Winter Ale | Fremont Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
180 Ratings
Winter AleWinter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States
fremontbrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Abominable Ale

This is a tasty Winter Ale to snuggle up to, released for the winter months when snow blankets the terrain of the mind and the body craves warmth and, let’s be honest, it’s dark and wet most of the time so your beer better be damn good. Winter Ale is dark like the weather with roast chocolate and warm malt flavors balanced by Noble hop aroma and subtle hoppy spice. Warm up to it. Because Beer Matters!

47 IBU

Added by beertunes on 01-07-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
180
Reviews:
42
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
9.38%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
17
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 180 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of Axnjxn
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

dark brown color, nice head. smell very caramel/malt forward. taste is smooth, lots of chocolate, some plum/dark fruit flavors. quite good. interesting take on a winter warmer. fremont is just solid

 199 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle picked up in Seattle, poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with a light brown head. It's a small head, but good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Coffee, roasted malts, and a sweetness, hard to place.

T - Sweet roasted malts, spices, and coffee finish it off.

D - Heavy body, low to average carbonation.

O - Suitable for a winter ale. It could use a bit more spice.

 404 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my in-laws for this bottle stuffed in my stocking for Christmas 2012! Had this once before (actually 3 times!) after the 2012 Resolution Run on new year's day in Magnuson Park, Seattle, but this is the full review 1/8/2013

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown with only a little redish light coming through and capped with a half finger of khaki head.

Smell. Dark malts, caramel and some sweet chocolate. Yum.

Taste. Dark and maybe a bit smokey malts, some bitter dark chocolate and just a touch of dried dark fruits without the sweetness. Quite dry and the alcohol is VERY well hidden ...that much I remember from the last time I had this. I also remember feeling better after that race than any other I've ran.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body, below medium smooth carbonation.

Overall. A very nice beer, especially for a winter warmer. I remember a little spice the last time I had it, but not getting much this time ...not that that's a bad thing.

 956 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle as a Christmas gift from a friend. Thanks! Pours nearly pitch black with a massing khaki brown head that sticks around a good while. Aroma of straight up malt extract--in a completely good way--some light hops, molasses, more sweet malts. Whoah. Flavor is sweet up front with big malt body to the Nth degree, some lightly earthy hops that balance things tremendously, finishing with some light roast and smoke, and long molasses notes. Big body, medium low carbonation. Right on. This is one of the better non-BAs in this style that I've had. Really delicious and relaxing. Have to try the bourbon version now.

 617 characters

Photo of Zach136
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown color that could - under poorly lighted conditions - be mistaken for a stout. The head is a two finger mocha shade with excellent texturing. I'm also impressed with the head retention; it's still standing a finger high after a minute.

S: This has a very roasty quality to it, acting as a compliment to the dark fruit esters and earthy/piny hops that also pop up on the nose. Nothing really stands out about it, but it gets the job done sufficiently. If the aesthetics screamed "stout", the aroma screams "black ale".

T: ...and the flavor screams "strong ale". The profile here has a far stronger dark fruit bend to it. Flavors of plums, raisins, figs, and cherries will then give way to a midtaste of licorice (not the nasty black stuff) and coffee. If there's one thing noticeable, it's that the further the flavors progress on the palate, the more 'roasty' they become. The hops - which I expected to dominate, or at least have the strongest pull in the flavor profile - remain subtle throughout; their presence offering a balancing edge of earth, black pepper, and pine to the fruity sweetness. Give it time to warm up, and it will reveal notes of vanilla, chocolate, and walnuts after repeated sipping; it's just complex enough to keep the palate guessing.

The best part about this one? The exhales - they have a wondrous dark chocolate/vanilla quality to them.

M: Typically smooth, syrupy, and vaguely sweet on its finish. The hop profile and roasted barley don't dry out the finishing texture like I expected...or even wanted. Luckily, it's light enough so that drinking it won't be a chore. Carbonation is middling but well focused and uniform on the palate.

O: This becomes pretty sweet after a while, so it might not be a bad idea to have someone on standby to share this with. Still, if we're talking about how this one lives up to the basic definition of the 'winter warmer' moniker (meaning does it lift the soul and warm the orifices), I'd say it's a success. I'd buy it again if Fremont ever decided to distribute to my state.

 2,106 characters

Photo of shelby415
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ccrida
3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draught at Naked City, Abominable is dark, cola brown, pretty much still, with only a wisp of a khaki collar.

Smell is muted, even after letting it warm up and breath for a while, just a little caramel.

Taste is pretty mellow, just a generic malty beer, some caramel, a touch of char. Clean, but underwhelming, I kept waiting for it to open up, but to no avail.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied, perhaps a touch more, but not painfully so. Smooth, drinks like a porter, but with less then average malt (but still dark).

Drinkability ok, it's smooth and inoffensive, and the 7.5% ABV is well hidden. OTOH, it lacks character, and is boring. Average, generic dark ale, although not your typical winter warmer - darker yet less flavor!

 744 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz BOMB, bottleworks

the cask version of this layed on a ton of raspberries was wonderful - this review is the bottled base beer

appearance: split/served in great divide shaker pint, near ebony body, splotchy tan head with a nice lace

smell: char, light dry roasty aroma, not much else

taste: Bitter roast, dry char, bakers chocolate, some nice dark fruits, smoke, toffee. Interesting, but benefits from the barrel and cask treatment at the brewery.

mouthfeel: dry, bitter roastiness

overall: ok, not my favorite fremont bottling

 538 characters

Photo of Sound_Explorer
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DanGeo
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cherche
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of M_chav
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #61 (Feb 2012):

LOOK: Dark leather brown

SMELL: Brown bread, molasses cookies, toasted biscuits, mild coffee, baked apples, woody hops, spicy esters

TASTE: Full body, smooth, faint roasted grain, raisins, ripe apple orchard, biscuity, yeasty, chicory, warming alcohol, herbal, spicy hops, and a toasty, roasty finish.

Wintertime was late! Such a perfect time to pop the cap on this bottle. Abominable is true to style, with an alluring dark color and a palate that makes you want to take another sip. A brawny ale, one that looks to warm the soul and ward off any winter chill, which it does not seem to have a problem doing.

 662 characters

Photo of blackie
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber courtesy of dirtylou during a stay at his lovely home

a: served in a shaker pint, deep opaque brown in color, topped with a light mocha head that retains well

s: roasted barleys, chocolate, hops earthy, a simple but well-structured aroma

m: carbonation on the higher side of the light range, medium-full body

t: fairly simple, featuring smooth medium-dark roast barley, some semisweet chocolate sugars, earthy hops, hitting some porter notes

o: an easy drinking, roasty winter warmer, fairly standard but a good flavor set that hints at the porter style

 565 characters

Photo of yeaprolly
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of Beaver13
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Pours brown with a big frothy creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass a little.

The aroma is sweet roasted chocolate and caramel malt with a little fruit.

The flavor is sweet chocolate and caramel malt with some dark fruit and molasses and a bitter chalky roast finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a decent winter warmer.

 396 characters

Photo of Drknight
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Morey
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of strongaf
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of SDRedDevil
3.8/5  rDev -1%

Photo of LeeEvolved
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of snaotheus
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler, filled last night, poured into pint glasses

Pours dark brown-amber, dark but translucent (no cloudiness), medium beige head and surprising lacing, slow fizz. Smell is caramel and bitter chocolate with a little smoke.

Taste is bitter up front (coffee, smoke, chocolate) with a sweet finish (caramel, toffee).

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, and chewy, nice drinkability. Malty beer that my wife and I can agree on.

---
2014-02-01

Having a bottle side by side with the bourbon barrel version.

This isn't translucent, it's opaque. Absolutely. Less head, aroma as described previously. Mouthfeel is very effervescent from the bottle.

 640 characters

Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 180 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More