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

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

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BA SCORE
84
good

36 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 129
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 5.14%
Wants: 4
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 129
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
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. (508 characters)

Photo of Bills453
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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! (314 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (1,948 characters)

Photo of Bonis
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (535 characters)

Photo of McNealc31
3.81/5  rDev +3%
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. (483 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev 0%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We didn't have much of a winter, but here we have a good local warmer. It has much of what I seek in this style. Spice, but not too much. A malty taste, but well balanced with a little hoppy taste.

The aroma is a faint, yeasty/malty smell. Over all it is a satisfying warmer that I would buy again. I can wait for the season, though.

I had this on tap at Melt last night (11/27/2013) and it was better than I remembered. A little sweet but nicely balanced and as I said before, not too much spice. Very drinkable, and did not seem as strong as it is. (553 characters)

Photo of Vierenner
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly tame. I'm really not tasting spices at all. It's just a mellow beer with very slight hop bite. Very mild hints of cinnamon perhaps ... but that's all I get from this one. Interestingly it is "warming". Maybe the spices (which I can't taste) are having an effect. Hmm ... a mystery. (288 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Copper tan/brown, 1/2 inch creamy head and thick lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits like rasin, plum, dates, malts, spices, caramel, some cinnamon, a little honey and mild hops.

Taste - Starts of with dark fruits and a solid malt backbone. Lots of spices espically lemon peel and cinnamon. I also get some all spice and nutmeg. Alcohol is masked well, its balanced nicely, not to sweet or bitter.

MOuthfeel - Medium thickness, smooth and enjoyable. Tounge gets the fruits, some malts and alot of spices. Tougne gets remaining hops, malts and added sugars. Aftertaste is smooth, sweet and spicey.

Overall - This reminds me alot of samuel smiths winter warmer with the feel and flavor. This is not my favorite style of beer but this is drinkable. Every bit as good as sammy smith and great lakes xmas ale. Smooth, tastly, and priced right, worth a drink. (885 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (1,426 characters)

Photo of projectflam86
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear, dark tea color with a moderate head of tan foam.
Aroma-Faint mulled spices
Taste-cinnamon, orange peel, honey, sweet toasted malt. Everything leans toward the sweet side of things. A little dash of hops or other spices could have helped in the balance department. A decent holiday sipper. (350 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (1,166 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (476 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (822 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal clear ruby color with a very thin white head. Head is also gone in a flash and leaves very little lacing if any at all.

S- Pretty typical for the style just a little tame. Quite a bit of spice, hint of darker fruits and caramel malts.

T- Follows the nose really well. Spices all over, malty, and sweet.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Pretty impressive and what I expected. (406 characters)

Photo of adamette
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live Review. Poured from the 12 oz. single that was given to me by the fine folks at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio simply for being a good customer (believe me, the pleasure is mine!) into a clean, clear pint glass. Price tag still stuck on the cap indicates $1.85. No observed “best by” date. I was told by the staff at Save-On that this is a recent release.

From the label: “Tis the Seasonal! A spiced Holiday ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger, orange & lemon peel and a sleigh load of honey.”

A Very light brown creamy head over a translucent brown/mahogany body. 3.5

S Malt goodness abounds. I certainly smell the honey but it is not overwhelming, more of a subtle sweetness. I rather like the smell which reminds me of many malt bombs that I have had in the past. Repeated sniffs reveal the cinnamon and ginger notes mentioned in the description but I do not as of yet pick up the citrus peels. 4.0

T Ah yes, a nice, sweet tribute to Christmas (despite the mention of a “Holiday ale” on the side of the label the front bottom of the label features the following: “Spiced Christmas Ale” quite prominently). The cinnamon and the ginger play supporting roles to the smooth subtle sweetness of the honey and it all works nicely. 4.0

M Big, syrupy smooth beer that lingers on my tongue for a while like you might expect honey or even syrup to do. Appropriate to the style and mentioned on the label. I appreciate the information provided before sampling any beer. 4.0

D/O Not particularly drinkable to me. Overall this is a solidly prepared Christmas Ale. 4.0 (1,597 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (1,170 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A very pretty deep amber body with a nice tan head on top.

S - Sweet caramel and tangy dark fruits, touch of vanilla, some light seasonal spices. Borderline artificial, but quite good

T - Smooth and malty. Where is all that complexity from the nose? Very limited fruit and spice profile, mostly just medium roasted malts. It's good, but not as good as the nose. Hint of diacetyl

M - relatively smooth, medium body with a hint of coating

O - I got this beer because I love White Rajah, and wanted to check out more offerings from this brewery. I like it, but am a bit disappointed by this. It's hard to live up to such a great beer, so I shouldn't be too upset. It's a fine beer, but a bit lacking. (705 characters)

Photo of Radome
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a snifter.

A - Beer is a medium amber with red tints and perfectly clear. The head is exceptionally smooth and fluffy and piles inches high when first poured. It fades to a thin layer and lots of lacing.

S - Aroma is of dry grains and holiday spices. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger? I can't identify all of them, but it smells like pumpkin pie and reminds me of spiced Christmas ales I've had.

T - There is moderate hop bitterness in the backgroun along with some grainy malt, but the spices dominate. I can't taste any yeast or alcohol notes.

M - Moderate body some creaminess from the carbonation. There is just a tiny bit of astringency at the end of the sip that I believe is coming from the spices.

D - This is a nice Christmas beer, but I feel the spices are just a bit heavy-handed. I don't taste any complexity from the malt or other elements because the spices are so up-front. (927 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brew Kettle, Strongsville, OH on 12/1/08.

A - Crystal clear medium copper body with light ruby hues and a slim off-white head that receded and left nice lacing.

S - Subtle spicy and fruity notes featuring cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. Malt is primarily caramel, toffee and cookie-esque.

T - Spicy and malty, almost like a ginger snap cookie, with some caramel and honey sweetness. Subtle hints of cinnamon also emerge. Slight earthy bitterness in the backend, but very faint.

M - Medium body with a syrupy texture and mild carbonation. Spicy on the palate with very little hop bitterness in the finish.

D - Textbook example of the winter warmer style with requisite spices and cookie sweetness. (724 characters)

Photo of UA8
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a thin ring of white, lazy bubbles.

Smell: Honey and simple syrup coating a layer of spices and ginger.

Taste: Honey and spiced sweet syrup with a punchy ginger spiciness that lingers and lingers and then I drink some water.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent Winter Warmer. But this is the LAST one I'm having for the season, ya hear me?! (425 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Brew Kettle in Strongsville, and I was genuinely impressed. I'm not the biggest fan of this style, but I thought this example was true-to-style yet very approachable and drinkable.

The beer poured a dark amber which was clear and sparkling and had a loose but plentiful head atop it. Aroma was of holiday spice...nutmeg, all-spice, and maybe a touch of cinammon. Flavor was also spicy, but also offered a hefty dose of maltiness that was neither overly sweet nor cereal-y. Mouthfeel was a bit thick and appropriate. I thought this beer to be quite good. (579 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (493 characters)

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Winter Warmer (formerly Ringneck) from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
84 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.