Bison Winter Warmer | Bison Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Bison Winter WarmerBison Winter Warmer
22 Ratings
Bison Winter WarmerBison Winter Warmer

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Reidrover on 02-26-2007

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by AndoBrew:
Photo of AndoBrew
2.38/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

*do not like would never buy*

app: murky brown water, not yummy looking

smell: trashy, like a wet dog almost. odd smell, like the old plains.

taste: sharp, bland, no complexity. not winter, not warmer.

mf: thin and sharp in the back of mouth.

drinkable?: kinda. not bad, just not good flavors.

 298 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle,obviously not the winter warmer season anymore and this was well aged but I grabbed it anyways.This Belgian dark style with raisins added poured into an oversized wine glass a hazed deep brown with a thinner but well retained slight off white head,the raisins are huge in the aromas they clearly stick out over everything else,there were some lighter brown sugar and clove in there as well.Flavors of raisin are big as well but not as big as in the nose there is a yeasty spice to it as well as some heavy brown sugar tones.Not bad its a big fruity malt bomb it held up to the age,not bad.

 601 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tough time on this one.
Pours a mahogany brown with a smallish head that disappears pretty quickly.

Aromas are lots of sweet dark malts and dark brown sugar.

Taste is hard to place. Roasted malt...dark brown sugar...spices I can not identify...alcohol...drying hops.

This is a very interesting Winter Warmer and one that works exceedingly well. Very enjoyable...very drinkable.

 380 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review dated 1/9/2009, from 12oz bottle.

Sorry to be a deviant here, but I thought this was an excellent beer. Pours dark brown with an off-white head. Great sweet, complex dark fruit aroma. Taste is dark malt, chocolate, grapes, raisins, some spices. Full-bodied and smooth mouthfeel. A good one.

 298 characters

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Really nice color to this mahogany brown. Pours a low khaki head that recedes to a moderate ring.

s: Really nice. Approaches a 4.5, but not quite. Strong aromas of dark fruits (date, raisin) and a touch of spicy root. Caramelized and brown sugars. Lightly but well hopped. Malty, dark liquor and a possible smoky note.

m: carbonation is a smooth high medium, and the body a full medium

t: Malty tree fruits dominate underlying notes of Belgian yeast with a medium-light flavor of papery hops. A standard "good" SBDA flavor. Nothing amazing, but solid and flavorful. Just a touch watery right after the swallow. Cleans up well in the finish, with just a touch of roast coming in.

d: easy enough, abv well hidden

part of my bombing box from Dubbercody

 780 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.34/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown beer with basically no head formation.

Smell is apples and mulling spices. Apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and a slight vanilla taste.

Taste is malty brown sugar with apples and mulling spices. The booze remains hidden with no real sense of the 9% strength.

Mouthfeel is light.

Easy to drink but taste impaired.

 318 characters

Photo of Reidrover
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from LifeSource Organic Grocery ,Salem OR. Lovelly looking beer, dark brown and murky , topped by a fabulous thick bubbly tan head. Aroma is mostly malts,creamy and toffeeish, with great whafts of raisin. Very nice smooth falvours. Its certainlly Belgian in style and all the expected esters and spice tastes show through, but are complimented by the raisin sweetness. Very malty and with very little hop. Great smooth mouthfeel, alcohol is barelly detectable, great after taste. Overall ..this along with the Farmhouse Ale seem to welcome a brighter day for Bison. Bravo..I look forward to more of this series."Brewers Reserve"

 641 characters

Photo of CWiggins
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this up at Sam's Quik Stpo in Durham after work tonight. My store carries a few organic beers, including this brewer's chocolate stout, so I thought it prudent to check this one out. Also, I'm a sucker for a Winter Warmer!

I was surprised by the thick, cloudy texture of this beer. It poured a color reminiscent of a nice English Brown Ale, but with a cloudiness and thickness one can't ignore. No head really formed, just a a few bubbles that evaporated rather quickly. The aroma was nice: there are subtle scents of spices and brown sugar present, along with dark fruits. It gets weird when one tastes it; I expected a winter warmer, but the dark fruits, sweetness, and strength betray its Belgian roots. It doesn't taste as strong as a Belgian, but the characteristics–albeit in a minor form–are certainly there. The alcohol is not hidden, and it went to my head rather quick.

Here's the thing: its clearly a nice beverage. The aroma, taste, and mouthfeel are all very pleasant. But it doesn't fit the styles of winter warmer or strong Belgian ale. Having said that, it's still a nice beer to try, and I'll definitely partake of it again.

 1,158 characters

Photo of Beerzebub
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Attractive deep red-brown color. Finely textured beige head, but little of it. Splotches of lace.

Rich, intoxicating smell of doughy malt, raisin, plum, apple, solvent, brandy. A touch of roasted malt.

Taste basically matches the smell. Sweet, but not overly so, balanced by roastiness, mild herbacious/grassy hop bitterness, and some mild astringency like fruit skin. Long finish of roast, raisin, solvent, alcohol.

The bubbles are tiny and numerous. Great mouthfeel like mousse, but if it stays in my mouth for more than a second or two it gets fizzy then watery. Utterly drinkable, for what it is.

Very nice beer. The roasted note seems un-Belgian, but it works well with the sweetness and the raisins, making for a unique and enjoyable New World beer inspired by the Old Country.

 795 characters

Photo of clickpush
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour: 22oz bottle to tulip glass. A dark ruby brown body rumbles under a two finger tan head. The head is fizzy and descends quickly. Body continues to bubble strongly (over carbonation is common in Bison beers) and this leaves a constant cap of lace over the surface of the beer.

Nose: Coffee coffee and coffee. Caramel and toffee (funny how that rhymes..) Notes of corn sugar, light fruit, and a vegetal squash aroma. Eek!

Mouth: Weak mouthfeel to begin with but finishes strong... the same is true with the flavor. Enters watery and mediocre though the swallow shows depth. Fruit and sugar characteristics. Light spicy notes (cinnamon), and finishes with a warming alcoholic updraft. The forward flavors are somewhat unpleasant (hate to say it, but it kind of reminds me of vomit) but as it moves back in the mouth things fall into place. Roasty notes, toffee, candi sugar.


 885 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Brewer's Reserve; sampled on 1/1/08

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a beige head that floats on top of the liquid like a pancake waiting to be flipped; dots of lace appear after each sip

Smell: Rich caramel aroma, but the raisins can be found underneath

Taste: The initial flavor of raisin bread with a caramel frosting lingers into mid-palate; after the swallow, it fails to develop much complexity; a bit of fusel alcohol on the finish detracts

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not a great BSDA by any stretch; nevertheless, an enjoyable beer

 601 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color was a medium reddish dark brown with a very light tan head of foam that disapated with in a few seconds. The smell of roasted malts and fruit filled the nose with a nice balance of aroma's. The taste was so complex, that I couldn't figure out exactly what it was. Raisin's, tabacco, caramel? I don't know. All I know it was a complex ale with all the differnt flavors. It even had a taste of a barley wine! So complex, that it worth trying it again!

 472 characters

Photo of fartingdog
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, sampled 12/4/2007

A- Dark brown with ruby highlights. Creamy head receeds to a thin layer.

S- Some caramel notes, slight hints of dark fruit.

T- Rum, dark fruits, crystal malts, hints of caramel.

D- Very drinkable. Alcohol level is well hidden- could be dangerous.

I don't have notes to compare a fresh version, but I recall it being very enjoyable then. Age has treated this very well.

 405 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 Brewer's Reserve. Poured a dark brown almost black with some ruby highlights when held to light. Aroma was some fruity malts and yeast, not much there. Some sweet fruits, spice and a hint of yeast, but overall a little bland and just off in some way. This beer is medium bodied with slight carbonation. This one is really nothing special at all.

 350 characters

Photo of madorb
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: vigorous pour yields a frothy tan head. body is a rich caramel-y red colour.

S: Raisin, plum, with the alcohol definitely coming through.

T: Again, raisin, ripe fruit, definite sweet malt, no noticable hop profile.

M: creamy and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. small light bubbles.

D: I could definitely drink a few of these. The 9% is noticeable but not detrimental to drinkability. A winter beer you could get in trouble with!

 454 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rather enjoyed this one. It was an odd take on a belgian style in my opinion.

Poured a brown mixed with a dark red color. Head was tall and fluffy and tan. It dissipated quickly. Lots of CO2 coming out of solution.

Smelled like dark malt, dark fruits, and spices. Possibly a hint of cinnamon or corriander somewhere. I believe that a good portion of the aroma was from the yeast used. Fairly complex and a little confusing at the same time.

Tasted spicey for sure. Some hop bitterness but not too much. Sweetness from the malt and tanginess from the hops and yeast balanced this beer nicely.

Medium bodied and pretty drinkable. A 22oz is a bit more of this beer than I need in one sitting but sharing it with some friends is a good compromise.

 750 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, 2006 release,

A: Pours a yeasty, murky, dark brown, with a thick, off-white head, which hangs around for a long time. Lacing is limited, but present.

S: Complex smell of malt, red table grapes, and spices.

T: Heavy raisin flavour is evident right off the bat. The flavour jumped out at me more than I expected, but as the beer warms up, it becomes much more restrained and well-balanced. Caramel and dark malt also come out in the flavour, with fig and molasses as well, and that Belgian yeast character. An undercurrent of sweet port wine also runs through the beer. The residual sugars got to be a little too much at times, but overall it was very well done.

M: Smooth and silky, yeasty, a bit phenolic, medium-bodied and warming from the alcohol.

D: This was a beer I went into without the greatest of expectations, but really surprised me with its full, robust flavour. A very good beer, I need to pick another one up for the holidays; a very good Winter beer.

 985 characters

Photo of mortarit
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to get this off of the shelf before Spring came along. I was clearing out the Bison IPA's when I saw this beer nearby. Brewed with raisins caught my eye so I thought I would give it a try. It's not really Winter but I hadn't had a Belgian Strong Dark Ale in awhile so here's a good time to taste one.

Dark ale have always been a good choice for me. Carbonation is low or just enough I guess. Head retention isn't really standout but I like the color of it, light tan.

Taste, is bit different with the rasins invovled. I am still not good at tasting different notes. Something I need to work on here.

Personally, I think this could be a light Strong Ale. It doesn't feel like a heavy drink that you would of expect. The alcohol is noticeable. For right now there seem to be non complexity here.

I would like to try this one again on a colder day perhaps. I don't want to dampen the beer but a second round would be required for me to give it a final say. Decent for now and worth a try due to the raisins.

 1,025 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy brown with an average frothy light brown head that was mostly lasted and produced good lacing. Heavy malt, dark fruit aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation. Full balanced fruity bittersweet flavor with the same long finish with a very small alcohol tone. Good well balanced brew.

 325 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 Brewer's Reserve. Ripe crabapple red with bright orange accents. The color of the beer is unique, but the amateurish texture of the golden beige head pulls the appearance score in a downward direction. The foam is loose, fizzy and unsticky. Nevertheless, a few patches of sudsy lace manages to stick... at least temporarily.

Credit must be given to Bison for making Winter Warmer smell like an authentic Belgian dubbel. Not a great dubbel, but a dubbel all the same. It smells brown malty, slightly sweet, and somewhat yeasty-spicy. Raisins? Can't tell it by my nose.

This is actually pretty good beer, that would be even better beer if it had a mouthfeel that was worth a damn. I hate it when this happens, because the potential is obvious for all to taste. The brewers are pretty close to dubbel territory on the taste buds as well.

There's a little more malty sweetness than anticipated, but WW isn't sweet. Most of the dark candi sugar was probably consumed by the yeast. The raisins provided fructose, though their flavor contribution isn't immediately obvious.

Specifics include dark caramel, barely sweet dates, tobacco leaves and small amounts of anise seed and clove. The highest compliment that I can pay this Bison offering is that, if blinded, I would have guessed 'brewed in Belgium'. The mouthfeel, however, would have given me pause.

With a bit more malt and harder working bubbles, this could have been an even more delicious Belgian-style ale. It firms up just enough over time to be considered above average, although that's as a shaky a score as I've granted recently.

When it comes to Belgian-style ales, Bison is capable of brilliance (Organic Farmhouse Ale Brewer's Reserve 2006). However, they're equally capable of missing the mark completely (Organic Belgian Ale). Winter Warmer is somewhere in between, but might have been able to join the first beer with an ideal amount of carbonation. I agree with the brewers, the recipe needs no improvement... with the possible exception of more malt.

 2,028 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish-red body with a small off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of malts, spice, fruity berries, and a splash of ethanol.

Taste: Sweetish, spiced maltiness. Raisiny fruitiness, a touch of yeast, an odd hint of wood, and more alcohol come together to create a muddled, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: No thanks.

 375 characters

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Bison Winter Warmer from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 22 ratings