Winter Warmer - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 127
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 8.75%
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:
Beer added by: zerk on 04-15-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Hads: 127
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a creamy off-white head that leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Caramel coated apples, maple syrup and cotton candy

Taste: Opens with a candied apple flavor that adds other over-ripe fruit by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweetness is tempered by earthy bitterness as one would expect from an English barleywine

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with moderate to high carbonation; warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: I tasted a 2006 with a year and a half of age just before the 2007. The '06 was a disaster but the '07 was drinking quite nicely. Even though this is a high ABV beer, it didn't age very well in my experience

Thanks, jhammerly, for the opportunity (732 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As with the few other Upland beers that I've had recently, this beer comes across with a lot of mineral content and a sharp, acidic note that becomes a bit astringent in the mouthfeel. Otherwise this beer is quite solid.

The malt profile is solid with varying tastes of toffee, molassas, and a hint of savory, toasty melanoidins. The attenuation is nicely done, leaving a malty taste and feel but not a lot of unresolved sugars. Quite creamy, full, and rich to the feel.

The hops are soft in flavor but the beer takes a bitterness that is a bit odd for English style Barleywines. No real hop aroma. The hop variety also takes a citrusy twist that is more suited for American Barleywines.

Esters of cherries, plumbs, grapes, dates, and other dark, dehydrated fruits make their way into the beer. Throw in an orange rind taste and feel and you have it. Think fruitcake. No real phenolic character to mention- ok, maybe a light plastic note as the beer warms.

The acidic / astringent note helps to clean the beer up and give a crisp snappy finish, but maybe too low of pH. Aside from that, the maltiness is quite smooth and rich with a sweetness that is pleasant and not offensive. A nice little beer but it doesn't compete favoravly against classic English varieties. (1,269 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very hazy and cloudy ruby tinted light brown liquid emerged from the bottle. Some light carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass and a touch of yeast was seen floating as well. A light head, maybe a quarter inch rose up at first pour, though the second and third pour produced much more. Decent side glass lacing.

The aroma was nice, albeit a touch light. Very sweet smelling with the candy sort of aroma that you tend to find with an aged barley wine. Some light hints at the hops, but mostly faded into the sugary malt profile that dominated this one. The flavor was just great though, a very solid malt base had mellowed everything very nicely. Not a touch of alcohol in this one at all, in fact I found myself drinking this one wayyy too fast for my own good as time went on. Rich and again very sweet, it was like a kid in the candy store. So smooth with a nice medium, well carbonated body that only lended itself to being even more sippable. (978 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper/burgundy color with a one-finger, long-lasting, khaki colored head of foam. It had some big bubbles and left some nice lace.

S - It smelled very malty and sweet. It had good caramel aroma and some floral notes.

T - This had a nice malty flavor with a good sweet caramel taste. There were fruity notes and mild boozy, alcohol flavors.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a really good barleywine. I was really pretty easy drinking despite the high ABV. It wasn't overly sweet. (607 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mark for sending me this one.

A: The pour is a darkish amber color with a thin, off-white layer of foam.

S: Pretty basic in terms of the aromas. Brown sugar, caramel, bread, and perhaps some dark fruit notes. There's also some noticeable alcohol to the beer. A bit of a yeasty thing going on as well.

T: Caramel, toffee, and perhaps some brown sugar provide the usual sweet flavors. Some dark fruits like raisins and plums, bread, and a bit of citrus. Not really very focused or what you expect from a barleywine.

M: The body is probably a bit on the thin side, like the -bal aged version, with a moderate carbonation.

D: A pretty pedestrian beer. No real big or bold flavors, which you normally expect from a barleywine. (736 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (544 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had 2 really bad infected drain pour beers today, and one that was OK but really hard to drink. So hopefully this one is great and can make up for it. This is last year's batch, 2011, thanks to erric (reddit).

Pours a nice fluffy looking 1 finger head that has plenty of retention, and eventually fades with a nice thick lacing as well, it's a semi clear mahogany slight maroon reddish colored beer.

Nose has nice old ale aged subtle malts, those caramel brown malts that have an aged aroma to them, plenty of caramel and toffee, little nutty as well, nice candy like aroma but not really syrupy, light booze and soft malt, and maybe just a hint of oxidation.

Taste starts with nice aged malts again, old ale soft subtle almost chewy and creamy like malts. Then sweetness, not super sweet but the candy flavors, plenty of caramel and toffee, little nutty again, maybe a hint of a syrup flavor, a toffee nutty candy bar like flavor. Light bitterness with a hint of earthy hops but not much. Finish gets a bit more bitter with more earthy slightly spicy hops that I bet were a lot stronger when fresh. Lingering slight sweetness and sticky feel, and plenty more toffee, caramel, nutty flavors, and soft aged malts.

Mouth is fuller bodied, nice fluffy carb, just a hint of booze, and soft creamy feel as well.

Overall a nice beer, good aged soft malts, chewy and creamy without the syrupy flavors, great malt flavors nutty caramel and toffee, etc, and bitterness that sneaks up and I'm sure was a lot stronger when fresh, but a nice balance now with a year on it. I wonder how it will continue to age, wish I had another bottle. (1,635 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the tick Paul.

Beer is brown and hazy with a thin tan head that halos and pulls to the wall of the glass. The retention is low so even in this excited state sticking to the edge, it still doesn't leave any lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, malty, mildly sweet apples and pear with hints of raisins and a little sherry.

Beer is medium to big in body and very sweet, the finish saves it because it does not thin out in the back, overall this turns out to be a decent beer even if I don't usually like this style. It may say winter warmer but don't be fooled, this is a straight up barleywine. (611 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, that came as part of a 12 bottle sampler box. Bottled on dating (here Dec. 08) notched onto the label. Pours dark mahogony, dark tan moderate head that leaves fine lacing and a rich malty nose. Malty, malty, malty. Smooth and sultry and dangerously easy drinking. Perhaps on the light side for a BWine. Nice sipper. (332 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to stonequarrywest for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy light tan head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with very slight hop note, lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, some hoppyness, slight spice, and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a good example of a English Barleywine, a sipper. Thanks Gabe. (425 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle bottled in November 2011. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a ruby red/copper color with about an inch light tan head that sticks around for a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. It smells like dark fruit, caramel malt, toffee, and some oranges. It tastes like caramel malt, dark fruit (raisins, cherries), oranges, berries, and toffee, along with some pine and herbal hops. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. I thought it was a decent enough brew. And for just $5.49 a bomber, I'd buy this again in the future. It's certainly worth trying, especially at that price. (639 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale stemmed glass. Bottled Nov. '08. No other info.

A - A moderate pour brings fourth a creamy, low one-finger head. Light khaki color with medium retention. A low, thin layer stays with a ring as well as tiny spots of lacing. Noticeable legs on the glass show it's strength. The body is an inactive, clear ruby-highlighted mahogany/copper amber color. Very beautiful and deep in appearance.

S - Toasty malts provide a good hearty backbone to this already complex beer. Caramel hints in the sweetness with a mild toasty cocoa. At the forefront are dried fruits aplenty from both the alcohol level and yeast I imagine. Chocolate covered cherry with light mango and light banana with yeast. The alcohol is strong in this one with fruity aspects, some spiciness, and light fusels. Not overly solvent-like, as it's pretty overpowered by everything else, but it's there. Hops finish off the intensely layered delight with a timid pine and citrus blend that balances everything very well. Huge success on aroma!

T - Strong maltiness kicks this beer off in the right direction. Robust and bread-like, the toasty malts exhibit a caramel sweetness who's marriage to the other flavors presents a near perfect balance for the style. The alcohol is a bit overpowering but the spiciness common to alcohol could definitely be from the hop presence too. Very herbal and moderately floral, the hops also have a light pine/citrus kick to the finish. The balance of this barleywine is pretty well done to style as it finishes bitter. The fruity esters are the same as the nose leads on minus the banana and much more low-key in the flavor. Alcohol presence seems a bit too high however.

M - Full-bodied and robust, its thick and creamy in the mouth with a very smooth, velvety finish. Low level carbonation still gives it a light tingle as the hop bitterness and alcohol warmth rise up.

D - The balance is pretty good on this barleywine for the style. Malty yet hoppy. The noticeable alcohol (even for it's, thus far, extended age) is the killer. Smack in the midst of the malty-change-hoppy flavor, it's higher presence is a bit unwanted. Overall though it's a great example of a barleywine and would make for a great winter warmer as the name suggests. I think I'll have to go back and see if there are any left and hang on to them for the upcoming cooler weather. (2,401 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Odd beer, this. It's only pretty good, and the reason it's only pretty good is different than you might think. It's not too tame and it's not unbalanced. It's nicely adventurous, and really well balanced. It's just that the adventure, while a little scary, really isn't fulfilling, and those pieces, while balanced, aren't really interesting.

But, still, it's pretty good. It's not what I'd call a warmer, and it much more resembles an American Barley Wine than an English BW. It's almost like they tried to force an ABW into tasting like an EBW by subjecting it to the mellowing effects of delicious, boozy wood. (614 characters)

Photo of Brent
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (384 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.52/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is poured at room temp into a tumbler glass. The beer exhibits a deep chestnut hue with mild garnet highlights around the edges of the glass. Thin wispy eggshell white head on the surface only, but leaves some tight lattice after each sip. Aroma is toffee and red grapes and plums. I dont find hops anywhere on the nose, and not really any booze notes.
First sip reveals gentle carbonation, average to thick body.
Flavor is toffee and a bit of brown sugar with some warm booze on the finish. Again hops arent to be found in this beer. A nice flavorful brew that is well crafted and a malty's dream! Quite a nice example of an English B-wine. (651 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up back in the Midwest ("The Winetree" in Evansville, IN, to be exact) during the holidays for about $5-6!

Poured into a tulip.

A: Poured a dark, murky reddish brown (more towards the brown side though), with a skimpy mildly off-white head that retained itself.

S: It had very much a "mallow-creme" brand of candy sweetness.... and lots of it! It had sort of a strange caramel-butterscotch combo thing going on as well.

T: Not as strange or complex as the nose, but still a bit odd. The caramel was definitely running a pretty tight ship. This a bit bland, especially considering all the greats out there in this style. The marketing speak on the label mentioned something about hops, but I'm still searching. Tons of malt though. Additionally, I started to get sort of a soggy wood quality the more I sipped.

M: Uber sweet, but the sweetness didn't distract for long. The carbonation bill just right and the lacing was present but not overwhelming.

O: This is a "Winter Warmer," categorized as a "Barleywine," which won Silver Award in 2008 in the "Old Ale" category. Say what? This is worth a try, especially considering the low price. (1,159 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.03/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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. (998 characters)

Photo of JamesS
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice brown copper color with some good head and lacing. Mixed scent, very malty with some high English hop aromas (jerky) in there. Good taste, nice and deep, though not as deep as other barley wines; still, the nice hop characteristics helped it out a bit and balanced the usual maltiness of barley wines. For a high ABV beer, it goes down wonderfully smooth, and you could have a few before it hit you. A great beer to warm up with after a long cold day. (464 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.07/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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. (535 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,252 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle I'd aged almost 3 years...2008 vintage! Pours with a nice thick head, and some heavy-duty spoke lacing.

Aroma is almost fruity, strong, like dried dark fruit.

Flavor is dried cherry, tobacco, leather, pear, dates...strong and complex. Very little hint as to the rather high alcohol content.

A well tasty barleywine, certainly made more palatable with some age. Enjoyable!

And had a final bottle, tasted again in late 2013 -- so a 5 year-old bottle this time:

Echoes similar flavors as above (candied fruits, berries, and a bit of earthiness), but with an even more sour-sweet character. Not bad at all, and still pretty heavy-duty. (649 characters)

Photo of neckbracesub
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here is a barleywine that provides a significant difference in taste and finish between bottle and tap. I have had it each way, and have enjoyed it each way, but on tap it is superior in overall taste.

The aroma is very sweet and fruity, the color of the body a syrupy amber, and a nice palate that you would expect from a good barleywine. That’s exactly what Upland has created with Winter Warmer - a solid barleywine that is unbelievably good on value price. I bought a 22 oz. bottle of this at a local liquor store for only $5.49. The pint on tap I had was much higher in price, but the quality was significantly raised as well.

It is not among the high-tiered barleywines (like Hebrew Jewbelation) but they are a nice and commendable option in the genre. (764 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Finch's

Pours a reddish brown with a small tan head that fades away immediately. Decent sticky lacing down the glass.

Smells of caramel and dark fruits. Earthy hop and brown sugar presence as well.

Just a small hop presence with some subtly sweet brown sugar presence hitting the front of the tongue. Lots of caramel throughout with some dark fruits mixed in as well.

Medium-thick mouthfeel without being cloying and medium-low carbonation.

One of my favorite barleywines and I look forward to it every year. Good and warming without being cloying sweet like many of the style. Very pleasant to sip during dinner. (632 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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. (649 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (535 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Winter Warmer from Upland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.