Alaskan Winter Ale | Alaskan Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
83
good
840 Ratings
Alaskan Winter AleAlaskan Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
alaskanbeer.com

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
840
Reviews:
364
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
13.7%
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
107
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 840 |  Reviews: 364
Photo of stouts4me
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

served in a pint glass, smell is muted but pleasant. nice orange-yellow clear beer.

pous out a nice winter-white 1-inch head.

real cold and you don't get the best this has to offer; let it warm and the spruce tips aroma comes out to greet you !

nothing special about the mouthfeel, normal. I liked the nos eand taste better when it warmed.

 343 characters

Photo of weerezboy
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Photo of ponbon63
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of sneekee22
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Photo of rtaps
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

rust in color with a small white head. minimal retention not leaving any lacing on the glass

decent aroma some caramel, fruits spices, and hints of the srpuce tips used.

mildly flavored not picking much up, candy(caramel i believe). overall of the flavor it does remind me of a winter type beer

medium carbonation leaves the mouth watery, light bodied

overall- there wasn't much to the taste, yet it was easy to drink and worth the $1.48 for a 12oz at 6.4%

 461 characters

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of iSip
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alaska Winter Ale: Some friends brought over a six of the Alaska Winter Ale the other weekend. In a glass, this beer has a deep color with an orange look to it. Very interesting. The head is of average thickness and off-white. Aroma is subtle and hard to pinpoint. The Winter ale goes down smooth, and has a nice balance, it is not too sweet and does not have any bitter or overly hoppy component to it. There is an unusual flavor to this brew that I cannot pinpoint. This is not a bad thing. I did enjoy this Alaskan offering, even if it has been a challenge to review. The label says it is brewed with spruce tips, which must impart the flavor that escapes my ability to describe. Give it a try!

 697 characters

Photo of EricCioe
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours medium amber with almost no head, and I swear my glass is clean. Somehow this looks like a lot bigger beer than it is. On the nose there is caramel malt and spruce with some goofy spicy and fruity note sitting on top. It's seriously strange, not awful, but very strange. In the mouth the sweetness dies away a bit with the strange spruce spice/sweet hybrid type flavor taking over. Is that Saaz hops interacting in a goofy way with the other ingredients? The malt turns from caramel into something grainier, and there is some alcohol on the finish, surprising given the relatively low ABV here. The body is medium sticky.

Overall, this is a strange beer that I don't quite understand. It doesn't taste bad, it just doesn't sit right on my tongue.

 758 characters

Photo of marct
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of CarolinaKev
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of kristenrae8
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is that brisk breath of fresh air when you run out to start your car at 6 am on monday morning.

Appearance: Amber-Honey colored. Head quickly disappates, no lacing.

Smell: Sprucy. Working at a christmas tree farm - sprucy. Hints of spices like nutmeg and cinamon - faint, hints.

Taste: Not as shocking as the smell, enjoyable. Wintery.

Mouthfeel: Medium to High carbonation, tingles like when snot freezes in your nose.

Overall: Good for a winter all, good for a sprucy introduction.

 501 characters

Photo of azdback
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. A very clear, bright yellowy orange color. Not a lot of carbonation bubbles and the head reflects that. A small, less then one finger and bright white in color. Lace is weak at this time.

Smell is pretty earthy and wheat or biscuity. Maybe just a bit of bright pineapple or orange.

Taste is quite unique and different then the smell. This is very sweet and almost hard candy in flavor. I can't put my hand on what the candy flavor is but I do like it and it really reminds me of the winter months.

Mouth is crisp and a bit light. Body is delicate to medium and the finish is average and a bit dry.

Overall I found this really different and interesting. The sweet candy taste is quite enjoyable. The flavors are wintery but not at all like the average winter warmer. A must try if you get the chance.

 830 characters

Photo of Anew
5/5  rDev +37%

Photo of kornkid8600
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of zillo043068
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Unchi
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of hardy008
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a 2 finger off white head with good retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has caramel, grains, and spruce tips. Smells like it should be sweet and malt forward.

The taste is sweet with caramel, biscuit malt, and spruce tips. Light amount of spice is also present. Hard to pick it out, but seems to be a little of cinnamon and nutmeg?

Medium bodied, with average carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Light biscuit malt aftertaste. This is another nice, easy to drink beer from Alaskan Brewing. I could drink this again easily.

 547 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass in St. Paul, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and thickness but bad retention. Colour is a transparent copper.

Sm: Amber hops, caramel, sweet candied sugar, and maybe molasses. A mild strength aroma.

T: Amber hops, caramel, lovely candied sugar, and a bit of spice. Really quite delicious. Flavorful and tasty. Wonderfully balanced. Quite pleasantly built.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Really suits the flavour well.

Dr: Very drinkable. The price could be better. I'd definitely have it again. Quite lovely indeed.

 595 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by 14APR12

A: copper with a fleeting finger of white foam. This leaves a broken sheet of the same. Spotty lace. Excellent clarity.
S: Sweet, marzen style malts with a little bitterness to it.
T: Tastes like a Marzen oktoberfestbier with a hint of wood (spruce apparently). Nothing special.
M: Thin and smooth with light carb. Nice feel.
O: I seem to remember this being more satisfying in the past - must be my palate.

 424 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid four finger off white head with good retention. A good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Lots of bready caramel and toffee malts. Has some noticeable hints of a fruity, spicy raspberry like scent which is probably the spruce tips. Pretty sweet smelling overall.

Taste: Sweet like the smell leads. Lots of sweet and bready caramel and toffee malts. The spruce tips are pretty noticeable with some piney spice and hints of berries. Finishes with some spicy hops. This brew is pretty sweet but well balanced by the spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Crisp and very smooth. Finishes a bit dry. Berries linger around in the mouth aftertaste.

Overall: A pretty solid winter warmer. The spruce tips add a interesting twist.

 933 characters

Photo of robmorris31
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BLUF: It's like drinking Christmas!

The absolute and I say again the ABSOLUTE BEST regionally distributed WINTER ALE on the market period

from the Alaskan Brewing Company:

Style
English Olde Ale. Traditionally malty with the warming sensation of alcohol, Olde Ales are brewed in the fall as winter warmers.

Flavor
Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.

History
From the seafaring adventurers of the 1700s to the homebrewers of today, adding spruce tips to beer has a rich history in Southeast Alaska. Alaskan Winter Ale was first released by the Brewery in 2000.

Ingrediients
Alaskan Winter is made from glacier-fed water, Sitka spruce tips and a generous blend of the finest quality European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties and specialty malts. Our water originates in the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Ice Field and from the more than 90 inches of rainfall we receive each year.

Recommendations
Perfect winter warmer by the fireside or an accompaniment to holiday fare. Serve with roast goose, turkey, ham or lamb. A nice complement to holiday breads, pound cake, or apple pie.

Story
Throughout Southeast Alaska, bald eagles can be spotted landing atop the towering old growth forests of Sitka spruce trees. As many as 3,000 bald eagles congregate among these evergreen trees on the shores of the Chilkat River for the last large run of salmon before winter. Sitka spruce trees carry a significance of their own to local Alaskans. The tender new growth of the spruce tips lends a delicious, yet subtly sweet floral aroma to teas, jelly and now our Alaskan Winter Ale.

 1,751 characters

Photo of NCLorax
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of tbizzle0
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of brotherloco
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle x2. Best by 03/12/12. Served in a 22oz tapered glass.

Pours a clear dark gold with a finger of beige foam. Takes some time to settle. Bits of lacing, but not much sticks around.

Aroma of English malt, caramel but not overly sweet. A touch of spruce.

Taste is a touch sweeter with a solid malt front end and bright, bitter, spicy hops on the finish. Malt gets very fruity in the middle, apple is a strong component. The piney spruce notes come through on the finish and linger into the aftertaste. A little sting from the alcohol, but doesn't interfere with the flavor. A nice blend of bready malt and piney tang are in the aftertaste as well.

Body is medium light with solid medium carbonation. Very quaffable.

This has been a go-to winter ale for me for years. There's just something about the balance of flavors that I love.

 843 characters

Photo of aasimon
5/5  rDev +37%

Alaskan Winter Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.65 out of 5 based on 840 ratings.
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