ChadPolenz (1817) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. It has a best by date of 3/8/14 and cost $2.70 ($0.23 per ounce).
LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - DEC 2, 2009
Appearance: Clear, bright shade of copper/burgundy. Pours to an average size, white, foamy head which mostly dissipates and leaves minor lacing on the glass.
Smell: General malty aroma with hints of the usual scents for the style. Smells more like an Oktoberfest than a true Scotch Ale.
Taste: Scotch Ales are, in my opinion, an acquired taste. They’re very rich in character, has a smoky/peaty astringency and tend to be big in body. Wachusett Winter Ale has those qualities, but with less intensity. It’s remarkably drinker-friendly, making it a good introductory beer for those unfamiliar with the style.
The palette starts out with a nice malty flavor, similar to that of an Oktoberfest with distinct toffee and caramel flavors but without any lager character at all (as well it shouldn’t since it’s an ale). Slightly dry bitterness at the crest of the swig with subtle notes of chocolate and peat moss on the finish. There’s a slight tang or astringency on the back end, though I wouldn’t considering it a distraction per se. Hints of butterscotch on the aftertaste, at least momentarily.
Drinkability: While Wachusett Winter Ale may not be the best Scotch Ale ever, it’s in contention of the smoothest and most drinkable of the style I’ve ever had. The mouthfeel is somewhat thick, but soft with a smooth texture and easy finish. This would be an ideal accompaniment with cheese, or as an after-dinner beverage or nightcap. Though at only 6.1% ABV it’s not that heavy of a beer, but not light enough to consider sessioning. A single serving is satisfying.
Appearance: Pours a clear amber brown with a pin stripe of white at the top.
Aroma: Faint sweet malts.
Taste: Some dry and caramel like European malts, some slightly burnt toast, modest bitter hopping. Finishes with a little bit of a twang.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied and highly carbonated.
Overall: This is a sturdy ale. I haven’t had any other Wachusett beers, so I don’t know where this ranks in their lineup. The beer is good, and a tad warming. changeup45 (1731) - Lake Mary, Florida, USA - APR 13, 2008
Of the two winter beers I sampled tonight, this was far better than the other (Harpoon). Pours a nice amber color with a thick head and quite a bit of lacing. Very flavorful malty taste with lots of brown sugar notes in there. Relatively warming and quite smooth. There’s also some spice, with a slightly bitter finish. Nice. porterhouse (1580) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - FEB 9, 2007
(Bottle from <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/massachusetts/w target=blank>Julio’s Liquors) OK but a little funny-tasting...Pours darkish amber with two fingers of rather rich-looking biscuit head. Recedes to a nice 1/2" cap. Nose not real strong but kind of caramel and vanilla. Mouthfeel fairly smooth but a little thin, lightly prickly. Some sloppy rings of lacing. Flavor starts with kind of weak caramel and vanilla maltiness followed by a surprise note of slightly smoky, kind of stinky/decaying peatiness that appears then disappears. Interesting but not very good. Weakly bitter. Scrapersnbeer (1532) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 3, 2012
A smooth malty nose with a hint of smoke. Medium amber color - when one pictures strong English beer this isn’t it. Could be a bitter or even a pale. Tastes, however, are the roasted malt and bitter bankground that define the style. Not enough sweetness to be Scotch ale; English classification is correct. An easy enough drinking beer with a medium body. Just out of the session range.
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 14, 2010
THOUGHTS: Nice and malty. Toffee. Not all that Christmasy, but a nice winter warmer. All sorts of malts. Warming.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a medium to dark orangey amber with a large, off-white head that left good lacing. The aroma was moderate toasted, nutty, molasses and caramel malts; light chocolate; light herbal and earthy hops; apple, cherry and toffee. The initial flavor was light to moderately sweet and slightly bitter; while the finish was rather sweet, lightly bitter and slightly sour with and average to long duration. There was toffee, caramel, a little chocolate, earthy hops, some citrus and earthy hops, burnt caramel, cookies, toasted and nutty malts, cherry and apple. The medium body was a bit syrupy and then a bit dry with fizzy carbonation and a slightly metallic, slightly astringent and lightly dry finish. coolpop (1394) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - JAN 8, 2011
Draft. Orangey amber with a medium off white head. Aroma and flavor: lots of caramel, some raisins and cherry, spicy hops. Good English ale, but not particularly wintry. halfonit (1365) - Fall River, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 28, 2008
I liked this one! It was actually really good. Has a nice dark amber color to it. Has hints of malts and something sweet. Has a nice, sweeter flavor to it with hints of some types of fruits. Very pleasantly surprised with this. It all works out very nicely. Not too much of an aftertaste in the end. Overall this was a pleasure to have. I will definitely get this one again before the season’s over. If anybody sees this on the shelf, give it a try. This is a great brew for an ice cold night. Tonkun (1296) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 19, 2010
tap. amber pour with a decent head. spicy, with a bit of sweetness. limited body and finish. nice winter beer but a bit too sweet for me. Derek881 (1272) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 25, 2010
I had this beer in the lodge after my first ski trip, at Wachusett Mountain. The beer had a cloudy, dark amber color with a bubbly white head that had good retention and some cling. The beer had a smoky caramel malt and light dense fruit aroma mixed with some lighter grainy and grassy hops scents. The taste was largely sweet with a caramel presence, but also some bitterness too. It had a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and was fairly wet with average carbonation.