Harpoon Winter Warmer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Winter WarmerHarpoon Winter Warmer

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627 Reviews

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Reviews: 627
Hads: 1,440
Avg: 3.17
pDev: 20.5%
Wants: 10
Gots: 183 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 627 | Hads: 1,440
Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
2.89/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of thlayli87
2.74/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of brewsadedotcom
3.07/5  rDev -3.2%
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

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Photo of BostonHops
3.23/5  rDev +1.9%
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

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Photo of buschbeer
3.62/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of ckollias
3.73/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of Kelly88
3.25/5  rDev +2.5%
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

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Photo of TheDeuce
2.14/5  rDev -32.5%
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.

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Photo of crhensel
3.48/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of teromous
3.09/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerNoobNC
3.03/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of brewemstrong
2.82/5  rDev -11%
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

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Photo of Pegasus
3.7/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Lovely toned copper color, with brilliant clarity, crowned by a massive, dense, moderately coarse off-white head, with thick, patchy lacing. A few small streams of fat bubbles rise lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Rich, spicy aroma, of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, orange peel, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Taste: Opens with toasted caramel malt, followed by bitter coffee, earth midway through the taste, which rise to ascendency as the taste progresses. Finishes with a pleasant wave of Christmas spices and a mild earthy hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, soft.

Drinkability/notes: As others have noted, this beer is on the low end of the winter warmer spectrum, nonetheless, its very good and quite drinkable.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry-off cap, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.6/5  rDev +45.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A: deep honey colored brew, medium clarity. lite amber head that tastes like, cinamon? really Christmas - y. settles leaving a wonderful full lace

S: cloves maybe?

T: unlike any beer I've tasted but I like it a lot. Like a spciy cookie but not too sweet.

M: medium- full body. no ABV bite.

D: this is RICH = flavored. no to be guzzled.

LOVE the FLAVOR! but very unusual

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger head with nice amount of lacing on a clear amber body.

S: peppery and cinnamon in the aroma.

T: tons of cinnamon flavor and gingerbread. Caramel malt background.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this beer is appropriately flavored for the winter season. For what it is trying to be it is actually very good.

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Photo of wingman14
3.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish red with an off white head that fades fast. Smell is mostly nutmeg with the cinnamon and malt present as well. Taste follows with the nutmeg being the star. The flavor is not complex but is nice. The flavors are not too overpowering, this one won't get annoying after a few. Mouthfeel is medium, but could have had more depth. Overall a good winter warmer, decent flavors, a better mix a flavor could put this over the top.

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Photo of gfreed
1.03/5  rDev -67.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

In the derby for bad beer from the most over-hyped East-cast brewer, until now I held that any brew from Sam Adams would by default take the trophy. Now I stand corrected: Boston Brewing must now share said trophy with Harpoon. This winter warmer ranks among the flattest, flavorless, most aromaless beer on today's market, and it's a fine addition to all of the other flavorless, aromaless beer that Harpoon brews. The only thing separating this beer from a glass of water is the price.

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Photo of metter98
3.15/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high fluffy and dense off white head that slowly died down, leaving thick lacing down the sides of the glass and thin lacing covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of nutmeg in the nose along with hints of cinnamon.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some elements of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. No warmth from the alcohol is perceptible.
O: The beer is easy to drink compared to others in the style but could use more complexity and fuller-bodied nature to make it more of a beer that can be enjoyed while sipped.

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Photo of tdm168
3.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with a half an inch of off white head that has decent retention. There are noticeable carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The nose is heavy cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is lightly malty with some cinnamon and nutmeg coming through, but there's an unbalanced bitterness in the finish. I get a little bit of red apple as well. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, dry, and a little heavily carbonated.

This was my first winter warmer years ago when I was living in Boston. I remember it being fantastic. Maybe I've become more snobbish, but I find it to be rather simple and a little unrefined now. It's still a decent, drinkable beer, but it's somehow now one dimensional and a little forgettable for me.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out as a dark amber color with a white head on top. the lacing was minimal along with the retention. the smell of the beer had some spicy notes on the nose along with some sweet malts. The taste of the beer reminded me too much a pumpkin ale, I felt that their spice choice might have been a little off here. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad but still pretty average. Overall this isn't something I'd go oout of my way to have again. There are some better choices out there in my opinion.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, pale, clear, copper coloring with a thin, off-white head that is very low profile. Slight cling to the glass as the beer moves around. A muddled aroma of spices, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice on the nose, and a slight caramel malt in the background. The flavors are a burnt malt sweetness, with only a little bit of the spicing coming through, and an awkward hopping. The flavors end up a bit jumbled, and overly sweet to the point of tangy. The beer is a little light bodied for the style, and it leaves a slick, oily finish. There is a tangy caramel aftertaste that hangs on the palate, almost to the point of becoming sour. Not my favorite for the style, nor from Harpoon.

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Photo of Jerermy
3.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep amber color. Mine had a lot of head but i chalked that up to a bad poor. The foam settled quickly to almost nothing.

The aroma is powerful, nutmeg and clove are easily identifiable.

Taste is not as impressive as the aroma but still enjoyable. Caramel sweetness sneaks in with some cinnamon and ginger.

Smooth medium body feel with enough carbonation to sting the back of your tongue.

Not the boldest of winter warmers but still satisfying. This beer is a staple in my fridge each winter.

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Photo of Gmann
3.47/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark amber color. The head is quite small and settles into a light ring.

The aroma is strong on the nutmeg, with lighter scents of cinnamon and ginger. Its a spicy aroma but not too strong. The malt is light and isn't very noticable beyond the spice.

The taste is of nutmeg and ginger with hints of cinnamon. The spice is not as strong in the taste. The malt is light and tea like; lemony and astringent. Some light caramel sweetness. Basically an amber ale with some spices.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. THe beer is lightly sweet on the palate and finishes astrigent.

Kind of a shallow winter warmer. It has some nice spice notes but not much of a malt body. I don't really dig the amber base.

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Photo of corsendonkfan
3.61/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Yellowish amber color with a little head that leaves a lasting lacing around the side. Can see a lot of carbonation that lasts for a while after pouring.

S: Love the smell of this beer. Simply put it smells like Christmas. Hints of pine, lots of cinnamon spice.

T: Light tasting considering how much smell the beer has. Taste of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. The spice taste also reminds me of christmas smells and foods. Slightly noticeable taste of cherry as well

M: Does not feel heavy. Can feel a good amount of carbonation in this beer.

O: When I think of a beer that is perfect for Christmas all around, I think of Harpoon Winter Warmer. It is impressive that you can make a beer that tastes and smells so much like the holidays, and since it is not very heavy it is fine for family members who are not accustomed to drinking heavy/tasteful beers.

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Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
73 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.