St. Benedict's Winter Ale | Stevens Point Brewery

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St. Benedict's Winter AleSt. Benedict's Winter Ale
271 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 271 |  Reviews: 123
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
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 kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of metter98
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear reddish amber in color and has some miniscule particles visible floating in suspension along with a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that died down but left wispy lacing on the surface and a thick ring of dense bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of candi sugar, fruit and spices are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of sweet malts along with notes of apples and candi sugars as well as some hints of Belgian yeast.
M: It feels on the high end of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No alcohol warming is noticeable.
O: This beer is quite drinkable compared to other beers in the style because the alcohol is well hidden and it isn’t very filling.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
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 brentk56
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark mahogany color with a sturdy two finger head that leaves a decent amount of lace

Smell: Toasted malt, toffee and dried stone fruit, but also something inexplicably odd and phenolic

Taste: Fruity and sweet, up front, with a brown sugar element that fades by mid-palate with the arrival of a medicinally bitter, Italian soda aspect; after the swallow, the sweetness returns but the memory of the medicinal quality lingers underneath

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A rather odd concotion that is neither here nor there, though it is interesting enough to contemplate for a while

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +12%
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 chinchill
4.07/5  rDev +14%
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 jgunther71
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of krome
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, brilliant, garnet-hued body with a smallish, whitish head.

Smell: Initially, an aroma of simple syrup marinated plums -- skins and all. Eventually, notes of toasted dark bread and bit of roast dosed with a few drops of honey liqueur.

Taste: Toasted pumpernickel bread lightly brushed with sweet treacle and served alongside a small handful of plums and currants, which provide a bit of tart fruitiness. Light touch of roast. Lightly earthy hops with a medium-low amount of bitterness. A pinch of brown sugar joins the mix later on. Very light hints of the alcohol within. Relatively dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Very, very slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: So-so. It's not a 44-person water skiing pyramid, but, when considering the rest of Point's offerings, it's not half bad!

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"The wise man is known by the fewness of his words."

--the eleventh degree of humility, according to the Holy Rule of St. Benedict

Blood orange (more orange than blood) when backlit with the rising September sun. The entire bottle fit into the glass on one smooth pour thanks to a less than expansive ecru cap. Very little lace sticks, making the appearance merely average for a winter warmer.

The nose is pleasant, but it isn't distinctive. It's toasted and roasted malty (though not so much the latter), and has a medium-dark fruitiness that should be apparent on the palate as well. So far, no Christmas spices.

Even though the ABV remains a mystery, one mouthful is all it takes to make an educated guess. I'll go with 6.0%. St. Benedict's Winter is one of the lighter winter ales that you'll run across, but then one should not expect a Double Bastard clone from Stevens Point. Still, this is reasonably tasty beer.

It isn't as well-brewed or as complex, but SBWA tastes like a Belgian dubbel without the kick-ass yeast strain. The beer isn't as brown malty as a brown ale and it's now obvious that one or more spices have been added. Sweet-tart fruit and clove play off one another quite well in the bottom half of the bottle.

A better mouthfeel (more malt please) would help immensely. Sessionable winter warmers are all well and good, but some amount of light chewiness should be a requirement. On a positive note, the carbonation contributes, while staying out of the way.

With a little work, St. Benedict's Winter Ale has a chance to be Steven Point's finest beer. Hell's bells, given what else they produce, it might be already. With a little bulking up, this could a contender.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I recieved this bottle as an extra in a trade recently. I had never heard of it, so I was skeptical, but went for it with my brother in law to try a sample as well. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/10/2009.

The pour was decent enough with a dark caramel color coling through with a touch or reddish light on the sides and the bottom of the glass. Light tan head came up and faded fast leaving only a touch of light side glass lacing. Decent aroma of caramel, dark fruits, a touch of a nut like aroma. This carried over well into the flavor which was highlighted by the tartness of dark plum like flavors. Nice overall profile here, nice and medium feel to it with more then adequate carbonation. Smooth sipping with light alcohol, I had no problem putting this one down.

Overall not bad, not the best but still more then decent. I would have no issue at all with trying this one any day.

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Photo of stakem
2.78/5  rDev -22.1%
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 TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Decided to open this one while watching my Bears try not to fail against the sad Bills in Toronto. Fingers are crossed both for the game and for the beer. It pours (the beer, that is) a cloudy sienna-amber topped by some short-lived ecru foam, which finds apex at, at best estimate, a half-finger. The nose comprises rye bread, brown sugar, light maple syrup, and a good helping of nutmeg. It doesn't quite mix together very well, and just sits there, hoping that some 'strils come by looking for a "good time". The taste follows the same spicy path, but adds some light tinges of orange and grapefruit (the latter even lighter than the former), graham crackers, and straight butter. No margarine here, son. The body is a sorta hefty-feeling medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a grainy feel. Overall, I think SP tried a bit too hard to make a spiced ale, as the components don't really mesh all that well together. It's still not that bad, but not necessarily something I would go for very often in the future.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
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 InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Tone
3.87/5  rDev +8.4%
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 jwc215
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
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 feloniousmonk
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Diusky brown color, showing crimson highlights...solid, whitish head.

Arousing aroma, Belgian yeast, cream, vanilla, and cocoa...some dark fruit, fig, date...I'm getting a feeling of a dubbel here...and I like it. Sweet and lovely,

Drinkin' now... yum, there's the rich, deep sweetness...the dark malt and the fruit, the deep rosy character. Very nice.

But it's not quite what I'm looking for. Needs more depth, more of everything, really. More body, more of everything.
But, it's good, don't get me wrong. Just could be a lot better, if they tried.
On the plus side, it's very tasty, and I could drink a ton of it. Nothing wrong with that!

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Photo of Gavage
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours an orange color with a short 1/2" head that falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: caramel, yeast, and spices are easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, belgian yeast, pepper, coriander, brown sugar, a moderate bitterness, and a bit of earthiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout with some dryness late.

Drinkability: slow sipping winter beer. The spiciness keeps this from having more than one in a session.

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Photo of avalon07
3.22/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Not much lacing.

S: A surprisingly fruity aroma, with some traces of malt as well.

T: Tasted of malt, a little hops, some yeast, and fruit (apples, pears). This almost tastes like a mild Belgian ale, instead of a winter warmer. In any case it doesn't really work either way.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a prickly, vibrant finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is kind of an odd, unfocused beer. It almost plays like a cross between a winter warmer and a Belgian Pale Ale, but it can't pull either off.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 271 ratings