Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
BA SCORE
3.87/5
Very Good
1,844 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:
#14,957
Reviews:
738
Ratings:
1,844
pDev:
13.95%
 
 
Wants:
75
Gots:
266
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,844 |  Reviews: 738
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 bottle. Fruity spicey aroma, average appearance, good spice and fruity taste that finishes with orange and sediment of tastey and satisfying: Vanilla,nutmeg, cinammon, banana, other fruit melange, carmel. Medium body. A very nice beverage from a consistently good brewer.

 276 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

easily the best winter warmer ive had this season. bordering on epic for the style this is so awesome. pours an unfiltered looking maple color with a standard one inch head. smells very unique, fruity hops, vanilla, and english malts. taste is extraordinary, vanilla up front but not sweet, caramel and fruit middle, glorious rounded out west coast hop finish, but not bitter in the least. mouthfeel is gold! fizzles and cascades in the mouth highlighting its complex flavors one by one, and the body is exactly what you need in a warmer that you want to drink all day, the heavier side of medium. its just a perfect winter beer, and honestly i hope i can find it again, brilliant brew

 685 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a thick cap on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, fruits, and some slight funky aromas. I think there may be an issue with this beer based on the smell. Taste is much the same with a mild spice finish and a slightly funky flavor that isn't as bad as the smell would indicate. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer as it stands with what seems like a mild infection issue. Even though the funk doesn't come through as much in the taste vs. smell, there is definitely a problem with the can I picked up.

 737 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice clear but dark lookin red color with a fizzy tan head on top. The head settles and laces the glass pretty well. The smell of the beer was pretty normal for a winter brew, had some light spices on the nose and a touch of sweetness. The taste of the beer reminded me a little of a weak barley wine or something. Spicy hops and some sweet malts but it just seemed a little light to me. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad, it had a semi thick feel to it which is nice around the colder months. Overall not a bad brew, enjoyable.

 549 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down but never completely faded away and left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong and interesting aromas of brown sugar, caramel, nutmeg, toffee and vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a bit of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and a bit creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is definitely very drinkable compared to others in the style and has some interesting aromas and flavors.

 708 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can. 'Ale with Natural Flavor Added'. Not really all that promising or inspiring, eh?

This beer pours a clear, medium red-brick amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, and somewhat chunky beige head, which leaves some streaky hanging lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of heavy caramel malt, baker's chocolate, sweet vanilla, indistinct sugary nuts, and a bit of fruity hoppiness. The taste is sweet caramel/toffee malt, brown sugar, more saccharine vanilla, weakened cocoa, a muddled array of savoury holiday spices - though nothing distinct enough to note - and lightly bitter citrusy, earthy hops.

The carbonation is really quite tame in its innocuous frothiness, the body a hefty medium weight, flirting with fullness, and dead smooth. It finishes still on the sweet side, the caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and masked spice doing well enough to keep things sane, drinkable, and desirable, as the extra ABV tries to peek in.

An enjoyable, and at the same time confounding winter ale. It tastes good, but it's quite difficult to tell you why - so sweet, cake-ish, and low-key spice it is. 'Tis seasonal, this much I know, and I could easily put back a few more of these in anticipation of the coming craziness.

 1,241 characters

Photo of oline73
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark reddish amber with very little off white head.

Smell: Strong smell of caramel with some dark fruit and spices as well.

Taste: Very sweet with a lot of caramel. There are also hints of dark fruit with a bit of bitterness at the end as well as some alcohol. The caramel sweetness dominates the flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium body. There isn't much carbonation here. Seems like it wants to be dry but it never gets there.

Drinkability: I think it could use a bit more carbonation, but the taste is quite good, I really like the caramel flavor. I would drink this again.

 674 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Well conceived, well brewed, nicely drinkable, but regretfully--forgetable. Caught somewhere between a big Amber Ale and a Strong Ale, it contributes little as a standout for either. Decent alcohols that largely go unnocticed underneath the sweet malt base. Hoped for balance only, with little flavoring or aromatics. No real spices added, which I like. Lightly molassas and barley flavored, with a big amber body. A little sticky sweet, yet drinkable. Good brew, but gets lost in the shuffle of other great Winter Warmers.

 523 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of emerge077
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mellow copper amber color, transparent with a persistent head of offwhite foam. Ethereal halo of densely patterned spotty lacing.

Mild but inoffensive aroma, vaguely sweet, though not much substance.

Tangy bready malt, cream soda, vanilla, cookie sweetness, light nutmeg. Light bodied, some light astringency. Tastes like cream soda and sugar cookies, but overall is a little too subdued for my taste. Pretty drinkable, but would like more flavor and body, it just isn't there.

 480 characters

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

12 ounce can into pint glass, no canning date. Pours hazy red-orange color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Minimal lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, brown sugar, toasted malt, dark fruit, and light spices. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance. Taste of caramel, toasted malt, toffee, biscuit, molasses, raisin, fig, light chocolate, nutmeg, and herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, biscuit, and spices on the finish for a bit. Nice and enjoyable balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden at 6.9% with only a slight warming after the finish. Very smooth to drink as well. Overall this is a very nice and enjoyable winter warmer offering. Plenty of enjoyable and balanced flavors.

 861 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/burgandy color with a one-finger, tan head. It didn't leave much lacing.

S - It smelled of malt, spice and vanilla.

T - It was fairly malty and spicy. It also had a sweet, bready-quality.

M - It was relatively soft and creamy.

D - A pretty good beer. An interesting blend of flavors and tastes.

 322 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a respectable tan head that leaves some spots of lacing

Smell: Rich caramel aroma with strong vanilla notes; also has some tropical fruit

Taste: Starts out with a rich caramel and vanilla flavor; after the swallow, some nice balancing hop flavors cut into the sweetness and also provide a seasonal spice flavor (cinnamon and nutmeg)

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Extremely well-balanced and flavorful; one of the better winter warmers I have encountered

 544 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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

A: Pours a lightly hazy garnet red in color with some decent amounts of amber highlight and light to moderate amounts of carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall dark beige head that reduces to a small thin patch of larger bubbles, a mottled very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel and toffee malt sweetness with lighter notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg. Very light notes of cocoa as it warms.

T: Moderate amounts of malty sweet flavors upfront with notes of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Additionally there are some light flavors of nutmeg and vanilla. Very light hints of bitterness that fades quickly. Very light amounts of cocoa as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy with a light amount of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: The beer is pretty easy to drink and enjoy even though there are a lot of sweet flavors, this beer is not cloying. The combination of malty sweetness and spices is very nice and one of the more enjoyable offerings in the style.

 1,175 characters

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Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 1,844 ratings