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)

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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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 186
Photo of treyrab
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
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%
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 -4.3%
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 -12%
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 -6.5%
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 +1.9%
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 -7.3%
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 -5.4%
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 +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 jwolfie70
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
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 +19.6%
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 jjboesen
3.9/5  rDev +6%
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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Photo of jackorain
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Very dark, dark brown, almost black. Very little light gets through. Not viscous like a stout though, pours thin. 3/4 inch tan head fell rather quickly to a few splotches and collar rising 3/8 inch up the glass, good lace.

S-Mollasses, caramel, choclate and spicy hops.

T-molasses dominate in the begining. This is followed by brown sugar and caramel. Quick wisps of chocolate and coffee come and go. Hops are earthy and spicy and lead to a mild bitterness. Finishes with a sour twang.

M-Light to medium body with a crisp carbonation.

D-quite good, I would have had anoter but alas I only had one of these in the fridge. I do doubt the red ale categorization

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Photo of slvrmon82
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown not a lot of light coming through. 1 finger that sticks around for a while, Chocolate and lots of roasted malts. Taste was nice and smoky with a little chocolate essence. However a little bitter at the end for a porter. Mouthfeel was nice and not as thick as I expected. It was a great winter beer but couldn't really have a lot of them.

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Photo of Dalem
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy and cola in color. A good amount of bubbles sticking to the side of the glass when first poured. Thin head that fades pretty quickly though a stringy lacing sticks through the entire glass. A chocolate & roasted malts are the first things that come up in the smell and a slight hop whiff. Nice balance, nothing overstated. Pleasing with the looks and scent.
A medium bodied porter slant in the up front taste. A cashew like taste sticks around beneath the tongue. Finishes with a slightly bitter cocoa taste meshing in with a caramel creaminess

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Photo of morebeergood
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The color was brownish, with a hint of amber to it. Pours with a smallish head that faded quickly. The smell was porter like. The taste was a bit more ale-like, but with that slight flavor of roasted malt and almost hidden chocolate. This beer is one of the smoother winter ales that I have had. It falls right between an ale and a porter, and thus it goes down nicely. Very drinkable, with it's 7% alcohol not noticeable at all.

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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 BeerSox
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Almost opaque black with very thin ruby edges along the bottom of the glass. A thin tan head slowly settles to a miniscule cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

Light roasty malts along with the tiniest bit of spice. A little bit of grassy hop aroma is there.

Roasty malts are mixed with a little bit of coffee and chocolate flavors. Very little hop flavor. Medium bodied.

This one isn't bad at all. I feel it's well rounded with a good amount of complexity, but it's missing something that would put it into the "A" grade range. Still, this is a porter that I wouldn't mind sipping outside on the balcony when it's snowing. Recommended.

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Photo of number1bum
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 version says it is an Ale brewed with Cocoa.

This pours out a deep, dark brown, nearly black, that shows some garnet hues on the edges and to the light. Big and creamy light tan head fills the pint glass and doesn't soon go away. Leaves lots of stick, too.

Smells of some toasted and caramel malt and bittersweet bakers chocolate. Some fruity and floral hops are there, too.

Taste up front consists of chocolate and toasted malt, with a light and pleasant sweetness to it. Midway through and into the finish there is an ample amount of fruity and slightly biter hops. Toasted or maybe even lightly roasted malt lingers into the finish, too, with some bitter cocoa powder flavor. Mouthfeel here is a medium body, slightly creamy with a good amount of carbonation.

Interesting brew, and pretty tasty. Obviously the 07 version is no Amber/Red Ale. I'm not sure what it is. Sort of porter-esque with the ample hop characteristics, I would say. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of jockstrappy
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky cola like brown with a tan head that did not hang around long. Aroma is smokey, with coffee and dark chocolate coming through the most. Taste is coffee and roasted malts, with cocoa and a little hop bitterness coming through before a smokey finish. This beer is quaffable, but it seems subdued a little's stuck somewhere between porter and maybe a brown ale. Not bad by any means, just not the usual effort you get from Stoudt's. Still worth a try, as I'm sure this one will have it's faithful followers.

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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 BACTAdam
2.53/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- No doubt, the color is likened best to cola. I just so happened to have a glass of Diet Pepsi that my wife was drinking right next to it and it was identical. Pours a medium to thin head with some cola like bubbles.

S- I didn't get a strong aroma from this one. Maybe a slight coffee or malty smell.

T- Very disappointed. Tastes of black coffee and not at all complex. Very one dimensional and not what you would expect in a quality winter ale.

M- Has a very thin mouthfeel for its appearance however looks can be deceiving and it appears to look more like a porter than an ale. It sort of tricks you.

D- It's drinkable but kind of boring. I won't be running out to try another one.

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Photo of frazbri
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stoudts Winter Ale looked very similar to a glass of coke when poured. The head was bigger and creamier than cola, and there wasn't the effervescent carbonation. I tasted bittersweet chocolate with some herbal notes and earthiness. Chocolate, cola and coffee were noticable in the aroma. The ale had medium-high carbonation level and was medium-light in body with a dry finish.

This is a one dimentional ale. The chocolate is a nice change from the cinnamon and spice winter warmers, but I wanted some counterpoint to the chocolate bitterness that was constant from start to finish.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
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 albern
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure how this beer makes it as a Red Ale, but I'll just review it on its merits. The beer pours a very dark brown, with a tannish head that dissipates pretty quickly. The lacing is spotty at best. The smell is part chocolate, part tobacco, part coffee, part caramel, with maybe a hint of perfumed sweetness. This is a medium bodied beer with only minimal carbonation. The taste is quite bland and not at all exceptional. You will get a good dose of malty chocolates, followed by some caramel, some cardboard-like mustiness, some roasted malts and caramel and coffee. There is a subtle dryness to this beer and the finish and the aftertaste are both quite mild. This one is just okay, nothing more, nothing less.

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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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