Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) | Stoudts Brewing Co.

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Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)
186 Ratings
Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)

Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Stoudts changes this recipe annually. We'll be attempting to split apart entries down the road.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 |  Reviews: 173
Reviews by u2carew:
Photo of u2carew
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(A) Dark allow just a tiny faint amount of light through... if you hold up to a light and tilt at an angle. Pours with a beige head which settles quickly to the outside edge.
(S) Malty notes with a touch of molasses and coffee.
(T) Gritty, mild coffee flavor with some hints of dark chocolate
(M) Not nearly as "chewy" as it looks. Light carbonation and mild to light in the body.
(D) Average. A decent porter but not a standout.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber color with a light head that was gone in a flash,aroma was very doughy with a nice fruitiness to it.Taste is definantly malty with some spicey notes with some nice malt induced fruitiness that lingers.Seemed a little light in the body for a strong ale but it is very drinkalbe and appetizing,I would buy again I think.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

This year's batch is a Robust Porter at 30 IBUs, brewed with five malts and Cascade hops for bittering and aroma.

Pours dark, opaque and pretty much black with rich, dark brown hues and a creamy head. Roasty and a bit bready in the nose, some chocolate too. Medium bodied, but the carbonation-induced creaminess is silky smooth and gives the palate a bit more to chew on. Slightly acrid up front; burnt edges, dry, bitter, unsweetened chocolate and faint coffee notes. Drop of caramel. Hint of hop bitterness, too--leafy and green. Bready malts, hint of sweetness, but a dry maltiness overall with some husky notes toward the finish, especially as the beer warms. Becomes slightly abrasive on the palate at the bone-dry end.

This is a very solid and different offering from many of the spiced winter seasonal offerings that currently line the shelves and tap handles.

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Photo of Todd
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a clean, dark amber beer with rich copper hues. Fluffy, slightly clingy, off-white head with a respectful level of retention and lacing.

Fruity aroma of mixed fruits in the can, framed by some gentle malt sweetness and light herbal undertones.

Smooth on the palate, medium-bodied, yet even with the beginnings of chewiness. Malty upfront with a drying sweetness that segues into a slightly sharp citric hop twang and earthy herbal hop characters. Hints of caramel and carob. Bready underneath, as the beer pulls down the throat and dries the mouth. Herbal residuals.

A no frills ale. Pretty easy drinking though.

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Photo of jakester
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Fiorentino's Restaurant in Lancaster. It came in a pint glass.

Arrives a very dark mahogany/brown with a one finger head of tan foam. The head quickly falls to islands and a ring, with no real lacing.

Aroma is raosted barley out the wazoo, notes of coffee, licorice, and barely there herbal hops. The roasted barley dominates, by far.

Flavor is also roasted barley, almost like a dry stout, but thinner. There is a decent level of hop bitterness, and a detectable herbal hop flavor. It's very dry and roasty, and I have to admit I'm a little surprised. There are faint dry fruits present, but they are overwhelmed by the roasted barley. Aftertaste is roasted barley (duh) and very dry.

Mouthfeel is very dry and thin bodied, with a pretty good zing from carbonation. Finish is dry and slightly astringent.

This beer just surprises the hell out of me. As a winter ale, I'm disappointed. It's just a roasted barley beer. Not much complexity, or depth of character.

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Photo of Kraken
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/16
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Firm pour results in 1 of light tan finger head. Head fades quickly and leaves a nice little lace. Color is almost black with ruby edging.

Nose- Porter-esque, some coffee and bitter chocolate.

Taste- Very sooth, light roasted coffee, some bitter chocolate. Some burnt caramel. Slightly bitter finishing hops at the end. Very tasty. Chocolate kinda stays with you.

Mouthfeel- velvety, zippy carbonation

Drinkability- good, although I am not much of a stout person

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Photo of far333
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut colored with streaks of garnet at the base of the glass. A half inch of light brown thick foamy head sites atop and leaves legs of lace running around the glass.

Aroma of cocoa and roasted malts, some marshmallow and smoke.

Deep and rich flavor of darkly roasted malt, milk chocolate, charred oak, molasses and sharp currant. Burnt espresso and licorice lingers. Very complex.

Rich, full, and creamy mouthfeel, a bit powdery and tannic in the finish. Very drinkable, nice porter.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Ruby copper hue with a nice off white rather thin cream head nice speckled lacing even spread lattice pattern. Aroma: Herbal hops with a dose of mild holiday spicings, mildly scented malt sweetness topped off with some spruce tones not bad. Taste: Tastebuds are welcomed with a herbal hopped striking sweet candy tone balanced by some spruce pine like tones and spices along with quite a little dose of hops for a winter ale. Mouthfeel: Not as full bodied, label describes it as rich and hearty maybe a bit rich in flavor but definitely not too hearty one of the lighter Christmas ales I've yet tasted, but not bad decent carbonation. Drinkability: Not a favorite just too many other incredible Christmas ales out ther to land in mediocrity with this one.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to Aprilovesbeer for this winter brew.
Pours a deep, dark almost opaque amber with a tan head that melts to a ring of tan lacing.
Aroma is full of toasted and roasted malts with just a hint of toasted cocoa.
Taste follows aroma...toasted and roasted malts....something nutty....then dry cocoa powder that finishes to a slight citrus hops. I also perceive dark coffee and tobacco.
Mouthfeel is full and rich.
Very interesting take on a winter warmer.

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

Pours a dark reddish black/brown with a small head

Smells of charred malts and a bit of spice

Taste is complex with decent hops and charred malts.

Moutfeel is impressive with decent body and developing dryness.

I would have guessed the ABV to be even higher. 1 would probably be my limit on this brew.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a half-inch head of dense, compact bubbles, which sits on top of a deep amber/ruby color. Head lacks retention, thinning to a wispy crown in less than a minute.

Definite cocoa in the aroma, slight coffee traces, not much else, overall reminds me of a basic porter aroma.

Again reminded of a porter in the flavor, with toasty cocoa/coffee flavors mingling with a bright hops character. Airy and light in the mouth, which works for what's going on here. Interesting rootbeer-ish spiciness in the finish.

Definitely a flavor that works, and a good one for the winter with its toasty qualities. Hard to believe it's 7% ABV, you can hardly taste it at all.

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from Consumer Warehouse, Cleveland. Syrupy chocolately porter with no head to speak of on an opaque dark brown body. Above average carbonation. Drinkable, on the sweet side.Medium mouthfeel. Some roasted malt as well in the secondary.Chocolate aroma.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 - brewed and bottled in-house.
This delicious winter ale pours a beautiful, clear crimson-chestnut body beneath a frothy head of light tan foam that slowly dwindles to nothing more than a good-sized collar. The lacing is limited, but it does leave tiny spots of lace with each sip.

In the nose, delicately toasty, biscuity, and caramelish malts dance with delicately spicy hops and a light touch of citrusy fruit.

It's medium-full bodied in the mouth, and its very fine, slightly restrained carbonation leaves it creamy and luxuriously smooth across the palate.

The flavor is rich and full without being overbearing; and it delivers a supple, gently sweet, biscuity, and caramelish malt wrapped around citrusy, floral and spicy hops. The bitterness is solid but not bold, and keeps the sweetness of the malt in check. It finishes drying with a spark of grassy and spicy hop flavors and some lingering, biscuity malt.

Quite nice!

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Photo of prototypic
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark nut brown color. There's a few garnet highlights attributable to a healthy amount of light getting through. A light tan head that reaches a finger and a half deep tops it off. It receded quickly and left light, stringy lace clinging to the glass.

The nose is loaded with roasted malts. Smells delicious. There's a little chocolate malt in there to sweeten the deal, but it's mostly roasted malts. Beyond the strong malt aromas, it's tough to pick out much. The secondary elements seem to be a little lost at sea. There is a little coffee and light hops that add some character. But, I'm not picking up much beyond that. It's a nice smelling beer, but loses a little steam past the malts. It's nice, but I can't help but think about what could've been.

Stoudt's did a fine job with this winter release. I wasn't expecting much, but it is very good. The bulk of the flavor is comprised of roasted malts. But, they taste excellent. There's is a little bittersweet chocolate, but it pales in comparison. Coffee is a secondary component. It's subtle, but effective. Citrus hops give it a nice buzzy jolt. I like that addition quite a bit. It finishes a little bitter and dry. This is a tough call. I'm extremely close to awarding a "4.5" for flavor. In the end, it's just not quite that good. Damn the absence of tenths of points.

The body is on the heavier side of medium. Given the abv, it's pretty impressive. Carbonation is relatively light and well done. It's nice and smooth. A little more body and it'd be special. Drinkability is very good. Winter Ale has a really nice flavor and low abv to boot. What's not to love?

Stoudt's did a really nice job with this past year's winter ale. Generally, I've come to expect holiday spices with nearly every Christmas time release. I like what they did with this one a lot. It's a very well rounded, flavorful porter. Pretty straight forward, but impressive. The nose could use a little more muscle. But, the flavor's damn close to being special. Perhaps a slightly more pronounced coffee flavor or a bit more of a hop jolt would do the trick. In any event, this is a very nice beer as it is. I strongly recommend picking up a bottle before it's too late.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of beerluvr
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with tan head, hazy brownish liquid. The nose is deep bready malt goodness with a hint of brown sugar...very nice. The taste, however, falls short of the wonderful nose, a crisp light/weak malt with thinnish mouthfeel, semi-sweet with low key hops behind it. Finishes malty with with a very light tanginess following...looks and smells better than it tasted.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, with a 1 1/2 fingers of firm sandy colored tan head. Solid looking creamy retention that coats the sides of the glass with rich lacing. The aroma is quite rich and roasty smelling. Thicker and sweet notes of cocoa powder and caramel sit on top of darker tones of coffee and roast, which crunches up the back of nose.

The taste is even toastier than the aroma was, with an even mix of roast and bitterness the whole way through. Nice balance to this too though, with the sweeter malts playing second fiddle but still nicely evening out the darker aspects of this. Big time roasty lingering finish on this that just sticks in the mouth for quite a long time. The mouthfeel is medium feeling with an overall firmness to it, yet this is still surrounded by a softier and creamier carbonation that makes this go down very easily.

Overall very solid Winter offering from Stoudt's. Full Porter flavors and a super easy drinkibility to this. I'd like to see then develop this into a year-round beer, as they need another darker offering to compliment the Fat Dog.

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was expecting a winter warmer, ended up with a porter.

A: Poured a deep brown/black, like a Guiness without the creamy head. Minimal head on my pour.
S: Very malty with hints of sugar and chocolate. You can smell the roasted barley as well, also reminiscent of Guiness.
T: A nice blend of the malts, sugar and chocolate. The alcohol is almost completely masked. I would have like to taste it a little more. Roasts provided a hint of bitterness that hung around.
M: Had a medium carbonation, which surprised me. A little bit of hang on the tongue, but basically smooth.
D: Extremely drinkable. A decent flavor and an average ABV could lead to one having a few of these.

Nice effort.

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Photo of bashiba
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to santoslhalper for this nice brew.
Poured a cloudy amber/red color with a thin white head with some decent lacing.

Smelled of sweet malts and slight toffee hints.

A very mild toasted malt flavor with just a hint of plum sweetness. A decent slightly dry and bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel has a medium body with a very silky texture.

Overall a solid winter brew with decent drinkability.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, the liquid is the darkest brown "Red Ale" I have seen. It actually does have a reddish hue as the light shows through. The head is 2 fingers tan and leave a very nice lace in it's wake.

The smell is faint Light amounts of chocolate roasty malt, and a mild hop is detectable.

The taste is good mild chocolate and coffee with a nice light bittering hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel is good, medium body and nice carbonation in line with the style.

The drink ability is good, I like this brew it is not the best seasonal winter in this area but worthy of a couple bottles each year.

Prosit, MK

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Photo of bierman2000
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A smooth, malty winter warmer style of ale. Nice alcoholic overtones in the finish. A big beer with a nice balance of hops and malts, and being a malt fan I appreciate how they blend these two very well. As it warms the beer takes on a different character and becomes a bit maltier.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz Bottle

Best by 5.19.09 (I think that I tried it right before the best buy date):

Poured a very opaque black, looked like motor oil with a very nice tan head. The beer also had a nice cascade effect.

Aroma is a heavy roasted malt and coffee, no hops to note.

Taste is heavy roasted malt and coffee and maybe a little chocolate adds a very light hint of sweetness. Didn't notice any hops, but still, solid.

Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation, smooth and fairly easy to drink. Overall a pretty solid beer.

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

A black/amber pour with some nice dark white foam. Nice roast malt and mocha coffee aromas. Flavor is rather strong for such a light abv. Very roasty malt, coffee and nut. Some mocha/cocoa coming through also. Very clean finishing with some nice hops, almost like some dry hopping occurred. This is a worthwhile and sessionable seasonal. Enjoyable for those that don't like the sweet spices of the typical winter ale.

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

On tap at the Quentin Tavern.

A: The ale is a dark licorice color, forboding with a 2 plus finger off-white head. The head didn't last long, leaving a faint trail of lace.

S: The nose is rich, full of dark fruits, brown sugar, anise and roasted grains.

T: The ale is very malty, thick and grainy with a sizeable spice profile. Licorise is dominant. The flavor is not concentrated anise, rather the flavor is firm but not overwhelming. Caramel, chocolate and toffee mix with cocoa and some citrus hops. The complexity of the flavor is a big draw for this beer.

M: The mouthfeel is full, loaded with a great deal of flavor. The ale isn't heavy even though you'd expect it to be.

D: I'd gladly have a few rounds of this, nice flavor profile.

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Photo of philbe311
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of light tan fluffy head with some big chunky bubbles mixed-in... Jet black... Opaque... Great head retention... Coats glass extremely well...

S - Sweet... Cocoa... Roasted Malts... Chocolate... Coffee... Licorice... Black Cherries...

T - Burnt... Roasted Malt... Bitter baker's chocolate... Straight forward and solid, but not much complexity... A slight smokiness was noted on the finish...

M - Medium bodied... Slightly creamy... A tad thin... A little on the dry side...

D - I like the idea of a Porter as a seasonal winter brew... Enjoyable and respectable... However, an average American Porter...

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Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) from Stoudts Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 186 ratings