Winter Ale | Fremont Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
86
very good
38 Reviews
Winter AleWinter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States | website

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
Reviews:
38
Ratings:
165
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
19.43%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
14
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 165
Photo of draheim
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can picked up during a recent tour of the brewery, poured into a tulip. An aggressive pour yields a pretty minimal head that dissipates quickly to a thin film and a ring of foam. Color is dark root beer brown, no light gets through the glass.

Aroma is sweet, malty, with notes of dried dark fruits. A nice spicy smokiness I can't quite identify.

Taste is roasty w/ chocolate & caramel malts and a nice crisp hoppy bite on the finish. Some spices linger on the palate. Maybe a little smokiness here too.

Mouthfeel is coating, medium bodied, finishes bitter. Lingering aftertaste.

Overall, a solid winter warmer that I could see enjoying w/ a big cheeseburger or maybe a pot roast.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a beer competition.

Pours a murky brown with tons of head. Too much if you ask me. No real lacing to speak of with massive bubbles on the head. Smells Pretty non-descript. Some sweetness on the nose and a bit of spice. Tastes dry and sweet. A bit of yeastiness as well. Fairly light on flavour but well balanced.High carbonation and fairly drinkable. Overall, not stellar but definitely not bad

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Photo of RJLarse
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Abominable Ale at Total Wine and More. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque with a frothy tan head.

Smell is a dark roasted coffee and chocolate aroma.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied and cloying.

Overall - A very drinkable ale. I make it as much a traditional coffee stout as a winter ale, but very good indeed.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not quite sure what "winter warmer" is supposed to taste like since beers labeled as winter warmers all tasted very different to me, but this one certainly tastes like a chocolate stout with a bit of a hop bite towards the end. ANYWAY

A: Black with 2 finger head. Lots of lacing.

S: Smells like an oatmeal stout. roasty, coffee, chocolate, malt.

T: Tastes definitely like a stout. It's not one of those hoppy stouts. Roasty malt, chocolate notes, brown sugar, and in the middle, there is some strong sweetness accompanied by hops. Slightly bitter finish, but again, not a hoppy stout (like Victory storm king).

M: Smooth. Like an oatmeal stout. Not much alcohol heat detected.

O: It's quite good. Its big brother Bourbon Abominable is in a different class on its own, but I can see why this beer would make a great base beer for bourbon aging.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into my new favorite glass, a Rock Island snifter.

A: Pours very dark and almost pitch black. Dark tawny brown with transparent edges in the glass; light wisps of creamy off-white head.

S: Malty profile with slight hints of citrus and maybe a resiny hop presence. Brown sugar, toasted malt qualities, and hints of chocolate and coffee are at the forefront.

T: Follows the nose, not overwhelming in malt but not quite balanced with hops either; slight hint of coffee and a hint of spices as well. There is a suggestion of alcohol warmth and citrus which blends wonderfully with the toasted, malty, molasses bread backbone.

MF: Really not getting a full bodied beer here, though the mouthfeel is elegantly smooth. Thinner medium bod with a bit of an espresso-like dryness on the finish.

O: Really pleasant winter warmer, and a malt-forward yet drinkable dark beer that could turn into something brilliant with the addition of barrel aging. I'll have to try and track one of the BA versions down.

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Photo of Bfarr
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Black and small red highlights with thin brown head with mediocre retention. Light chocolate, roasted and herbal aroma. Charcoal and chocolate balanced with light herbal and spice. Very dry finish with moderate but smooth feel and carbonation.

Good subtle flavor up front but drowned completely by roasted malt and dryness. Taking long breaks allows you to enjoy that flavor once again but still it ends in an overly dry feel.

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

Pours a very heave amber holding up a soft brown head and leaving nice ringed lace. Smell of dark rich roasted malt, coffee, dried plums. Taste is rich with the roasted malt, coffee and dark fruits having a nice balance with the mild hops. Mouthfeel is full with mild carbonation making it go down smooth. A tasty rich dark winter ale with subtle alchohol on the senses that goes down well on a cold night.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to urbancaver on this wonderful spring afternoon.

A-clear amber with nice carbonation and tan head retention
S-malty and sweet
T-very sweet, mellow carmel taste. Very smooth malt character.
M-mediun bodied and so smooth
D-very drinkable if the head wasn't so prevelant!

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Photo of Taybeh
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Into a Weyerbacher tulip from a bomber (muled to MN from Seattle by my sister, thanks Hot Shot Boss!)

A: deep dark brown with a thin khaki crown
S: chocolate malts, roasted barley, faint hoppiness but not pronounced enough for me to specify
T: starts with some nice malty layers, a little chocolate, some caramel and a little pale malt breadiness, some toasty notes, and the back half has some orangey/melony and earthy/spicy hops, some kind of fruitiness (maybe starfruit) and some more sweetness (caramel? chocolate? licorice?). All in all, good body, some bitterness and also fairly sweet in a way that lingers.
M: wet, low to med carbonation, hides the alcohol pretty well, moderately chewy and creamy but not too heavy.

Overall: Good...I can't quite get to loving the way all the different parts hang together and it is a little too sweet for me, but I can respect and enjoy it, and it is well made.

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Photo of hreb
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle dated 10.18.11. Beer pours a thick dark brown with a chestnut head. Little aroma. Flavor is immediately spicy. Ingredients ("Down & Dirty") claim no additives, so the spice must be all in the hops. Otherwise I might have guessed cloves, based on the "heat" of the flavor. 8.0% ABV (based on this year's label) doesn't hurt, either. There's a malt backbone to thing thing as well, but flavor-wise, it's lost here. Mouthfeel is pretty good thanks to well-moderated carbonation, but drinkability suffers due to the one dimensional bitterness. Verdict: not my favorite.

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Photo of bifrost17
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a tulip glass

A: Very dark, not black, but a very dark brown mahogany. I definitely can't see through the beer. Tinges of ruby red around the edges of the glass.

S: I get lots of chocolate malt and orated barley on the nose. Maybe a tiny bit of black licorice, kind of reminiscent to the smell of a porter. Smells really nice to me.

T: The taste isn't similar to any "winter warmer" I've had (what really classifies this style anyways...?) I get lots of chocolate, just like the nose, and also lots of bitterness. I like how the bitterness of the hops plays off the chocolate malt to create a kind of coffee flavor.

M: Nothing but good to say about the mouthfeel. Super silky/creamy, moderate carbonation. Nice balance.

O: Overall I think this is a really nice take on what I feel like can be a very broad style. While this isn't my favorite winter beer it's certainly one that I look forward to every year. The profile for this beer says it's 7.5%, but the can that I'm looking at (2012 batch) says this winter monster clocks in at 8%, the alcohol is masked well. Abominable definitely gets more complex and enjoyable as it warms, don't pass this beer up if you see it.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

We strolled into this little warehouse late in the day, the boss man ready to run out the door. He stopped and happily poured some tasters. 3rd in the lineup was this splendid winter ale colored mahogany, smelling of roast, hints of smoke and chocolate and coffee. The hops are pronounced but soft, friendly hops.

He followed that with a limited tasting of a bourbon barre aged version which was, perhaps, the best beer I have tasted in the City of Seattle. Stop in, say hello. You will not regret the decision.

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

22oz bottle dated 121311 poured to tulip.

A: A very dark cola with a finger of cocoa-colored head, which dissipates quickly leaving—temporarily—large, sparse, soapy bubbles. Red tinged edges when tilted.

S: Roasty. Chocolate. Sweet dark fruits: prunes, raisins. Really nice, particularly as it warmed up.

T: More hop presence here, particularly at the front and end of the taste. Woody, slightly fruity, the hops follow the fruit and chocolate roast.

M: Full-bodied, mild carbonation. Really smooth. Silky.

Really liked this, and it got better throughout the time I spent with it.

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Photo of jellikit
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Tap.
Appearance: deep, deep brown. Medium, foamy, light tan head.
Smell: Light roasted barley.
Taste: balanced between chocolate, coffee, roasted barley and hops.
Mouthfeel: low carbonation. Big body. Sweet. Creamy.
Overall: I love this beer. Tasty. Balanced. Good.

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Photo of Ratman197
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Malt and Vine poured a clear dark reddish brown with a small lasting brown head. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, carmel, light vanilla, light earthiness and a hint of spice. Mouthfeel was mediuum bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of dark chocolate, roasted malt, light carmel, light coffee and a hint of spice with a smooth dry lingeing chocolate finish.

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Photo of RenzoD
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gotta say- if you're expecting a traditional "winter warmer" style beer before taking your first sip of this beer, you are in for a bit of a surprise. If this was sold year round as a porter I wouldn't be surprised at all. Deep dark appearance, tan head. Very malty but not in the same way a lot of winter ales are;Very roasted chocolate and nut taste, still has that hint of boozy aroma though. Has a roasted nutty finish, dark chocolate linger. This is a great beer, but a bit of a different direction than your typical winter warmer.

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Photo of Shumania
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce can poured into a DFH signature glass. Winter beer in August

A: dark cola looking with a creamy head

S: Carmel, chocolate, faint booze, toffee

T: starts with the toffee and Carmel, finishes with s lot of bitter chocolate, some hop bitterness in there too

M: extremely creamy! Not too the point of chewy, but it's like a glass of whole milk with Hershey syrup

The bitter chocolate makes this beer so good! It has a good complexity and its a unique experience

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Photo of sergeantstogie
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass. When I think winter warmer, I imagine some red or ruby hues. This looks like a porter or stout. Nice 3/4 inch head that leaves nice lacing. Not much of a nose on this. Faint roasted grain. Maybe a hint of raisin. The taste is good. Not great. It's an easy drinking beer for sure. Very slight roasty flavor. Bit of sweetness. Again that hint of raisin. Really smooth and balanced. Hops are nowhere to be found. They are in there because it is really well balanced but nothing really shines flavor wise. I like this beer more than my review reflects. This is a good beer for a cold winter day. However I think when you slap "winter warmer"on it, you expect certain flavors to be bolder. This cost $5 and change for a bomber at Full Throttle Bottles. Really good price for this beer.

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Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.
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