Winter Ale | Berghoff Brewery

Winter AleWinter Ale
BA SCORE
18.6%
Liked This Beer
3.3 w/ 59 ratings
Winter AleWinter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Berghoff Brewery
Illinois, United States
berghoffbeer.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This rich, smooth, copper-colored ale is brewed with six malts for a lot of aromatic complexity, with cookie, caramel, raisin and toasted marshmallow notes. New World versions of noble hop flavors bring a certain European elegance, but with a little more brash personality, topped off with the floral-and-citrus that the all-American hop—Cascade—delivers.

Added by Redrover on 11-04-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#40,868
Reviews:
36
Ratings:
59
Liked:
11
Avg:
3.3/5
pDev:
16.67%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
3
Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 36
Reviews by tyleeis:
Photo of tyleeis
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
2.96/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Red Bock Winter Ale picked this up as a single 12oz bottle. Pours into my glass a dark reddish brown with good clarity and a half inch of bubbly off white head on top of the brew. Aromas start with cereal grains that are lightly toasted along with some caramel and nutty tones. Light grassy hops. Nothing really going on here.

First sip brings a crisp toasted cereal grain malt that flows down with some caramel accents and light nutty flavors. A bit of a metallic taste as it moves along. This one finishes with some herbal hops on the way down and a light bitterness. Nothing really stands out here.

Mouthfeel is on the light side with a light creaminess and good carbonation. Goes down easy enough. A decent enough brew but comes across too light bodied for a bock. More like a bigger red ale. Either way it doesn't leave me wanting to come back for more.

 864 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
2.67/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of biboergosum
2.37/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

355ml bottle, 6% ABV, at Pizza Brew in Calgary.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and eventually loosely bubbly ecru head, which leaves some minor sea plume lace around the glass as it quickly abates. Pretty darned pale for a winter ale, I have to say.

It smells weakly of musty, somewhat bready caramel malt, sour, yeasty, and muddled dark fruit, and a wet mineral flintiness. The taste is more of same, but thankfully (?) amped up - grainy caramel malt, stale white bread, a kind of acrid apple and cherry pit 'fruitiness', a weirdly isolated and muted roastiness, and dead floral, musty hops.

The carbonation is moderate in intensity and yet quite frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and rather tacky in its wan attempt at smoothness. It finishes just off-dry, the toast finally connecting with the still understated bready caramel malt, the so-called fruitiness having slunk off somewhere.

It's like the brewer read about all these fancy winter ales that proliferate this time of year, and took a bland amber ale and gave it a slight uptick in underwhelming fruitiness, nothing more. Sigh - this hardly inspires thoughts of warming hearths, knit sweaters, hot tubs, or especially, hope.

 1,258 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A khaki two finger head is suspended above a crystal clear red-amber brew. The head is really dense and creamy looking, and it leaves big sheets of lace on the glass that slide down and leave soft arcs behind. Retention is very good, and the shade of this brew seems to change depending on the angle.

S - Sweet maraschino cherry syrup and some milk chocolate. There are some vague hop notes, but they really just balance the sweet notes and nothing more. Caramel and hard strawberry candy (the kind that come in the strawberry skin wrapper. Some steely mineral notes are there too.

T - The flavors follow the nose to a T. Cherry syrup and hints of chocolate. It's pretty light though, no big malt bomb flavors or anything. It's like a Skullsplitter halved with water. Not bad! Something reminds me of Grand Marnier too, although there are no over orange flavors.

M - Medium bodied with a creamy carbonation and a dry finish. The mix of heavy syrup and chocolate flavors and a relatively thin body is sort of odd.

D - Give this a bigger body and get rid of the mineral hard water notes, and this would be much better. As is, this is a pretty damn good beer. This would go great with chocolate desserts, and it would be an especially nice desert brew for those who might be intimidated by big malt bombs with high ABVs.

 1,327 characters

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

A creamy tan cap tops a deep, crimson accented copper body in the Minhas brewery's Berghoff Red Bock Winter Ale. The head retention is fairly good, but it leaves only minor lacing behind. The nose is malty and toasty with a cusp of caramel, and some spicy and floral hops. It seems to utilize a fair amount of Vienna malt. It's medium headed towards medium-full in body, and the moderate carbonation lends a delicate caress to the tongue as it warms to become pillowy-smooth. The flavor nicely balances the spicy and herbal hops against the softly sweetish caramelized-sugar and toasted grain maltiness, and it's round from start to finish without any interuption or change in the flavor. Some more hops do appear in the finish as the maltiness slowly fades, but for the most part it's the same full flavor from end to end. It's very well done, drinkable, and satisfying. Well worth trying.

 890 characters

Photo of shbobdb
3.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My dad always insisted that the Berghoff brewery had one tap and many labels. I'm not sure I disagree, but that doesn't mean the beer they make isn't solid.

The beer pours a ruby-red, almost garnet with a bubbly macro-lager head that fades into a faint ring quite quickly.

The smell is fairly mild. The distinctive, slightly sour, and musty "Grandmother's house" smell that all Berghoff beers have is present. There is also a little bit of malt going on in the background.

The beer tastes quite good. There is a slight sour twang with a light bready note that spikes in a sweet middle, and has a dry finish. It is nice.

The beer is pretty much a beer for everybody. It isn't amazing by any standard, but at the same time, it is accessible to everyone. A macro-lover would say that this a beer that tastes like beer, while a craft beer lover would be able to pick out hints of munich and vienna malts.

 912 characters

Photo of Kunstman
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of MrTana
2/5  rDev -39.4%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.59/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner glass. No date or info but it's probably old due to the old label design.

Thanks to my girlfriend for this bottle in a trade.

A - A tall pour to the center of the pilsner glass brought this clear amber-brown beer's light caramel head to three fingers quickly. Good retention and lots of lacing on the way down!

S - The nose has a strong apple cider aroma right off the bat with persistent toasted malts trying to push through. No hop aroma here. Unfortunately I think this beer fell victim to old age.

T - A toasted malt flavor looms in the background of a thin taste profile that's unfortunately lead by a crisp apple cider flavor. Again, most likely, it has succumb to old age.

M - The feel is thin and watery with a light body and a dry finish. Leaves much to be desired.

D - Not bad but thin and cidery. The flavor and feel I can't see disintegrating that much with age so it's unfortunate it's thin. The cidery thing definitely seem to have crept up though. A drinkable beer as it is but if I was stuck with a six-er I'd try and pawn it off.

 1,087 characters

Photo of larsee01
3.94/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into nondescript pint glass.

A--Well, looks like a decent bock. Moderately creamy head (1 and a half fingers), light reddish chestnut color and clear.

S--Very faint, but a pleasant burnt character. Folgers coffee, but slight malty sweetness. Ghost of black licorice. A dark, dried fruit (dates?) Again, very faint and mild.

T--Ooh...nice! Pleasant flavors are bolder than smell gives away. Exquisitely balanced. Complex flavor spectrum of about 1/2 dozen things. Let me (the amateur) try to find/describe them. Mild burnt character there. Nutty. Mild iron-like metallic well-water. If anything comes close to prominent, it is the dark malt sweetness. But that is immediately complimented/neutralized by mild hop bitter. Something grassy but trending toward modestly floral...black tea? I don't know what the ABV is, but I'm not picking up any booze challenge here.

M--Enough to chew on, but unencumbering, crisp and clean. Good balance here. Good job overall, Berghoff!

D--Yes. Should I find out the ABV is on the high end for your typical bock, I'd come back and move this to at least 4.5.

 1,115 characters

Photo of scaliasux
1.75/5  rDev -47%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown. Appears clear. Tall, tan foamy head. Looks good.

Smell - Pretty faint. Some caramelly malt. Might be just a hint of floral hops.

Taste - Not real pleasant. Starts with a chocolately malt, but overpowered by bitter finish. Alcohol flavor is noticable.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, but still pretty crisp. A little bit of carbonated bite.

Drinkability - Can't say I care much for this beer. Not really what I expect in a bock and not, for that matter, very good tasting. The beer, however, is made by a nice little historic brewer in a nice little historic town. (Although the brewery's recently been bought out by Canadian uber-swillery Minhas.)

 672 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of CraigTravor
3.28/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of tommy5
3.61/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with some kind of a bottling code on the side. Acquired this six pack from the local beer store for just $4.99. It seems to be a newer entry in Berghoff's catalog.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark ruby cola colored body with one finger of creamy tan head that falls to a ring quickly. Looks pretty good for what it is.

S - I get a bit of toasted malt roast, a bit of cream, some caramel, faint indistinct spice rack notes, some earthiness, green apple, and some spritzy yeast funk.

T - Taste is of smooth caramel & toffee, but both are short lived. Earthiness, green apple, musty yeast, mild hint of vanilla, a hint of vinous grape, and some coiny metallics on the finish.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy, with good spritzy carbonation. Medium-thin bodied, with some sticky green apple on the finish.

Overall, it wasn't bad, if maybe just a little bland, and a little thin-bodied. This should also probably be classified as a Winter Warmer instead of an American Strong Ale. I think it would be interesting to see what a year would do to one of these bottles. Definitely one of the better Berghoff offerings that I've tried. Recommended.

Berghoff Winter Ale ---3.5/5

 1,208 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear,Chestnut amber with a fizzy ecru head. Smells of bubblegum and faintly of roasted coffee and toffee, definately malt forward. Tastes nutty and malty and fairly well balanced by roasted malt with a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied and more flavorful than most of this style. A good inexpensive quaffer.

 325 characters

Photo of Dovers
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of JALIEN
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of c1377
3.95/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

EYE
Dark
NOSE
Decidedly malty, floral hop
BUBBLE
frothy lace
MOUTH
Creamy and wet
TONGUE
milky sorghum malt, well roasted aftertaste, warming spirits
MOOD
Chilly spring afternoon with a scent of fresh green grass thawing mud on a swift breeze
PAIRING
Solyanka; smoked fish; cucumber salad on black bread; green pepper and pretzels; dill

Berghoff beers tend to have flavour profiles, that change as they sit on the tongue. This brew starts of with biting carbonation and hop, after which the malt runs away with your tongue, leaving a strongly roasted aftertaste. The transitions are not subtle and the individual malt components could be more distinct.

 653 characters

Photo of ralerwen
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Hergestridge
3.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I used to dislike dark full flavoured beer... funny how age changes one's perspective and taste buds...
Berghoff Winter Ale is quite an excellent entry..
It's a nice dark caramel colour.. Rich heady foam with slight lacing. A bit of a semi-sweet nutty flavour. Smooth clean taste and for a 7% abv it has a sweet, mellow and non liquor taste that lets you know it packs a punch, but it's a pleasant slap on the back.. so to speak. Thank you, Steven's Point Brewery!!! Nice entry.. Will definitely buy again before the Yule Season Ends!!!..
~Carry on Citizens!!!~
sMc

Serving type: bottle

 589 characters

Photo of krome
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of CHL
2.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Labeled a simply "Winter Ale," and in line with their other new labels. Just as well because it's not very red. Just a dark amber.

The head goes down quickly, and the ringing is persistent. No problems there.

The smell is sweet with toasted malts and no hops noticeable. I had high hopes, but the taste is not good. I enjoy the sweetness, but the dominant taste seems to be metallic, and the malt flavors don't stand up as well as they ought to.

It's not a thin beer (to its credit), but the taste seriously damages drinkability to me.

 538 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
2.79/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

The final piece of my six-part Berghoff puzzle. Desperado is now raging on the tube, and my girlfriend is wondering why I continue to shovel crappy beers into my gullet. I've had the same thought a few times tonight as well. Oh well, it's almost over. The capstone here pours a clear dark ruby topped by a half-finger of dirty white foam. Gotta say, this thing actually looked lovely. After my friend and I marveled at that statement, I took a whiff: caramel, toasted toffee, brown sugar, and dirt. Dammit, here we go again. At least it's not as bad as it could potentially be. The taste is also dominated by a toasted toffee character, along with some flowers, light butter, and some sort of off-fruit flavor, mostly akin to bad apples or old grapes. This could have been good...maybe. Too bad. The body is a slightly light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. If it wasn't also on the thinner side, I couldn't knock it too much, but oh well. Overall, looks can truly be deceiving, and this is proof positive. I'm glad this painful journey is over.

 1,117 characters

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Winter Ale from Berghoff Brewery
Beer rating: 18.6% out of 100 with 59 ratings
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