Winter Shredder | Cisco Brewers Inc.

56 Reviews
Winter ShredderWinter Shredder

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerResearcher on 12-17-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 228
Photo of jsanford
2.19/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark mahogany brown with a dense off-white head that settles to a solid cap. Very mild aromas of sweet caramel malt, some orange peel, and just a touch of Winter spices. Bland. Taste is similarly bland, honestly this has zero recognizable character. Just malt, maybe some hops, a bit of spice, and a touch of caramel. Yeah...super bland. Mouthfeel is smooth, a touch creamy, with a medium body and decent carbonation. Incredibly forgettable, not a good beer.

 466 characters

Photo of dacrza1
2.2/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

Situation: Shark Tank Friday--the best hour of TV deserves a beer rating!
Glassware: Kisatsky's Tavern pint...
Appearance: nice nut brown body; thick, creamy head reminiscent of a snow drift (three-finger crater-filled mound!)...
Aroma: vanilla, berry (?!), syrupy and sugary--a complex hodgepodge that cannot be verified as the beer glass drains...
Palate: warming--no abv on the label?! A turn-off--and then the beer finishes in a flourish of cough syrup...oh no...
Taste: oddly thick vanilla and syrup/nut taste--a bit too medicinal to be considered an attractive holiday option....
Overall: "Gnar-Gnar Lumpkin" sounds fun when you say it to your spouse aloud, but he sticks in your throat and nostrils like a liquid sasquatch; divulge the alcohol content, Cisco, and we may have reason to see past the muddle that is this beer's body and flavor...not sure "cold, fresh, and wicked cool" isn't longhand for Coors Heavy...

 924 characters

Photo of palma
2.2/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A horrible winter warmer. I got stupid and took a chance on a sixer of this. I figured Cisco would dissappoint.

Clove plum nutmeg in the nose. Decent.

Taste is astringent. Pine needles. Cough syrup. Metal. Raisins. Very malty with a harsh backbone. Biting. Close to undrinkable. The nice flavors are there but they all sit behind a harsh, alcoholic, biting and astringent front. Had to give away 4 of the 6 of this sixer. Hopefully somone else's palate will enjoy it. Mine definitely wanted none of this.

 507 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
2.33/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a nice reddish brown color with a good sized bubbly white head that slowly dissipates to a cap. Smells of mineral water, licorice, a bit of brown sugar and a hint of earth. The flavor is really quite bad. Caramel and brown sugar atop a heavy presence of anise or licorice with a metallic earthy almost sulfur flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet tart mouthfeel. I couldn't finish this one it's horrible.

 441 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
2.5/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I miss the Ninja Turtles... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper-garnet topped by over a finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises light cardboard, musty pine needle, stale orange peel, and a vague mixture of spices. The taste goes headlong for the orange the spices (which are still to blandly mixed together to pick apart), moves into wetter cardboard and stale biscuit, and finishes in an odd and off-putting bitterness that borders on mintiness. This is just plain bad, folks. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, I think they tried a little too hard with this spiced ale and ended up falling rather short of anything worth drinking. Pure dreck.

 746 characters

Photo of gkatsoris
2.77/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear dark brown. Huge, thick, fluffy head. Left a nice lace on the glass.

S: Ginger snaps! Ginger, clove, cinnamom, cardamom. Pumpkin bread, zucchini bread. Fairly malty. Alcoholy. Buttery. This is friggen complex smelling! Coke syrup.

T: Cloves upfront, cinnamon at the end. Grass. Wood. Ginger snaps!!! Slight smoke. Roasty malts is the last flavor tasted.

M: This, but coats the tongue pretty well. Nice finish.

O: Just not for me that's all.

Thanks redliner8!!

 474 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains spices chocolate, some fruit, roasted malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with an earthy spice flavor followed by mildly sweet flavors of chocolate, caramel and a bit of fruit. There’s a hearty malt character and a mild hops presence but not much balance. The after-taste is slightly spicy and slightly bready.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Not very tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, decent kick, decent representation of style, this is definitely not a beer that I enjoyed very much.

 770 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.84/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Walnutty, ruby color with some small, sluggish bubbling. Great tan head after teh pour and an equally great head of foam and sticky lacing. This looks ...GREAT!

There's a limedium, spice note to the nose. Faint XMAS spice aromas, seems to be more of a hop spiceness to me. Just a hint of caramel and sweet, toasted bread crust.

The mix of spices and hops seems to give this beer a brassy taste and palate. The front to finish of the palate is astringent. There's some good caramel and bready malt flavors in this beer, but they get muddled by the spicey astringent flavors and palate.

 586 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
2.96/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blind Beer #6 from Shogo.
Calls for a pint.
Poured and sampled initially completely blind.

Well, this is certainly smoked. I can smell it before I pour the bottle.
A rusty red body holds some purple hues and a tan crown of 2 fingers. Decent retention and lacing. I kinda like the looks...

The smell has an earthy smokiness dominating. The malts are super smoked. This is like some sort of smoked amber ale perhaps? Smoked bock?

The flavor adds a little smoked pork vibe on the very dry acrid finish. The earthy smokiness lines up with some big woody campfire notes as well. Acrid, dry, and bitter finish. The woody notes have a strange flavor to them but I cannot place it.

Feels medium with ample bubbles. I find this beer to be rather boring, and quite one-dimensional in that it's all smoke. There's no real contribution from anything else, and I cannot even taste any part of the malt bill (except the smoke, obviously).

REVEAL--- Winter Shredder from Cisco Brewers.

Overall-- Wow. After seeing what this beer is (a winter warmer!) and noting some of the reviews I can see that I picked up way more smoke than others-- though others did mention it.
It seems that I immediately noticed the smokey notes and that dominated my attention. I don't get any of the other bullshit "spices" that other reviewers claim to note.

Now that I know what this is, here are my numbers-

 1,415 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Cisco Brewers Winter Shredder
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a chestnut brown with a khaki colored head on top that leave nice trails of sticky lace all over the sides of the glassware.

The nose is all over the place, with cinnamon and sweetness notes. There are some identifiable whiffs in here.

This beer has a strong malt backbone that is very slick and chewy. Flavors of brown sugar, chocolate cake and Big Red gum. Some sips have a sweet quality, think vanilla, honey or liquid sugar. Things become unbalanced on the finish with a severe grapefruit bitterness and some other off-flavors that don't seem to compliment the major malt characteristic of the beer.

Admittedly, I am not familiar with Braggots and this style. I wish I was, so I had something to compare to. You gotta respect the 8+% ABV, but my initial response is that I would likely pass on this one in the future.

 911 characters

Photo of Suds
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a reddish, frothy beer with a white head. The aroma is of herbal hops and some spice. Wood and pine-needles. Some earthy scents. The taste is a little astringent, not really sweet. Hops play a big part here....spice and grain. Grassy. The beer is medium in body, with a smoothness in the back of the tongue and a firm finish.

 333 characters

Photo of oberon
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep rich amber with a large blooming off white head atop.CHRISTmas spice in the nose along with a smattering of leafy hops,pretty light on both ends.flavors are pretty mild with some nutmeg and leafy hops,it's pretty dry but also lackluster.An average winter warmer,it looks pretty good and has a good mouthfeel but is pretty average in the other aspects.

 370 characters

Photo of lwillitz
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into nonic pub glass

A - cloudy body of deep copper under a finger of khaki foam

S - grain, caramel, spice

T - dark fruits (cherry etc.), wood, toasted bread, slight caramel sweetness, earthy, spices, dry finish with an aftertaste reminiscent of cough syrup

M - smooth medium/full body, medium carbonation

O - Winter Shredder is an interesting beer to sip. While I enjoyed it, it was kind of a mess in the taste department. It has some very good flavors, but the overall taste is just an unusual combination.

 528 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace.

S - Dark bread, toasted malt with some clove and cinnamon.

T - Toasted grain and dark sugar up front. Black bread and notes of molasses in the middle with a finish of clove, allspice, and light hop bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, average carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Not great, the malt is dark but overly dry with a harshly toasty finish. Not much else going on.

 524 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Quite an attractive winter warmer, ruby brown in color with some good carbonation resulting in a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head. Seems to stick around for quite a bit and and lacing looks great.

S - A very mild one really maybe sweet malts? Toffee? A touch of cherry? It's hard to tell.

T - Oaky and a tad bitter possibly too much since it gives me a medical herb flavor. Very little actual sweet malts which is OK I guess. God I wish it wasn't so bitter winter warmers are suppose to be malt forward...

M - Medium and bitter yet seems to be good enough.

Overall I think I give up on Cisco Brewery so far the only beer that "wow'd" me was their Summer of Lager, so I will pick it up again in... summer. Gowd I can't wait for summer winter sucks!

 754 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly darker colored fluffy fizzy head of 1.5 fingers that fades slowly with a bit of lacing, over clear cranberry reddish color.

Nose is weird and has a lot going on, plenty of weird spices to start, with a light anise, ginger, clove, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, cocoa, cinnamon, caramel, etc. There is also a bit of smoked malt and plenty of caramel malts and toasty reddish malts, and a strange almost farmhouse like saison musty funk.

Taste starts with malts, a bit of smoked malt comes out at first with a light smoked cheese flavor and some creaminess that helps accentuate that. Then a light caramel and brown sugar flavor, chewy almost. Light toasty malts as well with a hint of a bready biscuit. The hops kick in next with a spicy earthy hop kick and decent bitterness that borders astringent. Spices come in behind the hops and get stronger as it warms, again ginger, clove, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, etc. as well as very light cocoa, anise, and pumpkin like spice. it finishes a bit astringent as the earthy spicy hops really take over with a strong bitterness and overpower the rest of the beer, even the spices, semi dry finish, but also light lingering spices and toasty caramel like malts.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall fairly meh, spices come through a bit but not a lot which is nice if the astringent spicy earthy hops didn't take their place as front runner when not necessary. Nothing seems to blend well, and its like various components of different styles all smashed together and they hoped would get along, but instead the flavors clash.

 1,594 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Hazy dark copper (SRM 16-17) with a modest half-inch, creamy beige head that leaves dense rings on a fisheye pint glass from Cisco Brewery.

Opens with herbal spice followed by caramel, white bread and cinnamon. There is little adventure in this beer as it lacks the spiciness expected of the style.

The flavor is malt forward and well balanced with some ginger, some nutmeg (though rather faint), and toasted malt. The finish is modest and lingering.

Alcohol is as expected in this medium bodied beer with a scratchy nylon texture. There is some astringency and ample carbonation.

While far from expectations, this is a fair beer. Perhaps this one aged in the store as the Winter Warmer qualities are all but absent. I'll have to try it again in the future.

 761 characters

Photo of metter98
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber to brown in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige colored head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lacy dots, rings and zig zags of bubbles on the edges of the glass, which reminded me of patterns of frost on a window.
S: Light aromas of spices are present in the nose - ginger and nutmeg seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is dominated by spicy flavors, but these aren't overpowering. Flavors of ginger linger through the finish. A very slight amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little dry (from the spices) on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a winter warmer that is not too difficult to drink, possibly since it uses ginger in lieu of other stronger spices.

 874 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper tinted amber, full fluffy off-white head. Scent strong on seasonal spice, brown sugar and molasses and and tootsie-roll like chocolate, notes of mud and earth seem out of place - from the relatively lighter color, didn't expect this. Taste brings notes of scent, but somewhat all over the place and never really comes together. Medium bodied, lingering spice. Decent seasonal with lots of flavor, but needs more cohesion.

 436 characters

Photo of barczar
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been around several months. Thought I'd reviewed already.

Aroma is rife with specialty malt fruitiness and caramel. Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove are muddled and subtle, in comparison.

Flavor reveals similar specialty malt fruitiness, slightly sweet, with a fairly bitter finish. Nutty, deeply toasted malt forms the backbone. Becomes a bit cough syrup-like, with cherry and phenols pervading in the finish. Citrus hops emerge late, but they can't overwhelm the odd combination of flavors.

 511 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark amber in color with some garnet red highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy beige head that slowly fades to small patch of medium thick larger bubbles, a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toffee malt sweetness with some lighter aromas of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, clove, and juniper.

T: Similar to the smell, the beer starts out with moderate flavors of caramel and toffee malts but without a lot of sweetness. There are multiple different spice flavors that come out next including nutmeg, clove, allspice, and juniper with just a touch of cinnamon. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly chewy with a light amount of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: I kind of enjoyed this one as it almost seemed like a hybrid of an ESB and a winter warmer, though it was not a super easy to drink beer and probably a beer that I would not have more than one of during a session - this would be best sipped after dinner by the fireplace as there is too much going on to pair well with foods in my opinion.

 1,286 characters

Photo of Ryanm1
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a glass, moderate amount of brownish white lacing. Very dark brown ale in color. Can barely see through the glass. Slight alcohol smell, keeping with winter warmer scene it has some spicy characters to it. Notes of dark fruit, maybe a little carmel too. Not too much body on this one, slightly watery dispite being 6% abv. Does not jump off your tounge and powering malty/spicy taste. Very dry. An average winter beer, below average for the price.

 473 characters

Photo of far333
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Caramel colored with a thick lumpy tan head that lingers long. Aroma of caramel and pine, some floral notes. Flavor of caramel, nutty notes, some cinnamon, even bitterness offsetting the malt, notes of toffee, fruity esters, floral hops. Even mouthfeel. Good beer.

 264 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 28, 2012.

It pours a handsome looking mahogany amber with a soft, beige head that lingers but never erupts.

The aromas has some sweet, dark malts esters along with coriander and bread. Hops are muted on the nose.

The body is medium and smooth.

While the hops are muted in the aroma they burst upon the scene in the taste with a moderately bitter and dry finish to the sweetish start.

 436 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a hazy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Average lacing.

S: An enticing, very spicy, herbal aroma. Interesting.

T: Tasted of spices (cloves, cinnamon), gingerbread, a little chocolate, malt, light hops and some caramel. This would have been a better flavor if not for the overwhelming herbal quality in it. It tends to dominate the palate.

M: A good amount of carbonation, but the finish is far too harsh (again the herbal quality). Medium-bodied.

O: Not a terrible beer, but there are definitely better examples of Winter Warmers out there.

 657 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Winter Shredder from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.47 out of 5 based on 228 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.