Harpoon Winter Warmer | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

647 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: 647 | Ratings: 1,535
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance Thin bubbles in a decent sized head dwindle very quickly leaving behind the copper amber body behind with very thin specks of lacing. Aroma: Primarily nutmeg and cinnamon this one takes a hint from Great Lakes but goes off down the wrong path making the spices the primary focal point. Taste: Barrages of nutmeg and cinnamon not a beer it's candy like but not in a good way. There's some alcohol in each sip followed by Christmas spices but guess what that's all that's here so one sided give me a complex Christmas ale. Mouthfeel: Thin body I don't know what Harpoon was thinking with this one, starts to just become watery with a thin amount of sryup texture from all the cinnamon and nutmeg extracts used. Drinkability: Wow, not a beer I would choose if I knew it was this damn over spiced it's just one glass of nutmeg and cinnamon once again folks not a beer.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
2.25/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Vigorous pour results in a small head of large, thin bubbles that vanishes almost instantaneously, no carbonation. Color is coppery with amber highlights. Visually indistinguishable from apple cider, except more translucent. Cinnamon aroma with nutmeg on the side is nearly overpowering and yet thin through the nose. Cinnamon chewing gum to a tee. No malt, hops, or otherwise-beer-aromas detectable. Flavor continues the trend: cinnamon gum and not much more. Possibly pumpkin pie spices, spiced apple rings, apple butter, sugary sweet. Mouthfeel is thin and watery, slightly juicy, but dissipates immediately. Average drinkability, but who'd want to face that flavor again?? Not impressed.

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Photo of BierReise
3.27/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Typical New Englad winter spiced beer. And not a very good one either. Pours clear dark coppery color with a head that dissapears quickly. The aroma is great, nutmeg and cinniman get me in the Christmas spirit. That's where it ends though and the beer begins it's descent down hill like a sled in the wet snow. Mouthfeel is not full bodied as promised, yet not too thin either. Finishes a bit dry. Flavor doesn't come close to the aroma and really dissapoints. Has a caramel malt flavor that is covered with cinnamon and doesn't blend well at all. Nice try but not a great tasting beer. Best bet for a christmas beer is Anchor OSA.

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Photo of UncleFrank
3.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at one of my favorite places, The Wickenden Street Pub, hoping for a different result than my recent bottle purchase.
A clear bronze color beer with a good size head. The aroma is of intense nutmeg. Some clove and cinimon are present but overpowered by the nutmeg. Matl flavors are basic pale/crystal.. Nothing exotic here. The body is thick, medium to heavy and fills me. I cannot have a bunch, same as a heavy stout. The finish is dry with mellow spice, like pie.
Same as my bottle review, I can’t say I don’t like this beer, but I am a bit disappointed. I wouldn’t turn one away, but I'm not sure if I'll be buying any more this season.

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Photo of Weissenheimer
4.52/5  rDev +42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I spend a few moments marveling at this pure, crystalline copper pint. Its smallish, foamy head has some of the biggest bubbles I've seen on a beer, and it dissipates very quickly into a thin nebula. Smelling cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, I wonder if I've finally found a winter ale that tastes how I expect a winter ale to taste. I'm fairly certain that no pumpkins were harmed in the making of this beer, but I associate this mix of spices so strongly with pumpkin pie that they spring to mind anyway.

I smile as I take my first swallow. Yes, I have found a winter ale that tastes how I expect a winter ale to taste. Finally. This is absolutely delicious. There's a tingle on the tip of my tongue amid the pleasant wash of spices, and that's as close as I can come to finding any complexity in it. Try as I might, I just can't get multiple taste stages out of this one. I don't care, though. Not one bit. It's cheery, beautifully balanced, and outlandishly drinkable. Gotta get me some more o' this.

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

A light copper pour topped in a good covering of white foam. It dies down to a lace after a bit. The aroma is cinnamon, and then a bit more cinnamon. Please tell me that this isn't like Shipyard Pumpkin Head.

Well, there it is, liquid Big Red. Oooh, some complexity, maybe a fireball in there as well. This brew is overloaded with cinnamon. The flavor is pretty annoying, and it is a struggle to finish one. Skip this one for the winter.

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

Pours clear copper with a foamy coppery-white head. The smell is straight nutmeg with a hint of some lightly piney hops. A very nice sweet smell.

The taste is quite malty with the caramel malts doing the bulk of the work. A slightly spicy middle with a sweet finish makes for an interesting brew. Definitely a little different. Goes down easy.

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Photo of homersimpson
3.95/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a tan collar
Sweet, spicy, potpourri aroma
Medium slick body
No hops, a little malt, and a whole lotta cinnamon and nutmeg. Sweet is accented by a deep spiciness. Finish is clean, leaving a ghost of spice.
A truly drinkable holiday beer. Wow, i usually hate this kind, but this works. Just don't drink all night.

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Photo of John1985
2.75/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Harpoon was a dark amber color, no head to speak of, and aroma of sweet spice. Spice dominated the flavor and aftertaste. Not much taste of malt or hops. I wasn't happy with this beer by itself but it might go well with a piece of pumpkin or apple pie.

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Photo of taez555
4.43/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage (this is key considering they seem to change the recipe slightly every year)

This beer poured a small white head that died almost immediately with a rather clear amber body.

The nose was beautiful. A big nutmeg smell with touches of cinnamon. A sweet candy like sweet malt smell, with doughy bread like quality.

The taste is light and smooth. A firm malt and surprisingly attentive bitterness. Basically though it’s dominated by a big nutmeg and cinnamon spice taste. A sort of grainy quality is present throughout each taste. There’s even a slight slight hint of grapefruit bitterness.

Simply this is THE holiday beer. Unlike most seasonal offerings that are a Belgian with a touch of spice, or just a big-bodied beer, this one, tastes like Christmas. I know it sounds weird, but… this beer just screams the holiday season. You smell and taste the cinnamon.

I will say that this beer has really gone down hill over the years. It’s gotten a lot grainer and it seems like every year they use cheaper and cheaper ingredients in the way of spicing it. Not that it’s bad, just disappointing if you’re used to last years effort. Also… this is a beer that is MUCH better on tap than in bottle.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber color, small white sticky head. Smell is of cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste is dominated by cinnamon and nutmeg. Touches of malt and hops, but spices are left to do their work. I actually like the spice characteristics of this beer, makes me think of the holidays and it warmed me up nicely.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This stuff is weird. Poured amber with a small, white head. Nose is of floral hops, cinnamon and nutmeg (reminds me of ginger bread and pumpkin pie). This was intriguing. Unfortunately the taste was a bit of a let-down. The spiciness was a little too much, and a lot of the other characteristics were muted as a result. This beer could have been so much more. The beer did have a nice warming characteristic to it. Someone else said that this beer loses something after the first sip. I'd have to agree.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.05/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

I love the amber color of this beer. A head quickly formed as I poured and disappeared even faster when I put the glass down. So, I took a whiff, and wow, this is one wacky beer. It smells exactly like pumpkin pie. Kuh-razee. Anyway, I was enticed. If someone had told me about the smell beforehand, I probably would have postponed drinking this, but once I was up close and personal with the brew, I was digging the aroma. I was looking forward to the magical convergence this pumkin pie element would have with the actual beer part of the beer. However, the taste let me down. I wasn't expecting it to taste exactly like it smelled, but I was hoping for more than I got. The pumpkin pie taste wasn't as good as the smell and the beer flavor was muted. Ultimately, this beer needs to do some soul searching and find itself. I'll revisit when it's ready.

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Photo of DagFishHead
2.87/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Fall 2003.
Appearance: Crystal clear amber body. Orange-tinged, light tan head is very temporary and leaves only a trace of lace.
Smell: Another reviewer nailed this one: Spicecake. Cinnamon, allspice, lots of nutmeg. Crystal malt stands ready in the background.
Taste: Disappointing, I think largely due to poor mouthfeel. Clean, semi-dry, spice flavors weaker than those picked up in the nose. Malt and hops fail in their struggle to surface.
Mouthfeel: Thin, watery, with low carbonation to the point of approaching flatness. The zip in this beer disappeared very quickly.
Drinkability: This beer literally went flat during the time it took me to type this review (hunt and peck method I admit, but come on). I expect better from Harpoon.

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Photo of clg898
2.43/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well, I remeber this beer being better than this. I'm disappointed. Pours a nice a very nice reddish copper colr with a good head with large bubbles. The head quickly dissipates to nothing. Little to no lacing, but good color. Smell is dominated by the spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Pretty good smell. The problem comes with the first sip. Actually, the first sip is ok, it's the second, third, fourth, etc.

The spices overpower the ale. All I taste is nutmeg and cinnamon when I drink this. A conspicuos absence of hops bitterness or aroma. I'm a Boston boy and I love my Harpoon IPA, but unfortunately, this falls short. Less spice, more hops and they would have a winner.

Overall, not bad to have one, but not more than that.

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Photo of edchicma
3.97/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm....pumpkin ale??? Somewhat like a pumpkin pie (a hint of mint in the background?), but with a nice smell...pumpkin spice-like. Had to remind myself to review this for what it is...a seasonal, spiced brew. I enjoyed the taste, although one or two would be sufficient for the evening..heavy, chewy quality that was full-bodied, although a tad overly spiced. For a seasonal, sippable brew, it was quite nice...the kind you would sip rather than take a long draw from.

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Photo of vitesse
3.27/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

served in 12 oz. brown bottle.
this seasonal just got to the shelves this week, i believe, so it couldn' t be much fresher.
pours a nice brown color. weak head retention, though.
smells of nutmeg and ginger -- very, very similar to gingerbread cookies.
kind of bland taste actually. gingerbread flavor seems only to be in the aftertaste.
mouthfeel is way too carbonated and crisp -- i think that may seem to dull some of the flavor.
average drinkability.
a decent spiced ale. not great, though. could be more spiced and flavorful.

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Photo of nixhecks
3.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer marks the beginning of the winter season for me, a season that compliments its crappy, cold weather with great seasonal brews. Winter Warmer pours a light brown color with a highly carbonated head that dissapated instantly. The cinnamon and nutmeg aroma reaches my nose all the way from on the desk, this reminds me of sticking those little cloves into oranges to make christmas ornaments when I was little (I think that's what it is - lol).
While the aroma is mouthwatering, the flavor is a bit off. It has a strong holiday spice flavor but it seems just flat and unbalanced, I can't put my finger on it, but it's mostly in the finish. Very high in carbonation - pushed its spice aromas up into my nose. Mouthfeel was a little thin, but it helped keep this brew from being too much.

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Photo of littlebibs
3.52/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've tried this over the past several years usually after Thankgiving
through the New Years. It isn't for every taste, but it does have
a nice spiced kick going for it and although I wouldn't want
to drink more than a couple here and there at one time, it does
have an unusal taste going for it(its not for everybody) I have
friends that love it and some can't even drink more than a sip.
If you like a spiced beer on the stronger spiced side it wouldn't
hurt to give it a try.

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Photo of Suds
3.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an attractive, ruddy brownish-red color with a thick, bubbly head. To be honest, the head is short lived, but this is a very pretty pour. The aroma is all spice and sweetness. This is a medium bodied beer, and is a decent spiced ale, but there are certenly better beers in this style out there.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the tale of two beers if I have ever seen. The pour was nice and cloudy orange with a thick, foamy, white head that receded into loose lace. Here is where the dualistic part comes. The smell was like a pie. Something close to pumpkin with lots of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, which gave me no impression of what the actual beer tasted like or if there was even anything more than the spices. The taste was entirely different with only a small hint of the spices. There were some nice hop bitterness with a dry refreshing taste. This is not such a bad beer, but I think I will stick to Old Fezziwig when I am looking for winter spice beers.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear copper in color. Thin to medium fluffy white head. Retention is very good. The aroma is big on cinamon stick. Some underlying malt in the background. Reminds me of a pumpkin beer from the aroma. Lace forms vertical lines down the glass. The label states there is nutmeg in this beer. I'm finding all cinamon. Nutmeg is tough to find...at least for me. I don't mind cinamon in beer so this one doesn't offend me. However, there could be a little more substance underneath to support. Malt character is minimal and there is not a lot of hop support either. Body is medium at best. At times, it feels like I'm drinking a hot cinamon apple cider. Soley from the cinamon perspective though, not the cider qualities. This beer could use a little tweaking, but it's really not too bad as is.

Thank you Davo for yet another Harpoon beverage.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.63/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting, and unlike any of the other winter seasonals I have tasted. I really love how it tastes, but it really doesn't taste like beer. The smell is somewhat weak, but what is there is a nice blend of ginger and spices.

Unfortunately, this is not a very well balanced brew. There is very little hop flavor at all. This definitely needs to be improved to make this a standout winter brew. If this was anything other than beer, I would love it. It has strong flavors of cinnamon, ginger, apple pie, pumpkin pie...but no hop flavor at all. If they could just balance that out, this would be kick-ass. Still an enjoyable brew, and the mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Probably would make a nice crossover to get the macro drinkers to enjoy a winter brew.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.25/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one kick arse beer. I gave it a shot on a whim. Boy, was that a great buy! I got a sixer of it for $6! At first I was expecting a robust beer, with a harsh aftertaste. I was once again proved wrong. It smells just like a gingerbread house. The taste is of strong baked ginger, like gingerbread, with the gingerbread aftertaste. I guess the main theme is gingerbread. The finish is very smooth and goes down super easy. Give it a try, it won't let you down.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.98/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pint was nice coppery color with beautiful, smooth, slightly off-white foam that was long lasting. The dominant aroma was cinnamon and spice. The taste was dominated by cinnamon and "pumpkin pie" type spices with a very good floral hop flavor blended in. The aftertaste was of cinnamon. The mouthfeel was good: dry, smooth with nice balance, but a little thin. The drinkability was good. A good Winter brew.

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Harpoon Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.18 out of 5 based on 1,535 ratings.
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