Frostnipper Winter Warmer
Aviator Brewing Company

Frostnipper Winter WarmerFrostnipper Winter Warmer
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #167
Ranked #37,557
3.7 | pDev: 13.78%
Aviator Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
Frostnipper Winter WarmerFrostnipper Winter Warmer
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 73 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany color with tan head. Aroma has lots of caramel, raisins, molasses and nutmeg. Taste starts with all kind of spices, like pumpkin pie or pumpkin beers. Finish is more balanced with some toasted malts and earthy bitterness. Medium body with high effervescence. Overall it's a quite nice spiced ale. The hoppy finish makes it quite drinkable.

Sep 22, 2016
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear reddish-brown with a small tan head. The aroma is smoky malt. The taste is the smoky malt with spices.

Feb 08, 2016
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Came in a standard pint a deep ruby color with a thinner off white head,good clarity and full color.Aromas of faint some and caramel/vanilla,some roast plays a role as well,an interesting mix to say the least.Lightly smoky on the palate with baking spice,some carale adds more sweetness with a bit of roasty/earthy finish.Interesting with the smoke and spice,unique.

May 09, 2015
Photo of dwaters59
dwaters59 from South Carolina

2.39/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours Deep Ruby with a brown foamy head. Smells piney. Tastes bitter dry. I dig winter warmer ales, but this one misses the mark. It's very brown beer tasting with what seems like allspice and pine needle bitterness. I poured the pint out after three good draws.

Feb 22, 2015
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated 22oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours a clear, dark reddish-mahogany with a modest tan head.

Excellent aroma (>4) with very good taste.
Smooth, medium-full body with medium-low carbonation.

Malty and smokey (altough light in the mouth and absent in the nose) compared to the average "winter warmer" (as if, with all the variability, such a thing existed). Some dark fruit, conservative blended spices, most obviously including nutmeg, and hints of hops.

Apr 01, 2014
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a deep, dark, ruby coloring with a ton of tight, small bubbled carbonation action and a low profile, solid, cream colored head. Aromas of smoke and peat forward, with campfire notes, caramel and chocolate highlights, and a subtle spice blend of cedar, nutmeg, all spice, and cinnamon. Nicely balanced aromas, and very inviting. Flavors are heavily roasted forward, with a deep caramel and toffee sweet backbone that is rich and heavy, supporting a very subtle spice blend, subtle warmth, and earthy notes. A subtle bitterness slowly builds at the end, as well as a subtle warmth. Very well balanced throughout, I really can't state that enough. Smooth, creamy body, with a bitter, rich, and roasted sweet aftertaste, with a slightly dry and bitter linger in the warming, spiced finish. Very tasty beer, and extremely drinkable. Rumor has it all their beers are moving to cans, which makes this a very packable winter brew!

Jan 04, 2014
Photo of Oscar_The_Rauch
Oscar_The_Rauch from North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a deep ruby brown with a finger of beige colored head

S: Brown spice and milk chocolate along with some smoked/roasted malts and a slight pine note, but nothing "jumps out" at you. Definitely more subtle.

T: Flavors confirm the nose, but the body seems a bit thin... especially in the mid-palate. Also, the length on the finish doesn't hold for very long.

O: When it comes to the "Winter Warmer" style, I am looking for something with more backbone and spice. I guess Highland Brewing Co.'s "Cold Mountain Ale" has spoiled me. This beer wasn't great nor was it poor. I almost find it to be a more "sessionable" winter warmer ale (if such a thing exists) since it didn't wreck your palate.

Dec 17, 2013
Photo of beermenowplease

4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler purchased at "What's On Tap" in Greenville, SC.

A: Pours a dark brown color. Good head and lacing.

S: Spicy (wood & nutmeg), some pine notes, also detect toasty caramel, and certainly smoke.

T: Complex...smoky (like a smoked ham), again pine notes, nice level of bitterness to balance the malt. Very clean finish.

O: A very interesting and complex combination of smells and tastes. The high alcohol content is not too apparent, and somehow adds to the overall drinking experience. This is my new favorite "winter beer". In fact I liked it so much I bought another growler of it the next day!

Dec 03, 2012
Photo of ghunterck
ghunterck from Florida

4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just bought a bottle of this beer while passing through NC. The label is outstanding, so much so i went to the Aviator Tap House and bought the shirt!

I poured this beer (in a hotel room) into a small glass, immediately there was a smell of rich malt and smokiness. The beer had a great full brown head of foam. The taste was of rich malt, spices (cinnamon and nutmeg?), and full hops which i guess is Aviators thing since most of their beers has this signature. I like the hops overtones.

The finish was great, with breadiness and somewhat clean finish besides the hop taste.

Good job again from the guys at Aviator.

Jan 25, 2012
Photo of Pity
Pity from North Carolina

4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap the other day.

Poured a nice amber color, with minimal head.

Smells of cinnamon and some sort of root or leaf that I can't quite put my finger on.

Tastes like Christmas. No other way to put it. Smokiness and cinnamon overpower. Thankfully I'm a fan of both. Fairly dry mouthfeel.

I'm glad I tried this one, definitely something unique from an up and coming NC brewer.

Jan 09, 2012
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE from North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Take this review for what its worth, but I just smoked a nice Macanudo blunt before reviewing this beer.

Pours is light orange. Translucent at best. White heat floats atop.

Smell is loaded with nutmeg. I cant feel anything else other than nutmeg and a decent malt backbone.

Taste is laden with spicy nutmeg. A decent malt backbone tries to come in, but the nutmeg really kicks its ass. Very spicy and light. Like eating a nutmeg nut with a light beer. Kind of odd. Not special, but not great. Too much spices and no backbone.

Jan 01, 2012
Photo of tdm168
tdm168 from Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the breweries tasting room on 12/29/11.

It pours a medium amber with a thin lacing of white head. The nose is smokey with notes of hickory as well as some faint notes of cinnamon. The taste is very smokey up front with notes of hickory followed by some nutmeg and cinnamon. There is some sweet caramel malt in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

This was an intense, smokey winter warmer. The smokiness makes it a little intense, but overall a good beer.

Dec 29, 2011
Photo of jimmyjames8
jimmyjames8 from North Carolina

2.17/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Aviator is a small but growing micro brewer. You cannot compare the beers they made a year ago to beers they are making now much less several years ago. This beer IMO is awful. It tastes like a burnt pork butt. I got a sample shot first that I did not even ask for and it smells great and the sample even tasted pretty good, intriguing, layers of flavor. When I got the whole pint and took the first sip, OMG, all I could taste was smoke. If you like smokey or burnt tasting dark beer, brother, this one is for you. The layers of flavor are still there but the smokiness just punches you in the mouth. I really like Aviator beers. Their Hog Wild IPA is top notch and their this year's October Beast was incredible. The nipper may be someones cup of brew but not mine. You have been warned.

Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a clear reddish brown color with a bit of lacing.

Smells of dark fruit sweetness like plums and maybe some molasses.

Flavor is toasty and spiced with hickory flavors. Reminds of a campfire.

Moderate to full mouth with tingly carbonation.

As far as the style goes, I don't normally like it, so the interesting flavor profile plays in my favor. These are normally too cloying for me. This one is odd but in a good way.

Mar 07, 2011
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I knocked back a growler of this nectar for Super Bowl Sunday and was highly impressed. I actually wrote a review but my internet shorted and I lost it right before I finished so this is the redo. Tawny maroon body with a solid inch of beige head and intermittant lace. Nose is spicy and malty in equal measure but not completely bereft of hops.

More complexity than first appears. The caramel and roasted malts are the backbone but a generous nutmeg/cinnamon/allspice injection colors the whole shebang. Hops give a pine edge tpo the second half of the sip and especially the aftertaste. Plus, almost no alcohol at 7.3% (that's what the label on my growler says).

To me this is about craftsmanship. It would be real easy for all these flavors to get muddled and soupy but these Wake County boys keep them distinct and still get the texture right. Very enjoyable. Not my last growler from Aviator.

Feb 13, 2011
Photo of callisbeers
callisbeers from North Carolina

4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from growler. Nice dark amber color, with great head and lacing that sticks throughout the glass. All the flavors described by others, just a nice blend of them that makes a really nice winter beer. At 8.5% it does pack a punch, which makes this a one or two beer night. However, unlike some other winter beers where the alcohol takes away from the taste of the beer, here the alcohol adds to it. It is not overpowering but just enough to "warm" you up. Nice job on this one, will try to have on tap next winter.

Feb 12, 2011
Photo of Crimefish22
Crimefish22 from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Smuttynose "Big Beer Series" goblet from a growler from the Aviator Brewery.

A- a dark beer that reveals alot more amber coloring when held up to the light. Excellent lace retention around the glass.

S- Roasted malts. Chocolate with cinnamon and nutmeg in the back, as well as a substantial alcohol presence.

T- Much like the nose, chocolate up front that fades into cinnamon and nutmeg in the finish. A very warming presence from the alcohol as well.

M- Very smooth. Velvety but sharp on the tongue. Smooth yet crisp.

D- I could easily have a few pints on a winter's night. The high alcohol prevents it from being an all-out session beer, it packs quite a punch in small quantities.

I was highly impressed with this one. A winter warmer that does just that. Being from a brewery that's still relatively new, only good things would happen if you brought this one to a holiday party. An excellent entry from a brewery on the rise.

Nov 20, 2010
Photo of NCSUdo
NCSUdo from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler, filled 2 nights prior to drinking.

A: Deep brown with some ruby hints alond the bottom. Big brown head, maybe a too aggresive pour, that settles to chunky texture. Good retention and lace.

S: Spicey, maybe some all spice, some pine notes, hint of clove. Behind the spice is some caramel and toasted malt notes and some smoke that help to bolster what at first seems like subdued aroma.

T: Spice apparent again, but more muddled, hard to separate from each other. There is some pine notes, but that could be from hops. Suprising level of bitterness, nothing huge, but at first taste I expected a sweeter beer. Smoke more apparent in the taste, but still lower than I expected. Maybe a very slight hint of mint, but that could be my tongue failing at picking out the spices.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is slightly high. Drinkability is good, overall a solid beer.

Jan 24, 2010
Photo of madjustin
madjustin from North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown with decent head retention and some lacing. Smell is of subtle spices of smoky cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste is similar, but not overpowering of spices, and the smoked malts lend a very nice counterpoint. Definitely a light touch on the sweetness and spiced flavors, which can be overpowering in others of this style. Smooth mouthfeel, a little thin, with a nice level of carbonation. Drinkability is very good considering the ABV. I'm not a big fan of winter warmers, but this is a very nice beer.

Jan 09, 2010
Photo of devilben02
devilben02 from North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the Aviator Tap House, this one pours a deep, muddy, orange-amber color with a thin, foamy head. The aroma is subtle, but there is a noticeable scent of some combination of spices and the smoked malts that give an impression of sitting in a mountain cabin on a cold winter night. These characteristics are even more pronounced in the flavor, but the smoke in the malts isn't the smack-you-in-the-face-with-a-slab-of-fresh-beef-jerkey-and-then-steal-your-bike kind of smokiness, but rather is a sensually-brush-against-your-shoulder-and-whisper-in-your-ear-how-hot-you-look-in-that-flannel-shirt kind of flavor. The complex flavor profile makes this one quite interesting, but it is a bit much to be an everyday draft selection.

Jan 09, 2010
Photo of blackie
blackie from Oregon

4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

spiced winter ale with cold-smoked Bamberg malts

a: shaker pint serving, the beer is a deep, murky brown in color with a nicely retained cap

s: great blend of aromatics - dry toffee malt body, spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, sweet hardwood smoke in good proportion, raisin and date fruits, brown sugars, earthy citrus hops, great balance for such a varied set of ingredients

m: lighter in body with a lively medium carbonation

t: toffee malt body shows dark fruits complimented by wintry spice - mostly cinnamon but a touch of nutmeg as well, a clean and fruity smoke nudges in towards the middle, followed by a very dry and woody finish with a nice level of dried citrus hops providing a long-lingering bitterness

d: just fine, a sipper by nature but the abv is nearly imperceptible

tap at the brewpub

Dec 30, 2009
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atsprings from North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Busy Bee Cafe served in a standard pint glass a nice hazy dark orange with a decent frothy head. Aroma was slight spice and caramel malts. The first sip did not present much in the initial but quickly gave way to a nice complex finish that included cinnamon, vanilla, smoked malts and brown sugar. The beer is medium bodied with its 8.5% very well hidden. This is a very tasty Winter Warmer, one I would love to have again.

Dec 23, 2009
Frostnipper Winter Warmer from Aviator Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 73 ratings