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

Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009)
Liked This Beer
3.67 w/ 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
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled off the tap at the American Flatbread/Vermont debut of the brewery this beer was an opaque black color. The head was tan, retained fairly well and laced in sheets. The aroma was subtle, dry and grainy with roasted malt and hints of milk chocolate being the dominant notes. The flavors were of big chocolate, light coffee, dry grain and a light fruitiness. The mouthfeel was creamy, the carbonation perfect and the body medium full. Enjoyable!

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

Pours a deep black with garnet tints. Topped by a brown head that fades to a film. Roasty coffee, rich chocolate, and a bit of dried fruit in the aroma. A bit of citric, hop aroma is evident. Swirling brings out more chocolate.

Attenuated, roasted malts upfront with a tinge of chocolate sweetness. Dark fruit has a minor appearance in the center followed by a roasty and hoppy bitterness in the finish. Light to medium-bodied, moderate carbonation with a warming spice.

Nice on a cold day like today.

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Photo of Deuane
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep dark brown with lighter edges. A medium light tan head reduces to a thin cap and leaves decent lace.

S-Light cocoa, some coffee, a bit of licorice and roasted grains.

T-Light chocolate and toffee and some licorice. Nice roasted malt flavours come through after the initial wave. A tasty mix of flavours. Pronounced cocoa/licorice bitterness comes through upon warming.

M-Medium-light and a tad on the thin side. Would like to have a bit more body to support the taste profile. Good lasting cocoa/hop bitterness.

D-Good stuff. I am not sure of the American Porter designation but that isn't something that Stoudt's did. These winter ales cross the lines of so many styles it is hard to pigeon hole them. Nonetheless this is a rather light, in feel and ABV, but tasty winter brew that desrves some attention.

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Photo of Brad007
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
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 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 oriolesfan4
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
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 Dodo2step
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

P- market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A- pours a midnight black color with a tan head. Lacing isnt too much but it is scattered. Not much foam either. opaque and creamy looking.

S- a roasted coffee aroma. Some dark candied fruits come to the nose but very faint. Smell isnt that aromatic.

T- maltiness is first and then the coffee comes out after a few sips. sweet like molasses yet very dry after the swallow.

M- creamy and chewy. like a warm chocolate chip cookie. Smooth as well.

D- not a bad beer but the maltiness and the hops dont mix too well. One of these was enough for me.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This winter ale pours a deep cola brown with faint hints of ruby hue coming through the bottom of the glass. A plump tan head erupts from the body leaving a generous sticky lacing.

Aroma is that of deep roasted malt, various spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, and even burnt hops upon a second inspection.

I found this beer to be a little smokey but primary flavors consisted of chocolate and espresso with a pleasant hop presence on the back of the palate.

Medium body and carbonation make this beer easy to drink, and quite indulgent after considering its pleasant flavor balance.

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Photo of Finkel
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out, it was almost totally black with a small light tan head. Nothing complex or wrong - it looked pretty nice.

Unfortunately, the smell was very weak. Glimpses of malt as well as a slight coffee scent were noticeable. All other flavors were indistinct which made the overall smell kind of plain.

The taste was alright, though I'm not too into this style. It was malty with roasted coffee but weak enough to not deter those who don't enjoy roasted flavors (myself included). Furthermore, it was completely hopless, which was a bummer to me.

The mouth feel was noticeably thin, which was disappointing. I was hoping that there would be some creaminess with this beer, but found nothing, even when agitated in my mouth.

I didn't find it to be extremely drinkable, but that's because this isn't really my style of beer. I would imagine that if you like porters, then it would nice to drink. I rationalized that this was a thicker brew make thin, so I figure it would make it drinkable in sense of getting a few down.

Not my type of beer, but you can't win 'em all.

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Photo of crashoveride
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
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 DIM
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
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 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 neenerzig
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle poured into my mug. This beer pours a dark amber brown color. The tan head is about 1/2 inch when poured, eventually settling to thin white ring lining the inside of the glass. Not too much lacing here either. Aromas of chocolate malt. The cocoa sure is there, but not much else that this nose can detect. Nice, sweet roasted malt flavor with a strong hint of chocolate, a trace of coffee and a bit of caramel, rounded out with a very subtle hint of hops. A very good beer overall/ has a crisp, and smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Quite easy to drink in a good way. Worth a try at least.


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Photo of treyrab
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked some of these up tonight also and poured into my pint glass...

A: This is listed as an American Amber / Red Ale. I would have to differ after pouring and looking at this one. This pours like a heavy porter, even a light stout. It is brown around the edges but black and opaque in the middle...very interesting for sure. It also has a decent one finger head that leaves a skim upon the beer.

S: The smell is strongly of roasted malts and cocoa. The label says they brew this with cocoa, and I don't doubt that! Not much else in the smell surprisingly for a "Winter Ale"

T: The taste is of a light porter. It has the characteristics of a porter - light coffee, light cocoa, minor roastiness and a tad touch of caramel.

Overall, for a "Winter Ale" this is different. There is no spice or notes of anything like a winter ale. However, if you look at this from a porter perspective, it is not bad, but a little light. Overall, a decent brew from Stoud'ts

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Proteus93
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was one of 10 variety brews that came from a 'marked down winter pack' This is one of the only ones (or THE only one with a best before date - Mar. 24, '08) stamped on the neck, so that's going to be taken into consideration.

A: Not much of an "amber or red" here... a deep rusty reddish brown. The bottle states that it is brewed with cocoa, which would add to that. Head is a sandy offwhite, modest, and leaving a trim of lacing.

S: Any added flavour is rather subtle, but tastefully so. Warm malts, with just the touch of cocoa. A notable hoppiness, which hints towards it not being horribly outdated. Any oxidation that may have seeped in is very mild... not detecting a whole lot of metallic, cardboardy, otherwise offtasting flavours.

M: A nice, sizzly carbonation. In some ways, between the taste and mouthfeel, this is far closer to a porter - though maybe a little thin in that sense. Alcohol certainly isn't on the 'thin-side,' though, so not really a guzzler, either. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a 'dessert-style' brew, but still an after dinner companion.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served cool from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Boston Lager glass.

Pours with a modest, light tan head that dissipates quickly, and leaves just a tiny bit of lacing on the glass. Dark brown and crystal clear, looks just like Pepsi.

Aroma is very nice, chocolatey and malty, a bit estery.

Flavor leaves me wanting. Not tasting any chocolate, just some toastiness, coffee, esters, slight dark fruitiness, and cola again. Strong carbonic bite in the mouthfeel, otherwise a bit thin.

Drinkabilty is quite average. A bit too fizzy to down quickly. Aroma becomes dominated by esters as it gets warmer, so try to chug it down cold. Might work better as a dinner beverage than having to stand alone here as I review it.

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Photo of PorterLover83
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Started with no head and poured pretty much pitch black. Nose with filled a little bit with cocoa and burnt malt or very heavily roasted malt. there was a slight hop protrusion as well. Medium to heavy mouthfeel with a cocoa, chocolate taste to follow suit with the smell. This has an average drinkability cause the taste is pretty good but more than a couple will smack you ( at least it will me) with the 7% abv. Worth a shot.

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Photo of ericj551
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up for half price, I'm guessing because it's a winder seasonal, but it's still well within it's freshness date (4/8/08). It pours a deep ruby red/brown with a thin head that doesn't linger. The aroma is chocolatey with hints of esters and dark crystal malt. The flavor is dry with the same estery profile, but not too sweet despite the caramel flavor. The chocolate flavor comes through and works with the hops in a slightly bitter, astringent finish. The cocoa flavor lingers just a bit on the tongue after the beer is gone. All in all, this is a pretty decent winter ale, and certainly a steal at $5 for the six pack.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Stoudt's on 3/21/08.

A - Dark brown body with subtle deep darnet highlights and mammoth three-finger creamy, tan head that left lots of sticky lacing.

S - Nutty maltiness with subtle coffee and chocolate notes. Nutmeg? There's an odd spice in there somewhere. Roasted malt aspect as well with some earthy hops also present.

T - Roasted coffee and chocolate notes with an earthy bitterness and subdued spiciness. Finishes with a bitter coffee aspect.

D - I was expecting a bit more with this. Pretty straightforward porter with some spiciness. I guess I wanted something thicker and beefier. Still, not bad overall, just a little underwhelmed.

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Photo of argock
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Very dark brown with 1-finger tan head and decent retention and lacing.

S: Plenty of toasted, caramel, and toffee sweet maltiness with soft hot chocolate aroma.

T: Tasty toasted malt flavor without acrid character blends nicely with notable but not overwhelming chocolate/cocoa flavor. Touch of hops at the finishes it off pleasantly.

M: A little thin with medium body and smooth feel. Minimal malt aftertaste that is not harsh.

D: Fairly light and mellow for a porter with the increased chocolate profile, makes for a nice winter beer.

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 yourefragile
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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 jwolfie70
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass. Poured a dark brown, nearly black, with a thin head. Smelled of cocoa powder and hops. Taste was dark cocoa powder (i.e. bitter chocolate with little sweetness), some hops and and grain. The mouthfeel was thinner than one would expect. I would compare this beer to taking a pale ale and adding cocoa powder to it. It hides its alcohol level very well, and was surprised that this was as strong as it is.

An interesting winter warmer.

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Photo of arepwhotravels
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
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 jjboesen
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My experience with this beer took place at a "Winter Ale" tasting consisting of a single 4-ounce pour. That said, I enjoyed the initial taste though thought the head rather thin. Color-wise, it was tres dark - no clarity. My nose detected a faint trace of cinnamon, but nothing really overwhelming.

Initially, one tastes a small bite of hop albeit nothing to write home about, if one were to write home about a beer's hoppiness.

Stoudt's Winter had excellent mouthfeel, one combining structure with a moderate balance of ingredients. Obviously, it left a clean and satisfied palate.

Despite it not being a beer that demanded too much, it is still a very effective seasonal, though one one could quaff year round.

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Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) from Stoudts Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 46.2% out of 100 with 186 ratings
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