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 jward
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich mahogany with a tan head that laces nicely as the beer is consumed. I detect very little in the way of the familiar 'winter' spices in the nose or flavor, which is fine by me. The nose presents a mild olive aroma, with a bit of caramel. Indeed this one looks and smells like a porter. Winter Warmer greets the palate with chocolate malts, sweet but not cloying. A touch of bitterness shows up in the finish.

If you are looking for a bold and exciting winter beer with exotic notes and a spicy flavor profile, then this is not the brew for you. But this beer is solid, and comforting. Just what are winter warmers for anyway?

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Photo of MacQ32
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Appears near black in my signature DFH glass, I can see the deep amber color at the bottom of the glass when I hold it tot he light, but quite dark in this girthier glass for sure. Nice finger of perfectly dense tan head, dissipates after 15 minutes leaving a thin (but not too thin) layer across the surface. Decent lacing hangs off around about half of the glass.

S - A decent amount of toasty/grainy caramel malts, brown sugar and some sweet chocolate. Maybe a little apple. Pleasant but faint.

T - Wow! Delicious smooth coffee/roasted caramel flavor. Some grainy bitterness up front transcends to coffee/sweet flavors and finishes with a mild dark fruit flavor.

M - Minimal carbonation, which is perfect for this brew. Very very smooth, medium bodied+, not chewy thick but its definitely got some body to it.

O - Not a flavor explosion but very surprising/nice flavor mixed with a wonderful mouthfeel. Really nice to drink, really smooth. Gone in 5 minutes (after letting it sit for 15-20). Definitely getting more of this, much better than I remember in years past. (New label = new deliciousness??)

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a reddish-brown with a half of a finger off-white head that quickly subsided into a thin, consistent layer of foam; some lacing, but not much. Scent was malty and sweet with a touch of fruit (not sure what). Taste presented as a bit nutty with a slight hops presence that gives the brew a little bite at the end. Fairly effervescent in the mouth, leaving a surprisingly clean finish. This is a pretty drinkable beer and very reminiscent of a brown session ale in many ways.

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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.

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

Poured into a pub glass.

A: Thick chunky tannish off-white head. The brew is very dark brown in color on the verge of black.

S: Toasted caramel malts and mild hops...

T: Sweet malts - roasted caramel and maybe toffee. Also there is nice spicing here - maybe nutmeg and mild cloves. Faint, mild bitter hops.

M: Medium with nice carbonation.

D: A caseworthy winter brew, a good session brew.

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

Nice winter seasonal from Weyerbacher, one of my favorite local brewer. Spicy nose off the bat, good head and lacing. Caramel taste up front, some light spicyness, nice crisp hop finish. Very drinkable on these blustery days.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, almost black brew. Off white head that is thick initially, then fades to a lace head. Nice lace.

Brew smells of roasted malts, nutty, spicy. Has a hop smell as well.

Brew tastes very peppery; nice carbonation. Has a malty flavor, with a hop finish. Nice flavor - nice spice.

Very drinkable - very good as a session brew. Nice

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a dark brown body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thin wispy head that swirls around on top of the beer.

S- This beer has notes of chocolate and biscuit with a soft cocoa nibs hint and a very faint maple syrup smell when it warms.

T- This beer has a light toasted malt with chocolate malt flavor up front that has some nice complexity. There is a soft pot caramel note as it warms but it is not strong at all. The finish is a light carbonic acid tang to it.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light creaminess in the finish.

D- This beer has a smooth but layered flavor that is a bit mysterious to the complexity. There are notes of chocolate malt but lots of other secondary flavors are in the background.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rich mahogany with a medium sized tan head that desipates too quickly. The smell is strong with a real sweet malt aroma. The taste is nutty,chewy,and full of sweet malt. The m/f is medium and very well balanced. A damn good beer and I can't wait for winter.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany in the center, with lighter, caramel-tinged highlights on the outer reaches of the glass. Initially substantial head that fades to a ring. Aromas are fresh and well balanced between some nice English ale fruitiness and grainy brown malts. There's little of the spicy characteristics here that I would expect from a winter warmer. On the palate, the malts are in the forefront, with plenty of roasty, slightly astringent notes up front, fading to a creamy baked bread note toward the end. Fruits (apple, banana) come and go throughout, but they never take the emphasis off the malts. Still no spice. Carbonation is quite full and chewy. Overall, this was quite a nice beer. Not quite as warming or as spicy as I expected, but a good, solid ale nonetheless.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
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 argock
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Ancona's (Ridgefield, CT) for $1.85.

A: Ruby-brown with 1-2 finger light beige head with good retention and scant lacing down the glass.

S: Seriously malty with a little spice of nutmeg in there too. Caramel and dark malts deliver a big fruity, lightly toasted breadiness that would go well with a snowy night. Alcohol is well-hidden and there are earthy hops present but taking backseat here.

T: Flavor pretty much follows the nose with big caramelly and vanilla maltiness with light spice of nutmeg and cinnamon with smattering of earthy hops. Medium toasted flavor with a bit of char in the finish. Alcohol not really detectable which is a plus in the beer I think.

M: Feel is solidly medium with low carbonation and pleasant fruity malt aftertaste.

D: A very nice winter ale that sports big maltiness and gentle spice and hops notes with a medium body. Good one from Weyerbacher.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, chestnut brown body with a tall, foamy, light beige head.

Smell: Earthy, malty nose with restrained notes of both roast and Tootsie Roll-style chocolate, as well as spiced fruitcake topped with chopped roasted nuts.

Taste: Predominately malty with flavors of dark toffee, hot chocolate mix, nuts, and a couple bread crusts. Light fruitiness. Hint of earthy molasses. Spicy hop component and a mild bitterness. Flavors dries out on the way to the finish. Final hints of nuts and molasses at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I could stand to have a bit more "mmph" here, but I still dug it. Ultimately easy to drink and easy to enjoy with an overall pleasing sweet maltiness.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark amber almost purple in the light. A bit of off white head forms and dissipates to a thin coating. Some lacing is noted.

S. Toasted malt.

T. Follows the nose with some nice roasted flavor. A bit of floral hops are there to balance it. There's are moderate hint of chocolate in there as well. Very good.

M. Medium bodied.

D. Having a winter ale on the 4th of July at a BBQ. Some things are meant to go together. This is a nice winter warmer and would have again. Session away!

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Photo of nickfl
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two and a half fingers of light tan head on top of a dark, ruby colored body. The foam slowly settles to a thick film of bubbles and leaves moderate lace.

S - Light aroma of sweet malt and cinnamon with some nutmeg and allspice. Light caramel and toffee notes with no noticeable character of roasted grain.

T - Sweet malt with cinnamon and nutmeg up front. Some caramel and noticeable toffee notes come out next. A little bit of slightly fruity yeast appears before a darkening finish of nutmeg-infused chocolate malt balanced by light bitterness and a hint of grassy hops. Lingering flavors of coffee and smoke.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - I thought this was a little weak and watery at first, but the flavor really comes out towards the finish, especially once the beer has a chance to warm. There are only minor discernible notes of spice in this beer, but those that are present work well with the caramel malts to create subtle complexity. The roasted finish is well balanced by light hopping and is dry enough to keep the beer drinkable without making it taste like scorched toast. This is one of the better winter warmers that I have come across, and one of the few I would consider drinkable.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brilliant deep amber under a ½” light tan foam collar that quickly recedes. S: Spicy malt. T: Sweet malt, spice, anise, traces of fruit cake and a light drying astringent spiciness on the finish that provides some balance. F: A little above medium body and medium carbonation. O: An okay winter ale that could benefit from a little more alcohol warming and a little less sweet.

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Photo of far333
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut colored with ruddy highlights, a light brown frothy head rises up high and settles out slowly.

Aroma of roasted malt, light molasses, brown sugar and cocoa.

Flavor of lightly roasted malts, toasted biscuits, toasted marshmallow, some leather and cocoa. Caramel and toffee emerges later. Low bitterness.

Smooth and full mouthfeel, a bit creamy. Tasty beer, smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an opaque deep amber/ mahogany color with a big off white head that settles down kind of quickly. Lacing is superb. Lots of action in the glass with a good deal of visible carbonation. This beer wants out of the bottle.

Nose is feeble with detectable dark roasted malts. Subtle piney hop presence as well. A cinnamon bready sweetness up front almost cookie dough like with a slightly charred burnt characteristic somewhere in the middle. Finishes with a modest piney hop presences that cleans the palette of the sweet stuff.

Balance is actually really excellent on this beer. Some winter like spice is detectable but barely taking away from the winter aspect of the beer slightly. The beer overall though is clean and showcases some good flavors that go well together. The flavors aren't concentrated and smooth, it's more layered but still good.

I dont understand the B- rating this beer has, highly drinkable with good flavor. Would make for an awesome winter session beer.

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Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep amber/brown/reddish color with a short and medium bodied tan colored head that settles fast to a thin film over the beer.
S: Smells real malty and then some yeast aromas.
T: Really nice mix of malts, both sweet and more roasty. The finish is less yeasty than the nose let on.
M: Very sweet and warming with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable winter warmer. I let this one sit for a while as I'm trying it in September and I think it did it good.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +15.9%
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 Silverchels
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice winter brown ale, with a chocolatey taste. I poured it into a frosted mug, and saw it was a rich dark coppery color though it quickly disappeared. Smooth finish left me wanting more. Lower abv allows that, unlike its cousin the Merry Monk by Weyerbacher.

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Photo of maddogruss
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a dark brown body with a tan head. Good retention and good lacing along the glass.

S: Smells of sweet malts with hints of banana esters were evident.

T: A dark, almost roasted, robust flavor. Slightly earthy. Roasted malt flavor with a bit of banana esters/fruit in the aftertaste. A well-balanced beer.

M: Nice, full-bodied and silky smooth mouthfeel. Very easy on the tongue.

D: A very drinkable beer. The taste is robust and well-balanced between slightly roasted malts and a fruity flavor. The mouthfeel is very easy drinking and overall and very good beer.

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Photo of Jarod
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured into the glass a ruby red color, very clear. The head was whitish that did not stick around, it left a small white skim across the top. There was no lace to speak of. The aroma had hints of roasted malt, smoke, earth, slate, spices, sugar and alcohol. The taste was of roasted malt, earth (kind of left a dry dirt flavor in the mouth) some hints of slate, a little smoke and spices. Slightly sweet in the middle but the earthy taste really stood out at the end. To be honest an interesting beer that was really not that bad. It really didn’t match up with the food that I was having, but would be good watching tv or at a small gathering with light food.

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Photo of brianwsnyder
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At 5.6% ABV, this is one of the lightest Weyerbacher beers. It's good beer to enjoy because of that. Easy to drink. Nothing super-special about it but it isn't bad.

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