Winter Ale 2006-2007 | Mendocino Brewing Company

very good
34 Ratings
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Winter Ale 2006-2007Winter Ale 2006-2007

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by phishgator on 12-08-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 30
Reviews by mrquartetman:
Photo of mrquartetman
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend and I are getting ourselves ready to put on a winter/Christmas beer tasting in about 3 weeks. Tonight we brought our lists together to consolidate, winnow, and agree on 10 for the tasting. I had 2 of them out for taste-test, and remembered that I had the Mendocino, so brought it out too. It was not on my preliminary list because I forgot I had it on hand.

We tried the other two. I opened the Mendocino and got a chocolatey aroma immediately, even before pouring it. Now, I wasn't ready for the aroma because I had not read the bottle or, for that matter, even looked at it much. I expected something like last year's brew, an IPA, so was more than surprised when this wonderful looking almost black, thick beer swirled into the glass.

My friend and I were then surprised even more by the aroma off the top of the glass - very chocolatey, and no discernible hop, just great malt.

We took a taste and we must have looked like little kids opening presents. This is one big, sweet oatmeal stout - one of the best I've ever tasted, and it has a terrific persistence across the palate: complex, coffee/chocolate (just as the label says) and very creamy (just as the label says).

This beer might be getting toward a year old, but it's done well since it fell into the bottle. A most drinkable, friendly beer for a winter night.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Byeast
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

06-07 12 oz bottle of Mendocino Winter Ale ( Oatmeal stout )

Appearance: opaque pitch black color , with a large head that lasted as a quarter inch of light brown foam.

Smell: rich , roasted malts , as well as some smoky qualities , faint chocolate.

Taste: Very tasty , rich , dark , and smooth. Lots of full bodied roasty character , some dark chocolate , bit of esspresso , more smokey quality , light hint at smoked meat , some burnt notes , a bit creamy , with just enough balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: mildly creamy.

Drinkability: I really liked this beer. It is one of the more smokey oatmeal stouts iv'e had , which i think makes it unique and appropriate for the holidays. Rich and smooth , give this brew a try!

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a crimped on cap. The bottled was dated 06-07. The style of this winter beer seems to change from year to year. I had to rewrite my review for this beer I originally put it under winter ale not 06-07 over a month ago. Todd had me change the review to where it belongs. Thanks,Todd

Opaque,black color.Thick pillowy mocha head with very good retention and some spotty lacing.

Very complex malty aromas,all the malty aromas are in there.Roasty,coffee aromas with lots of chocolate. Some vinious aromas and some oaty aromas.
Very nice pleasing aroma.

Great malty taste,intense roastyness with coffee and chocolate. Strong burnt tastes,also nutty with a sweet carmell/toffee taste. Very tasty beer.

Very full mouthfeel,robust and very creamy. Good drinkability for the thick body the great taste makes you want to keep drinking it anyway. Feels very light going down i'm sure it would get filling after a while. Reminds me a lot of the Troegs oatmeal stout. Would love to try them side by side. One beer worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a jet black inky body with a thick creamy dark tan head that turns rocky but last a good long while. The body is too dense to see any carbonation.

S- This beer has a dark black roasted malt smell with a very earthy note and some dark coffee roasted notes.

T- The taste of dark black roasted malt has some black roasted grain notes. There is a salty and smoky note that comes through after the malt. There are notes of coffee and cream as well as some dry cocoa as it warms a bit along with a note of tar in the background. The finish has a slight birch beer note with a slight sour hint.

M- This beer has a medium-full creamy mouthfeel with a slight alcohol heat at the finish once the beer is pretty warm.

D- This beer has some interesting qualities but the salty smoke was a bit out of place. Perhaps after it aged that would blend in with the malt flavors a bit more.

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

Pours dark dark brown, this was aged more than a year, virtully no head. Chocolate aromas. Very smooth and the mellowed astringency, and softened burntness of a formerly probably over-the-paate oatmeal stout. Full mouthfeel. Very drinkable. .Hops in the background.Superb.

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Photo of cliff1066
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is blck this good carbonation. The head is tall fingers mocha brown and leaves good lace.

The smell is very nice chocolate coffee malts are just great.

The taste is also very good, Really a fine example of going the extra. The taste is double chocolate and lots of coffee notes. Slight metallic in the finish.

The mouthfeel is big bold full and nicely carbonated.

The drinkability is great. Too bad they are all gone.

Prosit, MK

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Photo of Jredner
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Just arrived in town Dec 1st 2006. Bought 2 6-packs at Total WIne & More in Tampa.

The beer pours a very dark black even right from the bottle and settles stygian black. The head is DARK mocha...darker than some porters, it’s a thumb thick, fluffy and just cool looking because it is so dark. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, sweet cream, burnt and roasted malts and vanilla. Very nice smelling. Burnt roasty fore is followed by slightly lactic sour notes...somewhat dusty through the middle. Tangy chocolate and roasted malt in the finish...slight taste of sweet cream. Mouthfeel is good, but the flavor is a slight letdown. This isn’t as good as the last two stellar Winter Beers from Mendocino’s Saratoga Spring’s Brewery.

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

Black body with a 2 1/2 in. brown head that looks like soap.It looks amazing.Nice lacing on the glass.I can smell the oatmeal.Taste is of oatmeal and roasted maltsThe head fell to a ring around the glass.Mothful is sorda slick and very smooth and the carbonation is downright smooth,almost like a coca cola but easy going.I would have again for sure.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was stashed away on a shelf with the Oktoberfest in Knoxville. Figured I just had to pick it up. Poured a very dark brown, very thick with a two finger tan colored head. Very good retention held the head up for a while before finally releasing it to a thin film across the top.The aroma was very rich, full of sweet lactose and a touch of caramel and roasted coffee. The flavor followed suit nicely with a rich texture of coffee and sugar with the slightest touch of chocolate blended in. Very rich and creamy feel made it a sipper even though the ABV was not that high. Overall this was an excellent beer and something I would have to highly recommend. If you can find it, go out and get it, its defintly a winner!

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

Pours a dark black some red around edges when held to the light. Sports a nice coco colored head that falls slowly and leaves behind a decent supply of lacing.

Aroma good supply of roasted malt, lots of chocolate malt some light coffee notes and light sweetness noted.

Taste is nice roasted malts, nice supply of chocolate some light coffee notes some light sweetness mixed in from oats but not too much oats just a slight increase in feel. Some hops show up in the finish and blend with what tastes like watered down coffee. Overall not bad but was expecting more as Mendocino's other Winter Ales have been there best offerings by far.

Mouthfeel is good pretty smooth big medium carbonation mellow to aide in the smoothness.

Drinkability is good, a good example of a oatmeal stout not superb but defiantly worth picking some up.

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Photo of mjc410
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour into my Grimbergen glass (for lack of a better clean one) raises a deep tan one finger head with large bubbles. The body is opaque black. The head falls to a glass ring quickly, but leaves very nice lacing. The nose is rich and chocolatey, but seems to be hard to get a great whiff of. The chocolate overpowers the slight bit of coffee roast. The taste is extremely roasted, but balanced by a syrupy sweetness, and great chocolate flavor. The mouth is rather heavy, but lightly carbonated. A very nice oatmeal stout.

 525 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color with a large foamy light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malt, oats chocolate and coffee.

T: The taste is very rich and creamy with flavors of dark chocolate, roasted oats, coffee and a touch of dark fruit. The malt character is very malty as you would expect and the there’s a very mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly bitter from the chocolate & coffee.

M: Very smooth and a little crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, dry and sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, slightly filling, good representation of style but seems to flirt with leaning toward being a Baltic Porter, it’s a good beer, but it’s one that is better to drink one or two of slowly.

 861 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a full pillowy brown head that leaves decent lace. Strong Dark Chocolate and roasted malt aromas. Strong Dark Chocolate and light espresso flavors; a very robust Oatmeal Stout. Medium-full bodied and smooth ... wonder if they used Oats ? Nice chocolate and coffee finish.

Yummy Robust OS !

Per Label: "Roasted Barley and Chocolate Malts" & "Warrior and East Kent Golding Hops"

2006-2007 version
Tasted: 03/29/07

($1.49 / 12 oz.)
($5.99 / 6-pack)

 476 characters

Photo of ClassicBrad
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque dark brown body on the carbonated sign with a dark tan head that resorts to a thin bubbly layer. Smells faintly of oats and sweet chocolate malts. Tastes of sweet, dark chocolate with a thin refreshing mouthfeel that balances the robust flavor of the malts. Can drink a good few of these.

 305 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of flexabull
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one is courtesy of Jahnoth... thanks! Weird though... a Mendocino Brewing beer from Saratoga New York seems strange to me. Last time I checked, Mendocino was a county in Northern California.


Beer pours a nice black color with a great looking tan head.

Smells like burnt coffee, and a bit of bitter chocolate.

This one tastes a bit like sweet and tart on the front. It's not overpowering... but I can certainly taste it. There is also a malty and coffee like quality, and a bit of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, but maybe a tad watered down for a stout.

Drinkability is pretty good. An above average stout, but not all that special. With all that said? I'd have another...

 726 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle to a jet black, with medium thick tan head that hung around awhile, but then dissipated fairly quickly to leave little lacing. Aroma was a nice strong mix of chocolate and toffee with coffee undertones. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side, but the flavor followed the nose exactly, leaving a nice sweet, somewhat warming finish, as the 7% abv began to make itself known.

A good offering by Mendocino.

 425 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pitch black stout color with a very solid, chunky oatmeal-colored head. Very very dark.

Light coffee flavor with a bit of a mild, chocolate scent. Heavy malt aroma. Very strong, but also fragrant. Does exhibit a heavy alcohol flavor.

Very strong alcohol taste, though slightly metallic. Extremely strong coffee flavor. Bitter, bitter malt. Pungent bitterness, and a heavy coffee stout flavor.

Thick feel, with that shock of alcohol, almost like sucking on a battery. It's very heavy and thick, which would make it difficult to repeat too many times. But it is a very flavorful beer, a strong stout ale.

One sidenote: I am a little disappointed that Mendocino didn't give this it's own name, or even change the packaging from their previous year's winter ale (which was a phenomental IPA). It might have been good to set them apart from one another. Has no bearing on the flavor, of course, but I found it to be a curious marketing strategy.

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Photo of ejimhof
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

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

12oz. bottle. 2006-2007 version.

Opaque black fluid, faint mahogany around the edges when held up to light. Modest cocoa colored head.

Smell of coffee more than chocolate initially. This flipped as the brew warmed. Some earthiness in the aroma as well.

Taste was similar to scent. Coffee, roast, bit of burnt toast. Some alcohol/phenol flavor, very mild - assertiveness increased with temperature, though. Hints of chocolate, which, like in the scent, increased as beer warmed. Nicely bitter at finish.

Medium + body. Low carbonation. Rather drying. Would have prefered a bit more creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, quite good. Definately a beer whose character changes profoundly with temperature. One of the better offerings from Mendocino.

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Photo of Winter
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black in color with a light brown creamy head. Plenty of lacing down the side of the glass. Aroma consisted of chocolate, caramel, toffee, maple and buttermilk waffles. The mouthfeel is full in body. Roasted malt with some graininess upfront. Chocolate appears midway along with a soy sauce like flavor. Some smokiness toward the back and the beer finishes a little on the dry side.

Decent for a winter beer. Lacking in some smoothness for an oatmeal stout, but still flavorful. 7% abv is hidden well. Worth a try.

 523 characters

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

Black, light brown head. Smells like roasty malts, chocolate and vanilla. Tastes the same. Full bodied with a slightly astringent finish from the roasted malts. I thought this was real good. Mendocino's regular lineup doesn't thrill me much, but at least once a year they will pull a good seasonal beer out of the hat that makes you wonder what went wrong.

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Photo of markgugs
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip pint

A: Pours a ruby-tinged, inky, black, with a 1-finger, rich, creamy, dark tan head. Head mostly goes away quickly, but a nice ring of foam & lacing sticks with the beer to the finish.

S: Rich wafts of cocoa, cookie dough, and maple brown sugar make their presence known right away. Very malted aromas.

T/M: Big, chocolately sweetness up front, nice roasted bitterness on the finish, very burnt coffee-ish, which stays with me for minutes. Lots of dark fruit sprinkled throughout too, namely raisins, cherries & plums. Each sip feels like a slightly carbonated raspberry chocolate root beer float.

D: I loved this beer, and would like to find a few more! Recommended.

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Photo of dfried
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very black in color, only the slightest hints of red at the edges, 1cm coco colored head dropped quickly to a ring and film. Rich and chocolatey aroma with hints of coffee, sherry, dark fruits, and black licorice, maybe some hops though they didn't comr through all that clear. The flavor was all rich chocolate, kind of like bitter dark chocolate at first but smoothing to creamy milk chocolate in the aftertaste.Tangy earty hops show up as well, more than I had expected. Coffee notes and charred malt notes in the aftertaste as well. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Verdict: exceeded my expectations. I liked the quite chocolatey and hoppy overall feel. I think I will get some more before its gone.

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Winter Ale 2006-2007 from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 34 ratings.
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