Hazelnut Winter Fest Ale | Minhas Craft Brewery

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Hazelnut Winter Fest AleHazelnut Winter Fest Ale

Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 12-08-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 36
Reviews by OatherS:
Photo of OatherS
2.55/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Normal Berghoff label design but with light blue ascents and a snowflake in the middle.

A: No head, amber color.

S: Destinctive nut odor.

T: not all that good, the hazelnut flavor is present but not all that good of a mix with beer.

M: Flat.

D: Luckily part of a mix a six.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.99/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep copper color with hints of red and a small head that doesn't stick around too long. Whoa...holy toasted hazelnuts... incredibly nutty aromas float off the top of this one. It's hard to pick out anything else..but there's some caramel and a bit of fruitiness as well. Unique.

First sip brings the hazelnut full force...it rolls over the tongue along with some caramel sweetness and a nice bitterness on the back of the palate. Slight hints of citrus as well. Quite tasty, but the hazelnut is a bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth with small bubbly carbonation. I'd probably only be able to have a couple in one sitting...but it's an interesting take on a winter warmer and I will applaud that!

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle courtesy of AKSmokedPorter.

Lighter-colored than expected. Like iced tea with some orang food coloring added. Only a small ring of tan-colored lace at the edges. No lacing.

Prominent hazelnut odors. Maybe some phenolic esters. Flavors mostly a nutty-sweet mix. There's an unpleasant "raw alcohol" flavor as well. Not sure what this is, but it really detracted from the flavor. Prickly dry finish. Some nutty aftertaste. Decent mouthfeel, maybe too carbonated? Average dinkability. Even in the dead of winter, I'm not sure how eager I'd be for this "winter" warmer. Maybe an early fall/late summer warmer?

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Photo of ADR
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very clear darker brown/orange color, struggles to produce a thin 1/4 inch head that doesn't lace except in single rings. Smell is dominated by too assertive a sweetened nut sense, like the extracts used in boutique coffees. Malt is of a toasty impression with plenty of hazelnut, some allspice, some ester, but then the flavor falls into a strange astringency, almost like the skins of peanuts (perhaps a late hop assertion as well?). A little thin in mouthfeel. OK (average), not much of a holiday brew, however...

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Photo of brewQ
3.87/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Something different from Monroe, Wisconsin.

The color of whiskey with a light silky tan head.
Interesting aroma with grain, malt and a metallic nuttiness from some sort of extract flavor?

The flavor is off beat and earthy and the nuttiness lingers a bit.
This is a good stretch for Berghoff and not offensive to me. While It's a nice change I can't see this as a regular beer. (The price at less than $ 5 a six pack is compelling though).

Worth a sample.

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Photo of cokes
3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep Golden-amber bodied with a well-retained off-white head.
Nutty aroma (hmm...maybe hazelnut?) and some of the trademark Berghoff fruity sweetness. Impressions of banana and bubble gum. It works ok here, as it stays somewhat subdued buried under some toasted grain.
Taste is heavy on the hazelnut extract. But never reaches an obtrusive level. Not very natural tasting, but decent nonetheless. Toasted white bread underbelly. Odd fruity hints as mentioned above. Sour towards the finish. Strange. Touch of leafy hops at finale.
Fairly light bodied. Pansy for a winter brew. Uninspired mouth.
Still decent, and one of my favorite Huber/Berghoff brews. This can be had cheap as well, and is interesting enough for a small investment.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.52/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Steve's Liquor on a clearance shelf at the bottom of the cooler for $0.99. Maybe a little past its prime, but should be fine I think.

Pours a fiery amber with a snow white head that fizzes away quickly. Aroma is warm an inviting, like a fresh out of the oven sticky bun with hazelnuts with a bitter kick at the end. Taste starts out with this same nutty sweetness but transitions unfortunately into an astringent bitter flavor remeniscent of their original lager. It's a shame cuz that first second of flavor is pretty damn tasty, this could be a pretty damn good winter warmer if it had a more solid base to it. Mouthfeel is average, bubbly and medium bodied. If it wasn't for the nosedive the flavor takes, this would be a real drinker too, but as it stands, one will do. I'd like to see some refinement here as this stuff has potential.

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Photo of swamiswamu
3.15/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Berghoff's in Chicago

One of the more one dimentional beers I've ever had. That being said, it was pretty tasty. Hazelnuts dominate to the point that it was almost like having a hazelenut flavored italian soda. Kinda thin, but more drinkable than most winter warmers. This is not worth seeking out, but not a bad beer to have on a Saturday afternoon.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.13/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft at the Berghoff. Normally, I don't like nut flavors in anything; coffee, even brownies. Don't know why. But this beer is quite all right. A nice coppery color under a thin head. A hazelnut/marzipan smell is definietly present. The nutty taste acts to complement a mild hop profile and a nice toasty caramel malt taste that leaves a sticky moustache behind. A note of cherry(?) toward the end. I'd think this should go in the listing as a fruit or spice beer. Either way, the Berghoff in the Loop sells drafts for $3.25, a great bargain for any big city's overpriced downtown.

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Photo of bditty187
2.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, goldish-amber hue, looks awfully ordinary, served with a skimpy off-white head, a fraction of a finger in height, fades quickly to a soapy collar. No lace was produced as I imbibed. In order to smell any aromas on this beer I had to work far too hard; then the only thing noticeable was a slight hint of hazelnut extract. Yawn. The palate is tolerable; there is a pleasant sharp hazelnut flavor with a hint of hops in the middle and, well, in the finish too because there is not much else going on with this beer. The malt profile is negligible and naked. More maltiness would really be beneficial. Rogue Hazelnut is this not. Medium in body, mildly creamy on the tongue, which is not a positive, a tickle thin as well, boring carbonation. I wouldn’t be adverse to a free sample in the future but I surely won’t pay for another one. Not a winter warmer. Not much of anything really. Skip it for no other reason that it might kill you – from boredom.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.02/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light amber hue, very carbonated up front, a thin and rapidly evaporating head. Has a unique aroma of roasted chestnuts, perhaps some sweet hazelnuts. Up front, a slap of sweet hazelnut flavoring, a bit overpowering. Toasted malts, although reserved are noticeable. Decent amound of cloying. Between medium bodied and almost heavy to an extent. Fails to develop any sort of character. Somewhat creamy, yet overpowering on the hazelnut; not one that is palatable; nor is it highly drinkable. As for most of the line of J. Hubers, this too is borderline average.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.36/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Red brown with a sudsy head. Clear. Head lingers for most of the beer and leaves some lacing. All-in-all pretty good.

Smell - Woo! Strong hazelnut scent overpowers everything else. Not unpleasant in my opinion, but this is a beer not a Yankee candle.

Taste - Hazelnut is still prominent but not as overpowering as the scent may have lead one to believe. Mostly sweet malt with just a hint of lemony aftertaste. Kinda watery. Could be much better.

Mouthfeel - A bit on the watery side.

Drinkability - I actually like this. It suffers in the ratings, though, because it really overdoes the hazelnut. Instead of finding a subtle additional flavor, the drinker is instantly overwhelmed by the featured ingredient. Makes the beer a one note song. But it doesn't taste bad if you like hazelnuts.

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Photo of blackie
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: When I am handed the beer by the barkeep, the beer has a one finger white head that recedes to a low smattering of bubbles on the surface. The beer is a medium amber/light copper color.

smell: On the nose I get some moderate caramel sweetness and some lightly toasted grains. The hop aroma is light. There is also a slight skunky aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is just under medium. The body is a heavier light with a slight slickness after the swallow.

taste: First up I find some moderately sweet caramel flavors. A slight metallic note is noticed. Hops are kept low, and have a spicy character to them. The beer is somewhat watery, and again there is a slight skunkiness. The finish is of a lingering bitterness and some light sweetness.

drinkability: Very drinkable, but average in character, especially for the style.

I had this beer at the Berghoff Cafe in O'Hare terminal C while on a layover to Madison.

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Photo of Brent
3.58/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this among a bunch of singles, and later thought to myself "why did I buy this?" - no "best-by" date on the bottle, but a winter seasonal purchased in Sept. - don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out this beer has been languishing on the shelf for quite a while - probably taste like a carboard box. Which explains why it continued to languish in the fridge for another month until I decided to get it over with.

To my surprise, the beer had weathered time with no ill effects. Basically a brown ale with hazelnut flavors. Not overpowering, but prominent enough to be a substantial flavor component. Overall, the nut flavor was well integrated and pleasant. Not a stellar winter brew, and not of the class of Rogue's, but a nice enough beer.

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Photo of Jimboe
2.25/5  rDev -28.8%

Photo of RBorsato
1.7/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On tap 01/17/06 at the Berghoff Cafe in O'Hare Airport in Chicago, IL.

Copper hued with little to no head, strange light carbonation, and no head. Sweet malty aroma and flavor with the hazelnut standing out way too much. Not subtle at all. Light-medium bodied, flat, and watery.

Blah ! Pass ! Too much Hazelnut character; one-dimensional.

Per JH website:
Availability: November – February
Malts: Brewer’s Two-Row, Carapils and Caramel Malts
Hops: Galena
ABV: 5.6%
OG: 13.7
IBU: 20

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Photo of BlackAngus
3.92/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark golden or a light amber, nice white head that stayed.

Smell is HAZELNUTS ALL THE WAY!!! This doesn't smell like beer at all...it smells like hazelnut creamer.

Sweet flavor, very little bitterness, hazelnut flavor dominates and is almost the only thing I can taste. No malt flavor, oddly enough, in a winter warmer. One dimensional.

Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected. Medium bodied. Clean finish.

Very drinkable. I can totally see this being consumed in the coldest depths of winter, at cellar temps. However, I have a hard time seeing it as a winter warmer, it's almost more of a flavored pale ale.

I gave it higher taste and smell ratings than some might because I really like hazelnuts. If you're not a BIG fan of hazelnuts, keep away from this, because that's all it tastes like. That's a good thing for me, but for some, it might be WAY too much.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
2.06/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Into a pint glass, at a Famous Daves, pours an amber/copper with minimal head, shrinking to nothing, with big carbonated bubbles sticking to side of glass. Aroma is definitely nutty, kind of hazelnut-like I suppose, weak but also malts. Taste has more of the hazelnut characteristic, not really overpowering, but not really appealing. Some sweet malt in there too, a decent body, though a little thin. So, ya, never having this again. Had to walk away from it, which is rare for me.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.92/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - very nice amber, excellent clarity. Soda pop head leaves behind a white crown after a short life.

Aroma - toasty malt and nutty notes. Once it settles down, hazelnut aromas become more pronounced and easy to pick up.

Taste - toasty malts, toasty hazelnut flavor. Hazelnut coffee is a favorite of mine, it works well with beer too, provided you're a fan. Different, but tasty. If you like hazelnut, you will enjoy this I think. No hops until the aftertaste, just a little bite.

Mouthfeel - average weight, good carbonation, all around good feeling that complements the taste but nothing extraordinary.

Drinkability - Personally I could make a session out of these, but can also understand where others wouldn't even care for one bottle. I enjoyed it enough to want to buy more next season.

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Photo of Redrover
3.92/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an excelent 2 inch head that eventually does settle down. The color is somwhere between ruby & brown. The first thing you notice when you smell the beer is the hazelnut. It is not overpowering, but it lets you know that this beer contains something differnt!

The taste is great. The hazelnut does not dominate, but compliments the ale characteristics . The mouth feel is a little thin. Malts seem to be the dominate the taste profile. This beer also contians a slight ester smell that all Berghoffs seem to have in common.

This is an enjoyable seasonal beer. I find that even macro drinkers like this. Try this if you can find it, I'm not aware of any other hazelnuts out there.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.07/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Certainly worth a try, but far from becomming a quality brew. Moderate malt character contributes sweetness and body beyond a amber colored brew that fails to hold onto a lightly fizzy / lightly rocky head retention. An obvious nutty character, but undecernable of specific hazlenut. Light caramel flavor and a little butter-toast like. Body lacks the texture and roundness to mask a persistant grain flavor and husk astringency. Hopped only for the offset of sweetness, but contributing no real hop flavor. Finishes lightly sweet, nutty, and with a residual bitterness. All in all, it's fair, but I won't seek it out.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.4/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a tulip it had a simple thin head that fizzed away quickly, sparing ring lacing. Filtered, yellow to copper. Lazy, large carbonation.

Has some woody, earthy characteristics to it. I don't get a "distinct" hazelnut smell or taste but it does come across with some nuttyness. The macro corn, grainy smell and taste lay claim to the middle. A candied presence creeps out as the beer warms a bit, alcohol seems very evident for such an average ABV%. Some lighter side fruitiness becomes apparent later as well.

Notes: Eh...not for me really. I can see how some folks could get into this as it was interesting at least, just didn't strike the right cords with me.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
2.74/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Berghoff Hazlenut Winter Ale pours out a clear copper color topped with an inch of white foam. Some hazlenut in the aroma, but there is also an overpowering sweet smell that makes me cringe a bit. Cloyingly sweet flavor with a strange, artificial hazlenut taste. A little bit malty. No hop flavor. The syrupy sweet flavor makes this beer difficult to drink. Some banana flavor too. Mouthfeel is thin. I won't be trying this one again.

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Photo of EPseja
3.42/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tasting glass (tulip) at fridge temperature.

A - Lovely burnished copper color. Head starts nicely, but quickly dimishes to a weak lace atop the beer.

S - Obvious hazelnut along with dark fruits and a smattering of gentle wintertime spices.

T - Medium caramel maltiness with a hint of natural hazelnut flavor (as opposed to a refined extract). A little alcoholic, metallic bite in the middle to the finish.

M - Watery and slick. Slightly sharp carbonation that wanes as the beer is consumed. Nothing of note.

D - The light and pleasant hazelnut flavor is this beer's saving grace. Decent as a one-off, but definitely not a session beer. Not bad, but not terribly great.

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Photo of clvand0
3.08/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a small head that's gone fast and doesn't leave much on the sides of the glass. The aroma has a little bit of fruit and an obvious nutty character. The flavor is almost a little too sweet and it has a metallic taste in addition to the nuttiness and the caramel malts. This beer is ok, but it's pretty thin and it could use more flavor and some punch.

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Hazelnut Winter Fest Ale from Minhas Craft Brewery
3.16 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
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