Winternacht | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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24 Ratings

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 12-13-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a good choice for a cold, December night in the Great NW.

This brew pours a dark amber with particular emphasis on the brown hues. (Nice tints of dark red, though) The head is a frothy cream color with a hint of tan.

A nice, toasty chocolate-malt flavor carries through, along with a slight notion of an orange peel flavor. The smell is of leather and alcohol. There is a sweet, nutty dimension to this beer as well. The hop flavor sums up the brew assertiveness. Very good blend of contrast.

I am very impressed with Widmer's consistent quality. A prost for Widmer: Damn Good Beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one of my first samples of the alt style and I was happy to find more afterwards.I liked the copper color with not to much head to speak of.Very sweet smelling couldnt pick out much other than sweetness but it wasnt a total turnoff.The hop was more apparent than I thought it would be but it balanced pretty well with sweetness of the beer.I thought it would be more full bodied and certainly not the best the world has to offer,but I have had worse.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Gorgeous Altbier head that foamed up beautifully and left shaving cream-like lacing all over the glass. The body was pure, clear orange.

Smell – Sharp fruity hops highlight this nose. The citrus hops play well with the light fruity character of this aroma.

Taste – This is huge for an Altbier. The hops come on big and strong. The fruity sweetness enhances the citrus hop affect, creating a wonderful experience.

Mouthfeel – Light to no carbonation and a solid medium body makes this one a standout.

Drinkability – I am definitely stocking up on this NW ale. This is the real deal.

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Photo of sponberg
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very nicely - dark amber with a creamy thick cream colored head. A nose the size of Abe Vigoda's if Abe's nose was filled with fruity malt goodness (see if THAT mental picture leaves any time soon).

Starts out rather dry, herbal, and bittersweet - hints of chocolate malt, vanilla, and spruce (?) join in for a very complex flavor. Medium bodied, which is both good (allows these flavors to come through) and not so good (a bit more chewiness would round it out more). It finishes rather bitter and sorta dry - got me if it's to style, but it's definitely going to keep your taste buds entertained for a while trying to figure it out.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One side of the bottle has a picture of a horse walking through the snow; very evocative, rustic. The other side of the bottle has a really dumb looking snowman. Beer is a nice reddish color with good tight head and some lacing. Aroma of sweet fruity malts and is that raspberry? Fruit is evidence at the beginning of the taste, some tartness. Not as dry and biscuity as most alts. Very little hop bitterness although a sharp crispness is evidenced on the front of the tongue. Some interesting spices that go well with the malts but I can't say this lives up to the claim of a "rich roasted ale." Appealing, and crisp and refreshing unlike most malty winter beers. This one might actually work better at colder temperatures before it gets warm and the flavor totally opens up.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown beer, weird to have an alt. be a winter warmer, but we'll give it a go. Aroma further confuses style gurus, roastiness like in a stout, but then the spice of a thanksgiving/pumpkin/christmas type of beer. Points for uniqueness there.

A little more of the bitter roastiness on the first sip. Instead of chocolate, I got kind of that boring alt smoothness of nothingness. Malt forward to say the least, but for an alt, the hopping is nicely done and above average.

Can you tell I'm moving? Been clearing (shooting) out bottles and notes, moving from hard to digital copies of this stuff. Should be some cool pics to come.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear, deep amber body rests beneath a creamy ivory head that holds fairly well before dropping to just a thin lid of foam. What is there, however, holds through most of the glass and leaves some thin lace throughout it's downward journey. The nose is malty: toasty but somewhat sweetish with a bit of light caramel and some dark fruit; and also a touch spicy. It's not an overwhelming aroma, but it's fresh, vibrant, and inviting! A firmly malty body is enhanced by a fine and moderate carbonation that leaves it creamy and smooth across the palate. Its creamy mouthfeel also accentuates its malty flavors with some rich dark caramel, raisins, and spice upfront; followed by a softer honey-tinged maltiness as it warms across the palate. Toasted malts and a gentle spiciness linger along with residual bitterness in an exceptionally long and dry finish. It's alcohol is well cloaked; and it's very well balanced with it's vibrant bitternes and fresh-spice character breathing life into it's maltiness! It's nicely complex, but with a very good drinkability. Exceptionally clean and very well done! An excellent winter beer (and one of the few that I look forward to each season).

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice dark amber with an off white/cream colored head. The head stayed a bit and left a thin lace to the finish. Mainly a malt aroma comes across the nose. An all malt flavor from start to finish with hints of spice, maybe hops involved with the flavor. It finishes nice, sort of dry. A good brew

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Release 2003

As it sets in the glass an unclouded deep mahogany with the head portly in size, a winsome light tan color and the texture semi-creamy with oodles of lace to cover the glass. Nose is malt sweet, hints of spices, cinnamon and vanilla come to mind, start is ambrosial with a pleasing malt profile, top is fair to middling in its feel to the palate. Finish delectable in its carbonation with the hops subdued and pleasant, quite dry aftertaste that leaves a bit of tartness on the palate, a very drinkable beer, surely not the best “Winter beer”, but one that is quite refreshing and dependable in its quality which means a lot to me.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Widmer Bros Winternacht has a dark amber body and produced a 1 finger creamy head. Smell and taste is of roasted malts with hops at the finish – more [hops] than I expected for the style. Has a medium body. Mouth feel is a little chewy with light carbonation. Not a bad brew – just not my style

I should note that I found this 12 oz brown bottle in the back of my cellar. Am not sure how long it has been there. I would not review it if the brew tasted ‘skunked’ in any way. Winternacht has held up well.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok yet anotheer winter arrival in Salem, Oregon..Winternacht: an unusual winter beer seeing that is an Alt..a favourite style of mine ( well Ive liked every one I have tasted).
Mahogany brown beer with an excellent off white creamy/foamy head..nice carbonation.
Aroma is spicy and malty but not excellent.
Yes typical Altbier taste bit above average..starts strong and fades towards the end..small hop bite.
Nice and creamy smooth..never tasted the alcohol..but felt it afterwards.
Nice drinkable Alt..but i prefer Full Sails limited release Comet Ale as an Alt..if you see Comet buy it!..and this too its ok.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beer that didn't know whether it wanted to be a winter warmer or alt or something else. Brown pour, thin off white head 1/6". All kinds of aroma stuff, spice rack, roast. Doesn't fit either bill.

Roast gave way to smooth, lightly sweetened malt. Still has a little more bitterness than either style. What a hodgepodge, this was a little of everything from wintertime.

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Photo of Dunkelhund
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of beerguy101
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, small head, Malty aroma. Medium bodied alt. Slightly sweet malty flavor. Nice hop bite. Well balanced. Very tasty. A great winter beer. 7% alcohol not noticeable in the taste, but it warms you up quick. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Try this one, not only is it an excellent beer, but it's an excellent example of style.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber/orange color. Thick creamy beige head. Left good lacing. Roasted malt aroma with some spice and fruit.
Bittersweet roasted malt flavor with some fruitiness and dark caramel. Spicy hops and an alcohol warming in the lingering aftertaste. Full mouthfeel and tingly carbonation.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pleasant surprise.

It pours a dark amber with a nice big beige head. Excellent lacing left nice clouds of foam on my glass.

This has a spicy nose with roasted malt notes.

You can taste the roasted malt but its not overwhelming. The hops engulfed my tongue but dissipated quickly. There was a good balance between the hops, spice and malt.

This is a beer that is meant to be savored not gulped. It should be enjoyed in moderation.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of canucklehead
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer follows a lot of the rules for what I look for in a Winter/Xmas beer. Deep and dark with spice notes poking through the main body. The flavour of roasted malt finished off the beer nicely and I truly wanted another bottle which is dangerous sign with winter warmers.

This ties with Jubelale and Wassail for my favourite PNW Winter beer.

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Photo of DerKaiser
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. Wonderful color - kind of a deep auburn, walnut hue. A thin head that disappears pretty quickly with a sticky, scattered lace all around the glass.

Nice sugary, roasted malt smell with hints of alcohol. The taste starts with sweet toffee and burnt carmel flavors. I taste flavors of honey-roasted nuts throughout, as well. Fairly viscous mouthfeel. The finish is sharp and quite hoppy. The 7.0% abv is hardly noticeable at all, except for the nice warm feeling you get after two of 'em.

I like this winter warmer. It's not stellar by any means, but it's certainly a solid brew. It'll go nicely with those bowls of assorted nuts you'll be coming across all holiday season. Try it if you find it.

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Photo of woemad
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.09. Looked forward to this, as it's the only alt beer available locally (at the moment) besides Alaskan Amber. I developed a liking for alts when visiting friends in the Ruhr a few years ago.

Poured a hazy dark brown, looking a little like a glass of iced tea. Modest off-white head. It dissipated rather quickly, but the surface remained foamy for some time.Lots of lacing dripping down the insides of my glass.

Smells like an alt that's been converted into a winterbeer. Sweetly malty, with a little more hoppiness than normal for an alt. There are elements of fruit and spiciness. I think there's a hint of vanilla in the proceedings as well.

The taste is a little too hoppy for an alt but is nevertheless enjoyable. An altbier's mild caramelly maltiness is definitely present.There's a spiciness that is definitely present, but is not overpowering. There is also a bit of vanilla in the background.

Mouthfeel is moderately thick. More oily than a normal alt.

This is eminently drinkable. It has done much to remove the Tsingtao I had with this evening's Chinese from my tastebud's memory. The wintery tweaks given to the style make for a tasty beer. I only wish I could find an authentic Alt brewed in the style I found in Germany.

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Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of 49degrees
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A truly enjoyable beer that offers the perfect blend of hops and malt with enough alcohol to kick it up a notch that makes for an excellent warming beer for all of those cold and wet winter nights. Pours a rich dark brown with plenty of head room and reasonable glass lacing. Has a very sweet, almost spicey tendency in its aroma but presents itself with a very smooth aftertaste complete with hints of caramel and chocolate. An excelent choice for the winter blues.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Made with Pale, Wheat, Caramel, 60-L, Chocolate malts and roasted barley; Perle bittering hops, and Santiam aroma hops.

17 degrees plato, 42 IBU, 7.0% ABV.

Winter 2002 bottling. Clear dark amber brew forms a beige rocky head which quickly thins but leaves little wisps of lace as it dies. Moderately low carbonation. Aroma is predominately of dark amber malt with the tiniest hints of fusel alcohols, extract tang, and a little spicy hops thrown in. Taste starts out with a spicy hop start, a little vanilla extract comes next, gives way to a strong nickel taste (which fades, thank god), then fades to a lingering malt sweetness and ends in a long peppery bittering hop finish with a sickening burnt extract "blahck". Mouthfeel is just so so. No chocolate, no coffee, no grain, not impressed. I would say this is very similar, but superior to Schmaltz's Alt (which is absolutely awful IMO). German style Alt's just ain't my thang.

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Photo of sharpski
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Winternacht from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 24 ratings