ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 13, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Reviewed 2/6/13. 22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pours a very dark brown color that could - under poorly lighted conditions - be mistaken for a stout. The head is a two finger mocha shade with excellent texturing. Iím also impressed with the head retention; itís still standing a finger high after a minute.
S: This has a very roasty quality to it, acting as a compliment to the dark fruit esters and earthy/piny hops that also pop up on the nose. Nothing really stands out about it, but it gets the job done sufficiently. If the aesthetics screamed "stout", the aroma screams "black ale".
T: ...and the flavor screams "strong ale". The profile here has a far stronger dark fruit bend to it. Flavors of plums, raisins, figs, and cherries will then give way to a midtaste of licorice (not the nasty black stuff) and coffee. If thereís one thing noticeable, itís that the further the flavors progress on the palate, the more íroastyí they become. The hops - which I expected to dominate, or at least have the strongest pull in the flavor profile - remain subtle throughout; their presence offering a balancing edge of earth, black pepper, and pine to the fruity sweetness. Give it time to warm up, and it will reveal notes of vanilla, chocolate, and walnuts after repeated sipping; itís just complex enough to keep the palate guessing.
The best part about this one? The exhales - they have a wondrous dark chocolate/vanilla quality to them.
M: Typically smooth, syrupy, and vaguely sweet on its finish. The hop profile and roasted barley donít dry out the finishing texture like I expected...or even wanted. Luckily, itís light enough so that drinking it wonít be a chore. Carbonation is middling but well focused and uniform on the palate.
O: This becomes pretty sweet after a while, so it might not be a bad idea to have someone on standby to share this with. Still, if weíre talking about how this one lives up to the basic definition of the íwinter warmerí moniker (meaning does it lift the soul and warm the orifices), Iíd say itís a success. Iíd buy it again if Fremont ever decided to distribute to my state.
fiulijn (19160) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - SEP 16, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught at the brewery, as Winter Ale, 7.5% ABV
Black color with creamy tan head. Solid ale, with a solid roasted malt backbone, and dark chocolate.
Brigadier (3535) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - APR 20, 2016
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 ounce can
Thanks to a generous trader for sending this a while ago. The last vestiges of winter felt like the right time to crack it open. Iíll have to get the bourbon barrel release next so I can see how it compares. This middle of the pack strong ale demonstrates why not all breweries are created equal.
Aroma / Appearance - A deep velvet black pour flows downwards like melted chocolate. Sandy head filters the scents of melted bakerís chocolate, malt, and semisweet cookies.
Flavor / Palate - The chewy mouthfeel of Hersheyís kisses, black coffee, and dried figs warms the palate. A full bodied finish bursts into a soft bitterness. The well done winter warmer has held up well although I doubt this is one to age for a very long time.
BuckeyeBoy (5978) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 21, 2016
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz can pours out a brown with some ruby highlights topped with a small tan head. nose is roast some sweet malts and a caramel. Taste is more of the roast malts sweetness and rich malts.
JBPortland (1489) - Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2015
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz can pours dark black brown with some faint light red edges and 2 finger foamy head. Nose and palate have bitter dusty chocolate, dark fruit, some grape, fruity cocoa, soft roast, light nutty sweetness, some caramel. Pleasant.
Capa (2727) - Kitsap, Washington, USA - NOV 26, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep brown with a dark head. Roasted, cocoa, a bit of earthy spiced hops. Boldly flavored. Medium to full body. Finish is roast, chocolate, and background spice- lasting. Very enjoyable American Strong. Veers to the malty side but with plenty of spicy hops to avoid being a sweet bomb. God stuff.
DrinkyCrow (99) - Washington, USA - APR 22, 2015
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft. Nice. Strong, malty, bitter, not too spicy, straight up decent winter ale.
BMMillsy (1788) - Florida, USA - MAR 27, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle as a Christmas gift from a friend. Thanks! Pours nearly pitch black with a massing khaki brown head that sticks around a good while. Aroma of straight up malt extract--in a completely good way--some light hops, molasses, more sweet malts. Whoah. Flavor is sweet up front with big malt body to the Nth degree, some lightly earthy hops that balance things tremendously, finishing with some light roast and smoke, and long molasses notes. Big body, medium low carbonation. Right on. This is one of the better non-BAs in this style that Iíve had. Really delicious and relaxing. Have to try the bourbon version now.
Salmoniform (1272) - Sweet Home, Oregon, USA - MAR 18, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from can to glass. Dark hue with creamy tan head that lingered. Aroma is caramel, toffee, roast, chocolate. Mouthfeel is great with a full body and smooth carbonation. Taste is sweet with a slightly astringent bitterness following. Overall this is a nice beer.
DSG (11600) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - MAR 16, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
[3/2/15] Draught at Fremont Brewing in Seattle. Dark brown with a beige head. Aroma of roast, caramel, nuts, chocolate, some fruitiness and some spicy notes. Sweet flavor, malty, with caramel, roast, nuts, some fruitiness and a bitterish finish. Medium-bodied.
VastActiv (5676) - Oulu/Helsinki, FINLAND - FEB 24, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2015 Tap at Fremont Brewing, Seattle. Colour is black with small white head. Aromas and flavours: Fruits, citrus, coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. Very hoppy and actually reminds of Plevnan Siperia.