Summit Winter Ale | Summit Brewing Company

573 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 573 |  Reviews: 277
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.8/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 12/15/2008 (bottle):

Pours a dark red color body. Average cream-colored head, somewhat diminishing. Malty aroma, some strawberry. Some hoppiness and English maltIness. Not a strong aroma. Hoppy dark chocolately malt taste. Some alcohol and some toffee. Okay body, somewhat watery. Very porterish/stouty taste and palate.

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Photo of Mistofminn
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz short brown bottle

I was kind of skeptical to drink this (why, I have no idea). My friend next door finally got me to try it. I was rather surprised and pleased with the results.

Color is dark amber, with and off white head. Smells and tastes of dark chocolate, and coffee. Roasted malts present as well. Faint hoppiness as well. Mouthfeel was the best part in my opinion. Medium body and very creamy. Excellent.

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Photo of JDK
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark amber with a 1 finger head.

Light lacing that quickly disappeared

Tastes of chocolate and roasted malts,a very nice blend overall

Medium mouthfeel, nice carbonation and has a semi sweet taste lingering on the back of the tongue for several minutes

The smell of chocolate, dark roasted malts and just a hint of spice

Bought this in a winter sample pack of 12 bottles, 4 styles at Anderson's for $12.99. Very good deal considering most of the other winter brews 6 packs are $8.99 - $10.99.

Definately worth a try

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

Pours a very dark amber brown. Creamy tan head is lasting, and leaves a touch of lacing.

Roasted malts dominates the nose. Coffee/chocolate notes, and a faint hop presence.

Sweet caramel malts and chocolatey roasted malts are balanced by a floral (and ever so slight citrus) hop flavor. Some dark fruits are present before a dry finish.

Medium in body with a very creamy texture. Roasted malts leave a dryness on the tongue.

Very well balanced. Complexity is outstanding. A marriage of an American brown and a porter. I am definitely picking up more soon.

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Photo of schellsbeer
2.35/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Really disappointed this year. I had this last year and it was awesome. Did they change the recipe? Very Bland tasting. Not the Winter Warmer that I remembered. Overall, Not impressed at all....and this comes from one of my favorite brewers. What happened?

Dark brown in color but nothing to write home about conderning the taste, smell, mouthfeel.

I will try another bottle here in the next week or so but then will wait until next year. Sure hope this is just a fluke and a bad year for this brew.

Over and out...

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Photo of Buebie
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nifter. No freshness date on the twist off brown bottle.
1 finger off white sudzy head, leaving miscelaneous sized bubbles and no real retention from the semi-rigerous pour.
Some mild spotty lace present. Color is black, with glowing red around the edges.

Aromas of dark roasted ceral grains, smoke, bitter chocolate malts, dairy like sweetness.

Thin and watery mouthfeel with more carbonation then desired for the style.
Semi sweet chocolate maltyness up front. Carbonation comeing through strong and man, I just cant get past this watery thin, frail mouthfeel.
The brew becomes a bit more bitter with hints of black tea, cloves, and grassy hops that just barely elude the senses.

Its a big hit out here in MN. I've noticed over the last 3 years the beer has really changed. The '07 version being to me, un-drinkable and way to smokey.
I want the original recipie back.

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Photo of opwog
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now listening to: George Thorogood - One Bourbon, one scotch and one beer

A- dark brown, but clear to see through
S- Not much going on, especially compared to many holiday ales. Malty, toasted nuts and that is reaching for a description.
T- molases is maybe somewhat a holiday flavor, but there isn't much else in here. Balanced by the hops, but they are far from defined in the taste
M- Decent carbonation and body to help on winter nights.
D- If you are in MN, you know that this beer is everywhere. From the highest end beer bars to the diviest joints around. Is it drinkable; hell yea and if you spend enough nights with the locals, this is probably what you will end up drinking a lot of.

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Photo of Bagman007
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

A- Dark crimson brown color with a lingering head.

S- Nutty, malty smell to it. Can't really smell the spices.

T- Not really spicy like other winter warmers, but it has a nice hoppy finish. Can taste the caramel malts and a hint of raisins.

M- Great coating on this beer. Creamy, yet smooth.

D- Somewhat drinkable, but I wouldn't have more than a couple.

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Photo of climax
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a fairly opaque brown with a plum hue, one finger head faded to the sides of the glass with a few snakes of remaining lace

s - smelled fruity and malty, not too pungent, hints of raisins

t - good flavor, slightly raisiny and chocolate as it smelled, hoppy finish, very good

m - mouthfeel was excellent, coated nicely and became satisfyingly creamy when i swished it about

d- drank somewhat like a porter to me, not a bad thing, very smooth for the color

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours up dark brown with a dense light tan head.

S - Faint aroma of roast malt

T - Subtle malty flavor, hint of chocolate in the background, with some hop bitterness in the finish.

M - A little thin, with a creamy feel and moderate carbonation

D - Moderately drinkable. The malt flavor could easily overwhelm the palate.

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Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of KeefD
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with amber highlights, a one finger tan colored head with big bubbles and light lacing. Smells just about like every other Summit beer. Light hopping, cooked malts, with the addition of some caramel and light spices. Flavor is of some lightly roasted and biscuity malts, light chocolate, hints of caramel and toffee, and an average hop bitterness. I swear every Summit brew has the exact same hopping. I always know what to expect from them. Creamy mouthfeel, a bit light decent carbonation. This is actually better than most Summit beers, and would probably take this one over all their others if it were available year round. Average Winter Warmer at best, however.

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Photo of kinger
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not one to let me down, I had a feeling Summit would have a nice winter seasonal. This is a fantastic strong ale. Abundant roasted aroma very rich and appealing. Awesome pour amber/brown color with a long lasting one inch light tan head and layers upon layers of lacing. Mouthfeel isn't as full as expected but it's smooth and gratifying. Flavor is a half step under the great aroma. Very malty almost drinks like a porter, if it were darker I would be fooled. Some smokiness with mild flavors of chocolate, licorice, and coffee. Small hop presence. Overall a great beer any time of the year.

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Photo of praufs01
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark with a creamy tan head.

Aroma - Malty smelling with floral and grassy aromas in the background.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy yet light on the palate if that makes any sense.

Taste - A light molasses flavor is all that I can detect

Overall - Very good and very smooth.

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Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at the legendary Bennett's in St. Paul MN. After my pleasant encounter with the Summit Octoberfest, I was happy to have a crack at their Winter Ale.

I have nothing further to say. This beer defines mediocrity. OK to drink, look at, inhale. Nothing stands out. A completely forgettable beer.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Poured with a frothy, off-white head, low retention and minimal lacing. Deep amber to brownish, displaying a clear and deep red-brown hue when held up to a light.

S-Nutty and toasted malts, with no hop aromas.

T-A smooth nuttiness is brought to the palate, along with roasted malts. Following these initial flavors, a mild sweetness appears. A bitterness, with almost cirtusy overtones, is present through the taste. Minimal bitterness in the aftertaste, with small leftover malt.

M-Almost heavy carbonation, but it was energizing instead of distracting. Chewy initially, but went down the pipe very smoothly.

D-Smooth on the way down, and very drinkable. Won't fatigue the palate. No alcoholic warmth (due to a tolerable ABV), so a couple won't send you to bed.

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Photo of Fatduck
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark red, with a small tan head that dissipates quickly, common for Summit. A little lacing.

S - Spicy and malty. I cant tell what in this, but I can tell that I like it.

T - Sweet and malty, mild spice notes. They call it a winter warmer, and at 5.9 ABV it sure does work. This is one of my standard drinks after a nice cold winter bike ride.

M - It tastes sweet and heavy, but the carbonation is nearly perfect, keeps the feeling light, but doesn't take away from the smoothness of this beer

D - I love this beer, Its one of the first beers that got me into really LOVING beer. I have and will in the future drink a 6er by myself

This is one of my favorite 'winter' beers. I love summit, and I love winter, so its a perfect combo. When I found this beer at Hum's I did a little dance in the isle, because this beer represents the start of the winter beer season, and that is a wonderful thing.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark, dark brown body with minimal off-white almost tan head. The head fades quick leaving a ring where the body and the glass meet.

S - From the second this beer exited it's bottle the aroma was in the air. Black licorice, dark chocolate and a hint at clove.

T - It has a smokey tone over subtle dark chocolate. This brew comes from a long roasted malt making a solid attempt at a nice ripe ale.

M - The feel of the brew leaves a bit to be desired. It's flat at the lips but has an uncomfortable coarseness over my tongue. When it hits the back of my throat I'm discouraged.

~ I will recommend this brew to others despite the issues I have with the appearance and texture. I'm thinking the sight and feel may be better when sampled from draught.

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Photo of WJVII
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of number1bum
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark scarlet red/brown, good clarity and about a finger and a half of tan head. Keeps a pretty thin but full lace all the way to the bottom of the glass and leaves a bit of stick.

Smell is quite chocolaty and I like it. Milk chocolate, cocoa powder, a pleasant sweetness. Nice.

Taste also has some chocolate but not as much as the nose. There is a tobacco like and earthy hop flavor and also a moderate level of hop bitterness. There is a roasty flavor that seems to be a combo of some roasted malt and also some tobacco like hops. The substantial hop presence is reminiscent of a porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, quite smooth with a nice creaminess to it. Carbonation is a bit more active than I'd like - could be softer.

This is a nice beer and I love the nose in particular. Many beers have dark, bittersweet chocolate characteristics but this one has a great milk chocolate/cocoa powder nose that is somewhat unique. I wish there was more of that in the flavor, but nevertheless this is a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.6/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahhh, spring. Time to kill off those winter warmers and stock up on pilseners, wits, and hefes.

A - This one has one hell of a head! Four fingers plus and threatening to spill over the sides of my glass. The head is khaki in color, and it gets honeycombed as it slowly settles to a fat fluffy finger. Lots of really sticky lace is left in it's wake. The beer is a deeply bronzed purplish brown. Pretty beer.

S - Candied apples, and sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and other spices are apparent. I like the fruitcake and thanksgiving notes going on here.

T - Brown sugar, maple syrup, milk chocolate, chocolate malt, marshmallows, cream cheese. Dang! This is a complex brew! It's like a seven course thanksgiving dinner rolled up into one beer. Like the full dinner gum from Willy Wonka.

M - Full bodied and heavy. This is moderately carbonated, and has some really heft on the palate. The finish is barky and woody, which complements the flavors well.

D - An excellent winter warmer! This category is very hit or miss, and this is a definite hit. I love all of the flavors, and the mouthfeel is reallyl nice. Quality, quality beer.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $1.79 for a single at Jungle Jim's...

The beer pours a clear chocolate base, small white head, nice 1/8" head retention for the hour drank, and a few specs of lacing. It smells like a porter at first, robust smoky malt notes, finished with a sweet caramel tone.

The taste is similar to its smell, except it's more balanced and adds a touch of spice: something like ginger and anise, moderate carbonation and no sign of alcohol, very mellow and full flavored, yet not heavy. Creamy in the mouth compliments to the creamy head and drinkable at 5.9% abv. I would opt to have another beer after two, or maybe only one.

Final Thought: A very nice winter brew from the Twin cities, definitely will have one next season.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Summit Winter Ale
Bottle Inspection: Brown 12 oz. twisty, lists ingredients "Water, Barley Malt, Hops, Yeast", nothing else. Website lists Williamette, Fuggle, Tettenanger hops, and Harrington, Caramel and Carafa II malts, 36 IBU, 6.2% abv, 42 L.

Aroma: Nutty gingerbread, mild toasted grain, sweet dark malt, really nice.

Appearance: Dark brown with great clarity when held to the light. Tan head collars quickly and leaves some clinging lace.

Flavor: Nice malty beer with some complexity. Some coffee flavor, dark toasted malt, mild bubblegum, comes off as a porter base, I'm guessing that's the Fuggles talking more than anything. I normally don't like Fuggles, but the amount used here is pretty good. I'm really impressed with the spiced notes here given they claim Reinheitsgebot.

Mouthfeel: On the edge of too carbonated, but doesn't go fizzy. Medium body, slick texture, little warmth

Overall Impression: A solid beer. Great craftsmanship here is obvious as they get a lot of interesting flavors out of basic ingredients. My favorite Summit beer yet

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Photo of pumarocks
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up a sixer of this at the jungle in fairfield, oh for 3.99! wow what a steal!

for a winter ale it is surprisingly light and drinkable. it has a fresh warmth that i find very appealing. it has a nice malty flavor that lingers. the hop finish dances breifly on the tongue and dissapears as fast as it showed up. i could easily knock down 2 or 3 of these bad boys on a cold winters night or even a cold spring night for all you buckeyes who feel my pain.

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Photo of Greggy
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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