Old Man Winter Warmer - Lake Superior Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Man Winter WarmerOld Man Winter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

101 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 19
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lake Superior Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gusler on 12-12-2001

"Brewed in late spring and aged in our refrigerator until mid Fall, this barley wine style ale brings a whopping 10.3% ABV to the task. Deep brown and sweet with spices, Old Man Winter Warmer does what its name promises for your nose and your belly. O.G. 1.101."
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 72
Reviews by ntillemans:
Photo of ntillemans
2.65/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - This one is a dark, clear red with a little head.

S - A nice caramel smell

T - There's a strong hop flavor here. Otherwise, it's missing a lot of the complexity I was hoping for. It's an over-hopped American beer with a high ABV.

M - There's some bitterness but mostly an alcohol burn.

D - I couldn't drink much of this because of the high ABV and bitterness.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jahjehwa
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014; I really like this. Dark, good aroma. It actually has that slight warm alcohol burn. Really nice. Burnt sugar and a bit bitter. Will miss it. Hard to hold on to this one. Will age a couple bottles just for fun.

Photo of sponberg
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of the 05/06 vintage (I presume). Pours cloudy and turbid, not much of a head at all - more of a faint lace. Aroma of a dark fruity malt (figs? prunes?) along with some coffee and cocoa, faint rumminess.

Somewhere between a barleywine and an old ale - dark fruits again, with some serious depth of malt - almost EKU-28 like in its syrupy maltiness. Faint distant citrusy hops, but they're an echo in the valley. A port like quality is in here - toffee, raisiny - before finishing with a smooth cocoa-and-raisin slide down. Big n' chewy - great beer for a cold evening. Could have two, then fall down and go boom.

Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

This pint hoisted in memory of David C. T. Shang, who passed on December 15th.

Photo of bsp77
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Somewhat dark brown with just a hint of red. Not much head or lacing but has the color of a great wood stain.

Smell: Figs and plum, toffee and molasses. Quite sweet smelling.

Taste: Very sweet with toffee, butterscotch, molasses, plum, figs and even some bittersweet chocolate. While not at all bitter, there is a light lingering English hop taste (Fuggles/Goldings).

Feel: Very low carbonation, very smooth and almost chewy full body.

Drinkability: Extremely full-flavored English Barleywine with an interesting touch of chocolate. Great sipper.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Dark sugar nose with a hint of sour and alcohol, faint chocolate, dark dried fruit. Pours bright deep dark brown under a 1/2" light tan tinted white foam cap. Spicy malt suggesting anise or licorice on the palate along with dark dried fruit with a soft undercurrent of light chocolate. Fruit and dark sugars dominate with a balancing hop bitterness on the finish. Creamy and chewy with medium to medium low carbonation.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brownish amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Very slight off white head that quickly fades. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A deep and toasty malt forward aroma with big hints of caramel, smoke, and dark fruit. Toasted barley malts with upfront hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and yeast along with some hints of smoke, wood, chocolate, peat, and nuts. Sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Good presence of dark fruit with hints of raisin, fig, plum, and dates. Hops are subtle. Smells more like a Scotch ale than Barleywine. Pretty solid.

Taste: Like the aroma, a toasty and roasty Scotch ale like malty taste with good notes of caramel, smoke, and dark fruit. Bready taste of toasted barley malts with notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, yeast, chocolate, and nuts. Also some good notes of smoked malt, peat, and wood. Sweet taste of brown sugar and molasses. Dark fruit undertones including notes of raisin, plum, fig, and dates. A very solid toasty malt winter taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy. Finishes smooth with a well hidden alcohol presence.

Overall: A really solid Winter brew. More smokey and Scotch like than any Barleywine I've tried. Whatever it is it is a really nice malty Winter beer.

Photo of ADR
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep translucent cherry/amber color, latte-like head of 1/8 of an inch. Sweet aroma, some smells of blueberries. heavy body, tamed carbonation, and a strong sense of plums spiced by cloves. A very abrupt bitter finish, partly suggestive of alcohol, but also of a good effort at hopping to achieve balance. Could have been a better transition there. Actually, I liked this beer and think its one of Lake Superior's better ones.

Photo of cokes
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep raspberry brown in color with a restricted yet sticky tan foam.
Nose full of toffee, plums, and somewhat aggressive hops. Maybe some fish scales in here as well, but not enough to downgrade it.
Malty goodness is in store, as buttery caramel and toffee glides first across the lips. Close on their heels are some plum/prune, bing cherries and oranges. Returns to buttery equilibrium. Hops enter late and add a mixture of metallic bitterness and smooth, lingering tea notes....though quite subdued compared to what the nose had promised. Flourishes of alcohol, on occasion.
Glassy, smooth body. Medium-full in stature.
Not as sprawling as some barleywines, but a well put-together compacted version. This is a keeper.

Kudos go to Bighuge for providing this for a bitterly cold, mid-winter's evening.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Man Winter Warmer. 2006. Black, green, gold and blue pressure sensitive label with white and gold lettering.

The Old Man pours a clear, deep-mahogany body with ruby, crimson, and deep orange highlights. The frothy tan head steadily drops to just a thin, big bubbled surface covering. An initial ring of thin, wide lace is left behind, but only a few spots and splashes beyond that.

Piney hops and yeasty fruitiness float atop a deeply caramelized maltiness in the nose. It's not bold, but clearly present; and welcoming.

The flavor delivers what the nose suggests, but with more maltiness at first drop. The hops appear almost immediately though, jumping in right up front. They're gently spruce-like, and well-infused within the rich malt base, appearing from start to finish. Along the way the malt delivers notes of deeply caramelized, almost scorched sugar that suggests roastiness, There are some softer notes of brown sugar, toffee, and nuts as well; and the soft yeasty fruitiness lends notes of apples, berries, and dark-skinned fruits. The fruitiness rounds the whole thing out and combines with the underlying alcohol to give it a subtle vinous character similar to rich, fortified wine. It's supported by a rock-solid bitterness, and piney hops return in the finish, bringing it, without question, back into the realm of beer!

Served at cellar temperature, this interesting and enjoyable strong ale really opens up it's malty, pine-strewn blanket of flavor. Well-balanced and delicately complex. Quite enjoyable!

Photo of bditty187
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crank up the AC… winter in August (review from notes).

Murky brown in hue, the color is unimpressive as it is dull, there is no hue or shine or animation. The head was beige in color; at the apex it was a half finger in height. However it quickly fell to a soapy collar, largely naked in the middle. The subsequent lacing was spotty and didn’t cling all that well. The appearance is not atypical of the style yet I’m overly bored with it. Personal quirk that rose just today, for this beer I guess. What you going to do? The nose reeks like a barleywine should! The maltiness just smells chewy! Sweet and fruity, dark, raisiny, slightly tropical… caramel coated, toasted, and candied. I even found the hops, at the back and towards the finish is a noticeable aroma of American hops. Citrus rinds. The bouquet is well rounded, as it starts richly malty-sweet and it ends in the same fashion. The ride in-between is lovely. The potency isn’t as strong as I’d like. Barleywines should never whisper. Regardless it is inviting. Funny, it smelled chewy and guess what? It is chewy. I love beers that taste like this; I will quit drinking beer if I ever tire of these. The palate is malty, very rich, succulent, sweet and quite ample. The fruitiness is wide, dark, and tropical with clear plum and raisin qualities. After this comes a raw sweetness with a bit of alcohol burn, it shows some caramel as well. Toasty. As the beer leaves my mouth a soft burn reemerges and this seems to allow the hops to become noticeable. Bitter. Flavors include grapefruit flesh and citrus rinds. This beer is really close to perfection. I have no complaints. It is bold enough, complex enough, but well crafted. I truly dig it. If I knew it was this good I would have bought more than one bottle. Almost full in body, very chewy, the carbonation is low but appropriate, ideal mouthfeel for the style, lovely stuff. Huge, long aftertaste… raisiny, bitter yet malty sweet. It screams eat some sharp cheddar cheese. I am very impressed. This is tremendously drinkable yet so flavorful. I would drink this everyday if I could. Seriously. Awesome stuff. I purchased one 12-ounce bottle in Burnsville, MN. I should have bought a case…

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on November 20, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. This beer pours a wonderful opalescent ruddy brown, with orange and irovy fringes. Almost no head. From a distance, I’m getting strong wafts of banana. Closer up, the aroma morphs into a raisin and brandy concoction, with sherry, strong vinous notes, and more banana. Unfortunately, the aroma is a little reserved. Flavor is a strong cream, cherries and brandy, with an almost pithy dry fruit soapy bitterness, that lingers from the hops which almost come out of nowhere at the backend of the profile. Mostly a profusion of fruit, that is sustained, balanced by dry and grassy hop notes in the background. The malt character and profile seems to seep into the shadows. An interesting panacea of ills, with a strong fruit presence, that remains somewhat muddled. The palate is smooth, creamy and yet bright; the hop dryness not making an appearance until the smack and finish. I do appreciate the way that hops play a role in this beer. Alcohol doesn’t hurt nor help this beer. Missing a little depth and complexity.

Photo of MMAJYK
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep, dark brown; almost black in color with ruby hues when held to the light. The head is one finger of tan head after a semi conservative pour. You cannot see through it because it is so dark.

S- Darkness. Over ripe fruits, such as plums, raisins, and grapes. There are some citrusy notes and florals there too. The malts are very sweet and burnt-like caramel. The alcohol burns the nose a little on the end of the whiff. VERY complex smell.

T- Served just under room temperature, the fruits are BUSTING out at the seams. Where do I begin....Dark red cherries, raisins, dark fruits, plums, same as smells. The malts are super sweet and syrupy with some caramel and chocolate like tastes. There is a lemon like zing there too. The alcohol taste is hidden pretty well, but it warms the chest like crazy on the way down. I honestly had to take my shirt off while I write this. WOW! This is a very complex beer.

M- Carbonation is about mid-way up the scale. Mouthfeel is thick to medium and leaves a sticky lacing or film on the tongue and hangs around there for a long time, even without taking another drink.

D- Style in mind here, it is very drinkable. Hmm...let's just say it is very sippable, that would be more accurate. It would be perfect for sitting by the fire on a cold night.

Overall- Unreal. No joke, I was NOT expecting all of these complexities from the nose, to the tongue, to the feel, to the aftertaste/burn. Absoultely amazing for what it is. It warmed me right up and was totally enjoyable. I loved it. GREAT JOB to the guys who made this.

Photo of jpalarchio
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Twist off cap, kind of odd. Bottle says barley wine, BA says winter warmer. Confusing start here...

Pours a deep, really deep, reddish-brown color (nearly black) with a decent head. Smell is very malty, with nearly a bit of bourbon like hint. Taste is a bit harsh and the alcohol is very evident. As it warms, the taste seems to mellow or perhaps it's just the alcohol kicking in.

One bottle in a sitting on this one, can't see putting down too many more than that.

Photo of morimech
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. A small head forms but quickly departs to leave a ring. Leaves some nice lacing as the glass is drained.

I get sweet malt, dark fruit, and alcohol in the aroma. A bit of hay is also detected. A very inviting smell for winter consumption.

This is definately a beer that needs to be sampled at a higher temp. Maybe just cooler than room temp. or else you get a big blast of alcohol and all the flavors are lost. Once it warms the dark fruit and sweet malt comes through. The alcohol is still there for a hearty warming affect. Feels full-bodied and lively as it is consumed. I am not into big alcohol beers so it will limit my drinking of this beer except maybe once every couple of weeks. This barleywine is very good and unexpected. Now it just needs to be moved to its proper location on BA.

Photo of yamar68
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swampy brown body cluttered with little floaty bastards... thin head and some lacing tell me that there might be alcohol in here.

Smells like Christmas and leather-bound spy novels.

Tastes pretty smooth, nothing stands out really... some caramel and nutmeg, oaky vanilla flavors, some spruce maybe...

Photo of mikesgroove
2.73/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another extra  I had received recently. I had never actually heard to his one before, so I really was flying blind into it. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 05/19/2009.
The pour was decent, nothing earth shattering here, with a ruddy copper color, light reddish tint to it, but again nothing really standing out much for me. Light crown of white was on top initially but that also faded quite quickly leaving the top essentially bare. Aroma was a bit hot, lots of caramel and bready malts, hints of what may have at one time been a piney hop bite had faded into a mellow, and messy malt monster. Again the flavor misses the mark for me, too hot and not enough balance for me to be honest. Almost a medicinal quality to the taste as it warms, light candied sugar tries to save it but really does not come across well. Light carbonation, almost old ale like, but again, not very interesting.
Overall not bad per se, but nothing to write home about either. I just think it tried to be too strong and that really drown out any hope it had for a mellow and balance feel. A bit of a mess.

Photo of Gusler
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer as it sets in my glass an obscured deep brown color with a semi-creamy light tan head that is behemothic in size as it sluggishly disperses, the lace forms a tight sheet to seal the glass from sight. Sweet malt with an unmistakable hint of alcohol, ripe bananas and slight bourbon like tone also noticed, a “Hoot” to sniff. The start is rich in malt, sweet and pleasantly full in feel to the palate. Finish has a median acidity, the hops personable in their bite with a somewhat dry aftertaste. The big 10.3 percent ABV, definitely warms the innards, and quite tasty brew tis true, its been a long while since I’ve had anything from this great Midwest brewery.

Photo of umustdrink
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brownish black color, a bright red dot visible when held up close to light. Light brown head is fluffy and pillowy, fades to an eighth inch. Lots of lacing right around the head, little dots further up.

S - Strong smell of sweet dark fruits, alcohol, roasty grainy cereal malt, faint chocolate and coffee.

T - Taste starts out with a bittery, oily and sweet fruity flavor, then some bready toasted malts with a cinnamony spice. Rich bitter coffee and toasty chocolate malts give a long lasting finishing flavor. Alcohol doesn't really hide but it's not bad.

M - Thick and chewy with light carbonation.

D - I always look forward to this stuff coming out each year. A great sipping beer, this will be putting me to bed tonight!

After having a few, I've found that it's definitely best served just under room temp.

Photo of marc77
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy deep ruby hue. Steadfast, dense beige head leaves sticky lace. Pungent wafts of ripe fig, plum and manderine orange upfront in aroma. Ripe, sherry macerated raspberry and dark toffee hints arise as the brew warms. Quite enticing and agreeably fruit driven aromawise. In flavor, incipient is an impression of burnt biscuit and orange rind. Mellows slightly into a multi faceted melange of carob, lightly caramelized almond and pruneish tartness. Complementary floral and tangerine flesh hop flavor combination. Butterscotch hints surface as the beer breathes and add girth to malt backbone. Tartness augments as well, and reaches a level a touch too strong, thus precluding excellence unfortunately. Hop bitterness is sturdy, but inobtrusive. Residual sweetness is offset aptly. Moderate in body, with a agreeably dextrinous, somewhat airy mouthfeel that helps lend dangerous drinkability. Finishes with hints of dark chocolate and drying, coffee bean like bitterness lingering. Old Man is a very tasty barleywine that falls only a hair short of the complete package. Ethanol is only noticed by a mellow, deep warmth that surfaces from within the belly. Overall, a unique brew that's a enjoyable hybrid of American and British barleywines. Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the bottle!

Photo of ppoitras
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12ozer bottle from Garymuchow as part of BIF10. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/8" light tan head above the reddish mahogany brew, which is filled with suspended particles, even after a careful pour. What head there was recedes to a layer of small bubbles covering the surface, and lacing is okay, both somewhat as expected for the style. Dark fruits, sweet malts, and alcohol combine to form the aroma. Certainly smells warming. Taste is dominated by the sweetness of malts, which gives way to the dark fruits, and finally the alcohol. warming all that it touches, as promised. Could be balanced a bit more. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay, but even for the style the assertiveness of the sweet character nears cloying, and that kind of limits the enjoyment for me. If sweet barleywines are your thing, this is one for you.

Photo of bucko
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2-3 year old sample from a private collection. The beer pours a dark ruby brown color with a thick, creamy head. Nice lacing. Aroma is complex... sweet malt, dark fruit (raisin, plum), perhaps some brown sugar and a mellow hop presence. The taste is heavy and malty, balanced with hops, more dark fruit, slight roastiness, fruit... oh, so good. Lots of good stuff in this package. Definitely complex and very enjoyable. Despite the alcohol content, this beer is extremely smooth and far too drinkable. I suspect that I could get into a lot of trouble with this one. A definite gem! I may just have to purchase a six-pack and cellar it for a few years.

Photo of grub
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WankerWeasel hooked me up with this as a bonus in a recent trade. thanks ben!

12oz bottle. sampled feb 7/09.

pours deep red-brown, crystal clear and showing lovely garnet hues when held to the light. a thin wisp of light tan head appears and disappears almost instantly, leaving only a few spots of lace to mark its passage.

aroma is nice. alcohol. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. multi-grain bread and biscuit. has a bit of a doppelbock feel to it. bit of dark fruit. slightly earthy.

taste is good. dark fruit - raisin, date, fig. caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. cracker. earthy. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is pretty good. there's definitely a nice warming alcohol, but this is a winter warmer after all. there's a solid malty base and a little bitterness to keep things somewhat in check. i liked this one.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, almost looks black. Small tan head that sticks diligently to the side of the glass. Smells of coffee, raisins, and strong alcohol. Taste is dominated by the burning of alcohol, with raisin and big hops flavors to balance/hde the alcohol content. Very full mouthfeel. The carbonation and the alcohol are perfectly balanced. A great beer for a drizzly spirng afternoon.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hits from BIF 20 & Feloniousmonk keep rollin!

I am sampling a room temp bottle in a snifter.
The beer pours a deep ruby red with some chestnut hints. A soft spongy beige head foams up 1 cm and slowly recedes. The aroma is a mix of brown sugar, toffee, grassy/herbal hops, some hot alcohol, and a bit of roasted malt or maybe even smokiness??
Wow the nose is intriguing at least and appealing for sure.
First sip reveals a thick syrupy body, that allows for the fine mild carbonation to slowly glide across my palate. Flavor starts fairly sweet with some ripe dark fruit, plums and raisins mixing. There is also some red grape and a good hit of brown sugar again. This mixture is quite appealing and on the finish I get some chocolate and again either roasted malt or smoke. Very faint quickly passing hits of the smoke but I get it almost every sip. The alcohol is hidden much better than I thought it would be from the nose. It doesnt get warm until it hits my belly.
This is a nice winter beer, and hell I enjoyed it on this humid July evening. I would definitely buy this if I ever saw it!

Photo of crossovert
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand written twist-off bottle 2008 vintage.

It pours a dark brown with a big, creamy tan head. Nice lacing.

The smell is dark and fruity. It is really nice. It is one of the better smelling BWs out there.

The flavor is pretty good. A classic barleywine. Not overly alcoholic, just smooth and malty with some fruits, light hops and a lot of malt.

Pretty good.

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Old Man Winter Warmer from Lake Superior Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.