Old Man Winter Warmer | Lake Superior Brewing Company

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Old Man Winter WarmerOld Man Winter Warmer

Brewed by:
Lake Superior Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Brewed in late spring and aged in our refrigerator until mid Fall, this barley wine style ale brings a whopping 10.3% ABV to the task. Deep brown and sweet with spices, Old Man Winter Warmer does what its name promises for your nose and your belly. O.G. 1.101."

Added by Gusler on 12-12-2001

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 110
Photo of fisherman34
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in colour with a full and lasting head. Lots of yeast floaties, even though I was quite carefull in pouring this one. Sweet malty aromas with a bit of resiny hop. Fruity flavors (figs, raisins, baked apples) combined with some woody/tannin notes. Perhaps a bit of brown sugar in there too. Sweet but not cloying. It also has a very rich mouthfeel. It creates a slight warming sensation, but not much of an apparent alcohol punch. I was stunned to find out this had an AVB over 10%

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hits from BIF 20 & Feloniousmonk keep rollin!

I am sampling a room temp bottle in a snifter.
The beer pours a deep ruby red with some chestnut hints. A soft spongy beige head foams up 1 cm and slowly recedes. The aroma is a mix of brown sugar, toffee, grassy/herbal hops, some hot alcohol, and a bit of roasted malt or maybe even smokiness??
Wow the nose is intriguing at least and appealing for sure.
First sip reveals a thick syrupy body, that allows for the fine mild carbonation to slowly glide across my palate. Flavor starts fairly sweet with some ripe dark fruit, plums and raisins mixing. There is also some red grape and a good hit of brown sugar again. This mixture is quite appealing and on the finish I get some chocolate and again either roasted malt or smoke. Very faint quickly passing hits of the smoke but I get it almost every sip. The alcohol is hidden much better than I thought it would be from the nose. It doesnt get warm until it hits my belly.
This is a nice winter beer, and hell I enjoyed it on this humid July evening. I would definitely buy this if I ever saw it!

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Photo of proc
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a solid brown in the glass with a moderate-sized head. The aroma is that of light fruit, citurs and prunes coming to the forefront. The taste is well-rounded, showing off a good dose of malt with the presence of raisins. A winter warmer for sure and a nice drink while a rare late-April snowstorm hits Michigan. Thank you to fantome for bringing me this one.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"A Barley Wine Style Ale" on bottle

This thick brew is a deep murky brown, almost not far from black. The tan head developes after a slow cascade show. Constantly bubbling. Some fishfood chunks floating around. Thick syrupy scent. Big taste, sweet and sryupy, caramel and chocolate tones.some hop bitterness, hint of alcohol as it warms. Definately a barelywine and definately dank.

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Photo of alexgash
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at 60 degrees.
Seems like a nice choice for a Minnesota-esque cold, snowy winter night here in Utah. Pours a rather dark brown. Looks almost stout-like. Capped by a nice-sized, creamy, tan head, with lots of nice glass-lapping lace. Big aroma of sweet dark fruits, molasses, rum, toffee, and sappy, piney hops. Sizable alcohol fumes are warming me already! Rich, sweet malt flavors up front. Starts with a toffee/bread sweetness and moves to a fruitier, more vinous sweet-tanginess. Bitter, sappy hops drip down en masse near the finish. They cut through the malty sweetness deftly. Alcohol burn settles in, but doesn't make me cough or anything. In fact I rather like it's warm glowing glow. Very good winter barley wine. Better than I remember/was expecting. Of course, I haven't had one of these in a couple years and it seems like the guys up in Duluth are getting better! Big, thick, syrupy mouthfeel. I'm glad to have this to help me stay warm.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Secret Santa 2004 #5

Extremely dark brown-to-black, some redness when held to direct light. Stable tan one-finger table top head.

Aroma as an early warning system: the moment I popped the top, a punch in the nose of alcoholic candy hit me, at arm's length. It's inviting and frightening at the same time.

A nice malty start, but not so cloyingly sweet as the aroma might have indicated. As the malt rolls down the center of the tongue, hops arise from the sides, providing a bit of balance without ever encountering the malt head on. The hops linger a tad after the malt, but are dispersed by a rising warm front of alcohol from the back of the throat. Not a burn, just a "warmer". Slow, satisfying fade all around.

Mothfeel is appropriately full for a barleywine/winter warmer (it is labeled as both). As to drinkability, while i wouldn't have two in a night, it's a shame I have only the one bottle.

Had not heard of the brewery previously, but this made a fine first impression. I could see how this could help with Minnesota winters.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12ozer bottle from Garymuchow as part of BIF10. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/8" light tan head above the reddish mahogany brew, which is filled with suspended particles, even after a careful pour. What head there was recedes to a layer of small bubbles covering the surface, and lacing is okay, both somewhat as expected for the style. Dark fruits, sweet malts, and alcohol combine to form the aroma. Certainly smells warming. Taste is dominated by the sweetness of malts, which gives way to the dark fruits, and finally the alcohol. warming all that it touches, as promised. Could be balanced a bit more. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay, but even for the style the assertiveness of the sweet character nears cloying, and that kind of limits the enjoyment for me. If sweet barleywines are your thing, this is one for you.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color that is quite clear but quite dark, almost approaching a deep night color. The head is creamy and a light brown color. The aroma is quite strong, with notes of alcohol, sherry, and a thick chewy maltiness. The taste is lightly sweet, and oh-so-smooth up front. It quickly moves to notes of sherry that is typical of an aged beer. This beer is pretty tasty, though there is a bit of harshness in the finish that seems to be contributed from some higher alcohols.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma shows strong sherry, sweet, oxidized elements. Nice fruitiness. Rich. Alcohol.
Nice clear brown amber with deep red hues. Virtually no head, but the ring and scattered bubbles on top endure.
Rich satisfying flavor. Taste mimics aroma. Some malt dryness. Hoppy bitterness underlies malty dominance and is present start through long finish.
A touch thin. Very nicely balanced carbonation. Smooth even though malt sharpness and mild bite.
Really enjoyable. Nice to have a MN brewery make a significant winter brew. I'm saving a few to age.

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Photo of bditty187
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crank up the AC… winter in August (review from notes).

Murky brown in hue, the color is unimpressive as it is dull, there is no hue or shine or animation. The head was beige in color; at the apex it was a half finger in height. However it quickly fell to a soapy collar, largely naked in the middle. The subsequent lacing was spotty and didn’t cling all that well. The appearance is not atypical of the style yet I’m overly bored with it. Personal quirk that rose just today, for this beer I guess. What you going to do? The nose reeks like a barleywine should! The maltiness just smells chewy! Sweet and fruity, dark, raisiny, slightly tropical… caramel coated, toasted, and candied. I even found the hops, at the back and towards the finish is a noticeable aroma of American hops. Citrus rinds. The bouquet is well rounded, as it starts richly malty-sweet and it ends in the same fashion. The ride in-between is lovely. The potency isn’t as strong as I’d like. Barleywines should never whisper. Regardless it is inviting. Funny, it smelled chewy and guess what? It is chewy. I love beers that taste like this; I will quit drinking beer if I ever tire of these. The palate is malty, very rich, succulent, sweet and quite ample. The fruitiness is wide, dark, and tropical with clear plum and raisin qualities. After this comes a raw sweetness with a bit of alcohol burn, it shows some caramel as well. Toasty. As the beer leaves my mouth a soft burn reemerges and this seems to allow the hops to become noticeable. Bitter. Flavors include grapefruit flesh and citrus rinds. This beer is really close to perfection. I have no complaints. It is bold enough, complex enough, but well crafted. I truly dig it. If I knew it was this good I would have bought more than one bottle. Almost full in body, very chewy, the carbonation is low but appropriate, ideal mouthfeel for the style, lovely stuff. Huge, long aftertaste… raisiny, bitter yet malty sweet. It screams eat some sharp cheddar cheese. I am very impressed. This is tremendously drinkable yet so flavorful. I would drink this everyday if I could. Seriously. Awesome stuff. I purchased one 12-ounce bottle in Burnsville, MN. I should have bought a case…

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Just one main label, a light blue and white snowy mountain scene with a couple of green coniferous trees deckling the slopes. Listed as “Old Man Winter Warmer”. No freshness or Best Before Date. Described on the label as “A Barley Wine Style Ale”.

Appearance: Deep brown body with a roasted chestnut polish, lucid body with no sediment at first. The head easily forms and just as easily disappears to leave a thin whispy halo head that leaves a light ring lacing. Immensely fine conditioning in the body of the beer, when it is gently tilted & quickly righted, the fine bubbled carbonation soon rejoins the underside of the beers surface.

Nose: Chewy toffee caramel in the nose, thick luscious rich creamy clotted cream Devon toffee and alcohols give the odors a massive chewy feel.

Taste: Warming, rich chewy malts with some background alcohol. Deep carpet like barleywine feel in the middle, toffee, caramel, and dark fruits, hints of port soaked plums and whisky soaked bananas.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of body and smooth toffee caramel to balance the warming alcohol. Finishes with a lovely thick feel in the back of the throat.

Drinkability: A nice sipper for the end of the night, a slow drinker but a great one.

Overall: A fine Barleywine, a tad raw at the edges but a solid brew nonetheless.

A Big Long Beach Thanks to the Monk for sending the second of the Lake Superior Beers, the perfect Nightcap.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, almost looks black. Small tan head that sticks diligently to the side of the glass. Smells of coffee, raisins, and strong alcohol. Taste is dominated by the burning of alcohol, with raisin and big hops flavors to balance/hde the alcohol content. Very full mouthfeel. The carbonation and the alcohol are perfectly balanced. A great beer for a drizzly spirng afternoon.

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Photo of marc77
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy deep ruby hue. Steadfast, dense beige head leaves sticky lace. Pungent wafts of ripe fig, plum and manderine orange upfront in aroma. Ripe, sherry macerated raspberry and dark toffee hints arise as the brew warms. Quite enticing and agreeably fruit driven aromawise. In flavor, incipient is an impression of burnt biscuit and orange rind. Mellows slightly into a multi faceted melange of carob, lightly caramelized almond and pruneish tartness. Complementary floral and tangerine flesh hop flavor combination. Butterscotch hints surface as the beer breathes and add girth to malt backbone. Tartness augments as well, and reaches a level a touch too strong, thus precluding excellence unfortunately. Hop bitterness is sturdy, but inobtrusive. Residual sweetness is offset aptly. Moderate in body, with a agreeably dextrinous, somewhat airy mouthfeel that helps lend dangerous drinkability. Finishes with hints of dark chocolate and drying, coffee bean like bitterness lingering. Old Man is a very tasty barleywine that falls only a hair short of the complete package. Ethanol is only noticed by a mellow, deep warmth that surfaces from within the belly. Overall, a unique brew that's a enjoyable hybrid of American and British barleywines. Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the bottle!

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Photo of jahred
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this (thanks to incongruity!) at the winter beer night I had with some friends. Six-pack came in a box that generically said limited release, but made no mention of the bottles inside, instead asking you to check the contents of the box (I found this to be somewhat funny).

Poured a dark mahogony brown, with thinnish head. The smell was not strong and of grassy hops.

The taste, however, is excellent. The backbone of the beer is very thick, deep caramel. Sweet, sugary vanilla. There was a slight chalky aftertaste that caught me off-guard, but the beer was overall very warming and tasty.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served at cellarish temps in a Westmalle goblet.

Appearance: Dark cola brown with garnet highlights. Lotsa floaties. Topped by a short-lived off-white head that quickly recedes to a film and a ring. No real lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Dark caramel malts with all kinds of fruity esters kicking around. Pears, bananas, raisins, apples, and cherries do a slow cavort in yer nostrils. Light notes of anise and mild medicinal aromas. Coulda used some hops.

Taste: Intensely bittersweet caramel malt with nice fruity aftertastes. Plums, cherries and apples largely. Very light on the bittering hops, if any were used.

Mouthfeel: Rather heavy and viscous in body with substantially lingering aftertastes.

Drinkability: Hale and hearty. Not quite a barleywine, not quite a strong/old ale. This falls happily in the cracks. Either way you slice it, a great wintry beer. I must visit the brewery this summmer.

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Photo of Gusler
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer as it sets in my glass an obscured deep brown color with a semi-creamy light tan head that is behemothic in size as it sluggishly disperses, the lace forms a tight sheet to seal the glass from sight. Sweet malt with an unmistakable hint of alcohol, ripe bananas and slight bourbon like tone also noticed, a “Hoot” to sniff. The start is rich in malt, sweet and pleasantly full in feel to the palate. Finish has a median acidity, the hops personable in their bite with a somewhat dry aftertaste. The big 10.3 percent ABV, definitely warms the innards, and quite tasty brew tis true, its been a long while since I’ve had anything from this great Midwest brewery.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super gorgeous deep ruby-cherrywood color, medium height watery oatmeal looking tannish head sits awhile, lace in minimal broken strings. Smell has a nice dry hoppy sense, deep, dark, piney, leafy hops, malts lay a nice roasty backing with touches of citrus peel sweetness and ethanol which really makes itself present as it warms. Taste is more sweeter then hoppy, darn it anyway, still pretty good though. Sweetness is twingey, somewhat roasty, some light citrus peels and sourness that sneaks in and out with notes of hop bitterness and little piney burps. Finish is a weird one with strange malty sweetness like that of grape skins and a bit of spicy things mixing with a dry easy hoppy finish. Took some getting use to, but is pretty nice overall, not all that complex, was hoping for a darker, earthier ale. Feel is close to full and smooth, a notch oily at first, carbonation stays kinda zippy and has a few raw areas, finishes with a sweet dryness. A good, but a little strange example of the style that grew on me more and more each sip. One of the better brews by Lk. Sup. Brewing Co. I'm incredibly curious to see if I can find this on-tap somewhere. Their brews always seem better and more drinkable from the tap, ie, Mesabi Red & Sir Duluth.

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Photo of jeffboo
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours dark ruby in color with a slight tan head. Aromas of brown sugar and maybe a little earthy hop note. This beer has a nice full texture but the flavor is pretty much one dimensional. Concentrated sweet malt flavor dominates with not much hop bitterness to balance for my taste. It does have a nice toasted malt finish but I'd like to see a bit of bitterness in there somewhere. If you like 'em sweeter this might be for you - its not really cloying but
doesn't have much complexity.

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Photo of cokes
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep raspberry brown in color with a restricted yet sticky tan foam.
Nose full of toffee, plums, and somewhat aggressive hops. Maybe some fish scales in here as well, but not enough to downgrade it.
Malty goodness is in store, as buttery caramel and toffee glides first across the lips. Close on their heels are some plum/prune, bing cherries and oranges. Returns to buttery equilibrium. Hops enter late and add a mixture of metallic bitterness and smooth, lingering tea notes....though quite subdued compared to what the nose had promised. Flourishes of alcohol, on occasion.
Glassy, smooth body. Medium-full in stature.
Not as sprawling as some barleywines, but a well put-together compacted version. This is a keeper.

Kudos go to Bighuge for providing this for a bitterly cold, mid-winter's evening.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep burgandy tone. Nice looking cream soda colored head. Great collar. Sticky lace. Aroma is of sweet malt with a little of the dark fruits mixed in. Taste is fig-like, date-like, prune-like and laced with alcohol. Apple esters come into play as well, albeit softly. Body is a little better than medium. There's a nice subdued lingering bitterness, but this BW's IBU doesn't come close to approaching the Big Boys like SN and Rogue. All in all though, a nice little barleywine.

Definitely better than I remember last year.

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Photo of ADR
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep translucent cherry/amber color, latte-like head of 1/8 of an inch. Sweet aroma, some smells of blueberries. heavy body, tamed carbonation, and a strong sense of plums spiced by cloves. A very abrupt bitter finish, partly suggestive of alcohol, but also of a good effort at hopping to achieve balance. Could have been a better transition there. Actually, I liked this beer and think its one of Lake Superior's better ones.

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Photo of ZAP
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-review 2005-Wow this is a sweet BW..I lvoe it....really underrated and a dynamite brew...the best I've had to date from this brewey...Not in the upper echoleon but still top notch shit..

-Rich, thick and tasty..definitely a barley wine...hops there but tough to balance out this badboy. You can smell and taste the alcohol..some fruity undertones...very sweet, creamy and malty...definitely high octane and perfect for the cold Minnesota January nights..

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Old Man Winter Warmer from Lake Superior Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
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