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Winter Warmer - Lancaster Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

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343 Ratings
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Ratings: 343
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 15
Gots: 51 | 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: 343 | Reviews: 163
Photo of mcowgill
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. It pours dark with reddish highlights when held up to light. The head is almost nonexistant even though there seems to be adequete carbonation. The aroma is sweet, notes of ripe fruit are predominant. The most noticable taste if figs dipped in alcohol. The finish is lingering alcohol. The alcohol is in moderate amounts, not overbearing. This old ale is a full bodied sipper. I was pleasantly suprised by this one.

Photo of Gandhified
2.41/5  rDev -35.2%
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 almychristopher
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a nice translucent brown color with a off white head that fades to lacing. the aroma contains a lot of roasted malt character as well as some fruit esters from the yeast. the taste is quite malty with a bit of an alcohol bite behind it the mouthfeel is a little light for a winter warmer, but still pretty good.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark cherry with generous orange highlights when backlit with morning sunshine. The slim crown of golden beige foam isn't bad, but it's on the crackly and unsticky side. It's gone within minutes and leaves little lace. I've seen better.

The aroma features steely caramel (not quite metallic) and medium-dark fruit. Considering the appearance and the lack of aerosolization, there may be carbonation issues. There's potential here for the flavor to be anything from average to pretty good. Let's find out.

I'll go with pretty good to good. There are, however, definite issues regarding mouthfeel and carbonation (more below). Winter Warmer is old ale-like, although it's also reminiscent of a Belgian dark ale. That's odd, because I'm pretty sure Lancaster doesn't use Belgian yeast. Must be the dark fruitiness.

The flavor profile consists of dark toffee, figs and plums soaked in a small splash of dark rum, bruised bananas and a sprinkling of indeterminate spice. Perhaps the added spices (assuming they're actually present) are mimicing Belgian yeast. This is good beer that deserves a much better mouthfeel. Speaking of which...

This could be an older bottle and the body has begun to break down, but that's doubtful. Old ales of this ABV should age well for several years at least. The beer is on the thin side and lacks the chewy creaminess that would put it over the top.

Either this is a less than representative bottle of Winter Warmer or the brewers need to go back to the drawing board (mouthfeel only). I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's the former. I'd love to give this one another go round one of these days.

Photo of imaguitargod
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hi, I'm neenerzig's friend (see below), Jon Passow and I'm going to review this beer as well.

Pours to a nice head that dissipates in less than a minute and leaves a ring around the edge of the glass with a slight ruby color to the beer itself (run-on sentence warming). This has a good sweetness to it with a little aftertaste of cane sugar. Not at all hoppy but definitely malty with hints of a perfume/flowery taste. It's 8.9% abv and they don't try to hide it so you definitely will notice it more than other beers.

~Jonathan Passow

Photo of neenerzig
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy Jon Passow (iamaguitargod) got a 6 pack of this on a recent trip to PA and let me try a bottle. Poured into my pint glass. This beer is a nice clear deep amber color with ruby highlights. Slightly off-white head is about 1/2 inch when poured. It slowly settles to a thin ring lining the inside of my glass. Not too much lace here though. Sweet, slightly spicy aromas with cinnamon and perhaps some nutmeg. Nice sweet, malty flavors with caramel and cinnamon dominate and is followed by a tart fruit flavor, perhaps a hint of apple, plum and/or banana. Very tasty indeed! Almost zero hop bitterness here. Has a very crisp and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with fairly heavy carbonation. Easy to drink, especially with the high ABV, which is masked nicely.


Photo of joepais
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DIM for this extra
Bottle poured into a tulip glass produced good fingers worth of tan head on top of a ruby red body. The head turns to a thin lace

Aromas of cinnamon, malts and some dark fruits fill your nose

This is a good winter warmer you get the alcohol bite and wonderful spices it was a great sipper true to the style

Good medium mouthfeel great sipper, light carbonation.

Great beer will seek after again

Photo of jjboesen
2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one of a dozen beers (4-ounce pour) tasted at a recent Winter Beer event. Initial head was thin and quick to dissipate. The minimal lacing was splotchy and unstructured.

While the dark copper color provided minimum clarity, there was little in the way of smell. I found the taste somewhat flat and lacking - and some what dissapointing. The mouthfeel showed some balance but little structure

There are probably many reasons for this poor sampling; I am not familiar with the beers of Lancaster Brewing Company, so this experience will not be used as total judgement. I would gladly try this beer againg under different circumstances, given previous reviews. Beer is a cruel master at that.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with good retention. Nice clear dark ruby color.

Smell is of cinammon and nutmeg. Smell like a cinammon roll almost.

Taste some nice caramel malts with some cinammon and nutmeg. Like a fresh cinammon roll spiced beer. Very nicely balanced. Slight chocolatey maltiness as the beer finishes.

Decent mouthfeel, but it'd like a little bit more fullness from the malts or a little more crispness.

This is a fine beer that I would try again and make a session out of. Thanks to whoever provided this as an extra for me.

Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
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 Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice little creamy tannish head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is mostly malts, slight hop, slight spice's, toffee, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, with lots and lots of toffee/caramel. The alcohol is hidden very well in this brew. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew. Thanks Joe.

Photo of tgbljb
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as a very deep red-brown colored beer with moderate off-white creamy head. Left extraordinary lacing. Great head retention.
Smell has strong notes of caramel, coffee, and toffee.
Taste is trult enjoyable. The strong maltiness, with dark fruit and caramle sensations 1s very refreshing.
Left a strong fruity taste in the mouth with no alcohol noted.
Way too easy to drink. An excellent beer.

Photo of Deuane
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-deep dark brown with a thin tan head.

S-Caramel malts with a touch of fruit and nuts. Then a touch of alcohol burn.

T-Spicy dark fruits. Very malty with a touch of alcohol in the end. All of this is somewhat muted and not overwhelming.

M-Initially full but then slips away with the alcohol lingering on. A nice mouthful for an 8%+ brew.

D-Overall a good offering...would like a bit more upfront flavors in the smell and tatse to make this one a true classic....but a solid brew nonetheless.

Photo of johanvond
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Winter warmer is a Dark amber with a quickly dissipating head. You get slightly carmel malt sent mix in with the winey bite of the high alchol. It has an earth nutty malt flavor with no hop pressance and notes of currients and celery. Overall its all right but i found not to much to write home about.

Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice mahoganny color with a tan head and fine tiny bubbles. The beer smelled really spicy and had a hint of toffee taste and Christmas spices. The beer was a little sweet and had a right tuff alcohol after burn. I think you should try it but I will most likely not buy again.

Photo of sjohansen
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to pick up a bottle of this at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Compared it to several other "Holiday Offerings."

It had a quickly dissipating head, and pours a medium to dark amber color.

Of the several Holiday offerings I tried, this Olde Ale Style by far had the strongest smell. Even before I poured it, it seemed to reach out of the bottle and shake me a little bit.

This was also the strongest one I tried at 8.9%, but this one was extremely well balanced, so much so that this was the most drinkable spiced offering I had this year. You would think you were drinking a 4 or 5% abv brew.

The LBC WW is very complex, it has a great thick malt profile with slight hints of chocolate or caramel. It's a great representation of an Olde Style Ale, is not over spiced, and I would definitely recommend it.

Photo of jwc215
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear light to medium brown with a thin head that immediately becomes a disappearing patch.

The smell is caramelish and nutty. Slightly fruity, with a touch of alcohol.

The taste is of lightly spiced dark fruits - figs and dates. It's malty and sweet with a touch of estery alcohol.

Medium-bodied, it has something rather astringent about it.

A sipper due to noticeable alcohol and slight astringency. Well- it's a winter warmer for sure, but aroma and flavor don't seem to reach their potential fullness.

Photo of pavandal
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this beer during the first snow of the year. It seemed fitting!

Beer poured a super deep, almost purple amber color. No head on top.

Sweet smells of raisins and caramel dominate, with a soft chocolatey hint as well. I also smelled vanilla in there. I really liked how this brew smelled.

I can taste those caramel and raisin flavors! Those two dominate, as well as a kinda tea-ish flavor that I can't really put my finger on. Nothing really hoppy about this one, but that's not what this is about. A tasty brew.

This is a hearty, big brew. Great for what it is, a winter warmer!

Photo of bigeyedfish
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a pint glass. The bottle is humorous- brewed by Lancaster Brewing Company, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Gets a laugh from the locals.

Pours a pretty dark burnt redish/brown body with one half to three-quarters a finger of head which stays for a split second and vanishes. Minimal lacing.

At first it almost smells like a Flemish Sour that has lost all of its carbonation. Then you get into it, and it emits aromas of sour cherries and faint strawberries and raspberries, with a nice portion of malt sweetness throughout.

First the good with this beer- for being almost 9% alcohol, there is not any alcohol to be tasted. Now the bad- the nose on this beer is probably the most attractive element. As for the bad parts of this beer. Well, it puts the old in old ale. It tastes like cold McDonald's French Fries mixed with malt. There is some sweetness present, which helps a little bit, although there is no real definition to it; it's more just generic malt sweetness, almost like I'm drinking simple syrup, aka, 1 part sugar dissolved in 1 part boiling water. Not really the most appealing beer. There isn't much flavor transition, there isn't much warming alcohol, there isn't much of anything. Some malted sweetness on the finish, but that's it. Really a tad bit frustrating.

Pretty thick mouthfeel, as to be expected from a Old Ale. Really smooth, almost velvety finish; this, along with the nose ranks top for best qualities of the beer. There's some carbonation, but nothing to complain about. Pretty dense at times, almost borderline pleasant.

This is actually quite a drinkable beer, if you can get past the taste. It isn't super warming, it isn't super spicy, and it isn't super delicious. But once you get past the fact that it doesn't taste amazing, it's a pretty decent beer. Which kind of encapsulates the LBC; I had their sampler once and all I can remember is, wow, none of these beers are standout, but I think I could drink some of them all night and be ok with it. In short, it's a winter beer done like most other LBC beers. Which, to be honest, I'm ok with. I'll take it over a lot of beers, but I'll take most any decent beer over it. A high alcohol, 82/83 point beer. 86 seems a little high. Nice to see an Old Ale being used as a Winter Seasonal though.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find this category to be a lot of fun. You never know what'll get thrown in to spice up the brew. This was a definitely tasty brew

A - Rich dark amber with a whisp of a white head.
S - Caramel, brown sugar,nutmeg and cinamon
T - similar to the nose
M - medium bodied, mild carbonation, smooth
D - very quaffable! Was finished before I realized.

Thanks to DIM for this via trade

Photo of DIM
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a: Deep clear dark ruby in color. Pours with a big fluffy off-white head. Decent lacing and very lively carbonation.

s: Subdued but complex. Reminds me a bit of red wine. Some cherries and raisins perhaps. The alcohol is noticeable but does not suggest 8.9%.

t: Upfront this is a very good beer. Subtle brandy soaked cherries followed closely by a pleasant little hop tingle. Then this beer just kind of disappears. Starts as 4.5 and then fades away.

m: The carbonation is fine but does not compensate for how thin this beer is.

d: Nit-picking aside, this is a tasty brew that disguises its 8.9% very well,

Photo of iceviper22
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Lancaster Brewery and bottled. It pours a nice deep brown to dark reddish color with a one to two finger head that fades quickly. It has an aroma of biscuits with some hints of caramel or toffee.

The taste is similar to the smell in that it has a very biscuity, maltyness, with some notes of caramel and toffee to sweeten it up just a bit. Little carbonation helps give it a nice winter warming mouthfeel.

Overall it is a prettty decent brew along with the rest of Lanaster's lineup. I would drink a few of these.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap a couple days ago at the brewery. Served cool in an imperial pint.
A - A deep walnut brown w/ a small light tan head that contains a super-fine bead. The lace the head leaves collects in a film on the glass.

S - Malty, boozy aroma w/ light nuttiness in the nose along w/ gentle hints of smoke. There is a kind of peaty, slightly scottish yeast note in the smell.

M - A full, chewy malty feel w/ a slightly boozy texture and full carbonation.

T - Dry nutty full dark malt w/ scotch ale type fullness. Nutty w/ a hint of peaty smoked flavor. Slightly sugary and brown malt taste w/ a gentle pine hop note.

D - Very good, full flavor and above average w/ plenty of malt to keep your sweet tooth satisfied. A nice winter ale from Lancaster.

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Winter Warmer from Lancaster Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.