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
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 36
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.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. pours a chocolate color with a few fingers of tan head. wonderful settling on this one.

aroma is strong on malts, namely caramel, and a bit of chocolate, with a base of grapes, giving the brew a bit of a sour character.

taste is of caramel malts, with the same ascerbic character as the aroma. a bit more restrained here, but still present. the same subtle chocolate malts are also here, providing balance to the grapes.

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Photo of jbierling
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +21.2%

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 chilidog
3.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As part of a sample pack, I bought the samplar For this beer. I guess according to the 12 pk. box the rotate a seasonal, with the same box.

So far the beer has taken some review shots, here's what I thought.
It poured a nice clean dark red. Good full slight tan head, lace was good. The body was medium.

The aroma, not strong but slight toasted malts, alittle metalic

The taste was crisp toasted malts, slight sweetness with a slight hop oil balance. Alittle biscuit or metalic sour dough.

The mouthfeel was alittle thin and the alcohol not to strong. I usually like abit more hardyness for a winter brew but thisone was very drinkable for an everyday seasonal.

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Photo of NorthSideSean
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Ricochet
3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a big head that seemed to stay as the beer went down. Deep red, with lively carbonation. It's a bock. Smelled like a bock. Malt, alcohol. Simple. Very thick on the tounge with a creamy wash and all malt aftertaste, also good. Tasting this would be summed up by saying: Not as good as Celebrator, but better than most. The burnt malt perhaps what makes this amber does add to a fuller malt flavor and alchohol was subdued. Sweet malty goodness with light hops. While this misses on complexity with none of the suttle raisin or winey notes, this makes a very simple drinker that I could easily kick back rather than making this the dessert beer.

4 of 4 from Berghoff so far. Great beers, and this bock is another simple, true to style everyday drinker.

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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

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Photo of KI9A
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, medium amber color, off white head.

S: Cherry, chocolate malt.

T: Again, cherry, chocolate malt. Sweet up front, and sweet finish.

M: Light, crisp.

D: Had this in a tulip glass, to open it up, and try to give a good review. A bit too sweet for me, but is light, and finished fairly clean. Decent beer for after dinner.

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured dark amber with a medium foamy head. Smell and taste were dominated by caramel and sweetness. Smooth, perfect carbonation. A pretty good bock, a style I'm generally not in to.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin tan head tops a brown body with reddish highlights--pretty nice. The smell consists primarily of caramel and yeast, with hints of fruit--a little too subtle on the nose for my liking. The taste is smooth, with caramel and ginger carrying the day, but not the most complex bock. The smooth texture makes this beer good, as well as very drinkable, atoning for a lack of taste variety with a solid, smooth, straight-ahead bock that's really pretty good. I'd recommend it.

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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.

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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 jjhardy12
3.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.

I have to admit before I even begin this review that the name is making it very hard for me to take the beer seriously. Brewers take note; just because you throw four different styles on the label, it doesn't make your beer better. Is this an ale? A red ale? A bock? A winter warmer? I'm confused, a fusion I can get but a four way fusion? anyway on with the show:

Pours a moderate to dark copper with decent head and active carbonation. Clear with no apparent cloud, the head recedes quickly and is very soda like.

Aroma is of dark roasted grain and a touch of sweet. Turbinado sugar and cotton candy. Slight bitter aroma that doesn't come right out and proclaim it is hops, but hints.

Flavor is burnt sugar on top of roastey grain. There is a nuttiness from the grain roast that is nice.

Medium bodied even though the fizz is high, not overly watery, but not chewy either.

Not terribly bad, but I still can't figure out what it is. If this is really supposed to be a bock, then they missed the mark

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Photo of Waveoff
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Contagion
3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The coloring is a beautiful dark amber color with crimson shading. There is no sign of cloudiness to it, light passes through with some difficulty. When you look through you can make out objects on the other side. A thin tan head forms when poured into a glass. The head fades quickly to nothing and there is no lacing on the glass.

The smell is an exquisite caramel and chocolate malt combination with a fruit undertone. The fruit smelled like strawberry or raspberry, but that might the combination of the malts mixing with the fruit to alter the scent. There is a mild sweetness to the smell that is pleasing. The taste is much like the scent, a sweet, but not overly sweet, combination of caramel malts and berries. The flavor is a little weak.

It's a smooth, light bodied beer that is very easy to drink.

This is not like most of the winter ales I've drank. The flavor isn't in your face. It's mild and soothing. Something that you can drink just about any time you want. This is one of those beers that I could see myself picking up a six pack of on a whim.

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Photo of tyleeis
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of matjack85
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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

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