Winter Lager
Sprecher Brewing Company

Winter LagerWinter Lager
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Lager - Munich Dunkel
Ranked #44
Ranked #27,167
3.81 | pDev: 12.07%
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
Winter LagerWinter Lager
Notes: Few things accompany long winter nights as well as this Munich-style Dunkel Bock.
Savor our brewmaster’s enticing blend of dark roasted and sweet caramel malts. Capped by an oatmeal-colored head, the rich flavors of this Bavarian-style lager make it the perfect selection for long winter nights.

Randy's Notes: “Winter brew is a Munich style dunkel bock of much repute among those who know us best. It has won the World Beer Cup, Gold and Bronze medals.”

Degrees Plato (Initial Gravity): 14.5P
Weeks Aged: 8
Year First Brewed: 1986
Serving Temperature: 50°
Malts: Black Patent, Caramel, Chocolate, Pale
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, Mt. Hood, Tettnanger
Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 168 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A very distinctive 16 fluid ounce squat, short necked, yet larger than normal brown glass bottle. The label has the usual Teutonic looking Coat of Arms and the word Sprecher in Germanic font. This is repeated in the bulge of the neck, where the word ‘Sprecher’ in raised lettering is molded into the bottle at two locations, has a color-coded twist crown cap. Metallic blue neck label has the words ‘Winter Brew’ on it with some additional explanation of the brew. No strength listed and the Packaged Date on the neck makes no sense at all, ‘15125 43140909’ !?!

Appearance: Dark brown body with finely attenuated conditioning that produces a smooth looking light tan head that soon breaks down to reveal a broken covering that limps along. Thankfully a top up of the remaining contents in the bottle helps to produce a much better offering second time around. The head stays at a close ¼” thick cap but eventually collapses again to nothing. Average carbonation levels.

Nose: Malty-malts, thick dark bonfire toffee and caramelized white sugar in the aromas. Occasionally the three main aromas are supplemented with a dark fruit odor, but this is fleeting and come and goes – is it plums that I get?!?

Taste: Much as the nose, the tastes are predominantly taken over by the Big Three; Malts, Toffee and Caramel. In addition to this, there is a crushed brown sugar sweetness in the beginning that makes way for a crisp malty-bitterness in the back end.

Mouthfeel: Above average feel at the start but finishes with a limp twist and can feel lacking in the swallow for some reason. This aspect did seem to rescind when the brew warmed though.

Drinkability: A solid brew and a jolly decent libation that goes down well. No trouble with this at all, but the crushed brown sugar aspect started to distract after a while and I just wish it had a little larger feel in the mouth at times. Decent brew though and oh so easy to quaff.

Overall: I find the Sprecher offerings that I have tried so far to be all solid above average brews, this is no exception. I’m not the biggest fan of German beers, but I enjoyed this one.

Thanks go to MinnesotaHuge for this Spretzer Seasonal Winter Brew. Sehr Gut Sir!!

Jan 19, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of imperialking
imperialking from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Mar 15, 2012
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dbtoe from Wisconsin

3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 oz poured into a chalice

Look a medium darkish brown body with hardly any head.

Smell is malt and slight bitter chocolate

Taste some bitter chocolate malt, something very slightly sweet, and some sourness

Feel this was on the thin side, watery.

Drink fairly drinkable but nothing I'm going to look for. Not bad but on the week side for a bock I think.

Comment got 2 of these in a sample pack. Not one I'm going to seek out and buy.

Sep 13, 2008
Photo of Cthulhu
Cthulhu from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +5%

Dec 23, 2012
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nick76 from Florida

2.85/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is brown with a smaller head. The aroma is malty with toasted malt, coffee, paper, pine hops, and brown sugar. The taste is just like the aroma but more bitter than I was expecting. The palate is too thin. Overall it's definitely driunkable but not enjoyable.

Dec 11, 2008
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atone315 from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Jan 17, 2013
Photo of bismarksays
bismarksays from Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Apr 14, 2014
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u2carew from Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Dec 25, 2010
Photo of German-Helles
German-Helles from Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 12oz. bottle poured into a 20oz. weizen glass. This beer is a sexy cola color with hints of ruby when held up to the light. There is a very nice two finger head of thick fluffy tan foam. The foam receded slowly to about an eighth of an inch with nice heavy lacing left behind. The beer is very dark so it is hard to observe the carbonation.
The aroma is sweet and malty, true to the style.
The flavor starts with the dry coffee notes, similar to an oak flavor, then there are the sweet chocolate flavors, with a slight bitter finish.
This beer has a smooth creamy feel with the slight dry finish.
Very well done, I look forward to sampling these!

Mar 22, 2020
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SpdKilz from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark brown/ruby with about a inch of white head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal lacing.

Smell - Smell of spices, roasted malts, and a hint of chocolate. There is also light hop smells.

Taste - A nutty, roasted malt flavor that is followed by caramel. A slight bitterness follows with just a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and a creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability - One and I'm done. Maybe I am over spiced beers for the Christmas season, but it was a bit difficult to finish this up.

Jan 06, 2010
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jdkitchi from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Jul 02, 2013
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capra12 from New York

3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed solo on 8/1/09.

Appearance: dark brown with little head retnetion.

Smell; dark fruits, roasted malts.

Taste:opens earthy with dark fruit and malty flavors in the middle and a earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: light bodied with a good amount of carbonation and no lingering alcohol or hop aftertaste.

Drinkability: decent I would definitely have another on a night where I want a light beer.

Aug 02, 2009
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wattoclone from California

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Sep 12, 2012
Photo of Gotti311
Gotti311 from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 30, 2015
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. Picked up from the Sprecher Brewery Saturday. 5.75% ABV, 09309 (Nov. 4th)

A - The tall and quiet pour resulted in a low off-white head with low retention. A ring floated above a deep brown amber color reminiscent of dark wood paneling in a gentleman's study.

S - Toasted malts about with complex notes of cocoa and milk chocolate, toasted bread, and a very light smoky coffee hint. A very mild hop presence comes across the finish.

T - Rich toasted malts have immediate prominence while they assert their cocoa, chocolate, and smoky coffee flavors. The biscuity bread notes swirl around the hop flavor that seemingly tries battling for attention. A caramel sweetness lingers in the finish.

M - The mouthfeel is full-bodied and robust while maintaining the smooth, creamy characteristics of a good lager. Dry hints throughout end in conjunction with a nice malty sweetness.

D - A wonderful winter warmer that provides a good, smooth full body without the large alcohol presence most others carry. A very good beer, especially this fresh! I expect it to be one of my favorites this season!

Nov 17, 2009
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mactrail from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -5%
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.

Mar 17, 2011
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander from Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz. bottle poured into my Duvel glass. Bottled sometime in very early 2009.

(A)- Pours a dark brown with a huge foam head that had basic retention of tan foam.

(S)- Its got a burnt caramel smell. Kinda musky with some kind of berry aroma.

(T)- Caramelized molasses with some unsweeted maple syrup (if thats possible). Good roasted malts with a muted sweetness.

(M)- A light-bodied Bock but with full-bodied flavors, so I guess that would make it a medium bodied brew lol. Good carbonation level. Its got a pretty good balance of sweet & roasted components.

(D)- At 5.75% abv, the 4 pks would be a welcome sight in any fridge. A better fall brew than a winter one in my opinion, but still enjoyable nonetheless. I also think this would be much better fresher, cause this kinda old considering its a winter seasonal . . . I plan on re-reviewing it when winter comes around again.

Jul 07, 2009
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Punkrckr281 from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Jan 15, 2013
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beerwolf77 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Apr 19, 2010
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arkurzynski from Wisconsin

3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber brown with thin tan head. Nose is a bit medicinal/cough syrupy but also hints of roasted malt and brown sugar. Taste is largely chocolate malts with mild sweetness. Low in hopping as expected, but a slight bitter aftertaste, likely fromt the roasted malts. Decent palate presence with a light fizz on the tongue. Overall enjoyable, just not one of my top Sprecher brews.

Nov 30, 2009
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OriolesFan1008 from Maryland

3/5  rDev -21.3%

Jun 07, 2012
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Hoppy27 from New Hampshire

3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 12-oz bottle poured into a room-temperature pint glass. Beautiful dark maroon/ruby color when held up to a light. Thin head dissipated very quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S: Toasty, earthy, dark smell. Caramel, black cherry, slightly burnt brown sugar. Nice aroma.

T: Malty start, malty/hoppy balanced finish.

M: Very nice velvet feel.

D: A good fall/winter beer. I could drink a few of these. Seasonally appropriate flavors/ABV/textures for a winter beer.

Nov 19, 2009
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

Jun 05, 2013
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Vonstein15 from Ohio

4/5  rDev +5%

Nov 13, 2012
Photo of murraymj
murraymj from Ohio

4/5  rDev +5%

Nov 20, 2011
Winter Lager from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 168 ratings