Winter Warmer - Lancaster Brewing Company

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Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

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346 Ratings
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Ratings: 346
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 15
Gots: 52 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 11-10-2003

Our classic Olde Ale delivers a complex malt flavor and blend of British and American hops. True to its name, this beer finishes with a nice warming alcohol flavor.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 346 | Reviews: 163
Reviews by hmich176:
More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The last bottle in the local craft brew package received from woodychandler.
Appearance is a dark mahogany or chestnut, almost opaque, that exhibits some clear garnet hues when held to a strong light. One finger beige head eventually falls into a persistent collar of lace that deposits sheets and patches all over the pint glass.
Aroma is complex, with notes of cherry and apple peel, as well as dark fruity raisins and plums. Notes of smoked malts, bitter chocolate, floral and herbal hops, and freshly sliced ginger root add to the interesting bouquet.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. Some astringent bitterness shows up here.
Taste opens with fruity red apple and cherry notes, but quickly turns to the bitter side, with harsh ginger root and freshly ground pepper. Dark fruits and toffee notes accompany the procession of flavors. No hint of the high abv. Finish is bitter on the spicy side.
Very interesting for style. Well constructed, and exuding of quality, but I prefer a maltier profile with sweeter spices for a winter ale. I'm also missing the alcohol warming that others have noted. I'm certain that I would enjoy this one better on a cold winter night, instead of a hot August evening.

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this op tap at the Drafting Room in Spring House last night,a very nice deep amber pour with a almost creamy- like head that left some lacing.Aroma was of sweet malt with some fruity estures and warming alcohol,taste is carammely sweet with some malty bread tones along with some burned fruit and alcohol notes.A power packed beer full of different flavors and very warming,a real nice beer.

Photo of BeerIsland
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been having a lot of fun with the Warmer this year, primarily as a base for mixing with other beers. This item goes well with the Hop Hog if you want to stay big or with the Amish if you need to tone it down a little. At home, I've used Celebration and Lake Placid IPA with decent effect. This could be the universal solvent!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Dark roasted malts offer up a nearly opaque mahogany brown ruby highlighted body beige khaki head forms smooth carbonation fine bubbles are evident.

Aroma has plum and raisins off the bat I'm met with dark fruit and smooth mellow warming alcohol with some perceived sweetness from the caramelized sugars.

Flavor nutty earthy roasted malts English in nature they say this is done in an old ale style, well guess what? It's working dark fruit plum vinous fruit and raisins, really stick to the palate slightly salty umami sense in the finish I'm pleasured to be drinking this fine beer from Lancaster Brewing.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied smooth finish no alcohol burn whatsoever this is poetry in motion big malts and balanced hop character a bit of earthiness maybe that's it even though there's English and American hops.

Overall, supreme drink for the winter go search it out if it's available in your area...most definitely the best offering I've ever had from Lancaster this is world class for me!

Photo of warriorsoul
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer while in the area this past bummed I could not find time to chill at the source...would have loved this one on tap. Thanks to LBC for packaging this seasonal...allowing me to enjoy one at home.
Pours like a coca-cola...less than 1/4 finger of off-white head with very little lacing and the head disappears very rapidly.
Very inviting in the nose...sweet malt, raisins, a touch of smoke, and some vanilla extract to boot.
The taste is great...all of the above with just a warming hint of the alcohol up front. A hefty dose of malt to sweeten this one up and a gentle hop bitterness to dry it in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is perfect...I had this on tap a year or so ago and it is everything I remember and more.
Solid offering and a nice representation for the style...will enjoy this one again soon.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The taste is raisin, rum, slight oak, pumpernickel bread, and dark cherry. This definitely tastes a bit like a dubbel, yet I still get old ale. Complex and dangerously drinkable. This may be my favorite from the brewery.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Malty and bready up front, with notes of freshly baked dark bread. Some spice notes as well, specifically clove, black pepper and brown sugar.

Taste: Roasted malt and notes of freshly baked dark bread, followed by some brown sugar-like sweetness and some surprising licorice flavors (surprising in that I didn’t get any hints of that in the aroma). No hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with no carbonation to speak of. With an ABV of 8.9%, I’m surprised that there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty decent beer, but not great. Some good malt flavors, but a little too much licorice for my liking. However, because a portion of the proceeds of this beer goes to charity, specifically, the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, I’ll get a few more bottles of it to support that charity.

Photo of Ryanm1
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle to a 12oz globe. Shows a dark brown to black hue depending on the light. Large amount of brown lacing when pour vigorously. Dissipates quickly. Sweet nectar smelling. Molasses. The dark pour emanates the dark fruit odor, such as candied raisins. Chocolate and Car Bitter on the tounge intially finishes smooth with very little aftetaste. Slightly malty. Packs a punch at 8.9% abv.

Photo of watermelonman
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a very dark purple and red color. The head was medium but faded pretty quickly, and there's no lace.

The smell lets through a slight hint of fruit under a good deal of alcohol. The taste is similar, bringing dark fruits up front and adding a good festive hop kick. The mouthfeel is pretty sharp. Still, it's not too hard to drink.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lancaster- Winter Warmer

A- Deep amber with a quick fizzing head.
S- Caramel and molasses. Brown sugar, honey and hazelnuts.
T- Sweet toffee/ caramel/ molasses malt. A touch of honey and brown sugar and a bit of bread crust.
M- Sweet and chewy. The flavor intensifies near the end. Lower carbonation with a touch of cloying.

Overall- Let this warm up a bit and the flavor comes out. Very nice. An easy session beer for the winter!

Photo of asabreed
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just bought a 6-pack for around $9 at my local market around the corner. I saw the 8.9%, the fact that it's a winter warmer, and considering the heat and my want for maybe something a bit sweet, I thought I'd snag it. Turns out it was a fantastic idea.

12 oz bottled poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: I do have to say, Lancaster is adamant about posting that they don't use preservatives or spices, and I really like that on the side of the 6-pack. That also made my decision a bit easier. In the glass it looks opaque at first, but then in the light shows a gorgeous dark amber, with some tiny bubbles floating to the top in the middle. Decent-sized head at about 1", though that fades, with some clumpy lacing toward the head near the top of the glass.

Smell: A lot going on here, with nothing too dominant and a pretty balanced aroma. Nuts, figs, dark malts, caramel, slight vanilla, slight toffee, vinous characteristics, and almost a brandy-like bit of alcohol floating up. Very very nice.

Taste: Almost right on toward the taste are all the aromas. Some plum and fig sweetness at first, then followed by some vanilla and maple, some of the brandy-like alcohol flavor, then onto some dark and toasted malts. Finishes with a chocolate malt sweetness, onto a chocolate malt bitterness and slight hops to close it out. Very complex and very much lacking the high alcohol taste I thought I'd be getting. This is quality stuff.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and silky to the max, with a pretty big body and fantastic finish. The carbonation levels stay the same the whole time, moderate but contributing completely to the silky feel of the brew. Pretty stellar.

Drinkability: I'm damn surprised that this beer's this good. I guess I just wasn't expecting it. For an Old Ale at nearly 9% ABV the alcohol's hidden (I actually would've guessed maybe 6% at the highest if I wouldn't have known) extremely well, and the brew is complex on all sides. I'm glad I took a chance, and if you see this around, I'd definitely say do the same.

Photo of LordHammer
2.74/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Norther Brewer glass.

A: A beautiful deep red, bordering on mahogany. Pours with a small tan head that fades to a lace which stays all the way down the glass.

S: Some subdued malts and spices, but an overwhelming scent of alcohol. Hope this isn't as boozy as it smells.

T: Sweet malty presence, then very prominent alcohol in the flavor. A bit of spice and hops at the close, but nothing really significant here. Gets better as it warms and things balance out a bit.

M: Predictably thin, as you would expect for the ABV, with low carbonation.

D: One and done here. I had a few sips, then waited about 20 minutes for it to warm, then it was drinkable. Definitely don't want another for a few days.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This sturdy winter offering is solid in every way, starting with its exceptionally deep mahogany body. It's clear with a reddish cast, and reveals ruby highlights when held to the light; and its creamy light tan head slowly dwindles to a collar but leaves some nice, spotty lace. The nose delivers a caramelish malt with some fruit; and its creamy and smooth in the mouth with a firm body and very fine, restrained carbonation. The flavor delivers a rich, caramel malt center wrapped in berry-like fruit and tempered by a solid bitterness. It's just slightly vinous with it's alcohol lending something to its fruit; and there's a cusp of chocolate that combines with its bitterness to take on an almost roasty edge. Yet, it's clean and very well-balanced all around! Quite nice! A tasty treat that shouldn't be missed if you're in the area.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Standard pour yields an upward cascading 1.5 finger fluffy light-brown cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer itself is a wonderful clear dark reddish amber. Lacing is thin but abundant.

S: Nose is a bit boozy, sweet, brown sugar. Dry with a purple grape smell that is quite prominent.

T: Starts deep, brown sugar, and grapes and other various fruits (unripened prunes maybe?). Incredibly malty and boozy in the middle to the finish. A bit of smokey character is apparent right before the final swallow.

M: Medium bodied and semi-smooth. Mouth is a bit oily and finish is sticky yet rather clean. This doesn't leave much.

D: Great complexity here with a body that is just a bit thin. A bit too malty at parts and the hopes are non-existent. A tad off balance. However, still a beer with great character. Seek it out if you can!!

Photo of KTCamm
3.49/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12/14...very dark brown, red tints, light sneaks through. No foam. Malty cola nose, breads, caramel, light fruit. Tasteis a chewy fruit, quite boozy, light bitter. Astringent mouthfeel.

Photo of njmoons
4.39/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had an opportuntiy to try this on tap at the Lancater Brewing Co in Harrishurg.

I tried many beers there over the weekend I was in town. This was by far my favorite.

Appearance was a see through black/brown, wasn't too sure at first look. Only a little foam which quickly dissipated.

Smell was a malty, toasty with maybe a hint of smoke.

Taste started a nice toasty malt with some caramel, and a hint of fruit. The alcohol takes over in the middle providing some warmth which is quickly taken over by a relatively (for an ale) crisp finish.

I really enjoyed this beer, and found it highly drinkable for a higher alcohol beer.

Photo of Minotaur
3.39/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours a syrupy, deep milk chocolate color with dark copper highlights. Very little head which quickly fades to wood-colored wisps.

The aroma was not particularly impressive out of the gate: mostly the scent of alcohol and a little malt.

The taste was unexpected and rich. It is earthy, with cocoa, vanilla, and vaguely nutty toasted notes. It is deep and has a hint of alcohol. It is malty and has overtones of molasses (treacle?) and is reminiscient of holiday vanilla spice holiday cookies. There may be just a tiny bit of cherry deep in there too.

The mouthfeel and body is surprisingly thin despite the rich tastes.

It is not quite smooth with the high alcohol; there is a bit of roughness on the swallow. Like the mouthfeel, this seems in contrast to the sweet and earthy flavor.

Photo of tone77
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a small head. Smell is of malts and caramel, slightly sweet. Taste is also of malts and caramel along with alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a decent beer but nothing great.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark burgundy-ruby red color, with an off tan head.

S: some fresh coffee, dried fruit (raisins) and dark roasted aromatics with a bit of alcohol.

T: For flavor there was a nice breadiness, dark roasted malt and dried raisins.

M: medium-full and lightly carbonated with dry spicing(nutmeg) on the tongue.

D: Good drinkability, rich malt and chocolate flavor with the abv fairly well hidden making for good winter drink.

Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pint glass served that the Harrisburg location.

A: The ale is dark, a bold brown-red color that is fairly dark and only reveals the lighter colors up close. A small head insulated the ale and that quickly disappeared.

S: The nose was strong, full of dark fruits (raisins, dates) and caramel/toffee malts. The strength of the beer is difficult to ignore.

T: A sip reveals a strong warming taste. The alcohol strength does its job, adding hints of heat throughout the sip. Dark alefruits create a full-bodied flavor that doesn't carry a great deal of weight. The maltiness adds a bready element to the fruits, drying them out.

M: This is my kind of winter warmer! It warms without the overblown cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that many brewers fancy this time of year.

D: The alcohol is noticeable throughout, so this is no poundin' beer. It did nicely accompany my crabcake dinner though.

Photo of Jredner
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel malt, spice and bread pudding make up the aroma of this beer. Dark amber in color with a thim white wisp of a head. Fore is toffee, caramel malt, something tart and slightly metallic in there as well..can’t pin it down, but it isn’s a positive. Definitely some sharp spices in there...ginger and clove, but maybe not nutmeg or if there is not very much. The alcohol is very well hidden for 9% tot he point that I am fairly amazed because I can’t taste it. Tasty, but it could benefit from some more concentrated spice int he finish that is basically just a sweet caramel malt affair right now.

Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Rapid evaporation of the fizzy tan head... Very minimal lacing... Burgundy in color... If you took away the carbonation, this could be mistaken for a red wine... Quite still... Coats glass with a sleek sticky residue...

S - Malt... Caramel... Sweet cherry... Brown sugar... Raisin... Plum... Toffee... Warm milk... Frosting... Cinnamon bun... An ever so slight hint of coffee...

T - Quite tasty... Malt... Dark fruit... Dark bread... Toffee... Sticky raisins... Rum... Nice complexity...

M - Unexpected refinement defines the gem of a winter brew... Medium bodied, but surprisingly delicate... Slightly syrupy and sticky... Warming... Slick... Mild carbonation lingers... Incredibly smooth...

D - A true hidden gem from this year's winter seasonals... Looks the part... Smells the part... However, while the taste is good, but doesn't live up to the rest of the brew...

Note - Kind of an oxymoron, an Olde Ale named Lancaster Winter Warmer... Huh...

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ba Review #239
Served On: 11/23/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 8.9%
Date/ Code: 2012 Release

This was from a 6-pack I snagged at A.K.A. Frisco's in Frederick Maryland - just down the road from Flying Dog.

Look: A gorgeous deep ruby red color with a 1-finger fluffy light-tan head. Carbonation level was solid. A very clear brew. Alcohol legs were very apparent. Lacing was minimal.

Smell: First on the nose was a rather strong alcohol sweetness - similar to nail polish remover or lacquer thinner. Then some dark fruits were behind a sharp fusel alcohol. Some faint biscuit came through in the background.

Taste: Mouth-feel was rather heavy for as clear as the beer was. The dark winter fruits hit first with a nutty spice in the middle. Then an alcohol warming sensation coated the back of the mouth and throat. The finish was of dark plum and some ginger mixed with biscuit.

This was a very complex and robust Old Ale. The nose seemed to have a little more burn to it than the palate did. All I can say is – don’t let the harsh aroma scare you off with this one, because everything else about the brew is absolutely wonderful.

Photo of Gandhified
2.41/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a nice dark amber color with a small tan colored head. Smells malty, with fruity undertones... maybe raisin? Little to no hop presence detected in the nose. Mouthfeel is thick. Tastes malty, sweet, little to no hop bitterness. I don't think I could or would want to drink more than one of these. The high alcohol content is well hidden by the malts though. Overall an ok beer.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a porter-like deep brown colour that has hints of lighter brown throughout and a big at first but quick to fade head that leaves marginal spottiness on the glass.

Aroma is a blend of a slight earthiness, some sweet caramel, a bit of chocolate, molasses, and some alcohol.

The flavour is similar, with molasses and perhaps a bit of brown sugar taking the lead here, sweet caramel still present and earthiness falling to the back. There are some bread flavours here as well, along with the alcohol that is still present throughout the course of each sip. It is warming and inviting, and certainly not distracting or overpowering in any way. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a definite oily slickness to it.

A nice, somewhat different Winter Warmer from Lancaster. This makes for a nice dessert beer or would work well as a sipper by the fire. Good stuff.

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Winter Warmer from Lancaster Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.