Winter Warmer
Lancaster Brewing Company

Winter WarmerWinter Warmer
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English Old Ale
Ranked #128
Ranked #29,890
3.77 | pDev: 12.2%
Lancaster Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer
Notes: Our classic Olde Ale delivers a complex malt flavor and blend of British and American hops. True to its name, this beer finishes with a nice warming alcohol flavor.
Reviews: 175 | Ratings: 401 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EMV
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Lagunitas mason glass

L: Nearly clear copper brown pour with 2-3 fingers of foamy off-white head. Great lacing. Beautiful beer.

S: Caramel and malts. Sweet, nutty, and toasted grains.

T.F: Sweet! Caramel and malt sweetness up front. Not enough balance... good toasted sugars and grains. Earthy hops with a bit of pine. Again... unbalanced and the sweetness was a bit offputting. Medium bodied. Sweet candy finish.

O: An ok warmer... too sweet by far but they do get a number of the flavors right. If you enjoy things on the sweet end of the spectrum this would probably be the brew for you.

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EMV from Pennsylvania, Jan 16, 2020
Photo of rudiecantfail
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can poured into a tulip glass.

L---Medium brown color, with an orange tint when backlit. Medium tan head with not much retention and good lacing.

S---Cherry, molasses, caramel. not a whole lot going on, but enough.

T---Sweet & malty as hell. Molasses from the nose carries through, not so much any fruitiness. Some caramel. a slight medicinal note.

F---Meaty & rich. Nothing light about this one, as the ABV would indicate. None of the promised alcohol is apparent.

O---On ok offering for my first foray into the style. Oh well, at least it's 8.9%, so there's that.

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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania, Jan 18, 2019
Photo of dacrza1
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

DATE: January 3, 2018... OCCASION: Thursday on a short week--can't beat that... GLASSWARE: Mad Elf snifter... pours a dark purplish body rife with barnacles of bubbles... its head is a brief surf of off-white rush that settles to a nondescript pencil-thin rim... deep plum and berry are released early, with hints of boozy bourbon wood and thick roasted malts... syrupy thick, moderately lively, intensely warming, and mildly alcoholic... it's agreeable enough to mask its weight... a woody pulp pervades, with cherry, vanilla, rum, and medicinal varnish... caramel comes late... this is bold, biting with its heft and malt... Lancaster runs out a reasonable example of this style, though its flavor profile is not as diverse as some better offerings...

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dacrza1 from New Jersey, Jan 04, 2019
Photo of PA-hunter
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 8.9% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark brown/mahogany. Lofty light tan head that hangs around. Opaque.

Smell- Caramel. barley, molasses.

Taste- Very sweet up front. Loads of caramel, toffee, and a light hint of chocolate. Nutty as well. Some spice on the back end, just a little bit of brown sugar and clove. Finishes dry and nutty.

Mouthfeel- Heavy in body with active carbonation.

Overall- A touch too sweet. Lots of flavor which helps to balance out the sweetness some. Still classic to the Winter warmer style, made for sipping.

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PA-hunter from Pennsylvania, Feb 10, 2018
Photo of Vetbidder
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice murky brown red tinged look with a thin tan head. Malt (caramel) nose with a slight dark fruit edge. I can almost scent some bitter dark chocolate in there somewhere also. Much like a doppel with some bitterness and lacking the sweetness many of these bock type beers have. Fuller flavor than I would have thought. I think I may like this a bit more than most. Not watery but not as thick as I had originally thought. The hop bitterness actually evens this beer out. Not bad. Thanks to my buddy Marty for this beer.

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Vetbidder from Pennsylvania, Jan 01, 2018
Photo of OldManDan
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

True to its style. Dark look, yet almost see through in a snifter. Good head, but doesn't linger. Malty smell with little lingering aftertaste. Good beer. Would drink again!

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OldManDan from Pennsylvania, Dec 01, 2017
Photo of nick_perry
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of toasted bread, brown sugar, and molasses. Minimal head on the pour, fair amount of carbonation. Notes of spice and roasted malt, although some hops sneak in. Slightly dry on the finish, lingering mouthfeel and taste.

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nick_perry from North Carolina, Mar 11, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
2.55/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.5

On tap at blend.
Aroma: barley. Brown ale.
Appearance: black. Little white head.
Taste: weak caramel, veggie.Feel is very very flat.

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q33jeff from New Jersey, Apr 10, 2016
Photo of lastmango
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with a reddish hue. Two finger tan head that dissipated to a film but remained. Heavy lacing. Mild aroma of figs and malt. Initial taste of big sweet malt and figs. Moderate carbonation and body with an oily feel.

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lastmango from Pennsylvania, Apr 03, 2016
Photo of ajm5108
2.85/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby with impressive foam head, strong retention. Aroma is flat, mostly pale malt and stale hop, with just a dissapointing hint of that welcoming old ale sweet malt. Flavor does a little better bring out the caramel malt, and there are smatterings of raisin, dark fruit and toffee (the classic old ale notes) but they are faded and flat. Finishes with a mildy strong phenol / fusel alcohol, which isn't blended very well with the rest of the beer. Finishes with a lasting alcohol note. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Overall a middling beer but it has some good qualities.

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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Feb 25, 2016
Photo of dbl_delta
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Straight out of an undated bottle. Initial impression is malt, rum, dark fruit, faint earthy hops way way way in the background. Light carbonation; medium mouthfeel. Finish is slightly bitter/chemical. All in all, a decent but not outstanding brew. HOWEVER....
This brew supports the Wolf Sanctuary of PA. A worthy cause, and worthy of support. I've been there, and those people do good work. Try ONE of Lancaster's Winter Warmers (if nothing else, to add it to your list), but condsider supporting the Wolf Sanctuary directly.
And, if you get a chance, visit them. The sound of twenty or more wolves howling at dusk is enough to raise the hair on your neck. Seriously cool stuff.
Check out their web site -

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dbl_delta from Pennsylvania, Feb 19, 2016
Photo of justintcoons
2.56/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip.

Deep chestnut brown with dark ruby highlights. 1 finger of off-white head with good retention.

Molasses and caramel cubes.

Molasses, toffee, and caramel. Light earthy roastiness. Residual sugars stick around with warming alcohol. Subtle crushed Aspirin bitterness.

Medium bodied, crisp, and oily with a medium bitterness.

Sugary and sticky with an Aspirin bitterness. Meh.

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justintcoons from Pennsylvania, Jan 15, 2016
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass: color is brown, with amber edges; head is light tan presents thin then dissipates to ring, no lacing.

Smell is mild fig/raisin, then licorice, light roasted malt, mild fresh hops.

Taste is a malt bomb of deep flavors, mainly figs, raisin, light licorice and roast; hops are earthy, grassy and not overly pronounced in the flavor. Reminds of some deep malty doppelbocks, this is a sipper.

Mouthfeel enhances with warmth, plesant lingering sweetness and enough hop bitterness to not leave a cloying presence. Carbonation is moderate, allowing the flavors to present well.

Overall, this is huge malty beer that gets better with just a bit of warming, the sharpness of the large malt bill settles some and the flavors begin to meld with mouthfeel.

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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania, Jan 11, 2016
Photo of delta490
3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep cloudy brown with a thin, relatively fizzy tan head. The aroma is very mild, but still offers a small amount of dark fruit and burnt sugar. But as is warms, those qualities disappear. The taste is a little bit more robust with a bit of earthy hops as well. The body is a little thin and a little too carbonated.

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delta490 from Virginia, Jan 02, 2016
Photo of Ksmoove27
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - dark brown/red... light brown one finger head...a circle lacing throughout

Aroma - raisins, fig

Taste - raisins, fig cherry clove...floral and herbal hops

Feel - a lot of smokiness...could medium to heavy body as would be expected in a winter warmer...masks the alcohol well.

Overall - I was pleasantly surprised...I am not a big fan of the clove flavor but as for the rest in had a nice dank dark fruit flavor with the hint of cherry...nice for a cold winter night.

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Ksmoove27 from Pennsylvania, Dec 30, 2015
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The taste is raisin, rum, slight oak, pumpernickel bread, and dark cherry. This definitely tastes a bit like a dubbel, yet I still get old ale. Complex and dangerously drinkable. This may be my favorite from the brewery.

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tigg924 from Massachusetts, Feb 02, 2015
Photo of Jeffreysan
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Malty and bready up front, with notes of freshly baked dark bread. Some spice notes as well, specifically clove, black pepper and brown sugar.

Taste: Roasted malt and notes of freshly baked dark bread, followed by some brown sugar-like sweetness and some surprising licorice flavors (surprising in that I didn’t get any hints of that in the aroma). No hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with no carbonation to speak of. With an ABV of 8.9%, I’m surprised that there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty decent beer, but not great. Some good malt flavors, but a little too much licorice for my liking. However, because a portion of the proceeds of this beer goes to charity, specifically, the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, I’ll get a few more bottles of it to support that charity.

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Jeffreysan from Maryland, Jan 26, 2015
Photo of KWrightVT
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter glass. Color is very dark brown/almost black, but when held up to bright light, it shows a deep ruby, cloudy red color. Deep tan head, with little lacing. Aroma is a blend of caramel, chocolate, and some spices like cloves I believe. Taste hits with a good balance of hops and malt. The malt comes through slightly over the hops, with good heavy caramel and a slight chocolate flavor. Slight spice flavor in the background without overpowering. Crisp mouthfeel. Well balanced and pretty smooth for a warmer with a decent kick.

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KWrightVT from Virginia, Jan 04, 2015
Photo of JPowell712
4.9/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

For me this was the perfect example of a winter warmer ale. The taste is bold and warming. The subtle booziness doesn't overpower the flavor but you can feel it's there! The dark color gives way to a perfect blend of spices and smoky flavors. This may be one of my all time favorites!

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JPowell712 from Pennsylvania, Dec 29, 2014
Photo of microbrewlover
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a dark brown with some red highlights when held up to the light. It has a fluffy, off white, two finger mocha head with heavy lacing on the glass; some of the head remains on the top and as a collar.

The smell is thick malts and bitter hops. Some nuts and dried fruit.

The taste is malty and hoppy, everything blends together well but I had to knock off a few points for the heavy alcohol, (boozy) taste that leaks through; it is too much for me. If that is your thing though, then give this a try.

The feel is actually a little creamy; the beer goes down smoothly.

Overall, this is a nice brew where the malts and hops are well blended but there is too much alcohol taste leaking through for my liking but if you like that sort of thing then give this a try.

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microbrewlover from Pennsylvania, Dec 21, 2014
Photo of KTCamm
3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12/14...very dark brown, red tints, light sneaks through. No foam. Malty cola nose, breads, caramel, light fruit. Tasteis a chewy fruit, quite boozy, light bitter. Astringent mouthfeel.

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KTCamm from New Jersey, Dec 15, 2014
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Dark roasted malts offer up a nearly opaque mahogany brown ruby highlighted body beige khaki head forms smooth carbonation fine bubbles are evident.

Aroma has plum and raisins off the bat I'm met with dark fruit and smooth mellow warming alcohol with some perceived sweetness from the caramelized sugars.

Flavor nutty earthy roasted malts English in nature they say this is done in an old ale style, well guess what? It's working dark fruit plum vinous fruit and raisins, really stick to the palate slightly salty umami sense in the finish I'm pleasured to be drinking this fine beer from Lancaster Brewing.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied smooth finish no alcohol burn whatsoever this is poetry in motion big malts and balanced hop character a bit of earthiness maybe that's it even though there's English and American hops.

Overall, supreme drink for the winter go search it out if it's available in your area...most definitely the best offering I've ever had from Lancaster this is world class for me!

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WVbeergeek from West Virginia, Nov 27, 2014
Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I got this on tap, poured into a standard pint glass:

Appearance: A dark, almost violet color (although the light in the establishment may have had something to do with this), with a weak off-white head and minimal lacing.

Aroma: Sultry citrus notes mixed with a kind of woody overall cast to it.

Taste: Berry flavors dominate with some malty background tones, plus some sweetness on the finish. Aftertaste is a bit on the pungent side, not the best.

Mouthfeel: Kind of watery, thin, with minimal carbonation and not much kick.

Overall: This is an acceptable beer. When I first tasted it, I had to pause, because I couldn't quite put my finger on whether I liked it or not. By the end, I decided it was pretty much a miss. It's not totally a lost cause, but I wouldn't race back for another one. I will say, however, that I stepped outside about half-way through the drink to have a quick smoke, and it was freezing out there. I came in a couple minutes later, and I don't know--maybe it was the cold--but the beer tasted better to me, at least for the first couple minutes after I sat down.

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Doctor_Bogenbroom from Pennsylvania, Nov 21, 2014
Photo of ChuckMartel37
2.36/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle, into a glass.

I'm afraid to say that the appearance of this beer is the best thing about it. And the soundtrack of Chicago blues that I'm playing in the background, but admittedly, that has nothing to do with this beer.

It smells a bit boozy with dried fruit and plum. I get the "boozy" part now because I just realized it's nearly 9%. It has the ubiquitous caramel/molasses/sugary smell of heavy winter beers.

No. I might be the only person on here that dislikes this beer, but it was a miss for me. It was too metallic for my liking, and the dried fruit smell was more sour than I expected. It did improve as it got warmer, but still, there are so many other winter beers to choose from.

The moutfeel was metalicious, which is a word I just made up. And if you read the preceding paragraph, you'd know that it was a bit sour - and therefore a bit tart in the talkhole.

Again, this didn't hit the mark for me. In a world with so many holiday or winter beers to be had, this one would get a lump of coal from me. Go have the Lancaster Milk Stout instead. You'll be glad you did.


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ChuckMartel37 from Pennsylvania, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

The beer off the pour looks great. But the flavor profile is way, way too malty sweet. No balance whatsoever. Some people might dig this interpretation of the style, but I can't say that I really do. It just doesn't work for me. And I personally don't think it fits to style. Too sweet with not enough accent to keep it interesting. I suppose you could age it to see what happens.

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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania, Mar 27, 2013
Winter Warmer from Lancaster Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 401 ratings