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Brrr | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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very good
319 Reviews

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
availability: Late Oct. - Early Jan.
bitterness: 50 IBU
alcohol by volume: 7.2%
original gravity: 17° PLATO

Pale, Caramel 10L & 80L,
Munich 10L, Carapils, Dark Chocolate

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Simcoe & Cascade

Added by IronDjinn on 10-19-2008

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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 951
Photo of brewskifan55
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Clear amber with a white one finger head that clears out fast, leaving tiny bubbles in its wake. Decent lacing.

S: Grassy hops, grapefruit, straw, with a backdrop of caramel.

T: Grassy hops arrive with a semi-sweetness. Grapefruit and light spices. A clean, malty backbone.

M: medium with a medium,semi- frothy carbonation.

O: not what I was hoping for. This winter warmer is too hoppy for my taste. I was wishing for more malts under my tree. This Brrr is kinda Blahhh.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with good clarity and tiny bubbles racing toward the top. The head is better than average in size and the lacing is pretty good.

Smell: There's a good balance in the smell of caramel malts and hops, with the malt taking the edge. There's also a touch of spices and some pluma aromas, along with alcohol which is mostly disguised.

Taste: This one starts off sweet, with the caramel malt coming out in full force along with brown sugar and other spices reminiscent of the holidays. It finishes bitter and dry. The alcohol stays mostly in the background throughout for 7+% but still plays a role in the taste. This is a touch hoppier than the average winter warmer and somewhat less spicy, but it is certainly sweet.

Mouthfeel: The thickness is spot on and the crispness is appreciated, but the beer does finish sticky, something that makes the bitter finish rather offensive.

Overall: I've been drinking Great Lakes Christmas Ale this year and it's hard to compare this beer to that one, but this is pretty good. I like the balance here and there's some good flavors, and I like that it doesn't get too carried away with the spices or the alcohol. But again, the stickiness in the finish doesn't sit well with me. I'll call this a good buy for $7.99-$8.99/six pack, but it's not top notch.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Took several years to finally get around to this one, but today is the right day as winter is pretty much officially here with cold and some snow and short days.
Surprisingly tame aroma. Pretty solid malt and some soft spicy quality.
Reddish and seasonal appearance. Firm and dense tan head.
Nice malt richness, but also a clear and strong streak of hop flavor that moves to unexpected strong bitterness. There is a spicy quality to the flavor and it works well with the prickly carbonation. Good moderate feel with enough girth to match the needs of this cold weather.
This is pretty solid and enjoyable. As noted, stronger hop presence than I anticipated, but it's done well, making it closer in taste to an Am. amber ale than a traditional English Winter Warmer, but it will do today.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Out favorite Widmer beer. A nice rich amber pour, the color of dark maple syrup, but not sweet! Nice aroma of malt and a whiff of hops. As a winter warmer, this does the job. A rich malt forward taste with a hoppy backbone. Let this warm a bit, easy to get right in cooler weather to get the full range of flavors. Nice lingering aftertaste, very smooth. Be just right with a Shepard's pie on a chilly afternoon.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a rich copper color with brilliant clarity. Plenty of carbonation makes for a pretty site, too bad the foamy cap was so small. It put a damper on an otherwisw nice looking beer.
The aroma smelled of fresh hops. The malts had a caramel and biscuit aroma.
The taste was quite good. Like in the nose, the hops were bold and fresh but with subtle confidence. The malts were sweet with a subtle hint of spices.
Finishes a little bitter.
Very good beer here.

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Photo of atr2605
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a deep reddish amber with a foamy off white head with good retention
S-sweet caramel, roasted malt, spicy cinnamon
T-more sweet caramel flavor with good hop balance and spice in the finish
M-medium bodied
O-really tasty, easy drinking brew. Highly recommend

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Photo of IAmAPenguin
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Aroma: slightly herby, faint cinnamon, resinous hops. Appearance: Deep amber with little foam. Taste: toasted bread, amber malts, malty syrup, subtle hops and herbs. Overall, not too bad. A nice sessionable ale. Its slightly sweet with syrupy overtones and a nice fresh hop flavor.

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Photo of ksimons
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-a clear ruby amber with a fingers worth of white head

S-light caramel malt, brown sugar, and citrus hops

T-taste is similar to the smell with a caramel malt backbone, brown sugar, spices become more apparent as the beer warms, and citric hops

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste

Overall very easy to drink and better than expected.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew pours a reddish brown with a fluffy white one finger head and fairly think lacing on the glass until the end.

The smell is hop heavy, thick with grapefruit, orange and pine. There is also a sweet malt backbone. A little chocolate as well.

The taste starts with grapefruit then moves to orange and pine. The sweet and chocolate malts then come in then finishes with a slight piney taste. The alcohol is completely masked.

The feel is thick and chewy but also a little oily on the back end. Some hope oil is left on the tongue after swallowing.

Overall, this is a well balanced winter warmer. There is a great balance of citrus hops and sweet, chocolate malts. This is definitely going on my favorites list.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.46/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip, bottled on 9/25/13 3 months before the big day, nice thinking bro's. Pours a deep slightly hazy red, with a one inch off white head, with attractive lace. Smell is caramel, pine, tangerine, and toffee. Taste is that, with a slight grapefruit bitterness. Body is medium large, plenty of life, a little dry, and very drinkable. This is very nice. So far I have had a red ale and a brown ale this late fall that are going to be my holiday staples.

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Photo of Beerme5
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I forget how spoiled I am to live in Portland, and how often I overlook Widmer beers as they're so readily available. I won't make the mistake again. Had Brrr a number of years in a row, but this years bottle tastes like a Wet Hop IPA with a hint of spiciness. Upon opening, it has a much hoppier aroma than year's past, but that's not a bad thing. A lil' bit of head led to some nice lacing on the frozen pint glass it was poured into. But the flavor was very rich--in my opinion--the way an IPA should taste and lean towards in the colder months--very wet hops balanced with a decent malt flavor and a few spices for good measure. Definitely didn't feel like a red ale this time around--much closer to an IPA, but a good one for the fall and winter months ahead!

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Photo of jimmah120
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at carbone's in mound-town, minnesota. notes from ~6mo ago, two days before christmas

ruby color, not too dark, clear. smell is spicy and gingerbreadish, uh oh here we go... taste is good tho, bitter and hoppy, with some roasted characteristics. some holiday spice and sweetness, but not too much

good stuff

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Photo of jjboesen
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Having enjoyed Widmer Brothers beers in Portland, Oregon, I was most pleased to find it available here in the Washington, DC area. I stumbled upon Brrrr, seasonal ale – the label was the giveaway. While not a hearty acolyte of such beers that list towards the candy-sweet side, I nevertheless found much going on with this one.

It pours quickly; there is a frothy head that immediately dissipates to leave a glimmery film capping a copper body with moderate carbonation, but little lacing. Take a whiff and detect notes of apple cider, honey and plum. I thought the initial sip doppled the palate in a subtle wisp of semi-sweet hoppiness with a bitter finish.
It begins sweetly, yet ends bitterly – is this a metaphor for marriage?

In any case, this seasonal beer pleased me. And to those who avoid these beers for their spiciness or their sweetness, I will attest to the fact that the Widmers do not over do it with this one. (I can offer no opinion on any other of their holiday beers.)

This is a pleasant sessional seasonal; while not spectacular, it is a comfortable rendition and a nice to supplement the Widmer Family of fine craft beer.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass. The bottle has a date of November 2012, which I think is probably a bottling date (reviewed on May 1, 2013). A steady, medium pour produces a one inch thick head, that sticks to the sides of the glass in puffs and windrows of creamy froth. The color is pale brown, with golden highlights.

You can really smell and taste this hoppy brew- the hops are oily, citrusy and very floral, and not overly bitter. I also get a faint taste of dark fruit, especially in the aftertaste. Mellow and sweet malt flavors find their way to the taste buds and nose, despite the IBUs. I find the bottom of the glass quickly approaching (somewhat dangerous with an ABV of 7.2).

I was drinking some of this around the holidays, and thought I'd review it before it's gone for the season. When I originally sampled it, I thought it a bit hoppy for my taste- it seemed to obscure the malt flavors a bit much. I think I like it better now that it's had time to mellow. I could see storing some of this in the cellar for next Fall.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.32/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Hey maybe out of season, but so it goes...

A very creamy tan while head, manages two fingers tall on the pour, with a fluffy retention top. Body is absolutely crystal clear copper, with light red hues of amber. Not much visible carbonation.

Mild toasty grains, a little bit of chemical heat but some nice spicy character as well. Hints of chewy fruit and cinnamon, but a little mild. Fairly solid.

Palate hits with a real odd experience. For a warmer this incredibly watery, but most surprisingly very hoppy, and devoid of any malt sweetness or presence. Watery grain with a bitter pine washes over real quick. Aftertaste fades incredibly quickly, Hop quick front that fades, but also not boozy tasting either.

This tastes like a strange IPA, and has no warmer character style to me at all. It's missing a big boost of malt depth.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange body with cornsilk yellow head that leaves lots of snowy, lacey wisps.
Surprising hoppy citrus nose with some cherry cough drop underneath.
Red plum jam, some light caramel, a speak of chocolate, then lots of bright orange hard candy hops with a touch of pine.
Tangerine finish and long cleanly bitter fruit stone linger.
Medium, chewy, slight fizz, some burn.

Unexpected - winter fruit malts with Cali hop ending, tho I don't get much Simcoe. Balanced and layered. Almost plays like a poor man's SN Celebration (tho much maltier.) [honestly, I did not read Buckeye Nation's review when I wrote this - weird!] Approaches Cascazilla if you take it as an amber.

Probably the best thing I've tasted from Craft Brewers Alliance.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up the last of a case of singles of this beer at my local establishment. Can't wait to indulge.

Appearance: Pours an amber, dark, robust, tangerine rust. Leaves behind a sensible, half-inch froth of head and nice overall lacing. Pretty inviting with it's robust coloring.

Smell: Has a great sense of caramel flavorings and moderate spices that really bring out the essences. Some fruity flavors also compliment this beer well. Mild aroma of malts comes together.

Taste: Very good bitterness comes along with a mild tang of citrus hops and some roasted malts. Some brown sugar seems to linger with the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Has medium carbonation with a quite nice medium body.

Overall: Actually enjoyed this beer, but it did lack a few minor qualites of individuality. This beer was good, but reminded me of every other winter-warm type of beers like Sierra Nevada's Celebration. Wasn't exactly thrilled with the results. I did enjoy it however, but it would've been better if there was a hint of difference. I may try again, but most likely will stick to a more familiar beer with similar taste. Only reason this beer was given a reasonable score was due to the fact it fit well in the category. Cheers!.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from their seasonal mix case into a Sierra Nevada balloon glass

A: Pours a semi-transparent dark amber color with some ruddy brown tones to it. I got about a half finger thick of dark khaki head that retained for a few minutes leaving the glass frosted with some dots and scattered lace.

S: The nose is comprised mostly of orange and grapefruit with a real zesty citrus quality to it. I pick up on the sweet malts and a light breading from there. Aroma is nice and more hop forward than expected. Floral with some underlying evergreens noted.

T: Taste brings forth the hops as the nose suggests with a nice combination of orange citrus and lemony pine flavors. The nutty caramel malt base holds firm without becoming overly sweet revealing a bit of bread crust as well. I get dark toffee notes with some soft hints of fig and plum like esters. There is a moderate amount of overall bitterness to the beer and not much alcohol flavor coming through at all. A slight metallic tinge in the finish but overall it is not too distracting. A surprisingly nice beer and pleasantly hopped for a Winter Warmer.

M: Nice light and frothy mouth feel gives a smooth texture to the beer’s consistency. Moderate body overall that starts to gain some heft towards the finish. There is some light alcohol warming and an even ratio of wet to dry. Nice sapping linger of hop oils after the drink.

D: This is a nice little beer that I rather enjoyed. Much hoppier than I was anticipating with some nice balance of malts and flavors overall. Nothing ground breaking but hits the spot in drinkability.

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Photo of EORS
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice brown with ruby hints when held to the light. A quarter inch of head, doesn't stick around for long. The beer is smooth and balanced between malt and alcohol, but doesn't have the corresponding hop aroma or flavor. A bit of bitterness from the hops, but mostly sweet malt and a bit of warming alcohol. A good example of the style, without being an exceptional one.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great winter brew. Pours a dark amber color with a slight foamy head, leaving a trace of lacing throughout. The smell is excellent -- hints of pine, citrus, hops. Full-bodied. The taste is bitter yet not astringent and pretty easy to drink considering the high ABV. Relatively easy to drink. Highly recommended.

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Photo of tastymug
3.29/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a clear, red amber color with a nice head and lacing.

Smell: Citrusy and malty, hints of caramel. You can also pick up on the hops.

Taste: Sweet, with a nice balance of the caramel/malty flavor and the citrusy, hoppy flavor, with a tad of spice on the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied and moderate carbonation; crisp.

Overall: I found this beer very agreeable to drink, and a nice break from the more spicy, malty winter warmers of this time of year. It has more hop than you’d expect in a winter warmer but that was ok by me! It’s well balanced and I could easily drink more than one. This was my favorite out of a sampler of four different winter beers.

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Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high light beige colored head that gradually died down and left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and some lacing down the sides.
S: There are aromas of citrusy hops in the nose—grapefruit seems to stand out in particular—along with notes of caramel malts.
T: The overall taste is rather malty and has flavors of caramel and toasted malts along with notes of citrusy hops. There are some hints of spices in the finish. In addition to the citrus flavors, the hops also contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't your typical winter warmer because it packs in a lot of hops, but it has some nice notes of citrus. I could see this as beer that a hophead might want to try during the colder months. It's quite drinkable because the hops cut through the malts and no alcohol is detectable in the taste.

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Photo of bark
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The colour is nut brown (50 EBC), the liquid is clear. The finger thick compact off-white slowly sinks down leaving some lacing.

The smell is milder than expected. Smooth english malt; toffee and rye bread. Sweet notes of citric fruit drops, lemon peels, passion fruits and red berries. Toffee and caramel.

The taste is sweet with smooth notes of caramel, fruit candy and a light smooth clean bitterness. Some warming alcohol. Lots of mixed fruits, some of them citric, some of them exotic (especially passion fruit). Hints of banana peels and brandy. Medium body. The aftertaste is smooth with growing alcohol, caramel, more of the clean bitterness and green fruits. Spicy hints in the finish.

The carbonation is medium strong; the many mid-sized bubbles are smooth. The liquid is smooth and a little light.

A fine take on the Winter Warmer style with a modern twist. I had expected a bit more body though.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a wellington beer glass (my favorite beer glass).

Appearance: Ehh, amber very clear light bubbles with a thick head at first settles to nada in a sip or two. On the initial pour it's about 1/3".

Smell: Slight piney scent, maybe not the best scent but still appetizing.

Taste: Nice easy complex taste that full-fiills the palates. Bitter but not too bitter it's what i would call just right. Hoppy, light malt no complaints.

Mouth: Toasted bread after taste makes the beer feel crisp, and not too mention how sticky it feels.

Overall: This beer IMHO should not be categorized as a winter warmer but as a strong cross between a Vienna Lager and American IPA. Not as bold but a touch smoother and I love it for that. Stop reading and drink up, Salud!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a dark red/mahogany color with a thick off-white head. The thick head fades slowly over time to leave a nice level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The nose is much hoppier then I would have expected. A mix of grapefruit citrus and pine are the heaviest of the nose, although there is a light earthy hop smell as well. Beyond the hop aromas there are some smells of a fruity nature of orange and cherry as well as a caramel sweetness.

Taste – The taste starts out with a big hoppy and light roasted malt flavor. The hop initially is largely of a citrus nature up front with some pine mixed within. The pine hop gets stronger as the flavor advances further. While the pine increases, a light sweetness of caramel and some orange come to the tongue. The orange turns to a more orange peel flavor more toward the end with the pine getting rather strong by this time. With the advent of some light spice flavors of nutmeg and allspice, a pine heavy hopped and bitter citrus flavor are left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is rather average in its creaminess with a carbonation level that was rather average as well. The moderate body and carbonation suited the hoppy and spicy flavors well, while allowing enough sweetness to shine through and maintaining a good drinkability.

Overall – A rather hop heavy winter warmer. It is quite delicious and one to experience if you have a chance.

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Brrr from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 951 ratings.
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