Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Very Good
1,844 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: 1,844 |  Reviews: 738
Photo of magine
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a becker glass.

Pours a hazy dark amber tea color. Has a thick fluffy off white head. Head settles to a wisp lace head, ring of lace around the edges of the glass. Some patches of lace cling on the way down. Pretty good looking brew.

Brew smells of caramel malts, bready yeasts. Decent nose.

Brew is creamy initially; spiced in the middle and peppers the tongue in the finish, drying finish. Nice mellow flavors with this one; nutmeg, cinnamon and caramel; caramel being the prominent flavor. Nutty maltiness and some roasted notes as well. Maybe even vanilla in here. Yeasts are well done and add to the malty smoothness here. Some spiced hops noticed in the middle as well. Mellow is the best way to describe this one. A good tasting brew but a tad bit too thin. No flavors take the forefront. Good.

This is a good brew, has a decent abv as we at 6.9%. Good sessionable brew, just not alot going on as far as complexity or flavor.

 948 characters

Photo of Babydave
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of HopsYeast
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a-pours with a 1/2 finger pale white head that quickly dissapates leaving behind average lacing. has a rusted copper color that is very cloudy.

s-there is an upfront aroma of cherries and other dark fruits with a very small hint of anise. brown sugar, caramel, and orange peels. it has a very sweet yet warm aroma that is very inviting. it smells much like a very good piece of biscotti.

t-sweet cherries again and then a medium does of malt. there are also spices present like sweet cinnamon, and maybe even clove. its a wonderfully tasty beer and the sweetness is not overpowering at all.

m-mouthfeel is excellent. this is a superb example of an easy drinking yet full bodies beer. carbonation is at a very low level but still present, leaves almost no trace on your palate. perfect.

o-take the smell, taste, and mouthfeel, combine them, and you got yourself a pretty damn good beer. this is superb. easy to drink, tasty, not overwhemling, and just damn good!

 969 characters

Photo of philouza
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of dgugliuzza
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass

Pours golden orange with two inches thick frothy white head. Aggressive carbonation shoots up from the bottom of the glass. Long and drawn out retention.

Caramel, honey and allspice are dominant in the nose. Lightly spiced with Christmas like aromas. Sweet and warming. Spicy hops come in at the back end and provide a much needed presence.

Tastes of caramel malt, honey and vanilla. Spices are more noticeable in the taste than the aroma. Nutmeg, allspice and a splash of cinnamon. Not picking up much of the hop profile in the taste. Sweet and quite delicious.

Medium bodied and creamy. Nice burst of carbonation that combines nicely with the soft, full mouthfeel. At 6.9%, this brew is dangerously drinkable.

This is a fantastic winter offering by Anderson Valley. Has a great sweet/spiced balance with hints of caramel and vanilla. A must try winter warmer offering.

 917 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of kristiekatk
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of portia99
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up this 12oz can on a whim to give it a try. Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Can foams up immediately upon opening causing a somewhat rushed pour. Hits the glass and forms two thick fingers of tan colored creamy head with excellent staying power. Body of the beer is a clear and attractive mahogany brown. Thick webs of lacing left on the glass as the foam slowly fades away to the surface.

S - Sweet malt up front, fruity and spicy hops, cinnamon, citrus.

T - Interesting, but in a weird way. Vanilla is high on the list up front with cinnamon, a weird fruitiness (plums?), cherries, thin hop bitterness, sugary sweetness - conjuring images of some kind of candy I can't quite place, a bit biscuity.

M - A bit thin overall paired with a creamy mid level carbonation. Spices and fruity flavors dominate but the malt does have a presence.

O - Winter warmers are sorta hit or miss for me...this one plays more towards the miss side. Not bad...I definitely wouldn't have more than one in a session tho. For the style I'd say this is pretty average.

 1,061 characters

Photo of smokinoak
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

The Bears are winning at the moment, so hopefully swigging from their glassware will magically keep the momentum going in the right direction. The beer inside pours a clear rose-amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, mandarin orange, lightly-buttered biscuit, and a hint of powdered sugar. The taste brings in more of the same, along with cinnamon, light nutmeg, and a bit of ginger. The overall effect comes close to resembling a gingerbread cookie. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a very nice winter brew, one that throws out a bunch o' spice without overdoing it. Good stuff.

 728 characters

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

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium amber-brown hue with just a hint of haze. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam. Nice.

Smell: nutty, biscuity malt aroma with some spiciness present. I'm getting nutmeg and maybe a touch of cinnamon. Not bad, but a bit too biscuity for me.

Taste: nutty crystal malt flavor with a hint of the aforementioned spices present. There's a biscuity quality to the malt here, too, but I feel like it actually adds more to the overall character than it detracts. A balanced and tasty winter brew.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of creaminess. Just right for such a malty experience.

Overall: I am surprisingly pleased with this winter warmer. The weather outside is frightful, and this beer is quite delightful.

 786 characters

Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Another6Pack
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of barnzy78
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of samie85
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a brilliant clear, dark copper color with two fingers of off white head.

S-Smells mainly of bready caramel notes with vanilla with some allspice.

T-Big vanilla notes with bready caramel notes and a little bit of cinnamon or allspice.

M-Pretty smooth feel with moderate carbonation and a light to medium body with a drying finish.

D-Pretty easy drinking for a winter warmer and delicately spiced. I'm a fan of the vanilla in this one, but I can see how others wouldn't find it to their liking.

 504 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Great Lakes Christmas Ale.

A: Medium dark amber color with two-finger, off-white creamy head that lasted a few minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Mild aroma. Sweet malt. Molasses.

T: Wow, definitely vanilla. Moderately sweet and a very faint bitterness. There are other spice in there too. Good if you like vanilla.

M: Smooth and slightly dry. Goes down warm.

O: I liked the Great Lakes slightly better because I wasn't a huge fan of the vanilla. It wasn't bad, just a little bit too much for my tastes.

 543 characters

Photo of DerekP
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Village Draft House on 11/18/11.

Pours a deep amber with a thin lacing of white heard. The nose has notes of sugary, sweet red apples and caramel malt. The taste is red apples, chewy sugary caramel, and note of something herb-like in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, and crisp.

This was a nice little winter warmer though the herb-like quality baffles me a little, and in my opinion it detracts from the overall flavor. Not bad though.

 479 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color which when held to the light changes to a deep ruby red color with visible carbonation. There is a half finger tan head which leaves a little lace in the form of fingers. The aroma is of vanilla and clove. There are also notes of cinnomon and nutmeg. The taste starts with a toffee and vanilla flavor up front. This gives way to a cranberry and sweet taste in the middle with a slight hop bite. The finish is just slightly watery. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and a little creamy. Overall this was a good beer, the flavor was very pleasing. Also despite a slightly higher than norma abv this beer went down easy and smooth.

 654 characters

Photo of beefandbean22
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1/4" tan head that dissipated quickly over cloudy brown liquid.

S: Vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and molasses.

T: Vanilla, caramel, cinammon, and nutmeg with a steady building flavour of molasses throughout. Quite sweet.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and a low level of carbonation.

O: Wonderful smell and taste on this beer which can only be criticized in terms of the appearance and mouthfeel.

 397 characters

Photo of stxSS07
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of keytown
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of jrutigs
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of justporter
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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