Winter Warmer
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Winter WarmerWinter Warmer
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #279
Ranked #46,715
3.24 | pDev: 19.75%
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
Winter WarmerWinter Warmer
Notes: 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
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Reviews: 666 | Ratings: 1,605
Photo of manofmanners
4.77/5  rDev +47.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you want a taste of Christmas, this is your beer. Good to have at the Christmas get together and most people haven't had it so it would be like your gift to them. The cinnamon scent and taste makes this truely a holiday beer. It is a true New England beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.44/5  rDev +37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 Version:

Hazy bronze color with a light brown head. A powerful spice aroma and taste (cinnamon and nutmeg). Hard to smell or taste much else but spices but I liked it a lot. Full bodied (leans medium). Great for winter time!

Label states: "Beer with spices added"

[2001 version Tasted 11/23/02]

2003 Version:

Consistent notes but adding: Little to no carbonation and lots of suspended sediment.

Lowered Appearance from a 4 to a 3.5.

Bottled: 10/17/03 (lasered on neck)
Tasted: 03/29/04

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Photo of beerluvr
3.92/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours with an ample but short-lived off-white head, settling on top of reddish/amber liquid. Nose is cinnamon, some light nutmeg..and some maltiness. Taste is is spicy cinnamon notes, somewhat stronger than I remember in past editions & a good amount of hopping is noted as well. A little light-bodied, not your typical malt monster Xmas beer at all. Finishes with malt sweetness & spices. A nice Xmas ale on the lighter side of the scale.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured it into the glasses, one for me and one for my wife. Nice dark amber color, good head. It smelled festive. The first sip expolded with spices. In fact, it kept exploding. It took me three beers to finally overcome the spices. My wife could not drink hers, muttering something about "potpuorri". This is a good Christmas eve beer, when you are trying to get into the spirit of the season. I could not drink this on a regular basis, much like Earl Grey tea.

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Photo of Murph
4.05/5  rDev +25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This years batch may be the best I've had, but I'll wait till I try some draught before making that proclamation. Pours a dark copper/ruby color with an unimpressive head that leaves no lace or film behind. Slight cinnamon with some fairly strong nutmeg as well in the nose without much else present. Nice smooth and sweet malty body carries this brew with some, subtler than in past years, spices playing second fiddle. The brew finishes with a nice spice flourish that features more cinnamon than nutmeg but both are there in nice quantities. Smooth maltiness makes for a nice medium-heavy bodied beer that is warming me up very nicely as a nightcap. I'll be sure to quaff some more of this as the season goes on, definitely a welcome sign that winter is upon us.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber in color with a 1/2 inch off white head. Smells very spicy like the holiday season. The spices are a bit overpowering in the beginning but tale off at the end. Cinnomon and brown sugar are things that I taste. I can almost taste a slight bitterness towards the end but it fades quickly. The aftertaste is a bit odd, the spices seem to be gone. I don't think that I could have more than one or two of these.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
2.02/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Nice looking light brown beer with a small white head that left a bit of lace. Aroma was of my grandmas kitchen before a holiday, all pie spicy with a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg, too much spice in my opinion. Smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish, but as far as flavor , the spices seem overdone once again. All in all the best way I can describe this beer is that it has an old spice cologne aroma with a captain morgans rum aftertaste/finish. If you are a fan of either of these concoctions, go ahead and try this beer, otherwise stay away.

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Photo of StevieW
2.36/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Rich copper to Amber color. Decent beige head. First smell brought whiffs of nutmeg, cinnamon, spices everywhere. Raised eyebrows as the taste of nutmeg, christmas cookies, and everything else hit your tongue. Not a good combination, overly spiced. If I wanted a gingerbread cookie, I would eat one. Tastes like a liquid spice cake. Not good, way to spicy. I couldn't drink it more than once.

Ed's note: I found my notes from last winter's trip to Boston.

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Photo of beernut7
4.1/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the first spiced beer I tasted way back in the day. Beautiful deep amber color and head. Aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon with light hoppiness. This is a unique taste among even other winter beers. The spices really give this one its main character. Not to heavy and goes down smooth. Has an interesting aftertaste, though which sometimes detracts from the experience.

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap while living in Vermont,liked it alot.Then bought in bottle form,not quite as good.On tap tasted fresh and like eating a nice spice cake.

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Photo of Jason
2.12/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Notes from 2001: Way too much spice this year, takes away from the malt and subtle hops. I wish they would bring this beer back to what it used to be.


Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with an ink jet printed bottled on date above the label.

Appearance: Slighty chill hazed copper coloured brew with thin yet creamy lace which leaves a few rings around the glass.

Smell: More cinnamon than nutmeg, fresh pie apples and a faint aroma of esters in the sweet nose also.

Taste: Medium bodied with a sweet chewy malt and spice mix up front, cinnamon and nutmeg are about even. Some fruitiness in the middle with a sharp tingling hop bitterness that is just enough to balance all of the sweetness. Mild alcoholic esters are more evident towards the end ... drying grain in the finish.

Notes: Very drinkable, sweetness is not cloying and spices are not over done. A well crafted and balanced beer. A good pick if you can't handle the "big" winter brews.

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Photo of xXTequila
1.52/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

The cinnamon and nutmeg in this is way to overpowering. It smelled like oatmeal cookies and had a biscuity, bannana bread taste. This was so sickenly sweet it makes it hard to drink.
This was a big disapointment since I so far have loved all the beers I've tried by Harpoon.

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Photo of AaronRed
3.88/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I love cinnamon and nutmeg, so I almost prefered to smell this beer rather then drink it. But that would be silly. Probably one of the lightest holiday beers on the market. I think expectations for this beer may have lead to some dissapointment. Very sweet toward the end.

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Photo of Todd
1.92/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had this for the first time this year @ the Harpoon X-mas Party. It was dreadful. They actually changed the recipe this year because they were getting complaints about spice dregs at the bottom of kegs that made the beer cloudy. So, this year they went with "liquid spice". I've talked to other brewers, all of who refuse to use this stuff as it's too potent.

Just imagine drinking a cinnamon hotball, but without the hot. It's so over-spiced that you can't enjoy the other characters of the beer.

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Photo of Brent
4.14/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer almost goes over the top with spices - but holds back just enough. Cinnamon and nutmeg blast out of the malt - like they stuffed a mincemeat pie into the bottle. Must be brewed by little elves at the North Pole. One bottle at a sitting is all I care for of this beer, but this is a great change of pace - Ho Ho Ho!

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Photo of John
2.47/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Wow, the brewers raided granny's cinnamon cupboard and went to town! The spice flavors are a bit overdone IMHO. They have sort of a superficial presence as if you were to sprinkle them on top of the beer, rather than mellowing throughout the brewing process. Thought this brew was a little thin for a winter seasonal.

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Winter Warmer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 75 out of 100 with 1605 ratings