Winter Warmer | Lancaster Brewing Company

very good
168 Reviews
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Winter WarmerWinter Warmer

Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by NeroFiddled on 11-10-2003

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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 385
Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out as a deep red color with a tan colored head on top. The lacing was minimal here. The smell of the beer has some spicy notes and a sweet malty aroma also. The taste of the beer has a caramel flavor followed up by somw of the warming spices. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy feeling and had a medium body. Overall this beer isn't too bad, I'd try it again if I say it on a menu somewhere.

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Photo of brentk56
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet brown color with a rocky beige head that quickly drops to a ringlet and fails to leave much lacing

Smell: Caramel aromatics, with undertones of chocolate, apple, pear and leather

Taste: Starts with a nice caramel malt flavor that comes with a bit of apple, pear and fruitcake tones; becomes quite fruity (in a sweet rather than bitter way) and somewhat chocolatey after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very complex, with nice fruity, caramel and chocolate tones that are quite different; enjoyable and unique

Thanks, tubdog13 and BerBen, for the chance to revisit

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this op tap at the Drafting Room in Spring House last night,a very nice deep amber pour with a almost creamy- like head that left some lacing.Aroma was of sweet malt with some fruity estures and warming alcohol,taste is carammely sweet with some malty bread tones along with some burned fruit and alcohol notes.A power packed beer full of different flavors and very warming,a real nice beer.

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Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle has been sitting in the back of my fridge for a while, taunting me for a long time, and finally I decided to pull it out. This one thanks to Noslenwerd.

It pours with a nice 1 finger thick and fluffy head that fades slowly over a very dark molasses brown color.

The nose comes with some nice subtlety. It has that definite aged aroma to it. Some nice dark malts, a little caramel, syrup, touch of roast, some creaminess, a little dark fruit, and even a slight chocolate aroma. All that comes with that aged feel that fits right in with a good old ale.

Taste starts very creamy and rich, almost nitro like on the feel and creaminess, but not quite there. It has some dark malts again, a little roast and more chocolate, then some sweetness with a little caramel and touch of brown sugar. Also comes a touch of booze taste as well as warmth. Again a slight aged taste, but not quite as much as the nose brought. No winter spices that most winter beers have either, which I think is great!

The mouth is creamy and lush, medium to slightly thicker body with lower but decent carbonation.

It finishes still slightly sweet with a touch of dryness, with more of the creamy feel and taste, bringing more malts with a touch of chocolate and aged malts. I also start to get a hint of a bitterness too.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This sturdy winter offering is solid in every way, starting with its exceptionally deep mahogany body. It's clear with a reddish cast, and reveals ruby highlights when held to the light; and its creamy light tan head slowly dwindles to a collar but leaves some nice, spotty lace. The nose delivers a caramelish malt with some fruit; and its creamy and smooth in the mouth with a firm body and very fine, restrained carbonation. The flavor delivers a rich, caramel malt center wrapped in berry-like fruit and tempered by a solid bitterness. It's just slightly vinous with it's alcohol lending something to its fruit; and there's a cusp of chocolate that combines with its bitterness to take on an almost roasty edge. Yet, it's clean and very well-balanced all around! Quite nice! A tasty treat that shouldn't be missed if you're in the area.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark cherry with generous orange highlights when backlit with morning sunshine. The slim crown of golden beige foam isn't bad, but it's on the crackly and unsticky side. It's gone within minutes and leaves little lace. I've seen better.

The aroma features steely caramel (not quite metallic) and medium-dark fruit. Considering the appearance and the lack of aerosolization, there may be carbonation issues. There's potential here for the flavor to be anything from average to pretty good. Let's find out.

I'll go with pretty good to good. There are, however, definite issues regarding mouthfeel and carbonation (more below). Winter Warmer is old ale-like, although it's also reminiscent of a Belgian dark ale. That's odd, because I'm pretty sure Lancaster doesn't use Belgian yeast. Must be the dark fruitiness.

The flavor profile consists of dark toffee, figs and plums soaked in a small splash of dark rum, bruised bananas and a sprinkling of indeterminate spice. Perhaps the added spices (assuming they're actually present) are mimicing Belgian yeast. This is good beer that deserves a much better mouthfeel. Speaking of which...

This could be an older bottle and the body has begun to break down, but that's doubtful. Old ales of this ABV should age well for several years at least. The beer is on the thin side and lacks the chewy creaminess that would put it over the top.

Either this is a less than representative bottle of Winter Warmer or the brewers need to go back to the drawing board (mouthfeel only). I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's the former. I'd love to give this one another go round one of these days.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap a couple days ago at the brewery. Served cool in an imperial pint.
A - A deep walnut brown w/ a small light tan head that contains a super-fine bead. The lace the head leaves collects in a film on the glass.

S - Malty, boozy aroma w/ light nuttiness in the nose along w/ gentle hints of smoke. There is a kind of peaty, slightly scottish yeast note in the smell.

M - A full, chewy malty feel w/ a slightly boozy texture and full carbonation.

T - Dry nutty full dark malt w/ scotch ale type fullness. Nutty w/ a hint of peaty smoked flavor. Slightly sugary and brown malt taste w/ a gentle pine hop note.

D - Very good, full flavor and above average w/ plenty of malt to keep your sweet tooth satisfied. A nice winter ale from Lancaster.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer arrives with a thick, foamy tan head that, much like many of LNC BC's offerings, just dissipates much too quickly. It has a very malty nose with much evidence of an underlying alcohol content. As it warmed, it begins to give off a smell of carmel and/or candi sugar. The color is a deep reddish-brown bordering on mahogany. The mouthfeel is very thick, as well as being intensely sweet as well as noticably hot. The finish is where it really stands out. This is an extremely complex beer for LNC BC, displaying notes of sherry, dark chocolate, and cherries. Very tasty!

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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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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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Photo of jwc215
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear light to medium brown with a thin head that immediately becomes a disappearing patch.

The smell is caramelish and nutty. Slightly fruity, with a touch of alcohol.

The taste is of lightly spiced dark fruits - figs and dates. It's malty and sweet with a touch of estery alcohol.

Medium-bodied, it has something rather astringent about it.

A sipper due to noticeable alcohol and slight astringency. Well- it's a winter warmer for sure, but aroma and flavor don't seem to reach their potential fullness.

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Photo of Gavage
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear reddish brown color. Super thick 3" fluffy tan head that lasts a long time. Nice lacing develops through the drink.

Smell: basic caramel and some floral hop bitterness.

Taste: this brew has a nice malty tone, with caramel, toffee, a hint of sweet chocolate, and just the right amount of bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start. Finish is more smooth, and the aftertaste is relatively short on malt and caramel tones. Between medium and heavy in body.

Drinkability: I found this beer to be very fresh, tasty, and easy drinking. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of WesWes
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It is sweet, malty, and dry. The taste is good. It is rich and malty with a slight liquorice flavor to it. It goes down easy and finishes dry. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent winter brew. It has good flavor and mouthfeel. This is a good sessions brew.

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Photo of tone77
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a small head. Smell is of malts and caramel, slightly sweet. Taste is also of malts and caramel along with alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a decent beer but nothing great.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice little creamy tannish head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is mostly malts, slight hop, slight spice's, toffee, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, with lots and lots of toffee/caramel. The alcohol is hidden very well in this brew. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew. Thanks Joe.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lancaster Winter Warmer

Appearance: Pours dark brown with amber hues, appears unfiltered. Topped with a light tan bubbly head.

Smell: Doughy, malty, bready nose with spice undertones. Chocolate comes through as it warms.

Taste: A rich and flavorful brew. Dark fruits (raisin, plum, date) are easily identified. There is a strong complimentary roasted malt presence. Alcohol arrives next but is cut by the roasted malt flavor. Faint spices emerge in the finish but are well in the background and only contribute a small dryness and pinch of pepper, allspice and nutmeg. Certainly fits the style of an Old Ale or Winter Warmer.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, carbonation at medium/low but prickly on the feel.

Overall: A solid winter offering from Lancaster. Well rounded flavors, spice is used appropriately, and suited to warm the insides during the coldest part of the year.

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

Picked up a marked down bottle from last year. We won't question why last year's winter seasonals are just being marked down now at this unnamed store.

Dark, but clear mahogany cola color with light cherry tones. Quickly receding tan head with dots of lacing. Aroma is rich with sweet dark fruits, caramel, alcohol, and light floral notes. Body is thick and smooth with minimal carbonation (which is a nice complement to this style and the flavors of this beer). Flavor is very malty and fruity. Caramel, brown sugar sweetness with dark fruits like plum, raisin and figs plus some mild chocolate notes. This beer has aged well and is a very nice winter seasonal, I'll be picking up more these this winter.

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Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark mahogany brown with a clumpy beige head that slowly fades. Scattered lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is of of delicious raisin bread doused with brown sugar, molasses, caramel, nuts, and some anise.
Taste is of the same delicious aromas.
Mouthfeel is smooth, rich, sugary, sweet, slightly tannic. Mild amounts of hops and spice stand out in this bready brew. Also, slightly warming and addictive.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark burgundy-ruby red color, with an off tan head.

S: some fresh coffee, dried fruit (raisins) and dark roasted aromatics with a bit of alcohol.

T: For flavor there was a nice breadiness, dark roasted malt and dried raisins.

M: medium-full and lightly carbonated with dry spicing(nutmeg) on the tongue.

D: Good drinkability, rich malt and chocolate flavor with the abv fairly well hidden making for good winter drink.

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Photo of jzeilinger
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark chestnut burgundy color with a thin, but consistent creamy layer of caramel colored siky foam.

S - Figs, prunes, raisons, mild roasted caramel and chocolate. Decent but a little weak for a beer of this magnitude.

T - A little nutty but mostly dark fruit - figs, prunes, raisons, sweet roasted caramel finish is unobtrusive and leaves a moderate coating of dark fruit on the palate with a light pine bittering. However, kudos to the brewer for doing a nice job of hiding the alcohol which also makes this a little dangerous since it can't be detected and it will creep up on you pretty fast if you're not careful.

M - Very light medium body and way too thin for a winter warmer.

O - The ABV is there for a Winter Warmer but too wimpy on the flavor and mouthfeel for my liking.

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Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pint glass served that the Harrisburg location.

A: The ale is dark, a bold brown-red color that is fairly dark and only reveals the lighter colors up close. A small head insulated the ale and that quickly disappeared.

S: The nose was strong, full of dark fruits (raisins, dates) and caramel/toffee malts. The strength of the beer is difficult to ignore.

T: A sip reveals a strong warming taste. The alcohol strength does its job, adding hints of heat throughout the sip. Dark alefruits create a full-bodied flavor that doesn't carry a great deal of weight. The maltiness adds a bready element to the fruits, drying them out.

M: This is my kind of winter warmer! It warms without the overblown cinnamon, nutmeg and clove that many brewers fancy this time of year.

D: The alcohol is noticeable throughout, so this is no poundin' beer. It did nicely accompany my crabcake dinner though.

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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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Photo of DrDemento456
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer has been on my personal tick list for a while. Cool to find it at my local shop!

A - Deep brow amber hue, clear in color with a half inch of creamy white head that slowly turns to a ring of lace.

S - Roasted malt, caramel sweetness, mild booze, slight hop presence yet smells really boozy.

T - Wow it taste heavy with the booze which caught me off guard. Not really balanced the sweetness and hops round the flavor out with a warming feeling. No spices were evident and after the ABV gets settled on the palate all flavors just mash with a caramel finish. Kind of blah like boring.

M - Very heavy, in fact if you were drinking beers 5-7 ABV then this you would almost gag since they don't cover the ABV very well.

D - Well it was cool to try and really wanted something like great divides Hibernation ale but got a heavy old ale. Will not buy again.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer #4 from my friends at FSRI. Served in a standard pint glass. Poured reddish-brown with ruby highlights around the edges. One inch tight, off-white head that eventually receded into a thin consistent cap. Some strands of lacing present during the tasting. Nose was malty, with dark fruit and cocoa. Taste follows nose, but also a little boozy. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and carbonation was a little prickly. Easy drinking and flavorful. Alcohol is present, but not overpoweringly so.

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Photo of Suds
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown color, with a thin, wispy tan head. Alcohol and roasted malt aroma, with a background of wood, ripe fruit, and spice. The flavor is of molasses, brown sugar, and scorched malt. Alcohol warming kicks in pretty early. There’s not a lot of hops in this brew. Instead, it relies on the alcohol and roasted flavors for balance. A little sweet in the front, but not overly so. It’s fairly full in body, with moderately-low carbonation. This would warm me on a winter night.

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Winter Warmer from Lancaster Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 385 ratings.
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