Shiner Winter Ale | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Shiner Winter AleShiner Winter Ale
42 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 32
Reviews by beerceller99:
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.36/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz twist off brown long neck bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Bold ruby red brownish hue with a fluffy off white frothed milk like head that leaves sticky patches all the way down the glass.

Smell: Clean aroma of a spicy clove with an even keel maltiness and mellow fruitiness that vaguely resembles bananas and apple skin.

Taste: Sturdy medium body with a well structured smooth crispness and moderate carbonation, fruitiness of apple skin and vague banana is secondary to the maltiness and its drying graininess from the black malt. Hops provide little which is par for this style, just a hint of bitterness and spicy flavour. Pumpernickel bread comes to mind from the clean fermented wheat and the roasted malts. Indistinct caramel and carob flavours give the run around while the slowly growing astringent graininess gains ground. Bitterness is close to a perfect level and does not get in the way. Clean the mouth with a relatively dry side that gets more intense in the finish.

Notes: Nice twist on the German dunkel-weizen style but certainly an this is an American dark wheat. Clean and refreshing, malty and flavourful.

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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 valkyre65
3/5  rDev -9.4%

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 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 DOCRW
3/5  rDev -9.4%

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 TheDrunkGnoll
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

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 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 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 Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Pegasus
3.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Crystal-clear reddish brown color with a very thick tan head which lingers, lots of thick, sticky lace and modest carbonation.

Aroma: Wheat malt, spices, and fruit notes are prominent.

Taste: Toffee and dark fruit notes open the flavor, soon followed by subdued hints of fruit and spices. Very substantial malt flavors underlie the taste throughout. There is a flush of brown sugar at the finish, as well as a surge of mild but lingering herbal hop bitterness. The finish is slightly dry.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fairly full, soft on the palate, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: One of Shiner's best beers, along with the underrated Hefeweizen. Far and away better than the ubiquitous Bock and Blonde and a pleasingly complex winter beer.

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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 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 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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Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of klmcmachen
4/5  rDev +20.8%

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

Brown with tan head that dissapeared. Slightly roasty, spicy, and malty on the nose. Biitter when it hits the tongue but some sweet follows. The wheatiness I was expecting was a bit light but it worked well enough.

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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 TXHops
2.24/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed Winter, 1998. Re-tasted since, with similar results...

-Dunkle Weizen

Deep, deep, dark red color with a pretty nice, medium-sized-bubbled head of foam that eventually disappears entirely without a trace of head. Roasty, syrupy aroma.

Sweet then bitter, without balance or complexity. More burnt than hoppy.

This is not a good beer. Then again, I've yet to try a good Shiner beer, though Shiner Winter rivals Shiner Honey Wheat for "best of the worst". Surprisingly, this "Bavarian-style dunkleweizen" has nice glass appeal. It's dark red body and initially pretty head start out appealing. The first clue comes in the aroma. Slightly alcoholic and very syrupy in the nose, I can't make out any hops, malt, wheat or yeast, though a touch of grain might be discernable. Almost painfully effervescent, Shiner Winter is also devoid of balance. The roasted flavor seems to be more chemically than actually roasted. Although Shiner Winter makes proud claims of krausening their winter product, they make no mention of their ingredients, which taste more like cereal adjuncts than malted barley. A distinct dark corn syrup flavor dominates the thinnish body and the unpleasant bitterness in the overwhelmingly-long finish tastes totally unhoppy: almost as if the bitterness is also created by a chemical additive, or burned corn .

A truly unimpressive beer with poor balance, no complexity and bad flavors. Shiner beers rival Zeigen Bock as the worst beers brewed for Texans, who still seem content to tolerate highly carbonated, highly adjuncted beers with little flavor. In my state's defense, I have to say that Shiner Bock and Zeigen Bock (odd that neither of these beers are really bocks,) are both more flavorful than any mass-produced lite beer, and certainly more flavorful than the undisputed king of distribution and marketing…

Skip this one...

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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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Photo of Danobold
3/5  rDev -9.4%

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Shiner Winter Ale from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.31 out of 5 with 42 ratings