Brrr - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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very good

819 Ratings

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Ratings: 819
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.93%
Wants: 25
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
availability: Late Oct. - Early Jan.
bitterness: 50 IBU
alcohol by volume: 7.2%
original gravity: 17° PLATO

Pale, Caramel 10L & 80L,
Munich 10L, Carapils, Dark Chocolate

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Simcoe & Cascade

(Beer added by: IronDjinn on 10-19-2008)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 819 | Reviews: 290 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nmglick
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer as part of a six-pack, and now on the sixth and final brew left, I decided to review it. I poured it from a bottle into a glass.

The deep grainy, maple scent pulls me into the glass, which is when I get to try its light and hoppy flavor. This brew from the Widmer Brothers has a deep mahogany color, with a light creamy head.

The beer drinks surprisingly smooth for a winter offering, yet there is no sacrifice to flavor. Your gut will think you've had a light beer, while you're mouth will think you just had a thick amber.

Photo of blackc5
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was pleasantly surprised with this one - perhaps my favorite Widmer yet.

A - A deep, but clear, reddish brown, with a fair sized head. A bit of lacing too.

S - Molasses and caramel, grainy malts, and a surprising amount of herbal hops that I wasn't expecting.

T - Very nice balance starting with a mild sweetness of molasses with some bready malt, followed by the surprising herbal hoppiness. Alcohol is well hidden.

M - Smooth but perhaps a bit thin. Medium carbonation. Average.

D - Again, surprisingly good and exceeded my expectations. Would actually buy a sixer of this (had received just one 12 oz bottle as part of a gift set).

Photo of jdense
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap poured into chilled pint glass (ugh) at EOU faculty lounge 1/4/10.

1/3 finger white head over reddish clear copper amber body. Nose features bready malts and a big spicy hop hit. Taste is a pretty big hop presence for WW, more spicy than citrusy , but no noticeable spices, Pretty well balanced, especially on the back end when sweetish malts come through. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, average carbonation, a bit sticky from the malts, not too heavy. Damn drinkable.One of the better Widmer brews pretty drinkable and quite tasty. Worth checking out.

Photo of Tucquan
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in the Portland brew pub on 2009-12-14

This seasonal ale is a clear, dark red with a short, off-white head.

There's a light smell of hops and grain.

The initial taste is of citrus. As a comparison, this doesn't have as much bitterness as the Rogue Dry-Hopped Red Ale. The bitterness transitions to a candy-like sweetness and quick finish. There are hints of caramel and chocolate in the malt. The high ABV certainly warms the belly.

The mouthfeel is mildly creamy with mild-medium carbonation.

Photo of taxguyjase
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The brew pours a golden honey color, which is lighter than I expected. Would have thought the beer would have been a darker amber/red color. The head was a soft tan and disappeared after about ten minutes. Sweet, malt smell with some alcohol mixed in for good measure. The sweet malt and molasses flavor hits hard at first. Fortunately, not so sweet that you would think someone snuck a sugar packet into your brew, but sweet enough to add some flavor. Smooth flavor, which doesn't stick around for the party too long. The carbonation was pretty light for a medium bodied beer. I preferred this beer over the Pyramid Winter Warmer, which was a bit too thick for my taste. The 7.2% ABV makes this a potentially dangerous beer, as it goes down really quick and smooth. I think this would be a good brew to bring to a festive party where there is a mixed crowd - likely most folks would appreciate this beer.

Appearance - 3.0/5.0 - Honey colored, lighter than I expected, soft tan head
Smell -4.0/5.0 - Malt, sweetness and some alcohol
Taste - 4.0/5.0 - Smooth, malty, sweetness, molasses
Feel - 3.5/5.0 - Medium bodied; goes down smoothly.
Drinkability - 4.0/5.0 - Enjoyed this more than the Pyramid Winter Warmer; higher ABV makes it a dangerous holiday beer

Photo of beer348
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It was in a bottle. I guess it's an amber looking beer.The bottle looks cool though. Nice and simple.

S: Pleasant citrus smell; sweet malts.
T: Tastes like an IPA.
M: Nice flavor, pretty light.
O: Pretty good beer. Nice texture. First winter beer in the fridge.

Photo of seand
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear copper amber, with a light tan head. The head dissipates to a surface film, leaving ok (but not great) lacing.

S: Floral hops, a touch of citrus and a sweet malty background.

T: Sweet, with hoppy grapefruit tones, finishing dry.

M: Medium smooth carbonation, slightly chewy, medium bodied.

D: Drinks quite easily, never feels too heavy. A little higher-than-sessionable ABV, but no problem to go through 1 or 2.

Photo of GreenCard
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: bright copper, great clarity, huge layer of off-white froth with great staying power

Aroma: toffee malts, brown sugar, pine, winter berries

Flavor: nice mellow malt sweetness with just enough herbal bitterness to balance it out nicely; though the bitterness does build as you drink it; finishes semisweet

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, warming

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, bought in a six pack.

Appearance - Clear and dark amber with a foamy tan head that didn't retain long and had minimal lacing.

Smell - Sweet, bready, malty with noticeable pine-like hops scents.

Taste - Hoppy, sweet and malty. Not as flavorful as the Widmer Broken Halo IPA or Drifter APA. This tastes more like a hoppy amber ale.

Mouth feel - Heavily carbonated, a bit thin and nothing exceptional.

Drinkability - Very smooth for a relatively higher ABV American amber beer (it doesn't really fit in the traditional "winter warmer" style category), but I'll probably stick with the Widmer Drifter APA or Broken Halo IPA first.

Photo of kruse
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark amber with an fluffy off-white head.
S - Lovely hop aroma, both piney and catty notes readily apparent.
T - Assertively hopped with malt coming through in the middle. Very hoppy finish.
M - Good, but a little thin.
D - Very drinkable, but with the 7.2% ABV, you probably don't want to drink too many.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know how much of a Winter Warmer this is but it's a great hop-forward Amber that makes me wish for summer.

Medium maltiness all the way through with fresh baked bread crusts, light toast, over caramelized toffees (not quite burnt), along with a fresh sun-kissed grain taste. Light grains give a touch of vegitables as the beer warms.

Hops are quite assertive from the nose to finish. Resiny and pine-like up front with pungent earthiness and a touch of catty notes; maybe from Simcoe hops. Flavor and aroma turns bitter in a hurry with a dry citrus finish.

Malty up front with hop aromas that catch on and take hold quickly. The increasing intensity of hops never let up leading to a bitter and crisp bitterness in the end. A mild metalic aroma and taste from time to time is the only real distraciton.

A good beer by Widmer, and perhaps a fair alternative to Celebration Ale.

Thanks Gary!

Photo of olmatty
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a three finger sudsy off white head. Beer is an unclouded orange amber with sheets of nice lacing.

Smell- Lightly sweet a little earthy spiciness a hint of anise

Taste- Powerful malt backbone, sweet molasses, black licorice and hops substantial, bitter, earthy, but in balance. A sweet hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel- Moderate bodied, middling carbonation and a chunky palate of flavors

Drinkability- Amazingly smooth and delicious for a beer that is over 7% alcohol.

Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"A Prost to killing a six pack and watching it die." So says the bottlecap, anyway.

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19. According to the label, this was bottled on October 15th of this year.

Poured a honey color with a decent-sized, off-white head. "Beer negligee" type lace.

Hoppier in the nose than I was expecting. Sure, there's a caramel malt as well, but fruity hops are what really jumps out, scent-wise.

Like the nose, the taste is dominated by fruity hops. The caramel malt provide a nice moderately sweet backbone, but the hops are the star of the show. Dry at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a slightly coating mouthfeel.

This is the best Widmer beer I've had in quite a while. I could happily drink this again. Were it on at my local on a night when I was hanging out for a while, I'd happily session it, though the abv is a little high for that.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz picked up today at the COOP.. fresh batch... I'm surprised I didn't review it last year... poured into my Delirium goblet.. 1" off white head.. good retention and lace.. the brew is a very pretty slightly deep amber.

Nose is chock full of American hops and a descent amount of caramel and a bit more toasted malt... bunches or citrus with some piney hoppiness that I can only think of as maybe Simcoe.. pretty piney.

Flavor begins the same as the nose.. but with some pretty pithy citrus hoppiness.. maltiness has plenty of toast with some very lite background chocolate essence.. the hops right now are very fresh.. so the malts are playing 2nd or 3rd fiddle, but the essence is still there... the hops are a bit oily (I like) on the finish with a nice medium body and carbonation..

I can not believe I didn't review this last year... I bought a bunch of these.. very inviting though not a traditional Winter Warmer.. more of a Warmer with a PNW hop kick.

All 4's

Photo of Spineypanda
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really delicious beer, but does not really fit the winter warmer category to me!

Dark golden color, with a good lacing head.
Smells of hops and citrus.
Tastes like a nice pale ale, not like what a winter warmer should be like in my opinion, but still a great beer.

Photo of denn7164
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So usually I'm not a big fan of hoppy winter seasonals. But 'Brrr' is good.

Poured into a pint glass. Looks amber, nice head. Smells like... well, hoppy beer and maybe some caramel.

The taste is some citrusy hops and malty sweetness. Not particularly complex, but balanced and delicious. The hops' flavor reminds me a lot of Widmer's Drifter Pale. Drifter is a bit cloying for my taste, but Brrr gets it right with a heavier malt presence.

Mouthfeel is nice; medium body complements lots of flavor, but it's light enough to drink.

Drinkability is... well, I'm reviewing the fourth of six, so there ya go. Holy jebums, 7.2% alcohol? Wouldn't know it; these go down like Pabst, but [even more] delicious. *hiccup*

Good Brrr. Def one of my favs.

Photo of velosuds
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Single purchased for $1.00 on sale.

A-Poured an medium amber hue with a two+ finger head that receded into a modestly sticky lace.

S-Piney and citrus hops and some bicuit like malt. More like an IPA than a winter warmer.

T-Hoppy bitterness with a nicely balanced malt sweetness I find very pleasant. I like this, more as an IPA, than a winter warmer.

M-Very smooth and well balanced. Nice carbonation level.

D-This went down very easily and I would readily reach for another.

This is one of Widmer Brothers' better brews. Like this better than their year round IPA. Great value at $5.99 a sixer on sale.

Photo of Buebie
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- It has recently been brought to my attention that the beer I consumed in this ontasp review was from last years release. I have since had it fresh and it is not even similar. Great brew as always-

Had this beer quite a bit last year. This year I'm very let down by it. What the fuck happened to the hops???!!!

Poured into a pub glass forming just around an inch of off white head. Lace is sticky draping over the entire surface of the glass, all the way down.
The beer is transparent in a brownish copper amber with golden hues when held to light.

Aroma is extra malty, caramel, brown sugar, just a touch of chocolate drifting through the background. Really no hops at the knose. I'm very upset by this, this beer was amazing last year with thunderous amounts of aroma and flavor hops.
Aroma now is subdued with really not much going on.

Taste is all malt, caramel and very very minuscule amounts of orange peel and pine.

I am absolutly dissatisfied with the changes. Although it is still not a terrible beer, it is not even the same beer, it is nothing like it was before and I cant understand how they even thought it would be ok to brew it under the same name if it is not the same beer. I looked forward to this thing all summer and now its finally here, what a let down. I ordered one more just to make sure it was the right one or maybe a bad pour. I even bought a 6 pack on my way home to make sure. But nope, its been changed.

Photo of hopdog
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a medium and hazy amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of floral hops, pine, and some caramel. Tastes of the same; floral hops, pine, and caramel. This was definitely on the hoppier side (which is fine for me!).

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rusty tangerine with bright Sunkist borders. The upper one third of the glass is occupied by a sandstone colored lid that is impressively creamilicious. Surface bubbles pop... pop... pop in slow motion, leading to a good look for a good long while. Abundant and attractive lace is a bonus.

Who needs spices in a well-brewed winter warmer? Well, it smells well-brewed anyway. Caramel malt is wonderfully accented by tropical fruity hops. Simcoe and Cascade (along with Alchemy) were terrific choices. So far, I'm reminded of a poor man's Celebration Ale. Let's hope it tastes even close to that good.

Brrr is damn fine beer and is the best thing that Widmer has ever produced (if I'm allowed to say that after having had only a fraction of their offerings). Incidently, this beer is the same as W '06 N.W. Red Ale. It's good to see a brewery bring back a crowd favorite.

Winter warmer... big red ale... even caramel-malted IPA isn't far off the mark. I'm telling you, Sierra Nevada Celebration is most likely the inspiration for this surprisingly hoppy ale (must be the pine and grapefruit zestiness of the hops). 50 IBUs is nothing to sneeze at, especially when the bitterness is accompanied by such tasty Simcoe and Cascade flavor. No appreciable alcohol is a plus and drinkability is through the roof.

As far as mouthfeel, think IPA. It's at least medium for the ABV, if not medium-full, and has a lushness born of perfect carbonation. There are absolutely no chinks in the armor.

If I had known how delicious Brrr is, I would have purchased more than this single bottle and would have cracked the cap long before today. Another plus is that it looks like each year's release will last until the following year's release. Here's hoping the brewery keeps this one around for many a winter to come.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/amber body lays beneath a this white head. The nose is caramel malts and citrus hops. Caramel malt, citrus fruit, grapefruit, and a spicy hop finish. The body is medium, pretty standard. A surprisingly tasty seasonal from Widmer. Nice and hoppy.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just found this bottle at the bottom of an old trade box received from msubulldog25 several months ago. A great surprise.

Deep copper/amber color, rusty and only mildly hazed, with a small-ish head and a few dots of lace here and there.

Really nice hop-centered aroma. Very much reminds of Sierra Nevada's Celebration. There's a general fruitiness pervading, with some cinnamon and a pinch of white pepper too.

Flavor and mouthfeel work together as a team here, even more than most beers. Hard to consider one without the other. Has a creamy, round, chewy texture that brings in the sweetness of fresh cream, amplifying a base that recalls any number of red fruits and a hop-heavy character. Malts are big yet somehow stealthy against all that other stuff. Then I wonder if the sweeter, gooier flavor is playing tricks on me, because there's a decidedly pricklier side to the mouthfeel. That matches up with the hops nicely, and overall the candy-like finish reminds me of gooey cherry or raspberry taffy. With an extra spice kick.

This is a wonderful beer. And unique. It's not the first Widmer Bros. offering I've had, but it's easily the best.

[The name of this beer should be kind of funny to fans of old Helloween who really know their trivia--I know you're out there! Otherwise, it's just a cool name--no pun intended.]

Photo of ThePortlander
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

A: Excellent light brown with some faint amber hues when held up to the light.

S: A fair amount of toasted or caramelized malt hits the nose first, but hops can be detected. Secondary smells include Christmas spices and candy.

T: The hops and the malt are more even in taste than smell, with the malt winning out slightly on the finish. The same spices and hard candy can be detected, and the finish has a welcoming bitterness.

M: Brrr is full and creamy. A nice feel for WW.

D: Overall, not a bad beer. The high ABV can get to you, but this is after all a holiday beer. It's too heavy or overwhelming. A nice offering from Widmer.

Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6 pack from BevMo in late November for $6.99. Beer was bottled 10-28-08.

Beer pours an amber brown with a thin head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose was intense hops initially with malts now dominating. Taste is caramel malts that balance nicely with piney and grapefruit hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite smooth. Overall drinkability is very good as the abv is very well masked. My bro and I first sampled this tail-gaiting at a December Cardinals game and we were both surprised at how good it was. This will definitely be worked into the winter seasonal rotation. Recomended to fans of hoppy red ales.

Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a faint white head.

Aromas are of nice earthy and sharp pine hops. There is also some resin, and a touch of caramel.

Beers overall flavor (and mouthfeel) profile is pretty crisp. Some bright hops flavors, pineapple, and an earthy pine like bite. Malts provide a light cream flavor and some hard candies. Finish is snappy, with a dry and bitter bite.

Mouthfeel is nice. Full, and thick, with prickly carbonation.

Drinkability is good. This one turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Not sure if this is really a winter warmer. This strikes me as being more like a hoppy amber ale, or an IPA. Whatever it is doesn't really matter much to me... I think it's just a nice tasty offering from Widmer.

Brrr from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.