Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
BA SCORE
71.4%
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 1,810 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
Ranking:
#8,092
Reviews:
732
Ratings:
1,810
Liked:
1,292
Avg:
3.87/5
pDev:
13.95%
Alströms:
4.24
 
 
Wants:
71
Gots:
255
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,810 |  Reviews: 732
Photo of WMBierguy
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I normally like special winter ales, but I just couldn't get into this one. The spices use in this holiday brew were too strong. The end result was an ale that tasted as if it were brewed with potpourri. Not a very drinkable beer, and I won't be getting this again.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.68/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Redbones...My first thought was, wow this tastes like caramel candy. After about a fourth of the glass, I wondered where the taste went. It pours a nice amber color, no head, no lace either. The overwhelming taste of caramel that first appealed to me quickly vanished. It wasn't particularly hoppy, malt taste was there, not omnipresent though...I've never had a beer where the flavor went so quickly, I don't think my taste buds were overwhelmed, but maybe so. After each sip, there was a wee whisp of caramel, but not like at the first few sips. While it wasn't a bad tasting beer, I had no urge to get another. The flavor just didn't last.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.69/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz from the Boise Coop for $1.50/bottle poured into a shaker pint. Listening to Renaissance Worldwide Singapore "David Morales Mix".

Sweet cherry juice and crystal clear. Sticky lite tan head.

Malty aroma with vanilla and butter undertones. No real hops ... sorta overpowered by the spices.

I really hate saying this, but it reminds me of a vanilla cream soda .... and not the soda-shoppe kind, more like the artificial bottled kind.

This is a tough review for me to write. I love the Boont amber (almost certainly my favorite amber ale). But this one is going to take a hit. I know from my notebook reviews, I am hyper-critical of diacetyl; and I am only getting a little butter from this beer, but combined with the vanilla ... wow ... The diacetyl is hyper accentuated. I think they should move away from the spices (at least the vanilla) and balance more with a low but still solid flavoring of citrus hops.

Sorry. I will buy this brew again, mainly for comparison ... but I will probably wait a year or two.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.69/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2004 release. Heady ruby. The graphic design on the bottle is seasonal and gorgeous: the beer's color is remarkably similar to the outlay of the "themed" elements: foothills covered in snow, hollyberry replacing the hop trellises, the bear-ish creature done up for the season. The giant, rocky head and unbelievably sticky lace are noteworthy but seem on par with this great brewery's offerings.

The nose hints at oaky vanilla and slightly sour banana. The malts are sweet and there is a slight stamp of cascade hops in the mix.

Wow, this is downright awfully done. Natural flavor? All I can taste is a tub of butter and some overzealously gooey malt characteristic.

Pass - this year's is much worse than last.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap at Redbone's

Luminous honey-gold, served with barely any head, just cream-colored foam skimming across the surface. Syrupy scent. Cinnamon spice mingles with the malt. Lingering syrupy body and a weird medicinal aftertaste that refuses to leave like an unwanted guest.

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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 olradetbalder
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of maxwelldeux
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of ShanePB
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of MFMB
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Soneji75
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Anderson Valley. I am unsure if they use some sort of proprietary malt but most of their offerings taste annoyingly similar. Most of the ones I’ve had, with the exception of the gose, have an overly malty, caramely and sweet feel to them, regardless of the style.

Unfortunately, Winter Solstice is not the exception. It pours a hazy, burnt orange with about an finger of head which dissipates fairly quickly. The thin lacing left behind also disappears quickly leaving nearly nothing but a small ring around the edge of the glass. I am pretty sure I’m supposed to get spices on the nose, but I only get vanilla. And lots of it! There is also some sweet caramely maltness and toffee notes. But mostly vanilla.

This beer is very sweet. It’s all vanilla in the middle front and back. Towards the end I was able to detect some serious brown sugary sweetness to boot, but that’s about it. Reminds me of sweet bread and caramel. The mouthfeel is decent with enough carbonation to make it feel like beer and not a sticky cocktail.

Sadly, as most Anderson Valley beers, this seems muddled and without any real depth. There are so many better examples of this style out there that this seems a bit pointless.

https://agrainoftruthblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/55/

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Photo of sendbeer
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of plinythederek
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of JakeEarsing
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Stinger80OH
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of Risser09
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a wine glass - 2007 vintage - Poured at cellar temperature

Appearance: this ale pours a transparent brown color with some red highlights. The head reaches one inch in height and has an ivory color. It fades within a minute and leaves no lace on the glass.

Smell: Malty in aroma, with some barely discernable spices. They are cinnamon and allspice. Not much more to say for the aroma.

Taste: Peppery and woody. Cedar and nutmeg are the main flavors. Malt fills up th rest of the flavor profile. No hop presence to speak of. Sweet malt sugar rounds out the finish.

Mouthfeel: Sugary and malty. Not much other flavor. Thin to medium bodied with medium carbonation and not much alcohol presence. Sort of warming.

Drinkability: I generally dislike winter warmers, and I generally dislike this beer. There's not much to really appreciate. It doesn't stand out in any category. I'm not really sure what makes it a Christmas beer. It's not horrible but it's certainly below average. Not my cup of tea....err beer.

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Photo of StoutSeth
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of ricke49
2.84/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First two things I noticed: for an essentially 7% abv brew there was no hint of alcohol (not even enough to qualify as a "warmer" style brew). Secondly, was strong vanilla essence. Too strong for my taste - almost cloying. Would have appreciated a more assertive hop profile.

Very low on any flavor that I would consider 'beer'. I had to ask "is this beer?" (or perhaps some adult style crème soda?). At least when I drink Jubelale I get a nice lip smack from the hops...I guess I'm spoiled. Not a very exciting brew, and when this 6-pack is gone, I'll not be acquiring more.

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Photo of LibraryTom
2.86/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2009

Pours a nice deep amber orange.

All cream soda.

One dimensional sweet malt, with not enough spice or hop to balance it out. Almost no perceptible bittering component.

It is rich and overly done, and it is hard to drink more than a few ounces for me. Overall, eh, on a beer I am never that into.

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Photo of putnam
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Looks nice with a rosy golden amber color.
The aromas are of polished, caramelized grain, vanilla and those chewy, peach-colored, peanut-shaped candies.
The flavors seem artificial. This is the closest thing to drinking a cream soda I can think of. Dry, with some assertion of bitter hops on the finish, but they are only there to clean up a laboratory sweetness. I may be naiive, but why did they have to combine soda pop and beer? The finish is hollow. Reminds me of a three-musketeers bar. All fluff.
Probably a shrewd choice to have in a brewer's portfolio. Somthing pop-like for the masses so that they keep the masses interested in the brand.
This is a great brewery otherwise.

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Photo of degerbah
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark opaque brown with about an inch of head. The head settels quickly leaving a thin film over the top of the beer. The aroma is slightly fruity with a strong dtrain of vanilla as well. The taste is over-sweet with a bunch of strange flavors added in. It seems like there are a bunch of other items added to the beer to add extra flavor. These merge together in somewhat of a mess. The beer's almost seven percent strength is evident in the mouthfeel as it combines with the excess flavor to hinder the beer's drinkability.

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Photo of classixIII
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drinkable but just an average Winter Ale. Extremely light on the nose lightly spiced.

85 characters

Photo of PSUDREW
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well, a good try here. Pours a dark copper color, and, had little head, and even less lace going down.

It had faint smells. really, and not much, IMO. That cap was a pain in my ass to get off. Sigh, but back to business. It had a nice mix of vanilla and spice to much, but nothing too potent, more of an after though. The dominant malt is a nice touch and it goes through and through, but the hop is there, as a subtle compilent to it all.

Nice brew they got here, and it is a nice thing to go the distance with, more of something to get and share tehn get and savor in your dark corner

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Photo of kohoutek
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2005 bottling.

Appearance: a nice medium amber color, obviously filtered. The head started rich with texture but was almost gone after 30 seconds. Some slight lacing remained for half of the beer. The second half had none.

Aroma: a very slight noble hop presence. It quickly diminished with the head. Aroma of caramel, vanilla, some estery fruitiness.*

Flavor: graham cracker, vanilla, caramel, biscuity malt with banana ester laffy taffy.*

Mouthfeel: the filtering, club soda carbonation and addition of natural flavors (as stated on the bottle)* make this a dissapointing experience. I am curious how a 6.9% beer with high carbonation can have no head?

I used to return to this beer annually. I always craved its malty richness and unique, medium toast.

Boy has it changed! Almost a soda pop experience.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Source:/Serving: 20oz. Bottle. No expiration date and not aged.

Smell: Some dark fruit syrup and caramel with a slightly funky, horsey, oak note that leads into low lying black pepper, and clove spice that is muted but on the harsh side. A pinch of cider that adds a depth of flavor and anchors the nose a bit.

Taste: Moderately sweet caramel apple with a cidery edge. Quite caramelly in the middle with a slightly astringent fruit skin bitterness towards the finish. A faint hint of spice. Overall, the flavor isn't as nice as the nose and is pretty mild overall, though it is balanced. Its almost like a slightly sweet and spicier, fruitier amber. Finish is semisweet with toasted caramel notes, but has a earthy/medicinal flavor that tastes a little bit off.

Note: If you don't like your seasonal beers too intense or too spicy this beer would probably be a good option.

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Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71.4% out of 100 with 1,810 ratings
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