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Summit Winter Ale | Summit Brewing Company

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Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale
576 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 576 |  Reviews: 278
Photo of bditty187
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany hue with shinny ruby highlights around the edges of the pint glass. Light brunette head, served about a finger in height, very sturdy retention. A good amount of lacing was produced, even if it was unorganized, as I sipped away. To the eye, it is a dark, mysterious looking beverage. Appealing. The nose is very pleasant with dark yet restrained fruits upfront, quickly followed by light butterscotch and chocolate, straightforward maltiness. Fairly good potency sparks the invitation. The depth on the tongue is solid with a pleasant chocolate maltiness found up-front and then a delicious hoppy bitterness is introduced in the middle (yummy!). The finish has a lovely buttery English Old Ale twist on the end. The palate is respectable and very enjoyable to quaff, however it failed to blow me away. The carbonation is low, which would work better if the body were a little fuller. Still worth trying if you have not, I’ll gladly drink it again. This was my first Nebraska bought Summit product!

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Photo of winomark
2.79/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, almost black with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Dark roasted malt that is quite muted. Almost on aroma.

Taste: Roasted, slightly smoky malt is dominating. Some coffee tones and hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation lends to a lightness on the palate. Flavorful, lingering finish.

Drinkability: Not a favorite of mine. Not enough sweet malt for a winter brew, IMO. Won't try again.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice deep dark cherrywood color with a deep ruby red glow, head starts about a finger high of dark tannish color, fades fast to a lighter almost ivory colored skim and lace which is in stringy sheets. Aroma is mild of light roasted coffee or old coffee lightly burnt-like roasted malts, notes of dry hops, dried wood, and plastic-like ethonal/alcohol notes. Taste is mild and plain with light notes of burnt roasted malts, a touch of old coffee and nutty dryness mixes over the top and in the finish. Has some woodish, dry hop notes. Nothing stands out but the dryness, which is a bit uneven and not all that good as it goes down. Feel is a bit thin with a drying texture midway through to the finish which coats the mouth and tongue with a dry spongy, spiked, lightly harsh cotton mouth. A slightly weak, boring, and a pretty unpleasant glass of beer. Smooth this out, get rid of the harsh dryness and texture and i might be interested in it again. Was hoping they changed this one much like the O-fest. But now I remember why I always skip by this one every year. I'll stick with the porter.

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

12 oz bottle. Poured a deep copper color with red highlights, a smallish head, but plenty of lace. Aroma is muted, with a slightly sweet scent. Taste is weak malt, thin and watery, with not much of an aftertaste. Still not a bad tasting beer. This is a good session beer, due to its mildness.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt caramel with a touch of cocoa in the nose. Deep scarlet color with a staying sticky pale tan lace. Dominant taste of burnt wood chips and spiced malt (nutmeg?). After that the flavor is flat on the tongue. A medium mouth leaves a slightly nutty dry tongue. The brew is solid, I am just distracted by the burnt dryness of the brew.

Cheers to Budgood 1 for the Sample!

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

12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date.

This ale poured a clear, coffee-mahogany brown with creamy tan foam that lingered quite a while and left a coating and lacing on the glass. The smell was very nice: yeasty, chocolate, coffee, caramel malt, citrus, bread, and roasted malt. The smell lasted throughout. The taste was very mildly sweet caramel malt with floral and bitter hops, with hints of citrus and yeasty bread. The mouthfeel was smooth and crisp with some hop astringency. The body was medium, and the carbonation was moderate. This was a very nice and pleasant dark ale. I enjoyed it and wish I could have another.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for this one.

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Photo of elmocoso
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, this beer is a deep red ruby color when held up to the light. It lacks head, but with the little ring around the edge and the carbonation islands on the surface and the color combo, this beer ends up looking like a cherry cola, not a bad one though.

There is a very malty smell to this one and a hint o' alcohol present also. par for a winter warmer. There is also a fresh sweetness that I can not place.

The taste is pretty good. Nice and balanced and it hits the tongue just right. I can also feel a warming in the belly after a few sips. I like to feel a warming in the belly.

This ends up being a pretty good beer. A special thanks for felonious for making it possible.

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Photo of Gusler
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an enormously deep garnet color; the head is medial in size, creamy in texture, the color a light tan, as it evanesces the lace forms a covering sheet upon the glass. Malt dominates the lightly sweet nose, fresh and clean to the senses, with the start nicely malt and somewhat sweet, top middling in feel. Finish has a pertinent acidity, the hops deliberate in their spiciness, very dry lingering aftertaste. Quite a nice drinkable beer from a brewery that is new to me, and my thanks goes to feloniousmonk for this bottle and several other all waiting in the fridge to be sampled, my friend, this beer is gladly quaffed in your honor.

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Photo of paceyourself
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's april 7th and i'm watching what is supposed to six inches of snow falling, so i figured it would be a good time to kill off the winter brews.

Pours very appealing dark brown in color with a small tan head. The sweet mild aroma of caramel and malts seems ordinary for this winter ale. Butterscotch and chocolate just begins to describe the malt presence here. This is a nice brew but it lacks something to spice up the malts. Thanks Feloniousmonk for my first taste of a Summit brew, i look forward to more of Summit Brewing offerings.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty dark overall with some amber colors showing through the light. Pretty malty, good mix of flavors, hardly noticeable taste of hopps. . The head was off white, but disappeared pretty quickly. Not my favorite that ive had in a while, but deffinately worth checking out.

 273 characters

Photo of kunzbrew
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a deep rich red copper color with no head that leaves a nice smooth lace behind. The smell of malts and caramel along with a mild hop aroma. It is a light bodied beer that reveals a mild hop flavor that really is not strong. High carbonation is kills the maltiness that is trying to get out from the shadow of the carbonation. This is not a good as I was anticipating, but it is still good.


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Photo of marc77
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby hue with brilliant clarity evident when held to light. Light beige, well retained, uniform, one fingered head manages loose lace. Dark caramel, raisiny fruitiness, w/ mellow chocolate and mild butterscotch in aroma. Understated floral hop nose, with a whiff of earthiness as well. Tame, yet quite pleasant aromawise. Cocoa laced sweetness upfront in flavor yields to drying notes of biscuit and moderate hop bitterness. Clean, rounded dark caramel with a roasted edge emerge mid palate along with a lightly spicy hop flavor. Subdued hints of molasses complement both caramel malt derived and residual unfermented sweetness. Lightly bodied, with a passably smooth, lightly dextrinous mouthfeel. Finishes slightly dry, with suggestions of anise and baker's chocolate. For such a light beer, this brew packs a wallop of flavor. It's certainly not a strong ale, but a damn tasty brew that I could drink all night. Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the bottle.

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Photo of purplehops
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This Winter Ale pours a deep chestnut brown with a rich volcanic tan head that last for a while and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is a pleasing balance of chocolate, black malt, and macerated fruit. The taste starts with a weak blend of caramel malt and black malt. Then finishes with a better balance of malt sweetness, black malt bitterness, and an earthiness from the Willamette and Fuggle hops. The aftertaste is earthy, slightly sweet and just a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to weak and out of place for a winter ale IMHO.
Overall an ok ale but I think there are better and bolder versions of winter ale out there. Perhaps this would make a nice cross over or first time beer for someone having the style for the first time.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a unique ruby-red, near brown color. Initial smell is of caramel and sweet roasted malts. The taste of caramel and slightly burnt malts stays on the palate throughout; however, there is very little if any aftertaste or bite as would be expected in this style. This beer also lacks body, I expected more for a "winter ale". The best part of this brew is the smoothness, highly drinkable on frigid winter nights.

Notes. Yet another fine offering, not the best, from Summit Brewing Company.

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Photo of zerk
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a thin but persistent head that leaves behind some lace. Sweet aroma of caramel, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Flavor was dominated by sweet malt, with some backing spices... nutmeg was quite noticeable. Has a very viscous body, which, combined with the sweetness, lowers the drinkability. Not one of the best seasonal offerings, but a decent winter brew.

 371 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once upon a time, this was my winter long staple brew, deviating only for other seasonal specialties, ie Anchor et al. Nowadays, variety is my everyday spice of life, but I have to pay homage to this brew, every year.
Dark as a Minnesota night, with a small brownish head that leaves too soon. Aroma is light, delicate, with no dominant flavors. Toffee, chocolate, roasted coffee and spice are all hinted at.Texture is smooth with a little hop bite. Balance is excellent; malt stands up, but doesn't stick out.

Spicy and warm, but still mellow and soothing. Seems to lack an "oomph " from years ago, or maybe my tongue has tempered.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown, mahogany color with a tan head. Aroma is of a heavily malted beer. This beer is slightly big and heavy with the roatsed malts dominating the flavor up front. Slight alcohol warming effect is noted. Hops balance the beer and keep the finish fairly neutral until the hop bitterness and alcohol really show themselves in the very end. Finish slightly effects the drinkability, but still good overall. A solid winter ale with a big malt character.

 457 characters

Photo of BeerAngel
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with copper highlights and has a small light tan head. The smell is a faint slightly sweet malty aroma. Very nice, but too faint. Very nice flavor revealing a nice roasted malt and light buttery background. It is hoppped perfectly for a nice blend and slightly dry bitter finish and just slightly warming. Very nice winter brew IMO, as it drinks down very easy. Nice choice sent to me by our very own BA budgood1. I recommend this brew!

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Photo of BitteBier
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an intriguing dark ruby-brown color with shallow but tight head that dissipates almost immediately other than at the edges. Nose is a mix of alcohol warmth and a roasted, spicy scent. Taste is dominated by a mix of sweetness and spicy alcohol warmth, both of which don't persist as long as one would like. Mouthfeel is a bit oily, but that's not uncommon in this sort of beer. Drinkability, on the other hand, is a bit better than one might expect.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a mahogany color, with a light-brown head that lasts. The nose is of roasted malt. Flavors are toasted malt, with hints of chocolate. There is also a spiciness to the flavor as well. It is a rich beer that is light-medium in body, with light carbonation, and a slight alcoholic warmth. Overall, it is a well balanced beer.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Wingman65
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe it. I just bought a 6-pack last night (August 5th) for $2.49. NEVER HAD A BETTER DEAL IN MY LIFE! This has kept very well. As I was watching the thunderstorms pass I enjoyed 2 bottles - and I must say REALLY enjoyed! I was surprised at how dark and beautifully it poured. A firm, but not long-lasting creamy caramel head. A complex, malty aroma that teased me with subtle wiffs of everything I was about to taste. Very smooth taste. A flavor of chocolate, a bit of coffee roast and spice notes made this very enjoyable. It had a smooth feel around my mouth and tickled with the roasted spice hints on the way down. Very drinkable -I will savor the last 4 bottles, and hope that last 6 pack I saw at the store will still be there in a few days!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark burgandy/mohagony hue. Some very nice roasted notes in this brew. A warming presence is also noticed. Chocolate notes accent this malty brew.

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Photo of cokes
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rerate 2003: I am far less impressed with this than I have been in the past. More roasty and more chocolately, but shallower flavorwise. Remarkably similar to a American brown ale. Lightly spicy hopping. Quite drinkable, but where did all the nuance go?
Run of the mill winter seasonal. Not one I'll go looking for any more.

As winter winds to a close, I saved the review one of my favorite winter seasonals until the very end.
Pours the deepest scarlet imaginable. Small off-white head doesn't stay long, but never fully vanishes. Great full malt smell.
Complex malts. Chocolate, raisins, caramel, and (to a lesser extent) vanilla, and maybe even some cherries. Not highly hopped for compared to some Summit's (I believe last year's had a bigger hop profile). Nonetheless, you wouldn't want anything to compete with the rich malt textures.
It is also not as potent as some other winter brews in terms of ABV%. This is all the better as it leaves you wanting more.
As the last drop of this exceptional winter brew disappears from my glass, I can't help but feel just a little saddened that I will have to wait another year to have this treat again.
Then again...I guess it is a neccessary sacrifice for some warmer temps.
Still, this beer makes you embrace the cold months of the year.

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Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 576 ratings
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