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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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

203 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 203
Hads: 582
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 21.88%
Wants: 131
Gots: 168 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 203 | Hads: 582
Photo of LiquidBread219
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A= Dark Amber in color, The head is a lighter brown, Nice lacing.

S= Dark Fruits, carmel, toffee notes.

T= Wow really sweet, You really need to take your time with this one, You get the dark fruits up fron and then comes the carmel and toffee malts.

M= Right amount of carbonation, Full bodied.

D= Pretty sweet for my liking, I would really want to split a bottle and just sip it.

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Photo of Morey
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a 2010 bottle that I managed to land in a trade (thanks Mark).

APPEARANCE: Murky chocolate-brown color with a khaki colored head that stood over a finger tall and pretty much remained until the last drop. Good head retention with decent lacing.

AROMA: Huge malty sweetness, brown sugar, burnt caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon rolls.

TASTE: You're immediately hit with an in-your-face malty sweetness. Caramel flavor along with a slight bitterness reminiscent of burnt sugar. Very little in the way of hop bitterness though. The candy-like flavor intensifies as this beer warms making for an almost cloyingly sweet finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Full bodied with a thick and syrupy feel. Carbonation is moderate to high (especially for the style).

MOREY'S BOTTOM LINE: While very grateful that I had a chance to try this, I found it to be overly sweet. Sweet can be good, but this was just a bit much. Maybe this would have been better when it was fresh? It's probably safe to assume that 2 years in the basement made this even sweeter than it originally was.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Just brought this back from a trip to Tampa.
A: Pours a muddy dark brown with 1/2 inch light tan head that quickly recedes.
S: Nice banana, clove, yeast, grainy hop, caramel malt, toffee, dark dried fruit (e.g. raisin), and a hint of spice. A lot going on here...very nice.
T: All those wonderful aromas unfortunately just got condensed and muddled here. A bit multi-personality disordered. Rye, caramelized toffee, pine hop, and hint of fruit.
M: Medium body (light for ABV). Smooth at first with a dry and bitter finish. Mild sticky-sweet feel. Not a pleasant aftertaste on this one.
D: The aroma is tremendous, unfortunately the rest of the beer is not. I'm not sure I'd recommend this one. I suppose it's worth a try, but don't get too excited. This is my first CCB beer and so far I am underwhelmed. They tried to do too much on this one.

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Photo of BigMike
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

Dark ruby, blood red color. Almond color head thats pretty thick and creamy. Clings to the glass nicely.

Aroma nutty, and toffee like. A touch of pine but not a ton. A small amount of chocolate also.

Taste is the same. Lots of roasted nuttiness, chocolate and brown sugar.

This is a full bodied old ale for sure. Thick and almost syrupy.

An ok sipper. Nothing i would seek out again.

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Photo of bierguru
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -
deep dark redish purple no visual carbonation along with a thick tan head that stay throughout

S -
An over whelming smell of grape but through the grape you can smell brown sugar and dark fruit

T -
huge grape right up front followed some very malty sugary notes some dark fruits on the back end of the swallow this is the same point you get some hints of the booze and hops

M -
the body is fairly thick and sticky kind of leaves the mouth a moist dry

O -
a lot a lot of flavors here and is much better as the beer warms up however with all these flavors it is not over whelming

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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 chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

~25ml portion of a 2013/14 bottle served in a Belgian snifter. Bottled on date: 8 Nov. 2013.

Pours a murky dark brown, leaving hardly a trace of sediment in the bottle.

Aroma: sweet and roasted grains, alcohol esters, cooked peaches and other fruits.
Flavor: sweet, bordering on too sweet, with plenty of soft and dark fruits, some alcohol esters, dark bread, chocolate, fruity hops, and hints of toffee and brown sugar.

O: Distinct, complex and interesting. Would likely benefit from some further aging.

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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 zac16125
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into a tulip
2015 vintage

A: dark brown, opaque, 1.5 fingers tan head, dissipates slowly and leaves a good amount of lacing 4.25

S: sweet citrus, caramel, an almost tart character 3.75

T: surprising amount of citrusy hops, some sweet Malts; doesn't really taste like a winter warmer, more like a light American barley wine 3.75

M/D: fuller side of medium bodies, carbonation appropriate, ABV is well masked and drinkability is average 3.75

O: it's ok, more hoppy then I would have preferred but a decent beer 3.75

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Photo of wspscott
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip
2011/2012 edition

A: A very dark caramel almost brown color. A huge head driven by the somewhat excessive carbonation. The initial gentle pour led to a 5-6 finger head that took forever to drop, when it did it left a large amount of lace behind.

S: A hoppy sharpness along with a huge amount of brown sugar sweetness.

T: Loads of caramel malts and brown sugar backed up with a lot of citrus-y american hops. As it warms, there is a fruitiness that I can't determine, is it yeast driven or malt driven, I suspect that it is a combination of the two. Lots of dark fruits coated in sugar along with candied orange and grapefruit. Surprisingly, there is no sign of the 11% alcohol, no heat at all.

M: Rich, creamy mouthfeel somewhat balanced by a ton of (too much?) carbonation. Very tongue coating from the combination of oily hops and a lot of low attenuation of malts.

O: I thought I was going to nurse on the whole bottle in one sitting, basically take a couple of hours and enjoy the bottle, but it is way too heavy and cloying. Half the bottle is plenty. A very good beer, I am glad I tried it, but I am not sure I would buy the next iteration. I would like a little more attenuation and a little less carbonation. It is just a little too rich/sweet, but it is a great sipping/desert beer.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes
Thanks Urbancaver for sharing

A - Dark but clear brown body, big tan head.

S - raisins, cinnamon, some other elements are difficult to place, but its pretty good.

T - Sweet raisins, toasted/burnt malts. Kind of odd.

M - SMooth, very present, medium body

O (D) - When I was drinking this, I was told it was a barleywine. I though this was a bizarre barleywine. Now that I'm told it's a winter warmer, it makes more sense. Seems to be a decent beer.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by Sean I believe for our last tasting...Pours a watery medium brown, light tan head ok retention, light lacing...The aroma is pretty decent, not a huge winter/spice beer fan so I was expecting the worse. Their is some winter spice notes of nutmeg and such but it doesn't attack my senses. Light hops on the back...The taste is lightly spiced as well, lots of barleywine characteristics. The feel is nice, and easy to drink.

If your not a huge spice beer fan this is a good beer for you as it introduces you to the style or gives you just enough spice to get the style but not so much you can't drink a good amount. Mild recommendation.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jw347 for sending me a bottle of this one. A hoppy old ale, eh? Served in a pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam - has excellent retention for a 10% old ale, and eventually settles to a thick cap. Hazy, dark red-brown color that glows when held to the light and reveals a few bubbles as well.

S - Earthy, spicy rye dominates, but as the brew warms notes of orange zest and cocoa emerge. It also gets a bit piny and shows a touch of solvent alcohol character. Probably the least compelling part of the brew - doesn't really "pop" or explode from the glass. I actually got foam on my nose trying to pull more flavors from it.

T - The taste is a little bit of an improvement, with orange citrus, chocolate, multi-grain toast, and markedly better-hidden alcohol. The hop bitterness is quite high and persists well into the aftertaste; it's probably a bit too extreme and unbalanced for this style, but it's not totally unpleasant nor unwelcome.

M - Medium-full body is definitely a plus, but the carbonation is a little higher than I'd expect from an old ale. Otherwise it's quite solid, with a nice chewy and creamy texture. Not overly hot either.

D - This isn't my favorite Cigar City brew - I'm not sure the high hop bitterness meshes well with the traditional old ale flavors, and things end up seeming muddled rather than complex. I'm curious if this was better fresh, when the citrus was more present - I can imagine it creating a sort of Terry's Chocolate Orange vibe. Definitely not your typical old ale, and glad I split it three ways as 750ml would have been way too much.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

No freshness dating on the bottle! It has a newer label than the picture taken however.

A= Bottle cap comes off with a LOUD hiss and a ton of smoke. The pour brings together a huge head on it that fills most of my glass and holds some steady retention and decent lacing. The head is an off white color almost a tan. The beer itself is a deep brown color that I can just barely see through when I hold it to the light.

S= The smell is an interesting bread and dark fruit component. It sort of smells like some sort of nuts or seeds. It smells like a can of cashews or peanuts or something. Really different smell that I haven't had before. I never really get anything "usual" from CC however. I don't smell any hops in it. There is a bit of a toffee component but not any of the chocolate described on the bottle or the hops.

T= The taste is extremely sweet. There is again a sort of nutty character to it that is completely unique and a unique sort of burnt caramel character to it. The chocolate still is nowhere to be found and the hops are missing as well. Maybe this is an older bottle. The dark fruits I found in the nose are amplified. Dates and prunes take over the major taste component.

M= Much to high on the carbonation. The hiss and power from the bottle along with the head leads me to believe this is perhaps a fluke bottle or it was overcabonated in order to keep some of the carbonation during aging? Hell I dunno.

O= A tasty treat indeed. This is for sure a beer that could be held onto for a very very long time if desired. Tons of complex character that is unique to this beer and a great beer for potential aging. The carbonation is a bit of an issue and it is a little overly sweet for me but the english barleywine style I find is usually a bit too sweet. The larger format bottle will make this a challenge to finish.

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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 Zach136
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Deep ruby, fairly clear, no head/lacing.

Aroma: Rich caramel/toffee, pretty boozy, piney hop character.

Flavor: Hot. Like I honestly would guess this was +12% blind. Big piney hops over a monster specialty malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Booze gives it a drying, warming sensation.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a dark amber, opaque, with 2 fingers of creme colored head causing lots of great lacing. smells of caramel, toffee, dark fruit notes (raisin, date). lots of sweet plum, raisin, dates in the flavor. sweet malty profile making it very sugary and heavy on the abv (though not notable). full body with low carbonation.. a nice warmth in the chest.

this is a pretty nice beer, but not overall that impressed. maybe some wood aged variants of this, or a bourbon barrel aged one could be more up my alley. a little too sweet, but it is definitely a nice dessert beer - as far as old ales go, it's a bit different for the style.

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

Bottle shared by Chaney. Thanks Brandon.

The beer is russet brown, with an inch of tan head that leaves plenty of lacing on the tulip glass. The aroma brings toffee, malt, alcohol. Nice flavor, and not what I expected from a winter warmer. The beer is sweet and thick, with only a minimal contribution from the spices, which is a refreshing change of pace, as many brews of this ilk are overly spiced. Really sweet, and best in small quantities. A tasty brew, I would certainly have this again, though a small sampling is plenty. Nursing a snifter of this on a cold winter day would be nice.

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

Got the penultimate bottle at Total Wine & More last week. This is one of the coldest nights this winter here in Florida (40s) so I thought it would be a perfect time to drink this beer.

Pours almost black, letting just a hint of light through, with a sticky foamy tan head.

I know this isn't a Humidor Series beer, but this smells of cigar cedar as well as hops.

The taste is rich and complex. Dried fruit flavors combine with earthy notes, even flavors that remind me of perfume. The high alcohol level is completely hidden: I don't notice the alcohol at all.

The body is just fantastic: full, creamy and smooth. It can't get any better.

Overall this is a good beer. The fruity and perfume flavors are just a bit too strong for me, though.

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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 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 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 BMMillsy
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty datk amber with creamy tall head. Aroma of candy apples and a bit of pine hops. Taste is sweet with malt, caramel, green apples. A definite puckering grapefruit hop presence that I was expecting. Thick and chewey mouthfeel. Extremely smooth. Bit of alcohol warmth on the finish. Very interesting brew that is definitely fitting for winter time.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a BIF from DosBeerigos. Can't wait to try it:

I poured this into my Duvel tulip and noticed the chestnut/mahogany colored body and light tan head. It seems much darker than I expected... until I realized it was an old ale. Then it seems to fit better. The head rose to slightly less than 2 fingers and has very nice retention. The lacing is spotty like the fur on a cheetah--- but I don't mean that in a bad way-- it is all over, little spots that don't connect but hold their location very well.

I smell some pine hops and cocoa... Some sweet toffee and caramel malts and some kind of tropical fruit? I can't place it though. Smells pretty good, if not a little out of place.

I taste more cocoa than I smell... And the finish has just a little piney bitterness that really works well here. The sweet malts act as the bridge to connect the flavors quite effectively. The malts really act as the star here though with some dry graininess mixed into the sweetness and a slight hint of toasted bread... Very enjoyable... but where's the alcohol? I really don't notice any... and I'm not used to that froma winter warmer! (although I do suppose that this is brewed for winters in warmer climates, so I won't hold it against the scoring).

Body seems just a little light for the style. Not bad, and it actually helps with the drinkability. I am going to finish this 750ML with great ease! I couldn't sit and drink these all night at a bar--- this would be better enjoyed on a brisk spring night with a bonfire and a snifter. Or maybe sitting in front of the fireplace re-reading "Look Homeward Angel." This actually could replace a lot of red wine in terms of when to drink it.

Added noted-- as it warms... so does the alcohol sensation. My chest and stomach are now nicely toasty and feeling good!

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Photo of Anthony1
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had a sample at a christmas party

pouted into a little tasting glass. pours thick brown with a mocha tan head. nice and roasted aroma, toffee, caramel, chocolate. bit of sweetness. several citrus notes in the smell, and very sweet in taste. thick beer with medium carb.

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Warmer Winter Winter Warmer from Cigar City Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.