Brooklyn Winter Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale
1,127 Ratings
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brooklyn completely changed the recipe in 2006. It’s now a Scottish-style ale. Brewmaster Garrett Oliver explained to us that: “There are no spices at all. Good British floor malts and hops along with our yeast strain account for all the flavors. It has a Scottish-style cooler fermentation, which pushes malt to the forefront rather than fruitiness.” It was brewed with Scottish Floor-malted Maris Otter, English crystal malts, Belgian Aromatic malt, American roasted malts, American oats and hopped with Willamette.

Added by dedrinker on 11-03-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,127 |  Reviews: 481
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with a medium tan head. Retention is average with some patchy lacing.

Caramel and butterscotch sweetness in the nose mixed with perceivable alcohol.

Flavor of hearty malts and more caramel. A touch earthy. I would swear there were spices in there, but I hear otherwise. Hops are there to lend balance but remain in the background. Finishes a little sweet with an alcoholic warming. Alcohol becomes more prominent as it warms.

Nice carbonation levels and medium to fullish body.

A pretty nice Winter beer. Would go well with Christmas dinner.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. Dark red color, but almost brown. Huge white head creates a nice contrast. Nice looking beer. Smell was full of malt. Taste was very pleasing. Malty backbone. Toasted chestnuts, cinnamon, and even a bit of peat are what I tasted. This might be one of the better tasting winter ales on the market. Not overloaded with spice, but enough to lend it some taste. Lots of malt flavor, but just enough to make it very drinkable. Sturdy body, but goes down well. This is the kind of beer that is perfect on a cold night or by a fireplace. Does Brooklyn make any boring beers? Nope, this one is a winner for me.

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Photo of champ103
2.41/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear dark copper color. A large white head rises to over two fingers, and recedes to a ring in a second. Some light sticky lace is left behind.
S: Very light toasted caramel malt. Grain and yeast.
T: Cereal and grain is the dominate flavor here. Light caramel sweetness and yeast. This does not do much for me. Really bland.
M/D: A lighter body than I would like. Medium carbonation that is thin and watery. Not hard to drink, I just don't really want to come back for more.

This is really bland. I was looking forward to this because I love Scottish Ales. This is not a good example of the style. No peat, smoke, or any real toasted flavor. Besides Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, I have had nothing that I really enjoy from them. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured fom a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Dark copper in color, with a rather short head of foam
Aroma-Malty,biscuit notes
Taste-English hops(Fuggle?),spruce notes and some spiciness leading to a rather drying finish.
Overall, pleasantly drinkable and subtle. Flavor reminds me of a Vienna Lager, in the SA Boston Ale vein.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber ruby color with a small white head that disappeared after a few minutes.

Smell of doughy yeast and malt. Pretty nice simple aroma, nothing complicated here

Tasted like a nice mellow malt, no burnt flavors, almost creamy makeup with some fruit . Light and crisp for a winter ale, not overburdened with spices and herbs which is a nice change from many of the winter ales out.

Very drinkable, this is a standby beer if you are looking for one this winter.

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Photo of m1ked
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6er from Food Emporium. My first Winter brew of the year, here goes...stupid winter.

A- Pours a clear bronzey copper color with lots of streamers in there. Initially has 1.5 inch off white head that recedes to a creamy looking cap.

S- Malty grains, caramel, touch of brown sugar, fig newton, a little leather.

T- I get the dark malty, biscuity grains up front, some cola, a fruitiness thats not totally "dark" fruit to me. A touch of caramel and brown sugar sweetness.

M- Medium bodied. There is a subtle fizzy throughout the whole swallow. Some brief cloying feel coating the mouth.

D- I would have never have guessed this was a Scottish Ale. With that being said it is a nice winter brew. Not over the top, but with the medium body, some etoh heat, and darker flavor profiles.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Very clear amber liquid with small orange tinted head that quickly settles into just a few small bubbles on surface in the middle.

S = Good strong smells of biscuits, caramel, some butterscotch, freshly harvested grains, some earthy hops.

T = Has tastes of a chocolate, cinnamon bun, nice sweet flavors of bread dough, caramel, brown sugar, hints of cocoa and very light cinnamon (like getting a single hit of cinnamon syrup in a cappuccino, not enough to really make it cinnamon tasting but enough to give it is a slight hint reminiscent of mulled cider), at the same time there is just enough of a hops earthiness to make this a good refreshing taste, not a purely sweet wort taste. Just an excellent, complex example of a Scottish Ale.

M = Medium-light body, fair mouthcoating, soft but constant carbonation.

D = This is an eminently drinkable beer, it goes down very smoothly, combines a good amount of light refreshing tastes and senses with nonetheless a good sweet, warm malt presence.

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Photo of BierFan
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug. Best before April 2010. ABV of 6.1%.

Appearance: Light tan head. Beautiful clear coppery red. Spots and rings of lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell: Rather earthy. Caramel.

Taste: Caramel and a little brown sugar. Kinda dry. Mild bitterness.

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Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red, decent head that dissipates to a ring around the glass. Smells of caramel maltiness, some dark fruits, nice earthiness, little brown sugar. Tastes of semi sweet caramel malt, some toasted grain with an undercurrent of earthy bitterness. Some dark fruits and more earthiness comes through in the finish. Nice creamy body, decent carbonation.

A decent winter ale. Definitely malt heavy with loads of earthy hops. Almost like a lager in its cleaness with just a touch of fruitiness. Not bad, not great, i would love some more complexity.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Clear dark copper. Pours with a large, almost foamy head. It recedes to a thin rim, leaving some decent lacing.

Smell: Malty but not sweet. Caramelly and a little spicy. There's some pretty clean hops aroma. Also a little bit of minerally or medicinal smell.

Taste: Toasty, almost burnt caramelly malt. Again, not really sweet. Its surprisingly spicy in a nice way and I went to the website to see what they added-- nothing. Pretty well balanced with the hops. A minerally, slightly metallic taste sneaks in, but is not dominant.

Mouthfeel: Its pretty dry. Slightly coating. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Its good stuff. Not outstanding, but really solid.

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Photo of almychristopher
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a blonde amber color with an off white head that fades with a quickness. the aroma offers up some fruity esters with a bit of caramel sweetness at the back. the taste follows suite with a nice sweet almost spicey taste up front with an intersting hop finish. the mouthfeel is good with a little higher co2 than I would have expected, but a really nice drink with a some really nice caramel notes.

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Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry caramel aroma that's pretty nice, but nothing spectacular. The taste is decent as well. It has a very dry crystal malt flavor with little hop character. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average beer, but a lousy Scottish ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber with a tannish head.

S: Some sweetness and some caramel/toffee.

T: Much like the smell, but adds in some of the spices.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

D: Fairly drinkable, but something about it just doesn't fit. Overall, a pretty decent beer, though.

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Photo of magine
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this brew into a pint glass.

The beer pours a nice dark amber color with a nice fluffy tan head, has nice lacing.

The beer smells of sweet fruit and has a nutty caramel presence - some hops come thruogh as well.

The beer has a nutty malty flavor, and some fruity and spicey flavoring. Tastes nice and complex, yet very balanced.

This beer is very drinkable, I have not bought alot of "winter" beers per say in the past, to me winter time is my stout time - but this is very drinkable and good. I could get a case and enjoy on a cold night - very nice.

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Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pomegranate infused with dark caramel, at least that's the best I can do to provide a visual idea of this gorgeously rich, deep hued colour. Away from the light it can appear quite dark and roasted; in the light it showcases magnificent clarity and an active, jovial quartet of bubbles. The head looks like the successful outcome of good tapioca pudding recipe.

The aroma is substantially fruity. Not in the same frame as an American DIPA or a Belgian Tripel but rather in the subtle, suggested manner of an Old World ale. (Part of that could be a bit of the Willamette hops, mind you). It's a bouquet of candied fruits and flower petals coated in butterscotch drizzle and if I were the brewmaster I'd be quite happy with it.

To designate the beer a 'winter ale' requires something with strength, body, viscous maltiness, fullness and a cozy warming sensation. I'd say Brooklyn's Winter Ale covers a good portion of that checklist but ends up landing just barely on the wrong side of the fence. If I could tweak the beer in my glass, I'd cut the carbonation in half and double the malt bill.

But hey, even though I can't I'm still quite content to continue through the bottle. There are soft, suggested notes of candied apple, figs and wild flowers (heather, rose petals). Scotch-like notes and caramel covered dried fruits abound. Also, there is a heavy-handed bitterness that stamps its mark on the back of the tongue after each sip. Good drinking!

Just as any vintage of wine reflects the climate of where it was grown and that season's weather, so too should a beer provide similar sensations. I wouldn't have considered this beer great but for it to draw my imagination into a cozy Scottish local, harbored from the damp, windy February weather just by the taste of it, then surely that's a beer well made.

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Photo of cpn920
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful mahogany color. Smelled of caramel malts. Taste was of caramel malts and maybe hint of nutmeg? Hides the alcohol well but there is enough there to give you that warming feel. Good carbonation on this medium/full bodied beer. Drinkability is good especially during these cold witner months, enjoyable beer.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: deep amber brown, slight off white head with little retention

S: carmel malt dominates the nose, hint of alchohol

T: malt and spice on the tongue. Slight hop bitterness and fruity ester from the yeast.

M&d: full bodied slight carbonation full slightly chewy mouth


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Photo of Jimbo87
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper/amber, 1.5 inch off-white head.

Smell is faint grain and maybe some hops. This smell has some aspect that reminds me of cheap lager, not that cheap lager is a bad smell.

Taste-wise, a nice malt character and metallic taste are followed by some toasted malt. Again a pale/adjunct lager-like note. This is on the malty side, I don't taste hops per se, only their faint balancing bitterness

Medium body. Has some carbonation.

Pretty good drinkability. Overall not a must-try, but it was worth drinking. I like the toasted/roasted malt flavor. A better beer than I feared it would be, since the friend who gave this to me said he didn't like it, and I know he's a big Brooklyn beer fan.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with a one finger off white head.

Nose is malty, caramel & a slight metallic tint.

Taste is caramel, malty with & a little raisin. A slight trace of alcohol is present.

A fairly drinkable scotch ale. Nothing great here, but not too bad. Worth a try.

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Photo of scottyshades
2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice rich mahogany color with a nice cream colored head. The lacing is minimal.
S: Very metallic nose...disappointing. Malts are also present but I am not sure how to describe them. Hops are virtually non existent. Also, sweet notes are present, perhaps molasses.
T: Malty flavor profile. The malts are very sweet, and there is a presence of molasses at the end. Hops are not here in the profile, but the sugars are.
MF/D: Eh, drinkable, but not a session beer. Honestly, my thoughts of Brooklyn Brewery have subsided, as each offering I try seems to get worse and worse.

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Photo of hawks10
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber with decent white foamy head.

Very aromatic, with sweet/fruity scents...thought it was a Belgian.

Taste is very bready, maybe too bready, with a malty, but almost wine-like finish. Alcohol actually sticks out a bit the further into the beer, a slight burn that I really didn't expect.

Overall this beer really didn't click with me, nothing overwhelmingly bad about it, but nothing that would make me want to buy it again...the taste just wasn't there, not really balanced.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, white, foamy head. It left pretty decent lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled fairly grassy, mossy and a little herbal.

T - It tasted of mild caramel sweetness. It had a nice grassy and earthy kick from the hops.

M - It was crisp, sharp and dry. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good scottish ale. I like this take on a winter ale, because it wasn't just a winter warmer.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Amber brown/copper/caramel, clear enough to see through though still dark, very low carbonation, and thin head,

Smell--Malty and sugary nose, very sweet almost Belgian style beer from the nose, Definitely sweet notes, sweet fruit,

Taste- Mild mix of bitter and sweet, a decent flavor but nothing overwhelming all around. Its balanced but did not really dazzle me in a particular way. Slight bitter finish

Mouthfeel- Felt highly carbonated going down and medium bodied

Drinkabilty-- Decent but not something that I would necessarily seem my self doing as a session beer

Overall an okay brew but I feel like something is slightly missing here even though in general im huge fan of brooklyn brewery this one is good though could be slightly better.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass.

Pours a deep ruby red-brown, clear, effervescent, with a persistent, fluffy off-white head.

Nose is a bit roasty, a bit of breadiness poking through, some fruity esters.

Flavor is mildly roasty, bready, breadcrust, and some definite dark fruity esters. Finish is a bit odd, very estery, a bit roasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth, softly carbonated, medium bodied.

Nice enough beer, but not the best in the pack by a stretch. Esters in the finish throw the package off.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at the brooklyn jazz bar, at newark liberty int'l airport

poured into a weizen glass... (can't really complain - that means a full 16 oz or more!)

clear. deep, dark, reddish amber. head minimal, mostly thin wisps and a ring. good lacing though.

grassy aroma with hints of caramelized malt, yeast and ester notes, and a metallic whiff.

similar maltiness in the flavor, but much more prominent, and with that yeasty undertone. hint of spice (nutmeg?) with trace phenols in the finish. crisp, moderate hop bitterness is grassy.

feel is smooth but slightly thin, plus somewhat astringent finish. carbonation seems a bit too fizzy.

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Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 1,127 ratings
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