Brew Review – Weyerbacher Brewing’s Winter Ale

Weyerbacher recently had a make-over.  The Easton, PA brewery scrapped all of its diverse (and often decried) labeling in favor of a more artistically drawn look that I would say is more rustic (I guess, any artists out there?).  The change gives all the labels a common look which better unifies the brand visually on the shelf.  Probably no label captures the new style better than the one for their Winter Ale.  Not only does it have the visual similarities of all the others, but other characters from the Weyerbacher line make a festive appearance on it..

Left: The Old Winter Ale Label  Right: The Revamped Label
Left: The Old Winter Ale Label Right: The Revamped Label

As much of a fan as I am about good, creative packaging, as always it’s the beer inside that matters.  Is this the case with Winter Ale?  Let’s Taste.

THEM:  Winter Ale is brewed in the style of a brown ale using caramel and deep-roasted chocolate malt.  The beer is released at a non-threating 5.6% ABV.

Winter Ale was winner of a Silver Medal in the 1998 World Beer Championships

ME:  Winter Ale pours a deep brown color with a very quickly fading head.  The nose is full of roasted malts and something that to me comes across as a light piney/spruce type aroma, I’m suspecting something on the order of Chinook hops here.  The flavor is full of chocolate, with notes of roast and a sweetness like molasses or brown sugar.  The finish is clean with a slight hint of spiciness (more Chinook influence, maybe ).  At 5.6% it is definitely a beer you can enjoy several of while you’re wrapping presents and not be worried about them turning out like some holiday origami class gone horribly wrong.  Random note: if you miss spell origami, the spell check wants to know if you meant orgasmic.  Both useful words, but hardly interchangeable.

OSwan2

OSwan

See?

This isn’t a huge beer like some of my other Weyerbacher favorites like Blithering Idiot or Old Heathen, but it was still nice in its own way.  A welcome addition any to holiday beer fridge.

Time for another beer.

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Author: Ed (The Dogs of Beer)

Beer Blog focused on Delaware & surrounding area. Drinker of beer. Writer of stuff. Over user of commas. Dangler of prepositions.

7 thoughts on “Brew Review – Weyerbacher Brewing’s Winter Ale”

  1. Not interchangeable? No, I guess not.
    This beer sounds kick-ass for gift wrapping. You are really good at picking up on tasting notes. Wish I had a palate like that. A furry palate is very limiting.

  2. Pingback: Sweet 16 |
  3. Great post, love the origami line 🙂

    I have to say, as a designer, labeling won’t influence my purchase, but I respect a brewery that much more if it puts some thought and money into the design. The typical consumer will make a purchase based upon the graphics, and if it’s amateurish, like a lot of the smaller breweries’ labels are, they’ll usually pass unless they have an emotional connection to the brewery. Just look at New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series and Uinta’s brews, I guarantee that a good number of those sales are based upon the bottle artwork.

    1. I’ll admit that I’ve been swayed by artwork and packaging in the past. I have a hope that if a brewery was thoughtful and creative in their package, then they would be so with their beer. As I’m sure you know, that’s not always the case. And if I find the beer doesn’t meet the packaging, then all the fancy artwork in the world isn’t going to make me go back to it.

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