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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

312 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 79
Gots: 93 | 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: 312 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 ChadQuest
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of ms11781
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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 Stigs
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
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 ColdPoncho
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of mountsnow1010
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of UTCengOwl
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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 boulderaz78
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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 FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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 twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
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 Khazadum
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

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 zander4dawin
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing beer. Usually bourbon barrel beers let me down, but this one hits a home run. Great taste to it, nice bourbon hints in it. If you're lucky enough to find this on the shelves make sure you pick it up. Also, a great value beer it was only around $10 and was much better then Boulevard's Bourbon Barrel Quad and others that charge more.

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 OakedCanuck
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into cervoise

A - Dark brown with reddish edging, very little head and minor lacing

S - Distinct bourbon reaches your nose first, then you get the vanilla, dark fruits, sugars

T - Strong bourbon, obviously, and it is accented by a smoky oak, vanilla, and touch of hop bitterness.

M - Medium body and creaminess. Could be a little more balanced with the bourbon but the alcohol is hidden

D - Probably Rahr's best offering. Easy enough to drink and a nice change of styles from all the other ___-aged offerings out there.

Photo of waterintobeer
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
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!

Photo of nas5755
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JJfoodie, for this wonderful beer after another blizzard in the northeast. A perfect way to end the night.

This beer pours a dark brown, almost black with a nice head and some lacing around the edge of the glass. The aroma is faint, it has vanilla as the prominent component some chocolate malts, some bourbon. The taste is fantastic, chocolate, vanilla, oak, a little bourbon, so complex and simple at the same time, wonderful. The mouth-feel is unreal, the smoothest cleanest, beer that I have ever drank, perfect carbonation on the medium-low level. Super drinkable. A very awesome beer, a perfect winter warmer, it really reminds me of an imperial porter with some bourbon notes.

Photo of rfabian
4.45/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of GregSVT
4.78/5  rDev +16%
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.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.