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Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale - Diamond Knot Brewery

Not Rated.
Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter AleDiamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

41 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 80
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 19.95%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Diamond Knot Brewery visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 80
Photo of pianoguy
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Over the years I have been all about the winter warmers. Lately it seems that the huge IPA movement has influenced my favorite seasonal beers, They seem to be getting a lot more hopy. (see Winterhook 31 ) Well this one gets it right. Its a true winter warmer with a very slight hop presence that creates a nice slightly bitter contrast to the sweet malts.

22 oz bomber. no bottling info provided

Pours a solid brown body with a tan head. Not much retention, good lacing

Smell is not very prominent, mainly malt but I am getting faint hop scent too.

A nice chocolate malt start (classic winter warmer!) with a bitter finish( that's got to come from the hops) A really nice balance !!

A big full feel... classic winter warmer.

An outstanding winter warmer . Bravo !

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Photo of Tilley4
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this Christmas night while watching the kids with their toys... A very nice winter warmer if a bit untraditional... Quite a hop presence right off the bat... Very bitter at the finish when it was cold but as this began to warm the cocoa notes began to shine through... Alcohol is rather prevalent in spots which makes this a sipper but doesn't detract from this at all...

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Photo of hreb
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer is brilliant red, and pours slightly syrupy, with no head. Aroma is fruity and phenolic, with a hint of spice, and brown sugar.

Flavor is as expected, with a bitter edge which is in tune with this heavily flavored brew. Spicy and alcoholic. Undoubtedly a winter warmer, and just what I was looking for. A little sweetness on the front of the tongue, like burned caramel or Demerara sugar, but otherwise the flavors are pretty muddled. Bold, but muddled.

A solid winter warmer but not necessarily to my taste.

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Photo of mactrail
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

An unusual color of ochre-- a brownish amber-- in the tall schooner. Some malty body but not much sweetness. Rather watery body. Not much aroma.

The first taste is awful-- is it wintergreen? Some kind of hair tonic? The trouble is it is also quite hoppy and bitter right away. Finally the roasted malt comes through and reminds me of New Belgium's 2 Below. Kind of a buttery Cracker Jacks flavor with a hop surprise. Hint of dusty cloves and old fruit.

Not my favorite winter brew, though worth a try if you like the hopper versions. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Wine World and Spirits in north Seattle.

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Photo of drpimento
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Very good beer! Poured at a good temperature with a thick, light tan, thick head that slowly settled and a little lace. Color is a clear amber brown. Aroma is malt, fruit, caramel, toffee, a hint of hop. Flavor's similar to nose with hop coming out a lot more, hint of sweet, just right amount of tang. Body is good although the alcohol warmth is a bit strong, great carbonation. Finish is like flavor, has a little solvent in the long lasting taper off. But good drinking brew.

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Photo of silverking
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear reddish brown. It sports a tan head with moderate retention and beautiful lacing. The lacing forms a thick sheet on the inside of the glass for a solid 3 seconds and then glides gently back onto the surface of the beer. The aroma carries lots of pine and citrus with a strong malty background. It smells like spruce tips were added, but when I viewed diamond knot's website is said that water, malt, hops, and yeast were the only ingredients. The taste starts hoppy (lots of pine) and progressivly gets more bitter. The malt does start to appear in the finish and then eventually catches up to the hops for a bittersweet finish. There is moderate carbonation with a moderately heavy mouthfeel. This beer definitly has a warming sensation. This is truly an exceptional beer for the winter season.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Ho Ho Winter Ale at Total Wine & More in Spokane.

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nut brown color, clear, with a creamy off-white head.

Smell is a soft caramel candy aroma.

Taste is a peppery caramel flavor up front with a sweet bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and clean, not cloying.

Overall a very drinkable winter ale. Reminds me of the Deschutes Jubelale.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seems a little odd to be drinking a CHRISTmas beer when it's 70 degrees outside.Poured into an imperial nonic a clear deeper amber shade with a half finger off white head atop.A little spice,nuttiness, and biscuit malt with a whole lot of sweet alcohol,it's pretty boozy I can tell.Warming not over the top alcohol sweetness mixed with spiced notes on the palate,a decent roasted nut and dark fruitiness compliments the booze pretty well.It's not a drink all day holiday beer but it's warming and pretty flavorful,I would drink again.

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Photo of DanielBrett
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Pint glass

A: This brew is a amber / brown color. It's not very clear, you can see through the glass only when held up light. Had about 1.5 finger head and a decent amount of lacing.

S: Mainly spices, not much to it

T: Fairly malty brew, has a bit of an alcohol taste and feel to it, followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Nothing to Complex. This is a medium bodied brew, gives you a bit of a that alcohol burn, and leaves a dry bitter finish.

O: An all around decent brew, Glad I got to try it out but I can't say that I'll be rushing to buy another bottle of it.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a trade from Beefsteak, thanks man!

Poured to a pint glass from bomber, no dates as far as I could tell. The beer pours a amber brown color with a 1.5 finger head with good retention and lacing throughout. The nose is that of chocolate and coffee malty sweet toes with a hint of floral hops. The flavor starts out with a nice hoppy flavor that blends to a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate maltyness. Very good. Higher end of medium bodied and well carbonated. Overall, I enjoyed the beer, I had never heard of the beer or brewery before so it was a nice little surprise. I would recommend it.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.22/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Kind of a homebrew lookin' muddled brown with less than 1/4" head on it, off white light tan stylee. Aroma was slightly bitter, toffee.

Taste, I liked corpulent's description of "sucking on a copper penny." It was this weird kind of dirty, sweet and bitter, which roughly approximates sucking on a penny I guess, so good call. Was reminiscient to me of the vinegar and wood mouthfeel of Rodenbach, but worse, and I'm always wondering why people always think that's some benchmark of style.

This beer was pretty tough to drink, and in fact, I did not finish my pour. I was able to have a few ounces, but most of that was just to satiate my curiosity if this would get any better. Didn't taste like a winter warmer or anything xmas style, just tasted like a fake bee someone put vinegar and bitterness into to try and call it a psuedo sour or something.

Really was just some brown malt and earthy garbage hop bitterness that was the most distinct flavors.


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Photo of Nerudamann
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – medium brown/dark amber in color, with about two fingers’ worth of frothy khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – a smell of barley and spices seems most prevalent. Other than that, not much else is discernable.

Taste – much like the smell, there’s a hint of the malt/barley, but with a subtle touch of bitterness from the hops, which aren’t that noticeable in regard to taste. Bitter aftertaste left over by the hops.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, although not as thick/creamy as I would have expected from a winter warmer.

Overall – Not a bad-tasting brew at all, but not terribly interesting to think about while tasting.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark orange color with a 2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap. Thick foamy rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, nuts, and some caramel/toffee aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, toasted nuts, and burnt caramel. There is a medium roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a medium body with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice toasted malt/nut aroma and flavor that is quite satisfying.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a dark copper red color supporting an off white head leaving stringed lace. Smell of rich malt, dark fruit. Taste is not as rich as expected, but does have a good malt backbone with a good balance of hops and a little dark fruit in the back. Mouthfeel is full with good carbonation. Nothing complex here, just a hearty winter ale.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a nonic pint glass. Deep brown with a modest off-white head that's surprisingly tenacious. Crackly lacing along the top inch of the glass; scattered streaks after that.

Nose is full of chocolate and sugar cookies, with a nice toastiness in the background. The 'full meal deal' of maltiness: sweet, roasty, tangy, nutty, husky. Cracked pepper, nutmeg, milk chocolate and earthy hops. I'm somewhat disappointed in the dryish, toasty finish, but it's a tasty beer for sure. On the thickish side of medium with moderate carbonation. Surprisingly bitter; I'm curious about how a bit of cellaring would treat this beer as the hops mellow out. Good stuff.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a reddish brown color with a one finger head that drops to a 1/4 inch head and retains for a while before becoming an 1/8 inch ring with lacing accompanying it.

S- Immediate white chocolate and coffee notes combined with a malty sweetness reminiscent of Whoppers malt balls. A bit of musty alcohol rounds out the aroma.

T- Packs quite a punch. Heavy malt base with some cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. Also some more coffee. Has a bit of an alcohol burn that accentuates the slight metallic taste but isn't very detrimental to the overall flavor profile.

M- Pretty standard. Medium-high carbonation gives the tongue plenty to work with.

O- Not bad. I can definitely think of better winter seasonals but can still dig it.

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

22oz bomber, split

appearance: served in a ND shaker pint, cola-amber body, tan head with no lace

smell: toasted nuts, caramel, spice

taste: decent winter warmer - toasted nuts, dry malt, light bitterness, some holiday spice. An enjoyable bomber, but admittedly, no real qualities that would bring me back for more.

mouthfeel: dry finish, light bitterness, alcohol holds its own

overall: ok stuff

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice brown color with a nice reddish tinge. There's a one finger cocoa head, that quickly goes down to a sliver. Average lacing on my goblet glass. Nose is mainly caramel malt, hops, and some nutty yeast happening. I'd like the nose to be stronger, but it's pleasant. Taste is interesting... Coffee, caramel, hops... Big time hops on the aftertaste. Feel is very dry, with a slightly bitter finish. All in all, a decent brew. Cheers.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.09/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer appears dark ruby colored with a thick tan head. Lasting retention and plenty of lacing coats the tulip glass. The aroma is pretty bland, with a weak showing of malt, spices, alcohol. The flavor is ok, with an odd dryness in the finish. A bit out of balance, and generally unexciting.

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Photo of mikechance
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A --- nice deep red with a little foam head

S --- not much. mostly malts

T --- very malty and noty much else.

M --- medium body with right amount of carbination.

O --- Not bad, but not memorable. I wanted something from it to "pop" and I couldn't find it in the scent, taste and body.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.74/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bomber style, on to the beer:

The pour yields a cherrywood color and a thick head that retains well and lashes up lacing around the glass. It proves to be one of the highlights. Things get worrisome in the aroma. There's no infection, good. There's no nastiness, good. But there is so little goodness, not good. A little toasted sugar, esters, and subtle hop juice. It seems that there should be so much more.

Served cold, the flavor yield is very low. Served at a warmer temperature, the flavor yield only slightly improves. It doesn't make the beer good, it just makes it less sick. Toasted sugar and toffee provide the "base" of this beer. Pine cones add a little distraction. For a beer of this ABV, the flavor intensity is shockingly low (not to mention its alcohol isn't felt at all, adding to the shock. Yet the body is fairly rich in texture. Riddling.

Diamond Knot's IPA had potential, but was wrecked by an infection. Ho! Ho! may have potential if those malts are better worked. There isn't much to keep me interested here.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Diamond Knot- Hop forward dark ale, xmas beer for hop heads, doesn't scream winter, but one of the one I would drink more often.

We did a large christmas and winter beer tasting panel and this was one of the many that we tried. Most of the beers we tried we solid including this one that the panel liked.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From my (now ancient) notes.

This pours a malty amber color.

I get a caramel-malt aroma to this.

Flavor has a “holiday spiced” amber ale note to it, with some touches of clove and chocolate malt under a caramel-malt sweetness. A bit too hot. Underwhelming.

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Photo of loren01
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color, decent sized head with slight lace down the glass
S: Smell is slightly sweet followed by earthy/piney hop scents
T: Slight sweetness with lots of roasted grains. Nice big piney hop bite at the end
M: Medium bodied beer, a little bit thinner than what I was expecting, finishes pretty warm
O: My first time trying this beer and I think I'll be buying more, a great winter beer if you can get it.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: middling nut-brown hue with a finger of frothy light-tan foam. Body has a fair amount of haze to it; it looks good, though the head does not have very much retention to it. Not too bad, though.

Smell: nutty, bready, yeasty, somewhat biscuity; it's got all the marks of a nut brown ale or something likewise autumnal. On top of this, though, it's got some sweetness, which makes it a bit more of a wintry treat. I rather like it.

Taste: wow, it tastes exactly like it smells, though with the addition of a dry bitterness which counteracts the sweetness a lot. I still like it, but it's a drier, more autumnal beer than a festive winter ale.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a pretty decent level of carbonation. Not creamy, precisely, but there's enough going on to give the beer a pretty pleasant texture.

Drinkability: I'm finding it pretty drinkable tonight. I have a feeling this is the kind of beer that I sort of need to be in the mood to drink; I guess I'm just in one of those moods.

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Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale from Diamond Knot Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.