philipmeese (84) - Rowayton, Connecticut, USA - MAR 27, 2013
On tap at the brewery. Pours amber with a thin, quickly fading head. Aromas of caramel, toast. Initial flavor tangy, salty buoyed by a healthy carbonation. Aftertaste evolves nicely. This one’s for sipping by the fire. blklab2007 (2120) - Connecticut, USA - APR 3, 2013
Sampler at the brewery. Pour has an amber color and a thin off white head. Aroma has spices, grains, and malt. Mouth feel is medium and good carbonation. Flavor has spices, snappy grains, and malt. beerbill (3619) - Laurel, New York, USA - APR 16, 2014
Growler. Pours a lightly hazed amber with a very thin linen white head that is gone after the first sip and leaves no lace. Pleasant aroma of malt with a touch of sweetness. No spice detected. The flavor is malt, caramel, and bread that has been lightly toasted. Again, no evidence of spice. Well rounded mouthfeel. Very mild bitterness at the finish. Medium bodied. j12601 (12000) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2012
Bottle on the first day of winter. Pours a clear copper with a medium to large sized white head. Malt and a touch of spice on the nose. Medium bodied, a bit of sweetness, malt, a touch of spice. Warming into the finish, smooth and malty. Very easy drinking. drowland (8758) - Georgia, USA - JAN 6, 2014
1/6/14. Noles need to get it together right now. 12oz bottle thanks to JBVatkeens. Almost clear amber pour with a small khaki head that fades to a ring. Mild aroma, malty, light bready and biscuit notes, subtle spice. Light, but nice. I hate spice bombs. Malty flavor, toasted caramel, bread, biscuit, subtle spice, lingers a touch. Mild, but not bad at all.
ChadPolenz (1820) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 27, 2014
Captain Lawrence is a brewery that, in my opinion, tends to make decent beers of conventional styles. Their “Winter Ale” seems to epitomize this hypothesis: it’s a traditional winter warmer brew and a beer that tastes good and is fairly easy to drink, but lacks anything memorable or special. At least it’s priced right.
ganache (5905) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 21, 2015
I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Rusty brown hue; extremely cloudy body. Pours to an average sized, white, frothy head which retains and laces fairly well.
Smell: Nose reminiscent of a standard amber ale but with distinct winter spices. Not too intense, but nice.
Taste: This is a beer that could easily pass for a standard American amber ale as it has all the makings of the style: a malt-forward palette that’s fairly sweet, but at the same time has a good amount of hops to keep it in balance. Darker malt presence is noticeable right away, imparting some caramel and toasted bread flavors. Through the middle there’s a dry bitterness which is accentuated by a light spicy character. Interestingly enough, the brewery’s website does not reveal which spices are in the beer, though they seem to be similar to that of a pumpkin brew with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. There’s also a subtle nutty character skulking in the background. All in all it’s a fine-tasting beer which, despite its seeming complexity, only manages to create for a “good” overall taste, which is fine if that’s all they were trying to accomplish.
Drinkability: This seems to be a seasonal whose recipe varies from year to year and the 2014 edition weighs in at 6% ABV. It doesn’t seem to be quite as full-bodied and robust as that potency would usually deliver, but at no point does it feel light or underwhelming. The mouthfeel is more of lighter medium intensity with average carbonation. It goes down smooth and finishes clean – which is nice since there’s nothing cloying about it, but also a bit disappointing that the flavors don’t linger when they probably should.
Bottle. Nose is very malty, toasty Vienna character with a few darker touches, some toffee and lots of spice and earth. Touch buttery, some chocolate and peanut brittle-like caramel. Very inviting appetizer, sort of a small Doppelbock using hybrid yeast. Hazy amber-brown with fizz and a tan head. Taste very malty, spicy with floral and light berry notes. Again, toast, caramel, and earth, and all blending together nicely. The winter character of the spices is not in touch, a mild stroke of sort of juniper-spruce, but beyond there there’s some background flavor that would fit in very nicely in pumpkin season (gather up the usual suspects). No alcohol, full and very heavy body, and the aftertaste reminds of cola, which is about the only negative I have to offer. Interesting and worthy of a try (if only for a supremely malty holiday beer that doesn’t overspice). cubs (10635) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 14, 2013
Bottle @ home via trade with pineypower. Thanks so much! Pours a dark rust orange appearance with a foamy, cream colored head. Very spicy, pear/apple, chewy, toasty malty aroma. A bit thin. Cinnamon, apple, toasted malty, light caramel, a bit smoky, light citrusy flavor. Not my favorite but a cool beer. alobar (3793) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 27, 2014
Reddish orange pour with creamy off-white head. Aroma of caramel, toasted malt, and spice. Toasted malt flavor with caramel, nuts, and spice. Creamy body. Nice beer. vtafro (7445) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - DEC 15, 2012
Bottle. Brown pour with tan head. Spices and malt aromas. Malt , rye, light toasted flavors along with some lighter fruit tones.