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Old Man Winter Warmer - Lake Superior Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Man Winter WarmerOld Man Winter Warmer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 14
Gots: 4 | 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:
"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."

(Beer added by: Gusler on 12-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
2.7/5  rDev -30.8%

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.

mikesgroove, May 20, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

zeff80, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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!

NeroFiddled, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours a clear brown with a barely noticeable crème head. Nose is strong figs and raisins. Flavor is bringing the same but also an alcohol burn that would probably dissipate after a few years. Feel is slick and sticky smooth with pretty low carbonation. Decent now, but probably very very good in a few years. One of the better barley wines I've had in quite some time (besides Gratitude that is).

RblWthACoz, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +9%

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.

feloniousmonk, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a deep amber color that is quite clear but quite dark, almost approaching a deep night color. The head is creamy and a light brown color. The aroma is quite strong, with notes of alcohol, sherry, and a thick chewy maltiness. The taste is lightly sweet, and oh-so-smooth up front. It quickly moves to notes of sherry that is typical of an aged beer. This beer is pretty tasty, though there is a bit of harshness in the finish that seems to be contributed from some higher alcohols.

Gueuzedude, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -28.2%

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a shitty highball glass in a hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average merely from the style. Acquired as part of a mixed sixer at the Four Firkins.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger beige-khaki colour head. Nice cream and thickness. Underwhelming retention, but excusable given the ABV. Colour is a very dark dull nontransparent brown. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Toffee, amber malts, heavy biscuit malt, old ale-esque notes, dark fruit (plum), and raisin. Toffee and plum are dominant. A pleasant aroma of moderate strength. No alcohol is detectable.

T: Sticky plum and toffee, with sugary sweet biscuit malts throughout. Not as hoppy as I'd expect from an English barleywine; any hopping is minimal at best and blandly floral. Raisiney. Dark fruits. The stickiness is a bit of a turn-off. Sort of messy, but not as boozy as you might expect. Not real balanced or complex. I'm not particularly impressed. No yeast or alcohol comes through - quite an achievement at this high an ABV. Overly sweet.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and above all sticky. Not at all creamy. Good thickness, but too heavy on the palate for the lack of diverse flavour. Certainly full bodied. Carbonation is off; I can't tell in which direction. Somewhat chewy. Too sugary.

Dr: Drinkable for the high ABV. I wouldn't have it again, but it's not bad. Well priced. A decent barleywine, but not one worth seeking out.

C

kojevergas, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of corby112
2.4/5  rDev -38.5%

Pours a very dark chestnut brown color with amber edges when held to a light source and a very thin off-white head that immediately disappears, leaving not trace of lacing.

Earthy leathery malt aroma with hints of chocolate, dirt(earth), alcohol and dark fruits, namely prune and raisin.

Slightly watered down with some earthy malt flavor, subtle alcohol and earthy hops. Similar to an English style barleywine, but not a good one. Leathery malts, dark fruits, again mostly prune and raisin. Sweet alcohol with some soft carbonation up front making it pretty drinkable for the ABV. Dry finish with bitter hop notes. I wasn't a fan of this one at all.

corby112, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

ppoitras, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of Viggo
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a nicely clear dark red, some light brown and orange hues, thin off white head forms, forms a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick around, looks nice. Smell is strong, lots of alcohol jumps out, brown sugar, raisin, lots of fruit, strawberries, cherries, fusels, very sweet, sherry, pretty interesting. Taste is similar, very sweet and fruity, shery, caramel, raisins, brown sugar, alcohol, nutty, watery and slightly bland, a bit of a bitter and spicy astringency in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, goes down easy but is a little weird and not very exciting. Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%

Clear deep burgandy tone. Nice looking cream soda colored head. Great collar. Sticky lace. Aroma is of sweet malt with a little of the dark fruits mixed in. Taste is fig-like, date-like, prune-like and laced with alcohol. Apple esters come into play as well, albeit softly. Body is a little better than medium. There's a nice subdued lingering bitterness, but this BW's IBU doesn't come close to approaching the Big Boys like SN and Rogue. All in all though, a nice little barleywine.

Definitely better than I remember last year.

Bighuge, Jan 08, 2003
Photo of DrJay
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%

Received from JeffKrenner as part of my BC2 package. Thanks!
There was a loud hiss when I popped the cap. It poured with a gigantic dark beige head, some chunky lacing, good retention. The beer was dark brown, nearly opaque, a little hazy around the edges. Warm malt aroma with herbal hop notes, some caramel. Bitterness was solid, but not overly strong. Hefty malt backbone that didn't have cloying sweetness. Herbal hops throughout with a bit of peppery spice in the finish (plus a little warmth). Hints of chocolate were present once it warmed. The carbonation was way too high and very distracting - to the point that it was difficult to tell what flavours were present. It seemed like a decent beer, but the carbonation level was a serious problem. I really don't expect this type of texture from a "barley wine style ale".

DrJay, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of Gusler
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

Gusler, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of KAF
3/5  rDev -23.1%

KAF, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%

Super gorgeous deep ruby-cherrywood color, medium height watery oatmeal looking tannish head sits awhile, lace in minimal broken strings. Smell has a nice dry hoppy sense, deep, dark, piney, leafy hops, malts lay a nice roasty backing with touches of citrus peel sweetness and ethanol which really makes itself present as it warms. Taste is more sweeter then hoppy, darn it anyway, still pretty good though. Sweetness is twingey, somewhat roasty, some light citrus peels and sourness that sneaks in and out with notes of hop bitterness and little piney burps. Finish is a weird one with strange malty sweetness like that of grape skins and a bit of spicy things mixing with a dry easy hoppy finish. Took some getting use to, but is pretty nice overall, not all that complex, was hoping for a darker, earthier ale. Feel is close to full and smooth, a notch oily at first, carbonation stays kinda zippy and has a few raw areas, finishes with a sweet dryness. A good, but a little strange example of the style that grew on me more and more each sip. One of the better brews by Lk. Sup. Brewing Co. I'm incredibly curious to see if I can find this on-tap somewhere. Their brews always seem better and more drinkable from the tap, ie, Mesabi Red & Sir Duluth.

tavernjef, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of ZAP
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%

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..

ZAP, Dec 12, 2001
Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

gford217, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

Presentation: 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Just one main label, a light blue and white snowy mountain scene with a couple of green coniferous trees deckling the slopes. Listed as “Old Man Winter Warmer”. No freshness or Best Before Date. Described on the label as “A Barley Wine Style Ale”.

Appearance: Deep brown body with a roasted chestnut polish, lucid body with no sediment at first. The head easily forms and just as easily disappears to leave a thin whispy halo head that leaves a light ring lacing. Immensely fine conditioning in the body of the beer, when it is gently tilted & quickly righted, the fine bubbled carbonation soon rejoins the underside of the beers surface.

Nose: Chewy toffee caramel in the nose, thick luscious rich creamy clotted cream Devon toffee and alcohols give the odors a massive chewy feel.

Taste: Warming, rich chewy malts with some background alcohol. Deep carpet like barleywine feel in the middle, toffee, caramel, and dark fruits, hints of port soaked plums and whisky soaked bananas.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of body and smooth toffee caramel to balance the warming alcohol. Finishes with a lovely thick feel in the back of the throat.

Drinkability: A nice sipper for the end of the night, a slow drinker but a great one.

Overall: A fine Barleywine, a tad raw at the edges but a solid brew nonetheless.

A Big Long Beach Thanks to the Monk for sending the second of the Lake Superior Beers, the perfect Nightcap.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 17, 2004
Photo of cokes
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

cokes, Jan 23, 2003
Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

10.3%. Good warm up for the main event tonight.

We used to drink a fair amount of Lake Superior, years ago when it was one of the few "micros" at the bottle shop just down the street from our old house; Kayak Kolsch was once one of the wife's favorite brews. This is one I haven't seen before this winter.

Smell is downright excellent, lots of dark sweet fruit flowing out of the pint glass. Taste doesn't quite follow suit. Both the sweetness & the fruits are present, but muted, with the alcohol rushing in a bit unpleasantly to disrupt their little tango. It's distracting. I couldn't drink more than one of these.

Interesting to see what a year or two would do to this beer. Right now it's got a fine nose on it, & I suspect if the booze were toned down a bit, this would be a winner. As is, it's pretty good, but not as good as the smell advertises.

maximum12, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%

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.

KarlHungus, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of alexgash
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

alexgash, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%

I got this brew in a trade with josephhaugen, Thanks Joe!

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - dark brown color with a small tan head that fell to a ring, carbonation bubbles rose continuosly.

S - sweet date/fig and a touch of alcohol in the aroma.

T - sweet date taste upfront with a slight bitterness and alcohol warming on the finish.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D - a nice sipper or nightcap on a cold day/night.

JoeyBeerBelly, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of morimech
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

morimech, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of jera1350
3.55/5  rDev -9%

Pours into a snifter a ruby hued brown color. The head is thin and tan in color. Reduces to a ring around the glass. A little lacing.

Not a real strong nose, but does present notes of apple, brown sugar and hops.

Quite metallic up front, dark fruit juice, solid earthy and spicy hop presence, malty and boozy on the back end. Seems like a little age would help this one open up and meld a bit. Definitely gets better as it warms up to room temp.

Feels a little thin, especially at this abv. Soft carbonation with a dry finish.

Not sure why it's listed as a winter warmer when it says on the bottle it is a barleywine. However, this drinks pretty well despite the high abv. It seems to need some age to really be a good beer. Worth a try, but probably better to cellar at this point.

jera1350, Nov 19, 2010
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Old Man Winter Warmer from Lake Superior Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.