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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter WarmerBourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

352 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 352
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 13.41%
Wants: 85
Gots: 116 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 05-28-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 107
Reviews by tjkinate:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Fort Worth Flying Saucer and reviewed from notes. Rahr's Winter Warmer aged in Maker's Mark barrels, sounds interesting.

The beer pours a dark brown-red with a small tan head. The aroma is awesome, with some oak, vanilla, bourbon and a little roasted malt. The flavor is great as well, with tons of vanilla and oak character. You get a little bourbon and some spices as well as some dark fruit and some coffee and roasted malts. This is a complex masterpiece that is a great improvement over the regular Winter Warmer from Rahr and Sons. The beer has low carbonation and a thick mouthfeel. The alcohol is not that present in the flavor but the alcohol warming affect is great. I was sitting outside on the patio in about 40 degree weather and this beer warmed me up nicely. I wish they would bottle this because this is as good as any beer I have ever had from the state of Texas.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage (as it doesn't have the year on the label, this was the first year for bottling on the new line)

I've had this aging and thought I'd give it a try after being rather disappointed with the 2012 offering (which has replaced this one in the cellar).

Poured into a tulip glass black with a one finger off white head. Good retention and lacing. The scent of bourbon was noticable just pouring the beer into the glass. Once you get past that, there are also scents of carmel and chocolate malts.

The taste has a rather vanilla oak taste that melts into the bourbon. Then it brings out the chocolate flavors. This vintage is very well put together. The carbonation is still great and the body is medium.

I didn't review the 2012 bottle I had a couple weeks ago. But I was VERY disappointed with it. After opening this 2010 Vintage, I'm even more disappointed with the 2012. I'll have to review that bottle in two years.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a snifter glass.

I love the appearance of this beer; it's beautiful. The pour produces a three-finger thick, frothy, chewy, cream-colored head. Below lies a pitch black, thick-looking liquid that resembles oil and is very opaque.

Bourbon is prominent as one would expect on the nose. Some alcohol astringency accompanies this. Alongside these aromas, I get sweet dark malts and oak, and the overall smell is very thick, pungent and inviting. I guess this is part of why they call these warmers.

My taste buds are just as pleased as my nose was. The beer is immediately bourbony and oaken on my tongue and there are notes of vanilla over the silky, creamy mouthfeel. I also get some sweet maltiness, some rye spice and a slight chocolatey aftertaste.

As mentioned above, this beer is silky, creamy and smooth. There's low carbonation, a slight astringency at the finish and a warming sensation on the tongue.

I find this beer to be a great treat. The beer is smooth, balanced and not dominated by bourbon, and thus allows for other flavors to figure prominently.

Photo of Stigs
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle - one of my last beers left from the Secret Santa BIF

served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with about a solid inch of fluffy, creamy light tan colored foam. the beer is very dark brown, letting some medium amber hues in around the edges. leaves behind some spots of thin, wet lace.

S - big, hefty amounts of caramel, vanilla, and cola. slightly musty and with just a hint of bourbon twang near the end.

T - begins on the sweet side, with some dark fruits, caramel, and vanilla. bits of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger add that wintry feel. closing out with some more cola sweetness, extra vanilla, and just a bit of oak.

M - lightish-medium body, with moderate slightly tingly carbonation...almost a baby step above being flat. a bit thin, even in the finish despite the sweetness.

D - this isnt a bad beer, though i have to admit i'm just a bit disappointed. not being a fan of the style, i was hoping for the barrel aging to bring something new, but all I was left with was more sweetness and no grace. kudos to Rahr for thinking outside the box though.

Photo of JFCLACK
2.8/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with thin mocha head. Nose is very subtle bready. Mouthfeel was very good. Taste was ok. Finish was slightly metallic. If this beer on nitro might improve it. Overall good beer

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small khaki head. Thin collar. Wispy.

Smell - Kinda fruity. Caramel. Vanilla. A bit of bourbon.

Taste - More of a straightforward caramel flavor. Toffee. Bourbon. Much more oak. Less fruity. Pretty sweet, but doesn't overwhelm for the small pour that I have.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Could be thicker. Oaky. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Tasted interesting at first, but got a little boring.

Photo of OddNotion
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great extra from adam320, what an amazing trader!
From notes.
Poured into my Fantome Tulip.

Appearance: Minimal head that quickly dissipates. Comes in at a dark brown with some ruby highlights.

Smell: Kind of weird smell from this beer, maybe it it was cold when I smelled it. I kinda got some feet and funkiness smell, however a little later I got some nice bourbon flavors. As it warmed, the funkiness went away.

Taste: Well hello, this beer does not follow the nose at all. I loved the way this beer tasted. Possibly the best winter warmer I have ever had. I got a lot of red raisins and figs followed up by some nice smooth bourbon. I find it to be very complex and offers a nice sipping experience.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall: I would love to have this again. I really enjoyed this beer. If you get the chance to have it, go for it!

Photo of CooperEllis
3.09/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From canadianghetto in a largly Texas BIF box. 22oz bottle dated Winter 2011

The nose is largely booze but the underlying taste of the beer is not. However, the finish is bad whiskey, or maybe not 'bad' whiskey but the lasp sip of a lower end whiskey on the rocks where you get a touch of smoke and a lot of water.

It's unfortunate that such an incredible looking beer would have so little else working for it. The base beer is likely just fine, though the body of this was thin, and especially for a 'winter warmer'. Good spice notes blend well with a subtle bourbon flavour, perhaps a touch underdone actually given the strong presence in the nose and the finish.

Appearance - dark, brooding. Thin ring of bubbles, looks like this would be full of plum, currant, nutmeg or cloves notes.

Decent offering. Perhaps I got the wrong year, or perhaps I opened it at the wrong time, but this is a league average bottle. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, and I did not find the beer being described in a lot of these reviews.

(155th)

Photo of LITTLESTHOBOUK
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very hearty Winter Warmer, on the cusp of porter/stout. Full chocolate and bourbon attack on the nose, yet, sadly not quite reaching the same level of assault on the tongue, however, it is still worthy of full recommendation from this particular reviewer. I must admit to being a little biased as this is one of my local brewers, but, this fact notwithstanding, Rahr and Sons has a great team and consistently attempt to push the boundaries.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light notes of lacing. Aroma of medium bourbon notes with some light vanilla with some light caramelized malt notes. Taste is also a mix between some caramelized malt notes with light toffee undertones and some vanilla and bourbon notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed with nice balanced between complexity and drinkability.

Photo of UTCengOwl
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle from Hyde Park Market. Maybe a bit pricey, but I had a glass at Black Star earlier in the winter and I wanted to drink it again.

The beer itself is dark, but the head and lacing leave something to be desired. Not much to say here.

The nose is pure bourbon barrel. Mmmmm... sweet and vanilla.

The taste is a mixture of a wonderfully balanced bourbon with a sweet porter. This might be the best balanced bourbon barreling I've tasted. The Jester King Whiskey Suicide is close and the Rare BCBS had better ingredients, but the weight of the whiskey is perfect here. I've heard that Rahr is mediocre otherwise, but this is a very good beer.

The mouthfeel is about right for the beer. Maybe lighter than some of the other bourbon beers I've had, but still appropriate. The beer is quite drinkable and I'm happy to have the full bomber.

Photo of gtermi
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark redish brown with a head that hardly exists. The head doesnt even cover the whole beer and leaves around the glass of the beer.

S: The smell is outstanding. It has a lot of chocolate, coffee, caramel and malt.

T: To me this is one of the best winter warmers I have ever had. The beer has a lot of chocolate and coffee flavors. Has a strong sweetness and a little whiskey flavor. Just a great combo.

M: The beer is very smooth and gives you a nice warm feeling. It is very drinkable and has a slight crispness.

O: This is a very great beer, by far the best one that Rahr makes (IMO). I am aging a bottle and cant wait to see how this beer tastes in a year.

Photo of Immortale25
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Lots of vanilla and raisin.

Photo of spaceycasey
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at an area brewpub. Served into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Deep tawny brown, slightly reddish hue, slightly hazy, but carbonation bubbles rising to the top from first sip to last. Thick creamy head that stuck to the side of the glass like glue, forming beautiful lace.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, bourbon, roast and sweet malt.

Taste: Sweet malt with oak and vanilla hints, but prominant bourbon taste. Faint caramel notes. No hop presence.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy - only moderate alcohol warmth.

Drinkability: An excellent beer - perhaps one of the top 3 I've ever had brewed in the state. Alcohol content limits the amount one could responsible consume, but this is a perfect night cap in my opinion.

Photo of TBoneJones
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rahr bourbon barrell aged winter warmer
Into a stout glass: This pours a black stout with a light tan/ off-white sudsy head. Lacing cakes as it settles. Great sight.
Smells of chocolate/ toffee and dark cherry esters, some oak burn.
Tastes nice and smooth. Light finish but with such a smooth more chocolatey taste. Very easy sipping because it tastes so velvety and nice, also with a bourbon barrel-flavored mouth-burn imparts a chewiness and a flavor note that cones off as sweet black olive, and there's a vanilla note at the end that lends a fairly satisfying, dry sharpness, if not a bit chalky tasting. Still, a very solid brew from a style a rarely try, and a Texas brewer i dont often sample from. Underrated perhaps. Lives up to its name well as I sip this on a Texas evening with temps headed into the low 20's.

Photo of afluentturtle
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

Appearance: A dark reddish/black, not see through by any means but a little bit of light can be seen penetrating through.

Smell: Bourbon, chocolate, holiday spices, a little but of vanilla.

Taste: Very good to say the least. When cold mostly chocolate and malts, a little bourbon. As it comes to room temperature the spice, and vanilla really show up. A little bit of fig, oak and raisin is detectable.

Mouthfeel: Almost stoutish, velvety smooth, a little alcohol lingers

Overall: Very good beer, for sure will be trying to score a few more to see how they age and for regular consuming. Have not had the un aged winter warmer to compare, but this is a delicious beer from Rahr and I think on of their best so far.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber pours an opaque dark brown color with a small, tan head that fades pretty quick and leaves a healthy splattering of lace.

Vanilla, chocolate and light bourbon are very bold on the nose. Lots of wood and mild charcoal upon further inspection. Very nice, heads and shoulders above the regular WW from this Ft. Worth brewery.

It is safe to say this is Rahr's finest creation to date. Very rich, with big and bold woody bourbon flavors while still having a certain smoothness on the mouthfeel. Malts are integrated well - chocolate, light roast and some caramel sweetness. Kudos to Rahr for bringing a delicious, Texas-born, barrel-aged beer in bottles to us.

Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 release.

Pours a fairly dark brown color with some ruby hues and a thin khaki colored head that recedes rather quickly.

Aromas are all barrel forward initially. Bourbon, oak and vanilla are all out in the forefront with emerging light toast and toffee in the background. Maybe a little cocoa as well.

The tastes follow the nose with cocoa, toffee and toasted bready maltiness which is immediately taken over by the robust bourbon induced flavors of oak and vanilla. Some warming alcohol emeges as it warms as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is pretty barrel heavy and sweet.

Overall this was a fine end of the night kind of beer but it's fairly one dimentional. The base beer is merely a vehicle for the barrel induced flavors and this falls into the overly barrel forward beer category for me. A bit much to attempt to finish a bomber by yourself.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of super creamy beige/tan head. Average retention and a good amount of lacing.

4.0 S: Good balance between the bourbon components and the beer - the bourbon holds about 60% of the nose's share. Bourbon and barrel contribute a decent amount of vanilla, oak, melon fruitiness, and a touch of booze. The underlying beer offers a pleasant plum fruitiness, some caramel, nuts, graininess and a touch of roastiness.

4.0 T: I assumed the beer would be bolder and more robust, but it it isn't and it works well. Rather it tastes like an easy drinking porter moreso than a winter warmer. Grainy, with a moderate roastiness, plenty of nuttiness, and only a mild caramel and dark fruit component. The bourbon is less pronounced than in the nose, but still plays a good role in the overall flavor. Vanilla, leather, oak, and melon are all there with some strength. I think the 10 weeks in the bourbon barrel was just right given the strength of the beer. Any longer and the beer would have to fight with the bourbon components.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Somewhat creamy with a good crispness to it. I like this.

4.0 D: Pretty good and easy drinking beer. Lots of things done right and nothing done wrong.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Las Colinas Beverage in Dallas. Dark mahogany, almost black pour with one finger head that fades quickly with decent lacing. Huge bourbon nose with hints of oak, vanilla, dark fruits, and chocolate. The taste follows suit with the bourbon really dominating again. Nicely complex with hints of raisins, oak, vanilla, maple, chocolate, and some subtle black cherries and butterscotch. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, albeit a bit thin at times, with a gentle boozey warming on the finish. Overall, this was a very surprising and delicious beer. This is my first experience with Rahr & Sons, but definitely not my last.

Photo of Lowseph
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I couldn't believe how good this beer was
the first time I tried it.

Only had it a few times, and I plan on getting it again it
the next time I see it.

I don't recommend eating anything while drinking this beer,
I do however recommend that you drink it slowly.

its very delicious and deserves to be enjoyed thoroughly.

Photo of jkanavel
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a sticky mocha colored head.

S: A little heavy on the alcohol. This is a huge beer, and smells like one. Low on the hops, high in the malt aromas.

T: Carmel, strong chocolate presence, smokey, a slight hint of bourbon/dried fruits. Plenty of alcohol comes through...very warming. Very complex and sweet, like a good brandy.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation. Satisfying. Just perfect for this style.

O: If Rahr could brew all their beers with this much care and attention to detail, they'd be the hottest brewery in the country. As it stands, this is something of an anomaly from them.

Photo of roblowther
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber and the world is my oyster. It pours a complete black with a very dense, creamy light tan head that leaves small but stubborn lacing. The smell is cherries, tobacco, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Like Christmas at the Marlboro place. Taste is toasted bread, then...an oddly gamey flavor. It's not bad but I'm not sure what it is and I'm not sure how to describe it. A bit smokey, a bit fatty, a bit spicy. The mouthfeel is creamy and just carbonated enough. Overall, I like this beer. It's not something I'm telling everyone to rush out and search for, but if it kisses you on the lips, for God's sake, kiss back.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.44/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Aroma of malt, vanilla, faint bourbon & oak, dark fruit. Taste sweet caramel, toffee, slight dark fruit & molasses.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beerness for sharing some of this at the Sexual Chocolate release. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a fairly-dark brown with a bit of a crimson hue around the edges. Good tan head with a bit of lacing. The nose brings forward a good dosing of bourbon along with some dark fruit, malty sweetness, and a bit of cherry. The taste is mostly bourbon along with a bit of oak and dark fruits. Cherry component in the finish. Body is medium with a bit of an alcohol bite, though not too much. Carbonation is fairly low and there's a bit of a twang in the finish. Drinkability was pretty good, though this wasn't quite what I was hoping for. Not terribly complex and something a bit off in the finish.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.