Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale) | Casco Bay Brewing Co.

72 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)

Brewed by:
Casco Bay Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Old Port Winter Ale has brought inner warmth and happiness to both Mainers and those from away for the past several winters. The 7.3% ABV makes our winter seasonal a Strong Ale by style. But the deep mahogany color, thick foamy head, solid malt body, and assertive hop flavor make it a worthy reward for reaching the end of another Maine winter's day.

Added by Bierman9 on 03-25-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 84
Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown color with ivory colored head. Caramel malts, spice, and some light yeast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with spice and malt.

 178 characters

Photo of Ryanm1
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The bottle was bought from the Shipyard Brewery in Maine a couple of months earlier in a variety of choices. Casco Bay is either completely owned or just bottled by Shipyard.
The color is brown. Minimal head on it. Its got a sweet scent with hints of fruit. Appearntly it is 7.2% ABV higher than the average beer, but common among Winter Warmers. This beer is very similar to the 2010 Shipyard Winter Called Prelude. It is moderately to heavy on the carbonation and has a mouthfeel similar to eating a lesser version of poprocks.
Can't believe I am drinking this Winter ale on the warmest day of the Winter a 77degree day in Philly.

 682 characters

Photo of berley31
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with an average-sized, off-white head that appears slightly creamy. Dissipates over a couple of minutes. Body is a dark amber color and very clear.

S: Moderately malty and sweet, with hints of chocolate.

T: Starts malty and sweet, and very smooth, and finishes slightly dry. The chocolate notes in the aroma are only barely detectable in the taste.

M: Medium bodied, quite creamy, with soft carbonation.

D: An easy-to-drink winter beer, and quite mellow and smooth compared to many of its competitors.

 515 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) Brown with reddish hues. Pours with a thin head. Produces nice thin lacing.
S) Caramel sweet notes. A touch of alcohol tries to poke through. Some yeasty notes.
T) A slight sour bite at the front end then moves into earthy sweetness. Finishes with a bit of hop ans malty sweetness. Caramel, toffee, and butterscotch in the mix.
S) Medium bodied. Some fizziness. Slightly creamy.
D) A decent beer. Not as strong as anticipated with the winter warmer classification.

 467 characters

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours with no head, little carbonation and beer is a dark copper color.

Smell- Boozy and metallic, yet somehow alluring...

Taste- Sharp, metallic here too. Very malty with some lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Good palate coverage.

Drinkability- Solid, not great but solid.

 288 characters

Photo of evanackerman
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

beer pours brown with a one finger head, decient lacing.

aroma is sweet malt, raisin bread, slightly sour.

taste is buttery malt with a slight hop bitterness

medium bodied mouthfeel, minimal carbonation

drinkability is average

overall, not bad but not something i'm likely to ever buy again, tastes more like an average brown ale than a unique winter beer, so far I have not been blown away by anything from Shipyard/Casco Bay brewery.

 440 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A BOTMC selection I'm finally getting to. Smells of malt and licorice with pistachios. Lots of sugars in this one. Pours to a dark translucent brown with a good two finger head. Laces nicely as the head recedes. Mouthfeel is outstanding, thick and smooth with enough carbonation to break the flavors loose. Taste is a mostly bitter start with sweetness in the middle again overtaken by a dry bitter after taste but still followed by a brown sugar sweetness. This brew has 4 phases of flavor, complex and delicious. This is a tough brew to put down. A cornucopia of flavors. The high AC in this brew is not at all detectable, this is beer with a helluva backbone. I think just drinking it, the snow is starting to fall. Time to put another log on the fire. I need to get some more of this to cellar.

 798 characters

Photo of scoobybrew
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a snifter-like glass.

A - amber color with thick collar-like head that dissipates a bit initially but is retained in a lacing about the glass

S - malty with some hints of oxidation and a slight bit of hop

T - malty at first, but the flavor quickly turns quite hoppy with a very dry finish

M - medium body with moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent winter warmer, and even though I'm enjoying it on an early summer day, I imagine it would be quite nice by a fireplace in the dead of January.

 536 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a nice head that sticks around as a thin cap and leaves some spotty lacing. A little sharp in the nose with some English style yeast and some mineral and coppery aromas as well as some biscuity malt. A nice English style malty winter warmer. Quite biscuity with flavors of Carr's wheat crackers and some balanced English hops. Creamy and a touch sweet, very easy to drink and seems lower abv than it is. Perhaps just a touch of soapiness in the finish.

 469 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cheers to unholy2 for this one!

Pours an effervescent brown/caramel with 2+ fingers of sand colored head. Average head retnetion & lacing

S: Cakeyness, brown sugar & sweet booze

T: Cakeyness, some smokeyness, & brown sugar up front. Dryness, toffee sweetness, herbal hops & more boozey sweetness as this warms. Finishes with slight smokeyness, some booze sweetness & some leafy hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, slightly over carbonated, some stickyness

Drink pretty easy for the ABV, but lacks malt depth & doesn't really make me want more than 1 or 2. This one didn't come together for me

 593 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunset orange-bronze with polished pumpkin trim. The upper third of the pint glass is filled with a crown that is equal parts pale orange, pale gold and beige. A very nice lace display puts the finishing touches on this attractive ale.

If the nose is a reliable indicator, Winter Ale is more hoppy than most winter warmers. The beer smells like it will be balanced between sweet malt and bitter hops, with something less than a full complement of spices. Until my taste buds get involved, I can't swear that there are any spices present.

Delicious beer. I'm still not sure about the exact ingredients, since the spicier aspects of the flavor profile might be due to nothing more than hops. If something other than malt, hops, yeast and water is present, it hasn't been added with a heavy hand. Perhaps a pinch of cinnamon? Can't be sure.

Winter Ale is lightly toasted bready, with a hint of nuttiness and maybe even a little toffee. The 'best by' date isn't until October, so the hops are still kicking and screaming. They're grapefruit pithy and considerably spicy. Gotta be Chinook, along with at least one other. The finish is snappy and tight. IBUs just north of 50?

Even though the mouthfeel isn't the beast of the winter warmer block, it more than gets the job done. Especially when the ABV is taken into consideration. What it lacks in heft, it makes up for in smoothness and ease of drinkability.

Casco Bay Riptide Red is one of the best Irish reds that I've ever had. Winter Ale (Old Port Ale) isn't far behind. I love brewers who view the world through hop-colored glasses. Why don't these guys get more love?

 1,624 characters

Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle

A: snifter. pours a perfect mahogany, reddish brown, with a supple white head. moderate head retention, with a faint amount of lacing.

S: almost a potpourri bouquet. Malty and flowery. sweet, yet very floral.

T: initial taste doesn't surprise me that it is brewed by Shipyard. sweet malts with a hoppy floral flavor. tastes like a malty garden.

M: very smooth and crisp. decent palate but not overbearing.

D: very drinkable. good session winter brew, even at 7.2%

 489 characters

Photo of adams82
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brow/dark red colour with a filmy white head, filtered clear.

Smells very interesting! Bready yeast and some sweet hops mixed with a huge note of spicy, floral and fruity hops. Fairly surprising for the style, but very welcomed. This is gonna be a hoppy flavoured beer.

Tastes just as interesting as it smelled. It starts with a dominating malty sweetness and spiciness, maybe from rye malt? I also picked up caramel and toffee notes. Those flavours fade into a nice fruity and nutty flavour into the middle and finishes with a clean hop bitterness with heavy citric hop notes throughout. This is a fairly complex offering with a lot going on; a very nice surprise.

Medium to full bodied, this beer is smooth and easy to drink, rounded just enough carbonation. The complexity of this beer makes it a winner and one that could be consumed in large quantities despite the 7.2% ABV.

This is my first offering from Casco Bay Brewing Co. and I'm really looking forward to going through the other bottles I've got stashed. Well done!

 1,047 characters

Photo of kurtissellen
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transferred this one into an oversized wine glass and produced a finger of head that had a spicy yeast smell. Looked a reddish orange color that was semi transparent. Detected fresh apples and had a very strong taste of hops to it especially at the end. This bitter taste hung around after every sip, nice if you like hops which I do. Actually now that I think about it this could almost be classified as a IPA.

 411 characters

Photo of ebit
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber body with a ¾ inch pale beige head.

Nutted roasted malt with a bit of sweet dextrose detected.

Carbonation up front and assisting in a dry finish.

Nutted malts are slightly sweet in the beginning but hops create a bittered finish after swallowing.

 298 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in my beer of the month club shipment.

Pours a 1 finger head with a brown color. Retention is good and head stays around for a while.

Smell of toasty malts and tofee. The caramel malts go well with toffee.

Taste is of caramel and toasted malts with a hint of tofee. Hop bitterness provides a dry finish. A little bit of dry tannins remain, but are not overly bad. I'd like a little more thickness from the malts and some more spicing. As the beer warms I think I pick up a littl ebit of orange.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slgihtly creamy. Not very astringent for 7.2% abv

Not a hard beer to drink. The dry tannins produce a mild amount of off flavors.

 657 characters

Photo of tmitch75
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Monthly Club selection for February.

Dark amber, minimal head, a little lace.

Slightly sweet bready flavor with a light hop presence.

Solid malt flavor with dark fruits and a little black licorice. Much bigger hop kick than expected.

Medium to full body and good carbonation level.

Excellent. I love this beer. Not a holiday beer but a good solid winter seasonal.

Tasted on 2/23/08.

 396 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a coco-cola colored beer with good lacing properties. The beer had a hoppy smell and a hoppy taste. The beer was a little bitter aftertaste. The beer was not bad but just was not nothing special either. I will not buy again.

 287 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a SA pint glass.

A: Pours a nice mahogany with a vibrant ruby hue. The two-finger head of sticky tan foam reduces to a bubbly lace and lasts for a while.

S: The malt in the nose is of roasted caramel mixed with sweet dark fruits. There is a thin floral hop in the nose also.

T: Taste is of sweet dark fruits and rich toasted caramel malts. There is some spiciness and heat in the finish, mixed with an assertive hop bite. Not too shabby.

M: Carbonation is moderate and the mouthfeel is a bit creamy, although there's a harsh hop bite lingering in the end.

D: The jacked ABV makes this one a sipper, and geared more towards an after dinner beer. However, it's rich, flavorful and not too filling, so it's good for 1-2 and out.

Overall, this is a decent brew, but not the best winter warmer. It's fruity ale qualities convolute the intended style a bit, but it's a nice old ale.

 916 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a nice mahogany color, though hardly any head formation is to be seen. It has a soft, toffee malt aroma with a ripe fruitiness. Emphasis in the flavor is squarely on the malt, sweet and caramel, but there's some underlying roastiness that cuts some of the sweetness, together with a moderately high bitterness. Yeast character tends fruity but not as much as suspected from the aroma. Finish lingers for a bit.

 421 characters

Photo of nsmartell
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From bottle to Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber with an inch of head.

Smell: Malty with some blackberry.

Taste: Pretty bitter and hoppy throughout, but especially at the end.

Mouthfeel: full-bodied. Best part of the beer.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer. Not sure I would seek it out though.

 364 characters

Photo of electrified
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear reddish amber in color. Not much of a head but it sticks around. Aroma is rather sweet and malty, like an amber ale -- pleasant -- but the taste is more bitter, with a nice dry finish. Well balanced. You won't find any of the spiciness commonly found in winter ales. Medium-bodied and well carbonated. The high ABV isn't so apparent. Nice overall.

 359 characters

Photo of erosier
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice dark brown, almost black with a short light tan colored head that laces the glass OK. It has a nice aroma of deep roasted malts and a little bit of winter spice. The taste is pretty good as well. It has a nice taste of deep roasted malts, followed by some winter spice, nutmeg maybe, and then a nice hop bitterness for a good tasting winter ale. It has a very crisp and fresh tasting mouthfeel and it is pretty drinkable and worth a try.

 460 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber/light brown (almost like maple syrup), clear. Modest head that dissipates quickly. The lace slides down the glass.

Strong "ruby" nose that comes from a generous portion of crystal malt. Lots of blackberry, currant and sweet cherry.

This beer is far more bitter than the smell would indicate. The aftertaste is nearly all hop. There's a subtle sweetness in the initial sip--so I'm giving it points for complexity. Full bodied with mellow carbonation.

This warmer does not have any of the usual spices associated with a Christmas beer; otherwise it has all of the qualities. Worthy of a six-pack.

 608 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color, good amount of head that had some lacing to go with.

Mostly a malty aroma though, some floral hop bitterness, and a little accompanying spice, maybe nutmeg.

Taste is mostly controlled by the malt, citrus feel from the hops, bit more hops than is needed for a winter warmer.

Good ABV level for a winter warmer, pretty smooth going down but the bitterness seems a little off.

 398 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale) from Casco Bay Brewing Co.
3.72 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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