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Old Man Winter Warmer - Lake Superior Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Man Winter WarmerOld Man Winter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

72 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 72
Hads: 101
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.41%
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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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 101
Photo of KarlHungus
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours an opaque dark brown color with dark red hues around the edges. There is no head, and very sparce lacing. The aroma is huge. It screams of a barley wine or an old ale, rather than a winter warmer. Hops and malt fight for control of the aroma, and the winner is the person drinking the brew. The taste is rather balanced for a barleywine. The sip is a bit sweeter than it is bitter, while the aftertaste expresses some solid bitterness, and warming alcohol. The mouthfeel is full bodied with fairly low carbonation, and relative smoothness. I believe the smoothness of this brews mouthfeel with increase with some aging. Overall, this is a mighty fine barely wine. (679 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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. (419 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.44/5  rDev +13%
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! (1,104 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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… (2,217 characters)

Photo of bucko
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-review 2005-Wow this is a sweet BW..I lvoe it....really underrated and a dynamite brew...the best I've had to date from this brewey...Not in the upper echoleon but still top notch shit..
---

-Rich, thick and tasty..definitely a barley wine...hops there but tough to balance out this badboy. You can smell and taste the alcohol..some fruity undertones...very sweet, creamy and malty...definitely high octane and perfect for the cold Minnesota January nights.. (465 characters)

Photo of Tballz420
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"A Barley Wine Style Ale" on bottle

This thick brew is a deep murky brown, almost not far from black. The tan head developes after a slow cascade show. Constantly bubbling. Some fishfood chunks floating around. Thick syrupy scent. Big taste, sweet and sryupy, caramel and chocolate tones.some hop bitterness, hint of alcohol as it warms. Definately a barelywine and definately dank. (385 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at 60 degrees.
Seems like a nice choice for a Minnesota-esque cold, snowy winter night here in Utah. Pours a rather dark brown. Looks almost stout-like. Capped by a nice-sized, creamy, tan head, with lots of nice glass-lapping lace. Big aroma of sweet dark fruits, molasses, rum, toffee, and sappy, piney hops. Sizable alcohol fumes are warming me already! Rich, sweet malt flavors up front. Starts with a toffee/bread sweetness and moves to a fruitier, more vinous sweet-tanginess. Bitter, sappy hops drip down en masse near the finish. They cut through the malty sweetness deftly. Alcohol burn settles in, but doesn't make me cough or anything. In fact I rather like it's warm glowing glow. Very good winter barley wine. Better than I remember/was expecting. Of course, I haven't had one of these in a couple years and it seems like the guys up in Duluth are getting better! Big, thick, syrupy mouthfeel. I'm glad to have this to help me stay warm. (958 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of Jahjehwa
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (220 characters)

Photo of Buebie
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date. New lable design, so I knoe its fresh.

Dark, almost black in color, with a ruby red glow when held to light.
2 finger tan fluffy head. Receeding to a thin cap of retention and thin spotty lace.

Aroma of red grapes, dark fruit, alcahol fumieness, plums and spices with wisps of grassy hops. Some doughy bready aroma, sweet burnt caramel, and some chocolate grain aroma.

Taste up front is mildly sweet and soo soo smooth, very little carbonation. Not at all flat, just enough carbonation, with an inky creamieness to the mouthfeel.
More dark fruits, fermented grapes, cherries, chocolate malts and hints of coffee, burnt caramel, cinnemon?
Cloves, just flat out a malt bomb, god this is good. No alcahol warming on the pallet. Finish is with grassy hops and hints of pine in a dry type of mellow flavor.

This is one modest WW, borderline barleywine! I highly recommend giving this a whirl if you have any chance to do so. Its well balanced and flat out delicious. (1,021 characters)

Photo of Ungertaker
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, 1/6/12.

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- almost black with a 1/2 finger head and minimal light penetration.

S- plums, raisins, sugar cookies

T- vanilla, sweet dried cherries, bourbon, raisins

M- medium to thick mouthfeel with low carbonation. Very smooth, overall.

O- A clean, smooth-drinking 10+% ABV beer. A great winter warmer. (360 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into the trusty 'ol DFH snifter. The color is a dark amber brown, with quickly dissipating head. The smell is a spicy alcohol mixed with a bit of a crystal maltiness. The taste features a good bit of chocolate and crystal maltiness with a tangy hoppiness and a surprisingly low alcohol...in fact, I was quite surprised to see that this was over 10% alcohol...mellowed quite nicely. Mouthfeel was about where it should be. As for drinkability, this is surprising and definitely could sneak up on you!

Thanks to the Monk for this brew. After a bit of cellaring, it's reached such a nice bouquet of flavors, with a nice maltiness mixed so nicely with a citrus hop, binded together by the warming and non-interfering alcohol. A nice beer, and one I wish was in the area!!! (799 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cola looking concoction, yet much murkier. Head is very minimal, even at the initial contact with the glass. A small ring and light wisps of oatmeal colored head waver across the top of the brew.

S: Quite a bit of dried cocoa, cafe au lait, marshmallow cream, raisin and a touch of banana.

T: Begins with vinous prunes, vanilla and butterscotch. This beer probably had some pronounced bitterness at one point, but now it faintly chirps in the background. Brandy highs blend nicely with creamy milk chocolate and roasted toffee. Finishes with lingering chalky chocolate and dry barley.

M: Full bodied and fairly creamy

D: I liked this beer quite a bit. I think some age did this beer some good, as it's atleast a year old. (745 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from one of only two kegs in the Twin Cities this year, and this is the first year I've even heard of it being available here...I may be wrong, though, ...

Utterly opaque chestnut brown, a toasty warm hue, with a slim cap of foam holding tight on top.

Aroma hits all the notes I dig in a barleywine (which this is. Despite the punning name, it's not a "winter warmer"...even says "barleywine" on the label.) Burnished cherry, cognac, leather, deep plums and ripe raisins. Sweet to be sure, but complex, even cavernous.

Taste: a gritty, grippy malty affair, lots of play on the tongue, lots of treats for the palate to toss about. Here comes the fruit, some cherry, berry, grape, and then the dark side trickles over, it gets wicked and more deeply delicious. Very wine-like in parts, somewhat close to a port, and then like a beefy burgundy.

Full-bodied, with a long, sweet, rich fruity finish. Alcohol isn't as huge as you'd think, but it creeps in and does the trick. This is an excellent "winter warming" barleywine...I can certainly appreciate it in the depth of winter, and welcome the comfort it brings. (1,129 characters)

Photo of umustdrink
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served at cellarish temps in a Westmalle goblet.

Appearance: Dark cola brown with garnet highlights. Lotsa floaties. Topped by a short-lived off-white head that quickly recedes to a film and a ring. No real lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Dark caramel malts with all kinds of fruity esters kicking around. Pears, bananas, raisins, apples, and cherries do a slow cavort in yer nostrils. Light notes of anise and mild medicinal aromas. Coulda used some hops.

Taste: Intensely bittersweet caramel malt with nice fruity aftertastes. Plums, cherries and apples largely. Very light on the bittering hops, if any were used.

Mouthfeel: Rather heavy and viscous in body with substantially lingering aftertastes.

Drinkability: Hale and hearty. Not quite a barleywine, not quite a strong/old ale. This falls happily in the cracks. Either way you slice it, a great wintry beer. I must visit the brewery this summmer. (936 characters)

Photo of sponberg
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma shows strong sherry, sweet, oxidized elements. Nice fruitiness. Rich. Alcohol.
Nice clear brown amber with deep red hues. Virtually no head, but the ring and scattered bubbles on top endure.
Rich satisfying flavor. Taste mimics aroma. Some malt dryness. Hoppy bitterness underlies malty dominance and is present start through long finish.
A touch thin. Very nicely balanced carbonation. Smooth even though malt sharpness and mild bite.
Really enjoyable. Nice to have a MN brewery make a significant winter brew. I'm saving a few to age. (546 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (1,414 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of soft, bubbly foam. It receded to leave sudsy lace on the the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel, toffee, nuts and floral notes. There was also a boozy presence, too.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel and rich malt. A slightly nutty taste. There is a strong boozy flavor, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full-bodied ale with a soft mouthfeel.

D - This is a very nice barleywine. Probably the best from the folks a Lake Superior. (517 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Buebie poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, dark copper with a small creamy off-white head that recedes fairly quickly to a ring and a swirl of bubbles in the middle. There was spotty lacing.

The aroma had lots of caramel malt sweetness with lots of dark fruits as well - figs, plums, raisins. There was also a noticeable citrus hop kick with oranges and grapefruit mainly.

The taste was similar to the aroma with the abundant caramel malts and dark fruits. The citrus is present up front but not as prevalent as the aroma. The finish had some alcohol burn that lasted quite a while.

The mouthfeel is slightly slick but definitely not as sugary sweet as a barleywine. Good carbonation with a slight bitterness from the hops.

This a very good winter warmer that borders on a barleywine but doesn't quite get there. Either way, a complex beer that might actually taste better in a few months. (919 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (810 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Secret Santa 2004 #5

Extremely dark brown-to-black, some redness when held to direct light. Stable tan one-finger table top head.

Aroma as an early warning system: the moment I popped the top, a punch in the nose of alcoholic candy hit me, at arm's length. It's inviting and frightening at the same time.

A nice malty start, but not so cloyingly sweet as the aroma might have indicated. As the malt rolls down the center of the tongue, hops arise from the sides, providing a bit of balance without ever encountering the malt head on. The hops linger a tad after the malt, but are dispersed by a rising warm front of alcohol from the back of the throat. Not a burn, just a "warmer". Slow, satisfying fade all around.

Mothfeel is appropriately full for a barleywine/winter warmer (it is labeled as both). As to drinkability, while i wouldn't have two in a night, it's a shame I have only the one bottle.

Had not heard of the brewery previously, but this made a fine first impression. I could see how this could help with Minnesota winters. (1,053 characters)

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Old Man Winter Warmer from Lake Superior Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.