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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 |  Reviews: 173
Photo of clemtig76
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The kast bottle from a mixed six my son got me for Christmas from Charleston Beer Exchange. Pours a deep mahogany brown that is almost black.The aroma has hints of cinnamon, brown sugar and sweet malt. The taste is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate and roasted malts, spice and just a faint kiss of hops. An outstanding porter.

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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 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 Reagan1984
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good looking beer on the poor. 2 fingers of tan head with ok retention. Deep brown color. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is fruity caramel, some cinnamon and a hint of chocolate or cocoa powder.

Flavor starts with some grain flavors and caramel. Then some chocolate and a real roasted malt flavor. This give way to a lingering bitterness that seems to come from both dark roasted almost burnt malt and some hops.

The beer is medium bodied, rather smooth and very subtle carbonation.

Really very drinkable.

Nice beer, not a classic or anything. The burnt notes are almost too much...

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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 umtox
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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 matt062286
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - very dark ruby brown color that is only apparent upon holding up to a light. Otherwise appears black. A one finger head that dissipated quickly. Little head retention and moderate lacing.

Smell - Very characteristic of a porter. Big roasted barley and malt here. Almost reminds me of slightly overbaked sourdough bread.

Taste - Almost exactly as I had anticipated from the smell, with an aftertaste of bitter chocolate and some caramel undertones. I had this beer not long after having an Old Dominion Baltic Porter, which is very similar to this beer. I'd have to say the Stoudt's has the upper hand though, to me the Stoudt's malt and barley are much more robust and the balance is slightly better.

Mouthfeel - Minimal carbonation and a smooth feel and finish.

Drinkability - I'd say this is a good sipper, couldn't imagine having more than one or two in a sitting. Would recommend trying, but buying a sixer might be a stretch.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

I didn't really expect a porter, so you can imagine my surprise when this one poured an opaque dark brown, bordering on black. Pretty much no head at all, just some weak tan foam at the top.

Aroma is of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee beans.

Taste is of roasted malt and coffee with a smoky chocolate aftertaste.

High carbonation leaves a tingling sensation. Medium bodied. Finish on the dry side.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Very black in color. Had a decent coffee colored head.

Smell was mostly of coffee.

Taste was coffee and mocha.

Overall, a decent brew. Nothing wrong with it. Just not outstanding. Most of the beers from Stoudt's that I have enjoyed have been excellent. This was just ok.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this single up at Jungle Jim's about a month ago. 12 ounce bottle with a cartoon cloud blowing down on a home. No detectable freshness/born on date.

Pours a clear, dark root beer brown with an average ½ light tan head with average lacing and decent retention.

Smells of chocolate malts, smokiness and light sweetness. Coffee grinds definitely in the mix, as well.

Medium bodied and flavored with ample carbonation. Smoke , light char, dark chocolate and coffee grinds are the predominant flavors. Moderate amounts of malts and light hops to finish the beer dry and pleasing. Tastes like nice American porter should.

Easy to drink and enjoyable for the time of year.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown, almost black color, typical of a porter. 1 cm of creamy-looking head. No lacing.

S: Deep roasted malt scent, not much more to it.

T: Roasted malts up front give way to caramel malts, and, if you look for it, a piney hop flavor. A chocolate malty taste lingers on the palate.

M/D: Medium bodied, and surprisingly light for a porter. Creamy feel and finish, which really adds a lot to the beer's character.

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Photo of Kraken
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
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 mountdew1
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark cola, with a brown foamy head. The head only lasted a few minutes, leaving a thin layer that clung to the sides. Aroma alternated between coffee and chocolate. Taste was slightly over roasted, extra sweet coffee, that still has a bit of bitterness. Coated the mouth well, but felt slightly over carbonated as it tingled on the cheeks. Not to easy to drink, limited ABV was prevalent, and the over carbonation was distracting.

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Photo of u2carew
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
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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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 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 barleywinebrewer
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks to DIM for the chance to try this brew. 151 reviews as of this posting. It's definitley winter in NH so let's see what this beer is about. Looks great, mahogany with a nice head. Smell is a roasty dark malt and cocoa note. Taste is where I fell off the bandwagon as this one seemed to me at least to be too burnt. burnt chocolate, espresso, dark malts. Mouthfeel is medium for me.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When poured into a dimpled imperial pint seidel, the 12-ounce bottle yields an inky oiled-walnut body trimmed with a dull twinkle of bronze at the periphery, topped with a thin cap of creamy beige foam. Resting at a chunky-bubbled ring, the head deposits only minimal fine-bubbled wisps of lacing onto the glass.

A note of rich dark roast and savory chocolate punctuates the malty nose, highlighting a mild fruitiness that defies solid definition. An expanding bitter coffee note emerges to mark the warming of the drink.

The taste is loaded with sticky notes of toasted, biscuity malts and strong black coffee with a dash of sweetened cream. The roasted character provides a solid, but mellow bitterness that lingers far into the finish and beyond, even as touch of dark cocoa grows in boldness and stature as the drink goes on.

The drink is pretty light in body and the sizzle of carbonation is just right. The beer is refreshing and highly drinkable, and the lighter porter style offers a fine alternative to many other "Winter" beers with all their stickiness, hot booze, and over-the-top spicing.

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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 philbe311
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
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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Photo of nrbw23
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with just a cream colored layer of bubbles. Pretty much no lacing and bubbles stay on the edge of the glass through out the tasting.

S- Roasted malts, touch of fruits, chocolate and coffee.

T- Pretty much follows the nose here.

M- A tad high on carbonation, medium in body but yet still felt a little thin or watery.

D- Not too bad I've just had better.

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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 joepais
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Dim
Bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of white head that turn to lace. The body was a pitch black color on this brew.

Aromas' of roasted malts, espresso, and a little bit of chocolate fill my nose from this brew. Some sweetness come thru in the aromas as well

Flavors of bitter chocolate and coffee, some malt sweetness, hey it mimics the nose. My expectations were high for this brew but the brew really did need some spices in it. I was wishing for some seeing that it was a winter brew but alas there is none (hint, hint) a little light in the mouthfeel for a porter.

Drinkability was good I easily could drink a few of these. Still a little disappointed in the taste department, especially from such a great brewer's Winter Ale .I'd rate it as a average porter

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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 HeyItsChili
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with a thin, fleeting dark tan head.

S - Smells of roasted malts, a little chocolaty.

T - Tastes like coffee, sweet roasted malt, and bittersweet dark chocolate.

M - The carbonation seems high for a beer that otherwise seems to fit the definition of a stout, but it's a porter so I guess it can get away with it. Did that make any sense? I don't know.

D - Tasty. A solidly good beer.

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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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