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St. Benedict's Winter Ale | Stevens Point Brewery

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121 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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 269
Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.17/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one is... interesting? Slightly bitter with a mild smoke aftertaste. It is almost like I'm expecting this to be more complicated, like it should have hops, or it should have a complex flavor.

That aside, it isn't bad, I could drink this again. It might actually be a very interesting cooking beer.

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Photo of mynie
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa. The tapper is friggin' awesome.

Decent pour. Dark ruby brown with a small head.

Smells of mild--very mild--warmer spices and light malt. Usually there's some spicy hops in there to liven things up, or they go heavier on the warming spices. There's usually some zing of alcohol in there, too. (Ya'know, to warm things up.)

Tastes a lot like it smells. Medium malt, sweet and lightly spicy, mild hop bitterness at the end. No spice burst, no kick of fruit or alcohol.

I'm a bigger fan of Point's beers than most--if they cost two bucks more per sixer I'd bet they'd be a lot more respected. Even so, there's no mistaking this beer for anything other than a completely unexceptional warmer. If you have access to Sam Adams' or Goose Island's winter ales, there's really no reason to buy this.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
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 feloniousmonk
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
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 Pauly2X
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
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 wheatyweiss
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber with a small head that recedes to a thin cap.

Aroma is of roasted malt and sweet rolls with a touch of biscuit and butter with honey.

Flavor is sweet malt and dates with raisins and sticky buns. quite a bit boozey for the low ABV. Dusty yeast flavors abound with a sour twang.

Mouthfeel is medium with active carbonation. A little thin for the style I believe.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
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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Photo of beerphilosopher
3.07/5  rDev -12.3%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
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 garymuchow
2.76/5  rDev -21.1%
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 Rennpferd
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cold bottle that sat in the back of my fridge since Christmas.

Dark and brown with an off white head that was clingy and thin. Active carbination could be seen working it's way to the surface.

It had a smell of malt, slight but definative. The aroma was laced with a hint of spice that I could not place.

A slight neutral flavor of malt, no hops. The hint of spice was missing from the taste. It had a nice medium body. After a moment I had a very nice even malt after-taste crawl forward on my tongue.

Though not exactly what I expected and lacking the flavor that I expected for this type of ale. I would say that this is a drinkable seasonal beverage.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3/5  rDev -14.3%
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 edbeered
2.47/5  rDev -29.4%
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 nsmartell
2.6/5  rDev -25.7%
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 -24.9%
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 Blakaeris
2.35/5  rDev -32.9%
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 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 uwmgdman
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brilliant mahogany with a thin off-white head. The aroma is moderately spicy, with hints of chocolate and roast. The flavor is moderately roasty, a little chocolate pokes through and there is a low hop bitterness. The body is rather thin with moderate carbonation. The finish is a bit dry. The flavor also is somewhat spicy/phenolic, likely from the yeast strain. Overall itÂ’s a nice beer to look and is well done, but the lack of any lasting flavor and odd yeast character makes this nothing outstanding.

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Photo of WJVII
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The sample I am going to review is on tap, however I have had this beer in a bottle. One of the local "franchised" restaurants happened to have this on tap so I figured I would try it to review.

The first thing I noticed was no head at all.This beer had no head, no lacing, nothing at all. The color was a darker almost translucent purple. I also noticed an abnormal amount of carbonation. My wife actually thought it was a grape soda.

Despite the abnormal appearance the beer has a spiced aroma with hints of roasted malts. The taste followed suit. It was pleasantly sweet with a hint of bitterness. This beer did seem a little too carbonated, but was enjoyable. It was also a little lighter bodied than expected from a winter seasonal.

Having tried this brew from a bottle before this tap version may have helped my review, but it is worth a try. Decent brew, try the bottle before on tap!

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Photo of thagens
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not bad at all. Much better at room temperature than refrigerated.
Pours a crystal clear deep brown that turns to red when held up to light. Not much head to speak of.
Not a whole lot going on in the way of smell, basically just a nice touch of dark malts with a slight phenolic note.
Taste is about the same as the smell. Mild dark roasted malts and some Belgian like phenolic.
Nice amount of carbonation, pretty smooth and highly drinkable. For the price, I would recommend this one.

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