Summit Winter Ale | Summit Brewing Company

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Summit Winter AleSummit Winter Ale
590 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: 590 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of beerluvr
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a lacey tan head receding over clear dark maroon liquid hinting at brownish highlights. The nose is pleasantly roasty with light coffeeish notes, lightly fruity too. Taste starts sweet with underlying dryness felt, yet a little thin in the mouthfeel dept. Some nuttiness tasted also. Moderate hoppiness. Finishes with little in the way of "oomph"...nice, but nothing to shout about.

Thanks CRJM.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour a deep maroon with a relatively large tan head. Thick rings of lace are deposited to the glass.
Aroma of caramel, toffe and some nuts.
Flavors or toasted dark wheat bread, caramel and hint of peanut (?) and maybe some sour green apple hit.
Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and smooth with a lightly bittered finish.
Drinkability is very, love to get this one of draught.

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Photo of alexgash
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brick-red with a creamy off-white head. Not much going on with the nose; caramel, some vanilla, trace elements, slight hops--it's hard to tell. Taste starts with toasty caramel malts with slight fruitiness. Hops are minimal but do the job. I wouldn't mind it if Summit beefed this up a touch; it might really help it gain some complexity. Creamy, medium bodied, and not a bad session winter ale.

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

Looks darker than I remembered it. Almost looks like a stout, with it's black opacity. This is a very heavily spiced beer, which makes me wonder why it isn't in the Herbed/Spiced beer category. It tastes strongly of cinnamon and nutmeg, in fact, they pretty much dominate this beer. Covers up any traces of alcohol or hops (I don't know if that is a good thing). Not a beer to session, would make you feel sick to your stomache in no time. It would be good on a cold winter night, though.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.03/5  rDev +8%
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!

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Photo of jtfest
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured darkish brown with red hues and a moderate tan head. Not quite opaque, but very dark in the glass. Really very little aroma at all -- neither good nor bad, just -- not there. A substantial mouthfeel with a smooth and oddly delicate spicy taste makes up for the lack of aroma, though. Nicely carbonated, this is an easy drinking winter brew that I found friendly even if I didn't fall in love with it.

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Photo of maxpower
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark reddish-amber color, has a nice thick off white head that leaves some lace in my glass. Nutty caramel aromas. Bready chocolate-caramel flavors, medium body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, a decent winter brew, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.09/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle served at cellarish temperatures in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Dark clear maroon topped with a small and creamy ecru head that pretty much doesn't go away. Thick fingers of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Nutty roasted toffee malts dominate the nose. Kind of a one note wonder.

Taste: Toasted bready malts and not much else. Mildly sweet with some apply kinda thangs going on.

Mouthfeel: Creamy thick medium body.

Drinkability: A study in toasted malt flavor. Gets sort of tiring after awhile. This really didn't do much for me.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for the sample.

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Photo of jahred
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this (thanks to incongruity, again!) at my recent winter beer tasting. Pours a dark brown color with a medium head and a nice malty, hoppy (and somehow minty) scent.

Tastes of orange and piney hops, with a chalky aftertaste. I'm not quite sure what it is, but something didn't quite fit together in this beer. The beer is rather thin, and perhaps I was expecting something else from a winter/old ale (and something unknown that I can't quite describe).

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Photo of jwilli7122
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear, dark brown with a slight reddish tint. Medium sized tan tead.
Smell roasty and sweet, quiet coffee and heavy caramel. Taste is toasted, slightly sweet at first, then bitter with hints of chocolate (but always mellow, never rich) - followed by a nice coffee aftertaste that lingers but isn't overpowering. Very smooth, not overly thick. toasted, but not all that bitter.

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Photo of JeffreyG
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah winter in Minnesota. Cold weather, black ice, snow and more cold weather. Luckily we have some solidly enjoyable winter brews available and Summit Winter Ale is no exception. Color is dark and inviting with a nice creamy head with acceptable retention. Smell is of roasty malt with a touch sweetness. Taste is an enjoyable slight spicyness on an ample bed of malt. Mouthfeel is full but not overt. A very drinkable beer for winter and I look forward to it each year.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, ruby-tinted mahogany beneath a short lid of creamy off white foam that drops shortly but maintains a wide collar, whispy surface covering, and leaves some craggy streaks and spots of lace with each sip. The nose is limited but clean; and it offers a touch of roastiness above some mild, grainy malt. The body is decidedly medium and it's very fine, restrained carbonation leaves it creamy and smooth in the mouth. In fact, it's very similar to a engine-pulled cask ale or a nitro-pour. It really needs to warm a bit before its flavors come out, but when they do some dark caramel with an almost burnt-sugar edge and some subtle chocolatey notes join with its mild roastiness in the flavor. A touch of fruitiness and some sublime spice lend a bit of additional character; and its firm bitterness also combines with its roastiness to leave it dry in the finish. Quite interesting. It's very much like a blend of a toned-down stout and some richly malty, caramelish ale. Very nice!

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer looks pretty good. a dark reddish brown, barely transparent. it has a good head, it's a little sticky.

i pick up a small amount of roasted malts in the smell.

taste really isn't that great. don't get me wrong it's good. it tastes like quality, but nothing really stands out. like the other winter ales i have had this season it is mild and drinkable but lacks character. this might be the last winter ale i'll buy.

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Photo of daledeee
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is a pretty good brewery overall. I had this brew last year but never rated it.

Pouring yields a pretty good tawny head with lace and a very dark clear brown. I couldn't see through it.

The nose is the big dissapointment about this beer. There are hints of coffee and chocolate but the overall nose is unpleasant. I know this beer is fresh because it taste good but the nose is off. Smells like Lacrosse lager which is a cheap session beer. At the very outset of the pour it smells worse.

Taste is good with bitter chocolate malt and coffee. Lingering strong coffee afterwords. Mouthfeel is good.

I would write the smell off as an anomoly but I had the same impression last year. Must not be that bad; I bought it again.

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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.

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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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Summit Winter Ale from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 590 ratings