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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter WarmerBourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

270 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 270
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 13.49%

Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 05-28-2008)
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Ratings: 270 | Reviews: 91 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of OgreSanchez


5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this on tap at The Gingerman's in Fort Worth. This might be what the Greek's were talking about when they wrote about the God's Ambrosia. If you have access to this hidden gem, you should grab as much as you can find. I hear you can get it in 22 oz bottles at Central Market in Dallas if you get a chance to go.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2013 02:32:28 | More by OgreSanchez
Photo of brewdenver


4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW! WOW! WOW! Had this on tap at the Medilsom Moth in Dallas, TX. Poured into a tulip.

I have had the KBS stout and this is right on par in my opinion. Outstanding stout aged in whiskey barrels. This beer was almost completely black even when held in the light. Strong head that had good retention and held on for sometime. Fingers and lacing were strong throughout. Smell was amazing with the whiskey really standing out, followed by roast malts, chocolate, and some caramel from the whiskey and caramel malts. I could not stop smelling this beer. Caramel, whiskey, roast malt, chocolate all hit the palette in perfect harmony. One not overpowering the other or leaving a lasting impression to deter another. Pure and utter goodness. This had equally impressive mouthfeel. Tantalizing the cheeks and tongue with perfect carbonation with a good thick mouthfeel perpetuated by the strong malt profile. This was one amazing beer and will be looking for it anywhere I can find it in Denver.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2011 04:14:33 | More by brewdenver
Photo of JimiG


4.93/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Decanted to a tulip pint.

This beer pours a beautiful dark brown and has a nice head. Lacing is really prevalent.

The aroma is dark chocolate and bourbon wood. Just amazing to my nose.

It tastes of creamy/silky dark chocolate with a beautiful fruity-like finish that rolls off the palate. It has a very smooth after taste and is like a mellow cigarette after dinner. (i don't mean smokey)

The mouth feel is smooth and silky, much like it tastes.

By far this is one of the best beer I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 00:24:05 | More by JimiG
Photo of turbine2475


4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hand Bottled and pulled from a case marked competition only.

A - Pours a deep brown with intense cola highlights and a large two finger vanilla head that disipated quickly leaving a spotty lace.

S - Intense bourbon scent with the expected vanilla and oak and some malty spice.

T - Lots of bourbon, vanilla, and grain. Almost drowns out the light flavors of caramel and all spice, but definately one of the best bourbon flavors I have had in any beer I have tried.

M - Smooth with a moderate carbonation and an alcohol burn expectantly reminicent of a shot of whiskey.

D - Great brew. I hope Rahr makes this again, but the bottle I have left will be shared for a special ocassion. A must have!!!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 05:05:55 | More by turbine2475
Photo of pleaseletmein


4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Out of the bottle a very dark brown pour. Not much lacing.
The bourbon barrel is well represented. Whiskey and wood are prominent.
Sweet and boozy at first. Warm and fulfilling after it rests.
Excellent mouth feel that keeps this sipping brew leaving me happy and content.
Overall, a fantastic Winter Warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 22:42:29 | More by pleaseletmein
Photo of spaceycasey


4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2009 19:45:50 | More by spaceycasey
Photo of DarkAngel


4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When it's winter time and the cold wind is howling, and you are surrounded by good friends, there are only a few brews you can choose from if you want an epic one. This is one of them. This year's batch used Jim Beam barrels and it is wonderful. Strong, warming, and delicious. This brew is a must try and you'll find yourself saving some for aging, which I highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 22:36:50 | More by DarkAngel
Photo of mhewes


4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is Rahr's Winter Warmer aged in Maker's Mark bourbon barrels.

A : Pours a nice dark brown with a good tan head.

S : Real malty with some good oak and bourbon notes

T : Awesome. The malt shines through with heavy bourbon and oak flavors. There's no hop bitterness to it but it doesn't miss it. Really smooth. There's decent amount of alcohol in it but it is hidden very well. It sneaks up on you.

M : Creamy and smooth

D : Incredible. I would love to be able to have it again

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 02:07:10 | More by mhewes
Photo of GregSVT


4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bomber into a snifter. 2010 Vintage aged in Jim Beam barrels.

A: Pours a dark brown nearly black with a big tan head that fades to a ring leaving some nice lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is chocolate malt and slight coffee along with a beautiful vanilla and whiskey aroma.

T: The taste is much like the regular Winter Warmer along with big vanilla and milk chocolate flavors. This takes the already great regular version and amplifies it by 10.

M: The feel is creamy and smooth. Medium bodied with little to no alcohol detectable.

D: I could drink this every day. The ABV is pretty high but it's not manageable compared to other barrel aged beers.

I look forward to this release every year and now that it's in bottles I can keep some to enjoy for the next year. They seem to change the barrels every year and while I think the Old Forrester version was better (2008) this is definitely better than the 2009 version.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 09:17:53 | More by GregSVT
Photo of abeerwiseguy


4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the tap at Fred's Texas Cafe in Fort Worth on Western Center served in a frosted schooner. It was hard for me let this beer sit there until it warmed to an acceptable temp. The smell alone caused me to drool.

When it arrived at the table it had a nice head that hung around for more than a few minutes. Very dark impenetrable color.

An amazingly rich collage of burbon, roasted malt, and vanilla aromas hits the nose like a sledge hammer.

On the taste, I was impressed to the point of immediately telling my spouse that she would be the designated driver as I was going to have another as dessert after our meal.

The roased malt, burbon, and caramel flavors all hit the tongue at once in a perfect symphony of flavorful bliss. No hops or other bitterness at all. I have been a fan of Rahr’s Winter Warmer for several years and this burbon cask conditioned variation is head and shoulders above that. But this is a rotating beer at Rahr and this year’s effort is also hugely better than what I have tasted from them over the past several years.

Very low carbonation with an incredibly thick and rich mouth feel that lingered for some minutes after each sip.

I am very much impressed by this effort from Rahr and hope they continue to produce such beers.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2012 18:09:22 | More by abeerwiseguy
Photo of ElCommodoro


4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer is hella-mazing. It smells like scotch. Seriously, I smelled it and couldn't figure out how to describe what I was smelling except, "whiskey?" It's got a pervasive smoked peat flavour and a real whiskey-like flavour despite the relatively low alcohol content. I don't know how it attains that flavour and bite at under 9% ABV. But it does an amazing job of it. Besides the peaty, woody, whiskey flavour, there's a character of overall sweetness and maltiness. Roasted malt and maybe a little bit of chocolate malt can be detected. This tastes to me like an exceptional Scotch ale, which certainly makes a nice winter warmer in my opinion. Very musty, very warm, and overall whiskey flavour. Yummm

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 06:19:06 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of afluentturtle


4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 23:18:46 | More by afluentturtle
Photo of Randyweizen


4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was worth every cent of the nine-some-odd dollars I paid for the 22-ounce bottle. Just tried a new bottle of this winter's batch, and boy am I glad. In several ways I'd say it's just fine: it's a dark, pretty clear beer with minimal head (something my mother-in-law seemed to care about more than I did, and she wasn't even drinking it), and it has a richly malty smell.

Sipping this beer is a pleasure. The flavors are many and good. I had mine straight out of the fridge, so it was cold at first, but I nursed it for some two hours and got to enjoy the unfolding notes of dried fruit, cooked sugar, a little cocoa, nuts, and liqueur. This is not a spiced beer; these flavors seem to come out of the interplay between the malt and the muted-but-present alcohol. I should add that while it is on the sweet side of the spectrum, this is not some syrupy oversweet mess. The body is commensurate with the type (a strong, warming beer to sip slowly by the fire) without exceeding the bounds of taste and drinkability. I was pretty stoked about this, too, as it seems all too easy for breweries to churn out sticky-sweet monsters worth more as symbols of boldness than as something you would actually want to put in your digestive system. Good job, Rahr. I don't like all your beers that much, but this is a masterpiece.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 11:54:57 | More by Randyweizen
Photo of Mora2000


4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2009 05:11:27 | More by Mora2000
Photo of waterintobeer


4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours very dark with a slight head. The initial smell, revels oak, vanilla, bourbon and dark roasted malts. The tastepermeates from your mouth to your nose. The taste is rich with all of, the same nose characters with a rich maltyness. Mouth feel is great. A beer to sip on a cold night. Not to be missed!

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2011 00:20:20 | More by waterintobeer
Photo of whoneeds8


4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 00:42:26 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of gnemesis


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter on 04/25/2011.
The cool weather stuck around a bit longer than usual in Michigan so this made for a tasty treat.
Pours dark brown, almost black with a thick and creamy tan head. Good retention and decent lace throughout. This one smells of bourbon, hints of caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, raisin, and brown sugar... damn it smells good. The taste doesn't disappoint. Much of the same greatness with a touch of oak. The dark fruit flavors really come forward. This beer had a medium/full body with medium carbonation. One of my favorite winter-warmers yet! I'm hunting down more immediately.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 17:23:52 | More by gnemesis
Photo of BigBarley


4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours rich, deep brown, almost black, ruby highlights show when held up to light. 1 finger of tan head that quickly recedes to a standard foam ring. Looks very close to a stout

S - Bourbon up front, dtrong oak notes, slight vanilla, sweet chocolate, hint of molasses, more warm bourbon, sweet potatoe, slight creamy smell

T - Whiskey and chocolate blend, spicy wooden characterweet dark malts, mild alcohol flavor, slight coffee bitterness. Imagina a stout but replace the bitter roasted character with a strong whisky note. Slight coconut, very faint maple, creamy coffee, whisky all over

M - Thick and creamy, carbonation tends more towards the creamy than the fizzy. Lends to an over all creamy beer experience. Very enjoyable and smooth

O - Delicious and strong. Flavorful, packed with all sorts of smell and taste, the kind of beer that keeps you interested, and develops as it warms. An all day drinker for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 16:17:30 | More by BigBarley
Photo of inlimbo77


4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, Winter 2012
KtG snifter

A: Pours a deep brown almost black with reddish hues on edges. Initially about a half finger of light tan head. Alcohol feet.

S: Good amount of bourbon on nose. Vanilla. Roasted notes. Dark chocolate. Slight coconut notes. Dark fruits.

T: Really nice soft vanilla from the barreling on the tip of the tongue. Roasted notes. Dark fruits: fig and prune and raisin as it warms up a bit. Goes great with dark cocoa chocolate. No alcohol burn.

M: Full bodied. Great mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 14:25:44 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 23:21:09 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of mountsnow1010


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade from gawnphishin. Thanks!
A - Deep brown with a tan, creamy head that dissipates, leaving pretty decent lacing.
S - Great smell! Bourbony all over. Vanilla and woody oaky goodness.
T - Starts out SUPER bourbony (for my tastes - I'm not really into bourbon or hard liquor). However, after it breathes a bit, it turns into a pretty mellow vanilla flavor. A bit of fruit there but I can't ID it. Hints of chocolate as well?
MF - Very creamy and very smooth. I really enjoy the mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn but it's not too extreme.
DB - Pretty high considering my aversion to bourbon, and the high alcohol content.

Overall, this is an excellent beer and has turned me on to barrel aged stuff. The first 3-4 sips were...dare I say, unpleasant, but after that the bourbon flavor really grew on me.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 05:52:23 | More by mountsnow1010
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Mostly black, clear, tiny bubbles rising from the sides of the glass, and a good one finger, lasting head with nice lacing.

I immediately smelled a woody, bourbon barrel aroma wafting from my snifter. Great smoked malt aromas with accents of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.

Taste mirrored the smell, but on a smooth, balanced batch of steroids. Fabulously perfect amounts of wood and bourbon. Not too overdone, but perfect and ever-present -bal accents on every sip. Great leathery and sweet, smoky coffee flavors are accented with smoke and vanilla. Excellent tasting brew, I'm very surprised!

Mouthfeel is rich and silky-smooth, with light but tingly carbonation and a wonderful bourbon/smoked wood lingering aftertaste.

Drink is off the charts. One of my favorite winter warmers of all times. I'm putting it back on my wants list.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 20:46:01 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of rfabian


4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle I got had a label that was very different from the one in the picture. No doubt, though, that this was the "Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer".

Poured into a pint glass it produced a small head with light lacing. The appearance was dark brown and clear. The aroma was of light hops and strong roasted malts with a hint of coffee. The taste was strongly of malt, chocolate, coffee, and black currant, quite delicious, with light bitterness. The feel was medium heavy with a clean finish.

This is an excellent, excellent winter warmer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 02:25:02 | More by rfabian
Photo of mjl21


4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Ginger Man in Fort Worth. Poured into a pint glass. Unsure of abv.

A-Pours a dark brown that lets a little bit of light through. It has a small tan ring that surrounds some film. Leaves a little lace in between sips.

S-This one is all about the bourbon, which my friend claimed was Makers Mark. Oak and vanilla are there. It picks up some coffee aroma as it warms. Hard to detect the base beer with all of the bourbon barrel characteristics.

T-Lots of vanilla and oak start it off. There is some spice from the base beer that hits midsip. I also get some cherry as well. The malt is both sweet and roast. Vanilla flavor returns in the back. It has a very oaky aftertaste. Like the nose, some coffee appears as it warms.

M-Thick and oily. It had a nice level of carbonation.

D-Really enjoyed this one. The abv was well hidden.

This was definitely a pleasant surprise. A really great non-hyped barrel aged beer. Too bad they don't release it in bottles to the public.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2009 18:06:40 | More by mjl21
Photo of Labeorphile


4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22 oz bomber.

Really dark. Can't see through it, even when held up to the light, save for some auburn highlights toward the bottom. Minimal head, even with a relatively strong pour, and what there is quickly disappears.

Aroma is really enticing. Sweet malts with definite hints of the Bourbon barrel.

Taste has definite Bourbon notes and very warm in the throat. Really good with some spiciness up front on the lips and the Bourbon flavor on the back end on the tongue. Taste not quite as powerful as the smell, but improves with temperature.

Not overly carbonated, which makes sense for the style.

Overall a great beer that I will be adding to seasonal rotation.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 03:16:35 | More by Labeorphile
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.