Columbus Winter Warmer - Columbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Columbus Winter WarmerColumbus Winter Warmer

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BA SCORE
85
very good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 105
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-07-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by crashdavisinoh:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Osiris9588
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Barley's pint. It's a clear reddish amber, with a quickly deflating 2 finger white head.

The aroma is quite toasty, heavy on nutmeg, with some cinnamon.

The taste is also toasty, strong with sweeter spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, maybe some allspice and clove. It's quite try and roasty on the tongue, and then sweetens up and has a bit of a piny and phenolic tang on the finish.

It's nicely balanced, not too overloaded with spices, and is a drinkable sample of the style.

Photo of McNealc31
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color of Columbus Brewing Winter Warmer is rather attractive. A rich caramel hue. But the aroma is what really draws you in. Loads of ginger and cinnamon. The white head thins out rapidly, but it sticks around all the way through with fantastic lacing.

Ginger and caramel are the biggest flavors here. The cinnamon adds just a late heat followed by a bite from the hops. Tastes a bit like a graham cracker, too.

Maybe not the top tier of winter beers, but I would have no problem doing this again

Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a transparent, dark copper to red color. Very minimal head and virtually no lacing to speak of.

Smell: Pretty straight forward. It simply smells like a great mix of holiday spices. There's cinnamon, a little brown sugar, ginger, and some nutmeg. Malty and sweet smelling. Hops are unnoticeable.

Taste: About what you'd expect from the smell. Holiday spice flavors are robust and pretty well balanced. Cinnamon and nutmeg seem to the primary flavors. It is nice and malty. Again, I'm not picking up any hops at all.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Carbonation is good. It's very smooth and drinkable. I could probably drink a few of these with no problem. It's quite a nice holiday beer. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo of zimm421
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark red, amber color with very thin head that leaves little lacing

S - Smells strongly of cinnamon and ginger, a very sweet smell

T - Follows the nose, with cinnamon and ginger standing out with a small amount of bitterness following

M - A fairly thick beer with below average amounts of carbonation, that finishes fairly clean

D - Something that goes down fairly easy, but a few would be the limit for me. Matched with the right food, it would be perfect.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, I think it's new since I haven't noticed it around town until this week. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a dark copper/red color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is nice and spicy, smells like cinnamon, ginger, and candy sugar, it has an overall malty aroma. The taste is the same as the aroma, I can't pick up anything additional in it (not that it's a bad thing). It also leaves a nice lingering sweey/spicy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium/full, it's not creamy but there's a richness to it. Drinkability is good too, it's easy to drink and it's smooth. Overall I think this is a pretty decent brew, hopefully CBC will decide to make this a permanent seasonal brew. I'd definitely pick up this again.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz received in trade today from BA jdoncbus .. Big thanks for the cool extra.. I figured since winter is winding down, I had better jump on this brew. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

Aggressive pour produced only about a 1" head .. but it still left nice spotty lacing.. Deep amber brew that appears very red when held to a light.

The bottle says this brew is spiced and the aroma does not lie... I almost never really appreciate very spicy brews.. but this one really works.. the nose reminds me of a very aromatic chai tea. As it warms up.. wow the ginger and earthy cinnamon really blossom... the smell has just enough sweetness to bring the spices together.

Flavor is identical to the nose ... but much more lingering ... the ginger is pronounced without being "hot" and the cinnamon adds depth and sweetness along with a tingling palate note. I don't know that I would categorize this as a winter warmer... more of a spiced brew... definitely reminds me of a slightly sweetened ice chai tea.

I am actually pretty impressed with this beer.. it walks the razor's edge of spiced beer and scores major points because it pushes the envelope while still making sure nothing is overdone.

Big thanks to jdoncbus .... John is a great trader and thanks to him my fridge has more midwest/east coast hoppy goodness variety than it probably ever has.

Edit: I also just noticed I am the first BA from outside Ohio to ever review this beer ... Thanks again.. I sorta feel privileged.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge creamy head that quickly faded leaving some nice lace down the sides. Smell was hoppy with sweet caramel undertones and a slight smell of alcohol. The taste was extremely sweet. Almost tasted like candy. Dry hopped finish, but still very sweet. Overall this is very drinkable,

Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Reddish-amber color, with a good looking off-white head. Retention is decent. A few spots of lace adorn the glass.

Rich, malty nose. Elements of toffee combine with some spices. Cinnamon comes to mind, maybe some ginger and a hint of vanilla.
Malt up front gives some nice caramel and light toffee flavors. A bit of sweetness, some cinnamon and ginger. Earthy bitterness rounds things out. Spices are soft and blend well together.

Medium body, good carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. A pretty nice beer.

Photo of buschbeer
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle
Served in a conical pint glass

A - It is the color of weak iced tea with suspended sediment. It has some amber highlights. Maybe, an inch of off-white head.

S - I really have to search for much aroma. I get some faint caramel malt and cinnamon.

T - The taste does not have to be sought. At first I tasted ginger bread. Then I got molasses cookie. Good either way.

M - Medium with some chalkiness

O - When I didn't get much on the smell I figured this was an old winter warmer. The taste changed that notion. I enjoyed the cookie-like flavor. I want a molasses cookie now.

Photo of selecter70
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

You can definitely get some great beers in Ohio and many of them more malt-oriented than the hop-bombs that everyone seems to lust after. Just up my alley. This winter ale (on Christmas Day!) poured a nice dark honey-brown with a decent 1 1/2 finger beige head that clung around for the duration. The aroma hinted at a malty berry and spices that did not present themselves in an overwhelming manner upon tasting. Some lemon-orange hints rounded out mild Christmas spice. A nice drinkable winter ale, less so a "warmer" per se, but very nice indeed.

Photo of BB1313
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a murky, hazy, burnt orange/auburn. Nice fluffy off-white head that sticks around and leaves really nice retention. First off, I'll say the aromas get better as this beer warms. There's alot of ginger going on. Lots of sweet caramel malts as well. It basically smells like combination of a gingerbread cookie and a carmel apple. Also some chocolate malts in the mix as well. The flavors match the nose. The spices are definitely there, but far from overwhelming. The cinnamon is pretty subtle, but does its thing. This one doesn't really have a strong bitterness to it. This one has a strong English influence to it. Flavors are really nice, but one note. Mouthfeel is wonderful, just like most Columbus beers. It's light, creamy, fluffy with the perfect amount of carbonation. It's a very smooth beer. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Once again, it changes for the better as it warms up. Nice brew.

I like this beer and it's just short of being something really special. It's pretty unique and stands out with all of the other cinnamon spiced beers brewed in Ohio. Not sure if it can go toe to toe with some of them, but it can definitely hang and is better than others. My only beef is that it becomes one note and lacks true depth. It's a good beer to enjoy on a rainy day.

Photo of hopdog
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in trade with ogglethorp (thanks!).

Poured a medium and hazy amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of stronger cinnamon, ginger (that got stronger as it warmed), caramel, and other spices. Tastes of cinnamon, ginger, berries, nuts, citrus, and caramel.

Notes from: 1/25/08

Photo of Ryan011235
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an A-B flute on 1/9/12

Rustic looking tobacco brown hue with a golden amber highlight at the stem. Three fingers worth of foam slowly settles to about 1/3rd inch layer. Rings of drippy lace.

The aroma is a treat. Sweet cinnamon bread, caramel, orange peel, toasty brown sugar and a subtle ginger spiciness. Ample malt notes are accented by overtones of piney hops. It also shies from smelling to sweet. Everything about the nose calls to mind winter and Christmas and such.

Winter Warmer tastes right in line with the aroma. Lots of toasted bread, dusty caramel undertones, dry cinnamon and ginger notes and earthy/piney hops. It's very dry, too.

Easily medium-full body, though I'm inclined to say it leans more toward the robust side. Moderate carbonation is checked by the body, though it provides a focused, prickly addition to the spices and hops. Finishes rather dry with residuals of the aforementioned toasted bread, hops and spice.

I started the bottle while still pretty cold. After it warms and opens up, I find it loses some of its distinctiveness; the aroma is most affected and the flavors start to blur. Thus, I much prefer it cold.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the gift, Mihir.

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a short lived off-white head.

S: Certainly a lot of spices going on here. Mostly cinnamon, but perhaps some all-spice and clove is there, too. The more I smell it, the more it smells like apple pie. And in this case, that is not a bad thing.

T: It tastes like apple pie too. A big cinnamon flavor to go along with some mostly sweet but slightly tart apples. There's even a bit of a pie crust flavor from the malts.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation as well.

D: This was like drinking apple pie, and I quite liked it. Not as cloying or overly sweet as it sounds, either. Really nicely done, actually.

Photo of Spider889
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a Duvel tulip.

Pours very clear with a tall frothy cream colored head. The beer is a nice caramel color which appears to be a glowing honey/amber color when held to the light. Dark enough to prove its place as a winter warmer whilst not being so dark as to hide the brilliance of its color and clarity the way many recent warmers are doing.

As I drink nice mounds of rocky lace coat the edges of my glass, and the short cap of residual foam I am left with is still going strong 10 minutes later.

The aroma shows signs of cinnamon stick, birch bark, honey, and light but fresh raw ginger. This isn't the freshest of bottles which is a shame, because the last time I had this on draft I kept stealing my wife's glass of this just to smell it. A month or two old now, this still has a complex and fitting aroma, though perhaps minus the lovely punch that this beer has when extremely fresh.

The flavor is actually much better than I remembered it from last year. Rich gingerbread mingles with potent earthy hops and a nice spice kick at the end. Bitterness only checks the sweetness of the maris otter malt - allowing the range of spice additions to ride full-circle around the palate. The malt is very nice though and more forward than some warmers that try to showcase their ability to be a spice bomb. Toffee and baked dark bread round out this Columbus offering.

Very smooth with soft carbonation. Finishes a bit dry and has a bitter herbal hop aftertaste.

Overall this is one of the better Winter Warmers I have had this year. Given the availability of this compared to GLBC's Christmas Ale (and the price difference to boot) I might have to rethink my buying strategy next winter and stock my fridge with this instead!

Photo of projectflam86
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

A- Pours an amber color with a thick white foam head that leaves good lacing.

S- Lots of malt sweetness and spices. A touch of alcohol and maybe some toasted bread.

T- Wow, right away I'm hit with the cinnamon and ginger. Very spicy and sweet with a toasted malt finish. The English malts provide a nice base but the spices definitely steal the show. Not much going on in the hop department. This is most definitely a spicy winter themed beer.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. The alcohol doesn't seem bothersome so I'd have to place this at around 6% ABV.

O- A very interesting brew that I could see picking up around the holidays and sharing with family/friends.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fine deep amber with nice 1.5 finger, off white head, dissipates slowly and leaves a decent amount of lacing along the sides.

S - A lot of caramel and bready malt, but a deeper smell brings out notes of cinnamon, clove, and apple. A bit of an apple pie smell, really.

T - Good balance of malt, spice, and hop in this one. It's not a spice-bomb, but rather one that acknowledges the truer parts of the beer and uses the spice to complement it. Taste begins very heavy and matly, before fading into a light amount of spice, cinnamon and clove, and then finishing with a kick of piney hop. Very nice.

M - Thick mouthfeel, actually, good job embodying the "warming" part of a winter warmer.

Overall - I thought it was solid. Winter warmers tend to either present malt-heavy or spice-heavy, and while this certainly was on the malt-side of things, it did a good job integrating the spices nicely into the beer, and giving a polish of hops. Good beer.

Photo of ddtprm
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer was poured into a Great Lakes Christmas Ale tulip glass. From the moment I popped the cap, you could smell the spices. The beer pours an orangey-rust color which is transparent...no haze and minimal lacing. The flavor is that of a spice cake. It's a bit sweet, but this will not prevent me from enjoying the rest of the sixer...just not more than 2 per sitting! Overall, a very good winter warmer.

Photo of tchaos
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a BIF haul from russwbeck. I'm stunned he brought back beer from a school rival's location. Poured into a shaker pint -- hey, it's all I had on hand.

A -- hazy amber/ruby color with a two-finger head. Left moderate lacing during consumption.

S -- strong forward cinnamon, with ginger and sweet malt. As it warms, the spice definitely evokes a holiday pour.

T -- no lie...what you smell is what you get -- cinnamon, ginger, and sweet malt. Alcohol is almost indiscernible.

M -- medium body with fairly low carbonation

D -- Within style, strangely drinkable, but that's based almost entirely on your tolerance for cinnamon. Not surprisingly, it seems appropriate solely during the winter holidays. It continues to improve as it warms.

Photo of Bonis
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is amber in color with a slight haze. Aroma is earthy with lots of nutmeg, biscuit and caramel malts, as well as a touch of fruity hops. The combination is reminiscent of apple pie. Outstanding aroma. This beer is spice forward in flavor with a nice dose of hops. It is NOT bitter, but the hop flavors seem to be accentuated by the spices. Finish is cinnamon spice and a rich pie crust maltiness. Really, this is more like apple pie than a winter warmer. I am really enjoying the flavor. The taste starts out with a decent sweetness on the tongue, but the finish is rather dry. Alcohol is there, but well hidden by spices and other rich flavors. The body is rather large for a 7% beer, but it is a fairly easy drink nonetheless. This might be the best winter warmer I've had. Definitely better than GL Xmas and probably better than 2XMAS, TBK Winter Warmer, and 12 Dogs as well.

Photo of nhindian
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter, courtesy of russwbeck. Thanks Russ!

A - Poured a dark brown, mahogany colored body with 1.5-fingers of khaki colored head. Body is muddy with a little carbonation stream. Almost no lacing at all.

S - Smells very sweet and malty with a very strong spice profile to it. Cinnamon and ginger come through strongly, as well as a slight woody characteristic as well.

T - Given the great nose, I was ready to expect some great things from the taste. However, what I got instead was somewhat bland. It's sweet and bready up front, but then nothing to note. That is, until the finish. The end and finish certainly make up for the lacking beginning. It is very spicy, but comes together to deliver a fantastic graham cracker taste full of brown sugar and cinnamon.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied with good carbonation and a spicy finish.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The alcohol is well-masked, and the finish is excellent, the beginning and middle, or lack thereof, really hurt this beer for me. Very interesting though and if given the chance, I'd pick up another bottle.

Photo of nlmartin
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After yesterdays Columbus Brewing Experience I waited until this morning to crack this brew open. In short this beer is very nice. The beer was served chilled in a pint glass.

A- The body of the beer is a clear copper coloration. Active carbonation slowly bubbles to the top of my glass. The head is a thick biege and has pretty nice retention. Lacing streaks my glass as this beer rapidly disappears.

S- Nice cinammon, all spice and cloves combo combines with gingered carameled apple cider like aroma.

T- This is a nice malty treat. The spices are well done and dont overly dominate ginger, cloves, cinnamon combine to make a spiced apple flavor very malty.

M- Full bodied nicely carbonated not a hint of alcohol. No astringency from spices.

O- A very solid offering from Columbus Brewing. Looking forward to drinking some more of these.

Photo of superspak
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 10/31/2012. Pours hazy and cloudy reddish orange color with a 1 finger foamy off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a minimal ring of lace. No glass lacing, and some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, apple, cinnamon, gingerbread, and light floral. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and spices notes; with moderate strength. Taste of caramel, apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, toast, gingerbread, clove, pepper, and light floral. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, apple, cinnamon, toast, gingerbread, and clove on the finish for a bit. Nice balance and robustness of malt and spice flavor; with a solid malt/spice balance and a fair amount of cloying sweetness/spice flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a solid winter warmer. Good robustness and solid balance of flavors; and very smooth to drink. An enjoyable offering.

Photo of ndekke39
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised to find this new offering from CBC at a local Giant Eagle, so I quickly bought a six-pack. Poured into a pint glass. It's a copper color with a small white head. Pretty good retention. Smells like a gingerbread cookie: cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg. Nice - not overpowering. Tastes much of the same: gingerbread, nice malty center, hint of nuts. Not too sweet. Slight bitter aftertaste. Light-bodied, with steady carbonation. Overall, a fine example of a winter warmer. Nice and balanced, very drinkable! Will definitely buy more of this one. Great work, CBC!

Photo of Jayli
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from Csmiley via Review This! BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Consumed 12/15

A: This beer pours a nice rich amber, mahogany color. Only a film sits on top of this beer and leaves some spotty wispy lacing.

S: Nose is of massive ginger, cinnamon, and caramel malts.

T: Taste is massive ginger at the forefront with some sugary sweetness that actually enhances the sharpness the ginger. Taste evens out through the middle with caramel malt and finishes with a cinnamon that lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Light to medium body, medium carbonation, rich body that is creamy and finishes pretty clean.

D: Interestingly brewed beer. Somewhat tasty, goes down easily, I couldn't sit with more than one of these however one at a time can be appreciated.

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Columbus Winter Warmer from Columbus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.