Winter Warmer | Upland Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 128
Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As with the few other Upland beers that I've had recently, this beer comes across with a lot of mineral content and a sharp, acidic note that becomes a bit astringent in the mouthfeel. Otherwise this beer is quite solid.

The malt profile is solid with varying tastes of toffee, molassas, and a hint of savory, toasty melanoidins. The attenuation is nicely done, leaving a malty taste and feel but not a lot of unresolved sugars. Quite creamy, full, and rich to the feel.

The hops are soft in flavor but the beer takes a bitterness that is a bit odd for English style Barleywines. No real hop aroma. The hop variety also takes a citrusy twist that is more suited for American Barleywines.

Esters of cherries, plumbs, grapes, dates, and other dark, dehydrated fruits make their way into the beer. Throw in an orange rind taste and feel and you have it. Think fruitcake. No real phenolic character to mention- ok, maybe a light plastic note as the beer warms.

The acidic / astringent note helps to clean the beer up and give a crisp snappy finish, but maybe too low of pH. Aside from that, the maltiness is quite smooth and rich with a sweetness that is pleasant and not offensive. A nice little beer but it doesn't compete favoravly against classic English varieties.

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Photo of ottovon
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i got to try this thanks to SirSketch.

A: Pours a reddish-brown, with a 2 finger white head.

S: Malty and a little sweet. You can smell some spices.

T: It is a little sweet and you can taste some alcohol. There is some maltiness, but there is a good balance of hops. I can taste some spiceness, i get a clove flavor.

M: It is has a smooth mouth feel, with medium body, and light carbonation.

D: It is an ok barleywine. I don't know if i would ever buy a 6 pack, but if out at the bar I might order one.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of SirSketch
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Large head that sticks well to the glass. Varies in color from amber to deep mahogany.

S - Very malty nose. Vinous characteristics, dark esters, and spices, particularly nutmeg, present as well.

T - First thing I noticed was the alcohol... not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Nutty flavors and heavy spices throughout. Not very bitter at all. Definitely an English style barleywine. Very similar to milds and old ales.

M/D - Lays heavy on the tongue. Medium bodied, and very drinkable.

Upland is normally a hit or miss for me with their beers, but I believe this one is worth a try

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a creamy off-white head that leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Caramel coated apples, maple syrup and cotton candy

Taste: Opens with a candied apple flavor that adds other over-ripe fruit by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweetness is tempered by earthy bitterness as one would expect from an English barleywine

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with moderate to high carbonation; warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: I tasted a 2006 with a year and a half of age just before the 2007. The '06 was a disaster but the '07 was drinking quite nicely. Even though this is a high ABV beer, it didn't age very well in my experience

Thanks, jhammerly, for the opportunity

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a mahogany body with a fizzy, though lasting off-white head.

Smell: Mild malty aroma of toasted caramel with a dash or two of cinnamon spice.

Taste: Bittersweet taste throughout with more toasted caramel flavors along with crumpled, dry biscuits, light spices, and notes of tea. Light sprucey hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Though certainly fine as a winter warming offering, I must admit that my thoughts did not immediately turn to "barleywine" when I sampled this.

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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.

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Photo of BitteBier
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arriving in a voluptuous snifter, this barley wine is a clear, orangish amber color and is topped off by a generous amount of tight off-white foam that falls away pretty quickly but clings persistently. The nose is mildly malty-sweet with some clove and other spice present; it is perhaps most striking for the absence of alcohol scents. They are more prevalent in the taste, of course, but still not overwhelming. Sweet malts up front, giving way to a more astringent alcohol warmth. Overall, a little sweeter than I expect or want. This one doesn't coat the mouth but has some substance to it. Went down well on a winter's day, and I'll get it again when the weather calls for it.

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Photo of thebarnesbomb
2.7/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Was served from a growler into a goblet at my friends house. He got it direct from Upland, well obviously, since we live in Bloomington. I personally like Upland, and was excited for the winter warmer. Unfortunately I was dissapointed.

A- It looked decent enough, but with little/ no head. Had a brownish-amber-orange color to it, cloudy showing that it has some character and not watery at all.

Smell- Strong, seeing that it is a winter warmer. Some sweetness underneath this, with a little citrus element.

Taste- Damnit. What a tease. I was expecting something great, but I was really dissapointed. Honestly, it was due to the growler, and it lost a lot of carbonation to it, which might be unfair for this beer. But without any carbonation to it at all, the flavors were just too much. The alcohol was most present, with hardly any of the malt sweetness I had smelled in the malt, and the citrus that I smelled was tasted, but too harsh.

Mouthfeel- Gross. Too thick and too harsh, I just wanted to get it out of the way.

Drinkablility- I could hardly finish a small goblet, so this recieved a low drinkability. I think with the proper carbonation this could be a good beer though.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with little head, but the carbonation lingers. Body is a deep ruby amber. Smells malty, maybe slightly sprucey and raisiny.

Tastes sweet, with plums and dates. Earthy, grassy hops are slight. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, slightly syrupy. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of oracle
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer arrived a very deep dark maghogany color, almost the color of a porter. You can just discern the redness of it when held up to the light. Rich foamy tan head with comendable endurance and heavy lacing.

Smell was mildly fruity and sweet. No discernable hops or alcohol presense in the nose.

Taste was richly sweet sweet and more sweet. Tons of carmel malt with heavy fruitiness, especially plum and raison. Sligtly syrupy, it stopped short of being cloying, but anymore sweetness would be just too much.

Alcohol clearly present in the taste and quite warming.

Very good, but a bit too heavy to have more than one a night.

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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% 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.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amazingly slow head cascade action. Strange patches of bubbles throughout body of beer.

Deep dark rich amber coloration. Clear from yeast or other floaties. Fat 2 inch head that's dark brown and leaves a nice happy trail.

From cold the beer smells much like a low alcohol brown ale. How they pulled that off, I do not know. When it gets warmer notes of almond, plunm, raisin, and a leather malt sweetness appear. You have to keep your nose well-tuned to smell the alcohol, but you'll surely taste it on the palate.

There's a little too much of liquid raisin / heavy caramel thing going on here. They decieve well with the high ABV but the sweetness borders on the cloying: i'd want no more than one. The mouthfeel is also a bit lacking for the style.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Winter Warmer from Upland Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 128 ratings.
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