St. Benedict's Winter Ale | Stevens Point Brewery

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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: 269
Photo of mrpoizun
1/5  rDev -71.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I bought this six pack of 12oz bottles in early January on sale for $4.99. Perhaps there was a reason for the sale price.
Mouth feel was acidic.
The only thing I can say about the taste was that it seemed to lean toward industrial solvent. A couple of weeks later I got up the nerve to try it again; the second bottle was exactly the same.
I'm wondering now if I can get some use out of the remaining four bottles by using them for cooking.

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Photo of charliedango
1.41/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had Steven's Point simply put "Belgian Dark Ale" on the bottle, I would have known to stay away from it. I've had many other "winter warmer" ales and this is no where near the category of the others I have tried.

If you love Belgian dark ales, then this is your beer. Not my style, sorry.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.35/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours dark copper with a slight beige head.

Aroma is banana and light fruit esters. Roasted malt, unidentifiable spices, and a strong metallic quality.

Taste is surprisingly dry and tart. Mild caramel malt and understated hops are overwhelmed by the strong spices. Tartness turns sour in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied. A fuller feel would have really helped.

This beer lacks a unified flavor. Spices are too aggressive and overwhelming and complexity that may be in there. I don't know if I can drink another one.

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Photo of RedBaron
2.37/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've been a fan of Point lager for a long time. Here in the Midwest, it's a pretty decent cheap beer, especially on tap. Pairs great with spicy foods. However, I'm not too impressed with their take on a winter ale.

Appearance: Dark, inviting copper color. Nice carbonation.
Smell: What the hell? Who ashed their cigarette in my beer? Yes, that's what it smells like to me. Perhaps they were going for a smoky
Taste: Lots of caramel sugary flavors. Like the aroma, it tastes like someone had stuck a cigarette in my beer. Maybe they were trying to go for a "rauch" texture, but it misses the mark.
Mouthfeel: There is a decent balance to this beer. As much as the sugars pervade in the beginning and middle, there is a dry-ish finish which I like.
Drinkability: OK...a disclaimer...I consumed a Samuel Smith's Winter Warmer prior to drinking this sample. Maybe my palate hadn't re-calibrated, but this beer tastes like somebody really didn't give a crap about carefully crafting a winter beer. Seriously, did the brewmaster decide to throw a carton of Marlboros in the mash tun and pass it off for "smoking the beer"? There are some redeeming qualities - the color, the finish - but I won't seek it out again, even at .99c/bottle at my local beer shop.

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Photo of edbeered
2.47/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is available at The 8th Street Grill in downtown Minneapolis. They are trying to be a beer destination, with over 30 beers on tap, but that's a topic for another review. Although this site lists this as a winter warmer, the bar lists it as a Belgian Dubbel. Although this tastes more like a Belgian than a Winter Warmer, it's claim to either style is weak(just like the beer). Served on tap, this pours a pleasing clear amber color. There is no smell to speak of. The taste has slight fruity overtones, with apple and pear predominating, but it tastes as if it was watered down. This is the classic macro attempt at a craft brew style. Don't make the taste too strong so as not to offend the Point Lager crowd. Well, I'm not buying it(literally). The mouthfeel is weak and the drinkability is poor. Whatever style this is supposed to be, it just doesn't get it done.

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Photo of Soneast
2.48/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, dark brown color with a 2 finger light brown colored head which dissipates quickly. Pretty minor lacing.

Smells like a spicy malt basically.

Taste is pretty bland, just a lightly burnt malt flavor. And a mild bit of spiciness detected.

Light bodied, fair carbonation. This doesn't interest me much. Can't say I'll ever drink anymore of these. It's not bad, per say, but there are much better options available in this style.

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Photo of nsmartell
2.6/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. Purchased as part of a pick-your-six from a liquor store halfway between Wisconsin Rapids and Milwaukee. From a bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Nice dark in color but no head to speak of.

Smell: Holiday spice and a weak malt.

Taste: Pretty average for a holiday beer and too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied.

Drinkability: Not my favorite holiday/winter beer. Would not consider this for a session beer.

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Photo of ibashmuck
2.63/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Never been a big fan of "the dark's", but I'm always willing to try, hence my adding this to my sixer. Pours a dark copper/brown, smells mainly of malts with maybe just a brief hint of spice. At first drink, didn't find much of any of those spices I sniffed, but the taste was not nearly as strong as other dark's I've tried. Last drink same as first. As far a dark's go, this is on my short list of drinkables.

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Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
2.65/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz to imperial pint
No freshness date

A: Pours a clear mahogany brown with a 3 finger tan head that quickly dissipated to nothing, therefore no lace and retention.

S: Very light aroma with some metallic smells from slight oxidation and alcohol. I repeatedly tried to get an aroma out of this one but never could.

T: Light malty flavor with caramel and toffee notes. A dry bitter finish with some hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Not at all what I think a winter warmer/ale should taste like with stronger holiday spice and a nice alcohol warming. The oxidized metallic flavor was present in the flavor as well.

M+D: Thin and watery with a syrup like finish. Moderate carbonation supports any body this beer may have. Light in body and crisp in finish but little flavor.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.76/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The pages on the label appear to say "Adore et Labor". Not sure what it's referring to, but it appears to a decent motto. Good label art.
Even though it's labeled as a "winter ale" it smells a lot like a lager, or maybe more correctly, it smells more like a lager. Fresh hoppy character familiar to lagers, with a bit of a yeast quality (that maybe seems to be carrying a banana quality and this gets stronger in time).
Brilliantly clear. Tan head that's one inch and settles to a tan covering. Nice color or red/brown, closest to garnet.
Malt to the flavor. Not necessarily bold but prominent. Hop character in flavor and mild but consistent bitterness middle to finish. Yeast flavor strong as in the aroma, again presenting some phenol. There is a strong sourness in time too, that unfortunately is rather distracting.
Feel is on the light side, but I like the carbonation which adds a fullness and softness and some smoothness.
I wonder if what I am drinking is what was intended. There is the outline of a decent beer here, but there also seems to be some problems.

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Photo of grannun
2.76/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium amber, not as dark as I would expect out of this style

S - Mildly sweet and fruity, malty, some spices, but not as much as I would expect

T - Malty, yeasty, spicy, caramel, sounds good on paper, but really didn't hit my palette correctly. Did not enjoy the flavor at all

M - Nice carbonation and mouthfeel, easily its best characteristic

D - Ugh, drinkable in the sense of smoothness, but not in flavor

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Photo of stakem
2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Eric for gifting me with a couple bottles of this. Poured from a standard 12oz screw cap brown bottle into a pint glass. The brew pours a clear amber color with a half finger of yellowish tan head that very rapidly dissolves to just a few bubbles across the surface. A light swirl agitates some bubbles from solution but fails to reformulate a head. Faint spotty lace sticks to the glass momentarily after each swirl.

The smell of this brew includes a dominating amount of clove. There are light hints of peppery spice and it carries with it some belgian yeast characteristics that are a bit muddled by herbal hop indications and some fruity alcohol. Notes of pear or apple skins come to mind towards the backend that mix with more peppery spices that makes for an awkward combination. As the brew warms up and the glass is swirled, it releases some sulfur notes and dirty diaper quality that was previously hidden behind the spicy yeast character. The total combination of all smells present here make for almost a medicinal quality.

The taste of this brew includes a spice of clove upfront that gives way to a thorough amount of belgian yeast flavorings. Skins of fruits somewhat like pear and apple are mixed with a bit of herbal hoppy bitterness. Some sips reveal some peppery spice just like the aroma suggested. At times there are some hints of toffee-like grain sweetness but it plays a very faint role in comparison to the clove and peppery qualities. As the brew warms up, I get a mixture of some rindy quality almost like oranges mixed with something along the lines of cinnamon that impart a bit of medicinal quality to the profile. Overall, this brew is a bit of a jumbled mess to me.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol inclusion is present with a warmth expected for the 6% indicated. As previously stated, this brew is a bit of a jumbled mess without enough malt backbone. The peppery spice and clove are very exaggerated. I am appreciative for the opportunity to try this beer on two different occasions (at the cost of someone else) and honestly both times I struggled to finish my glass. This one is not worth seeking out.

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Photo of Lemke10
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought a 12pk sampler of Stevens Point Beer for $11.99 from Woodman's in Janesville, WI in Spring 2011.

Pours a cloudy red/orange color with a little and quickly disolving head. There is a slight scent of malts and some spices but nothing that sticks out too much. Taste is rather strong and dull. Starts with a nice spice taste but ends with a dry rustic taste. Texture is a little watery as well. After a few sips you get used to the taste but still has many flaws. Slighty disappointed but this one. I hope the other 5 beers are better than this. Sam Adams Winter Lager is by far a better tasting winter warmer than this.

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Photo of BierFan
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear brown with a big light tan head. Okay lacing, subpar head retention.

Smell: Banana and clove smell. I was able to smell the banana as soon as I twisted off the cap.

Taste: More banana and clove in the taste. Something about it seems off, perhaps the cloves have too big of a presence. I can taste some other spice in the aftertaste but I don't know what it is.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.9/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium brownish-red. Clear. Substantial off-white foamy head. Dissipates somewhat quickly leaving a little lacing.

Smell - Mostly caramel malt with a little undefined spiciness. (Maybe ginger?) Hops not apparent.

Taste - Medium dark malt is the dominant flavor. Tastes a little like burnt malt at times. Spiciness of some sort is present, but I can't determine exactly what it is. Noticeable alcohol warmth. Good, not great.

Mouthfeel - Moderate. Seems a bit light for style.

Drinkability - Decent beer for a cold winter's night from a nice small town brewery that makes decent beer. Nothing to knock one's socks off, though.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bright ruby tinted copper color with a bright off white cream head forming thick and leaves behind fine lacing. Aroma has hints of christmas spice, cinnamon, allspice, and some citrus ginger. The back end there are some smokey ash tray notes. Nice underlying fruity character going on, brings out some caramel as well. Flavor wise some unrefined malt sweetness, extra juicy with plums/raisin/hints of citrus fruit in the back end. A bit of caramel/yeast spiciness not as upfront with the christmas spices in the flavors as the nose but still evident. A bit cloying unrefined/unfermented malts weigh heavy with each sip. Unnatural carbonation leaves a rough backend to each sip, something I wouldn't drink on the regular. Drinkability is rough, it shows promise from Point brewery to do something a little outside the norm from a regional brewery that big.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass, pours a dark crimson with no lasting head, no lacing, meh. The aroma has some caramel, dark fruits like cherry, cranberry perhaps, some spicing, pretty ok. The taste is decent, again some caramel and sweetly malts, cranberry is there again, dry herbal hops, a bit tart... and honestly kind of tastes like a dubbel. Don't like that tart part, but otherwise its decent. The mouth is medium, ok carbonation, didn't start out well but got much better as it warmed. In all, its rather stock,

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Photo of drewd
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like many others, wondering where the spice & flavor is in this beer to make it a winter ale. There is the slightest bit on the nose, and in the finish, though other than that this remains a dryly sweet brown. Not anything special, but not terrible either. Sometimes you need an average beer, right?

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Very clear dark ruby, quarter finger wispy head.

S- Estery with some hints of spice and caramel.

T- Clean malt flavor with notes of roasted and caramel malts that barely bring about some interest. Scarcely noticeable hops bring about a little spicyness to the finish.

M- A little thin, but smooth.

D- Depends, what else ya got.

Not a bad beer by any means, just quite, not good. I had no problem finishing this. It just seemed to be lacking.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
3.07/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, deep crimson color with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves only spotty lacing in the glassware. The nose is a surprise. This beer is considered (I surmise) to be a winter warmer, but it smells more like a fruity Belgian-style dubbel. Caramel, dark fruits, raisins and fig - the dominant note being an estery yeast aroma, however. Slight spicy notes are detectable as well, though I suspect no spices were added although the packaging doesn't indicate. The palate is dry and fruity with a distinct bitterness that occasionally borders on tart. This character is more like overly-roasted or scorched malt than something fanciful like a wild or lactic yeast strain. Incredibly estery, this beer is more like a dubbel light. The body and mouth feel is just too light to support the flavors this beer is trying to achieve. Ample carbonations leaves the beer all the more dry in the finish, but does little to compensate for the thin, watery body. The label doesn't tell me the ABV of this beer, but I'd suspect it to be on the very low end for a winter warmer - maybe 6% or thereabouts. This is an 'okay' beer for the season, but not something to flip over. This beer strikes me as one that could be quite pleasant if it were improved in a couple of vital aspects - particularly the thin body and slightly acrid off-flavor. Having said that, though, this isn't bad and not a drain pour beer by any means. I give it kudos for effort.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-nice mahogany with less than finger of head that faded quickly

S-some malts but I get more spice than malt

T-cloves, fruity malt presents itself later but spice is dominant for me

M-nice carbonation but fairly thin

O-nothing that I would seek out again, I just wasn't fond of the spice that I got out of it

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Photo of SaucedAntiquarian
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber with little head. Smells similar to a Belgian, but is not quite as complex. Has a surprisingly warm, and pleasant taste for how inexpensive it was. It is not a heavy beer, but does have a warm feel. A respectable winter beer at a very reasonable price.

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Photo of Katahdin
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It pours a rich, malty deep darkish red color but the head fast disappears and the taste is just so-so average. A bit light on the ABV for the style. Lots of maltiness with definite hints of chocolate. Nothing to really linger on the tongue and a bit bland tasting. Probably not too bad as these beers go, but definitely not head of the class.

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Photo of drpimento
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Actually one of Point’s better efforts. Poured at a good temperature with a large foamy, fizzy, light tan head that soon settled to a large island and ring with a bit of lace. Color is a clear orange red mahoganey with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is immediately bubble gum, then fruit, malt, caramel. Flavor is like nose with sweet on top then bitter and tang. Not a lot going on. Body is a tad thin and carbonation fizzy. Finish is like flavor, fairly long, and lelt me thinking: I know they can do it if they want. The question is, why don’t they?

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Photo of Chugmonkey
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown color with orange highlights, wimpy head and lacing. Aroma is pretty mild for a Winter Warmer - spicyness is very hard to detect, possibly some clove.

Taste is like a mild brown ale with some fruitiness, slight clove note. Minimal spice taste, and sweetness is not up there either. Overall pretty tame and underwhelming.

Like all Points, it is a touch watery, could be a lot more chewy, especially for the style. Overall it is pretty mellow for the style, but the lack of any overpowering spices or sweetness makes it very drinkable.

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St. Benedict's Winter Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
3.49 out of 5 based on 269 ratings.
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