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Warmer Winter Winter Warmer | Cigar City Brewing

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Warmer Winter Winter WarmerWarmer Winter Winter Warmer

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A old ale with american hop varietals that has a complex citrus and caramelized toffee aroma and underlying notes of chocolate.

Added by cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

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Reviews: 206 | Ratings: 601
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Found this one in the cellar that I COMPLETELY forgot about, was quite a little surprise. Doesn't have a year on it, but I know I got it in a trade 4(ish) years ago.

750 ML bottle that was poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Coming out of the bottle it's sort of muddy puddle brown but collects in the glass and rises up to be dark brown/amber/red color with more red highlights along the sides. Particles floating around in there, they settle at the bottom after a while. Nice creamy kaki colored head with various sized but mostly small bubbles. Really nice in the lacing department. Overall a pretty good looking beer.

Smell is really good. Lots of citrus, and it runs deep. When cold it's definitely noticeable and gets stronger as it warms up. Lots of toffee, molasses, dark dehydrated fruit, and even some leather and tobacco. Bready, malty, hoppy, spicy, and a little earthy all in one.

Taste is on par with the smell, deep and complex. Citrus is strong while being both sweet and natural flavors. Slightly citrus bready and maybe even some marmalade. There's strong flavors of toffee, molasses, chocolate and I'd say even some maple. Still pretty hoppy after all these years which I'm most impressed by. Not sure what the combination is but there's the above mentioned citrus and some pine notes.

Mouthfeel is good. Has a strong, nice lingering flavor. As well carbonated as it is, it's incredible smooth. The flavors mesh together perfectly hitting both the sweet and bitter taste buds equally. Alcohol content is present to the tongue but for a 10% beer it's well masked by the other big flavors which is ok, I think this beer was intend to be a sipper. Nice drinkability, I like this one a lot. Really cellarable I've had it fresh and aged and both are awesome. Another impressive brew from Cigar City.

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

Very deep, dark, mahogany color, with a big, rocky ecru colored head. Aromas of cocoa, caramel and spicy, earthy hops. On the palate, malt dominates, in a very good way, with brown sugar, raisins and caramel, accented nicely by zesty, citrusy hops. An excellent old ale, and something to look forward to for those forced to endure Florida's winters.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled 25.4 oz. bomber into a 12 oz tulip. 2012-13 vintage.

Look- Medium amber with a reddish tinge. Two fingers of dense eggnog foam. Gobs of sticky lace

Smell- Mild, white raisin, vaguely perfumelike, bubblegum, light treacle, savory spice. Swirling brings out a sweeter, nutty, cherry aroma. Subtle and many-hued.

Taste- Similar to the aroma. Cherry, mint, aloe in light syrup, candied orange peel, maple, milk chocolate, toffee, quite sweet but never overly so. Hints of roast and a vague hop presence defy my expectation. Vaguely woody towards the finish. Lingering nougat. Alcohol is there but not as overt as anticipated. Pretty nice.

Mouthfeel- Full, sticky, smooth. Light carbonation, syrupy feel. Substantial. I'll re-cap the rest for tomorrow.

Overall- An interesting brew, definitely a barleywine feel. Big, bold, lots of layered flavors. It could be lighter, but that's obviously not what it's going for. Absolutely worth picking up, I wish I had a few more to hold onto.

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Photo of farrago
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge head even with a semi-passive pour, up over three fingers of deep tan foam accompanied by larger bubbles of varied sizes, extremely slow to dissipate, strong webbing of lace left behind all over the glass sides. As a result, you have to wait some time to even get the scents able to show, then golden raisin, fig, milk chocolate, these contrasted nicely by white pepper, crushed clove, dried hay, pine cone, suggestion of white citrus, most compelling is not so much the role call of scents but the constant interplay among them. Full-bodied, bottom heavy and once it gets into your mouth only moves when prodded. Apricot, red cherry, raisin, fig, pear fruit spiced up by nutmeg, clove, allspice and a touch of cumin, cola nut and vanilla bean present and accounted for. The brown sugar element has a somewhat caramelized, cooked quality to it. Plenty of downy fluff in the carbonation, lacks the muscles to lift things up into the air. Very subtle grassiness at the end soaks up some of the extra sugar. No arrow left unused in its quiver when all is said and done.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012-2013 Vintage
750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a completely opaque deep deep dark reddish brown color, mahghony, a thick creamy light tan yellowish head with a good 1/2 inch or so of retention, thick sticky lacing. Looks nice.

Smells pretty rich and sweet, all about the malt and the dark fruits. Plums, raisins, dates. A bit of an olive juice component is in there. A bit of alcohol comes in as it warms.

Thick and sweet, all about the malt. Lots of them same dark fruits, a nice nutty flavor, rum soaked and candied dark fruits, maybe even a hint of wood. A bit of hop bitterness in the finish, but it doesn't stand up against the big sweet malts and is quickly overtaken.

Almost syrupy sweet, a fine carbonation, heavy bodied.

One of the better straight up old ales I've had. This in any kind of barrel would most likely be amazing. I've yet to have a bad beer from CCB.

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Photo of claspada
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage, around a year of age on this beer.

The aromas of sweet dark caramel malts is overwhelming. Lots of dark fruitiness; mainly figs and plums. Great malt character, coupled with some nice spice. Extremely light subtle hop aroma as well as well as some bready yeast. Wowzers...

The taste is equally as amazing. Dark caramel malt flavors with hints of brown sugar, some toastiness is joined quickly by indistinct spiciness (possibly hop or yeast created). Midway through the sip hints of ripe figs, dates and dried plum flavors.
Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation. Finishes dry despite the thickness which is perfect because it prevents it from becoming cloying, which it teeters on.

Overall this is a great beer; it's full bodied, lush and smooth. Tremendous. It's full and robust with a silky smooth finish of sweet fruits and toffee. The 10% is barely noticeable, extremely well-hidden. Shout-out to Lueken's Liquors online beer store for having all these high quality Cigar City beers available to ship to the Northeast!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin ¼ inch light tan head forms. Quickly settles to a thin cap of foam. Slightly hazy, dull brown colored beer.

Aroma is deep and all malt...Caramel, dark fruits and a slight alcohol aroma. It's really a nice aroma and quite aggressive. This is going to sounds nuts, but the aroma reminds me of Aventinus Eisbock.

Figs, caramel, figs, caramel. A bit of a more hoppy finish than I had imagined. I think it comes in at the perfect moment to off set the abv and alcohol flavors. They are there but mellowed quite nicely. For 80% of the flavor experience this is very consistent, then it gets a bit hoppy towards the end. As it warms further, more fruity esters come to the forefront.

Medium bodied and smooth as silk. Slight warming effect from the elevated ABV.

Well this is certainly a slow sipper and one to be enjoyed over a long period of time. While I am enjoying this in Fort Lauderdale. It's cold and rainy out adding to the winter warmer experience. I remain shocked how deep and enjoyable the aroma is here.

Nice effort!!!

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, $10.99/DeCiccos in Ardsley, NY/no freshness/vintage info. Pours murky dark brown, with some small chunks floating around and bubbles continuing to rise to the top, the head is medium khaki,thick and frothy, leaving ample, good looking sheeting and webs of lite lace. Ginger snap cookies, holiday spicing, smoky brandy and chocolate in the nose. Brown sugar, cinnimon buns, brandy, booze soaked fruits, tasty, bold brew. Also picking up some woody smoke, and dark chocolate. Sweetness, somewhat balanced by citric hops on the back end. Comlex and heady brew, nice night capper or would be lights out with a chocolate dessert. Nice creation from the impressive brewers from Tampa's Cigar city.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


An extra received in a trade with Dstructo, thanks! Snifter. The beer appears burnt umber with a frothy two finger beige head. Retention is good and lacing is scattered.

The aroma is of candied and brown sugar, plums, toffee, dates, pine, grapefruit, and a lot of orange. Notes of caramel waft from my glass as the beer warms. Smells great.

Bitter grapefruit mingles with sweet caramel and brown sugar. The hop bitterness offsets the rich profile, making it sweet without being overbearing. Wow, this is pretty damn good. My preconceived notions were far off. The beer finishes with dates, spices, sweet caramel, pine, and moderately bitter grapefruit and orange. The mouthfeel is smooth and silky, with a perfect level of carbonation. This is a great Old Ale.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours a hazy brown/ ruby with a thick steady off white.

Smell is a piney, biscuity, and fruity.

Taste is a big, lively, creamy, ripe fruit, and bitter sweet.

Mouthfeel is pretty sticky, creamy delight.

The beer is warming, but the booze does not overpower.

A beautiful beer.

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Photo of EkimGram
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 25.4oz bottle poured into a snifter. Colour is a dark, opaque brown. Enormous head fades with a little bit of retention.

Smell: Aromas are very sweet. I get some plums and raisins as well as dark sugars; brown sugar and perhaps molasses. A nice amount of balanced malt finishes up the smell.

Taste: Wow, so many layers and flavours here. It's almost too much. Starts out cloyingly sweet with the dark sugars and fruits. A sweet bitterness works its way through everything and finally that dark sweetness returns.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a nice hint of carbonation. Very silky, sticky, and chewy.

Overall: What a complex beer. So many layers, so many flavours, it's quite an impressive brew. The only thing I don't really enjoy is the immense amount of sweetness.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Deep, dark, caramel brown color. The pour creates a thick head that leaves lines of lace.

Smell: Caramel, figs, and dried fruit. Very sweet. I get a nice citrus hop aroma as well

Taste: Again, sweet malts dominate. The caramel and sweet fruit shine, but the hops bring a nice balance. It finishes very boozy. Almost like a caramel IPA

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Average carbonation, medium body.

Drinkabilty: after hearing not so good things about this. I really enjoyed the sweet/hop combo this brew has to offer.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with a dense head of beige. Plenty of torn sheets of lacing and a solid skim coat for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with bakers chocolate, toffee, roasted malts, and coffee grounds. An underlying red fruit note comes forward as the brew warms.

Almost full bodied with a tacky, sticky mouthfeel. Stout-like and a bit viscous.

Roasted barley, dark chocolate, espresso, and caramel start the palate. Brownie batter, jam-smeared fudge, and some citrus notes follow through.

Finishes with lingering roast, chocolate, and a hint of warmth.

Pretty robust and tasty for an Old Ale. I could see how this would be a good base beer for barrel aging, but as it is it lacks vineousity.
This being my first taste of a CCB brew, I'm kind of scratching my head regarding all the hub-bub though.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered a bottle of this a few years ago when I took my mom out for her birthday to the Bethlehem Speakeasy. The beer poured out as what appeared to be a very nice looking red color. I was having a hard time telling since it was so dark in there. The head was thin and a little creamy looking. The smell of the beer was a little spicy and to me was very inviting. The taste of the beer was very nice, spices colliding with some sweet malts that create a nice warming effect. The mouthfeel had a really nice thickness to it, very creamy. Overall I really enjoyed this Winter Warmer, I'd love to try it again one day.

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Photo of alkemy
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)Stopped by the brewery while on vacation, but was unable to do any tastings on site. Apparently they are still waiting on some municipal red tape before they are able to serve on site. Had to settle for a bottle of this from a nearby Whole Foods rather than the growler of Jai Alai I was hoping for. Poured a deep copper/orange. Has a sweet caramel malt aroma that gives way to citrusy hops. Quite a bit of sweetness up front in the form of burnt toffee/caramel. The hops comes on at the back, which is a bit odd to me...not bad, just different. Completely agree with the other reviewers on the well hidden alcohol characteristic.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have been very excited to try this one, thought I was aging it longer. Twas not the case. Anytime you brew a weekend like this one, though, you gotta get a little silly.
Deep, dark blood honey red, with a pillowy cushion atop best to lay my mustaches upon. Sweet malty breath wafts into my soul, secrets of plums and dates, dark cherries, some light nutmeg aroma, and wisps of hop vapors.
She drinks beautifully, sweet with complex sugars assisting in the enjoyment, I'm not sure if she's enjoying me more than I her. We smile at each other, share a laugh. Muted hops form the heart. Such levity for such a serious beer.
Extremely drinkable, carbonation is perfect and lusty.

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Photo of merlin48
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mntlover for sharing this big bottle at our recent tasting. Pours a deep brown mahogany body, just about opaque. Medium sized light brown head is incredibly creamy and sheets the snifter with delicate lacing.

Smells like a classic English barleywine, with waves of malty caramel and toffee. A solid dark fruit presence is also apparent, mostly figs and dates.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, just about full bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Taste is definitely malt driven, with chewy toffee and caramel up front. A faint hint of chocolate adds to the profile. Dates and figs add a pleasant dark fruit dimension. Black pepper and rye notes are underneath. Alcohol is well hidden for the most part save for a peppery warming effect.

Very nicely done. Nice to know that some folks in the Sunshine State know how to brew this style.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton to Dyan for bringing out this unexpectedly towards the end of our tasting. I'm almost all caught up on imputting my notes from 2 weekends ago...

Garnet in color with a tint that lean towards cocoa-colored brown. The fluffy head is retained well and it leaves beautiful lacing on the sides of my glass. I don't think I have ever consumed an old ale that had head at all, let alone head that looked like this!

The nose is full of caramel, cocoa, brown sugar, and a surprising hoppy earthiness. Spices support the beer well, asn I get corriander and nutmeg. The taste is again earthy, highlighted by caramel, a honey sweetness, and some muted hop bitterness that serves only to round out the beer. The finish brings back the spices and the caramel and they linger on my palate.

This beer turned Melissa on to old ales, and I have to agree that it was quite well made. The body is phenomenal, and I like the texture that the carbonation brings on.

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Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage. 750ml bottle poured into a matching CCB snifter. The brew appears a dark mahogany color with ruby clarity and a khaki cap that fades leaving patchy lace.

Aroma is sweet with toffee, caramel, molasses and some toastiness. Raisony alcohol.

Taste is malty sweet like molasses, toffee, caramel and firm bitterness. A bit of burnt character and mild oxidation.

Medium to full bodied with modest carbonation. More bitter than I was expecting but still a solid brew with some of its age starting to become noticeable.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to ShadesOfGray for this great beer. Cheers!

2009 Vintage

Appearance - Pours into my Russian River Tulip with a rustic red hue. About two fingers of tan/mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipate quickly, coating the sides of the glass in a thin film

Smell - A heavy candied nose. Immediately reminds me of a Barleywine. Dark fruits such as plums and raisins, slight fading hops, burnt sugar, a hint of alcohol, and vanilla. A perfect beer for this chilly night I am enjoying on my deck.

Taste - Spot on to the nose, however, one huge difference is that I taste coffee and a nuttiness that was not present in the initial aroma of the nose. While this is a heavy sweet beer, the hops are still making an appearance which allows it to be offset. Burnt sugar is prevalent midway through, also slight grapefruit rind. The beer finishes with some spices, a piney flavor, and toffee. There is noticeable alcohol warmth, however, I do not taste it.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, thick and creamy, lower carbonation.

Drinkability - A sipper, and even with a year on it I get quite a bit of warming as I drink it...honestly more warming than I can remember from many beers in this ABV range. However, that just psychologically is warming me up as I sit outside, and honestly does not take away from its drinkability, because as previously mentioned, I do not taste any immediate alcohol when sipping this beer. An enjoyable beer for sure.

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Photo of kbm
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm in Florida and it's about 40 degrees out. It's 75 degrees at home. If there was ever a time for a winter warmer in Florida, it's now.

Appearance: opaque dark brown with tan hues. Moderate almond head with moderate to low retention. Good lacing.

Smell: At first blush it's all fruit: apple slices, slight banana, raisins and figs. Spices include cinnamon and clove. Tinge of alcohol in my nose. It's a wonderful smelling beer.

Taste: as the carbonation wears out the bitter versions of the smells listed out above come out which give way to heavy roasted (even burnt) malts. The alcohol is quite warming. The back end taste is a sweet bitterness on sides of the tongue almost like burnt sugar. It's good.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to soft carbonation with relatively high viscosity.

Drinkability: It's definitely a sipper, which exactly what I look for in a winter warmer.

This beer is hitting all the right notes on a balmy Florida evening.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Special thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to corby112 for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours a dark melty/muddled caramel brown. Two fingers of creamy dark khaki colored foam sits on top and leaves a lot of lacey sheets in its' wake.

S: Delicious aromas of caramel apples, pine, lemon, toffee, molassas, spruce/juniper, rye, and of course, bitter dark chocolate.

T: Pan seared molassas, roasted nuts, freshly squeezed pine bough, dark chocolate, lemon, grapefruit, and brown sugar. Friggin' delicious!

M: Silky smooth and quite sweet, but with a hint of hoppy dryness at the finish. Balanced!

D: This is a dangerous beer! The alcohol is extremely well hidden, to the point that Heather asked me three times what the abv was, and shook her head each time after I told her.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a mahogany/chestnut with ruby red highlights. Cloudy, opaque with a moderate carbonation stream. 3 fingers of creamy tan head dissipate slowly. Nice think layer of lacing.

N: Caramel, toffee, banana, candy sugar, molasses, tobacco and some hints of citrus and fruit esters.

T: Molasses, figs, dates, banana and toffee upfront. Mid-palette brings huge caramel, bread, red grapes and more sweet dark fruits. Finishes sweet with tobacco, ripe apricot, banana, molasses, hints of leather, earthy hops and residual candy sugars that linger forever.

M: Medium-full bodied, creamy, soft, semi-chewy and sticky.

O: A big sticky sweet sipper perfect for winter. Very rich, ripe dark fruit notes and molasses with hints of lighter fruits. 11% abv not detected. Very complex.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL champagne style bomber, poured into a tulip; shared with a friend at Pacific Standard in Brooklyn

Sits a deep, dark reddish brown while on the table, but when held up to the light, it is a rich, clear mahogany. Really pretty color. The tan head was amazingly sturdy and took forever to melt. Spider web lacing all over the glass.

Caramel, toffee and brown sugar hit me off the bat. Soft fruits are quickly in tow. Pears, apples and sweet cherries. Light citrus and pine are buried under this wonderful aroma.

The toffee and caramel are the major players here. Vinous fruit, pears and apples along with pine needles and citrus from the hops. This is extremely complex. Bittersweet dark chocolate, raisins and figs add a good amount of heft to the flavor profile.

Full body, lush and smooth. Tremendous. This is full and robust with a silky smooth finish of sweet fruits and toffee. The 10% is barely noticeable, extremely well-hidden.

I really enjoyed this beer, I just wish I had the whole bottle to myself. The flavor profile was just delicious.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a couple of tulip glasses. 2010 edition.

Pours black, with a couple fingers or so of rich and dark hued mocha head. This retains with a robust near finger, leaving back soapy swathes of thick patchy lace. The aroma is deep, with notes of cocoa, molasses, brown, sugar, green citrus, and some spice and sweetness from the alcohol. This is nice.

The taste mostly mirrors the nose, with a rich and sticky blend of chocolate, caramel, darker molasses, brown sugar, while a green citric bitterness adds to the complexity here. The finish is a bit dry and roasty, with a touch of lingering sugars, bitterness, and sweet and spicy alcohol. The mouthfeel is full bodied and prickly feeling up front, but this quickly gives way to a thick warm chewiness that matches up nicely with those flavors. Alcohol is nicely concealed for the most part, with the extra sweetness and spice this provides to the profiles being most welcome.

This one was a real surprise to me, as I was expecting a straight up traditional Winter Warmer and was greeted by more of an Old Ale/Barleywine hybrid with some extra Winter Warmer character thrown in for good measure. It’s no wonder that they opt to often go into the barrel with this one. It’s definitely got some presence to it and a favorable one at that.

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Warmer Winter Winter Warmer from Cigar City Brewing
3.93 out of 5 based on 601 ratings.
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