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Harpoon Winter Warmer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Winter WarmerHarpoon Winter Warmer

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1,431 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,431
Reviews: 638
rAvg: 3.19
pDev: 20.38%
Wants: 10
Gots: 158 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,431 | Reviews: 638
Photo of Risser09
1.98/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a large snifter - Probably from 2006

Appearance: Pours a semi transparent bright red and muddled brown color. I would say that it is close to crimson. The head rises to almost an inch, comprised of the color tan. Bubbles var yin size and moderate lace clings to the glass.

Smell: Definitively cinnamon. This is the main aroma here. Others include potpourri, cherry and the cereal CINNAMON LIFE. Malt is slightly detectable.

Taste: Simplistic in nature. This beer is totally cinnamoned out. Every bit of it screams cinnamon. I guess there are other flavors like nutmeg and candle wax. I'm not a big fan of this. As I drink it it becomes more and more of a chore because there really is no other flavor. Quite one dimensional and too cloying.

Mouthfeel: This beer is lacking here too. Kind of flat in nature with a thin body. This beer might actually be better mulled than served cold. Alcohol is not present. Kind of creamy.

Drinkability: Ug. This has been one of the worst beers I've had in awhile. I understand what is being attempted and I just think it might as well have been a cider. Too one dimensional and hard to enjoy. This beer lacks complexity, body, and overall enjoyability.

Photo of harpus
4.12/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer one two different occasions, about 3 years apart. The first time I received it in a beer of the month club and loved the beer. The beer poured a beautiful brown with about finger width head. The smell was great, filled with cinnamon and gingerbread. It had good mouth feel and great drink ability. The flavor was like drinking a liquid gingerbread man. This was one of my favorite US beers. The second time I tried it I was a little disappointed. I don’t know if it was the bottle or not. The color, head and mouth feel are the same as above. The taste on the second time around was not as strong and gingerbread man like as the first. The drink ability was not as high as the first time because, the flavor just was not the same. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a good beer and well worth trying.

Photo of Umbra
3.17/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I don't know what compels me, but this is one of those brews I ALWAYS buy around XMas in a mad rush before the local joints sell out. I don't love it, but drink it all the darn time. Just found last year's vintage when out of beer and thought that I'd leave a review.

It has a dark amber color with a light caramel head. Taste, mouth feel and drinkability are completely overwhelmed with the spice bomb.T he beer is essentially all the nice Christmas flavors--cinnamon, nutmeg, apple--all rolled up into one beer. I don't like to overdo it and have too many, it actually dulls the senses a bit, so I lowered the drinkability. Mouthfeel will be coated with cinnamon. Would do nicely as an alcoholic flavoring for pumpkin pie.

Even the macro drinkers will have this over a subtle, tasty Oktoberfest, go figure.

Photo of sacfly
2.65/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz, no date.
Pours a hazy golden orange color with a creamy looking off white head. Aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, and more nutmeg. Taste follows suit, but much more subdued than the aroma would lead you to believe. This is a good thing, but the spice still overpowers any malt or hops that allegedly were used to make this beer. Rather light bodied for a winter warmer as well. Aftertaste is… you guessed it… dry cinnamon. Overall a one dimensional beer. It is a bad sign when half way through a beer you are thinking about what you want to drink next. Does not hold your interest.

Photo of billybob
3.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a orange copper color with a large three finger tan head that holds to about a half inch to the finish with a minimal lacing. smell and taste of cinnamon and nutmeg is there but not over powering. light to medium mouthfeel and good carbonation good holiday or winter beer but not something i would drink year round.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-brown with a tan head

S- cinnamon and nutmeg. Its hard to pick up malt or hop scent.

T- very strong cinnamon and nutmeg with hints of sweet malt. floral hop finish.

M- full bodied with high carbonation

D- good winter beer that goes well with the cold weather. The spices are a little too intense to give this a higher drinkability

Photo of jmc44
2.71/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nutty brown color, with decent tan head, which quickly dissipates to just a thin cover.

Aroma is loaded with spicyness, nutmeg and cinnamon are most obvious. A light floral hop note, and some sense of a roasted malty backbone.

Taste is dominated by the spices, backed up with a decent roasted malt, and finishes slightly crisp with a hint of floral hops. No complexity; the spices are in-your-face.

Its medium bodied, nothing special.

Not easy to drink, what with all the spices.

I don't know about this beer. It's sort of like drinking Christmas, if that were possible. I prefer the winter warmers with a more subtle spice tone; there's nothing subtle about this guy.

Photo of garymuchow
3.6/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is loaded with holiday spices (strong nutmeg and catches of cinnamon). They are pretty strong and are often covering the sweet malty character that exists somewhere underneath (I caught a brief whiff of it initially).
Initially pours with a big full fluffy head (couldn't finish the bottle in a pint glass). Head receded rather quickly to a flat cap. Clear and amber of dark orange.
Malt flavors strong in drink but still background to the spices. Touch of sweetness up front. Moderately and growing dryness with bitterness reserved.
Not quite moderate feel, but not thin. Some fullness from the carbonation, but it's soft and not overly filling.
This is more for those who like a little malt with their spices. I don't mind the boldness of those flavors, but I can see how many might. I like the cinnamon flavor. Good enough holiday drink
Thanks JB.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a small head that doesn't remain long, and the color is a glowing copper-ruby.

Aroma brings up dominant nutmeg, with some cinnamon, butter, toasted bread. Smells a whole lot like French Toast sprinkled with cinnamon and slathered in butter.

Flavor delivers on what the label promises: beer with spices added. The nutmeg and cinnamon mentioned are at the forefront of the flavor, the malts are here doing their job, and hops give a nice crisp, flowery edge, especially in the finish. First bottle, I thought this was great. Second bottle a few days later, it seemed a little strong on the spices. A few days later, halfway into the 6-pack, and the spices are way too cloying. It becomes akin to drinking potpourri juice.

Tasty stuff, but they need to work on the spice balance. And I think this resembles a pumpkin ale more than a winter warmer.

Photo of damjadi
1.86/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Consumed during my visit to Boston.

Appearance: Copper (like the roofs of many a Boston building).

Aroma: SPICY.

Taste: This pumpkin-pie tasting monstrocity is no reason to give thanksgiving!

Mouthfeel: I felt like tearing my tongue from my mouth to end the experience.

Drinkability: If it was the last beer on earth... And it was the end of November.

Overall: To quote Colonel Kurtz, "The horror... THE HORROR!!!"

Photo of BigD1972
1.41/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This was a very disapointing beer. It was like drinking a christmas scented candle from my wifes candle collection.
I heard good thing from some people about this beer but I now question their judgement.
Harpoon IPA is a good choice, but I would stay away from the winter warmer if I were you.

Photo of sraimondi
3.16/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on draft at the South Norwalk Brew House yesterday. This one is a bit confounding. Very little head and no lacing. Nice darkish copper color. No aroma that I could pick up. Taste was unbalanced, with nutmeg and cinnamon predominating, with little malt or hop character. Mouthfeel was very thin. The ABV lends itself to pretty good drinkability. All in all, I was quite disappointed with this one. Really nothing memorable and actually the taste was somewhat disturbing. I usually like the Harpoon stuff, but I won't have this one again, at least this season.

Photo of Prufrock
2.77/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

bright golden orange with an effervescing thin layer of white head. head retains well and leaves thin sheets and rings of lace.

powerful sweet spice aroma: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. there may be something else there, but i can't get at it.

flavors are very subtle, with definite notes of clove and nutmeg. finish is oddly clean and marginally unpleasant, with lingering spices and a slight bitterness. feel is light with a slightly prickly carbonation, which tends to weaken the flavor. spices push away the beer characteristics just a bit too much.

Photo of k3n
2.38/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle courtesy of Tangfoot.

A: Hazy copper color, 1" head fades rather quickly.

S: It took me a little bit to pin down the smell. At first I was thinking honey, but it smells a bit sweeter than honey, but is still maddeningly familiar. A hour later and my brain churns it up: hoeny straws, like you get at farmers markets. Hard to pick out much else over the honey.

T: Um, well, more honey. Hey, it even _tastes_ like the honey straws. Do they brew this with honey? I didn't check. Almost no bitterness.

M: Thin to so-so.

D: If you're looking for honey-beer, than this is right up your alley. But since I wasn't, well, it isn't.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
1.58/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Leftover christmas beer, do people actually like this? Pours a nice dark tan color but that's about the only good of this. Smells? Like cloves, weird plastic scent. Tastes not much better, as described in the smell with a odd banana aftertaste. Overall....don't buy don't drink, and for me this is the first of a six pack. I spent good money on this so I'm gonna set aside or chill very cold then chug it. Not worth your time or money, shame on you Harpoon!!

Photo of jpagewatts
2.07/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

this beer is straight up brown. no frills. it's got a fluffy head that has nice body. it kind of smells like a dog, though. and the taste is not much better. cinnamon, just like the rest of the reviews. it's intriguing at first, but then not really.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.28/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

had this on tap in Boston. Interesting brew. Seems my notes are a bit different than others. I think some of it comes to how quickly spices change over a month or two. Reminds me in some ways of a homebrew I made a few years ago.

A - Nice auburn color. Small white head. Hard to say if it was the time from bar to table or if normal. Either way it looks right for the style.
S - Nutmeg. A touch of mild malt undertones but overwhelmingly nutmeg.
T - Allspice / nutmeg and a light bread malt.
M - light / medium bodied.
D - only had one. More that the night was getting late than the beer. That said, with this strong a spice flavor two would be my max in a session.

Photo of PhillyMonk
3.14/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

If you're not a fan of spiced ales, definitely stay away from this one. This is not an every-day beer, but something for variety to try once in a while around the holidays.

This beer pours a copper-gold color with not too much head. The smell is 90% cinnamon and a little nutmeg with a mild malt background. There is a little carbonation bite and then the spices take over for a malty smorgasbord of cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste lingers for a while with very little hops at all.

I don't think this would make a very good session beer but is a nice change once in a while when you're in the mood.

Photo of akorsak
2.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 12 oz bottle left behind by my brother, intentionally, on Christmas day.

A: The ale is a copper red color with a small ring of head that was not very thick on pour.

S: Aroma is cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness, intense cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness.

T: The flavor is pretty much the same as the nose, all nutmeg and cinnamon. The malt base serves as a conduit for the spices, resulting in an overload that is tough to finish. The spices don't finish long, leaving a bland malt body as the aftermath of a sip.

M: The mouthfeel is too spiced. There is no way to appreciate a malt or hop character as the nutmeg is too intense.

D: A bottle is enough unless you really, really, REALLY love winter warmers. I don't, so the remaining four bottles will most likely be poured down the drain.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My daughter loves this beer. I think that's because she lives in Florida and rarely gets to drink it. It's a clear orange color with a small head. A sweet, spicy aroma. All I could taste was cinnamon, not exactly what I was looking for. I think this is an OK winter warmer, but too aggressive with the spice.

Photo of lehows
2.96/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Some of my friends are always raving about this beer and it seemed I was the only one who hadn't tried it yet. I guess I had high expectations because Harpoon certainly does makes some awesome brews. This however, isnt one of them. Poured a semi-hazy light amber color with a small white head. Aromas of spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Not much else, maybe some faint hops somewhere in the tail. Tastes just like it smells, a lot of spice and...not much else. This isnt your usual winter warmer. If you're looking for an easy drinking brew around the holidays, I would go for this. Otherwise I would pass for something more substantial if you want a real winter warmer.

Photo of Damian
4.02/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap at City Sports Cafe, Bristol, CT

Poured a clear, glowing, amber-orange with a one-finger, off white, frothy head that slowly faded. Lots of drippy lacing initially.

The aroma was quite strong and reminded me of Christmas time. Warm ginger bread cookies, nutmeg and all spice were all apparent.

The taste was even more intense (a bit overwhelming in my opinion). Very spicy on the front end, with cinnamon and allspice coming through strongest. Malty rich with hints of brown sugar. Later, the taste turned a bit piney (I am thinking Christmas tree-like - call me crazy). Finish was clean and a touch hoppy.

Medium bodied with a rather creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, I found this beer to be very enjoyable and perfect around the holiday season. The spices may be too much for some to handle, but I would much rather have this over a typical winter warmer.

Photo of lackenhauser
2.16/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I havnt had this beer in years. It was one of the first "winter" beers I ever got into. I remember it as liquid pumpkin pie actually. Ok color-somewhat of an amber,golden hue to it. Way overspiced aroma. Plenty of nutmeg and cloves here. Flavor is the same way. Someone in the brew house has quite the heavy hand with the spices. No other real flavors the spices are way over done. Ok body. Not what I remember at all. I might have appreciated it 15 or more years ago as it was a great "niche" beer then. No longer my cup of tea. Boost the malt and lower the spices you might have something.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.12/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark copper color with about an inch off-white head. It smells very spicy, like cinnamon and nutmeg. I can't smell anything else in this beer as the spices are so strong. The taste is pretty much the same way it smells, spicy. The mouthfeel is medium with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it does go down easy. The beer looks and smells nice, but in my opinion there's too much spice in it. With that being said, I'd drink it again sometime.

Photo of jhollick
2.47/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

For the second year in a row, I found the Harpoon Winter Warmer to be absolute shit. I'm not here to slam beers blindly, but the spicing is so strong that I couldn't taste anything else. The nutmeg and cinnamon are so over the top and overbearing that I had difficulty finishing. It is difficult to concentrate on the subtleties of the beer when, as one reviewer so eloquently put it, a stick of cinnamon is up your nose.

This amount of spicing is not for me. I have never come across a beer that was even close to being as spiced as this. Those of you that like it can have it; I want nothing to do with it. I'll leave on a positive note. The beer smells nice.

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Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
73 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.