BEER REVIEW – STEVENS POINT ST. BENEDICT’S WINTER ALE

This is just a quick review of a beer I picked up locally that caught my eye – mainly because of the cool label art (I’m such a sucker for slick packaging!). I haven’t reviewed a lot of Stevens Point Brewery’s beers, but this one made the list. Though the packaging doesn’t specify, I’m operating on the assumption that this beer is in the ‘winter warmer‘ style category. Below is my review from notes. Enjoy!

Pours a clear, deep crimson color with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves only spotty lacing in the glassware. The nose is a surprise. This beer is considered (I surmise) to be a winter warmer, but it smells more like a fruity Belgian-style dubbel. Caramel, dark fruits, raisins and fig – the dominant note being an estery yeast aroma, however. Slight spicy notes are detectable as well, though I suspect no spices were added although the packaging (again) doesn’t indicate.

The palate is dry and fruity with a distinct bitterness that occasionally borders on tart. This character is more like overly-roasted or scorched malt than something fanciful like a wild or lactic yeast strain. This isn’t too offensive, but it does detarct from the over all quality of the beer in my estimation. Incredibly estery, this ale is more like a “dubbel light” than a winter warmer. The packaging does mention noble hops, but they’re quite well hidden and not apparent in the nose or in the flavor profile.

The body and mouth feel is just too light to support the flavors this beer is trying to achieve, I think. Ample carbonation leaves the beer all the more dry in the finish, but does little to compensate for the thin, watery body. The label doesn’t tell me the ABV of this beer, but I’d suspect it to be on the very low end for a winter warmer – maybe 6% or thereabouts. This is an ‘okay’ beer for the season, but not something to flip over. This beer strikes me as one that could be quite pleasant if it were improved in a couple of vital aspects – particularly the thin body and slightly acrid off-flavor. Boost the grain bill and make this one a somewhat bigger beer and then we’ve got something! Having said that, though, this isn’t bad and not a drain pour beer by any means. I give it kudos for effort.

About Stevens Point Brewery: The Stevens Point Brewery is steeped in a history that has transcended the trials of the Civil War, the Great Depression and Prohibition. More than 150 years later, the Stevens Point Brewery continues to successfully brew quality beer, just as the brewery’s founders, Frank Wahle and George Ruder, did in 1857. This undeniable endurance is a testament of why the Stevens Point Brewery, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is the 5th oldest continuously operating brewery remaining in the United States. Today, the Stevens Point Brewery is proud to be Wisconsin-owned and independently operated.

Leave a Reply