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

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Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)
Very Good
84 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 72
Reviews by ChainGangGuy:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pale copper with perfect clarity and a white, sudsy head that fades to a thin cover of bubbles, though still leaves sticky bits of lacing throughout.

Smell: The aroma, though subtle, offers some noticeable scents of butterscotch, spice, cherries, with an undercurrent of floral hops lingering lazily behind.

Taste: A marked, sweet malty start lends way to a discernible cherry fruitiness. The mild hops flavors sufficiently balance the sweetness, and along with the spice, provides a nice, mildly bitter finish.

Waiting for the beer to warm really helps some solid flavors to emerge. While this is true with many beers, it's especially true with the Casco Bay Winter. See, waiting for the beer to breathe not only pays off, but it gets easier as time goes on, and the rewards actually increase, as the waiting goes on. It's like a flavor trust fund.

Mouthfeel: Medium, with a definite creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: While not too remarkable, this beer is still pleasing and indulges the palate till the next beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this beer was more of a stronger ESB than an Old Ale but anyways I really liked it.Pours a deep copper/amber color with a very nice creamy well retained head,aroma is very malty and lightly bready with a great fruity tones.Taste starts out malty sweet with nice bicuity flavors with great fruitiness and ends lightly hopped making this a great balanced rich tasting beer.A very flavorful bold tasting beer,I really liked this offering.

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Photo of sponberg
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

IPA??? Oh-kayyyy...

Pors a deep amber, with a lacy pale tan head that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Nice nose - malty, but definitely some earthy hop presence as well as a bready/yeasty componenet.

Mmmmmm... Malty, with a very firm, bitter-ish spicy earthy hop presence. Definitely some juicy caramel/toffee notes in the background, but they're there to round out the well-balanced hoppiness of this one. Big, chewy mouthfeel. Finishes with a hoppy, bitter, green apple dipped in caramel sort of flavor. Very, very nice.

I think if you were to cross an old ale and a hoppy English IPA, this is what would result. This is a very good thing.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A rich ruby-amber color with good head, odor of alcohol and malt similar to scotch. This is a smooth, refined ale with a very salty British water quality. Malts are sweet and caramelized, with subtle hints of brown sugar. Hops are big and tart but not quite big enough for an IPA. They are quite floral and dry, when combined with the malts there is an almost liquorice sensation. Mouthfeel is excellent; creamy with just the right twinge of foam. An appropriate winter ale, good for nourishing cold souls by the fire. My first Casco Bay beer and I am impressed; these guys know what they're doing.

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Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored with an inch of beige foamy froth on the inside of the glass. Aroma is malty and spicy, complimented by some nice hops, and has a definite hint of alcohol. Flavor is warm and malty, with some hop bitter and spices. Tingly alcohol sparkles around the inside of the mouth in the finish, and a slight alcohol bitter lingers in the back of the throat. A web of lacing runs around the glass from top to bottom. Dangerously drinkable. This is really nice.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber/brown with a teeny white head that goes bye-bye fast.

Smells very earthy with a hint of nut. The taste is quite good. The flavor profile is somewhere between a brown and a bitter. Very malty/nutty with a little aclohol/hop tango at the end. Me likes.

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Photo of sloejams
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being a bit over the Winter Warmer season, I wasn't thrilled to see 3 of these arrive in my Microbeer of the Month shipment. As cold as it gets here in LA, my winter's been warm enough. Anyhow, if ya gotta a beer - drink it.

It pours a clear copper color, has a well balanced head with decent lacing. Aroma is loaded with spice - some nutmeg, cherry and caramel. It has a pleansant flavor that starts quite malty but brings in the cherry and spices with a some hops. The body is medium with a nice carbonation. The 7.2 ABV is well disguised, but I think the spice flavors would be too much for more than one of these.

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Photo of Ryanm1
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of cjtuggle
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice, clear, deep mahogany body that's topped by a creamy off-white head that holds well. It keeps a good collar and thin surface foam throughout the glass, and a gentle swirl of the glass will readily bring the head up a bit! The aroma is mildly fruity beside a rich caramel malt and spicy hops. The carbonation is quite fine and gently effervescent; and combined with a medium/full body it's quite creamy in the mouth. There's a good combination of solid maltiness and firm hops right up front, with the dark caramel maltiness and a touch of chocolate becoming more evident as it warms in the mouth. Hop flavor and bitterness are accentuated right before the swallow and it finishes dry with a lingering sweet maltiness and long lasting bitterness. In many ways this is simply a toned-down barleywine. There's lots of rich maltiness, lots of hop flavor and bitterness, and a firm creamy body. Very well balanced with lots of character. It's best enjoyed in a snifter at, or just below. cellar temperature. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of russpowell
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
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

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Photo of bditty187
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vaguely hazy, coppery-amber in hue with a slight tawny influence; the liquid is quite lovely. Rocky beige head, there is easily three fingers of foam. Head retention was impressive, after a few moments a fluffy cap remained. The cap lasted the entire consumption. There was spotty but thick subsequent lacing.

The nose is malty with an earthy-spicy underbelly. No sign of alcohol. No sign of hop bitterness. While the nose is malty it doesn’t scream “Old Ale” but more like ESB with bready-caramel notes. Lightly fruity throughout, seems “dark” but undistinguishable beyond that. Moderate potency; inviting but simplistic… nevertheless, I am looking forwarding to taking a sip.

The palate shows more hops than I was expecting. Bitter upfront, spicy too but not spiced like some winter seasonals, Old Bay is much more understated. Maybe all this spiciness is derived from hops/yeast? It doesn’t matter much to me. Caramel malts in the middle with a dash of fruit. It is bready near the end with more bitterness; sweet fruity/caramel aftertaste with no sign of alcohol even here. While the palate is a bit simple and straightforward it is tasty. I like it.

Medium in body, indifferent modest carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well. Both the flavor profile and mouthfeel clearly demonstrate this is not a hefty beer nor is it trying to be, I hope anyway.

Drinkable… likeable, albeit simple… still this is more like a big ESB then anything. No matter really this is a good beer. I have neglected it in my DBF for too long (okay, a couple months). I can’t read the “best by” date on the label but I think it is a few months past. It is showing no signs of falling apart. Lovely. Thank you danlwaggoner for the bottle!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper to amber in color with a light tan head.
Aroma of sweet malts and citrusy fruit.

Sweet caramel malt flavor up front. Hops step in to balance, but stay behind the malt. Fruity, citrus character as well. Hops come through to provide a slight bitterness at the finish.

Good, creamy mouthfeel.
Good drinkability.

Overall a solid, enjoyable winter ale, but doesn't seem to have as much depth of character as some winter ales.

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Photo of stouty1
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very Killians -like, but better. Poured a nice amber/red with a full head. Smells of hops and slight maltiness. Though the ABV is high, it does not overwhelm the taste. However, I feel like this will kill the palate fast and not taste as good a few pints into the night. Tonight, I had only one and I appreciate the brew. For a winter ale it is not very warming but overall satisfies the palate.

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Photo of sisterofba
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bonbini26
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of u2carew
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of StevieW
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Redbones...Bright copper color, richer and darker than I expected. Thick foamy white head, stuck the glass all the way to the bottom. Noticable floral undertones, and serious bitter hop bite to the smell. Taste was pleasantly smooth, enough malt to notice, then super crisp, bitter dry hopped kick and finish. Not spicy, but more mellow hopped. Medium to light bodied, this would be the beer to wash down the delicious Redbones BBQ pulled pork. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of erosier
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of DavesBeerReviews
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice strong malty ale

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of marc77
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark bronze hue. Covered by a light beige persistent head that leaves Belgian lace. Citrusy and mildly floral hop nose accompanied by dark caramel, biscuit and a candyish sweetness. Mellow butterscotch couples with biscuit malt to lend a bread and butter impression in aroma. Flavorwise, the initial moderate hop bitterness lingers, then mellows to allow dark caramel malt sweetness to momentarily shine, only to be contrasted by a pleasant burnt biscuit bitterness. As the beer breathes, nutty, buttery toffeeish notes surface and add both richness and complexity. Hop flavor is both earthy and citric, perhaps from a combination of English and American hops. A touch lightly bodied, and the correspondingly slightly thin mouthfeel is the only weak link in overall richness. Finishes caramelly sweet and lightly bitter. Old Port is a very tasty and unique brew. The disparate malt sweetness and hop bitterness were each perceived separately, yet overall balance was acheived. Excellent drinkabilty. Very flavorful at cellar temps or above. If below 50 degrees hops dominate and malt is overshadowed.

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.05/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last 12ozer from another 6 pack from the October trip to Tullys, Wells, ME, and fridged since. Cool topical art on the label, from one of my favorite breweries to visit. Ever since we toured there and the brewer leaped onto pile of packaged cases and ripped out a couple bottle for us to try, I've had a soft spot for them. But I digress...

Pleasant hoppy aroma, pours with a good reddish malty hue, and a quick, short-lived head, which surprisingly still laces a bit on the sides of the glass. Initially seems a bit strong on the alcohol (nah, is such a thing possible?), but it works with the hops bite so well that it's just great. Smoothness/drinkability is better than I would normally expect for a strong ale. Definitely worth the try if you're lucky enough to find it.

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Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale) from Casco Bay Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 84 ratings