Harpoon Winter Warmer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Winter WarmerHarpoon Winter Warmer

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
When you bring a glass of this dark copper ale to your lips to take your first sip you will notice the aroma of cinnamon. There is no aromatic hop added that might overpower the distinct spice scent. The medium body of this beer is formed from caramel and pale malts. These create enough body to support the spices without making the beer excessively rich. Bittering hops are added to counter the sweetness of the malt and spice. The finish of the beer is a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg. The combination of these two spices results in a balanced, pumpkin-pie flavor.

22 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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Reviews: 631 | Ratings: 1,493
Photo of rodbeermunch
2.34/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Reddish brown with a light tan head with a mild 1/5" ring. The aroma is all holiday spice rack.

Even worse is the amount of holiday spice rack in the taste. All in. Totally envelopes a thin brown malt base. Kind of a wreck in that regard.

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Photo of mynie
4.02/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon: What Fancy Beer Was Like 20 Years Ago.

I kid, I kid. And I try to appreciate every beer for what its makers intended it to be, regardless of the vagaries of hyper contemporary tastes.

This pours pleasantly filtered, dark amber with a nice and retentive white head. Smells very strongly of cinnamon in a manner that is surprisingly not gimmicky or weird. I've come across many other beers that have tried this--a shocking number of mediocre brewpubs produce something that has the word "gingerbread" in its name--but none have ever pulled it off so well. It's hardly game changing, but it's nice.

Tastes like a 90s warmer, and I think you kids should thank god you're living in 2016, and you don't have to wait until the Holidays to try something semi-interesting. This is straightforward, malty and spicy and full throughout with zero off nodes. I probably wouldn't be able to blindly distinguish it from Sam Adams Winter, or even Anchor's Very Special Ale, but the fact that it can be listed against those venerable classics means it is at least due some respect.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.8/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very cloudy red color with a small foamy head. Head retention is non-existent. Lacing is mild. Has a cinnamon and nutmeg aroma with a hint of bourbon. Cinnamon and nutmeg predominate the taste as well. Mildly creamy taste but more spicy than anything else. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.71/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the room temperature bottle, it pours a moderately dark amber with a small head (surprising as the bottle is warm!) Spice in the nose. Malty and spicy in the mouth.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Cinnamon, cranberry, apricot, cloves in the nose.
Reddish Brown pour; dark, but clear.
All the aroma flavors in the drinking as well, but a musty aftertaste.

Good Carbonation, very drinkable.

A winter favorite

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by date of 01/15/16. This was poured into a mug. The appearance was a dark amber body with a small off white head that dissipates quickly with barely any lacing. The smell had cinnamon and nutmeg, some clove in the background. Light breadiness slides in for the taking. The taste was sweet yet becoming balanced to some light bitterness as it warms. Again, the breadiness comes in nice and warm. The palate sat about a medium; slightly sessionable; slightly bitter aftertaste; clean, dry finish. Overall, a decent winter warmer, still, I could have it again.

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Photo of Oleyomoleyo
2.2/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Someone mentioned in a earlier review this beer is like drinking a glass of french toast. 100% on the mark. Love french toast but not french toast flavored beer. Harpoon has many better choices than this.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.02/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty golden amber/copper color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger, mixing well with strong toasted malt aromas. Gingerbread is what comes to mind.

Taste: Very, very good. Gingerbread in a glass! Notes of toasted malt and freshly baked bread, but the predominate flavor is gingerbread! Strong notes of spice, such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Hardly no hops at all, which pleases me.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With and ABV of 5.9%, there is not presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer, as it has great flavors of gingerbread, spices and malt. Extremely tasty. Recommended.

 918 characters

Photo of jbredbeard
3.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Mild coffee notes in the nose followed by a nice smooth full bodied brew with a good coffee and cinnamon flavor. Definitely a cold weather ale but very good.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper with a white head. The smell is full of cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste has those spices in the beginning but then mellows into the toasted malt which I thought gave a nice finish to the beer. SImple but effective.

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Photo of everythingiszen
2.88/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruddy brown. Cinnamon and cloves heavy on the nose. Lighter bodied than I expected. Flavor is strong, straight forward winter spicing, a little cinnamon-sugary. Not terrible, but not my favorite. Became more and more cloying as I went.

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Photo of sprat1960
1.91/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Look: Dark cooper with a red hint. Pours with a one finger white head that disappears quickly leaving scant remnants of foam on the surface of the beer. Transparent. Looks okay; commercial.

Smell: Overly sweet, with scents of cinnamon and nutmeg. Aroma of pumpkin pie. I found it too strong and not appealing.

Taste: Similar to the smell, though less sweet and much more spicy. Ended with a bitter taste the reminded me of black pepper combined with some cinnamon. I found the taste to be terrible. I could have gotten it down, but ended up throwing out most of the 12 oz bottle.

Feel: Thin to medium in body. Kind of like a thin syrup. Lots of medium carbonation.

Overall: Personally this beer was not at all to my tastes; way too sweet and too many spices. Tasted more like a heavily spiced cider than a beer to me. I thought it was one of the worst beers that I ever tasted. But my brother - who bought it - loves it. So it has it fans; I am definitely not one. I guess I have learned this Fall that I don't really care for most apple, pumpkin or cinnamon/nutneg spiced beers in general.

 1,114 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Dark raisin brown with a nice fizzy and active tan head.

Spicy aromas of nutmeg and allspice. Raisins, nuts.

Too much of the spiced flavors, not enough of the nutty and dark fruit.

Medium mouthfeel with high carbonation.

A nice winter warmer, but definitely not my style.

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Photo of HamdenHector
2.9/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: crystal clear; reddish amber; 1 finger off white head that receded to a thin collar; no lacing;

S: nutmeg is most prevalent, with cinnamon also clearly present;

T: all cinnamon; a touch of nutmeg if you wait a minute or two; no bitterness;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: one note; note balanced; no complexity;

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.11/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at room temperature.

A: Pours into the glass a clear red-amber, not unlike the hue of a good Vienna lager, and forms a two finger head of pale tan froth which dies slowly down to a relatively thick cap. Lacing is briefly impressive, then falls right back down to the cap.

S: Caramel and toffee malt, with heady notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice over the top.

T: Exactly what the nose promises. The initial flavor is a somewhat bland caramel-toffee malt, which has a rush of cinnamon and nutmeg stampeding over it to become the whole of the flavor profile in the middle, before the spice recedes at the finish. There's some carbonation sharpness in the middle as well, which seems to cut the malt, and a very faint, very flat wooden-leafy note.

M: Watery and overcarbonated to the point of sharpness.

O: While I'm generally a malt fan, I am a fan of well-executed malt. This beer seems either simple but poorly integrated, or an attempt at being complex that did not quite gel. It's not terrible, but it is right around average.

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Photo of seedyone
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%

12/04/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Since it's early December this hits the spot. Spices without the sweet.

Had 2 in a row & with 40 taps in front of me, that quite a feat on the brewers part.

If you pick friends that are interesting but not flashy here's your chance to make a new one. Skol!

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Photo of TWStandley
3.2/5  rDev +0.6%

Purchase this every Christmas more for nostalgia case.

Appears a muted brown color with a small, light brown head.

Smells of cinnamon sugar, and other malts.

Tastes the same. A bit overpowering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick.

Overall its ok.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.49/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby-amber, with a large head of khaki bubbles. There's only a thin fringe of lace, albeit nicely detailed.

Aroma is heavy on the spice accents. I get predominantly cinnamon, followed by a touch of vanilla and nutmeg. Pleasant enough.

Taste is, again, heavy on the spices. This one's not too sweet, but definitely a mellow sipper. With all the warm spices, Harpoon's Winter Warmer effectively and accurately captures the spirit of wintertime and holiday vibes. Solid and well-done.

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Photo of cyclonece09
2.67/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours light brown/red with a small white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of winter spices, a tad of cinnamon. Tastes of cinnamon in my mouth with carbonation. Beer is not overly drinkable for its light body but overpowering spices. Overall a below average beer.

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Photo of rgturtle
2.66/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

A- Amber; light lacing.
S - Picked up potpourri/decorative hand soap.
T - Consistent with the nose; what should be cinnamon was more likely what Ralphie got from the red bar of Life Buoy.
M - Consistent with what I'd expect. Fairly clean, not overwhelming at all.
O - I couldn't finish it.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
2.88/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into becker pint glass; medium-amber in color, clear with minimal head of off-white.
Smell is lots of sweet fruit overtop of yeasty esters and malt.
Taste is spice, nutmeg aftertaste after malt, seems to live to up to the name "winter warmer" while also seeming to underwhelm the "winter warmer" name. Hops are present but not important.
Mouthfeel is lighty, pleasant, light carbonation.
Overall, a tasty but underwhelming winter ale. Rather bland and unintneresting, although the spice is interesting. Not much beer flavor to be found.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.04/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I really don't understand the ratings on here, very good winter beer. Had this poured out of the bottle into a pint glass. The beer is very sweet, but I don't think excessively so given the genre. Someone syrupy, but again, not overly so for a warmer. There was a thickness to it as well that was good. A good deal of spices going into it as well. I think Harpoon just kind of went for it with this one, and I think it paid off.

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Photo of GorgonSed
2.45/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Amber - red color. Pale head develops but subsides quickly. Head is thin.

S - Very sweet smelling. Christmas spices come out, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.

T - Sweet taste. Pumpkin spice flavor. After taste resembles a gingerbread cookie.

M - Very thin. Reminds me of water.

O - Not my style, too sweet, but I could see someone liking this. It's not what I'd expect from a Winter Warmer however. Not thick enough and too sweet.

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Photo of SteveB24
1.91/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

i bough the winter 12 pack of harpoon, and this was included. i was very disappointed to say the least in this beer.

appearance; thin, clear, reddish brown, a lot of bubbles but a thin, white/ tan head that dies quickly.

smell; the smell cannot be called awful, as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves carry pleasant aromas, however there are no smells that indicate that the beverage is beer and not, say, pumpkin pie.

taste; if i didn't open and pour the beer myself, i really would have thought i was drinking seltzer with a lot of cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg mixed in, except that amazingly sounds better then this beer.

mouthfeel; weak and overcarbonated.

overall; i think I've said enough, i'll just add that i excpected a lot more from this brewery.

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Photo of kegnation
4.1/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this 2013 vintage, I think the Bros need to revisit. Starts out with a great nose of cinnamon and slight vanilla notes. Mouthfeel is a little lacking but not bad. I may be partial to winter style but this is very tasty. Strong maltiness with a great balance of spice and warmth. Enjoyable!!

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Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.18 out of 5 based on 1,493 ratings.
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