Deschutes Brewery

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Winter Warmer
Ranked #9
Ranked #9,725
3.95 | pDev: 11.9%
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Very Good
Notes: Available: October to December
Alc. by Vol.: 6.7%
IBUs: 60

Cocoa, dried fruit, and toffee notes. A robust ale with a warming spice.

Bottle conditioned for quality. Live yeast added to the bottle allows this beer to age gracefully and stay fresher, longer. Keep bottles upright, and away from light & heat.

216 calories per 12 oz serving

Label artwork changes annually.
Reviews: 974 | Ratings: 2,916 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of just1cho
just1cho from California

3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 12oz bottle*

The look on this beer was a dark amber-brown which was cloudy with a tan colored finger thick head. The head had a nice diversity of rocky and micro bubbles, but it had poor retention to it as it dissipated pretty quickly. A lacing was left around my glass once the head disappeared.

Upfront, I got a bit of a papery oxidized aroma, which was slightly unpleasant but it didn't completely ruin the aroma for me. Regardless, I found that this beer showed a nice balance between the yeast and the malt on the nose, giving me a bit of a caramel covered banana vibe to it. I also found that the aroma was a bit spicy as well, giving me some cracked black pepper notes as well as a touch of cloves.

The taste follows the nose for the most part, but most notably, it didn't have the paperiness that I got from the aroma. It was definitely more malty than what the aroma might suggest, as I got big notes of caramel, toffee, and a tinge of cocoa throughout while also getting notes of bread and toast in the finish and aftertaste. I found that the yeast characters were a bit more subtle on the taste, but the same notes of banana and cloves were still perceived.

This beer left a bit of a drying feeling inside of my mouth and I definitely found the feel of this beer to be dry from start to finish. Being a full bodied beer, I found this to be really smooth and easy-drinking with only a tiny bit of alcohol perceived in the taste.

Overall, a very malty and smooth beer fit to drink for any occasion. Other than the papery aroma that I got, I generally found this to be a pretty good beer.

Jun 26, 2020
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Hooded from Texas

2.55/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Notes from 5/2/2020.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Rastal nucleated Teku glass.
The body is brown with a small cap that quickly dissipates.
The intensity of the aroma is medium. There are notes of spices, and a hint of chocolate.
The intensity of the taste is slightly above medium. The flavors are milk chocolate, and some spices. the moderately bitter finish balances out the light chocolate and spices.
The feel is somewhat thick, slightly creamy, and has a medium-high astringent finish. The astringency level is overkill and out of balance.
Overall, the medium-high astringency ruins this beer. Every beer I have had by Deschutes has had an overdone aspect that makes it unpleasant. I will no longer buy their beer.

May 05, 2020
Photo of Mark-Leggett
Mark-Leggett from Missouri

4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle. Brown in color with a large tan head and good lacing. Smells of malt and dark fruit. Taste of roasted grain, dark fruit, and bread.

May 01, 2020
Photo of Pivopijak
Pivopijak from Washington

4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a 2010 batch, aged in Pinot Noir wine barrels.
Thick, fine bubbled tan head. Opaque dark brown which has a reddish auburn hue when held next to light bulb. Spiced caramel with a tiny toasted floral hop in the aroma. Raisin, prune & molasses without most of the sweetness with some of the heavily roasted grain coming through during taste. A smooth, spiced dried fruit finish, with a full mouthfeel. Very good.

Apr 02, 2020
Photo of mushroomcloud
mushroomcloud from Texas

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 9/26/19. Opened 3/6/20.
Brownish-red with decent clarity and a 1 finger sand-colored head with good retention.
Nose is a mix of fruity (cherry, banana) and light caramel/toffee notes. Some floral aromas as well. Expressive dried fruit and malt aroma.
The fruit is toned way down in the flavor. More of an English style malt and herbal hop flavor comes through.
Dried fruit and a bitter/herbal hop on the palate. Expected spicy finish is there but it also take on a dried note...not a bad thing, it's a fairly complex malt aroma and flavor that isn't the norm. Bitter cocoa and dried fruit. Did I say dried? I think that's appropriate.
Medium body and low to medium carbonation. The finish is surprisingly dry.
Very good at almost 6 months.

Mar 07, 2020
Photo of 30years_of_craft_brews

4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the 2019 version is big & Bold. the malty caramel notes are less 'tame' than usual, and they coat the palate surprisingly. so too with the dark fruit vibe, a spiced fig-plum feel. carbonation stronger than norm, but not too much. i love a balanced malt profile, and this just nails it. have been drinking jubel for 15 yrs now, and this years is among the all-time best.

Jan 01, 2020
Photo of Vixie
Vixie from Illinois

3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a really nice ruby red with a decent sized tan head.

Smell is mostly malty, with hints of cocoa and caramel.

Somewhat sweet up front, decent amount of malt with caramel and toffee notes. There is a good amount of bittersweet cocoa backing it all up, leaving a lingering bitterness. Also quite a bit of spice, makes this very much a winter warmer.

Pretty hot and tingling feeling on the tongue.

This is one beer that definitely lives up to the style. It is very warming, reminds me a bit of a chili beer, but with more restrained heat. This is a nice choice for a cold night, will help keep you warm.

Jan 01, 2020
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jkblr from Indiana

4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle packaged on 09/26/19 (3 months ago) poured into a becher glass at just above fridge temp 6.7% ABV 65 IBU. The beer pours bright medium brown in color with red highlights and khaki head. The head recedes to a thin cap and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is cocoa powder, spice and a bit of malt. The taste is cocoa laced, toasted & caramel malt with a mildly bitter, spicy backend. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with just less than medium carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, very good. One of the better winter warmers I've tried. The spice is subtle and complementary of the malt & hops.

Dec 28, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Label is marked 'PACKAGED ON 10/29/19'.
Clear dark amber colored body. Just a skiff of off white head. Leaves some rings and spots of lacing.
Aroma of toasted malt and cocoa.
Taste is super malty with toffee and cocoa. This first part is sweet enough but the last part turns more bitter and spicy, and adds notes such as leather and allspice. Joined by dark fruit flavors. In the after taste the tongue gives off the nutmeg, coriander, and cloves.
Thinner than medium mouth feel. Very good carbonation.
This is a holiday bread type beer. Only during the holidays will a beer be welcome that tastes like a dark bread having dark fruit bits, cocoa, and earthy spices.

Dec 27, 2019
Photo of FireMedk
FireMedk from California

3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A "festive" beer that screams Christmas without a mention of it. Besides that, it has a smell that hints of dark fruit. Roasted malt is a bit overwhelming and too much for me personally but the APV 6.7% helps balance that out.

Dec 24, 2019
Photo of ASKasten

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You can really taste the cocoa and toffee. Bitterness is too strong so that was a pleasant surprise. Really pairs well with chocolate or sweet treats. Solid nightcap beer.

Dec 22, 2019
Photo of katiekmc94

4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me start by saying, I’ve been drinking this beer before I should have been drinking beer. It’s very nostalgic for me. It starts with a rich, floral and somehow a subtle sweet taste on the tongue. With a very comforting tart aftertaste that leaves me wanting another sip. I look for this beer every winter. It’s a staple for my holidays I get excited every year for the new artwork. I’m also from Oregon so it’s also exciting to be so proud of something made here.

Dec 14, 2019
Photo of omahawk
omahawk from Nebraska

4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid winter ale. Reminds me of a “lite” old Ale. Pours a beautiful dark brown copper. Smell is hints of dark fruit. Taste is leather, raisins, dark caramel and esters. Mouthfeel is slightly watery, but good hop / malt balance. Overall really nice beer.

Nov 26, 2019
Photo of Mindcrime1000
Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. 2019 Edition.

Pours a dark, clear, reddish-brown with modest head but nice lacing.

Solid aromas of caramel malt and cashew with mild herbal notes (anise and allspice) present but not overwhelming. Dark fruits (fig, raisin, plum, prune) and dark sugar (molasses, brown sugar) join, with hints of leather and tobacco.

Strong toasted caramel malts forward with bready/biscuit notes thereafter. Bitter chocolate arrives in midstream, along with leather, tobacco, anise, allspice. The end arrives with pine, earthy and floral hops and a bit of booze. The holiday spices are present but as a note, not a dominant main event.

The brew feels medium full but with good carbonation that prevents a sticky finish.

A well-balanced, warmer that exhibits excellent restraint with the spices.

Nov 23, 2019
Photo of Historiker

3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1/2" head and a nice red color.

Smelled of malt, caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Taste was similar, but with the faint taste of prunes, holiday spices, and a nice mild hops finish.

Body was a nice medium-to-full.

I found this to be an enjoyable holiday beer, and one that I'd recommend.

Nov 20, 2019
Photo of Ahypercube
Ahypercube from California

2.5/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a single of this from Trader Joe's, to see if it was any good. Glad I got a single, honestly...

L: Looks really nice, actually. The head comes in two colors: a frothier, lighter-colored ashy beige swirl amid darker toffee tinted tan suds. Body has no haze, but is barely transparent, sporting an SRM in the mid thirties. Mot much lacing to speak of for a winter warmer.

S: Smells pretty decent too, albeit a somewhat odd mix of aromas. Baseline molasses note hits first followed by dessert spices including star anise, allspice and clove, welcoming in tart prunes, walnuts and a whole wheat bread crust presence, followed by a quick punch of spruce. Sharp, but short enough that I could've missed it if I wasn't looking for it.

T: I doubt anyone could miss it on the palate though. Holy hell. Upon sipping, a tiny elf appears on your tongue and shoves a stick of salty black licorice down your throat, immediately followed by a Bonsai spruce tree. While you're enjoying that, he proceeds to smear a paste made of burnt caramel corn around the entire interior surface of your mouth and then jumps down your throat himself; but of course he loses a sweaty sock that gets stuck to your tonsils on the way down.

F: Kind of like a poorly carbonated and excessively creamy root beer. But it also leaves a weird charcoal-like sticky feel all over the mouth that lingers for an absurd amount of time.

O: I hate to say a beer is awful, but this is a worthy candidate. I drank about a third of it to finish this review, but honestly this is my first drain pour since Trader Joe's Drive Thru Red Ale over a year ago. No idea how this has the ratings it does, unless this was a bad batch, or they recently changed the recipe or something. Belch.

Nov 15, 2019
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a murky brown color and a thick consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A so-so aroma of malt, hops, spices, caramel, dark fruit, and a grassy quality.

T: Tasted of a small amount of caramel (could've used more), a decent shot of hops (mostly in the finish), lots of the grassy quality (far too much), a ton of malt (present throughout), and some dark fruit (figs). Definitely not a focused flavor. The grassy quality overpowers everything else. Other than this, it's slightly on the thin side. Nothing special.

F: A decent amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not the most terrible beer ever, but not much to recommend either.

Jun 23, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

2/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"Best by 3/22/16"; drank 12/15/15 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque red/purple appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE eggnog head; a frothy curtain of lace.

Candle wax, mild cranberry & faint pickle juice notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Candle wax & mild cranberry flavors up front; a strong pickle juice finish, which rendered this undrinkable to me.

Permanent pass.

Apr 25, 2019
Photo of ChrisCage
ChrisCage from Canada

3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A- This brew pours a a relatively clear deep deep red color, with brownish/coppery undertones when held up against light. The head is very impressive, that being a 3-4 finger thick puffball of light tan colored foam and by the way, this has most excellent retention qualities! The lacing is equally impressive, with a very uniform layer of sticky protein laced goodness clinging mightily to the inside of my glass. The carbonation is just a little to hard to see so I cannot comment on this....overall however, this beer is a winner in the appearance department!

S- I actually find the aromas quite mild in general....I do get some deep, yet mellow at the same time, malt sweetness (toffee/caramel), perhaps some orchard fruit and muted spicy hop bitterness. I am really trying hard here to smell something here but am quite disappointed....

T- The flavors are more prominent than the aromas let on, with more toffee and/or caramel malt sweetness, some mild roasted grain character, dried fruit quality (fig/prune come to mind), some muted winter baking spices and a finish that shows up the most on the palate.....decent hopped bitterness that lingers on the palate. I find the alcohol noticeable throughout and it leaves a bit of a metallic taste in my mouth. Meh....

M/O- Solid medium body and relatively creamy carbonation throughout, this glides over the palate in smooth fashion. I find this more of a robust EPA style beer and it doesn't live up to what I was expecting. It's not a bad beer, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way for it again. Underwhelming to say the least, and if this was branded as an EPA style I would be all over it, but again, this isn't very much of the style I was hoping to enjoy. Definitely an underachieving brew from Deschutes....

Apr 17, 2019
Photo of ThemThangs
ThemThangs from California

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tried this while travelling in Oregon. I've had other stuff by this company and enjoyed it quite a bit. I went in knowing nothing about this particular beer.

On the nose it smelled good, but nothing too exciting. Going off the nose I was expecting it to taste like an every day pale ale...but then it poured out rather dark, then surprised me even more on taste. I realized I was way off. Pretty balanced between sweet and bitter, maybe leaning towards sweet. Rich tasting, mostly reminds me of fruit preserves, maybe fig in particular? It kind of reminds me of some of the sweeter porters I've had maybe, without the ashy burnt taste that porters make me think of sometimes. After drinking it awhile, I'm even tasting something that reminds me of oolong tea. Good beer, I'd totally drink it again.

Mar 07, 2019
Photo of unlikelyspiderperson
unlikelyspiderperson from California

3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an enchanting ruby/copper color with a faintly peach colored head. Lots of visible carbonation and good lacing/retention of the head.
Smells of cherrys and toffee. Some heavy malt, almost biscuity bits.
Taste is lightly crackery up front with a flat vegetal bitterness. A sweet cherry and raisin, along with light spice, round out the flavor. The sweet fruitier flavors open up a good bit as this warms.
Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Very drinkable.
Overall this is a decent beer and I assume nice representation of the style. It's smooth and easy drinking but the flavors are a little out of balance for my wishes. The sweetness and bitterness don't blend as well as I'd like giving me a sharp up front flavor with nothing lingering to balance the slightly cloying sweetness.

Feb 18, 2019
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim from Thailand

4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a ruby tinge, little carbonation and 3 fingers of beige head.

Smells of malts, toffee and toasted malts.

Tastes of toffee, caramel, toasted malts, and hints of cocoa. It ends with a light bitterness.

Medium, rich body with little carbonation.

I got this in Sacramento, and I am enjoying it in Redding, Jan 8th, 2019.

Jan 09, 2019
Photo of Dadknack
Dadknack from Washington

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I was a little disappointed. It is a little heavy, and warms the face like a winter warmer should. From the pour and the nose, I am expecting a sweet, smooth experience. The carbonation is about right, but it doesn’t deliver on the sweetness you smell. The spices are hidden, and the caramel nose is overpowered by either a juniper berry, or pine needle harshness. It’s a decent ale, just a little to hoppy, and not quite enough happy.

Dec 29, 2018
Photo of bilbobrewer
bilbobrewer from Oregon

3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black.
Taste is Black & Caramel malt. Syrupy, sweet.
Booziness is not the limiter here.........malt sweetness is.

Okay for a seasonal toast.

Dec 23, 2018
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On nitro at the Roanoke Tasting Room
Dark clear amber with amazing nitro head and lacing
Light ginger, cocoa, fig, light char aroma
Tastes are hop bitterness, nutty, light ginger, cherry, coffee
Light body, bitter finish, strong lasting head, no alcohol burn
Nice flavor combination, good match with nitro.

Dec 23, 2018
Jubelale from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2916 ratings