St. Peter's Winter Ale | St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd

very good
184 Reviews
St. Peter's Winter AleSt. Peter's Winter Ale

Brewed by:
St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-09-2002

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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 260
Photo of Stocean1
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass there was only a half inch light cocoa head that disappeared instantly to a thin colllar of fine bubbles. The body is nearly black with some deep brown highlights on the edges and is nearly devoid of any lacing.

S - toasted malt, leafy hops, dark raisins, licorice

T - sweet malt,leafy herbal hops, bitter rye bread, licorice and dark fruit, with a pleasant smoky wood coming through in the finish. Definitely some booze and perhaps a hint of cinnamon. Cloves.

M - This is a creamy smooth brew especially given the complex flavors present. Some carbonation and pleasantly bitter in the finish. Sweet but not cloying. Some spicy notes but they are subdued and do not dominate the palate.

O - a spectacular winter warmer that I will hit annually.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(3.75) A: Shows an attractive clear pomegranate red colour with a bubbly dirty beige head that quickly scatters to form a ring. Healthy lacing with some streaking down the glass.

(4.25) S: Dark bakers chocolate, black licorice, winter spices (nutmeg and cloves), and dark fruits (raisins and dates). An underlying herbal aroma to this that is quite subtle and adds a nice layer. Slightly boozy but more of a raisin soaked booze vibe. Very good.

(4.25) T: Roasted malt traits notably a dry dark chocolate, herbal-like hop elements, spices, restrained darker fruits (raisins and cherries), and toffee. There’s almost an earthy peat taste in the finish that is intriguing. I want to describe each flavour as subtle, so instead I will say this is very smooth and well balanced. Delicious.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily and dry with a slight chalky texture, but in a good way.

(4.25) D: This is a very well balanced and smooth winter ale (possibly more porter-like) with complexity and an assortment of flavour. Definitely worth a try, if not for the medicine bottle shape.

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Photo of BBP
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with little to no head that disappears in no time. Only slight carbonation. Not a good first impression. Looks like a thick soda. Perhaps the bottle shouldn't be held vertically when pouring, as many others here stated that they got some head.

S- Dark malts. Noticable roasted malts as well. Chocolate, and perhaps hints of coffee. Pretty nice. Needs more strength to it though.

T- Dark/roasted malts followed by notes of cocoa. Has a lot of bitterness, which isn't too normal for a winter warmer, but I'm enjoying it considerably. I'd imagine it's a mix of the cocoa, and some hops that aren't all too detectable, but you know they're there. This strikes me as a porter, and I can't say that bothers me.

M- Medium body, and pretty smooth. Leaves a dryer finish, and is a little sticky. Carbonation is sleek, and very background. It works in a way that supports the drink, but doesn't draw attention to itself, which I think more beers should aim to do.

D- This is considerably drinkable, and the ABV is hidden tremendously. The only way I'd think it was 6.5% was that it's pretty flavorful.

This doesn't strike me as a winter warmer, but I don't care, it tastes great. I'd recommend trying it. It's a great balance of flavor and drinkability, and it should definitely be picked up at least once.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From elcervecero. In Ikea's pint glass. Playing Blackwell Legacy. Complex, with smokey and coffee notes and still very drinkable. Not what I expected in a winter beer but still great. Much better than the St Peter's brews Ive bought in ECI: because the recipe or because the conservation?

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Photo of ralree
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep nearly opaque brown with a 2-finger tan head. Great retention, and decent lacing. A good looking beer to say the least.

S: Lots of roasted chocolate malt. This one should be very good. Hops undetectable - just sweetness almost like a chocolate stout.

T: Oh man - chocolate, coffee, and over-roasted malt overwhelm the first flavors, creating a great bittersweet and almost smoky atmosphere (I like burnt malt). Sweet flowering hops are detectable. Very satisfying

M: Pretty astringent - puckering lingers with you for a bit. Very creamy texture, medium-heavy bodied. Perfect carbonation. Pretty chewy. Slightly wet finish.

D: Very drinkable - would be enjoyable in front of a nice warm fireplace. I don't think it would go well with a meal, but that's more personal preference.

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Photo of wl0307
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB NOV 06, served cool in a broad-rimmed goblet.
A: pours dark brown colour with reddish hues against light; sparse and thin off-white foams on the top, very low carbonation,
S: beechwood-smoked malts, soothing roastiness, dark and unsweet chocolates with its lightly sour edge, a savoury note of lightly-burned pork chops--at the back is a very lightly spicy/licorice hint and only a touch of plum-jam dark-fruitiness~~ Very rich aroma yet ever so smooth... just brilliant!
T: smooth, lightly-roasted dark malts along with a profound and settled bitter-nuttiness, which brings on board a never-ending flow of smoked-woody and lightly phenolic flavour... gradually a slightly salty-bitter taste comes through, along with more roasted nuttiness to chew at the back of the palate, while a touch of spice stays low and mild. Superbly lingering bitter-sweet aftertaste. It could score higher if given more complexity, but the flavour profile as it is is already very soothing, almost like a stout without the sour edge of roasted barleys... or, like a light-bodied porter~~
M&D: extremely smooth on the mouthfeel, lightly oily and lubricating down the palate... This winter ale is so flavoursome and vertical in terms of texture. I couldn't help wondering that the recipe of this beer is somehow connected to the same brewery's creamy stout... All in all, this is a very enjoyable, malty winter ale.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Well, the bottle sure looks nice. After pour, this beer looks a lot like a coke: dark brown carbonated body with nice 1 inch tan head. Head lasts well with moderate lacing when tipped.

S - Clean, lightly roasted grain with a touch of nuttiness. Raisin and dark fruits accompany. Mild hop presence with a slightly floral scent. Smells "English" - I guess that means the use of traditional English malt and hop varieties is evident.

T - Starts sweet and slightly tart with strong fruited flavors. A bit roasted and lightly nutty. Bitterness really picks up as it finishes, making this a well rounded brew whose focus never strays from the sweet grain flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a mild carbonation and oily mouthfeel. Doesn't dry much in the aftertaste, but leaves some sweetness on the tongue.

D - A very drinkable version of a classic English Winter ale. Don't expect much spice, but this is certainly full flavored with an easy drinkability. Recommended.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A relatively mild WW for the middle of summer. Why not give it a go with the humidity so high and all.
Incredibly dark, although not necessarily black. Heavy dense dark tan head provides heavy lacing.
Full malt aroma with hint of sweetness and alcohol. Molasses. Brown sugar.
Full malt flavor. Really nice sweetness up front. Some nearly burnt roast that leads to a long dry finish. The heavy malt flavors contrast atypically with a light, nearly watery body. Soft alcohol. Hop flavors do show with some grass and earthy qualities. Smooth although not rich or light. This, of course, leads to easy drinking. Probably dangerously so. For such a soft drinker it is very complex.

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Photo of Offa
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer that really blends qualities of both an old ale and a more hoppy bitter.

It is dark red-brown, almost black, with a medium light brown head slowly shrinking to a foamy top and ring. It leaves nice lace.

The aroma is slightly burnt caramel and toasted brown bread with a little dark chocolate, earth, and a light fruity wine quality. It has unexpected bitterness adding an unusual quality for the other elements and making it more interesting and memorable. The qualities work very well together and it is full-bodied but light and easy to drink.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours purplish black in color with red highlights. Head is initially slight and soapy, dissipating quickly.

Aroma is charred dark grain with roasted malt. Molasses, plum, and black currant offer a residual sweetness. Definite alcohol presence.

Taste is similar to the nose. Aforementioned dark fruit is balanced with a pleasant woody smokiness. Charred grain, coffee, and dark chocolate offer bitterness. Finish holds mild spices and comes off a bit musty along with lingering anise and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium in body. Very smooth and slick.

A very interesting winter warmer. Smokey stout character seamlessly blended with sweet dark fruit and light spices. Pleasant and easy to drink.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO, production code given is H1811 so I am guessing August 18th of this year.

Pours a deep black-brown colour, though realistically it's dark enough that 'black' is sufficient. Ruby red highlights under the light. There is a thin, creamy tan-coloured head on top, but it fades quickly and doesn't leave much behind - just a thin, filmy cap and a collar of cream around the edge. The aroma is heavy on roasted biscuit malts, a bit nutty with some toffee, molasses and bittersweet chocolate/coffee grind notes as well. Some muted spicy, herbal qualities in the background, with a bit of ethanol.

The taste is also pretty malt-forward, with roasted biscuits and bittersweet baker's chocolate being quite prominent. Hints of walnut, coffee grounds, and perhaps figs or prunes... some sort of dark fruit anyway. Sweet, but balanced with lots of traditional leafy, floral, bittering English hops. The spiciness is subtler than in most American warmers and not the focus of the brew, but notes of cinnamon and herbal minty licorice add another layer to this one. The booze is barely noticeable, but complements the flavour nicely, blending with floral bitterness, roasted coffee and tree bark in the aftertaste. Good mouthfeel, not quite 'full-bodied' but getting there. The moderate carbonation provides just enough bite to keep it feeling crisp without masking flavours. Easy to drink, but complex enough to sip and enjoy slowly.

I seem to really like English warmers, mostly because they don't smack you in the face with a 10-pound sack of spices. St. Peter's Winter Ale fits that mould quite well, and may in fact be a new favourite in the category for me, though I doubt fans of spicy American warmers will concur.

[Updated Nov 7 2014]

Another 500 mL bottle. I haven't had a bottle of this one in a few years now, but it only took two sips to immediately be reminded of why I gave it such a good grade in the first place. This is an awesome malt-forward, strong, dark ale with a luxurious mouthfeel, and it remains one of my favourite beers in this style overall. A must-try, in my opinion.

Final Grade: 4.31, an A grade.

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Photo of Dantheman4162
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green glass pint bottle.

Nice dark, red beer, very dark.

full solid dark head.
Smooth caramel and nutty taste. Not overpowering. A good hearty beer. Finished smooth with a sweet molasses finish. definitely recommended. I need to check this one out again, haven't had one in a while (review taken from notes)

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Photo of Hammarby
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black with tones of red. Not much head.
Smell: Butter, caramel, smoke, dark berries, a bit of alcohol. Especially the empty glass smells of soy and caramel.
Taste: Smoke. And smoke. Dry bitternes with overtones of butter. Not very far from stout. After taste almost like ashes.

Not to much carboration. Which makes it just like my kind of beer. Like lighter, less carborated stout. Kind of. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Tim2000
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL brown bottle, can't make out manufacturing date.

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass.

Roasted, nutty aroma with some caramel notes.

Starts off sweet with lots of honey and molasses. Hints of hazelnut and chocolate towards the middle with a nice bitterness building up until the end. Long, lingering aftertaste that combines caramel and bitter black tea. Alcohol is present and gives a bit of bite to the beer. Quite full-bodied with low carbonation.

Well balanced and packed with flavour. Definitely a winner.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fat green bottle. Dark brown body. Creamy head leaves behind spider web lace. It needed a pretty agressive pour to achieve results but it all worked out fine. Nice to look at.

As expected the malts and spices rule this beer. I'd say the malts end up being the dominant feature with the spices there to make it complex. Some darker fruits like plumb and black grapes, corriander, and cinnamon round it out. Smooth on the palate. Creamy body.

Notes: This was extremely easy to drink. Sooo smooth. The best brew I've had from this company. A first class winter warmer. I'm on a roll right now with top notch brews, hopefully it won't stop.

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Photo of jaz58
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A decent winter ale.

Poured into a pint glass, when held up to the light, the colour is ruby red.

The nose is warm with good hints of malt and a little chocolate.

Very thin creamy head which dissipated quickly.

Taste features toffee and butterscotch with a good bitters to finish.

Mouthfeel is round and good.

Overall a good ale to warm you up on a cold winter night.

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Photo of tatterdash
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

St. Peter's Ale is an old family favourite, so let's try the Winter Ale shall we? Pours a wonderful black with red in the light with an off white head that dissipates into a sheen of foam and ring of bubbles. Aroma is a dry roasted barley smell, with some burnt smells. Taste was a nice dry roasted flavour, with some hoppy bitterness. Very full bodied, with a nice coffee-like finish. Mouthfeel was medium, with very little carbonation. I really enjoyed this, but I have always wondered, why the style is called "Winter Warmer"?

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Photo of BGDrock
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Appearance: chocolate brown with a red hue; beautiful thick head; fine suds; great lace

Aroma: sweet and malty; caramel and toffee; hint of banana

Taste & Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy; strong coffee flavour; dark caramel that moves toward toasty, almost like sitting by a fire; light carbonation; not as sweet as the scent, but that's a good thing; roasted flavour stands out more over time

Overall: really fits the bill - a perfect winter beer - roasted and warming, not too sweet; to be had in a mountain chalet surrounded by snow!

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Photo of Derek
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Production date H076 whatever that means? (it's the 2006/2007 release).

Could be classified as a strong ale.

A: Black with a burnt caramel tinge. Tan head, very little retention, some lace.

S: I love the bubble-gum-like fruity esters from the British Ale yeast. It's fairly chocolatey, some dark-roasted coffee and a little spice as well.

T: It's like a strong porter, with a little rauchbier thrown in. I like it a lot. Chocolatey, fruity, slight roasted acidity; slight smoke-like spicyness (like it's ~20% Rauchbier); some residual sugar but it's pleasantly balanced to the bitter side.

M: Moderate to full body, hints of chalkyness & acidity; Carbonation on the low side of moderate.

D: Damn good.

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Photo of uno99
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: I love this bottle. Looks like an old timey medicine bottle or something. I poured this into a goblet and tried my darnedest to induce a head but no such luck. Liquid however is almost like a stout. if you hold it up to the light however its actually a VERY deep red. looks like a really flavorful red wine almost

S: Very earthy. wood mold, mushroom. not pungent, but pleasant.

T: This is excellent! very stout like in the taste. Nicely balanced with earthy malt and toffee. nice hoppy finish. Would like to try this on tap sometime.

M: This is a tradition English brew so I'm not gonna take off many points for the lack of carbonation. I feel its about right given the style and the feel really suits the taste of this excellent winter warmer. Its thick but not sticky at all.

D: I'd love to have a couple/few of these every week from about Mid December to late march... Too bad its not easy for me to get.

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Photo of fx20736
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a nonic, served at cellar temp.

Black as night with a pale khaki head, some lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt, molasses and herbal hops.

mouthfeel: smooth and slippery

taste: deeply toasted and roasted malt with a slight molasses sweetness, balanced by a slight hop bitterness.

Notes: For all the world this reminds me of a BSDA. This is dark, slightly sweet, slightly smoky and very delicicious. I look forward to drinking this one again.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I let out a tiny gasp when I saw this on the shelf of a "people's supermarket" in downtown Moscow. I've seen other St. Peter's products, but never this one. Comes in the classic St. Peter's green half liter flask, with a small oval rose and gold label featuring a bird marching to the left. There is no ingredient information on the label. Best before 1/5/06, I opened it on 12/10/05.

Pours a clear but very dark caramel color under a 1/2 finger tan head that fades fairly quickly to collar and spots of film, but still manages to leave a few strands of lace. The nose is full of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The mouth is mildly carbonated and very sticky. The taste is excellent: sweet caramel and roasted nuts to start, followed by very nice, dry and crisp hops, leaving a slightly espresso bitter on the palate in the finish. The bitterness grows into the aftertaste, still very dry and crisp, inviting another sip. Good stuff.

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Photo of wangbruins
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark, dark evil-looking black with a nice one-inch head and great lacing

S- Coffee and chocolate mostly with cherries and plums, which was a nice surprise

T- Bold coffee taste as well as cherry and a nice smoky finish

M- Tough but smooth with a smoky aftertaste

D- I wish I got more as this is an easy drink for me

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amazing rise of head even after the pour is finished. The light tan and frothy head stands like a trophy on top of an extremely dark brown body. This brew still and silent in its beauty. It leaves a nice lacing too.

S - Clove, a hint at coffee and anise.

T - While the flavors are subtle, they are accented throughout each pull. It starts out with a creamy long roasted malt moving to a slight chocolate flavor. Then onto a clove with some bite and finishing with a taste of coffee.

M - While I'm drinking the brew having kept it at 40 degrees it actually has a nice warm feel to it. It's very smooth with nearly no feel of carbonation. It has a thickness to it that I think brings out much of the flavor, as opposed to a coarseness bringing out the flavor.

~ I truely think this is one of the best brews I've had the luxury to enjoy. I strongly urge all my fellow BA brethren to partake in this wonderful brew. While the price tag may be stiff, the results are worth it.

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Photo of blakesell
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9oz? bottle into a Belgian cereal bowl.

Appearance- Black with reddish hues around the edges. Carbonation is even and fills the glass just enough. Lacing clings to the glass and leaves lacing clinging dry to the glass for the full ride.

Smell- Smells like a porter. Roasty with malt, a little more hop than expected, and what seems like a hint of spice.

Taste- A lot like a porter but it has some other characteristics as well. The hops and spices are very evenly balanced, they taste nearly the same, but the spices shine out with hints of cinnamon. Almost a soapy cleanliness on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and well carbonated, hoppy but not astringent, and full-bodied. This is one great beer on the mouth.

Drinkability- I had to ramp up the drinkability on this one. It tastes delicious and is not over the top with alcohol. I could drink a lot of these all in one sitting. I'll be picking up another of these before the season is over.

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St. Peter's Winter Ale from St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
3.9 out of 5 based on 260 ratings.
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