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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 796 |  Reviews: 380
Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of JKelleyLBI
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of randomdanger
4/5  rDev +15.9%

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

On tap poured into pint glass. Deep amber brown with little head. Not much aroma, but caramel and malt is present.
Caramel, malt, and toffee dominate, but thats it. Not much else going on.
Kind of boring...little flavor, little body, little aroma. I probably wouldnt buy again.

 278 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Red-brown with a thin light tan head that retains mediocrely.
S- Aroma is bready, caramel, a touch nutty, a bit of hoppiness.
T- Initially some sweet caramel, but a dark fruit and nutty flavor comes up. A bit of deep earthy hops comes through in the finish.
M- Body is thinner than I would like. Body is medium light, carbonation is fairly low.
O- A pretty good winter ale. Not the best I've had this year, but still worth a try.

 432 characters

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a bit of an ivory head.

Smells like coffee, dark fruits, cocoa, slight toasted sweetness.

Light coffee and dark fruit flavors in taste with moderate sweetness. A light floral hop bitterness leads into steely aftertaste

This is a nice smooth winter ale worth having a few by the fire.

Overall would possibly drink this one again.

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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.

 629 characters

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

Poured a black with rose highlights when held up to the light. Slightly off white head.

The smell was of sweet dark fruits. Mostly of black cherries.

The taste was also mostly dark fruits but on the lighter side. Black cherries and prunes. A little hint of spices but nothing to pin point.

The body was very light and made it for an easy drinking. It might have ery well been past it's prime but hell it still wasn't bad by any means.

 437 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle brought back from Florida by the girlfriend, 12oz into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown, with chestnut and mahogany highlights throughout. Two plus fingers of khaki head falls to a nice layer, with mild lace. Nose has dried dark fruits, light raisin and plum, some light brown sugar. Taste has the same dark fruits, but with a lower intensity than the nose suggested, dry grapes and some alcohol in the finish. Medium feel, but almost a flat dry and 'dead' palate; lacks any real complexity. Moderate drinkability, but not enticing enough to warrant another go. Underwhelming.

 583 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a ruby red color with a tan colored head that has a pretty good lacing. The aroma is a bit spicy with seasonal herbs in the mix with sweet malts. The taste is a pretty good, there is a sweet malt start to it that finishes off with the spices kicking in. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side, not oily but kind of heavy, which makes this a pretty nice winter brew.

 387 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Winter Ale is a dim, cloudy red-brown beer with a dirty white head that fades to a film and leaves excellent lacing on the glass. It has a faint, malty aroma that's slightly sweet, with a hint of dark fruit and soy sauce. It's pretty full bodied and syrupy. A chewy finish leaves the mouth slick. It has a mellow, well balanced flavor, with notes of Coke syrup and herbs. It's just a touch sweet. There are hints of fruitcake and oregano. It's pretty substantive, warming and very smooth.

 500 characters

Photo of grover37
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Free sixer from D'Vines for having an account. Thanks!

Appearance (3): Clear brown, with one finger of off-white head that nearly disappears. Little lacing.

Smell (3.5): Sweet malt and grains. Smells a bit like wort.

Taste (4): Nice and malty. Sweet but not overly so. A bit earthy with a caramel finish.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Slick and wet with a drying finish despite the crystal sweetness throughout. Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

Overall (3): Not too bad for free. Much more like a brown ale or dark lager even, than a winter warmer. No spicing, just malty goodness. Not something I'd go out of my way for, but it paired well with bar-b-q sauce.

 678 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours dark red/brown with a two finger beige head that leaves some lacing and recedes to a wispy cap.

Aroma features a lot of toasted bread and malt, a bit of chocolate, caramel, toffee, brown sugar. Moderate to good strength.

Flavor is caramel, some chocolate, toast & bread, a bit of dark fruits, touch of citrus hops, toffee & brown sugar. Moderate sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Pretty good English Strong Ale. Better than I expected, to be honest.

 497 characters

Photo of IIKaRuII
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark night reddish brown. that is slighty see through a finger sized coco color head forms leaving a light trace of lacing behind.
smells of spices and a bit nutty. almost over powering. caramel malts, smells a little toasty as well. warm liquor.
taste is toasted malts and nutty. caramel malts are kinda hiding in the background a bit. reminds me of fireside nut brown ale.
medium bodied for a 5.6% drinks watery, lightly carbonated.
Nothing special, and just a decent winter ale. would like to see more spices in this rather then toastedness.

 555 characters

Photo of boralyl
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Produces a small light tan head when poured into a pint glass. The head recedes fairly quickly leaving little lace. The beer is clear and brown with reddish hues.

S - A mixture of crystal malt and light chocolate paired with some subtle spices create the aroma.

M - The mouth feel is too watery for the style in my opinion. It's light-medium in body with moderate carbonation.

T - Light caramel and some nutty flavors followed by some herbal hops in the finish. It's pretty bland, don't get many flavors.

It leaves a lot to be desired in the taste department. It's too thin and has a watery feel. Not a fan of this one, although Weyerbacher makes many amazing beers, this isn't one of them.

 698 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a two to three finger head which gives way to some lacing and a skim head. The aroma is of caramel malts, nuttiness, and a hint of dark fruits. The taste is toastiness and nuttiness with a caramel malt backbone, no hop presence at all. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and slightly thin. The drinkability is okay, it is for sure an easy drink, but the complexity and taste leave you wanting something that it doesn't provide.

 455 characters

Photo of BeefyMee
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I'm really digging the look of this one. Awesome dark brown/deep ruby red color, good head and some lacing.

S: Sweet and malty nut brown aroma. Very similar to SS Nut Brown, which is one of my favorite beers, so I'm pretty excited.

T: Still has the nut brown thing going on but it's toned down here. Slightly tart, which might indicate that it's a little past its prime, but if you can't get a fresh winter ale in the middle of February then that is sad indeed. Buttery aftertaste.

I like this as a winter brew. More malt, less spice, it's a nice change from the usual. I only wish I bought more than one bottle. Next year a six pack at least.

 649 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with very light toffee notes. Taste is also a nice mix of caramelized malt with light warming notes of toffee. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed with great drinkability factor. I don,t know if I enjoyed this one more because I spend a couple hours at the ring before but it is quite tasty.

 473 characters

Photo of Boitnott
3.76/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Winter Ale was poured into A DFH snifter glass, and I got it for 30 dollars a case (local place had it on special). First impression of the appearance is pretty good. It is a dark red-brown color with about a finger deep head that has moderate lacing.

The smell is of mostly spices and also a strong malt note. The spices sting the nostrils a bit and are almost overpowering. It makes up for shortcomings in the taste, with an impressive nose that tastes of sweet caramel malts and a hint of spice to balance out the sweetness. In the finish the spices really come on strong and take over the beer, with some tastes of nutmeg and maybe cinnamon. The hop presence is only very slight which I have come to expect in the Winter Warmers. The bitterness actually comes from the spices which is rather surprising and unique as compared to others of this style that are just too sweet.

The overall mouthfeel goes well with the rest. The carbonation mixes well with the spices, and allows them to linger to linger on the tongue as it goes down. I would (and have) drink a few of these, hence why I bought the case. While it is not the best of the style, it is still a great buy for the price I got it for. Very enjoyable.

 1,229 characters

Photo of metter98
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and poured with a finger high off white head that quickly faded away but left lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with hints of spices.
T: The taste has flavors of toasted malts and malty sweetness along with some notes of caramel.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink but nothing stands out to make me want to try it again.

 554 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I think 'winter ale' I think dark, hearty, warming fare and, going solely by appearance at this point, this Weyerbacher offering does suit the bill. It is a deep russet brown colour that - its minor cherry highlights ignored - might look opaque to the untrained eye. Its head, although firm and spongy, isn't entirely complete but does leave some lacing.

The aroma is highly reminiscent of a Belgian Dubbel, so much so that I suspect it can't possibly be a coincidence. Either Belgian yeast was used or, at very least, certain spices intentioned to emulate Belgian yeast - the bouquet is laced with anise, nutmeg, mace, coriander and, although I'd probably rack this one up the malts, brown turbinado sugar.

This is a tasty beer. It tastes discreetly spiced with nutmeg or cinnamon and has the resounding flavour of powdered cocoa. Its malts impart a caramel sweetness that, on some sips, morphs into flavours of tootsie-roll or, although more palatable than Worcestershire sauce, tamarinds fermented in molasses. There's even a touch of roast garlic.

The letdown comes in the mouthfeel which is, in a word, flat. Not because of the bubbles - although they too could use a bit of a boost - but, rather, the lack of dimension. Like a decent actor who fails to make you believe in their character, this beer plays the part alright, but far from exemplary. Only the taste of powdered cocoa rings out the aftertaste.

The label's cartoonish snowmen are cute but while Weyerbacher Winter Ale tries to be a hearty, warming, spicy winter ale, it has a little growing up to do before it can really be taken seriously. Although a more than acceptable quaff and an overall endearing beer, it's simply not one bold enough to stand up to the cold Canadian winter. Next time I'll pass.

 1,784 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, this is unabashedly a winter warmer, or holiday ale, or whatever. The dark plum flavors and color highlights and lightly roasty, clean malts suggest this was done in a Belgian style, likely with a Belgian yeast. No spices. Really, though, the aromas and depth of malt are a bit too restrained, weak, and thin/clean to make me want to either have seconds or even ever come back to this again. Same goes for the head and its retention - bringin' it weak. Not that this is all that bad - perhaps a hair above average example. Dry and quiet. Drank more like a schwarzbier than the Magic Hat Howl I had afterward.

Don't be shy, Weyerbacher. Do a Photoshop trick and saturate the colors in this some. I promise you'll get me to try this again - maybe even buy a sixer.

 769 characters

3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pint glass. Bottled 11/16/10 and sampled 1/8/11.

A: Four fingers of creamy light brown head is produced with a pour down the center of the glass. Impressively long lasting. The body is dark ruby in color with garnet highlights and is very clear. Only a fair amount of loosley strung lace sticks to the glass.

S: Toasted bread, caramel and molasses provide the malt backdrop. There is little to no hop character to speak of. In fact, the nose is rather weak in general. Light dark fruits can be noticed, along with a mild spicy quality and a little earth. Something metallic as well.

T: In addition to the nose, light flavors reminiscent of sasparillo and anise. The metallic component is even more noticeable on the palate.

M: Medium body with a slick texture that manages to be slightly cloying on the finish. Well carbonated.

D: A very easy drinking Winter Warmer, if you want to call it that.

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Photo of Suds
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a murky, hazy, dark brown color. Small head, tan in color. The smell is very malty...toasted and brown malts, somewhat chocolaty. A touch of herbal hops. The taste is malty and sweet up front. Finishes a little drier. The beer is full in body, with a medium carbonation. Roasty, nutty, and engaging. The beer, though, doesn't really have a 'wow' factor.

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Photo of beerman207
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this while visiting back in PA.

A: Looks like cola in the glass - good tan head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

S: Malt, some faint cherry smell, as well as some spice. Not bad.

T: Malt dominates. Hard to pick up any of the cherry I got in the nose.

M: Mild mouthfeel - goes down very easy

D: High - I could have another one of these. Good offering from Weyerbacher.

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Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 796 ratings.
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