Nutcracker Winter Warmer Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Nutcracker Winter Warmer AleNutcracker Winter Warmer Ale
915 Ratings
Nutcracker Winter Warmer AleNutcracker Winter Warmer Ale

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nutcracker Ale is Boulevard’s holiday gift for real beer lovers. This hearty, warming brew is a classic winter ale, deep amber in color, with hints of molasses balanced by the “spiciness” of freshly harvested Chinook hops.

38 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-11-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 915 |  Reviews: 358
Photo of bogeypro64
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass

Creamy eggshell color head settled quickly into a dense film akin to the froth on a cappuccino. Nice amber brown color. Very cloudy from bottle conditioning. Foam clings to glass well all the way down to the last sip.

Smell is of mulling spice and hops- has a very nice "Christmas-ey" aroma (that pine and spice character) Not much sweetness in the initial scent.

Slight bready malt that struggles to break through the hops and spice. Spice flavors are present but not overly pronounced and it is difficult to distinguish exactly what they are. Taste is vaguely akin to mulled cider spice. The finish is hops with a citrus peel and fruit component.

As with a lot of Boulevard ales, I find this one slightly overcarbonated. It tingles on the tongue and I would much prefer a finer and creamier texture for this type of flavor profile and style.

This is not a beer to drink casually. While I would likely drink a second, I would be a while getting to it as it helps to savor this one slowly allowing flavors to develop as the ale warms. Overall, this is a very good beer that does evoke a holiday cheer.

 1,149 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich hazy brown, with a thin tan head. Looks like real maple syrup.

There's not a lot of smell, though my glass didn't help much as I used a flute. I could tell it was 'spicy' but wasn't able to detect which spices.

It's full of spices, but I picked up some apricot as well which gave it an unexpected sweetness.

You'd expect some harshness or bitterness from all the spices, but the sweet fruits balance the bitterness making this pleasant on the palate.

I'd enjoy drinking a lot of this. It goes down smooth and is void of any bitterness. Decent alcohol will keep you warm during the holidays.

 607 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of light cloudiness. Big light tan with great retention. A good amount of lacing throughout. The nose is a bit plain with a bit of caramel and toffee plus some very light spicing.

The taste is a bit sweet with some brown ale characteristics. The spicing is there a bit and there is some mild earthiness to this. The spicing doesn't come through too much until the back end and especially in the finish. Medium body with good carbonation. A bit drinkable, but the finish is slightly off-puting in juxtaposition to the flavor and I don't quite need all that much of this.

 635 characters

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich tawny color with a huge billowing crown that held for a very long time,finally settling into a frothy mass after leaving globs of soap scum lookin stuff behind.Spicy hop and caramel malt come together well,it has to be chinooks to give off such a spicy note in its hop profile,very nice.A nice mix of winter spice,clove,cinnamon,nutmeg,candied orange peel,and again that hop spiciness,a sweet but not overly sweet caramle base holds true to the finish.Each year I say Iam gonna get some of this stuff,this year I finally did and Iam glad I did,this for my money is one of the best winter warmer's out there.

 621 characters

Photo of Duxx
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Very dark amber but light easily penetrates the glass. Minimal tan head

S: Spicy from hops but no evidence of actual spices. Slight malt or toffee note

T: Surprisingly hoppy...I think this beer is more hoppy than than Boulevard's pale ale. A real strong smack of Pacific northwest hops. Cascade or Chinook. I think. Very bitter in the back of the throat.

M: Medium body with comfortable but not excessive carbonation.

D: Good if I was expecting a hoppy beer but I was expecting more malty taste that would be higher in alcohol like a "typical" winter warmer. I think this one comes across more like a pale ale or even an IPA. Surprise!

 669 characters

Photo of ScorpyX
2.38/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle pour into a tall glass

A: Dark amber color, too hazy to see through. Darker where the foam is. Finger-width head dissipates to leave behind some lacing.

S: Smell is malty with some fruitiness to it. Has a bit of an apple scent to it.

T: I seem to detect the piney and fruity tastes above all. Some hops add bitterness, but nothing overwhelming. The tart lingers.

M: Good amount of carbonation, but not so much that it dominates. Medium-bodied, but a thickness does linger to an extent.

D: While not overly heavy, the combination of the feel and the taste go together for a beer that would give me trouble drinking multiple. Not a bad beer, but I have had a number of winter ales that, in my opinion, are superior, particularly for the season. Good try, but not one I'll actively seek out.

 801 characters

Photo of plfahey
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep amber in color, with brilliant ruby highlights when held to the light. Very clear. Nice, thick, off-white head with a fine bead and good retention. Some evidence of lacing. Gorgeous.

Aroma-Up front I get an aroma of fresh cut apples that is a little bit acetaldehyde-like, mixed with some light perfumy alcohols. With the spices I detect along side it (cinnamon, light clove), it gives the perception of mulled cider. Behind the apple is some roasted malt, with some light citrus/pine hops to back it up.

Flavor-Just a suggestions of the tart apple flavor around the edges, there's more roast and hop flavor in the flavor. The malt comes across as roasty and bready, and the hops seem piney and citrusy. Hop bitterness is moderate, and leaves the aftertaste quite dry. Not bad, but the tart apple flavor fights with everything else in the beer.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, enhanced by the moderately high carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth. Relatively smooth, though a bit high on the carbonation.

I was not overly impressed with this one. Absent the apple flavor, this probably could have been a pretty good beer-however that flavor really fought with the other components of the beer, making for a less than pleasant experience.

 1,288 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at pint night at the Plano Gingerman.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee malt and piney hops. The hop presence is a lot heavier than I remembered from when I had it in previous years. The flavor is grassy and piney hops, along with caramel and toffee. I also get some cinnamon and clove notes. Low overall bitterness, but quite a bit of hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 457 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.34/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This isn't too bad of a brew; however, it doesn't stand out in the plethora of winter warmers available now.

It has a light red core with copper at the edges. The carbonation produces a creamy tan head that settles to a 1/4 finger and hangs around a while. The aroma is malty with some oats and spice. The flavor is a tad earthy with nutmeg, perhaps some clove. It has a decent body and has a tart aftertaste. It's a decent way to get through the long winter months.

 467 characters

Photo of DelMontiac
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy red with a nice 3 finger tan head that never completely dissovles. Lacing is pronounced with each sip.

S: Maltiness up front and some spice lingers. Hard to say what the spice is, cinnamon perhaps. Not a strong nose at all.

T: The toungue picks up the cinnamon quickly. Maybe brown sugar to boot. Slighly nutty/malty. Hoppy finish. When cold, there is a discernable metallic taste. Once it warms up, the metallic element is gone.

M: Nothing to write home about. No complaints.

D: A moderately sessionable brew. Could sit for few with friends.

Overall: I'm not ready to go out and buy a case, but this is not a bad beer at all. Make sure you leave it to warm a bit before diving in to avoid that metallic taste.

 778 characters

Photo of TheSarge
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance wise, this brew pours with a two finger thick head of khaki color, with a hazy caramel colored body.

In the aroma there is a piny hint, along with caramel and vanilla.

The taste has a ginger flavor along with cola and metallic hops flavors.

The brew has an oily and chewy feel.

 293 characters

Photo of midwestbrewers
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a bottle with the Boulevard pack.
Best by 2/15/11

A: Beautiful color. The hue is slightly reddish(almost copper like) with the cloudy, unfiltered look of a Boulevard. Amazing finger 1/2 head that has a very creamy look, it does dissipates after a bit to a nice thin head(still creamy looking) with decent lacing.

S: I don't get a real strong smell. Some roasted smell which is to be expected but nothing to in-your-face. Slightly fruity at the beginning.

T: The taste is kind of surprising and different for me. This is the first time I've had the Nutcracker Ale and am pleasantly surprised. It has a a decent amount of carbonation. Malty yet citric all the way through with a slightly bitter finish. Amazing hoppy finish.

Overall this beer is a surprise to me but in a very good way. It has a very balanced taste and is very drinkable. A wee high on ABV at almost 6% but still great for winter days. Great Beer Boulevard Brewing Co!

 946 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

best by 02/15/11

pours cloudy ruby amber with a 1+ finger head that left spotted lacing

smell - sweet candy dark fruit with some light fruits too - apple peach apricot

taste - what the hell has blvd been doing besides brew some amazing overlooked beers in twist off 6packs - again i bought a 6pack of this beer and instead of reviewing the first i am reviewing the last - 1-6 this beer was the same amazing beer - very fruity next to plenty sugary malts - this winter brew will have me dreaming of sugar plums dancing on my taste buds

mouhtfeel is light/medium with lots of carbonation that some how works

drinkability - yes i want more and yes i will get some - i plan on going back to the store and buying then out (around 2+ cases)

 740 characters

Photo of csiewert
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a phrase... a nice balance of malt and hops in a medium bodied beer that finishes smooth. Pours a dark amber color with malty notes. Lacking in hop aroma, but the flavor sneaks in a gets you when you least expect it. Not much going on in the head department as well. Very easy to drink and appeals to many drinkers. Too bad it's not available all year.

 355 characters

Photo of zhanson88
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nutcracker Ale pours a clear deep burnt orange color with a finger and a half of off-white head. Decent retention and lacing. This beer has a lot of lively carbonation in it. It looks very appealing.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts, a bit of cherry/tart fruit, spices, piney and floral hops. Nothing real overwhelming or crazy, but a very balanced smell.

Taste: Lots of caramel malts up front, followed by spices, a bit of fruitiness and plenty of piney and floral hops. This is a very balanced beer all the way through with solid flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. With the flavors included, it makes for a beer that is drinkable but not something that could be drunk all night long. Still, a good seasonal from Boulevard.

 785 characters

Photo of DCon
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought Beer from Lukas Liquor in a Mix-A-Six. (2nd Beer of Night)
BEST BY 02/15/11 (labeled on front of bottle)

Appearance:Has an orange body and cloudy

Smell: you can smell all hops, very nice

Taste: Dry-Hopped, almost like a Pale Ale

Mouthfeel: After sitting on my pallet for a while, has weight and an unique feel

Drinkability: Is a classic ale to have with a meal and would suggest it to anyone wanting to venture out to a new Winter Warmer.

 454 characters

Photo of Zebus0
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pretty good. I've had it on draft before, good coloration, nothing to really write home about.

S- Pretty good. Lot of nut flavor. To me it has a pretty sharp aroma, lots of spices/nuts.

T- Pretty good. Not a ton of hops but the taste is pronounced. Same as aroma, nutty flavor, bit of spice but not overwhelming. Pretty nice flavor.

M- Smoothness. Good ale texture.

D- Pretty good, this is one of my favorite beers for the wintertime. I'll drink it, and I like drinking it.

 480 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

split with a few fine folk debating the wondrous lives of non-pesticide using farmers. how easy it is.
cloudy ruddy colour gives a rise to the floating creme head.
caramel malt aroma, some crystallized ginger, nutmeg and citrus hops.
flavor is nice, similar to aroma, medium-bodied. the ginger is a nice touch and adds character. the spices are apparent but not dominating, lending a delicate touch to the sweet and bready malt.

 429 characters

Photo of nickhiller
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: clouded rusty coloring, one finger head reduces to a healthy ring around the edges, steady bubbles and little to no lacing.

S: sourdough bread, yeast, dry alcohol esters akin to a chardonnay, a little bit of nail polish.

T: malty biscuts, it tastes exactly like Mary Jane candies to me (peanut butter and molasses flavored taffy), charred meat and some smoke, earthy like mushrooms.

M: great carbonation, supported by a medium body and a warm alcoholic, dry finish.

D: An interesting beer for sure. I really like the weird earthiness and the flavors not usually associated with beer (mushrooms, peanut butter?). The only drawback is that it seems to have a few parts missing. I was underwhelmed by the nose and the mouthfeel was nothing to write home about. But I do give Boulevard an A for effort, and it's drinkable to boot.

 835 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out of a 12oz into a tulip glass. Nice copper/amber color, almost transparent. A dirty-white quarter inch head.

S - Hops. Citrus and Granny Smith apple.

T - Malty rounded out by hoppy bitterness. There's a little apple or pear at the end too.

M - Soft texture. Light carbonation.

D - A good beer. Great balance. The fruit notes on the nose and tongue were really nice. I really liked the texture, it was almost creamy.

 436 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice dark amber color with some nice copper hints and some slight ruby hints. there is a nice 1 inch head that is off-white and quite soapy and chunky with some nice stickiness to it.

S - Aroma has some nice sweet caramel hints mixed in with some bread notes and also some slight gingerbread and some nice sweet Christmas spice. Surprisingly and deliciously there is some nice grassy hop character to the nose as well.

T & M - Starts off with great notes of malt and spice. Good Christmas sweetness balanced by some slight bread notes and a good grassy character. Not too bitter but hop flavor is there and delicious. I recall teh draft verison to be a bit spiceire and enjoyed it more but this is still one of the better winter warmers of the year for me.

D - Delicious and drinkable with a low ABV and some great flavor.

 866 characters

Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great looking beer in the glass. a generous 2 inches of head results from the pour, and sticks around a long time. Very hazy, golden honey-orange color, and definitely unfiltered which is great!

lots of spicy hops in the nose, and i also smell some apples, very pleasant.

Starts out very spicy and hoppy, which leads into a sweetness, like caramel covered apples. Lots of flavor, and hoppy enough to leave a lingering taste of bitterness. Very tasty brew, reminds me of a bit of more balanced version of Sierra Nevada's Celebration ale.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. nice and crisp.

I look forward to this beer each winter, and when I have it in my fridge, it seems to go pretty fast. This is a great beer to drink leading up to the holidays. The site lists the ABV at 6.6%, but the bottle says 5.9%, so this is a great beer to enjoy all evening long!

 872 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice beer, perfect for the cooler and cold nights.
A deep ruby, clouded brown pour. A fairly nice and rocky off-white head made this beer look really darn good.

Aroma starts off with piney hops and some earthiness. Very slight hints of spice remind me of the season. Delicious and balanced.

Again, the hops come out first, this time in the taste. Pine and some hints of orange peel. Yet the balance is perfect as it drinks. Nutty and a bit herbal, but not the clovey kind. Full bodied and seems just a hearty drink without the thickness.

Great drinking, solid beer.

 576 characters

Photo of rrski198
4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep red color. Huge off white colored red. Nice lacing.

S: WOW! Outstanding, clean, fresh, citrus, piney hops. One of the best smelling beers i've had. I'm getting alot of grapefruit and lemon. Little bit of booze, but it is perfect.

T: Not quite as impressive as the smell, but again, this is an outstanding beer. Real solid IPA with all sorts of fresh hops flavors going on. Great bready caramel back bone hear that creates an awesome balance and decent body.

M: Good carbonation. Nothing over the top. The body brings it up a rating over average.

D: This is one of the best "seasonal" beers i've got this year. Not sure it qualifies as a "seasonal," as it is a straight forward IPA, however, this beer is perfectly balanced and has a great nose. I have bought this beer quite a few times and will continue to do so.

 827 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh into the local store today.

Very brown in color, hazy in clarity, one finger head that dissipated into a thin later, moderate lacing.

Smells absolutely great! Almost like cutting open a fresh ruby red grapefruit. A little bit of spice accents a nice hoppy aroma balanced with caramel malts and floral background. I haven't smelled a beer that smells this good in quite a while. I can't stop sniffing the glass!

Now the taste doesn't exactly match the smell, but is quite good nonetheless. Caramel malts dominate, floral hops are moderate, grapefruit citrus is present too (but mildly so, not really matching the smell), a hint of nuts, and a slight tang of spices rounds off a very nice holiday treat.

Feels medium bodied and slightly warming on the way down. Ample but not overwhelming carbonation.

Drinks very nicely. Will for sure be purchasing again. An excellent seasonal and an excellent all-around beer from an excellent brewer. Great Job Boulevard!

I think I will take a couple sixers of this to the thanksgiving holiday meal. Should fit in very nicely.

Overall value is quite high at 7.50 a sixer!

 1,126 characters

Nutcracker Winter Warmer Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 915 ratings