Winter Warmer | Lancaster Brewing Company

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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: 169 | Ratings: 386
Photo of DocBrewroo
4.75/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Medium head, fairly dark color and a medium to full body. On the nose, I get sticky, caramelized fruit a rich underlying maltiness – not much of that 9% alcohol on the nose.

Full fruit forward flavors and a warming alcohol are immediately evident and perfect for a cold winter’s night. The finish is rich with a lingering roasted and almost smoky nut flavor.

I can’t stand winter beers with spices and crap in them. This is just a big, bold winter brew and I love it

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Photo of WissBrauSean
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a beautifully clear red mohagany with a fine tan head that is slightly clingy and has some attractive lacing for how thin it is. It dissipates and stays a nice thin ring around the glass with a small Friar Tuck cap in the center.

I opened this bottle at 45 degrees. I instantly from the bottle smelled alcohol. It is to be expected. The most noticeable aroma was of the malts and slight yeast. As the beer warms up some others join the party like figs and maybe banana. The alcohol is mildly noticeable in the aroma and if there are any hops they are barely noticeable.

Sweet malts carry you throughout the sip and along the way you will get some roasted malt flavours, a bit of figs, maybe some cherry, you will definitely taste caramel nearing the end as well as a nice hazelnut type flavour. At the very end of the drink there is only the mildest of hop character, just enough to make you thirsty for another sip! I do taste alcohol on my breath after the sip is over. It's not unappealing, just noticeable.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly medium. It's sweet and smooth, but not as heavy as I would think. The carbonation is light, thankfully. And the beer eventually finishes a little dry and peppery with faint hops. It's pretty much overly sweet and not balanced well, but that is a description of the style now isn't it?

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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 Ryanm1
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle to a 12oz globe. Shows a dark brown to black hue depending on the light. Large amount of brown lacing when pour vigorously. Dissipates quickly. Sweet nectar smelling. Molasses. The dark pour emanates the dark fruit odor, such as candied raisins. Chocolate and Car Bitter on the tounge intially finishes smooth with very little aftetaste. Slightly malty. Packs a punch at 8.9% abv.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith Tulip-Pint. Been bummed by most of the Lancaster brews I've had in bottles, but figured I'd give this a chance. I tend to like the style and the bottle said proceeds went toward the PA Wolf Sanctuary. Cool. Still, seems a little ridiculous that they're still having Lion Brewery contract all their bottles, especially for the prices they want.

Appearance: Deep, dark red/brown with slight clarity. Poured a nice tan head, but it dissipated quite quickly. Leaves a pretty regular lacing.

Smell: Alcohol, dark dried fruits, and this weird artificial seeming sweetness I've picked up from all of their bottles except maybe the Milk Stout.

Taste: Surprisingly pretty good. Roasty malt flavor follows a sweet dried fruit flavor into a little bit of spice. Light amount of hops evidence toward the end. Nothing amazing, but not bad. The same sweet/copper flavor I've picked up on the end of most of their bottles is still there, but it works well to kill the alcohol here. Little alcohol evident for the ABV.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body ale with lighter carbonation. The most enjoyable part of the beer.

This is probably the best bottled beer I've had from Lancaster, and only one of two I'd recommend at all. (The other is their Milk Stout, which is passable.)

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with one finger of off-white foamy head with ok retention.

The scent is of dark fruits, plums, raisins, and dates. There is also a bready and caramel malt presence, notes of spices as well.

The taste is also of plum, raisin, and dates, caramel malt, some spicy alcohol is present.

Full body, smooth and chewy feel, moderate carbonation.

This was a really nice complex beer, I would drink this again.

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Photo of GiantMidget
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought at a Wegmans in King of Prussia PA.
I live near Lancaster brewery and intend to get out there sometime soon.

Poured into a 12 oz tulip glass.
Little to no head.
Looks like a Dr. Pepper, even has the slight scent of it as well.
Although one that is heavily spiked with alcohol.
I notice scents of licorice, fruitiness (raisins/plums) and maybe clove.

These flavors also fill the mouth upon the first few sips. The alcohol taste is very present, I wish they had masked it better. But the combination of all of the other flavors do an OK job of making it worthwhile to drink.
Definitely a sipper, not a session beer IMO.

It has a good full bodied but not overly carbonated mouthfeel, and holding it in does allow a full chance to feel the flavors.
A good 'cold night by the fireplace' beer.

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Photo of jifigz
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

The appearance of this beer is a rich dark and malty looking brown color with slight reddish hues coming through as well when held up to the light. The head was very effervescent and disappeared almost instantly. The aroma is of alcohol, dark dried fruit like raisins and plums, a slightly spicy candy like sweetness. There is also something that seems a touch watery in the aroma. The flavor is nice. It is richer and creamier than the aroma led me to believe. The flavor begins with a deep and roasted sugar candy type flavor. Not deep and roasted like stouts/porters, but in rich and tantalizing raisin flavor. The taste is pretty much one dimensional the whole way through, but it is rather delicious. There is just a touch of bitterness riding the tail of this one. The MF is thick and viscous, bold and creamy with a good texture in the mouth. It feels great for a winter warmer and I think that this is the beer's greatest strength.

This is a pretty decent ale, but it isn't all that complex. It is straightforward and very easy to enjoy.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - pours a deep mahogany brown color with a thick 3 fingers worth of tan foam on top. the foam slowly dissipates to a ring around the edge.

S - the nose is rich and deep. Strong notes of dark and dried fruit such as plums, figs, dates and raisins. The dark bready backdrop adds to the fruit character becoming reminiscent to a fruit cake. Sweet syrupy notes meld with winter-y spices add just a touch more depth to the nose.

T - Dark cake like dough flavors up front with some nutty character and just a hint of sweetness. tremendously juicy dark fruit mostly figs and raisins character in the middle of the pallet. the flavors blend nicely while a hint of alcohol hints at a rum raisin cake/bread. finish is long with a lingering fruit character.

M - Full bodied with a fairly viscous texture. medium carbonation.

O - nice winter warmer. I really like the fruit character but it didn't quite come all together for me.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep ruby color with a one finger off white head. The head faded over a moderate amount of time to leave a decent lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a mix of dark fruit aromas and some caramel with the dark fruit being mainly of a raisin and prune in nature. A light nutty, Christmas spice and boozy aroma round out the sweet aroma and create e nice smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a malty and doughy flavor mixed with a strong raisin and prune flavor. Spice flavors come to the tongue quickly with some of the sweet transitioning from the dark fruit to a more caramel nature. Flavors of spice and some alcohol then start coming to the tongue more toward the middle and the end. A light bitter hoppy flavor also comes to the end and leave a nice warming flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to full side with a carbonation level that is average . This feel is very nice for the lightly boozy, malty, spicy and bitter flavors of the brew, letting all to be detected, but yet keeping any from overwhelming the flavors of the brew.

Overall – A quite delicious and nice warming winter ale. Quite nice.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- dark, deep, burnt red, also probably unfiltered. 1 1/2" tan head, fizzy, almost resembles the head of a cola. Retains at an 1/8." Slight splatters of lacing around the glass.

S- sweet bread, light caramel, raisin, with a dash of a hoppy sting, just to balance it out.

T- Roasty, a little nutty, with a slightly bitter finish hanging on the tongue. Very very subtle warmth of alcohol. Not as apparent as I expect for a near 9% beer. Dark fruit, raisin acidity comes out after it warms up.

M- medium light body, much lighter than I was expecting. Very fine carbonation, making it a smooth drinker.

O- Be patient. The warmer it is, the more flavorful it is. I learned this on my last three gulps. This is a really good beer, sweet, but it has some balance. High in alcohol, but relatively unnoticeable. On a cold winter night, start a fire, pour this beer, relax and take your time with it. And think about the wolves, too.

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Photo of JWU
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

growler pour into my curved pint glass.

A- a beautifully clear dark ruby/brown, with a solid three fingers of dense tan head. Great lacing down the glass.

S- Quite sweet with molasses, dark fruits, and hints of coffe and chocolate.

T- Flavor is much more subdued than the smell would suggest. Alcohol is quite forward and not well hidden. Molasses and dark fruits are there, with a pronounced earthy bitterness on the backend to balance.

M- Heavy, and thick on the palette, with a light carbonation. Almost syrup-like.

O- A very nice brew, I wish they could hide the alcohol a bit better, as it would greatly improve the brew.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ba Review #239
Served On: 11/23/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 8.9%
Date/ Code: 2012 Release

This was from a 6-pack I snagged at A.K.A. Frisco's in Frederick Maryland - just down the road from Flying Dog.

Look: A gorgeous deep ruby red color with a 1-finger fluffy light-tan head. Carbonation level was solid. A very clear brew. Alcohol legs were very apparent. Lacing was minimal.

Smell: First on the nose was a rather strong alcohol sweetness - similar to nail polish remover or lacquer thinner. Then some dark fruits were behind a sharp fusel alcohol. Some faint biscuit came through in the background.

Taste: Mouth-feel was rather heavy for as clear as the beer was. The dark winter fruits hit first with a nutty spice in the middle. Then an alcohol warming sensation coated the back of the mouth and throat. The finish was of dark plum and some ginger mixed with biscuit.

This was a very complex and robust Old Ale. The nose seemed to have a little more burn to it than the palate did. All I can say is – don’t let the harsh aroma scare you off with this one, because everything else about the brew is absolutely wonderful.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A handsome pour. Nice well rounded tight head with great retention. You can smell Cherry, sherry, and toasty prune malts from across the table. More flavors going on the nose like a sweet belgian candi. Full tasting, blasting through my taste buds with a thick, rich, complexity. Very smooth yet very full mouth feel. Creamy, not much bitterness at all. Not much of a fan of these so called "winter" beers, but damn this one is good! High abv is hard to detect as it is 9% alcohol. The toasty, cherry(not cloying) sweetness remains well after the beer is down. I don't know what style this should be(it's no old ale) classified as except the winter is a great time for it, but damn it belongs by your fireplace when it gets cold and it is a very, rich, flavorful surprise I will continue to buy! Best so called winter warmer I've had since Sam Adam's "screwed up" it's 2003 circa recipe!

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

I poured this beer into a pint glass. It has a dark magohney color body with a little bit of tan head. The smell is malty and roasted nut. The taste is roasty and malty up front, with kinda of a burnt taste on the back of the tongue. The mouth feel is nice and overall is a good winter style beer.

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Photo of mptorpey
2.77/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown with rich white head

S: Very Malty at fist with a roasted nut hues in the background. Some carmeal and oats to finish.

T: Smooth med-light beer with low carbonation. Mostly a roasted malt and cerial taste.

M: Somewhat ligh for a winter warmer style beer with a hight ABV, but a nice full long finish with malt and light nut.

O: A very steady beer that is easly drinkable but wuold expect a more robust beer for the style.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this Old Ale was a nearly opaque, dark mahogany color with one finger of khaki-colored head. The retention was good and the lacing as a delicate, sliding curtain. The aroma was rich and malty with notes of raisin bread, vanilla, caramel, light booze and dark fruits. The flavors were not quite as well balanced as the aroma, however. I tasted the sweet, dark malt first and the prunes/dates followed by a note of wood and some roasted malt on the finish. The nearly 9% ALC was well-hidden. The finish lingered on my palate but wasn’t quite bitter/hoppy enough to counteract the malts. The mouthfeel was semi-creamy, the body medium and the carbonation delicate.

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

Dark ruby hue through light. Light tan head of a finger's width. Dense cap receding slowly.

Dark fruits, wheat toast, caramel, and a citrus hop aromatic.

Grainy breadth, roasty malt combo with bitterness, nice alcoholic note, some green from the hops. A lot of candied fruits, prune juice, hazelnuts, some rye spice, perhaps. Boozy. Not bad.

The alcohol beats up the flavors a bit. The carb/feel is great, otherwise. Chewy, rich. You might even be able to sit this one a year. Can't have more than one, so drinkability suffers.

This is pretty heavy-duty for a winter warmer. Good flavor and acts the part of its namesake. Worth a whirl.

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

Lancaster winter warmer has a translucent brownish-red body with a small tan head. The retention is OK, but there isn't really any lacing to speak of.

The aroma is a mix of nutty and sweet malt for the most part, with a dash of hops.

I'm never sure if a winter warmer that is new to me will have spices added or not, and as far as I can tell this one does not. The malt profile is the dominant flavor, with a nutty flavor, some toffee and caramel and a dry cocoa powder. The malt walks the line between sweet and dry, and is pushed toward dry by the moderate hop presence, which adds a dash of fruit and some earthy, spicy flavors, as well as some bitterness. The yeast seems to add some dark fruits as well. The finish has some warmth to it from the alcohol, but I think that is to be expected for something with the word warmer in its name.

The mouthfeel shows the bitterness a little more than the flavor perhaps. The body is a tad light, but the carbonation is solid.

Not a bad beer, it tastes like an old ale that is being called a winter warmer (which is fine by me).

Edit: After looking at the profile of this beer I see that it is, in fact, an old ale. It also does a reasonably good job of hiding the ABV.

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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 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 micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours adeep amber color. Had a average size head off white and quick to fade. Some lacing. Carbonation was light.
A heavy sweet smelling ale lots of malts and molasses.
Taste is malty to say the least. malts are heavy and sweet lots of molasses and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side, but is also quite smooth and sticky with a soft alcohol finish. Overall pretty desent. Sweetness and alcohol rule this beer.

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Photo of aorloski
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a beautiful dark amber out of the bottle, while settled in the glass it is a DEEP dark brown/ruby that is near brown. A finger off white/ruby/mocha head that quickly goes away. Decent alcohol legs on this.

Smell - Wow, one word, molasses. Booze and raison in there as well. Smells like fig newtons encased by molasses. One of the figgy-est beers I've ever smelled to be honest.

Taste - Right up front, there is the molasses, wrapped all around in some nice fig notes. A tad boozy but smooth at the same time.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth, very very smooth. Velvety, sticks to your tongue, chewy.

Overall - I went to school out in lancaster and used to drink this on tap years back with not much of a refined palate. I have to admit, i am not a big LBC all.Revisiting this one years later and i have to say i am pretty impressed. Very tasty drinkable beer that is great on this cold rainy december night.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass. Reviewed alongside Great Divide Hibernation Ale.

A: Clear dark brown with two-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a while. Nice lacing.

S: Molasses and malt. Mild.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Dark fruits and molasses again. Rich roasted flavor. Well-rounded.

M: Full to medium bodied with soft carbonation. Chewy, smooth, and warm. No alcohol or dryness.

O: I call this one a tie. Both were solid old ales.

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Photo of BeerFiend2002
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into draft glass

A- Mahogany color body with a one finger tan-colored head that wasted no time dissipating.

S- Raisin, molasses, dates, sweet malt on the nose. Smells pretty nice.

T- Heavy raisin taste up front with some of the dates and molasses in there as well. A pungent bready malt overtakes the sweetness up front and gives way to a touch of bitterness on the finish. The nose was better than the pallate.

M- Medium to heavy body. Smooth mouth-coating feel to it. Good for the cold months.

O- Not a standout beer, but I will admit that I am not a fancier of winter ales and winter warmers. It didn't blow me away, but it didn't suck. LBC makes some respectable beers and this was overall a solid effort.

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Winter Warmer from Lancaster Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 386 ratings.
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