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Winter Warmer - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

82 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 199
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 7.24%
Wants: 4
Gots: 39 | 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
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 199
Photo of j5uh
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (284 characters)

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Winter seasonal from Rahr & Sons, our only local brewery in DFW that actually bottles. This one is typical for Rahr, decent, but doesn't stand out. Pours a dark brown, blackish, purple-y tinged color with some head that leaves quickly. Smell is pretty good, some seasonal spices (nutmeg), dark fruit and hops. The main flavor is the sweet, toasty malt. It isn't overly sweet but the malt is the main feature here. Some of the spices in the nose show up but are hidden. Thin mouthfeel and sticky. Easy enough to drink but just not exciting to drink. I hope the whiskey barrel version is a lot better. (636 characters)

Photo of webbcreative
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Dark brown with red highlights, 2 finger off white head.
Smell = I don't know, im really not getting much aroma at all. Taste = a little sweet at first, then roasted barley, not any bitterness, but some cinnamon and maybe ginger.
Mouthfeel = Thin/Medium.

Overall this a a solid winter warmer, cannot detect the 8.5% abv in the feel or flavor at all,I can start to feel the effects near the end of the glass, but never would have guessed it that high on taste alone. (473 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours an extremely dark brown color...looks black in the glass until held up to the light when tinges of reddish brown pull at the edges of the beer. No head to speak of, only a few wisps of bubbles on the surface and a thin, uneven collar of off white foam on the edges.

S - A bit fruity, a bit or roastiness, some dark malty aromas, just the slightest of hop bite on the edges. Really restrained aroma...a struggle to pull it out, even swirling rather vigorously fails to release much aroma.

T - Follows the aroma to a T. Roasty malts are the most prominant, but still quite subtle, a bit of coffee like bitterness and some sweet dark malty flavors chime in. Hops are fruity and not especially bitter, just there to balance, which they seem to do pretty well - no unbalanced sweetness to be found. Pretty well rounded although flavors all seem a bit muted.

M - Surprisingly thin for a beer that is fairly malt dominant at kicks in at 8.5% alcohol. Carbonation is medium level with a good tingle felt throughout the mouth. Somewhat watery feel detracts a bit from the enjoyability of this one.

D - Alcohol presence is extremely well masked, does not drink like an 8.5% beer. Thin mouthfeel enhances this easy drinking sensation. I could see unknowingly plowing through a few of these and ending up in trouble. Flavors are good but not very strong, enjoyable overall, but memorable. (1,436 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark ruddy brown with brighter ruby highlights when held up to light. Very thin, light brown head with decent retention. Scattered lacing left on the glass.

S - Lots of spices up front with noticeable cinnamon and nutmeg. A touch of dark fruit comes through as well. Some lightly roasted grains provide the backbone. Smells like a winter warmer, but nothing spectacular.

T - Straight up brown malts with not a whole lot else going on. The requisite spices come through including cinnamon and allspice. Light alcohol taste but very well masked given the ABV.

M/D - A touch on the thin side which is disapointing, but still well balanced flavors. Still very easy drinking and the ABV does provide some winter warming for sure. (731 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JosephLondon for the bottle.

Winter Warmer pours a red stained, nut brown color. It's moderately hazy, but has nice scarlet highlights with some light behind it. A cream colored head sits on top and rises to about a finger. It dissipates quickly, leaving very light lacing behind.

The nose is weak and rather average. A few light, holiday spices are noted. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are noted. It smells a little sweet and malty. Smells like caramel malts are the base, but it's not very aromatic at all. A very light dark fruit scents of raisin and plum are noted. That rounds it out. It's not bad, but would benefit greatly from more strength.

The flavor is above average. It is a little sweet and has a pretty good malty base. It's complemented by the typical holiday spices - cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Yeast is more prominent here and has a slight bread-like flavor. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and plum complement the spices. They're subtle, but effective. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Finishes sweet and holiday spicy. It's rather straight forward for a winter warmer, but is a decent beer.

Winter Warmer has a light-medium body that's nearly smooth. Carbonation is rather light and helps quite a bit. Drinkability is above average. The flavor here is pretty solid for what it is. It's not great by any means, but I could see myself drinking a few on a nice holiday night. That would be especially true if I lived in Texas.

This is my first exposure to Rahr & Sons Brewing Company beer. Winter Warmer is pretty good, but doesn't really stand out. Everything about it seems a little too tame. It's tough to distinguish yourself in the winter warmer category. If you want to achieve that goal, you've got to be bolder than this. More of everything is in order. On its face, this isn't bad beer, but it needs work to reach the next level. Nonetheless, I'm happy to try it out. I love beer that's new to me. Thanks, Joseph. (1,953 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (766 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this brew from whoneeds8 for winning SNF Squares Week 13. Thanks Maston!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Dark brown with a very small beige head that dissappeared in 2 minutes.
Not much to smell, some nutty/chocolate malt.
Taste isn't much more than the smell, sweet, nutty and chocolatey.
Medium bodied with a thin feel.
It was drinkable but there are much better winter warmers out there. (411 characters)

Photo of scottg
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

thanks to whoneeds8 for this one.
12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown with a pencil thin off white head leaving no retention. Aromas of molasses and subtle holiday spices. Sweet taste up front-caramel with some nuttiness and hints of spices. The spices are nicely balanced, never dominant. Light carbonation and body, watered down consistency. Average drinkability, the aromas and flavors are nice, but the feel ruins this one. (450 characters)

Photo of whoneeds8
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass dark black with very little head. I could tell the carbonation with this one was going to be an issue. And it is. The smell is strong of carmelized nuts with a slight oak hint. The taste is about the same as the scents, only the carmelized flavors are kind of lacking. The mouthfeel to me is terrible, the carbonation is almost nonexistent. It has a watered down feel to it. If they could get a better consistency on this, the over all drinkability would be great, but it doesn't so it's not. (517 characters)

Photo of natelocc787
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (839 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 7/23/2009 (bottle):

Pours a dark reddish brown colored body, with a foamy, average creamy off-white color head. Malty aroma, with some roasted notes. Has a watery palate. Some roasted taste. Not too bad tasting, a little malty sweet. A little hot. (257 characters)

Photo of PEBKAC
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from BigTex early in the year. I forgot about this one. It's almost in season again. :D

Screw cap, the Captain's pint glass, the Minnesota Twins embarrassing themselves on primetime.

A couple inches of bubbly, sandy-colored head. Filtered, ebony wood body.

Smells of skim chocolate milk & crystal malt. Faint herbal bitterness & clay.

Gentle roast, a light & slight red grape skin thing, mild anise, barely woody. Watered down cola sweetness. Earthy, slightly lingering bitterness. A bit muted overall, but no noticeable oxidation. At room temperature the beer throws out a little pleasant stream of light grade maple syrup.

Frothy, thinner then expected, with a drying finish. Alcohol was very quiet. I could of done with something a little heavier. Middle of the road, but still pretty soft & soothing. :) (821 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wagenvolks for the opportunity to try this one. Served in a standard pint glass. Poured the color of cola with a loose, half inch, tan-colored cap. Head eventually recedes into a creamy, intact skim. Thick slashes of lacing were exposed during the tasting. Nose reveals chocolate malt and toffee. Taste consistent with nose, but also some dark fruit and a roasted quality in the mix. Mouthfeel was a little thin and quite fizzy/gassy. Decent drinkability - fairly flavorful with a well-hidden abv, but too much carbonation makes it difficult to drink more than one or two at best. (590 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought this a few months ago and have been sitting on it waiting to see how it developed over time.

A: Pours a dark brown almost black with a big tan head and decent lacing as the head fades to a small ring.

S: Smell is wonderful with dark malts and holiday spices on the forefront with a bit of dark fruit in the background.

T: This is one of the best tasting Winter Warmer brews I've ever had. First flavors are deep roasted malt with a lot of christmas spices and a smokey flavor on the finish. Great stuff.

M: A good amount of carbonation and bit creamy. A tiny bit on the thin side but still pretty good.

D: I could drink this all day/night and then some. The ABV, at close to 8%, will creep up on you if you have more than 2 but the alcohol is no where to be seen in the smell, taste, or mouthfeel.

This is my favorite bottled beer from Rahr and the Bourbon Barrel version is even better if you can get a glass of it. Hopefully they bottle the Bourbon version in 2009 instead of making it draught only. HINT HINT! (1,026 characters)

Photo of AChamberlain
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Hyde Park Market in Austin. Surprised to find it in August. Poured muddy and ruby. Almost purple. Soft half inch head. The head stayed the entire drink. Dark fruits, raisins in aroma, some smoke, peet as well. Spicy, but a flat spiciness, not sharp. Malt forward, smoky malt flavor. Subtle fruit flavors as well. Smooth mouthfeel, almost silky. Flavor, aroma, mouthfeel all come together to make a nice beer to take your time with. (444 characters)

Photo of DougE
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a resent trip "home" to see my folks.
Having grown up in Texas I know many of the micros there can be a let down. But not Rahr and Son's W.W.
From the get go the pour was great a beautiful reddish brown with a head that stuck around for awhile. and lacing that covered the glass throughout the few minutes it took for me to gobble this one down and lots of sediment in the bottle. The smell was ok with some raisin and some roasted malts, but kinda a let down. The taste was also great on this one, and thats the most important, Right? The aroma would have never prepared me for a taste so good. Nutty and Malty with late bitterness. Mouth feel was a weak link, not full bodied as stated on the bottle.
Over all this is a great beer with the taste making up for any of the other shortcomings. My only regret is that I did not share with my friends here. Sorry guys... (886 characters)

Photo of omnigrits
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (773 characters)

Photo of BeanBone
2.78/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A murky mahogany-brown body with plenty of ruby highlights. Up top, a finger's width of off-white head that recedes rather quickly and leaves barely any lacing.

Aroma: Roasty malt with lots of nutty, spicy, and raisiny notes. Maybe a little cocoa as well.

Taste: Rather unique, this is very nutty, herbal, and almost vegetable-like. There's still plenty of dark fruit and roasty malt in the mix as well. The alcohol is hidden very well and the aftertaste is of grainy and roasty malt.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly for the style, this is a little on the thin side. Dry throughout.

Drinkability: Between average and sipper territory. While it's somewhat light-bodied and the flavor profile isn't overly powerful or boozy, eventually the alcohol content has to slow you down.

Verdict: To be frank, I'm a little confused by this beer. Rahr's website list this as full-bodied, and that's certainly what you'd expect from a Winter Warmer, but the body just fails to measure up. So while it's certainly not a bad beer, it's not a particularly good one either. (1,064 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (1,055 characters)

Photo of Kromes
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of angelmonster
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a 2 finger beige head. Very dark brown body , light brown towards bottom. Head retention and lacing are great

Smell is of faint malt and some alcohol , very underwhelming

Taste is roasted, burnt chocolate malt.Bit of espresso, alcohol, and some hop bitterness. Very complex, well balanced

Good balance of carbonation, slightly creamy head. Pretty light body for a winter warmer

Very good flavors, high drink ability. Only thing that seems weird to me is how a beer so good can smell so bland. Aroma is easily overlooked compared to overall greatness of all the other qualities of this beer.

After looking through the other reviews of this beer seems odd that mostly everyone else detected a lot more aromas , dont know what happened with my bottle (759 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 2 Feb 2008.

A small dark tan head disappears within seconds of being in the glass. Clear dark brown color. Aroma is raisiny sweet. Starts with some clove and slight spiciness. Moderately chocolatey throughout. Faint bitterness in finish. Medium body. Alcohol hidden.

Overall seems somewhat uninspired for a winter warmer. (343 characters)

Photo of jnn4v
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I actually found this beer on tap at Freetail Brewing on the North side of San Antonio. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and wish I could find it in my local area.

Appearance - Dark brown color, barely translucent.

Smell - Toasted, roasted malts. Sweetness rising as the temperature of the brew did. Just a slight hint of the bourbon / oak flavors that would come through later.

Taste - I almost gave this a 5. It was nearly perfect flavor for my tastes. Nice and malty, but with a sort of bourbon barrel flavor - almost reminiscent of the Dominion Oak Barrel Stout (which I love) but in a winter warmer body.

Mouthfeel - Good texture, although ever so slightly more carbonated and less "thick" than I was hoping for with a dark brown ale / warmer of this caliber.

Drinkability - More please? This serving was gone far too quickly. It only improved as it warmed from the original keg temperature. I think it was best around 55 degrees if I were to wager a guess. (972 characters)

Photo of aeminter
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Almost black with amber peaking out around the edges. Thick tan head.

The aroma is very rich and malty...hints of roasted nuts and....date?

Deep roasted/smokey flavors...bitter almost like coffee or bakers chocolate. There is an alcohol presence in the aftertaste and a little astringency.

Probably not something I will get again, but it has merit. If you like stouts then this may be right up your alley. (409 characters)

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