surprised me for a winter ale. Then the taste. Um, Um, good. That hop smell translated to the taste, both at the front of the mouth and the back. This lingered in your mouth enough to make you want more. The malt in this beer wants to come through, you can almost feel some definate sweetness, but the hops balance it very nicely.

There is a lot going on here, that almost forces you to have another sip, to see if that is really what you were tasting. More a bitter than a winter ale, in my opinion, but I would absolutely have this again.

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Photo of Jredner
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very bready malt aroma with a hint of some sweet spiciness. Clear copper/amber in color with a beautiful, mostly lasting, two finger thick head. Fore has a good wallop of medium bitterness hops, but the middle quickly becomes a plesant sweet malt affair with caramel, butterscotch and dark fruits playing across the tongue. Finish is mildly sweet and biscuity. A very nice amber ale.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, best before April 07.
Clear copper, with a small 1 finger tan head.

Aroma is light, caramel and cookie dough, a little banana tries to sneak in.

Thin oily mouthfeel.
Flavor has a touch of resin, a touch of lemon a little burnt sugar.

Flavors were a little ADHD. All over the place and never realy concentrating on the whole. Unable to decide what it really wants to be. Amber? APA? Wheat? WInter?
I think I settled on average

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

Pours a medium amber color with a small ring of white foam with minor spots of lace.
Aroma of caramel, cinnamon and mineral water.
Flavor of caramel, toffee and a hint of green apple.
Mouthfeel is a little bit of sweetness that moves to a little bit of tartness and finishes with a dry spicy warming finish.
Drinkability is pretty good, transitions are a little clumsy but decent beer overall.

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Photo of buzzy
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +9%

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Winter Ale from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 110 ratings