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Ranked #14
Ranked #24,135
3.9 | pDev: 8.46%
White Winter Winery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 16 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by sjstraub:
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sjstraub from Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -23.1%

Dec 01, 2011
More User Reviews:
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cokes from Wisconsin

3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Generally clear, rusty dark amber. Uncarbonated, and thus, there is no head.
Nose is musty and sweet. Like honey-laden logs, along with melon and cider impressions.
Begins sweet and stays that way. As expected. Loads of honey. Underneath (yet still loudly), lurk pears, raspberries, bing cherries, green apples, and cantaloupe. This is built on a sweet red wine frame. Lots of juicy grapes. Is this toasty and malty later on, or is it merely an illusion? Oak provides incidental tartness, vinegar and vanilla. Medicinal too, even if it's not over-the-top boozy.
This is cloying and fully bodied, but not really heavy. It's not an easy drink and has a good amount of burn.
I'm rather ignorant of mead and braggot. But this appears to be quality. And if this was drier, I'd likely have a lot of positive things to say.
Sweet-lovers might have a winner here.

May 19, 2004
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tavernjef from Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this many times at brewfests and decided to sit down with this one at Gitchee Gumee.

Glimmering clear jello rust. No head, but that is expected of the no carbonation braggot.

Nose is light but largely malty with a high end sweetening of honey and candied melon. Tangy wine-likeness to its presence. Light notes of spicy dry hardwood forest leaves floats past.

Intense thick malt of honey and caramel sweetness and super ripe fruits of melon, grapes, apples, and apricot slip inbetween a big oak wood center thats quite tangy and renders a malt vineger without the salt. Dashes of spice and dried leaves spring to life after the winey vinegar flavors start to fade. But what really makes all this sound and taste better is its amazing heft and unimaginable cloying thickness. Its like a syrupy wine. Super heavy, super sticky, and largely cloying. The sweetness is never overly harsh, but it definatley pushes the envelope. Another envelope pusher, yet unmentioned, is the 10%. Oh its there, it sits heavy like everything else but waits til the end to poke its fiery head up out of the thickly sweet vinous murk.

Drinkability? Is there such a thing with braggots? So sweet, so thick, soooo cloying and sticky. Sip isn't the proper word for it. I'll say slow goin'. Its as drinkable as malt vinegar. You can only handle so much before your taste buds begin screaming for you to stop.

Apr 10, 2005
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Skidz from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out rusty amber and sits reddish-brown in the glass. No real head to speak of here. Shines brightly through the glass, well suited for a tulip or white wine glass.

Aroma is rich and malty with big hints of caramel and apples. Spicy hop and alcoholic twang. Just the slightest hint of toffee. Some decent wooden undertones as well.

Tastes fairly sweet up front, big syrupy core of caramel, apples, pears and soggy grapes. Somewhat vinous, quite similar to a dessert wine, like a tokaj. Earthy wooden core with spots of figs and prunes. Finish is complete with a nice light bitterness accompanied by a drying warmth of alcohol.

Thick and syrupy in the mouth, very full feeling with loads of sugars pouring around. Just the slightest speck of carbonation; enough to keep my mouth awake..well, more awake.

This was actually quite enjoyable. Well rounded flavors and a nice oaky background. I could see this beer going very well with a nice juicy pot roast or even some asian dishes. It's kind of pricey for the half-bottle (375mL) but well worth a try.

Mar 24, 2005

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On opening this smells of dilute balsamic vinegar coupled with faux maple syrup.
Brown in color with hints of auburn. Fairly clear. There is some sediment afloat, and some hanging, seemingly neutrally buoyant. There is a general sticky appearance. Wherever the particulate matter is is where it shall stay.
Tastes strongly of honey, but not nearly as sugary. Which is not to say this is not sweet, because it is. But it is not obnoxious. A bit cloying, yes. But, before it gets out of hand, a snappiness of vinegar, the oaken cure, a mysterious sour grape, and something that almost feels like CO2 on the tongue keep this in check.
I believed on the pour that this had no carbonation, and I may be right. Or I may be wrong too. I am a neophyte in the world of braggots and so forth.
Drinkability: After 2 small wine glasses of this, I MacGyvered a cork with a couple napkins and a piece of plastic wrap. Although I'd had enough, I'm looking forward to finishing this tomorrow. It's not something I could take in large doses. But that's not important anyways.

Mar 01, 2005
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Viggo from Canada

4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, huge thanks to demcorhip for sending this my way for winning the NHL BIF this season. Bottle lists this at 12%.

Pours a clear dark reddish orange, real neat colour, thick light tan head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass and layer, some lace spots stick to the glass, syrupy looking, nice. Smell is real nice, heavy caramel, honey, very floral, bready, some fruity hoppiness, wood and vanilla, very earthy, brandy, some alcohol, really neat and fruity, honey comes through well. Taste is similar, big honey heat up front alcohol, very floral, caramel, oak, vanilla, sugary, some fruitiness, oranges, mead finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, quite thick, with low to medium carbonation, some heat from the alcohol but not unpleasant. A real nice braggot, which is unfortunately a tough style to find commercially, well done. Thanks G!

Jun 07, 2009
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an oversized wine glass)

A- This brew has a dark brown clear body with a few big bubbles that form a head for a few seconds. There is a strong carbonation of very tiny bubbles.

S- The faint notes of dark malt and old oak come through with a faint earthy note.

T- The strong flavors of good dark rum give way to a hint of lightly toasted malt and a finish of oak and an alcohol taste. This is an interesting brew that takes a while to figure out the flavors. There are some faint notes of blackstrap molasses and the oak is more woody than vanilla in taste.

M- This brew has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slippery texture and a nice alcohol heat punch at the finish.

D- The big sharp rum flavor is nice and has some good supporting flavors in the oak and dark malt. Very unique and a bit foreign to my taste buds.

May 29, 2006
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CharlesDarwin from Rhode Island

3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed April 9, 2005. On tap at the Gitchee Gumee Brewfest 2005. This beer was a cozy mahogany color. Aromas were strong of chicory and sugar. Flavors of chocolate and rum, with alcohol very present (seems I like it this way). Good smooth sweet finish.

Aug 06, 2006
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Derek from Canada

4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Now listed at 12% abv (I'm a little doubtful).

Produced & Bottled under contract by South Shore Brewery, Ashland, WI for White Winter Winery, Inc., Iron River, WI.

A: Deep chestnut with a light tan head; retains a ring of head; leaves a great leg/lace.

S: Good alcohol nose, dark fruit, honey, brown sugar, dark rum with a light spicing.

T: Plenty of raisins and caramelized sugar; fruit cake; slightly oaky with hints of vanilla; nicely balanced bitterness; alcohol is warming & begins to become a little assertive as it warms to room temperature.

M: Well-attenuated, fairly full body is extremely smooth, and not the least bit syrupy.

D: Incredibly drinkable for its strength. Wow.

I expected this to be a little harsh, but it's actually a really well-crafted brew that I recommend seeking out.

Huge thanks to demcorhip for picking this up from the winery for me!

Dec 02, 2008
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been sipping on this for the last hour...

Very dark scarlet-orange that glows in the light. Fizzy brown foam at first, that dwindled to a thin ring after awhile. Looks like an Old Ale or Barleywine. Brown sugar and raw honey, maple syrup, all things sweet and natural. Slight hint of alcohol. Taste is rich and sweet, honey with some solvent and oaky traces in the finish. Finish is dry. Very potent and satisfying in small sips.

I'd recommend sharing, or sipping by the fire in the dead of winter...

Jun 13, 2009
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battlekow from Wisconsin

3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to murrayswine for the chance to try this interesting beverage. I can't say that it looks appealing, as it pours a thick, gross brown color with almost no carbonation--daunting. I'm scared. It smells caramelly, vinuous, with some spicy hops. Basically, it looks and smells like an old ale. Taste is sweet like caramel and prunes, still reminding me of an old ale, but diverges from that style with a spicy honeyness and a little toasty finish that surprised me. The more I drink, the more I like the taste. Mouthfeel is thick, very thick, coating. I've not had many old ales or braggots, but this reminds me a lot of Thomas Hardy's Ale.

Sep 07, 2005
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grub from Canada

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled june 7/09.

pours crystal clear brown that shows some excellent ruby and garnet shades when held to the light. a small dense dark tan head forms and quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is good. faint vanilla. raw oak. woody. honey. caramel and toffee. touch of butterscotch. alcohol. white bread. bit of cracker. floral and slightly herbal component.

taste is good. light honey sweetness. bit of caramel and toffee, but more as highlights to the honey than standing out on their own. lightly toasted white bread. touch of cracker and biscuit. bit of earthy character. raw oak. light vanilla. bit floral and herbal again too. the alcohol is noticeable without being overbearing. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. fairly low carbonation works pretty well. light astringent character, likely from the oak tannin.

drinkability is great. the alcohol (12% according to the label) is mostly hidden. the barrel character melds very well with the braggot, complimenting without overshadowing. the honey is allowed to come through quite nicely without presenting as cloying or overly sweet. in sum, this is a pretty nice beer complimented by honey and oak. good stuff.

Jun 07, 2009
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rustrose from North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

White Winter Premium Oak Bracket tasted 8-16-09

Poured cloudy brown in snifter, with 1.5 finger tan head and very dull red-purple highlights, very hard to see. Mad carbonation--bubbles streaming up like crazy. Head is thick and creamy on top, with pearly larger bubbles coming up fast from beneath. This was a very gentle pour, too. A hard pour would have been nothing but foam. This does eventually settle down to a nice sheet. Laces beautifully with nice curved patterns on the side of the glass.

Huge aroma on this. I could smell it from two feet away as I poured. Very unique and enticing. Caramel apple, toffee, vanilla, and a lot of fruity honey. Smells awesome. A little bit of bright, spicy sweet tart like in a Belgian... this also shares a certain similarity to the candy aromas from using candi syrup. Perhaps that's the result of the honey here. Kind of reminds me of blending together the aromas of a quadrupel, an old ale, and a cider... very unique and inviting. I love the subtle touch of oak. Caramel apple is my predominant impression, with some vanilla oak backdrop. More floral fragrance coming out as it warms.

Wow, this thing really delivers! Awesome. There is a huge flavor intensity here. Candy apples are again really prevalent. Sweet, tangy, apply, and boozy. One of the booziest beers I've had, but I don't mind it yet. Warming, obviously. Very candylike, with a great tang like a green jolly rancher, and obviously some honey. Finish displays a subtle lingering light roastiness, perhaps more toasty. This is like some kind of Belgian, just without the Belgian yeast notes. Imagining a cross between old ale, quadrupel, and cider is probably pretty accurate. I'm wondering if I'm detecting just a bit of earthy hops, like fuggle or something else british... The oak is much more difficult to pick out now than in the aroma while the beer was cooler. Doesn't come through as strongly in the flavor as the aroma.

Mouthfeel is full, chewy, and coating, with a big alcohol burl. Fairly creamy. Carbonation doesn't seem harsh, fortunately. Coats the lips a bit, with some bittersweet residue.

Alcohol heat does begin to detract from the experience some... it's so sweet and boozy that it slows you down. Kind of similar to Samichlaus in both regards.

This was a big wow on first whiff and first taste, but becomes a bit of a chore by the end. A little too sweet and a touch cloying. Biggest problem, though, is the sheer booziness, whose level has only been rivaled for me in things like Samichlaus or perhaps the most crazy and aggressive of DFH brews.

Aug 16, 2009
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Soneast from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a red-orange to brownish color with a billowy, light brown colored head.

The aroma seemed quite herbal with a lot of oak, vanilla and brown sugar notes. A definite booziness detected as well as hints of caramel.

I picked out similar flavors as the aroma, an oakiness was up front settled quite nicely by a caramel and light honey in the background. Fairly strong alcohol presence and what I perceived as some herbal hops towards the end leaving a mild bitterness.

A nice medium-heavy bodied beverage. I am quite familiar with White Winter Winery's meads but this was my first time tasting any of their braggots, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. It packs a punch but remains somewhat drinkable, though, that's not to say I would drink more than one glass in a sitting.

Jul 28, 2009
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sweemzander from Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 02, 2018
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bleedsblu from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Jul 22, 2014
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Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 16 ratings