Deschutes Brewery

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Winter Warmer
Ranked #10
Ranked #11,420
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: 989 | Ratings: 2,944 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

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.

Oct 23, 2006
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 0.355l brown bottle. No freshness date. Festive label.

Appearance: A garnet coloured beer, capped by a beige head, about two fingers thick, multiple bubble sizes, foamy and with a hell of a lot of stick on the glass and great retention. A lovely creamy lace if left behind, for the remainder of the beer's life.

Smell: Soft fruity aroma, fresh apple skin, touch of pear. Touch of toffee from the malts, faint hint of all-spice.

Taste & Mouthfeel: A medium-bodied brew a bit robust. Dry. A defining and unique fruity characters of apples, pear, over-ripe mellon, fig with a bitter citric end. Coarse hop feel on the palate, a bit leafy and dry with gently herbal spice. Malt flavours contain just enough rich and bold sweetness to balance with a touch of chicory, earth and toffee. Slight bubble-gum flavour tucked beneath. Alcohol becomes more pronounced and noticeable as the beer warms, lends some spice. Finish brings more dryness with residual chicory and leafy hop flavours.

Notes & Drinkability: One of the better winter brews to meet my palate. I could drink this all winter. Complex, balanced and hands down tasty. Definitely puts you in a festive mood.

Nov 28, 2002
More User Reviews:
Photo of ApolloXII
ApolloXII from Washington

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.

Nov 08, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

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.


Oct 21, 2015
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

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!

Oct 27, 2017
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DaneBramage from Illinois

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.

Jan 01, 2016
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT from Ohio

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.

Nov 12, 2003
Photo of mlockman
mlockman from Indiana

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.

Dec 08, 2015
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

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.

Dec 28, 2008
Photo of redresonatedragon
redresonatedragon from Washington

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!

Nov 15, 2018
Photo of gwfrankpsu
gwfrankpsu from California

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.

Sep 07, 2001
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth from Maryland

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Yesac
Yesac from Georgia

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.

Dec 04, 2009
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arkansastroy from Arkansas

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Feb 17, 2012
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Khazadum from Illinois

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.

Mar 03, 2011
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claytong from Vermont

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Dec 15, 2011
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Pelican5 from California

3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

May 16, 2013
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leprechaunandfatman from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

Nov 10, 2014
Photo of majorbase2
majorbase2 from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Dec 14, 2013
Photo of amvrana
amvrana from Texas

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Dec 04, 2014
Photo of jmills3
jmills3 from Texas

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

Oct 16, 2015
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
Photo of Trboley
Trboley from Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 02, 2020
Photo of bwh769

3.19/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dec 24, 2019
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garymuchow from Minnesota

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.

Nov 30, 2004
Jubelale from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2944 ratings