Winter Ale | Rivertown Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
83
good
41 Reviews
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Winter AleWinter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

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
Reviews:
41
Ratings:
133
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
28.22%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
26
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 133
Photo of Jesse13713
3.09/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A transparent cherry-hued ale. Light red and a slight brown. No head or lacing in the glass.

Smell - Light malt and spice. Faint hints of light fruit.

Taste - Tastes very heavily like maraschino cherries. A bit medicinal in a way. This is a very dessert-like beer that actually tastes like I'm eating strawberry shortcake. It becomes a bit repetitive, but not bad overall. Lightly spiced.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Medium to heavy-bodied. Makes your mouth water. Well balanced, though it can taste a bit artificial and medicinal at times.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's head one and a half finger thick, with sheen lacing, and a deep brown body.

Smells like caramelized malts. Not much hop presence, but I wasn't expecting it.

I taste a near-perfect blend of molasses, cinnamon, and roasted malt. A very enjoyable winter flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean.

Overall, I'll give Winter Ale - Rivertown Brewing Co. a 4.5. This is another seasonal by these guys that's a keeper.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
1.55/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at room temperature.

A: Pours into the glass a sort of ruby-brown, not unlike a watered-down Mr. Pibb. The head is thin and a pale yellowish tan, and dissipates quickly, leaving only a ring. Bubbles rise steadily from the bottom of the glass in the clear brown fluid.

S: This may be one of the least appetizing aromas I've ever gotten from a beer. While there is sweet caramel malt involved, there's something that resembles laundry - the sort of laundry that's been sitting in the hamper damp for a while, but damp with sweat instead of water.

T: And once again, a Cincinnati brewery, proud of its traditional German heritage, chucks that right out the window and hops the ever-living heck out of their beer. Some sort of leafy, nigh tobacco bitterness charges the tongue right out of the gate, biting and clawing and snarling. Somewhere in the midst of that fury, for a brief, shining moment, a burst of sweet caramel malt gets through - and then gets piledriven into hard concrete covered in shards of broken glass by MOAR LEEF HAWP. Throughout the tasting, there's a decided tone of cinnamon to the whole thing, though it seems less involved in the drive-by bludgeoning of malt by hop and more casual bystander who wants nothing to do with the rest of the scene and is just keeping its head down while walking briskly away. The finish is, of course, leafy hops with cinnamon, because why change anything about the flavor at the very end?

M: Sparkly carbonation lends a touch of sharpness to the beer, so the hops aren't just beating the malt senseless, but shivving it in a dark alley for its wallet as well. The finish is watery.

O: Let's just say I am happy that this was one beer of a mix your own six, and move on with our lives. We'll all be happier that way.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
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

Photo of stercomm
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Very hazy straw color, little to no head, no glass lacing at all.

S - Some citrus, a gingerebread like flavor, some earthiness.

T - Very refreshing, lemon zest, bready some spice. Clean finish.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation

D - Not a bad summer brew, very refreshing, good flavors

 324 characters

Photo of 1mrbeer
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a, dare I say, unique taste.It must be the combination of the molasses and cinnamon,not that that's a bad thing,just different.I noticed the abv is listed on BA as 7.5% but the Rivertown site says it is 8.2%.Even with the higher abv it is well hidden amongst the flavors.I like the fact that it is a local(to me,at least) offering and would recommend it.

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Photo of shanblur
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No date markings on bottle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Deep mahogany colored beer with red highlights. Minimal white head on the pour and sparse lacing.

S - Cinnamon comes through on the smell. Also a malt aroma.

T - Cinnamon again is the major player, with a gentle sweet malt and minor hops combination.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

A nice beer. Would probably not get again but glad I tried it. Nice integration of the cinnamon.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of BigDRS
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle (with no freshness date) into a mug. The bottle reads "What ales you? Winter ale: Ale brewed with molasses and cinnamon"

Appearance - Poured with very little head and produced no lace. The beer is dark copper/brown in color and looks fairly dull.

Smell - The nose has a very strong cinnamon smell with hints of molasses and cherry.

Taste - WOW CINNAMON - lots of it. The sweetness of the molasses definitely comes through, but plays a secondary role. Fits the bill of a winter warmer as it goes down the throat.

Mouthfeel - Has a slightly mid to light body. Carbonation level is good.

Drinkability - Don't think that I could have more than one in a sitting. This is a beer best paired with a large holiday meal.

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Photo of Clowerweb
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz. brown bottle with no visible date, poured aggressively into a pint glass.

A: Pours an amber dark orange/brown color that resembles the color of iced tea with about a finger of head. Not a lot of retention or lacing, so I docked a point, but it's a very nice color regardless, very nice clarity and well filtered.

S: I smell more cinnamon than anything, although this beer isn't very strongly aromatic, but I do catch notes of sweet molasses and earthy malts, perhaps a bit of floral in there as well. Smells really nice, I just wish the aroma were amplified a bit.

T: Cinnamon comes through right away on the front of the palate, mid palate is very sweet with bready malts and molasses and it finishes clean with sweet cinnamon and a light hop bitterness. This is a fairly high ABV beer, coming in at 7.5%, and there is almost no alcohol coming through in the flavor at all, so they get huge kudos from me on that one. Very high drinkability and goes down smooth as silk. I'm really enjoying this.

M: Creamy and full bodied, moderately carbonated, carbonation will stick to the gums and tongue after the finish which I find delightful, leaves a slightly sweet and tingly mouthfeel behind, no astringency despite the higher ABV is a very respectable accomplishment.

O: This is my first Rivertown brew, and I must say, it has so far been a positive experience. The only way this beer could really be improved would be in head retention and lacing, although I I don't really give too much weight to how a beer looks anyway (taste and mouthfeel are the most important aspects of the experience IMO, and this brew comes away solid in both of these areas).

This is a fantastic winter ale, especially for cinnamon lovers, although it's definitely a niche beer, so if you don't like cinnamon or sweeter brews, you probably wouldn't find much enjoyment in this beer.

Overall highly recommended!

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Photo of tgorgz
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: Into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

A: Not a whole lot going on here, but the colour's a nice looking one- dark amber honey is what I'd call it.

S: Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice. The cinnamon hits you first, and then you'll get a hint of what can only be the molasses.

T: Good spice going on here. The Cinnamon and clove (slightly) hits you well, and then finish is longer with the molasses undertones.

M: Surprisingly light on the palate. Not as much carbonation as I would have liked or expected. The finish is a little syrupy, but passable.

O: Nothing that makes me go "wow", but certainly a decent beverage. I'd kind of have to be in the mood for something along those lines to go for it again. I may, instead, reach for the Winter Warmer from Long Trail.

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Photo of edfish
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried at the tap room, poured in a plastic cup.
A-Even in a cup had a nice dark orange brown look to it.
S-Man smelled like a Christmas cookie ...very sweet smell
T-Just like it smells, sweet and christmas spice, it is an 8% brew but you don't taste the alcohol until it warms up.
MF- Rich and sweet all the way
O-was a little to overpowering with the sweetness and Christmas spice I think it is a good dessert beer

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

Poured from a bottle, appearance is a clear copper color. Not much head, but some lacing. Nose and taste are both pure cinnamon, with the molasses and brown sugar bringing up the rear. No indication of ABV but has a nice tingle in the throat. I can't get the cinnamon out of my nose and mouth but the beers not half bad. A good sipper on a cold night, and would match a Christmas or thanksgiving dessert quite nicely.

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Photo of Dubious13
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A; Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass. Minimal head with little retention and no lacing. Copper colored and very clear. Almost luminous qualities.

S: Cinnamon is the dominant smell with earthy undertones

T: Cinnamon and caramel. For being brewed with molasses, it is suprisingly light. Hops are evident but not overpowering. Very complementary to the maltiness. Extremely balanced flavor, excepting that it may be too sweet for some palettes.

M: Medium body, not too dry for an 8% beer, little carbonation.

O: One of the better winter brews I've tried. Extremely balanced and very drinkable. As far as food pairings, I recommend venison or other "gamey" red meat.

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Photo of BigPauly
4.37/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I loved this beer, perfect for a winter evening. The molasses comes through along with a hint of spice, cinnamon before the first sip. Not much of a head, small lacing, but that's alright with me. This is a rich amber/ruby colored ale, I used my vintage Falstaff lager glass. At first you have a taste of cinnamon which fades into a spicy sweet flavor. Light mouth feel, with no alcohol bite despite a 7.5%. Like it for the colder nights!

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Winter Ale from Rivertown Brewing Co.
3.65 out of 5 based on 133 ratings.
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