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Winter Warmer - Lancaster Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

297 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 297
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 12
Gots: 18 | 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:
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 added by: NeroFiddled on 11-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 297 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LuskusDelph
4.9/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beautiful brew...everything an old ale/winter warmer should be. Appropriately lower carbonation is perfect for the style...excess fizziness would definitely ruin this and most other complex and flavorful beers.
Fantastic malty richness and just enough hops to balance things out.
A lot of so called "craft" breweries have a lot to learn about balance. This beer defines balance. Highly recommended.

LuskusDelph, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of DocBrewroo
4.79/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Medium head, fairly dark color and a medium to full body. On the nose, I get sticky, caramelized fruit a rich underlying maltiness – not much of that 9% alcohol on the nose.

Full fruit forward flavors and a warming alcohol are immediately evident and perfect for a cold winter’s night. The finish is rich with a lingering roasted and almost smoky nut flavor.

I can’t stand winter beers with spices and crap in them. This is just a big, bold winter brew and I love it

DocBrewroo, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of JonSzakelyhidi
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

JonSzakelyhidi, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color is a very dark amber. Not much of a smell, but the hops are strong. First taste, you get some smokiness and nuttiness. The more you drink, the caramel comes through more and more. Just a fantastic heavy winter beer. It packs a punch at close to 9%, so don't drink too fast.

bigfnjoe, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of KoG
4.53/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a ruby background and a light, frothy head. Leaves light lacing and keeps head around the edge.

Smells of coffee and fruit. Intriguing smell but very inviting nonetheless.

Taste is very well rounded. Hop flavors blend with coffee and roasted barley followed by a sweeter malt. Finishes a bit fruity with a hop flare. No presence of alcohol and a very interesting Winter Warmer interpretation.

Goes down smooth and can be very drinkable, although the ABV may catch up at 8.9%.

KoG, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of psujorge
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

psujorge, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of cujim
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

cujim, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of Goldndomer
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Goldndomer, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of weaselchew
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

weaselchew, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of ILuvBeer
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%


ILuvBeer, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of Mark88
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Mark88, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

A complex dessert beer; D really likes

DuaneL, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of Corburk
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Corburk, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of LisaEisMe
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

LisaEisMe, Jan 25, 2013
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.

asabreed, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of oelergud
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body almost opaque with a delicious looking tan tiny to small bubbled head that starts out big but dissipates to a thin float fairly quickly. Some lace.
Thick scent of chocolate and spiced caramel. Faint almonds.
Very good taste of chocolate, toffee and coffee. Very well balanced against the sweet are spiced but still mild hops. Aftertaste is burnt malts and stronger spiked yet rounded hops.
Full and chewy body. Plenty of coating and very slick.
Drinkability is great. This beer disappeared faster than I had intended it to.


oelergud, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of mcowgill
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a reddish brown color that looks great held up to the light. Thick creamy tan head dissipates quickly and leaves a trace of lacing on the glass.

S - Nice caramel and dark fruit combination with a hint of alcohol. Methinks this will be warming indeed.

T - Great complex tasty brew here. I get a nice mix of dark chocolate, cherry, caramel and spice. A nice sharp delicious flavor.

M - Great carbonation and tingling mouthfeel

D - For 8.9% and with complex flavors, this is a very dangerously drinkable old ale.

mcowgill, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of woodychandler
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer arrives with a thick, foamy tan head that, much like many of LNC BC's offerings, just dissipates much too quickly. It has a very malty nose with much evidence of an underlying alcohol content. As it warmed, it begins to give off a smell of carmel and/or candi sugar. The color is a deep reddish-brown bordering on mahogany. The mouthfeel is very thick, as well as being intensely sweet as well as noticably hot. The finish is where it really stands out. This is an extremely complex beer for LNC BC, displaying notes of sherry, dark chocolate, and cherries. Very tasty!

woodychandler, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of njmoons
4.4/5  rDev +18%
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.

njmoons, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of bigdeuce
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A handsome pour. Nice well rounded tight head with great retention. You can smell Cherry, sherry, and toasty prune malts from across the table. More flavors going on the nose like a sweet belgian candi. Full tasting, blasting through my taste buds with a thick, rich, complexity. Very smooth yet very full mouth feel. Creamy, not much bitterness at all. Not much of a fan of these so called "winter" beers, but damn this one is good! High abv is hard to detect as it is 9% alcohol. The toasty, cherry(not cloying) sweetness remains well after the beer is down. I don't know what style this should be(it's no old ale) classified as except the winter is a great time for it, but damn it belongs by your fireplace when it gets cold and it is a very, rich, flavorful surprise I will continue to buy! Best so called winter warmer I've had since Sam Adam's "screwed up" it's 2003 circa recipe!

bigdeuce, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of crhensel
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Bottle into a pint glass) Poured a beautiful dark brown with very thin light brown head that dissipated quickly. The first thing I noticed opening the bottle was the strong fruity aroma. As I let it air and took time to get a good whiff, there were strong molasses notes with a lot of banana and raisin. It smelled like a freshly baked bread, which was lovely. Very light in the mouth, with a hearty hop bite with cinnamony noted to compliment the fruity sweetness. This ia a very refreshing, enjoyable drink and definitely was a warmer!!

crhensel, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of psurandy
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. I am currently drinking and thus reviewing from a bottle pour, however I have had it from growler and also from the tap at the Harrisburg brewpub.

When I poured it from the bottle into a snifter it had a thin, tan head with a very dark amber hue when held to light but I wish I would have poured more vigorously. When I had it from tap and growler the head was outstanding. The smell is of brown sugar, fig and dark rich fruits. Mouthfeel is full, smooth and silky. Carbonation doesn't give it a fizzy feeling, but stands up. The taste follows with a full rich malty flavor of dark brown sugar and malt; even a bit buttery as it warms. Drinkability is best out of tap or growler since it just tastes so fresh, but I could drink more than a bottle in a sitting.

This is a rich malty warmer and one of my favorites. Sometimes when I get a winter warmer I'm afraid it is going to have too much of a Christmas Ale feel to it. That isn't the case with this one. You get a good, strong, malty beer without going crazy with the spices. I wouldn't expect a hophead to go crazy over this one, but now that I look at it I see that this one, though called by the brewer a winter warmer is categorized as an old ale, which is appropriate when you read the description.

Very well worth picking up a sixer or growler if you can. I believe I paid in the nature of 9 or10 at the brewpub for a sixer, but highly recommend getting a pint at the bar or a fresh growler. Enjoy.

psurandy, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of warriorsoul
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer while in the area this past weekend...so 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.

warriorsoul, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of BZero007
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a great warmer! Received this beer from a beer of the month club and loved it.

It pours a very dark brown with a tint of red. The head is a beautiful tan brown, that produces a great aroma. A roasted malty caramel aroma with some spice in the background is what powers this great smell.

Taste is a great balance of all the ingredients. A roasty malt taste being very prominent threw the beer. With the right amount of alcohol to hide in the brew, but warms the body on a cold winter night!

Its a very drinkable beer with a low amount of carbonation to fit the bill perfectly. No more than a couple and you will be well for the night!

BZero007, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

NeroFiddled, Nov 10, 2003
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Winter Warmer from Lancaster Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 297 ratings.