Please, Call Me Winter

Brewery and Country of Origin: Southern Tier Brewing Company of 2072 Stoneman Circle, Lakewood, NY, 14750, USA

Date Reviewed: 1-10-13

Yes, we all know the recent holiday season is all over, but this is 2013, and there are only 349 days left until Christmas, so get over it. In the classic claymation movie Santa Claus is Coming To Town, Kris Kringle is charged with the duty of delivering toys to a village called Somerville... uh, we mean Sombertown. And on his way he encounters ***Spoiler Alert!*** the evil Winter Warlock who, for some reason, has forgotten how to walk. Either way, Kringle gives the old man a toy train which literally "melts his heart," and makes him hate his old name. From that moment on, he prefers to be called Winter... arrogant, but whatever. By having his heart melt, he basically becomes powerless, but he turns nice, which is supposed to somehow make up for the loss of his ability to create a season. Still, what we did learn is that nice things can warm you up and lift your spirits. Now, that's not to say we're being materialistic... even though this children's TV special is clearly showing the world that it's completely acceptable. What we're saying is that it's possible to be moved by something that makes you happy. For us, a very good beer (among other things) does the trick. Yes, a great tasting fermented malt based beverage has that power. It has to be a special beer though. And as we discussed during our review of Rogue's exceptional Hazelnut Porter, not everything, everyone, or every beer can be special. Words like great, special, superb, or horrible are all relative. If every beer out there was at a similar level of greatness, none would really be great. Fortunately, that's not how things are. Unfortunately, that plays especially true when you try a beer which doesn't melt your heat.
Date Sampled: 12-27-12 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, 02134, USA
Beer Style: Old Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 16 oz Stange Glass
Rating: 2.79


Old Man Winter pours somewhat choppy like, with a medium level of carbonation action, producing a half inch foam head with a moderate density and a short retention. This filtered beer hsa a clear and clean appearance with a bright bronze shine in the light. Full lacing occurs on the glass.


This brew has a medium low strength aroma mostly characterized with hoppy bitter notes. A fair bit of balancing malt makes this an appropriate set of aromas for the style, but drinkers will only notice the hoppy side at the beginning. The beer's somewhat lacking aroma does not help a lot to enhance the flavor of this beer. There is no alcoholic tinge in this beer's aroma.


This is a medium light bodied beer with a lower amount of viscosity and a below average amount of weight. Combine this with a medium high level of carbonation and a slightly dry finish, and you have a crisp, lighter feeling beer with a mostly refreshing presence. This beer is easy to drink. The moderately elevated amount of alcohol content in this beer delivers a very subtle warming effect at the close.


As indicated by the aroma, most of this beer's flavor is of the hoppy bitter sort. Immediately noticeable is a relatively higher use of hops over malt, though it doesn't take long for the sweeter lighter malt to kick in to help balance out the flavor. This beer has a lingering aftertaste mostly full of bitter flavors. There is no real alcoholic presence in the taste.

Our Take

In a way, whether you found this beer rewarding or not, it can warm you with an above average ABV, which delivers an oh so slight, but still detectable warming effect after the close. If you were to ask us, however, this isn't a beer which you should seek refuge in if you're looking for a solid warmer this winter. Taking a look at our other recent reviews of winter warmers, will show you some options to this rather docile seasonal offering. Of course, if strong flavors, high alcoholic strength, or intense aromatic profiles aren't your thing, this may just be the perfect winter beer for you. At 7.00%, it's still high enough to deliver a bit of a punch, and a balanced aroma and flavor will keep the senses in check. Mellow is the way things are with this one, and because of that, this beer can go with many different foods, especially lighter meals with more fruits or veggies. This beer can also go well by itself as a casual winter season drinker for those strong porter or imperial stout.