Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
1,810 Ratings
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,810 |  Reviews: 732
Photo of StevenMilligan
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Deep muddy brown, with a reddish rust tint when held to light. Minimal head, but surprisingly clingy lacing.

S: Smell is superb. It really smells a lot like apple cider to me, then the vanilla bean takes shape with a little red fruit to follow.

T: Canned apple pie filling comes to mind me this brew first gushes over my tongue. It's followed by allspice and again that cherry-ish red fruit that I picked up in the nose.

F: Body is slightly above medium.

O: Maybe I'm just excited for the season (Oktoberfest/pumpkin beers don't really get me too excited), but this is a fantastic winter warmer and will be stocking my fridge again before Florida heats up again.

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Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of LarryMyers
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber color and sported a sturdy off-white head. No lace left behind. The aroma was heavily in favor of sweet, malty goodness - lots of caramel malt and molasses with a definite spiciness in the nose.
The taste bore the flavors of caramel, some fruit, and toasty malt. Definitely one for those fans of a solidly malt-laden brew. Winter Solstice also had some citrus flavor and finished with a tasty vanilla-laced spicy bite. The feel was medium-bodied, smooth and clean.
This was a pretty good brew, one of the better offerings from Anderson Valley. Even at nearly 7% ABV, it's very easy to drink and made for a fine after dinner relaxer.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Redish-amber color to the body, thin but persistent tan head. No lacing. Smells of nutty brown malt. Hints of cirtusy aroma.

Taste is nutty malt underpinned by dark fruit and vanilla. Hints of sweet spice. Ever had Whoppers? The malted chocolates? There are flavors reminiscent of those in here too. A fantastic creamy mouth. Lightly sticky aftertaste. Very tasty winter brew.

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Photo of Stigs
3.01/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

poured from a growler filled about a week ago...served in a Stone Levitation glass

A - about a finger of light tan head which quickly retreated to a very thin layer of film a little more dense around the inside of the glass. the beer is a strong amber color, quite clear.

S - tough to pikcup much here, faint biscuity and sweetened malt with very faint ginger and cinnamon notes.

T - strong punch of all kinds of sweetness: vanilla, graham cracker, malted milk balls, sweet milk chocolate. grainy biscuit malts underneath it all...complete lake of hops to balance.

M - super creamy but medium bodied and good subtle but active carbonation (might be a product of the growler sitting for a bit).

D - liquid version of a five year olds classroom gingerbread house. hard to finish, glad my girlfriend loves it.

 811 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 (~2.5 yo)

Poured a decent cream colored head that faded to a film leaving a ring of head around the edges. The beer is caramel amber in color with fine bubbles rising slowly through the middle. The aroma is a mild mix of tangy apples, toffee, and malt balls. The mouthfeel is creamy smooth and the finish is pretty clean. Malty caramel offset by some kind of hoppy flavor that I can't quite pinpoint. With over two years of aging this beer definitely leans in the malt direction. Overall a mild, easy drinking beer with a nice blend of flavor and aroma.


In your face malt aroma is gone, replaced by a soft creamy licorice and caramel smell. Moderately malty flavor if pretty one sided. Nothing is really bad about the beer, flavor just isn't up my alley.

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Photo of bort11
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was in my stocking for Christmas. Thank you Santa!

22 oz bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass. Thick egg-cream colored head, very sticky. Leaves a solid ring on the glass. Color is a dark amber/orange. Quite a bit of bubble activity.

Smell has a toasted malt base, with some orange peel and dark spices in the middle. The orange peel becomes more pronounced in the taste, balanced with some mulling spices and a dark bread malt character.

Mouthfeel is is medium bodied with a crisp carbonation. It is certainly a winter warmer, but is also pretty refreshing too.

 576 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Plain & simple & really good, slightly spiced ale. The creamy head disappeared quickly leaving no lacing. Nose did not match the full flavor. If there is a down side it would be a lack of body. There was some, but for a winter brew I'd like something substantial. When all is said & done, I look forward to next winter.

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Photo of rarigney
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of scottwurst
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of dannyfayy
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

That's a good lookin beer. Clear caramel/amber body with an off white head.

Aromas are enjoyable, if not bold. Really get me in the mood for a hearty, malty, enjoyable winter warmer. Brown sugar, burgamont orange, dark cherry, and caramel.

Flavors are in much the same vein. Butterscotch, caramel and brown sugar malty sweetness are tempered by an intriguing fruity character. The fruit is really what I find myself most attracted to, not sure what exactly it is or where it came from, but I really enjoy it. Reminds me of the Leopold Brothers Orange Liqueur and dark, less sweet, cherries.

The mouthfeel is where I find myself conflicted. My gut says it is too thin. The flavors would really be showcased if the body was a bit richer, more creamy. But, one of the reasons I really like this beer is that it is malty and warming without being syrupy or overbearing. A fuller body may make it a better beer, but a better beer I only want one bottle of. As it stands, I'd be happy with 2 or 3.

Anderson Valley makes several very good beers. With their change in ownership, change in local distribution, and change in pricing (now $9.99 a 6pk, from $11.99), AV is back and it means business. If they keep churning out brews this good, they may become a real player here in Colorado.

 1,283 characters

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

Poured into chalice.
L: Tourbid dark-copper color wti a weak foam head.
S: Tart, caramel.
T: Plums, caramel, dark fruits.
F: Medium body, weak carbonation.
O: Great warmer. Definitely will buy another one again!

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Photo of Bloodbuzz99
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of eulerthegrape
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of martyl1000
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Coppers Tavern, Madison. A nice looking pour in a tulip glass, with a thin off-white head that sticks around.

The sweetness in the aroma is quite nice at first, zucchini bread, cotton candy, ripe Apple. But the spice then shows as a vanilla, potpourri-type spice boil perfume, cloying, to say the least.

In the mouth the malt presents bread, cotton candy, and juicy fruit gum, plus the amorphous spice,which is certain to divide audiences.

Nice semi-chewy mouthful, with a crisp carbonation.

We''ll see what happens as it warms.

 545 characters

Photo of meathookjones
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a ruby color with a tall off white head. Rings of lace decorate the glass as this is consumed. Aroma is malty and sweet with caramel and a bit of fruits. The nose though is a bit weak overall and leaves something to be desired. The taste has a little more punch to it with malt leading the way over a light earthy hoppiness. Aftertaste ends on a sweet note with a bit of warmth to it. Body is a tad less than medium so it feels a bit thin for the style. Drinkability is pretty good, it has minor faults but is still a fairly tasty offering.

 550 characters

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

Photo of pstam87
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of little_star
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of gshackles
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of ybnorml
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark amber/copper beer has a small foamy light tan head. The aroma starts with a dried fruit/raisin character with a hint of maple and vanilla in the background. Just a hint of dried fruit as it hits your mouth and then quickly the flavor is dominated by a soft vanilla character. With a hint of cinnamon just before a quick hop nip on the finish.

 349 characters

Photo of TubaDan
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of GRPunk
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a nonic pint.

A- A sloppy pour created a 2-1/2 finger tan head. The clean, amber body showed moderate-heavy carbonation. The head sustained at about 1/2 finger and left nice, foamy rings about the glass.

S- I got a decent shot of spice at the pour. Sweet malts, caramel-like, dominate. A little muted at first. Malts suggest Hawaiian bread and gain strength with time. Light hops seem pretty fresh, maybe noble variety?

T- really nice and malty. Lots of caramel and brown sugar, some residual sweetness going on. Light spice. Taking a stab, I'll guess cinnamon, something like clove-like, maybe some ginger.

M- Moderate-heavy carbonation. Slight warming, almost in "stomach feel." A little bite from hops and carbonation. Fairly full bodied.

O- A robust, malty ale, great for cold weather drinking. Nice to have spicing dialed down, allowing traditional ingredients to shine.

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Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 1,810 ratings
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