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Winter Ale | Summit Brewing Company

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Winter AleWinter Ale
593 Ratings
Winter AleWinter Ale

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
OG 14.6° Plato
36 IBUs
Malts: Harrington, Caramel, Carafa II
Hops: Willamette, Fuggle, Tettenanger

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 593 |  Reviews: 281
Reviews by ShwarzAl3r:
Photo of ShwarzAl3r
5/5  rDev +34%

More User Reviews:
Photo of digital952
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good seasonal with balanced taste. On tap at Crooked Pint Ale House in Apple Valley...nice place.

97 characters

Photo of Turbo
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of PintPiner
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slight aroma of chocolate and roasted malt.

Initial big foamy tan head that quickly subsides to nice small layer of foam with good lacing.

Clear, dark mahogany when held up to the sun.

Mild carbonation.

Medium-light body.

Slight tangy spice up front, chocolate and roasted nut with a hint of coffee and burnt carmel.

 321 characters

Photo of Brent_B
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #35 (Dec 2009):

Dark mahogany color, nearly black. Roasty nose of coffee and dark chocolate cookies with minty citric hops and a ripe fruitiness in the back. Heavy toasted malt flavor is coated with a layer of roasted grain. Hop bitterness sneaks in with a sharpness and minty citric flavor. Very nutty throughout. Some coffee and unsweetened chocolate meet the fruitiness. Beefy? Suggestions of raisins and ripe plums. Burnt sugar and more lingering coffee bean flavors middle to end.

While not the boldest or most drinkable winter seasonal, it does compensate with its own unique complexities. The wintry flavors are there, probably best enjoyed with holiday chocolates or other nutty confections.

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Photo of blackearth
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN. Pours a dark reddish brown body with a thick light-tan head and leave good lacing. Aroma is of chocolate malt and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Flavor is dominated by nutty sweet malts. Good drinkability, but this is really a nut brown ale and not what I would call a winter ale.

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Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep garnet color. Chocolate milk colored head recedes and leaves minimal lace. Smell isn't very pronounced, caramelly malt mostly. Taste is very nice, soothing, with some caramelly flavors at first. Like a brown ale, there's some chocolate here, but unlike a brown, there's also a bit of spice.

I really like this brew. It's actually the one that finally got me into drinking craft beer (last winter). This one's sure too warm the soul on a howling winter night.

 475 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahhh..Winter Ale. Pours a deep brown with hints of red and a thin head that leaves some lacing in its wake. Raisins...chocolate covered at that, hints of caramel and pine as well. Nice.

First taste is a mix of caramel and chocolate maltiness infused with hints of cherries, raisins, spices and a mellow piney hopiness as well. Roastiness hits the back of the palate. A tasty brew on a cold day.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, could you some more body on this one. However, it goes down smooth and easy and this would definetly be a good winter session brew. Worth a try!

 570 characters

Photo of googs509
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nstroup
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ryancl
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of bsp77
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Reddish chestnut brown with small off-white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Toffee, spicy English hops, molasses, cherry and plum. A rich sweet malty smell that only somewhat remains throughout.

Taste: Somewhat sweet toffee and fruit malt backbone, with notes of molasses, nuts and spicy hops. Could have used a little more spicy hops, but overall a nice malt character.

Feel: Relatively low carbonation, smooth and creamy somewhat full body.

Drinkability: Despite being called a Winter Warmer here, this is really a rich, sweet and malty Brown Ale. Summit also calls it a Brown Ale. Quite nice overall, but a little dull for a Winter Ale.

 715 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
3.44/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer came on-tap in a tall glass, and appeared cloudy brown in colour with a tannish tinge to the head. Ale smelled malty, toasty and nutty, very much in line with a standard winter ale. It tasted richly malty upfront, and then smoothly transitioned into a roasty flavour and slight hop finish. Lingering bitter aftertaste on the palate, but overall smooth and flavourful.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably.

 412 characters

Photo of ryanocerus
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby/near black in color with a thin, quickly dissipating head. The aroma was chocolate with slight roasted malt. The initial chocolate flavor was replaced by roasty aftertones towards the end. The mouthfeel was smooth as velvet on the tongue and the flavor lasted forever. Another excellent offering from the folks at Summit.

 335 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color with minimal light penetration. There's a half inch of tightly packed beige resting on top. Light lacing on the glass. Aroma is comprised of caramel and chocolate. I taste plenty of dark chocolate and light malt. The mouth is lightly silky and smooth.

 277 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant dark chestnut under a 1” rocky light tan foam collar that provides intricate lace. S: Malty aromas with coffee and chocolate. T: Tastes drier than it smells. The foamy liquid enters the mouth and dissolves into a light chocolate with a pinch of roast. Just the right mix of chocolate and light coffee. F: Creamy smooth, a marvelous soft texture with fine soft carbonation. O: A good winter warmer. With more alcohol it could be a great one.

 462 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown that is almost black with a tint of ruby red and orange. Lots of rising bubbles and a big five finger lightly tan head with good retention. Lots of sticky lacing around the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of sweet and lightly roasted malts with lots of caramel and toffee. Has some nuts and a subtle spiced quality. Also some hints of chocolate and dark fruit. Some light hints of earthy hops in the background.

Taste: Very malt forward like the nose leads. Sweet biscuity and lightly roasted malts with caramel and toffee. Hints of nuts, chocolate, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a bit of dark fruit. A moderate taste of earthy and grassy hops peaks through in the finish. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Somewhat sweet but finishes a bit on the dryer side. Very smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid winter warmer. Very good use of malts. Sweet but balanced.

 998 characters

Photo of moundbz
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my Minnesota bro Nick for turning me on to this beer. A good winter warmer appearance, a light brown, thin head.

Taste, muted sweetness, kinda like a thin porter, but also with aspects of a red. A very enjoyable not quite maltbomb kind of beer, which is rare for me to like.

Mouthfeel, makes me think I'm getting a little cherry and tree in my beer. Very little, but its neat its there. Enjoyable to drink, relatively inexpensive. Exceeded expectations.

 467 characters

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

Well, its out, just in time for another snowfall...

Deep clear dark reddish brown, 1/4 inch pillow floats on top. Sweet malt aroma, spiked with a little cinnamon impression. Thick malty mouthfeel, starts heavy with a little honey/maple-like flavor, takes an upward kick into an orange pekoe, and finishes with a paprika-like hop pepperiness. Didn't notice a caramel or chocolate sensation. Body is nice, seems to me that Summit does more interesting things with its malt bill on other beers. Balance is good. Decent, not groundbreaking -- I might be in a minority but this brew has never been a huge favorite for me.

 619 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a deep ruby brown forms a nice tan bubbly head leaves behind specks of scattered lace. Aroma has a touch of chocolate with herbal grassy hop components and an overall sense of creaminess comes to me. Taste has a solid tight flavor milk chocolate, dark roasted malts herbal bitterness touch of pine bready tones in the finish winter warmer a bit under six percent seems pretty tame overall but nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated smooth and creamy textured. Drinkability, pleasant winter ale once again just a bit mild for me to truely dig, dig.

 567 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, a few months past BB date, served in a snifter.

Pours clear but nearly opaque ruby-brown. The light tan head settles down to a thick ring and partial top coat but leaves full coating on a robust looking the side of the glass.
Aroma: rather floral and unlike the flavor, a little boozy. Also more spicy than the taste.,
T: Nicely rich with chocolate, dark bread, dark fruit and a touch of coffee. More coffee in the lingering dark roasted malt aftertaste. Very good use of light spicing but a touch too sweet before the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium-full bodied; very smooth with soft, medium carbonation. Semi-dry finish sometimes felt just a little too thin.

O: very enjoyable and flavorful that resembles a Belgian porter. Recommended.

 755 characters

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Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 593 ratings