Brooklyn Winter Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

BA SCORE
82
good
1,122 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay
Read the review
Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
brooklynbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,122
Reviews:
480
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
13.22%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
138
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 480
Photo of m1ked
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 796 characters

Photo of Traquairlover
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

 1,040 characters

Photo of BierFan
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 293 characters

Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

 558 characters

Photo of rapidsequence
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 688 characters

Photo of almychristopher
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

 412 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 288 characters

Photo of magine
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

 562 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 1,818 characters

Photo of cpn920
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 324 characters

Photo of UDbeernut
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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

Cheers

 314 characters

Photo of Jimbo87
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 699 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 278 characters

Photo of scottyshades
2.86/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

 582 characters

Photo of hawks10
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

 494 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 449 characters

Photo of Stunner97
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

 762 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

 505 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 638 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was orangey brown with a 1 finger white bubbly head. The head left a thin layer that clung to the sides well. Aroma was sweet, smelled of vanilla, honey, and citrus. Flavor was sweet, spicy, cloves with some malty aftertaste. Felt goo in the mouth, coated very well, just enough carbonation to give it kick. Almost too sweet to drink.

 376 characters

Photo of Birmingham
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a 12 oz bottle

Aroma:
Malt character with hints of winy/sherry tones

Appearance:
Clear, deep red with brown tones, off white head which dissipated quickly and mild lacing

Flavor:
Strong malt flavors with some sherry/winy flavors

Mouth feel:
Medium body, low carbonation with a mild alcohol tingle on the tongue

Overall Impression: Taste seemed off with possibly oxidized. I will need to acquire another six pack to determine if mine was contaminated.

 472 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glassy and clear dark cherry red color. Half finger of bubbly head.

The aroma is German hop at first, which is kinda odd I think. Confectionary sugars and dark cherry balance out the almost pilsner-like aroma.

Taste is heavy brown sugar and cherry liqueur. Some heavy roasted flavors as well, reminsicent of a Scottish ale. The brown sugar and cherry dominate.

The feel is thick and syrupy. Smooth and buttery. It's a decent, sweet ale. I would like a tad of a burnt balance but I'll take this one.

 502 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this back in 2006, missed out in 07 and am revisiting it in 08( well, 09). Into my Sam Smith imperial pint

A: A brilliant deep copper with exceptional clarity and a solid three-finger thick head that slowly recedes, leaving some patchy lacework. Solid!

S: Rich with toffee and nutty malts with some butterscotch. Not much hop character but there's some leafy, earthy character present. Solid.

T: Pretty darned solid. A great balance of flavors with toffee, nuts and butterscotch present, with the nuttiness leading the way. Finishes a little dry with some toffee flavor on the finish

M: Medium light, solid carbonation and a pleasant finish

D: At a little over 6%, I couldn't drink more than 3-4 of these in a short evening. Which means it's pretty drinkable

 769 characters

Photo of Amalak
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had a bottle of this and it's a decent, malty ale, but I was a little disappointed. It was brown, with a slight head that dissipated quickly. It had a nutty scent, but somewhat stale.

Very alcohol tasting to be honest, and lots of bite...too much bite. It is too strong, in my opinion, not enough balance.

 308 characters

Brooklyn Winter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 1,122 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.