Harpoon Winter Warmer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Winter WarmerHarpoon Winter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,436 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,436
Reviews: 640
rAvg: 3.19
pDev: 20.38%
Wants: 10
Gots: 172 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Winter Warmer Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,436 | Reviews: 640
Photo of JK4Stout
3.27/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Honestly feel a winter warmer should be a bit darker to tickle my fancy. I had this on tap as well once and recall thinking the same thing then. Had a decent head but nothing to write home about with little to no retention. It has a mild coppery look to it that would be fitting a different style of beer.

S: Has very little aroma to begin with. There is a certain hint of clove in there, but this could also be enhanced by the sip I took immediatly after smelling...my bad. Little to no hop scent (not a bad thing) but also no real sensation of malt roasted or otherwise. A very average scent for a seasonal brew.

T: OK, now they have me. I am a Harpoon fan, so I am trying to be very nice. (If you ever get a chance visit the brewery) Even with the weak smell this little beer packs more flavor than previously expected. Rich notes of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I love winter beer, and this is an extremely sessionable one. (Sessionable is a the positive word for "weak" in many cases, and I suppose that claim is made here.) We have the Light Beer of Winter Warmers.

M: I'm going a little higher here. I was expected something smooth and fleeting, and while I did get the smooth part it was not fleeting. Once drunk, you will be able to remember you had a beer.

O: I, again, have had this beer a time or two. (Sorry, if my review makes it seem like the first time, but I wanted that insinuation) So having bought it on numerous occasions, I think my tohughts speak for themselves. This is the beer you don't have to hoard or gloat about. This is not your beer to sit and ponder and worship. This is your beer to enjoy slowly and socially. An average beer with just enough going on for it to raise it above the competition.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.23/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that slowly reduces to thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glasses. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toffee malt sweetness with some slightly lighter notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of toffee and caramel malt sweetness with lighter notes of cinnamon and nutmeg following. Very little bitterness is present.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth

O: Pretty well balanced between the malts and the hops but there is just a little too much cinnamon/nutmeg spiciness to this brew to be easy to drink. Enjoyable but this is not a beer that I want to drink a couple of...this is a one and done beer for me.

Photo of jlindros
3.23/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tap at jj sport bar.

Light but decent creamy head hits 1/2 finger and fades at med pace, clear darker tan almost copper color.

Nose has spices, allspice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc, fairly strong but not overly, sweet molasses and caramel malts, definite holiday smelling.

Taste similar, stating with light spices again, alittle ginger in there, allspice, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, etc, followed by a light bitter herbal hop and earthy spice taste, which is a bit of a put off. Then malts, syrupy caramel malt, toasty copper malts, biscuit and little bready, and some nutty flavors like candied cashews and chestnuts. The holiday spice character really dominates but doesn't destroy the palate. Finish is sticky and syrupy, a long herbal earthy bitter spice flavor, icky bitterness, and syrupy malts.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, little sticky and syrupy, decent carb, despite abv below 6% still feels syrupy and boozy, although it could be heat from the spices.

Overall meh, syrupy and sticky, icky bitterness, dominating spices, all wouldn't be great on their own but together even worse.

Photo of axeman9182
3.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into my Duel tulip.

Harpoon's Winter Warmer pours a fairly clear amber, with some orange highlights showing through. Maybe two fingers of cream colored foam crown the beer, with just a bit each of head retention and lacing. The nose has a potent burst of cinnamon and nutmeg, very pumpkin pie like. There's also a biscuity malt aroma present as well. The flavor profile isn't as robust, especially when it comes to the spicing, There's a bit of toasty bread and caramel up front, followed by a light, balancing bitterness. The spices come in for the finish, and they're just not nearly as lively as I would have anticipated given the nose. The body is just a touch on the thin side, but the carbonation has a good bit of pep to it. Despite a nice aroma, Harpoon's Winter Warmer is just a passable offering.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.68/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer was served a a reddish-amber copper color with a one finger white head. The head fades relatively quickly to leave a light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is bready with some notes of caramel and Christmas spice. The spice aromas are on the lighter side and consist of a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

Taste – The taste starts out with a more bready and sweet flavor of a caramel nature. Quickly the spice comes to the tongue with cinnamon and cardamom being the strongest. Other spice flavors later enter the taste, with the tastes of nutmeg and allspice joining later on. Overall the brew is on the sweeter and decently spiced side leaving those tastes to linger on the tongue at the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average side in terms of both creaminess as well as carbonation level. While quite easy to drink, with this considered to be a winter warmer (which I may contend) a little thicker of a body may have been better for the style..

Overall – It’s not a bad brew, but not really a “warmer”. It lacks the body and feel as well as abv to be considered a winter warmer in my book. I would consider it more a spiced ale. Not the best, but easy drinking and worth a try.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured a dark old penny copper, a half a finger high, hire head building, but dissipating fast into very little lacing.
The smell is of spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and caramel, very strong!
Tasting the beer, those strong spices are dominent and take the pleasure out of the beer. Too overpowering the beer character .
Medium bodied, this beer is one I will not revisit.

Photo of andrewjraab
2.92/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice looking brew - copper brown, good clarity. 2 fingers of brownish head.

A- spices - nutmeg overpowers cinnamon and all together smells a bit like egg nog. The taste from the smell and overall it is just not that balanced and has too much spice. I would like more of the bitter to shine and balance this better

O. I bought this as a one off and I will prob never try it again.

Photo of socon67
3.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark copper colored beer with no lacing of any kind. Thin white foam shrinks fast. Almost looked flat, but wasn't. Opaque.

S - Strong notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, corriander, and ginger. Smells alot like my Christmas tree.

T - Very spicy feel that takes over the beer. The subtle hop bitterness is nearly washed out, but over time is more noticeable. Has a fresh grain taste as well. But the cinnamon & nutmeg make this a near spice bomb. Acutally paried well with peppery Tex-Mex.

M - No way would I have more than one of these. Too spicy to make enjoyable. One is nice, a second would be a bit painful.

O - Interesting and fun, but this is over the top on the spices. For people that really love cinnamon flavors this is going to be a very good beer. I think they could have toned this down.

Photo of ColdWaffles
3.99/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Smith Pint Glass.

Appearance: Kind of a boring looking beer. Doesn't really keep its head or anything. Color isn't anything to speak of. Light cream colored head and copper color.

Smell: Cinnamon and nutmeg! Gingersnaps! Spiced ale.

Taste: Kinda tastes like a gingersnap flavored beer. Really enjoy it, though I tend to like any spice "winter warmer" ale. I've had a couple of these now, and this has grown on me a lot.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light ale overall, with moderate carbonation. Might like this a little heavier.

Overall: Pretty enjoyable beer. Not sure this is for everyone, but if you like cinnamon or gingersnaps, chances are you will dig this.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.42/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best By 02/15/13

A: Pours an amber color with a fingers worth of light tan head

S: Mostly a bit of maltiness with a big helping of cinnamon and nutmeg. The spices really dominate

T: Follows the nose. Dominated by cinnamon and nutmeg, along with a solid malt backbone. Slightly sweet throughout. Again, not much else but the spices

M: Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

O: If you like spiced beers, then this one will fit your niche nicely. Otherwise, I'd stay clear of this one. I enjoy the spices this time of the year, so I am enjoying this one. Wouldn't really care for it any other time of the year though. Again though, use discretion with purchasing if you don't like spiced brews

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

surprised to see this rated so low. the pour is clear dark copper in color, with a really disappointing white head. the nose is more fall spice than winter, with cinnamon and clove, similar to a pumpkin beer, but the flavor reveals a nice sweet caramely malt profile, which holds up the spice well. its wintery with the spices loaded on the back end, and the sweetness of the malt all the way through. finish is really clean for the style. mouthfeel is okay, a little thin in body, i would like this even more with a bigger dose of malts. the carbonation is fine though, and this one is pretty easy drinking. my problem with it is the abv, i like to see a bit stiffer of a winter warmer, something to really warm me, and this takes too many to do that job. thats my most severe critique of an otherwise quite palatable brew.

Photo of thecheapies
3.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Harpoon Winter Warmer. First beer during our Thanksgiving Beer Celebration! Poured into a clean Great Lakes-labeled pint glass.

Dark burnt amber color. Cappuccino-like head full of wet density. Quite clear. Noticeable carbonation rising in the liquid. No lacing, however.

Fig, date, cinnamon and other mulling spices, toasted grain, light booze, and hard caramel candy. Roasted notes give it a toffee aroma. Quite aromatic.

Semi-sweet dark fruits, some candied and some just dried. Pronounced spicing with flavors of nutmeg, allspice, mace, and cinnamon. Dates and fig generalize the noted fruit essences. Herbal notes seem purposeful and from hopping. Generously toasted with a malt-heavy forcefulness. Accompanied by edgy and sugar-cutting bitterness. Still winds up a little sweet.

Very quaffable noting the lacking strength. Oily body fills out at a medium level of body with a lighter carbonation that feels a little sandy. Doesn't exactly work as a warmer, Harpoon's Winter Warmer needs gulped a bit to establish the better feel. I'm in-between about how this is working.

A most appropriate beer to kick off this holiday season. Would enjoy this more if the temperature outside was about fifteen degrees colder. One of my girlfriend's favorite winter seasonals, and one of my favorite Harpoon ales.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Is a "winter warmer" under 6% ABV actually gonna warm you in any appreciable sense? In any case, this stuff pours a clear sunset copper topped by a finger of sandy cream foam. The nose comprises ginger, clove, brown sugar, light toffee, banana, and candied orange peel. The taste brings in more of the same, with the focus heavily now on the spices, particularly the clove and brown sugar, which end up o'erwhelming all else. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a slick feel, and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, not a bad winter warmer, but a decidedly one-dimensional one.

Photo of CFHMagnet
2.89/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Head is thin and almost orange cream colored. Body color is a saving quality, as it is a nice looking rosy copper. The head is gone in seconds, with no lacing even thought of.

Nutmeg, mild cinnamon, cloves, sweet malt and overripe banana make up the nose.

Flavor starts off fine. Mild sweet malt, nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of banana... then it goes south. Overpowering nutmeg and a light but unpleasant bitterness just take over and ruin it for you.

Mouthfeel is light bodied. Goes down just fine.

Photo of thlayli87
2.74/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a ruby-tinged medium brown with a miniscule head that dissipated almost instantaneously. Needless to say no lacing. Strong smell of cinnamon. Taste was like a watered down diet cherry soda. Mouthfeel was also thin and soda-like. Give this one a pass.

Photo of brewsadedotcom
3.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into my Bogota Beer Company pint glass

A: Pours with about about a half inch off-white head. Clear reddish copper color. Decent lacing.

S: Aroma of nutmeg, clove and vanilla. Very pleasant.

T: Prominent taste of clove and malt. Medium bodied finished.

M: Moderate carbonation. Definitely some malty chewiness but not overwhelming

O: This is a solid winter beer, however it would not be my first choice when choosing a beer of this style

Photo of BostonHops
3.23/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottler served in a SA "perfect pint" glass. (best by date 03/15/11)

pours a clear copper tone with golden highlights. finger of creamy, beige colored head fades somewhat quickly into a thin cap, collar around the glass.

nose is overrun with spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. some malt characters as well. the spices are nice, but a little overdone. taste is a step back. the spices follow through headlining the flavor profile, but overshadow most other elements of the beer... bit of a metallic twang to it.

light bodied mouthfeel... a bit thin... average carbonation. goes down easy enough but the spices wear you down in short order. all in all it's not terrible, but definitely an average winter warmer.

originally reviewed: 01-16-2011

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

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours dark amber to copper in color with amber highlights. I got an inch of beige head.

S - Surprisingly the aroma doesn't seem to have faded. I get plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T - I get tons of spices in the flavor. Cinnamon and nutmeg are apparent. I swear I get some clove in there as well.

M - Medium

O - I'm impressed how the spices held up over time. This beer definitely has a winter spice taste to it. Try it if you like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Photo of ckollias
3.73/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours an amber-brown hue with a frothy, 2-finger, white head that slowly dissipates in, leaving a nice trail down the glass, and finally ending a solid persistent lace.

S: Malty aroma with hints of banana cloves and spices.

T: Very smooth malty flavor with a spicy background. An equal mix of sweet and bitter with a slightly hoppy finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Tasty winter warmer – very smooth and enjoyable.

Photo of Kelly88
3.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A- pours a deep amber brownish color with a velvety thin cap of khaki head. No lacing in the glass but still a nice looking beer.

S- lots of cinnamon and nutmeg reminds me of a gingerbread cookie. Not my favorite smells in a beer but it is good

T- pretty much follows the nose. Tastes of this are way more enjoyable than the smell.

M- silky and weird. I like more carbonation and this beer is kind of watery

O- not a bad take on the hearty spicy winter warmer style. The only major problem for me was the pudding like feel. Overall all it tasted fine and was par forth style

Photo of TheDeuce
2.14/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Harpoon Winter Warmer…in a bottle from the Winter Mix Pack

Appearance-Dark amber with a one inch white head, not much in the way of head retention. Minimal lacing.

Smell-spicy aroma, nutmeg and cinnamon, alcohol and sweetbread as well. Pungent.

Taste/Mouthfeel-Also spicy but with a sticky sweetness, this combined taste overpowers the other notes of alcohol and breaded malt. Medium mouthfeel, ends with more spicy nutmeg notes, more sips to try to get past it but I really can’t. The flavor is not very appetizing, I barely finished the bottle.

Overall-this beer is a miss, plenty of better options on this style. Harpoon overloaded it with candied sugar and the mix doesn’t taste well. Stay away.

Photo of crhensel
3.48/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12 oz. into pint) Poured a deep, dark copper with a one finger head and great retention on the glass. Aroma was strong of the winter spices, especially cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as a slight citrus underneath. Definitely warming, but not as much as others in the style, having a lower ABV than I am used to with these. The flavor was strong of the cinnamon up front, with a slight hop and nice malty sweetness at the finish. Definitely one I will find again next season.

Photo of teromous
3.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Right away I can see that the head goes away way too fast. There's no real lacing. The beer itself is a nice dark amber color, which is very clear. There are very few bubbles in the glass.

S: I can smell the spices. It has a smell similar to custard pie...kind of an eggy cinnamon smell.

T: It is extremely light in flavor. I get a very faint bread flavor...like the crust of a whole wheat loaf. Then, there is the light cinnamon spice flavor. Overall it's very light though.

M: There isn't much of a mouthfeel. It doesn't even feel like it's in my mouth while drinking it...which is weird.

O: I wouldn't drink it again. It feels very empty and unsatisfying.

Photo of BeerNoobNC
3.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to pint glass. The smell and flavor is exactly like others I have had of this style, it just seems a little weaker. Lots of cinnamon-ish spices in the flavor, along with some bitter and malty flavors as well. Overall, this is a decent beer, but I have definitely had better ones in this style.

Photo of brewemstrong
2.82/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light amber but incredibly transparent for the color- looks watered down. Almost no head even given an aggressive pour. Some lace

S: Mostly toasted malt with some cinnamon and nutmeg spice. Nothing hop-like to be found. Not sure what's going to carry the beer.

T: Tons of cinnamon probably helps the lack of real maltiness. Again, nothing hoppy. Nutmeg helps the finish.

M: The bottle says this is full bodied, but that's a strech. It's well carbonated and doesn't have a sticky finish

O: Nothing special here. Fine to try during the season but probably better on tap

Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
73 out of 100 based on 1,436 ratings.