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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 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 stompwampa
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this from a bottle. It has a deep red copper color. The head was thick at first, but it fizzled quickly.

It smells sweet...typical of this Belgian Abbey style. It smells fruity and sugary.

It has a rich taste and a big finish. It leaves that distinct tang in the back of your throat that you get with these kind of beers. The smell and the taste fit each other.

It's not a beer that I could drink a lot of in one sitting, but that's not generally the point either. It's a good slow drinker...especially during the winter with a nice hearty meal.

I had this with pork at Christmas dinner and it was a great pairing.

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Photo of Gmann
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a crystal clear amber brown color with a sudsy off-white head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma was of sweet candi sugar and some yeasty clove.

The taste was a tea like malt base sweetened with candi sugar and had some clove and bubblegum notes. Tasted like an English/Belgian mix.

The feel was light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but finishes astringent.

An ok brew. Some decent belgian flavors mixed with a so so english base.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter...

A: pours a deep ruby red with great clarity and an off white head.

S: mostly grainy, with aromas of chocolate, bread dough, and roasted nuts

T: again, fresh grain up front, sweet with some flavors of black cherry, almost woodsy, then cocoa dust. turns into a slightly citrusy hop flavors, finishing bitter and nutty with more cherry flavor.

M: medium body with a slick, yet crispy texture and an off dry finish

Overall, i don't necessarily find this to be a winter warmer. It is more similar to Fat Tire than anything that carries that label as winter warmers tend to be flavored with various spices, mainly cinnamon. Also similar to Fat Tire, this is a beer that one could easily finish a six pack of.

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Photo of drewd
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
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 Bierguy5
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Clear amber in color. A nice rocky off-white head. Head fades to a thin layer after a minute. Not much lace.

Caramel malt nose. Herbal and slightly citrusy hop aroma. A bit of a ripe fruit feel.

Caramel malt, with some sweetness up front. A bit of a bready note. Some ripe fruit. Earthy and herbal with an English feel.

Lighter body with soft carbonation. Alcohol is hidden. Not sure why this is called a winter warmer. Not very interesting.

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Photo of RedBaron
2.37/5  rDev -33.6%
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 riversider76
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice copper with a thin head. Not much retention but a decent amount of laceing. Aroma is of dark fruit and sugary malts. Body is thick and lightly carbonated. Taste is of brown sugar, carmel and dark sweet fruit. solid finish. Worth a try this season.

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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 Rmason104
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint from a 12 oz bottle

A: Dark amber, copper colored. Moderate carbonation. Thin, quickly disappearing head.

S: Not much to go off here. Not getting much aroma. What I do get is that of baked bread.

T: Thinner and not as much depth as I expected. Slight maltiness, somewhat nutty flavor. Finishes dry, with just a bare hint of hops.

M: Thinner than expected for a winter ale. Definitely on the light side.

D: Alright, I suppose more drinkable over the long term than most winter-style beers.

Not bad, but nothing exciting for me. Not as much depth, malt or spice as I had hoped. Will probably stick to the belgian dubels and quads.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper color with a smaller, tight, foamy, slightly creamy, off-white/light beige head. Sticks around a bit leaving a nice thin layer of lace.

S - A good amount of nutty malt. Some breadiness as well. Some candi sugar on the nose as well along with some brown sugar. Faint nose of herbal and spiced notes as well.

T - Similar to the nose with a lot of nutty and sweet grainy toasted malt. Some candi sugar and brown sugar as well. Quite sweet. Some spice and herbal flavors under the malt, especially at the end.

M - Lighter side of medium body with average carbonation. Slightly sticky feel.

D - Sweet but not cloying. Pretty easy to drink and goes down easy. Kind of beer that you casually drink through a couple in a night.

Notes: Pretty malty beer that is pretty sweet. Didn't really amaze me, but just a simple drinking beer.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - Deep amber in color, clear, with about 2 fingers of foam that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell - Spiced, with added orange peel and maybe coriander. Otherwise maybe only a little hopy.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Fun tingly feeling on the sides of the mouth. Good balance between malty and hopy. Definitely some orange peel, still maybe some coriander. Texture is very smooth, almost more toward the watery feel.

Drinkability - Pretty decent brew, and very easy to drink

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Photo of Samp01
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear dark copper / amber with a small tan head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, some sweet spices and fruitiness. Taste is sweet caramel malt, some breadiness, sweet spices and some light hops. Palate is med to full body, nice carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel malt, some breadiness and yeast, ending with a dry alcohol sweet vanilla bitternes and some nutty flavor. Overall a nice and drinkable holiday ale,

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Photo of Redrover
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck poured into my Lenies version of the perfect pint glass. The beer is garnet with a massive, dense tan head. Very good lacing.

The nose is of plums, lightly roasted grains and brown sugar.

The taste tracks the smell. It is slightly sweet with some mild roasted malt notes. Some raisins and more brown sugar at mid glass.

The mouth has decent heft but may be on the thin side for a winter warmer. This is a nice change-up and is a good introduction/crossover beer.

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Photo of emsroth
3.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

App: A deep dark amber with a soft, delicate head.

Smell: Cherries, almonds, and an herbal dryness. What I look for in a dubbel.

Taste: A rather dry dubbel, usually a quality I don't like, but it works with this beer. A touch of fruitiness up front, but the flavor is heavy in the finish with a touch of coffee-like roast and dry, herbal finish. A cherry-stone flavor is present throughout and adds a touch of tart fruit and nuttiness.

Not outstanding, but as I drank I began to taste the complexity of this beer.

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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 BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +12%
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 outdoorbrewer
3.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First tried this beer back in Feb. when purchased and was not impressed. Could probably have used some more aging. Left two bottles in the fridge to carry on.
Now end of May let's see what we have.

Poured once into glass to avoid any sediment.
Creamy off-white head lasts awhile then fades to cover a deep amber brew softly carbonated and clear.
Has a fragrant nutty aroma blending raisins with roasted malts and spice that we sometimes would say "Dubbel". It smells like an oak aged Scotch Whiskey. I find that appealing.
Malty fruity flavor start pauses to reveal the aromatics addition kind of strongly to have that caramunich character imposed on a non-stout which just can't override it. It picks up to finish with faint candy caramel pleasing to the palate.
All in all, aging helped this beer along on it's way and seems to have matured well. More hops would carry it past the taste of a double-bock into the holiday necessities.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Mahogany with a bit of foam. Does not look watery. Pretty carbonated.

Smell: Spiced and fruity, kind of like a fresh fruit cake. Cinnamon, cloves, apples, orange, even a bit of mint. Rather unique in my opinion. Thumbs up!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Fairly unrefined, therefore a bit rough. Taste-wise, this beer is relaxingly pleasant. Perfect warming feel!

Drinkability: Given the fact that this beer comes across and seems designed to warm, it's not a session beer. One of these should do the trick.

Overall: I'd say it's flavor and warming effect makes it perfect on a cold night every once in a while.

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Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
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 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 pmcadamis
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, showing ruby highlights when not hidden from direct light. The head is a nice khaki color, and recedes quickly to a thin collar.

S - Mineral water and vinous notes combine to form a menagerie of weird and funky notes. Grape, milk chocolate, nutty wholesome bread, and toasted nuts.

T - Black bread (pumpernickel), toasted nuts ( almonds and walnuts), and a nice backing hint of toffee. Nice!

M - Medium bodied, nutty, and a bit boozy. The noticeable alcohol could be perceived as a flaw, but I think it adds to the nutty flavor... cashews and scotch go quite well together, after all.

D - This is a nice winter ale from a brewer that I usually don't hold in high esteem. Nutty and bready, this is a nice winter brew that doesn't do the whole played out "fruitcake and spice" thing. Drinkable on a feast-type evening, but a bit much for a normal session. Good stuff!

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Photo of gordavidson
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A clear, blood orange with a lot of sreams of rising carbonation with a thin light brown head.

S- Brown sugar, fruit, cotton candy, and a bit of white bread and citrus. Appealing.

T- Same as the aroma with an undesirable metallic and bitter aspect. Surprisingly sweet up front, but not much depth.

M- Metallic at the end. The carbonation level is nice and smooth overall.

D- An interesting take on the style. A little on the rich side.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
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 describe...it'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 lukeoberm963
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
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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St. Benedict's Winter Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 271 ratings
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