Vertical Winter Ale | Tree Brewing

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Vertical Winter AleVertical Winter Ale
50 Ratings
Vertical Winter AleVertical Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Tree Brewing
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Medium bodied Ale with nut and caramel flavours. Finishes smooth, with a subtle hint of Vanilla.

Added by Derek on 11-11-2010

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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of notheroic
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5s across the board. Best beer I've had yet. I could drink this stuff all day. Love it.

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Photo of Kitaka
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of timtwoface
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honestly, this beer blew me away. I've always had a soft spot for many of the brews that Tree Brewing creates, and I think this might be my favourite.

Living in the Vancouver area, the standard "winter" ale that is popular around here is Granville Island Lions Winter Ale - definitely a good beer in its own right. Tree's Vertical is similar but, honestly, even better - maybe it's just smoother and the vanilla punch at the end is even more powerful, but honestly, of the "weaker" winter beers out there (you know, not the ones so high in alcohol content they raise your body temp by 10 degrees), this one is absolutely delicious and very smooth, without being too overly sweet.

I would definitely recommend Vertical Winter Ale to anyone. These choices from Tree Brewing are starting to get more popular around BC (not just in Kelowna/the Okanagan Valley) and I think any beer lover would enjoy this one.

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Photo of Trosevear
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Light brown but a dark amber with a nice white foamy head to it.

S: Caramel butterscotch and sugar cookies with a slight hop presence in the background.

T: Sugar cookies with a hint of almost gingerbread cookies in there has a lot of caramel and butterscotch notes with almost no hop presence.

F: full bodied mouth feel with a nice level of carbonation to it as well.

O: one of my favorite winter beers I wish it was available year round.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: Reddish amber liquid with a 1/8" white head.

S: Vanilla and spices.

T: Vanilla, spices and caramel malt.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of carbonation.

O: An excellent winter warmer. One of B.C.'s best.

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Photo of maclean25
4.21/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Tree Brewery. Got a six-pack in Northern BC.

It has a healthy finger of creamy beige head and a clear, caramel (maybe dark amber) body. I smell bready malt and some chocolate (actually more like cocoa). It has a big nutty taste, lots of malt and some hops. Nothing subtle about the vanilla flavour. It has a heavy and oily feel and moderate carbonation.

Overall, I think there is a great beer under all that vanilla flavouring.

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Photo of tonyf55
4.14/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a tulip glass. One of my favorite tasters from Willowpark Wine and Spirits Beer Bash 2011.

Visual (3.5): Decent clarity on a rusty amber beer. Lighter than I remember. Bubbly, 2 finger, light-tan head that settles into a nice film over the beer leaving a nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma (4.5): Vanilla is pronounced and sharp! An overall pervading sweetness that lingers on the nostrils. Entices the drinker to take a sip. Undertones of nuts, maple and caramel. Not quite a candy vanilla, but closer to a sweet vanilla chocolate.

Taste (4): Not as heavy as the initial smell, the initial taste balances light vanilla with nutty caramel malt flavours. The flavour is pervasively sweet, with a lasting vanilla flavour that hits after the swallow. A little light on both the alcohol and flavour for a winter ale.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Very smooth with an extremely creamy light body. Carbonation bubbles are tight creating that silky flow across the pallet. Easily drinkable, but not 'warming'.

Overall (4): I personally really enjoy this beer as Vertical gets a lot of points for being a very original winter ale. Amazing smell, taste, and mouthfeel emphasize the vanilla. I would have rated higher overall if I could shake the feeling that a higher alcohol content and more complex flavours wouldn't have made this a better beer. Even though Vertical might not be the paradigm of Winter Ales, it is a very tasty, aromatic, and enjoyable beer to drink. I will have a few of these in my fridge over the winter season.

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Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper-bronze with an off-white head, light retention and lace.

S: Vanilla, caramel and toffee with a light, floral hopping.

T: Bready malt; nice floral and citrus hopping; light caramel and toffee sweetness works with the vanilla yet there's a modest bitterness for balance.

M: Light to moderate body has a slight residual sweetness.

D: An easy drinker.

At only 5%, it's not really a warmer... yet there's more flavour than the Granville Lion's or Nelson's Faceplant!

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Photo of imfinished
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Alberta_Beer_Guy
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Vandelayindustri
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of bumchilly25
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Erik-P
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Exeter
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of w00ddy
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Tivlavrie
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of CanuckRover
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber. Not much of a head off the pour, but pretty well-marked lacings.

Big vanilla notes on the nose with a solid chocolatey backing.

This is a really interesting winter beer. Light, but chocolatey. malt throughout with nutty-earthy flavours. The star here is the vanilla. Takes over in a pretty marvelous way. Incredibly tasty, but it might be a touch much for purists.

BC has an interesting winter beer scene. This is very much in the same vein of Granville Island's offering. This one is much more straightforward. My first thought on tasting this was "chocolate milk", great combination of sweetness and smoothness.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear copper with a thumb of off white head, dissipated to random islands with light lacing
S - vanilla and light nutmeg, bready and sweet
T - very much like the smell with some nuttiness and brown sugar sweetness
M - somewhat creamy and a little spicy, full mouth bready finish
D - malty brew goes down smooth with a vanilla like silkiness, balanced with just a little winter spice, nice offering but would have preferred to see this in a 6 pack rather than the dozen mixer with 3 other Tree staple beers

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Photo of Roby923
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A worthy après ski beer. A caramel biscuit in beer form. Not an everyday drinker. The sweetness may turn some people off. Perfect in can, bought directly and fresh from the brewery in Kelowna, British Columbia.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, part of the six packs now available in addition to its ongoing presence in Tree’s winter combo pack. At the outset this appears to be a bit weak on the ABV side of things to be considered a winter warmer, methinks.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper colour, with three fingers of foamy and puffy off-white head, which leaves some high-flying cloud ceiling lace around the glass as it lazily settles.

It smells of vanilla, biscuity caramel malt, a weak dark orchard fruitiness, and leafy, zingy hops. The taste is still big on the vanilla, though it's now muddled with some caramelized breadiness, a bit of dry ashiness, and still sturdy leafy and earthy hops.

The carbonation is soft, yet tickling in its gentle frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and house-brand smooth. It finishes with a turn to the dry side, the leafy hops going somewhat herbal, while the caramel and vanilla essences reset. As noted earlier, and for the record, this is kind of missing out on the whole ‘warming’ part of the concept, eh?

An interesting take on the style – nice holiday season sweetness, but with a strong nod towards balance (and moderation) – that vanilla is rendered in such a way that I could see putting a few of these back, before single adjunct flavour fatigue creeps in.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 12/11/11

A clear amber enough carbonation to sustain a thick two finger cream colored foam that hangs on for quite a while leaving some unorganized lace

S massive vanilla notes with a little earthy woody thing going for it, some winter spice nutmeg perhaps? not overly complex but what it has I like

T what I smell but just a little toned down, still pretty good with a little nutty flavor I didn't smell

M not very thick but the bubbles whip it up a bit and the flavors linger a little nutty

O not a bad beer if you like vanilla, I might get board drinking a whole 6er of this stuff but for a single no problem

I like winter beers too be a little stronger but this ones still worth a try

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Photo of Muhly
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into beer mug.

A-Pours a pleasant copper that is quite clear. A good two fingers of off white head upon moderately vigorous pour. Lacing is initially prominent and sticks to the glass with some tenacity. Retention of the head isn't spectacular but there is always a ring of foam around the inside diameter of the glass.

S-Quite sweet. The vanilla is prominent here and I don't detect much else other than some background maltiness.

T-Taste delivers what the aroma promises with a good dose of vanilla. There is a hint of spicy character that reminds me a bit of rye, though I don't think there is any rye in the malt bill. Other than the vanilla there is a some maltiness that lingers on the tongue.

M-A pretty round and full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The beer finishes pretty sweet from the vanilla.

O-My initial instinct was to dislike this beer because of the prominence of the vanilla, but because I bought a Tree taster pack, I was able to sample a few and eventually changed my mind a bit. The vanilla certainly flattens everything out and doesn't leave a lot of room for complexity, but you still get some malt and a bit of spice. I can't necessarily say it is a favourite or even something I'd return to, but I wouldn't complain if it was paired with a nice dessert.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up is their winter mixer.

A - Pours crystal clear copper colour, finger of head with little retention, some sporadic lacing and little visible body carbonation.

S - Pretty mild on the nose, but burnt sugar and caramel seems to come through, and is reminiscent of their amber ale offering.

T - Given the weak nose, the flavour caught be by surprise. Very tasty with the caramel malts and leafy hops coming through with a touch of vanilla and cotton candy on the finish. The sweeter flavours also linger on the tongue.

M - Medium bodied ale, fills the tongue nicely, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

D - I must admit, I was a little skeptical that this would be all that different, but it offers some delicious flavours and unique sweetness. A solid offering that is easily drinkable and highly recommended. If only you could get it in its own 6-pack...

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Vertical Winter Ale from Tree Brewing
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 50 ratings