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Ebenezer Ale | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

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Ebenezer AleEbenezer Ale
445 Ratings
Ebenezer AleEbenezer Ale

Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-20-2001

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 445 |  Reviews: 249
Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a garnet color with amber highlights when held up to the light, topped by a finger's worth of creamy, off-white head. Aroma of sweet, biscuity malt, with a mild smoky character and a hint of fruity hops, with a touch of plum.
Palate is mostly bready malt up front, with a bit of dark fruit as an accent (plum, maybe some currant). A mild, fruity hop profile emerges before the swallow and serves to balance the sweetness of the malt. A nice, lingering bready flavor hangs around on the finish, along with a very mild astringency.
Body is smooth, full but not particularly rich. This is fine, as a rich body would overwhelm the relatively mild flavors of this winter ale. The mildness contributes to this being a particularly sessionable winter ale. Not the most interesting of the winter offerings from Oregon breweries, but it is one of the most consistently enjoyable winter ales around.

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Photo of Clamwacker
4.67/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BridgePort isn't my favorite brewery by any means, but each year I anxiously await Ebenezer Ale, it is my own personal benchmark for what a winter warmer should be.

The appearance is darkish red, and a bit cloudy since it is bottle conditioned, but as a homebrewer I celebrate this (and I hate to think of the fate of those poor yeasties in filtered beer anyway. Hefeweizen is my favorite style, so that gives you an idea). The head is fairly light tan and produces nice, even lacing, but it retreats to the edges of the glass quickly.

The smell is one of my favorite parts: this is what a winter warmer should smell like. Fresh malt aroma with the tiniest hint of aromatic hops, and a delicate spicy note to balance it.

The taste is as close to perfect as I can imagine for this style. It is well balanced, the spices do not dominate, and the hops, while present, are not asserting themselves in any way. Despite the relatively high ABV, there is only a slight trace of alcohol warmth, and it blends very well with the smell.

As for drinkability, it is still pretty strong, so I prefer to sip this one slowly, preferably in a cognac-style glass so my hand warms it as I go. The first cold sip is very nice, but by the last few sips the beer has warmed and the malt really begins to stand out. Of course, this is always best followed by a cold sip from the next bottle!

Overall, it doesn't get much better than this for an Oregon winter warmer.

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Photo of cbarrett4
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ap - This beer looks like a nice bock style; dark brown
Ar - Smells of herbs but with a faint medicinal note
T - Tastes like winter; spice, anise, douglas fir... not the best...
M - Lighter bodied than I would expect (due to the aromas)
D - slightly disjointed

This is a noble attempt at a winter warmer from a great brewery. I am spoiled here in Portland because we have SO many great brewpups who spend an insane amount of time and effort on their winter seasonal brews. So this one fell short. It lacks the balance I typically attribute to Bridgeport brews. I will taste from bottle and reassess soon. =)

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Photo of TheFlern
2.77/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a nice dark amber. Little head that leaves no lacing.

Smell: Very malty with a little alcohol and hoppy notes.

Taste: Malty with alcohol. This balance seems to be the reverse of what it should be. I want more malt!!!

Mouthfeel: weak for a winter warmer. however pretty balanced with the carbonation and alcohol where nothing takes control.

Drinkability: Lots of ABV but little taste to make up for it. Not very good overall.

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Photo of Docer
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing a bottle for the second time as the site lost my last one... and I have another few bottles... so here goes a new review. About a week after my last.

- Not a very dark winter brew... kind of a cola colored bubbly brew with little head, and a little bit of light eggshell lacing... not micro-bubbled like a porter...

- Zingy and zesty scent... little bit of paint thinner... spice, and roasted malt... bah humbug!

- Interesting light spice... some herbs perhaps.. and alt-like style gives way to some caramelized grain.... bubbly and filling... little bit of alcohol...

- Overall a nice feel... not chewy so much as kind of odd and mouth watering.

- Kind of the usual, and average for a winter warmer, but solid as Bridgeport brews usually are... I just think they could transform this into an entirely new brew... around 8%, in a bomber... and make a yearly reserve release of it. Plus this too I guess... lol... but I would buy Pyramids Snow Cap, Widmers Brrr!, and Deschutes Jubelale before this one. A nice offering for a party though. Little too bubbly and filling.

*** EDIT:

I just noticed they spelled (spelt) Flavor : 'Flavour'

To me that is English, and after reading that, and drinking more.. and loving English brews and ESB's... and being mostly English... I noticed this is much like your average spicy ESB.... and tasty for such as that... not bad at all... and kudos

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Winter seasonal poured a dark amber color. Sweet caramel with cherry notes on the nose. The flavor is nutty caramel with cherries in the finish. Smooth feel with ample carbonation. Good brew. Subtle maltiness is reminiscent of English beers. Smooth and warming, perfect for the season. Recommended.

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Photo of Offa
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a reasonably full-bodied, characterful, and warming, ale with a slightly different take on the usual caramel-grain-grapefruit elements. However, it does not quite live up to its promise and must be pretty warm - more or less on the warmer side of celler temperture - to get the full character. When cold, it ends up being bland and one-dimensional. The score I gave is for it when warmer - circa 55 F.

Slightly murky dark brownish amber, it has a small-medium tan head, dense and creamy, shrinking very slowly to a thin foam and leaving some good lace.

The aroma, when properly warm, is fruity, sweet white wine, grapes, hints of pineapple, apple cider, candy and citrus, and caramelly-toasty bread. When too cold, it loses much of this character and is mostly citrusy-alcoholic candy.

The taste, again when adequately warm, has a nice, full character with a little complexity, with nice balance of sweetness and bitternes, citrus, caramel (in fact, caramelised citrus), toasted grain, and fruity-winey spiceiness. The alcohol lends a generally good warming quality. It is smooth, yet zesty, and very easy to drink.

Too cold, though, and this is heavy yet bland and becomes tiresome quickly. It tastes of burnt alcoholic candy, toasted crackers, with vague hints of sweet citrus, ultimately a toasty-caramelly citrusy sweetness with alcoholic bite. When cold, it seems thin despite the heavy character.

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Photo of ThePortlander
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bottle into a pint glass.

A: A very dark brown with medium tan head that leaves a bit of lacing and foam around the rim as it dissipates.

S: I picked up a mix of heavy fruits (dates, plums, etc) and Christmas-style spices and a lighter citrus note.

T: A strong malt is present, with the spicy accents present in the aroma, and a nice, lighter finish to balance this strong beer.

M: Enough carbonation to thin this thick mix of molasses-y goodness to a very drinkable brew.

D: A must when I get together with family over Christmas break. My brother and I always manage to put back a few of these, but note: the buzz builds fast.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle bought from Green's. Poured dark brown with a healthy head that fades to a thin ring and leaves some lacing. Smells of mixed dried fruit, bubblegum and spice. The bubblegum taste starts things off in the mouth as well, then it shifts to pine and spices with a bit of maltlurking in the background. Pleasant, and a bit different for a winter warmer. Slightly tannic in the mouth, could be a bit smoother. Still, I enjoyed this well enough, and it had been years since I had had one.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) Dark brown glass holds a light tan head that leaves heavy lace in its wake.

S) Mild spices that are in the Christmas family, leafy hop and earthy pine.

T) Roasted malt base is firm and balanced with a pine sap spice and mild hop flavor.

M) Medium body, medium light carbonation that helped drinkability.

D) A malty sweet pine spiced beer that comes across and very seasonal and enjoyable.

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Photo of Colt4540
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- A deep golden brown. Has a nice two finger head the drops to a one finger and stays until it's gone. It leaves very nice lacing.

S- Real nice hoppiness, with slight malt aromas. Some winter spice that is typical with all winter warmers.

T- At first it's pretty bitter but finishes more mellow. It is pretty malty and creamy on the after taste, the actual flavor is hard to put a finger on. But overall it's pretty good.

M- It's very smooth for the bitterness at the begining. Feels alot like English Ales'. It has almost a frothy feeling maybe?

D- It's a fairly easy beer to drink. I really enjoy it and I could drink quite a few of these.

Overall a very nice beer and I'm glad that I came upon it. It will be a beer that I look foward to drinking every winter.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep ruby-garnet ... almost to the point of opacity. This beer is dark, alluring, and mesmerizing. The thick creamy three finger head shows outstanding retention, and leaves a shitload of really nice creamy arcs of lace around the glass. This is one of the contenders for best head retention out there. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes later, that head is still standing strong, and tons of lace starts to crust and dry all over the glass.

S - Fruitcake, almonds, and hops. Candied orange wedges (the gooey kind that are crusted with sugar), maraschino cherries in their syrupy sauce, dark chocolate covered cherries, sweet citrus hops, and a "whisper of cinnamon" (to quote Niles Crane). A deep brown sugar and butter on a hot mashed sweet potato is there in shocking authenticity.

T - Much like the nose, there is much brown-sugar and cinnamon here, but it plays second fiddle to a hop profile that we who are not fortunate enough to live on the west coast would attribute to an IPA. Some sweet fruity molasses notes do provide their share of malt, but the label blurb lead me to believe that this would be a malt bomb... and boy was I wrong! If anything, this is more related to Schlafly's Christmas ale or SN Celebration than a British malt bomb as the Ebenezer character would lead to to believe. Good stuff for sure, but a little less hoppage would be more appropriate here.

M - Medium in body, aggressively carbonated, and hoppy as hell. A bit foamy in the mouth, this finishes flabby and bitter with hops.

D - From this review, one might thin, that I don't love hops. Well, I do love hops. In fact several of my all time favorite brews are DIPA's and IPA's. It's just that, well, sometimes hops just aren't called for. This brew has some nice and complex fruitcake, cherry, and cinnamon notes going for it, but the hops come in and decimate any delicate wintery flavors that I noticed in the nose. I love having my palate destroyed with hop power, but not when I'm trying to concentrate on the wonderful, but more delicate notes that can't stand up to the almighty hop. All in all, this is a fine brew... i just think it could have been slightly better. A near miss of top tier beer IMO

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Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. A deep brown color, slightly lighter than most of the style. Poured with a thick head of nice tight bubbles. Head was a pale tan color with minimal lacing. Welcoming aroma with spice and caramel notes. The flavors matches the aroma very well, with a smooth caramel flavor on the back of the tongue. Body was thinner than usual for the style. Very smooth and drinkable, a 4-5 pint session would happen before you realized it. A very good example of the style, if you see it, get it.

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Photo of GimmeAles
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer sits a turbid orange-tinged, mahogany underneath a slim, beige cap of foam. Retreats to a healthy white crown around the glass.

Nose when cold is of tannic grain husk and faint fruity esters. Pungent (hops?) and toasty malt notes emerge as it warms. A creamy, sturdy body brings layers of dark fruit, pear skins, toffee and a pleasant earthy nuttiness. Faint hop bitterness and hint of butterscotch in the finish.

A nice medium body makes for an enjoyable if not jaw-dropping winter warmer. I enjoy a taste or two every winter.

 539 characters

Photo of froghop
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a semi-clear dark copper with a ruby tint, small light beige head, some lacing.

smell is of spice, sour malts, roasted walnuts, some caramel, and pepper.

taste is thick, creamy, sour malts, roasted nuts, cinnamon, spice, caramel, a touch of bakers chocolate way in the back, and some hops, leaves the mouth on the sticky side and a little bitter.

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Photo of Spikester
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark hazy amber with a one finger head, fair lacings,
Aroma is caramel.
Taste is dark malts with a good amount of earthy leathery hops. Some ginger and pepper.
Mouthfeel is good for the style.
Drinkability is good in spite of the 6.4%abv. Better than average winter warmer.

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Photo of hopdog
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a deeper and muddy amber color with a huge sized off white head. Aromas of toasted malts, caramel, and a little breadiness. Tastes of the same toasted bread and caramel. Some toffee and lightly spicy as well.

Notes from: 03/12/08.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, bright medium-copper color. Poured a 2 finger light tan head with fair retention. Ample lacing.

S: Roasted caramel malt. Some dark fruit. Warming alcohol.

T: Consistent with the smell. Roasted malt, nuts and raisins. Spicey hops balance well with malts.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Dry finish; spicy with a decent bitterness.

D: Very nice balance makes it very drinkable. No of the flavors and smells are overdone - its all just right.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. I really like this beer, makes me even want to visit the 'remodeled' disaster that is the Bridgeport Pub to have it on cask.

Dark amber pretty brew, with a white head. Smells great, lots of malt and toffee. Christmas/holiday flavors of spice, cinnamon and some nice hops with the piney hops.

Drinks down easily, which makes for a nice addition to the winter beer arsenal.

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Photo of tbeck
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, little clarity with a thick two finger light brown head. Aroma is pleasant, some malt but a light hint of hops. Smell is very crisp and pleasant. Taste is hoppy with malty sweetness, good balance between the two. Slight hints of alcohol, not a light of spiciness, suprising for a seasonal brew. Good texture with a light body. Good beer to try, but not a session beer. A little heavy and sweet for multiple units. Taste is average, nothing exciting.

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Photo of Japerrault
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber, with a white head.

S: Caramel, apple, spruce

T: Good balance, Caramel sweetness upfront with spruce and spicey character showing up later to bring an appropriate bitterness to the mix. Aftertaste of biscuit and slight hops.

M: Nice feel, a good solid beer. Not watery or thin.

D: This is a beer with big flavor, but still it is smooth and drinks rather easily. I recommend this one.

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Photo of blackjack000
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark apricot with fiery spots where the light comes through. A caramel fizzy head.

Smell: Apricot again. Not the smell I was expecting from this type. Citrus fruitiness and warm brown sugar underneath. Some warm biscuit.

Taste & Mouthfeel: I like this. The citrus flavor of the hops sits on top of the sweet maltiness beautifully. A tad more spice and this winter warmer would be right on. A smooth mouthfeel compliments the ale well, with enough fizzle from the carbonation to highlight the citrus tones.

Drinkability: Very nice. A well rounded ale. I would have preferred more spice to make it more memorable, but I could definitely enjoy a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a rich amber accented with orange and crimson. A lively light caramel head fills the remainder of the pint, growing to two-plus fingers before receding slowly, leaving behind a nice bet of sticky webbing down the glass. A touch of particulate dances through the glass, creating a bit of haze.

Neutral and appealing winter warmer nose, with hints of caramel, apples, raisin, and some pine and juniper notes. A bit of pepper and vanilla hiding in there, almost creme brulee (the dessert, not the beer). Nothing outstanding, but pretty nice aroma.

Taste is a bit more powerful than the aroma. Sweet caramel up front, with traces of grain malt coming through, but definitely more caramel candy than caramel malt. Apples, pears and apricots blend with pine hops and citrus to combat the sweetness. Spicy clove, pepper and vanilla bean notes come through as well. Spicy but not overly spiced.

Mouthfeel is good, clean carbonation, a bit lively... almost prickly. Smooth and creamy with a richness on the tongue. Pine hop bitter definitely sticks around, as does the caramel sweetness. Nothing outstanding, but definitely pleasurable.

This is one of my usual favorite winter warmers, not quite amazing, but pretty solid. Spiced without being overly winter-warmer-spiced. Sweet without being cloyingly sugary, piney without being PNW IPA bitter. A nice solid blend of malt, sweet, fruit, and spice. Definitely worth seeking out.

 1,431 characters

Photo of Goliath
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a murky brown/dark amber color with an inch and a half light tan head. Good retention on the head, and it receeds leaving some spotty lace behind.

No the nose I'm really enjoying. A bit of a piney hop presence, with a good dose of fruit (cherry and apple). Also, a nice dose of spice is in there.

The taste is not good. Some of that fruit presence translate, giving me a small dose of cherry, as well as a bit of spice. A bit of malt, kind of hay like. The problem is a huge booziness, and a horrible overwhelming phenolic character. They mesh to give it a real big rubbing alcohol effect, and it's absolutely obnoxious.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with loads of carbonation.

Drinkability is very low. This beer started out looking and smelling great and I thought I was going to have a nice warmer on my hands. At first sip it all went devestatingly wrong. There's no way I could drink more than one of these, I don't even think I'll be finishing this one, the phenolic/booze character is too much for me. Sad, I had high hopes for this one actually.

 1,069 characters

Photo of colts9016
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very big head with a deep velvety reddish brown hues. The head had some retention.
Nose: A healthy roasted caramelize malty aroma, hints of hops, chocolate, some kind of fruit, and a bit nutty.
Taste: Roasted malt with caramel nutty fruity and hoppy. It is very full body beer with a nice balance of hops and malt.
Overall: This was a very nice winter warmer with a flavor that last on the palate. Enjoyed this beer very much.

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Ebenezer Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 445 ratings
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