Old Man Winter Warmer | Lake Superior Brewing Company

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Old Man Winter WarmerOld Man Winter Warmer
Very Good
111 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 111 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of morimech
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. A small head forms but quickly departs to leave a ring. Leaves some nice lacing as the glass is drained.

I get sweet malt, dark fruit, and alcohol in the aroma. A bit of hay is also detected. A very inviting smell for winter consumption.

This is definately a beer that needs to be sampled at a higher temp. Maybe just cooler than room temp. or else you get a big blast of alcohol and all the flavors are lost. Once it warms the dark fruit and sweet malt comes through. The alcohol is still there for a hearty warming affect. Feels full-bodied and lively as it is consumed. I am not into big alcohol beers so it will limit my drinking of this beer except maybe once every couple of weeks. This barleywine is very good and unexpected. Now it just needs to be moved to its proper location on BA.

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Photo of Mdog
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby-brown, densely packed but small head.

Smell: Very sweet smelling, sugary, a little grassy note.

Taste: Brown sugar, caramel, molasses combine for a sweet beer that isn't overpowering or too rich, but just right. I didn't get any alcohol notes though it is a strong beer.

Mouthfeel: Very syrupy but good.

Drinkability: Hidden alcohol but tasty can be a dangerous combination.

Saw this at a trip to Blue Max and decided to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. A barleywine on the sweet side but still very tasty. Recommended!

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Photo of umustdrink
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brownish black color, a bright red dot visible when held up close to light. Light brown head is fluffy and pillowy, fades to an eighth inch. Lots of lacing right around the head, little dots further up.

S - Strong smell of sweet dark fruits, alcohol, roasty grainy cereal malt, faint chocolate and coffee.

T - Taste starts out with a bittery, oily and sweet fruity flavor, then some bready toasted malts with a cinnamony spice. Rich bitter coffee and toasty chocolate malts give a long lasting finishing flavor. Alcohol doesn't really hide but it's not bad.

M - Thick and chewy with light carbonation.

D - I always look forward to this stuff coming out each year. A great sipping beer, this will be putting me to bed tonight!

After having a few, I've found that it's definitely best served just under room temp.

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

Into a pint glass, pours a dark brown to black, some faint ruby hues around the edges, hardly any head, or lacing for that matter. The aroma is warm and inviting, fruits and yeasty a bit, sweet, deep, pretty darn good. Its much the same in taste, lots of yummy malts, tons of different fruits, warming alcohol (is this really 10 ABV?), a smooth, delicious brew.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from one of only two kegs in the Twin Cities this year, and this is the first year I've even heard of it being available here...I may be wrong, though, ...

Utterly opaque chestnut brown, a toasty warm hue, with a slim cap of foam holding tight on top.

Aroma hits all the notes I dig in a barleywine (which this is. Despite the punning name, it's not a "winter warmer"...even says "barleywine" on the label.) Burnished cherry, cognac, leather, deep plums and ripe raisins. Sweet to be sure, but complex, even cavernous.

Taste: a gritty, grippy malty affair, lots of play on the tongue, lots of treats for the palate to toss about. Here comes the fruit, some cherry, berry, grape, and then the dark side trickles over, it gets wicked and more deeply delicious. Very wine-like in parts, somewhat close to a port, and then like a beefy burgundy.

Full-bodied, with a long, sweet, rich fruity finish. Alcohol isn't as huge as you'd think, but it creeps in and does the trick. This is an excellent "winter warming" barleywine...I can certainly appreciate it in the depth of winter, and welcome the comfort it brings.

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

Old Man Winter Warmer. 2006. Black, green, gold and blue pressure sensitive label with white and gold lettering.

The Old Man pours a clear, deep-mahogany body with ruby, crimson, and deep orange highlights. The frothy tan head steadily drops to just a thin, big bubbled surface covering. An initial ring of thin, wide lace is left behind, but only a few spots and splashes beyond that.

Piney hops and yeasty fruitiness float atop a deeply caramelized maltiness in the nose. It's not bold, but clearly present; and welcoming.

The flavor delivers what the nose suggests, but with more maltiness at first drop. The hops appear almost immediately though, jumping in right up front. They're gently spruce-like, and well-infused within the rich malt base, appearing from start to finish. Along the way the malt delivers notes of deeply caramelized, almost scorched sugar that suggests roastiness, There are some softer notes of brown sugar, toffee, and nuts as well; and the soft yeasty fruitiness lends notes of apples, berries, and dark-skinned fruits. The fruitiness rounds the whole thing out and combines with the underlying alcohol to give it a subtle vinous character similar to rich, fortified wine. It's supported by a rock-solid bitterness, and piney hops return in the finish, bringing it, without question, back into the realm of beer!

Served at cellar temperature, this interesting and enjoyable strong ale really opens up it's malty, pine-strewn blanket of flavor. Well-balanced and delicately complex. Quite enjoyable!

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Photo of sponberg
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of the 05/06 vintage (I presume). Pours cloudy and turbid, not much of a head at all - more of a faint lace. Aroma of a dark fruity malt (figs? prunes?) along with some coffee and cocoa, faint rumminess.

Somewhere between a barleywine and an old ale - dark fruits again, with some serious depth of malt - almost EKU-28 like in its syrupy maltiness. Faint distant citrusy hops, but they're an echo in the valley. A port like quality is in here - toffee, raisiny - before finishing with a smooth cocoa-and-raisin slide down. Big n' chewy - great beer for a cold evening. Could have two, then fall down and go boom.

Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

This pint hoisted in memory of David C. T. Shang, who passed on December 15th.

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

2-3 year old sample from a private collection. The beer pours a dark ruby brown color with a thick, creamy head. Nice lacing. Aroma is complex... sweet malt, dark fruit (raisin, plum), perhaps some brown sugar and a mellow hop presence. The taste is heavy and malty, balanced with hops, more dark fruit, slight roastiness, fruit... oh, so good. Lots of good stuff in this package. Definitely complex and very enjoyable. Despite the alcohol content, this beer is extremely smooth and far too drinkable. I suspect that I could get into a lot of trouble with this one. A definite gem! I may just have to purchase a six-pack and cellar it for a few years.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on November 20, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. This beer pours a wonderful opalescent ruddy brown, with orange and irovy fringes. Almost no head. From a distance, I’m getting strong wafts of banana. Closer up, the aroma morphs into a raisin and brandy concoction, with sherry, strong vinous notes, and more banana. Unfortunately, the aroma is a little reserved. Flavor is a strong cream, cherries and brandy, with an almost pithy dry fruit soapy bitterness, that lingers from the hops which almost come out of nowhere at the backend of the profile. Mostly a profusion of fruit, that is sustained, balanced by dry and grassy hop notes in the background. The malt character and profile seems to seep into the shadows. An interesting panacea of ills, with a strong fruit presence, that remains somewhat muddled. The palate is smooth, creamy and yet bright; the hop dryness not making an appearance until the smack and finish. I do appreciate the way that hops play a role in this beer. Alcohol doesn’t hurt nor help this beer. Missing a little depth and complexity.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cola looking concoction, yet much murkier. Head is very minimal, even at the initial contact with the glass. A small ring and light wisps of oatmeal colored head waver across the top of the brew.

S: Quite a bit of dried cocoa, cafe au lait, marshmallow cream, raisin and a touch of banana.

T: Begins with vinous prunes, vanilla and butterscotch. This beer probably had some pronounced bitterness at one point, but now it faintly chirps in the background. Brandy highs blend nicely with creamy milk chocolate and roasted toffee. Finishes with lingering chalky chocolate and dry barley.

M: Full bodied and fairly creamy

D: I liked this beer quite a bit. I think some age did this beer some good, as it's atleast a year old.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy cola, translucent edges, and no head with a minimal ring. Alcohol-drenched cherry bon bon dominates the nose. Taste starts with a spicy alcohol hit, black pepper and malts. A slightly thin mouthfeel undermines the dark fruit flavors. The bitterness is drenched in a root beer rock candy flavor. The drinkability is good, but suffers from the high alcohol content and the lack of a smoother blend of flavors.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours an opaque dark brown color with dark red hues around the edges. There is no head, and very sparce lacing. The aroma is huge. It screams of a barley wine or an old ale, rather than a winter warmer. Hops and malt fight for control of the aroma, and the winner is the person drinking the brew. The taste is rather balanced for a barleywine. The sip is a bit sweeter than it is bitter, while the aftertaste expresses some solid bitterness, and warming alcohol. The mouthfeel is full bodied with fairly low carbonation, and relative smoothness. I believe the smoothness of this brews mouthfeel with increase with some aging. Overall, this is a mighty fine barely wine.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into the trusty 'ol DFH snifter. The color is a dark amber brown, with quickly dissipating head. The smell is a spicy alcohol mixed with a bit of a crystal maltiness. The taste features a good bit of chocolate and crystal maltiness with a tangy hoppiness and a surprisingly low alcohol...in fact, I was quite surprised to see that this was over 10% alcohol...mellowed quite nicely. Mouthfeel was about where it should be. As for drinkability, this is surprising and definitely could sneak up on you!

Thanks to the Monk for this brew. After a bit of cellaring, it's reached such a nice bouquet of flavors, with a nice maltiness mixed so nicely with a citrus hop, binded together by the warming and non-interfering alcohol. A nice beer, and one I wish was in the area!!!

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Photo of joedon
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pretty dark brown-garnet color with a big tan head.

Aroma of bread, fruit, toffee; not much hop smell.

Flavor has an almost scorched sugar taste. Very strong caramel, malt, fruity tastes of blackberry. Also a bit of licorice. Hop bitterness adds a decent balance.

A lot of the dark malt, scorched nature in the aftertaste. The dark malts seem to dominate so much that this should be categorized more like an imperial porter than a barley wine.

Not that drinkable; a little too harsh for me.

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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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Old Man Winter Warmer from Lake Superior Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 111 ratings