Cottonwood Frostbite
Carolina Beer Company

Cottonwood FrostbiteCottonwood Frostbite
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Winter Warmer
3.84 | pDev: 11.46%
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Cottonwood FrostbiteCottonwood Frostbite
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 40 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by kneeland:
Photo of kneeland
2.71/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

One of the best looking beers I've seen. Pours a gorgeous dark copper brown ale, with a lovely foam head that sticks around.

It doesn't come off like an IPA very much, but I can taste it a little. The taste is pretty average, too much malt, it overpowers the spices in it.

The mouthfeel is highly disappointing. It feels like it's still coating my entire mouth minutes after sipping it.

On a sidenote, I found a large broken piece of glass in my 6 pack. I'm sure this is pretty rare, but just be careful.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was something different for a winter ale.Nice copper color wirh frothy/rocky read,never thought of a hoppy winter aleIt says hoppy winter ale on the package but this tasted like and IPA in some ways.Bitter but with a little malt background,nice to try something new for the winter.

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Photo of bditty187
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky dried blood red-dark brown hue, the off-white head reached a finger in height and the retention was very good, it took a long moment before it noticeably faded. The subsequent lacing was quite pronounced. It is a fine looking brew. The nose intrigued me, it was hoppy with citrus & flowery notes that were paired with a kick of caramel malts in the background; it smells a little like Celebration Ale. The potency isn’t great but it gets the point across. Inviting. The palate largely matches the bouquet, the hops seem a little more restrained but they are obviously noticeable and quite tasty with their floral-citrus influences, the malt is toasty and more pronounced than I expected, it is not IPA-ish in nature. Yes, it is hoppy but not bitter or IPA hoppy. In fact this beer is like a better version of the new Winterhook Ale. That is fine by me! Maybe this beer is a Brown Ale meets an IPA bastard child? I should stop thinking and just call it tasty. Medium in body with a pretty big bite of carbonation, the mouthfeel is a little prickly. The aftertaste is largely hops with just a kiss of toasted maltiness like a Porter! This beer is unusual. Nothing really standouts flavor-wise but all of the subtle qualities blended reasonably well, true it is a little unbalanced towards the hops but it is workable. This is plenty drinkable and a worthwhile Winter Ale (I can’t really call this a “Winter Warmer” until North Carolina “Pops the Cap!”). Frostbite is definitely worth trying. Thank you Loki for the sample!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep dark amber brown hue with a frothy caramel tan head leaves thick rings of lacing beautiful color and overall appearance. Aroma: Hop bitterness comes in pockets of deep pine cone and mild citrus notes with a big caramel malt profile. Taste: Mix of chocolate notes and caramel malts with a pine cone frivilously hopped brew sitting in front of me my mouth waters not bad at all. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied even carbonation not bad at all. Drinkability: Decent hoppy brew out of the Carolinas showing much promise for craft beer down south, excellent.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.97/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Copperish-auburn with a full tan head and massive amounts of sediment. Leaves good lace. Incredible citrusy hop aroma. Citrus hop flavor dominates leaving little, if any malt character. Medium-full bodied and creamy with a moderate bitter finish.

A very good American IPA.

Per C.B.Co. website: Centennial and Columbus Hops

DOB on neck: 11/25/02 Tasted: 01/17/03

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tawny, nut-brown color, under a big, rocky, puffy, creamy-colored head, attractive and enticing. Aroma, nicely spicy, nutmeg and cloves, a bit roasty, with a good whiff of malt, good character, though I didn't get so much of the hops that the label boasts of.
Taste: smooth landing on the palate, rife with dark flavors, rich, full-bodied. Hops arrive on the palate, and please the tongue, matched masterfully with malt. Nutty flavor predominates, though, mixed well with spices. Light, brisk finish.

Thanks to Loki for this one!

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz amber bottle. Per the label, the freshness dating is printed on the neck, but I sure couldn't find it.

Poured a beautiful dark brown in color with a super-thick layer of light tan head. Superb lacing of the glass with distinct rings. Aromas are spicy, with definite citrus and pine shining through. This is labeled as a "hoppy winter ale" and they aren't kidding. A tasty hop dominance, mixed in with some wintery spices (nutmeg, some cinnamon), supported by a sweet caramel undertone. Finishes with a smoky aftertaste that was as unexpected as it was flavorful. Mouthfeel is on the thin side but this is still a quaffable beer.

Notes: Call me crazy, but this really reminded me of a highly toned-down Arrogant Bastard. The color, nose, and flavor really made me think of Stone's magnificient creation, albeit a watered down version of it.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Voluminous tan head that laced nicely. Hazed, dark amber beer.
Aroma of piney hops, dark fruit, and caramel malt.

Taste shows a hefty dose of piney, fruity hops. Dark caramel malt backbone provides decent balance, but this beer is about the hops. Dark fruit. A unique overall taste I liked.

Good body to the mouthfeel.

Overall, a good seasonal. Big thanks to AKSmokedPorter for tracking down this beer I was strongly seeking!

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Photo of JISurfer
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let me first say that I am not a big fan of the hoppier beverages. This one on the other hand is hoppy, but I really liked it. It was hoppy, but at the same time, had more depth to it. I detected hints of orange, lemon, oakiness, and hops. There is a hint of malts though. The appearance is stellar on this one. It's a cloudy red color with a reddish tan head to it. The head was super thick and lasted the whole drink! This I liked very much. All in all a great brew that I expected to be rather bland and average.

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Photo of avylover
4.54/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thick brown translucent color with a nice frothy head. Nice lacy rim around the head. Smells of citrous hops right away, dominating the scent.Smells like a buquet of flowers!! The taste is not exaclty what i'd expect from a winter ale. Hops dominate until the last drop goes down, then some malts come forward at the end. Great taste, just not what I expected for the "style" I bit like SN celebration, only hoppier (is that possible?) Some spices i'm not familiar with detected. A good winiter beer for hop heads like myself.

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Photo of beerinator
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber brown. Very dark tan frothy head.

Aroma: Very very strong vegital hop aroma. Definately has a heavy hop kick to the nose. It's hard to notice anything in the aroma other than the hoppiness.

Taste: Upfront roastyness. Not as sweet as many big hoppy beers. Dryer than expected. Coffee bitterness is present in the finish. Straight black coffee seems to bring the bitterness to this beer. It doesn't seem to be as hoppy as the aroma suggests.

Notes: Not entirely the way I remember this one from years past. It seems to be leaning more towards a brown in the taste category than it has in the past.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown with a tall foamy head. Aroma is hoppy, a good, strong pine and citrus blend.

Taste is a pale malt, toasty, biscuity, with a fair amount of hops riding on top. Not over-the-top bitter but a nice hop sweetness with citrus and resin. Some faint spices somewhere in the background. Finish is a little dry.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Very drinkable, very enjoyable, no hint of the alcohol content in the flavor (label says 8.5% ABV). Would fit very well into the DIPA category, why they wanted to call it a winter ale, I don't know. I could session this.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt amber. with a nice frothy sticky head. The aroma isnt much, maybe a little hop and spice. The flavour is far more pronounced than the smell. Nice malty caramel notes, with some spice in there as well just like a touch of clove and allspice. Then the hops hop to it and dry the beer out and give it a nice bitterness. A nice session IPA. Not too heavy. My beers didnt seem watered down as others have sugggested theirs were. Another good beer from Cottonwood.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a frothy, two and a half thick, tan colored head that sits atop a brilliantly clear, amber-red colored beer. Interestingly enough the aroma has notes of funky cheese. There are also notes of herbal hops and a soft fruitiness of citrus and perhaps some notes reminiscent of currants. As time goes on the funky cheese notes seem to drop out a bit.

The taste is lightly sweet with a touch of grapefruit, plus a bit of zingy herbal hops. The malt is fairly subdued underneath the hops; it is here though and contributes to the fruit character, perhaps contributing some notes of raisins. This is a nice hoppy beer, it is perhaps not as malty as I would like as it needs a bit more structure to make it a satisfying winter warmer.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rich and mahogany in color with a foamy beige head and a hoppy aroma. The taste is rich and warm, with a nice bitterness and an almost smoky element in the finish.

This is a pretty good beer. I can only imagine how much better it would have been back in November, before it sat on distributor's shelves for months.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured deep brown amber. The head was deep tan and lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was hoppy, malty and complex. Very well done in that aspect.

The flavor was bitter with a chocolate flavor. Also present is slight caramel, but the bitterness and hop flavor rule the day.

The finish was dry bitter with slight chocolate. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle. With a little better malt balance in the flavor the beer could have been a contender.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red and nut brown color with an enormous, pillowy off-white head.
Aroma was a mix of nutmeg, roasted malts, a dash of chocolate and some powerful hoppy notes.
Flavor seemed to deviate from the nose. Darker roasty malts seemed to prevail in the pull between sweet and bitter. A distinctiveness nutty profile appeared mid-palate, which seemed a bit out of place.
Mouthfeel started out very full on the back half sort of lots its "oomph" and petered out sortof boringly.
Drinkabilty was above average but just missing a key few distinctive features to make this any more memorable.

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Photo of IceAce
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber body capped with a three-finger collar of very light tan foam. The bottle label proclaims "A Hoppy Winter Ale", and the nose lends creedance to the presence of hops...a little floral, mostly piney, with a slight phenolic backdrop.

Entry is supported by adequate carbonation while the tonge is seemingly doused in equal parts of roasted malt and alcohol. Mouthfeel is thin as a floral hop bite begins the finish...I wish there were just a little more substance here as the hops trail off...

All in all this is a nice seasonal I would enjoy after-dinner with family and friends while a fire roars in the fireplace on a cold January night...

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear birch beer brown with ruby highlights, a nice off-white head and some lacing

Smell: Nice bready smell with hops in the background

Taste: Starts out with a bready, nutty brown ale flavor that is subsumed by the hops into a bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy bodied with a modest amount of carbonation

Drinkability: A nice hoppy brown ale that is difficult to categorize; it sure isn't an American IPA and it is too hoppy to be a winter warmer; nevertheless, quite good

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. This one pours a very hazy dark tea brown color with a finger of lightly tanned head that sits very well over top even after a little sitting around. This one is pretty hazy. Taking a nice sniff, there are notes of nice sweet caramel with a grapefruity and sweet hop, along with a touch of piney hop. Its good, but is not really doing anything to jump out to me or set itself apart from the pack. The taste is a lot more "dark" than I expected. Its not roasted or anything like that, but it is just more full than I expected. I get a nice earthyness from the hop, as this one is aged a little. The caramel is not as prevalent, but lightly sweet behind the hop. It finishes really mildly bitter, and slightly herbal. I enjoy the flavor on this one. The mouthfeel is thick, with a moderate carbonation. I like the mild bitter that clings on the finish. I think the aged hop flavor that took on a more earthy quality really works with the beer really well. I like it.

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Photo of Backer2004
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very excited to see this on tap tonight, but after ordering it, the bartendar told me that they only had pumpkin as the seasonal. She was wrong and I was happy. Since this is my first winter on, I'm just starting to experience the winter warmers. Very good qualities in all categories, however, everything was a step below Sam Adams' Winter Warmer. Nice little kick to it. However, the high today was 70 degrees so maybe I'll enjoy it even more ina few weeks.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle. No freshness marking on the bottle.

Appearance: Murky, dark brown color with an uneven and thin tan head. The beer also has a slight red hue when backlit.

Smell: Caramel, floral hoppiness, toast, brown sugar, flaky pie crust.

Taste: Lots of hop bitterness up front followed by some sourness. It's roasty with some mild fruity esters. This beer is decently hopped but to the point of being unbalanced and strange. The maltiness that ends the beer is sweet and sticky but under represented to say the least.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and slightly sticky.

Drinkability: Very thin and not much real flavor to get excited about. Mostly hops but it's not even a good hoppiness that one could get into. It tastes like something is missing.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying this one in a Cottonwood Ale pint glass...thanks to AlexJ for both.
Pours a hazy, dark brown with some light able to penetrate...a glorious creamy tan head sits on top and sticks around for a bit and also produces some serious lacing, covering the sides entirely.
Sweet aroma up front...subtle detection of black cherries and raisins.
The taste is less sweet and as stated on the bottle, quite hoppy.
Very little spice, but a solid malt backbone to accompany the dose of hops in this offering.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, the carbonation is a tad high and goes down with no effort.
I'd enjoy a fresher bottle, but this one was another decent offering...would like to try it on tap.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Cottonwood beer to date. Props to Mike Brawley for giving me this hop bomb. Pours dark reddish brown with a thick, chunky beige head that looks like oatmeal by the time it's settled. Tons o' lace here. Massive hop aromas of citrus, floral, and pine. It's not too often that all 3 of these are present, but here we are. Initial caramel malt flavor lasts for a nanosecond as a rush of hops takes my palate hostage. Fruity, peppery, chewy, floral/citrus hops are the prevalent taste here. A nice malty backbone makes it's presence known towards the end, but finishes with tongue-numbing hops. Medium in body with an average mouthfeel. Reminds me a bit of SNCA, delicious in it's own right. I really wish I had more than 1 of these, I'll savor every sip.

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Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with The_Beer_God (thanks!).

Poured a medium brown color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of toasted nuts, citrus, and had a light evergreen aroma to it. Tastes of citrus, pine, and toasted malts.

Notes from: 12/29/06

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Cottonwood Frostbite from Carolina Beer Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 40 ratings