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: 605
Photo of inlimbo77
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml, 2010 vintage
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a cloudy hazy amber with lots of off white head. Over carbed, like other aged CCB beers lately. Some lacing left on the glass.

S: Lots of spices. Sweet malts. Breadiness. Candied sugar and toffee. Oxidation.

T: Breadiness and sweet malts up front. Some old booziness.

M: Big medium.

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Photo of mcallister
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Must say this is a great looking old ale. Deep mahagony with a 2 finger fluffy thick tan head, beautiful.

Brown sugar, molasses, date, pecan, alcohol, burnt toast, red berry, and more. Good depth.

Date currant, alcohol, fig, caramel, citric hops, offsetting rye? Very slight oxidation, which more would be better very elaborate hops, drying and a somewhat cloying sweetness. Look forward to trying this again in a year.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I split this three ways with my brother and JC -enjoyed from a mug chilled and allowed to gradually warm.

The color is very murky orange-ish brown with a thick cream cap that holds and lasts, not very attractive although it fits the style. The smell is fragrant with floral and citrus and some mild toffee notes with leather and slight woody herbal notes from the hops with nice sweet malt and light fruit from the yeast, hardly any alcohol. The feel is thick, viscous and sweet unrelenting really with a mild bitterness and mellow spice with slight hint of alcohol near cellar temp.

The flavor is nice with some citrus from the hops and slight caramel body with a gentle creamines from the yeast with hint of spice and toffee as mentioned in the descriptors from the label. The flavor gets a little more earthy and woody as it goes on and the alcohol comes forward, rich and almost meaty with a hint of raisin. The drinkability is good for an 11% beer, not sure I would rush to get this again, but if available I wouldn't hesitate. I think it is a solid brew and like that it doesn't show its strength all that much.

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Photo of aepb1
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery

A- Dark body with ruby-hued edges, tan creamy head

S- Sweet dark fruits (cherry?) quite inviting

T- Sweet... sweet...! Cloying sweetness. Syrupy sweetness soda. Candy, raising, caramel, decent hiding of the abv. My girlfriend liked this one a great deal

M- Full-bodied and smooth

D- I enjoyed this one quite a bit but it was even warm for me as a winter warmer here in florida... My girl liked it, I'm gonna age it a bit and see what develops

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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sean6989 for bringing this to our tasting.

A - Carmel color, hazy, no light comes through. Big head on it that left alittle bit of lace.

S - A lot of dark fruit in this as well as some bitter/roasty malts and some brown sugar.

T - This tastes a lot like a wannabe barley wine to me, which made some people like it more, but me less. A slight sweet candy taste that ends up being kind of sour and rotten on the end.

M - Nice body and carbonation, it's fine.

D - This isn't horrible, but not great. I think it's decent as far as a winter warmer goes, but wouldn't seek this out.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by mfielden. Thanks, Mark.

A: Looks like an American Barleywine. Pours a very dark amber with ruby tint to it. Light beige head that is fairly thick and dense.

S: Citrus hops, toffee, chocolate.

T: Citrusy at first, leading me to think it's going to taste like an American Barleywine. But it gets progressive sweeter with caramel, toffee, nuts, chocolate, and brown sugar. A slight bite at the end (rye?).

M: It's chewy, a little syrupy. Some heat to this.

D: It's a decent old ale. I bet it will get better with time.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle poured into my CBS snifter. Split four ways.

Appearance - Deep mahogany body with a gigantic head. My quarter of the bottle overflowed my glass, if that gives you an idea. My first worry was infection, but that fear was quickly allayed.

Smell - Metallic. A bit oxidized, perhaps? Toffee and a hint of hops. It's tough to pull other flavors through the tin foil aroma, though.

Taste - No metal in the taste, thankfully. Extremely sweet. Syrupy sweet. Caramel and toffee flavors first, followed by some earthy hops, but faint. A hint of some lighter fruit flavors, but also faint.

Mouthfeel - Thick and heavy. Too sweet. I could never drink a whole bottle. Decent carbonation, which serves to lighten it, but still a diabetes bomb.

Overall - Too sweet to be all that good. The flavors are there, but some more fermentation would do this some good. A drier, earthier, less-sweet version of this could be quite good.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a garnet to brown color. a finger or so of a tan head with good retention and leaving behind a nice lacing. pretty opaque due to the darkness but some nice brightness to it.

Smell: citrusy, candied sweetness, toffee and chocolate. some rich maltiness in the back ground.

Taste: opens up with some syrupy candy sweetness. a good bite of citrus. some notes of toffee and chocolate. lots of resiny hops and some earthy and pine notes to them.

Mouthfeel: syrupy and pretty thick. pretty strong bitterness and hopiness but the syrupy sweetness wins out.

Overall: a unique old ale. I like some of whats going on but the syrupy quality and the balance aren't quite right for me. maybe some time would balance things out a little better.

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Photo of stxSS07
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip. No vintage date, but has 10%ABV listed.

A- Huge explosion off the cap...surprised it stayed on this long. Pours a deep brown opaque color. Huge amount of head on the (gentile) pour. Has a khaki colored, tight bubbled head. Leaves some nice lacing though. Looks really nice, but I'm worried about the huge head.

S- Holy hell this is one sweet beer. Smells like double-sugar coated and candied fruits. Maybe something like a peach and apple mixture? Almost like fresh apple juice mixed with fresh brewed tea. I get a bit of grassy hops in there as well. Strange smell, but slightly enticing.

T- Wow this is insanely sweet. Again, up front this tastes like fresh brewed tea with a ton of honey and sugar dumped in. Towards the finish there is still a ton of (literal) sugary sweetness mixed in with some apple, plum, and raisin. Finishes with a bit of a chocolate roasted malt character. Borderline cloyingly sweet (and I love Dark Lord), but really different. I think I dig it.

M- Really high carbonation with a medium body that leaves a sticky film on everything it touches. Bit of warming alcohol as well.

O- Easily the one of the strangest beers I've had on my short BA adventure. After about 15 minutes of sipping, I think I found the flavor profile. Tastes like a Ricola natural cough drop...good thing I like those.

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Photo of GameFreac
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011 (11%) dated December 2011 shared with my roommate.

Appearance: Most insane head I've ever seen…almost the whole glass and it overflowed. Foam started pouring out of the bottle when I put it down. Thought it was infected, but if you read the other reviews on here, you'll see the same thing happened to a lot of others.

Smell: Smells of malts, alcohol, plums and figs.

Taste - Tastes the same but with less alcohol burn. Just a nice warm feeling and very sweet. Some hops but not really…almost too sweet (don't think I could drink more than a pint of this) but very good.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy.

Overall: I was worried when I saw the reviews for this and paid $11 for the bottle but it was a good beer. My first "Old Ale" and it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011/12 edition, 25oz bottle into snifter. Sampled in the high 40's to high 50's.

Pours with a surprisingly massive, 3F of rocky tan head over a very deep amber to brown body.

Aromas lead with lots of molasses, some mint and other herbal qualities, Dr. Pepper, and licorice root.

Rich and thick on the palate, with flavors that include molasses, mint, orange peel, caramel, and light pine hop bite that struggles to make it through the malt brick.

Mouthfeel is chewy and sticky, and about what you should expect in the style.

Overall, a pretty nice 'holiday' style of old ale which is favorably spiced. Thick and festive.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a deep ruddy amber with a finger of creamy eggnog head. Moderate lacing, coats the glass well.

Smell -- Bread pudding, brown sugar, prune, rum raisin, and pithy hops.

Taste -- Sweet up front with dark fruits, prune, rum raisin, and cocoa. Some significant hop character akin to an American Barleywine like spearmint and pithy citrus; bitterness is pronounced. A mild berry tartness rounds out some of the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel -- Full-bodied with moderate prickly carbonation. A little chewy. Mild alcohol warmth in the throat.

Drinkability -- Quite good. A little too hop-forward for my tastes, but it's very drinkable and interesting enough for me to stay engaged. While I may not bend over backwards for a second bottle I'm glad I had the first.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cigar City Warmer Winter, bottle bought at New Beer in NYC for $11.75 plus tax. "Brewed for the 2011-2012 Florida Winter".

Appearance: I cracked open the bottle and it literally exploded on me. Loads and loads of foam coming out, unstoppable. I lost a good half beer there! Just for that, rating goes down...

But once it settles down it looks fine, like a Belgian dark ale with a huge fist of a head, outrageous carbonation and the darkest color this side of Africa. Beautiful, thick lacing as well and great retention. That head lasts forever!

Smell: Lotsa sweetness, brown sugar, honeycomb and the customary dark fruit (raisin, prune juice).

Taste: Sweetness and more sweetness! Geez... if you don't like sweet beers, forget about this. It is like a barleywine dipped in simple syrup, then rolled on brown sugar and finished with honey. Those "citrusy hops" they mention in the label, including Simcoe, Centennial and Columbus? They're barely there, overwhelmed by the sweetness. Only at the very end do they come through, as a stingy clover-like feel.

Mouthfeel: Full body and medium flavor. Huge carbonation of course, a bit too much indeed. Otherwise well balanced and quite pleasurable to drink. Not dry at all, which I appreciate.

Overall: The carbonation issue is annoying, and the extreme sweetness in the taste is slightly off-putting. Not a bad beer at all, though- it drinks remarkably well for being 11%.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-05-19 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque dark brown with a 2-finger light tan head and mild lacing. 4.5

S - Raisins, lots of caramel, alcohol, some spice.

T - Too much caramel flavor, raisin, plum, earthy spice, vanilla, coconut, alcohol. Finishes pretty sweet but thankfully a decent amount of hop bitterness attempts to assert itself.

M - Thick body, light carbonation. Treacly.

O - Too cloying for me. I like some aspects of this beer but can't get past the sweetness.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml, 10% abv. Pours a cloudy mahogany color. Tan head disappears rather quickly.

Darker candied fruits, some toffee, and a good load of citrus and pine in the nose. Maybe a bit meaty in the nose as well.

A good amount of sweetness up front. Almost syrupy. A bit of spicy rye. Citrusy and piney hop flavor and bitterness does not seem to fit well.

Medium body, good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is somewhat warming. Could use some age.

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Photo of afausser
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle picked up at Knightly Spirits on a trip to Orlando.

A: Pours a woody, deep brown with about two fingers of fluffy vanilla head, which sticks around pretty nicely. There's a bit of sticky, webbed lacing as well.

S: Raisins, earth, and heavy wood dominate the nose. There's a bit of lemon and grapefruit citrus and maybe also slight orange peel, as well as a little bit of cream. As it warms, becomes more caramel-like, and presents more hops.

T: Sweet, slightly syrupy and saccharine, slight toffee and plenty of malts, yet a ton of bitter hops and a bit of pine also.

M: creamy and a little spicy. More hot than I'd like--this is decent but there is still much to be improved upon.

D: not particularly so. I'm honestly having a bit of trouble getting through it. An interesting introduction to Cigar City.

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Photo of hdelavega
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.
Pours a rich murky reddish brown, with a tiny white head that diminished quickly.
Sweet nose, caramel, caramelized sugar. I also get a little sweet fruit.
Lots of sweet flavors. Where to start... Brown sugar. Caramel, plum, a slight burnt malty roastyness, there is defiantly a bit of an alcohol burn. There is a lot going on. Maybe I need work on the style, but I'd dare to call it a little unbalanced.
Mouthfeel is real silky and sticky. Pretty big body, medium carbonation. Nice warming finish.
A good beer. I had it this time last year and had a heard time finishing it but i have come a long way since then. Let's see how it tastes next year.

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Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dense chestnut toned brown with a thick beige head that slowly fades into a rocky cap. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of of massive malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, prunes, cocoa, rum cake, and citrusy orange rind.
Taste...yowza. Wasn't expecting that. Dense sugar bomb like a buttercream rum candy followed with an extra shot of rum and an orange wedge chaser. Yes. Alcohol. Heat. Hop juice.
Mouthfeel is syrupy, juicy, chewy, sticky, resinous, thick, and very warming.
Yikes. Let this one sit a year or five. It has massive potential but is way to young.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an opaque dark brown with a HUGE bubbly light tan head. Tons of lacing, and pretty much all clear.

S - Has a very distinct sweet aroma to it from Belgian candi sugar. Zero hop presence, and a slightly sweet malt aroma as well.

T - Pretty much follows the exact suit to the smell. Huge candied sugar flavor which pretty much dominates all other flavors. Again, no hop presence is detected. Not very many spices tasted either.

M - Medium body with a nice amount of carbonation. The ABV is slightly present. Leaves a very sweet aftertaste which is a little much IMO.

Overall it's not a bad winter warmer, but definitely on the sweeter side of the spectrum. Other than that it definitely lives up to its title.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My review for this disappeared somehow, so this is from memory.

A - dark brown. Unattractive, oily-looking, soap-foam-like brownish head

S - smells really great, sweet

T - For a beer with six kinds of hops in it this has zero hop character or bite. That said, I believe it was bottled in late October or early November and I had mine in late march, so the hops may have just degraded. It winds up sweet and very mild.

O - Not very interesting. Tastes good but there's just not a whole lot going on.

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

This bottle was a slight gusher. It poured a medium bodied dark brown with plum highlights and a creamy two finger beige head. The nose is very malty and a tad sweet. It's slightly bready with some toffee and cherry. The flavors are initially very sweet with plenty of cherry, biscuity malt, molasses, sorghum, toffee, and is has an earthy and yeasty finish. It drinks somewhere in between an old ale and aged barleywine. There is definitely a good amount of sugar. It drinks light and a little sticky. There isn't any alcohol presence at all. This is a nice beer to share but drinking an entire bottle by yourself would be a challenge. If you like barleywines this is definitely up your alley. I'm sure a barrel aged version would be phenomenal.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: poured a dark brown in color with reddish highlights but a thin yellow cap sitting on the top and no head leaving a zero amount of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I was able to sniff out lots of sweetness which consisted with dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, molasses, and a little booze.

T: The taste was really sweet upfront with the caramel, molasses, and dark fruits leading the way but had a touch of brown sugar. There was however slight hop character on the back end and a little booze as well.

M: the brew was full in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild fruity, slight hoppy, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: honestly was not an easy drinking brew and was a definite sipper. I could not take a gulp even if I tried to. Pretty decent beer though all around.

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

Ah, first beer of the new year. 750 ml. bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Deep, dark, caramel brown color. The pour creates a thick two fingers of sand head that leaves sheets of lace.

A: Caramel, figs, and dried fruit. Very sweet. I get a nice hop aroma as well, maybe Simcoe?

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

M: Creamy and smooth. Average carbonation, heavy body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is only just above average. The booziness of the brew limits it emensely. Cigar City has done better jobs of hiding the strength of their brews in the past. Overall, pretty solid for the style. Definately a sipper, and one for a cool night. Skal.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Head retention is beautiful on this one. Silky smooth and creamy, just off white. The beer poured a dark brown that isn't letting much light through. Has some red and orange highlights, but this beer is definitely dark.

S: The amount of sweet aromas here is overwhelming. Apples, pears, pineapple, figs and plums. Not just the dark fruit I was expecting. Great malt character, some nice spice. Good hop aroma as well, some bready yeast.

T: Almost exactly what the nose was, but lackluster. A bit of oxidation. Strong dark fruits and some bitter hops. Caramel is light, a little boozy. Far shot from style it seems here.

M: Drinks like a fresh old ale, if that makes any sense. Carbonation is crisp but not overpowering. Body is big enough, its a bit sticky.

D: This one is giving me a bit of trouble, was hoping it would be more of a malt bomb but it came forward with some hops. For me an old ale is like drinking caramel syrup. It has a certain viscosity that I want, and this beer just doesn't have that. A bit too crisp.

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

750ml bottle on 1/10/10. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing.

A - Poured a cloudy reddish brown, almost plum-colored body with a creamy beige/light tan cap that held on pretty well and deposited some thick lace around the snifter.

S - Initial aroma is quite spicy and peppery with light cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Malt character is quite caramely with toffee notes and a light cocoa/chocolate presence. A brown sugar sweetness permeates. The aroma is rounded out by slight alcohol notes and a hint of pine.

T - Warm and spicy with chocolates and thick caramel and toffee attributes with a subtle brown sugar sweetness. Sweetness gives way to a more spicy character in the middle, with mild peppery notes and some piney hops paired with a moderate alcohol warmth. Finishes with a healthy dose of earthy, herbal hop bitterness.

M - Full bodied with a very creamy texture and subtle carbonation. Finishes with quite a bit of bitterness on the back of the tongue.

D - This is definitely a sipper of a winter warmer. The alcohol is pretty potent here, but there is plenty of other flavors and aromas happening to keep it from becoming too heavy-handed. I found this to be a bit on the spicy side, although it was still enjoyable.

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Warmer Winter Winter Warmer from Cigar City Brewing
3.93 out of 5 based on 605 ratings.
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