Harpoon Winter Warmer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

648 Reviews
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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: 648 | Ratings: 1,537
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.

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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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Photo of DrewSnyc667
3.86/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Logan, happy thanksgiving everyone!

A: copper and tan, lots of activity up front and then it is very still with no head. Color is most impressive

S: not much hear, slightly breads and metallic

T: very malty. Slightest touch of gingerbread and cinnamon but nothing too sweet, just a nice little spicy touch

M: slightly sticky

O: a nice holiday beer, I like it

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Photo of monorailred
3.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My wife bought a six pack of this. I am not usually a fan of tricked up special brews; however this one was pretty good. Clearly not the best, but I would not turn one down. It looks really nice in the glass and has a great copper color. I was not terribly struck by the smell...it really did not have much of one.

In terms of taste, I was really struck by the cinnamon. It was very noticeable. It was not bad, but perhaps a little too much. Not a great mouthfeel...it felt more carbonated than it was. It was a little odd.

Overall, this is a nice little beer. Not my favorite special brew, but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.94/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up as part of a mix-a six at Giant Beer Garden & Eatery enjoyed chilled in a tulip

The color is deep amber bordering on bronze with brown accents and thick creamy ecru cap with fine bead and lace waves cling. The smell is very nice with a light fruity yeast ester and mild caramel malt with a kind of gentle almond nuttiness with a mild hop aroma which is more in the herbal fruity range.There is a slight spice aroma with the cinnamon/nutmeg combo obvious in the smell. The feel is moderately carbonated with a slight spice tinge and texture is more on the sweet side with mild alcohol in the feel with medium body and semi-dry finish.

The taste has a nice presence of spice with a slight caramel and fruity yeast flavor. The taste is very festive with a warming (go figure) amount of alcohol yet pretty smooth in the middle with the spice lasting after the swallow with some woody aspects of cinnamon with a nice spice-cake like malty dark sugar element. Overall this is pretty great it seems appropriate as the weather cools off I could see myself enjoying this with a hearty stew since the spice is not too much that it overwhelms the malt foundation.

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Photo of digitalflood
3.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Harpoon Winter Warmer (2013) - 5.9% ABV. Amber brown body. Slight carbonation. Good head with strong retention. Nice lacing. Citrus, cinnamon, and nutmeg aromas. A bit of cranberry bread. Malty gingerbread cookie nose. Light wet mouth. Apple crisp mid-palate. No alcohol notes. No ale notes either. Fades cleanly into back palate. A bit of bubblegum hops and a tang of cider. More cinnamon and a bit of peppermint. Very not beer like. Almost like drinking a cookie baked with rum. Very odd. Good though. Would go well with dessert or after dinner. Could be off putting with a meal and definitely not a session beer. Definitely has a holiday feel to it as promised. 3.2 out of 5. Average.

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Photo of stella77artois
3.34/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into wine glass.

A - Pours a dark orange-amber with no haze. A small amount of carbonation noted. A small head formed which dissipated quickly.

S - Lot's of cinnamon up front, with subtle hints of malts seeping through. A slight bready smell, along with more cinnamon, and a bit of ginger. Nice smelling beer.

T - Wasn't expecting much based on the ratings here, but it's really not that bad. Lot's and lot's of cinnamon (too much IMO) up front with malts here and there. An ever-so-slight hint of cocoa, as well as a general spiciness. I think if they toned down the cinnamon, the beer could be a good one.

F - Weak for what it is. Winter Warmer's are supposed to be thick and have some body. Not to say that they HAVE to be this way to be enjoyable, but a beer that's flavored like this should have some thickness and body to it, IMO. However, it's easy to drink, and I can picture enjoying this outside on a cold day.

O - Not an awful beer. The taste itself is good, but they need to take it down a bit on the cinnamon, and kick the body up a bit. Not a bad Winter Warmer, but there are better versions. Overall not bad, but not something I'd ever buy.

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Photo of kevintaraross
2.68/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Note to Self: this beer was my very first introduction to "winter warmers" beer at the end of the 1990s or so.

Born/breed in Boston but living in South Carolina - this bottled beer brought home lovely memories - taste bud-wise. I couldn't drink enough of it around every Holiday Seasons...then stopped.

Fast forward to October of 2013 - one more chance - and had to downgrade due to inferior taste - did Harpoon cheapen up the hops?

Second chance: revisited again at the end of November 2016 - slightly better BUT currently - way better tasting winter warmers in the marketplace.

Oh well - when visiting Boston - I always order a fresh Harpoon IPA for ol' tyme sake!

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Photo of KYGunner
3.23/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Light brown body with an almost iced tea hue there was a bubbly head that dissipated quickly and disappeared completely.

Very light in the nose there was still some nice spicy cinnamon and nutmeg.

Very light on the palate there was still some cinnamon and nutmeg.

Very watery feel with no fullness in the mouth.

Ok, this is actually pretty good in its bones with some real winter spices but it is so weak and watery that I simply can't rate this highly.

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Photo of Omnium
2.73/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a copper color, thin half finger head, no lacing.
S - Overly abundant spices, particularly cinnamon and nutmeg, sweet cherries, and a mild malt.
T - Sharp spice bite, and it takes over your palate in a bad way, no hop flavor or real malt to help balance the excess of cinnamon.
M - Spices in your mouth and that is all.
O - Flat out bad, there's no excuse to spice a beer to this effect, no matter what season it is.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal-clear tawny copper color that is honestly quite beautiful. The head is a one finger offwhite shade with great texturing and lacing. It doesn't retain itself the best, though.

S: The most shamelessly cinnamon forward beer I've ever encountered. It's almost as if Harpoon took a page from Southern Tier's book on "how to make something smell exactly like what you're advertising". Okay, so Harpoon didn't advertise this as "Cinnamon Bomb", but you get the picture. I don't care for super-spiced brews - still, I wish most scented candles smelled like this.

T: Flavor-wise, there was no chance in hell of living up to the aroma. Still, spicing comes through quite strongly on the midtaste and finish. Ultimately, the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and coriander overpower the timid malt base quite thoroughly. As a result, the balance is sorely lacking. But you know what? It's not bad - as a showcase for the heavy spicing, I'd even call it good.

M: Very creamy and almost lush. It slides down a bit sluggishly due to the thick texture, but becomes quite clean (not to be mistaken for dry) past the aftertaste. Carbonation is unintrusive.

O: Fairly underrated in my book. It's not great per se (nose notwithstanding), but I wouldn't be averse to having this again. In a way, I'm glad Harpoon went for the 'unsubtle, hop-devoid spice bomb route' with this instead of the 'wassail meets Arrogant Bastard' route. This is NOT for everyone, though.

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Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.18 out of 5 based on 1,537 ratings.
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