nuplastikk (6289) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 18, 2007
12oz bottle. Pours black with an amber shade peeking through. Nice chocolate aroma. Deliciously rich and creamy. Roasted chocolate and cocoa flavors dominate. A great winter beer. williamherbert (1544) - Syracuse, New York, USA - AUG 30, 2009
2008-09 version. Pours a deep brown with a hint of dark red. Opaque. Looks like a porter, very dark. A brief, small glimpse of head.
The smell is roasted coffee and cut tobacco. Has sweet toffee, raisin and dark cherry in the second sniff.
The taste is dueling sweet toffee-raisin and dark/bitter coffee-mocha. Porter flavor with extra cherry sweetness (maybe that’s where the "winter" part comes from). Hints of a strong barleywine at the end. The sweetness is only an accent, though, and a necessary counter to the bitterness.
The feel is chalky and yet easy to sip. This is one damn good beer. But don’t let the name fool you, it’s a richly flavored porter. PhillyBeer2112 (2850) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - DEC 30, 2001
Late 2001 edition: a rye based beer. Nicely zesty - with that great light tingle of nuttiness from rye. Moderate bitterness and smooth sweetness makes this one of the preferable winter beers this year. Amber color with firm lasting head and lacing. Aroma is complex with hints of spice and unusual malts. Damico (3147) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 27, 2009
The aroma is sweet and the intense brown color complements the flavor. It does have slight hints of bitter hops with chocolate as described. This is a perfect strong ale for the winter season. SSSteve (4006) - - JAN 10, 2006
coffee, licorice, chocolate aroma. almost black with medium tan head. bitter coffee flavor. could be more robust. dry and chalky finish. i taste no hops. good stuff.
jlruthven (612) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 1, 2006
In my limited experience, best holiday ale I’ve had yet...certainly outdoes Sam Adams Winter Lager. Aroma is Christmas all the way, with heavy scents of chocolate, cinnamon, slight tobacco and nutmeg. Pours nicely, with a thick dark brown head, ale itself is nearly Guinness-black. Tastes like it smells; the chocolate really comes through on the palate during the aftertaste. A good sit-by-the-fire beer. MattShizzle (613) - Bernville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2008
Bottle. Please note the ABV listed above is likely wrong as Stoudts changes the recipe every other year. This year its a robust porter rather than a simple porter. An excellent Winter Warmer. Nearly black, strong and quite roasty.
moseslikesbeer (183) - conestoga, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 17, 2009
Bottle. Dark pour with good carbonation. A bit of chocolate in the taste with a slight nut flavor. I didn’t notice any spice but I see this is labeled a porter so that makes a lot of sense. Bottom line for me here is that this isn’t a typical winter brew. However this is a great porter. I think Stoudts should change the name and brew this on a regular basis. I’d drink a ton of this beer. Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - SEP 30, 2009
Bottle. Pours a mahogany body with a tan head. Malty, toffee and lighter chocolate malt notes. Dried fruit and a light roast y hop bitterness. Coco and dark fruit. Medium body. Great beer. obxdude10 (2324) - Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2001
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2004 Re-rate: Light brown in color with a decent tan head, some lacing around the glass, nose full of caramel & nutmeg, those notes are also present in the flavors, a very nice holiday beer, clean & smooth, very crisp as well