2° Below Winter Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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2° Below Winter Ale2° Below Winter Ale
1,224 Ratings
2° Below Winter Ale2° Below Winter Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,224 |  Reviews: 574
Photo of pgroove
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I gotta be honest; this beer is phenomenal. All joking aside, I haven't been this excited about a beer in a long while. I'm shocked actually that there are so many sour opinions out there. Maybe some bacteria got into the other batches or maybe everyone's just feeling pissy from the economy. I have no idea.

This is an EXTREMELY well balanced beer, with the perfect amount of bitterness to complement the strong malt content. The taste is truly unique and refreshing, but not overly bitter like most American winter brews (otherwise known as IPAs).

Someone below commented that this beer "doesn't know what it wants to be" because it doesn't fit neatly into one particular style. I hope that was a joke. Thank G-d some breweries out there are still pushing the envelope and breaking the rules.

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Photo of SuburbanDuke
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of JeffSuttonTX
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of niceonebro
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of mikennat
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of Finatic
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of BrewCaveDweller
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of captainbearcat
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of Xadoor
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is definitely one of the best tasting winter seasonals that I've tried so far this season. Aroma is lightly sweet and a little floral and fruity. Roasted caramel malt flavours to start but the bitterness from the hops slowly takes over. Finishes slightly dry. Higher alcohol is certainly noticeable in the affects, but not too detectable in the taste. Very well balanced. Certainly a beer that I could drink all night (and did). Definitely a must try if you haven't already.

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Photo of OriginalWayOut
4.99/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Auburn5
4.92/5  rDev +35.2%

Photo of ardy007
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of burnerfinger
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

good ole two degrees below:
God Bless new Belgium:

"poured from the 12 oz bottle into my New Belgium goblet"

A: bright amber - super clear - ish brew, white ish head that's not all that generous. Nice lacing.

S: nice malty background, hints of spicyness

T: love love love this flavor. stong malt but not too stong

M: perfect belnd of malt and abv

D: by the dozen. but dont guzzle so quick that you miss the superlative taste.

thanks a million to new Belgium for the buzz!!!
BTW: PROPS to my BROTHER Pat in California for letting me know this is a GREAT beer that packs a whollop. BRO-HEM!!!

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Photo of Norvelljeff
4.68/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Used to drinking this in my college town basement bar whenever it would drop into town.

87 characters

Photo of Takahiro
4.62/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: bright & amber with thick white foam

S: clean hop aroma, some fruity yeast

T: light caramel malt with clean and earthy hop flavor come together at first. Then fruitiness from yeast, which tastes little bit of not-so-sweet cantaloupe taste, follows. After that, a little bit of lingering bitterness from hops.

M: it is very smooth and light on palate

D: highly drinkable.

NOTE: This beer is very mellow and subtle, but carries lots of good character. It is NOT the sensory overloader like many craft beers out there. It has nice flavors and smell that interplay well together.

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Photo of HabaJohn
4.62/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was had on a trip to Colorado, very near Fort Collins. Exceptional hop malt combination with caramel and coffee. Balanced wonderfully with the alcohol . This dubbel has eluded me in my area. I've found other brews from New Belgium brewery.Buy some today..

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours luxurious amber with immense white head that retains exceptionally well. Head retention and aromatics go hand in hand, and this beer doesn't dissapoint.

Nose is a beautiful clean metallic with dark cherries, and a slight citrus bubble gum wrapper component. (reminds me of juicy fruit gum).

Palate offers a nice balance with malt and hops, again the cherry citrus flavors come through, nicely rounded, and it ends on a slightly sweet finish. Exceptionally drinkable, and quite refreshing. Very approachable too for those not fully invested in craft ales.

 562 characters

Photo of Riccymon
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a nice dark copper from the bottle with an impressive two fingers of tan head rising just above the lip of the pint glass. The brewery describes the hoppiness as bright, and I think that's a great description for what I get in the nose among a great deal of biscuity, nutty, New Belgium aroma. The taste is also malty and wheaty up front, with leafy hops and a bit of lemon and pepper in the finish. 2 Below has a pleasant, silky smooth texture, but does leave my mouth a bit dry after each sip. The balance, delicious flavors, and low ABV all combine to make this very, very drinkable, no matter the weather.

My favorite offering from New Belgium, and something to which I'll return each winter to come.

 713 characters

Photo of FrozenJoe
4.54/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

When I first started drinking this beer I thought it was just a hopped up version of Fat Tire. After drinking this beer some more I see that it is far more than that. This is a unique, high quality beer. Here follows my review:

Apperance: In one word, interesting. It is a strange color. I cannot really say I have seen another beer quite this color. It is like water that has made some pennies sitting in it for a few days, capped by froth that you see in the ocean where lots of waves have been breaking. The only reason I give it a 4 instead of a 5 is that the color is just a little weird.

Smell: Here is a much stronger batch of that "biscuit" aroma that Fat Tire is so well known for, but complex. An off sourdough aroma is present in it, like something that you would smell in a bakery just starting to bake sourdough dough in an oven. There is a slight effervescence that comes from the carbonation rising off of the surface of the beer.

Taste: Baked sourdough bread, with fruity hops. The hops turn the flavor in a way very similar to the flavor that rye imparts to bread. With the rye hop flavor mixed in this tastes like a fresh-baked rye sourdough bread. Nice.

Mouthfeel: This is basically a 4 class mouthfeel that gets dropped a notch because the strong hop flavor just doesn't sit too well with the rest of the flavor of the beer.

Drinkabaility: I gave it a 4 for a great beer that just has a few too many flaws to be a 5.

 1,441 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a real beauty shop. The head is thick, retentive, and clinging to the inside of the glass. The body is a heavy orange with a nice brownish tinge.

Smell - The malts here are very deep and rich. The yeasty base that underlies all good ESBs borders on perfection. This is more of an English-style nose but much more powerful.

Taste - This has a bit more caramel flavor than I predicted from the nose. It is rich and thick like the malt and yeast. There's little sweetness here, but what there is seems mostly like cane sugar. All of these characteristics work extremely well together in making an awesome flavor profile.

Mouthfeel - This is a big medium-bodied with some good bitterness that doesn't overextend itself. The mild carbonation fits perfectly with the flavors and body and the smooth buttery finish is awesome.

Drinkability - This was like velvet liquid. It was stiff enough to earn the ESB moniker yet easy enough to go down freely. It's probably one of the best-drinking ESBs that I've ever had.

 1,031 characters

Photo of geokills
4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This medium-bodied ale whiffs of a warm celler, pouring a crimson honey with a slightly off-white head settling into a velvet cloud atop this most beautiful and delicious brew. Lots of nice lacing, and the head sticks around for the whole party!

Upon the lips I am greeted with a very well balanced hop presence that melts into rich malt flavor. Just enough bite from the hops to let you know that this one is to be respected, but so utterly smooth and creamy that you could find me drinking on it all night. Even at 6.6% abv, 2 Below is managed so well that it makes an exceptional compliment to pert near anything - any meal, any lover, any day!

One of my favorite styles, certainly my favorite offering from New Belgium and truly one of my favorite ales altogether. I would highly recommend that you try some as soon as the opportunity strikes ye.

Thank you New Belgium!

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Photo of fijigus
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of Dcbelkot
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of beardownaz
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

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2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 1,224 ratings