Summit Winter Ale | Summit Brewing Company

Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale
Liked This Beer
3.72 w/ 573 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 573 |  Reviews: 277
Photo of allengarvin
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12-oz mug, this shows a nice reddish-brown color, not quite opaque, with a small off-white head. The nose has a lot of roasted notes, with sweet caramel. The roast is less prominent to taste, but still a main component, together with some modest cocoa, caramel, and more bitterness than I expected (though no hop flavor comes through). The body is a little thin, given the strength and maltiness.

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Photo of blackearth
3.46/5  rDev -7%
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 gordavidson
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear, deep brown with some amber highlights. The off-white head is thin, but rather creamy looking.

S- Some caramel, chocolate, and toffee. Really appealing actually.

T- Slightly sweet malt with flavors of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. Maybe just a touch of oats? Clean and dry on the finish.

M- Nice carbonation and clean.

D- An all around good beer that fits the style excellently. This is my first outing with Summit and I am impressed.

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Photo of kjyost
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had in Minneapolis at the Cheesecake Factory in an inviting 22oz glass...

Came with a lasting think head, and an invitingly opaque brownish hue that seemed jet black in the darkness.

The aroma did not leave me any lasting impressions, but the beer had a rich deep malty kick coupled with a nice hoppiness about it. It was a fantastic beer to pair with a strongly flavoured dinner, such as I was having, but I would not consider it for more than a beer or two with dinner as it was too heavy on the palate for more than a couple of beers in a few hours.

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It is a darker brown with an off white head of about a finger that dissipates quickly.

Smell: It smells of sweet malt and spices. A little bit of caramel.

Taste: The majority of the flavor seems to be coming from a roasty flavor, with a bit of sweetness and caramel. It is a little nutty, but there really isn't much spice going on here. Just a tiny bit of bitterness in the finish, which feels almost a touch chalky.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is good and the it has a medium body, but I really don't like the finish here.

Drinkability: I don't plan on buying this beer again. It wasn't really offensive, but it just didn't seem to bring anything special to the table. However, I wouldn't object to drinking it if offered.

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Photo of gatornation
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a a dark chocolate brown with a small head and a little sticky lacing the smell was some cocoa and chocolate with some hops and malts and toffee..the taste was some cocoa and coffee and some currant fruits mixed with grassy hops with a caramel malt finish ...overall this drank like a light porter or stout maybe a brown it was good a little thin for the category..but drinkable and worth a try

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Photo of bsp77
3.83/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of botham
2.87/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Pours a deep chestnut/chocolate brown color with rich garnet highlights and one and a half fingers of dense tan head after a hard pour. No lacings on the glass and good retention.

There is little for the nose, with the only notes being a touch of caramel and spice, with a metallic tinge. Not promising.

Taste is much better than the aroma would suggest, with caramel and roasted malts up front, along with light notes of chocolate and light spice. Well proportioned with a filling and warming quality. Could use a bit more roasted malt quality, but still good.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a malty and bready texture, along with a smooth finish.

Drinkability is decent. For a winter brew this gets the job done, but it is easily forgotten due to the base quality of the overall pour. It lacks any defining qualities.

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Photo of nghab
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Note that this is a 2006 bottle (20th anniversary neck label) consumed in 2009. I like to hold a few bottles of various potentially "age-able" beers to see how they are years later. Bottle reads "enjoy by 031007"

AROMA: Rich and malty, chocolatey, smooth, inviting, no notable hop character. Oxidation, if any, is minimal

APPEARANCE: Dark brown colour, good clarity, delicate espresso crema-like head that eventually dissipates.

FLAVOUR: Malty, smooth chocolatey flavour, not much grain bitterness, a bit of "coffee and cream," hop bitterness has fallen over time but the beer is still nicely balanced, some cherry-and-chocolate notes in the background possibly as a result of some slight oxidation.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body, maybe a little warming but not really very alcoholic, carbonation medium or lower

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A very nice porter-like winter warmer that has held up quite well in my basement and may have gained a little complexity. I'm (so far) resisting the temptation to go downstairs and open another one.

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Photo of beeragent
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - The beer pours a dark copper, forming a very thin tan head. Light spots of lace stick to the glass.

S - Smell appears to consist of sweet malts and spices. Not overpowering, but noticeable.

T - Follows the aroma closley, mainly a nice buttery malt flavor with a hint of spices.

M - Medium/Heavy body. Good thickness and very smooth. No carbonation.

D - Good flavor. Not too complex but still interesting enough. Slightly higher alcohol level may keep some from drinking this all night, but still worth having one or two. This is probably my favorite beer by Summit Brewing so far.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a shorty bottle into a tulip.

Pours a dark ruddy brown with a smallish head that stays adequately.

Aroma is of deeply roasted, nutty malts. Malt smells burned and there is not much discernible in the way of hops.

Flavor is nutty roasted malt. Sweet and malty the flavors of sweet cream and vanilla sneak in. Middle shows a tiny bit of hop, but not really enough to balance the huge malt flavor here. Syrupy sweet and on the edge of being cloying. Not a bad flavor if a little sweet. Some more hop and this beer would be great.

Mouthfeel is a little disappointing compared to the flavor this beer has. A little thicker would be nice.

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Photo of DrMalt
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Tan 3/4 " head. Porterlike dark brown,with a hint of red.

S - Not alot of noticable arome. Some hint of spice.

T - Very caramelly but surprisely missing an element of bitterness from the dark malts. Some undertones of nutmeg and/or clove.

M - Some what thin bodied. Little toasty or chocolate from the grains.

D - Overall a good rendition of a winter warmer but just not something that makes my tastebuds dance. Had many winter warmers this season and was the least impressive.

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Photo of Wisconsin
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a one finger head that is tan. The body is a very dark brown, almost black in appearance.

S - Syrup, molassis and some chocolate all hit your nose. The smell is not overly strong but decent.

T - Molassis, chocolate, malts and roasted undertones.

M - Molassis, chocolate with a nice transition of roasted malts and grains.

D - Smooth overall. I could have a few in sitting.

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Photo of hellbilly
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
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?

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Photo of hughesm4
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The initial poor and smell i thought this would be a really good winter beer. Then I started to drink and I thought the taste was alright. Then I got to the aftertaste in the mouth and there was really nothing special about it. No hops, chocolate or coffee taste, or spices. I was dissappointed.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Murphy's pub in Champaign. Pours a reddish-brown with medium thick off-white head that lingered well and left good lacing. Both the nose and flavor were a very good mix of caramel, coffee and licorice, with the taste more dominant than the aroma. As the beer warmed, the licorice became more overpowering than the other elements, which led to a tingly mouth and warming finish. Not a bad winter warmer at all.

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Photo of gford217
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle provided by Buebie poured into a tulip.

This is a good looking beer in general with a very dark brown pour that shows a good bit of ruby when held up to the light. The head is a solid one-finger off-white cap that hangs around as a ring leaving very good lacing.

The aroma is very roasted with lots of dark malts and hints of smoke. There are peppery spices in there as well.

Taste is much sweeter than the aroma and has the same dark roasted malts but with lots more caramel and chocolate sweetness. The finish brings the smoke back in as well a slight nut presence and faint spices.

The mouthfeel is fairly thin though still creamy with some soft carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable winter brew, but there's nothing that stands out too much here.

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Photo of nick76
2.96/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is very toasted and almost smokey with coffee, toffee, and a touch of spice. The appearance is dark red brown with a foamy head. The flavor is like the aroma but too tangy and acidic. The palate is average for the style. Overall its OK but not that good.

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

This is a really good winter beer. It is very dark. Sort of like a porter, but clear. It also has the coffee scent and taste. That goes well with the low carbonation. It is very well balanced between the roasted malt and bitter hops which makes it really easy to drink.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really freaking dark, nice poofy head, pretty lacing.

Burnt, roasty smell & taste, but chocolate and coffee also, and quite complex - a lot going on here.

Seemed to be a little too zingy on the carbonation - somewhat detracting IMO.

Finishes with a really solid bitterness that kind of made me glad I was done with it.

Overall a complex beer, pretty strong tasting. Plenty of flavor and a solid bitterness here. Not one for a hot day out in the boat. For sure a winter warmer style brew.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.83/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A= very dark red color almost black with a small head rising out then settling quickly into some interestingly delicious looking bubbles
S= thin spices like cinnimon and nutmeg. Burnt malts and a small amount of hops
T= small burnt malt and lots of good spice as in the nose. Finishes with hoppy bitterness
M= average on all counts
D= decent. One of the best winter warmers I've had. Really makes me feel good about winter in minnesota.

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Photo of thedetective
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thin head which sticks nicely to the side of the glass. Colour is very dark, darker than some of the other winter ales I tried. I could smell a hint of coffee in the malt. Tastes great and goes down quite easily. I was very impressed with this beer and it was a good bit better than I expected it to be.

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Photo of champ103
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of lhaqq
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown, small sticky tan head that laces pretty well.
S: Great smell of dark roasted malts.
T: Dark malts like the smell. Also mixed in with a buttery caramel flavor.
M: Smooth with a substantial body.
D: Easy to drink, wouldn't mind having another.

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Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 55.8% out of 100 with 573 ratings
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