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Winter Shredder | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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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

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 223
Photo of thecheapies
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a red-chestnut color with very light hazing. I got to see about two-and-a-half fingers of light beige head. Nice lacing. Good head retention.

Some English-style malts with dry toffee and roast notes. Lightly sweet and lightly spiced. Hints of clove, ginger, star anise, and very light cinnamon.

Nice balanced flavors with some good warmth. Malts are toffee-like and roasty with some sweet caramelized sugar flavors. Hops are tangy and spice the beer along with some cinnamon and clove. Hops are nice and offer some interesting citrus elements. Brown sugar, ginger, citrus peel, alcohol, and grapefruit hops in the finish.

Simple, but nice mouthfeel. Little bit of heat, some smoothness, and some scrub from the carbonation.

Nice warmer, maybe a little too warm in the strength. It's identifiable for what it is, and decent.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Auburn mahogany coloration, off-white head, translucent for the most part.

S - Dark fruits, nutmeg, yeast, malts. Not very robust.

T - Dark fruits, pine hops, dates, ginger, light brown sugar malts, nutmeg, yeasty hoppy finish. Very interesting combination. Nothing overdone. Very nice balance.

M - Excellent mouthfeel. Medium bodied with a little bite on the finish but is dry overall. Carbonation is spot-on.

D - A very good beer. A little expensive for what it is, but it's quite well-crafted. I could perhaps get this again if I found it for $9.99 or less (I'm pretty sure it was $10.99+, which is too much for a winter warmer)...

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LOOK: Pours a clear deep copper, white foam leaves spiderweb like lacing down the pint glass.

SMELL: Cocoa, malted grain, alcohol, and floral essence.

TASTE: Well hopped with a piney bitterness. Scotch/whiskey like malt notes with a dry hop bite. Finishes hoppy and bitter. Just a pinch of spice and gingerbread. Surprised at how hoppy this is. Cocoa notes emerge with touches of caramel and toffee.

FEEL: Medium bodied, crisp and well carbonated.

OVERALL: A solid, fresh tasting winter beer. Liked the hop flavors.

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Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, without any date/freshness info.

A: Darker amber, Sparse tan head, that goes to a delicate, collar and a few strands of lace.

S: Pungent nose of darker malts, some wood and whiskey

T: Full flavor and tasting quite fresh. More wood, and wiskey are a pleasant suprise. Also some holiday pie type spice. Super dry all the way through a long finish with hops biting on your taste buds. Decent winter sipper/night capper kinda beer

MF: Soft and smooth.

O: Well done, not sure if I can remember a better Cisco beer. one. Lots of flavor and complexity. Worth picking up a six of this one

Note, big differences in the rieviews for last years version (2011) and this years (2012).

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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.

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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.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark reddish brown, more opaque than not. 1/4 inch foam then fizzles and settles but leaving a patchy layer. Fruity nose. Cherries, plums raspberries. Rich malt open with a tert fruit taste. Hoppy/boozy is a little puckering in the mouthfeel. Almost a little wine in there.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Dark ruby copper body. Clear. Finger of moderately thick, substantive, dirty beige head. Nice lacing. Nose is a festive blend of warm malts and spices. Caramel cookie and berry-ish fruits mix with citrus peel, juniper, and maybe some ginger.

Toasted grain and herbal, woody bitterness up front. Sweetish caramel malt and fruit fill in and take over the palate. Notes of gingerbread and molasses. Mulled wine spices, juniper, ginger, and cloves (?) around the edges. Herbal, woody bitterness shows up again in the finish. Medium body with a slightly syrupy feel. Not bad.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, vibrant, crystal clear, hazelnut brown coloring with a thin, sparse, filmy surface coating. Aromas of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon on a subtle toffee backbone, with some warm cider hints at the end. Lighter on the nose than I was expecting. Flavors are rich and roasted initially, with a tangy toffee malt profile initially, followed by a solid dose of the previously mentioned spices, as well as some peppery hops profiles sprinkled throughout. The liberal spicing definitely provides the warmth in this winter warmer, but without overpowering the brew. Very solid backbone of malt richness to support everything going on on your palate. Tangy and spiced aftertaste that quickly washes away for a clean, slightly tangy finish that lingers longer than the bulk of the aftertaste itself. Smooth and round in mouth, but as it finishes you notice how crisp and clean the brew is. Solid, and at a lower ABV for a warmer, making this easy to quaff.

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Photo of tkelley
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Dark brown, dark amber in the light. Nice beige head. Not much lacing.

Smells piney. Not as much winter spice on the nose as a lot of other warmers but a deep inhale shows nutmeg and ginger with an orange peel backbone. Resiny and hop spice.

Taste is spicy from the hops, like a christmas tree in your mouth. Again, the standard warmer spices are there but not as much as in others of the genre. I prefer the hops to the spice dominance, but the spice presence is good for the season so I like this quite a bit.

It has a heavy mouthfeel like a nice piece of fruitcake. Lingering finish with the spice-spices (as opposed to the hop spiciness) beginning up front and heading to the back of the tongue.

Overall, I like this beer a good deal. It isnt the best example of a winter warmer, but I think it is a really solid overall winter beer. Not too boozy, but full of flavors and beery goodness.


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Photo of woodychandler
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was on a mini-shopping spree in Philly last weekend and managed to pick up a bunch of Winter beers, but in bottles. I have a backlog of CANs that will soon be my focus.

From the bottle: "Gnar-Gnar Lumpkin, shreddingest snowman this side of Nantucket Sound, likes nothing better than catching a wave on his board ... a Cisco wave that is cold, fresh, and wicked cool! Get mad shacked with the Shredder and have yourself a merry little winter."

I went with my usual aggro pour which resulted in two-plus fingers of dense tawny head with great retention. Color was a magnificent deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. I once had a girlfriend with natural hair color like that. Nose was spicy and I want to go with (at least) cinnamon and nutmeg. The former was easy to discern, but the latter because of a vanilla-like sweetness that was also present. More than that? Maybe. Probably. But those were the ones that I am willing to mention without being thought a pretentious fool. Mouthfeel was medium and the cinnamon was immediately discernible on the tonue along with something else, not nutmeg, but maybe allspice. Whatever it was, it was highly spiced. The finish, as a result, was bone-dry with the spices lingering well after my swallow. One or two at a sitting might be good, but I would not want a steady diet of this, even on the coldest and longest of winter nights.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear chestnut color. Head is off-white (leaning towards tan). It dies off to a thin white slash of foam. The head leaves mere speckles of lacing. Body glows dimly.

S-Holiday spice with a hint of dog food. A hint of medicine. I am also getting some gingerbread with nutmeg and cinnamon. Burnt caramel. Fruity with a little tickle of cocoa.

T-The spices really pop up. There is also a surprisingly forceful bitterness. Piney and medicinal hoppiness. Gingerbread. Cloves. Fruit cake. A bit minty.

M-Far dryer and more bitter than I thought it would be. Medium bodied with subtle carbonation. Semi-crisp.

O/D-A Winter Warmer with some oomph behind it. I would probably not enjoy an entire six-pack, but a bottle would do just fine. The spices are set to a fairly high degree of intensity. Could stand to use some food around it.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1" velvet beige head of medium lifespan. The body is dark burnt umber brown but held to the light it's a very deep amber. It smells of toasted malt and the spices actuall smell savory. Taste mirrors smell and the spices come out with warming ginger as well as piney hops. Fairly long finish. And yes, this beer truly is a warmer.

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Photo of Brad007
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing a winter seasonal in late winter? That's me!

Pours a nice burgundy color with a one-finger head into my glass. Nothing special but it's a nice hue!

Spicy with nutmeg and sweet malt. Not much else to talk about here. Your standard winter seasonal?

Mmm. Nutmeg and spice but not as much as the malt itself. Very bready. Chewy.

Ditto on the mouthfeel. Lingering chewy, bready malt. Mmm. Less spice, more nice.

Very good seasonal here. Probably because it doesn't go overboard on the spices.

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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.

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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.

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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-

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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!!

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Winter Shredder from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.47 out of 5 based on 223 ratings.
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