Winterizer 2003 | Ithaca Beer Company

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Very Good
7 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by shippos on 11-06-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of UnionMade
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Shippos. 2003 version drunk while reviewing after about a year. Thanks!
The beer pours a beautifully clear, caramelized ruby. A creamy cap of off-white foam sits atop the brew, easing into a thick coating surrounding islands of larger bubbles. Good lacing, large clumps clinging to the glass. Excellent head retention.
The aroma is pleasantly malty and spicy. Caramel sweetness blends smoothly with apparent nutmeg and plenty of fruitiness. Cidery apple, with soft ginger notes, brown sugar and cinnamon. A relaxing, fireside welcome feel.
The flavor starts out strong, with roasty, caramel malt cushioning a big nutmeg kick. A blast of cinnamon and cidery apple in the middle. The roastiness is subtle, adding a bit of a coffee dimension. The finish is moderately hopped, rather woody and earthy, complimenting the nutmeg and ginger flavors. A vague, displaced acidity also serves to balance the malty, spiced sweetness. Some hints of licorice and herbal hop flavor, as well. Rather full bodied, with a rich, creamy mouthfeel.
I'm pretty picky about spiced winter warmer styles, but this one seems balanced enough. The spices are right up front, but contain enough complexity to remain interesting through a bottle or two. Spiced beer is really not my style, and I'll get tired of even the best after a couple bottles. This is a nice one, similar to Anchor's special ale. Good stuff.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-transparent copper with a moderate off-white head. Little retention, small ring of lace around the circumference of the glass.

Smells heavenly! Nutmeg, cinnamon, and apples. Mmmm, pie!

Taste almost lives up to the smell. It has a big fat rush of that spice you smell, followed by a big sweet caramel malt middle. reminds me of a scotch ale with spices. Very different, very good. Finishes slightly hoppy/peppery with a dry toasted ending.

Mouthfeel is moderately big. Modest carbonation.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of sponberg
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber with a thin white head, served at garage (aka "really damned cold") temperature and allowed to warm. Aroma like my mom's banana spice cookies or maybe pumpkin bread - toasty, but heavy on the cinnamon, nutmeg, and faint banana esters.

This one hits me as being very well balanced - plenty of spices, yes, but with a solid maltiness to balance them nicely. Cinnamon and nutmeg mix with a sprucelike herbalness - faint Alpha Klaus pineyness - and a good amount of bitterness that tastes half spices, half hops. The background malt tastes a lot like their brown ale (English style) with added oomph. The mouthfeel gets rounder as it warms from subzero. The spices, balanced as they are, would get a bit much after three, but as a "one or two" brew on a cold evening, it does a fine job.

This came as part of their mixed 12 pack, which also included 2 of their excellent Stouts, at the P&C supermarket in Owego. The 12 pack contained 4 of these - nice touch.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma reminds me of banana nut bread. Definitely a spicy aroma,
Light tan head composed of medium to large bubbles. Fades to a light film and leaves a clean glass.
Dark caramel amber in color, the liquid glows under the light.
The body is middle of the road, and there’s just enough carbonation.
The flavor is malty sweet up front with a pinch of nutmeg. The spices intensify and the flavor bitters, and then all of a sudden it’s gone. Any alcohol is barely perceptible. The finish is smooth and leaves your breath smelling of holiday cheer.
Any thicker or richer and this beer would be too much. No alcohol content listed on the bottle although I would guess it’s around 7 based on the warm feeling in my stomach. On a side note only forty cases and four kegs worth of Winterizer were brewed. All in all an easy drinking holiday beer

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep burnt-amber body. Frothy tan head fades quickly with minimal lace.
Smell: My first impression was "eggnog"... cinnamon, nutmeg, rum notes. Sweet, buttery toffee malt. A whiff of anissette, and perhaps clove as well.
Taste: Tastes just like it smells with emphasis on cinnamon and nutmeg. Spicing almost makes you think there's pumpkin as well. Malt sweetness is then dried, but not completely, allowing a semi-sweet, spiced aftertaste to linger. Decent balance.
Mouthfeel: Chewy malt, dry finish from both spice and slightly bitter hops. Soothing alcohol warmth. Body is just right.
Drinkability: Fine example of a winter ale offering. Grab it while you can. Very limited offering confined pretty much confined to the Ithaca outlets I'm told. Wouldn't mind seeing this beome a regular seasonal offering.

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the brewery.

Pours a darker amber with a fluffy off-white head.

Aroma is of a pungently spiced brown ale, with definate notes of East Kent Goldings hops. Very tasty.

Taste is much lighter and bitter than expected. I must disagree with shippos, as I felt there was significant hopping in the beer, similar to the profile of the brewery's "Flower Power" IPA. Spices are very strong, primarily with anise and nutmeg. The finish is very, very drying probably due to the hops and spices.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would have liked for a dark winter option. This is confusing, due to the fact that there is a significant ABV level in this beer.

The Flower Power comparison is appropriate, because this seems, more than anything, to be a dark, heavily spiced british pale, softly and dryingly hoppy.

A bit of a letdown, but still not a bad beer at all, and better than many other spiced options I've had. Definately worth trying.

In conclusion, the above criticisms should be taken with a grain of salt -- this beer has only been available for a week, and it was on tap -- and I think with six months of bottle aging, this would be very good. I will go back and snap up a few to cellar.

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Photo of shippos
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

clear amber color with a fizzy slightly tannish head that dissappeared completely. slight fruity hints and aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg can't detect any hops though just the spices. rich malty sweetness not much hops in the taste, I'd love to try this without the spices as it seems to be very well balanced. spicy aftertaste with cinnamon being the most prominate and has a throat drying quality probably from the spices . pretty good spice beer, definetly more toned down then the last bottling from a few years ago.

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Winterizer 2003 from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 7 ratings