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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

296 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 296
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: 296 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gnemesis
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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.

gnemesis, May 23, 2011
Photo of jamescain
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 10oz pint glass at Draught House

Appearance: Mahogany with an off white head that fades into a thin lacing on the top of the beer.

Aroma: Bourbon, vanilla, sweet malt, toffee, caramel, coffee and chocolate. Very complex aroma I’m very excited about the first taste.

Taste: Slight alcohol warming with a big bourbon taste, I think with a little time this would mellow out and be even more enjoyable. Sadly the taste did not live up to the nose. The flavors were hard to distinguish because of the strong bourbon flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body. I was expecting more body, but I guess for a winter warmer this what you should expect. There was a slight alcohol warming sensation.

Overall: Good offering from Rahr, this being the first beer from them I have ever tried. If they make it again I want to pick up some bottles for the cellar next time.

jamescain, May 17, 2011
Photo of brewdenver
4.97/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

brewdenver, May 03, 2011
Photo of OddNotion
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

OddNotion, May 03, 2011
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a good looking caramel brown pour, goes very smoothly into the glass. Has a definite reddish hue. Small light mocha head.

Aroma - toasty grain, bourbon, and cocoa. Some woodiness comes to the fore as it sets up.

Taste - sweet and malty start, a nice bit of roastiness. The bourbon and barrel come through quickly and create a prickly sensation. A bit pushy but not overstated. While the bourbon is dominant, it's letting nice veins of chocolate and roasted grain through. That's a nice blend there. Ends with a smack of whiskey and a light bitterness that is either fading mash or hops. Either way, I'm digging it.

Mouthfeel - pretty smooth, medium carbonation and a good weighty feel for a winter warmer.

Drinkability - maybe it doesn't get below zero in Texas, but when you feel a chill, this will set you straight. I enjoyed this one. Thanks to BGThang for making this a part of a really cool box of beer.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of JimiG
4.93/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW!

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.

JimiG, Apr 05, 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 DavoleBomb
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

DavoleBomb, Mar 22, 2011
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 MasterSki
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

MasterSki, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

TurdFurgison, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Brown/Black with a tan head.
i really like this aroma, the bourbon comes right up front first but is soft and integrated with a roasty body. The last aromatic impression leaves with vanilla sweetness.
Fainter bourbon with Powdered Chocolate and Vanilla and Oak, with some cinnamon like spices thrown in. The Modest 8% isn't hidden totally which adds to the enjoyment for me.
moderate viscosity with a coating slightly sticky finish.

Really enjoyed this bottle. I love bottles i can relax for 2 hours with and enjoy the whole time.

ChadQuest, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of ms11781
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to duff247. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown color with a decent sized foamy, tan head. Decent foamy lacing is left on the glass.

Bourbon notes hit first in the nose and there is also an oak characteristic. There is some sweetness present, perhaps vanilla. Maybe some spice but not much, if at all. There is also a slight dark fruit aroma towards the end, along with more bourbon and some woody aromas. Nothing here really stands out at all. All the aromas are definitely present, but there are done really subtle.

Taste follows the nose in that all the flavors meld together and are very subtle. Bourbon with oak and vanilla up front, some dark fruit, maybe cherries, are here. There is the spice that comes with the style but nothing to over the top. It's to point where you can tell it's there but you can't pick out if it's cinnamon or nutmeg, etc. There's bourbon in it so there's a slight warming from some alcohol but nothing too overwhelming.

Silky smooth. Medium body with a lower carbonation. The low carbonation allows the light flavors to play off each other very well.

This was extremely drinkable for a beer that is aged in bourbon barrels and has an 8.5% ABV. Excellent job of doing very bold flavors without anything hitting you over the head. They're all here and play off each other nicely. Definitely a beer that is best enjoyed over a long period of time on a cold night.

ms11781, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

AlCaponeJunior, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

womencantsail, Feb 21, 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 ColdPoncho
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks tsatem for this bottle.

A - a dark and opaque red, almost black. SMall tan head recedes to a ring. Not the look of a winter warmer, but I suppose it could be for one aged in Bourbon barrels.

S - The nice and light spices of the winter warmer are very apparent, as are touches of bourbon and vanilla. A nice balance.

T - Caramel and toffee malt flavors on the front, wintery spices come out towards the back, and the finish is all bourbon and vanilla with a nice bourbony after taste. The spices that linger in the after taste are kind of off-putting after a while

M - Smooth and creamy. Big and thick. Too big for a winter warmer, but I guess it's about right for one aged in bourbon barrels.

D - That's pretty drinkable. Tastes good, nothing too unpleasant, good to drink.

ColdPoncho, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of MADhombrewer
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Dark red with almost no light showing thru as I hold it up to the light. Nice cream colored head that sticks around.

Aroma- Caramel malt and vanilla aroma with a little alcohol in the background.

Taste- Caramel and vanilla take over the aroma and the taste. Not over powering, though. Little alcohol as is goes down.

Mouthfeel- Very creamy mouthfeel. Almost cream soda- like.

Drinkability- good drinkability.

Nice beer. Easy drinking and good flavor.

MADhombrewer, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of mountsnow1010
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

mountsnow1010, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of UTCengOwl
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

UTCengOwl, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of boulderaz78
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Recommended by friends who grew up in Texas and said it was a tough to find brew, I finally found it at the Hyde Park market. At only $11.99 for a 650 ML bomber, I had hefty expectations, and I guess it delivered. I didn't expect an ale to be so close to a porter, but I guess that's not a bad thing on such a bitterly cold night. The bourbon is much less apparent than the Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad, which isn't a bad thing either. It's smooth with a nice strong flavor, and pours with a thin milky head. It leaves an apparent after taste that I didn't much enjoy. All in all, it's a good sipper, but don't expect a Belgian quad or anything of the sort.

boulderaz78, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

drabmuh, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

226th review on BA
bottle to NB Globe

App- To me it looked like a well poured soda. The same dark sugary brown with a nice two finger heard. Very little lacing and nice swirls.

Smell- The nose is very light. The bourbon and oak is mellow. It could be I have this a little too cold. Some light scents of extracts of vanilla or some almond, a touch of malt.

Taste- Tastes like a diet vanilla coke to me. Not the best flavors but for a beer and for what it is pretty good. I pick up some subtle flavors of the oak but am missing the heat of the bourbon. Its a bit flat to me.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a fairly decent carb level. A nice mouth feel. Its a good sipper that is smooth and enjoyable on the palate if a little flat.

Drink- Again my boy in TX always comes in with new beers I have never heard of. A nice extra. A little late drinking it past Christmas but it was still a pretty good beer.

FosterJM, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Thorpe429, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

twiggamortis420, Jan 31, 2011
Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.