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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
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 200
Photo of brentk56
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate color with a very modest head despite an increasingly hard pour; after a couple of minutes there was just a ringlet left though there was some stickage

Smell: Carmel and vanilla, with undertones of chocolate and holiday spicing of cinnamon and nutmeg

Taste: Caramel and vanilla, up front, with the chocolate undertones and holiday spices arriving by mid-palate, along with some fig and licorice elements; after the swallow, the fruity elements emerge, though the caramel and vanilla take the flavor profile home in the end

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and rather creamy, though the carbonation is rather low

Drinkability: I like the flavor profile and the creamy mouthfeel; if there were a bit more carbonation, the scores would be higher; worth seeking out

Thanks, FreeVerse, for the opportunity

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Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from Finnman, cheers! let this one sit out 25 minute before cracking it

Pours a garnet tinged chestnut with 2+ fingers of sand colored head. Near-zero head retention & lacing

S: Slight cocoa notes, some vanilla when warm

T: Vanilla, slight breadyness, plus some dark fruits & much dryness up front. Cakeyness, some carob, raisins, & ever so slight boozey notes as this warms. Finishes slightly oaky dry with jammy notes, some more pronounced vanilla & other dark fruit

MF: Thinnish, wet, but starts to recover as the beer warms to room temp, I even start feeling hints of syruppyness

Drinks easy for the ABV, but not that great a winter warmer. Maybe its because I'm sitting here watch the snow come down on a spring day, but these seems like it's built for Texas winters versus real winters. Come on Rahr, I know y'all can do better!

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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 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 claspada
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extra provided by G311, thanks a bunch.

Aromas of caramel and vanilla, with undertones of chocolate and light spicing of cinnamon and nutmeg.

The tastes begin with the same caramel and vanilla, up front, with the chocolate undertones and holiday spices arriving by mid-palate, along with some fig and dark fruit notes. As it warms the fruity elements emerge a little more, though the caramel and vanilla take the flavor profile home in the end.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and rather creamy, though the carbonation is rather low. Could use a little improvement here.

Overall I like the flavor profile and the creamy "warming" flavors; if there were a bit more carbonation, it would be a real winner. Spice isn't overdone which is a huge plus for me. Good, recommended if you can find it.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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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 champ103
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Anvil in Houston.

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights. A small beige head forms and recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Pretty neutral for the most part. Sweet malt that is lightly toasted. Some caramel like sweetness lingers.
T: Toasted malt again that is very sweet. Lots of caramel. Though more of a fruity flavor that balances out the heavy sweetness.
M/D: A medium body with good carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth. Easy to drink. Everything is well incorporated. I can quaff a few.

Enjoyable for the most part. Not the best Winter Warmer, but worth a try.

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Photo of gtermi
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with a sort of thin white head.

S: The beer had a good amount of caramel and spices. I am also getting a tiny bit of toffee.

T: Roasted malt and some spices. The spices arent as present as I wanted, but not horrible.

M: The beer is pretty carbonated, but pretty easy to drink. Nothing special at all

O: This is by far one of the better beers I have ever had from Rahr. Better luck next year.

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Photo of prototypic
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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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 Pegasus
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep amber, with a touch of haze, and a tall, dense off-white head with very good retention. Scattered sticky lacing adorns the glass walls. No carbonation is evident.

Aroma: Rich aroma of herbal hops, sweet alcohol, earth, and bitter cocoa. The aroma is beguiling.

Taste: The taste opens with toasted malts, these are the dominant characteristic throughout. As the taste progresses, notes of earth and cocoa are ascendant. At the close of the taste, a bit of herbal bitterness appears. While there is a slight warming characteristic, the high alcohol content is artfully concealed.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, rich, soft.

Drinkability/notes: An excellent example of the style, superbly enjoyable even in summer. Needless to say, recommended.

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

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass longneck bottle, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep, ruby/mahongey colored body with about a finger worth of beige head. A couple little islands and a beige ringer settle onto the body. Leaves behind some spotty lacing.

Smells sweet and caramely, a little bready. Some nutmeg type aromas are also in the nose.

The taste is pretty reminiscent of the nose. Just a touch of earthy hops up front. Some caramel sweetness and a pretty strong flavor that is rather bready. A touch vanilla, some nutmeg.

For the mouthfeel, this is on the heavy side of medium bodied. Moderate to low carbonation.

Fairly drinkable, not a bad beer. For the ABV% its pretty easy to throw this one back. Definitely on the malty side of winter warmers.

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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 portia99
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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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 alleykatking
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to OakedCanuck for the bottle.

A- Pours a darker brown color. Some light red hues show as it's held to the light. One finger white head shows low retention. No lacing on the sides of the glass it all falls back into the beer.

S- Toasted malts in the front of this. There is some light caramel and toffee malts along with some darker malts. Darker fruits come through toward the end but this is still a muted malty beer. Once it warms there is some nutty notes as well.

T- Toasted malts come out first with a hint of nutty flavoring. Caramel malts come through toward the middle with a hint of toffee as well. Sugary darker fruits come in the backing of this beer with a hint of alcohol sweetness.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was alright for the beer. Sweetness from the malts are left on the palate with alcohol added to the aftertaste. Not blended flavor wise to the style...more super malt forward. No off flavors. Alcohol shows medium dryness on the palate.

D- The muted flavors and lack of real alcohol sting makes this beer a easy drinker. Nothing over the top but nothing bad at all either. It is what it is and that is a average a little above average beer.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into mug.

A thick frothy long lasting head sits on top of a clear but dark reddish brown body. The head eventually settles to a thin cap. Stacked stringy lacing.

Very spicy and malty aromas mixed with a little bit of leafy hops. Cinnamon sticks out the most with little bits of brown sugar. Some warming alcohol aromas can be detected.

Very sweet malts, such as brown sugar flavors starts of the mix, transitioning to a midly spicy feel, to a light hop bitterness. Relatively clean finish with a little bit of lingering sweetness, that gets outlasted by a little bit of bitterness. Medium bodied with a little bit of carbonation gives a light fizzy feel, without overwhelming the flavors. The 8%ABV alcohol is hidden nicely, keeping par with the overall sweet taste.

I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Maybe a little sweet for some, but it is still nicely balanced by a touch of hops. Mine was served at cellaring temperature. Highly recommended, probably one of my favorite of the Winter Warmer style so far.

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Photo of bmwats
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark brown. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles quickly leaving a slight carbonated blanket. Pretty solid lacing.

S: Nose is of tea leaves, cola, and hilighted by roasted espresso.

T: Roasted espresso, pecan, and a little black licorice.

M: Thick and hearty. Robust roasted flavors in the front, with a lightly bitter and sweet finish which lingers.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice hue, good head, and solid lacing. Nose is a very good combo of sweetness and coffee. Nutty, roasted coffee with a touch a bittersweet-ness. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours cola brown with 1 finger of tan head.

S - Milk chocolate, sugary malt, vanilla, roasted malts. Smokey aroma as it warms.

T - Dark caramel, roasted malts, caramelized sugar, bitter dark chocolate, brown toast, nutty yeast, hints of grapes and under-ripened berries. Bittering hops adds earthiness to round off the finish. Citrus comes out on the aftertaste.

M - Moderate carbonation, light side of medium, almost thin body. No alcohol to speak of. The carbonation drops off toward the end.

Warming without the alcohol showing up. Nice cocoa and roasted malts with a solid strain of nutty yeast to glue everything together. The mouthfeel was the weak link but it wasn't a deal breaker. Everything tasted young and fresh. I'm gonna try and out one away for a year or so.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.56/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a dark brown, almost purple, with ruby hues. As with all Rahr beers, the head retention isn't there. Head starts off small and in seconds, is just a ring. No lacing. Smells of artificial cherry, from the toasty malts, roastiness, alcohol and a bit of grain. Flavor is at first roasted malt, which leads into some slight fruitiness: mostly apple and pear. Not entirely unlike their lagers, it seems. I get a little chocolate out of this. LITTLE. Finishes a bit too clean and watery for my tastes. Strange, but it has a bit of a brothy flavor to it. Where's the alcohol? Mouthfeel is slightly tingly, which is a good thing, but this is entirely too thin, especially considering the high abv. I'm not crazy over this, but it's not a drain-pour neither. This seemed to have more character on tap, but nevertheless, this is way too simple and thin, which is dangerous considering the alcohol content.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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