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 BeerFMAndy
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
5.6% ABV,

A - Dark chestnut brown colored and clear, this beer pours with a short-lived light khaki head that drops to a thin skim and ring of foam with minimal lacing on the pint.

S - Weyerbacher Winter Ale has a very gentle malt aroma that encourages exploration of it's toffee and caramel nuances. Soft wheat bread and undertones of earthy hops come from a swirl but remain somewhat partitioned. It's not your typical winter beer smell but it's got a nice brown ale nose.

T - Roasted malt introduces bittersweet chocolate notes and burnt toast with a pinch of caramel sweetness and dry, earthy finish of dust and cocoa. The flavor strays considerably from the aroma but it's not bad until the finish is capped off with a metallic tin foil taste.

M - This winter ale is medium light bodied and incredibly dry from roasted malt and earthy English hops. The metallic taste carries over into the feel with a bite to the finish but it's not quite as insulting in the beer's feel.

O - Weyerbacher's Winter Ale doesn't do much to suggest winter to me, or even offer a nudge towards the season with spice or alcohol warmth for that matter. It's certainly not an awful beer but the roasted malt flavor which comes out of nowhere adds a poor metallic flavor to it that strikes me particularly hard. An average brown ale, I could take it or leave it.

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Photo of farrago
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Close to no head, just a think layer of light brownish tan across the surface, swiftly gone, virtually zero lacing as well. The liquid is murky enough to achieve opacity, otherwise some brightness to the reddish brown color, some lighter orange tones further out, only the merest trace of bubbles. The nose emphasizes soft sweetness in the form of caramel, molasses, brown sugar, roasted nuts and soda bread, some carob and cinnamon like spices too, no real fruit or citrus presence, you get more oats and general grains as it warms. In the mouth it’s full-bodied, somewhat bottom heavy, paucity of carbonation does not help this situation, just sort of lays there until it suddenly loses weight through the finish, ends short. More bitter dark chocolate and cocoa here, hints at a sort of burnt quality. There are softening vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, toffee, nutmeg, creamed coffee and some cola bean notes as well as that soft baked dessert goods quality. Given the general sweetness of the flavors curious how texturally dry it is. Nothing which meaningfully bespeaks the presence of hops. Flavorful, can’t say there’s anything wrong with it per se but you forget you’re even holding a half full glass, not a good sign.

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Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 6pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA

Poured and sampled from a DFH Pint glass

A - Pours a very dark, mostly opaque, dark drown color. A one finger head on the initial pour. It fades to a light skim. A small amount of lacing left.

S - A underwhelming aroma of some sweet malts and spices.

T - The taste is a mix of sweet malts along with cinnamon and nutmeg. A slight toffee-like taste as well. Slightly bitter. Very middle of the road with nothing that says "Wow". It's very easy to drink and you could easily down several of these in a sitting. The ABV isn't noticeable.

M - Moderate carbonation. Thinnish consistency.

O - A good tasting beer but again, nothing that is mind-blowing. It reminded me of a Samual Adams-type winter lager. That's not a bad thing since both are tasty but just middle of the road for me. A nice segway beer to give to your friends that are not normally craft beer drinkers since it's rather tame.


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Photo of brewdude1982
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This wasa 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown with a small head with very tiny bubbles. Has very little smell mostly a little sweet with some spice. What spice? I have no idea. Taste is fairly bland. Medium body and decent to low carbonation. There are better Xmas ales out there.

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Photo of facundoCNB
2.67/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a very deep amber/ruby in color with a finger of off-white head.
a slight smell of the malt bill used for this one.. not really much there, very faint in smell at all. this is shocking for a weyerbacher beer.

the taste is almost of an esb... slightly bitter up front but balanced out by the sweet malt. subtle chocolate flavor and a hint of coffee.. again, very weak in flavor.. if it takes a lot of effort to figure out what i'm drinking, then maybe it isn't worth it. not bad once it starts warming up, but it was really hard to decipher any smell/flavor at first.

medium body, moderate carbonation. not something i'd pick up again.. it wasn't bad, but it was very mild / bland. not something i expected from weyerbacher honestly, but i guess they can't all be perfect. again, it's not terrible, and i guess it was worth the experience of tasting it to learn it wasn't great.. if that makes sense. i guess i was expecting a winter warmer and all i got was a watered down bland brown ale with a slight bitterness to it.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Another tone77 bottle and another opportunity for me to celebrate Christmas in July 2012!

My pour was initially creating so much head that there was a cascading action at the junction between where the head ended and the beer began that I backed off. It eventually settled into a little over a finger of light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep garnet-brown with NE-quality clarity. Nose was spicy, like cinnamon and/or cloves had been used, along with a lightly malty sweetness. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin and the taste was like spiced cocoa, chocolate with cinnamon. Interesting. Finish was semi-dry and nicely refreshing. Not bad.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Very dark brown with a light sand colored single finger froth head, medium retention and lacing. Smells lightly of blended spices (cinnamon and nutmeg mostly) and a roasted malt. The flavor is just about exactly as predicted from the nose but also has an aspirin-like bitterness on the finish... Lighter side of medium body and carbonation levels. Overall, it could have used some amplification and slightly more sweetness for my palate.

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Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Very dark brown pour, nearly no light gets through. Thin layer of off white.

Aroma, malty toffee, some dark fruit. Nutmeg, cinnamon.

Taste, caramel, cocoa. Earthy spice. A peaty, woody finish. Reminded me a bit of one of the lighter Haandbrygeriet Christmas brews.

Just lighter than mid bodied. A nice fine carbonation. Easy drinking, nice manageable abv. Maybe a tad watery.
Very like able overall.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - a clear brown with a very short fizzy head that dissapates quickly.
S - malty caramel with a touch of spice(nutmeg?)
T - moderately sweet roasted malt with a lightly holiday spiced aftertaste.
M - low to medium carbonation in a lighter bodied feel that leaves a slight drying.
D - easy drinking lightly spiced malty winter warmer with an easily manageable abv.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 112211, Best by 032212
Consumed 032012

A: Pours a ruby red/mahogany color with a half inch head that fizzles out within a minute

S: Malty with notes of caramel, light spices, and chocolate

T: Follows the nose, malty with orange peel and other spices, caramel, some nuttiness and a hint of chocolate and coffee towards the end

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice tasty winter warmer that serves its purpose well. Great if you like malty beers or winter brews in general

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Photo of ckollias
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a porter glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown almost black hue with a thin, dark tan, 2-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace and nice trail down the glass.

S: Nice Roasted malt aroma with hints of caramel and spices in the background.

T: Similar to the smell roasted malts flavor present throughout. A little more bitter than sweet and finishes slightly tart.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent Winter ale – not the best I’ve ever had but pretty darn good and very enjoyable.

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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 rlee1390
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Clear deep amber brown with a two finger creamy head

S-Roasted malt, spices and nut flavors.

T-Starts with a mix of roasty malts and some spices. Not much else in the beer

M-Medium bodied but a little thin with little carbonation.

O-An ok winter beer. Most likely will never buy it again but I'd gladly drink it again if offered.

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Photo of JerseyKirk
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: reddish, copper brown. 1 1/2 finger khaki head. Small carb bubbles.

S: caramel malt, biscuty, slight fruit and sweetness.

T: caramel, slight toasted, sweetness, slight fest notes. Hop bitterness subdued.

M: medium body, carbonated, sweet on the tongue.

O: really delicious. Reminds me of a fest beer mixed with a residual sweetness.

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Photo of midworken
3.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep, deep black body with a slight hue of brown. Light tan head didn't stay around too long but left a little lacing on top.
Aroma is a strong malt, sweet stout-like with a smidge of coffee aroma. Raisins perhaps?
Smokiness is definitely present throughout the taste, from start to finish. It's not too strong to mask the other flavors, but the malts don't play a large role here. Spices and zest are noticable, with a dry finish that leaves with the smoke flavor.
The flavors work OK, but I'm not 100% on board with it's vibe. A decent beer, but I won't be seeking this one out next time.

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Photo of shand
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Time to start getting these winter beers out of my fridge.

Pours a deep brown with a tiny head that retains well. Aroma is a nice, deep caramel maltiness with a bit of spicing and herbal hops. The taste is very nice, it is a well balanced winter warmer with a strong warming caramel maltiness taking center stage. The spices play a supporting role instead of overwhelming (Harpoon, I'm talking to you). There's some herbal hops finishing this guy up too. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well-carbonated, and the drinkability is pretty good. Overall, a solid Winter Warmer. Nothing to write home about, but it won't do you wrong.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. The color is dark amber and there is a about a one inch off-white head.

The aroma is caramel malt with a hint of spice. This is very bready and malt forward.

The taste is much like the aroma, with caramel malts leading the way. There is a hint of spice mostly in the finish. This is pretty ordinary, but not bad.

I like the mouthfeel; medium bodied with nice sharp crisp carbonation.

This is nice. I would grab a six-pack of this to bring to someone's house.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured with a pitch black appearance with a bubble-rich head that faded quickly. The aroma had a dull, sweet smell, with general flavors that are fruit with a slight roast of nuts to it. The taste was bittersweet and had more of a roasty nut flavor than I could sense with my nose. The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated, but nice and light, making it relatively refreshing compared to its somewhat heavy roast taste. Overall, a relatively enjoyable winter drink.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – A light brown/dark red color with a bit of head formed upon reception that faded quite fast.

Smell – Some sweetness of sugar with a bit of nut and char aroma.

Taste – Nothing too overpowering here. Some Nuttiness and maltiness first meet the tongue followed shortly by a few sweet notes of chocolate and sugar fading away to a roasted nut flavor.

Mouthfeel – Relatively normal foe the abv. although a little lighter then would be expected for the winter style darker beer. Carbonation was just about right.

Overall – Nothing special here. Its worth a try, but not a beer I would pine for.

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left minimal trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of seasonal spices and bready malt.

T - It tasted of nutmeg and cinnamon with a bready caramel malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with clean finish.

O - This is an okay winter warmer. Certainly worth a try from a great brewery.

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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 microbrewlover
1.84/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I had this beer last year, I seem to remember it being better however I will review the batch I just had.
This beer pours dark with a nice head which takes a few minuets to dissapate.

I could not smell any any flavor in this brew. The tast was bland, almost like flat soda but without the carbonation.

I could taste the alchohol in the brew but not much else. This was just a bland and unexciting beer. This is the first beer I ever had from Weyerbacher that I did not think was great.

I will try this again, just to see if I had a bad batch or if this beer really is this bad.

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Photo of zimm421
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. Appears a dark molasses brown with a good tan head. Head doesn't leave much lacing, but has decent staying power.

Nose is sweet with dark malts and a slight nuttiness. Not much else here. Taste is also sweet with caramel and nice dark malts. Not much balance at all here. Slightly disappointing on that end. Pretty straightforward and boring...

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low carbonation. Overall, this was disappointing. Not much going on at all, and there are much better winter options available.

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Photo of oline73
2.76/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear mahogany with a finger of off white head that fades to a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Some sweet malt with fruity cherry notes, may be a hint of almond extract. Just a bit nutty with some Christmas spice.

Taste: The taste of this beer isn't very strong. Mild bready malt. Not really picking up the fruit notes from the smell. There is a very mild spice note and some bitterness in the finish. Tastes a bit watered down.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This tastes like a watered down winter warmer. Would have liked more flavor, but what is there isn't bad

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Photo of Thads324
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brownish red with a tan head that goes by the wayside very fast. Smells like super sweet booze. Some cherry smoked wood and a bit of caramel.
Taste is slightly medicinal. Almost like cherry NyQuil. The malts underneath are sweet and dark. Can't tell what types. The cherry like flavor disappears almost entirely, but the beer continues to be a slightly boozey and overly sweet brew. The hop bitterness at the end is nice and earthy. Mouthfeel is very effervescent and medium bodied.
Ugh! Too sweet, odd characteristics. a bit of spice in the flavor but it just gets lost by everything else. I can't figure out what this is. Just weird and not very good for a brewery I tend to really like.

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