Winter Warmer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Winter WarmerWinter Warmer
1,576 Ratings
Winter WarmerWinter 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,576 |  Reviews: 658
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent winter warmer. Its not top beer smell, but you can smell spices and yeast on top of it. You can see the hps, it preserved well over the winter. Decent spice, cinammon and nutmeg, citrus and not overpowering malt nor yeast taste. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger head with nice amount of lacing on a clear amber body.

S: peppery and cinnamon in the aroma.

T: tons of cinnamon flavor and gingerbread. Caramel malt background.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this beer is appropriately flavored for the winter season. For what it is trying to be it is actually very good.

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Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

surprised to see this rated so low. the pour is clear dark copper in color, with a really disappointing white head. the nose is more fall spice than winter, with cinnamon and clove, similar to a pumpkin beer, but the flavor reveals a nice sweet caramely malt profile, which holds up the spice well. its wintery with the spices loaded on the back end, and the sweetness of the malt all the way through. finish is really clean for the style. mouthfeel is okay, a little thin in body, i would like this even more with a bigger dose of malts. the carbonation is fine though, and this one is pretty easy drinking. my problem with it is the abv, i like to see a bit stiffer of a winter warmer, something to really warm me, and this takes too many to do that job. thats my most severe critique of an otherwise quite palatable brew.

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Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out as a dark amber color with a white head on top. the lacing was minimal along with the retention. the smell of the beer had some spicy notes on the nose along with some sweet malts. The taste of the beer reminded me too much a pumpkin ale, I felt that their spice choice might have been a little off here. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad but still pretty average. Overall this isn't something I'd go oout of my way to have again. There are some better choices out there in my opinion.

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Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -14.1%

Photo of nmann08
2/5  rDev -37.5%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of metter98
3.15/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high fluffy and dense off white head that slowly died down, leaving thick lacing down the sides of the glass and thin lacing covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of nutmeg in the nose along with hints of cinnamon.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some elements of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. No warmth from the alcohol is perceptible.
O: The beer is easy to drink compared to others in the style but could use more complexity and fuller-bodied nature to make it more of a beer that can be enjoyed while sipped.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.63/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The winter seasonal's have arrived at my local store and this hopped into the mixed sixer I made.

I heard a lot of negativity concerning this beer last year so I was somewhat excited to see how it tasted this year (never got to try it last year). It smells of cinnamon, a great smell, and pours a light copper color.. very appealing. Taste is of nutmeg and cinnamon and is medium bodied. Alcohol is not present at all, being that there isn't much of an ABV to begin with.

The spices may be a BIT over bearing, but not really. It's called a winter warmer, but this is only 5.5% ABV so it's a bit of a misnomer. Most breweries go for high alcohol/heavy body for this style but Harpoon went with more of a holiday spice twist.. everyone has their own interpretations of a winter seasonal. Just because it is different doesn't make it bad.. a solid beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.87/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A good try by Harpoon, but it just didn't have the oomph or the melding of a good winter warmer. Looks amber in color with a sparkle of spice floating in there. Good head retention and viscocity. Smells moderately malty with caramel and toffee notes. Spices of nutmeg and cinemon go along with a solid hop addition. Tastes much like an amber ale, with spices added. Moderately malty, with a light grain flavor. Easy on the palate with creamy carbonation. Finishes a little sweet and sticky and a little less than clean. A nutmeg aftertaste. Worth a try.

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Photo of oline73
3.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a finger of off white head. The bubbles are large and they go away completely.

Smell: Sweet malt with some cherry/almond and Christmas spices.

Taste: Some bready malt up front with mild fruity notes and some Christmas spices. There is a bitterness to the finish and it a bit watery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of clunky carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This beer isn't great for the style. I would like it to warm me a bit when I drink some. I used to love to have this every time the holidays roll around, but we've grown apart a little bit.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of superspak
3.28/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/15/2013. Pours slightly hazy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, prune, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, toast, biscuit, clove, and light herbal hops. Nice aromas with good strength and solid balance; very fruity and malty, with a fair amount of spices. Taste of caramel, raisin, prune, brown sugar, cinnamon, toast, nutmeg, ginger, bread, light banana, light clove, and light herbal. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, cinnamon, toast, nutmeg, ginger, bread, light banana, light clove, and herbal on the finish for a bit. Solid flavor balance and complexity; a big malt backbone and light complimenting spices; with minimal cloying flavors present on the finish. A little bland on flavor as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is ok. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a decent winter warmer. Moderate spicing and big maltiness with minimal cloying; and quite smooth to drink. A fairly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The crystal clear amber liquid is capped nicely, with a densely packed head that leaves a few dots behind

Smell: Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate with a caramel spice cake character underneath

Taste: Caramel spice cake, with the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors dominant; there is a bit of a metallic bitterness that arrives, after the swallow, but the beer is all about the spices

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: The spice cake character of this beer is very well done but that is just about all there is to this beer; I enjoyed the first few sips but after a while I became tired of the sweetness

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Photo of Boone757
3.42/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dbrauneis
3.23/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that slowly reduces to thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glasses. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toffee malt sweetness with some slightly lighter notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of toffee and caramel malt sweetness with lighter notes of cinnamon and nutmeg following. Very little bitterness is present.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth

O: Pretty well balanced between the malts and the hops but there is just a little too much cinnamon/nutmeg spiciness to this brew to be easy to drink. Enjoyable but this is not a beer that I want to drink a couple of...this is a one and done beer for me.

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Photo of mothman
2.34/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Beige head. Copper caramel color.

For a winter warmer, this is way too spiced. It is like they took a pumpkin ale and then added more spice to it.

It is not very drinkable and not something I ever plan to drink again.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The cinnamon is immediately noticeable in the nose of this reddish-amber ale. It's bright and fresh and welcoming! It's creamy ivory-colored head holds well, and it leaves some small areas of craggy lace at the outset of the glass. In the mouth it's medium-light bodied but still somewhat creamy and surprisingly smooth. The softness is a nice change of pace; and it's restrained carbonation helps balance it by letting the malt come through rather than accentuating its spiciness. Nutmeg and some mild cloves appear in the flavor along with the cinnamon and some yeasty fruitiness. Initially some malt gets through (although the spices do start to becoming cloying halfway through), and it's just-delicately caramelish and mildly biscuity. It's flavors are subtle except for the spice, but it's well-balanced. The malt is mild; the bitterness is sublime; and it's spices are clear but kept in check. It's a really nice holiday beer that would be perfect before, during, or after a holiday meal; but I'm not sure how drinkable it would remain outside of a special event. I'd enjoy one at the pub, but I don't think I'd go beyond that - personal preference.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of jlindros
3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap at jj sport bar.

Light but decent creamy head hits 1/2 finger and fades at med pace, clear darker tan almost copper color.

Nose has spices, allspice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc, fairly strong but not overly, sweet molasses and caramel malts, definite holiday smelling.

Taste similar, stating with light spices again, alittle ginger in there, allspice, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, etc, followed by a light bitter herbal hop and earthy spice taste, which is a bit of a put off. Then malts, syrupy caramel malt, quite sweet, toasty copper malts, biscuit and little bready, and some nutty flavors like candied cashews and chestnuts. The holiday spice character really dominates but doesn't destroy the palate. Finish is sticky and syrupy, a long herbal earthy bitter spice flavor, icky bitterness, and syrupy malts.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, little sticky and syrupy, decent carb, despite abv below 6% still feels syrupy and boozy, although it could be heat from the spices.

Overall meh, syrupy and sticky, icky bitterness, dominating spices, all wouldn't be great on their own but together even worse.

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Photo of chinchill
3.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle dated best by 2/15/12 and served in a pint glass.

Appearance - A crystal-clear, reddish mahogany with a thin, off-white head that quickly reduces to a ring. Very little lacing.

Smell - Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and banana.

Taste - Strong nutmeg flavor from start to finish, although there's plenty of cinnamon here too. Secondary notes also dominated by spices, leaving a barely detectable malt base. A bit medicinal. Mild bitterness becomes medium strength in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-thin body and carbonation. A bit sharp.

Overall - too much spicing, especially the nutmeg.

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Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.2 out of 5 with 1,576 ratings