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Winter Warmer - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

82 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 200
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 19.89%
Wants: 5
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-18-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 82 | Hads: 200
Photo of sinistermadman
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown in color with a nice dense, chunky head. I pick up some mild spicy notes in the nose, but not much else. Aroma is subdued.

Nice and smooth from the start. A slight nutty bitterness along with toasted malt round out the flavor. Hops are vaguely present. The beer has an appealing presence on the palate and the alcohol doesn't hinder the drinkability in the least. I only bought a single not being overly optimistic I'd like this, but I wouldn't have any problem drinking another. Kudos to Rahr.

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Photo of Kromes
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with reddish tinge and a thick beige head. Roasted malt and slight hop aroma. Hop flavor up front with sweet Chocolate roasted malt flavor followed by hop bitterness in the finish. Good balance between sweet malt and hops. Can not detect the alcohol in this beer. very delicious and drinkable.

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Photo of omnigrits
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I found a single bottle of this sitting in amongst several other beers on the shelf and thought 'Ooh, Christmas in July!!!'

It pours a very dark red colour with some ruby highlights around the edge of the pint glass. A nice off-white head that sticks around a long time and leaves plenty of good lacing. The aroma is typical winter warmer - lots of spice, raisins, dried apricot and dark roast malt. Those are all backed up on the tongue and with a very dry, rather bitter finish. Just the way I like it, but maybe not to everyone's taste. The body though... rather a let-down. It's very thin for this kind of beer. It should be heavier. Not a bad beer all the same and one that I'd drink again, and I reckon it might benefit from some careful cellaring for a year or two.

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Photo of ranger7
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Rahr tumbler glass.
Review from notes: December 14th, 2013.

A: Coca-Cola with a small white head.

S: Roasted chocolate and some coffee bitterness.

T: Dunkel-like with some spice.

M: Little carbonation. Light and easy to drink.

O: Good. Hides alcohol well. Very nice winter warmer.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours dark brown to black with a smallish tan head. There is not too much aroma but what is there is mainly molasses and roasted malt. I really expected more aroma from a beer like this. The flavor is better than the smell. Roasted malt is the main flavor but malt sweetness and spices are also present. The spices are somewhat muddled but I think nutmeg and cinnamon are in there somewhere. The beer is not too complex but is not a bad beer. Medium body with medium carbonation. The beer is very creamy which is the best aspect of the beer.

It should be noted that this beer appears to vary in carbonation. I have had several of these this year and the carbonation has varied from almost non-existent to medium. The carbonation definitely helps the beer.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It appears jet black but you can see some red highlights when held directly up to the light. A nice tan head and really good lacing.

Coffee, cocoa, roasted malt, and charcoal In the aroma. It smells pretty tasty.

Heavy bodied but on the light side of heavy. The flavor is very similar to the aroma. Sweet coffee up front, plenty of roasted malt and cocoa in the middle. A little bitterness in the finish but still plenty of dark roasted flavors and a bit alcohol as it warms.

A really good beer overall. Really easy drinking, goes down smooth, and the flavors really blend well and change as it warms. I'm really enjoying this one.

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Photo of ruckzuck
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drinking while visiting home and on a cold night (for Houston anyway)

A - pours a deep brown which turns cherry red at the edges when held up to light. Nice off-white head which dissipated somewhat quickly to a thinner layer. Bit of lacing as well

S - malty and delicious. Some caramel, toasty malt, a bit of an earthy hop character, and some cocoa notes. Nice

T - fairly similar to the nose. Cocoa is more pronounced, but all of the nose is here IMO. I really like the more pronounced cocoa aspects. Very enjoyable

M - medium bodied with a tiny bit of carbonation

D - I like this. It isn't the most pronounced or extreme tasting winter warmer, but it's hitting the spot and it's pleasant to drink. Would drink again

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fiery, auburn hue, under a rich, lacey cream-toned head.Looking good.

Sweet, creamy...lovely stuff. Lightly spiced, ginger, cinnamon...

Drink it now... smooth stuff. Robust, hearty, nutty, sweetness turns to dry. Malty, rich, husky...a solid wintry ale. Full-bodied and staifying. Nice one.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

The beer didn't leave that much head as it finished its pour and only left a little lacing on the glass. Color is very dark, almost black, kind of a thin looking body.

Taste and smell are a nutty choclaty flavor with some residual sweetness mixed in. It actually tastes very similar to a Sam Adam's Black Lager with just more sweetness. Mouthfeel isn't bad, but could use just a tad more body.

This is a fairly tasty winter warmer from Rahr and Sons. Not the best brew they have, but certainly not bad. Also, the alcholol content of this beer is damn strong, so it really warms you up fast!

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Photo of natelocc787
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I almost bumped the taste score up to 4.5. Small head on this holiday brew but the appearance and color of the body made up for it. Good lacing in thin sheets around the glass, nice and dark for the style. The nose wasn't especially robust but offered malty, fruity notes with mild spices like vanilla bean and nutmeg. The taste is very heavy, malty with a small hop presence leaving no real bitterness to this beer. Taste brings a brown ale quality with a big dose of raspberries in the middle. The fruit presence is concentrated and very noticeable adding a tartness to the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly chewy, heavy and the carbonation is muted and perfect. Drinkability is up there with the best in this style, for a beer that,s 8% it was gone quickly. Only bought a single but I recommend anybody buying this one get the six-pack.

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Photo of cavedave
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Major thanks to Exiled for another fine beer disproving that Texas lags behind in beer quality. From notes, tasted 2/24/11.

Darkest brown, thin beige head fades quickly to a persistent ring. Has the look of a very alcoholic beer.

Nice nose, tart yeast, some roast, vanilla, some bourbon, berry, bready sweet.

Tangy berry sweet heads the parade of flavors, joined by herbal bitter hints, medium roast, vanilla, and as it warms the bourbon and oak start to come into play, though mildly. It finishes juicy with the alcohol adding some warm spice.

Hard to compare this to many winter warmers that have huge spice bills, and lots of funky spice resin on palate. This is med. body, med. carb., easy drinking, with a decent finish.

Drinkability is quite good, it's a sipper that really gets better as it opens up.

Impression: Fantastic take on a style favorite. I like the lack of holiday spice in this, and the mild barrel notes. Recommended.

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Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, unknown freshness date. This pours a dark brown with a nice tan head. The smell is higher on caramel and toffee than some, good stuff. The feel is medium. The taste is pretty good, lots of caramel, some toffee, nuts, spices, not bad.

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Photo of KodyBrannon
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, This beer poured a black color with a tan 2-finger head. Malty overtones are in the overall scent of this beer and the roasted malt flavor really warms a body up on a cold december night.The mouthfeel of this beer is slightly heavy which adds to the overall warming factor. This beer is definatly worth the trip to the store and will keep many a winter chill away.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a standard Foothills pint glass.

Pours a deep russet hue with a cola-colored core that lets in ruby red highlights at the edges. A fleeting, crackling, custard head drops to a thin sheet of tiny bubbles, but retains fairly well. Toasted chocolate and toffee malt dominate the aroma, with a backdrop of raisin, fig, and other dark fruits. The hops are a bit muted, but leafy with hints of earth.

I remember not liking this beer as much when I tried it on-tap, but the flavor profile is quite good out of the bottle. Dusty chocolate intermixes with holiday spices and raw, leafy hop notes. Alcoholic warmth and toasted, nutty malts hit the back of the palate. A bit unbalanced towards the finish, but this is a damn tasty winter warmer. Mouthfeel is crisp and highly carbonated, with a drying finish that thins out an otherwise medium body. Good beer, and a candidate for aging -- I could see myself enjoying this beer even more after a few years in the cellar to allow the hops and booziness to mellow just a bit. Well done, Rahr & Sons.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with a huge, fluffy beige head. Excellent retention and lacing. This is a good looking beer, about the right color for a WW.

Smells pretty good too. Bitter chocolate, cocoa, plums, blackberries and orange peel. Malts dominate the smell, and the hops are not noticeable.

Roasty malts are the main show in the flavor as well. Toasty maltiness, high carbonation and hop bitterness are aplenty to help balance it out. Fruitiness nearly dissapears in the tasting. Has a nice creamy, fresh feel to it. A nice job balancing winter warmer heartiness and alcohol with smoothness and drinkability. I do believe this is my favorite offering from Rahr, I will buy this again next winter!

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Photo of rfabian
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler it produces a respectable 1 inch head with moderate lacing and good retention. The appearance is dark ruby brown and clear. The aroma is of toasted malt with some spicy hops. There is a hint of chocolate and coffee. The taste is mainly of the malts with the aforementioned undercurrents of flavor. There is a notable alcoholic warmth. The finish is a bit metallic and the feel is medium to rich bodied.

This is a very satisfying and enjoyable winter warmer. I'll definitely be looking for it in the future. It's great to have such excellent craft beers being made in my home state.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Morris729 for this bottle.

My glass is filled with a liquid that looks a lot like cola with no head. No head = no lacing.

Good aroma consisting of dark roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, biscuits and nuts. Smells yummy.

The taste is just as good with the smells transformed into flavors. There is also a bit of piney hop bitterness in it.

Thinner medium body with decent carbonation. Dry aftertaste. Going down really easy. I am really going to miss all of these winter warmers when spring rolls around. Thanks, Jim, for this sample.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid pour, much darker than I assumed, with deep brown illuminated only by hints of ruby on the edges. A finger of desert tan head fades down the edges of the glass, adding drapes to the entire beer.

Strong nose of brown sugar, toffee, raisins, currants, and Brit yeast are apparent.

Alcohol is definite, but in a way that you might think this beer was aged in oak bourbon barrels with vanilla. Deep sugary malts are strong, providing a robust base for the beer to stand on.

Pretty subtle carbonation serves it well, allowing the malts to stand up for themselves.

Would love to try this one on tap sometime - a great example of a winter warmer.

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Photo of j5uh
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It smells and starts off a lot like a stout.
But it has a really mellow tone, dark chocolate, raisin taste.

The end finishes really light, almost a bit on the flat note. I would say it has a floral finish. A decent dark ale.

Not bad. I'd drink it again.
Would I recommended? sure.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Nice marketing blurb, but no helpful information like ingredients, abv, date, wait a tick, there is a smudged inkjet looking code at the very bottom of the glass! 936 AF 12:39! A quick trip to the website doesn’t list how to read the code, or give any other information about the brew. Sigh.

Aroma: First blush is plum, cherry, and well toasted malt.

Appearance: Dark brown with translucent clarity. A thin head at a firm pour that dies back to nary a covering that leaves only dots of short-lived lace.

Flavor: Rich maltiness, dark fruit, Rahr’s house yeast (I’m guessing), slight hint of wood in the finish, an earthy note.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin body, surprising given the taste profile. Carbonation is a touch high, which is surprising given the lack of cover.

Overall Impression: Well, I’m impressed more by what I don’t taste; alcohol. I can feel the effects well enough, but I’m hard pressed to find any in the taste. What I also don’t taste is any obvious flaws. A light, but nice Winter Warmer. My only real beef is the carbonation level, but I can wait that out.
Well done Rahr (and mwedge)!

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Photo of Morris729
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with ruby highlights and a short creamy head. Nose is toasted malt along with a fainter nuttiness and bit of chocolate in the background. Taste is caramelized malt and a bit of brown sugar along with semi-sweet dark chocolate and a mild hop bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden. A very nice winter warmer!

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Photo of allengarvin
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle, served into an appropriately sized mug, this beer pours out a lovely reddish-tinted mahogany with a soft, creamy head of foam atop it. Nutty, toasty malt aroma, perhaps a tad faint. Very nice flavor, with rather nutty, lightly caramel malt. Bitterness comes through nicely, though hop flavor is very light. Roasted malt lingers at the finish. Creamy, soft body.

Very nice beer, after the disappointing Bucking Bock. This shows excellent craftsmanship.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dull yet still clear brown with a thick frothy khaki head. Aroma is light, some toasty malt.

Taste is smooth, roasty malt that's not at all spicy. Dark caramelized flavors, semi-sweet brown malt with some nutty brown sugar but the overall effect is not overly sweet at all. Very, very faint trace of hops in the middle, hints of smoke, maybe some dry dark cocoa. Finish is clean and slightly bitter, no trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, almost lager-like, which exposes the brewer's well-known preference for lagers. Exists somewhere between a clean brown ale and an old ale. Bottles are better than keg; I could drink this all year round.

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Photo of roblowther
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It pours out almost black with a thin tan head that is here & gone. The smell is almost coffee-like with notes of spice - nutmeg & a hint of cinnamon. The taste is much more roasted than I expected for a winter warmer. It is almost a cross between a coffee porter and a warmer. It has that wassal-like spice of a warmer overlaying the basic dark roast of the malt. The mouthfeel is creamy but light. The lightness makes it much more "refreshing" than you'd expect of a beer of this color and flavor intensity. The drinkability is great. I had this at the brewery for my first and quickly returned to the sample bar for my second. I would have kept on had they not floated the keg. Fritz has created an interesting twist on a classic style & executed with his usual quality & style. A great warmer!

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rahr's winter warmer is a bit darker than the others I've had. It is a mirky almost-black beer with little head and only a light roasty chacolate aroma. At first this beer offers up mellow ale fruitiness, and hop bitterness that is quickly overtaken by intense caramel, that morphs into light chocolate. The sweetness only lasts a few seconds before light roasted flavor is overtaken by what seems to be a Rahr signature, a light grain astingency that I fortunately find pleasing. Aftertaste is of very light tobacco. This an intersting brew and I must give Rahr props for hiding all the alcohol here without a trace. Mouthfeel is light and creamy with low carbonation.

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Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.