Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Very Good
1,836 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: 1,836 |  Reviews: 736
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%

Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of horrorspecialty
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of eerbayman
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of rel
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved summer solstice, and couldn't wait to try this one.

It pours a deep amber, with a monster head that sticks to itself like the head of a root beer float. Great retention and lacing.

The smell is sweet, but subtle. Some winter spices, the kind that remind me of a fireplace, which I use every day in Miami, grainy malts, no noticeable hop.

The taste is very warming. A lot of vanilla on the front. Afterwords you get those winter spices. The finish is a little hoppy with a burn from the ABV, which is what gives the warming effect.

This is quite creamy, as suggested the huge foam head, and the taste sticks to your gums and tongue.

In terms of style, this seems to have the same little tweak as summer solstice which I have yet to find in other breweries. Keep it up Anderson Valley!

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Photo of ficknish
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber. Light bubbles. Good head.

S - Caramel. Toasty malts. Spices. Bread. Raisins. Vanilla.

T - Marshmallow. Vanilla. Toffee. Strong bitter hops. Spices.

M - Tingly. Bitter. Medium body.

O - Loving this beer. Sweet body with homey flavors of vanilla, bread, and spices. Sweetness was well balanced with hop bitterness. Will drink again.

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Photo of Flux
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter solstice- Anderson valley- can from fridge poured into pint glass.

A-Brown to amber. Clear. Foamy white to off-white head. Tight bubbles and definite lacing.

S- warm, very low hops, sweet maltyness. Bread-like/ sugar cookie/ toast/ slightly nutty characters, maybe some vanilla. Minimal esters.

T- sweet and malty up front. Reminds me of fig newtons, so I do get faint amounts of fig/ raisins. Nothing that really screams “holiday” i.e. spices. It’s really mellow and balanced as far as the hops aren’t too overwhelming for this delicate beer.

M- medium carbonation. smooth.

O- I really enjoy this beer but it’s kind of a mystery as well. Don’t know if there was anything other than malts, hops and yeast added to this beer but it has a fantastic warmth to it that does well for the season. I can admire a simple holiday beer that isn’t bombarded with ginger, pie spices, or other stuff.

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Photo of harrymel
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Can date: unk

A: excellent cinnamon brown ale with under a finger of off white foam which falls quickly to a central cap and rim of the same. Spotty lace.
S: Smells like marshmallows, malt, caramel, and a hint of copper.
T: Sweet. Very sweet. Vanilla. malts and vanilla and sweet and low.
M: Creamy and full bodied with a semi dry finish.
O: interesting. I remember this beer tasting a little less artificial. Now it tastes like it has a butt load of sucralose or something in it.

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

Appearance - amber-red in color with a murky sort of appearance. Lots of nice bubble action streaming upwards and forming a thin, yet creamy, head. When held to the light this beer really has some vibrant coloring. Looks good to me!

Aroma - that first whiff really hits you with some sweetness reminiscent of baking bread, brown sugar, caramel and some dark fruits. I pick up some prunes and raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg as well. As this warms the aroma definitely comes on stronger.

Taste - malty and rich with some very interesting flavors hitting the tongue. It's not cloyingly sweet and it some hints of vanilla, orange and just the faintest bit of hops in the finish. Very smooth as far as mouthfeel goes, this is almost creamy in texture. No real spices in this but you almost expect something like cinnamon or cloves to be present. Quite tasty for a style that can vary quite a bit in flavor. Wait a second, this is close to 7%? I didn't expect that based on how easy it was going down! Now comes the warming!

Overall - A nice addition to the AVBC canned family and definitely a beer that will see some action as the cold weather hits the country. Not overly strong nor too sweet - a solid brew that is certainly worth picking up to share with friends and family this winter. Cheers!

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Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 1,836 ratings