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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.

298 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 298
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 74
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: 298 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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 Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Bitterbill, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of zander4dawin
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | 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.

zander4dawin, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

jlindros, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of OakedCanuck
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

OakedCanuck, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of waterintobeer
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
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!

waterintobeer, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of nas5755
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

nas5755, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of rfabian
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

rfabian, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of GregSVT
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

GregSVT, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of crusian
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like.. coke. seriously, this thing has large bubbles and looks like coca cola, except with less head.
smells like a vanilla, chocolate, oakey, with a hint of bourbon. Honestly, if you put this under my nose and I was blindfolded, I wouldn't think it was a beer. probably something out of a gourmet chocolatier or something.
taste is actually pretty damn good. to say I am shocked is an understatement. A lot of smooth oak vanilla, some chocolate, and a tiny bit of bourbon. this is quite amazing from Rahr.
mouthfeel is spot on for what it needs to be, I think if it was thicker it wouldn't be as good, and I like the thick ass stouts. but a nice medium body has this covered.
overall this is quite amazing. I am absolutely shocked. Rahr is known for mediocrity, and this is far far from it. I look forward to some other things they may put out at this kind of quality. Cheers Rahr, and congrats!

crusian, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Onslow
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

wow! i am blown away, a beer from Rahr that doesn't suck donkey dick- scores averaged of all previous rahr beers sits at 2.6/5.0 - .. Pours a deep tan brown, medium low head, light spotty lacing .. . aromas of bourbon, wood, tobacco resin, chocolate, and stellenbosch vineyard .. . interesting mouthfeel for a barrel aged beer- most would say its way to thin (because original Rahr winter warmer is as thick as water in space) but it works for me at this moment in time .. . clouds .. . flavours very similar to the aroma, just more bourbon .. .

overall: the best made Rahr product, and actually enjoyable, but not for aging at all.. probably the best it will get and probably the best product that Rahr could ever wish to make ..

Onslow, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of wagenvolks
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (2010) into an oversized wine glass.

Been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time now, and props to Rahr for finally bottling it! BBAWW pours with a deep, burnt mahogany hue. Above builds a hefty crown of tan head that retains exceedingly well and drapes a few sticky webs of lace along the inside of the glass. The aroma is decadent, with lots of toasted chocolate & coffee from the malt, dark raisins, and bourbon-ness from the barrels that adds whiffs of vanilla and booze.

The flavor doesn't shy away, either. Bigger chocolate malt profile than the aroma suggests, and the bourbon courses across the back of the palate with notes of oak and vanilla. The booze is evident, but shies away from becoming too hot at the last moment, leaving a smooth finish of caramel nuttiness. Mouthfeel could stand to be a bit fuller in body, but the carbonation is solid. I mush admit, I was a bit skeptical about Rahr given their generally sub-par flagship lineup, but this beer is a barrel-aged masterpiece.

wagenvolks, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A two finger beige head forms at first, but recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Not much lace though.
S: Toasted malt, chocolate, light vanilla. A hint of oak from the barrels. Overall good, but fairly neutral.
T: Follows the nose. Toasted malt, powdery chocolate, and vanilla. Some residual sweetness, and lingering wood/oak flavor. A lingering bitterness builds as well. There is also an odd, spicy aftertaste that I can not put my finger on.
M/D: A lighter body than I was expecting. Thin, and almost under carbonated. Easy to drink. Everything is well incorporated. I will finish the bottle without a problem.

Overall a very nice barrel aged beer. Probably the best I have had from Rahr. I am thinking that a bigger body would help things out tremendously. It just seems too thin to me. Something I would recommend, and a good addition to the Texas beer scene. Though I have had better barrel aged beers.

champ103, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Randyweizen
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Randyweizen, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of kiltedtxn
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was found at Gingerman Fort Worth on July 18th, 2010.

This is the same version from December of 2009 that was aged in Makers Mark Bourbon barrels, only aged 6 more months in the keg.

A- Dark ruby to black in color, little to no head

S- A ton of vanilla, almost no cherries, very malty with a little chocolate

T- Big vanilla, moderately malty, no cherries

M- Slight high alcohol burn (not as much it originally had), very smooth creamy feel

D- Very drinkable, could drink it more often if available

I was wanting a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream to make a float but they were out. I was surprised that the cherries had dissipated to slight to non-existent, because it had such a huge presence in December of 2009.

kiltedtxn, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice crimson red body with a light tan head. Notes of winter spices, oak, vanilla and dark cherry in the nose and taste. This beer tastes exactly like the Winter Warmer with an oaky vanilla profile (must be) from the bourbon barrels. I guess that's exactly what it should taste like but I didn't notice a remarkable difference between them. The mouthfeel was smoother in this version with the vanilla more pronounced. It's nice to see what a little barrel aging can do to a winter warmer. Great example, very drinkable. I was told it was between 8-11% but it tasted more like 6-7%. Very small nutty character in the finish which was dry for the style. A treat and great after dinner/late night beer.

natelocc787, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

mjl21, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of spaceycasey
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

spaceycasey, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of turbine2475
4.9/5  rDev +18.6%
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!!!

turbine2475, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of mhewes
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
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

mhewes, May 28, 2008
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.