Winter Ale | Rivertown Brewing Co.

Winter AleWinter Ale
BA SCORE
45.3%
Liked This Beer
3.62 w/ 139 ratings
Winter AleWinter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
rivertownbrewery.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Snow days. Comfy sweaters. Family and Friends. In search for the perfect balance of spice, warmth and body, we chose to brew this beer with Saigon Cinnamon, due to its unique balance of spicy and sweet, and Blackstrap Molasses known for its robust, rich, slightly bitter notes. Picture enjoying the comfort of freshly baked gingerbread in liquid form on a blustery winter afternoon curled up in front of the fire. With its thick, creamy tan head stacked atop a dark, rich, umber hued body laced with hints of caramel, toffee and cinnamon, Winter Ale is brewed to warm the soul and tame any snow beast on even the coldest of nights.

Added by ltjska04 on 11-28-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#34,206
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
139
Liked:
63
Avg:
3.62/5
pDev:
16.02%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
27
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 139 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of starkitsune
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of brown2cu
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of zackcr
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of mcorwin
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of SPriestle
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of murraymj
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, slight red highlighting, hazy but mostly clear, very thin white wispy head. No real lacing.

S - Spice spice spice. Cinnamon, molasses, baked apples and a rich bread hit.

T - Follows that nose, with rich flavors. A bit of acidity and bitterness cuts in during the close.

M - Light. Very light. Too light for style. The flavor is full, so a bit more heft would be good.

O - Flavors are good, but I was looking for a bit more heft. The result is a nose and flavor that is lovely, but a quaff that seems should be rich and decadent, but ends up being a bit thin.

 585 characters

Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alright Rivertown! This one works. I know I haven't liked all of their stuff, but this one is very OK. I would definitely buy it again.

As you want in a winter warmer, this has a nice bunch of spice taste. A nice mix of spices, actually, and somewhat unique. The malt and hops characteristics do not seem as complex or interesting, but the are inoffcensive and it is very drinkable. It doesn't taste boozy in the least.

 421 characters

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Dan3279
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of beerslushy
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of JimmyFlatRock
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Brenden
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is a red-shaded brown that's almost, but not quite, opaque due to its darkness. Held to the light, it's actually fairly clear. The head is a tan one that reaches about half a finger with moderate retention, holding up a foamy layer that drops some spotting.
Sweetness comes out front in the aromas with immediate spicing as well, strong cinnamon that isn't so strong as to string the nostrils, and a little nutmeg and allspice beneath that off of some nicely toasty malts. Caramel comes out with the malts and molasses is more at the end as far as the smell but adds to the sweetness as a dryness comes in to balance.
As with the nose, spices and sweetness come out evenly up front with a bit of bite and a nice, clean cinnamon finish. There's a nice moderate hoppiness in the middle, not enough to take anything away from the main aspects of it but just a little leaf for added depth.
A little sweetness comes up and somehow stays on the tongue even as it dries. The body is fairly crisp and flows smoothly, losing just a touch of its medium body at the very end of each sip, which lingers with a little leafy dryness even as cinnamon gently nips.

 1,163 characters

Photo of ltjska04
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tonight we have Rivertown's aptly-named Winter Ale, a winter warmer-style ale brewed with molasses and cinnamon. As suggested by the bottle, I poured this into a snifter at roughly 45F. This beer is a hazy deep red/mahogany color with a tiny head that disappears as quickly as it appeared, leaving barely a ring of slow-rising bubbles around the outskirts of the glass. The appearance is not very impressive. My first whiff of the beer reveals cinnamon as expected. Unexpectedly, the smell follows up with tart cherries; very nice. As it warms this smells like cherry pie in a glass. The flavor reveals more of the cinnamon and cherry; sweet and tart flavors bounce off each other in a playful snowball fight. Oh yeah, we're getting metaphorical. The flavors come out more as the beer warms. The bottle claims a "big, bold, thick-bodied ale" that I won't necessarily disagree with, but while bigger-bodied than other Rivertown brews I've had I'd like to see this one really being fuller and more robust. The carbonation is low and it works for me. There is no indication of ABV but I'd guess it's around the 7-8% range... smooth going down with no burn but it starts to give you that warm holiday feeling towards the end. I could definitely associate this beer with the holidays and drink many of them. It hints at greatness and reminds me slightly of Troegs Mad Elf but unfortunately it doesn't quite measure up to it. Overall a good beer from Rivertown that has room for improvement.

 1,485 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass (poured the second half of the bottle into a snifter at the suggestion of the label)

Dull amber color that has enough depth to look a bit like a jar of honey. The puffy, two finger head didn't last long, thinning to an slight, lasting layer after a few minutes. No lace.

This smells like a big old gingerbread cookie. Hints of cinnamon bread underneath. Earthy hops & nutty undertones. Smells good as far as spices go; maybe too much for a beer. Imagine incense sticks prior to being burnt, only good.

Spices are similarly strong to taste; lots of cinnamon & ginger. Eh, they don't seem quite as strong as the nose; perhaps this is due to a more prominent bread notion that envelops said spices. Toasty & dry. Some earthy hops without much bitterness.

The feel is an appropriate medium body yet retains a nimble quality (at least before multiple swigs begin adding layer of lingering spices). The spices impart a sharp dryness which makes for a granular feel, as if over saturated with cinnamon & such. Carbonation is reasonably low & doesn't over-assert the spices. The finish is, no big surprise, dry & wrought with spices.

In the past I haven't been one to gravitate toward overly-spiced beers such as this. However, as far as spiced winter ales go this is easily drinkable & pretty enjoyable. Easily the best I've had from Rivertown.

 1,380 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cinnamon Toast Crunch dry cereal- There! Review over. But to add, it's remarkable in how the malty flavors of light toast, pale caramel, and hearty barley malt frame the backdrop for added spice of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in such a way to evoke an uncanny resemblance to the cereal that I loved as a kid. Where the medium bodied beer carries a caramel-heavy start, the copper colored ale develops into a semi-dry mid palate before utimately falling a bit weak. But the cinnamon and caramel flavor are inviting, if not one-dimensional.

 541 characters

Photo of movingtrain
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle sampled from a small snifter. Rivertown is a relatively new brewery in Cincinnati, and they are making some decent stuff. Not much information out there about them, though--no ABV listed on the bottle or on their website.

Pours an amber/brown color. The head is about one and a half fingers with an aggressive pour, but quickly dwindles to almost nothing. Carbonation looks steady.

The aroma is quite sweet. Actually smells lager-like. Strong malt presence backed by some mild hop bittering, cinnamon, hard candy, vanilla, light chocolate tones, clove, a bit of banana, and brown sugar.

The flavor here is interesting...the molasses hits you right off the bat, lending a syrupy sweet flavor across the tongue. Not sure what the ABV is here, but the beer is rather warming. Warm bread, cinnamon hard candy, plum, raisin, and brown sugar all come to mind. I think the addition of molasses here gives the flavor just enough complexity to make this an oddly balanced, but drinkable beer.

Overall, Rivertown's Winter Ale is, well, good for Winter. It works for the style, and even has a few surprises in the flavor. It is drinkable the night through.

 1,165 characters

Photo of comadiv
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean amber in appearance with moderate carbonation and only light lacing.

Nose is curious -- caramel, molasses, cinnamon, candy sugar. Unusual and unique, and certainly not bad!

Taste is another revelation. I get molasses again, taking me back to my youth, enjoying molasses cookies from the local bake shop. Body is heavy here, with a heavy malt presence and an almost coffee cake vibe.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable experience, like no other beer I've ever had.

 473 characters

Photo of nukem5
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark rich amber, around a 18 SRM. Sadly not a huge foamy cap but a thin layer of foam.

S: The smell of cinnamon and molasses is very powerful and intense with great malt balance with a light hops.

T: Big sweet malty taste with a super blast of sweet caramel and molasses is very powerful and a great balance of cinnamon and some light hops.

M: Surprising this offering from RTB is light in feel from such a huge taste.

O: Overall a great beer from this to me a first from this Brewery from Ohio, good job guys!!

 528 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a crimson color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Clove, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, toasted, bready, and caramel malts.

Taste: Same as above. Drinks well. Nice spice, herbal flavor, and balanced malt bill.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, spicy, herbal, a little chewy, and enjoyable.

Overall: I could see myself enjoying another one of these during the holiday season.

 643 characters

Photo of KevinL
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vdub191
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TeamMathis
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I thought this was fantastic. I really liked the murky brownish red look. The smell is cinnamon to the core, and the taste is like cinnamon graham crackers with a oatmeal cookie aftertaste. I'd drink it again for sure.

 218 characters

Winter Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 45.3% out of 100 with 139 ratings
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