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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

297 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 297
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 74
Gots: 89 | FT: 9
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 297 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dgrauwiler
1/5  rDev -75.8%

dgrauwiler, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of CrashOverride
1/5  rDev -75.8%

CrashOverride, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of phishbone23
2/5  rDev -51.6%

phishbone23, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.3/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very deep black color with a thin brown head and a little tiny bit of lacing. Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and chocolate. Tastes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, heavy malt body and some allspice and hefty alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium with a light carbonation. Drinkability is low.

TheKingofWichita, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of TX-Badger
2.48/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had this year's version of the BBAWW, 2013 release.

A - a typical dark brown, deep caramel color, nothing special.

S - I was expecting bourbon, but it was very faint. A little caramel and some toffee, and a faint hint of vanilla.

T - a mixture of caramel, toffee, slight vanilla, and a little dark fruit, slight bourbon, and I mean slight. The faintest hint to let you know it's there.

M - thin...really thin. Watery would describe it best.

O - not what I was expecting considering I've had the previous two years' releases. This year it was disappointing to say the least. The price skyrocketed and the quality dropped. I would say try it on tap, the price of a bottle is unjustifiable.

TX-Badger, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of whartontallboy
2.5/5  rDev -39.5%

whartontallboy, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of humpty1602
2.75/5  rDev -33.4%

humpty1602, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of ReyG006
2.75/5  rDev -33.4%

ReyG006, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of brystmar
3/5  rDev -27.4%

brystmar, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of BarrytheBear
3/5  rDev -27.4%

BarrytheBear, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of TXhomebrewer
3/5  rDev -27.4%

TXhomebrewer, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of CooperEllis
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
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)

CooperEllis, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of stakem
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jefferz for providing this as an extra in one of our trades. Poured from a bomber into a snifter. The brew appears dark brown with ruby clarity around the edgews. A quick dissolving head holds in a penline pattern around the edge of the glass.

The smell is dark and toasty like toffee initially that gives way to a tangy alcohol kick. Lots of fruity vinous alcohol notes start to dominate the aroma with a sharp almost lactic tang. Vanilla is mildly noted across the back.

The taste is sweet with caramel and vanilla tht blends into character of tart unripe cherry and other miscellaneous fruits. Each sip I take starts to draw out more lactic quality and tang. Toasty toffee grain and a pleasant residual sweetness can be found if you concentrate on those aspects instead if the tangy elements.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level if carbonation. The pleasant and expected aspects of toasty to sweet residual maltiness was very enjoyable but this brew also includes an unexpected and not welcomed guest of acdity. There is a mIl alcohol impact which is to be expected of the style. Overall a pretty average offering. I think there is some clashing going on in this particular bottle.

stakem, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of crossovert
3.13/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber.

It pours a dark brown with a large, fluffy, tannish head that recedes at a decently slow pace.

The smell is bourbonny, but it is not over the top, which I like. There is also some cooca, fruits, and roastiness.

The flavor is kind of lost, so is the mouthfeel. It is rather thin. The predominant flavor is bitterness which really was surprising. It is very bitter for a winter warmer/bourbon aged beer. It has tannic notes, hoppy(?) bitterness, and roasted malt bitterness. There is also some caramel, bourbon, and cocoa.

I don't think it was executed the way it could have been.

crossovert, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

acurtis, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of Wayne17
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Wayne17, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of jacobbocce72
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

jacobbocce72, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of PA-Michigander
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

PA-Michigander, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.29/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Alieniloquium, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of Khazadum
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Tim for this bottle. Words can't express the awesomeness he did to get this.

A- Easy head generation, like too easy. This sucker will foam out of control without care. Very creamy though. Probably the most homogeneous amount of bubbles I'd ever seen. Leaves behind a thick silk screen lacing that is top notch. When it finally does settle down, not too quickly, it has a thin layer of tomato soup skin.

S- Some interesting sweet notes, not quite vanilla but similar. Like a vanilla custard and plum resin opening with some earthy notes drizzled in toast crumbs; must be the oak they used. Not too strong, but not prevalent enough to make me excited. The bourbon is on the second half of the bouquet with some simple syrup sweetness and minor astringency. Cheap, cheap bourbon. Present, but not strong. Seems to be a trend here.

T- Weird.... very weird. First impressions, minor vanilla oak body with some faint burnt grain hits. The charring of oak barrels creates some awful combinations. This is like blow torched 99 cent package of pudding. Immediately following that is a cheap bourbon sweetness with low ethanolic character. No heat, no unique flavor, just simple syrup sweetness with a bit of dark fruit. I want stronger oak, I want smoke, I want something in the middle... but I have to wait for the finish. There starts to develop a slight bitter nature, some tang of ethanol, and maybe smoke. Mostly its an earthen vanilla hit of the oak again, but for the most part it cleans out quickly leaving behind a hint of vanilla. Not awful, just not what I was expecting.

M- Medium bodied, low lingering potential, tad watery, and thin. Crisp third quarter with the carbonation, but nothing overwhelming. Just a simple beer with not too much going on.

D- I'm not impressed, but I'm not disappointed. I'm flustered. I wanted this to be better. It was my first encounter with bourbon barreling a winter warmer. It all has to do with the type of bourbon I'm betting. The base beer probably is an average example, but the bourbon really took it down a peg. Overall, I'd never suggest it out, but if you are a ticker this is worth the tick in comparison to the many other beers I've had.

Khazadum, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Stigs
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Stigs, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of nhindian
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle generously provided by Exiled, thanks Jason!

This is definitely an interesting concept, I can't really say I've heard of anyone barrel-aging a Winter Warmer.

A - Appears much darker than I was expecting, almost completely black with some cola-colored speckles throughout. A creamy, 2-fingered tan head melds flawlessly to contrast with the liquid, with decent retention. Lacing is solid as well, with thin curtains of foam.

S - Very interesting aroma on this beer. I am getting a lot of malts, spice, and fruits, without only a slight trace of the bourbon barrel here (and supposedly this batch is aged in Jim Beam barrels). The fruits are much stronger than anticipated, bringing cinnamon and raisins, almost to the point of a dubbel or quad.

T - Thankfully the taste is much more balanced than the nose. The whiskey actually plays a role here, and it is nicely integrated in my opinion. It's not exploding with the barrel, but it serves to accentuate the nuances. Conversely, the fruits are turned down here, making way for dark chocolate and slight coffee. Much more balanced. Throughout, a dry spiciness persists to work into the Winter Warmer style. I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan at first, but it definitely grew on me.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with decent carbonation. I have to admit, I thought this would feel a bit more full in the mouth. Finishes semi-dry and has a lingering aftertaste of whiskey, chocolate, and raisins.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I have to give Rahr credit for barrel-aging a style that doesn't really have a rich history of being put in barrels. That being said, although I received this beer more warmly after having a few sips, I'm still not completely sold. I feel the bourbon aspect is spot on, but it is still a bit too sweet with an overwhelming fruit presence. Enjoyable, but I could see this as being a beer I could only have once or twice a year.D

nhindian, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Schlafly33
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Schlafly33, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of javlin624
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

javlin624, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of BGsWo22
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

BGsWo22, Apr 29, 2014
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 297 ratings.