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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: 199
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
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 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 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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Photo of scottg
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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

This beer poured a very dark and clear an light tan head that lingers as a nice ring and lace.

The aroma is malt but not very strong. Nice, clean.

The taste was sweet to begin but finishes dry with a hint of bitterness.

Medium full mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation playing with my tongue.

A nice strong winter beer.

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Photo of webbcreative
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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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 briman
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark brown, with some ruby notes when held up to the light. Good clarity. Thin head, very little retention. Not much lacing.

Aroma is malty, with some caramel.

Flavor is malty upfront, caramel, maybe some molasses or brown sugar. Finish is fairly dry, almost some dark fruits or raising coming through. A mild hop bitterness pops up in the aftertaste.

Medium body, slightly chewy, with low to moderate carbonation. Balance leans towards the malt, but the hops show up in the finish to even things out. Alcohol is pretty well hidden in the aroma & taste, but there is a nice subtle alcohol warming. Good effort, and certainly something I'l have again.

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Photo of AChamberlain
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

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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 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 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 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 Dizzy
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium/dark brown with an off white head which dissipates very quickly.

Aroma is lots of malt.

Tastes is sweet malts and a roasted flavor, bitterness builds up after a few sips. This beer hides the high alcohol quite well.

Medium bodied with relatively light carbonation.

This is a good beer but the bitterness from the roasted malts builds up to much to have more than one consecutivly.

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a review on 12/20/2006...
Rahr in Ft. Worth is cranking out some good brews and this one is no different. Pours a dark, almost chocolate color. Faint aroma of malts and grains, not much. No lacing left in the glass. Taste is of light sweets with malts. Very little carbonation and light on the tounge. Very drinkable and I bet is great on draft. Would rate this higher if had a little more flavor. Quite enjoyable given the higher %.

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Photo of HimerMan
2.43/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, poured into a generic tulip.

Pours a ruby brown with very minimal head.

Smells of spices, a touch of clove and a malt.

This seems to have a weak watery flavor, mild hops - not at all spiced as per the style would suggest.

Not a great beer or representation of the style - bland.


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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 aeminter
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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

A rough pour yields a perfectly-formed two-finger head that subsides into a beige cap atop a nice dark-mahogany body. Aroma is nicely bittersweet, slightly spicy and honey-like with a background of hop resin.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a slight drying bite from bittering hop and alcohol. Plenty of spice from that alcohol, giving an edge to a nice solid malt profile. A little light toasty stuff, some sweet bread and a bit of mineral undertone. Woody in the finish.

Could be fuller in the mouth, maybe with more aggressive maltiness, but these are minor quibbles. This is a very pleasant winter drink, and it's not half bad even when it doesn't feel at all like winter anymore (which you'd better get used to where they brew it). Solid.

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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 macktbone
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up from Hall's close to the airport in Dallas. Brought it home to enjoy with friends, but it is taking up space in my collection and Hall's rediculous pricing rules forced me to buy a whole six pack.

A-Poured darker than expected and relatively thick but light colored head. Much too high carbonation for my choice.

S-Suprisingly funky for a texas beer. Fruit and nuts come in first with a follow of apricots and spice.

T-Again closer to belgian than Texan (not that I was expecting hooves and horns). Presents an aftertaste of wood and nuts.

M-Creamy (suprise), but thin in consitency. The carbonation is killing me...Way too much.

D-Heavy malt finish without the general support needed to make it a go to beer, but strikes me as less of a winter seasonal and more of a specialty brew.

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Photo of Tifore
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recieved in a BIF from Greg (Twiggamortis420). Poured into my Unibroue Tulip.

A - Pours a dark cola brown in color with what looks like a slight haze in clarity. Pours a 1/4 to 1/2 inch head that is light tan and slightly brown in color.

S - Smells of chocolate, roasted and carmel malts, some sweet toffee notes and some slight spice. Not uniform in smell though. It smells like everythings working against its self, not together. Perhaps even some licorice smells as well?

T - Taste is of spice, and roasted malts as well as some of the licorice coming through but late in the first taste. Some slight vanilla comes through as well. Almost like a after / lingering taste. It tastes watered down all in all. Very weak tasting.

M - Mouthfeel is light and very highly carbonated. Doesn't fit the beer though and works against the smell and taste.

D - Not the best winter warmer I've had. I'm glad I got to try it. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of beerdiablo
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another winning seasonal from Rahr's, this deviates from their usual German influenced offerings but this is a welcome change.

With well concealed alcohol punch, this is a nice, brown style ale but leans more towards a bitter due to the hops.

Recommended for a night where one or two beers is in order.

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

Bottle hand delivered by BA member j5uh.

Poured into a Sam Adams tasting glass. Took about ten seconds for a caramel colored head to foam. First smell is of dark chocolate, almost semisweet chocolate chips. Taste is lighter than expected, malty with a mellow chocolate and raisins. Finish is sweet, but not milky which would have helped balance out. Surprised by the 8.5abv. Certainly didn't taste like that under the hood. Stuck between a porter and a stout, I am unsure how best to categorize it, except to say it would be a fine beer to match up with food.

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

Served in a Nonic pint glass it had a gorgeous thick creamy beige head with medium lacing that held throughout. It touts a beautiful dark but transparent amber brown color that literally coats the glass till the last drop.

Aromatic notes of sweet bread, hops, tart berries perhaps currant and a light hint of spice.

It boasts an undeniable alcoholic warmth that accompanies the sweet malty goodness with subtle notes of cocoa, coffee and spice (perhaps clove and nutmeg). Finishes with a coppery metal taste.

Overall this was a highly satisfying beer that that completely whets the appetite and leaves you wanting for more.

It is important to note that the undernoting flavors really popped out on my second glass, so much so that I thought I was served a different beer.
This was my first winter warmer (and my first review) but if this one is indicative of the style I will be trying more. Thankfully I live 10 minutes from the brewery so next year I will be at the head of the line for this brew.

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