About Winter Ale

About Winter Ale
Winter ales are deep golden to dark brown in color and range in alcohol from 5.5-9%. Beers in this category can be unspiced, though a majority of these beers feature a wide variety of seasonal spices. True to their name, these beers are commonly brewed in the winter and often feature cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and all spice in their flavor profiles. Better examples of this style feature a balance between added spices, hops, malt and alcohol. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Full Sail Wassail Winter Ale and Deschutes Jubelale.

Top Picks for Winter Ale

Full Sail Brewing Co. Wreck The Halls Hoppy Holiday Ale
94 points
Brilliant golden amber color. Hoppy aromas and flavors of herbs, pine, and roasted citrus peels and apricots with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, very long finish with nuances of pepper, radicchio, gooseberry chutney, and nutskin finish. A bright and boldly bitter winter ale for hop-heads.
Awards: 2017 Best Winter Ale
Full Sail Brewing Co. Wassail Winter Ale
93 points
Dark bronze color. Interesting aromas and flavors of caramel apples, papayas and pears, honeyed roasted nuts and pork rinds, delicate spices, and tamarind with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long finish imparting nuances of fruit cake, peppered greens, and latte finish. A rich, malty winter ale with subtle layers of flavor.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale
92 points
Bright copper color. Spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of gingerbread, cinnamon roll and cereal, coconut-mango chutney, and lemongrass with a silky, crisp, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, refreshing, long finish with shades of holiday spice cake, chai, and root beer float finish. A fun, spicy winter ale that screams holiday parties.
Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery 30th Anniversary Winter Welcome Ale
90 points
Bright amber color. Aromas of dark toast with marmalade, roasted dates, malt, and clove with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length spiced cranberry, spice cake, and radicchio and endive finish. A dry and spicy Winter Ale with a great balance of intensity and drinkability.
Ohio Brewing Company Jingle Bell Ale
88 points
Red oak color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate covered pretzel, toasted coconut, sticky toffee pudding, and drinking custard with a velvety, bright, spritzy, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a polished, refreshing, medium-long finish. A sweet and festive winter ale packed with holiday confection; coquito flavors in a toasty brew!
Stevens Point Brewery Snow Pilot Pistachio Nut Brown Ale
88 points
Minutely hazy copper color. Creamy, confected aromas and flavors of peach vanilla bon bon, pistachio nougat, and warm cereal with sweet cream with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of coconut macaroon and wafer cookies filling finish. A fruity, somewhat decadent, dessert-like winter ale that is sure to please.
Stanley Park Brewing Layer Up Winter Wheat Ale
87 points
Mahogany color. Aromas of blackberry jam, raspberry thumbprint cookie, sasparilla, and grape candies with a satiny, crisp, fizzy, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, quick kvass, mixed nuts, and wintergreen finish. A fruity beer for crowd-pleasing; a warming winter wheat ale.
Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale
87 points
Brilliant reddish mahogany color. Funky aromas of cacao nibs, roasted corn and asparagus, and fruitcake with a medium body and a peppery, buoyant molasses, orange marmalade, peppery spices, and hard candies finish. A bitter brew balanced with just the right amount of festive cheer; serve with Christmas ham.
Narragansett Brewing Company Holiday Spiced Ale
84 points
Red oak color. Vegetal aromas of cabbage, cacao nib, tinned asparagus, and gingerbread with a silky, crisp, effervescent, dry light-to-medium body and a medium-length sourdough toast, pepper, shaved wood, and winter spices finish. A funky winter ale for the table.