Deschutes Brewery

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Winter Warmer
Ranked #9
Ranked #8,549
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: 957 | Ratings: 2,881 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MaxSpang:
Photo of MaxSpang
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My 50th review on BA!
Served in a tulip.


The brew pours a deep mahogany red color, and rests under a big khaki head. The head went away fast, and left some lovely lacing. It looks alot like a dark red wine, and tere isn't much visible carbonation.


It's a nice and complex smelling brew. There are notes of malty sweetness, dark fruits, and spice. There is a slight alcohol aroma which is actually inviting in this beer. There are some noce earthy notes toward the end.


Follows the nose closely, though not as sweet. There's some big earth character and chicory flavor. There's almost a tree bark flavor, which is nice. Not as much spice as expected, but there is some slight spice character. It has a dried dark fruit flavor in there. Overall some really nice complexity in this one.


This beer starts off with some nice body and ends pretty crisp and dry. The carbonation is medium, and is just enough to make it nice and crisp. The beer is very drinkable overall.


This is a nice Holiday brew. It's very complex and satisfying. It's easy to drink, but could be a sipper due to it's complexity. I don't smoke, but this seems like a great beer to accompany a cigar. Perhaps by a nice roasty fire on Christmas Eve.


 1,279 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of ApolloXII
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

First as it pours, as illustrious as dark
Tints of garnet with a lush cherry bark
A foam that won't quit, tan and unwaving
Telling you now that every sip you'll be saving

A ripe, pithy smell of plum, raisin, and roots
Like winter bottled with the most earthy of fruits
Some baker's chocolate rounds it out well
That you cant quite grasp until you give it a smell.

And the flavor- Oh, the flavor, is where it really shines
With first flavors of cherry Cola and the reddest wines
They give way to amaretto, espresso, and anise
A combination of flavors that surely aims to please

Despite the low strength, it drinks as if more ornate
Enjoyed by the yule log after an amorous date
A great beer indeed, always a true pleasure
One of the best for this season, or any by measure.

 778 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thoroughly enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This FINE warmer pours a deep mahogany with bright outer highlights and a fantastic head of light tan foam that settles to a thick ring, thin lacy pool, and excellent clinging lacing. Nose of rich caramel, sweet dark raisin bread, herbal spicy notes of hops, and vanilla. Flavors exceed the nose with fresh baked raisin bread, caramel, and light fruity notes of orange peel come through nicely on the front to mid taste with a brown sugar and herbal hop note on the back with a touch of vanilla, cherry, and orange. Very festive and highly drinkable with a nice warming on the back of the taste. Great mouth feel with good carbonation is smooth with an herbal hop note on the aftertaste vying for position over the sweet caramel/brown sugar flavor. VERY NICE.


 828 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I've never reviewed this beer. Time to change that.

The winter warmer classic beer, Jubelale, pours a rediculously beautiful and crystal clear deep beet red with brown undertones and a nice a rocky beige head. It leaves rings of sticky lace from beginning to end.

A light helping of banana hits the nose first, but then an onslaught of aromas attack. Fig, juniper, cinnamon rolls, and tart apples not only come through in scent, but in flavor as well. A big dose of raisins. Lots of dark fruits obviously with classic mulling spices like orange peel, anise, and cinnamon. Divine.

It feels right. Sticky and sweet, rich but not thick nor too thin, with a good long bitter finish. Though it's not a "strong" beer, it leaves a good warmth, just as it should.

I know my rating will be considerably higher, but 13 years ago, Jubelale showed me what a winter warmer is. It still stands true to the style, and it's about as good as it gets, and I never pass on it at least once a year. Cheers!

 1,014 characters

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

Presentation: 12 oz brown long-neck bottle with no freshness date, artsy themed label.

Appearance: Deep brownish garnet color with a good clarity, light tan lace adorns the top ... a product of densely frothed head.

Smell: Sweet and earthy with a big hand of caramel, candied fruit and mineral. Hops are soft in the aroma with a leafy character.

Taste: Nice flush full body, smooth and crisp in the mouth. Malt character is very broad with a bitter-sweet start and a chocolaty finish with hints of lightly roasted coffee. Esters are quite abundant but are quelled with the sweetness of the brew, alcohol warms quite well. Fruity of the dark ripened variety, fig or prune in the mix? Hop bitterness cuts through the malt and leaves a trail of flavor that gets lost before the after taste. A triple fold of alcohol spiciness, heavy leftover hops and the mild chocolaty finish rush for the finish line. Pleasant and complex after taste.

Notes: One of the top true (unspiced) winter warmers in the US, a must year after year. A bottle full of holiday cheer or just something to warm your soul.

 1,101 characters

Photo of DaneBramage
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Dark amber color with medium head
S: Malt, caramel, toffee and burnt fruit
T: Not hoppy or heavy but not light either, mainly sweet malt, toffee with hints of burnt fruit and winter spices
F: So-so
O: I'm not a huge fan of winter ales but this one is easy to drink. Probably a good one to introduce friends to if they're not familiar with them.

 353 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Liquid brown sugar in color with no head to speak of and tons of big sediment.

Smell – Big sherry and oak flavors jump out of the glass first, followed closely by the dark, sugary malts. This is the kitchen sink of sugars, and just about any type that I’ve had is in this aroma. There’s some ripe bananas and cherries as well, but it’s one part fruit 99 parts sugar.

Taste – For a powerful ale, this is wonderfully blended. The sugars meld expertly with the malt and sherry oak flavor. No, this is not the same as the Deschutes Jubelale.

Mouthfeel – Almost full in the body with a big, chewy mouthfeel and a light sting of alcohol.

Drinkability – I felt like a king drinking this ale. This one is awesome. If you’re looking for a BA Christmas present, this is it.

 797 characters

Photo of mlockman
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best holiday ale I've had; difficult to describe all of the notes, but the balance between malts and spice was spot on. Suffice to say, this tastes like the winter season.

 171 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm just doing the Deschutes tour here at the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay. After having Hop Henge, Black Butte XX, this is the next step in the progression.

2008 vintage: Served in a standard pint glass, the beer has a color somewhere between ruby and rust, but with an almost clear complextion. Lightly tanned head formation provides a creamy froath atop the beer.

Very malty and very fruity in the aromas with a orange zest, lemon zest spiciness from the hops. A follow of pine, nuttiness, and Christmas spices follow giving the beer a lot of complexity and variety in the nose.

Flavors of dense malty set the pace while hop flavoring begin the decoration of the bold barley additions. Pine is the most identifiable spice with modest cinamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice rounding out the malts. Malt flavors bring firm toffee, toasty, caramel, and nutty taste to support the cherry, berry, apple, and fig flavors. The beer has nearly all the attributes that an ale can have.

Full and malty rich textures give a lot of creaminess, firmness, and softness to the beer while the hops balance the sweetness well. Not a lot of residual sweetness but enough to keep the hops and added spices from becomming bitey or harsh.

Finishes with a long lingering taste of fruitcake, citrus, pine, and sweet rum-like alcohols.

This beer has the perfect delicate blend of malts and spices for great balance and complexity. This is my pick of the litter for Christmas Ales this year.

 1,472 characters

Photo of redresonatedragon
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a smooth gem of a winter brew. At first glance the low ABV, and subtle smell don’t hint me with that warm darkness, but Deshutes seems to excel at how everything mingles on the palate. A dark cherry, creamy caramel with some tight mousse bubbles. The richness on the back of the tongue is wonderful, flavor moving toward an abbey dubble, and it’s sessionable!

 371 characters

Photo of gwfrankpsu
4.94/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A gift from the Gods - This is an incredible, complex beer - saving some for my wedding. If you can find it call me.

117 characters

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Yesac
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Brownish amber color. Light tan/white color head that fades quickly to a thin layer.

S- Caramel malt, spice

T- Very sweet caramel. Molasses and pine.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D- Spicy and malty. Not the worst but could be better. The ABV is fairly well hidden.

 283 characters

Photo of arkansastroy
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Khazadum
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Little bit beyond its best by date of my birthday.

A- Huge creamy tan head. The color of just barely toasted bread... biscuits undercooked but getting there. Great retention. Laces full circle and fried egg edging thickness and stickiness, almost perfect. Murky amber body with expected streams from the base of carbonation.

S- Sharp spicy notes. Some cinnamon like hits. Citrus and orange rind stabs forth. Gentle sweetness on the back hits with light biscuit malt.

T- Not as subtle and put together as the nose. First hits are the sharpness of a faint citrus and rind combination, bit of spice to it, nothing strong enough to stand out. Secondarily is the expected sweetness. The malt backbone is actually really faint for a winter warmer. I feel it is a bit strong of hop, and not exactly the best kind. All bitter, very few complementing characteristics. Some other middle hits are a biscuit dryness and some subtle dark fruit... plum? Dates? Nothing major.

It has the bitterness of fruit skins that fade out as the hops start to develop. I really do enjoy the bitterness of rind complementing the hops finish that has a relatively mild center and chewy edge of bitter notes. Pretty much the only saving grace.

M- Mild bodied, almost thin and watery. Strong stickiness of the hops. Low carbonation, only crisp on the very finish before it slithers away to the nether regions. I find it in places that I really really did not want to lick up.

D- Definitely not impressed. It was a fine tick, but I definitely will never seek this out again. It was a challenge for the last quarter of my glass to go down. I had to let my palate revive itself from the final drinks. Before that though, went through it pretty much like most unassuming, average brews.

 1,761 characters

Photo of claytong
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Pelican5
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of majorbase2
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of amvrana
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of jmills3
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Reef
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.

 306 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gueuzedude for the sample.
Aroma presents with some really nice rich malt tones. Also possesses good fruitiness, adequate sweetness and bits of alcohol.
Wonderful deep amber with mahogany and brown. Solid one inch tan head that's quite firm.
Good mix of experiences in the taste. Sweetness in the beginning, dryness at the finish. Darker fruits and a nicely balanced bitterness and flavor from the hops (spice, pine and flowery), which show a strong presence, but aren't excessive.
Good softness and same with smoothness. Medium to heavy feel. Seems to thin as warms.
I wouldn't call this a big beer, but it's rich and flavorful. Very good for cold nights. Well done.

 682 characters

Photo of masikon
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decided to try this after seeing the high reviews, it is highly available here in WA state and seems to be the winter warmer of choice alongside Pyramid Snowcap. Poured a very unusual and quite beautiful shade of ruby or perhaps garnet, quite striking visually which i was not really expecting. Taste was earthy and balanced with strong suggestions of woodspice and heavy herbal notes. Impressive job from Deshutes to accomplish all those classic Winter Warmer spicy flavors without actually spicing the brew. Overall a brew deserving high praise, although not my personal favorite style I am still able to appreciate this effort from deschutes.

 645 characters

Photo of Morey
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Sexy looking winter ale with a pillow(y) beige head that initially stood around 2 finger tall. Holding this beer to the light, reveals a beautiful red color, and brilliant clarity. The head hangs around and lacing is clinging to the glass.

Aroma: Subtle for a winter ale... Caramel Malts, Plum Skin, faint Chocolate and Nutty smells as well.

Taste: Slight hop bitterness right up front followed closely by suggestions of dark fruits and chocolate malts. Well balanced with a mild sweetness about mid-pallet. The finish is on the dryer side.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied winter ale with moderate carbonation.

Morey's Bottom Line: A good winter ale. If you're looking for something that's not highly spiced, but still speaks "winter"...this beer is for you. A nice change of pace within a style that sometimes gets a bit repetitive. Merry Christmas!

 861 characters

Jubelale from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2881 ratings