Winter Brew | Sprecher Brewing Company

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Winter BrewWinter Brew

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.75%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2002

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 152
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours bright dark chestnut under a 1” light tan foam collar that provides decent lace. S: Malty nose with plum and raisin. T: Malt driven with light chocolate and roast and traces of dark dried fruit. Nothing harsh or burnt. F: Clean and smooth with a medium body and soft carbonation. O: A very drinkable bock.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L - Dark reddish-brown. Appears clear. Short, light-brown head. Not persistent.
S - Fairly strong malt. Caramel and coffee. Raisin.
T - Dark malts. Coffee most prominent. Dark chocolate and caramel, toast.

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Photo of jwc215
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a thin, lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of lightly toasted dark bread, medium-dark fruits and a hint of chocolate.

The taste is of dark bread, sweet dark malt balanced by earthy, spicy, slightly fruity hops in the clean, crisp, smooth finish.

A well-made, enjoyable, mildly warming yet easy-to-drink bock!

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Photo of DerekQXQX
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this right after visiting the Civil War Museum in Kenosha. So the taste of civil rights was lingering ever so slightly on my palate. They served this to us first thing upon starting the tour. It was good, but like the tour, it was short lived. If you like winter lagers, you might dig it.

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Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's probably over half a year old, so...

Pours an opaque dark chocolate with a slightly foamy, half inch, light khaki head that dissipates into a thick foam layer, leaving no lacing.

Nutty, buttery toffee, raisins, prunes, caramel, and toasted malt form the initial aroma. There's a hint of a sherry-like oxidation evident. Dark brown sugar and diacetyl surface as it warms.

Oxidation is more prevalent in the flavor, with cardboard dominating the initial sip. Raisins, nutty malt, and slightly vinous notes hit early. Diacetyl, burnt caramel, and toasted breadcrust round out the profile, becoming slightly bitter at the finish. Stale notes eventually are overtaken by fruity esters and malt complexity.

Body is moderate, with carbonation slightly on the low side, and a touch of alcohol warmth.

Didn't hold up in flavor as well as aroma, but still pretty complex and good melanoidin character. Would love to try one fresh.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 11/20/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, brown sugar, brown bread, light nuttiness, light roasted malt, floral, light pepper, and herbal earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity esters with light hops; very pleasant and inviting with solid strength. Taste of caramel, pear, apple, toast, brown bread, brown sugar, light nuttiness, floral, light pepper, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, light fruits, brown bread, light pepper, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a bit. Very nice balance of malt/hop flavors with light fruity esters; with a fair amount of robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with and a lightly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol i very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice bock. Good balance and robustness of malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of dhannes
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured straight from the refrigerator into a Sam Adams Perfect pint.

A=Darker brown...much darker than anticipated, and darker than most other bocks I've had, but still appealing. More golden than red. Nice three finger eggshell colored head that lasted around a minute.

S=Nice aroma of molasses, honey, and apples.

T=First taste reminded me a lot of black it warmed, a semi-sweet cocoa flavor emerged, but without bitterness. Much like their Black Bavarian, flavor profile is rather subdued.

M=Much less robust than I anticipated--more of a session beer. Carbonation was present at first, but less noticeable later on.

O=Not really strong or bitter enough for a bock profile, but more of a light-bodied brown ale. Flavor and body are enough for a decent session ale...I might buy again or try on tap.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

A. Dark brown in color with reddish highlights around the edges and a very short-lived disappearing head

S,T. Mild brown sugar and medium levels of toasted bread and multiple varieties of nuttiness, very faint levels of milk chocolate and grassy noble hops. A very small amount of cardboard oxidation is present but remains manageable.

M. Medium-heavy thickness and somewhat lacking carbonation levels.

Seems sort of flat and

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down, leaving lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface and a thin but dense ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell has light aromas of brown bread, caramel, raisins and toffee; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some hints of sweetness. No hop bitterness is discernible, although prevent any cloying sweetness from becoming apparent.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice easy drinking beer in the style that has a nice amount of flavors but isn’t that full-bodied. It’s a good choice if you are looking for something that is malty but not that filling.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beertopia in Omaha, NE
"113211050" stamped on bottle...figure that one out
Poured into a standard US pint glass

Sprecher has a solid Bock with their Winter Brew, focusing on toasted and nutty flavors with some chocolate and coffee in the far background. Hops are barely discernible, as for the style. Generally, I could be satisfied with this brew for the winter, alongside Schell's bock.

Pours a nice, light tan head composed of medium and large bubbles, creating a sponge-like head that's about 2cm high. Declines, over time, to a permanent 0.5cm cap atop the body. Leaves some fairly good lacing and spots of foam along glass sides with each sip. Body is a dark amber hue both in and out of the light, mineral brown with a reddish tinge.

Aromas are of toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts) and equally toasted and caramel malts with mild chocolate and mocha scents that appear more as the beer warms. This is good, somewhat like a milder version of the Schell's Bock from this year.

Taste includes some pleasant toasted nut flavors, toasted malt, caramel malt, slight syrupy sweetness, chocolate malt, very mild noble hop bitterness, but it's there in the finish attached to more noticeable roasted, slightly toasted malt flavors.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy bodied with slightly below medium-level carbonation. Resultant mouthfeel is clean and generally smooth flowing, the beer foaming up just slightly on the palate. The lower carbonation actually fits this beer, as it is something to roll around on the palate and not drink quickly.

 1,566 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great ruby color, good bubbling and even a little lacing. The head is two fingers thick and recedes to a thick film of foam for all sixteen ounces.

Sweet, heavily toasted mlats with some yeast notes that bring out the sweet toasty to light roasty aromas of the malts. Plums and thick wheat bread crust. There is a dry element too that I can't put my finger on.

Sweet thick crusted bread with a spritz of plum or prune jelly. Yeasty, malty, toasty, and lightly roasted. This beer comes together well, but with a dry finish. Easy to drink one after the other. Pitty I have to wait till Winter to buy this again.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 11/20/11 Tasting Notes.

Poured out of a 16oz bottle into a pint glass.

A) Fairly deep brown with nice red highlights. A thick looking inch of off white head. Decent head retention and some spotty lacing.

S) Sweet caramel, light chocolate, slightly burnt aroma.

T) Mostly malt initially, pretty sweet, a little nutty, generic chocolate muffin, light hops, tad burnt.

M) Medium body with moderate carbonation, not too smooth, didn't care for the aftertaste in particular.

O) This was okay.... As far as winter brews are concerned, I will look for some other options, before I head back to this one.

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Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Riley's in Madison. Pours a mildly thick broth. It did have some bulk to the mouthfeel, a tad sour rather than bitter, though hops shine at end. Initially tasty bock with complex malt and then drinkability elapsed as I found it far from complex. Carbonation a tad aggressive.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to O'Malley for stopping by with a couple of Sprecher seasonal offerings.

Pours a dark amber hue with ruby flarings and an impressive, off-white head with marginal retention.

Aromas of chocolate and caramel malts. A hint of candied fruit.

Robust malt character, the result of a flavorful blend of dark roasted, sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Hop bitterness surfaces but doesn't obstruct the malt dominance. Suggestions of sour cherries. A touch of brown sugar emerges. Rich and full bodied. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Finishes dry with a kiss of cocoa powder.

Winter Brew is a highly acclaimed Munich-style Dunkel Bock that lives up to its local reputation.

 675 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of roasted flavors in a dark beer.

Very white head on a red-brown ale. Quite full of toasted and browned malt. A little of the burnt toast but not much of the usual raisin and dried fruit of a winter ale. Light body with a sharpness to it. Pleasant and drinkable, but more of a dark lager than what you'd expect in what most would call a winter beer. I think dark Bock describes it. Hints of malt and even a faint sweetness as it warms.

Tastes stronger than it is. They should make this into an even lower alcohol beer with so much flavor. Found this one far from home in Asheville at the great Bruisin' Ales.

 617 characters

Photo of Lemke10
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $1.79 in early 2011.

Pours a very dark amber color with a rather fast diminishing head. Has a heavy cocoa scent. Upon tasting there is a heavy taste of robust malts mixed with carmel and a coffee taste. Definetly a very heavy Bock that almost borderlines a Stout like taste. Not anything you will be able to drink fast. This beer has to be enjoyed slowly.

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

This brew is a very dark reddish-brown, essentially a medium brown with all kinds of red highlights filling it, not just around the edges. It forms a pretty nice head about 2 fingers high that have moderate to good retention as well as moderate to good lacing, both in thickness and quantity.
There's a simple caramel malt backing to this one and just a touch of balancing hops. It doesn't really have the strength or complexity to reach good while kicking it up a notch above average.
The taste is the same, though a fairly sturdy hops bill does come through. It tends to take away from the balance, though, and the caramel malt and the other malts aren't permitted to form the backbone to carry it as they should. There's a roastiness that comes through and then it goes a bit too sweet. As far as the hops profile goes, it is a fairly unusual one, which isn't a bad thing. All in all it seems like a good thing with some nice complexity that just doesn't mingle properly.
The body is medium and begins with a little nip of crispness and attempts to work into a smooth feel, but doesn't quite reach it. Carbonation is moderate.
I'm glad this showed up in my market to give it a try, but if I want a winter-specific beer to warm myself by, I'll pick another first.

 1,265 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a murky brown color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, perfume, and more caramel. This is a very German aroma. The taste is full of caramel and toffee. It is flavorful, but lacks true depth. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, and cloyingly sticky. Carbonation is mild. Overall, this is a nice bock, but there are better examples out there that I would turn to before trying this beer again.

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Photo of merlin48
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a dark brown body that has a radiant ruby glow when held to light. Tall beige head deposits some creamy sheets of lace.

Aroma is lame. Hints of toffee and spicy hops but not much here.

Mouthfeel has a nice creaminess upon a medium body and carbonation.

A pretty nice bock. Toasty and roasty malts evince some caramel and nuttiness. Earthy hop bitterness balances. A subtle note of dark roasty malt bitterness jumps in at the end.

Sprecher does an excellent job crafting German lager styles and this one is no exception.

 536 characters

Photo of cjacobsen
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerFMAndy for snaggin a bottle of this for me.

Pours a dark brown with slight haze when held up to the light. Slight stone colored head that leaves quickly.

Smells like biscuit, slight dark fruits, some licorice, and a hint of spice.

Tastes like a spiced dubbel. Brown nuts and raisin float around in the flavor. Roasted malts.

The its got a grainy sense to it but it also has a smooth finish...right.

I have always liked this beer. Quite a good winter beer that I wish I could get my hands on more often when the season rolls around.

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Photo of Dalgren
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer! One of my favorite Christmas gifts

Poured into a pint glass.

A) Pours with a thick light beige creamy head that dissipates to light lacing around the edge of glass. The beer is dark brown and is nearly translucent in the light.

S) Caramel, sweet and nutty.

T) Sweet, molasses, coffee, chocolate, roasted nuts and maybe a hint of ginger.

M) Medium body. With a slight linger of sweetness

D) A pretty decent brew. I could drink one or two after a meal. Not my first choice but it was a nice change of pace.

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Photo of u2carew
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16oz twist off - aww yeah!
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Beige in color. Tight and creamy lacing. Brown body with reddish hues.
S) Slightly smoky. Caramel. Grainy.
T) Bold malt up front. Nutty. Caramel. Dry grain notes.
M) Fizzy. Medium body. Dry in the finish.
D) A good brew. I might not always come back for a second one.

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Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. bottle served in pint glass

A = pours a nearly opaque but clear mahogany with a medium level of tan head.

T - toasted malt; chocolate

M - soft and smooth; medium body

This winter brew lacks the "holiday spices"; something many beer aficionados will be pleased to find. No faults detected, but somewhat lacking in interest.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep ruby brown with a sizable head. Lots of lacing.

S - Clean lager smell (saaz hops) with a sweet and malty on top of that, and a hint of toasted walnuts.

T - Sweet and lightly nutty malt with a aftertaste is a mild bitter overshadowed by the lingering sweetness.

M - Smooth, medium body, pretty refreshing.

D - Not bad, it tasted alright, but failed to be really impressive in any way. I wasn't disappointed, but I can't think of any reason why I would drink it again.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a dark brown nearing black with red edges. About one finger of beige head fades quickly and leaves a tiny lace ring.

The aroma has a nice roast malt tone. Caramel and light coffee come through as well.

The flavor is fairly heavy on the smoke character which I was a bit surprised by. I love it though. Hints of coffee and sweet sugary malt round out the finish.

Medium body with light carbonation.

Overall the smoke tone was a pleasant surprise. A very nice bock.

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Winter Brew from Sprecher Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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