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Winter Warmer - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

118 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 17
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 04-15-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hugonaut13


2/5  rDev -47.4%

04-01-2014 19:21:27 | More by Hugonaut13
Photo of Arbitrator


2.03/5  rDev -46.6%

Chilled bomber into a glass. Courtesy of womencantsail. Thanks, Andrew.

A: Pours a clear copper body with a small light beige head.

S: Not very aromatic. Some yeast, nuts. It reminds me of a brown ale.

T: Light caramel, a touch of toffee, some varieties of citrus (pineapple, orange), nuts. There's also a slightly sour grain flavor that I don't understand. It reminds me a little of a milk stout. It doesn't taste much like a barleywine, either English or American.

M: Thin-bodied. Not much flavor or complexity, and it lacks any warming presence. The name is a misnomer. I don't mind smooth beers on the whole, and I certainly don't mind something that's well-attenuated, but when it lacks an associated flavor punch, I am underwhelmed.

D: This isn't an adventurous beer, and I respect that. Just the same, it's not fair to say this beer is excellent in its style. I couldn't very well give this an 'A' and suggest it's in the same range as Gratitude or J.W. Lees. This falls far short.

11-28-2010 20:34:03 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of charlesw

New York

2.33/5  rDev -38.7%

Brown/red/amber, on the clear side, nice head that lasts. Maybe give it a touch more opacity.
Smells oxidized - bitter grassy hops, wet cardboard.
Tastes like an extract homebrew imperial American amber ale - one that I wouldn't be very happy sharing. Lingering bitterness. Kinda sweet, funky, sour, wet cardboard, ditch mud. Not in the English style in the slightest. Not in the American style, either, frankly. The body is hugely lacking for either of those, to start with.

Edit: if they just called it a winter warmer and dropped barleywine from the name, why, it would probably just be average and not bad.

07-03-2009 19:51:48 | More by charlesw
Photo of thebarnesbomb


2.65/5  rDev -30.3%

Was served from a growler into a goblet at my friends house. He got it direct from Upland, well obviously, since we live in Bloomington. I personally like Upland, and was excited for the winter warmer. Unfortunately I was dissapointed.

A- It looked decent enough, but with little/ no head. Had a brownish-amber-orange color to it, cloudy showing that it has some character and not watery at all.

Smell- Strong, seeing that it is a winter warmer. Some sweetness underneath this, with a little citrus element.

Taste- Damnit. What a tease. I was expecting something great, but I was really dissapointed. Honestly, it was due to the growler, and it lost a lot of carbonation to it, which might be unfair for this beer. But without any carbonation to it at all, the flavors were just too much. The alcohol was most present, with hardly any of the malt sweetness I had smelled in the malt, and the citrus that I smelled was tasted, but too harsh.

Mouthfeel- Gross. Too thick and too harsh, I just wanted to get it out of the way.

Drinkablility- I could hardly finish a small goblet, so this recieved a low drinkability. I think with the proper carbonation this could be a good beer though.

01-30-2006 05:02:36 | More by thebarnesbomb
Photo of Duff27


2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

03-21-2012 16:32:42 | More by Duff27
Photo of lico


2.93/5  rDev -22.9%

(2011 bottle)

A: Pours a copper brown; not really the "very dark color" described on the bottle, but a healthy color nonetheless. Very thin white head atop leaves minimal lacing.

S: It certainly smells like a Barleywine; malty, but hoppier than usual. Promising.

T: Malty at first with some fruity cherry notes, kind of watery in the middle, but finishes "boozy," which is strange for only being 8.5%. With this style the alcohol should be better hidden by maltiness. Finishes bitter. The taste really follows the smell here.

M: Very low body for a Barleywine, likely due to a lower-than-usual grain bill.

O: I just would not recommend this when there are better alternatives out there. The mouthfeel isn't right for a Barleywine, nor is the hoppy finish. That said, if you haven't had one before and are used to lower gravity beer and want to try a Barleywine, this might be a good pick simply because it's not as heavy as other Barleywines and has a lighter mouthfeel. But beware the aftertaste.

08-21-2012 01:01:54 | More by lico
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -19.7%

Nice little extra received from akokandy in a recent trade. Thanks!

Pours a deep ruby red with very little head on top. No lacing. Weak. Smells of booze, cherries, yeast, and candy. Not too bad.

Mouthfeel was decent. Fair amount of carbonation in there. Flavor was very yeasty and Belgian. Different. Tons of pineapple, strawberry, and shall I say it again, yeast. This was interesting. Very cloying with tons of sweetness on the finish. Not my cup of tea necessarily, but ok. Glad I got to try it. Thanks, Adam, for the opportunity.

05-30-2009 04:27:46 | More by Onenote81
Photo of GreenWBush


3.2/5  rDev -15.8%

Amazingly slow head cascade action. Strange patches of bubbles throughout body of beer.

Deep dark rich amber coloration. Clear from yeast or other floaties. Fat 2 inch head that's dark brown and leaves a nice happy trail.

From cold the beer smells much like a low alcohol brown ale. How they pulled that off, I do not know. When it gets warmer notes of almond, plunm, raisin, and a leather malt sweetness appear. You have to keep your nose well-tuned to smell the alcohol, but you'll surely taste it on the palate.

There's a little too much of liquid raisin / heavy caramel thing going on here. They decieve well with the high ABV but the sweetness borders on the cloying: i'd want no more than one. The mouthfeel is also a bit lacking for the style.

05-09-2004 02:47:10 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of WastingFreetime


3.2/5  rDev -15.8%

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a standard amber color with a short-lived two finger head, mediocre lacing on the sides of the glass. Lighter side of medium body heft and carbonation levels.

Smells only vaguely of a light brown sugar and toffee sweetness. Extremely muted and blunt nose. Tastes of a semi-roasted malt / molasses / brown sugar and biscuit malt blend with a combination of herbal and pine hopping on the back end and a light dark fruit nuance in the middle.

Although the flavor is fairly good (even if the dark fruits were too thin), there is some serious work that needs to be done on the nose before this one can truly shine IMHO.

09-21-2012 07:40:49 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of JoePat


3.23/5  rDev -15%

bottled december 09
Poured from a bottle in to my new trusty FFF tulip style pint glass
This beer pours a dark copper color with an off white to tan head that dissipated within minute leaving almost no lacing.
The smell is grapy with a little toffy from the malt very similar to an english strong ale
The beer taste just like it smells with a little spice that I can't quite put my finger on possible from the hops but that would be the only thing you get from the hops. This beer is sweet and fruity tasting.
It has an average mouth feel and a smooth drinkability especially considering it 9% abv.
I think this beer was a little weak in the hop and carmel flavor even for an english barleywine. Bottle condition it and sell it as an english strong ale and I think it could get a little more respect.

02-13-2010 04:44:48 | More by JoePat
Photo of bralston345


3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

06-21-2013 20:18:47 | More by bralston345
Photo of t0rin0


3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

03-04-2013 17:00:58 | More by t0rin0
Photo of ajs4bd


3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

06-01-2013 00:56:20 | More by ajs4bd
Photo of SirSketch


3.4/5  rDev -10.5%

A - Large head that sticks well to the glass. Varies in color from amber to deep mahogany.

S - Very malty nose. Vinous characteristics, dark esters, and spices, particularly nutmeg, present as well.

T - First thing I noticed was the alcohol... not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Nutty flavors and heavy spices throughout. Not very bitter at all. Definitely an English style barleywine. Very similar to milds and old ales.

M/D - Lays heavy on the tongue. Medium bodied, and very drinkable.

Upland is normally a hit or miss for me with their beers, but I believe this one is worth a try

12-22-2008 01:54:08 | More by SirSketch
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%

Appearance: Pours a mahogany body with a fizzy, though lasting off-white head.

Smell: Mild malty aroma of toasted caramel with a dash or two of cinnamon spice.

Taste: Bittersweet taste throughout with more toasted caramel flavors along with crumpled, dry biscuits, light spices, and notes of tea. Light sprucey hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Though certainly fine as a winter warming offering, I must admit that my thoughts did not immediately turn to "barleywine" when I sampled this.

08-20-2007 21:56:31 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Brent


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%

I little lightweight for a barleywine, even for the English style and weighing in at 9% abv. Caramel color, some nutty malt in the aroma. Up front a bit sweet, then mellowing to a caramel malt with moderately sharp hops afterbite, some pepper from the abv. Nothing wrong with this beer, but if you are going to denote something as a winter warmer, it should be a bit more distinctive.

03-03-2010 13:51:19 | More by Brent
Photo of SportsandJorts


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%

Type: ~14 oz on tap
Glass: Snifter
From: Upland in Bloomington IN
Price: $5.25

Appearance: reddish brown and almost clear. small off white head that left a lacing.

Smell:sweet sweet malts. and hops

Taste: sweet malts and somewhat piney hops. I don't like the balance or the hops in this one

Mouthfeel: thicker and good but leaves that bad hop taste lingering.

Overall: not a big fan of this one. the hop and malt flavors don't do very well together

03-07-2013 01:03:22 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of robwestcott


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%

2010 vintage first tapped at the brewpub today.

poured cold from the tap a deep ruby brown to a 12oz snifter with a full finger foamy tan head with nice retention.

fairly subtle sweet aroma of dark fruits and syrupy sugars.

much sweeter with less of an initial bite than expected. tastes of dark fruits, plums and dates with a sweet after leading to a fairly mild bitter bite to the sides of the tongue. an interesting balance for a newly tapped barleywine.

thick, creamy, sweet, mild bitter, low carbonation.

drinkable - two max.

12-13-2010 23:48:43 | More by robwestcott
Photo of Kegatron


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

01-30-2014 22:47:23 | More by Kegatron
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

06-27-2013 22:32:55 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Mrpickles


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

12-31-2011 04:14:44 | More by Mrpickles
Photo of Knoxrb12


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

03-02-2014 22:11:25 | More by Knoxrb12
Photo of WoodburyMN


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

03-11-2013 04:13:24 | More by WoodburyMN
Photo of jheiss


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

12-18-2011 20:19:03 | More by jheiss
Photo of alleykatking


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%

Had on tap at the Brewpub.

A- Pours a ruby brown color. One finger tan head shows medium retention. This has nice lacing in long weblike streaks on the sides of the snifter.

S- Lots of caramel malts bring up the base beer and light sweetness throughout the entire aroma. Darker fruits are also in the aroma but only play a lighter backbone to this aroma. Light brown sugar notes as well.

T- Light almost bitter hop bite to this beer. Caramel malts come through next with darker fruits (plum and fig) coming into the middle with a sugary sweetness. Toward the backend of the beer there is a light bitter bite from what I would say are hops with a alcohol warmth in the very tailend.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little light for the style. Darker fruits and light sweetness left on the palate and long into the aftertaste with kisses of warming alcohol. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors are very malt driven and follow that course. No off flavors in the beer at all which is nice.

D- This beer was good but there was something missing that made it not great. The ABV was pretty apparent the entire beer making it only a drinker for a snifter or two. Nice try Upland but there is something missing with this one.

01-05-2011 06:06:53 | More by alleykatking
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Winter Warmer from Upland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.