Left Hand Brewing Company

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Winter Warmer
3.74 | pDev: 13.9%
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 162 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Duff27
Duff27 from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Half-inch bubbly head, dark amber/brown beer. Mediocre head retention and lacing.

S- Faint spices. Not getting much from the nose (due to age?).

T- Woo. Sweet, honey. Well hidden alcohol. Some spices, little hops.

M- Smooth, creamy. Nice carbonation still.

D/O- I actually really liked this. TATURBO supplied this out of his cellar after being there for who knows how long. Very sweet. Never heard or seen this one before. Thanks Chris!

Aug 08, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This winter warmer poured out as a dark orange color with a bit of a small head on it. The smell was really spicy, tons of cinnamon spewing out of this beer along with other wintery spices. The taste was a little lighter than the aroma surprisingly. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth but felt a little flat too. This was good, I'd try it again if I ever came across it one day.

May 20, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

2.78/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Pours a very dark reddish-brown color with a very short head. The nose brings loads and loads of spicing with some cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, light ginger, and a bit of pepper. Just too much and this carries over into the taste, where it really just is quite a bit too much. The feel is spicy and I'm not a fan. Not easy to go through much of this.

Nov 14, 2010
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drpimento from Wisconsin

3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Let this bottle sit a while outside the fridge before opening. With aggressive pouring I got a small to medium sized light tan head and no lace. Color is a clear dark amber with orange accents. Aroma is very nice - malt, dark ripe fruits, spices, a hint of honey and orange as described, also a bit of vanilla. Flavor is not quite as deep, but pretty much all still there and a little brandy too. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of short to medium length with definite alcohol at the end. Not really a session beer.

Oct 10, 2010
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NittanyBeerFan from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle of the 2008 Vintage, but had I known that this was retired, I would have picked up more of these, since they were going for $4 a bomber...Poured into a long-stemmed tulip at a summer bbq.

The pour yields a dark brown beer that is very clear. It is highlighted by garnet around the edges and in the body when held up to light. There was no head and no lacing.

The aroma is exactly what I hope for in a winter warmer. An assload of spices. Toffee, caramel, and piney notes highlight a spiced base that holds ginger, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon, among other trace spices. The taste is pretty much the same.

On the palate, it is smooth and creamy with a medium texture. Very well done, and it packs the punch that I was looking for. Too bad it is now retired...

Aug 08, 2010
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

Real American craft brewers have the courage to brew big seasonals, especially for the wintertime. Snowbound is a hefty 8.6% ABV and brewed with honey, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.

Dark leather-brown color, clarity is fine. Nice fluffy head with a sticky crown of lace. Flamboyant spicy aroma with the strengths in this order: ginger, honey, clove, cinnamon, orange zest and cardamom. A perfect level of spicing, being that we could pick every one out within the thick-toasted malt nose. Full, crisp body. Sturdy malt backbone throws smatterings of toasted grain, caramel, brown bread and a hint of carob. Spicing hits firm but never overwhelming; ginger, cinnamon and clove upfront with hints of orange zest and honey in the back. The alcohol is sneaky and starts to warm the palate and throat after a few sips. Sweet and spiced ending which point to semisweet.

This is a spiced ale done right, nothing light and dainty about this beer at all. Its just the way we like our Winter Warmers, with some character and girth.

Aug 01, 2010
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jampics2 from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Winking Lizard. Part of the Christmas in July event, this was one of two X-Mas beers served on a hot late July day. The other was Cleveland's favorite, Great Lakes Christmas Ale. This was hands down the better beer, destroying that aged mess of a spiced ale.

Looks nice in the pint glass. Plum color with a small white head that sticks around. Lace is nice.

Smells of spices (ginger, nutmeg) and some vanilla, all atop a caramel mountain of malt. Some oxidation from the 2 year old keg is evident but overall it smells like a malty warmer should.

Taste is really decent, better than I expected. Initial spices leave a trail of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Malt driven, there's a nice bready malt and some molasses. Actually reminds me of raisin bread or gingerbread. Slight booze but not distracting.

Medium body and creamy carb. Nice mouthfeel makes this seem richer than it is.

OK, so it is a bit weighty. And it probably was better fresh as supposed to 2 years old. But this beer kicked aged Great Lakes Christmas in the nuts. Glad to have tried this for the last time in Ohio.

Jul 30, 2010
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nrbw23 from Ohio

3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Winking Lizard Christmas in July.

A- Pours a super dark red color with just a few bubbles of head. Bubbles are gone fairly quick and leaves no lacing.

S- The smell is pretty spice dominated. Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg all over the place. Some sweet malts and maybe a bit of sugar and honey in there too.

T- Follows the nose with cinnamom being the most pronounced flavour.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and carbonation was ok.

D- Not my favorite winter beer. I'll stick with Great Lakes.

Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Durge
Durge from Connecticut

3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another nice find at the Dive Bar in Worcester, MA this recently retired winter warmer shows an opaque black/mahogany color with a decent but thin tan cover and good lacing. The aroma brings an intriguing mint chocolate and Dr. Pepper sweetness, peat and cherries very nice and unique. The first taste says...hmmm, very interesting with licorice and allspice cinnamon and a chunk of fruitcake I think. This may not be for everyone but for the spirit of Winter/Christmas, despite the fact that it's a balmy June evening in Worcester, I am enjoying the unique flavors. Probably not a highly drinkable choice, but a fun try if you should ever run into some left over stock like I apparently did. The carbonation is very fine and smooth, with a medium plus body that feels somewhat resinous and smooth with a bit of a tart bite. More fruity than hoppy. Glad I tried it but probably not something I will dream of revisiting. Then again, I guess I will be unlikely to see this again anyway.

Jul 04, 2010
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capra12 from New York

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed out of an East End pint glass,

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy brown with 1 1/2 fingers of frothy head.

Smell: I smell the winter spice mix of cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Taste: Opens very easy with a subtle brown grain as the holiday spices creep into the middle to end. There is a sharp peak of spices as roasted malt profile emerges at the end, must be from the honey. A malty and spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, light to medium bodied at most and oh so tasty... oddly enough for the simplicity I enjoyed this beer. Too bad it is retired.

Drinkability:I would have this again and recommend this to anyone seeking a solid winter ale with spices.

Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Soilworker
Soilworker from Idaho

2.73/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown with a dark red hue. Thinly bubbled head which is a light brown color.

S: As mentioned before there is a lot of spice going on here. Mainly characterized by strong nutmeg and clove. There are undertones of nutty malt with a bit of caramel sweetness. Very holidayish.

T: Cannot say that this beer really 'wowed' me. The taste is dominated by spice (mainly nutmeg, cloves, and a bit of corriander). There is a definite presence of alcohol here. In my opinion the spice is a little too powerful.

M: Medium carbonation with a slightly oily finish.

D: This beer had too much spice to be drank in large quanities. It was worth a try and I might buy it again if the price was right.

Dec 11, 2009
Photo of THORN
THORN from Minnesota

4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into pint. Brewed in 2009.
A: Dark mahogany brown. No head.
S: Clove, cinnamon, and super sweet. Dark cherries and chocolate complement spices well.
T: Initially robust dark malts: chocolaty and cherry filled. slight bitterness accompanies body. Spicy flavors include cinnamon and clove.
M: A little light on tongue.
D: Flavorful, blends well, and covers alcohol well.

Dec 01, 2009
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RomaniIteDomum from Florida

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with a nice foamy head.

Smells a litte convoluted. There is a bit too much going on, but it isn't unpleasant.

The taste is a little less confusing. The base beer comes out with a little connamon, come nutmeg, and a little vanilla. If only the weather here was as festive...

In the mouth it has a nice creamy feel. Ver nice carbonation.

This is much better than egg nog could ever hope to be. It's refreshing with nice spices and fairly refreshing. Good beer.

Nov 30, 2009
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010 from Australia

2.73/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A growler bought from Left Hand brewery

A-- A dark reddish brown color. Got a very large head (3 fingers) on the pour that stayed very nicely and left a good lacing on my pint glass.

S-- Every Christmas spice you can think of is in this. Do get an alcohol smell in it as well.

T-- Lots of spice in this puppy. Nutmeg, cinimmon, clove, candied sugar, orange, and on and on and on.

M-- Spices then the alcohol in the mouthfeel. it is OK at start but gets tiresome.

D-- for a $5 dollar growler I am not complaining but it is a tiresome beer. Too much going on and early on too spice driven. Once it gets air the spices calm down a bit. Good effort but one 750 is enough.

Oct 08, 2009
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sprucetip from Alaska

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Medium brown, but reddish amber when backlit. Very clear. Modest head falls fast, no lacing. SMELL is spicy, cinnamon and nutmeg maybe? Big sweet malty base, faint hopping. Dissipates quickly. Boozy later. TASTE is spicy, malty sweet, dark fruit, modest hop backing and bit boozy. Finishes clean. FEEL mellow fiz, rich taxture, full body, mild bitternes and drying in the finish. OVERALL Not as complex as teh first nip of the nose would indicate, but interesting and enjoyable.

Sep 30, 2009
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

2.63/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark auburn with a large white head. Some lace and ok retention. Yankee Candle-esque bottle art.

Aroma is of xmas spice, cloves, licorice, honey: Left Hand went through the whole kitchen with this one.

Taste is still faily alcoholic despite this being in my cellar for almost a year. Again, choking xmas spices dominate with a dehydrating finish. There's some nice caramel malt fortified with molasses underneath there somewhere.

Sep 22, 2009
Photo of Cheers
Cheers from Kansas

2.31/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

good idea gone wrong...

good idea : a good looking dark winter ale sweetened with honey complemented by spices.

Gone wrong : the spices come first! The flavor is so strong I feel like I should be picking pieces of cinnamon, clove, and coriander out of my teeth. To make matters worse, the honey is too sweet. This beer tastes like holiday scented potpourri... A pretty big let down from Left Hand...

Sep 22, 2009
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BradLikesBrew from Missouri

2.53/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Spending my day off catching up on some old reviews. The stack is pretty massive, just now getting around to Winter beers.

Free sample from my LH rep. Wish I could remember his name, but this was at least 6 months ago and I haven't seen the guy since.

Dark brown body. The aroma is all spice: nutmeg and coriander, not a good start. On the palate malt and hops take a back seat to spices. Nutmeg forcefully controls this beer. No balance, just the baking spices that have unfortunately come to define too many Winter offerings. The body was smooth and creamy, but this spice bomb was a drain pour for me. Maybe its just my personal preferences, but this seemed completely out of balance and was not enjoyable.

Jun 30, 2009
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cdizinno from South Carolina

2.41/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tasted on 6/19/09 at Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.

A: Dark brown with minimal lacing.

S: Spicy scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc...all the winter spices rolled into one.

T&M: Overpowering sweetness of malty and brown sugar. High degree of syrup flavor which overpowers anything else. Although the spices are nice, the sweetness is too overpowering.

It ranks just about average or below compared to other winter ales.

Jun 21, 2009
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thequeen711 from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown into the tulip glass, left skimpy lacing. Spicy nose of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc...all the winter spices rolled into this drink. Light mouthfeel, although the spices make the tongue tingle and wakes up to the flavours. In comparing this to other Winter beers, it ranks just about average, I'm not big on the heavy spicing. Once the beer became room temp the spices were more prevalent!

Jun 07, 2009
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HiAIPA from Maine

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber. This was another Left Hand beer to try. Poured a dark base and smelled of Christmas flavors - spices and caramel. Tasted much the same, with a strong nutmeg component that was nice. This is a sipping beer for a long winter night, not a slammer. I find this with many winter/christmas spiced beers.

Jun 04, 2009
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roblowther from Texas

3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear dark reddish brown with no head. The smell is ginger, oranges, and cloves. The taste is honey-dominant. It tastes like wassal meets indian buffet. Good, but Wow! The mouthfeel is silky & a bit watery. Drinability? No. The taste is just way too assertive. Good, interesting, but a one-off for sure.

May 30, 2009
Photo of thryn
thryn from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, surprising translucency for the depth of color. Not much head, fades to a layer of foam on top, cream in color and creamy looking. A lot of lace sticks to the glass.

This is HEAVILY spiced, if the nose is any indication. I tend to love such things (I remember a super-spiced offering from Dunedin being one of my gateway beers). Orange, clove, cardamom, molasses.

This tastes *exactly* like it smells. I honestly kinda wish I'd saved this one for cold weather, and it's boozy enough that I suspect it would have held up. Not super-strong, and the alcohol is well masked in all that spice and sweetness, but still. A solid dark malt foundation is heavily topped with honey, cardamom, orange, clove and other spices, I suspect. Slight bitterness in the finish.

If you don't like over-the-top spice, you will not like this. Fortunately, I do.

Mouthfeel is a little syrupy -- it's slightly heavy, which is fine, but it's a little stickier than I want from the consistency. Carbonation is moderate.

This is a little too spice-forward to be the most drinkable of winter warmers, but it would hit the spot on a cold night and do well as a sipper over an hour or two. It'll see me to bed tonight, that's for sure. Hell, I'm half tempted to recap the balance now that I realize how late it is.

Edit -- I have to downgrade as this warms. Even for me it's overspiced. I still think it would be a good winter sipper, but the spice profile is just overdone.

May 27, 2009
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Bung from Michigan

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Rather dark brown/amber pour. Limited white head. Strong spice aroma, cinnamon, nutmeg and some maltiness. Some nice lacing. The spiciness is a bit edgy, with the sweetness the drinkability just slightly, but still ok. Taste has some maltiness that improves as it warms a bit. More cinnamon and nutmeg than malt though. Nearly no hop presence. Pretty lively mouthfeel, which is increased with the spice on the tongue. Winter warmers are a real niche that bend into other styles usually, this one is tough to put a finger on. If you like a west coast style, this will not have enough spice/hops. If you like a Euro style warmer, this will be closer, but probably too much spice. Worth trying though.

Apr 25, 2009
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

2.7/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: small head, leather brown, clear, small carbonation

Smell: strong whiff of holiday spices like: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg..and some honey

Taste: holiday spices like: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, honey, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: smooth, slightly bitter, medium heavy body

Drinkability: I really love what Left hand does, but I was not a fan of this offering. This to me is a very spicy although average winter warmer. The bomber size along with the high ABV makes this a one and done. I will not be getting this again.

Apr 07, 2009
Snowbound from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 162 ratings