Barley's St. Nick's Winter Warmer | Smokehouse Brewing Co.

10 Ratings

Brewed by:
Smokehouse Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 11-18-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of dwaters59
4.83/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this at Barleys drawn from a nitro tap. Very little foam. Excellent nose, feel, balanced taste and just about the best thing I ever had, until I found Wee Heavy.

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Photo of jminch
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Franz4
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of MarkFy
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a growler I picked up at the Smokehouse location. Poured into a standard beer glass.

A: a rich copper color, clear. No head on it.

S: good hints of nutmeg, clove, cinnamon.

T: Same as the nose. Great balance of holiday spices, nice sweet flavor of dark fruit, hint of molasses. Really impressed with the balance, no spice overpowers any other.

M: Very nice velvety feel, low carbonation. Not thick by any means but does have a slight syrupy consistency typical of winter warmers or old ales. A little heat from the 12% ABV.

D: It really creeps up on you with the alcohol. After a glass you are feeling good, after 2 it's time for me to take a break since it's so good!

I'm loving this one. I don't think they made it last year, but very glad it's back. It is probably my favorite winter warmer of all time. Dare I say I've been reaching for this one more than my GL Christmas ale. Well done Barley's, please keep making this for the holidays!

Note: this beer did lose some points within just a few days in the growler. Review was done fresh from the tap.

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Photo of prototypic
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saint's Nick's pours a dark copper color. It's very clear and looks burgundy in front of light. Carbonation looks to be very light. It barely yielded any head. What was there was off-white and rose just above the surface. It died a quick death and leaves few signs of lace behind. Hmmmm...too much abv?

The nose is pretty good, but is a little on weak side. It isn't exactly bursting with aromatics. There are a few notable holiday spices. Ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon are all present. There's hint of a dark fruit, but it isn't very strong. Smells like raisin and fig to me. That's an interesting element that isn't bad by any means. Light yeast and alcohol are noted on the tail. It smells pretty good, but needs more strength.

The flavor kicks off with a nice blend of holiday spices. Ginger and cinnamon are the strongest, but nutmeg isn't far behind. Orange peel lurks throughout. I didn't catch that one in the nose, but it does add some zeal to the overall flavor. Yeast is noted fairly early, but doesn't come through too strong. It does have an interesting, tangy dark fruit flavor. I wasn't expecting that, but it works surprisingly well with the holiday spices. Alcohol is mixed pretty well for an 11% beer. Yeah, it's noticeable, but you'd never guess it's as strong as it is.

Saint Nick's has a lighter body that leans medium with some warming. It's a little too thin and would be better with more girth. Light carbonation helps it achieve a nice smooth feel, but I wouldn't mind a few more bubbles. Drinkability is good for such a big beer. I'm sharing the growler and probably wouldn't tackle the whole thing myself. It's a little strong for that. But, it sure is going down easy.

This is my first time trying Saint Nick's. Barley's generally brews good beer and this one's simply another. The nose could use more strength and it would benefit from more body and bubbles. But, it's pretty solid all-around otherwise. Certainly hits the spot during the winter season.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber to ruby color. No head to speak of.

Caramel and candied fruit in the aroma, with some berries. Big whiff of alcohol as well.

Lots of candy sweetness and fruit. Dark fruits and berries, covered in rich caramel.

Medium body, with very little carbonation. Big warming effect from alcohol. This is a hug beer, meant for sipping. Pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a growler from Barley's Smokehouse No. 2 for a Winter Warmer beer tasting I was hosting. Poured into a pint glass. It's a ruby-copper color: perfect for a winter warmer. Small, white head. Not a lot of retention. Sweetness dominates the aromas: maple syrup, bourbon, twinge of alcohol, too. There's the 11% ABV for you. Tastes are overly sweet as well: again the maple syrup and bourbon. Little bit of alcohol burn. Nice woody character. Slight bitterness on the back of the tongue - lingers in the aftertaste, too. Definitely a winter "warmer," with all the sweet alcohol, although it gets a little one-note. Medium bodied mouthfeel adds to the syrupy character. Gotta drink this one slow, or it'll rock you. Not a bad winter warmer, but simply not as dynamic as some others. There's little to no bitterness to offset the heavy sweetness.

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Photo of mcallister
2.88/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer seems to stand still in time. Millions of tiny carbonation bubbles remain motionless; because of the cask conditioning? A mahagony color, poured with no head except for a slight foamed center and ring around the glass.

Very fruity aromas. Fresh blended berries, different candied nut. It's obvious this one is going to be high in RS.

Beer lacks depth, more hops could have balanced the cloying sweetness somewhat or just added some needed muscle. Same berry fruit, and thick nutty flavors as well as a malty background and other seasonal spices.

I will try this next year non cask. I think some carbonation would have been very beneficial.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a brandy snifter. I was given instructions by the server to 'drink it slowly since it's so high in alcohol'. Gee, thanks for the warning. Significantly ruddy, festive, dark bronze, though lighter than expected. Since this is a 'spiced amber ale' I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. The head was nearly absent by the time the beer reached the table, a thin rim of ecru where liquid met glass was all that was left. Needless to say, no lace.

The nose was of orange liqueur, brown sugar syrup and alcohol. I know that St. Nick's weighs in at 12%, but the brewer still could have done a better job of masking. The aroma was nice, but lower in intensity than I had hoped. Given the list of ingredients (see below) it should have been more complex and more assertive than it was.

According to the menu, this beer contains "organic buckwheat honey, fresh ginger, orange zest, English malts" etc. It was difficult for me to sort out those flavors for the simple reason that the alcohol was even more rampant on the palate than it was in the nose. Although the flavor wasn't bad exactly, it reminded me a little of Jagermeister, which has always reminded me of cough syrup. Still though, concentrated orange essence was unmistakable as were undertones of dark, sweet honey. No ginger by my palate.

The body was satisfactory with a medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel and, disappointingly, a little too much carbonation. Big, sippable, winter warmers (in my mind) ought to be decidedly full, chewy even, and ought to have their carbonation so well buried as to be nearly unnoticed.

St. Nick's Winter Warmer packs a punch, but the one-two combination doesn't quite hit its mark. I'm fine with a beer that delivers a left jab to the palate (abundant flavor) and an uppercut that induces a high-ABV stagger. I'm not as tolerant of a right cross of unmasked alcohol that shocks the palate and prevents appropriate enjoyment of the other ingredients. Too many of these and St. Nick will be done for the night.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at the 2nd annual tapping of the very same beer. Hoo-boy. The 2004 version of the St. Nick's is even more jacked up than last year's, which was a jacked up version of Barley's Christmas Ale. Served in a snifter. Dark amber color with a very compact beige head. Thin and quick lacing. Strong aroma of malt, spice and alcohol. Rich and velvety with sweet malt and caramel character. Spicy alcohol and hops are pretty abundant too. It's almost too much but 2-3 go down very nicely. I'd love to try a cask-conditioned version. The finish is very warming, with a lingering alcohol burn. All in all this is a great seasonal that I will continue to look forward to year after year.

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Barley's St. Nick's Winter Warmer from Smokehouse Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 10 ratings
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