Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck) - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

Not Rated.
Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck)Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

129 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 4
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: granger10 on 01-15-2004

Formerly called "Ringneck Winter Warmer".
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by DoctorDog:
More User Reviews:
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the most drinkable beer from them...White Rajah, now this may be the most challenging beer to drink from them. Pours a brilliant ruby color with a light white wispy head forms fine scattered lacing. Aroma has honey additions jumping out with minimal background spice hints of cinnmaon/ginger/no citrus peel in the nose as the label states. Okay maybe a touch of citrus peel going on. All of the flavor seems to explode with your first sip, booze is detectable with bitter unrelenting spices from the cabinet cinnamon, ginger, and citrus peel for sure with the honey really kicking up the level of sweetness. The flavors mesh more so as it warms a bit, this just hasn't been my favorite style and it seems that every microbrewer in Ohio thinks they need to make one to compete with Great Lakes Christmas ale. Can become a bit cloying with the spices finishes a bit dry from the spice resins left behind, medium bodied moderate carbonation. Overall this just isn't my beer, one that I can enjoy on a limited basis so I'm glad it's made once a year, increase production on the White Rajah and make the craft beer fans of Ohio much happier than this offering does.

Photo of Brenden
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a solid, deep and clear red-orange. It's not dark enough to be brown, but it is close to it. The tan head grows to a finger in height, sticks around for a minute and fades down to foam. Moderate spotty lacing remains on the glass.
The aroma is a mix of dark fruits and spicing with a slight tinge of booziness. There's a good amount of sweetness detectable in it with citrus notes. Caramel mingles with spicing both sweet and otherwise. It's a pretty good rendition of a good spiced holiday loaf/cake.
The taste follows suit, caramel and toffee sweetness along with breads from a nice malt backbone along with cinnamon and ginger, maybe some allspice as well. Lots of dark fruits pull the tongue in a few different but similar directions with some nuttiness underlying.
The body is medium and has a light bit of crispness but could use just a little more to keep it lively. Likewise the smoothness, as there's just enough to keep it rolling but not quite as much as it should. Alcohol thins it out just a touch of the end. On the plus side, it keeps from cloying or astringency.

Photo of McNealc31
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color is on the darker side of amber. Aroma is more citrus and less spice than I anticipated. The taste leans on the citrus side, too. Lots of orange and even some lemon peel. Spices are noticeable in the background with cinnamon and fresh ginger. In this, the warmth comes not from the spices, but from the 8% ABV. The booze in this one will sneak up on you!

Haven't had a Winter Warmer quite like this. Definitely citrus dominant rather than spice dominant, but it's rather tasty.

Photo of nicholas2121
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck) brewed by ,The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works. This brew has an ABV of 8.0% Now for the pour, this brew pours out a nice brown color with a small white head. The smell is rich with sweetness, grains and malts. This is a vary inviting brew. Winter Warmer has a nice rich taste, you pick up on spices and malts in this brew. This brew has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering in this brew. The mouthfeel is nice, smooth and clean. You can not pick up on the 8.0% of this brew. The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works did a nice job with this one. I would get this brew again.

Photo of Caveworm
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck) - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's got a 1 finger thick eggshell brown head with spottier lacing, and a medium-dark brown and amber body.

Smells like spiced molasses, indeed. Not much of a hop presence, nor alcohol astringency. I like this , as it 8% abv.

I taste caramelized malts, along with said holiday spices of the usual cinnamon, nutmeg,clove, etc. Again, quite smooth considering the alcohol content of this beer. This also doen't have much hop presence, which I totally fine with. I feel like it would clash elements of smooth roastyness and sharp bitterness. Very nicely done!

This beer's mouthfeel I'm picking up is very clean. Yet again, I'm mainly referring to the 8% abv. I don't know about you, fellow BA's, but I've had winter warmers that could easily have passed as a Scotch ale.

Overall, a 4.25 for Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck) - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works. A very smooth-drinking beer, but don't let it get to you, or you'll get hit with a ton of metaphoric bricks when it creeps up on you. I was very impressed and will buy this again.

Photo of Bills453
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark copper/red color. No head at all.

Smell - malty spices smells quite delicious.

Taste - a nice refreshing taste. Spices aren't as strong as in the smell.

Mouthfeel - good

Overall - a nice refreshing winter warmer. This wasn't too strong alcohol wise either so I feel I can drink a lot of them!

Photo of Bierguy5
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 8% abv. Clear reddish-amber color, with ruby edges. Off-white head fades pretty quickly, without leaving any spots of lace.

Robust malty aroma. Cinnamon, honey and ginger shine through in the nose.

Nice, hearty malt character with just a bit of sweetness. Cinnamon and ginger are noticed, and some orange zest spices things up a bit.

Medium body, with a a good amount of carbonation. All the flavors go well together. Slight warmth from alcohol. Nice beer.

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head.
S: Light aromas of ginger and dark fruits are present in the nose; these get a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits and spices along with some hints of sweetness. Ginger really seems to stand out among the spices and lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has some complexities in the taste, making this an interesting beer to sip on a cold winter night. The beer is very drinkable for the style as no alcohol is present in the taste.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Lightly hazed dark orange amber color. One finger of creamy beige head. Retention is average and just a touch of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Cinnamon is strongest of the spices, followed by nutmeg and ginger with orange and lemon peel behind. Like caramel, moderate toastiness, and a pleasant neutral malt sweetness. Smell is good, but the spice could be a bit stronger.

3.5 T: Much like the nose, but the lemon peel is much easier to find giving a vibe of meringue pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel are all moderately intense. Malts are toasty, somewhat sweet, and with a mild caramel character.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. This could use a touch more carbonation. Otherwise, average here and not particularly creamy.

3.5 D: I liked this beer. Solid enough example of a wintry treat.

Photo of udfan07
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has a nice rich taste with spices. I tasted cinnamon and some of the orange peel. Really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of BB1313
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy copper with red hues, head is slightly off white and doesn't really stick around, still nice looking. The aromas are nice, but somewhat faint. I pick up cinnamon and lemon zest. More cinnamon in the flavors, along with ginger and some nutmeg. Also some cocoa powder lingering. There's a nice fruity aspect to it, but the flavors still remain spicy/bitter in a subtle way. There's a nice sweetness from the honey. Mouthfeel is syrupy, but on the thinner side; nicely carbonated. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Easy to drink, but not something I can drink a ton of in one sitting. It's somewhat one note, I'd recommend letting this one warm up, the aromas and flavors will really start to develop. Good stuff.

This beer will most likely be compared to Great Lakes Christmas Ale and Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs, which is fair. This beer is the same concept. It's good, and I love TBK, but this doesn't quite live up to those, IMHO. Either way, there's nothing offensive going on here at all and this still makes a great beer to enjoy during the holidays. If you like holiday beers brewed with cinnamon, you should try this. Not bad at all.

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a thin head, less than half a finger. A foamy ring sits on top of a deep rosy copper body. No lacing.

Cinnamon and ginger with malt are the backbone of the nose. There are also hints of dark fruit and citrus.

Cinnamon, ginger and malt start up the taste much like the nose. Hints of dark fruit and citrus follow, although these are infused with honey. Slight spiced ending is a little bitter.

Mouthfeel is straight medium bodied. Carbonation at a good level. Slight coating of the tongue noticed.

Photo of aracauna
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this bottle at the brewery. Pours a clear, dark ruby brown with a good-size too dark for off-white, too light for khaki head. The aroma is heavily spiced with cinnamon, maybe nutmeg and some clove. Luckily, this is backed up by enough malt to not quite be overpowering. The spice is equally strong in the flavor, but again the malt (brown sugar and spice cake, honey) helps keep the spices in check, almost. Could benefit from some aging to mellow the spices, but still great for style.

Photo of granger10
3.07/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was the second beer I had from Ringneck. It poured copperish in color with a light, rather weak head. The smell was similar to cinnamon bread but a little weak. The flavor, however, was quite strong in cinnamon as the spice overwhelmed my palate. There was also a citric quality to it which provided some tartness. A faint honey sweetness came into play towards the end. Low on hops and a bit too strong in alcohol flavor. This was also a bit thin. This was a decent brew which I would probably try again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, spices, but bigger notes of ginger. In the taste, spicy, mainly all spice and ginger. A spice like bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry spice and ginger in the aftertaste. Big spices, especially ginger, good, but just about average.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 1/3/12

Deep brown hue with a crimson sheen. One finger head is sudsy and stacked with bubbles. The head drops at at a moderate rate. Only the bubbles remain after several minutes. Drippy lace is found on a meager potion of the glass.

The aroma calls to mind fresh baked, and subsequently burnt, cinnamon raisin bread. The malts are deep and sweet and have a penchant for dark fruit overtones. Ginger was strong when I opened the bottle; it seems to have tapered off, however. The orange and lemon peel are faint at best and essentially manifest as a subtle spice. The aroma is heavy and syrupy when warm.

The taste is kind of strange with this one. A brief toasted bread ghost note shuffles off, the attention becoming focused on juicy dark fruit notes and spices and such. Said spices kick much harder than the aroma suggests - cinnamon, ginger and the above-mentioned absent citrus peels have been found. It's more lemon than orange. The whole effect creates a very dry beer despite some sweeter tones as it warms.

Medium body. While I guessed this would be a heftier beer, I like the overall feel. Carbonation is vigorous and energetic. The finish is comparably dry and boasts lingering spice. I once caught a stray lingering of coffee bean.

This is an easy drinking 8% abv; works well for the style. I've enjoyed the bottle. However, there are others I'd turn to first. Still, give it a shot.

Photo of projectflam86
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a copper red color with a thin white foam head that leaves some lace.

S- Tons of caramel malt and toffee in the nose along with Christmas spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger).

T- A touch boozy initially with a huge wave of spice and sweetness in the finish. Similar to the nose with some light citrus fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

M- Medium bodied with low carbonation. A bit syrupy but not quite cloying.

O- A decent winter warmer but maybe a touch over spiced and a bit heavy on the alcohol.

Photo of UA8
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Normally I write a big detailed review.
Its just not needed here. This is a near dead ringer Great Lakes Xmas Ale Clone.

The two differences are the winter warmer is a touch understated in the boldness of its spices and sweetness which I think actually improves the drink ability of the beer. I could drink 4+ of these where I'm done at 2 of the Great Lakes.

This is an exceptional clone. I think so highly of it that I actually may brew this one. If/when I do I'll post an update to the my review.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Brew Kettle : Winter Warmer

LOOK: Clear amber colored brew that pours with a short livid head.

SMELL: Spicecake aroma of sweet malt, spicy cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Cinnamon roll like smell.

TASTE: Mellow fruit notes, cinnamon spice, pepper and brown sugar. Hint of dark fruits and dusty cocoa. Soft bitterness to cover the sweet caramel like maltyness. A bit of ginger and juicy citrus. Cinnamon, sugar and toasted malt are the big notes, and everything works well together. For its boasting strength (8% abv) the alcohol is well disguised in the taste.

FEEL: Full bodied, smooth and medium level of carbonation. Clean finish with a touch of cinnamon and cocoa riding out the flavors.

OVERALL: A rather impressive winter offering from the Brew Kettle. Mellow, yet complex and all the flavors are well integrated. Easy drinking, and a perfect way to stay warm during the cold winter months.

Photo of Bonis
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a thin layer of foam that nearly fades completely. Aroma is honey, cinnamon, and alcohol soaked oranges. Fruity (mostly citrus), which is definitely different than other winter warmers. Taste has less citrus and more spice. Cinnamon and ginger come through big in the flavor. Malty with a boozy finish. I would say the "boatload of honey" may be responsible for that. It has a moderate body, which makes it a fairly easy drink. Not my favorite winter warmer, but definitely worth trying if you're into spiced beers.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A ton of ale-ish flavor gives a decidedly sweet, fruity, and spicy tone to the Brew Kettle's Winter Warmer. Its results are both sipping because of its strength of taste and flavor but is also drinkable because of its dry toasty character and supple zesty refreshment.

Bronze in color, the beer also shares hues of garnet, ruby, and brown depending on the depth of the beer. But an initial creamy and unstable head falls fairly quickly and forbades much in the way of lacing. It's a fine looking beer that prefers comparisons to cognac or port over that of ale.

Fruit and spice mingle in the nose with a back-and-forth exchange of ginger-cherry, cinnamon-pear, and citrus-allspice. A sweeter backdrop of caramel, toffee, and honey all keep the beer working within the framework of ale taste but gives savory character to all that fruit and spice.

Flavors fare similarly except is driven by malty sweetness: Caramel, toffee, and molasses lead the way but allow for the decoration of ginger and cinnamon that leaps above the malty base underneath. But a counterpart of fruity cherries, raisins, dates, nuts, figs, and grapes begin to give the beer a taste of holiday fruitcake, except in its most pleasant light.

Medium balanced, but seemingly strong because of its lingering sweetness, the beer actually achieves much of its balance from the peppery warmth of alcohol and fleeting toasty malts.

The Brew Kettle's Winter Warmer is a highly gratifying beer that is both savory to taste and rich for the stomach. There's something about the spices, malts and supple earth character that causes me to yearn for blue cheeses and sharp cheddars.

I applaude all of the aromas and flavors that come singing from the bottle. But I need a more rounded malty combo of cream and dryness that retains it's tooth deeper into the session. As is, the beer simply sugar coats the mouth and distracts from the better ale-like characteristics that go overlooked.

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2013 bottling. Pours moderately hazy ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with solid retention, that reduces to a lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, orange peel, herbal, floral, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, spice, and fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, orange peel, herbal, floral, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, cinnamon, nutmeg, herbal, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of fruity yeast, malt, and spice flavors; with a good malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick and smooth mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice winter warmer style. Good balance and complexity of malt, spice, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a snifter. The fifth beer of my 2014 twelve beers of Christmas.

A- Poured a very dark raspberry color with a very small off-white soapy head that left no lace.

S- Big cinnamon, ginger, and clove notes with sweet fruity notes of juicy apple and cherry.

T- Huge juicy red apple notes, tart pie cherries, raspberry, tons of fresh cinnamon and clove, some light chocolate notes.

M- Medium body, some warming, and soft carbonation.

O- Wow, I was really impressed with this Christmas ale. It was bursting with surprising juicy fruit flavors that melded very well with the holiday spices.

Photo of ONUMello
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Mahogany color, one-finger head
S: Malty, spicy, some brown sugar and fig notes
T: Fruit cocktail, brown sugar, malt, spice
M: Fairly full, but the finish is fairly oppressive due to the sweetness/alcohol
O: If the amount of sugar and alcohol were each dialed back just one notch this would be far improved IMO. Its got nice elements especially the nose but it's a bit off balanced

Photo of sixerofelixir
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. No freshness info from TBK, which is sad, but if you follow them on facebook, you will get solid updates on when things get released, which is awesome. Poured into snifter - the result looks just like the label photo.

Pours very clear, with no head. This is OK though, and as I'm not going to break down the spice regimen, I can say overall there is a highly suggested "Dr. Pepper" taste. As that particular beverage makes no state of their 23 ingredients, I feel I must treat this brew the same. Very refreshing, thick, wintry mouthfeel, and easy to drink.

I conclude with this: There is another, better-known, more-abundant, more-hyped Christmas beer that comes out in the greater Cleveland area each year. I do not get that beer anymore, but I will *always* purchase TBK Winter Warmer and spread the gospel to those who wish to taste for themselves. This is my favorite.

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Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck) from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
84 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.