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Harpoon Winter Warmer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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631 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: 631 | Ratings: 1,493
Photo of andrewjraab
2.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice looking brew - copper brown, good clarity. 2 fingers of brownish head.

A- spices - nutmeg overpowers cinnamon and all together smells a bit like egg nog. The taste from the smell and overall it is just not that balanced and has too much spice. I would like more of the bitter to shine and balance this better

O. I bought this as a one off and I will prob never try it again.

 384 characters

Photo of socon67
3.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark copper colored beer with no lacing of any kind. Thin white foam shrinks fast. Almost looked flat, but wasn't. Opaque.

S - Strong notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, corriander, and ginger. Smells alot like my Christmas tree.

T - Very spicy feel that takes over the beer. The subtle hop bitterness is nearly washed out, but over time is more noticeable. Has a fresh grain taste as well. But the cinnamon & nutmeg make this a near spice bomb. Acutally paried well with peppery Tex-Mex.

M - No way would I have more than one of these. Too spicy to make enjoyable. One is nice, a second would be a bit painful.

O - Interesting and fun, but this is over the top on the spices. For people that really love cinnamon flavors this is going to be a very good beer. I think they could have toned this down.

 799 characters

Photo of ColdWaffles
3.99/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Smith Pint Glass.

Appearance: Kind of a boring looking beer. Doesn't really keep its head or anything. Color isn't anything to speak of. Light cream colored head and copper color.

Smell: Cinnamon and nutmeg! Gingersnaps! Spiced ale.

Taste: Kinda tastes like a gingersnap flavored beer. Really enjoy it, though I tend to like any spice "winter warmer" ale. I've had a couple of these now, and this has grown on me a lot.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light ale overall, with moderate carbonation. Might like this a little heavier.

Overall: Pretty enjoyable beer. Not sure this is for everyone, but if you like cinnamon or gingersnaps, chances are you will dig this.

 697 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best By 02/15/13

A: Pours an amber color with a fingers worth of light tan head

S: Mostly a bit of maltiness with a big helping of cinnamon and nutmeg. The spices really dominate

T: Follows the nose. Dominated by cinnamon and nutmeg, along with a solid malt backbone. Slightly sweet throughout. Again, not much else but the spices

M: Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

O: If you like spiced beers, then this one will fit your niche nicely. Otherwise, I'd stay clear of this one. I enjoy the spices this time of the year, so I am enjoying this one. Wouldn't really care for it any other time of the year though. Again though, use discretion with purchasing if you don't like spiced brews

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
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 thecheapies
3.47/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Harpoon Winter Warmer. First beer during our Thanksgiving Beer Celebration! Poured into a clean Great Lakes-labeled pint glass.

Dark burnt amber color. Cappuccino-like head full of wet density. Quite clear. Noticeable carbonation rising in the liquid. No lacing, however.

Fig, date, cinnamon and other mulling spices, toasted grain, light booze, and hard caramel candy. Roasted notes give it a toffee aroma. Quite aromatic.

Semi-sweet dark fruits, some candied and some just dried. Pronounced spicing with flavors of nutmeg, allspice, mace, and cinnamon. Dates and fig generalize the noted fruit essences. Herbal notes seem purposeful and from hopping. Generously toasted with a malt-heavy forcefulness. Accompanied by edgy and sugar-cutting bitterness. Still winds up a little sweet.

Very quaffable noting the lacking strength. Oily body fills out at a medium level of body with a lighter carbonation that feels a little sandy. Doesn't exactly work as a warmer, Harpoon's Winter Warmer needs gulped a bit to establish the better feel. I'm in-between about how this is working.

A most appropriate beer to kick off this holiday season. Would enjoy this more if the temperature outside was about fifteen degrees colder. One of my girlfriend's favorite winter seasonals, and one of my favorite Harpoon ales.

 1,314 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Is a "winter warmer" under 6% ABV actually gonna warm you in any appreciable sense? In any case, this stuff pours a clear sunset copper topped by a finger of sandy cream foam. The nose comprises ginger, clove, brown sugar, light toffee, banana, and candied orange peel. The taste brings in more of the same, with the focus heavily now on the spices, particularly the clove and brown sugar, which end up o'erwhelming all else. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a slick feel, and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, not a bad winter warmer, but a decidedly one-dimensional one.

 640 characters

Photo of CFHMagnet
2.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Head is thin and almost orange cream colored. Body color is a saving quality, as it is a nice looking rosy copper. The head is gone in seconds, with no lacing even thought of.

Nutmeg, mild cinnamon, cloves, sweet malt and overripe banana make up the nose.

Flavor starts off fine. Mild sweet malt, nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of banana... then it goes south. Overpowering nutmeg and a light but unpleasant bitterness just take over and ruin it for you.

Mouthfeel is light bodied. Goes down just fine.

 503 characters

Photo of thlayli87
2.74/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a ruby-tinged medium brown with a miniscule head that dissipated almost instantaneously. Needless to say no lacing. Strong smell of cinnamon. Taste was like a watered down diet cherry soda. Mouthfeel was also thin and soda-like. Give this one a pass.

 257 characters

Photo of brewsadedotcom
3.07/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into my Bogota Beer Company pint glass

A: Pours with about about a half inch off-white head. Clear reddish copper color. Decent lacing.

S: Aroma of nutmeg, clove and vanilla. Very pleasant.

T: Prominent taste of clove and malt. Medium bodied finished.

M: Moderate carbonation. Definitely some malty chewiness but not overwhelming

O: This is a solid winter beer, however it would not be my first choice when choosing a beer of this style

 455 characters

Photo of BostonHops
3.23/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottler served in a SA "perfect pint" glass. (best by date 03/15/11)

pours a clear copper tone with golden highlights. finger of creamy, beige colored head fades somewhat quickly into a thin cap, collar around the glass.

nose is overrun with spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. some malt characters as well. the spices are nice, but a little overdone. taste is a step back. the spices follow through headlining the flavor profile, but overshadow most other elements of the beer... bit of a metallic twang to it.

light bodied mouthfeel... a bit thin... average carbonation. goes down easy enough but the spices wear you down in short order. all in all it's not terrible, but definitely an average winter warmer.

originally reviewed: 01-16-2011

 751 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It pours dark amber to copper in color with amber highlights. I got an inch of beige head.

S - Surprisingly the aroma doesn't seem to have faded. I get plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T - I get tons of spices in the flavor. Cinnamon and nutmeg are apparent. I swear I get some clove in there as well.

M - Medium

O - I'm impressed how the spices held up over time. This beer definitely has a winter spice taste to it. Try it if you like cinnamon and nutmeg.

 507 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.73/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours an amber-brown hue with a frothy, 2-finger, white head that slowly dissipates in, leaving a nice trail down the glass, and finally ending a solid persistent lace.

S: Malty aroma with hints of banana cloves and spices.

T: Very smooth malty flavor with a spicy background. An equal mix of sweet and bitter with a slightly hoppy finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Tasty winter warmer – very smooth and enjoyable.

 495 characters

Photo of Kelly88
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A- pours a deep amber brownish color with a velvety thin cap of khaki head. No lacing in the glass but still a nice looking beer.

S- lots of cinnamon and nutmeg reminds me of a gingerbread cookie. Not my favorite smells in a beer but it is good

T- pretty much follows the nose. Tastes of this are way more enjoyable than the smell.

M- silky and weird. I like more carbonation and this beer is kind of watery

O- not a bad take on the hearty spicy winter warmer style. The only major problem for me was the pudding like feel. Overall all it tasted fine and was par forth style

 638 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
2.14/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Harpoon Winter Warmer…in a bottle from the Winter Mix Pack

Appearance-Dark amber with a one inch white head, not much in the way of head retention. Minimal lacing.

Smell-spicy aroma, nutmeg and cinnamon, alcohol and sweetbread as well. Pungent.

Taste/Mouthfeel-Also spicy but with a sticky sweetness, this combined taste overpowers the other notes of alcohol and breaded malt. Medium mouthfeel, ends with more spicy nutmeg notes, more sips to try to get past it but I really can’t. The flavor is not very appetizing, I barely finished the bottle.

Overall-this beer is a miss, plenty of better options on this style. Harpoon overloaded it with candied sugar and the mix doesn’t taste well. Stay away.

 709 characters

Photo of crhensel
3.48/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12 oz. into pint) Poured a deep, dark copper with a one finger head and great retention on the glass. Aroma was strong of the winter spices, especially cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as a slight citrus underneath. Definitely warming, but not as much as others in the style, having a lower ABV than I am used to with these. The flavor was strong of the cinnamon up front, with a slight hop and nice malty sweetness at the finish. Definitely one I will find again next season.

 473 characters

Photo of teromous
3.09/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Right away I can see that the head goes away way too fast. There's no real lacing. The beer itself is a nice dark amber color, which is very clear. There are very few bubbles in the glass.

S: I can smell the spices. It has a smell similar to custard pie...kind of an eggy cinnamon smell.

T: It is extremely light in flavor. I get a very faint bread flavor...like the crust of a whole wheat loaf. Then, there is the light cinnamon spice flavor. Overall it's very light though.

M: There isn't much of a mouthfeel. It doesn't even feel like it's in my mouth while drinking it...which is weird.

O: I wouldn't drink it again. It feels very empty and unsatisfying.

 665 characters

Photo of BeerNoobNC
3.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to pint glass. The smell and flavor is exactly like others I have had of this style, it just seems a little weaker. Lots of cinnamon-ish spices in the flavor, along with some bitter and malty flavors as well. Overall, this is a decent beer, but I have definitely had better ones in this style.

 312 characters

Photo of brewemstrong
2.82/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light amber but incredibly transparent for the color- looks watered down. Almost no head even given an aggressive pour. Some lace

S: Mostly toasted malt with some cinnamon and nutmeg spice. Nothing hop-like to be found. Not sure what's going to carry the beer.

T: Tons of cinnamon probably helps the lack of real maltiness. Again, nothing hoppy. Nutmeg helps the finish.

M: The bottle says this is full bodied, but that's a strech. It's well carbonated and doesn't have a sticky finish

O: Nothing special here. Fine to try during the season but probably better on tap

 574 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.7/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Lovely toned copper color, with brilliant clarity, crowned by a massive, dense, moderately coarse off-white head, with thick, patchy lacing. A few small streams of fat bubbles rise lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Rich, spicy aroma, of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, orange peel, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Taste: Opens with toasted caramel malt, followed by bitter coffee, earth midway through the taste, which rise to ascendency as the taste progresses. Finishes with a pleasant wave of Christmas spices and a mild earthy hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, soft.

Drinkability/notes: As others have noted, this beer is on the low end of the winter warmer spectrum, nonetheless, its very good and quite drinkable.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry-off cap, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.6/5  rDev +44.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A: deep honey colored brew, medium clarity. lite amber head that tastes like, cinamon? really Christmas - y. settles leaving a wonderful full lace

S: cloves maybe?

T: unlike any beer I've tasted but I like it a lot. Like a spciy cookie but not too sweet.

M: medium- full body. no ABV bite.

D: this is RICH = flavored. no to be guzzled.

LOVE the FLAVOR! but very unusual

 434 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +32.1%
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 wingman14
3.48/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish red with an off white head that fades fast. Smell is mostly nutmeg with the cinnamon and malt present as well. Taste follows with the nutmeg being the star. The flavor is not complex but is nice. The flavors are not too overpowering, this one won't get annoying after a few. Mouthfeel is medium, but could have had more depth. Overall a good winter warmer, decent flavors, a better mix a flavor could put this over the top.

 445 characters

Photo of gfreed
1.03/5  rDev -67.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

In the derby for bad beer from the most over-hyped East-cast brewer, until now I held that any brew from Sam Adams would by default take the trophy. Now I stand corrected: Boston Brewing must now share said trophy with Harpoon. This winter warmer ranks among the flattest, flavorless, most aromaless beer on today's market, and it's a fine addition to all of the other flavorless, aromaless beer that Harpoon brews. The only thing separating this beer from a glass of water is the price.

 487 characters

Photo of metter98
3.15/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

 767 characters

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