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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.

1,362 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,362
Reviews: 624
rAvg: 3.18
pDev: 21.07%
Wants: 9
Gots: 100 | 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: 1,362 | Reviews: 624 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexJ
2.83/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper colored pour with an initially fluffy, beige head that quickly sizzles down, without any lacing.

Aroma briefly touches upon light malt notes of butterscotch and brown sugar before intrusively strong spice notes take over. Cinnamon and nutmeg are dominant with little else to back it up.

Flavor actually takes a step down from the nose. Malt is thin and grainey and the spice is just too strong. Faint hop flavors of pine and grass provis a meager finish.

Body is between light and medium, with forced carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel with a crisp, almost coarse texture. I'll take a Cold Mountain or OSA over this any day!

Photo of Sycodrummer
2.73/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the 12oz. brown bottle into a pint glass the beer was an amber/copper color with two fingers of fluffy off-white head. No other signs of carbonation, but nice lacing throughout the sample.

The smell is very spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and some malt all coming through.

The taste, too, is very very spicy upfront. The beer is loaded with cinnamon and clove, softer nutmeg and vanilla. The malt content is thin, but present and no detectable hop character.

Medium to light body with medium carbonation.

This beer did not do it for me and was not very drinkable. The spice was overly dominant. I prefer the warmth from my winter warmers to come from hearty malt and alcohol, not chock full of cinnamon and nutmeg. I'll pass on this one again.

Photo of stouty1
2.4/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well, that's basically about it... "Beer with spices" that's what the label says. It does not seem like they put too much thought into this brew. Maybe the theory was to just add spice and that was about it. Definitely can smell and "feel" the cinnamon, which hides all the rest. Poured a very little head towards the end which dissapated quickly. I expected to enjoy this, but there was very liitle taste and no hops. However, it is warming which is what one would expect from a Winter Brew. Very drinkable, but not enjoyable.

Photo of jhu1995
2.15/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured a hazy, pale orange color with a medium head. Smell was all spice - you can really get a good whiff of the nutmeg. Taste was initially pleasing with lots of spice. However, after the first few sips, it felt like my tongue was coated with nutmeg. Not satisfying at all. I could barely finish one, which was all I had. If you like nutmeg, this is the beer for you. Don't think I'll be picking this one up again until the nutmeg load is mellowed.

Photo of deBeers
3.6/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a thin head. Smells of cinnamon & nutmeg spices. Very drinkable for the style although not as high quality as say Anchor.. Tastes like it came off cask almost but just not as lively. Mouthfeel is medium leaning towards the thin side. Nothing standout about this brew but a nice holiday offering. One was enough for me. Worth a try and this only cost me $3.

Photo of normZurawski
2.9/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Saying there's a hint of nutmeg here is like saying Seattle is kinda misty in the winter. I'm sitting here tonight drinking the last of the 6 pack (not all tonight, I'm not a savage). I've probably had it in the house for at least a month now. I'm drinking this for 2 reasons. First, it's getting late and I don't want to use something more worthwhile right before going to bed. Secondly, I am loathe to have this sitting in my fridge for one more day, taking up valuable beer space. I suppose you could throw in the fact that the Patriots are playing the Broncos in the Divisional playoffs right now. But that really has nothing to do with it. It's just an interesting tidbit.

Anyway, by now it should be obvious that this isn't all that impressive to me. The nutmeg seems to be thrown in as a way to mask a mediocre beer, almost getting the job done but ultimately failing. What's more, even if it does succeed in masking anything, it's just not a good overall beer when you need to rely on this decidedly non-beer friendly flavor.

To be sure, There are lesser beers on the market. And there are lesser winter seasonals on the market. And there are even lesser seasonals on the market from New England, Massachusetts no less. But that's another review for another day. I would pass on this.

Photo of kbnooshay
3.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at monty's Korner, Rochester, NY. Very nice brown amber color. The smell was cinnamonny! Very christmaslike. The taste is similar, not overspiced but enough to give the beer good flavor. Nutmeg and gingerbread flavors are there. Mouthfeel is kinda medium light. Very drinkable!

Photo of Phatz
3.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light yellow/copper and sits in my pint glass a very nice hazy partly translucent amber color. Very little head fades fast. Minimal to scarce lacing.

Smell: Sweet, sugar, more sugar, and subtle maltiness. A bit (note I say a bit) of cloves, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices grab the nose, but the dominating smell is just that of sugar.

Taste: The taste is somewhat watery and thin; but what is there, is not bad. Not a lot of hops or malts more it's just a cinnamon, nutmeg flavored water. The flavor seems to have a hole in the middle of it, where there is empty space. It makes me think 'Okay, that’s a start, so, what else...’

Mouthfeel: Thin and light. Crisp though. Seem a bit more like a refreshing amber ale than a winter warmer.

Drinkability: This beer may be better than the average Macro lager but as a winter warmer it is pretty low class boring beer. Still, it is very easy on the palate (drinks a bit like water) and would probably go over well with most macro beer drinkers. It is a fine (cheep) choice to take to a holiday party (very sessionable, partly 'cuz its boring). It is a bit wimpy if you’re looking for something unique and intriguing, but suitable if just need a pleasant way to consume your alcohol.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of DevilDogBeer
2.85/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Harpoon Winter Warmer is a seasonal brew that I assume is made for the holidays. The beer poured a nice amber color with an average head. The head stayed for the beer and laced down the glass nicely. The smell was a barrage of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other baking spices. It was almost enough to turn me away but I tried it. The taste was not overpowering but there were many of the spices found in the aroma. A few hops were present but masked and no true malt character. Not very drinkable do to the spice content but something to say I have tried.

Photo of NEhophead
3.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Foamy off white head a top a clean, thick copper/bronze. A few patches of condensed lace.

Strong artifically sweetened vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon aromas. Brown sugar over a rustic wheat and grain; almost an odor of adjunctory ingredients.

Creamy, toasted maltiness that becomes sweeter and thicker with the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices. The spice character is dry and artificial tasting. The rustic grain and vegetable-wheat character adds a drop bitterness, and a metallic-tinged aftertaste.

Medium bodied; unbalanced flavors creating an unbalanced mouthfeel.

Flavors are unbalanced and bland. I wouldn't have more than one, and wouldn't recommend.

Photo of CortexBomb
2.23/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pour is clear reddish/amber with a very light white head which disspates down to a ring quickly. Not much head even with a strong pour. Smell is very cinnamony...not unpleasant, but not the only thing I like to have on the nose either. Still, warmers are supposed to be spicy, so an average rating.

The taste is similar to the smell, the cinnamon absolutely hammers you up front and dominates almost the entire flavour. Toward the end there are some malty tones peeking through and a hint of nutmeg, but this beer is basically strong spice all the way without much "beer" flavour added.

The mouth, meh. No real action. The beer is light bodied and doesn't have much in the way of hops. Drinkability, a little rough, the spice flavour is ok at first, but really starts to grate after a while. Certianly no more than one of these in an evening for me, and hopefully not even that.

Overall, a not particularly well done warmer that is basically cinnamon tinged alcohol. Not recommended.

Photo of skizziks
2.17/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Harpoon Winter Warmer bottled on 11/16/2005. Hard pour into a Duvel branded tulip produces a one inch head, mostly fine with some large bubbles. Not much lacing, fades quickly as does the head. Color is a light amber with copper.

Aroma is very strongly cinnamon with a hint of nutmeg, but mostly a whole lot of cinnamon pretty much blows everything else away.

Taste begins with a carbonation bite on the front of the tongue blending into a cinnamon bark. A little bit astringent. Almost no malt and no hops detected, just a little bit of hop bitter at the end and a little bit of sweet up front. The lack of malt body is amazing, feels like soda water with a cinnamon stick swizzle. This ale is not a "rich, full-bodied ale" as it claims.

I don't think this beer is nasty or undrinkable, but it could easily be improved. I enjoy the cinnamon, but it really needs plenty of malt to support it and that is where this beer falls flat.

Photo of NClifestyle
3.15/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

harpoon w.w. is light, clear amber, with a bright white head of big bubbles, lots of carbonation lines from the bottom of the glass.
smell is nutmeg and cinnamon, and a little grassy hop.
taste is where the beer lets me down. the nutmeg and cinnamon are nice, not too overdone, but the beer behind these additions is not solid. take away the spices, i suspect there is a weak ale left behind.
mouthfeel is thin to medium with tons of carbonation. tingles all over.
drinkability is higher than average, because i could drink quite a few of these, just for the spice n' beer aspect. however, if there is some other spiced winter available, i'll probably pass this over.

a great beer to offer to 'beer beginners' when breaking them in to spiced beer or winter warmers. most of my novice buddies really like this one. however, it should be in the spice category, not the winter warmer, as it's not really that strong and malty, or warming for that matter.


Photo of Gritsak
3.05/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- copper with a small white head that dissapates pretty quick. doesnt lace much either.

S- lots of spice, cinnamon, pepermint

T- overhelming taste of spicey cinnamon and pepermint. there is also some other detectabe spices such as nutmeg and a little hops, but they are subtle and dominated by the pepermint

M- medium body with decent carbontaion.

D- the spices really kill the drinkability.

overall- besides the pepermint/cinnamon flavor which ruins the beer IMO it would be decent, but thats not the case.

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This has too much spice. It does have a nice dark amber color with a bit of a head. Some smell of pairs and spices. Flavors come and go very quick. Not enough body to keep flavor around. The spice flavor makes this not so drinkable.

Notes: tried some dark and white chocolates and the white goes best with the spices. The dark not so well. Either way an average beer at best.

Photo of MSchae1017
2.48/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer was tasted from the bottle in a pint Glass.

This beer pours a translucent dark amber color with a good off-white head that holds decently with moderate lacing. It smells nicely of cinamon but there is little presence of hops. The taste is dominated by by cinamon and gingerbread but no real "beer" taste to it. THe initial taste is good but it could use something else as it hits the back of one's throat. It feels a little watery but there is good carbonation. The beer is a littel overwhelming especially when you drink multiple, and it leaves you wanting more. Not more of the beer but more out of the beer. Just way to much cinamon flavor

Photo of meunier33
1.98/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

SV= served at Applebee's from a bottle.
A= Dark amber like Sam Adam's Boston Ale, cinnamon crystals stick to the glass as lacing.
S= Cinnamon esters abound, smells like one of those brown markers you used in first grade.
T= Not my bag at all. Punched in the mouth by cinnamon and raw alcohol resembling a Red Hots candy.
M= Too blown away by the cinnamon to tell, felt kind of "rich" otherwise.
D= Could not finish the serving, my mouth was on fire and I had a pepper hot flash sometime later.

Photo of AaronMcDonald
3.73/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- This beer is one of the nicest looking I have seen. Pours a brown/amber like color.

Smell - Not too strong. Faint smell of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste - The smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg definitely are the most powerful flavors in the beer. To me they are not too overwhelming. It still taste like a beer just an extremely spicy one.

Mouthfeel - Light for a Winter seasonal brew, but not bad.

Drinkability - Because this beer is a bit light compared to other winter brews the drinkability is quite high. It is easy to drink several of these without feeling full.

I described this beer to a friend as "Christmas in a Bottle" because of the taste of nutmeg and cinnamon. Definitely reminds me of the holiday season.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Doesn't help that it was left outside, probably froze a couple of times. While pouring the beer, the beer looked dead, so I gave it a very aggresive pour at the end-unfotunaltey that made it flat.

No sense is wasting time. Tastes like pumkin pie. Overloaded with cinammon. Has an interesting banana aftertaste.

Thankfully this was left behind by someone and I didn't waste my money on it

Photo of wcudwight
2.8/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

One of the best looking beers I've seen. Color is kind of a mix between cranberry juice and sweet tea. Lasting snow white fluffy head that rises to about 1". Carbonation bubbles jump up to the top of the glass. It smells like juicy fruit gum with some spice mixed in. The taste is caramel, cinimmon, sweet with some hop bitterness. I would have rated the taste higher, but it leaves a lasting funky aftertaste. The mouthfeel is what hurts this beer. To me it feels kind of chalky. This would be a very drinkable beer if not for the aftertaste and chalky mouthfeel.
I may try this again in the future when they have other batches, but for the rest of this year I will avoid.

Photo of Freshie
3.98/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gingerbread cookie in a bottle is all I have to say. I have a long history with this beer. I look forward to it every year. It is rich and creamy with the perfect blend of holiday spice. Just a hint a hint of nutmeg and ginger make it very tasty. Hits the spot on Christmas Day.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A winter beer that I actually like. Huh? I'm surprised at myself. If it were possiblt to make liquid satin, this beer would compare well. Smooth, rich and creamy. Just like satin sheets. Dark brown in color that was just slightly opaque. Not much of any head. Nose was mildly spice. Flavor was a very relaxing maple syrup and Christmas Eve spices with a heavy malt base. Hops were ever-so-slightly present. This beer was just fantastic because of the feel and went greatly towards making this a winter beer I actually enjoyed.

Photo of akajimmyd
2.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Reddish, little thin head, even with a big pour.

Smell – Nutmeg really comes on strong on the outset with a powerful cinnamon as well. Gingerbread and candy canes.

Taste – I mostly taste the spices. Not the big malts that this style calls for. Intense cinnamon/nutmeg flavor, tastes just likes it smells. Quite strong. A little sweetness. Lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – Surprisingly thin in the mouth. Lite body. Missing the warming.

Drinkability/notes – Christmas in a bottle is a nice way to describe this, but its kind of a let down. I don’t want a second right away. Tastes like a novelty.

Photo of ScarletLady
3.58/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I was a little disappointed in this year's Winter Warmer. It seemed thinner than the batch the year before.My favorite aspect is the cinnamon aroma which really wonderful and not too overpowering. It is a nice light flavored beer that is very easy to drink.

Photo of scriabin
3.4/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cinammon toast crunch in a bottle...A lovely spiced beer that sooths the soul on a cold winter day. My big wish for this beer is simply more - it has a nice, balanced taste, but it just needs to be stronger. More cinammon, more hops, more more more. It could be me, but it seems like this beer was much more robust 10 years ago than today. I wonder if Harpoon toned it down to appease the masses. When I first partook in this one long ago, I was hit with lot's of flavor. Perhaps my taste buds weren't as fully developed. But I still enjoy it today even if it does not live up to it's potential.

Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
74 out of 100 based on 1,362 ratings.