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Warmer Winter Winter Warmer - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Warmer Winter Winter WarmerWarmer Winter Winter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

201 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 201
Hads: 565
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 12.98%
Wants: 130
Gots: 161 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

A old ale with american hop varietals that has a complex citrus and caramelized toffee aroma and underlying notes of chocolate.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 201 | Hads: 565
Photo of EkimGram
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 25.4oz bottle poured into a snifter. Colour is a dark, opaque brown. Enormous head fades with a little bit of retention.

Smell: Aromas are very sweet. I get some plums and raisins as well as dark sugars; brown sugar and perhaps molasses. A nice amount of balanced malt finishes up the smell.

Taste: Wow, so many layers and flavours here. It's almost too much. Starts out cloyingly sweet with the dark sugars and fruits. A sweet bitterness works its way through everything and finally that dark sweetness returns.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a nice hint of carbonation. Very silky, sticky, and chewy.

Overall: What a complex beer. So many layers, so many flavours, it's quite an impressive brew. The only thing I don't really enjoy is the immense amount of sweetness.

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Photo of Agold
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has a bit over a year on it. This beer pours with a big billowing head that recedes to about a cm, leaving some nice lacing. The liquid is a very dark molasses color and is pretty opaque. Aroma is big toffee and caramel with a bit of residual tropical fruityness, and dark fruit. The flavor is similar, but is verging on being too sweet. Caramel candy overtakes some of the toffee flavors. The tropical fruit comes through more clearly in the flavor along with the prune, dark fruit notes. As it warms, it takes on a bit of a Robitussin type taste, but not really in a bad way. Interesting. Mouthfeel is nice and full with pleasant carbonation. Not too hot, very nice and warming and very smooth as well. Very enjoyable beer and if some of the sweetness could be a bit less, and the toffee, a bit more, this would have been more enjoyable for me.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Beautiful looking mildly aggressive pour leads to a nice hazy and murky mahogany color with a nice copper hue on the edges. The head is huge with 2 inches of billowing dense cream colored foam. Brew looks delicious.

Already from the pour I could pick up on some of the resinous and slightly citrus hops. Upon close inspection there is some nice caramel malt sweetness up front with some nice toffee. There is some fruity sweetness in there as well with some nice pear and apple. There is some tropical fruit notes in there as well with some papaya and some mango mixed in with some nice toffee and butterscotch.

Flavor is very interesting and complex. Starts off with some fruity sweetness that is very nice and not too overwhelming. There are some apple and pear notes as well as some mango. Then there is some nice caramel and toffee notes in there. Underlying this sweetness is an interesting and delicious citrus background that give s the beer an interesting dimension. There is also some nice slight boozy heat but nothing too intense. The blend between the sweetness and malt notes and the slight underlying hops is very interesting and complex. Very well crafted and creative take on the Old Ale style. Very nice smooth fell with some slight oily notes but also a nice hop dryness on the back end. Nice and medium-full bodied.

This brew is delicious. Very nice balance of malt sweetness with the hop notes. This beer is creative and well crafted. Nice touch on a classic style.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cold winter day deserves a Winter warmer!

Very carbonated, almost too much. Muddy, murky brown, like a barleywine (basically like the label says). Very thick and frothy head. Off-white.

Very sweet smelling, plums, dried fruits, and brown sugar. Hints of dried grains, and hop bitterness.

Very complex, sweet and dry at the same time. Its almost bordering on too sweet, like a Dubbel. Sweetened dark cherries, hints of oranges. For its stature, it sits light, and feels like cherry syrup. a dry woody oak is felt upon exhale. I can see why this isnt a winter warmer anymore. i might categorize it more as a barleywine, but were just speaking semantics now.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky, dark caramel color with a frothy tan head covering the top of the beer and sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a big malty presence to it with caramel, toffee and some sweeter dark fruits leading the way. A good amount of hoppiness is noticeable in it as well with some resiny, citrus rind like qualities. Pretty appealing aroma overall.

The taste also shows a very nice balance of malty and hoppy. I get more of the caramel, toffee and dark fruit sweetness to it at first while the bitter, citrus rind like hoppiness lingers more into the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a very good beer all around. They really brought all the flavors together very well in it. Very flavorful and enjoyable to sip on this afternoon.

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Photo of bum732
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Fresh green hops, some citrus, some rich toffee notes.

L: Dark brown, light tan carbonated head with good retention and lacing.

T: Mixture of citrus fruit with fruitcake like maltiness and breadiness. Lots of dried fruit with glazed apricots and rum raisin. Mostly fruit forward. Sticky toffee finish, quite sweet.

M: Medium high carbonation, medium full body.

Pretty good, fairly rich. Would've been easier to finish with a friend.

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Photo of One2Remeber
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper, mocha head that doesn't stay around for long. Body is cloudy as could be, murky brown color, slightly red hue. Not familiar with Old Ales but this looks like a barleywine to me.

S: Sweet caramel malt aroma turns to toasted, nutty, bready notes before an acrid alcohol smell comes out. Some toffee notes. Smells like a malt bomb. Candy liquorice aroma is also there.

T: Trying to swish around on pallet, hard to pick up with all the flavors going on. I taste all I got in the aroma just blended together into a candy sweet, bready, toffee taste. Finishes with a sugary bubble gum like taste. However there is no strong alcohol taste, not even the slightest.

M: A slight bitterness comes and goes fast. After a couple sips the beer is so heavy it has a numbing effect on the pallet. A bubbly sensation hits the middle of my tongue.

O: I see how it is a Winter beer but it does not get cold enough for me in Florida to see an ideal drinking experience. I could make this an everyday beer up in Michigan though in the freezing cold and heavy snow. Very easy to drink and it will definitely warm you up:)

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Photo of mntlover
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby brown with a big frothy tan head that falls all so slowly and laces very well.

Aroma is big on toffee malts lots of free floating brown sugars and good supply of dark fruits.

Taste is wow lots of sugary malts with big toffee notes. Dark fruit notes lots of figs upfront. Lots of caramel and toffee notes almost to the point of cloying but not quite.

Mouthfeel is big nice body smooth and creamy with level carbonation.

Overall very nice big sugary malty brew with lots of dark fruit notes. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of tdm168
3.11/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jtd1969 for bringing this back from Florida.

When I cracked the top on this foam came billowing out of the top of the bottle. It poured a dark brown with a quarter inch of loose, foamy brown head that had decent retention. The nose heavy dark fruit with some notes of barley and candy. The flavor is bready, heavy barley malt up front followed by caramel and dark fruit and finishes with an overwhelming candy sugar sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and a little syrupy but smooth and lightly carbonated.

I really wanted to like this beer. It seemed like all the right elements were there but they didn't all mesh. This one loses a lot of points because of how sweet it was. I had a hard time finishing a glass of it let alone the entire bottle. I'm glad I shared it. This is just way too sweet and candy-like for me to want again.

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Photo of shand
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. 2011 vintage.

This brew pours a muddy red-brown with a huge head that retains very well. The aroma is an interesting mix of toffeed caramel malts and fruits holding hands with a fairly strong hoppy aroma. The taste is syrupy sweet at first, with a really strong fruit offering. It doesn't stay like that for too long though, with a fairly strong hoppiness on the backend to help balance out the sweetness. It's still just a bit too sweet for me though. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated and quite coating, it sticks around for a while. The drinkability is about average for such a big beer. Overall, this isn't really my favourite CCB beer, which is saying a lot for their quality, at this is still quite a good beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle poured into my CBS snifter. Split four ways.

Appearance - Deep mahogany body with a gigantic head. My quarter of the bottle overflowed my glass, if that gives you an idea. My first worry was infection, but that fear was quickly allayed.

Smell - Metallic. A bit oxidized, perhaps? Toffee and a hint of hops. It's tough to pull other flavors through the tin foil aroma, though.

Taste - No metal in the taste, thankfully. Extremely sweet. Syrupy sweet. Caramel and toffee flavors first, followed by some earthy hops, but faint. A hint of some lighter fruit flavors, but also faint.

Mouthfeel - Thick and heavy. Too sweet. I could never drink a whole bottle. Decent carbonation, which serves to lighten it, but still a diabetes bomb.

Overall - Too sweet to be all that good. The flavors are there, but some more fermentation would do this some good. A drier, earthier, less-sweet version of this could be quite good.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my favorite I had from the tap at the brewery. It poured a deep brown, almost black with a two finger head, descent retention, and nice lacing.

The aroma was lightly spiced with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla with dark fruit hints of raisin and plum. Some hints of chocolate.

Chocolate, raisins, vanilla, brown sugar, honey and other complex malty flavors. Loads of dark fruit and plum. Spice hints peek through.

Warming, medium bodied, slightly creamy, smooth

Delicious treat!

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Photo of scottfrie
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into NB snifter. Reviewed from notes. 2010 bottle I think.

A: Pours near black with just a stupid amount of billowing foamy tan head that took forever to fade into a very dense film. This is one over carbonated beast. Great head retention and lace though.
S: Sweet notes of candied fruits, raisins, caramel, booze, and more fruit – tropical fruit even. Very fruit forward.
T: Again, very sweet, but with tons of leather and tobacco that I wasn’t expecting. The fruit notes from the nose are right there followed by brown sugar, light milk chocolate, vinous flavors, some spices and some wood. The sweetness is almost cloying, and the aftertaste coats my mouth with tobacco flavors that lasts forever.
M: Very very carbonated but it’s soft at least. The mouthfeel is boozy but smooth and slick, and the body is thick and full.
O: Much sweeter than expected and very full and boozy. A great drink though, glad to have tried it.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL botltle into an oversized wine glass. Shared this 2010 bottle with my pops on Christmas. Thanks to hoppy99 for sending me this bottle oh so long ago.

Appearance: There is an enthusiastic 'pop' as I open the bottle, and a lot of dark tan foam flows out of the bottle even with a gentle pour, rising and nearly overflowing the glass. When it settles down, the head is fairly frothy and leaves thick lace down the glass. The beer itself is a dark chocolate brown with a slightly lighter edge.

Smell: Caramel and toffee control the mostly sweet aroma. Toasted bread, raisins, plums, figs, and a general spiciness provide support.

Taste: The flavor is cloyingly sweet throughout the entire sip. The label says "caramelized toffee," and that seems to be an accurate description of the first flavor across my lips. A bit of milk chocolate adds to a chewy bread malt. Rum raisin, sugary plums, sweet figs and dates all add to a very sweet flavor. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and a bit of all spice are somewhat ensconced behind the thick, chewy, sweetness. The finish has a bit of brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and syrupy sweet throughout the glass. At first, the carbonation bubbles and fizzes unpleasantly, but this subsides as I let it warm. A bit of spice creates a tingle on the tongue. The alcohol, although not noticeable in the flavor, accentuates this effect and creates a light bourbon-like burn in the back of my throat. Full bodied and full carbonation.

Overall: This beer fresh is supposed to have some spicy pine and citrus hops, which might give it a little zip and cut through the sweetness. With a year on it, though, it is a bit too sweet for me.

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Photo of stxSS07
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip. No vintage date, but has 10%ABV listed.

A- Huge explosion off the cap...surprised it stayed on this long. Pours a deep brown opaque color. Huge amount of head on the (gentile) pour. Has a khaki colored, tight bubbled head. Leaves some nice lacing though. Looks really nice, but I'm worried about the huge head.

S- Holy hell this is one sweet beer. Smells like double-sugar coated and candied fruits. Maybe something like a peach and apple mixture? Almost like fresh apple juice mixed with fresh brewed tea. I get a bit of grassy hops in there as well. Strange smell, but slightly enticing.

T- Wow this is insanely sweet. Again, up front this tastes like fresh brewed tea with a ton of honey and sugar dumped in. Towards the finish there is still a ton of (literal) sugary sweetness mixed in with some apple, plum, and raisin. Finishes with a bit of a chocolate roasted malt character. Borderline cloyingly sweet (and I love Dark Lord), but really different. I think I dig it.

M- Really high carbonation with a medium body that leaves a sticky film on everything it touches. Bit of warming alcohol as well.

O- Easily the one of the strangest beers I've had on my short BA adventure. After about 15 minutes of sipping, I think I found the flavor profile. Tastes like a Ricola natural cough drop...good thing I like those.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes from stout tasting.

A- cloudy amber, bright dark yellow head

S- very sweet, apricots, guava, citrus, brown sugar.

T- crazy sweet! Citrus (apricots, guava) candy sugar.

M- full body, creamy and syrupy.

O- cloyingly sweet, too sweet.

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Photo of sirdrinkwell
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Prologue: I am reviewing the 2011-2012 version of this brew, which claims 11% ABV% as opposed to the 10% listed per Beeradvocate.

A-pours a murky, muddy, brown maple syrup into my Cigar City snifter with an aggressive creamy tan head that quickly rose to a couple inches. The head recedes slowly, leaving a nice sheen of lacing.

S-Super sugary sweet, molasses and fermented dried plum /apricot.

T-A sugar bomb overwhelms pretty much everything else going on here, but aside from this there is a yeasty breadiness, some spice, and the tiniest hint of hops crying out to be noticed

M-Thick, chewy, and sloppy.

O-I wish I had cellared this, because something is just not quite right as I work my way through this bottle. Not horrible by a long shot, but as I finish this thing I feel like I ought to go brush my teeth 3 or 5 times to ensure that I don't wake up tomorrow with a mouth full of cavities. Way too sweet right now. The smell leads one to think this could be brilliant, and I hope this brew will mellow with time.


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Photo of justintcoons
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a mahogany/chestnut with ruby red highlights. Cloudy, opaque with a moderate carbonation stream. 3 fingers of creamy tan head dissipate slowly. Nice think layer of lacing.

N: Caramel, toffee, banana, candy sugar, molasses, tobacco and some hints of citrus and fruit esters.

T: Molasses, figs, dates, banana and toffee upfront. Mid-palette brings huge caramel, bread, red grapes and more sweet dark fruits. Finishes sweet with tobacco, ripe apricot, banana, molasses, hints of leather, earthy hops and residual candy sugars that linger forever.

M: Medium-full bodied, creamy, soft, semi-chewy and sticky.

O: A big sticky sweet sipper perfect for winter. Very rich, ripe dark fruit notes and molasses with hints of lighter fruits. 11% abv not detected. Very complex.

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Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dense chestnut toned brown with a thick beige head that slowly fades into a rocky cap. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of of massive malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, prunes, cocoa, rum cake, and citrusy orange rind.
Taste...yowza. Wasn't expecting that. Dense sugar bomb like a buttercream rum candy followed with an extra shot of rum and an orange wedge chaser. Yes. Alcohol. Heat. Hop juice.
Mouthfeel is syrupy, juicy, chewy, sticky, resinous, thick, and very warming.
Yikes. Let this one sit a year or five. It has massive potential but is way to young.

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Photo of Duff27
2.91/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Huge tan head on a brown body, very lively looking beer. Very nice head retention and lacing.

S- "Dried apricots" citrus.

T- Woo! Sweet! I think a few of our eyes watered. Sugary citrus, apricot, toffee. Flavors linger and leave the mouth watering. "Cloying"

M- Syrup on the front end, fizzy carbonation on the tail end. Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel.

D/O- Well that's different. Ridiculously sweet. I'd buy the bottle if someone finished the whole thing by themselves. Worth a try but wouldn't go out of my way for again.

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Photo of philbe311
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've past this one up the past couple of holiday seasons, but not this year...

A - In perfectly uniform four fingers worth of tightly packed khaki colored head that is comprised of big chunky bubbles and is both slightly rocky and slightly creamy... Impressive retention... Audibly fizzy... The color is a mix of aubergine and deep ruby red but is completely translucent... Some very rapid paced carbonation bubbles rise deep within under very close examination... A bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass... This is an exceptional looking brew...

S - The nose is rather subdued, but still quite complex and inviting... The hops are muted but are still at the forefront... They take on a mix of piney and woody characteristics... Very subtle notes of cinnamon and brown sugar... Some leathery notes as well...

T - This one is a doozy on the palette... Lots going on here... Loads of dark fruits... The hops are quite pungent and pack a pretty good punch... Lots of unique flavors fade in and out... Molasses... Brown sugar... Raisins... Cinnamon... Nutmeg... Woody notes... Earthy notes... Some caramel and toffee... A bit of booziness... Perhaps a wee bit cloying...

M - Medium to full bodied... Quite heavy on the tongue... Lightly carbonated... Thick and syrupy... Rather rich... A touch of lushness...

D - A definite sipper... Lots of complexity in every facet... A wonderful holiday seasonal... Definitely has a warming effect on the drinker... If the overall sweetness was dialed down just a notch, this could be an exceptional world class beer...

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011-2012 Vintage

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pours this brew pours a murky mahogany brown with a tasty looking cream colored head. The head is huge and impressive, leaving some nice lacing.

S: The nose smells great, it just lacks some certain complexity. Dark bruised fruits that fermented into a sweet concoction of beer. Some spice, brown sugar and cinnamon. This beer does open up....give it time.

T: The flavor is like candy sugar beer. Toasted grain mixed with plumbs. Nice spice notes on the back of the pallet, maybe cinnamon. Hops are also evident on the finish.

MF: The mouthfeel is very thick, full, and satisfying. Maybe a little too sweet on the teeth.

Overall, this beer is a great beer to enjoy and share. I've been avoiding this brew for a few seasons now, but I'm glad I picked it up!

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Photo of willseph
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011-12 Version

Pours a big, foamy head over a mud-colored body. Head recedes a bit is pretty nonexistent after the first few sips. The nose is dominated by booze and chocolate with subtle undertones of rosemary and some other spices that I couldn't put my thumb on. Taste follows the smell, initially booze again on the front with a spicy chocolate backbone. Subtle hints of toffee and heavy cream are more prevalent as the beer warms. It's quite fizzy on the front of your tongue but finishes pretty clean. Overall, a good introduction to old ales for me. I think I'll cellar my other bottle for a while to see if the boozy nose and taste diminish a bit.

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Photo of baconbourbon
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber with a sizable head, but not a ton of lacing.
Smell: Complex notes of malt and a hint of leather. Nice.
Taste: Like candy.
Mouthfeel: Smooth but quite carbonated.
Overall: A nice old ale/barley wine style beer. I was pleased with the malt and citrus hop fusion.

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Photo of hmf05
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark brownish color with a one finger creamy head. Looks fantastic in the glass. Aroma is pleasant dark fruits, spice, caramel, and slight smokiness. Not a very aromatic smell, but nice. Taste mirrors the smell. I get a nice malty sweetness up front. Tons of dark fruits and spice hitting the palate. Finishes with slight hops that leaves a semi-dry finish. I can detect a slight booziness, but nothing off-putting (especially for an 11% brew). Overall, a great winter warmer/old ale. Although this is a pretty sweet ale, there is enough hop bitterness that keeps this from being too sweet.

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Warmer Winter Winter Warmer from Cigar City Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.