GirlyBeer (190) - Old Orchard Beach, Maine, USA - DEC 23, 2010
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
On tap. Iím guessing I got the wrong beer. My beer was dark amber with a thick tan head. Winter seasonings and a chocolately flavor. Smooth mouthfeel. It hit me hard, so I guess the alcohol was over 6. Looking back over the tap selection, I might have gotten a Weyerbacher Winter. That would explain the malty chocolatyness and color. So I guess Iíll need to have both beers now to see which is which!
Mainuh_man (250) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 21, 2014
1.5 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 4/20
12 Oz bottle. Pours clear, dark brown with a white head. Aromas of vanilla and anice. Flavor is the same, but then very quickly very bitter. Medium body with a thin mouthfeel and average carbonation. Overall, subpar seasonal ale, with not very good beer flavors.
trapped (939) - New York City, TURKEY - FEB 5, 2014
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Drought. Dark amber-brown with spongy beige head, caramrl aroma, slightly flat molasses taste, medium carbonation, medium unremarkable finish. Leaves a bit of a metallic taste on your palate.
Mep3222 (609) - East Greenbush, New York, USA - JAN 10, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Aroma of spices, malt and maybe even some dark fruit. Taste is malty with some spice but a bit watery on the palate and an odd finish. Descent but not great.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
asheft (2599) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 26, 2013
2.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
Bottle. Sweet bread crust aroma with brown sugar and red fruit. Clear chestnut appearance under white wisps. Flavor is sweet brown sugar with some faint brown sugar, dried fruit, red fruit, and moderate bitterness that is in balance with the moderate flavour. Lacklustre. Medium body, medium carbonation.
tbopslt (350) - New York, USA - DEC 18, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear amber pour. Thin creamy head. Spiced nose. Very sweet malty taste. Full bodied.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
ads135 (3155) - Lawrence, Kansas, USA - OCT 12, 2013
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
A strangely flavored, surprisingly light beer. Dark colored, some raisin in the flavor, also some caramel, not much bitterness.
Bulk_Carrier (2309) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - JAN 24, 2013
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
It poured a nice one inch light colored head on top of a hazeless copper colored body. The smell has some malts, light winter spices such as nutmeg, allspice and clove and has some really subtle light chocolates tones underneath. The hops are mostly non-existent in the smell. The taste is sweet between the previously mentioned flavors with the hops coming out very slightly to balance it a bit. The palate is smooth and clean with a light to medium sort of feel. It has a crisp bittter finish. Overall, this is an interesting take on an English IPA, but I like it for the most part.
Imaena (1915) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 18, 2013
1.7 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
Bottle. Not one of Gearyís finest brews. When you have HSA as a winter stalwart why did you go and brew this?
TATE (308) - Lubec, Maine, USA - JAN 1, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours a deep ruby color with a thin tan head. Molasses aroma with that taste coming through as well. A bit of raisin flavor too. The hops do not come through until late which is odd as this is listed as an IPA. Its a bit heavy and syrupy but I do like it as well as most other Gearyís offerings.
Chad9976 (1269) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 14, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I tend to associate "winter ales" with the winter warmer style or any Christmas beer full of spices, but why not use a traditional style for a change? Several brewers release India Pale Ales in the winter, but few call them actual "winter ales," except for Gearyís Winter Ale. Itís quite unique for what it is: an English style IPA with a touch of Christmas spice thrown in. Not just interesting, but good.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Brown/ruby red appearance. Dark, but translucent. Forms a small, white, soapy head which mostly evaporates but does leave some lacing on the glass.
Smell: Surprisingly sweet nose with notes of caramel and ginger plus some floral hops.
Taste: Itís hard to find a traditional English-style IPA in America, let alone a good one, but Gearyís Winter Ale is both. Itís too hoppy and too dark to be just a pale ale, but doesnít have the over hoppiness of most American brews of the style. Instead of a sharp citrusy or piney hop bite, thereís a consistent, slightly dry bitterness from start to finish.
Much like the aroma, thereís a prominent sweetness to the palate here. Caramel, toffee, shortbread and a touch of ginger and/or cinnamon all seem detectable. They make for a good flavor combination as the spices and hops complement each other quite well, while the malty sweetness keeps it balanced. I think I even get a touch of berry in there somewhere. For what would appear to be just another generic winter ale sitting on the store shelf, this one really should stand out more than it does.
Drinkability: While not exactly a beer youíd chug, Gearyís Winter Ale is no challenge at all to drink. The body is quite full with plenty of flavor throughout. The mouthfeel is slightly crisp, but in no way thin (not thick either). There is a slightly bitter, dry aftertaste, but something akin to eating a Christmas cookie. At 6% itís right where it should be in terms of all-around weight. It would work well with a meal or cheese, or a standalone as a dessert.