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

186 Ratings
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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.

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Ratings: 186 |  Reviews: 173
Photo of RBorsato
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with many floaters and a full pillowy tan head. Spicy hop aroma and taste... Great balanced flavor. Full bodied (leans medium) with a spicy hop finish. A solid beer but not Stoudt's best effort.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I dug this beer last year when I tried it and I dig it again this year, maybe even more so.

Pours a very nice looking ruby colour with a creamy, sticky head atop the body of the brew.

The aroma is rugged: cocoa, earth, some hints of nuts, etc, all with a touch of chocolate (more so than the cocoa) and caramel sweetness running through everything.

Flavour is a repeat of the aroma, but better. All the ruggedness from the aroma comes through here big time. Cocoa again leads the way, with earth and nuts balancing things throughout. The flavour is not as sweet as the hints within the aroma and actually has more of a general roasted malt flavour replacing it throughout, although there is a hint of a berry sweetness at the very end of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly hearty all around.

As far as I know Stoudt's changes their Winter brew up every couple of years or so. As this one was around last year, it may have one more year around or this could be it for this one. I hope that's not the case. I may need to contact the brewery to get the definitive answer and stock up on this one if they are in fact moving on to something else next year. Definitely worth a try and definitely one of the best if not the best winter seasonals out there...

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=anyone that follows my reviews knows I have a hard on for dark beers and this is no exception. Dark color and creamy head with a pretty lace.

S=malty fruit and chocolate, slight coffee

T= see smell, no fooling here

M= like a good porter should, only if slightly over carbonated.

D= drinkable and cheap enough to be dangerous. I'd get it again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Braudog
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz pour into a nice English pub glass with the dimpled bottom that encouraged a tornadi production of a giant head from the fury of bubbles in the bottom of the glass. Shiny reddish-orange. It’s like a vision of heaven in a glass. This has the syrupy goodness of the 90-minute, but with an added syrupiness ... robust and smooth, like a desert sauce, you could pour this over a bowl of vanilla ice cream instead of a caramel sauce, with it’s own french vanilla creaminess ... the ONLY thing that detracts here is an odd light metallic twinge at the finish that didn’t seem to fit. Otherwise, this is a beaut of a big beer with a light profile. Well done Dogfish! (#2703, 2/14/2007)

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Photo of arepwhotravels
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Full dark chocolate taste with a hop finish. Deep color and a large taste. Stoudts winter brew is a great one to enjoy like a fine bourbon or a big tasting red wine, by the fire with a good book or cd. Liquid Bread. Fitting for such a cold, snowy winter here in the Great Lakes.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
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 Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper with a 2" head that lasted a while. Nice thick lacing. Aroma is of caramel and spice. The flavor is a nice combination of caramel, light roasted maltiness, mellow spices and plum. Alcohol is not noticeable. Taste is simple and not overbearing.

Light crispness at the start, and finishes with a long sweetness. One of my favorite winter beers, extremely drinkable and one all should try.

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Photo of bierman2000
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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 eksortso
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice thin head that leaves just enough lacing to heighten its character. I love how this beer smells; sweet and cool. And it's got a taste to match. It has a rich, but not overpowering, mouthfeel, that makes it go down smooth. I'd love to get a six-pack of this every winter!

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Photo of apintofknowledge
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rather than their usual Winter Ale, this year Stoudt's Winter release is a delicious porter. It pours a deep opaque nearly-black brown with a frothy tan head. A subtle roasted aroma gives only a hint of the richness to come. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and full, with a somewhat moderate carbonation that is just right for the style. Initial toffee and caramel sweetness is followed by a very roasted middle with hints of baker's chocolate and bitter root. The roasted flavors come through every so slightly in the finish, allowing the character of the beer to linger in your mouth without leaving any unpalatable bitterness. Overall, an extremely enjoyable and drinkable full-bodied porter. I hope that they bring back this exact beer next winter...

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Photo of williamherbert
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with a hint of dark red. Opaque. Looks like a porter, very dark. A brief, small glimpse of head.

The smell is roasted coffee and cut tobacco. Has sweet toffee, raisin and dark cherry in the second sniff.

The taste is dueling sweet toffee-raisin and dark/bitter coffee-mocha. Porter flavor with extra cherry sweetness (maybe that's where the "winter" part comes from). Hints of a strong barleywine at the end. The sweetness is only an accent, though, and a necessary counter to the bitterness.

The feel is chalky and yet easy to sip. This is one damn good beer. But don't let the name fool you, it's a richly flavored porter.

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Photo of far333
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
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 bheilman
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark golden color. I taste banana on the initial impression, which I find unusual for the style until the malts wash on the sweet and slightly spicy taste, it does have a nice leafy sour, natural scent to please the palate and a warmth to wash over the tongue keeping everyone yearning for more. So along with the the blend of malt and hops is malt-heavy but does have a decent hops aftertaste. Excellent winter beer with enough flavor and body to make you want to drink another.

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Photo of cichief
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a keg at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD, as part of their Christmas in July celebration.

A- Poured a deep brown, clear, nice brown head.

S- Chocolaty, roasted barley, very inviting.

T- Slightly sweet chocolate, nearly a porter, a decent dry finish.

M- Smooth, not too much, medium body.

D- An excellent beer, just what I expect from Stoudt's.

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Photo of ggroller
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I wish I had a Stoudt's Marzen handy to compare this to because I am fairly certain that these two brews are not too far apart on taste.

Clear walnut colored brew with a nice, light, off-white, fluffy head. Most of the head dissipates after the first few sips but it does lace on the sides of the glass.

This is a very easy drinking, middle of the road ale. An even balance of malt and hops with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side but overall this is a decent beer.

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Photo of DIM
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a very dark brown, bordering on black. It was served to me with a thin tan head.

s: I got some mild cocoa and a little sweet brown sugar maltiness.

t: Wow, this is very different than last years, I like this one a lot more. I got some cinnamon or nutmeg spiciness and lots of cocoa on the finish, which was quite dry. Up front this had a lactic quality, like a milk stout.

m: Gently carbonated, with a surprisingly creamy body. This years feels bigger than 5.50% abv.

d: This years version is a hit with me, I just hope they put in on cask at some point.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The previous reviewer's description of the smell of this beer as 'rugged' is a good represenation of the nose. It's not cloyingly sweet or smooth. It's got some chunkyness to it behind the chocolate overtones. The beer itself pours a deep brown, with a bit of a chill haze, and a nice tan head. Taste is sharp, but nice. A combination of sweetness and tartness go well together, and the chocolatyness is inviting. Mouthfeel is a bit too thin and bubbly if you ask me, but it is a fine overall brew. A winter warmer indeed.

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Photo of Brad007
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a two-finger brown head that fades and leaves some lacing in my glass.

Aroma is strong with hints of chocolate, dark fruit and roast coffee in the nose.

Taste is smooth with the taste of roasted coffee and chocolate upfront, followed by just a bit of creaminess.

Mouthfeel is full of chocolate and the bitter coffee flavors. Carbonation is a bit high but otherwise, goes down well.

A good example of a porter. The aroma was strong and the taste was flavorful and enjoyable.

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Photo of crashoveride
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle from Capones in Norristown,PA last week and cracked it open last night. It poured a dark brown almost black with a small tan head that continued to last through til the last drop. The smell was great like hints of cinnamon and brown sugar to warm you up on a cold winters night. The taste was just as good as it smells with more hints of a nutty malty flavor. For being such a dark ale the drink ability was very easy to drink with a nutty after taste. This beer is a must try .

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Photo of perfectkaos
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this when the six pack shop in town started a mix a micro six pack. Bottle best before date was 4/6/07, so we'll see how it stood up to three months of being in storage.

pours a dark brown color with a hint of a brown head, that recedes quickly.
you can pick up the chocolate on the nose along with roasted malts.

this is a real light bodied beer with huge chocolate and roasted taste with just the faintest bit of hops on the back end.

a real easy drinking winter ale with enough flavor to make it worthwhile. Makes me wish they brewed winter beers all year round.

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Photo of beer2day
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black with a respectable 1-finger head. Decent lacing.

Aroma hints at roasted chocolate and spice. Hit is slightly thinner than expected. Roast comes out in the finish, but the spices overwelhm at the end.

Good drinking on a cold day outside on the deck with the fire going.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice label on the 12 oz. Bottle. Old man winter blowing a chilly blast of air down on to the Stoudt’s brewery. Ample carbonation in the pint glass with a nice tan head. It dissipated into a ring quite quickly.

Smell: Very faint aroma, with just a tinge of spices and malts.

Taste: Very smooth and creamy, with a mixture of light malts, finished with a tinge of hops. Not as spice filled and mouth warming as some of the other winter warmers out there, but very enjoyable. Tried in concert with the Rogue Santa reserve. Almost the complete opposite of that sticky mouthfeel hop filled brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with the right carbonation in there.

Purchased at Thirsty’s Quick stop just yesterday. Stoudt brews aren’t overly hard for me to find, but I hadn’t seen this one before. Heard that they have this contract brewed. Either way, still a quality filled, good drinkin brew. Smooth and drinkable, finishing very clean. This would make an excellent session beer, perhaps while opening presents on Xmas morning…

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark walnut brown with coppery orange trim. Although there isn't yet enough sunlight to get an accurate reading, it looks as though the liquid is opaque. The golden sandstone colored crown has no weaknesses. It looks good, it lasts and it laces exceptionally well.

SWA smells like an American porter with no added spices. It also smells like a roasted malty, rich and hearty porter...the very best kind. In fact, I might have said 'stout' if blinded. If the nose is any indication, this should be mighty tasty beer.

Very nice. Winter Ale is chock full of flavor, which makes my taste buds do a little jig with each large gulp. Too bad it doesn't come in bombers. The secret (as always) is plenty of ingredients; especially hops. This bottle is being consumed close to the 'best by' date and the hop flavor and bitterness are still able to punch through the malts with relative ease.

Specifics include roasted coffee beans, cocoa nibs and an herbal-fruity hoppiness whose origins are a mystery. I'll go with something English (probably Goldings) and one of the American C-hops. Sneakily complex, delicious and mighty drinkable too.

Even though the mouthfeel isn't as full as it could be, it's plenty big enough given the ABV. More malt and two more percentage points would be great, but then I'm always looking to supersize good beer.

Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) is a keeper... and I mean that literally. The brewery can still change Winter Ale's style from year to year, but they need to release this American porter year-round. Especially since that's one of the glaring holes in their lineup. A new name, a new label and... presto!

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Photo of wcudwight
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color with some red highlights. Thin kahki colored head that fades rather quickly. Light, watery lace around the rim of the glass.
The bottle says this beer is brewed with cocoa and it's very noticable in the nose. Sweet smelling with a roasted maltiness.
Not as sweet tasting as it is in the aroma. Cocoa flavored and chocolatey, but the roasted malts are the most noticable flavor through out and are the backbone of the beer. Finishes with a nice sharp bitterness, but not so sharp that's it's harsh.
Mouthfeel is light to medium body. It's not really that exciting in the mouth.
This is unlike any amber ale that I've drank, and more of a winter warmer imho. Regardless it's a good beer that I recommend.
Thanks to bjohnson and Peyton Manning for the beer.

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter Ale 2007

A: Black with a caramel 3+ finger head that slowly sank down upon the beer.

S: Grassy and citussy hops, coffee and faint chocolate.

T: Citus, flowers, grapefruit, bitter chocolate, and some metal. This is really neat beer as it looks like a stout, taste like an IPA with chocolate. There is a lot of hop flavors and the chocolate adds its own bitterness and it works well.

M: Smooth and creamy, not much carbination and a long and clean chocolate bitter finish.

D: This is as drinkable as any chocolate beer I have ever had. It is not to sweet or to heavy and syruppy(is that even close to a word.)

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Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) from Stoudts Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 186 ratings.
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