Nightcap Winter Ale | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

33 Ratings
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Nightcap Winter AleNightcap Winter Ale

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBUs: 40
ABV: 7.2%
Color: Medium to dark brown
OG: 17.2

Added by djbreezy on 11-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of ebrauser
4.69/5  rDev +34%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber to a pint glass

Appearance: Deep ruby hue with a very thin head, especially coming from a relatively warm (~55ºF) bottle

Aroma: Spicy licorice, orange, and pine fill the nostrils along with the pungent oakiness from the bourbon barrels.

Flavor: A particularly complex and flavorful beer, the taste is woody, fruity, with hints of smokiness. Hopping is extremely slight and can only be detected around the edges. The bourbon steals the show, standing out as 'that new flavor you don't taste very often.' It is accompanied with a mild sting of alcohol and cherries but without the abrasiveness of high carbonation. A great beer that could be drunk early and often.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, though a little greasy and coating at the finish.

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Photo of notsoprobeer
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is reddish brown with a tan head that lasted for most of the drink. No lacing. Aroma and flavor are similar to Ebeneezer (mainly caramel malts) but with the addition of bourbon and oak. Not a lot of hop flavors going on here. Light to medium bodied, nice carbonation level, with a touch of bitterness in the finish.

I liked Ebenezer, and Nightcap adds a nice twist to it by integrating subtle bourbon and oak flavors. I wish BridgePort had used a higher percentage of the barrel aged beer in the blend. This is a limited release, so if you want some, you better pick up a bottle (or two) soon!

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful pour into a 16 ounce pint. Crimson and translucent body topped by more than two inches of pale tan head. Head is very sticky as it slowly tapers back leaving a merange-like surface.

S - Vanilla, citrusy hops, slightly yeasty, a bit of alcohol, and a base of oak.

T - Mild bitterness in the hops. Subtle sour taste in the finish. There's a bit of oak and pungent plum flavors evident here as well. There too is a yeast flavor in the middle imediately followed by the taste of alcohol which goes as just as quickly as it had revealed itself.

M - Watery feel with a slight coarse accent in the finish.

~ This is a good beer. It goes down well. I have to say t his one may be a bit better if I had let it age for a bit. If the yeast aromas and flavors had a chance to fade I think the brew could be an A.

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Photo of Offa
3.87/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark red, big pale tan head slowly shrinks to foamy ring and no real lace.

Aroma is aromatic dark toast, tea, prunes, hints of Dr.Pepper and meat. Overall, it’s very nice.

Taste is fermented fruits, woody bitterness and pepper, light wine quality, dryish finish and a light spicy element. It’s very good, with a tiny bit of complexity, but not really great.

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Photo of Briken
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sligtly hazy dark red amber with medium foamy head with good retention and no lacing. Light peaty and floral aroma. Balanced earthy peat with lightly herbal bite and nice vanilla/oak semi-dry finish. Medium even carbonation and slightly dry finish.

Seemingly a variation of a scotch ale or wee heavy, this winter warmer has a little something extra with 1/3 aged in bourbon oak barrels. Nothing too bold here just good subtle yet pleasing flavors and easy drinking. I can't decide whether Bridgeport is being cheap or timid by blending aged ale with non-aged or genius for creating accessible subtle , good flavored beers at decent prices ;)

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Photo of ccrida
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my Delirium snifter, Nightcap is brownish garnet with a nice sized off-white head with decent lace, leaving nice lace.

Smell is pleasant, aromatic but not heavy-handed, a really nice coconut flavor from the wood.

Taste is similar, there's a bit more then depth your average winter warmer thanks to the barrel character. The malt is on the thin side though, it's pretty generic otherwise - I'm surprised it clocks in at 7.2, as it seems lighter.

Mouthfeel is drier, some nice carbonation, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, it's a smooth winter warmer that drinks pretty light, which in combination with the typically good pricing Bridgeport offers makes it an easy one to suck back.

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Photo of birdypowder
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A balanced and very drinkable "big brew" winter ale. Wait is that possible...? As usual, Bridgeport serves up a balanced, tasty brew with high marks for drinkability. Cheers! Unfortunately, for a "winter warmer" and one that is partially aged in Makers Mark barrels, inspiring is not on the agenda for this Nightcap.

Looks good with deep ruby edges encasing a mysterious dark brown center. Light tan head caps this winter warmer though it doesn't stay around for long. However, lacing is respectable.

Malty, dark fruits, raisins, some coconut and a light hot chocolate cocoa smell...all slightly ruined by a whiff of DMS. Where is the whiskey hit?

Enjoyable malt profile hits you with that same dark fruity malty presence. Balanced. Hints of wood. Malty sweet finish, fades to an almost watery ending, slightly papery.

A little light for a "big brew" but enjoyable none the less.

Yes. But I would gladly sacrifice a bit of this drinkability for a bit more complexity and intrigue.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at the BridgePort pub.

appearance - dark red/amber, low head and retention, minor lacing

smell - sweet aromatic malts and barrel

taste - sweet malts and bourbon notes throughout, oak and wood flavors imparted mildly in the barrel (could have been aged longer in the barrels...feels young)

mouthfeel - low/medium carbonation, smooth, full body, oily

drinkability - flavorful, medium complexity, a nice winter brew

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Photo of Caleb
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Spikester
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber , almost brown. One finger of cream color head. Modest lacing. Aroma is malty with a touch of wood. Taste is some sweet malts, with a touch of the alcohol from the barrel aging. Mild cherry, prune juice. Maybe this batch was aged in a wine barrel by mistake. Mouthfeel is alright with slightly less carbonation than I would like. Drinkability is just average in my opinion. Slightly dry mildly bitter finish. Overall a bit too sweet and cloying for my taste. Another handful of hops would have lifted this brew to another level. Worth a try if you don't mind beers on the sweet side of the spectrum.

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Photo of Kakaraht
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color with Two fingers of white head and good retention.

S: Pale oak and sweet caramel malt, sweet apricot and raisin notes.

T: Kinda taste like a copper/red ale more hop notes than I would have expected there is no oak in the flavor but the malts are sweet and smooth.

M: Medium body with nice carbonation and a good smoothness to it.

D: Not up to its name but still a reasonably good drink.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is a pretty ruby color with amber highlights, topped by a good flourish of creamy tan head that takes a few minutes to settle down. Aroma of biscuity English malt, a touch of holiday spice (allspice?), and a slight metallic quality.
Palate is malt-forward, a mild, biscuity malt that is telltale Bridgeport. The house yeast also contributes the usual sweet character, a mild fruitiness that is pleasant and unobtrusive. Allspice and a touch of clove are detectable, but are not really front and center. Although the bottle indicates that a third of this beer has been aged in bourbon barrels, I find almost no evidence of that save for a mild boozy character on the finish.
Body is clean and gently carbonated, again, classic Bridgeport. This is nicely drinkable, but it's difficult to tell that it is either barrel aged or a winter warmer.

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Photo of Docer
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Snagged a bottle to try... "I live... in a world... of Winter Ales!"

- Pours a semi-cloudy copper caramel.. almost a mincemeat warm color... fluffy white head really... leaves a nice thin layer on top and a rather medium sized ring.

- Woody, earthy, grassy, spicy... malty... bitter hoppy... all mixed together in a smooth smelling concoction.. certainly a bright bitter hoppy spiced ale..

- Smooth light caramel backing, spicy winter alt up front, light herbs, earthy spice and grassy character.. not too much bourbon or oak really... kind of leaves me wanting more %-age barrel aged.

- Medium bodied, drying, chewy... well carbonated...

- Quite easy to drink, smooth... balanced, maybe only a touch too grassy and earthy... but not enough barrel.. and in a world of winter ales which all seem to be the same, and boring.. this one is only floating around the upper portions of the mix like oil in water.

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Photo of jdense
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle from local grocery store shared at neighborhood beer buddy's house, 2.3.11.

Tan head one finger fairly quick dissipation some lacing over dark brown clear body, small trails of rising carbonation around edge of glass. Very malt dominated nose, caramel, some brown sugar, a faint bit of milk chocolate, not much hop aroma, perhaps a wee bit of floral notes. Taste mirrors nose, very malty, little bitterness on back end. Mouthfeel is medium good effervescence. Drinkability is pretty good, alcohol well hidden. While this isn't the most memorable Winter Warmer I've had, it's a nicely crafted, traditional malt forward interpretation that I wouldn't be afraid to try again.

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Photo of loren01
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby color, very nice 2 finger width head great lacing down the glass
S: Spicy/earthy and woody scents
T: Slightly sweet caramelly up front. Wood is more pronounced than I had though it would be from the scent.
M: Medium to full bodied, thick and sticky going down
D: This is a pretty solid beer, one I had not seen from Bridgeport previously, glad I picked it up.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I bought a bomber of nightcap in a grocery store. $5.79. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a nut brown color and is clear, with a hint of chill haze. Creamy off-white head.

Smell is a caramel and malted grain aroma.

Taste is a malty caramel and bourbon flavor, with some citrus and dry spice notes, and a mild bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly clean.

A drinkable winter ale, but not a great value at this price point.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a kind of cool looking bomber into a mug.

A Pours a cola brown with a 2 finger off white head that sticks around and leaves lacing.

S First I get a bit of bourbon, then some malty notes and a bit of dark fruits. However the nose is kind of faint.

T The taste is pretty malty with some caramel notes along with smooth bourbon, and just a faint hint of hop bitterness.

M very smooth creamy beer. Drinks well

Overall this is a pretty good beer, that is enjoyable to drink. There is enough bourbon to keep it interesting but not overpower. A very good beer I hope Bridgeport brings back next winter.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at GRG1313’s tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is malt, caramel, toffee, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with a caramel flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: ruddy brown, slightly hazy, huge layer of tan fine-beaded foam, good head retention

Aroma: cocoa powder, almond extract, bourbon, malt

Flavor: malty sweetness upfront with notes of malt whiskey, vanilla, and a hint of coffee and roast beef in the finish

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, warming in the throat

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

another bomber sent to me in the latest with james

a-deep dark brownish mahogany color..two finger off white head...lots of bubbles

s-muted malts...light dry wood...some raisins...and sweetness

t-much of the same..slightly sweet malts up front..some granny smith apples follow??..some very slight hop bitterness...dry tannins from the wood.

m-light and very very dry and woody feeling...carbonation holds its own...

d-will have no problem getting through the bomber....not sure if time would lend a helping hand with the barrel aging or not...

ive enjoyed all the bridgeport offerings ive had so far...this is no different just not 100% sure what they were trying to achieve with this one..

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up today at the COOP... ~1" foamy white head really doesn't stick around too long but leaves okay sheets of lace... clear deep walnut.

The aromas are pretty mild for a winter warmer.... bits of toasty malt... lite cocoa... and something resembling oak... no real hops to speak of.

Flavor is more rich than expected.... plenty of nutty malt character combines with a bit of vanilla and caramel.

Body is respectable with a good carbonation.

Only okay.... but glad to see Bridgeport continuing to change their big bottle lineup.


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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taken from tasting notes on 2.14.11

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep amber in color with lighter edges. Thich creamy head with good lacing and retention.

S- Smell is faint, slightly sweet and bourbon.

T - Very malty and bitter, finishes with a bourbon wave.

D - Bitter but good carbonation.

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Photo of 100floods
3.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a dark wood brown with a tan head. Gentle, but very present notes of pine, juniper, caramel malt. A few different things going on, but nothing too hard to find. Burnt, slightly sweet malt. There's a strong, earth flavored hop finish, a little too earthy. It almost feels like tree bark Nice, light-medium body, with a good dose of carbonation. Notes of cola/caramel flavored malt. The sheer earthiness of the hops and the burnt malt flavors are what made this beer not so good. I kept on thinking that this beer was spiced. The bottle I have says that it's 33% aged in oak bourbon barrels, and I taste 0% of the bourbon. Perhaps some of the wood from the barrels got into the beer. In that case some of the flavors would make more sense, but it doesn't.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark reddish amber with a thick head leaving mild lace. Smell of sweet malts, spice with some earth mixed in. Taste has a note of bourbon barrel, sweet malts, spice and rounding off with the hops. mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A good brew, but not as big as i would like for a winter ale.

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Photo of DucksFan16
3.29/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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Nightcap Winter Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.5 out of 5 based on 33 ratings.
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