Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Winter Warmer | Upland Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
67 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 04-15-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 128
Photo of sulldaddy
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is poured at room temp into a tumbler glass. The beer exhibits a deep chestnut hue with mild garnet highlights around the edges of the glass. Thin wispy eggshell white head on the surface only, but leaves some tight lattice after each sip. Aroma is toffee and red grapes and plums. I dont find hops anywhere on the nose, and not really any booze notes.
First sip reveals gentle carbonation, average to thick body.
Flavor is toffee and a bit of brown sugar with some warm booze on the finish. Again hops arent to be found in this beer. A nice flavorful brew that is well crafted and a malty's dream! Quite a nice example of an English B-wine.

 651 characters

Photo of zerk
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep but clear brown with a thin white head that leaves a trace of lacing. Aroma is a wonderful and complex mix of fresh bread, caramel, pepper, dates, and some floral tones. Flavor is a mix of caramel, toffee, chocolate, some buscuity notes, some light pepper, and a touch of bitterness to balance things out. Mouthfeel is full and smooth, and the alcohol is barely noticeable. This is an outstanding brew... well worth checking out if you can still find it!

 467 characters

Photo of jaz
4.46/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The hazy deep crimson color and half-inch off white head were an instant attraction to this beer. The head subsided to a thin dense film that laced the glass to the end. The initial aroma wasn't much to speak of, bet developed as it aerated. The taste was bold and sweet to start, and then presented a mild banana fruit taste in the middle. The finish had a pleasantly bitter tang that perfectly balanced the malty, alcohol flavors. An excellent nectar mouthfeel and full body made this beer even better. Hail Upland!

 517 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale stemmed glass. Bottled Nov. '08. No other info.

A - A moderate pour brings fourth a creamy, low one-finger head. Light khaki color with medium retention. A low, thin layer stays with a ring as well as tiny spots of lacing. Noticeable legs on the glass show it's strength. The body is an inactive, clear ruby-highlighted mahogany/copper amber color. Very beautiful and deep in appearance.

S - Toasty malts provide a good hearty backbone to this already complex beer. Caramel hints in the sweetness with a mild toasty cocoa. At the forefront are dried fruits aplenty from both the alcohol level and yeast I imagine. Chocolate covered cherry with light mango and light banana with yeast. The alcohol is strong in this one with fruity aspects, some spiciness, and light fusels. Not overly solvent-like, as it's pretty overpowered by everything else, but it's there. Hops finish off the intensely layered delight with a timid pine and citrus blend that balances everything very well. Huge success on aroma!

T - Strong maltiness kicks this beer off in the right direction. Robust and bread-like, the toasty malts exhibit a caramel sweetness who's marriage to the other flavors presents a near perfect balance for the style. The alcohol is a bit overpowering but the spiciness common to alcohol could definitely be from the hop presence too. Very herbal and moderately floral, the hops also have a light pine/citrus kick to the finish. The balance of this barleywine is pretty well done to style as it finishes bitter. The fruity esters are the same as the nose leads on minus the banana and much more low-key in the flavor. Alcohol presence seems a bit too high however.

M - Full-bodied and robust, its thick and creamy in the mouth with a very smooth, velvety finish. Low level carbonation still gives it a light tingle as the hop bitterness and alcohol warmth rise up.

D - The balance is pretty good on this barleywine for the style. Malty yet hoppy. The noticeable alcohol (even for it's, thus far, extended age) is the killer. Smack in the midst of the malty-change-hoppy flavor, it's higher presence is a bit unwanted. Overall though it's a great example of a barleywine and would make for a great winter warmer as the name suggests. I think I'll have to go back and see if there are any left and hang on to them for the upcoming cooler weather.

 2,401 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Finch's

Pours a reddish brown with a small tan head that fades away immediately. Decent sticky lacing down the glass.

Smells of caramel and dark fruits. Earthy hop and brown sugar presence as well.

Just a small hop presence with some subtly sweet brown sugar presence hitting the front of the tongue. Lots of caramel throughout with some dark fruits mixed in as well.

Medium-thick mouthfeel without being cloying and medium-low carbonation.

One of my favorite barleywines and I look forward to it every year. Good and warming without being cloying sweet like many of the style. Very pleasant to sip during dinner.

 632 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice brown copper color with some good head and lacing. Mixed scent, very malty with some high English hop aromas (jerky) in there. Good taste, nice and deep, though not as deep as other barley wines; still, the nice hop characteristics helped it out a bit and balanced the usual maltiness of barley wines. For a high ABV beer, it goes down wonderfully smooth, and you could have a few before it hit you. A great beer to warm up with after a long cold day.

 464 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks urbancaver

from notes

A - lovely cloudy red body, a small ring and film of white head.

S - good malty sweetness with some hops bringing a nice balance.

T - tastes distinctly of strawberries, some general malt character, bitter hops.

M - medium-full body, bit dry

O (D) - dryness slows you down, but it's decent tasting.

 332 characters

Photo of jbone78
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is freezing outside, so this is the one for me today.

A- poured slightly hazy with amber color. nearly no head, but what was there was gone in seconds. no big deal.
S- of toasted toffee and caramel. slight hop character and alcohol is hidden well.
T- not bad, not super syrupy for an English style. light hop tones with semi-sweet malt character. I like.
M- mild carbonation, which is expected and smooth.
D- if this beer were sold in my area, i would buy it more. Very nice Winter Warmer.


 505 characters

Photo of secondtooth
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle I'd aged almost 3 years...2008 vintage! Pours with a nice thick head, and some heavy-duty spoke lacing.

Aroma is almost fruity, strong, like dried dark fruit.

Flavor is dried cherry, tobacco, leather, pear, dates...strong and complex. Very little hint as to the rather high alcohol content.

A well tasty barleywine, certainly made more palatable with some age. Enjoyable!

And had a final bottle, tasted again in late 2013 -- so a 5 year-old bottle this time:

Echoes similar flavors as above (candied fruits, berries, and a bit of earthiness), but with an even more sour-sweet character. Not bad at all, and still pretty heavy-duty.

 649 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a short off white head.

Scent of juicy, resiny hops, caramel, sugar, sweet brandy, and faint alcohol. Strong and balanced, the hint of alcohol gives it a nice depth.

Taste of roasty caramel, sweet hops, dry alcohol, and raspberries. Finishes with leafy hops and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, tight and biting.

 348 characters

Photo of mrandypandy
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased from the brewery in April and cellared since then.

A - Pours a clear ruby red with slightly off-white head. Head stays and leaves great lacing.
S - Subdued malty caramel sweetness
T - Mmm. Just like the aroma, thick malty flavors with a caramel sweetness to it. Some dark fruits (figs, prunes) as well.
M - Medium to full body. Slightly sweet. Mild carbonation.
D - Really good. Maybe I dig English Barleywines more than American Barleywines, but the subdued hop profile and well integrated malt body make this both tasty and drinkable.

Overall- Well done. I forgot I had three bottles stashed away from our trek up from Atlanta to Munster for DLD, and I'm glad I decided to pull one out for the holidays. I'm not sure about all the other bad reviews out there, but I found Winter Warmer to be a well-made, harmonious Barleywine.

 858 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep copper brown with about a 2-finger head. Mostly frothy with good retention and lacing. Only somewhat translucent.

S- Lots going on here. Sweet hints intermingle with a medium hops profile. Less citrusy and more dull hops scents. Malt backbone is apparent with caramel hints most prominent.

T- Way more malty than anticipated from the smell. Dulled hops kick in about midway through to supply a little bit of a bitter bite. Definite caramel and sweeter malts up front followed by bready flavors towards the middle and end of the drink. Finishes clean with only slight bitter hops aftertaste.

M- Slightly chewy and thicker. Supports the flavor profile very well. Little carbonation. Could be a little smoother and abrupt on delivering the flavor profile.

Overall, a great way to break into the barleywine genre. Enjoyable and easy to drink.

 858 characters

Photo of 1Adam12
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle
Pours a mahogony color with a decent head and very nice sticky lacing. Smells of dark fruit, figs, currants, raisins, and cherry's. No trace of alcohol on the nose. Lots of raisin and fig on the front end of the flavor. This is followed up by cherry's. The finish is odd. I can't place it, but it tastes like a rice cake. Very odd, but pretty good none the less. Mouthfeel is a bit too light for me. I'd like more body to it as well as a bit more heat from the alcohol. If I let it sit on my tongue for a bit I can catch mild carbonation and just a bit of alcohol. The alcohol is still barely noticeable. Overall, this is quite tasty. I'd really like to try the barrel aged version of it.

 700 characters

Photo of Jon
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper color with a thin head that laces well down the glass.

Fruity, chocolatey nose with notes of what I believe to be Simcoe and perhaps Amarillo hops. Bubblegum whaffs, too. Complex, but inviting.

Well-balanced flavors of chocolate, dark fruits, toffee/caramel and mildly bitter hops on the finish.

Smooth, appropriately carbonated mouthfeel. Has a certain crispness to it at this point in its young life.

Drinks very well for its size. Everything is in place here and I'd imagine some deliberate aging will bring on some further toffee/caramel tones that will certainly be welcomed. The hop character keeps this beer particularly interesting and also increases drinkability.

 697 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful reddish amber. Vry pretty. A bit of light yellow head that hangs around. Smells malty with a touch of hops. Very smooth and crisp. Lots of light fruity flavours on the tongue. Very nice mouthfeel. Overall a tasty english barleywine.

 250 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Keg Liquor.

Poured clear reddish brown color with a large frothy light brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Complex aroma of sweet friuty and alcohol. Full body with thick texture and flat carbonation. Complex flavor of rich sweet earthy fruit flavor with medium dark fruit finish of moderate to long duration.

Solid complex after dinner brew.

 373 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had 2 really bad infected drain pour beers today, and one that was OK but really hard to drink. So hopefully this one is great and can make up for it. This is last year's batch, 2011, thanks to erric (reddit).

Pours a nice fluffy looking 1 finger head that has plenty of retention, and eventually fades with a nice thick lacing as well, it's a semi clear mahogany slight maroon reddish colored beer.

Nose has nice old ale aged subtle malts, those caramel brown malts that have an aged aroma to them, plenty of caramel and toffee, little nutty as well, nice candy like aroma but not really syrupy, light booze and soft malt, and maybe just a hint of oxidation.

Taste starts with nice aged malts again, old ale soft subtle almost chewy and creamy like malts. Then sweetness, not super sweet but the candy flavors, plenty of caramel and toffee, little nutty again, maybe a hint of a syrup flavor, a toffee nutty candy bar like flavor. Light bitterness with a hint of earthy hops but not much. Finish gets a bit more bitter with more earthy slightly spicy hops that I bet were a lot stronger when fresh. Lingering slight sweetness and sticky feel, and plenty more toffee, caramel, nutty flavors, and soft aged malts.

Mouth is fuller bodied, nice fluffy carb, just a hint of booze, and soft creamy feel as well.

Overall a nice beer, good aged soft malts, chewy and creamy without the syrupy flavors, great malt flavors nutty caramel and toffee, etc, and bitterness that sneaks up and I'm sure was a lot stronger when fresh, but a nice balance now with a year on it. I wonder how it will continue to age, wish I had another bottle.

 1,635 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper/burgundy color with a one-finger, long-lasting, khaki colored head of foam. It had some big bubbles and left some nice lace.

S - It smelled very malty and sweet. It had good caramel aroma and some floral notes.

T - This had a nice malty flavor with a good sweet caramel taste. There were fruity notes and mild boozy, alcohol flavors.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a really good barleywine. I was really pretty easy drinking despite the high ABV. It wasn't overly sweet.

 607 characters

Photo of RickS95
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown, relatively clear but dark enough that you can't see through it. A bit thinner than I expected. The head is a finger thick and a brilliant white on top of the much darker liquid. As the head dies, a creamy layer of white remains perched on top.

There's a really nice balance in the nose between the malty backbone and the floral and citric hops.

Normally I find complexity in the feel, but this beer has it in the taste. It starts off like a nut brown ale, very malty, with some caramel. That maltiness is balanced by the piney, citrusy hops before giving way to the alcohol deep in the swallow.

Very complex. It's sweet initially, but then the barleywine-ness kicks in and you're hit with a bitterness and alcohol pop. However, it's as smooth a barleywine as I've ever had and the bittering hops and high alcohol are slightly muted.

Upland beers are hit or miss for me, but this was a solid hit. I enjoy all types of beer but barleywines aren't my first choice because I can't always feel my tongue the next morning. However, this was unusually tame and very drinkable.

 1,093 characters

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This year's Winter Warmer was just released tonight and I got to sample me a glass. It was a bit strange because the beer was terribly dark. Almost black unless you held it up to a light...then it was the darkest dankest red/auburn color you can imagine. I think I smelled and tasterd roasted notes, but it could have just been the color making me do that.

Really a very very rich beer. I think its probably up above 10% too...it seemed quite strong...could be wrong about that though right?

Very strong alcohol presence with a massive malt body full on attack. Very juicy juicy juicy malts. Dripping sweet sticky malt juice all over the place. This review is getting obscene. Hefty does of hops in the finish to try and offset the malts.

Very big beer.

But I could have drank another...I'll definately need to sample this one again. And I bet cellaring a couple wouldn't hurt.

 890 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I judged this beer before I looked here and saw that it was an English Barley Wine @ 9% ABV...I just thought it was a spiced holiday ale...what a nice suprise!

Aroma: Rich fruity esters, burnt dark sugars, and a little alcohol heat. No hop aroma detected. The aroma has a bit of resiny hop bitterness but it's definitely English.

Appearance: A ruddy garnet color with a tight light tan cap. No visible carbonation in the body. The color is amazingly complex.

Flavor: Follows the aroma. More burnt sugars, dark fruity esters, and a touch of alcohol warmth. Some resiny hop bitterness helps balance this and keeps it from having any sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Finishes dry and clean.

Overall impression: Hop flavor is a little too high to be an English Barleywine. Maybe using a less attenuative yeast would help as well. That being said, what an enjoyable experience. Drinking a winter warmer is always a mixed bag but this one delivers. Alcohol is well blended with the other flavors and an enjoyable way to finish the day. Recommended.

 1,081 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for the bottle. Cheers!

Pours a clean and clear glowing ruby color. Two finger eggshell colored head is set atop. The head diminishes ever so slowly. Solid sheet of lacing left clinging to the walls of the glass.

Bright and warm bready malt greets the nose. The warmth of the malt combine with sweet raisin and brown sugar aroma makes for an appropriate winter beer. Caramel and soft molasses provide pleasant secondary scents. Subtle hop presence in the nose. Hints of citrus and earthy characteristics.

Sweet caramel flavor lays heavy on the tongue out of the glass. Bits of citrus and floral hops flavor lies just behind. Warm breadiness develops on the midpalate, providing a pleasant contrast to the flavors appearing on the front of the palate. Bits of brown sugar and raisin are left lingering on the back of the tongue.

Full bodied beer, carbonation is on the low end of moderate. Slightly slick feel on the tongue, a bit of a chewy texture. The finish is long, as any good barleywine should be.

Is Upland Winter Warmer one of the best Barleywines you can find? No, definitely not. It is very enjoyable however. Excellent "everyday" Barleywine if there is such a thing. Great flavor, very drinkable, with an ABV that will keep you up right a bit longer. Worth checking out.

 1,301 characters

Photo of FishHeadLover
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess I am use to big alcohol smelling barleywines, because the smell of this one didn't hit me.
A- Red brown body with a nice brownish head.
S- I was expecting more alcohol with the 9% rating. It was nice and piney with notes of alcohol.
T- Very nice and smooth, which is unlike the other barleywines I have had.
D- I have had this on tap before I knew it was a barleywine and I had several. I think this beer is very drinkable and would share it with others.

 464 characters

Photo of mgbickel
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extra from Brundo4...thanks Ben!!

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a single finger, pearl colored head that receded quickly leaving behind a small amount of lace. The body is a clear, chestnut/amber color with orange hues.

The nose has lots of malts up front with caramel and sugary fruits. The backbone is bready and biscuit-like (I've always wanted to use that term!).

The flavors are not as sweet as the nose would suggest. Some sweet malts up front that give way quickly to a grainy middle and run into a more biting, bitter finish. There are subtle, underlying fruit flavors present throughout the drink.

Medium mouth feel, a little on the oily side with mild carbonation.

This is a pretty decent drinking beer! I would not guess it to be a winter "seasonal" offering, but I sure would take it if it is offered!!

 831 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, that came as part of a 12 bottle sampler box. Bottled on dating (here Dec. 08) notched onto the label. Pours dark mahogony, dark tan moderate head that leaves fine lacing and a rich malty nose. Malty, malty, malty. Smooth and sultry and dangerously easy drinking. Perhaps on the light side for a BWine. Nice sipper.

 332 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Winter Warmer from Upland Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 128 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest┬« Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!