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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 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 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 MrHungryMonkey
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany red. Mild head. Medium carbonation. Clear.

Dark ripe fruit. Belgium candy sugar.

Light grape flavor. Sour/tart. Quite light. Belgium Dark Ale vibe.

Nice carbonation. Moderate foamation. Leaves nice toffee-like coating in mouth. Carbonation ebbs to a nicely smooth brew.

Alright, not best Winter Warmer. Enjoyable but could be stronger or more complex. It just doesn’t do much. Rahr needs to assert itself as something other than just “that local brewery from Fort Worth.”

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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 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 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 GregSVT
4.4/5  rDev +18.3%
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!

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This winter warmer is dark brown almost opaque with a quick to disappear tan head. The sides of the glass reveal caramel colored highlights and that this actually is a clear liquid.

The nose is mild for a warmer. I was expecting stronger scents of chocolate and dark fruits especially as dark as Rhar's is. The smells are there but don't really come through as much as I'd like. There is a nice roasted malt that I hope is bolder in the taste.

The taste is mostly about the malts with a fair amount of English hop flavor. The malts dominant with a hearty roasted characteristic and some of those missing scents appearing in the flavor. Dark stone fruits with hints of booze and light smoke. Not overpowering and well balanced with the hops.

Mouthfeel is also very pleasant with a mild carbonation and a full bodied brew. That combo makes it seem like a thick drink but one that you can sip on all night. Flavorful and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is from another six-pack of Rahr & Sons beer that I got in a trade with Bryan. I know this is out of season, but it's been refrigerated and seems to have held up pretty well. I served this chilled in one of my NERAX pint glasses.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, ruby-tinted brown with a thick, fluffy, beige head that fades to a thin film leaving sheets of lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: The smell is predominantly malty: toasty malts, raisins, and maybe a hint of holiday spices.

Taste: Toasty and bready malts upfront. Moves into rasiny dark fruit flavors in the center, which are maintained through to the finish where they're cut by a clean graininess and a faint bitterness. There's a nice alcoholic spice in the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, light carbonation, but still fells a little bit thin.

Drinkability: Flavorful, but not overly strong.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This winter warmer was had in a snifter from Florida.

The opaque, dark brown body barely shows dark crimson highlights. The weak head could not even muster full coverage of the dark cap, leaving only a tawny ring around the glass.

Sticking the nose right down into the beer only brings out a general malty sweetness, the slightly toffee-like impression was hard to come by. A roasted malt quality blending with that sweetness vaguely reminds one of peanut butter, flashes very briefly. Finally, with a little warming, some soft aromas of plums and figs escape from the glass. Entirely too hard to sniff out this beer, soft, vague.

The flavor profile of this winter warmer begins with a caramel malt sweetness that intimates raisins and figs. A roasty malt hits mid-palate, contributing brown sugar and char. The finish, once again, reintroduces the figgy quality with a building char from the roasted malt. This beer is not really complex, but the sweetness is well balanced with the charred quality of the roasted malt.

A lighter body blends with a rather watery feel over the tongue. Not much going on here in the way of carbonation, this could have been creamier, to compliment the slight drying finish.

I keep going back and forth on Rahr and Sons Winter Warmer. It is soft on the nose, but the sweet malts are enticing. The palate is not that complicated, but I really enjoyed the figgy, charred flavors. I think what would have really helped this beer was a better carbed mouth feel and stronger nose. It is a good beer, just not a great one.

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Photo of Pellinore1
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to OakedCanuck for sending this bottle.

Pours deep brown, leaving about a finger of light tan head that dissipated fairly quickly.

The aroma is primarily malty, with dark fruit, caramel, and some toasted nuttiness.

The flavor is pretty straightforward here. Sweet, roasty malts dominate, with just a bit of spice.

This beer is medium bodied and smooth, with a well hidden ABV contributing to drinkability.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
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. :)

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown head with a small tan head
S-caramel malt, sweet, noble hops aroma
T-roasted malt with a dose of hop aftertaste that is mixed with a roasted finish
M-medium body and low carbonation
O-a good mix of everything with a good balance. A great beer from Texas.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a sucker for seasonals. This was a pleasant discovery at the Central Market in SA recently.

Pours a bright mahogany brown with a tight, off-white head on top. Some decent, heavy lace rings appear as the foam subsides. The nose is earthy, with some sweet malts, dense spices, and dark fruits. I also get some apple and/or pear scents. Some dirty caramel too. Not bad on whole, but a bit subdued. The taste follows suit, delivering some sweet malty fruit flavors mixed in with a spicy medley, accented mostly by a light pepper taste. Finishes nice and dry, with a noticeable hop kick. Mouthfeel is firm, almost chewy at times. Certainly a solid brew.

This is one of the better Rahr efforts, in my opinion. Their Bucking Bock is nice, but I think this better suits the style they're trying for. A very nice, well-balanced winter warmer. Not heavy-handed or faint of heart, this really comes across well overall. And at almost 8% ABV, the high alcohol is masked remarkably well. This could almost be sessionable. Well done here.

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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 BigRedN
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed case of 6 packs brought back from trip to Fort Worth, TX. While it is not exactly winter anymore, it is about 45 degrees and pouring rain, kinda close to winter in Texas.

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a clear, dark brown. I get a 1/2 inch off white head from the pour. Patchy lacing as I consume the beer.

Smell: Scent of some malts (lightly roasted) and dark fruits. A touch spicy along with some piney hops.

Taste: Good malty backing with some spicyness showing up as well. Nice little piney hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with good carbonation. Just a hint of alcohol burn, but for a beer near 8%, I wound almost expect a little more.

Drinkability: A decent drinker, I was worried that is was left over from winter and may be a little old. I think this still had a litttle life left in it. At $8.99 a six pack I could not see myself purchasing this on a regularly basis in the winter, but I will not have that choice as this is not available to me (unless I have to make another trip to Ft. Worth).

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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 Premo88
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic
(329 14 printed on bottle -- Nov. 25, 2014 bottled, I'm assuming)

L: deep, dark red but clear ... in fact, it's almost lager-like clear, very striking up to the light; looks dark brown with no light, but you can still see the clarity at the edges; just a little more than a skin of a head, very thin, 1/8-inch tops, tan; keeps a decent collar; no stick or lace

S: standard porter notes of dark roasted malt, a bit of charred wood, prunes and figs; sweeter than the taste

T: roasted malt pops with a sweetness and woodiness ... a lightly charred oak, not full-on burnt; a twinge of alcohol flavor -- something is catching the sweetness, holding it and killing it on the back end, and it's not all burnt malt/charred wood; maybe a pinch of semi-sweet chocolate; the charred oak wood note dominates all others

F: very thin for what tastes like a porter/stout

O: if Rahr labelled this a "porter," I wouldn't know enough to say different; very thin mouthfeel, standard taste and smell notes of roasted/charred malt, subdued sweetness, subdued hop profile, none of the spices you run into in many American-made winter warmers ... the 8.5% ABV is the only tip here that this isn't a simple porter; frankly, I love it because it's one of the easiest drinking higher ABV beers I've run across. fans of the big spicy, robust winter warmer might frown on this lighter take on the style.

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Photo of BeanBone
2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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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 angelmonster
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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

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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 whoneeds8
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Bagman007
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap and poured in a bottle.

A- Deep brown with a thick head.

S- Malty, caramel smell with a hint of hops.

T- Very malty, yet you can definitely taste the spices. Not too hoppy at all.

M- Not bitter. Very smooth actually. Not too malty either.

D- Very drinkable. Doesn't have a lot of hops and it doesn't have an overpowering caramel flavor either. Pretty good beer.

Great Winter Warmer from the local Fort Worth brewery.

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