Winter Solstice | Indigo Imp Brewery

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Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice

Brewed by:
Indigo Imp Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mistofminn on 12-23-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 46
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had all the Indigo Imp brews, and this is probably my second favorite of their current four offerings. This is their winter seasonal.

A: Pours a brownish amber color. Very murky and cloudy. Head is rather minimal. You can hear the carbonation fizzing.

S/T: The aroma is very subtle. Its hard to pick out specific smells, but overall it is sweet, and somewhat fruity. Taste is very clean and crisp with little to no aftertaste. Its sweet and sour at the same time. A decent amount of fruit in the flavor. The orange peel does come through. Maybe a touch of apple as well. Slight champagne character. Not really picking up on the cinnamon, however. Its an okay beer, but nothing great.

M/D: Mouthfeel is overly fizzy and bubbly. A little too much carbonation. Finishes very clean with no aftertaste. Drinks rather easily. I remember this one being more sticky and intense last year.

Not a bad beer, but far from other excellent Ohio winter seasonals. Other than the Gatekeeper, this is the best beer in their lineup. Worth a shot.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one as an extra recently. I had never heard of it before, but needless to say the waxed cap look of it was outstanding to say the least! Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/28/2009.
The pour was the best part with a nice orange tinted light amber. Lots of carbonation was apparent in this one right away as it worked its way up to the top creating a nearly perfect looking head of white that lasted for a few brief moments before settling back down into a bare top with some light lacing along the sides and the bottom of the glass. The aroma was light and very different from what I was expecting to see to be honest. Light apricot and spice notes were prevalent here for sure. But as it warmed the aroma faded to next to nothing which was a little bit off putting. As I went in for the taste I experienced the same thing, Light fruit notes that were pitted against a light cinnamon spice. It was akin to a winter warmer but much, much lighter. Very light feels on this one as well as the carbonation which were both again very light. An easy drinker but to be honest I am not sure why I would want to have more then one glass,
Overall it was decent, just not my thing. If bottle looks were any indication on the overall results this thing would be tremendous, but otherwise it was just an average, lack luster beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Rich cherry red with bright orange edges. A generous amount of fine carbonation isn't up to the task of maintaining the fizzy crown for long. The foam is harsh and unsticky, which leaves the glass almost spotless. Other than a fantastic hue, there's nothing impressive about the appearance.

The aroma is sour, as expected. Otherwise, Winter Solstice doesn't smell much like a winter warmer/holiday ale. The Cascade hops are nonexistent and the orange peel and cinnamon are barely noted, if at all. The beer has some serious work to do on the taste buds.

I'm not feeling it. WS tastes like a caramel malted sour beer with a generic spiciness. It's a mishmash of flavors that doesn't come together well at all, not even with warming. It isn't horrible beer, but neither is it delicious, complex or interesting beer.

Far be it from me to give advice to a brewer, because I don't know the first thing about the business. Having said that... I think this whole wild yeast thing is the wrong tack to take. First, it isn't resulting in good beer. Second, it's hard to believe that sales are very high for beer of this sort, especially with a world-class outfit like Great Lakes in town.

Bottom line: different can be good, but it has to be *good* different. And it isn't in this case. Flavors include heavily toasted-earthy-nutty malt, steely caramel, sour-rancid fruit and a finishing tang of orange peel. There's very little cinnamon, which is probably just as well.

The mouthfeel is nowhere near where it should be for a winter seasonal. It's too thin and the bubbles are harsh and fizzy rather than soft and caressing. Bottle-conditioning might not be the right choice, unless it can be improved upon in future releases.

I would like nothing more than to see a new craft brewery succeed in my former home of Cleveland, Ohio. Unless some serious changes are made, though, I don't see Indigo Imp going the distance. Hopefully, I'll be proven wrong.

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Photo of AltBock
2.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle that was sealed with blue wax. In every Indigo Imp six pack, there is one of these wax sealed bottles. I believe it's more of a gimmick than anything else. The label depicts an Imp wearing a blue and white scarf sitting on top of a snow falling Winter scene. This Winter scene has the name of the beer covered in snow. To the left of picture is the Government warning and to the right of the picture is a description of the beer, information about the brewery, proper serving temp, and pouring instructions. The only piece of info missing is some kind of best before date.

When poured into a Bell's Brewery pint glass, "Winter Solstice" was an overly carbonated murky apple cider brown color with a fizzy 1/4 of inch tan colored head of foam. Despite its small size, it actually had decent retention that left behind a crescent moon shaped skim of foam and a few spots of lace around the glass. If you took off the head of foam, you could easily pass this beer off as apple cider. Well, that is if you only look at it from a short distance.

This beer loved the spices! There were so many that it would take forever to write them all out, so I'll just give you a small sample. The most notable spices were allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In between all the spices was the strong scent of orange peel. I've never had a beer before that was so into the orange peel. If you're lucky, you might get a subtle whiff of toasted malts somewhere near the tail end of the aroma.

To me, this beer tasted like they replaced the malts and hops with orange peel and spices. It was just a spicy beer. The taste was exactly like the aroma, it was spicy with allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then stuck in the gaps of all the spices, was a ton of orange peel. I couldn't see how the taste of hops would improve the taste any, but certainly the appearance of malts would have done the taste a little justice. Tone down the spices and orange peel and add a touch of malt.

All the spices and orange peel in the taste made for a medium bodied beer. This medium bodied beer had a, you guessed it, spicy aftertaste filled with nothing but spices and orange peel.

As you can tell for my words, I didn't care much for this beer. It was way too spicy and it contained far too much orange peel. Even though it had a wax seal, I fully doubt this beer will age very well. Drink it fresh to get it out of your life. Hopefully this beer is a winter seasonal because there's no way a mediocre spicy beer could sell very well in the Spring and Summer months.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
2.76/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams beer glass at fridge temperatures.

A: Pours a murky light brown with significant chill haze (yes, I carefully decanted off the yeast). Formed a nice head that settles to a tight cap and follows the beer down the glass. No lacing.

S: Spice and orange peel are strongly present, with cinnamon in particular being evident.

T: The beer presents first somewhat like a wit, with notes of orange peel and spice and lots of spritzy carbonation. Some vanilla seems to be in there too. I don't get too much more than the spices, though, although some graininess is detectable toward the finish. There is no hops presence.

M: Very light and spritzy, which is quite odd in a winter warmer.

D: On a cold winter night, this isn't really what I would usually select. With the spices, I think one is plenty.

Overall: I really, really wanted to like this beer. The brewery, which is local to me, says on its website that it brews in open fermenters and bottle conditions. I LOVE that! Unfortunately, this beer is way out of style. Maybe I was expecting a typical "winter warmer" and shouldn't have, but that's how the beer is marketed. The body is too light, the carbonation is too high, and the spices could be more subtle. The chill haze is a shame too; I don't filter the beer I make in my basement, and I manage to get it much clearer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy, brown body with a small head that quickly fizzles away.

Smell: Tart-scented nose with notes of caramel, citrus, and dull, earthy spices.

Taste: Amalgamation of dusty caramel maltiness and an obstinate tartness. Subtle hints of spice, fruit, and citrus can be found amongst the overall taste flavor. Light hop bitterness. Finishes predictably tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonated.

Drinkability: Ok, listen up, so Indigo Imp beers are fermented in open fermentation tanks allowing for all sorts of wild yeasts (and imps) to permeate the final beer. That explains alot. Personally, I'd prefer the bottles to more clearly state this fact, as there's a mighty fine line between "intentional" and "oops!"

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Photo of imaguitargod
3.45/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OH OH OH!!!! A new brewery in Cleveland has shown up! Pours to a medium small head which dissipated pretty quickly and there's a ton of sediment in the bottom of this one (probably would age quite well based on that fact). Whoa! A ton of spices shows up immediately on the first sip along with honey. No hop presence at all. This almost tastes too young and I think it will calm down quite a bit if aged for a month.

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of Mistofminn
3.85/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Visiting family in Ohio for the holidays. Someone stopped at Heinen's (I think that was what it was called) and picked up a sixer of Indigo Imp Winter Solstice.

The first thing you notice is that 1 random bottle is covered in wax! Is this for novelty or do they really want you to let this one age? I can't answer that question, but the website says "There's a little Imp in everyone but sometimes one stands out. Are you an Imp?" Doesn't answer my question.

This beer has a deep amber color, with thick white head and lacing that lasts the entire drink. Aroma is of malts (roasted?) and a slight hop bitterness. There is also a citrus scent but a faint one at that. Taste is malts and spice, maybe cinnamon or something to that effect. There is that citrus again. This beer is full bodied. Great balance and very impressive brew. I could easily down the sixer if I wasn't so afraid to open the one covered in wax.

There is a little bit of brewers yeast in the bottle, forgot to mention that. It's also unpasteurized.

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Winter Solstice from Indigo Imp Brewery
2.99 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
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