Winter Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Winter AleWinter Ale
796 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 796 |  Reviews: 381
Photo of nukem5
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Very tasty black/brown with a great cap of tan which just hugs the sides of glass all the way down.

S: Cherries super ripened ,cinnamon ,apples, coffee, chocolates.

T: Tastes of fresh baked apple pie with a chocolate drizzle on top and good coffee. All flavors are subtle and yet powerfully balanced. I tastes like the holidays for sure around my house.

M: Full/Medium slightly chewy but thinner in other areas.I do miss the slightly warming of this style will hope it comes thru as it warms to room temp. Sadley no chage at end or middle of glass.

D: Very drinkable and smooth creamy with a nice lower alchohol so you can enjoy more.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.53/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Two-finger thick foamy ecru head that dissipates at a moderate pace, leaving a thin ring on the glass and fine lace on the surface. Color is a solid deep dark chocolate brown. Held to a light, it's a cherry wood reddish brown and quite opaque and cloudy.

S - Nicely toasted malts and caramel predominate. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger with a hint of fruitcake sit in the background. Before it warms in the glass, a touch of alcohol also pushes through.

T - Malts are more roasted than in the nose - almost charred. Sugars are darker. Spicing suggestive of a mint/menthol effect and/or straight vanilla extract really push onto the roof of the mouth and give it almost a medicinal quality. Pine cone bittering hops for balance sneak into what little there is of a finish, along with smoky dark chocolate.

M - A bit fizzy. Reasonable carbonation. Structure is thin and lacks body - almost watery; this becomes even more pronounced as it warms. Not much of a finish and what's there isn't so much on the tongue as it is in the nasal cavity. It's also on the dry side.

D - Hard to identify a distinguishing characteristic that inspires repeated drinking. Quality ingredients seem present, but lacking cohesion. Would drink this if it was all that was available, but wouldn't look for it. This recipe is off and atypical of its named style.

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Photo of cbutova
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Dark red with a creamy light tan head that escalates to several fingers in size. Pretty good head retention and a big coat of thick lace down the glass.

S- A mixture of spice and dark fruit that has sort of a medicinal feel off the top. Also bready notes and hints of nutty malts. Some toasty malt as well as caramel.

T- On the malty and yeast heavy side of things. Malt gives me notes of toast nuts, caramel and some slight roast hints. The yeast gives off a heavy dark fruit/raisin and some spicier notes.

MF- The body here is pretty watery to me with lower carbonation that I would expect. Doesn't totally satisfy the heavier flavors present in this brew.

DB- Pretty much the sort of flavor you would expect in the style but with a weak mouthfeel that doesn't compliment the beer.

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Photo of aepb1
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown body with some amber at the edges with a wispy white head and decent lacing

S- Light chocolate malts, not a lot else

T- Malty roasted chocolate up front, some toffee and hop finish this

M- Light to medium body and a good level of carbonation

D- Very easy to drink and a decent example of the style

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Photo of BB1313
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice dark ruby color whit a nice white head and decent lacing. The flavors and aromas aren't going to blow your mind, but they're very comforting. Caramel, toffee, breads, malts, are running the show with a slight amount of spice. There's a subtle amount of hops, giving it a slight bitterness. Well carbonated, smooth and enjoyable; medium-bodied. Low abv and comforting flavors make for good drinkability.

Like I said, this beer won't wow you, but it's a nice one to enjoy in the cold weather.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my only dark beer of the weekend. If the snow hits like they say it will I could be high and dry if this doesn't pan out. Solid pour but the bountiful head is illusory and fades quickly on top of its cola colored body. Nose is the expected bastion of sugary malts with caramel and a little spice.

Baker's chocolate and coffe tones make the flavor decent enough. No real hops to speak of and finishes clean. Thin and uncarbonated in mouthfeel, which is a plus here. Understated; what you see is what you get. Nothing to write home about but this one will get you through the night.

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Photo of haazer
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Frothy cookie dough colored head, pours thick at first but dissapates to about 1/4 inch. Beer is a dark, burnt cinnamon color. Fairly dark, almost opaque. Red apple highlights and undertones throught the color of this. Suprisingly leaves some lace on the glass too.

S- Toasty malts, caramel, and a cinammon aroma. Backed up by bready yeast scent. Underneath can detect faint hint fruits.

T- Flavor I'm picking up interestingly enough is pumpernickel bread. Toffee, and cinnamon flavors come through after the bready flavor. Can detect some earty hop presence in the background.

M- Light to medium mouthfeel. Creamy, goes down very easily. Not so much a warmer as the alcohol is not noticed, and the flavors don't either.

D- Decent tasting, and highly drinkable offering from Weyerbacher. The winter ale/warmer style isn't exactly the most appealing to me, and this one may not be the best of the style, but its still an ok beer. Gets a 4 because you can deffinitely session this, but better taste would've brought this up a lot.

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Photo of MikeRa
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this ale on tap

A: This ale has a Dark brown color with a 1" head

S: This ale has a roasted chocolate malt smell

T: This ale has a nice bitter taste

M: This ale goes down smooth with a creamy feel

D: This ale is one that I will drink again

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Photo of CraftAleRookie
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a tall Pilsner Glass (the only type of beer glass available at the in-law's tonight)...

A- Deep dark brown color, very clear (no haze at all)- poured with a very large three-finger foamy head (probably due to the pils glass), that reduced to an 1/8th inch lace (retention was ok).

S- Malt is the dominate smell- can't pick up much beyond that...

T- A very malty brown ale- bitter on the finish, but without much hop notes (likely overshadowed by the malt).

M- A bit flat- very mild to light fell and body for a brown ale.

D- This is a very one-dimensional brown ale- not what I would consider a "Holiday" beer, but rather the appropos named cool weather brown ale. This however would not be my first choice.

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Photo of chinchill
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

served in pint glass.

This beer beer pours a cloudy dark amber color with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a nice ring.

The aroma is good. This smells like a winter ale, with roasted chocolate malt overlaid with some spices and a bit of a fruity yeast aroma.

The taste is interesting and has some complexity. Although rather on the sweet side, it is dry on the finish with slight bitterness and some nuttiness.

The mouthfeel is good, with a medium/full body, a creamy feel, and a nice level of carbonation.

This is an interesting beer, with good flavor and creaminess, making for high drinkability. Lacks the body or high ABV found in more traditional winter ales.

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Photo of Spider889
3.61/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Bodega.

Nothing spectacular, this beer is nevertheless somewhat unique. It seems to be built upon honey.

Ruby color, very clear, not much head or lace.

Smelled slightly sour, and faintly sweet the way beeswax can be. Also a prevelant syrupy, earthy honey character and some mild floral clover and honeysuckle notes.

The beer tasted nice and malty. Some light chocolate and caramel malting. Really strong honey flavor to the beer.

Not the best warmer out there, but this was an interesting beer from Weeyerbacher, and I enjoyed picking out some ofthe more unique flavors here.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber hue yet still see through. Inch of foam that quickly lowers to a mild ring.

S - Smells like a lite old ale really. Smells of strong toffee and caramel with a touch of chocolate and bread malt.

T - Wow I really underestimated the beer! It delivers a solid caramel base with a touch of creamy chocolate and a bit of bready from the yeast which isn't too cloying making this a smooth drinker.

M - I could swear it was 7 but ABV is under 6. The power of a winter warmer.

D - Well I will have to get a sixer if this is still around after the holidays but a really solid winter warmer which seems to not have any spice. Only slightly less better than East End Snow Melt.

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a dark brown / amber body and 2 fingers of frothy tan head that fades after a few minutes. Roasted malts in the forefront of the nose, and a nice nuttiness. Also picking up some spices (cinnamon / nutmeg). Pretty much as expected from the smell, I do like the roasted chocolate malt in this ale. Its got a medium, creamy body with a nice carbonation level for the style.

This is my first time trying this beer...though its not the best Winter Warmer, Im glad I grabbed a sixer to enjoy over the holidays with friends & family - seems to be a hit with the non-craft crowd.

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Photo of beerphan
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
Above is screened on the bottle

Pours dark brown dark orange bands in the light with an active wispy head. The head pulsates down to a thin sheet. A few random stalactite of lace.

Nose: Chocolate malts pretty one dimensional, some light candy

Medium smooth body that finishes clean. Heavy malt base with chocolate most prominent. Some chewy caramel and toffee tones. A bit of dark fruit enters at the end, maybe some raisin or licorice. End with a quick a flash of spicy booze and drying bitterness.

No winter spice that sometimes dominates or destroys winter warmers depending on your opinion. I for one, like 'em not heavily spiced. Feels more like a big brown/porter than a winter warmer.

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Photo of Morey
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This winter release pours brown in color, although reddish hues can be seen when held up to the light. Light tan colored head that started out at two fingers, but settled to a thin lace after just a few minutes. Decent head retention.

Smells malty and lightly spiced (though I'm not sure that it is).

Taste is smooth and malty with a subtle hop presence. To me, this taste like a brown ale crossed with a scottish ale.

Thin body/mouthfeel for the style. Good carbonation level.

I could drink a few of these no problem.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is a decent winter ale, but coming from Weyerbacher...I expect more. I'd like to see them retire this beer and come out with something a little more complex and assertive for the holiday season.

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Photo of jlenik
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: dark amber. fingers worth of head.
s: malt and some spices. the spices aren't too pronounced.
t: robust malt taste. can't seem to find the spices here.
m: carbonated and a bit dry.
d: goes down easy. I could easily drink a six pack of this. This is a good beer to have around the house in winter for people who aren't die hard craft beer enthusiasts.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to beandip for this one.

received today after a lengthy time spent with fedex during ultra cold weather shipping exceptions.

poured cold from the bottle after a few hours in the frig, foaming out the top upon opening and then poured a deep dark brown to a dogfish head off-centered shaped pint glass with a nice off white finger and a half head with a bit of retention.

aroma of dark toasty malts, molasses and a hint of bourbon / alcohol.

malts and vanilla forward with a bit of a "tang"-y bite. hints of dark fruits.

light bodied, high carbonation, fizzes on the tongue. not particularly enjoyable.

drinkable - yes, but not for me.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a tasting glass, walnut coloring, one finger lace falls to uneven layer.

s- nutty, a bit of chocolate, touch vanilla, toasted malts

t- very nutty, smooth milk chocolate, a touch of smoke, vanilla, earthy, very light spices - nutmeg.

m- medium body, smooth.

d- nice, i'm not a huge fan of winter warmers as a atyle, but this is a really drinkable one. it's very subtle and not overly spiced, which is what i like about it. good work again weyerbacher!

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Photo of lukekruse1
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mahogany brown with some nice lacing and small head retention.

S - Malty with some spices, perhaps nutmeg. Some dark fruit - plums & raisins.

T - Tastes like a fairly standard brown ale with some extra spices mixed in. Pleasant, but nothing particularly standout to me. Gets better with warmth, so be patient.

M - Fairly light. Crisp going down.

D - I'd be able to drink more than one of these no problem. At under 6%, this is a fairly tame winter warmer.

Overall a good beer, but nothing memorable. If you're looking for a winter warmer, Great Lakes Christmas Ale or Sierra Nevada Celebration are much better.

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Photo of plfahey
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Dark brown with a reddish hue-ruby highlights when held up to the light. Good clarity.Moderately large off white head with some lacing and good retention.

Aroma-Malt-dominated-some light, sweet, dark fruit aromas blend into moderate roast malt aromas. Light to no hop aroma. Just a hair of alcohol in the nose. Very faint spices (allspice? Cinnamon? Nutmeg? I can't even tell it's so low).

Flavor-Somewhat one dimensional-moderate roast malt flavor, a hint of darker character (maybe chocolate? very faint). Spices here are quite faint as well.

Mouthfeel-Moderately low body-feels a bit thin for the style. Moderately low carbonation certainly doesn't help either. For a winter warmer, this sure doesn't bring much warmth.

Not bad, but not stellar. I'm a little bit disappointed, as I find that most Weyerbacher offerings are pretty damn good. If you're looking for an interesting winter warmer or christmas ale, look elsewhere-this one's not that impressive.

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Photo of pburland23
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark, roasted mahogany brown with a few fingers of fluffy head that recedes quickly leaving some thin lacing.

On the nose was some nuttiness, a little winter spicing and a lot of roasted malt flavor. The taste is also dominated by roasted and toasted malt flavors. There is also some spicing...cinnamon, maybe a touch of nutmeg. Despite being only 5.5%, there was a touch of warmth in the taste which, in my opinion, didn't fit the rest of the beer's flavor profile. To me. the taste the off just a touch.

Weyerbacher Winter is medium bodied and well carbonated. At 5.5%, it's very drinkable, but I'm not sure it's a beer I'd grab again. With all the great winter beers on the market, Weyerbacher is just a middle of the road winter warmer.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice chestnut brown with a frothy tan head that quickly subsides leaving traces of lacing about the glass.

The aroma consists of sweet malt and faint spices that become more apparent as the beer warms and include nutmeg and allspice.

The flavor is similar but the spices are more obvious and may include some clove. The sweet malt immediately hits the palate followed by the winter spices, which may not be as wide-ranging as other winter warmers, but still tasty.

This winter warmer is medium in body and carbonation with just a hint of thickness.

While easy to drink, I would rank this somewhere in the middle of the quality beverages that this category consists of.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When poured into a pint glass, the body is a dark brown almost black color with a 1" tan head that disappears quickly. The smell is a little of caramel and roasted malts. The taste is like the smell of roasted malts and a hint of pepper and has a little of a bitter finish to it. This one has a decent mouth feel and is drinkable.

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Photo of jlandis
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown black with two finger tan head. The aroma is a nice simple roast, sweet malt and a slight toasty caramel. The flavor is sweet and malty with a subtle roast and a bit of caramel. Something about this screams lager to me, but I really can't place it. Maybe it's the overwhelming cleanness or crispness. The body is light to moderate with minimal carbonation.

I really wasn't expecting what I got from this, but it was really good. The flavor is simple yet refreshing. No way I would call this a "winter warmer", but a nice refreshing winter beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the RFD in DC. Served in a pint glass.

Pours dark, dark brown with a very thin off-white head that recedes quickly and leaves behind just a bit of a thin collar. The nose is pretty plain with some slightly-roasted malt as well as a bit of caramel and very light pepper.

The flavor is over-roasted, especially considering the style. The finish is bitter but in the wrong way, bordering on astringent. There is a lift sweetness kicking around throughout. A bit of lift spice and caramel. The finish is odd and paper-like. I was able to drink this fairly quickly, but I couldn't say that I would have it again.

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Winter Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 796 ratings
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