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 Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
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 djrn2
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Kinda funny.. For the past month or so I've been buying 6 packs upon 6 packs of mixed winter seasonals and this is the first porter I've gotten to.. you'd think this would be the most prevalent style but I guess not?

Either way, I'm not sure if it's because I haven't had a good porter in a while or what, but this is damn tasty. A nice dark red color with a light brown head (man, I love that color). Nice and nutty/malty taste that has a fantastic mouthfeel and is incredibly smooth. Great beer.. great beer.

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Photo of brentk56
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2006 version

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a modest tan head that fails to do much in the lacing department

Smell: Smells a bit musty, frankly, like a dirty clothes hamper, that, and a bit like smoked bacon

Taste: Starts out with a caramel flavor that quickly turns phenolic; in the middle, there is a prickly cedar tone that joins and hangs around, coating the front of the tongue; the finish provides a bit of cocoa

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but very prickly; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not sure what they are shooting for but this one is firing a few blanks, I am sad to say

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

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 oberon
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
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 Kegatron
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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 smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Disappointing soda-pop like head. Nearly no bubbles within 30 seconds. No lace. The liquid is deep brown; light barely penetrates.

Mostly dark malt and earthy aromas. Mild hop in the background. Slightly chalky.

Light smoky chocolate malt flavor. Dark chocolate finish with hop on the side as a spice. The body is thin for the style but the flavor is so big, it would be easy to overlook.

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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 Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am reviewing the 2007 version which is obviously not an American amber ale. Poured cool into a snifter from the 12oz brown bottle w/ best by 4/8/08 imprinted on the neck.

A- Pitch black liquid w/ a medium tan head of about 1/2 inch that falls rapidly and has a fine bead. There is a film of lace that coats the glass as the bubbles that top the ale are frothy and closely grouped.

S - Cocoa notes are pleasant and full as the roasty dark ale aromas emanate from the glass w/ a light pine hop note w/ a full yeasty creamy nose.

M - Crisp full carbonation leads to a dry bitterness w/ a cocoa-like nutty texture and a subtle smooth creamy feel w/ a hint of alcohol in the finish.

T - Very nutty and roasty w/ gentle porter and dry notes of cocoa that resonate w/ subtle sweetness. A gentle pine flavor gives a hint of spice to the dark malt flavors and balances that dry and sweet qualities. The malt is hindered slightly by the bubbly force of carbonation, yet still asserts itself sufficiently. The addition of cocoa adds to the overall chocolatey flavors of Chocolate malt and gives a subtle malted milkball lactic note. There is a bit of char in the taste as the ale warms w/ a somewhat burnt toast quality as the roasted flavor lingers.

D - A nice tasty and balanced flavor of cocoa porter w/ equal parts malt, roast and subtle hop spice. A very drinkable Winter ale from start to finish w/ a hint of char. I appreciate the nuances and found it to be easy to quaff.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
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 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 WesWes
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Version

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, roasted, and victory malts. It's rich and toastey with some nutty/breadlike overtones. The taste is good also. It has a dry, yet semi sweet flavor that goes down easy and finishes toasted and slightly warm. It has a nut brown feel that is just a bit maltier; maybe a porter. It has a wonderful roasted quality. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tastey brew with lots of flavor. I love the roasted malt character; a good drinker.

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Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown hue with thin lacey foaming. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong chocolate malt with hints of caramel sweetness.

The taste mirrored the smell in that strong flavors of chocolate and caramel malts dominated.

The mouthfeel was full and dry.

Overall a nice chocolatey winter brew. Very unique and sessionable.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Best by date 4/28/08. Ok so its a bit dated. With the ABV I'm not too worried. Pours a very dark brown with a dark khaki head.

S. Chocolate malt.

T. A decent robust malty flavor. The malt has taken over this beer. A slightly metallic mineral flavor exists. Hops are barely noticable but there is a nice balance to this beer.

M. Medium to full bodied and a bit watery and thin on the finish.

D. Pretty good I'd say. Caught a small buzz from this one, not sure if I'd drink multiples, but a decent offering here. Feel a bit of warm booze in my stomach, this is more of a winter warmer than a red.

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Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of 120/190 BIF and lostbearbrew.

Pours a super dark brown ale with a good if momentary light brown head. Looks like a porter in the glass. I double checked the bottle and this is the correct beer at least going by the label.

Smell is very strongly of dark roasted malt and smoke. Strong coffee and chocolate aromas with a bit of citrus hop scent to liven it up a little. Faint aromas of vanilla and wood.

Taste is light and quite full of roasted malt flavor and smoke at the beginning. The flavor here is some what different, it is thin and sort of watery at the beginning when it hits your tongue and all the flavor is tasted in the backside of the flavor and the after taste. Faint chocolate flavor with a great deal stronger coffee flavor. Mildly fruity if you try hard to find it but it isn't a major flavor here.

Mouthfeel is on the light side.

Something of a strange beer. It is really a porter yet it is the winter beer and it isn't a winter warmer and not spiced. All things considered this is a rather average tasting porter. Not a beer I would seek out but I could see ordering this at a bar sometimes.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Liberty Street Tavern in Allentown. As others mentioned, this year's version is a Porter.

A: Dark, nearly black, not as thick as a stout. Tan head, light retention and ok lacing.
S: Malty, caramel, mild chocolate, cocoa, slight cinnamon. Cut through smoke of bar nicely, but in general nothing impressive, but still above average.
T: Nice porter, a little light in the mouthfeel. Molasses, cocoa, light coffee taste. Creamy body, and very little aftertaste.

An adequate porter, not my favorite from Stoudts, but I would have this again.

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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 weeare138
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The recipe changed up a bit this year. This one appears a dark brown color with a tiny tan head that fades into chunky lacing along the glass.
Smell is of roasted malts accented with nuts and chocolate and a mild dosage of hops.
Taste is actually quite nice. I always liked this beer before but it definitley seems to have gotten better. No overkill of anything but it is a nice, rich blend of nutty malts.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, toasty and warming with slight thinness running and cutting out.

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Photo of avalon07
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a fairly thick consistency. There was a half inch of long-lasting, tan-colored head and good lacing.

S: Smelled predominantly of coffee, malt and a little chocolate.

T: Tasted much like the smell: Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate. A decently complex taste.

M: Had a fair amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a drinkable, well-made beer that goes down easy.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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 ColForbinBC
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

A: Dirty oil color with slight ruby red hints around edges when held up to the light. Completely opaque. Head is a coffee color, rose to a little over a finger and faded somewhat quickly. Very little lacing.

S: Cocoa powder and caramel malts.

T: Looks like a porter, drinks like an amber. Sweet Hershey's chocolate flavor with a nice espresso-like finish.

M: Light and medium bodied.

D: Average: the chocolate and the darkness hinder this in the long run.

Overall, this is a solid winter offering from Stoudt's. I like the sweetness of the cocoa powder, as opposed to the bitter dark chocolate flavor you get in a lot of beers this time of year. One of my more favorite winter beers of the crop this season.

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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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