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 Jimboe
2.25/5  rDev -29%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +26.2%

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.

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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 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 OldFrothingSlosh
3/5  rDev -5.4%
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 objectivemonkey
2.06/5  rDev -35%
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 DogFood11
2.4/5  rDev -24.3%
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 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 scaliasux
2.36/5  rDev -25.6%
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 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 beveragecaptain
2.74/5  rDev -13.6%
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 RBorsato
1.7/5  rDev -46.4%
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 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 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.

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Photo of OatherS
2.55/5  rDev -19.6%
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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Hazelnut Winter Fest Ale from Minhas Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.17 out of 5 with 36 ratings