Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Brewed by: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Ale
- Variation: Winter Warmer
- Seasonal: Fall-Winter
- ABV: 6.9%
- IBU: 6
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.
Hops: Northern Brewer, Liberty
Malts: Pale Two-Row, Crystal, Munich
More Winter Solstice Images
Artwork: Follows the Anderson Valley brand label template, with grizzly bear wearing deer antlers.
Color: Semi opaque, auburn to chestnut brown.
Aroma: Sweet plum over mild bread notes, with a hint of allspice.
Arrived in: 12 oz. Bottle
Served in: Pint Glass, per recommendation
Anderson Valley offers two seasonal solstice ales: Summer Solstice, and Winter Solstice. The summer version was a cream ale, and although Winter Solstice was billed a winter warmer, it seemed like the same concept, over a darker ale base.
This winter warmer poured exactly like a traditional brown ale, with beautiful auburn color, and a minimalistic tan head. There was not much carbonation to Winter Solstice, and we really had to give it a close look through its deep chestnut liquid to notice any.
Anderson Valley Winter Solstice also carried the maltiness of a brown ale, with that thicker consistency you expect to find in a winter ale. After the malt up front, we waited for some type of ground seasoning (like allspice) to pop before the finish, but it never developed.
Winter Solstice featured a very creamy mouthfeel, and as a matter of fact, it almost tasted like there was cream added to it. The ale packed a rich, sweet, dairy-like finish akin to sweet cream or caramel.
When the sweetness almost passed, it dried out the finish, as if it had been bourbon barrel aged.
Some winter warmers can be overly spiced, but we were left wishing Winter Solstice had more pronounced herbal qualities. But then again, more seasoning may not have showcased its best quality — creaminess.
Final Score: 3/5
We would recommend Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale, if nothing else for its silky smooth mouthfeel, and “warming” ABV. Its maltiness was quite satisfying and desert-like, without entering porter or stout territory.