Winter Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Winter AleWinter Ale

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is not spiced.

Added by Todd on 09-24-2001

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Reviews: 379 | Ratings: 794
Photo of BeerLover48Fan
4.77/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep red amber with very little head
Very light lacing
Rich chocolate malt smell with a slight spicy raisin
Light carbonation that ended perfect in my eyes
Tastes of chocolate malts with very light hints of various spices
Overall I think it's worth a try along with your other Winter Ales

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Photo of jktedder12
4.59/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this beer from a bottle into a chilled pint glass. Half inch head, which dissipated fairly quickly. Very nice coppery/brown color. A bit of caramel/nut aroma. No overtly strong spice flavors typically found in a winter ale. Nice clean, dry finish. I personally found this to be one of the nicest 'brown ales' I've had, though it is not specifically a brown ale. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, deep brown color with a good sized tan head that went to a layer, leaving good sticky lacing on the glass.

S - roasted malt and spice aroma.

T - very good tasting brew, malt and spices blended well together.

M - medium bodied with light carbonation.

D - goes down smooth and easy.

Final Note: This is one of my favorite Winter Ales. I highly recommend trying this brew before Spring.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a respectable one inch tan head over a dark but translucent body. Head recedes rather rapidly leaving a maze of lace. Strong aromas of biscuity malt. Tastes of soft biscuit malt with an underlying caramel sweetness. Faint traces of vinous fruit, smoke and chocolate. Low level hops start to balance things out. Notable British saltiness. Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a clean, drying finish.

Malt bomb! This beer was a nice surprise, but then again I'm a malt-head. Big yet complex malt presence dominates, but is kept in check by minimal hopping--a tad too minimal. Very soft mouthfeel helps this slide right down. Devotees of Fat Tire will appreciate the toasty character of this warmer.

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Photo of troysoy2
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Happy wintertime, BA. This will be my first winter warmer ever (at least to my knowledge), so forgive me for not knowing much about what to expect from the style.

It's certainly a nice, deep mahogany color. A half finger of light tan head gives way to an interesting surface-covering with lots of tiny bubbles clumped together.

The smell is subtle, but fills the air around my pint glass. Definitely present are chocolatey malts and a very enticing woody, roasting nut aroma. Reminiscent of a porter, I'd say.

The taste is very interesting! Surprisingly complex. At first, there is a sweetness about the taste which is just a little lighter than the malts you might find in a heavier porter or stout. Malty, but fresh and not cloyingly sweet. The finish is a little bit drying, and this works very well with the lightly carbonated feel to keep the beer very refreshing. Weyerbacher really found a way to wed refreshing crispness with smooth sweetness. But wait, that's not all! Maybe it's just me, but at the very finish, a hint of nuttiness comes out.

A very interesting beer. Well done! I think I'll have to revisit this one many times before the winter goes away.

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Photo of cooch69
4.42/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a pint glass a deep dark brown with a tan head. It's one finger high and it's got a nice array of small and medium sized bubbles in it.

Nose is sweet, caramelly, bready, nutty goodness.
Pretty much exactly like a heavy English Brown Ale.

Taste follows as above, exept that it seems a little lighter on the palace than the nose would suggest. But pretty much just tastes like an English Brown.

I was really surprised at how good this beer was.
But perhaps even more surprised at how well this goes on a hot summer day after a long days work. After having this now I could'nt imagine it being better in the winter.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.37/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draught poured into a standard pint glass:

Appearance: This is a lustrous, dark, almost opaque beer with a one-finger off-white head that quickly dissipates into fine lacing along the rim of the glass.

Smell: Very faint berry scent, almost imperceptible.

Taste: Mild citrus with a slight carbonated bite to it on the end.

Mouthfell: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, tickling the tongue very slightly. not bad.

Overall: This is a pretty solid winter ale, and I liked the dark lustrous nature of it, as well as the pleasing, but not overpowering, berry flavors. It settled well on the tongue, and I would definitely get it again, especially on tap.

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Photo of littlebibs
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very drinkable winter ale, more like a watery stout but it has
much going for it. Some smoke swirls around the taste buds.
I've read so many people think they taste plums, minced meat,
licorice, raisons, whatever its earthy- woods in the winter, complex yet
very drinkable, some metallic in there but really very subtle. Its
fun samplings these seasonals, so much goes in to these brews
and I'll be there to taste them. Nice offering from the people at

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Photo of predikit
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%

Pours brown , settles in the glass deep brown with touches of ruby. Left a one inch off-white head that receded almost immediately. Left a minimal amount of lacing.

Smells caramel and spice. I see the disclaimer here, I just don't really believe it.

Taste of barley, and well roasted caramel malts. Simple and to the point that's about all it is. And I am actually pleased, reminds me of summer days at a campfire roasting marshmallows, eating the marshmallow I would char to black at least once every time I roasted them.

I could drink this all day, medium light bodied, light carbonation.

I am extremely pleased, glad I chose this over another of Weyerbacher's barleywines for the evening.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%

Look: Pours a medium brown color with a big fluffy head.

Smell: Smell of roasty malts, coffee, caramel, bread, and some spices. The more I drink it, the more caramel becomes dominant in the aroma.

Taste: Roasted malts, caramel, cinnamon. It just has a very roasted flavor.

Feel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall: I didn't realize this was a brown ale until I poured it. The dark color took me by surprise. I like brown ale's. It has very good overall flavors and aroma's. above average I'd say. Good beer. I'd buy again.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.23/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright mahogany with a low beige/light brown head and subdued carbonation which leaves decent lace. LIght dark malt/fruit aroma with a touch of black licorice. Decent dark fruit/black licorice flavors. Medium bodied (leans full) with a smooth creamy finish.

A nice winter offering and a bit spicy but not one leaving you wanting more than a few ...

Per W.B.Co. website: Brewed with deep-roasted chocolate malt.

2003 version
Tasted: 11/28/04

($1.43 / 12 oz.)

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.21/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

this beer pours with a thick almond colored head that lasts a full minute until it rings the glass. the color is a dark brown that turns a ruby red when held to a light.

has a slight coffee or espresso smell and taste. first winter ale ive had with that taste. very smooth though, and the taste sticks to your tongue with a delicious bitterness.

can't wait to try the rest of weyerbacher

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Photo of John_M
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the holiday ale festival at Max's.

The beer pours a dark brown color with persistent head retention and lacing. On the nose I get quite a bit of chocolate and coffee, which is quite attractive. On the palate this beer has chocolate flavors reminescent of nestle's quick. The beer is very soft and creamy on the palate, and is surprisingly light. While not especially complex, this beer is very light and easy drinking... it's flat out delicious. Alcohol is completely unnoticeable in this one.

A very nice beer from Weyerbacher. I suspect having it on cask greatly improves it.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very deep brown. Almost black but maintains some clarity. Good head with decent retention.
Smell: Strong aroma of roasted malt.
Taste: Nice toasty flavor with an interesting undertone of maple or possibly honey.
Mouthfeel/drinkability: Nice crisp beer. Well carbonated and overall very easy to drink and enjoy during the holidays.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even a rousing pour raises only a scant tan head that settles over brownish-red, almost cola colored liquid. The nose gives notes of light spiciness, nuts and chocolate wrapped in a soft malty blanket spinkled with a touch of aromatic hops. The taste is dry hoppiness, some fruity notes, deep roasty maltiness with a touch of sweetness, before the hops return for the long bitter finish. A well made Winter sipper...made for quaffing fireside on a cool night.

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Photo of Minotaur
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured an exceptionally deep brown-red into a pint glass. Foam the color of chimney smoke bubbles up to a nice froth and hangs for a bit before settling into a thin, grayish skim.

The aroma is a caramel, molasses and nutty scent with hints of gingerbread, nutmeg and clove. It has a much better aroma than many other more heavily spiced ales.

The taste has a dry warmth with a hint of hops underlay. Not as sweet as it smells though the toasty, sweet malts are there. Over that are some thin bread/cake flavors, with the faint hint of the spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg predominantly peaking through). There may be a touch of light citrus in there but its hard for me to pick out. It has a smooth richness that is earthy and warm, but does not have any hallmark unique characteristics that radically set it apart from other warmers except for perhaps its very smooth and inviting nature.

The mouth feel is fruity and chewy but not overly thick. The flavors linger with a bit of bitterness. It is extremely drinkable, perhaps its greatest quality.

Weyerbacher Ales tend to be among my favorite for their sense of standard accessibility. Following suit, this may not be the most unique, mind-blowing, or complicated winter out there, but it is definitely one of the seasonal ales I always find myself returning to for reliability and welcoming sense.

I have had this yearly for the last 4 or 5 years, and I would say this is probably one of the stronger batches in the last 3 years.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby / black body, topped with a decent foamy,
short lasting, tan head that settles to a thin lace. On the nose the aroma is of coco, roasted malts. On the palate the alcohol is hardly noticed, touch of toffee, deep roasted chocolate malts taste predominates with a warm, roasty flavor, balanced out with a slightly dry finish... I really enjoy this winter ale, very drinkable...

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Photo of Immortale25
4.14/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a non-opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that has minimal retention time and now rests at a 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass with light surface foam. Small amount of lacing.

S- Has a caramel sweetness in the aroma and a hint of glass.

T- Malts are more pronounced in the taste as they provide a smooth, balanced roasty flavor and make for high drinkability. A bit of raisin and chocolate are present.

M- Light and creamy with a very relaxed feel. Medium carbonation.

O- There's not much to this beer but that's why it's great. A very straightforward and sessionable winter warmer.

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Photo of thlayli87
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich dark brown with ruby highlights. One finger of cream colored head that dissipated quickly. Very little, lacing.

S - Sweet and toasty malts with notes of chocolate and caramel. This smells absolutely delicious.

T - The taste doesn't disappoint at all. Toasted caramel and chocolate malt flavors mingle with brown sugar sweetness. Very mild hop presence toward the end that is almost obscured by the malt flavors. Some hints of spice as well, notably nutmeg.

M - Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden.

O - This is the best winter/Christmas brew I've had so far this year. Very tasty and highly drinkable. I only got one bottle but now I'm wishing I'd gotten more.

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Photo of gunnerman
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass pours a amber brown with a fluffy head that leaves some lace on the glass. Smell is of roasted toffee, biscuits, grain and a bit of alcohol in the nose. Taste is very good with little to no carbonation, roasted oates with a sweet toffee finish. This goes down oh so smooth and the lack of carbonation is a plus to me, overall the drinkability is very high. I truly enjoyed this offering as a nice sweet winter warmer.

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Photo of Maestro
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint this evening amongst my Christmas Shopping. Nice malts that seemed to overpower the hops. I was in the mood for that since I was eating beer battered fish with malt vinegar. The beer was strong but not too strong. I enjoyed the spicyness which says a lot for this beer because normally I can do without the spice. It was quite a nice treat.

Bottle notes 2003-3004
Good stuff. It has a very mild dose of spices and there seems to be a bit more hops this time around. But it is bottle, not tap, and a different year.

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Photo of ski271
4.09/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, nutty-brown color with a small, very-light-tan, creamy head that slowly fades to a thick film. It’s a very festive beer with warm aromas of roasted malts, nutmeg, caramel, molasses, and a little brown sugar and prune. Flavors follow suit but with more of a chestnut flavor, along with chocolate and some clove. It has a full body, smooth texture, and low carbonation. This is one I recommend letting warm up a little more than you’re used to in order to bring out the complexity. Surprisingly different than what I expected from a winter warmer, but enjoyable nevertheless. A nice change of pace and another interesting offering from one of the more bold and adventurous breweries out there.

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Photo of TheDeuce
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher Winter Ale....on tap at Mudville 9.

Appearance-dark brown to blood red, medium lace head builds and settles with adequate presentation.

Smell-molasses, caramel, sugar, light notes of toffee alcohol warmth, very aromatic.

Taste/Mouthfeel-medium body, sour but heavy feel, sugar up front, molasses surrounds as does alcohol, spicier finish, well balanced and smooth.

Drinkability-on a cold day this did well, no major flaws either.

Overall-solid winter, nothing outstanding but it hits all the right notes and has some nice characteristics, particularly like the spiciness.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown with ruby highlights and a short creamy tan head that drops but keeps a thin creamy surface covering and leaves some spotty lace. The nose offers some dark cocoa and a touch of roastiness, as well as a light metallic note. It's quite English in character. Its medium body combines with a very fine carbonation to produce a mouthfeel that's lightly creamy and smooth. The flavor expresses a gently fruity and toffee-ish malt with a soft touch of chocolate and a mild roasty edge that's infused with earthy hop flavors. A firm bitterness balances the malt and dries the finish that lingers with a faint note of black licorice. The slightly higher level of alcohol is exceptionally well cloaked. Very nicely done with a good drinkability although it only truly reveals its full malty character when enjoyed at cellar temperature.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into wide tulip.

Deep mahogany hue, close to very dark brown, with a thick two finger light tan head that slowly settles to a thick cap. Light toasty malt aromas with a touch of spice. Not much hoppiness. The flavor is very clean with some more of the slighty roasted hops, a little bit of brown sugar, and a light spice like cinnamon. Medium bodied. The finish is quick with a bit of the malts lingering.

A pretty drinkable Winter Warmer. Dark, roasty, with just the right amount of spice. Recommended (especially on-tap).

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Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 794 ratings.
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