Winter Ale
Summit Brewing Company

Winter AleWinter Ale
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #99
Ranked #34,222
3.75 | pDev: 10.4%
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Winter AleWinter Ale
Notes: OG 14.6° Plato
36 IBUs
Malts: Harrington, Caramel, Carafa II
Hops: Willamette, Fuggle, Tettenanger
Reviews: 284 | Ratings: 599 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Squat looking brown glass 12 ouncer which arrived in a rather nice beer parcel from Oakdale’s finest BA, BigHuge. A plain looking label with not much in the way of appeal, the basics are there: Brewery, Beer Name and the legal Government Warning bollocks. But no strength or freshness date.

Appearance: Deep brown body with a ruby hue when backlit. Dark cherrywood hints peak through the broken creamy looking light tan head which formed a nice ½” thick uniform covering at first, but this soon faded leaving a thin looking lacing. Finely dissolved bubble carbonation quickly joins the underside of the head when the glass is tilted, and the head replenished when the beer is gently swirled.

Nose: Earthy malts with a smoked caramel aroma. Wholemeal bread and some yeast at the back end.

Taste: Light roasted whisky malt beginning that has a smoked feel that is somewhat short lived and fades by the middle. I can’t help but think of Single Malt Scotch Whisky when I immediately taste and swallow this beer. The middle has a creamy feel and the ending is lightly warming with that gullet-peat-malt punch you get from a good Scotia Whisky. Nice.

Mouthfeel: This has a very smooth velvet feel when in the mouth, so much so that you retain the beer just that bit longer than you normally would before swallowing. A creamy feel pervades the middle of the beer, a good drinking beer that wraps the tongue with mild warmth, whilst coating the cheeks with smoked earthy peat like malts.

Drinkability: Easily taken down, another one of those 12 ounce bottles that I had all but drunk by the time I got to the Drinkability part of my Review, which I guess speaks for itself, so I’ll stop rambling.

Overall: I really enjoyed the warming Scotch Whisky-like alcoholic malts and the earthy organic peat malt feel in the ending that this Winter Ale has. Very nice. Lovers of Single Malt Whisky should try this one. Cheers Joe!

Jan 22, 2004
More User Reviews:
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digital952 from Minnesota

4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Dec 28, 2014
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WJVII from Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew is a dark amber color with a deep red when held to the light. There was a 1/2 cream color head that left a nice line on the glass as it thinned. The smell of this brew is somewhat light with mild hints of malt, some oatmeal smell and some caramel. The taste is a little better with some chocolate and coffee notes but is a little thin and slightly watered down in the finish. This is a solid brew that was a nice surprise.

Sep 05, 2008
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bscalt from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +6.7%

Mar 16, 2013
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mothman from Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass.

Pours a nice creamy, tan head. That leaves a decent amount of lace. Color is a dark ruby red, I was able to see through it just a little bit.

The aroma is of a comination of hot chocalate and floral hops. Taste is of tasted chocalte and nuts. The floral hops make their presence known as well.

Mouthfeel is very smooth at first, then turns bitter from the hops. Leaves a slight dry feeling in mouth as well.

Overall, this was a great beer and at the price, you can't go wrong. I would suggest you at least give this one a shot.

Nov 27, 2008
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Chuck_25 from Kansas

4/5  rDev +6.7%

Jan 16, 2013
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NorthernLightsMN from Minnesota

3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dec 04, 2020
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MMAJYK from Georgia

3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark, dark brown, almost black in color with nice ruby hues. Head is 1 finger of soft, tan head after an agressive pour into my pint glass. The head consisted of mostly small microbubbles, but had some inconsistant larger bubbles too. Kind of funny structure to me. Lacing on the glass is nothing to mention.

S- Some nice aromas going on here. The first thing I think is chocolate. Then it settles down into some nutty smells, creamy smells, then a hoppy scent follows too. Also, subtle scents of caramel mixed with cocoa are floating around. It is very sweet and rich on the nose.

T- Up front-CHOCOLATE! This is a surprise from a winter warmer. It almost tastes to me like a chocolate stout. I sense some cream, cocoa and a roasted malt backbone. There are sme of the nutty characteristics that carry over from the nose in there too.

M- Medium thickness and is malty and creamy. Carbonation is right in the middle of the spectrum. There is a little bit of sting on the tip of the tongue, then the finish holds a slight sting on the back.

D- Very drinkable beer. I wish I had more of these to sip on. You could session these easily by the fire or the grill.

Overall- I think that this carries alot of the characteristics of a chocolate stout, not a winter warmer. It has a low ABV and alot of the same aromas and tastes. Usually winter warmers will have a spicy taste. This one does not have that. That being said, I do really like this brew. Too bad it requires me to travel to Minnesota for work (yuk!) to get some more of it. It makes a great session beer as well. I will have to say that it was greatly enjoyable.

Dec 17, 2007
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Chucker17 from South Dakota

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Dec 13, 2013
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brewmudgeon from Wisconsin

3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

summit winter ale
amber edged, clear medium brown with a light tan head of fine bubbles, lacing evident as it begins to drop.
smells of toasty malts, pretty reserved while the beer is cold.
flavors of chicory, just enough sweetness to balance, and a little astringency in the finish. quite clean and crisp for an ale. nearly schwartzbier like.
the body and carbonation are very middle of the road in a pleasing sort of way.
not as dark, mysterious, or complex as I expected but solid and serviceable.
4, 3.75, 3.75, 4, 4

Jan 28, 2016
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NilocRellim from Minnesota

3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Sep 17, 2012
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Shag from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +33.3%

Nov 22, 2011
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skaboom420 from Pennsylvania

3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Jan 10, 2015
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hellbilly from Arizona

3.21/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

bottle by way of moelikebeer...

the pour is very porter-esque... ruby dark brown with a creamy off white to grayish head. sporadic drippy lacing noticed.

the aroma also reminds me of a porter... without a whole bunch of character... coffee, lactose, mild sourness, brown sugar and faint pepper.

there's a light sourness on the palate as well... especially toward the finish. flavors of chocolate, coffee nuttiness, brown sugar, malt and mild spice are noted. light to medium bodied with prickly carbonation and a somewhat harsh mouth feel. this seems to me a weak porter masked as a winter warmer?

Jan 29, 2009
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hoppyhelena from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev 0%

Nov 27, 2012
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Greggy from Minnesota

4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- very dark color, nice thick 1 finger head with decent lacing. No signs of yeast sediment.

S- Dark chocolate, cherries, light coffee.

T- Dark chocolate, a little thin, coffee, touch of caramel, dry, nutty, walnut, nut goody, bourbon.

M- A bit thin for how big and complex the smell and taste is. I expected more body.

D- A nice low alcohol complex winter ale I look forward to for next year.

Mar 24, 2008
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Eaglefan344 from Missouri

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 25, 2015
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hustlesworth from Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- dark brown with mahogany and garnet highs, creamy beige head has good retention and seems kinda light for such a dark beer, which is also pretty dark for a winter warmer. anyway, there was a decent amount of sticky lace and the head looked cool as it settled into a pitted soapy disk.

S- nutty malty and roasty toasty. very malty chocolate, coffee, hazelnut, much like an india brown ale, but little on the hop side.

T- deep bock taste, molasses, toasted caramel, dark fruit, dates, fig, prune, currant, merlot, and a faint smokiness from the roasted malts.

MF- thick, rich, and full bodied, medium low carbonation, a pretty hearty brew.

D- it's ok, but seems more like a porter.

Feb 21, 2008
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baxter94 from Kansas

4/5  rDev +6.7%

Feb 18, 2014
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nrbw23 from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear very dark red almost a brown. A creamy colored head that leaves a layer of foam on top and has great retention. Head also leaves behind some nice lacing.

S- Picking up quite a bit of malts here some bready and caramel, touch of spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), some sweet apples and maybe sugar.

T- A lot here follows the nose again and pretty complex. My first thought was some kind of porter with the roasted malts.

M- Medium body with a good amount of carbonation maybe a little too much.

D- Very interesting brew and I think I could go back to this one.

Jan 08, 2009
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sappypine from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +6.7%

Nov 07, 2012
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champ103 from Texas

4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A medium sized one finger head forms. Good lace is left behind.
S: Not much in the nose. Roasted malty chocolate and coffee, but it is very faint.
T: Roasted and sweet malt. Coffee and chocolate dominate. Some dark fruit currents. Some warming alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. This is well carbonated and very creamy. This coats the mouth well. Very easy and smooth. A touch of alcohol warming as I take some deep sips, but that is just fine.

This is great. More stout like than some other Winter Warmers, and there is nothing wrong with that. I would recommend this.

Dec 20, 2008
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Dank26 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Jan 10, 2014
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phrygian68 from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a suprisingly dark color for a winter ale! nice 2 finger head,the lasts a nice while! nice caramel malt aroma! with hint of coffee! reminds me of a light stout both in flavor and taste! very drinkable! not much of a warmer due to a low Alcohol content ,a great addition to my winter mix!

Dec 14, 2007
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4/5  rDev +6.7%

Nov 10, 2012
Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 599 ratings