St. Benedict's Winter Ale | Stevens Point Brewery

122 Reviews
St. Benedict's Winter AleSt. Benedict's Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cdkrenz on 10-31-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 271
Photo of dhannes
4.38/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint.

A=Rich amber color, with creamy one finger head.

S=Fruity and hoppy...inviting.

T=Hearty...hint of spice and citrus. Normally, I don't care for spice and citrus, but this one works for me.

M=Excellent...just the right body...not too heavy, not too light.

O=I paired this with pizza rolls, which did not work well...this would work well with red meat, I think, as well as by itself. Very likely that I will purchase this next winter.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.33/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Point St. Benedict's Winter Ale is a slightly hazy copper ale with a yellowish head that fades to a waxy film and leaves outstanding lacing on the glass. Fruit and spice are in the aroma, with notes of cinnamon, pear and allspice. There is the slightest hint of caramel. It has a very soft and delicate medium body. It feels fluffy in the mouth and the finish is very dry and a little gritty. Wow, this is like a Belgian dark ale. The flavor is complex with a lot of deep and dark tones-- cinnamon and wood. There is a fruity note which is a little like apricot or cherry. It doesn't really taste sweet, though. Roasted bitterness lingers after the swallow. Wow, this is a really good Winter ale, even in Spring. This is a very rewarding beer.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Sampling right now on 12/11/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F and poured in to a pilsner glass.

This brew actually pours a pitch black in color with a thin tan head. Areas of spotty lacing is seen when sipped that ends up sliding back down the sides of the glass after a while. The aroma is of roasted malts like in a stout with some cocoa powder. Pretty much the same is said for the taste with a hint of dark fruit. Medium-bodied with low carbonation which is perfect for this type of brew. Very smooth and tasty brew for the colder months

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Photo of RyanLaCount03
4.17/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall I thought Saint Benedicts Winter Ale was a decent beer. Had it for the first time at my girlfriends cabin in northern Wisconsin back in late December of 2012. The appearance of the beer was good, and the flavor was ok. I thought it was kind of a strong beer at times with the full flavor coming out at times. Would probably buy it again in the winter months.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.13/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A : Dark purple/chocolate colored @ 95% opaque. A nice solid Guinness-like head on top, settling at 1 finger after a minute's time and leaving faint flecks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S : Mostly dark and burnt toast, followed by fig newton bars. Some prune, some dark chocolate.

T : Malty, but a little washed out. Prune covered in dried dark chocolate, with rice and coffee. It ends heavy on coffee, but it refrains from being dirty or ground-y. The coffee is clean and medium roast. Some pruney and vinous flavors float around in the aftertaste as well as coffee.

F : Tart, buzzing, but substantial in the mouthfeel with creaminess appropriate for the style. It ends drying politely on the tongue.

O : Apart from being slightly washed out in the taste (although out of the bottle it's actually more direct, surprising), this one is a definite drink-again. I like it, it's a great example of a warm, cozy beer, and does the trick in Belgian tradition.

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Photo of Whiteweasel
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle and drank from a seidel.

A: A beautiful hazy amber-reddish colour, with a substantial off-white head that disappears quickly.

S: Oh boy this smells like a good beer should. Loads of rich malts, a hint of autumn-ish hops like a oktoberfest beer might have. Rather yeasty, with a scent resembling that of a belgian dark ale.

T: Delicious. Hard to pick out much besides heavy, rich, sweet maltiness. Sweet and wholesome. Ton of delicious almost belgian yeastiness. Boozy sweetness is just barely there.

M: Very smooth with a mild carbonation. Goes down easy and doesn't lose flavour in your mouth. Pleasant aftertaste.

D: Incredible drinkability. I could drink these all night, and the abv isnt too bad either. Goes down so easy and is just a purely enjoyable beer.

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Photo of chinchill
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The label and name (“St. Benedict’s”) both suggest a fine abbey brew, but calling this a ‘winter ale’ suggests it could be almost any style ale.

A – The body is a clear. deep, orange-amber; light carbonation is visible. The thin, off-white head quickly reduces to a nice ring with a few thin patches, but remains capable of coating the glass anew with each sip.

S – Needs to warm a good bit to really bring out the aromas. The spicy aroma is more like that expected from a Belgian winter brew (e.g., Delirium Noel) than from an American winter ale, although there is a definite presence of such typical “winter spices” as nutmeg. Fruity with a hint of cognac.

T – Largely follows the aroma, but much closer to a Belgian dubbel or winter ale than expected, with the touches of cloves, dried plums, raisins and bananas. If presented as such, I’d have no trouble believing this was an actual Belgian abbey beer. The finish is clean, rich, and nicely balanced, leaving a fine and long-lasting aftertaste that features both dark malts and spices. The spices form a well-chosen and balanced mix, and blend very nicely with the malts and minimal hops; although the aftertaste is eventually dominated by clove, nutmeg and other spices.

Feel: Near medium body with soft carbonation.

Overall: One of the best American ‘European Strong Ale I’ve had. (I know, BA follows the label and calls this a “winter ale”). Whatever you want to call it, this is a superb, tasty, well-balanced, and easy-to-drink beer.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter, a gift from Stopper.

The beer pours a clear chestnut with rich ruby highlights and a very fizzy sounding beige head of 3 cm even with a gentle pour.
Head fades to the thinnest of edge layers fairly quickly after its noisy appearance.

Aroma is some sweet fruit and lots of spices. I get nutmeg and brown sugar mixing with red grapes and maybe cinnamon, something else sweet going on there too.

The flavor is sweet malt and spice with caramel and fruit. Red grapes and some pears. Fairly complex mixture of flavors but all sweetness with no hops or booze. I also get a bit of nutmeg mixed in the flavor profile.

The beer is very smooth and easy to drink, carbonation is minimal and soft adding to the drinkability of this beer. I dont know if the sweetness would get too much after a second beer but this one bottle is definitely enjoyable.
I would pick up some of these up and share the 6er with friends.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber body, almost opaque, crowned by a deep, dense reddish-brown head, which, all too soon, utterly vanishes. The lacing is rather ephemeral.

Aroma: Caramel, holiday spices like ginger and cinnamon, sugar-glazed dark fruits, and toasted malt dominate the aroma.

Taste: . Opens with dark fruits, soon follows by Christmas spices and spicy alcohol. There is abundant caramel and orange rind as well, and toasted malts, throughout. The alcohol is omnipresent, though never oppressive, presenting a range of complex flavors, including phenols, and peppery notes, and a surprising warmth for an ABV of 6.2%. There are notes of gingerbread throughout, as well. Finishes appropriately, with a wave of Christmas spices.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with faint soft carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Quite nice, I wish I had more. This seems to have been retired for years, though I saw examples for sale as singles at the end of last year. .St. Benedict's Winter Ale reminds me of Steven's Point Whole Hog, the latter captures the essence of autumn, as this does for Christmas.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

This Abbey-style Winter Warmer poured vigorously into the glass forms a thick, cream-colored head that leaves a web-like trail of lacing on the glass. Deep reddish-brown color shows clarity. The aroma is of fresh plums, faint burnt sugar, with a quick whiff of medicinal phenols and a slight spiciness from the hops and alcohol. Beautiful smoothness reaches all corners of the palate with a quick snap of crispness. Solid medium body. All flavors seem to want to smack the taste buds all at once: mellow yet lingering fruitiness of plums and pears, toasted malt and mild burnt sugar sweetness, mild herbal hop bitterness, subtle phenols from the yeast and quick peppery warmth from the alcohol. Finishes a bit dry with some lingering fruitiness and toasted bread flavors.

Very well balanced and pretty damn drinkable, yet big enough to be thrown at just about any holiday dinner. With each sip, and as it gets closer to cellar temperature, it grows on us. A sure pick here for your winter seasonal needs.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St. Benedict's appears a bit viscous as I pour it into my glass. We'll see if that's really the case. It brought up a thick head of frothy tan foam which settles in a minute or so. Spots of lace are left about the glass. It's a slightly hazy crimson-tinted copper with glowing orange highlights. The aroma is interesting. I find it fruity and somewhat spicy. I'm thinking dark fruits like plum and raisin, maybe cassis. There's some darkly caramelish malt and cooked brown sugar beneath that. As I drink it, however, the lacing diminishes. Oh well, to the lips we go... fruit and malt combine at the front, and as it warms I find banana and clove. There's not a lot, but it's there. Across the middle it dries and a spice component appears. It rises in the finish, but notes of malt and then fruit are still there, leaving it fairly interesting and complex. Wow, it really is a bit viscous. It's medium-full in body and quite creamy as the carbonation is released. Back to the flavor, I really like the combination of fruit and malt at the outset. It's well combined, and the specific fruitiness that I found in the nose isn't there, it's more generic. Wether that's a good thing or a bad thing I don't know, we're not comparing it to any particular style or other beer. Hedonistically, I like it. And I also like the way the spiciness gently builds across the palate until it becomes most apparent in the dry finish. And not unlike the fruitiness, the spicing isn't quite clear either. I could guess at what's there, but it's not readily apparent and in your face. Perhaps it's just a pinch of cinnamon? Perhaps it's just clove and phenolic from the yeast? Personally I find that a good thing, it leaves you guessing. I think they've done a nice job of blending to get a nice mix that works, and they've kept it restrained enough that the spicing doesn't build on the palate, ruining the beer for you half way through. Sure, the first couple of sips of a really spicy beer can be great, but then you lose interest as it builds on your palate and blocks out the other flavors. This one is balanced enough that it remains focused and drinkable. Based on that I have to give it some really good marks for drinkability; and since I don't find any faults here, I'd have to say it's an excellent winter warmer. Nicely done!

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Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a creamy tan cap that lasts and leaves spiderweb lace on the glass. Rich, roasty malt and butterscotch with raisin and fresh bread dough. Well balanced malty, toffee and dark fruit flavors with Christmas cookie spice. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. By far the best beer I've ever had from Stevens Point.

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Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby amber with an average sized light tan head. Head falls to just about nothing with the thinnest of lacing.

Has a nice aroma. Malts backed by spices and deep fruits.

Malt taste that is a bit tangy ending sweet. Spicy and fruity not not overly so. Don't notice any hops, mostly a malty brew.

Medium bodied in the mouth, average carbonation and a slight bite.

Rather decent brew. My favorite from Point.

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Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Part of winter variety pack:

Pours black with a creamy light brown head that has nice retention. Thin strands of lacing, then trailing lace, stick.

The smell is of pumpernickel, medium to dark spicing, hint of anise and an earthy, roasty background. Quite complex and inviting!

The taste is of licorice, candy, roasted dark malt, mild dark spicing, pumpernickel, black cherry. Sweet and mildly spicy, it has a soft earthy, fruity touch, with a balancing dryness in the finish. The mild alcohol touch is well-integrated.

It hits the lighter end of full-bodied. It becomes smoother as it warms/progresses. It leaves a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth.

A complex, yet smooth and easy-to-drink winter warmer. This is just right for a cold evening!

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a burgundy color with ruby highlights. It had a bubbly, one-finger tan head of foam. It quickly receded and left a little soapy residue.

S - It smelled of winter spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg. There was a good roasted malt nose.

T - It tasted of some dried fruits, roasted malt and good spices. Nice cinnamon and nutmeg flavors.

M - This one was soft and smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This was a surprising good winter warmer. It really brought some great flavors.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.94/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with 2-row, 6-row, Pilsen, Roasted, Aromatic and 2-row Chocolate malts. Hopped with Cluster. 6.2% ABV, 29 IBU's, 213 cal/12oz.

Pours out to a clear dark brown, forming a modest light khaki head with average to poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is of tootsie rolls, a little bit of grapefruit when swirled, mild herbaceous hops, vanilla, and a smidge of black walnut. The mouthfeel is slick, slightly cloying with a medium dense body, and a piquant sweet acidity that is a little peculiar, kinda feels and tastes like saccharin or lactose or some other sweet non-fermentable. The taste is kinda funky and hard to's a strong brown ale, definitely not belgian but a little tart up front, a touch of bananas, candi-sugar, funky higher alcohols and fruity esters, and an earthy, woody, leathery finish. If I concentrate really hard, I might trick myself into thinking there might be nutmeg and ginger in this.

Interesting, although a bit too peculiar and rich for my tastes. Would probably go quite well with sauerkrat, sauerbraten and smoked fish.

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Photo of slyke
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

St. Benedict's Winter Ale is a new offering from Stevens Point. I hadn't even heard of it until about three weeks ago when I went to my local watering hole and found it as their bottle special of the day. I had four that day.

Appearance: It pours a copper-brown color with a finger of tan head that disappears after about ten minutes in the glass. Little or no lacing.

Smell: Spices - maybe cinnamon, malty sweetness, and alcohol are the dominant features of this beer's aroma.

Taste: Spices again, a biscuity note, and the warming alcohol are all part of the taste. This is nice, hearty beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a thinner mouthfeel than most of the winter warmers I've had, but there is a nice spicy finish to the beer that I really enjoy.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable. This beer has most of the characteristics you are looking for in something to keep you warm. I will make this one another in the list of seasonal must-haves.

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Photo of BWED
3.91/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 12 oz. tulip at Croft's Tavern, Spring City, PA

A- Slight deep brown body with red hues coming out. Tan head retains decently. A little lacing sticks to the glass as well.

S- Caramel, and a dark red wine flavor ( a little port like). Raisin and a small amount of alcohol in the nose as well.

T- Sweet roasted malts, dark fruit, and a little spice. Fresh yeasty Belgian spice. Very nice.

M- Tingle of carbonation, medium body, with a bit of creaminess. Sweet boozy finish.

O- This is more of a spicier version of a Dubbel, but very very tasty. Spices used sparingly, if at all, which make this a fine winter warmer in my book.

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Photo of jeremyd365
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber with low, meandering carbonation. It's got a solid winter spiciness scent to it--some spicy malt for sure. The flavor is pretty good: cinnamon and nutmeg blends well with the malt used here. The body however seems slightly lower than I'd expect from a winter warmer. Overall, though, an enjoyable little brew.

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Photo of lukeoberm963
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Immediately felt warmer after this beer, the beer has to be at least a 6%. Coming in from a blizzard this beer made me feel great about the price I paid for it. Poured a semi dark orange-copper color with a 1 finger head that dissipated relatively quickly, but retained somewhat through out the entire drink. Smelled especially caramel-like. Taste is of some tasty malt notes and caramel, with some banana-apple fruitiness I am also detecting as well. Mouthfeel is alright, it could be emboldened a bit by adding a bit more malt to the beer. The drinkability is terrific. The taste is semi-sweet and can be savored, while it finishes pretty dry and refreshing. Further warming probably will ensue.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a slightly red transparent color with a solid 2 inch white head. smells like the holidays with a big malt body and a red berry sweetness. taste is a bit more hop driven than than nose indicates, and althought not a fruity or spicy beer, it has elements of both. good carbonation and went fantastic with thanksgiving dinner. enjoyed them all day with the turkey smoking away on the weber in fact. one of the more sessionable winters ive had!

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Photo of Tone
3.87/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color. Only a 1/4 inch head with poor lacing and poor retention. Smells mainly of spices along with a strong hops presence. Fits the style. Had a smooth and crisp mouth feel. There was a high carbonation level. Tasted strongly of spices (coriander), roasted malts, and a slight hop background. Overall, a good combination of flavors - worth a try.

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Photo of voyageurs60
3.87/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of a mystery pack from U Pick 6 Beer in Erie, PA. Not as many spice notes as other Christmas ales I have had. Other reviewers have commented on the brown sugar notes. Think I taste them. I like this beer. The mouth feel was nice, not heavy. Overall good beer. I will buy this again when available...

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.87/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$5.49 per six pack
Cellar 70 - County Market
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - The color is a medium to dark brown with minimal tan head. It is a unique looking ale. Even though it is near dark brown it is still transparent. The head though minimal does reveal some fair lacing.

Smell - The aroma of spices and malt are prevalent with a strong inhale of the brew. This will likely be an interesting taste judging by the scent.

Taste - The taste has a bit of spice, a bit of sweet and a bit of malt. The beer is well balanced in its flavor and the flavor is unique. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - The feel of the beer is a bit coarse. I fear I've sampled the beer as in its coldest state. I would likely be better impressed having served myself this brew around 40 - 45 degrees.

~ I must admit I am prone to liking Point beers and this one is no exception. The Stevens Point brewery has again reaffirmed another reason why I love this wonderful small city. Good people, good times and good beer. I think I'll have another.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on December 3, 2011. The pour is a medium to dark amber, almost chestnut, with slow moving upward carbonation and a thin head. The aroma is spirited with dark malts, sugar, clean, light hops, and black licorice. The body has a smooth creamy feel to it and it falls in the medium range. Roasted malts are up front in the flavor with a mellow balance of hops, yeast and maybe a pinch of nutmeg. An entirely satisfying winter warmer. Not too spiced but basically balanced.

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St. Benedict's Winter Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 271 ratings.
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