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Harpoon Winter Warmer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Winter WarmerHarpoon Winter Warmer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,269 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,269
Reviews: 620
rAvg: 3.16
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 9
Gots: 57 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
When you bring a glass of this dark copper ale to your lips to take your first sip you will notice the aroma of cinnamon. There is no aromatic hop added that might overpower the distinct spice scent. The medium body of this beer is formed from caramel and pale malts. These create enough body to support the spices without making the beer excessively rich. Bittering hops are added to counter the sweetness of the malt and spice. The finish of the beer is a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg. The combination of these two spices results in a balanced, pumpkin-pie flavor.

22 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,269 | Reviews: 620 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of genaro
2.78/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Harpoon Winter Warmer 2002-03. The color was dark amber/copper. It had a nice head and plenty of lace. The aroma was spicey, mostly nutmeg and cinnamon. These spices were also prominent in the taste. The overall result was the rest of the beer's elements were well concealed. Carbonation was good and some malt sweetness and hop bite could be discerned. The finish was not very bitter and just a bit dry. Too spicey for me or maybe I just had no Xmas spirit left when I tried this beer in January 2003.

genaro, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light tan head sits atop this amber beer.
Plenty of spice in the aroma. Cinnamon and nutmeg come to mind. Sweet toasty malt underneath the spice.

Plenty of spice in the flavor as well. Cinammon and nutmeg mesh with the sweet, toasty malt backbone. Decent hop balance. Just a bit on the cloying side with the sweet spiciness.

Mouthfeel just on the thin side.
Tastey, but not something you would want to drink several of.

Overall, a well spiced winter seasonal that could use some more malt and hop backbone to support the spiciness IMO.
Big thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the bottle!

PhantomVodoo, Feb 06, 2004
Photo of moulefrite
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Orange caramel in color. Very minimal head or stick. Straight off, smells like an apple pie. I can smell the fruit, the cinnamon and even the crust. Damn, it tastes like an apple pie too! Lots of fruit and spice, with a dusting of malty pie crust. A tad bitter on the finish in a fruity apple skin sort of way. A rather strange drink? It makes me wish macdonalds made those awesome deep fried apple pies like they did back in the late 70's. This would be a nice pairing.

moulefrite, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of jtw5877
3.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an amber to light brown color with a decent white head. A pretty standard Holiday beer, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe a little clove thrown in for good measures. A nice beer. One that I am sure I will enjoy in the future. It's nice to see Harpoon's distribution reaching my area.

jtw5877, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of smcolw
3.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Harpoon Winter Warmer is a heavily spiced beer that is very thick and rich.

Appearance--The color is light bronze/dark amber. The head was decent at the beginning, but went down dramatically within a minute. No staying power on the glass lace.

Smell--Heavy cinnamon, a little nutmeg, perhaps a touch of clove. The rest is all malt, no hop

Taste--Malt up front; all spice in the finish and the aftertaste. Slight hop in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel--slightly oily, rich and thick

Drinkability--Excellent novelty beer, not one I'd repeatedly have.

smcolw, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
3.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this chilled sample into my pint glass. The beer pours clear copper colored and a frothy white head foams up and fades quickly.
THe aroma is VERY spicy! Nutmeg, and cinnamon dominate and actually give a fairly sweet scent to the beer. THe brew actually reminds me of pumpkin pie, would be a good beverage with Thanksgiving I think.
The first sip reveals, fine but sharp carbonation and a medium body.
The flavor is spicy just like the aroma. Sweet and nutmeg up front with some very faint maltiness coming through in the middle, but quickly overpowered by cinnamon. The cinnamon leaves a mild burn in my mouth, similar to chewing BIg Red.
There is not a hint of alcohol on the nose or in the flavor, all the warming is coming from the cinnamon I think.
The beer is very flavorful and smooth but the spices are a little too strong.
Might be tastier with a little more malt richness.

sulldaddy, Jan 23, 2004
3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This one was the headliner for the evening at the Saucer.

Came in the usual pint serving with a small but noticeable tan head. Very clear strawberry red bronze color. The bubbles race to the top.

Scents of nutmeg and cinnamon mingle with a faint aroma of pine. Smells a lot like a pumpkin spiced beer, though. Could have been a special during October.

Tastes like I'm eating a gingersnap cookie. Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove with a slight mollasses taste before the very dry finish. Not awful.

I'd drink another couple of pints, but I think I'll move on to something a little better...

WOLFGANG, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of budsboy
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer pours a slightly murkey amber, fizzy white head dissipates quickly.

Gives off a musty sort of smell mixed with a faint nutmeg-ginger scent.

Spices come off surprisingly sharp -- reminds me of gingerbread. Ginger is strongest, then nutmet and cinnamon. Aftertaste is relatively light. All-in-all a crisp winter seasonal. Not as warming as I'd hoped.

I don't think I'd like more than one in a sitting, and mood is an essential part of this beer. Being post-holidays, this beer rates maybe a little lower.

Harpoon is one of my favorites, and I'm always pulling for them. This beer is far from their best efforts.

budsboy, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a quickly dissipating light tan head. A spiced ale aroma with notes of nutmeg in the forefront. There is a hint of cinnamon and a bit of banana ester here as well. The beer has a nice medium body to it, which I like. The spicing is quite evident in the taste and is reminiscent of a rich spice cake. The light malty sweetness compliments the spices nicely. Could perhaps be a little bit more carbonated. A pretty nice interpretation of a spiced ale, though perhaps a bit too spice oriented for my tastes.

Gueuzedude, Jan 15, 2004
Photo of gnaussea
3.43/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a simple amber with an orange tint. The white head settles quickly... not very interesting so far. Smell, woah! Gingerbread. Is this a cookie or a beer. Tastes of ginger and spice, almost like candy. No hop notes or alcohol... not a traditional winter brew at all. Taste is much the same. Candy candy candy. This is actually a pretty interesting brew, but should not ever be categorized as a winter brew... a christmas if anything, but not in the traditional sense. Mothfeel is moderately carbonated. This beer belongs in the "other" category, and is fun, but nothing I would seek out again.

gnaussea, Jan 12, 2004
Photo of marc77
3.03/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear ruddy bronze hue. Head fizzles into a thin, soapy layer that leaves sparse froth. Pungent, sharp cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the aroma. Token medium lovibond crystal is secondary. One dimensional and prosaic aromawise. In flavor, cinnamon is more subdued, but nutmeg is assertive, and nearly overwhelming. Meager dark toffee and sweet ginger cookie impressions linger on the palate. Very lightly hopped, leaving ample residual sweetness. No discernible hop flavor, save a trace earthy undertone. Skimpy in body, and only passably dextrinous in mouthfeel. Static in flavor, this brew exhibits no change in character as it warms, due to the lack of noteable malt character. Finishes sweet, with an odd suggestion of pumpkin pie spiced warm cola. Not a particularly good spiced ale, but not offensive either. Rather insipid.

marc77, Jan 12, 2004
Photo of ElGordo
3.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Showed up in the December Beer of the Month Club shipment. Pours a large, foamy head out of the bottle that goes away almost as quickly as it appears. A light amber color with very little carbonation in the glass. Nose is more like a spiced cider than beer - overwhelmingly nutmeg and cinnamon. Taste is more of the same - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, clove, a hint of orange. Not much hop, a little bit of malt. Slightly dry on the finish, with a bit of orange and cinnamon. Very interesting. Definitely not a session beer, but worth a try every now and then.

ElGordo, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of beerguy101
3.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium amber color. Small head. Aroma is NUTMEG!!!, allspice, cinnamon and oranges. A light bodied winter warmer. Malts are fruity and sweet with a touch of orange and citrus, Hops are slightly spicy, but are sort of overwhelmed but the nutmeg and cinnamon. Despite that ‘flaw’ this beer sort of works. It’s a nice light flavorful and spicy winter warmer. The spiciness goes away rather quickly and you are left drinking a nice light winter beer. It’s different for a winter beer, but it works. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is spicy and nutmeggy.

beerguy101, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a bit of bubbly white head. The smell is very strong cinnamon. The taste is very cinnamon-dominated, with a very sweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability-wise, don't think I would have too many more.

Would you like a little beer with your cinnamon? Just too much spicing. If drinking apple cider is your thing, then you might like this; personally, this isn't one high on my to-drink list in the future.

beergeek279, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of waughbrew
2.03/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Orange with smallish head, minimal retention and lacing. Smells like nutmeg and caramel malt. There is some hop aroma in there with the spicing, but the spicing is dominant. Not subtle. Taste follows up similarly, with rather bland malt and hops covered by a big dose of nutmeg and I guess a bit of cinnamon. Flavors do not mesh very well, and the feel is thin and harsh carbonation. Overall not a very impressive brew.

waughbrew, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear, bright crimson color, adorned with a head fresh and full, cream-toned but swiftly settling.
Aroma: cinnamon, nutmeg, and more, a cornucopia of spices unfold in the nose, but nothing else. Yeah, it's a pumpkin pie, quite nice, warm, lively, but there are no further flavors discerned beyond the spice.
Taste: again, the spices grab on board the palate, but little, nay, nothing else is detected. Body is actually rather light, and the finish is neglibible, for the flavor leaves the mouth, and the memory, and soon as the swallow is finished.
This is unfortunately a one-dimensional brew, for the malt & hop content is so subdued that there is nothing (that word, again?) more to it than the spices, than perhaps a mild red ale or amber in the background.
Not much of a winter warmer, it actually reminds me of many versions of the increasingly numerous pumpkin spice ales coming out in recent autumns, specifically Shipyard's. Needs a lot more body, flavor and character, beyond the spices, to be truly a winter warmer.
Thanks, though, to ManekiNeko for introducing me to this ale.

feloniousmonk, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of jlervine
2.45/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured out an amber brown with a large bubbled off-white head that disappeared within seconds. Smell is heavy on cinnamon and nutmeg, kinda cidery, with a hint of fusels. Taste is very blah - hint of dark malt at the beginning, and then nutmeg and cinnamon overshadow everything else. Very thin body, citrus and astringency in the finish. Not that great, should've picked up a 6 pack instead of the 12.

jlervine, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The tawny amber body is topped for a very short time by a most lovely 3 fingers of creamy, foamy ivory-colored head. This vanishes quickly to leave a small lacing ring. The lace is quite light, but present nonetheless.

Nose of nutmeg over malt. Not a lot fruit action, just spice.

Flavor of nutmeg and cinnamon, very little malt or hops noted early on, but the malt fills in as the brew warms a bit. A bit thin in the feel, but not overly watery. Overall a decently drinkable beer, if you're into the style.

AtLagerHeads, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of Globetrotter
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Delivered to Moscow as part of a five-pack of U.S. winter beers, this is definitely the weakest of the bunch. Pours a slightly cloudy pale copper under a very thin, fizzy and short-lived off white head. The nose is very spicy - definitely nutmeg, rather like my grandmother's coffeecake. The mouth is very carbonated, and heavy with spices. The taste combines nutmeg with cinnamon for a distinct sweet pastry experience. The hops are very noticeable at all until well after the liquid is gone. Most of the aftertaste is, nonetheless, sugar and spice. Not really my cup of tea...

Globetrotter, Dec 15, 2003
Photo of counselor
3.88/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an aubern, brown with a decent head that fades rather quickly. No lacong to speak of. The cinnamin and nutmeg aromas hit the nose very quickly and are quite nice for the style. The aromas do not fade and improve as the beer warms. The taste follows suit with spicey ginger, brown sugar and cinnamin dominating before a decent dry finish. This is a decent winter spiced beer that delivered exactly as it promised on the label. I couldn't tip more than two, however, before the spices got in the way of the beer; but as an occasional readily available seasonal ale, it was OK!!

counselor, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of hungryghost
2.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reddish orange color with absolutely no head.
Smells spicey, allspice I guess, a little sweet.
Tastes sort of like the smell. I think of apple pie as I drink it.
The flavor is nice, the beer is little thin and watery.
This one would lose its appeal pretty quickly.

hungryghost, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance Thin bubbles in a decent sized head dwindle very quickly leaving behind the copper amber body behind with very thin specks of lacing. Aroma: Primarily nutmeg and cinnamon this one takes a hint from Great Lakes but goes off down the wrong path making the spices the primary focal point. Taste: Barrages of nutmeg and cinnamon not a beer it's candy like but not in a good way. There's some alcohol in each sip followed by Christmas spices but guess what that's all that's here so one sided give me a complex Christmas ale. Mouthfeel: Thin body I don't know what Harpoon was thinking with this one, starts to just become watery with a thin amount of sryup texture from all the cinnamon and nutmeg extracts used. Drinkability: Wow, not a beer I would choose if I knew it was this damn over spiced it's just one glass of nutmeg and cinnamon once again folks not a beer.

WVbeergeek, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
2.25/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Vigorous pour results in a small head of large, thin bubbles that vanishes almost instantaneously, no carbonation. Color is coppery with amber highlights. Visually indistinguishable from apple cider, except more translucent. Cinnamon aroma with nutmeg on the side is nearly overpowering and yet thin through the nose. Cinnamon chewing gum to a tee. No malt, hops, or otherwise-beer-aromas detectable. Flavor continues the trend: cinnamon gum and not much more. Possibly pumpkin pie spices, spiced apple rings, apple butter, sugary sweet. Mouthfeel is thin and watery, slightly juicy, but dissipates immediately. Average drinkability, but who'd want to face that flavor again?? Not impressed.

NearerMyBeerToMe, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of BierReise
3.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Typical New Englad winter spiced beer. And not a very good one either. Pours clear dark coppery color with a head that dissapears quickly. The aroma is great, nutmeg and cinniman get me in the Christmas spirit. That's where it ends though and the beer begins it's descent down hill like a sled in the wet snow. Mouthfeel is not full bodied as promised, yet not too thin either. Finishes a bit dry. Flavor doesn't come close to the aroma and really dissapoints. Has a caramel malt flavor that is covered with cinnamon and doesn't blend well at all. Nice try but not a great tasting beer. Best bet for a christmas beer is Anchor OSA.

BierReise, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of UncleFrank
3.08/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at one of my favorite places, The Wickenden Street Pub, hoping for a different result than my recent bottle purchase.
A clear bronze color beer with a good size head. The aroma is of intense nutmeg. Some clove and cinimon are present but overpowered by the nutmeg. Matl flavors are basic pale/crystal.. Nothing exotic here. The body is thick, medium to heavy and fills me. I cannot have a bunch, same as a heavy stout. The finish is dry with mellow spice, like pie.
Same as my bottle review, I can’t say I don’t like this beer, but I am a bit disappointed. I wouldn’t turn one away, but I'm not sure if I'll be buying any more this season.

UncleFrank, Dec 07, 2003
Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
73 out of 100 based on 1,269 ratings.