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

Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)
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Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #103
ABV:
7.3%
Score:
84
Ranked #29,582
Avg:
3.77 | pDev: 10.88%
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
84
From:
Casco Bay Brewing Co.
 
Maine, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  2
Gots
  4
SCORE
84
Good
Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale)
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 84 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by cjtuggle:
Photo of cjtuggle
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of marc77
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
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 beerguy101
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep Amber color, medium head. Aroma is malty and slightly spicy. A medium bodied Strong ale. Malty and hoppy. Malts are very strong, slightly smoky. Hops are pronounced and slightly spicy. There are some spices working here as well, the usual suspects, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. The 7.3 % alcohol is evident, but yet its still a very warming beer. The taste smoothes and mellow a bit as it warms. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with a pronounce alcohol bite.

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Photo of beernut7
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

There is nothing like a good complex winter brew from one of the geographical hearts of winter in the United States. The heavy aroma is hugely malty with hints of spruce spice. The inital flavor is a bit sharp and quite spicy from gererous hop use followed by a deep sweet sharp malt flavor. Very warming and very tasty. The spicy hop character is a stand-out and worth a try. Could use a bit less carbonation to take the edge off the malt.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.57/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This amber hued brew has scarlet red accents to it. A thin light brown head recedes to a collar that laces sporadically. Very sweet smell to this beer. Ripened fruits and bigass barleywine type caramel malt tones. A little sniff of rum like alcohol as well. This is a malt driven beer with lots of caramel malt sweetness bombarding the palate. Big fruit tones. Dark fruits. Plums. Black cherries. Some alcohol spiciness is noted, but alcohol really takes a backseat and is unnoticed most of the time. The body is damn near full. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth. Just a little syrupy, but not in a bad way. I do like this beer.

Another treat to thank the good gentleman JohnnyP for.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This offering from Casco has a deep copper color, with a frothy, tan head, and exemplary lacing. Bold citrus/floral hop nose....very nice. Real good body, and velvet-like on the tongue. There's a bit of semi-sweet malt underlying a smooth, tasty hop bite. This is a keeper! Picked up in Portland, on recommendation from JohnnyP and VENOM. Odd name, though, for an IPA....says "Casco Bay Winter Old Port Ale" on the label....what's Winter got to do with it? Prosit!!

overall: 4.15
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4

393

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Photo of jjboesen
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer opens with a thin, watery head that dissipates quickly, leaving negligable lacing. Reddish color (light brown?) has a medium body and offers a smooth, hoppy finish, ending on a nutty aftertaste. Nice beer, but I don't see it as a heavy winter beer - certainly not a beer to warm one's cockles during a long Maine winter. All in all, a pleasant quaff.

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Photo of oberon
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
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 +12.7%
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 +8.8%
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 StevieW
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
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 chilidog
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Casco Bay and starting off with a Winter strong ale, expectations, unknown.
The beer poured a light mahogany amber, fairly clear for a winter strong. The off-white head was thick, foamy and settled slowly with a trail of lace behind. The aroma was plesantly floral and fruity, almost berry-like. The taste of this medium bodied brew was carried by a caramel malt backed up by an assertive citric hop package. As a winter warmer, the 7.3% is well mannered and not over alcohlic. Your left with a smooth and creamy easy to drink beer without all that heavy spice. Easy to go for another.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this winter seasonal was after being none too impressed with their summer seasonal. This beer is a dark amber color with a medium beige head. Some lacing is apparent. The aroma is nicely spiced with a pinch of malt and hops. Rich body with a pleasant mix of spices and warming alcohol, as well as malt and caramel. The finish is nicely spiced as well, making for a nice winter warmer in July.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
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 bditty187
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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 Jarod
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was brought to the table an amber/ruby color that had decent carbonation. Head was beige in color good at first, but did not seem to last too long. Left a skim and some faint lace. The aroma was of some fruit, deep caramel malt, spices and hops. The taste was first of hops and malt, very dominant up front, then it settled down to caramel and hints of fruit, semi-sweet in nature, spices were also present, then at the end the hoppy taste came to the foreground. Definitely a bitter end to this beer. Some what creamy, and slightly spicy was this beer, but it didn’t remind me of what I am used to in winter beers. Not sure if I would purchase this beer again if it were available.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is a clear, dark copper color with a nice big head of off white foam that shrank slowly to a thin layer and left a lot of lace.
Very grapefruity hop aroma, though there is a good deal of malty caramel in the smell too.
Lots of hop bitterness is nicely balanced with a sweet background of malt that gives a nice smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish. Hop character is quite grapefruity, more like white grapefruit juice than the rind flavor I often find.
Long lasting flavor on the finish and a nice warming alcohol character make this a fine Winter beer. Very drinkable beer, I have heard that this was a Sierra Celebration clone from a few people, I think it tastes similar, and as good, but calling it a clone kind of downplays the differences that make this beer unique.

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Photo of HopheadEd
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad seasonal, pours dark, almost black, with a big creamy head that lasts. Nice lace throughout, and an upfront hop aroma that I love. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, well balanced, with a nice, short but crisp hop finish. This is a different winter ale, not that spicey, but well hopped non-the-less. Worth trying.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper color with a nice beige head, good carbonation, and nice lace. Swirling revives the head nicely. Citrusy hop aroma at first (nice) gives way to a spicy Munich malt (?) aroma. Nice balanced spicy malt Winter Warmer with a very nice hop balance. Medium bodied and smooth with a spicy finish.

Per CBBC website: 7.5% ABV

Per BOM notes: 25 IBU and 6.6% ABV
Malts: Munich, Cara-Munich, and Aromatic
Hops: Centennial and Cascade

Best Before: 04/25/06
Tasted: 02/16/06

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Photo of purplehops
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Winter Ale pours a very transparent deep amber with an off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.The aroma is very malty with pleanty of sweet aromas and just a hint of floral hop notes. The taste starts with malt up front with a hint of alcohol and a wee bit of astringency. This is replaced by flavors of caramel malt with some earthy notes of grass and floral hop taste. The finish is smooth and malty. The aftertaste is malty with some notes of the asrtingent grain flavors making themselves known again. Mouthfeel is medium thick with a slightly syrup like quality about it.
Overall a good winterbrew that will warm you on a cold winter night. The flavors lean toward the sweet side but it does have a wee bit of astringent grain flavor to it. This astringent flavor is not bad just distracting IMHO.

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Photo of Truh
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lashed down the rigging with this one on 11/30/2004. 16-oz. pour at the Sunset Bar and Grill.

Soapy, nebulous initial coating of just-barely-covering head. Light caramel, almost a focused amber, with total clarity. Some raspberry sweetness, though light, on the nose which is followed by just a touch of roastiness and a light bittering note. Initial jump of malt clears quickly to make way for a light berry note, maybe cranberry, and a bit of scorching at the end is pleasant. Clean and succinct; would gladly hunker down in a noreasta with a couple of these.

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Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
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 PhantomVodoo
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
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 nixhecks
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found one of these in the in the back of the fridge from this past winter - what good luck, like finding $10 in your jacket. Anyway, poured a reddish-brown color, with a plentiful sand colored head. A good deal of carbonation, the bubbles fight for a position at the top on the pour. Smells of spiced malt with a little alcohol candy notes mixed in. The taste was unbelievable, perhaps because it had a prime spot in the fridge for a few months. The spiced tastes blended in perfectly and the hint of sweetness provided an awesome finish. Could have used a little bit more going on in there, but not bad at all.

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Photo of Running4beer
4.52/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow I was surprised that this is 7.2%ABV. You wouldn't believe it was 7.2 being this smooth and creamy. Aroma is quite nice fruity/citrusy hops and a malt backround aroma. Taste is wow so smooth and unexpecting, as far as flavors definetly citrus hops and caramel malt hints no alcohol bite at all and hardly any bitterness. Mouthfeel medium bodied but kinda on the creamy/syrupy side not thick at all but maybe something like a cream soda. A bit of carbonation gives it a little snap. Poured out an amber color with a medium off white head that slowly thins out and towards the end as your finishing up it starts to lace. The good flavor, little bitterness and smoothness make this an easily drinkable beer, could be a session beer if it were available all year around. I'd for sure buy this many times if it were available in NY(I think its time for a road trip my fridge is running low on beer, Maine here I come). Thanks to Bennybrew who gave me this great tasting beer, keep the magic going bro....

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Casco Bay Winter Ale (Old Port Ale) from Casco Bay Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 84 ratings