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Hazelnut Winter Fest Ale | Minhas Craft Brewery

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Hazelnut Winter Fest AleHazelnut Winter Fest Ale
36 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +26.2%

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.99/5  rDev +25.9%
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 BlackAngus
3.92/5  rDev +23.7%
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 brewdlyhooked13
3.92/5  rDev +23.7%
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 +23.7%
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 brewQ
3.87/5  rDev +22.1%
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 Brent
3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
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 tavernjef
3.53/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber, slow steady carbonation, small cap of dull white froth; lace sticks in large moth-holed sheeting.

Aroma is of extract hazelnut of course, a bit sweet and vanilla-ish too.

Flavors seemingly touch some tasty surfaces of hazelnut toastyness with an extract-like sweetness, buttery bread tones stitch some of the toastyness together while the higher sweet tones keep a portion of it going til the end. Simple in flavor and length, not much more then anything I'd throw in my coffee really. Its not overly sweet but does ensue a bit of emptyness and doesn't help that you can really tell its extract.

Feel is shy of medium with a light creamy body and softer carbonation and has a few empty areas to it.

Possibly a crossover beer to be used from New Castle to Rogue's Hazelnut? I might just prefer this over a good portion of brown ales out there. Hard to say as browns aren't to my liking usually as they are just to boring most of the time. This ones close so more then one may cause you to search for or open something better.

Another thanks to jeffboo for this one.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.52/5  rDev +11%
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.

 864 characters

Photo of uwmgdman
3.46/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The winter seasonal, yes it’s September, but this beer was purchased in mid spring on clearance as part of a 6 pack and was cellared all summer. This Winter Ale pours a very deep golden color with hints of copper. A thin white head floats atop the beer diminishing to a thin skim. The aroma of this beer is dominated by malt, a very nutty malt aroma, quite unique; unique good and unique bad. The taste of this beer has a moderate-high malty sweetness to it with the background of hazelnuts. The bottle says a hint of hazelnut flavor, but I would argue it’s quite prominent. The sweetness is balanced by a low hop bitterness and exhibits little, if any hop flavor. The beer is moderately carbonated and medium-bodied, overall it is quite smooth. Overall I enjoyed this beer; I had the other 5 probably in April but this one was stashed in the back of the fridge and I’m just reviewing now. I enjoy the taste of the beer, although the hazelnut aspect could be a bit more subdued or maybe a bit more hop bitterness and/or hop flavor would have helped. The aroma as I said is unique, I think I dislike the aroma more than I like it, however the beer tastes better than it smells. I will buy another 6er or two this winter, especially if the price is right.

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Photo of cokes
3.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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 jimdkc
3.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a new label this year and seems to have lost the word "Fest" from its name. Pours a clear, golden amber color. Minimal head which quickly fades to a thin foam coating on top. Nose is grainy with some hazelnut. Taste was initially sweet with some toasted grain flavor and nuttiness. I'm not a huge hazelnut fan, but this was nice. Minimal hop flavor. Not really robust enough of a beer to be a Winter Warmer. Not a bad hazelnut-flavored amber ale, though.

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Photo of EPseja
3.42/5  rDev +7.9%
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 blackie
3.35/5  rDev +5.7%
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 whynot44
3.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice coppery amber color with a decent fizzy white head that disipates to just a slight skin rather quickly but does manages to leave some traces of lace.

The aroma is mainly toasted hazelnuts and biscuits with some hints of vanilla and spices.

The flavor is also mostly hazelnut, bread, figs or plums and some soft spices, nothing aggressive.

Light/medium bodied, a touch watery and alcohol becomes noticeable toward the finish which is just a bit metallic. Not too bad as a winter warmer.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.29/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy orangish brown with a decent head that disappears quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma is a strong hazelnut pressence and some sweet caramel and bread like notes.

Taste is sweet. Again a strong hazelnut flavor, a little almond pressence too. Almost like a slight metallic taste as well which kicks it down a notch in my book. A little fruit and hops are there too.

Mouthfeel is ok as is drinkablility. Overall, an ok beer.

 458 characters

Photo of maxpower
3.19/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a clear amber-brown with a small light brown head that doesn't last very long, not much lacing either. Nice sweet nutty aroma, flavor of hazelnuts and bread. Medium bodied with a soft and smooth mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Blind tasted at just under fridge temperature in a tasting glass.

Appearance- Big crown atop a strong copper, clear brew. Head settles rapidly to a thin mat.

Smell- Nice, natural hazelnut immediately on the nose, followed by the warming spices usually associated with your winter seasonals. Hints of fig and dates in the background.

Taste- Pure hazelnut, not overly sweet as in some artificial flavorings. Alcohol comes next and almost becomes too obvious, but not to the beer's demise. The flavors hold up pretty well.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Light and watery, with strong carbonation that subsides as the beer warms. Overall, a decent one-time brew.

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Photo of swamiswamu
3.15/5  rDev -0.6%
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 ZAP
3.15/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a horrible winter beer but far from great..It's a nice changeup and not incredibly pricey...

The nose is of guess what??? Hazelnuts....pretty soft though...maybe some almonds as well....The nose does not compare to the Longshot Hazelnut of about 5 years ago or the Rougue Hazelnut Brown...Still, it's slightly above average...pour a light amber color with a big frothy head...taste is slightly toasty with a slick sweet hazelnut flavor that is not particularly strong but uncomfortable none-the-less as it feels artificial....Not a bad beer to drink, and worth a sixer a year at the right price, but a far cry from the top winter beers available..Does not compare in any way, shape or form, to Rogue Hazelnut Brown (or Longshot Hazelnut from what I remember)..

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.13/5  rDev -1.3%
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 ADR
3.1/5  rDev -2.2%
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 clvand0
3.08/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 376 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.07/5  rDev -3.2%
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 kmpitz2
3.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at the brewery the day after Thanksgiving this year. The eber poured a golden amber color with a finger of head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was mostly caramel, with some spicey notes in there, along with a hint of some nutty notes. The flavor was full of grainey notes all the way, wih a touch of hop in there. Nothing real special about this one. The feel was just at moderate; I want more in a beer. Drinkability suffers from the taste mostly. I didn't like the grain character in the flavor. Just okay.

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Hazelnut Winter Fest Ale from Minhas Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.17 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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