Summit Winter Ale | Summit Brewing Company

277 Reviews
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Summit Winter AleSummit Winter 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

Added by Todd on 12-08-2001

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Reviews: 277 | Ratings: 573
Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Dark brown with a tan head, with nice retention and lacing. The aroma is very nice with caramel, cocoa, and roasted malt. Very nice for a cold winter night.

Has a nice mildly sweet flavor with caramel, cocoa, roasted malt, a little bit of coffee, and a subtle nutty flavor. Pairs very nicely with a French Dip sandwich.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Somewhat creamy as an on tap offering. Smooth and easy to drink. Very nice on tap. Will have to pick up some bottles of this.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Summit winter ale pours with a ruby brown color thats quite dark.
On the pour i wasn't able to get much of a head going at all. Basically surface smudes and such.
The aroma was quite malty with subtle hints of spices.
The malts in the taste have a vienna feel. Very grainy and toasted. I think I almoat taste some smoke in there also.
The feel is course and gritty on the palate.
It was a good beer...
but I really didn't dig it too much.

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Photo of Kevin-Wieken
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Summit Winter Ale
Summit Brewing Company, Minnesota
---from bottle to stemmed porter glass---

Dark copper, more red around the edges, three fingers of creamy/light tan head that will seemingly last forever, good lacing.

Pretty weak on the nose. Nutty.

Caramel-y malts with hints of light coffee. Bright citrusy hops shine at the end of each sip.

Much lighter than expected. Dare I say watery? Malt flavor lingers, god amount of bitter for this beer.

Better and worse than I thought. Tastes great, but mouth feel is a bit off. Looks gorgeous.

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Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out quite black with a half finger beige head with not too much retention. Smell is of dark fruit, prunes, with a slight bit of sweetness. Really no hops I sense from the nose. This is all the malt bill. Taste is a bit mellowed down from the smell except there is a tiny hop presence that isn't noticeable at the first part of the taste but definitely in the end -- nothing too bitter to be sure as this is really balanced well. Mouthfeel is fairly light. Overall I really liked this beer more than the last time I had it. Summit typically puts out good beers at least with their normal releases.

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Photo of Hergestridge
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is chestnut brown. Nice head - frothy, foamy and dense on the lips and mouth.
Mouth feel is creamy, rich, cool with sweetness and a slight (very slight) cocoa taste and aroma. This is beer #2 that I've tried from the Summit Winter Pack offering. It's head and shoulders above the 1st tasting of the Summit Red Ale.. Excellent Entry and a 6 pack will be on my stocking stuffer list to St. Nicholas. Top Rate!!
Carry On Citizens!!!

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Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/19/2013. Pours moderately cloudy reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, chocolate, light roast, brown bread, light raisin, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark and nutty malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, brown bread, light roast, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Light earthy spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark and nutty malt notes; with very nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice winter warmer style. All around nice balance and robustness of dark/nutty malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of ToddT
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L- Clear dark brown topped with an off white head, head is sticky and long lasting and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Toasted malts and a hint of nut and spice. Aroma is quite mild on this one.

T- Nice roast malt and chocolate flavor to start, grassy hops balance this out and lead to a dry finish with a hint of spice.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, a little bit of creaminess make a nice addition to the mouthfeel.

O- Nice winter treat, not overly spicy and the 6.1% ABV is well hidden. Not the best winter warmer I've ever had but a solid one.

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Photo of MikeAAL
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer. Very sweet.

Dark brown colored body with a tan creamy head.

Smells like caramel, nut and malts.

Tastes malty, nutty, some chocolate and coffee.

Thick mouthfeel with light carbonation and very creamy.

It'll definately warm you up on a cold day.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop-top with nice, simple label and best-by date of 2/26/13. Poured into a 16oz English-style nonic.

Appearance: Nut brown color, with great clarity and bright burnt orange highlights when held up to the light. Nice antique-ivory cap with good retention.

Smell: Nice American take on an English-style. Up front this is nutty, with dry toasty chocolatey malts and a light fruitiness. Not tons of depth, but fairly pleasant. This is sort of like a richer American-style brown ale.

Taste: Nutty flavors up front, followed by some fruity esters, a (surprising) hint of alcohol, and some very mild chocolatey roast on the finish. Very mild fruity hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: The one disappointing part of this; a bit too light for 6% and the style.

Overall: This doesn't seem QUITE like a Winter Warmer in the English sense, and a bit more like a really solid American Brown Ale. For between $8.00-9.00, this wouldn't be bad to pick up once a year if you're in the mood for a toasty, nutty brown ale, though this doesn't QUITE scratch the 'Winter Warmer' itch.

B 84-5

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Photo of zeledonia
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 12 September 2012, per the code on the bottle. Tasted 19 January 2013.

Pours a deep rusty reddish brown. I can just see through it at the edges, where it's quite red. One finger of cream-colored head, good retention. Lacing is fantastic. Gobs of it ringing the surface, reaching up the inside of the glass.

Smell is warm and woody, toasted and nutty. It's all about the malts, with little obvious spice presence. As I continue to smell it, I get more wood and nuts, like sniffing the outside of a walnut. A bit of ripe dark stone fruit (plums or cherries) tries to sneak in from the back, but it's about 10% of the smell.

Taste is meh. Blah, blah. Woody malts (very woody actually, a bit like chewing on bark). A mild bitterness throughout, that doesn't feel like it belongs. But really, not much flavor at all. Odd.

Mouthfeel is better. Medium-bodied, mouth-filling, with carbonation that fizzles and sizzles. Warming, and perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the beer.

Not one I'll be seeking out again. Not bad, but not really good either, IMO. Just doesn't have much flavor, or much aroma. Woody, nutty, but in faint ways that don't do it for me.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown with reddish background. White foam sits and is fluffy. Caramel nose. Other light winter spices. Taste is a light malt, with dark fruit infused caramel. Getting some raisin hints in there. Plums. Medium body, maybe a touch too sweet. Above average.

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Photo of frankiepop
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, this ale looks like what a winter ale> Winter ale supposed to look like. Darker richer color, but I could not really get an aroma from this ale. taste was a lttle weak. I did not detect any real spices. I do detect some spearmint. Ok texture but a little watery. Theres a bit of a well roasted maltiness.

Underwhelming beer. Goes with underwhelming music. Try Wynton Marsalis' J Mood cd or Joe Walsh - Ordinary Average Guy .Maybe a recording of the radio show Prarie Home Companion by Garrison Keillor who writes about a small town in Minnesota where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and the kids are ALL ...ABOVE AVERAGE...

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Photo of wiscokid920
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A- Dark, nearly black, mahogany in color. Half finger head that fades to a rim around the glass.

S- Heavy toasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted nuts.

T- Huge roasted malt flavor featuring dark chocolate. Ends with a nice nutty and coffee flavor.

M- Very nutty throughout the entire sip. Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O- A nice balance of roasty malts, chocolate notes, and coffee bean finish. A nice drinkable winter warmer that does the trick.


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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a dark brown beer with a off white head of one and a half fingers. The head had a decent level of retention, fading over time to give a decent level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is heaviest of caramel malt. Notes of chocolate and dark fruits are also mixed within giving it an overall rather sweet smell. With this is a light roasted nut aroma which rounds out the smell rather nicely.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and chocolate flavor upfront. Some toffee sweetness then enters the taste mixed with a nutty flavor. As the taste advances further the chocolate seems to get even stronger with a tiny bit of coffee, herbal hop and spice join the taste. In the end a roasted and sweet flavor are left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the light to medium side with a rather moderate carbonation. The lighter body makes for an easier drinking style, but with all the roasted and dark flavors of the brew it may have been a bit better with some chewiness and/or creaminess.

Overall – A nice blend of chocolate, sweet, roast, and spice flavors. While in some ways it drank more like a porter then a winter warmer it is a good easy drinking brew.

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Photo of Jparker37
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint.

A - Medium sized light tan head falls to a small cap. The beer is dark brown and when held to light has beautiful clarity to its red highlights. Little bits of lacing were left on my glass.

S - Complex dark caramel tones with chocolate edge. Faint fruity undertone.

T - Chocolate malt with an edge of roastiness to it. Never shows much sweetness ever. Hops strike a great balance to the later half of the flavor. Finishes clean with a hint of those dark malts in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, semi-dry.

O - This beer has many great qualities, none of which are warming abilities. Beautiful on the eyes and great aroma dimension. Flavor is a little understated but has good feel. However, I never really sensed any spices to the beer nor at 6.1% does it really warm me up. Reminds me of a good brown porter. Nevertheless, I am satisfied that this beer was included in my 12 pack sampler.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.31/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
6.1% ABV, 36 IBUs, numbers on label.

A - Beautiful caramel amber highlights shine through the deeper brown body in the more volumetric center. A pillowy ivory head billows up from a vigorous pour which shrouds the pint in lave as the well-retained head plateaus to a lumpy pile.

S - The aroma has an interesting blend of both crisp toasted malts and some more hearty bread-like Munich sweetness. Just a pinch of spice accompanies a muted grassy hop nose that works well with this beer. A lingering metallic scent which comes in and out of the background doesn't help this beer though.

T - Crisp, inviting toasted wheat bread greets a doughy caramel-drizzled sweetness that lingers through the finish where lightly roasted notes add light coffee blend hints and a touch of chocolate the beer. Herbal spice comes from the European hops which add a nicely balanced grassy flavor. A fine winter warmer with fantastic complexities.

M - This medium-bodied ale carries a wonderfully smooth, almost creamy nature and crisp, dry bite that accompanies a faintly earthy, herbal spiciness that lurks long after the swallow.

O - Summit's Winter Ale provides a smooth body with moderate heft for a satisfying cold-day brew that incorporates English hops wonderfully for a balanced flavor and touch of spiciness. This beer avoids being lumped with the over-spiced and sometimes overplayed holiday beers but manages a subtle nod to them for a nice winter treat!

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Photo of jimmah120
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date, into juice glass

Look is a dark amber red, clear, with a small off-white head. Smell is campfire, cinnamon, gingerbread, and some dark fruit. the taste is a lot of toasted grain, with some holiday spice and a hint of dried dates. feel is an evenly carbonated medium with a slight astringency.

I'm not typically a fan of winter warmers, but this one is tasty. I didn't like it at first, but it's grown on me.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been waiting months for this to come out again. Let's hope it holds up to my memory of it!

Appearance: Dark hazelnut but translucent when held up to the light. Fizzy light brown head that dissipated but will hopefully leave lacing.

Aroma: A little bit of coffee and nuttiness. Toffee, caramel. Just a nice malt bomb.

Taste: Rich and roasty malts of coffee and dark chocolate with some nice caramel and that toffee from the nose. In the ballpark of an English Brown Ale. Not as impressive as I remember it, but my palate has developed quite a bit over the past year. The aftertaste gets me every time, roasted hazelnut, coffee, and chocolate flavors stay with you after every sip.

Mouthfeel: Between thin and medium in body. Good drinkability. Just a tad over carbonated for my taste.

Final Thoughts: So it didn't live up to the hype that I've given it in my mind. However, it's still a great beer and worthy of a place in anyone's fridge during the winter. Would I drink it again? Of course, I'll probably seek it out on tap next time.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a clear, dark brown with a stable half finger collar and medium levels of lacing on the glass. Medium body, smooth texture, and lighter side of medium carbonation levels.

Smells of lightly toasted and toffee malts, with lighter amounts of herbal character. Tastes of a blend of chocolate, toasted, and toffee malts with some light spice and nuttiness. Not too fancy, but not bad either. Falls somewhat on the sweeter side in terms of balancing.

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Photo of beagle75
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, dark amber color with an incomplete residue and peripheral ring of parchment-tinted bubbles. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Rustic roast shows woody chicory and whole coffee beans. Fruit is faint but dark and slightly vinous.

T: Begins dry, with earthy and herbaceous hop flavors up-front that transition to soft roasted malt. Acidity seems moderate in the presence of other qualities, with dark dried plum fruit peeking through during the middle. Bitterness is detectable, appropriate, elevated above other lesser flavors such as umami and diacetyl in the short watery finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly creamy and acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a winter warmer worth considering for those that shy away from the heavily-spiced contributions. Instead, this beer is malt-focused and dark, tasting like an under-strength Baltic porter. Expect it to serve in a range of pairing roles, from porter to dubbel to strong stout.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger off white head with excellent retention on a dark brown body with a little light passing through. Thick, circumferential lacing. Aroma is very malty with dark fruit, chocolate and sugary notes. Flavor is also malty with strong smokey sense, toffee and nutty. Medium to thick body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth. Overall a nice member of the genre, one of the more flavorful and full bodied.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Brown with a surprisingly transparent look. Head is pretty fluffy and slightly brown and has a 2 1/2 finger width.

Smell - Caramel, Toffee, Chocolate, Figs with just a small touch of Vanilla. Reminds me of a cross between a Strong Ale and Porter

Taste - Rich Chocolate, Toffee, Coffee flavors with some barley and yeast notes. Not really tasting the figs in here. Taste is more porter than Winter Warmer

Mouthfeel - Pretty light in body for a darker ale and the carbonation is on the mild side. It's fairly smooth and it's got a pretty crisp and refreshing feel to it.

Overall - For a beer, it's pretty decent in terms of flavor and it's easier to drink than some other beers. As a Winter Warmer, there are better beers of that style in particular out there.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap st Stout's Pub into a very clean pint glass.

A: Deep auburn, soft off white head. Very nice lace.

S: Dark toffee, rye. Toasted nuts.

T: A roasted malt profile holds up a very savory, bready presence. Rich but not overwhelming. Alcohol blends into overall profile.

M: Good. Light viscosity. A little oiliness.

O: Why does everyone expect spice in a winter warmer? This is a very good example of the style overall. Roasty and warming. Very comforting and I can have more than one. Very palate friendly.

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Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 573 ratings.
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