Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
BA SCORE
71.4%
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 1,810 ratings
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
avbc.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.

Added by maxpower on 11-18-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#8,092
Reviews:
732
Ratings:
1,810
Liked:
1,292
Avg:
3.87/5
pDev:
13.95%
Alströms:
4.24
 
 
Wants:
71
Gots:
255
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,810 |  Reviews: 732
Reviews by Blargimus:
Photo of Blargimus
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. For the life of me, I cannot find a bottling date on this bottle, but it's a winter seasonal so it's either 6 months or 18 months old.

Pours a very hazy brown, maybe a finger of white head that fades very quickly.

Very sweet smell, maple syrup and graham cracker. A hint of nuttiness. No hop smell, but that might be due to age.

Taste is also quite sweet. Heavier on the nuttiness, lighter on the graham cracker. More bitterness than I expected, but not real hoppiness.

Pretty thick for a brown ale, and creamy level of carbonation.

At 6 months old, this is solid. I'd like to try it a little fresher.

 643 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful clear amber with slow rising carbonation and one finger of light tan head. Head dissipated pretty quickly; not much lacing.

S - Caramel malt and a sweet spiciness. Has aromas of grain and a a faint cream soda aroma as well.

T - Sweet and bread malt up front, again with a slight cream soda taste. Spices (slight pepper and some cinnamon) are present but pretty subdued, becoming a bit more pronounced on the finish. Enjoyable.

M - Medium mouthfeel has a slight stickiness to it.

O - This is an enjoyable and easy drinking winter warmer. Doesn't over do it with the spices, though there is a spice presence. I would get this again.

 656 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange-amber color with 80% opacity. A full 1/2 finger of head with a nice frothy top layer.

Aromas of caramel, brown bread, and spices. A little on the weak side but I get the idea.

Flavor is very caramel forward, almost like caramel rolls. Nice bready undertones, with hints of pine here and there. Molasses and licorice compliment the overall profile. Brown bread finish.

Feel is creamy and just right on the carbonation. A slight dryness that evaporates immediately as soon as it appears.

Overall this beer is pretty fantastic, even several months later. I like it a lot and would buy it again.

 604 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this beer in my stash for a while as I traded for it quite a few months ago. It's not often that I have seasonals anymore as I tend to think that most are quite gimmicky but this one was pleasantly enjoyable and a nice surprise that stood out to me. The fact that this put a smile on my face months after the season that this was intended for was proof of how nicely this was crafted and the timeless nature of it. It's not often that I can enjoy a winter beer in the middle of the summer heat!

Nice pour to this as the mahogany hue and tan head were reminiscent of an Octoberfest or a seasonally-appropriate Marzen beer. The foam settled a bit faster than I would have liked but lingered in the form of thin but copious amounts of rings around the side of my pint glass. The liquid was on par with the lacing as the caramel and apple shone through in the nose and never backed down. Very little spice that would be present in a Winter Warmer was present here as this felt more like a Brown Ale with a copious amount of caramel and nut thrown in food good measure. Apple, pear, hazelnut, and almond were all here to go with caramel malt and some light toffee, topped off with some cream to give this sweetness. This wasn't strong either, when it came to the amount of booze, body, or carbonation as the flavors were allowed to linger long after the liquid went down.

While not a session beer, it would be incredibly easy to have another one of these after finishing off an initial bottle. It's not often that something comes along that surprises me and given that most of what I drink is now out of cans, it takes a lot for a bottle to leave this kind of impression on me. This did it and next year, I'll be reaching for one of these, and you should too! It's great for the winter solstice but nicely crafted for the rest of the year, with plenty to enjoy for any level of imbiber. Nice job all-around!

 1,908 characters

Photo of BradMacMullin
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

My friend Mike Sondel recommended this. Mike has the taste buds of a hammer. Why do I listen to him. This is another beer I repeatedly get and don't like. It tastes metallic and odd to me - but enough of the positives. Note to self. Don't order this, and get new friends

 276 characters

Photo of oberon
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have waited quite awhile to try this beer but I was pretty let down flavor-wise anyways.Poured a deep rich aber with a tight well formed almond one finger head that settled nicely into a creamy mass.Xmas aromas going on I picked up some vanilla and caramel with lighter notes of cinnamon and brown sugar,I honestly thought I was drinking a sharp cream soda just way to much vanilla-like flavors it overpowered any other flavor really from coming thru.It got to be cloying half way thru and my wife finished it.wow this beer has everything going for it except flavor in my opinion and is way to pricey,I will not seek this out again.

 634 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This beer is just gorgeous. It is bright, ruby brown in color with a full, thick, retentive head.

Smell – The dark, Winter Warmer malts give this one a nice aroma. I can also pick up some good, fruity sugars and a light hop compliment.

Taste – The malt and light hop mix turn nutty at the taste. The fruits are there, albeit very light, but it’s this nutty flavor that seemed to come out of nowhere that is dominating the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This light to medium-bodied ale was a bit thin for the flavors.

Drinkability – This wasn’t a bad offering by Anderson Valley, it was just a little off and a bit light in the ass.

 660 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Does anyone remember cattail candy? When I was a kid I used to get this stuff from old people and I always hated it. Cattails consisted of caramel on a stick, which made them look a lot like nature’s cattails and they were slightly vanilla flavored. Well, Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice tastes remarkably similar to cattail candy.

I have to give this brewery props for uniqueness. I have never quite tasted a beer like this. It is supremely rich and tastes strongly of sticky candied caramel and the syrup they add to vanilla flavored vodka. Unfortunately, I don’t care for the flavor much but I could definitely see others relishing in this beer.

The appearance and mouthfeel are both tremendous. The beer is immensely smooth and creamy despite violent swirls of carbonation that give the otherwise transparent dark brown body a hazy look to it. Lacing is decent and lasting. The nose has nice light hop feel to it, which helps to dry the finish of this otherwise sweet beer. Although this beer is not for me, I can’t help but respect it. If the vanilla was toned down a little I might enjoy it a whole lot more.

 1,127 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of DavyJones
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of MadScientist
2.58/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Light copper, good clarity and a very thin, off-white head

S: Moderately-strong caramel malt with moderate light-fruit aromas of peaches and apples. There is a pipe tobacco like aroma, with a bit of vanilla. I don't smell any spice although that be in line with a winter warmer as apposed to a Christmas Ale. There isn't any hops though maybe a light earthiness that is caught up with the tobacco.

T: It tastes only slightly better than the smell with the pipe tobacco up from mixed with a moderate sweetness. There is a light raisin and apricot type of fruitiness. The hops bitterness is pretty mild leaving the balance is slightly sweet. The finish is of a slight citrus peel flavor.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: An uninspiring beer that I would not recommend. It kind of comes off like a homebrew made from old extract having that extract twang mixed with poor fermentation temperature control fruitiness.

 938 characters

Photo of Tiernan
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BenTherHppedThat
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Dmann
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a good seasonal beer but by far the best. It poured a nice ruby reddish color with a very small head that left slight lace down the glass. The smell was faint, but was I could detect was a very pronounced spice scent with hints of malt as well. If you are a malt lover you will love this beer for sure, as that is the dominant flavor. There is also a light spice to it and some kind of slight citrus flavor as well, perhaps grapefruit. Also, despite being 6.9% they are very easy to drink. So grab a six'er and enjoy!

 526 characters

Photo of drewkennedy
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Narnad
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Edition. Pours from the bottle a muddy copper/orange color with almost no head. Very heavy aroma of fruit (apple/cherry) and spice(cinnamon) with lesser hints of molasses and some light malt. Strong alcohol flavor hits first followed by a very nice fruitiness with lots of cinnamon and some lesser vanilla and a slight bourbon flavor. Slight sediment in the bottom and the beer has very large, medium speed carbonation. Good beer but it definitely feels like more alcohol is present than the 6.9% listed on the bottle.

 523 characters

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Ferks012
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a pleasant surprise. I had never had it before and was unsure what to expect.

12oz pours and orange-ish amber red, 1 finger of cream colored head. Leaves light lacing on glass.

S- Smells delicious, vanilla, toffee and light spices.

T- has upfront taste of vanilla, toffee, also has light spices with a hint of brown sugar and Graham cracker

M- Medium to full body, very low carbonation.

Overall I really enjoyed this. It was nice to have a winter warmer that was not loaded up with a ton of spices. I will buy more soon as this was a single purchase.

 569 characters

Photo of csmartin6
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of DWolf
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Jpinoniemi
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy reddish orange with a creamy off-white head that retains pretty well.

The aroma is sweet grainy malts and some spices (vanilla, gingerbread) and a little honey.

The flavor is more gingerbread and vanilla and caramel. It has a sweet alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is is medium and a little watery.

Overall, it's too sweet for me. I don't really care for the blend of spices too much either (especially the vanilla - not a big fan). Very reminiscent of cream soda. Give me an Anchor OSA over this anytime!

 540 characters

Photo of AlarmClock314
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, no bottle date. Pours dark gold with a medium sized off-white head. Smells of malt, cinnamon, vanilla, and licorice; moderate intensity. The taste follows exactly with licorice and cinnamon in the aftertaste. Slight sweetness. Average carbonation and thicker body, staying true to the style. Overall, it's a solid Winter Warmer and the licorice is a unique touch.

 382 characters

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Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71.4% out of 100 with 1,810 ratings
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