Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

very good
1,808 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,808 |  Reviews: 730
Photo of wowbagger
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light red, very pretty with thin white head but good retention. Some fruit aroma but overall not much.

It has a slight bite, which I didn't expect, like crunching into an apple. Some cherry flavor and some spice, sweet and nice on the tongue, very pleasant.

It's a hard beer for me to describe, is there a 'dessert beer' category? It's like a syrupy red ale. I enjoyed it, certainly worth the bottle, though too sweet for me to want too much more.

 450 characters

Photo of StoicBeast
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of GilGarp
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can served slightly chilled into a pint glass.

Winter Solstice is a hazy dark amber color with thin white head.

Aroma is sweet with caramel and dark fruit.

Flavor has similar notes with milk chocolate, caramel, and cherries. A little bit of hop bitterness but mostly balanced towards the sweet end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and low in carbonation.

Overall a really good winter warmer. All of the right flavors and enjoyable even at cellar temp.

 457 characters

Photo of Afhorn
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Actually a nice looking beer. Nice red body with an offwhite head floating on top.lots of bubbles coming from the nucleation point in the center of my DFH chalice looking glass.

Smells sweet, like cane sugar and honey sweet. Dry grains and a hint of ginger in there. But thats pushing it, no real spices. I think thats probably because its a bit late for Winter seasonals. Sad I know. Overall, smells sticky sweet.

Very light body, almost watery. Spices are very muted, but still there. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice are low, but there. Ginger gives it a full body. Subtle spices are overpowered by honey sweetness and a grainy body reminiscent of Great Lakes. Kind of like a watered down GL Christmas Ale. Hm I like it.

Leaves a nice grainy feeling that seriously reminds me of Great Lakes.

 795 characters

Photo of Cyrano41
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Color is deep amber, reddish brown. A bit light on the smell but I could pick up fruit undertones and toasted malt. The taste is more than the nose promised, the toasted malt comes through with cinnamon and nutmeg and a hint of hop. Combine a medium mouthfeel and a smooth finish:very pleasant! I'll look for this one again.

 364 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying the Winter Solstice from a brewery that I dont think gets enough credit or publicity. The beer pours a clear amber topped by a finger of off-white foam that is lacing nicely. The scent is not all that present....subtle notes of caramel malt and holiday spices. The taste includes cinnamon, light nutmeg, ginger and vanilla extract. The mouthfeel is a medium to light body with moderate carbonation. Overall it is another decent beer from AV.

 448 characters

Photo of hockenbeer
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of McNealc31
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Most of the flavors here are familiar with cinnamon and clove, but I'm also picking up some cedar, which is rather interesting. It's more subdued than other winter warmers. Starts off with a bit of fruit before the spices kick in. Almost like a spiced apple cider.

This is good, but I wouldn't put it on the top of my winter warmer list.

 338 characters

Photo of Jinxxor
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%

Photo of TrojanWheels
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of gijoe64
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of TimP2115
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of timahood32
2/5  rDev -48.2%

Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of jondeelee
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter Solstice opens with a warming, malty nose, full of rye and fresh whole wheat breads, toast crust, fresh wheat stalks, and floury baguettes. A light smattering of lemon and pine from the hops brings welcome citrus notes, and touches of apricot and pear add sugary notes. There's also a fairly strong hint of kola nut, making the beer smell somewhat like a soft drink, at least in part. As a whole, the nose is good and enticing, if a bit light and cola-like.

On the tongue, the first flavors are quite cola-like, with kola nut predominating, resembling a Dr. Pepper and Coke mixture. This is mixed with brown sugars, apricot, and wheat toast crust, which do move the beer farther away from a soft drink, as well as lemon and light pine from the hops, and subtle overtones of vanilla and caramel, the latter bringing the beer back to soft drink realm. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main flavors, fading slowly to wheat stalks, wood, and lemon peel. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, while there is much to like about this beer--including the fact that it is a welcome addition to the "Not Overly Spiced Winter Beer" club--there's just a touch too much vanilla and sugary cola-like flavors in here for my palate. I'd still purchase a six-pack again, but for a supposedly winter seasonal ale, this feels more like Oktoberfest fare.

 1,369 characters

Photo of ALLISON01
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of apmcpm
1/5  rDev -74.1%

Photo of ONN8
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of Mcooly
1/5  rDev -74.1%

Photo of Stunner97
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- brown to amber with bit of cloudiness, white lacing stays along the top of the beer through out drinking, low carbonation

Smell- very nice nose of malt spice and slight hop, inviting

Taste- beautiful balance of malt, spice, and hop, just purely beautiful balance

Mouthfeel- smooth and refreshing feel

Drinkability/overall- overall this is far and away the best winter warmer i have ever tasted, its just so tasty, the balance is superb, has spice and malt and some hop but all so perfectly balanced, usually im far from winter warmer guy but this is the cream of the crop to me and the one to seek out

 617 characters

Photo of sunavamitch
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of bonbini26
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,808 ratings.
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