Pursuit Of Happiness Winter Warmer | Clay Pipe Brewing Company

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Pursuit Of Happiness Winter WarmerPursuit Of Happiness Winter Warmer
Very Good
51 Ratings
Pursuit Of Happiness Winter WarmerPursuit Of Happiness Winter Warmer

Brewed by:
Clay Pipe Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.25%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 12-21-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 50
Reviews by jnfs:
Photo of jnfs
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a moderately carbonated amber colored ale with a small, yet noticable amount of head. Aromas of lemons orange and hops are noticable . Also, it smells sweet with some notes of carmel and peach. The taste is smooth with a slight sticky bitterness that fades nicely into a slight maltiness with bitter notes on the finish. This is a nice beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is probably the hoppiest winter warmer I've ever had. I suppose its not all that bitter tasting, but the hop taste & smell is on par with any IPA. This is a good thing, and makes for a very tasty beer. It is also a dark golden color, much like some other not-so-pale IPAs. Not all that thick in body, also akin to an ipa.

I like winter warmers, but dont really understand their title, as most of the ones I've had seem just as fitting as a fall beer. And this one in particular seems like it would be a good year-round beer.

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Photo of JasonA
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark larger like. Little to no head with some lacing. Looks light bodied.

Spice, but hops. WOW ... very hoppy smell. Fresh, floral, and potent. While I like the hop smell, not what I would expect for the style.

Spiced hops ... seriously. Not at all like a warmer that I am used to. Im not sure to pnalize or not, but I think I like it. Kinda like a cross between an IPA and Winter Warmer. The more and more I taste it, the more and more Im impressed. On point for the season, yet enough sustance to keep you interested.

Might be a tad too much carbonation. Little biting, might want to try and hide the ABV a bit.

Good overall drinkability. While I dont think I could have 6 of em, I could certainly have 3 and enjoy it very much so.

Overall I like the ABV and flavor for a winter warmer. A spicey IPA, Im very impressed.

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Photo of weasbri
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I admit to being biased toward this beer due to my fond memories of drinking it at the Potomac Curling Club. Thanks to George for introducing me to it. I found it at Norm's and had to pick up a six-pack.
Nice copper color with a strong hop aroma. There's a good bit of malty sweetness before the hop bitterness takes over. You can also taste some of the 8.25% alcohol in there too. Both flavors remain in the mouth afterward, but not to the adverse effect one might expect.
The alcohol does stay with you, but in the winter, that's exactly what you want in a warmer. Just don't drive afterward.

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Photo of asabreed
4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This may not be an D.IPA (though maybe it is?), but it sure as hell ain't a Dunkelweizen. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy brown with amber hues, or is it the other way around? I gave it a pretty vigorous pour so the 1" head stays a bit before slowly giving way to the air. A decent amount of spotty lacing left on the sides of the glass as I drink.

Smell: Wow. Insanely floral, hoppy, citrusy, and aromatic. That's why this should be an D.IPA, or, once again, is it? It reminds me a bit of SN's Celebration in the nose. However, what sets it apart is, somehow, the amazing malt balance in the nose, giving it the biting and piney floral qualities, in addition to the sweetness of the malts. Yes, to me this is surely a 5 in its rating. I'm beyond impressed.

Taste: Huge, floral hops at first, then sinking into some malt sweetness. Finishes dry, then with the malt sweetness lingering on the tongue. Very long finish, wavering between both citrusy hops and extremely well-balanced malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and silky as hell, due to the subtle levels of carbonation at first, which come at the end in a slight burst, picking things up before slowing things down at the swallow.

Drinkability: This has been one of the best beer surprises in the past year for me, easily. I was expecting something pretty good, but this has been above and beyond my expectations. I don't know how easy it is to get, but if you see it you should snag it. And, seriously, 8.25% ABV? It's ridiculously well-hidden if that's the case. All in all a fantastic beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Racer's Cafe in Maryland. The brewery lists this as a "winter warmer", and it surely is! Its slightly hazy, deep amber/copper body is topped by a creamy ivory head that holds well before dropping to a wide collar and lacy surface covering. It leaves some minor spots and splashes of lace (probably hindered by its high alcohol content). The nose displays a very nice combination of yeasty fruitiness and citrusy & floral hops. The body is medium with a very fine, moderate carbonation that's slightly creamy in the mouth. In the flavor a rich caramel-drenched Munich malt is laced with citrusy hops that combine with the sweet malt to leave it with a nice, subtly sweet citrus-edged fruitiness that's backed by a bold bitterness; and it finishes drying with a quick note of bitterness that's then overcome by residual sweet malt, fruit and hops. What a toss-and-tumble on the tongue! Loooong aftertaste! Impressive!

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.07/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm sorry, i just don't get the positive reviews here. i thought this beer was like a hop-flavored water. i thought i was crazy so i let some others try and we all felt the same way. maybe it was a bad bottle. in any case, it was a moderately hoppy beer with very little carbonation and no body to speak of. pours a medium-brown with no head. yuck.

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Photo of morimech
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a bit of haze from the yeast. A large foamy head forms and has great retention. Massive amount of lacing is left on the glass. This is a very attractive looking beer and even more impressive considering it is a winter warmer. This beer gets its spice notes from the hops. Citrus is picked up in the nose. Not much else except for some doughy bread. Mildly hoppy in flavor with the citrus again in the forefront. Has a caramel malt charactor as well. Nice flavor but not all that exciting. Not enough body to carry the high ABV. Carbonation is adequate that lends a good texture. Could be a great beer with some adjustment to the malt bill.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear crimson-amber hue with a one finger khaki head that slowly settles to an even thin cap, leaving behind a wall of lacing.

Plenty of hops in the aroma, which was somewhat surprising. I'm detecting the sharp and sweet fruity aromas of cascade. I could be way off though. However the bitterness is evenly matched by plenty of sweeter fruit like peach.

The flavor has more of the pineapple hops, along with some crispy and toasty malts. Full bodied. The sweet hop flavor lingers for a while after each sip.

A high %ABV Red Ale, which still fits into the Winter Warmer category. Not spiced, but it has some spicy hops. The alcohol will surely help warm you.

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Photo of u2carew
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz longneck. Consumed 12/17/09
A) pours with a two finger head. Tight and fairly sticky lacing. Clear body. Mellow upward carbonation. Amber in color.
S) Evergreen tree. Grapefruit. Sweet malt notes.
T) A diverse taste - wow! Nutty. Caramel. Sweet grapefruit. Not your typical winter warmer. I'd go so far as to say closer to an IPA.
M) Creamy. Medium body. Light fizziness. Just a hint of metallic feel.
D) A delicious brew. Well done Clay Pot!

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Photo of cubedbee
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouars a clear dark copper with a finger of sticky off-white head, leaving behind nice curtains of lace on the glass. The aroma was full of flowery hops and sweet malt, very assertive. Taste starts off with a wave of floral hops then gives way to big malt taste, slightly caramel, and then finish with a spicey and citric hope taste, with a slight lingering taste of both bitter hops and sweet malts. Very nice tasting. Alcohol is hidden extremely well, if you didn't know the ABV you'd never guess it. Medium bodied with a medium/light carbonation, this is a pretty smooth drinker. This is a heck of a beer from Clay Pipe, better than I remember it being last year, and my staple at the my local watering hole of Hops.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Amber liquid with two finger bone white head that leaves very heavy lacing as it slowly settles into a thin layer of foam on the surface. Liquid is slightly hazy, but that adds a certain attractiveness to it.

S & T = Strong pine scents hit first but warm cinnamon buns are right behind. In the taste there is a good bitterness at the tip of the tongue that continues into a long finish, right at mid-palate there are some sweeter flavors like an orange marmalade covered croissant. There are also hints of some tartness like a mulled wine that hasn't had any sugar added. This is really mostly like a DIPA with some more spice character, with strong hops, but a large malt profile, too.

M = Medium to medium-heavy body, very silky feeling, lively carbonation but of a more foaming type than a bubbling, stinging type.

D = I like this quite a bit. I think one at a time is probably sufficient, but it goes down easily enough and I could see revisiting it next year.

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Photo of redmosquito
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dunkel Weizen?! Me thinks not, I'm sure that was an oops. This beer pours an orangish copper color with a yellow white head. The aroma is powerfully hoppy, fruity and floral, followed up with a very caramelly malt aroma with the slightest hint of diacetyl (which really warms it up nicely in my opinion). The flavor is bold. Good bitterness and hops with a toffee and caramel malt balance. This beer is excellent, I wish it was just a little lower % so I could enjoy many of these in one sitting.

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Photo of trep
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Todd1 Bonus'd me this. What a guy.

Golden honey body with a non-existant head. Thin ring of bubbles clings to the glass. Bubbles slowly rise to the surface. From the aroma I would guess this to be a very balanced beer. Nice pine hop aroma with some caramel malt to even it out. A bit of honey in there too.

My nostrils predicted correctly. Super-balanced and easy drinking. Very nice hop and malt balance. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Reminds me alot of Celebration Ale.

Medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Super easy drinking for 8.25%. A 6-pack of this, sitting on my porch in 65 degree weather would make for an amazing evening. Big thanks to todd1 for the chance to try this.

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Photo of mjc410
3.27/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my oversized snifter.

A: Red-murky with a one-finger head. The ale is more on the side of bright amber when held up to light. The head recedes to a few large bubbles and nice lacing on the glass.

S: Tropical fruits, piney hops, very sweet smelling over all. Also some biscuity malt.

T: Tangy, biscuity flavor. Enjoyable, but kind of one dimensional.

M: Nice and easy, not too thick.

D: This is a nice, easy drinking beer. It hides its alcohol very well, but doesn't have much to it.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I showed up at the Real Ale fest at the Rat, I asked the guy at the first firkin what the best beer at the place was. Although there to push the Clipper City Winter Storm, he claimed that the best brew was Pursuit of Happiness. So, in pursuit of happiness, I tried several ounces to judge just where it stood…
Poured a deep, dark amber with a fluffy white head with a very floral hop nose.
A very special brew., it is uniquely well-balanced and tasty. The malts lie the foundation while a distinctive hop presence washes around. Medium sticky mouthfeel that sticks around for a bit.
Very drinkable. No alcohol flavor to wash out any of the goodness. Deceptively good session brew whose 8.25% ABV will creep up on you. I wish I could find it in bottles so that I could stash it away for aging.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear copper color with a creamy white head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by citrusy hops with a mild caramel malt background. Smells line a nice IPA.

Taste of citrusy hops upfront that washes into a mild caramel malt taste and finishes with a light grainy flavor. Not much hop bitterness, especially considering the level of hop aroma and flavor.

Medium body, good carbonation.

Nice drinking beer. Not sure that I'd call it a winter warmer, and it's not really an IPA. I think I'd call it an Imperial amber, as it somewhat reminds me of Troegs Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A slightly cloudy brown-orange color, with a rather large, dense, off-white head with nice retention. Lacing is good as well.

S: Floral and citric hops, with sweet caramel malt aromas. Somewhat orange-y and biscuity also.

T: Again, big citric (mostly orange) and floral hops, backed by a bready, toasty caramel malt profile. Some apricot and earthy notes are also evident. Hints of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with a fairly creamy feel. The finish is dry and fades gradually. A somewhat resiny feel overall.

D: This is a nice offering. Although not spiced like many other winter warmers, it's got some robust flavor and great balance. With the 8.25% ABV, it's also definitely a warmer, although not difficult to drink by any means. This is well executed, in my opinion.

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Photo of Hefe
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from bottle. 11/18/04

Appearance: Dark amber/copper with a thick tan head.

Smell: Big malt, big sprucey hops, and a hint of spice.

Taste: Sweet plummy malt up front, hints of brown sugar and caramel, touch of (nutmeg?), big pimpslap from the hops on the end.

Mouthfeel: Good body, pretty smooth.

Drinkability: Dear gods, in moderation only. Seemed a touch out of balance to me.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle, 12707FX inkjetted on label. This year's batch was contract brewed by Frederick Brewing in Frederick, MD.

From the label: "Celebrating another great year in America"

Scuffed amber with flecks of fine sand colored particles drifting in suspension. Creamy, fine parchment colored bubbled head that settles to a scattering of dust leaving no lacing. Small bubbles of carbonation slowly rise to the surface. The aromas is of spicy orange rind that has been washed in a small amount of vanilla extract. A initial dose of thinned orange rind with a light alcohol edge leads into a long lived, but not overly powerful rind finish. The body is on the thin side with a soft to no carbonation. The orange jumps to grapefruit and then back to orange. There is a bit of spiced nuttiness underlying this. Overall, this was not reminiscent of a winter warmer, but tasted more like an amber with a bump up of hops. I have to believe that the recipe has changed over the last few years, or perhaps this is still a work in progress at Frederick. Certainly Clay Pipe can brew a better beer for America.

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Photo of nrpellegrini
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown color with a thin white head. Smells of big hops, earthy, spicy, and a bit sweet. Not a traditional taste compared to other winter warmer beers. This just comes across as a hoppy beer for me with a slight alcohol taste. It does have a very smooth finish to it, and goes down easy so that it a plus. Not the most drinkable beer, but wouldn't ask for another.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.53/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean copper color with a small off white head. In the aroma, malty, cinnamon, and a hint of lemon citrus. In the taste, small hop, small maltiness and faint cinnamon flavor. A small cinnamon bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry cinnamon aftertaste. Lots of cinnamon, however somewhat lacking in flavor.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of chefboy812
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured it into an american pint glass. It was sparkling clear deep copper with a red glow. It's head was creamy white and fleeting leaving a dusting of lace. good sip marks though.

I think it may have been a bit cold when I started. The initial aroma was subtle floral and fresh. As the glass warmed it came on with a nice spice and citrus notes. (NOTE: there are no spices in the beer)

It came on with atart hops smack and good caramel backbone. a nice warm bread flavor. Great hop finish fish piney resin fade.

Good full creamy mouthfeel that is not too sticky of boozie for a beer of this ABV.

all in all, this is a great beer that definately stands up to it's name with great flavor profiles that conjor up feelings of norman rockwell christmas. Ugh, that was cheezey!

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Photo of johnyeast
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper in color with a slight white head. Not much in the way of smell. A copper/ metallic taste in the beginning. Has a bitter end. The bitterness that is not the hops. Malty taste. An okay beer. It wants to be a winter warmer but comes up a bit short.

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Pursuit Of Happiness Winter Warmer from Clay Pipe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 51 ratings