Shiner Winter Ale | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

32 Reviews
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Shiner Winter AleShiner Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States

Style: American Dark Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 11-26-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 42
Photo of AlexJ
2.9/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled after the Shiner dunkleweizen, the two beers could easily be mistaken for eachother. Medium brown pour puffs up 2 fingers of tan fluff that quickly falls, leaving tiny whisps of lace.

Aroma is caramel, toasted bread, sour rotten wood, and earthy, grassy hops. Only a slight trace of anything wheaty.

Flavor not quite as good as the nose and that's being nice. Bready, caramel malts, light roasty notes, dry minerality that borders on sour, and an earthy, dirty hops finish just doesn't do the trick for me.

Body medium, carbonation excessive, mouthfeel dry and chalky. Pass.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.32/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a dark, woody brown color. Malty aroma, with some low wheat notes. Flavor is moderately wheaty and malty, but not much else. No off flavors, and a clean finish. Moderate body and carbonation.

A disappointing beer that completely fails to stand out. There's nothing intrinsically bad here, but nothing worth seeking out.

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

The Shiner brand is practically a state heirloom with each generation of Texans introducing it to the next. While other brands have taken the “artistic” road in their line of offerings, our friends at Spoetzl Brewing have stayed to the middle of the Devil’s Backbone.

Shiner’s Winter Ale claims to be a Dunkelweizen and some people classify it as American Dark Wheat Ale but it’s a decent macro-esque dark beer offering.

This release features a bit more alcohol but the bite is lessened by a pronounced malt presence with hints of roasted coffee which comes across in the mouth feel.

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3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Good garnet color with a 1/4" off-white head. Alot of carbonation. Head falls to a cap in less tham 30 seconds and stays at a cap. No lace.

Aroma -- Faint sour wheat. Nice toffee. Some tangy hops.

Taste -- No taste evident to mark this as a dunkelweizen. Earthy with just a hint of spice. Some malt. Butter?

Mouthfeel -- Medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Sticky sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability -- This is an OK beer. Not a dunkelweizen in the traditional sense, or in the sense that I recognize a dunkelweizen. I kept waiting for this beer to "open up" and it never did. Unfortunately, not much for me to come back for.

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Photo of OatherS
2.89/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle has white label with a horned animal on it flying through the air, maybe a reindeer??

Appearance: Amber in color, not very characteristic of a dunkelweizen as it preports. Absolutely NO head.

Smell: Slight banana odor which should be present.

Taste: No wheat flavor present as there should be. Somewhat of a burnt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Average.

Drinkability: From a mix a six, so not that dissapointed.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber brown with a slightly tan head which rose exceptionally tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was grainy and deeply malty with caramel maltiness leading the charge. Dark wheat aroma with some dark fruit aroma to boot.

The flavor was malty, but not as complex as the aroma would lead one to believe. The flavor was slightly roasty and slightly wheat with some chocolate.

The finish was dry with lasting slight chocolate and lasting wheat which becomes slightly acidic in the aftertaste. The body was medium. The flavor was really lacking in this beer, the aroma is pretty nice however.

12 ounce bottle. The label says the beer is krausened and the label also says the beer is a Bavarian Style Dunkelweizen. There was no sediment in the bottle whatsoever, so krausening didn't happen and there was no banana or close so Bavarian is out as well.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale is not bad, and it's cheap. It is, in my opinion, more of a dopplebock than a dunkelweizen, but has characteristics of both. Pours a deep mahogany color with a white 1-finger head that lingers for a bit but leaves no lacing. Aroma is of caramel, chestnuts and toasted (not roasted) malts. Taste has some caramel sweetness with some nutty flavors. Wheat flavor is not prevalent. Whatever hoppy bitterness is there is cancelled by the malts. There is a bit of citrus, perhaps some very sweet, dark orange. The mouthfeel is smooth and phenolic, oily with a bit less carbonation than is needed. Pretty drinkable, though, just enough body to qualify as a winter ale, but should be classified as a bock in my opinion.

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Photo of karst
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the Floresville HEB with ten pounds of fresh shrimp.

Pours dark amber with brief tan head. Some hints of grain and malt aroma.
The taste is strong grain flavor. Lightly hopped, it finishes dry with a lingering bitterness. Medium- mouthfeel. A little bit on thin side. First bottle is drinkable but you hesitate to unscrew a second.

Something to drink while your heating up the potatos and corn for the shrimp gumbo but I wasn't taking a chance on drinking it with the meal.

Now what do you think goes with shrimp and is easily available in S. Texas.

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Photo of 67cuda
3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, with about 2 fingers of light tan head... Seems to be quite carbonated... It smells rather malty, and kind of sweet, with a somewhat tart note, if that makes sense, hard to explain... As for the taste, it was very malty, much like the smell, it seemed to have a sort of molasses or oatmeal type flavor, and was mildly bitter, but mostly sweet. This beer seemed to be very thick, and its mouthfeel kind of reminded me of pudding or something.. Not bad, but not great either... I found this beer to be very drinkable, though I think it goes down sort of heavy, and would likely be best enjoyed with a meal.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured at room temp into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle.

It pours a chestnut color w/ 1 finger of fizzy, thin head that dissipates rather quickly. Slight edge layer on the glass, but not too much else. Looks to be pretty thin, but clean looking also. Smells of caramel or toffee malts; maybe some fruitiness (plums) in there somewhere and some almonds. Not too much hops aroma either. Rather weak in aroma. Taking a sip, I notice some plum flavor that gives way to the slightly sweet caramel and almond flavor. The swallow is a little dry and oak barrelled flavor. However, not to exciting. Feel of the beer is thin bodied w/ lots and lots of carbonation that kills much of the flavors IMO. One nice thing was the slightly dry finish of this one and the wheaty aftertaste. A very easy beer to drink a lot of IMO, but for flavor sake and experience, this one is nothing to write home and tell momma about. Kinda like Texas's version of Yeungling Lager; not a bad drinking beer, but not a "sit and enjoy just 1 type" if you get my meaning.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
2.81/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark amber with a tall, tan, lasting head of foam. Nose is rich caramel malt and some yeast and faint spice.

Taste is malty and bitter. Lacks the sweetness of traditional dunkelweiss but has some yeast presence. Light elements of cola, raisins and refined sugar.

Mouthfeel is medium, somewhat astringent. Label declares this a "Bavarian-style dunkelweiss" but it's a bit lacking either as a dunkelweiss or as a winter ale.

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Photo of Sammy
3.22/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aggressively carbonated punch of cloves and chocolate malts. Some mid sip sugar, then sour afteraste. On dark side. Cheers for #10 at Doug Shoemaker party. An experiment on a German beer with spice , malts, and wheat. Syrup in there. Avoidable, but worth 3 ounces.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.88/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Reddish brown hue with an off white head. Sweet caramel and tart malt smell. Medium to heavy bodied. Rich, creamy mouthfeel. Caramel sweet flavor blends perfectly with a tart , slightly bitter roasted malt finish.
Smooth and easy drinking; the best dark wheat brew I've had in a long time. Very good.

 317 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.36/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date. Pours a clear ruby/brownish color with a thick off-white fluffy head. Head retention was good, and there was a good amount of lace on the sides of the glass. Slight fruity nose, maybe some banana in there. Carmel-like malt flavors mixed with some fruityness. Spiced apples and bananas. Dry finish, very little hop bitterness. Light body, moderate carbonation. Seems a bit too dry in the finish. Still, a nice beer, maybe not called the correct style, but that certainly is not a big deal.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark ruby-amber capped with large, foamy light-brown head. Many rings are left inside my weizen glass. Smell isn't strong, light maltiness with a bit of spice. Taste is mainly malty, not much hops here. Initial taste is a little bit like apple, which quickly disapears. Malt style is fairly bready, with some lingering sweetness. Maybe a little too sweet. Spice taste is also noted, not sure which spice it resembles. Good beer, but not my favorite winter seasonal or wheat beer.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.87/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: A nice level of roasted malt and black patent. Sweet, with no hint of hop.
Appearance: Deep brown showing ruby amber with backlight. Tan head collapsed pretty quickly into a clumpy cover. Thin globs try to cling to the side, but fall back to the beer pretty quickly.
Flavor: Starting cold, it comes across as a dark amber ale. The roasted barley characters take the lead, but as it warms more flavors start to show up. A light white grape aftertaste gives a nice counterpoint to the darker flavor, and a lightly sugared roasted wheat flavor settles in after a few drinks.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with a nice level of carbonation; lively but not bubbly. Some oils leave a thin coat and a mild numbing. Has a sweet lip smacking quality.
Overall Impression: A very nice ale. I can see why it won an award at this year’s GABF. It is complex but a complete package. Dark enough for just one, light enough for a session, a solid offering from Shiner.

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Photo of Rio
4.03/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful, clear crimson hue with a towering head with a bit of a brown tint to it, thought it faded to a thin lace before long. Sweet maltiness to the aroma, with a bit of a grainy smell.

Malt and grains come through again in the taste, ending with a slight fruity sweetness. Hops add little to this beer, a tiny bit of bitterness, but nothing substantial. A crispness to the feel, with a tiny bit of that hop bitterness to round it out.

A good brew all in all. I tend to look at the Shiner line as many look at the Sam Adams line, as a good, solid beer, not outstanding by any means, but still very enjoyable and a good starting point for the uninitiated.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
2.86/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown twist-off bottle. I got this beer in Sept.; this is October, and it's a winter ale. I'm thinking it may be a bit old?

The beer pours a crystal clear ruby red/garnet color -- a great looking beer -- with a decent off-white head that disappears rather quickly.

It has a malt and caramel aroma.

Flavor is clean -- actually, cleaner that I would expect for an "authentic Bavarian dunkelweizen". There are hardly any of the esters or phenolics I'd expect. No cloves.

Worth a try, but there are better dunkelweizens out there.

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Photo of merlin48
3.23/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No dating on the label, but it looked new and I've never the Spoetzl Winter Ale anywhere except the Food City grocery, in Kingsport, Tennessee, on 10/08/04.
Pours a clear, garnet mahogany body, with a small, beige head that vanishes in seconds. No lacing.
Aroma has caramel/toffee maltiness, a hint of nutmeg, and vague floral hops. Not much of an aroma.
Mouthfeel has relatively high carbonation, and a sturdy, medium body.
Malt dominates the taste, with some spicy, sweet caramel, and pine cone, bittering hops. Some wheat grain adds a distant, sweet graininess. A hint of white pepper seems to last all the way to the finish. Hardly any traditional wheat flavors are noted, other than a faint spiciness.
More complex, and enjoyable than other Spoetzl brews, and this ale does offer some complexity.
Enjoyable, and decently drinkable. Nice alternative to a Michelob.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice ruby-dark brown color, decent head. Weak aroma, slight sweetness, light floral scent. Possible citrus element? Medium mouthfeel. Moderate malt flavoring but kept in line with hops. Slight banana flavor, a little bite on the way down but not unpleasant. Decent brew, but certainly not the best winter ale I've had.

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Photo of winomark
2.63/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear meduim copper with a quickly fading light tan head.

Sweet malt dominates. Some mild hop bitterness present.

Slightly sour and sweet up front. Some phenolics show up in the short finish.

Fairly light. Carbonation seems to have total control. Some malt flavor and weight, but with a fleeting finish.

Wouldn't be my choice for a winter brew, but a worthy effort. Was glad to have at least tried it once. Try it at least once if you find it.

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Photo of elmocoso
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A deep mahogany when held to the light. Small off-white viel of lace across the top and a slight ring around the glass.

Smell is Sweet syrup malt with a fruit and sherry-like overtones. Almost a cloying sweetness.

Sweetness shows up in taste. I seem to get a dustiness in the flavor. not becoming. The rest is almost to sweet, but it seems almost appropriate for a winter ale.

mouth-feel is good, but overall this beer's qualities seemed unharmonious.

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Photo of BrewAskew
3.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Claims to be a dunkel weizen and sort-of lives up to that expectation. Pours to a amber-brown color with a low, tight head that slowly goes away. Aroma is mostly malty, caramel and a bit of "twizzlers candy" (what IS that?!) Flavor is a nice balanced mix of malt, alcohol and noble hops. Feels good in the mouth. Finishes malty and a bit sour. Not too bad.

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Photo of bditty187
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark red hue, the tiny off-white head faded very quickly to a sparse soapy collar. The color is impressive but the head quality lacks immensely. No lace. Clean nose, faint hints of spice, malty-dough but it is hallow, I’m indifferent. The first thing the palate says is “this is not a winter seasonal-type beer.” (The low abv is a good indication.) Do I downgrade for that? Maybe a little, but the taste, as a standalone entity, does not merit much praise. Clean with spiciness upfront, cloves too, some maltiness in the middle, a little nuttiness as well, light breadiness, a kiss of hops bitterness finishes this beer nicely. The aftertaste is clean aside from a hint of raisin-like fruitiness. The wheat is not discernable in the taste, it does seem to thin the mouthfeel but stiff carbonation masks this a tad. Well this is not as the label says, a “Bavarian Style Dunkelweizen” but a Dark American Wheat with a twist. Winter Ale is a solid offering especially considering some of the other lousy beers Spoetzl brews.

I paid $5.50 for a six-pack in Omaha, at that cost it is worth a try.

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Photo of Dubblebock
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Winter Ale is probably Shiner's most popular seasonal offering. It traditionally makes an appearance in most of the local stores sometime around late September/early October. It's pretty dependable from year to year, offering a very consistent and generally likeable beer. Shiner loads the label up with a lot of information on how the beer is brewed, even to the point of explaining and defining the Krausening process used in production. It's a nice touch.

The beer itself is good to look at. It pours with a healthy head, and exhibits a beautiful, dark amber coloring. Not much nose to speak of, but there are hints of grain and malts.

The taste is a little more bitter than it needs to be. You can really get a feel for the wheat in this beer, however. It has a VERY pronounced grain flavor, dominating the palate. Lightly hopped, it finishes a bit dry. The grains became even more pronounced about midway through the mug.

Average to slightly above average mouthfeel. A little bit lean and watery for such a grainy tasting beer. Drinkable in the end, though. This is a good beer to throw back on a cool, breezy evening, maybe with a nice plate of chicken wings.

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Shiner Winter Ale from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
3.31 out of 5 based on 42 ratings.
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