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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

310 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 310
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 78
Gots: 91 | 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: 310 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, earth, wood, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, earth, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a fairly mild bourbon presence all around.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
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 kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bobby for sharing.

A: This one pours a darkish brown color with a thin khaki colored head.

S: Smells roasty with a nice enough chocolate aroma. A bit of oak/wood and some mild vanilla. A bit of dark fruit going on in the background. Mild licorice aromas to it and some hints of coffee.

T: Slightly bitter with lots of roasted malts. Some licorice notes, wood, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. Quite a bit of chocolate, perhaps some of which is from oxidation. Light notes of dark fruit on the palate as well.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This was quite good. Not too much bourbon flavor, but a nice -bal contribution to it and good flavors overall.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Surly shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to jefferz5000 for this bottle!

Part two of the SwillFest 2011 after-party. It pours a cloudy garnet-sienna topped by over a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises whiskey, balsa, cola, vanilla, toffee, light booze, buttery biscuits, and brown sugar. The taste holds notes of toffee, candi sugar, light brown sugar, light bourbon, and light oak. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly watery syrupy feel. Overall, a very solid brew, perhaps not as overtly flavorful as I expected, but enjoyable nonetheless (especially when compared to the horrendousness that preceded it).

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to duff247 for this great looking beer.

Pours a creamy 1 finger head that fizzes away fairly quickly over dark murky molasses maroon brown colored beer.

Nose is exploding from the pour with tons of chocolate, roasted malts, a creamy chocolate porter aroma, dark crystal malts, a touch of toffee, a bit of bakers chocolate, caramel, lots of coffee, a slight creamy oatmeal, a bit of fluffy nougat, some light oak and a bit of bourbon, and hints of warming booze below. Some vanilla and hints of earthy hops come through as it warms. Phenomenal nose!

Taste brings some cocoa nibs to start, more chocolate pouring out, some roast and a bit of coffee, dark crystal malts with some caramel, hints of molasses and toffee, some tingly warming booze gives it a bit of a bite as well. Then more nougat fluffy flavors and a bit of creamy oatmeal again, a bit of a cinnamon and light holiday spice flavors finally come through, but very slightly, throttled back well. Some bourbon and a bit of oak, bringing vanilla as well. The bourbon and oak don't come through as much as I was expecting. The cinnamon starts to come through more and more as the taste goes and as it warms too, adding to the slight tingly warming booze as well. A slight bit of a bitter earthy hop character, but very subdued. A nice winter beer. It has a bit of a sweetness, that follows through on the finish with a slight bit of sticky feel, lots of chocolate very late some cocoa powder, a slight bit of roast and some bourbon, a bit of vanilla, and a long booze feel too.

The mouth is medium to heavier bodied, fairly full bodied, a slight bit creamy, with decent carbonation.

Drink is fair, the booze takes a bit of a bite, with some warmth, lingering taste, and a touch of a tingle that is accentuated by the cinnamon. It does finish a slight bit sticky too, but not that bad. It def helps warm me up in the middle of winter, and its the type of beer you want to drink slowly.

Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BgThang for trading me a bottle of this one. It'd been on my wants list for a long time. Served in plastic cups and shared with nkersten, the lover of Winter Warmers.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that features good retention, spots of lacing, and a cola-like dark caramel brown body.

S - Lots of bourbon, oaky vanilla, chocolate, nuts, and a slightly salty soy (say that three times fast) note.

T - The taste is significantly less bourbon forward, and thankfully loses the soy sauce quality. Tastes a lot like a higher gravity English brown, which is basically what Winter Warmers are supposed to be (and not this spiced crap we get at Christmas) that has a light barrel-aged component. I think the bottle stated the number of days this was in barrels it was unsurprisingly quite short (10 weeks or something). Lots of chocolate, nuts, vanilla, fruity English yeast, and hints of bourbon. It's perhaps a touch cloying after a while, but still quite nice.

M - Smooth medium body, medium-low carbonation, and not much heat at all. Lightly sticky, and unsurprisingly low in tannic character.

D - I had a few pours of this, and it went reasonably quickly. I'd definitely have it again, and I'm curious to see how much it varies from year-to-year, as apparently the barrel source is always different. It's definitely in the top 5 winter warmers I've ever had.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beerness gave me some of this in the line for Sexual Chocolate. Thanks.

Beer is brown with a thin tan head that leaves some lacing behind.

Beer smells like bourbon and prunes or port. Beer smells sweet and good.

Beer is medium body. Nice oakiness in the late mouth as well as some cherry. The bourbon and sweetness populate the front half of the palate. It's a good beer overall. I'd have it again.

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
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 stakem
3.08/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap in snifter.

Dark color is little head. Full glass of beer.

Normally I don't like winter warmers, but the bourbon flavors take down the spices a notch. There is still spices after the wave of oak and bourbon. Caramel and chocolate with some dark fruits.

A little thinner in body with a touch of roast.

A nice treat and worth a try!

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.29/5  rDev -20.1%
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 drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An extra from jefferz5000 (thanks Jeff!). Winter Warmers are a style I've been slow to come around to, due to typically high spice loading, but this one is atypical in that regard. Plus it's aged in bourbon barrels which is often a good thing.

It pours a dark brown color, transparent only at the edges, with 2 fingers of off-white foam. Very nice aroma centered around the bourbon, lots of sweet malts and some dark fruits like plums or cherries or the like. The malts make this smell delicious, much more sweet than roasty, and complement the bourbon very well.

It tastes good but falls a little short of the aroma. The malts are not as sweet tasting as they smell, more of a bitter note to them. The bourbon is more flavorful than hot so that's a big plus. There's a little sour bite in the aftertaste which doesn't seem right either but isn't exactly objectionable. Medium carbonation, not necessarily a sipper as it goes down easily. Glad to try it.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle courtesy of jenray. Thanks Jen!

It pours close to a black, more of a really dark cola colour with some reddish hues peaking through. There's about an inch of off white foam and the lacing is fine in the early stages of the session.

The nose is on the light side for a bourbon barrel aged brew. Sure, the bourbon is there but it's soft and I can't get much more out of the aroma..maybe a hint of roasted malt.

The taste is very nice though. Roasted malt and bourbon are up first with some milk chocolate moving in and adding some nice sweet notes. All come across on the mild side as in not in your face but, I'm growing to like the more subtle flavour impact on my palate. It's a soothing, comfortable, sit back and relax brew and I'm appreciating that aspect of its quality.

In my mind, this is full bodied with fairly light carbonation and has a very smooth and enjoyable mouth feel and because the alcohol is hidden pretty darned well, I find it very drinkable. It's nice to enjoy a beer that is bourbon barrel aged and doesn't go over the top with it. Like I said before, this is a very comfortable beer to sit down with. I really like this offering from Rahr.

Photo of Lare453
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of claspada
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.