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Columbus Winter Warmer - Columbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Columbus Winter WarmerColumbus Winter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

48 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 105
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 5
Gots: 8 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 105
Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.81/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade with inebriatedjoker... Thanks, Mike!!

This beer reminded me quite a bit of a Wee Heavy with a few spices thrown in.... Deep and rich and malty with a definite finish of graham crackers as others have stated... Very rich almost earthy aromas of the sweet sticky caramel maltiness present... Feels quite thick and chewy.... Raisin-like fruitiness present as well... A good one for the holidays for sure... I liked this one...

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Photo of Jayli
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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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Photo of zimm421
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of selecter70
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

The beer is hazy orange with a small, off white head. The aroma offers cinnamon, apples - smells like apple cobbler/pie. The flavor is heavily spiced, with cinnamon leading the way. Lacking balance. Best in small quantities. Like drinking sweet apple pie. Thin bodied with adequate carbonation. Overall, tasty but one dimensional. Worth a try.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.62/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of hopdog
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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

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Photo of nhindian
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark red, amber color with very thin cream colored head. Head leaves little lacing.

S- Smells strongly of cinnamon and ginger, and sweet malts.

T- This one follows the nose, with cinnamon and ginger standing out with a small amount of bitterness following. Reminded me a lot of Sam Adams winter lager.

M- Medium in body and in carbonation.

D- Nothing terrible but I'd much rather have their IPA.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up a while ago at Ohio State, where I went to see my Nittany Lions blow a halftime lead and get stomped. Oh well, I came out of it with good beer.

A: Very dark brown pour, hazy. Small off white head with hardly any lacing or retention.

S: Smell is really heavy on the spices, cinnamon and gingerbread. Malty and unlike any beer I've ever smelt before.

T: Wow. Sometimes I get a taste in my mouth and I can't think of anything else. This is liquid Graham Crackers, cinnamon ones specifically. It starts off light, but the finish is all graham crackers.

MF: Medium bodied with a nice bite of carbonation.

D: Sort of weird to rate the drinkability on this one. While I can't taste any alcohol, what I am tasting is strange. Taking me a while to get through a 6 pack.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a muddy, murky brown/red with a one finger white head. Decent retention, some lacing.

S- Strong smell. I can smell this as its sitting on the table. Its really spicy. One word best describes it, "Christmas" Cinnamon, juniper, nutmeg.

T- Just as spicy as the nose. Malty with fairly big hits of cinnamon and nutmeg. It reminds one of gingerbread cookies.

M- Thinner side of medium bodied. Prickly carbonation. Finishes really clean.

D- Great drinkablity. Finishes really clean and smooth. Its a nice cozy beer for the holidays.

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Photo of tchaos
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of Bogforce
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured in a pint glass

A: Small head that goes away quickly, Ruby brown color
S: Nothing to strong, some nuts
T: Some nuts definitely, finish is nuts too
M: Decent 6 pack if you can't gt Great Lakes

Not a bad winter warmer. I would definitely prefer acouple others over this one

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Photo of muttyd
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper body with a thick off-white/tan head. Aroma is of clove, cinnamon, and (as others before me have already stated) apple pie. This beer smells pretty much exactly like apple pie. Flavor follows the nose - caramel malts mix with spice to give a pleasant graham cracker-crust apple pie. Finishes slightly sticky and sweet. Faint earthy hop flavor in the finish, but it is dominated by the spicy characters of this beer. Very drinkable and one of the most unique beers I've come across.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a small, wispy, white head.

Smell: English-minded malts laid against a backdrop of strong notes of ginger, various spices, and tart-smelling fruits.

Taste: Sweet caramel maltiness is somewhat obscured but a jolt of tart fruitiness. Then the ginger, then the spices. Even a dash of table sugar. Not much in the way of hops beyond a very light bitterness. Tart finish with a lingering taste of sliced ginger.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Lose that questionable tartness and you just may have something here.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.63/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful rust color that is extremely clear - not much head with extremely light lacing and below average carbonation. The dominate smell is a sweet cake like spice. First taste is light, sweet, with a cake like spice of ginger and cinnamon that dominates. It is followed by a light bitterness.

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Columbus Winter Warmer from Columbus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.