Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,808 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
Ratings:
1,808
Reviews:
731
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
13.99%
 
 
Wants:
71
Gots:
255
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,808 |  Reviews: 731
Photo of SolarMikey
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of AlexM
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Skubaker
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mightyquinn
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Great pour from a can in to a Samuel Adams Pint Glass. this beer gives great head, no pun intended.

S: I smell caramel I believe, all I notice.

T: I drank this reviewed can almost warm, I get a very distinct chocolate taste and then the caramel hits, then a spiciness I LOVE that saturates the tongue.

M: Very nice. Like a carmel spice sitting in there tantalizing the tongue.

O: I personally like this beer a lot, the GF loves it. One of the better Winter Warmers I have had this year. Glad I found the last 6 pack locally while shopping for some Xmas gifts. Excited for next years batch! Have some friends that say this is their go to Winter Warmer and I can see why!

 676 characters

Photo of ChugginOil
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber color with pollowy white head. There is some lace clusters.

The nose has some sweet fruity pebbles scents with a bit of cocoa and nutty malt.

The taste has a bit of fruity hops but the malt is dominent. There is a cocoa taste that hits the palate as the hops fade and it is quite tasty in the mix.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice amount of carb.

Pretty solid brew.

 401 characters

Photo of Dope
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A cloudy dark amber pour with a big fizzy tan head. Quite decent retention and lacing.

S: Interesting. Nice caramel and vanilla. Some cinnamon and a little dark fruit maybe?

T: Very vanilla-y up front. Some cherry immediately afterward. Ends on a spice note, cinnamon and maybe nutmeg? Maybe even a little bit peppery. Interesting transition of flavors. It's pretty good but the aftertaste is a bit strange.

M: Smooth and a little creamy. Carbonation is just about right. Just a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste with all the spices.

O: Not a bad winter warmer. Very interesting flavors as I mentioned. Still not sure if I like the combination but that's more subjective.

 682 characters

Photo of leokbelo
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber haze into a pint glass. 2 inch creamy head, fades into a nice lacing till the end.
Sweet, fruity, caramel toffee on the nose. Very inviting.
Delicious malt sweetness on the tongue, extremely tasty! Nutmegs, cloves, again caramel and a hint of cinnamon. Hops are present, to bring it to balance.
This beer is so smooth, it's insane!
Extremely drinkable, Highly recommended!
Wow, what an amazing Winter Warmer!

 428 characters

Photo of nlincoln
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep dark reddish orange with a slight haze, dense head, good retention an lacih

S: smell features holiday spices, cinnamon and clove stand out along with caramel malt in the background, some notes of cherry in there

T: taste features note of cherry and vanilla accented by cinnamon, pretty nice array of flavors, a spicy malt finish

Mf: medium body, medium carbonation

O: nice holiday beer, spices are present but not overwhelming, nice balance

 460 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
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 sneekee22
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of rwb
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of ehammond1
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Lucky Baldwin's
Pasadena, CA

Deep, dark red and auburn with a thin khaki colored head that leaves spiderwebs of lace down the glass.

Nice but faint aroma, even after significant warming. Sweet fruits, some citrus, mild spice elements, and biscuit combine for a pleasant though faraway aroma.

The flavor is well balanced with low bitterness: orange zest, a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, caramel and toffee, freshly baked bread.

Thin to medium mouthfeel with ample carbonation. I would love for this body to be a touch thicker.

A very nice, incredibly drinkable, Winter ale.

 584 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
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 THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of honkduh
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My, my, my. I first reviewed this beer in bottle form almost seven years ago. How many beers have been CANsumed by me since then?!? My good CAN Pal, IndiaPaleAle, hooked me up with this one in furtherance of my CANQuest (TM) and I am grateful.

From the CAN: Not much on this brightly colored red, blue and black CAN - "Bahl Hornin' Since 1987"; "Ale with Natural Flavor Added"; "The Legendary Boonville Brewery"; "Solar Powered Brewery".

I really remain surprised when the Crack reveals a CAN filled to the rim. The Glug produced a thick, creamy one-and-a-half fingers of deep-tan head with great retention. Color was a reddish-orangish amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was a riot of biscuit malt, orange citrus, vanilla, toffee and pine needles. Wow! Mouthfeel was medium and my original review mentioned a taste of Orange Dreamsicle and I have to say, I do not disagree in this iteration. It really had an orange-vanilla flavor up front with the pine coming through on the finish. It was semi-dry which was a nice change of pace after a day of APAs and IPAs. I just realized that it was kind of stupid of me to have opened this today - the Solstice is this Thursday! Perhaps I CAN score another between now and then ... Man, for 6.9, it drank beautifully, but CANversely, I would not want a whole bunch of this beer, either. Finally, I should mention the dense lacing that appeared throughout. It was quite splendiferous.

 1,428 characters

Photo of boudreaux
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of 1p5v
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of Durge
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark copper/brown color with a decent off-white cover and good lacing. This winter brew smells of beautiful vanilla-malt and delicate dark fruits. I get a subtle allspice as well. Very pleasant. The flavor offers more of the same which suits me just fine. It has an unusual finish that suggests a woodsy berry, perhaps what others have referred to as cranberry, but it's not all that tart to me. I get more of a pear and evergreen blend with what seems to be a slightly herbal hop. This is smooth and fully carbonated with very tiny bubbles that provide a lively, but slightly resinous feel without masking the flavor. It's solidly a medium body brew and provides a very tasty refreshment that fits in with the winter/holiday theme. I really enjoyed this.

 757 characters

Photo of OrlandoMidnight
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of farrago
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little over a finger’s worth of eggshell white to brown foam, fairly dense with decent retention, the few larger bubbles scattered, not much lacing, more of a thin sheet which slides effortlessly down the glass sides. Filmy liquid, lots of aggressive bubbles floating throughout, orange base with brown mixed in, more yellow around the edges, captures light to create a healthy glow. There’s vanilla, clove and caramel in the nose but a lot of the time the peat moss, grains and wet iron notes rise above, light smattering of peach to apricot fruit scents, more textural fullness than aromatics. Full-bodied, sufficient carbonation to create a slow lift, not leaden. Not especially sweet but there’s date, clove, fruitcake to caramel elements, some orange peel and peach, pear too. More scone or biscuit than bread or dough, Not as herbaceous here as in the nose yet the earthy, metallic nuance persists. Root beer and vanilla appear as it warms. Rich finish, no loss of body, maybe contributes to a general sense of booziness albeit without any burn. Strikes you as a food beer, needs accompaniment. Not something you’d want more than a couple of in a single sitting.

 1,176 characters

Photo of hdofu
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells of Vanilla, it has a dark mahogany color. Taste is like syrup and cranberries. It finishes a bit flat howeve its cranberrishness builds and it has a stronger bitterness in it than other cranberry forms covering over this initial flatness. Still its not a bad taste.

 272 characters

Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.