Winter Warmer | SanTan Brewing Co.

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32 Ratings

Brewed by:
SanTan Brewing Co.
Arizona, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
SanTan’s annual Winter Warmer ale is based on a traditional English Old Ale recipe and then spiced with 10 lbs of fresh ginger from our local market. Generous amounts of caramel and roasted malts are added to give Winter Warmer a deep ruby brown hue. The malt is backed by 10 gallons of Arizona orange blossom honey that lends a slightly sweet taste to the big malt flavor with a sting of ginger. Winter Warmer weighs in at 9.5% ABV and will keep Jack Frost from nipping at your nose!

25 IBU

Added by tayner on 12-15-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of GoffmanvsDuffman
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nearengine
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of egrace84
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Pablobomb
4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Forced to write notes due to an outlier rating.]

This beer has an overly sweet taste - due to both overmalting and the ill-executed incorporation of honey. The ginger is nice albeit faint, as-is the pleasant orange peel, but the spice profile overall is disappointing for a winter warmer. Plain caramalts and dark malts beat the drinker about the palate with malty sweetness. Too bready and flat.

Lacks cohesion. Not a gestalt beer. There's no harmony of texture to taste.

C- (2.67)

 486 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a dark ruby/brown with a creamy, two-finger, off-white head. Patches of lacing just short of rings.

S - Ginger, nutmeg, clove, caramel malts, cinnamon, fruit cake, and honey.

T - Taste matches the nose, with the toasted caramel malt, ginger, and honey leading the way. Nice orange peel note in the mid-palate. Hint of earthy hop in the finish. Ginger almost too intense; the other flavors help for a while but what goes down delicious at first gets a little tiresome in the last third of the can.

M - Rich, full body with a delightful creaminess. Low carbonation. Fantastic feel for the flavor profile. Drying finish. Slight warming effect in the finish from the ABV.

O - A good effort, and one of the best Arizona beers I have ever had. (I live in Arizona and most beers brewed in this state are sub-par) If they reduced the ginger a bit, this would probably be the perfect winter warmer. As is, still good even if slightly flawed.

 987 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JoelClark
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear super dark orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of gingerbread, toffee, earth, and slight ginger aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, honey, earth, spicy ginger, and slight metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness and ginger heat on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid flavors, but the mix of ingredients is much better in the smell to me.

Serving type: can.

 654 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MrWilliams
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Devman171
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can pours dark Amber with tan head. Aroma is toasted sweet malt, ginger, and floral. Taste is toasted malt and sweet ginger spices, dry finish, well done.

 155 characters

Photo of kp29
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of glinnebur
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of thebeeler
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of uawildcat
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of sprucetip
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of bambam2517
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Aclucari
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Phelps
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

SanTan's annual Winter Warmer starts with a traditional English old ale recipe and is then spiced with 10 pounds of fresh ginger and 10 gallons of Arizona orange blossom honey.

Inside a snifter, it's a pretty beer: Caramel malt and other roasted grains lend a deep maroon hue, and there's great clarity despite the darkness. On top is an inch of foam the consistency of fresh, tan-colored snowfall that deposits winding slaloms of lace on the sides of the glass.

Aromas of cinnamon-spiced raisins, caramel, and perhaps some plum arrange themselves in a blend that reminds of bread pudding, accented with notes of gingerbread and earthy English hops. It's like Christmas breakfast at Bob Cratchit's house.

Touch of brandy emerge in the flavor, brought out by sugary alcohol. The front of the flavor is loaded with cinnamon and honey mingled with raisins soaked in the aforementioned brandy. Mid palate, ginger steps up to dance with dark fruits and English hops. Very subtle toasty bread notes settle in after the swallow, while hints of buttery toffee emerge as the brew warms. Altogether, Winter Warmer leans slightly toward the sweet side, but it finishes just dry enough to keep things from becoming cloying. The medium body is like warm blanket on a cold night, enveloping the tongue in supple smoothness while the alcohol heat chases away any chill.

There's a reason SanTan Winter Warmer won a New Times Best Of award in 2010 -- it's a fantastic example of the style that provides delightful warmth when the weather outside gets frightful. Order a glass at the brewpub in Chandler and you'll get it served with a trifecta of tiny gingerbread cookies, which are the perfect pairing. The ginger included in both beer and cookie resonate, while the brew's raisin-soaked honey sweetness and big alcohol hit dull the cookie's spicier edges.

 1,844 characters

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Winter Warmer from SanTan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 32 ratings